Extravagance and Minimalism

As aforementioned, in my postings, I wrote about downsizing, decluttering and purging our accumulated possessions. As retirees, we are striving to live a simpler, basic life.

I cannot say, and I refuse to say, that we are striving towards a “Minimalistic Lifestyle”. Minimalism today, has a different meaning then it did during the time of Henry David Thoreauthe original minimalist.

replica thoreau's cabin
Replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts.

In 1885, Thoreau wrote the book “Walden”. A book reflecting upon simple living in natural surroundings.  One of his accomplished goals was to-

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify!”

I perceive Minimalism as a multi-billion dollar enterprise. My search to confirm my observations on the excesses of Minimalism, took me to many articles.  One particular article in the New York times, The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’, written by

Minimalism traps us into excessive consumerism!

unnecessary purchasing blog

From tiny houses to microapartments to monochromatic clothing to interior-decorating trends — picture white walls interrupted only by succulents — less now goes further than ever. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the minimalism glut, as the word can be applied to just about anything. The nearly four million images tagged #minimalism on Instagram include white sneakers, clouds, the works of Mondrian, neon signs, crumbling brick walls and grassy fields. So long as it’s stylishly austere, it seems, it’s minimalist.

Minimalism attracts the “wealthy, global elites”.  The products sold to today’s ‘wannnabe’ Minimalist are extravagant, nonessential products.

We misinterpret material renunciation, austere aesthetics and blank, emptied spaces as symbols of capitalist absolution, when these trends really just provide us with further ways to serve our impulse to consume more, not less.

On Minimalism-

Two things to keep in mind:

  1.  We are being sold a “lifestyle” by greedy Capitalist preying on our feelings  of inadequacy.
  2.  Minimalism should be perceived though your eyes and thoughts, not  through the eyes or thoughts of some elitist trendsetter.

Quoted from: The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’

2 thoughts on “Extravagance and Minimalism

  1. Another great post Liz! For me, I am wanting to simply what we have, to make our lives easier. Not purchasing, “minimal” items to accomplish this! I want to use up, wear out, reuse, etc., not put ourselves in a hole with spending money to meet a certain standard!

    Liked by 1 person

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