In some ways human society operate like a bee colony.
In a bee colony there are thousands of workers with the sole purpose
of feeding the queen bee. They are born with nothing and they die with
nothing – all so the queen can maintain the colony as a going concern.
There are similarities to human society…
Many classical economists have touched on this in the past…in some
capitalist societies, the masses of average citizens are workers with
the sole purpose of providing a means of cheap production for the
capitalist elite. The workers are paid a subsistence wage with any
surplus spent on goods and services, with profits accruing back to the
capitalists. Consequently, we the workers, are born with nothing and we
die with nothing.
The working masses (i.e. the Proletariat) encompass the vast majority
of people. Essentially, 99% of us are put on this earth to live a life
of subsistence, netting out to 0 by the time we die. The lucky few leave
some assets to their kids, but this is usually a pittance when compared
to the amount of productivity that workers and their ancestors before
them contributed to the system.
Whatever happened to the money my grandfather’s father earned…and his
grandfather…and so on. We are all the descendants of generations of
people spanning back to the dawn of mankind, and all the wealth we have accumulated across the generations is a few thousand dollars if we’re lucky.
So where is that wealth? We sent it back to the capitalists. How?
We’re pre-conditioned (by advertising, peer pressure) to spend every
penny we earn so that those at the top of the capitalist food chain can
accumulate assets.We don’t realize it, but we are living a life of
‘Subsistence’ in this context refers to the condition in which we
spend everything we earn in order to satisfy our lifestyle needs. These
needs will change from person to person, but the crux of the concept is
that we adjust our needs up to compensate for higher incomes. We work
harder, earn more…and blow any extra earnings on a second car.
I don’t know if it’s genetic or if it’s corporate brainwashing, but
we’re programmed to spend everything we earn. Even what little we do
save, gets blown on taxes and retirement so that after a lifetime of
hard work we die with nothing to pass on.
The difference between the workers and the capitalist elite is that
the capitalist elite prioritize asset accumulation over income.
(Moreover, the capitalist elite view assets as a means to provide
income, not as a source of capital gains – save that for the
speculators.) Assets generate income, and if managed properly can do so
in perpetuity enabling the capitalists to create permanent wealth that
can be passed on to descendants.
What is the purpose to life if we don’t leave some sort of legacy for
our children? Is our legacy simply our dedication to serving the queen
bee? Frankly, I don’t want to go down in history for being the fastest
widget maker, best multi-tasker or most organized meeting chair. (These
forms of recognition are simply patronizing pacifiers to keep the
workers in a subsistence lifestyle, so the capitalist elite can live off
Instead, I want to build an economic foundation for my descendants so
they have an easier life then me. This means I must spend less than I
earn and work hard to accumulate assets that will provide for my
In other words, I can’t beat the capitalist elite at their game…so I will join them.