The Case for Simplicity, by Ted Trainer

Ted Trainer has just published a new Simplicity Institute report, ‘The Case for Simplicity’. I’ve posted the brief introduction below and the full report is available here.

The Case for Simplicity

Why try to live more simply? I think there are two main lines of argument. The first is that global sustainability and justice cannot be achieved unless we live much more simply than the average person does in rich countries today. The second reason is that living simply enables a richer personal life.

‘Simplicity’ here refers to material ‘living standards’, i.e., to the amount we buy and consume. The fundamental assumption in consumer-capitalist society is that the more we are able to purchase and use and have, the higher our wealth and welfare and quality of life will be. That’s why constantly increasing the GDP is claimed to be the supreme goal. But it is increasingly being recognised that this assumption is literally catastrophically wrong. The pursuit of greater material wealth is now the basic cause of the ecological and other global problems now threatening our survival. The main reason for transition to The Simpler Way is that it must be carried out if we are to achieve a sustainable and just world. However, the following discussion will deal mainly with the second point, to do with why living more simply can enable more meaning and satisfaction to be enjoyed.

The full report is available here.

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