10 Lies Society Loves to Tell Us
I’m not wearing a tin-foil hat and I didn’t just leave from a private meeting with Alex Jones.
I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I don’t reflexively disagree with all conventional wisdom.
I just have a healthy level of skepticism and have lived by a rule that has worked out quite well for me.
What rule? Any message coming from the top-down is a questionable message, at best.
It’s unnerving to believe that the powers that be either don't know what they’re doing, are malicious, or are unknowingly messing up your life, but I’d place a wager that this belief system will work out best for you in the long run.
The goal isn’t for you to think what I think. I want you to question it all, including me. Learn to be discerning and understand nuance.
Even as you’re about to read this post, which will be filled with gross over-generalizations, my personal biases, and ‘logical’ arguments backed by pure emotion, learn to pick apart what I say without becoming emotional yourself.
Take what you want, discard what you don’t. This is the key to living life on your terms.
Buying a home is Always a “great investment”
I’m going to get killed for this one, but the idea that buying a single-family home always equals a great investment is a marketing campaign created by banks to keep people as indentured servants for the rest of their lives.
This isn’t to say there’s not a way to buy a home in a way that makes it a great investment, but some people don’t do it that way.
As an investment vehicle, it’s not always the best you can choose — doesn’t produce cash flow, illiquid without selling the house or taking out a loan, often close break even when you consider inflation, taxes, interest, and repairs. When you go underwater on your loan, you can’t (or shouldn’t) leave.
In some cases, buying can be better than renting. In others, renting can be better than buying. Run the numbers yourself. I’m not against homeownership, I’m against this campaign that swindles people into mortgages that put a chokehold on their livelihoods.
For every example of someone selling an appreciated home, there’s an example of someone getting killed by their mortgage. Just be honest that both are possibilities and stop thinking that buying a home is always iron-clad.
Buy a home because you want to buy one, not because it’s a great investment. A friend of mine put it well when describing her homeownership:
Unless it’s an investment property I personally view it as an investment in my energy and environment/identity rather than a financial investment.
I’m not even saying it’s a bad investment. It can be a good one. But too many people fall into the trap of justifying an emotional decision post-hoc, which is a theme you’ll see throughout the rest of these points.
If this point provokes a highly emotional response, instead of you simply disagreeing with me, think about why that is.
This benign point is the tip of the iceberg of the messages society sends you to concentrate the power into their hands. The lies will get deeper as we continue.
Be a Good Boy or Girl and Everything Will be Fine
Many people do everything the right away, yet end up unhappy. They do what the societal overlords told them to do. They did work hard in school, they got that good job, they paid their dues, and still got screwed.
I’ve seen stories during the pandemic, people who had six-figure jobs with ‘job security’ that disappeared overnight. Or, in a less dramatic example, they still have that nice job, but their jobs underwhelm them.
They thought following the path laid out from society would make them happy, instead, they get to live in a little box on the hillside that looks like all the other little boxes on the hillside.
They get to sit in their box, drive it to work and work in their assigned box. This is what they get to do for the rest of their lives. For anyone who gets mad at this portrayal-the shoe fits.
Nobody gets offended at people who don’t have a point. Not saying you have to live an unconventional life, but what’s the alternative if the conventional life isn’t serving you?
Also, the idea that following the path laid by society means you’ll be safe is totally false. You’re told to avoid risk by following the path, but living the path society tells you to follow is, perhaps, the most fraught with risk.
We’re here to help you
At this point, it’s laughable. The politicians, the media, the pundits, the leaders of these organizations — on the left and the right, equally — all say they’re here to stamp out injustice and unfairness as they continue to exacerbate it with their actions.
I won’t explain the details because you’ll just get upset with me. The playbook of the elites is so simple and obvious — distract everyone by making them fight with each other, horizontally, so they don’t focus vertically at us.
I hate to break it to you, but you’re serving the interests of capitalist overlords no matter which ‘side’ you take. Again, the fact that this isn’t obvious to people is slightly terrifying, but it is what it is.
If you’re one of the people who aren’t totally asleep, yet, understand that these people don’t care about you at all. They’re smiling in your face while stabbing you in the back.
You’re not going to overthrow the oligarchy. Just focus on living your best life and try to stop playing the system’s game altogether.
We’re Telling You the Truth
At this point, if you don’t understand that the mainstream media is fake, I’m not sure how else I can properly explain it to you. Again, it’s not about erroneous reporting of facts. It’s about spin.
There’s just no incentive for the people at the top to be honest with you. Doesn’t that seem obvious? People are finally starting to wake up as trust in the institutions has been reaching an all-time low.
Still, far too many people take what they’re being told at face value for no reason other than the fact it comes from an authority. This is due to authority bias — the tendency to simply believe someone because they have power.
Fight this urge. Always look at the incentives behind what someone ways. Don’t just look at what they’re saying. Ask yourself why they’re saying it.
Science is God
Much of the science used to back policy decisions or simply to control the narrative isn’t real science. It’s scientism, the appearance of science. Real science can and should be dissected, refuted, and questioned to death before it is accepted.
Science doesn’t tell you what to do. This idea that science has an opinion on what you should do, isn’t science at all. It’s up to us to make those decisions.
Every time I see someone on Facebook sharing an article that says “A study shows…” I want to hurl a rock at them. You see these everywhere — non-replicated studies based on tiny sample sizes, sometimes with the experiments only being run one time.
