What the pope said, or your Buddhist monk said might be OK. You still have a choice. When you work for something you ought to enjoy it. The pleasure of the senses is what drives the modern day human being. Being materialistic comes at a cost. What’s wrong with being materialistic if you paid for it?
Materialism is not bad after all. It drives us to buy. To buy we need to work. To work we need to study. To study we need to work. Yes, all this creates a parallel economic activity that activates the good behaviors in us.
Materialism spurs us to work hard to improve their purchasing ability. By upping our purchasing power, we create a competitive streak in us. In a society, competitive streakiness is an indication of a changing society.
Materialism changes the society. It makes us more productive. It inspires us to work for something. Actually, if we did not have anything to work for, we would by grazing on the plains without any purpose.
Materialism creates healthy competition. Without it there would be no silent races. We all need someone to beat. It could be ourselves. But that is just being plain moral. We still need to beat somebody. Just as a reference point, we keep someone as ours. There’s nothing wrong in it. If you are not wishing for that person’s downfall, you are all good and virtuous.
Materialism is the backbone of consumerism. Without consumerism things won’t sell. Shops will be shut. Product development activities will never see the light of the day. Innovation will become extinct. The world will become a boring place.