Traditional social institutions should be the regulative measure of materialism. However, in a capitalistic society, they become the aggravating factor enhancing the role of power and money. Robert Merton discusses this problem within the anomie theory.
By “anomie,” Robert means the state of society with the disorganization of social norms and institutions. It also includes the uncertainty and instability of human action, the discrepancy between the goals proclaimed by the community, and the availability of legal means to achieve these goals.