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Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

 or business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

. Today, however, it primarily refers to the tendency within open-market capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the purpose of generating profit
Net income
Net income is the residual income of a firm after adding total revenue and gains and subtracting all expenses and losses for the reporting period. Net income can be distributed among holders of common stock as a dividend or held by the firm as an addition to retained earnings...

. There is also a tendency for intangible things such as happiness, beauty, or health to be given a monetary value (monetization
Monetization is the process of converting or establishing something into legal tender. It usually refers to the coining of currency or the printing of banknotes by central banks...

) 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
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

, Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, 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.

See also

  • Laissez-faire
    In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

  • Corporation
    A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

  • Productivism
    Productivism is the belief that measurable economic productivity and growth is the purpose of human organization , and that "more production is necessarily good".-Arguments for productivism:...

  • Free market
    Free market
    A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

  • Free trade
    Free trade
    Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

  • Economic materialism
    Economic materialism
    Materialism is a mindset that views the consumption and acquisition of material goods as positive and desirable. It is often bound up with a value system which regards social status as being intrinsically linked to affluence as well as the perception that happiness can be increased through...

  • Economic liberalism
    Economic liberalism
    Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

  • Consumerism
    Consumerism is a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods and services in ever greater amounts. The term is often associated with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen...

  • Over-consumption
    Over-consumption is a situation where resource-use has outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to inevitable environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases...

  • Consumption
    Consumption (economics)
    Consumption is a common concept in economics, and gives rise to derived concepts such as consumer debt. Generally, consumption is defined in part by comparison to production. But the precise definition can vary because different schools of economists define production quite differently...

  • List of things which are neither production nor consumption
  • Post-materialism
    The concept of post-materialism is a tool in developing an understanding of modern culture. It can be considered in reference of three distinct concepts of materialism...

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