In the Developed World, as humans have specialized, we’ve seen the behavior of outsourcing grow more prominent. In the natural world, outsourcing is the process of animals taking on some roles, while leaving other roles to other animals. For men and women, this has resulted in sex differences in which the man is tasked with defending and providing, while the woman is tasked with rearing and foraging. In the modern age, we’ve seen outsourcing continue to increase as technology and material surpluses have. For men who don’t bother to exercise, outsourcing the physical protection they’d otherwise offer their mates to the police has allowed them to grow weak. For women who don’t bother to rear their children, outsourcing the parenting process they’d otherwise offer their families to nannies and babysitters has allowed them to grow apathetic. In both of these cases, among countless more, humans are better capable of atrophying in physical and mental ways than they ever were before. In a society where everyone is reliant on everyone, where outsourcing the essentials of life becomes a necessity due to this atrophying process, humans become dependent on society to function. If you can work on your car, strip and clean carcasses, grow your crops, and do repairs on your house, you’re in a tiny minority of people in America who still possess the ability to live independently. For the majority in America, even economic declines pose considerable risks, because as household wealth decreases, the ability to outsource roles and tasks declines as well. In this article, we’re going to look at how outsourcing changes people and why the cellular approach to building societies, in which people operate as cells dependent on large centralized institutions (i.e. organs) to function, is not only degenerative for the individual but dangerous for humanity.
While I usually don’t reference fiction in articles because I’m not a libtard, it’s worth looking at how Hollywood approaches the formation of settlements in zombie movies here. While it may seem strange, it perfectly illustrates how Americans take for granted the process of outsourcing things they can’t do even in post-apocalyptic scenarios. Watching HBO’s show the Last Of Us last night, where the protagonists reach a communist utopia located within a rural area, my eyes almost rolled out of my head. From repairing a hydroelectric plant to raising livestock to even doing mundane things like cleaning guns, the number of tasks taken on by this very fictional community in the middle of an apocalypse are incredible. From sourcing a variety of skilled tradespeople capable of doing these things, to working on resource-intensive projects like establishing a water and power utility, to finding ranch-hands that work with horses, this community clearly has an incredible team of recruiters and a robust supply of materials. On top of all that, finding skilled tradesmen who happen to be communist of all things… WOW! Sarcasm aside, the possibility of such a community ever arising is nonexistent, when we multiply the percentage of the population capable of doing these things by the percentage of said working class population that supports communism by the percentage of the population that hasn’t turned into a zombie two decades after the apocalypse. Not even getting into other variables, a show that focuses on realism indulging in such childish fantasies betrays how idiotic and detached the creators are. In cityscapes, this general cluelessness is the norm, as the material conditions that give rise to outsourcing weaken our ability to comprehend how the world around us works.
While we can point and laugh at the stupidity of the show’s creators, this isn’t an anomaly and is the norm for most people who work outside directly productive careers that often require more flexibility, improvisation, and autonomy in employees. In a world where this primitive understanding of the world is increasingly common, what was once stupid is now becoming the new normal. While we can pick on white collar workers, “creatives,” and academics in this article, this outsourcing effect also extends to blue collar occupations that revolve around assembly line-like production processes, with the people most exempt from this cognitive atrophy being mechanics, troubleshooters, and other professionals involved in work that requires individuals be well-rounded in order to be competent at their jobs. It’s a lot easier for a mechanic to learn how to clean a gun than it is for a lawyer to learn how to clean a gun, just as it is a lot easier for a plumber to do repairs on his roof than it is for a waitress to do repairs on her roof, and this is entirely due to how skills overlap with one another. A lot of people not involved in mechanical work don’t realize the skills and knowledge it takes to make things function, suffering from a serious Dunning-Krueger effect that causes them to look like idiots to the people that know how things work. We can substitute the word “mechanical” for “medical,” “clerical,” “electrical,” and so on, but the point is this: while society is complex, the machinery and tools that sustain it are even more complex. As household wealth continues to decrease, humans have the choice of taking on more practical skills in order to offset their decreased ability to outsource functions or they have to accept significantly lower living standards. As someone that has lived on a rustic and remote island, this trend of people learning how to troubleshoot and fix things on their own is known as “island ingenuity” here, and without having a background in manual labor, life on this island is much harder for people that move here. Without developing this so-called island ingenuity, it’s hard to even live on this island, as the ability to outsource functions is severely impaired in a place this isolated. From aggressive molds to endless bugs to passed-down equipment to inclement weather, living on the island that I’ve lived on is very tough for mainland Americans accustomed to nonstop convenience and outsourcing, to the point that most of them do not last more than a few months after moving to this island. As most of these mainlanders that come here make 100-150k a year in the hospitality industry, it really goes to show that when people can’t solve their problems with money as they can in the states, no amount of money can get them to stay usually. As strange as it may sound, outsourcing is almost an addiction for people in developed countries and one that, in my experience, people will take huge pay cuts to get their fix of.
