Simplism: The Politics Of Simple Can Change The World

I don’t like to talk politics on Hip Diggs, but I believe we can make a strong political statement through the action of simple living. That statement could spread, creating positive changes that could change the face of the nation. Let me explain: Simplism.

man-471192_1280 Simplism, Politics of simple: Photo of green and cyclist.

Those who know me, know that a lean a bit to the left in my politics. I’m more likely to vote Democrat than Republican. I hope I didn’t just lose half my audience. That’s why I don’t like to talk politics here. But give me a chance, okay?

Even though I lean left, I believe in helping others learn how to help themselves. And I don’t really like big government. I have an independent, libertarian streak in me.

This Is Where Simple Living Comes In

I’d like to see a wide-scale cultural change toward simple living. I’m doing my part, along with people like

and many others. If we can convince more people to live simple, we can help cut back on social programs that cost us all tax dollars. And who doesn’t want lower taxes?

I support social programs. I’m an advocate for helping the elderly, the poor, veterans, and others who are struggling to make it on their own. But I’ve noticed that even those on the lower end of the economic spectrum hold onto many of the same unnecessary possessions as the middle class. I’ve had friends on welfare, but often they still have big-screen TVs, smartphones, big cars, and other items that they can’t really afford. Often, it’s the same stuff that keeps them from moving forward. 

Imagine Everyone Living More Simply

Imagine how that could benefit us all.

  • What if the size of the average American home was reduced by 500-1000 square feet? 
  • What if only one car per family became the norm? 
  • What if everyone started planting gardens in their back yards? 
  • What if we could make moderate minimalism the norm for the average American. 
  • What if we got rid of cable TV?   
  • What if we all owned less digital devices? 
  • What if more people walked, biked and used public transportation as their primary mode of transportation?

We Need Change: How About Simplism?

One reason we have so many people on welfare is because people can’t exist on low-wage jobs. One reason they can’t exist on low wages is that our culture requires them to live at a certain media-influenced comfort level. Do you see where I’m going?

If we lower the cultural expectations of the status quo, it will be easier for those who earn less money to live, because we’ll all be living more simply. This will reduce expenses and the need for many social programs. We’ll also lower our carbon footprint and become better stewards of the environment. It’s a win-win scenario. If we all live simple, we all share the rewards. We could call it Simplism. 

I know that there are a lot of structural problems in our political system. I know we need to address a crapload of issues. But lowering our over-the-top standard of living might be a the start to changing everything. 

“That sounds great, Dan, but what can I do?” I’m glad you asked, because I made a list for you.

4 Ways To Promote Simplism

  1. Live simple: Set an example for your family, friends, and neighbors. Cut back on how many things you own. Watch less TV. Drive less often. Ride a bike. Recycle.
  2. Grow your own: Take out a chunk of lawn. Plant a garden. Grow your own vegetables. Be more self sufficient. Share your harvest with friends and neighbors.
  3. Vote for simple-friendly laws and politicians: Here’s where politics can make a difference. Study proposals and politicians. Vote for people and laws that are for the everyday people rather than for crony capitalists. I wrote a post about the tiny house movement awhile back. Often, it’s hard to build small houses because of current laws and building codes. Vote in people who will push to change those laws and codes.
  4. Spread the word: Keep reading Hip Diggs’ posts. Tell your friends about Hip Diggs. Join Hip Diggs on Facebook. Seek out and read other informative websites about simple living and minimalism. Share simple-living articles on social media.

Don’t worry, I promise I’m not going to start regularly posting political posts. I like to keep things practical at Hip Diggs. But I thought this needed to be mentioned. If we can change the politics of simple and influence the status quo, then we’ll be on the way to changing the face of the nation, and the world.

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7 Comments

  1. I completely agree Dan about How our society holds us to a higher standard of living than is necessary. I think folks could live on a lower wage if they had simple living examples to offer. LOVE the tiny Home movement….How FUN!!! Great article!!!

    1. Thanks, Daphne. I often miss my days when I worked part-time at a mini-mart and lived in a travel trailer. I rode a bike as transportation. I did this for more than 5 years. Although it was a struggle at times, there was also much more freedom in that simplicity.

  2. Good thoughts, Dan! I often think of simple living as a way of improving my life but you’ve opened my eyes to a much bigger picture. Thanks for the motivation!

  3. Hi Dan, another great post. I’m so glad to have found this community with people who are on the same page with my wanting to live simply. I don’t know where my desire for simplicity came from but I knew from about 15 that I wanted to be as free as possible, having few possessions felt a key part of this although I didn’t realise it at this age, that took many more years. One day I sat back and thought about whenever I bought something ‘expensive’ it didn’t give me a thrill in fact I felt uncomfortable, yet I still bought things (not overly excessively, I’m glad to say) as this was what I was supposed to do in my middle class suburban life, but a year or so later I would feel trapped by my possessions and have another clear out with a trip to a charity shop or advertised it for sale. I felt like I had a problem not wanting to own things, as no one around me could understand it. But age and a little self-analysis has made me more confident in myself and my decisions plus finding that I am not the only one is great! I really enjoy how your site is not just about minimalism and has made me see that simple living, not just minimalism, is more me, although my desire for ‘just enough’ stuff remains.

    1. I own more stuff now than I did for most of my 20s and 30s, because I have a child and own a home, but like you I don’t buy things that many people would consider essential. I like to critically consider what I buy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Lynn.

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