Currently in the whole word (except probably North Korea) the consumer society is dominating. This is shown, for example, by the fact, that most people are anxious very much about their revenue and prosperity. As far as I know, there was not such anxiety in 19th century. The realities of our century, for example, are that during the wars people often suffer from economical sanctions more, than from the military operations themselves.Some people are trying to find out why such a situation has appeared. I have heard such interpretation from some people in Russia: “previously they wanted us to become communist builders, and now they want us to become consumers”.
I think that in reality the reason for emergence of the consumer society is unexpectedly banal: such mass media, as TV channels and radio stations, are obliged to put a lot of advertisement in their content, because they do not have other sources of revenue. And the excess of advertisement forms the consumer society itself.
The first mass media were newspapers, which earned on direct sales. When radio and television appeared, these mass media appeared to have no such possibility of earnings – you can not directly pay for viewing a TV program. Because of that, TV and radio had to earn by the advertisements only. This problem in principle could be solved organizationally, in governments instituted a TV tax, calculated the ratings of TV channels and paid the channels a part of this tax, proportional to the channel’s rating. But this task proved too difficult for the politicians.