Living Simply, Simply Living

April 4, 2007

I thought this was an excellent article.  Enjoy.  

 

Living Simply, Simply Living

Thoreau’s Message in a Century of Hyper-Capitalism

by Michael Brooks

(Swans – August 1, 2005)   The landscape of the present-day United States bears but little resemblance to the terra firma described by Henry David Thoreau in Walden; the nation today is crisscrossed with multilane interstates, pocked with shopping malls and big box retailers, and the American wilderness has been largely carved into zones for suburban and exurban housing. It might be tempting for 21st century readers to conclude that Thoreau has nothing to offer contemporary readers, since the land that he portrayed has changed so dramatically during the years since the publication of his literary magnum opus. Such a superficial dismissal of Walden is indicative of more than the usual undergraduate complaints about irrelevant classics; it suggests a national mindset that Thoreau’s ideas are incompatible with the modern American consumerist ideology. With this backdrop, a strong case can be made for the argument that Walden’s messages have even more relevance today than when Thoreau wrote the book; his advice of living simply — and simply living — takes on greater urgency in this era of fanatical consumption. …… (for complete article, click here).

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