Materialism runs amok in the USA, has always been the dark
side of the equal opportunity coin here, since at least ~1830,
when Alexis deTocqueville toured what was then our nation
and analyzed our culture's psyche. He critiqued what he
observed to be our constant hunger for novelty, our almost
universal lack of interest in delving deeply into important
matters--still regrettably true in 2013.
What the materialists fail to understand, therefore to correct,
is the cascade to boredom, jaded reactions, lack of effort
and ever-increasing desire for more money and possessions,
never achieving contentment, always dissatisfied with what
one already has. Character counts; it's difficult to become
a fully-actualized human being while constantly preoccupied
with getting the latest toy, gadget, outfit, etc. (--And what
will my friends think about my latest acquisitions, be they
house, car, clothes, dinnerware, electronics, trips?)
I am not saying these things are completely unworthy
goals/desires. I AM certain, however, the degree to which
an overweening obsession to obtain them takes over a life
is time-wasting, unhealthy--and unfortunate for all of us.
I've been studying the history of ancient and current political
systems recently--religions of many different persuasions figure
prominently in every one of them. So I've inescapably arrived
at a sobering realization--our country's state religion is fun,
fluff n' stuff, our culture, American Pagan.
Can we return to BEING something rather than HAVING
something before it's too late? The vandals (our competitors)
are at the gate, while we focus on buying and enjoying, a la
410 AD's Ancient Rome.