Ontologies of Consumption and Production

People may be understood in terms of production and consumption, to a valuable extent.  A person may produce more or less of something in a determined time and space, and may even choose what to produce .  Meanwhile a person is constantly, consciously and/or unconsciously consuming.  It is scientifically observable that life is first and foremost an act of consumption, not only in its biological sense, but in a holistic sense.  We are products of a physical and metaphysical transformation of matter and symbol.  We, as human beings are born as specific products of a determined conjunction- conditions mix.  Yet the condition of life is essentially and physically related to consumption: life needs for determined conditions to supply specific factors that permit existence.

Now, as a first task, we may find interesting and useful to determine and understand what possible relationships exist between production and consumption.  Everything that is consumed is produced.  Babies, from a social perspective, are big consumers and small producers.  Both in its market sense and in its pure biological sense.  Production, in the case of a baby, may occur in subtle, unconscious -from the part of the baby- ways, as for instance the symbolic effect on an extended family with a newborn, or to its surrounding context.  Producing and affecting are not the same thing of course.  The difference between “producing” and “affecting” may be understood in terms of levels of consciousness and psychological states, and in terms of cultural valuation and paradigmatical- symbolical structures.  From a cultural perspective a baby produces, for starters, identity.  And identity occurs in various ways, many of them observable and verifiable; amongst them and central to our work, the symbolic level of identity, which includes all forms of communication written and spoken, and the material level of identity.  One may appreciate identity when manifested as an individual entity and in its more compound social forms.  Hence we may engage on production and consumption from a holistic perspective, observing how identity is produced, reproduced and consumed.

Production and Consumption are natural processes.  To a great extent, life could be defined as a production-consumption dynamic, where consumption is necessary for production and production is necessary for consumption, biologically and in almost every other level one may imagine, or find within current academic disciplines.  The relationship between consumption and production is ontological, not necessarilly dychotomic.

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