February 16, 2018

Live Simply, Think Freely

“The American people are free to do exactly what they are told.”
- Ward Churchill

Question the media and you're a conspiracy kook. Criticize the government and you're a Russian agent. Oppose war and you hate your country. Defend Palestinians and you're an anti-Semite. Suggest cooperation and you are a dangerous socialist.

Demand a better, simpler world and you are an enemy of the state.

The biggest threat of all is thinking for one's self. Thinkers will be dealt with in the harshest of terms, to be reprogrammed into drones, serfs, peasants, consumers - to be used and abused and disposed of as the establishment sees fit.

Around the world, governments have claimed ever greater control over, and enforcement of, ever more private aspects of our lives.

Edward Bernays, pioneer in the field of public relations, in his 1928 book called Propaganda, said:

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. 
Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. 
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

Independent thought is the only way to break free of the ruthless manipulation that turns limitless lives into a ground hog day loop of earning/borrowing/spending, and trying to keep up.

It is difficult to find the time to think in a regular 40 hour work week, which is exactly the idea behind it. They need us to occupy 100% of our time in our struggle to keep up, to survive. Most of us have little time or energy to think, let alone to push back against the mind oppressors.

Choosing to live more simply allows one to work less, leaving more time for important things like thinking. This may be the most subversive thing about simplicity (besides gardening), and the main reason it is such a threat to the powers that be.

Unplugging from the constant barrage of control and surveillance may be hard, but it is not impossible, and is certainly worth doing. Living more simply is an excellent start.

Start your simpler life today, and break free of the pushers of propaganda, and the thought police that enforce compliance with it.

Debt is freedom. Simple is complex. Too much is not enough. Depression is happiness. Endless war is perpetual peace.

“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of the man who can fabricate it.”  
- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951)


  1. Anonymous2/17/2018

    Voluntary simplicity is a powerful practice, I used to think it was a secondary thing to meditation, but disconecting from mindless consumption provides a great deal of insight into how society is governed and deeper insight into life. Berneys was interesting as he spearheaded American consumption with cultivating advertising that is taken as the norm today. You have probably seen this documentary on Berneys, but I link it anyway:
    I do feel that change is on the way and youth are leading the way, they will realise they are being indebted and manipulated by the better off.
    Love the quality of the writing great posts.

    1. Alex,

      I have great hope for young people. They will be making changes whether older, comfortable generations like it or not. I can't wait. Bring it on.

  2. Anonymous2/17/2018

    The Arendt quote is chilling and so right on. Thank you for yet another intelligent, great post. And thanks, Alex, for the documentary link! I agree - when you reject the hamster wheel of consumption, you see the ridiculousness of it all. -Erin

  3. Anonymous2/17/2018

    I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I am so thankful you mentioned Palestinians. It is the first time someone on a blog that I read has written something like you wrote. I am a Palestinian refugee and I have been told (to my face) by educated elite in the US, "You do not exist. Palestinians are a myth. Arabs are terrorists." I have been denied my basic humanity and dignity. I do not wish any Jewish person or Israeli harm. But I do want to be recognized and to have the chance to live with dignity too. I am non-violent, I have never harmed anyone (knowingly), and I am not a terrorist. I am a pacifist, a vegetarian, a wife, a mother, a PhD, and I try my best to treat Mother Earth with gentleness and love. Your blog has always been my favorite virtual space, and this post reaffirms it. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for saying this Anonymous. It touches a deep place in my heart.

    2. Anonymous2/19/2018

      Agreed! Thank you, Anon. -Erin

    3. Dear Palestinian Friend of NBA,

      We were touched by your comment. The plight of your people is an issue dear to our hearts, as Linda has significant personal experience in this area. We follow the issue closely, and fully support the BDS movement. We would love to be able to visit a free and prosperous Palestine.

      It is wonderful to know that you are part of our community here. Welcome to NBA, and the comments section.

  4. Golly, I love this blog!

    1. Franny and Danny,

      We love that you are here.

  5. Anonymous2/18/2018

    Great post! Till now our family has reduced our consumption to only essentials. Now my main goal for 2018 is to work less and in a less stressful work environment. Then I will have more time and energy to spend time with those close to me, to read, to garden and also to think about important things. When you live on autopilot you really do not have time and energy to think if you really want to live like that. I think my new way in life will have good impact on our family, health and environment. Just can't wait for a new adventure to begin!

    And once again thank you for your great inspiring posts!


    1. Go, Mitja, Go! We are excited for you and your family.

  6. Yes. Yes. And yes. Very well said.


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