Ep. 103: How Western Culture Keeps Us Poor And Destroys Our Family, Community, and Relationships

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In this episode we discuss:

  • How lower wages and higher costs have dramatically reduced our quality of life 
  • How we’ve ended up working more and resting less with worse outcomes
  • Whether advancements in technology have improved the quality of life of the average person
  • How marketing and consumerism keep us on the hamster wheel
  • The hidden costs of convenience culture
  • Concerns surrounding the collusion between government and corporations
  • How divide and conquer tactics convince us to blame each other rather than the powers that oppress us

1:34 – how western culture degrades safety and security through financial means

7:33 – how lower wages with higher costs reduces safety and forces people to prioritize work over quality of life

15:14 – we currently work more with less leisure time than ever before, with worse outcomes

20:24 – the cost of consumer culture and marketing as an engine that drives consumerism 

30:53 – the cost of convenience culture: freedom, privacy, morals, ethics, and health

36:14 – the problems with profit-driven motives and the collusion between government and corporations 

45:36 – how western society has become fragile and unstable 

51:13 - how western culture degrades relationships and feelings of love and belonging 

52:41 – continued how western culture degrades relationships and feelings of love and belonging

53:27 – divide and conquer tactics within western culture and encouraging the “us vs. them” mentality 

Links from this episode

  • People worked considerably less and had considerably more leisure time in the past (1, 2)

Click Here To View Transcript

Jay Feldman 0:05
There are currently major threats to our financial security and relationships. We're going to be going over exactly what those are in today's episode, which is episode 103 of the energy balanced Podcast, the podcast where we explore health and nutrition from the bioenergetic view, and teach you how to maximize your cellular energy to maximize your health. Today's episode is part two of a three part series, exploring the harms of the Western culture. And in today's episode, we'll be discussing how lower wages and higher costs have dramatically reduced our quality of life. We'll also be discussing how we've ended up working more and resting less with worse outcomes. Whether advancements in technology have improved the quality of life of the average person, how marketing and consumerism keep us on the hamster wheel, the hidden costs of convenience, culture, concern surrounding the collusion between government and corporations, and how divide and conquer tactics convince us to blame each other, rather than the powers that oppress us. As always, to check out the show notes for today's episode, head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/podcast, where you can take a look at the studies or articles or anything else that we referenced throughout today's episode. And with that, let's get started.

You've made some really great points there, I think we've covered most things. The one thing I wanted to say as well, which is a nice transition to or segue to our next larger topic here is you were talking about how whether its products or information is not based on truth, it's not based on benefiting people, because those things don't sell. You know, what does sell is demonizing one major portion of the diet, and creating tribalism and dogmatism around it. And making that your selling point and having something really easy and simple that people can latch on to, as opposed to a much more nuanced discussion of something. You know, even even when it comes to the polyunsaturated fats, you know, it's this idea that seed oils are bad, because they oxidize, are rancid, and it's missing a lot of the nuance. And don't get me wrong, I'd rather have that narrative than the narrative that seed oils promote heart health, but it's it's super diluted by the time it's gotten to that point. And it's missing a lot of other aspects. But that's not a that's that's not the main point is just kind of a little example. But again, the larger idea here is that these things are not necessarily focused on truth or benefiting the collective benefiting individuals, but rather, a lot of them have to be proper are profit driven. And that is not a problem of the individual. But the problem was a culture that comes out of a situation where or comes out of a culture that's designed to degrade us in terms of our security and safety. And one of the ways that it does that is through creating this financial situation where you have to be profit and money focused, or we feel that we have to because of all these pressures and aspects of our culture. So let's dig into that a little bit. Unless you wanted to touch on anything before that.

Mike 3:12
Yeah, I wanted to just clarify, like the topic here. And this is not a term that I coined, but it's something that I grew up with, from my dad specifically in like hearing from him all the time. He called it enlightened self interest. So his idea was that your primary goal and providing what providing a product or service he's, he's a business owner, but his primary goal in providing a product or service or somebody was that it gave them some legitimate value or some they gave them something good, it gave them something that they needed that they could use, it was a quality service, and then as a function of that he derived some sort of heated drive to profit from so he wasn't anti making money on something he was but the that wasn't the primary goal. And I think inside the current cultural context, the primary goal is this profit model. You'll hear it all the time, bottom line, bottom line, budget, budget budget, whatever the deal is, or you know, shareholders things like that. And I think that that is a sick concept because it in like, it's an hour it removes context from things right because it's just the context only is money. It's not that this the company or the service that's being provided is actually doing something useful isn't generating money. And it's divorce is the the main purpose of money or profit in general, as being something tied to actually having value. And so I think that's where that's like the, the parasitic element or the sick element within the culture that drives a lot of these, like different pathologies that we're seeing, whether that's in the entire alternative health sphere, or even the, the modern medical sphere they have similar are problems, they just manifesting in different ways? I think the pharmaceutical companies have a better a better profit model than some of the alternative spheres. But overall, I think that that's the main piece. And yes, it does dovetail nicely into factors that this next area that we're going to dig into here.

