Slavery was abolished around the world centuries ago; well at least that is the popular belief. Today society will tell us that we have choices in life and as young aspiring individuals; the ‘world is our oyster’ right. But in reality, is this really the case?
Over 150 years later we still have a culture where many are feeling like wage slaves. They trade their time for money but never really fulfill their needs, let alone achieve any significant higher goals. Working, with the forever requirement of more, with the knowledge that if you were financially independent you would quit the next day, is not ‘success’. This is not contentment. In my opinion, it is the sibling of what humanity saw in the 1800’s just wrapped up in societal brainwashing, political pressures, and capitalist marketing. I call this ‘Systematic Slavery’.
Systematic slavery is methodical and so well ordered that it is considered normal and accepted throughout everyday people, those working exchanging their time for money.
The Modern Age Slavery System
Although we have the all too popular cliche ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’, society still has success factors tied to financial wealth. Since our wants and impulsiveness is not free, happiness is elusive without financial wealth because we live in a materialistic, money orientated world.
Industry and employment have changed dramatically since our parents/grandparents generation. In fact, we are in the information age and experiencing a digital revolution but largely being raised with outdated beliefs and approach to creating our existence. Most commonly seen as; ‘Invest in college education, get a good job that pays well, leverage equity from a house, then positively save earnings towards retiring comfortably’.
This approach sounds fair if you are living in the great depression, or you honestly are just waiting to retire from the beginning. Here is why:
Steps to Systematic Slavery:
- The assumption that we need a reasonable income to get by in this world is reinforced with numerous imposed expectations throughout life that become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Children are sheltered by the reign of their parents and coached through secondary school at which point they are supposed to know what they want to do with their lives. A pretty difficult task given they still don’t even know what life is yet.
- At the age of about 18 years old (still considered a minor in many parts of the world), they then have the privilege to make a decision in their first big investment. Not just financially, but also in time. A college education. The general guidance for choice is something along the lines of choosing a profession that will ensure enough income to pay debts later in life. The first debt then incurs in the range of $25,000 – $150,000 depending on the tuition and geography of the studies.
It seems like a reasonable decision. The best case scenario, of course, is that they finish the degree still somewhat happy with their career direction and start on the ‘first rung on the ladder’ where the real work begins. Given the 3-5+ years already invested and another 10-year slog to get back into the black financially, the job has a whole new perceived importance and value.
- Hard work through their 20’s and all going well sees an improved employment status to a junior or, maybe in some smaller companies, a middle management position. The salary bracket has somewhat improved but has also been absorbed by a couple of brief vacations. The next level of excitement and in accordance with expectation, the first rung of the property ladder is within reach in exchange for years of savings. Debt #2 of probably about $600,000 comes at the mere price of $100,000 for the first home.
- So now rather than having an asset earning a passive income, the debt becomes a liability. Income surpluses are absorbed in order to service the loan, on average, for the next 25 years and thus causing further enslavement to the system. Sure, there are returns in equity but it doesn’t mean much when you are out with your friends and it’s your turn to buy the next round. It’s not like you can chip off brick for the latest life necessities such as smashed avo on sourdough or the bottomless brunch on Sundays.
- After a few years, the excitement of owning a house (or at least having your name on a title which the bank owns) wears off. All that hard work; what about the pleasures in life? Nice furniture for the house, a car or two to match the fancy job title, holidays to unwind from 50+ per week at the office. These combined formulate debt #3 icing the cake of societal slavery.
- At this point, the average person has fulfilled the prophecy that financial wealth equals success. Money is required to enable them to clear their debts, gain freedom and therefore, in turn, happiness. They take on more hours at work, impress for the next promotion, maybe even seek a second job. Lottery tickets and big prize competitions become a focal point in the desperation of winning something that will make a change to their finances. Or their vision becomes so clouded that ‘get rich quick’ schemes actually appear to be a viable solution to the predicament.
These people become parents, and which pass on their best advice to their children from their current perspective without too much reflection. The current mindset is that if only they had more money and a larger income, they would obviously be happier. With this in mind, the answer seems obvious; invest more in better education, buy a house sooner in life, and understand that ‘time is money’, so work harder to get ahead sooner. There is little consideration in making choices in life that will create sustainable happiness. The system has won and parents are methodically passing the enslavement batton onto their next generation.
Choose To Avoid It
We have a system that trains us to exchange our entire life for the privilege to enjoy a few of our sunset years at a time in which the system will determine (currently being 65 years but proposed to increase 70 by 2035 in Australia). They give this the title ‘Retirement’.
Retirement for many is synonymous with finally being able to stop doing whatever it was they never really enjoyed. The student loan is long gone, the house is freehold, and we all expect some kind of nest egg for hopefully a little passive income. To me, this looks like life is a huge marathon and you finally make it across the finish line at 70 years old. They say you can take a break now, have a breather. You can start doing whatever it was that you always wanted to do. The sad truth is that, as you cross the finish line the crowds are gone and there are few that are genuinely cheering for you, you are out of breath and will never recover like you once would of, and the moments of inspiration are long past.
Life is too short to belatedly realize you are on a treadmill, making others rich and not enriching yourself by living your life to the fullest. Why spend the best years of your life not doing what you truly want to do right now?
Taking control of your life and avoiding the enslavement system may appear unnatural or even near impossible. Yet, remember, we are currently in an age with more opportunity than ever before. If millionaires can be made as young as 13 years old online, you can make a living by just living a life you enjoy!
Take charge of your choices, make that first step, create a life that you love.
Click here to see the path I took to break free and discover if it might be an option for you too.