I recently purchased a used book by Thomas Merton titled Contemplation in a World of Action. This is a long quote from that book that jumped out at me last night while I was reading.
“Also, though we still pay lip service to the old myth that what is good for the market is good for everybody, as a matter of fact the development of new products and the marketing of commodities has really little or nothing to do with man’s real good and his real needs. The aim is not the good of man but higher profits. Instead of production being for the sake of man, man exists for the sake of production. Thus we live in a culture which, while proclaiming its humanism and pretending indeed to glorify man as never before, is really a systematic and almost cynical affront to man’s humanity. Man is a consumer who exists in order to keep business going by consuming its products whether he wants them or not, needs them or not, likes them or not. But in order to fulfill his role he must come to believe in it. Hence his role as consumer takes the place of his identity (if any). He is then reduced to a state of permanent nonentity and tutelage in which his more or less abstract presence in society is tolerated only if he conforms, remains a smoothly functioning automaton, an uncomplaining and anonymous element in the great reality of the market.” -Thomas Merton.
I don’t really know if I have much to add to this statement other than a big, giant UGH.