The desire for an Amish paradise

I like the Amish.

The Amish are the Christian sect that separated from the Mennonites in 17th century Europe and began emigrating to North America in search of religious freedom in the 18th century.

Now living exclusively in Canada and the United States, the Amish are known for their plain attire and simple living, the rejection of modern conveniences and their predominantly agricultural society.

The Amish don´t own cars, don´t have electricity, don´t have telephones and are against cameras and photographs.

Imagine a life without the Internet, the mobile phone, a personal computer, a car, a camera, a stereo.

At first glance, this seems undesirable, almost unthinkable.

But how often do computers crash?

How often must we update our computer systems and our phones?

How often are our lives bombarded by unwanted emails or unsolicited phone calls?

What if suddenly all this technology we use and take for granted suddenly stopped functioning?

How long before our society would collapse into anarchy?

Our homes are powered by technology.

Our economic and information systems are powered by technology.

We cannot eat, drink, sleep comfortably, communicate with one another, do business, exchange ideas without technology.

Pull the plug and we are literally living in a dark age.

The Amish are not looking so foolish now, are they?

One thing an Amish man never has to worry about is the problem of planned or built-in obsolescence.

A horse and buggy lasts as long as the horse lives.(about 20 years)

Can we say that about a car, a computer, a mobile phone?

Planned obsolescence is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artifically limited useful life, so it will become obsolete (unfashionable or no longer functional) after a certain period of time.

My co-workers are constantly amused by how old my cell phone is. It has no applications, no camera, no Internet connection.

One comedian friend of mine suggested that for me SMS means “Scream, Motherf….., Scream!”

The rationale behind planned obsolescence is to generate long term sales volume by reducing the time between repeat purchases, or referred to as “shortening the replacement cycle”.

So, a mobile phone bought today will probably be obsolete by the time you take it out of its box!

And, don´t keep your phone too long, for when it breaks down, and it will, good luck, buddy, trying to find replacement parts.

The Amish don´t have divorce.

Our society sees 2 out of 3 marriages end in divorce.

For not only is our technology soon obsolete and replaceable, but our relationships often follow this same pattern as well.

The Amish are pacifists.

Not “pacifist” like the “neutral” Swiss who are armed to the teeth and make profits from arms dealing, but completely pacifist:

They won´t vote as an elected government might finance war.

They won´t send their young people to die on the battlefield.

They will not support or condone any sort of violence to their fellow humans.

The United States, throughout its entire history, has rarely experienced a time of peace.

Imagine a world without war and picture an entire community raising a neighbour´s barn together.

I wish I knew how to live in the world without being a prisoner to its technology.

I sometimes envy the Amish.

A lot.


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