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Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. With the industrial revolution, but particularly in the 20th century, mass production led to an economic crisis: there was overproduction — the supply of goods would grow beyond consumer demand, and so manufacturers turned to planned obsolescence and advertising to increase consumer spending. An early criticism of consumerism is Thorstein Veblen's best known book, The Theory of the Leisure Class from 1899, which critically examined newly widespread values and economic institutions emerging along with newly widespread "leisure time," at the turn of the 20th century. In it Veblen "views the activities and spending habits of this leisure class in terms of conspicuous and vicarious consumption and waste. Both are related to the display of status and not to functionality or usefulness."
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