In fighting plans for a mammoth big box store that would devour the small city I call home, I have made a startling discovery: a dangerous cult has spread from the heart of darkest Arkansas, jumped the border and brainwashed millions of innocent Canadians into its doctrine of diabolical materialism.
The cult I speak of is called Wal-Marxism, and it is so pervasive and insidious that it is quickly supplanting all other contemporary belief systems. Wal-Marxism can be summed up in a single statement promulgated by leading Wal-Marxist theorists: “From each according to his/her ability to mortgage, borrow, leverage and squander, to each according to his/her constantly expanding, insatiable, advertising-fuelled need for stuff.”
Wal-Marxism is a quasi-religion whose adherents (Wal-Marxists) believe they can consume their way to bliss through sacramental purchases of tawdry goods. Wal-Marxist cathedrals dot North America, and while astonishingly uniform and unaesthetic, these titanic tabernacles attract millions of adherents each day — including Sunday.
Wal-Marxists are often heard humming religious hymns (“You deserve a break today…”) and maintain elaborate shrines in their homes that usually include gigantic LCD or plasma TV screens. The screens enable them to receive messages from the mother church, members of which are rumoured to have infiltrated the media, every boardroom and all levels of government. Wal-Marxists tend to read only holy texts that report on prominent church members (Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Tom Cruise), and religiously watch TV sitcoms and “reality” programs where no one works but everyone is wealthy, happy and really well-dressed.
While they believe that everyone is created equal, Wal-Marxists also point out that some are more equal than others, as they should be. Wal-Marxist doctrine is remarkably straightforward and has only one major commandment:
Thou shalt accept the one true god, the God of Stuff, and, forsaking all false gods (environment, community, family, critical thought, social justice, etc.), show Him your love, faith and devotion by purchasing as many of His things as your credit card limit will allow.
Similarly, though they frown on a number of activities (e.g. thinking, reading books and magazines other than Reader’s Digest and TV Guide, watching movies with subtitles, riding bicycles, becoming politically or socially active), Wal-Marxists believe there is only one real sin:
The God of Stuff has proclaimed that all men and women (as well as the little consumers-to-be under their tutelage and protection) have the inalienable right to shop without outside interference, complication, meddling, obstruction or restriction of any kind. Their personal relationship with their God as expressed through their purchases is sacred and a sign of their religious devotion. Thou shalt not sunder this blessed relationship through bylaws, zoning ordinances, unionization, working standards, environmental restrictions or any other means that interfere with the faithful’s daily practices of procurement and acquisition. Those who violate this commandment will incur the wrath of the God of Stuff and be visited with a plague of lawyers.
While Wal-Marxism has no single holy scripture, the Wal-Marxist canon of beliefs is incorporated into virtually all media. Strangely, early prophets such as Adam Smith and Milton Friedman are little known among the faithful, but these holy men’s divine texts have been popularized through contemporary priests and priestesses such as Jim Cramer and Donald Trump.
As bizarre and unsustainable as this sect’s creed may appear to non-believers, cult members are not limited to the ignorant and gullible. Instead, they are found among all sectors of society. While their infiltration of less savoury trades such as economics and law is to be expected, even usually thoughtful people like plumbers and service sector workers have fallen prey to the hedonistic allure and simplistic answers to difficult questions that Wal-Marxism provides.
This is truly a national crisis. I am calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry before my unsuspecting community is converted en masse to Wal-Marxism. I fear the imminent crumbling of our downtown as new devotees flock in their SUVs to the flashy cathedral that is proposed for a 60-acre parcel of environmentally sensitive land three kilometres outside of town.
Does anyone know how to de-program those unfortunate souls seduced by this nefarious cult?
Don Sawyer is an educator, writer and community activist living in Salmon Arm, B.C.