Minimalism: The Capitalist Who Turned Minimalist

All my friends know how capitalist I am. I’ve done enough studying to figure out how communists are destroying this world. Of and on, I followed minimalism, from being a bachelor with just one frying pan — to a hyper focused individual.

But recently, I stumbled upon the recent indie film on minimalism, which has grown into a cult like following.

If you’re a member of the minimalist tribe, you’ve probably heard of Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist or Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus — The Minimalists who produced the movie, or even Leo Babauta of Zen Habit’s fame.

Now I have to admit, the best advice I received was to follow the middle path, and not go to either extremes. Yes, there are maximalists and minimalists, but even within minimalism — there’s a wide spectrum, from living like a hermit, to living a meaningful life, an intentional life, a life of value — a life of quality over quantity. Which brings me to my point of view on minimalism. You don’t need to have everything, but you don’t need to have nothing.

[Tweet “More Of Less — Joshua Becker”]

Let’s admit it, it’s because of the need for goods and services, that people work for profit and provide for their families. If everyone lived a life of poverty, where there was no trade or form of exchange — then there’s no need for money, and if there’s no need for money, everything would be barter. But that’s a very inefficient way of exchange.

I’m of the view point that whatever you buy, be sure that you’re going to consume (or use) it and enjoy it for as long as possible. Whatever it is that you get maximum satisfaction from — pay top dollar for it. It doesn’t matter what it is. I’m not a watch guy, I might be ok spending $3,000 on an expensive watch. But I wouldn’t blink spending $3,000 on a laptop.

Now, here’s food for thought. As a minimalist, do you really need different watches. Well fashionistas will tell you that you should wear a black strapped watch with a black belt, and brown strapped one to match your brown belt and brown shoes. Wow.

What if you were to practice minimalism here, you could either buy a stainless steel watch, which would look good with pretty much any outfit, brown or black, shoes or belts — it doesn’t matter!

So let’s buy iconic brand, that’s been promoted for its history dating back to 1953 like The Rolex Submariner, that’s been associated with quality.

Rolex Submariner - Black Dial

If you’re on a budget, you could even go for The Sturhling Acquadiver — which looks almost like the above Rolex at a fraction of the cost (and will probably last as long).

Sturhling Acquadiver - Black Dial

But whatever your choice, you want something that is practical, will last a lifetime, that’s classic and that only requires you to have one. The Rolex might last for a long while, you might be able to pass it on to your heir, but who said the Sturhling isn’t as great? Now imagine, if everyone to purchase the lower priced Sturhling — what would business be like?

They would probably have only an online store, so there are no retail store, so there’s no need for paying any real estate rentals, so landlords wouldn’t wouldn’t be able to rent their space and support their families. Or there’s no need for a watch repairman, he’d be out of a job because these watches are at throw away prices — you’d just go ahead and buy another one.

So yeah, minimalism is good. But so is trade. Where’s the balance we strike between capitalism and minimalism?


Originally published at JPMARTIN.