In her post titled Don't make simplicity complicated, Clare Devlin writes:
Anything taken to the extreme can be complicated. And simplicity is no exception.
Minimalism is, I think, about not being tormented by the insatiability of desire.
However, the desire to become more minimal can become as distracting and life-complicating as the desire that a minimal life works to be an antidote to.
Disclaimer: I’m not a minimalist, but I think minimalism is interesting, and reading about it often gives me things to think about, which I find interesting and valuable.
I’m going to attempt to put what I believe is the difference between helpful minimalism and problematic minimalism in Lacanian terms:
Helpful Minimalism — Is when people see the right mix of full/presence v. empty/absence as something that is always outside of what they have, as something that is an object cause of desire (i.e., an object a). Arriving at a perfect minimal lifestyle is not the aim; it is the cause of an ongoing project of rendering one’s life full-and-empty-enough.
Problematic Minimalism — Is when minimalism becomes a thing that a person needs to do or accomplish when being minimal becomes a frustrating and distracting demand from a master that can’t ever be entirely pleased.