Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Citizen versus Consumer

This is a doozy. New Labour is very fond of using it, especially when trying to sell another “let’s do a RailTrack on the the hospitals.” A Citizen is someone who belongs to a republic (e.g. not the UK) with political rights and responsibilities. A consumer is someone who “enters a marketplace” in order to get something. A consumer has precisely as many rights as they have dollars/pounds. Citizens are, in theory, all equal. But the key difference is that a citizen should in theory have input into what is done by her institutions. A consumer buys what she is offered or fucks off. Geddit?

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