Voluntary Simplicity: Characterization, Select Psychological Implications, and Societal Consequences

  • Amitai Etzioni
Part of the Studies in Economic Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)


The idea that the over-arching goal of capitalist economies needs to be changed, and that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal, has followed a familiar tri-stage evolution—several times over. Radical rejections of the consumeristic goal have been followed by rejections of the rejections and new bouts of consumerism, leading to some kind of combination of an affirmation of the merits of a high level of consumption with a rededication to other purposes. This idea itself has been with us from the onset of industrialization. It often has taken the form of comparing the attractive life of the poorer pre-industrial artisan to that of the drudgeries of the more endowed industrial assembly-line worker.


Knowledge Object Conspicuous Consumption Psychological Implication York Time Magazine Voluntary Simplicity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amitai Etzioni
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies Suite 714JThe George Washington UniversityUSA

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