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Asceticism is a practice of purposefully living in poverty. In some cases, it is motivated by a belief that pursuing material gain, beyond what is necessary to maintain a low standard of living, is an ineffective means of attaining happiness. The ascetic renounces desire rather than seeking to satisfy it. He may live in seclusion in order to reduce his costs and avoid the need to fulfil society's expectations of behavior. Ludwig von Mises notes that liberalism can make no reply to the ascetics' condemnation of capitalism's materialism; "We can only ask them to let us go our way undisturbed, just as we do not hinder them".[1]


  1. Mises, Ludwig von. "Material Welfare". Liberalism.