Jay Feldman 5:23
Yeah, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And I will say also that enlightened self interest is a, like a philosophy, like an ethical philosophy. But we're, you were just saying it as as a bit of an anecdote as an idea that you find helpful, but I think there's some terms, some aspects of it that we would probably disagree with, we're not actually trying to dig into it as, as a as a philosophy is just an example, you're kind of bringing up here, as an idea that we can do something that actually benefits the people around us. And that that can be our orientation. And with all that in mind, what we'd like to dig into now is the factors of Western society that are essentially degrading our safety, that next layer of Maslow's hierarchy, and within that degradation of safety, and our security, involves creating dependence on what ends up being an oppressive system and creating scarcity. And there's a handful of different ways that this is done. But one is through financial means and degrading the security through the financial system, and through work and deployment and all of the ins and outs there. And there's a handful of aspects of that, that I think are worth digging into that are prominent in Western culture. One of the main things, there are good places to start, it comes along with relatively lower wages over time, along with relatively higher costs over time, this is skyrocketing currently with inflation, but this is something that's been going on for quite a while, and you can look at the relative in median cost of a house relative to the median income over the last, you know, four or 567 decades, and see that that has gone up in you know, significantly over time. And most of that actually I should clarify is not based on median income are based on median household income, and that household income used to be the income provided by one person typically, and now is typically provided by two people, because you have two, full time working, you know, in a typical family structure, yeah, so. So it's, it's like you can take whatever has gone on there, I think it's about a doubling of the cost of purchasing a house relative to household income. And you can double that, again, because of the fact that two people have to work for that same income compared to one. So that is an example of the forces. And getting into some of the details of how all that's happened. I think his details, again, that maybe we'll talk about the future. But that is an example of the of, of creating dramatically increased scarcity, and worse financial situations for the individual for the general population, which puts people in a position where they have to be much more focused on employment on work. And that has to be higher on the value system, and they're no longer able to afford not to do that. And they're no longer able to afford a comfortable quality of life either. And that is not the same in all places, even in places where the cost of living is where the wages are much lower. So for example, in a lot of the countries I've been traveling through the amount, the wages are considerably lower, but quality of life is considerably better at a much lower rate as well. And so you can have somebody who worked an average job and was, you know, was able to own again, a modest home and a comfortable life. And, and there's all sorts of other aspects of that life that are different, but this is one of them is, is the difference between cost of living and wages? That's, that's a huge part of it. And then also now needing to support, you know, needing to have two incomes to support a family. And I'll pause there and let you jump in.

Mike 9:00
Yeah, so I think that the I think this ties, there's a couple pieces I wanted to touch on, I think this ties hand in hand with a decoupling at least in the, the what's going on inside of us a decoupling of money from value, I don't want to go too deep in depth for that, but essentially, over how the current monetary system is, is functioning is allowing for a central group to produce large amount of money uncoupled from any source of value, and then basically destroying the savings and the money of people over the long term. So and for me, this is actually one of the most upsetting things hands down, especially when I think about things like when we're talking about lifestyle and time and, and all of these different components because if you're working to save resource in the form or a fungible resource in the in the in the in the terms of money, and then you have have some authority that's able to destroy the value of that money over the long term, then you're basically they're stealing your time, they're stealing your, they're stealing your your resource, your ability to do things the future. And I think that that's extremely damaging on multiple levels to, for the individual like it basically keeps the individual stuck in, in a situation where they have to work the long hours where they need to have two people inside the working in the job. And then the second piece that comes out of this is if you have two people who are both working full time, who takes care of the house and the food and the kids in the whether that's the man or the woman that regardless, that's besides the point, but who takes care of those things, who makes sure that the food is high quality, and that they're going to the grocery store, and the food doesn't have these additives, and whatever else who makes sure that your kid kids aren't getting exposed to mental frameworks. When we're talking about meta awareness of your thought processes, who makes sure that your kids aren't getting exposed to to mental frameworks that are damaging for them to be able to self actualize themselves into the future? No one, you're outsourcing that to some to the restaurant that cooks your food to the in the US the probably the underpaid child care worker who takes care of your children, who doesn't have the same level of vested interest and the information and things that your child is exposed to. And who makes sure that the house is is comfortable appointed comfortably, things are taking care of the house that you're not under stress. Because you have to do this, you have to do that, that element is gone, that that gets eliminated. So you have to people have to continuously work, work, work, work work, they're trying to save, they're trying to put money away, they're outsourcing all of these other components of their life and sacrificing unknowingly different different intriguingly important elements in that outsourcing process. And then in doing all of that, to some extent it, it winds up in vain, because you have some other group that can devalue the currency, you're devaluing this resource that you're working towards. And for me, that's extremely upsetting, because it's, it's, it's a massive affront to the, to the time and energy that that an individual has put into try to improve their circumstances, it's directly pulling the carpet out from somebody. And so I think in the US, that's a very obvious thing that has been going on, if you follow what's going on over time, it's as Jay Jay, as you're mentioning, in terms of wages, and then if you track wages, to inflation, and then prices of housing, price of goods, etc, even within the past few years, just looking at grocery and energy bills, it's funny when they talk about inflation inside the US. And in food and energy isn't in the metric, and you go to the grocery store, and you're trying to buy your pineapple juice. And now it's $11 a bottle. And three years ago was it was five, it's like that dollar there's not not six and a significant amount of inflation going on here. It's like, yeah, there is my grocery bill just doubled. So yeah, that those types of things are, I think, extremely destructive to the, to the security of the individual in the long term. And their their ability to secure their time and spend time with their family and optimize their health from from that perspective.

