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Do most markets choices really matter?

Is choice important? To hear many people speak, it is of the utmost importance. Look at all the options which the market gives us; compare that to the options Soviet citizens had back in the day. We can go into stores and buy all kinds of clothes, food, and recreational toys. Isn't that just great?

Well, yes, it is. And no, it's not.

To be sure, some choices matter a whole lot more than others. If you're thinking of using your free will option of grand theft, we encourage you vehemently not to give in to it. But in day to day things, the sorts of things which we are not saying are wrong in themselves, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the places we frequent, how important is choice, really?

We like what we like and so long as what we like is moral, we wonder whether it's worth the quibble. Yet we see so many people trying so many new things so much of the time that we can't help but ask, what are they looking for? What meaning is there to eating wings a third, fourth, or fiftieth style? To wearing the latest fashion? To sipping the newest brew or watching the current smash hit movie or TV show? Why all this apparent fascination with doing new, and this really seems to translate only into different, things?

What are people looking for that they can't be satisfied with what they have or is already readily available? Why do we live in a society which tolerates, nay, encourages, such consumerism? As a rule, the latest fad or fashion simply cannot be all that spectacular, really. What are people seeking?

We think they seek meaning. Long term, eternal meaning in what they might say or do or in how they act. In an increasingly relativistic world, a world where choice is in truth impotent, many folks still want, still need, things of value, things which really stand for something. So 'things' and 'events' and 'experiences' naturally become substitutes for real meaning. When the big choices don't matter, the little ones will fill the gap however feebly they are able. Being feeble attempts at meaning, they must proliferate, because they are gone as fast as they emerge.

The question is does the latest thing actually make us into anything of value. We don't believe it, of necessity, does. We think most relativists know that too. And it eats them alive. As a result, in these modern times, where a soul should be are only buffalo wings.

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