Chapter 5 changes the focus from production to consumption. It first draws a history of modern consumption and paints the historical context in which, for the first time in human history, the cult of the new overthrew the unquestioned and unquestionable legitimacy of the past and tradition, in the eighteenth century. The dynamics and specificities of modern consumption are defined, and linked to the emergence of a modern ethics complementary to that of rationality: Sentimentalism, and especially Romanticism. In the post-war decades that accompanied the reign of the Welfare state, consumption morphed into an all-encompassing ethos—consumerism—which massified what Charles Taylor calls the ethics of authenticity and expressivity. Retracing the history of marketing, it becomes clear that the neoclassical model is fatally erroneous in its appraisal of consumption, and that an anthropological perspective, rooted in Mary Douglas’ seminal work, is needed if we are to understand contemporary consumer cultures.