I have a theory.
With the growing capability for society to be decentralized, meaning it’s easier to start your own little mini-empire, media company, community, etc, the societal overlords are turning up the dial on outrage and distraction.
The institutions know they’re outdated and they’re in cahoots with each other to keep us from realizing that. Since it’s never been easier to succeed, since the absolute standard of living has never been higher than it has before, they’ve decided to paint the exact opposite narrative.
This is why we have droves of people complaining about their lot in life and engaging in online warfare on iPhones in their apartments with central air conditioning after watching Netflix while waiting for their Postmates delivery.
This is insane.
Before the unintelligent person pops up in the comments to point out all the horrible and evil aspects of society, let me tell you that I fully agree that all of these aspects are present, even prevalent, but I’ll also say that they’re being used to push things in an even more negative direction.
I don’t know what team you’re on, but and not only are your leaders not coming to save you, they’re trying to make your life worse. Their army of media pundits is there to gaslight you. And they have no incentive to help you.
I keep telling myself not to get involved in this topic, but I have to siphon the attention from this arena to get back to the message you need to hear.
Nobody, not even me, is going to be able to fix whatever’s going on in your life in a real way. Only you can do that. And, to do that, you’ll need to stay focused.
Let’s look at some of the common ways society tries to throw you off from your mission.
If we all collectively realized the problems in society were class issues, vertical instead of horizontal, above all else, we’d have to turn our eye toward the elites. I need to do more research and have a hard time articulating this, but all of this has to do with the middle-class erosion. The elites couldn’t help themselves, sucked the blood from the middle, and simply don’t want to give that control and resources back.
When I say elite, I don’t mean someone who simply has money. The elites are people who benefit from the members of society being asleep – politicians, their media drones, some late-stage companies, etc. They’re most afraid of true change, which is why they preach change, but never actually change anything.
They’ve decided to create wars and divisions on literally every other line except class because they don’t want us to understand that we’re all more or less the same and that all we really want is an equitable society where it isn’t that obvious we’re getting screwed out of the American dream
Sure, they’ll throw you a ‘eat the rich’ bone to placate you, but they don’t mean it. The masses never think about the frame for the debate, the Overton window. Who’s setting it and why?
I could go deeper here. And, to be honest, I’m practicing some armchair theory here as I don’t truly know what I’m talking about, but it’s a strong hunch at this point.
My theory is that the powers that be have no intention of solving the tensions in our society at all. Doesn’t matter which individual you pick as your leader — even if they’re well-intentioned, the elites will squash them (*cough* Bernie).
Not only that, but they’re also actively trying to make things worse. I think the obsessive coverage of hateful acts actually inspires more hatred. This is why some people say not to publicize the names of mass shooters because it inspires others to do it for infamy.
When people talk about the Russian troll farms, they fail to mention that they created fake news for both sides of the debate just to create tension. Other countries are sowing discord from the outside in — that incentive is obvious. But why would our own country do it to ourselves?
Sure, this is a vague and maybe intellectually lazy description of what’s happening, but this is what I think is happening. From now on, discord and polarization will be the norm, while no real problems will be solved, at least not by our ‘saviors.’
People ask me why I say to avoid that game altogether. Because it leads nowhere. It goes in a circle, on purpose. Save yourself.
Several countries have used a simple brainwashing technique POWs during wars to essentially turn against their own country.
At first, they’d have them make some small concession, which was technically true, and write it down, e.g., a root idea in communism that sometimes workers are treated unfairly.
Why write it down? To solidify the act. They’d continue to have the POW’s make these tiny concessions and small acts until they brainwashed them.
This is a classic sales and persuasion technique — commitment consistency. The more you commit to something, the more it becomes a part of your identity that you want to stay consistent with. Salesmen get you to say the word ‘yes’ starting with the banalest questions, for this reason.
Society has slowly eroded the idea of personal responsibility through tiny concessions. It seems the sentiment in many pockets society has become a total lack of agency.
It starts with honest and good statements like “we need a safety net for those who truly cannot help themselves” to this new message emerging that disparities between outcomes have nothing to do with effort.
