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Why You Must Become Self-Employed

Life isn’t fair — but how can we profit from our modern capitalist system? The secret: become self-employed.

Haptic Magazine Issue #1

How to Profit in Life:

Once we accept the fact that the world isn’t fair, then we can truly thrive.

What is “fair”?

Regardless of what people want you to think, the truth is that there is a real hierarchy in society. Generally people on top are richer, better educated, or better connected.

Now, a lot of people are born into this modern aristocracy. Yes, there are lots of people who were born into wealth.

A lot of people who are poorer (working class, middle class, poverty) complain. They think that the rich, wealthy, and powerful somehow “cheated” to gain their privileges. Or, they say that upper class folks didn’t merit their privileges.

To me, trying to explain how some people are higher in society doesn’t really matter to me.

Once again the truth is:

Society is unequal, and always will.


Society MUST be unfair if we want society to function.

Why? Let me share some ideas:

Who is going to do the grunt work?

Let us imagine a society with 100% pure equality. If this were the case,

Who would serve us coffee at the coffee shop? Who would build the iPhones? Who would clean the streets?

Every society was built on the backs of the less fortunate people. The railroads of America (Chinese), agriculture in America (African slaves), banking system (Ivy League graduates turned slaves).


All growth in the economy generally comes from war, or the exploitation (leveraging) of other people.

Facebook is only valuable because they have billions of users giving free content and their personal information to Facebook. Apple can only make a profit on their products because they outsource it to China, where there are many workers who are willing to work for lower wages than Americans.

Even now in China (as work is getting more expensive), much of this labor is now being exported to countries like Vietnam and Indonesia (where there is a larger base of individuals who are willing to work for even cheaper wages).

Don’t be a sucker

I don’t think the goal for us is to overthrow the system. I think the goal is for us to understand how the system works, and figuring out how to profit from the system, and playing the system according to our own rules.

Unless you have an armed militia behind you, you probably aren’t going to overthrow the system. Furthermore, it seems the capitalist system is perhaps intrinsic to human nature (allocation of human labor, barter and trading, or attaching certain values to things and people).

How to profit from the system

Becoming an entrepreneur, and becoming self employed is the answer.

In capitalist society, the best way to become free and self owned is to start your own business and earn money by yourself.

I honestly think 90% of the frustration people have in modern life is having to show up to their 9-5 every single day, not having control over where they want to live, having a boss, and not living life according to their own standards.

Furthermore to gain more autonomy, control, and freedom in life — living an ascetic lifestyle is supreme.

Furthermore, owning fewer possessions is better. Why? The more possessions you own, the more you are owned. Even things we own (cars, homes, stuff) require maintenance which is often expensive, cumbersome, annoying, and frustrating.

Thus, it seems to live the best life in modern capitalist society is:

  1. Be self-employed
  2. Live an ascetic lifestyle
  3. Don’t own many things
  4. Seek happiness by only focusing on things you can control
  5. Living a life free of financial debt, and having the maximal amount of free time for yourself.

A “via negativa” approach to happiness

An idea from Nassim Taleb in his book, “Bed of Procrustes”:

To be “happier” in life, simply subtract what makes you miserable.

Most of us don’t know what makes us “happy”, but most of us know what makes us miserable.

Thus, simply subtract things which cause misery in your life. This might mean subtracting a long commute, subtracting expensive expenses, subtracting negative people, subtracting your boss, etc.

This is also an anti-consumerist mentality — because in order to become happier, we don’t seek to buy more things to “increase” our happiness. Instead, we seek to subtract or get rid of things in our life which suffocates us, adds confusion to our life, and to subtract stressful things and people from our life.

Furthermore, we seek our personal happiness via producerism (philosophy that focuses on creation and making things).


Some takeaways from this essay:

  1. Modern life isn’t fair, not should it be fair.
  2. The reality is that society is built on inequality. Thus if we want society, we need inequality.
  3. It doesn’t matter if you were born underprivileged or poor; figure out how you can profit from our capitalist society.
  4. Becoming self-employed seems to be the answer (in praise of entrepreneurship).
  5. The quickest way to be able to make a living by being self employed is to reduce your expenses to an absolute minimum; in praise of an ascetic lifestyle. Living a simple lifestyle is sexier, more fun, and more joyful.
  6. Seek joy in life by producing and making stuff, not by consuming and buying shit (in praise of producerism, instead of consumerism).

To learn how to become self-employed, read Photography Entrepreneurship 101 >