How I Spent The Last 3 Years Becoming Minimalist And Why You Should Too
Tim Denning

First, I have a problem with this not because I see anything wrong with living with intention and living simply. Rather, I don’t believe this is an individual problem with individual answers. This is a systemic problem that needs macro policy solutions.

Second, I believe we buy stuff to alleviate the loneliness many of us feel. Our stuff is often a substitute for the meaning and the meaningful relationships that we crave in our lives but cannot have for myriads of reasons: working too much, a lack of places to get together, etc.

Third, this is an issue for people who already too much stuff. In a sense, it’s a first world problem. Unfortunately, many ‘first worlders’ are living third world lives. E. g. many African Americans in the south suffer from hookworm for lack of proper sewage (which they can’t afford), many working folks have to have a car (which they can’t afford) because there’s no public transportation to their job or it’s too inconvenient. Minimalism for many folks in the first world is living on the street and carrying all your possessions in a shopping cart. This belief that individuals going minimalist is effective is like believing that changing your light bulbs has the same effect as the government implementing a green economy and infrastructure.

Fourth, without a politics that aims to give everyone a better life (without all the unnecessary crap) then this becomes merely an exercise in how folks with too much stuff can assuage their guilt.

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