Apr 18 2011
By linking simplicity to happiness, this article claims that living a simpler life is ontologically beneficial and is essential to living sustainably with finite resources. Contemporary wealth stratifications are a moral dilemma in which every individual plays a role. While this article seemed to be aimed at middle-class Americans, it did not address issues that specifically plague America, or even the West. Capitalist societies demand a division of labor where, for most people, the validity of their existance is contingent upon the items they consume. The poor and working class are pushed to the political periphery because the “American Dream” implies that we are all responsible for our circumstances, so those suffering need to help themselves; it’s not the government’s job. The idea that with hard work we can live a middle-class lifestyle is not true and has deluded Americans for generations. And today, with our market and advertisment-saturated culture, the focus is on the individual rather than the community or ideas of justice. Simply cutting back will not stop the replication of injustice in our society. America has transformed into a plutocracy, and it’s going to take a lot more than “voluntary simplicity” to change it. I thought this article over-simplified a complex problem. Class-inequality intersects with too many issues of injustice in America.
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