Influenza vs. Affluenza

Influenza is a viral disease caused by several types of the Influenza virus. Symptoms of an infection include fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, muscle and/or body aches and a feeling of tiredness and malaise.

Affluenza is a constructed word that combines Influenza and affluence (wealth). It is a word used by critics of the predominantly American style of consumerism. People - patients - are infected with the idea that you have never enough and that you do not have to care for others. Some define affluenza as a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste, resulting from the doggedly pursuit of more[1].

These days affluenza is even used as a defence by layers who try to keep their wealthy clients out of jail.
Affluenza is therefore everything that others despise about the shallow way the Americans think, feel and live. Maybe they should read or reread Paul Kennedy’s classic ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500-2000’. It predicts the slow but steady downfall of the USA. Maybe Affluenza is just a symptom of a collective insecurity.

Luckily, you can get vaccinated against Influenza. Affluenza only needs compassion to cure yourself and your children of this affliction.

[1] De Graaf, Wann, Naylor: Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic - 2005

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