Radio 4 has a reasonable Analysis program on the consumer society. It's not a great debate. Half the time I'm jumping up and down shouting "But ... but ... but ..." at the things people are saying which can't be justified.
Particularly egregious ... John Kay quoting Greenspan's claim that the the weight of the output of the economy hasn't increased in 100 years. It's good rhetoric but even Kay is hedging himself by admitting he doesn't know if and how this could be measured. And certainly, the "weightless" services Kay argues we're moving towards consuming, require input in terms of energy.
Matt Riddley's breathtaking slide between "consumerism", "sexual signalling", and "a society where males become succesful through deal-making rather than fighting" presumably explains why sexy, sixteen year old girls are the last people to be found in shopping centres.