Jay Feldman 13:17
Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned as being obvious, but the narrative is that life has never been better, you know, we've, we are in such a better place than we ever could have been in the past. And that's not the reality. And the reality is most people are living paycheck to paycheck. Most people don't have enough savings to cover small expenses, you know, $500, or whatever it is. I don't know what all those current numbers are. But the amount of people who are relying on credit cards and who are in major amounts of debt, and on and on is, is astronomical. And yet, we're told that it's never been better. We're told people that it's so much worse before. But when you actually look at data on that, too, it's it's really not the case at all. So there's some, you know, cite some of these sources, some really interesting metrics, looking back at, you know, what it's often cited as some of the worst times for workers, you know, looking back into the medieval times the peasants, but there's some suggestion that they might have been much better off than we are now. And we're not working long hours and had tons of vacation time off. These are time. And it all varied and different, you know, during different time periods in different countries. But during some of these medieval time periods, there's a few metrics here that are worth mentioning. You know, in England, as much as a third of the year was made up of holiday and leisure time. So we're talking four out of the 12 months. In France, it was five months out of the year were made up of holidays and leisure time. There was also this phenomenon which was known as the backward bending supply curve of labor, which is that basically, when wages rose when the workers were more valuable, they worked less because they didn't need extra money wasn't more valuable to them, and so sometimes they will only work a third of the You know, 120 days a year, often it was more like 150 to 180 days. Because they that was the, the actual goal of work was just to provide enough to live comfortably, and there was actually value to other things at the time. And there's a, you know, some other intricacies too, of course, there's only so much work that could be done in certain ways. But the All That Is, beside the point, just wanted to, to, you know, bring out some of those comparisons when we think that we've got it so much better. Now, a couple other things that I think are worth mentioning, along these lines. So one is that in the places that we've experienced, I know you can share some information on this, as well, but work is not valued the same way. But leisure time is valued way more life is way slower, as a much slower pace. People are not caught up in, in producing as much as they can, and, you know, with this notion that they need to be good workers, and make as much money as possible. And that that's the focus. But instead, there is a value placed on eating meals with your family, and having time off and holidays. And I mean, in these places, and in Latin America that I've been traveling through, there are holidays, all the time, there's parades, all the time, things are closed all the time. Places that are not closed, you know, places are not open until 10 In the morning, and they close it, you know, five sometimes or four o'clock if they feel like it, if they're, you know, whatever it is, it's not business first, it's life first. And people get upset. You know, a lot of the people who are either traveling through or living here from other countries get upset because they it's inconvenient. We'll get to convenience culture in a few moments. But it's it's a different way of life. And I think we've lost sight of that speaking of, you know, the veil that's been over us and and the illusions that we've had, we have it so much better, I think we're really missing a lot. Considering how much we currently have to work. Now more than ever, we need simple, easy to implement information to improve our health. And that's why I've created the energy balanced food guide to help you determine exactly what to eat to optimally support your metabolism, along with lose weight, improve your digestion, get amazing sleep, boost your energy and so much more. The energy balanced food guide is a one page infographic that organizes pretty much any foods you can think of on a spectrum based on how effectively it supports your metabolism. And it also has a separate spectrum that adjusts the scale for you in the case that you're dealing with various digestive or gut issues, this food guide makes it incredibly easy to get started with a bioenergetic approach to optimizing your health. So head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/guide to download the free energy balanced food guide. Again, that's Jay Feldman wellness.com/guide. And there's a couple other points I want to mention here. One is just the idea that the notion which has been around for centuries that all these predictions, especially post industrial revolution, that with the inventions, like the new inventions, the advent of new technologies, the the amount of the work week was supposed to shorten dramatically, you know, four days a week, three days a week and less, life is supposed to be so much better. And we were not supposed to have to work in the way that we do. And instead, the opposite has happened, we work more and more and more. And one of the major engines that also drives this that I want to mention, and I'll let you jump in Mike, one of those major engines is consumerism and marketing, which is essentially the process of convincing people through different psychological means and propaganda, that the the, that your value should be placed on consumption, on purchasing items and having nice things and having the new technology whatever it is, and that that's what will keep you satisfied. And the reality of it is that this drives the this is one of the primary drivers of this current system where we buy things that we can't afford, so that we have to work more in order to try to afford more and that that's where our value should be placed. And along with that, a terrible byproduct of that is that it's also taken us is created this dramatic separation between us and the product marketing has, right where we have marketing and then the advent of public relations. What was the with Edward Bernays where the idea is that the item is supposed to make you happy, you know, look at the celebrity who you like who who purchased this, it's you know, marketing and advertisement used to be about the product and about what it could do what its functions were and it's completely shifted. And with that we've also lost sight of what an item actually is and what goes into its production and where it's coming from and the labor that is or isn't involved in it. And that is another thing that drives this system of, of in some ways, terrible slave labor out of trying to get less prices, you know, trying to exploit work in order to To drive prices down drive profits up. I mean, it's there's a lot of details, I guess I'll I'll pause there because I can keep going. But maybe maybe some topics to dig into another time as far as that engine goes. Go ahead, Mike.

Mike 20:14
The first thing that just comes to mind is like this push for electrical vehicles to save the environment as we strip mine Africa, and like the Congo and whatnot for cobalt and lithium and everything else. It's just like, that type of stuff, right? It's like your electric vehicles. So eco friendly. Like, yeah, I think that's just like a funny example. But yeah, well, it's

Jay Feldman 20:36
also made out to be emission free. It's a Where do you think the electricity comes from this house in your house? If you don't have solar panels on your house, which let's not talk about what goes into the paths that go into producing those solar panels, not saying it's a bad idea. But if we're like, what about the emissions that go into producing the electricity?

Mike 20:54
And this is not just holds arrived? Right?

Jay Feldman 20:57
Right? Of course not. Yeah. And it looked okay to be wrong. We're not saying that there's

Mike 21:02
no pole, and it couldn't be cold. Jay?

Jay Feldman 21:05
Yeah, we're not saying that there's no promise to that sort of technology at all, it just pointing out some of the idiosyncrasies or the hype, the hypocrisy in the marketing for it and those kinds of things.

