It’s interesting to attempt to root this propensity in capitalism. But I believe it’s a trick of the weak to gain some kind of power. Societies — even before credit cards — sought conformity among their members. Appropriate behavior was rewarded with acceptance and status within the tribe. Individuality was quashed as much as possible. We’ve only taken ancient tribal mindsets and applied them to modern society in These Days. Teslas are cool — Cadillacs are not. However, just a few decades ago — Cadillacs WERE the status symbol of a generation.
We innately teach our children to sort. It begins in infancy — this notion of us vs not us. It’s our mission as adults to undo this programming.