Bashing the Bashers

I recently read a book titled Living It Up: Our Love Affair With Luxury, by James B. Twitchell. I bought it anticipating groundbreaking new research into consumer buying habits—something we in the jewelry industry should be tracking on a constant basis. Not so. The book was just another consumer-bashing tome by another would-be moralist pretending not to be. To Twitchell's credit, he admits that he finds the pursuit of luxury goods shallow and slightly repulsive, almost apologizing for his condescension even while he confesses he's not entirely immune to it himself. He also makes a startling point: Things—not spirituality, justice, religion, ecology, or even happiness—have done more to unite the citizens of the world than any other force. It seems the one place on earth where black, white, Asian, European, Indian, American, Arab, and Jew might peacefully co-exist is in a duty-f

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