Now that you all know and hopefully recognize the massive role that consumerism plays in the progression of culture (and plastic pop-culture), I can discuss just in what ways consumerism is destroying true culture (progression of culture) and the American roots.
But first, let me just say that American culture is not the only culture in peril from this consumerist monster. All the other cultures contained withing the United States - Hispanic, Oriental, European, Middle Eastern, Native American, African - all of these other cultures are threatened, too. "Cultural particularism," a term used by Christopher Lasch, is something I happen to support on a very basic level. Each sect of people within a country must have their own culture; a combination, perhaps, of the culture of their own country and the culture of ours. For culture breeds strong community and communal standards; not always a good thing, but from this community and these standards come heroism - the drive to succeed, the drive to act virtuously, and the drive to be true to yourself and your community and, in turn, everybody else. On an international level, cultural particularism creates warfare. But on a national level, it births healthy competition and a concept of personal heroism - sometimes with violence, but violent intolerance is solved through education (or law). All these different cultures then make up the country in which we now live; a country of magnificent cultural diversity and intercultural relations.
Now, what happens if you allow the market to gain control of culture through luxuries and advertising? All of these particular cultures - every single one of them - will become market-guided... or they will cease to exist as separate entities. All cultures will either turn "plastic" (market-guided, false cultures), or they will all become absorbed into one enormous cultural entity in which cultural particularism would cease to exist and all people would become slaves to...