Unhook From The Spending Matrix – Understanding “Memetic Desire”

It's Time To Unhook From The Spending Matrix

Have you ever heard of Memetic Desire, a concept developed by the French philosopher René Girard? I'm guessing not ;). Here's a quick YouTube clip on the topic, and here's a Wikipedia entry that goes a bit deeper.

The basic idea is that humans develop their sense of desire by watching someone else desire something. We observe someone else desiring something and then we mimic that desire ourselves--it gets triggered by observing the other person's craving.

There is much more to this theory as it applies to modern and ancient societies. But for purposes of MightyInvestor.com, I simply want you to slow down and wonder what desires in you have been triggered by seeing someone else desiring that same item.

Mimetic Desire Is Everywhere

If you think about it, this is a lot of what advertising is all about. They show an attractive person desiring or interacting with a product, and this triggers in us the same desire. This is also how fads sweep through a group of people. You want beanie babies, cabbage pack dolls, or fidget spinners desperately? Well, so do I all of a sudden! You want a $50,000 truck and are willing to bury yourself in debt to pay for it? So do I. So do I!!!!

Understand, And Unhook From The Matrix

I find pondering this phenomenon strangely liberating. It causes you to slow down and decouple from the unconscious pattern. I have no idea if Girard's concept is as universally applicable as he claims. Frankly, I don't care. I know there is something to this, and it's worth thinking about and using as an inoculation against mindless mimicking behavior.

What do you think? Is this applicable in your life? Do you see examples of memetic desire playing out in your community?