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America and Mass Consumerism

            The fact remains that while materialism may be the most shallow of the 20th century's various -isms, it has been the one that has ultimately triumphed" (Twichell, 1999). Many big ideas have battled over the centuries to dominate the planet. Countless wars, deaths, and conquests have arisen in the name of spreading religion. Inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin organized the Soviet Union in an attempt to convert the world to the ideals of communism. To the dismay of others, the United States constantly dwells in the plights of warring nations in an attempt to spread the ideas of democracy. All of these ideas have been unsuccessful, but there is one that has achieved total supremacy. Its compulsive attractions rob its followers of reason and good sense. It has created unsustainable inequalities, and is constantly scratching away at the very fabric of our society. At the heart of all these problems is mass consumerism.  Every day we consume. Everybody must find a way to nourish him or herself. In our quest for nourishment, we are faced with choices. Although we need to eat, we choose what we want to put in our mouths. Our wants then take over our innate needs. The beliefs in what one needs and what one wants has been gradually coalescing into a single mass. Much of modern society has been collectively ruled by the individual's personal id. Morality has been slowly fading away from our culture, and has been replaced by impulsive desires. The world was not always like this. The functionality of a product used to be the primary reason for purchasing it, and not the esthetics and social perception of the product. Why have we devolved into such primitive cognition? How did our culture come to be the way it is today? Our society started with a needs-based consumption, but with the development of modern advertising, we changed into a society ran buy desires which has ultimately caused us to be fueled by material things.

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