Early in the age of affluence(富裕)that followed World War II, an American retailing analyst named Victor Lebow proclaimed, "Our enormously productive economy... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption...We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever increasing rate."
Americans have responded to Lebow's call, and much of the world has followed.
Consumption has become a central pillar of life in industrial lands and is even embedded in social values.
Opinion surveys in the world's two largest economies-Japan and the United
States-show consumerist definitions of success becoming ever more prevalent.
Overconsumption by the world's fortunate is an environmental problem unmatched in severity by anything but perhaps population growth. Their surging exploitation of resources threatens to exhaust or unalterably spoil forests, soils, water, air and climate.
Ironically, high consumption may by a mixed blessing in human terms, too.
The time-honored values of integrity of character, good work, friendship, family and community have often been sacrificed in the rush to riches.
Thus many in the industrial lands have a sense that their world, of plenty is somehow hollow-that, misled by a consumerist culture, they have been fruitlessly attempting to satisfy what are essentially social. psychological and spiritual needs with material things.
Of course,. the opposite of overconsumption-poverty-is no solution to either environmental or human problems. It is infinitely worse for people and bad for the natural world too. Dispossessed(被剥夺得一无所有的) peasants slash-and-burn their way into the rain forests of Latin American, and hungry nomads (游牧民族) turn their herds out onto fragile African grassland, reducing it co desert.
If environmental destruction results when people have either too little or too much, we arc left to wonder how much is enough. What level of consumption can the earth support? When does having more cease to add noticeably to human satisfaction?
1. The emergence of the affluent society after World War II__________.
A) gave birth to a new generation of upper class consumers
B) gave rise to the dominance of the new egoism
C) led to the reform of the retailing system
D) resulted in the worship of consumerism
2. Apart from enormous productivity, another important impetus co high consumption is___________.
A) the conversion of the sale of goods into rituals
B) the people's desire for a rise in their living standards
C) the imbalance that has existed between production and consumption
D) the concept that one's success is measured by how much they consume
3.Why does the author say high consumption is a mixed blessing?
A) Because poverty still exists in an affluent society.
B) Because moral values are sacrificed in pursuit of material satisfaction.
C) Because overconsumption won't last long due to unrestricted population growth.
D) Because traditional rituals are often neglected in the process of modernization.
4.According to the passage, consumerist culture________.
A) cannot thrive on a fragile economy
B) will not aggravate environmental problems
C) cannot satisfy human spiritual needs
D) will not alleviate poverty in wealthy countries
5.It can be inferred from the passage that___________.
A) human spiritual needs should match material affluence
B) there is never an end to satisfying people's material needs
C) whether high consumption should be encouraged is still an issue
D) how to keep consumption at a reasonable level remains a problem