Mike 21:17
Yeah, yeah, the marketing again, is divorced from what is actually going on. And the purpose is to is not necessarily what's what it's being marketed for. Right. And that's, that's, I think, one of the biggest problems for that particular piece, but specifically around around like working hours, and consumerism and things like that, the working piece, the long working time, so crazy working schedules, all those types of things, I think, is even worse. And when you have circumstances with like the boom and bust cycles that that go on with different things, and then the devaluing of the currency consistently, because like even even looking now even looking at people who are retired, or who had all the savings and whatnot, with the level of inflation that's going on, like their ability, their spending power, their purchasing power is drastically limited. And so it's you worked all your life, you've toyed with this promise of having this, this retirement or whatever the deal is, you put in all these hours, and now you can finally enjoy what you do. But don't Don't, don't keep in mind that the money that you just saved, had is being devalued on a consistent basis. So you're losing the ability you're losing the value of this money of this of this fungible resource that you saved over time. And I think that that keeps people that plus consumerism plus the debts the debt systems keep people chained to having to work and to do all these other things. And it also it perpetuates the value system right? That because you basically have to justify to yourself as you go through this like this car is going to make me happy that this this new iPhone is gonna make me happy this particular thing is gonna make me happy and then people who and at the same time it's like people who are saving it's like you get to the back end even even talking to some family members talking with my dad he's looking at these like yeah, this really hurts my like the plans that I had in mind because I anticipated a certain level of inflation occurring and now we are much higher than that and that's starting that will start to overtime eat into his his principal or whatnot. So I think those those types of systems almost like set up so that you set set you up to fail right? And then also like the the the credit systems that you see people get imbued in is another huge issue right? You can have your credit card max it out, we'll give you $5,000 A month at 25% That's absolutely insane that you're and if you don't if and then the other the piece that goes with this as well as a lack of and this is what another framework is lack of financial literacy amongst amongst people. It's not taught in school, what do you what do you don't learn in economics in school, they don't want to teach you basic things understand, like for example, what's going on with their interest rate? What's going on with with what you're paying with your credit card? What how to manage your accounts, living below your means things from from those perspectives? No, that's not discussed. It's like some random economics terms that you get in high school that are unhelpful, you don't that's not going to help the individual optimize their lifestyle or learn how to manage the fungible resources, money or even the framework with which people view money and this goes hand in hand with something that you kind of touched on as the idea of living to work living to work so that you can make money versus working so that you can that you can live a comfortable appropriate lifestyle. Right that's the that concept isn't there like you're you come out and the first thought is when you leave school like the thing that what job am I gonna get what am I you know, where am I going to work? Instead of questions of like, how am I going to live? And I think those are like it's a, there's a skew in our current society that I think is problematic for people. And then once you it's the same thing in the hospital, once you're imbued in that societal system, once you're imbued into that consciousness to some extent, you get ingrained into it, and you don't think outside of that frame or that paradigm. And that's, and then if you're not able to think, think differently, thinking about things in a different way. You can kind of just like, run your life through that way, and then be like, Oh, where did all the time go? Where did? Where did these things go on? You know, I spent all this time working, whatever the deal is, and I've even spoken to different people at this point, family members who are like, you know, I wish that I thought about things a little bit differently about money when I was younger, because I just liked I just calmed down working like I finally I got to a place where I didn't have to do 6070 hours, whatever the deal is. And they're like, I just, I realize how much time that I just devote to this. And like, what are the things that I missed? Because I just wasted work, I just worked, I just worked, I just worked. Well, it's just say to voted Jay, we don't want to I don't want to make anybody upset, because it is like, there is an element of cognitive dissonance of that course of where I have seen people like will justify, yeah, it can be upsetting to go come back and be like, Man, I just, like, that's not what I want it to do. But that's because there wasn't a conscious thought around it from the, from the beginning. So I think the value system of that the consumerism all continues to drive and these different financial elements, like how the current debt system, how the society is set up, to keep the individual kind of on the hamster wheel, of having to go to the job and, like make their their monthly amount, so that they're every two week paycheck, so that they can pay off this car, they can pay off this mortgage, they can pay for the iPhone, everything's on this subscription model, right? Like this, this monthly subscription model with this with the interest percentage on it, and you don't have to have the money you can borrow it. And that ties into the the idea that in the day, back in the day, or different time periods, the wages were comfortable enough that you could purchase your house, and you could buy things outright. And that's kind of the idea you were talking about before. Correct. And now, the wages aren't on par for that. So you're stuck in a circumstance where you have to continuously run on the hamster wheel and work to bought to pay for these things that in the past people would were able to afford with the jobs that they had in it not everybody was a doctor lawyer, influencer Instagram booty model, whatever the thing is, only fans model whatever these different things are. It's those it was like, you know, the UPS guy could can afford a nice house and a decent lifestyle, etc, things along those lines? Yeah,

Jay Feldman 28:00
yeah, the mailman could support his whole family just with him the only one working. And you're right, the we're sold that this debt based society where you can pay a 30 year mortgage on your house to keep that monthly payment down. And you can have an eight year car loan, and you can pay off your phone with a payment plan in your clothes and your skincare with the payment plan any any online store you go to check out now has, you know one of those options to pay on a monthly basis. Even without the interest, it's not the point it's, it's we are in a position where we can't afford anything. So you so people offer these options, so you can buy more of the things that you can afford. Because we've you know, there's been this degradation of our, of the value of our, of our work of our wages and all of that relative to the cost of living. So yeah, it's I think that is a huge, huge symptom of it. And there are other kinds of products or other drivers of this state of scarcity and of this dependence on the system. And the removal of safety. And another part of that goes along with the lack of time and energy because of how much has to be devoted to work and also the lack of time and energy because of how poor our health is, you then are able to usher in this convenience culture where we have close to no choice. It's very, very difficult not to trade all sorts of and basically everything we have left, you know our freedom, our privacy, the quality of services and goods, or morals or ethics. For convenience. We've talked about it in a couple of examples in terms of needing to go to restaurants and fast food and you talked about in terms of outsourcing care for children talked about in terms of needing to go to processed foods, you know, because we don't have time to cook kind of goes with that first one. But it also goes along with not being you know, you don't have the capacity to care about the data that's being mined from you every time you use your cell phone or your computer or the Internet or anything you because it's way too much at dawn to mention all the things you have to worry about of time to, to try to filter the information or getting in, because it's way too inconvenient to do. So you have to put some sort of, you just have to trust it, you have to allow for those things, you don't have the time to go and shop and support the local business, you have to go to the go to Amazon, you don't have time to wait for the supplement to get there, you don't have time to wait for whatever it is, you need to go there and get it shipped to you tomorrow. And it's not in. And these things. Again, we were talking about this earlier, but the product and service doesn't have to be inconvenient for it to be good and supportive of the society. But the reality in our in Western society is that we end up trading convenience for these other things, you know, and we we need our social media to be free. You know, nobody wants to pay for a podcast episode or, or, you know, subscription to read articles are anything, not recognizing that when you're using Facebook or YouTube, wherever else you're trading your privacy, your data, your attention for that you are paying for it. And honestly, I would say the cost is way worse than whatever the monetary you know, whatever somebody might be asking you to pay for that episode. But we don't it is inconvenient to worry about that we don't have the time and energy to worry about that. We don't have the time and energy to worry about the fact that the $6 shirt through Amazon Basics is predictable. Maybe I want to AmazonBasics the $6 shirt that you find on some website is produced with, you know, petroleum based products, probably supporting slave labor or some sort of, you know, terrible wages and, and poor, poor working environments and

