(Cartoon strip above from Of the fittest comics)
I was reading this article by William Burroughs on Led Zeppelin, and went on to wikipedia to read the entry on William S. Burroughs, clicked on to the wiki page for Beat Generation (Central elements of “Beat” culture included experimentation with drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and the idealizing of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being), and finally on through to the other side on to the page for Economic Materialism.
You know how these clicks go.
I love how succinctly these wikipedians have put up the core concept of Materialism (as we speak it).
Materialism (adj. materialistic) is the excessive desire to consume and acquire material goods. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being determined by affluence (see conspicuous consumption) as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through buying, spending and accumulating material wealth.
Positively, materialism might be considered a pragmatic form of enlightened self-interest based on a prudent understanding of the character of capitalist society.
Negatively, it is considered a crass, if not false, value system induced by the spell of commodity fetishism and void of more noble and worthy values.