Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce or business. Today, however, it primarily refers to the tendency within open-market capitalism to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the purpose of generating profit. There is also a tendency for intangible things such as happiness, beauty, or health to be given a monetary value (monetization) and to be spoken of as commodities.
Commercialism can also refer to the domination of things by business/corporate interests, or the exploitation of intangible things for private gain.
Commercialism is often closely associated with the corporate world and advertising, and often takes advantage of advancements in technology.
The related term "commercialised" is often used in a disparaging fashion, implying that someone or something has been despoiled by commercial or monetary interests. The holiday, Christmas, is a noteworthy example of this concern, with denunciations of the occasion's commercialisation dating as far back as 1850.
In basic economic terms, commercialism is when both the manufacturing and consumption are geared towards personal usage.
- Free market
- Free trade
- Economic materialism
- Economic liberalism
- List of things which are neither production nor consumption
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