Mike 31:42
some exploitative environment. Yeah, right, right.

Jay Feldman 31:45
And at the same time might even be underpriced relative to all other buyers or other sellers in order to remove the competition, and that company is able to take a loss on it because they're able to make enough money elsewhere because they have a monopoly on the system. So it's and then and then when the competition is wiped out, they can do whatever they want. I mean, this is the I guess I'm getting a little tangential here. But what I'm trying to get to is convenience, the convenience culture, and that we trade away various aspects of our freedom and our quality of life, for convenience, because we're put in a position that we have to do. So I think that's just another that another aspect I wanted to shed some light on and also provide a contrast again, with with a place like some of the places I've been in, in Latin America, so my college should go on to second. But you know, where there's a lot of local businesses, things run slower. There's holidays where people take off, people actually take weekends off, you can't always get a clear response from someone or from a company things move slower. But there's also a lot of benefits to that. And you're actually getting a locally made product that's produced with care. And you actually develop relationships with this with these people. I mean, when I go grocery shopping, and these different towns that I've been in, I might have to stop at eight different stores to get all my foods instead of going to one massive grocery store, chain sort of thing. But I actually these those people are my friends, there are people that I developed relationships with, and then you have actual relationships with where you're getting your food. And there's numerous benefits to that. But that's another thing that we trade, the relationships, that community, the things that actually take time and require slowness, as opposed to convenience, to function when those are all all other things that we trade. And don't realize we're trading because of the convenience culture. Yeah, so just

Mike 33:35
a couple things that I think one of the biggest pieces, that is problem with these large corporate structures, there's a couple things the the corporate, the current corporate structures and the way things are run, force you into these situations, because the the outcome for these, for a lot of these companies at this point, I don't think is to provide like the best product or service that they can if they have another motive that that they're working for, from under and I don't this doesn't have to necessarily be some conspiracy theory type motive situate situation, just in general, like Facebook's motive is to harvest your data, they want your information they want to sell they make money, that's their business model. Exactly. And it's not the model is not to provide you necessarily with the like best user experience as an end goal. The end goal is to harvest this particular data or information to target ads and whatever else so that they can generate money from that that ad targeting system. And so that that makes that's somewhat problematic, right for the individual because it puts you at odds to some extent with the corporation but this is the major game in town for this type of situation. And so the the models, a lot of these models that you're getting at Jay like you have to choose between privacy and convenience is the models or opt in models. So they are already set up that you are opted in, and you have to opt out. And opting out, they just make it a huge pain and pain in the butt to opt out. You're, you're forced to like go through this process and reject all cookies and whatever else. And the other thing is they're studying and the research is about, you know, how many steps can I put that most people are just not going to go and do that. And then how, and then how many steps are we going to put, so the people won't do change this or change that. And it's like, it's like the same thing, when you sign up for a monthly subscription for some service, it's usually a huge pain to try to cancel the service. But it's so easy to just by now, by now and your card or tap your card. But if you want to go in and cancel that, it's like, you have to go login, then you have to find this back page that's like buried under a bunch of things to then cancel that subscription, and then it may not 100% cancel, so you gotta call customer support. And you got to wait for a robot to put you through like 50 iterations of press 123 or four, and then you finally get on the phone with a customer service representative. And they're based in the Philippines. And then they have to reroute you to somebody in the home office who's in California. And so by the by the the systems are set up in this way, and it's again, it's because of I think that underlying motive is highly problematic, it part of the culture. And the other thing that I that I think is really problematic. And this ties into the next section that we're going to talk about here is concentrated power of corporations, and then some of the collusion between government and whatnot, which is highly problematic. But those small local businesses actually have skin in the game for their product. So they, if if they don't provide a quality product or service, they, the it's gone. It's done. Like they're they. So they're people won't shop with and if the restaurant doesn't provide quality food, people will leave, people won't eat that food. And so this smaller, some of these smaller businesses in the area, actually have skin in the game on actually providing quality service and product and developing a relationship with a customer. Whereas I think insert at certain sizes, it doesn't matter anymore. It doesn't really matter like to if you buy an if you buy Amazon's thing, or whatever else, like they don't care. And they don't care if they're these different components. And I don't want to pick on Amazon cuz I don't know for sure, specifically Amazon stuff, but like I haven't researched Amazon specific models or whatnot. But it was at certain larger corporate structures, they I don't think they have skin in the game as far as optimizing the customer experience providing this like amazing product or service, because it's just so large that it is what it is at this point. And there's also to some extent, and this, I guess, gets into what goes on to some extent with the US between the government, nice corporations that they're they do start to minimize a lot of their competition, or there's a exclusionary element. And that's where you see like Big Pharma, where you have executives moving from big pharma into being on different positions in the FDA and then going back the revolving door. And so it, the idea of the government, or at least at least, my understanding of the setup for the government initially, was to be able, to some extent, to minimize the excesses or the damages of some of what these of larger corporations industry, what they could do to the individual to protect the individual to some extent, and when those things go out the window, and you just have these larger groups, and then not only that's worse, as if the government and the corporation are working together and adjusting policy that benefits the corporation at the expense of the individual, it's even 10 times worse. And I think in the US, you I mean, people talk about it, but I think that's starting to is like heavily heavily going on, where you see like some medical treatments are getting approved, that are that like don't really have a lot of beneficial support and are like, possibly pretty dangerous for people. Same thing with like different food products, GMOs inside the United States as an example, or even rolling out things like 5g without having a testing stuff. And now I'm not saying that I know that 5g is terrible or this or that. But my question about it is, do we even fully know the effects of all of these different EMF things on physiology hasn't been fully tested to look at what's going on with voltage gated calcium channels and things like that. And the question is, I think, on most likely, probably not, at least from what I've seen, so when you have those those groups in bed, I think that's also highly dangerous. And I think you see that a lot inside the US at this point. And I think it's increasing, increasing heavily. It's also in the relationship between another example just last one Jay is a banks and government right bailing out banks bailing out airline mines, things long though like that is highly proud bailing out weapons manufacturers, things like that it's highly problematic, extremely problematic. And that's not what government was set up to do, at least initially, as far as I understood.

