Stop Financializing the Human Experience

Correspondent Dani A.M. (of Removing the Shackles) was kind enough to identify three bits of advice from my recent conversation with Max Keiser on Summer Solutions (25:45): (9:20 min: “We’ve been brainwashed into financializing the human experience.”)

1. Stop financializing the human experience

2. Acquire skills, not credentials

3. Vote with your Feet

These are the themes I’ll be addressing this week.

What does financializing the human experience mean? It means turning everything into a financial transaction that profits an enterprise and the state.Since the state needs profitable enterprises to generate its tax revenues (and to pay wages that generate payroll/income taxes), the state is an implicit partner in every financializing the human experience transaction.

In an increasingly cashless, debt-dependent culture, every financial transaction generates income for banks: credit card and debit card fees, interest on credit cards, etc.

Here are some common examples:

— Mom and Dad work long hours to afford childcare. Maybe they like working for the state or Corporate America more than caring for their kids (or sharing the care of several kids with other parents), but the system incentivizes maximizing income and paying for childcare as a profitable transaction.

In other words, childcare for many has been distilled down to a financial decision.

— Dinner with friends is purchased, generating income for an enterprise, a bank and taxes for the state. If people no longer learn how to cook, then sharing a meal with friends necessarily becomes a financial transaction.

— A sense of self must be purchased via signifiers of identity and self-worth.

The obsession with brands and other signifiers of belonging reflects one thing, and only one thing: a pervasive fragility of self. Unsurprisingly, our selfhood is incredibly fragile in a culture that glorifies the impossible (thin, fit, super-smart, witty, personable, creative, wealthy oh and of course humble) and sows insecurity as a means of selling you something.

That each of us remains the same person regardless of what we wear, drive, drink, etc. is obvious but verboten in a culture that profits from insecurity and self-doubt. As Caroline Caldwell observed, “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.”

I would modify this slightly: liking yourself regardless of what you wear, drink, drink, etc. is a rebellious act.

Liking yourself is not the same as narcissism. Narcissism is the result of the consumerist society’s relentless focus on the essential project of consumerism, which is “the only self that is real is the self that is purchased and projected.”

The narcissism bred by consumerism has nurtured an emotional isolation and immaturity that I call permanent adolescence which leaves many young people without the tools needed to handle criticism, collaboration and the pressures of the workplace.

Personal gratification is the driver of narcissism and consumerism, which are two sides of the same coin. Consumerist marketing glorifies the “projected self” as the “true self,” encouraging self-absorption even as it erodes authentic identity, self-esteem and the resilience which enables emotional growth–the essential characteristic of adulthood.

Personal gratification is of a piece with self-absorption, fragile self-esteem and an identity that is overly dependent on consumerist signifiers and the approval of others.

The only way a consumerist economy and the state that depends on it can flourish is to turn every human interaction and emotion into a financial transaction. Just reached a personal goal? Celebrate by going to Disneyland and dropping a packet.

Feeling low? Cheer yourself up by buying a new signifier of self-worth.

Sensing something is terribly wrong with your life? Buy another self-help book that repeats the all-important narrative: It’s not the system, it’s you.

The problem isn’t that the system is deranged, dysfunctional and crippling; no, it’s you who are deranged, dysfunctional and crippled. But maybe some costly therapy will help you cope with your bottomless inadequacies.

By holding the system blameless for the fragility of our sense of self and identity, the conventional consumerist narrative fragments any social roles that aren’t dependent on financial transactions and consumerist signifiers.

In this financialized hall of mirrors, narcissism replaces identity and the authentic self is rendered incoherent.


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  • margsview

    So, when do these apt statements carry over and affect the extreme asinine behavior of the 1%?—And all their go-to guys that frankly are responsible in re-distributing all wealth. Which then speaks dealing with all the high-end fraud and criminal activities, including those carried out in 2008

  • JerseyCynic

    I don’t think anything will ever change the behavior of those responsible — at present they have more than they need for many lifetimes. However…….once us 99%ers stop feeding their narcissistic ideals, the true Game of Life can get underway. OUR life OUR communities…. It really doesn’t have to be this complicated, but it is so – by design – as all of here know. Just start feeding (i.e. taking care of) each other. I know of so many folk in my little blue-collar fiefdom (which is just a small part of 169 OTHER fiefdoms in this very small state of Connecticut) that are constantly looking for “work”. I think of all these un or under employed people and what would happen if we all pitched in to “work the land” so to speak,,,,I bet we could all job share and end up only working 20 hours/wk each. raising and actually spending time with families, sharing good food
    and cheer

    or just being by yourself.

    it is still a group effort. you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back….or you take care of you for me and I’ll take care of me for you — either way is fine — just remove profit from the equation — unless of course it’s socialized instead of corporatized (god forbid!)

    until more and more realize that time is life instead of time is money I guess I’ll have to wait.

    let’s hope the TECNICAL schools can kick start this turn around

    before the TECHNOCRATS get a complete hold on our — or should I say their –reality

    The Surprising Joy of VIRTUAL REALITY and why it’s about to change the world — by Joel Stein (say no more)

    another fine post CHS – keep spreading your insight – you are a true wayshower

    • anna miller

      great comment. From how it appears to me, the majority are refusing to wake up. So it will
      more than likely take a….motivator…for people to work together within their own immediate community. Get to know your neighbors, is you haven’t done already.

  • anna miller

    Fantastic essay, thank you.

  • TimeToWakeUpAmerica

    The attempt to destroy the individual, by Jon Rappoport

    Q: What is at the heart of the efforts, globally, to destroy the INDIVIDUAL?

    Q: Who, exactly, is behind the global push for a ONE-WORLD (COLLECTIVIST) GOVERNMENT?
    A: Western International Central Bankers and their GLOBALIST ALLIES.

    The FACT of the matter is, the entire U.S. Government, and really, the ENTIRETY OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION has been COMPLETELY HIJACKED by “Jews” (really, Ashkenazi-KHAZARS). Need proof? Ok. Here it is. READ THIS:

    X22 Report: Central Bankers Can’t Stop The Economic Collapse Instead They Will Cover It Up

    Read ALL the comments. Click on ALL the links. Read, view, listen to ALL content.