This isn’t to say you should reject all science, but there’s this idea that if you don’t work for an organization with an acronym, you don’t get to have an opinion. BS.
Graphs and data? Fugheddaboudem. Read the book How to Lie With Statistics. If you encounter someone who tries to cavalierly throw the word science at you, without explaining the underlying science, to bully you into agreeing with them, you’re not talking to a smart person.
Again, the goal is to believe in your own capability to be discerning, that’s all. Sadly, science has often been turned into a propaganda tool to push certain narratives. You don’t have to be an expert to learn how to spot BS.
Institutions Equal Expertise
Speaking of acronyms, many, hell, most of these ‘credible institutions’ are filled with incompetent beaurocrats who don’t know how to do much of anything.
You’re noticing a theme here — stop taking everything ‘society’ says at face value. Many of these institutions suffer from the ‘do something’ problem. They don’t understand second, third, fourth, nth order effects.
So they try to solve one problem, only to create several others. What organizations come to mind? Hm, essentially every facet of the government. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and many of these institutions simply make decisions because they sound good. Read the book, The Tyranny of Experts that talks about the noble intentions of organizations that leas to harm and ruin.
Thomas Sowell said it best:
“Many of what are called social problems are differences between the theories of intellectuals and the realities of the world-differences which many intellectuals interpret to mean that it is the real world that is wrong and needs changing.”
The World Isn’t Getting Any Better
With the caveat that, due to scale and connectivity, the entire world could vanish at any moment, things are getting better on the whole. The narratives being pushed are all framed on the idea that current times are bad when they’re not.
“Make America Great Again” or the idea from the other side that inequality is at an all-time high when it’s not. Yeah, we’re having one hell of a rough patch right now, but it’s like a dip in the stock market.
On the whole, we’ve never had more material abundance. I’m a black man in America. It somehow seems controversial to say this, but my life is objectively better than a black man in America’s life 50–400 years ago. I didn’t say perfect. I said better.
Will we ever live in a world without injustice, violence, stratified classes, and evil humans? Doubtful. But this ‘sky is falling’ narrative is being used, again, to distract you.
The more helpless you feel the more reliant you become on these institutions. The more reliant you become the more power you give them. You become reliant under their guise of benevolence when they’re the some of least benevolent people on planet earth. Foolish.
Money is The Root of All evil
It’s such a strange phenomenon seeing wealthy politicians tell you to hate money. Bernie Sanders seems like a nice fellow, but he’s a multi-millionaire and owns three homes. Add this to the list of things that appear obvious to some, but not to others.
The societal overlords want you to hate wealth because they don’t want you to personally build it. Why? Because wealth creates sovereignty and sovereignty undermines the interests of those who want to concentrate power.
‘They’ tell you not to care about money, but then you find yourself in a situation where all you think about is money because you don’t have enough of it.
People say the wealthy sell their souls for money. Maybe. But so does everyone else who does what they hate to earn. They also sold their souls, but for pennies on the dollar. You hate to see it.
Money is a means to an end. You provide the context for it. Quit falling for the lie that you’re greedy or evil for wanting to have financial flexibility. Don’t become a financial martyr destined to live out your life as an indentured servant to your debt.
Utopia Can be Created from the Top Down
Nobody is coming to save you. You will have to save yourself.
Think about this, deeply. What sort of circumstances would need to occur for you to get exactly what you want from this life without actually doing anything? Let’s say that you get all your bases covered and needs met from the top-down. Cool.
What’s the next step after that? No policy can create purpose and meaning in your life. Nobody can hand you your freedom and flexibility. In fact, your reliance on others creates an inverse correlation to freedom.
Hell, I can’t save you with a motivational pep talk. People keep waiting for this utopia that they know isn’t going to come because they’re scared. It’s a coping mechanism.
Nietzsche was wrong. God isn’t dead. He just lives in Washington D.C. now. This is ridiculous. All this handwringing from every direction about who’s team is going to win. Worthless.
You create utopia from the ground up. You focus on your self-improvement to the extent you’re able to do so with the resources you have. Sure, use safety nets if needed, nothing wrong with that.
But at a certain point, there will come a gap between where you are and where you want to be that only you can fill.
The Ultimate Lie
All the lies from society coalesce into this huge lie that you don’t know how to manage your own life. The powers that be try to convince you to outsource all of your thinking, agency, and responsibility to them.
Yet, when you do, they horribly mismanage your life. I often wonder how people continue to fall for this. Maybe they’re just brainwashed that badly. But, really, just smells like low-self esteem to me.
When you’re confident in yourself, your knowledge, the skills you’ve gained over time, you know that you don’t have to be an all-knowing expert to make smart decisions in your life. Trust yourself before these overlords. Trust yourself before me.
The way your life shakes out will mainly be predicated on your ability to trust your instincts and make the right choices for you. Not for anyone else. I hope that you see discrepancies in my list and disagree with me.
Your beliefs shouldn’t fall in lockstep with anyone. You’re smart enough to think for yourself. That’s the moral of this post.
Ayodeji is the Author of Real-Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement. Grab your free checklist here — The Ultimate Guide to Discovering Your Natural Talents and Strengths.
Originally published at http://ayotheauthor.com on July 17, 2020.