The Positives and Negatives of Commercialism

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Commercialism has a significant impact on the public in capitalist pop culture-driven society in the United States. It can have negative effects on critical thinking skills and lead to accepting things based on populism or status. However, commercialism also has positive effects, such as maintaining a higher standard of living in industrialized nations. The internet has also allowed for small businesses to achieve success through commercialization. Commercialism is neither good nor bad, but rather it is what it is, and labeling it as good or bad lies in personal opinion.

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In the United States today, the fact that the nation is a capitalist, pop culture driven society has yielded a significant impact of commercialism on the public. Now, to some, such a statement represents a horrible thing while to others such a statement is something to be overjoyed about. In reality, commercialism has positive aspects as well as negative aspects and it not necessarily good or bad in and of itself.

To a great degree, commercialism can have the negative effect of harming critical thinking skills. Because there is such huge emphasis on material gain, people begin to accept things based on populism or status. This is far removed from being drawn to something on an intellectual level of appeal to say nothing of the spiritually barren aspect of commercialism.  Consider the following statement:

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Today, commercialization and co modification often is the quintessential American experience. The ramifications are deeply disconcerting as our society has become increasingly atomized and politically impoverished.

However, it is important to note that commercialism has certain positive effects as well. There seems to be a misunderstanding in terms of the word commercialism, however. Commercialism, since it refers to commerce, essentially is a word representative of the infrastructure of a nation.

In other words, while there may be complaints of emphasis on commercialism in the world, such commercialism is what allows the United States, Western Europe and Japan and other industrialized nations to maintain a higher standard of living than what exists in nations that have suffered collapsed economies. After all, there are many former communist nations that currently exist in states of extreme poverty who wish that they had accepted commercialism as opposed to egalitarianism many years ago.

Consider the following information about commercialization of the internet: The Internet can be used to create or expand a client base. The Internet provides access to consumers around the world. Internet users can also be helpful in providing information about product analysis, advice, or help with problems.

Before investing in costly goods or services, businesses can request information from others who have purchased the same goods and services. If time is indeed money, the Internet provides fast access to the office for travelers or business people, rapid access to information necessary for decision making, or instant dissemination of product information. (Benefits of Commercialization)

Clearly, for those small businesses that have achieved a great deal of success due to internet commercialization, the concept of commercialization is a good thing. For traditionalists and purists, however, commercialism remains something to be thoroughly demonized.

So which is correct? Again, commercialization is neither good nor bad it simply is what it is. While there can be certain negative effects resulting from commercialization such as the tried and true concept of “manufacturing consent”; there are also huge positives to commercialization such as the ability to broadcast to society the existence of something in the marketplace that may be a tremendous benefit to the public. TO a certain degree, labeling commercialism as a good thing or a bad thing lies in the personal opinion of the individual in the form of an abstract concept as opposed to an empirical reality.


  1. Benefits of Commercialization. (Date Unknown) “The Benefits of Commercialization.” Retrieved February 20, 2007 from benefits.htm
  2. Free Press Issues: Commercialism. (Date Unknown) “Commercialism.” Retrieved February 20, 2007 from

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The Positives and Negatives of Commercialism. (2016, Sep 14). Retrieved from

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