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In English business writing (and hence thinking) the term "consumer" is so pervasive as a proxy for the mass of humanity it leaves little room to hope a transition is a real possibility

Finding a catchy larguage term to describe the economic role of people as something more than mindless automatons attached to the consumption trough would be a good step forward

Any blessed wordsmiths out there?

@openrisk I don't see why a word like that is necessary. You could just use the word, "people," couldn't you?

I know it's not specific to that industry and it's a common word, but I think it would make it easier to stop thinking of consumers as inanimate objects.

What about the word capitalism? Doesn't it basically mean money-ism?

@vital876 "people" is most of the time too general in this context - it does not emphasize the economic / decision making role that individuals have besides consuming. "consumers" are actually also voters, some are direct / indirect investors etc.

"citizens" is sometimes suitable but it may come across as high minded and even presumptuous in a world with many disenfranchised

@openrisk
not sure here if you want a term for people as they actually are in "consumer society" or as they should be (in a utopia perhaps)...also whether we are talking about an "individual" person or an ideal-type representative of some kind of multitude or mass.

@johnkuti well, I think even today its more than a consumer society. accepting the label as accurate pre-empts that there is actually a balance that can be restored. also historically this century long period of extreme consumption focus is more of an exception.

on the second question, its really about a collective term. some economic texts use "households" but I would not call it particularly catchy 🙂

@openrisk you're not going to like this, but I think a classical economist might say this is a "utility maximising unit" i.e. a neoliberal's idea of a household of one or more people. At least this term makes the ideological baggage easier to see 🤔

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