The human being is a creature of luxury. In the original and authentic sense, luxury is not a practice of consumption. Rather, it means a mode of living that is free of necessity. Freedom is based on deviation: luxuriance, getting away from necessity (Notwendigkeit). Luxury transcends the intention of averting need (die Not zu wenden). But today, consumption is co-opting even luxury. Excessive consumption amounts to unfreedom: compulsion corresponding to the unfreedom of labour. Luxury as freedom – like play that is truly free – can be thought only beyond the world of work and consumption. Viewed in this light, it stands close to asceticism.