Living “Simply” and Class Privilege
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 5, 2007
This idea that we are all gluttons if we live differently, or that “simplicity” is a hard but virtuous choice only works within some specific understandings of where items come from, how easy they are to get again, how necessary they are to our lives, and what kinds of services can be contracted out. TVs might be less important (and thus seem more frivolous) if you can go out to the movies every week, or take your family out to the parks safely, or watch DVDs on your laptop, or otherwise access different types of entertainment. A house full of unmatched furniture might seem annoying, if that furniture didn’t consist of expensive hand-me-downs and sentimental legacies, and you can afford to buy “simpler” options instead. Antiquing your furniture by hand may seem a wonderful cost-saving innovation, if you were going to send it to someone else to antique in the first place. If you couldn’t afford it and don’t know what it is anyway (because all your furniture looks like it’s antique already… or is that just me?), that bonus evaporates. And so on and so forth.