changing the game : why the modern man is becoming a slave to consumerism

in #life4 years ago (edited)

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The life of the modern man

wake up.
go to sleep.

a history of work

This regimen seems to be the norm for many of us.
With entertainment constantly at our fingertips
and amazon allowing effortless purchasing
the modern man (and woman) has become an expert of consumption

day in and day out we intentionally, and sometimes not, consume information, products and energy from the moment we awake to the moment our consciousness fades into sleep

the modern life has become one of digitized, hyper concentrated stimulus and a discrete lack of connection from this information grid.

... we've found ourselves a bit off track

we are here to discuss work.

in order to understand work in the modern era we must learn the history of work

Lets start with a brief history of mankind

We can all trace our roots back to a hunter-gatherer ancestor of some kind.

life was simpler then.

Gather what grew around you.
Hunt and kill to supplement your diet.
There were short periods of intense energy expenditure followed by long periods of leisure

Marshall Sahin was the first to propose the idea of "the original affluent society".
He claimed our ancestors lived much differently than we do today.
Using data taken from various foraging tribes in the modern era Sahlin argued that the pre-historic individual only spent 15-20 hours working per week! [1]


It sounds pretty luxurious.


next came agriculture

During the agricultural revolution we saw a noticeable uptick in hours worked.

many anthropologists argue that our simpler ancestors still worked less than us

The labouring man will take his rest long in the morning; a good piece of the day is spent afore he come at his work; then he must have his breakfast, though he have not earned it at his accustomed hour, or else there is grudging and murmuring; when the clock smiteth, he will cast down his burden in the midway, and whatsoever he is in hand with, he will leave it as it is, though many times it is marred afore he come again; he may not lose his meat, what danger soever the work is in. At noon he must have his sleeping time, then his bever in the afternoon, which spendeth a great part of the day; and when his hour cometh at night, at the first stroke of the clock he casteth down his tools, leaveth his work, in what need or case soever the work standeth.
- James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, ca. 1570

In agricultural societies, worked revolved around the production and harvesting of crops. There were certain critical periods where long work periods were necessary IE : preparing fields, planting and harvesting. In other periods our ancestors may have experienced a degree of leisure that is quite uncommon to the modern man.

These societies were halmarked by enormous chunks of time carved out for leisure, rest and holidays. In Discussions of Holidays During the Middle Ages, Edith Rodgers claims that individuals in France were guaranteed fifty-two Sundays, ninety rest days, and thirty-eight holidays. In Spain, travelers noted that holidays totaled five months per year. [2]

Even though their work was physically demanding, the lives of our medieval ancestors seems to have included much more leisure than ours.

enter the industrial revolution

things start to get a little bit strange.
The invention of electricity allowed individuals to work at all hours of the day. The steam engine harnessed mechanical energy and which dramatically increased the harvesting, distribution and manufacturing of raw materials. Cities began to fill with people as factories offered sought after jobs. The number of hours worked per week began to sky rocket.

During the 19th century, individuals worked more than 60 hours per week. In some instance individuals were working 80 plus (sounds like silicon valley). In 1869, president Ulysses S. Grant mandated that all government workers would be gauranteed an 8 hour workday (no more) without a decrease in pay. This marked the reformation of work in the United States.

Additional industries began to join suit, increasing workers rights throughout the United States. However, most individuals still worked Monday through Saturday for a total of 48 hours per week.

In 1926, Henry Ford issued a statement creating the 40 hour work week, 8 hours per day, Monday through Friday. [3]

The 40 hour work week became the norm in the United States and in many countries around the world. In 2004, the CDC released a summary of over 50 studies arguing that working over 40 hours per week is not only detrimental to the health of workers, but also leads to a decrease in overall productivity. [4]

Through out the majority of the 20th century we saw a decrease in hours worked. The 40 hour workweek was signed into law with the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938.

during the later parts of the 20th century things began to change

In a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was found that while average # of hours worked per week has remained relatively stable, the % of individuals that are working longer hours (>40 per week) is increasing. [5] We see this in corporate America, the tribe of Silicon Valley and even with average people who are having to work multiple jobs to support themselves.


I am not an economist, but I do have an opinion.
In the 1970's, 3 things happened.

  • Nixon debased the US dollar, no longer backing it by gold
  • We saw the beginning of the US debt increase (it had been going down since the end of WWII)
  • The US work week began to slowly increase

Now, this may be coincidence, but I see a correlation between these. The United States is reliant on an ever-growing economy in order to manage it's current policy of deficit spending. And if you are a country with ever growing debt payments, you need a similar increase in tax revenue to afford them.

I think that our country created this philosophy of consumerism, to increase our overall GDP so that we could maintain this image of financial success. I say image intentionally because a historical look at inflation shows us that while average incomes have increased (in dollar value), the purchasing strength of that income has gone down.


Our population is being tricked into excessive consumption, often funded by high interest debts, while they are earning less and less. This has weakened the middle class and left us with a humungous class divide. In my opinion, it has all been done strategically and intentionally.

come to your own conclusions

But I have certainly come to mine.
I have no desire to slave away to foot the tax bill of my irresponsible government. I have no desire to trade my blood, sweat and tears for a foreign war I have NO interest in participating in. Our culture, and many others, has been led to believe that consumerism is the main quantifier of success. If you look at events such as Black Friday, you can see how toxic we have grown in the name of consumerism.

it is time to change the status quo

I support capitalism, yet we always need balance.
That is why I have started this movement, The Alt Rich.

One does not need to have material goods to have riches

We must choose what we value, and not allow someone else to define our personal success.
When we allow someone else to define value in life, we become a cog in someone else's plan.

stop consuming the things that are being forced down your throat.

take the time to ask yourself, is this really valuable to me

When you re-evaluate life in this manner you become rich instantly.

my riches are

  • personal freedom
  • my love, joy and happiness
  • time spent with loved ones and in nature

These are things that are intrinsically my own and can NOT be taken from me.

The Alt Rich is a movement. We are here to inspire and educate.

Will You Join Us??

2: Edith Rodgers, Discussion of Holidays in the Later Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 1940), 10-11.


I’m proud that am among those who broke free from having a job, however, I feel bad for the majority of us.
When you state in society that you’re jobless though — they’re the ones who feel bad for you. :)

Ha too real. It has been a while for me since I had "regular" employment. Entrepreneurship and crypto have done well for me. However, it has been interesting because I have been intrigued by the idea of a job recently. Working with an organization to accomplish things grander than I could do on my own is desirable to me. I think jobs are not inherently bad, BUT a lot of the modern employment "schemas" leave a lot of room for improvement

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Job is bad on a general scale.
Which is even worse is too have a job oriented mentality.

I try to think of jobs as things that pay me to learn and develop skills

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Tener steem es de lo mejor nos ayuda a mantenernos ocupados en algo que importa y la vida se trata de eso

I totally agree with this. I know when I did work at the hospital I got labeled not a team player because I started refusing to take overtime. I stopped taking the overtime because my life outside of work was more important to me than physical things I can own. I no longer work there and I have learned to live on less. Consumerism is a deadly thing you strive to outdo your neighbor on to realize you missed so much of life.

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Totally understand @mmansfield ... My friend is in residency right now and they are overworking him like a bitch ... Over work is reaaalllll

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I always felt bad for the residents they get shit on and don’t f up or bye bye to that resident.

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This guy is winning

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Yes sir!!

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We consume more than create. Our ancestors farm more than what they can consume because winter or drought will be those days without harvest.

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Imagine a life where you had to produce EVERYTHING you used

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I totally agree with you. Resteemed!

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Thanks @general.guy ... Glad you like the content

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I so agree with you. I have a house full for [email protected] I don't need (or even want) and the debt to go with it. I have really been thinking about it lately, I'd be happy in a tiny house even if I had my puppies and hubby. Food, a little clothing, and shelter is all we REALLY need.

@metama your article is timely and very true on many accords. I’m sure you’re familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Earlier in life man had to meet his “physiological & safety needs.”

After these comes “Love & Belonging, Esteem, and then Self-Actualization.” In self-actualization one strives to become all they can be. This can begin the “awakening process.”

Modern man has been tricked into thinking success is about more stature and more money - the incessant need to acquire more.

Awakening is a multi-layered process in which people begin to see this trick we’re living. The U.S. (where I reside) has unfortunately been polluting and enslaving the minds of its own citizens for some time. Through the development of “The Fed” (Federal Reserve System) a mighty few have enslaved the majority. Whether it was intended to be what it has become or not, I believe to a high degree that this system in the U.S. will one day be revealed for what it truly is - a powerful modern day slavery mechanism that many, if not all politicians, have their fingerprints on. We the people believe we live in freedom whereas we’ve been living as slaves to the system. When we can “wake up” and remove ourselves from the dependence of the government they will no longer have control or power. The more we can help people see the truth the better...but people need to see it for themselves. Truth is through experience.

Like you, I so very much hope to bring attention to this issue and let people decide for themselves. I think what you’re doing is noble. I’ll be here along with you for the cause.

Check out this documentary from Aaron Russo when time permits:

Looking forward to having more great chats with you.

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@steelborne thank you for the thoughtful response. Many people are still sleeping .... We must wake ourselves up and hope that our light shines brightly enough to shake the dust off others

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I say get save for an big RV and travel the world with your family. Material fills nothing but space. Fill passion and love into your heart and reflect an image others see themselves in. Making someone smile, is like making your entire universe vibrate on a higher frequency. Good day!

HI, @metama. This is my friend, the scale of values ​​has been distorted, and appears to be more important to have, than being. It's time to push a balance. Thank you.

Its all about the things in this world that we're getting slaved.
When we die, all are gone.
Is life all about live, drink, be merry and die?
Life is all about our purpose why we're here in this world.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?
Mark 8:36

to me it is all about balance.
I want to eat, drink and be merry but I also want to add value and make this world a better place

That's great man!
Balance and moderation is still the best.

By the way you mentioned you also want to add value.
What particular value?

The two things I am focused on right now are creating content that helps/inspires people to live a more authentic life and then I want to build affordable energy efficient housing options

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That's great man!
I wish you all the best!

I don't agree with your recollection of history because it is based on lies and ignorance. Your ancestors are not hunter and gather societies unless your linage is Indigenous.

My ancestors are Indigenous and we were not a simple society, as you state. Our society was very intricate and spiritual in nature and revolved around a highly evolved understanding of our true nature.

We did not evolve from apes, and if you think you did, then that is fine with me, but we as Indigenous did not evolve from this species. Our culture was free and highly advanced in the way it was structured.

The lies you have been fed by the non-Indigenous have you thinking that we were a simple society. We had cities far more beautiful than you have ever seen and we were healthy, free and connected to one another and the land that sustains us.

The Europeans were living in filth and squalor and had poor hygiene. They threw their feces out their windows and because of their filthy conditions, they contracted lots of diseases, which they contaminated us with when they invaded our homeland.

You need to learn the real history and the video below will shed light on the truth of things.

As well, the reason for working or slave labour is because of the protestant work ethic, which brainwashed people into believing that it is through their work that they can reach God. The reason for the enslavement is because of the greedy elite who created a system to control and manipulate us all.

People are too fucin dumb these days to put 2 & 2 together and understand what is going on and why we are in the state we are in. This whole working bullshi is prostituting ourselves for money, selling ourselves as slaves.

People are so self-indulgent in this culture and are very shallow people who have no regard for others. They believe the lies they are fed and keep chasing things outside of themselves in the pursuit of happiness.

There are no good values here and this is the lowest functioning society yet. The most uncivilized and backward place ever and people need to wake the fuc* up!

Europeans were for sure foragers. Irish society a thousand years ago in particular had a similar system nearly identical to the Native American culture. One of decentralization, clans and tribes. And just like Native American culture was destroyed, Irish culture was also thoroughly destroyed over the past thousand years by invaders and by the culture of “builders” that created centralized governance.

Where do you think the Europeans lived before they began their cities?? Their were indigenous clans of people that lived off the land in Europe as well ....

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The europeans were obviously a simpleton people because they let themselves be enslaved by the kings and queens because they had no good values or culture to keep them strong. They were weak and could be easily manipulated into becoming subservient to a few elite.

The people in europe were not Indigenous because we are a distinct people with a healthy mind and good values which kept us thriving on turtle island for thousands of years. The non-Indigenous have tried to erase our true history and say we wandered around aimlessly in search of food and this was not the case.

We took care of our land and those of us who were nomadic, carefully planned out our travel routes and we understood how to live in harmony with the natural environment, we followed natural laws. If you want to see our cites, check out that video I sent you.

We had no diseases and dysfunction because of our lifestyle and we focussed on being healthy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. You cannot say that the people in europe are Indigenous just because you want to say that and because they didn't live in cities. There is more to being Indigenous than not living in cities.

It appears that you have little understanding of what it means to be Indigenous and it is an insult to say that the europeans are Indigenous because the europeans are the complete opposite of what an Indigenous person stands for, which is a healthy and free people, with a highly developed society and culture that is in complete contrast to what the europeans brought over; which is nothing but dysfunction, disease, sickness and they are so backward and very uncivilized.

Have you studied Indigenous History and culture in university? If not, then you are very uninformed and you need to be careful if you are spreading false information and mistruths about my culture. I completed a degree in Indigenous Studies. I don't want to be grouped with the europeans, because they have done nothing but reek havoc and chaos in our lives and tried to exterminate us and are still trying to wipe us out with their lies and manipulation tactics. Furthermore we are not Indigenous Clans, but Sovereign Nations! Enough is enough!


originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native

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The europeans were obviously a simpleton people because they let themselves be enslaved by the kings and queens because they had no good values or culture to keep them strong

So by your own logic, that means that the indigenous populations of north America, were more simple than simpletons that conquered them?

That's preeeeeeeeeeeeeety bad...

To be honest with you from the moment people started to form some kind of groups you had a leader - person on top and "slaves" that do the things for the ones at the top. Same is in todays society everything is a freaking pyramid, you can try to fight it but that is what it is and I dubt that we can change much about it.

You must work to survive in todays society, you have an option tho to go far away from the nearest city and live on your own - hardly people want this. Everyone is complaining and wants something better, it is in our nature.

Until AI and bots start to replace our jobs and until we get some kind of universal basic income and have everything done for everybody we might escape the need to work for money but for that a lot of time has to pass.

Not to mention that consumers and their money is like the driving force for development in many fields today, you can't deny it. People are bombarded with ads and to buy the things they don't need. Everything is done precisely so that you get that dopamine rush that you need and you get stuck in the loop. It is important that you are aware of what is happening at least for a bit so that you don't become that person without life who is doing what others want him or her to do.

@cyber-smiley ... I don't know if I agree with you this completely. Obviously power dynamics are real but there are examples of situations where the people who are not the strongest are not necessarily in an interior situation

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This is hands down one of my favorite posts I've read on here in a heck of a long time!:P (also lowkey jealous of your rep number... you know what I'm sayin 😉)
Love Love Love! Keep them coming!!!🔮 👌

Why do countries borrow money from a hand full of people who are they?

Countries have oil , gold , resoursces , but we bowwow off those people...something is wrong ...we are sleeves to them they control us.
Every down turn in the economy is caused by them to equire more from us look at the past. everytime they get more....why don't they tax stock market activity....because it's a playground for the rich money that is not needed to live.
Strange don't you think?
tax it ...we get taxed on everything that we need to survive.

Ameria need to spend more money on the military then all other countries because you need to police them for the 1%.

A lot of times they do it to gain the assets they need to harvest and manufacture said resources. .. the problem is the countries loaning the money often set it up in a way that is quite predatory and leaves the "loanee" fucked ... Kinda like you said it

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Du hast absolut recht mit dem, was Du hier anführst.
Das Thema passt gut zum #mittwochsquickie von @nissla, der vergangene Woche als Thema "Sinn des Lebens" zum Inhalt hatte.

Es ist schwierig, hier die richtige Lösung zu finden, da es keine gibt.
Zuviel verschiedene Interessengruppen, zu viele verschiedene Lager.

Versucht einmal, "Berlusconi" mit seinen Kumpanen, während sie nackend mit den Playboy-Häschen Champagner schlürfen, von Eurer Sicht der Dinge zu überzeugen.

Schlimm ist, dass die Macht immer noch so einseitig verteilt ist.

Das so ein Mann sogar Italien regieren/manipulieren konnte, oder?
Leider sind die Menschen -unter anderem- Herdentiere, die nur nachlaufen gelernt haben.
Dafür haben wir ja unsere Komfort-Zone erfunden.
Solange wir uns dahinter verstecken können ist doch alles noch easy, oder?
Leider wird für die meisten von uns die Deckung dieser Komfort-Zone auch immer brüchiger.

Die Menschheit wird nie damit aufhören.
Einfach muss es sein.
Auf Kosten der Anderen.

In diesem Sinne habt einen schönen Tag.

Der Filosof

Du hast ein tolles Bild für Deinen Artikel benutzt.
Kann ich das für mich verwenden?

@filosof103 glad you liked the article, you may use the picture but I must admit that it is not my own ... Thanks Google!

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Hi, @metama!

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Fascinating take on the evolution of man... I wonder what the prediction for tomorrow will be.
And there is also the Mel Brooks take, in his film "the history of the world"
(on amazon, ) (Sorry to be snarky)

Thank you for sharing, and keep the ideas coming.

I consume, therefore I am.

@powman I consume therefore I am ... Love it. If you haven't seen all 17 seasons of have of thrones you must not be winning. ... We have become sponges, waiting for someone else's content to give us satisfaction ... Ahhh life!

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Lol! Thats really true.

In my opinion, people have been enslaved since they were born 😂

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Ha why do you think so @stackin?

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This is a deep issue, I would be here for weeks explaining it 🤣

I have recently found myself back in a 2600 dollar a month job after my shot at entrepreneurship failed. Working full time and getting money makes me feel like spending it and it’s sad. I feel like I barely have any time to study crypto and focus on my passions anymore working in a semi office environment 40 hrs a week. That place becomes your life and in your coworkers suspect you have a life outside of it they will tear you down. It’s a sick disgusting system and I hope automation pulls it down soon one day. I’m just saving extra to put into bitcoin. If I’m lucky and the bear market continues I might be able to get a bitcoin. Super sure it’s going to skyrocket soon. Massive institutions are beginning to buy and offer it. So fingers crossed. Even if I could work a part time job again I would be much much happier than I am now.

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Commit to spending one hour a day doing things you are passionate about ... You can still pay the bills but you will be actively accomplishing things you care about

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Great article. Have my upvote! I love the historical perspective on the evolution of work.
However it may still be discussed if life was truly more pleasurable during the middle ages. You may have had a lot more free time during the year than today, however your life expectancy was much shorter as well.

@gftp Tru. Ha I do not disagree. I love some of the things that we are offered in the modern world, just trying to highlight the imbalance we have created with our work / life situation

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bruh got that 24-24 shiiiiitttttttt


To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

I agree and in many EU countries governments already trying to introduce 6 hours working day because it is showing more productivity than 8 hours one!

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Haha Europe too cool @vadkuhtin ... Why do you think the 6 hour day is more productive than 8?

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The idea behind 6 hours working day is that in most of the companies workers usually chat and have many useless meetings or even if everyone is very efficient and productive, you still will have burnout after a decades of working or just become tired. If workers will have shorter working days it will help to

  1. Spend more time with family and friends
  2. Spend more money on a free time
  3. Have more of chill and rest and travel more
  4. Generally spend more time on hobbies
  5. Burnout or tiredness will come later or will not come.

That is the idea. Also because of the reasons above people become more creative and even more productive. I will find some researches to backup my view ;)

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love it ... I just started a job ... today is my third day and I am already feeling the "dread" of going to work ... No wonder so many workers become numbed after years of the same drudgery. This 6 hour work day is a very interesting concept. I will surely learn more about it. :) @vadkuhtin

See! These concepts usually backed up by scientific or practical researches ;)

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Interesting post. I also believe richdom is actually something else than modern society makes us believe. It is hard to stay focused and conscious about what we value most. It is easy to forget the most valuable assets of life and getting dragged into the flow of extreme capitalism.

Thanks for sharing. Definitely lets the reader think about these matters.

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Glad you like the content @lion200. We are in a war for our attention, make sure you protect yours

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