"I think that [the anti-consumerists] have looked back at 5,000 years of human history - at pestilence and famine and disease and degradation, at genocide and civil war, at fear and loathing, at bigotry and ignorance, chauvinism and dictatorship - and concluded that our biggest problem is... shopping.
Instead [progressives] should start with an acceptance that in the long violent saga of mankind we have rarely done anything as benign as going shopping, rarely devised anything as socially advantageous as property rights and the rule of law, rarely enriched the poor or enhanced lives as we did by creating capitalism.
Nobody serious believes that this capitalism should be unregulated. Nobody serious believes in complete laissez faire. But nobody serious can really believe any more that there is some brilliant alternative we haven't thought of. Can they?"