We do not think that this is a wise idea nor is it something that we ourselves shall be doing (given that it's panto season keep those cries of "Shame! Shame!" coming from the back) but we do admire on part of this rejection of the modern world from Mark Boyle. Which is that he's being thoroughly liberal about it all.
We don't even think that he's correct in his analysis:
From Wednesday, I’m rejecting the world of complex technology entirely. That means no laptop, no internet, no phone, no washing machine, no tapped water, no gas, no fridge, no television or electronic music; no anything requiring the copper-mining, oil-rigging, plastics-manufacturing essential to the production of a single toaster or solar photovoltaic system.
Having already rejected these industrial-scale, complex technologies, I intend to move fully towards what is pejoratively called primitive technology. Insofar as engaging with civilisation allows, I’m also trying to resist the modern domination of what Jay Griffiths, in Pip Pip, calls clock time – and failing daily.
Such things destroy our humanity apparently. We tend to think they allow us to exercise it.
He does state that he's going to retain his pencil which allows us a cheap jibe about how that it most definitely not a rejection of technology. But we are still going to give Mr. Boyle our wholehearted support.
For he is, as we say, being admirably liberal about this. At least so far as we know he is not arguing that government must force others to do the same. He's not, again so far as we know, proselytising that all should follow him into that medieval night. He is just stating that this is what he wishes to do and that this is what he is going to do.
Which is of course the liberal ideal. The entire point of the socio-political order, of our even having an economy, is so that the maximum number of people can live their lives as best suits them. And as Mill pointed out that right extends to all, and all lifestyles, right up to the point where the exercise of it limits the same rights of others.
We just wish that rather more of those who claim to be liberals would follow this example. Stop telling us all that we must do as you say and go off and do as you wish would you? That is, if you would claim to be a liberal could you actually act like one?