Monday, May 28, 2012

Minimalist culture in USA

I recently bumped onto few hilarious "downsides" of being minimalist - a new american eye-rolled-upon pop culture - as put by author here -
  • If you travel lightly for a few weeks with only a small carry-on, customs officers might get suspicious — who travels with almost nothing, besides maybe a terrorist?
  • You don’t get as good a workout walking around with a light bag instead of one laden with lots of stuff. I put weight plates in my backpack if I want to compensate for this
  • When you go to other people’s houses, you might start mentally fantasizing about getting rid of their stuff for them 
  • People will ask you, almost non-stop, how you can be a minimalist with so many kids .. 
I thought the last one was really funny!!

And now when I read beyond some of the above, there I was thinking again. It is crazy how this is such an enduring task for an individual. Being minimalist is preparing against this extreme authority of consumerism. They are really trying hard!

However, they might not have to (struggle) if this society didn't have such an inherent pressure of being productive every hour in a day. I know it is a far fetched deduction, but it is not entirely disconnected. This culture is about subjugating oneself to producing and then pampering oneself for doing so. And as more and more work force gets into industry of producing services for others, more this idea is getting out of hand. The returns of ones' production ability is going down, however, methods of pampering oneself is only following additive nature. Thus increasing gap between production and consumption. Aided by idea of sourcing cheap services from other countries (like soft services from third world, oil from middle east and goods from Asia pacific).

Coming in fair terms with one's productivitability is what first world "minimalist" and wait ... millions around the world!! .. have probably achieved (or trying to). Only difference is, it is so much an habit in other countries vs. the struggle in american culture.

p.s. when i say "american culture" it is really the "culture" that i am referring to and not entire population of Americans. This culture could and is easily found in many other parts of world including metro cities in India. My deductions could be hampered by my prejudices and I do not disclaim them. I do have some, as everyone does, because my deductions are solely a thought process and no where reflects actual research in topic.
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