I'd like to point out--in case you've missed it--that most people in our society have to work pretty hard to make a living. And in order to work pretty hard, they have to cultivate values like discipline, diligence, stamina, responsibility and so on. Now, suppose that these work-related values were so strongly held by most people that conflicting values such as self-indulgence, leisure, and hedonism were scorned. These super-workers would create a fabulous economy, right?We need values of consumption, too
Wrong. These super workers would be terrible consumers. They would have little time to listen to music or watch TV, and they wouldn't see the point. The pleasures of fine food and fast cars would hold little appeal. These people would produce lots of goods and services but they would be uninterested in buying them. Fairly quickly, an imbalance between production and consumption would bring the economy to a standstill.
Our society has hit upon an interesting solution to this problem: our culture encourages the simultaneous commitment to values of work and values of consumption, even though these two realms of values may be in conflict. Ideally, we are disciplined, diligent and all that, but we are also self-indulgent and committed to the pursuit of pleasure.