The Simple Life: Necessarily Agrarian? Just for Hippies?

Living simply does not necessarily imply leaving the city to live in the country; nor does it mean becoming a hippie or joining a commune. Although some may find that an agrarian existence is a very good and natural way to live, it will not be attractive (or available) to everyone; nor will living in a hippie commune. Indeed, learning how to live more simply and sustainably in an increasingly urbanized world is surely one of the greatest challenges of our age, especially since legal and political institutions and social infrastructure make urban simple living, especially, much more difficult than it needs to be. For now, suffice it to note that voluntary simplicity is not synonymous with the ‘back-to-the-land’ movement or the counter-cultures that arose in the 1960s and 70s. It should be added, however, that those movements do share some common ideals with voluntary simplicity, such as anti-consumerism, self-sufficiency, the celebration of life, a deep respect for nature, and non-violent resistance to unjust features of society.[1]

[1] See Hélène Cherrier, ‘Anti-Consumption Discourses and Consumer-Resistant Identities’ (2009) 62(2) Journal of Business Research 181.

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