First of all I urge every distributist to read Mr. Dreher's Cruncy Cons book. Mr. Dreher has warm things to say about distributism and this book will open up the ideas of distributism to the rest of conservative community. I just finished reading the book while visiting my oldest daughter and her family.
Second, I'd like to bring to the attention of a group which are trying to fight consumerism by not purchasing anything new. The article about them was in Friday's
USATODAY.com - Idea of simple life takes hold. People who feel this way join what is called the compact.
It began as a simple, or simply terrifying, pledge taken by a small group of friends feeling overwhelmed by all the things in their lives. Over a potluck dinner two years ago, they made a pact: Buy nothing new except food, medicine and toiletries for six months.
The effort lasted a year before falling victim to the demands of modern life. But the commercial craziness of the Christmas season brought the group back together a few months ago.
Only now they're not toiling in relative anonymity. A whiff of media interest over the past month has turned their tool-sharing, library-going, thrift-store-shopping band into a full-fledged cultural phenomenon with more than 700 members joining through their Yahoo website. Groups are meeting in Maine, Alabama, Texas, Oregon and Wisconsin, and satiated consumers in Japan and Brazil are making inquiries.
The original group named itself the Compact after the Mayflower Compact, a civil agreement that bound the Pilgrims to a life of higher purpose when they landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.
The goal of the members wasn't so much to save money, or even the environment, as much as it was to simplify their lives, says Rob Picciotto, a high school French teacher who attended that first potluck. "It saved us time because there was less time spent shopping. We still buy groceries and go to the drugstore, but we don't go to Target on a Saturday, which was a ritual before just to see what the sales were," he says.
They have a couple of websites listed http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/ and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thecompact/ . I consider it laudatory that they wish to reject the consumerist mentality of our culture.