I ran across this:
"Simmel and Veblen described the extent to which consumerism arose as an attempt to mark oneself off as different from others so as to enable one to establish and express a distinct social identity. This emerged in response to the growing homogenizing forces of mechanization and technology caused by industrialization, and the implications of urbanization and crowding. In contrast to Weber’s theory of Puritanical self-restraint, people began to consume as a principal mode of self-expression; consumerism became a common language through which we ‘read’ or ‘interpret’ shared cultural signs. This pattern accelerated after World War II, such that the second half of the twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented growth of consumerism, and the experience of participation and membership in society today is increasingly contingent on habits of consumption. As McLaren and Leonardo state in their essay on Baudrillard, "[P]eople become functions of consumer society as they are motivated to purchase more and more objects in order to feel part of the social milieu."
Consumerism has taken on a new form in which it has come to dominate our political life and our primary communicative apparatus through the proliferation of signs. Because production is alienating, we seek fulfillment in consumerism; yet consumerism itself in turn has become a deeply alienating experience."
Here is the full article. It is long but worth the read. If you feel something is wrong with how things are going in our society, I would encourage you to read it all. I'm going to bold here and just say it. This is a big problem for all of us and our families. It is destructive. It in turn is a big big problem for anyone trying to follow Jesus.
It makes me think of Matthew 6:19-34 & Mark 4:19