Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Luxury as Slavery

Here is an excellent article about luxury as slavery. I am delighted to see someone else drawing parallels between the Roman Empire and modern life.

The Roman writer, Tacitus, argued that the Roman Empire was built by enslaving conquered people who became accustomed to fine living and luxury.
Technology today has become so essential to our daily lives that it seems impossible to break free of it. It's as much a cage as a luxury.
Being dependent on a thing gives it power over you. To need something or someone is, for better or worse, to limit yourself

These things are true, but incomplete. People do live without modern luxuries.

We have an Amish community not far north of us, and rely on them for many necessities not always available in modern stores. Things that don't need power to run, practical things, natural alternatives to synthetics, etc. From them I learned the most essential rule for assessing technology: "Before adopting a new piece of technology, first determine whether it will do more harm than good. If so, do not adopt it." I draw the line in a different place than they do, but I use the same rule. It sets me aside from mainstream society, but well, so do most of my traits and practices.

Further examples include ecovillages, various other intentional communities, homesteaders, and hermits.

It is up to each person to determine whether the benefits of a given item or service outweigh its risks and costs, insofar as you have the power to decide what happens. Remember to compare actual options in reach, not what you wish to have or should have.

For anyone wishing to reduce their dependence on modern technology, I offer:

Foundation for Intentional Community

How to Start a Homestead

Useful Things to Build

100 Home Repairs

Arts and Crafts

Survival Skills

Try a Tech Diet

5:2 Digital Diet

Every thing you learn to do or make for yourself -- or do without -- is one less piece of leverage people can use to manipulate you. Give yourself choices.
Tags: activism, history, networking, reading, safety

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