Jay Feldman 40:13
Yeah. Yeah, there's there's a huge web of problems there, that you touched on quite a few of them. And you do have this collusion between government and corporation, you do have this, these dramatically large monopolistic corporations, destroying small businesses reducing choice and freedom and forcing reliance on them. In conjunction with all the other things, you also have the intricate web of control over media, and using that as, as a means through which propaganda can be spread. And this is, again, not just, you know, the corporation that's selling this one product, but you also have the larger systems the military industrial complex, the constant wars as a way to continue allowing for economic prosperity. You know, it's, it's, it's a lot it's a lot to dig into bringing

Mike 41:10
democracy to the world.

Jay Feldman 41:14
We are the saviors. We, yeah. And drone

Mike 41:20
strike at a time

Jay Feldman 41:21
is what drove us to strike at a time.

Mike 41:26
Yes, democracy, one drone strike at a time. Oh, that's quite

Jay Feldman 41:29
a, quite a tagline. I like it. And along with that, you have like the control over thoughts, right, the control over the media through which thoughts permeate through society, whether it's censorship, or different social media platforms, or just again, controlling what you see when you search on certain search engines, or putting certain things higher than others, again, based on corporate or government interests, which again, it's so blended that it's really the same thing, or larger political interests, which again, all falls into that same category. And with that, you have control over the way people think that you have control over the spreading of ideas, you have control over the the expression of thoughts by the people, do you have control over the actions of people as well, as we've seen, I mean, that's not out of the realm of me, that's it's happened, it has happened, we've seen it happen over these last couple years. So it's, yeah, that's a huge aspect as well, that really degrades our security, safety and creates a state of scarcity, of ideas of thought, of wealth, of resource, you know, have individual capacity to function. So yeah, I think it's a huge one. And with that, a huge product of these things is that you then have this dismisses this massive instability and fragility within the society, we talked about the how we talked about all these aspects of the finances, which leaves it very, very vulnerable to financial collapse, and all sorts of different ways. Without, you know, and then you're left bailing out the banks in order to continue the system, you know, continue propping up the system. And on and on, you also have a situation where supply chains that, you know, are built on low wages are built on importation and, you know, allowing for poor working conditions and things like that, which creates long supply chains that are owned by very few companies, you know, again, those monopolies that we discussed was also makes them very, very vulnerable. And can can then lead to the situation where you can't get certain products, like what happened with the baby formula shortage, but that same thing could happen with anything else. And it has happened with other things, you know, seeing empty shelves and grocery stores and, you know, things that could be could have been way worse than they were in May, it may well be worse in the future. You also have, as a product of all these things, an increase in crime and increase in, in when you get more scarcity, it creates more crime and creates less safety as well through those means. And, again, we can contrast these things with other countries, which, again, not saying these places are perfect, but on the supply chain side, you wouldn't have that, in a lot of the countries that I've been to in these last couple of years, I've been exploring, I mean, you have short supply chains, a lot more products that are made locally and super locally, some are within the country, some are within the town or the region. And that lends a lot of stability. I mean, when you talk about the food supply, people in these areas are growing so much more of their own food. That's that's huge. And then the food that's not grown directly here is within the country, largely, you get very few products that are imported, and it's not the important things. It's not the main things you need to live. It'd be okay without that. So, you know, same thing with clothing, with furniture, you know, in the States, everything's important or the vast majority of things and so it's just another couple of aspects of of scarcity and instability, degrading safety things that that really have put people at risk in many ways and in that culture in society. Yeah,

Mike 45:09
I also think it's there's a degree of because of the long supply chains and things that go on, there's like a degree of levers of control there, right? Whereas if we were kind of talking about at one point, like, if things go bad, and in a Latin American country, as far as food goes, like, most people are, where you are in Ecuador, people are growing in their backyard. Right? So that is a problem. But in the US, if Walmart doesn't have meat, if Costco doesn't have meat, it's gonna be really rough for a lot for a lot of people. And so that's the system is built, to some extent with with that level of fragility, and and I think the pandemic situation is its own beast, but I think people got a taste of what would happen, to some extent, if things weren't, if the, if there's any disruption to what was going on in the supply chain, with any type of like, all it was, was closing down a port, or whatever the deal was, it was kind of like the entire things started to break down very seriously. And I don't think we've even seen the full effects of that breakdown, yet inside the US, or even inside different parts of Europe. But with that said, it's yeah, there's there's those elements of fragility in there. And then there's there's multiple problems with what's being set up there. The biggest problem I see in my initial set for a lot of these things is exclusionary aspects between the government and between some of the corporations and you see that even worse, or I guess, just how does bad is you have the revolving door between government and the Corporation was known for extended period of time, but the most recent thing is government using corporation to do illegal things. So basically, they couldn't carry out something from a legal perspective, but they could behind the doors work with some type of corporation to carry that, that situation out. And the reference here I'm specifically thinking was the Twitter file stuff that's been coming out now, where you're seeing government organizations reaching out to corporation to institute censorship of particular individuals, which is, like this is another level, an extreme level that is extremely dangerous, especially when we're talking about like, the cultural consciousness sharing of information and ideas. So yeah, and then that's, that's a big piece I don't want to dig too much into that is obviously all these things that we're talking about, as we mentioned, are trying to gloss over the different pieces is kind of talk about big P big elements all together, and kind of like a bullet them a bit. But uh, yeah, but I think all of these in and of themselves can be like very long convert and more in depth conversations, for sure.

