With this note we want to debunk the false information being spread by Minimalists that we do not need lot of material stuff for our well being. Their contention that to be truly free, you have to own less, want less, is also patently inaccurate.
They also cite the concept of us being on a “Hedonistic treadmill”. According to that concept we have a genetically determined happiness set point and we always revert to it having adapted to our current state of consumption, what ever that is. In other words increased consumption does not raise our happiness set point as we get adapted to it fast and revert back to our mean happiness level. An example is cited where a person with no phone will want nokia asha a person adapted to asha will want to purchase HTC 820 and a person who has that wants Iphone 6 but this cycle will not impact his overall state of being.
Another argument they make is of environmental sustainability. They contend that rampant consumerism is harming environment and that we should scale back consumption to help stem its degradation.
Now consider this: if Minimalism was true and if you needed to consume less and not more, capitalism would come to a grinding halt. Malls would become empty and would need to shut down. National incomes would plummet and welfare programs that your govt runs for poor will need to stop. So we will step back into medieval ages with secular poverty for everybody.
Secondly study after study shows that people who do conspicuous consumption are visibly happier. The one who owns sprawling bungalow in Bandra is better off than one who lives in a studio apartment in Virar, One who owns Mercedes is lighter than one who drives a two wheeler and one who has a 78 inch curved display Samsung LED TV set is more attuned to the world than one who owns a Philips radio set. The pleasure of the cake is in eating it and not ogling at it. Ultimately the only proof that you lived is that you consumed.
Lastly on environment, the concerns and talk are not a done deal but a bogey. There is no visible proof and environmental scientists are divided over, if the planet is getting hotter or its ecology is breaking. So do not get misguided by the propaganda of minimalists on this.
Remember the formula for being happy is to own more, live large and have a bigger footprint on our planet.