Has Your Society Failed You?

Why do we give our social allegiances as a matter of habit and simple accident of birth?

Surely we should make an assessment as to whether it is in our interests to side with our birth society.
If people were willing to switch societies or to create new ones in the absence of better options, living standards all over the world would have to go up.

States, cultures, societies as we know them are monopolistic in nature. Surely it would be in the interests of the common citizen to undermine these monopolies and create competition.
A capitalism of capitalisms, after a fashion.

Instead of asking “does this society allow me to survive for another day?” why not ask instead “Could I get a better deal?”
This may seem cynical, since we have all been raised on the ideals of nationalism. However, the state, culture, society are made of millions of people at any one time. It can care nothing for your individual interests or dreams. It is up to you to figure out what is best for you.

This seems obvious whenever we go to a car dealership or negotiate salary and benefits for a job. Yet because it is ubiquitous, our surrounding society tends to escape our scrutiny.

What is the state of the present birth culture in the West?

Education: Most of us have to spend 12 years forced into a pointless school system at public expense. Here we’re forced to do repetitive work for no pay. For over a decade. You might have to put in 16 or more years total into education. At the end, there might or might not be employment available.

Employment: Even when you can get it, it means being on someone else’s schedule taking their orders. The choices are between subjugation and starvation.

Economics: Unless you’re in the top 1%. It’s a losing game.

Family: It’s gone nuclear. One parent, a kid, and a dog aren’t a family. Real families are extended families. Without help from extended families, bringing new lives into the world requires a huge effort. Birth rates predictably plummet.

Men: Have become second class citizens but still bear most of the responsibility. Female affluence means that only rich men can hope to meet their expectations. Millions of men are slated for celibacy. Their line ends with them.

Women: Are enjoying enormous status and power. They command the adoration and the resources of society. They can plunder the riches won by men while amassing their own earnings as well. But plunder is not a viable long term system.
More and more are ending up childless. Their line ends with them. No one bothers to let them know: there’s about a decade to decide. Despite all their gains, women are generally less satisfied with life than their grandmothers. Modern society offers them unlimited pleasures, but fails to show the way to a future or a purpose.

Children: Trapped in boring neighborhoods that are as safe and sterile as padded cells. Cut off from the world and put into daycares and schools where society keeps them neatly out of sight until employers have sufficient use for them. This is how our society introduces us to the world and prepares us for adulthood!?

Elderly: Like used up napkins or candy wrappers. The world has no use for them once they can no longer compete.
Even with a generous retirement, many lead lonely pointless lives waiting idly for death.
Their children usually live too far away or are just too busy.
They themselves were too busy to build lasting social relationships while they were working hard for their retirement.

Penal System: A small nation, 3 million people, mostly men are in the United States penal system. There, they consume public funding. Everyone loses except for the prison employees and the companies that get access to this country of captive consumers.

Military: Mostly engages in pointless holding actions in the most remote corners of the earth. Brings no return to society in proportion with the vast sums devoted to it. Soldiers ideal captive consumers for the big brands.
Despite great new technology, effectively impotent. A better informed modern citizenry is going to avoid being used as outright cannon fodder. Result: a fighting force that can’t be used for fighting.

Medicine: So expensive that only the rich can afford it.(not all bad) Even health insurance has become something of a luxury.
Procedures are invasive and often focus on superficial symptoms instead of greater underlying problems.

Uses “fights” against diseases that never seem to go away to get huge amounts of charity money when they’re already loaded with cash.

Pharmaceutical companies routinely take advantage of sick people’s desperate desire to live with expensive pills that have little understood effects on the body.

Big credentials become a way to get perfectly ordinary people to believe they have various made up or exaggerated problems. Purchases of expensive pills ensue.

Lets face it: Your life is in the hands of someone who cares more about your insurance money than your life. Someone who is rewarded every time they find a problem with you and treat it in the most expensive heavy-handed way possible. The incentives do not properly align.

In conclusion:
Wouldn’t you expect to get screwed at a car dealership if you didn’t look out for yourself?
Why do people expect politicians or anyone else to look after them, especially when any one person is an insignificant speck in the system?

There can never be any significant change so long as people passively adhere to whichever society they happened to be born into. Monopolies will always render overpriced, lousy service.

