3rd April
2011
written by Randy

The hot new fad is minimalism. It seems like everywhere I go, I’m meeting minimalists and talking about minimalism. It’s like a club, where people sit around quoting other people.

It’s become like a religion. A lifestyle choice so sacred that the world gets shaken up when a beloved minimalist blogger does an about face and says “fuck minimalism.”

But underneath it all — underneath the surface of practicality and frugality, after the acceptance of fitting into a group, beneath the glamour of elitism, beneath the obsession with counting possessions — there’s a truth to which most minimalists still seem blissfully ignorant…

Minimalism is bullshit.

That’s right. It’s a joke. A lie. It’s a load of crap.

Minimalism is a cargo cult. It’s literally someone taking something away from you and then making you pay them to give it back. Minimalism is bottled water.

You see, most minimalists decide to become minimalists to get unstressed, or to declutter, or to reduce debt. Most of them eventually want to travel. They want to see the world.

But you know what’s waiting out there for them when they finally do travel? What’s waiting out there is a world filled with minimalists. The rest of the world is all minimalists.

Think about that. There are approximately 7 billion people walking the face of this earth. Out of those people, approximately 400 million live in North America. A quick bit of math reveals that almost 95% of the world are already minimalists. Only they don’t call it minimalism, they just call it life.

People in Italy, Poland, Korea, Thailand… people in the rest of the world are online right now, seeing this wave of minimalist blogs swallow the internet, and they’re hating us. And rightly so! Who the fuck are we to wear some big badge of accomplishment for catching up to what everyone else already does, and has always done?

Minimalism isn’t a lifestyle. It isn’t a growing experience. And it damn sure isn’t a religion. Minimalism is nothing more than a correction: it’s a path to the solution for a problem we Americans created for ourselves.

Don’t stop. It needs to be done. Keep throwing out all that clutter. Keep reducing your wardrobe. Don’t stop donating books. Don’t stop selling the things you’re not using. It’s good that you’re doing it. It’s necessary.

But don’t think you’re special. You’re not special. Minimalism isn’t special. It’s not a badge, and it doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Minimalists are just Charlton Heston, unaware that the Planet of the Apes isn’t some other world, it’s earth, and in spite of what they may think, it is they who have been acting strange.

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