In the book Fight Club there is a haunting bit of dialogue that I can see coming true as I traveled thousands of miles across America, read the news, and talked with Americana (and Canadiana too).
In the world I see, you’re stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center….You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
People love a good story of urban decay. If you don’t believe me just Google “Detroit” and see what stories and images come up first. If it’s depressing or insights anger, then it goes viral in our society. Kids watch fight videos all day on youtube hoping to see something they are too afraid to handle themselves. Adults watch their roads and bridges decay as their tax dollars go for new aircraft carriers or is squandered away. And the stock market has reached record highs, with our President taking the credit, even though he walked into a great economy. People are more stressed then ever, over stimulated, over worked, and heroine is taking over manufacturing towns at an alarming rate, are the headlines we see daily. People are being frightened daily by the media, because it sells. “Society is Crumbling” the headline says and everyone clicks away.
I even like the idea of a simpler time of just hunting, fishing, and growing my food. Trading with neighbors and learning from the older wiser citizens around me. Do I really need to commute the 17 miles each way, five times a week just to survive. If the world did decay, could I hunt an animal and use all the parts properly? Could I build a fire with some flint and tinder? Simpler could be nice for a while, but it sure sounds harder over the course of my lifetime. Why do we love the idea and images of an eroded society so much?
Money has a lot to do with it. People invented money to control one another. If I had money, then I controlled the resources and peoples actions. You could get some of the corn if you give me your money, and I will use the money to make more corn. I might pay you to grow my corn too, so you could hand it back to me to eat what you grew. So, as the owner of the money I control the resources and I control you.
Our American government controls the money, so who is actually controlling you? The government tells you that if you want to survive, make the economy grow by working. We are given some say, by electing our officials, but the guys with the money run to be officials. So again, who is in charge? Who is controlling who and using what devices to control.
I know this is a cryptic and scary message, but every now and then, something like Fight Club can remind us that we are part of a bigger system that we regularly forget about. As we fight for our financial independence, and our retirement, we are fighting to be the one with the money, that has control over our own lives again. We are in Fight Club and no one is talking about it. The sooner we gain financial independence, the sooner we break free from the chains of society.
Just think on it….
Link to Fight Club. The book is better if you enjoyed the movie.