Jay Feldman 47:47
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Maybe we'll leave it at that. For now, I think it was pretty well covered. And we can start to dig into the next aspect here, the next part of the hierarchy, which is the love and belonging along with that community, relationships, friends family, and that being another area that's been degraded, or that is being degraded, or that various aspects of that of the Western culture do degrade. And instead, what we tend to have in the States and in Western culture is a general divide and conquer agenda, who would appear along with the and along with that comes the general focus on trying to pit the people against each other. And for us to think that our neighbors, and other people around us are not on our same team, and they're out to get us and we need to be competing with them. And not only that, but the things that benefit them hurt us. And in general, the more that we can kind of fight against each other, the better like that is where our directives are encouraged to go. And a huge piece or a huge result of that is then a disruption and ended destruction of our relationships of our community and of our feelings of love, and belonging. So the first piece here to dig into a little bit would be that general agenda where you have a lot of these us versus them divide and conquer type of tactics. And it's in all aspects of society. So we have a left versus right division, where if you're on the left, you're told that the people on the right have the problem. If you're on the right, you're told that the people on the left are the problem. Regardless of the fact that unlock large part both parties are the same in the areas that matter the most which are the most destructive to us as human beings and to the to the society and to the culture. You have that same thing with but you know, going between individuals whether it's encouraging racial racial tension, and identity politics, as well as again in every like it in every other aspect of our culture. You know, when it comes to food, you have veganism verse carnivore verse, verse, I don't know any other kind of faction and there is This encouragement to be trying to encourage tribalism to encourage dogmatism, you have an in science as well. And this is something that leads us through these kind of cultural inductions, to believe that the people around us are not on the are against us, and that we should be against them. And, as I was alluding to, this is a major distraction from the real problems that in reality are, in reality are things that we're all facing, and that are directed against us all as a whole. And that is something that is incredibly destructive. And, yeah, a major distraction from the real problems, which maybe we'll dig into very briefly, kind of what we view there, although we've already talked about a lot of them, we talked about, maybe collusion between government incorporation, and exploitation, things like that being the main things that are responsible for you being in the situation that you're in, not the people around you. And this, you know, a twist, every, you know, every aspect of culture, whether it's a new law that's getting put into place, or anything else. You know, one, one kind of example, here's anytime that her they use this agenda to make us think that when freedoms are being taken away from us, it's actually for our protection. And it's for you know, it's better. And we should encourage that. And we want to be taking the freedom away from the people and be giving it to corporate power, political power. And, you know, on the flip side, the less that we have, the better the more protected we are by these entities. And this is pretty strongly in contrast with quite a few other cultures that we've reached, experience and experienced. And we'll talk about this in terms of not only, like family and family structure, and how important that is in relationships with the people around you, and spending time with your community and supporting your community and the expectations there. There's a lot of that here. And I think that's, that's huge. But another part too, is the recognition in some of these other places, that the corporate powers are the political powers have their own. They have their own interests that are not necessarily aligned with yours. And that is an important thing to recognize that I think there has been a lot of success in the states of preventing that recognition from occurring. But that's not the case in other places where there are massive protests, by the people that are not about protesting against each other, and protesting against, you know, the way that your neighbors are the problem, or left versus right is the problem or whatever it is, but instead of actual protests against the oppression of the people. And that's something I've seen quite a bit here in Ecuador, and you actually have a situation to where the political systems, or you could say less stable, but really, they have less control. And so sometimes you have situations where either the military or the police are on the side of the people and support them in their protests. And that's huge. That's a very different power structure that gives a lot more power to the people, as opposed to the entities that have, again, have different values have different interests from the peoples. And that's, I think that's one of the biggest benefits of this divide and conquer strategy is shifting the blame to the individuals around you, as opposed to to the larger power structures. Yeah,

Mike 53:29
there's, there's quite a few pieces in there that you covered. And I want to just kind of run through some of the key ones. I think, the divide and conquer strategy. The first main thing that it does is it destroys communities and inhibits people's ability to cooperate with each other and collaborate. And it isolates people into smaller faction groups that are easier to manage, and then pit the groups against each other so that you don't have to focus so that the groups aren't really focusing on the major ideas or the main things that are causing their issue. And then subsequently, the answer to that they is let's further centralize the power or the control in the US. You've seen that with like, groups pushing towards more state control. And it's a as like a protection mechanism from this group or from that group, or from this a serial problem threat.

Jay Feldman 54:28
Yeah, the threat. Yeah, some sort of threat, whether the threat is a virus or some other country invasion or something like that you started just to interject, you also had that with something like 911. Right. And that being used as an opportunity to use that fear to then strip away freedom, and say that we all need to be you know, surveillance has to be allowed to happen to protect you from the individuals around you who are terrorists.

