Idea of simple life takes hold

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.

4 comments:

EC Trader Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 1:19:00 PM CST  

Rejecting a consumerist mentality is laudable, but there is danger of swinging in the opposite way. We shouldn't desire a simple life purely based on that end. The end should be something greater. I suggest we study the life of St. Francis for the reason he chose the simple life.

David Hart Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at 4:24:00 PM CST  

Mark,

I agree with you that to sustain an anticonsumerist one needs religion. But if one is in the middle of a storm and the rain stops but the clouds still loom dark, one celebrates the rain stopping rather than lamenting on the fact that the sun is not shining.

Rejecting the anticonsumerist mentality is a step that can lead one on the road to the sacred so I must laud those achievements. We live in a country where many claim to be Christians but claim also that its okay that corporations exploit their workers and localities.


I certainly agree that St. Francis provides a great example of how to live the Christian life. But the purpose of this blog is show good news on the distributist front, not to provide criticism on anything that is not truly distributist. If I go to that extreme, there might be nothing positive to report on.

EC Trader Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 10:42:00 AM CST  

Rejecting the anticonsumerist mentality is a step that can lead one on the road to the sacred so I must laud those achievements.

Yes, it is a step, and it is a step in the right direction, but my point was that you have to have a direction, and not just trying to step away from something without knowing where to go. Just because someone gives up the consumerist attitude in our society doesn't mean it will lead them to the sacred.

Maybe I am wrong, but distributism isn't just living the simple life for it's own sake. You live the simple life for some higher cause that is outside of it.

the purpose of this blog is show good news on the distributist front, not to provide criticism on anything that is not truly distributist.

I applaud you in that and will continue to read this blog with interest (especially as I learn more about the practical ways of distributism!)

Austin Post Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 9:17:00 PM CDT  

You know what I hate, is that people tend to forget that Thomas Jefferson believed that corporate power should be limited, unlike the conservatives and libertarians who so often cite him. Jefferson believed in an agrarian society, I don't know if I would call him, or myself, a distributist, but definitely third positionist.

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Werd by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP