For humans to flourish, we need to find fulfillment in our lives, accomplish meaningful goals, and connect with others on a deep level. But if we want to discuss human flourishing, we need to first grapple with systemic issues that make us sick — suburban isolation, car dependency, and extreme individualism to name a few.
In this Friday episode, Dylan shines a light on the anti-human society we live in, how it makes and keeps us sick, and the ways in which we can rebel against it.
- [02:34] What does a deeply anti-human society look like?
- [09:20] Examples of things that are pro-human
- [11:08] Examples of acts of rebellion is an anti-human society
[00:00:00] Intro: Forget the civilized path. It’s time to break the chains of debt and dependency, take control of our financial lives, and live free. This is the Fiscally Savage Podcast.
[00:00:15] Dylan Bain: Hello and welcome to Fiscally Savage. I’m your host, Dylan Bain. And today, Happy Friday, everybody. On these Friday shows, I take one thing in the news and try to go one step deeper. Although today is gonna be a special day because I’m actually gonna comment on a meme that I saw on Instagram. So, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can do so @fiscallysavage. I am becoming more and more active. That is a platform that I am most active on. But what I want to talk to you all today about is the idea of humanity and rebellion. Basically, the meme that I saw and I posted this in my story so if you follow me, you’ve already seen some of this stuff, the meme that I saw was the idea of a doctor sitting down with somebody and that person’s saying, “Oh, I’m sick. I’ve got all these things that are going on. I’m anxious. I’ve got depression. I don’t sleep well.” And the doctor says, “You’re sad because you have a terrible job and you have not seen the sun in four days and you only sleep four hours a night.” And then the patient says, “Well, should I do something?” and the doctor goes, “No. But here’s a pill for that.”
[00:01:18] And that just strikes me because when I look out at society and when I’m working with clients at my coaching practice, there’s always this discussion on the tip of my tongue of where I’m helping this person get their financial life in order. I’m helping them budget. And when I ask myself, why am I doing this? Am I actually — if I had the perfect end state, what would that perfect end state for my practice as a financial coach look like? Well, it would look like a bunch of people who have their financial house together so well that they have the time, energy, and space to look around at the society around us and start asking the uncomfortable questions like, why are we sick in the first place? Why is it I can’t sleep? When sleep is so important, why is it that I get so little of it and why is it that our society is so ready with a Rockstar, a Red Bull, an Adderall script, or something else to just continue that behavior? See, from where I’m sitting, ladies and gentlemen, we live in a deeply anti-human society and that society is designed around an economic system that is primarily designed to extract value currently rather than to create value.
[00:02:34] And nowhere can you see this more than in companies that do things like stock buy-backs. The idea there is the company takes their profits, they buy back stock. So, that’s what’s trading on the New York Stock Exchange and the stock markets. And when they do that, the number of shares available for sale goes down. That is an induced scarcity. And so, when things are more scarce, the price goes up and the CEO gets a big bonus for that ’cause that’s how they’re compensated. But the problem in my mind, ladies and gentlemen, goes back to Adam Smith with The Wealth of Nations because Adam Smith’s free market was not free of government interference. He actually thought that the government had a very distinct role to play. No. In Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, a free market economy is one that is free of rent seeking. That is people who are trying to strip mine value out above and beyond the value that they add and create. So, when a CEO gets compensated based upon stock buy-backs, they’re not doing it based upon superior customer service, superior market positioning, a superior product, additional creation of value that therefore we all benefit from in the market because after all, that’s the whole idea behind market economies is that as value is created, we all get to benefit from that. No, no, no. When they are getting compensated based upon a stock buy-back, they’re doing so without the creation of value. It’s rent seeking. It doesn’t help the economy. Nothing is created. And so, therefore, when we look at that and we go, “No, that’s extractive,” that’s what I mean here. It’s not that I don’t believe in a capitalistic economy. I absolutely do. Capitalism is one of the few economic enterprises when contained and well regulated and well understood and well participated with healthy levels of competition is the only system in which two people can come to market and both walk away better off. But when you have a market economy that’s based on extraction and rent seeking, that is an anti-human economy.
[00:04:31] And so, when I think about like this doctor scenario, this person going in the doctor and saying, oh my God, I’m sick, and the doctor sells them a pill. Well, why is the doctor doing that? Why is the medical industry not sitting there going, no, like the problem here is is that you don’t get enough sleep and you’re not getting enough sleep because you’re working too much and you’re working too much because your wages are too low and your wages are too low because your CEO of your company keeps those wages low because it helps the profit margin even though you create far more value than you’re paid for and that’s why we have the sleep problem. It’s a cascade effect. So, when the doctor is looking at that, if they said that, now they’re dealing with the bigger thing when they look at it and go, well, you’re suffering from a system that hates you, man.
[00:05:13] And we can see this in food. Like if you look at like the average amount of exercise that other people in more developed economies get versus Americans if they’re not in walkable cities, it’s more or less comparable. Like the amount of obesity that we have in the United States is far and away more than you would actually expect until you actually look at a food system that’s not designed for the end user. It’s designed for the system because in the way that the United States looks at its food system, they don’t go farm to table. They go farm to point of sale and there are subsidies and market distortions and price controls the whole way through that system and they only look at it right up until the point of sale. And like nowhere can you see this and there are some colored candies that have food dyes in them that in literally every other developed nation in the world are considered to be unfit for human consumption. We put so much crap into our pork that we can’t sell it overseas. When I lived in Taiwan, there were protests about the idea of importing American pork because the chemicals that we use to treat our pork were considered toxic waste in that country. And so, when the doctor’s looking at an obese person, they will prescribe them injections for diabetes and thyroid medication and all this other stuff or, you know, even worse, we get to the point where we just go, yeah, you’re fine. Why? Is it ’cause the doctors don’t care ’cause they’re part of some evil, global conspiracy? Or is it just that they’re not trained to actually look at this? Or the ones that do suddenly realize they’re not up against an individual patient’s illness, they’re up against a system that’s designed to make them sick?
[00:06:56] And when you start to think like this, ladies and gentlemen, we start to see these things. This is where my mission in Fiscally Savage comes from. Because I look at it and I go all the way back to my origin story with my principal asking me to commit fraud and then threatening my job and my health insurance. And I realized in that moment that she’s got me by the financial testicles. That’s the whole thing. She was trying to extract from me concessions to serve this system that is irredeemably corrupt. And I said no. And part of my want, my mission, my building statement is I wish to build a world of financially free people who can live life on their terms and build a pro-human society. And when I’m looking at, well, how can I help that? Because there’s a lot of stuff in like the physical movement realm. How do we learn how to move like humans again? Like just stop and think about this, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve lost dancing. Like we’ve lost dancing. I have a workshop coming up with a wonderful person by the name of Anya. I was on her podcast, which is Venus and Mars Podcast. Find it on Spotify. Link will be in the show notes. It’s amazing. And I got a workshop coming up with her and she was telling me about dancing. In my head the whole time I’m like, my God, we’ve lost dancing. Every culture on the planet had dancing. Like my grandmother, her parents were from Ireland and think about like all the dancing and the jigs and the reels and all those other stuff. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff. And I remember watching my grandma and grandpa dance at weddings and just being like, my God, like when did they learn how to dance? Well, they never did. That was just part of their life but they grew up in the twilight years of pro-human societies before it became so separated. And now, what we pass off as dancing is I don’t even know. But we’ve lost dancing, this pro-human activity. But me, Dylan, I have no idea how to do that. I can’t teach anybody how to do that. I can’t do it myself. I can’t teach you how to garden although I do garden and I’m endeavoring to get better at it. But fixing our food system’s a huge part of this. And I’m not an urban planner or politician, I can’t help break car dependency that causes more isolations and depths of despairs — things like that that create depression and anxiety because we’re alone and isolated in our little boxes all over the place. I don’t know how to do that.
[00:09:20] But you know what I do know how to do? I do know how to do two things really, really well. Number one, I know how to manage money and I know how to think about money in a holistic way that can help feed and nourish an individual. I know how to manage money in a way in which we can set a foundation and we can look at that and say on this, what shall I build? Because I am certain of this foundation. I know how to do that and I know how to teach that. And that’s what my coaching practice is all about. But the other thing I’m really good at doing is I’m very good at helping people find their North Star — not mine, theirs. What’s important to them? What’s important to you? I mean, if you’re listening to this and you’re asking yourself like, okay, well, what do you mean by North Star? I mean, the thing you navigate by. When the world is dark and you’re feeling frustrated and you’re upset, how do you center yourself to go “That is the direction my brothers and sisters that we are heading in and praise God and pass the ammunition ’cause that’s where we’re going.” That is a vision statement — one that just moves you like your hair is on fire; that makes you wanna jump up and just move your body and go talk to somebody. Maybe dance a little bit. Put on some music and celebrate this idea of this great vision. Oh, yeah. Hey, all those things very pro-human. Humans have imagination. They can dream and for better or for worse, we can make those dreams reality. I mean, just look around you. Everything that’s around you, every TV show, computer, microphone, desk, even your cat’s litter box was somebody’s idea that’s nothing more than imagination made manifest. Those are two things I know how to do. I know how to manage money and teach people how to do it. I know how to help people find their North Star, their visions.
[00:11:08] So, when I look at this and I say, this society that we live in is anti-human. It hates me. It wishes to extract from me and my children and my wife. And you know what? I don’t wanna do it. In that type of society that tries to drive debt, that tries to drive jealousy, that tries to get you to buy shit you don’t need to impress people you don’t like, in a society that tells you that, yeah, you got some spare time so please by all means, click through and watch our advertisements interspersed in something designed to keep your ass on the couch — in that society, having your financial house in order is an act of rebellion. Budgeting and knowing what you want out of this world is an act of rebellion. When you sit down and you say that a doctor says, “Here’s a pill,” and you say, “No. If that didn’t exist, what would you tell me?” is an act of rebellion. Looking at your food and going, “All of this stuff that’s in these bags is not actual food. This is processed, produced industrial products,” cooking for you in scratch ingredient is an act of rebellion. Self-improvement’s an act of rebellion. Gardening’s an act of rebellion. Rejecting car dependency is an act of rebellion. Walking to the store to pick up some food for your beautiful dinner you’re going to cook from scratch is an act of defiance against a society and world and system that hates you. And it’s also an act of love because you have to choose yourself. You have to choose humanity. You have to choose and be willing to sacrifice to make sacred the things that we’ve lost and forgotten. Cooking, gardening, community, dancing — those things are an act of rebellion against a society that’s anti-human and an act of love for the humanity that lives within each and every single one of us.
[00:13:08] And so, when I’m looking out and I found this thing on Instagram, the irony of course is that I found it in one of the most anti-human places. But you know what? I’m kind of okay with that because we still do live in this society. We are marinated in the odds and ends of the internet ecosystem. And when I stop and think about how can we affect change, I always go back to something that my wife shared with me that her history teacher in high school used to emphasize all the time. And that is when the barbarians came for Rome, they didn’t have any technology of their own but they used the roads anyway. And so, ladies and gentlemen, when you’re looking at social media, when you’re using email, when you’re sitting down and looking at all the things around us that are part of this anti-human ecosystem, the question I have for you is, what can I do today that will make this more pro-human? Just stop and think about that simple question. What can I do today that will make this more pro-human? And for me, it’s been eight years of learning how to cook for myself; helping people with their finances; budgeting; creating visions; establishing a financial foundation that we can build the rest of our life on. And maybe in the future, it’s gonna include me learning how to dance. I don’t know. All I know is that I know that there’s a whole laundry list of things that are not pro-human and I’m not on their side. I’m on the side of song and community and dancing and foundations that we can build a beautiful society on. And so, ladies and gentlemen, I really hope that you’ll join me in just looking out and being able to ask myself, what can I do? It’ll help create a more pro-human society. It’s an act of rebellion. Viva la humanity.
[00:15:11] Outro: Thanks for listening. If you like what we do here, please hit that subscribe button. Leave us a rating and review. And share the content with somebody who would benefit from the message. You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, all @fiscallysavage. And head over to fiscallysavage.com to get our free tools, suggested reading, and everything else you need to take control of your financial life and live free.