Mike 54:51
Yeah, yeah. And there's been multiple events like that, right. So after that, it was the pandemic and then it was the the Uh, the stuff going on with the wars now and in everything kind of like rolls forward with these different events. And then you have always have two sides on the different events or it can be two sides. And there's usually some dialectic forms and you have to be either or you have to choose one, one option versus the other as if there's no spectrum of choice in between. It's how it's always framed. So that's one that's a, I think, an important piece to recognize when you're dealing with these different narratives and these different pieces, and then it just creates massive division. And people are focusing on these, like, on these topics, these things going on. But they're looking at like the questions are diluted, they're not focusing on what the underlying problem is, or like why this particular situation is occurring, or what are the negative ramifications or ramifications that come from the situation into the future, the focus is always on these like more trivial aspects and dividing on a line between two different groups and then creating some type of tribe around that group that justifies your position. And then the problem becomes this other group, instead of looking what's actually going on, it's kind of like look over here, but not over here type of deal. So it's, you are breaking people apart, they're unable to collaborate, they're unable to cooperate, they form into tribal groups, they fight with each other based on this dividing line, this narrative that's created. And then at the end of the day, the solution usually comes to something for our safety to centralize more power and control to these different weather. It's usually some type of government structure, right? So your example of 911 After that, we got the Patriot Act, which completely changed the ability of the US government to manage information and data coming from American citizens. So in those circumstances, it's you see this like thing play out continuously. The last piece that I wanted to talk about here, specifically that you didn't touch directly, but kind of applied a bit was that when you have these people, when you have people distracted, and they're focusing on these problems, you know, world's gonna end in 12 years because of global warming. I think that also distracts people from like, and paralyzes them from moving towards their purpose and their goals. It gets you into this fear state, where you end this, this is like the visionary state where you're distracted by the controversy, and you're unable to carry out your everyday life and function. And it kind of like cripples you a bit from from fulfilling yourself, it is an inhibitor in fulfilling yourself. So not only do you have these things, impairing your ability to actually interact with others and collaborate and build something expands, you know, like the William Blake picture that, that Dr. Peat loves is on the coffee mug on his website, all type of stuff, but it's also inhibiting that ability to reach fulfillment or finds fulfillment because you're over here you're worrying about the pandemic, the war, the terrorist in the Middle East instead of focusing on things that are like actually ever present in your daily life these things are not ever present in daily life, they're only ever present through some type of news media cycle and so in another piece here is the the media is a way to propagate these messages and social media particularly and then also like the news media overall have been like massively used as a tool to institute the divide and conquer tactics and to pit people against each other. And to create these these ever these threats that are always coming at us. These are ethereal threats. The this this virus that's unknown, we don't know what it is it's we don't know they come from a lab did not come from a lab let's argue about that. And then the EMP pulse that's coming to wipe out the bank they're going to close down the internet and we don't know when it's going to come so and and let's prepare for this instead of focusing on like your direction your path where do you want to go things you want to improve in your life, what people do you want your life and it's a huge distraction airy measure. So those are some of the main points I see with the divide and conquer tactics. And yeah, yeah,

Jay Feldman 59:12
yeah. And the part that even when it comes to the community love belonging aspect that's really important to emphasize here is the the fact that let's use the pandemic as a clear example. You're taught to believe that it the people who wronged you not only do they do you disagree with them, or do they disagree with you, but they are directly putting you at risk because of their beliefs. And that is not unique to the pandemic. It's the same whether it's due to gun laws or some some concept of being oppressed by the people around you, or, you know, any other sort of, of major kinds of disagreement, especially the ones that are framed as left and right, is they are, again, whether intentionally or unintentionally encouraging this belief that you don't Want to be around the people that you're around? You are supposed to hate people. I mean, the fact that that is like something that people wear as a badge of honor now, or go I'm, I'm a loner, I hate people like that is people say that, especially younger. People will say that. And it's, it's, it's nauseating, that that in the culture is something that's looked at as cool to not like the people around you. So that is, yeah, I do want to come back to the the also the aspect of it impairing your capacity to fulfill yourself, because it distracts you from actually being able to help yourself and the people around you. But in addition, yeah, it's very disruptive to the community. And the other point that you brought up that I want to highlight is this idea of false dichotomy. So when you are being presented with the situation, and you're being told everyone who is wrong thinks this, and here's the right way, there are these two views. That is that should be a red flag. And that should be a situation where do you try to determine where the middle ground is, where the spectrum is? And also question whether that is really the general belief? Is it really that extreme on the other side, that everyone believes that? And is yours really the kind of correct belief and I think that is an opportunity to, you should look at that as an opportunity or ideally that you could look at that as an opportunity to consider where there might be more of a spectrum there and where you can question your beliefs and question also what benefit is being provided from the person telling you this? Who's phrasing it in that way, so so that was a great point. All right, we're going to end that episode there and pick back up in part three, where we'll be discussing individualism and competition versus collaboration, and communitarianism. We'll also be discussing whether humans are inherently selfish and destructive, the costs of social media and other forms of distraction, how drugs and alcohol can also function as numbing agents, and why many causes that appear worthy, turn out to be distractions from the real problems. If you didn't enjoy today's episode, please leave a like or comment if you're watching on YouTube. And if you're listening elsewhere, please leave a review or five star rating on iTunes. All those things really do a lot to help support the podcast and are very much appreciated. To check out the show notes for today's episode, you can head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/podcast where you can take a look at the studies and articles and anything else that we referenced throughout today's episode. And if you are looking to improve various chronic health issues or low energy symptoms, this could be chronic cravings and hunger, low energy or fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain, digestive symptoms, brain, brain fog, poor sleep, hormonal imbalances, or various other low energy symptoms or chronic health issues that head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/energy where you can sign up for a free energy balanced mini course, well explained how these different symptoms and conditions are really caused by a lack of energy. And I'll also walk you through the main things that you can do from a diet and lifestyle perspective to maximize your cellular energy and resolve these symptoms and conditions. So to sign up for that free energy balanced mini course, head over to Jay Feldman wellness.com/energy. And with that, I'll see you in the next episode.

1Comment
  • DANIEL BIGGS
    Posted at 11:31h, 18 January Reply

    Great video…

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