A FEW INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
One form of alternative life style is that which involves some form of economic simplicity.
- Whether one is living in willing or unwilling economic simplicity makes an enormous difference.
- Another important distinction is whether the economic simplicity is a central part of the value and life style, or merely incidental to it.
- Some dominant motives:
- religious simplicity: makes moral life more possible (e.g.: Christian
claim that it is more difficult for a rich person to get to heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.)
- republican simplicity: Roman model
- simplicity and justice: Common focus today
- simplicity and environment: contemporary focus.
According to David Shi the above groups tend to share a number of the following attitudes.
- hostility toward luxury, suspicion of riches
- reverence for nature
- preference of rural over urban
- desire for personal self-reliance through frugality and diligence
- a nostalgia for the past, skepticism of the claims of modernity
- conscientious rather than conspicuous consumption
- aesthetic taste for plain and functional.
Other motives for economic simplicity
- simplicity for personal reasons.
- simplicity for individual pleasure: 1960s drop outs
- simplicity and withdrawal: drop out and turn on
- simplicity for the arts: artists, musicians, actors