(This post is way too long and mostly garbage.) Having thought about this for a while now, I still can't pinpoint exactly why I find them so irritating. I mean I agree that there probably aren't that many people who take it to extremes. (But even a little bit of a tedious, bankrupt philosophy is more than is needed) It reminds me of those silicon valley types who have it all figured out, or people who post videos of themselves reciting poetry about how you should spend less time on social media. Really fucking irritating even they are trying to address a real problem, and have some small element of truth somewhere in there.
And yeah, I don't think that addressing a real issue is meaningful in any respect. Addressing depression, meaninglessness, and malaise in the modern world is pretty much exactly how all kinds of religions, new age bullshitters, spiritualists, and so on try to convert/spread their cause. And it has no absolutely no bearing on whether the solution they propose is 'good' or not.
I just can't read something like this without thinking it's absolute bullshit:
'Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.'
Fuck off, mate. I think this pretty much gets to the heart of it. It seems to be attempting to fight capitalism without actually fighting capitalism at all - instead it's all about 'personal enlightenment'. And yeah, it clearly falls into the area of inherently exclusionary. You need a (pretty high, I would suspect) degree of security in order to qualify. Hey you poor fucks! You'll never know true meaning and happiness like I do. What if you're worried about keeping a stable job (freedom from worry), feeding your family (freedom from fear), paying rent (real freedom)? Too fucking bad.
Yeah I'm obviously going overboard here, and I don't think that middle class, stable, unhappy people should just suffer or whatever. Maybe there is no one solution that crosses class lines (destroying capitalism?). Maybe personal enlightenment is as good as it gets. Maybe it isn't actively mocking the poor -- but I just don't think you can argue it doesn't fairly explicitly exclude them.
(In terms of rich, smug, condescending chodes talking about finding enlightenment, I'm far more susceptible to those 'back to nature' types. Mostly because of my own prejudices - it seems much more appealing, but it definitely has many of the same issues.)