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Abstract: How would the ordinary middle-class citizen deal with a lifestyle of radical simplicity? Radical simplicity does not mean poverty, which is involuntary and full of suffering and anxiety, and thus universally undesirable. Rather, it means a very low but biophysically sufficient material standard of living. This chapter directly addresses the issue of “two types of austerity”, arguing that lifestyles of reduced consumption can be desirable if we negotiate the degrowth transition wisely, both as individuals and as communities. Indeed, it suggests that radical simplicity is exactly what consumer cultures need to shake themselves awake from their comfortable slumber; that radical simplicity would be in our own, immediate self-interests.

Chapter in the book “Transitioning to a Post-Carbon Society – Degrowth, Austerity and Wellbeing” Editors: Ernest Garcia, Mercedes Martinez-Iglesias, Peadar Kirby. Part of the series: International Political Economy Series pp 159-179