Consumerism is an infectious disease of humans and other mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Consumeridae, the consumerism viruses. It is typically transmitted by direct contact with consumer goods. Consumerism may produce nausea and vomiting, particularly in people not yet infected. The most common symptoms are fever, hallucinations, temporary insanity and a general lack of sense of humor.
The consumerism virus was discovered by the semi-legendary Crypto-Bhong polymath Inna Rut a few centuries BK (exact date unknown since all records of this event went lost along with the Archives of Aramathea). One legend has it that s/he was not the first do discover it; in fact, the effects of the virus had been discovered centuries before by a conglomerate of multinationals who kept it a secret and exploited it to increase their profits. This version of the story has, however, been widely disputed. The discovery was hailed as a major scientific breakthrough which led to a revival of materialist science.