Some people get lucky in life. Some benefit from nepotism. We all get advantages and disadvantages in life by birth. But this growing idea that ‘pulling yourself up by the bootstraps’ is impossible is…nonsense.
Like I mentioned in my book, where you start matters. But it’s not a death sentence. I’ve seen too many people from all walks of life and beginning circumstances too well to believe that. Society is slowly deteriorating by way of the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Why is society pushing this message?
Some people, people with huge platforms, do believe in this message. The idea of utopia and getting something for nothing is appealing. Again, people make money from your learned helplessness. Always look at the incentives.
What do you need to know, though?
You need to know that effort is the only tool you have at your disposal that you have full control over. You can’t control what you look like, who your parents are, or the past circumstances that led you here.
If you think about it, and you’re reasonable, I think you’d come to the sane conclusion that some sort of balanced system where hard-working people aren’t crazy struggling is ideal and not an inch beyond that. Then why all the hysteria? Hysteria sells, and gets votes, and keeps you distracted.
Try to think of a policy, even the most ridiculous one, that would save your life personally to the level where you reach self-actualization, your full potential, and gives you the type of life you really want? It doesn’t exist.
You can walk and chew gum at the same time. Focus on helping those less fortunate, maybe including yourself, by engaging clinically, donating money, and volunteering. On top of that, focus on building a life of your own design.
Humans are comparison machines. We have a hard time thinking in absolute terms. When do compare, we tend to compare up and not down. I feel like I have to put this caveat in my articles these days but — two things can be true at the same time.
Thing number one – there are many people in society struggling to pay their bills, at or below the poverty line, going hungry, etc. Thing number two – American poverty isn’t poverty. Even someone who is struggling lives a comparatively better life than someone in a third world country.
You can point out the issues facing certain populations, but if you’re a middle-class individual you don’t have much to complain about. Again, my spidey senses tell me all this hysteria comes from the wealth being siphoned from the middle, not the poor.
Sure, you fell for the propaganda that leads to quiet desperation. I did, too. I’m still footing a $70,000 student loan bill. Sure, maybe you’re stretched thinner than you should be because the oligarchs ate up too much of the pie. Yes, there is an issue that the average hard-working person can’t fully get by in the West by Western standards.
But remember those words – Western Standards.
We all need to chill out. Comparatively, it’s so nice here. I was watching an interview by the thoughtful rapper turned philosopher-king activist Killer Mike. He admitted the fact that capitalism was built on slavery, but then also said he deserved to play and profit in the system since his people built it.
Yes, yes, yes, the West was built on some sketchy territory, but so the heck was everything else. Is there a single non-murderous empire? I didn’t want to dive into politics that much but I think it’s important to shed light on these issues to redirect to the important message.
Keep yourself sane in these times. Take advantage of these times. Think deeply. Use logic and reason to make decisions. Don’t let your emotions sway you. Think about the incentive structures in society and you’ll start to see what’s coming next.
What is coming next?
A complete fracturing of society that you don’t want to be a part of at all. You want to remove yourself from the culture war altogether and focus on your own self-improvement. It does seem like I’m harping on it a lot, but it’s because I want you over here. I’ve seen people start businesses in 2020. I’ve had my best professional year in 2020.
And guess what? You can care about society without playing their game. Like I said earlier, while it’s noble to want to fix society from the top-down, understand that they’re incentivized to keep society broken.
We fix society by forgetting about the top altogether. I keep talking about this ripple effect concept. Take care of yourself, then your family, then your local community, then your broader tribe.
They, in turn, do the same. I’m on this corner of the internet where I see people finding unique ways to succeed regardless of background, but they’re not being highlighted. Why?
You know why.
Here’s an easy rule of thumb. Whatever you think society wants you to do, do the opposite. Society encourages outrage, fighting, dependence, helplessness, finger-pointing, and the like. The societal machine lives off of attention.
Observe what’s going on and be cognizant of it, but don’t feed into it. Direct that energy back at yourself and you’ll be one hundred times better off.