Opting out: the freeing philosophy of avoidance and refusal

Exactly. As with many things in late-stage capitalist society, the very act of opting out of its demands for excess requires some high degree of privilege. For example, in order to live comfortably without owning a car one will likely have the means to pay the sky-high housing prices of living in a 15-minute city.

I’m also reminded of Elon Musk claiming he’s a “homeless” couch surfer, or Boing Boing featured grifter James Altucher claiming anyone can live out of a single suitcase like him. That kind of asceticism is always easier when backed by the Amex platinum card one has in one’s minimalist wallet.

This Pratchett quote related to the famous “Vimes Boots Theory” also applies:

The very very rich could afford to be poor. Sybil Ramkin lived in the kind of poverty that was only available to the very rich, a poverty approached from the other side. Women who were merely well-off saved up and bought dresses made of silk edged with lace and pearls, but Lady Ramkin was so rich she could afford to stomp around the place in rubber boots and a tweed skirt that had belonged to her mother. She was so rich she could afford to live on biscuits and cheese sandwiches.