Note: I have created a discussion thread for this post in my forum.
Disagree with me? Do you just love to argue? Have ideas to add? I’ve made a playing field that won’t get crowded as quickly as the comments column.
And, of course, you’re free to sign up yourself and make a thread of your own.


The Pitfalls of Home Ownership

Houses as we know them are the enclaves of the rich, not the property of the poor. However, the poor in all places and times want to imitate the rich.

For some decades, Western democracies have created financial policies that allow the poor to ape the rich through home ownership. The result is the suburbs.

However, a citizenry cannot vote themselves money out of
the treasury indefinitely.
Social status subsidies cannot forever remain a core domestic policy.

The game of human social status can only escalate as more resources are poured into it. It becomes a black hole that can swallow the wealth of a nation. The higher the general baseline of wealth, the more the bar of competition rises. What starts out as a subsidy soon becomes a necessity, an entry ticket into the social game.

To stay in a house, a typical American peasant must work hard merely to pay off the interest on enormous loans. Such a peasant chooses to live on a treadmill and endlessly siphon their income into the pockets of the rich without receiving any further gain in return.
While the renter also sees a vast check disappear every month just to be left alone, they’ve effectively paid off a principal. The service in question is paid for in full for the time agreed upon. The responsibility for the property on which they stay is someone else’s concern. The labor of servants is effectively included in the package.

One should not buy a house if one could not easily afford to hire
servants to maintain both its interior and the surrounding property.

For one owned by a home the fruits of their tireless labor are additional burdens. The principal is always hanging over their head. They must clean, maintain, and repair the property through their own labors and expense. At any time, a hundred things might go wrong, things that would ruin the already delicate state of their finances.
Some of these worries can be removed through insurance, but insurance constitutes yet another expense.
Even when the home is paid for in full and the debt has disappeared, the insurance is more important than ever. Having fully joined the elite circle of property owners, one must pay property taxes in full: By anchoring oneself to a house, one has become a financial sitting duck for whoever happens to be in power!

Even when one has full ownership a home remains a major liability in the absence of significant surplus wealth and large, enduring sources of income. Only someone rich has any business owning a home.
In many other nations, suburbs as we know them do not exist. Privately owned houses remain in most lands, the preserves of local barons.

Implicit Versus Explicit Slavery

When someone uses the word ‘slavery’, they typically mean explicit slavery, a system where someone under the law of the land is made the property of another.

We forget that a state of slavery can also be implicit in the circumstances of our lives.
All one’s slavery lacks is official or legal recognition.

Some questions to ask:
Can you walk away?
Would you face social ostracism and starvation if you ever stopped?
Do you make your own schedule or does someone else decide where you will be and when you will be there?
Do you have a superior from whom you must take orders?

Few of us can give significantly different answers to these questions than could an explicit slave.

The hard truth is that we are slaves for the most part.

Employees do receive pay while slaves do not, but compulsory servitude is compulsory servitude whether or not you bring home a check.

Those who defended the institution of slavery in the antebellum South had some valid criticisms of abolitionist concerns:

-Factory workers in the North worked more hours than plantation slaves.
Harsh competition ensured that they were always stretched to the limit on the job. One mistake, injury, sickness meant getting outcompeted by someone else.

-These workers were paid the bare minimum required to feed and clothe themselves.
Thus little practical difference between slaves handed food, clothing but no pay. Worse, employees could even be tricked or forced into becoming financially indebted to their employer.

-The master has a vested interest in the wellbeing of slaves. The employer has no reason to care about or be responsible for the wellbeing of factory workers. They hand over a bare subsistence amount of pay and wash their hands of the matter.

Clearly, there never was an influx of factory workers trying to sell themselves at slave auctions no matter how desperate their circumstances:

-Being explicitly a slave entails a degree of humiliation and degradation that cannot be quantified.

-Even the most wretched factory worker might have a residence and family beyond the reach of their bosses.

-Upward mobility is possible for a factory worker’s offspring, even if not probable.

However, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that several important aspects of the lives of Southern slaves were significantly better than that of a Northern factory worker.

A state of implicit slavery can be doubly desirable to the master, doubly detrimental to the slave.
If the slave relationship is not recognized under contract, no governing power regulates the master/slave relationship, the master need have no investment in or responsibility for the slave. Anything goes.

This implicit, double slavery is perhaps the inevitable state of existence for the majority of employees now just as it was in the 19th century.