We tend to emphasize the negative consequences of the worldwide trend toward commercialization.  What are the negative and beneficial (if any) consequences?

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When we speak of commercialization (I assume that you are using the word to mean something like “growth in materialism”), we generally think of two main types of negative consequences that it has.  We also tend to overlook its one main positive consequence.

There are two general kinds of negative consequences of commercialization.  The first of these is spiritual or cultural.  With the rise of commercialization, people come to be more materialistic.  They care about their possessions (and getting more possessions) than they do about things like religion or tradition.  This is seen as selfish and shallow and it is blamed for problems like crime or the breakdown of the family.  The second negative consequence is more material.  Commercialization tends to bring about industry and cities and all their attendant ills.  It brings about more pollution.  It brings about exploitation of natural resources, sometimes in ways that are harmful.  It often creates large cities with masses of poor inhabitants.

Even though/if commercialization does these things, it has a major beneficial effect as well.  Put simply, it improves our material lifestyles and well-being.  Commercialization comes out of the profit motive.  As we become more commercialized, more entrepreneurs try to create things that will make them rich.  Their inventions and innovations improve our lives.  They make us more comfortable.  They allow us to be healthier and live longer lives.  Without a process of commercialization, these things would never come to exist and we would still be living arduous, short lives.

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