04 February 2010

Luxury Goods

"Luxury is a necessity that starts where necessity stops."
- Coco Chanel (attrib.)

The story of civilization, if told with economy yet in all its comprehensive beauty, can most cogently be explained through the evolution of the unnecessary goods of society. These are the most interesting aspects of civilization and in many ways the quintessence of peaceful society. Civilization is the story of the specialization of labour, the rise of trade, and the creation of a leisure class of scholars and artists and dissipated wealthy. All of these narratives revolve around the unnecessary good.

The unnecessary good exists outside of the dynamic equilibrium that governs supply and demand because its logic befuddles the balancing power of price. Sadie and I have a toast to the unnecessary. It's simply, "Fearless luxury."

If you wanted to ask my 17 year-old self his opinion, he'd tell you, "The moment a good's fundamental utility disappears, it becomes art."

These days I'm more of a Pierre Bonnard man.

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