Consumerism is by far the most popular ideology in The Free World today. It has its origins in the Baby Boomer generation, but it would be folly to give them sole credit. Modern teenagers and others with disposable income have promulgated consumerism to heights never before dreamt of. Also known as "The American Way," consumerism has taken the United States by storm and has spread to many other countries. Consumerists are only dimly aware of this fact, however, since the consumerist lifestyle leaves little room for learning about the outside world.
The energizer bunny is the founding savior of consumerism, which was officially started when he planted the seeds for the dollar tree.
Speaking of the outside world, there's this big sale you don't want to miss. Okay, it doesn't have anything to do with the outside world, but who cares? You've got money to burn, so go spend it at this sale so you can save loads of money!
During The Great 'Ism Schism of the late 1800's, many countries were looking for new 'isms to espouse. With most of the 'archies (monarchy, oligarchy, anarchy, etc.) and 'ocracies (democracy, plutocracy, aristocracy, etc.) already established or destroyed, political science majors began to worry that they would run out of things to write their Ph.D. theses on.
With the advent of the Important Event, the Other Important Event, and the Slightly Less Important at the Time but Ultimately Very Important Event, a whole lot of stuff happened. Ask your parents about it.
What's important is that eventually, there were two Superisms being esposed in the world: Capitalism and Communism. Obviously communism had to be destroyed, but the American Capitalists™ realized that capitalism wasn't going to win very many people over either. The vulger masses, they realized, needed a new opiate to subdue them. Religion wouldn't work, because Karl Marx had declared religion to be "the opiate of the masses," and the last thing The Free World needed was to take advice from the author of the Communist Manifesto.
Despite being surrounded by large amounts of expensive executive office furniture, which respected humorologist Dave Barry has proven to be a major cause of stupidity, the American Capitalists™ perceived that maybe the trick to convincing people that capitalism was great was not to simply be ridiculously wealthy and surround themselves with luxuries, but to also invest some of their capital in producing cheap luxuries that the vulgar masses would consume in massively vulgar quantities, so that they too would believe that they were reaping the benefits of capitalism. With the help of such great American corporations like Wal-Mart, the American Capitalists™ set into motion Operation: Cheap Plastic Crap, which would eventually be known (to political science majors) as consumerism.
Having two distinct 'isms gave America a distinct advantage over communist nations, for complicated reasons. Don't worry about it, it's probably not important. Hey, I've heard that Starbucks has come out with a new drink, let's go check it out.
With the invention of the shopping mall, consumerism has grabbed The Free World by the balls. China has largely taken over the capitalist aspect of manufacturing, which gives The Free World more opportunities to be consumerist without wasting space on factories or being employed in a business that actually produces things. There is an amusing irony in the fact that the communist Chinese were tricked into supporting capitalism.
Consumerist rituals are practiced by many teenagers and bored housewives, who colloquially refer to their respective practices as "hanging out at the mall" and "shopping." These rituals vary in the number of people involved and their specific interests, but they all involve the ceremonial sacrifice of money. Increasingly popular is the use of convenient plastic cards that substitute for money in many of these rituals.
People couldn't possibly be happier; the vulgar masses (remember them?) can wander for hours in shopping malls and not find a single thing that they need. Cheap luxuries in the form of impractical clothing, entertainment systems, and Pokémon cards abound, allowing people to purchase all the things they need to feel like they are comfortably wealthy. This has been excellent for the economy; the lack of investment in long-term necessities, like buying a house or starting a retirement plan, has helped to keep the currency flowing. This is good because it gives accountants, financial consultants, and economics majors jobs.
I'm not sure how exactly it does this, but we can discuss that after buying that CD your favorite band just came out with. You know, the one that's exactly the same as their last album, but with one brand new, never-before-heard bonus song.