The term 'commercialism' started to appear in Australian popular and political discourse in the decades that spanned 1900. On one hand, its appearance reflected the qualitative change in commodity relations in Australia in that period. On the other, the use of the term was also part of the reconstucted conceptual apparatus through which working class and popular anti-capitalist stances were articulated. This popular political economy was a vernacular expression of social knowledge about the dehumanising effects of the commodification process. It also expressed popular resistance to bourgeois attempts to represent capitalist institutions such as the market as natural and inevitable.