The Importance of Minimalism in a Society of Mass Consumerism


Minimalism is a new trend that challenges a consumer capitalist society. This trend seeks to create mental clarity by shunning materialist possessions. Minimalists prefer human experiences such as travel over the superficial accumulation of products. Minimalists challenge the cultural logic of late capitalism by emphasizing that the material possessions that we accumulate will not make us happy.

As opposed to the Scandinavian countries, who value quality of life and work-life balance, the average American life has been filled with rampant discontent. Most Americans try to purchase happiness, but instead, these products create misery and push us into debt while creating physical and mental clutter.


Much of the physical and mental baggage of the average American life can easily be minimized. If the average American can understand that they are more than their physical possessions, they will be freed from the evils of commodity fetishism.

For Karl Marx, commodity fetishism is the tendency of people to see the product of their labor in terms of relationships between things, rather than social relationships between people [1]. People view the commodity in terms of the characteristics of the final product – while the process through which it was created remains obscured and unconsidered.


This has crucial implications for our collective ability to see and address the ongoing processes of social and environmental destruction under capitalism. Minimalism has the potential to shift the qualitative nature of production, particularly in terms of its impacts on producers and on the environment.

Letting go of our physical and mental clutter can be incredibly freeing. Holding on to things weighs on us mentally and emotionally. If you tidy up and get rid of things that fail to spark joy in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set [2].


If you use the right methods and concentrate your efforts on eliminating clutter thoroughly within a short span of time, you will see instant results that will empower you to keep your space in order even after.

Minimalism is simply about stripping away the unnecessary things in your life so you can focus on what’s important [3]. It can help challenge our consumer culture, which will in turn clean up our environment and will encourage people to emphasize experiences over things.


Minimalism can help us reclaim our time and discover the true meaning of our lives. It’s time to pursue our passions and live in the moment, and reclaim the spiritual energy that capitalism has sucked away.


Sources

[1] Hudson, Ian, and Mark Hudson. "Removing the veil? Commodity fetishism, fair trade, and the environment." Organization & environment 16, no. 4 (2003): 413-430.

[2] Kondō, Marie. The life-changing magic of tidying up: The Japanese art of decluttering and organizing. Ten Speed Press, 2014.

[3] Millburn, Joshua Fields, and Ryan Nicodemus. Minimalism: Live a meaningful life. Asymmetrical Press, 2015.