One of the greatest problems that comes from living in cities is that there is no need for generalists. There is very little incentive to learn skills outside your profession in cities, so while a police officer will know how to clean a gun, a nurse or accountant wouldn’t even know how to take off the safety on a gun, let alone load bullets into a magazine. While it may seem rude, these people are fundamentally useless outside a safe and functioning urban environment. Meanwhile, in more rural areas, where your ability to outsource is limited by a lower population density, you naturally have to take on more functions and learn more things to remain functional. In a classic example of how we can lose our abilities over time due to outsourcing, early Humans lost their ability to synthesize Vitamin C, since it’s so prevalent in their environment that it became a waste of energy to do so, but when sailors set sail on longer and longer voyages, scurvy became a huge problem since we were no longer self-sufficient in that way. As a society that relies on maritime trade, we’re dependent on Vitamin C supplements and fresh supplies of fruit to ensure that our sailors continue to function. In ways similar to how sailors rely on supply chains to keep them healthy, the majority of modern humans do as well. With disruptions in these supply chains, humans can quite literally be hurt or killed by a simple absence of what they depend on, because like how the cells in our bodies depending on our organs, humans in developed countries rely entirely on institutions to supply them with what they need. The problem with America, as our population becomes increasingly urbanized, is that more Americans become increasingly atrophied in critical ways and dependent on institutions to solve problems that they otherwise can’t now. While I’m sure to rile up any blue-haired women that stumble upon this post with this next observation, therapy is the perfect example of how far outsourcing can go inside developed countries and how this atrophying process extends well beyond a simple lack of skills. When we look at the early origins of therapy, the field completely depended on the patronage of wealthy women, who beyond giving birth to children and navigating the complexities of bourgeois social circles had outsourced the entirety of their functions to house staff and their husbands. For women who depended on outsourcing for everything in their lives, they even lost the ability to solve their own emotional problems and needed to outsource the usual function of self-reflection to professionals, rather than deal with it as any proletarian would.
The chronic use of outsourcing to solve problems, beyond making people incapable of dealing with their own problems, has eroded a great deal of the very functions like self-reflection that make us human in the first place. From self-help books that give you generic advice on how to figure your life out to audio books that do the reading for you, it seems that one of the largest advances to come out of the Industrial Revolution was our ability to outsource at levels never seen before. While in medieval times, the king that outsourced all of his functions didn’t face any problems until he was deposed, modern workers do not have that luxury, as their incomes directly depend on the health of the economy. This process of paying other people to do the things we don’t want to do conditions us in ways that we haven’t acknowledged yet, which traditionally only impacted the ruling classes in society, who in turn were insulated from the negative consequences of growing functionally weaker by their far more stable sources of wealth. These problems that workers will face in the coming years may have never been felt before in human history and how we approach this will determine whether or not America adapts to the industrial collapse that MIT predicts will happen. While outsourcing is far more efficient in the short-run than learning how to do something on your own, it hinders your growth intellectually and emotionally, with most Americans being reduced to one-trick ponies that rely on the industrial environment that sustains their lifestyles to not degrade. In a world with declining natural resources and unstable supply chains, it’s hard for me to imagine how Americans will adapt to an environment in which they have to do things for themselves again and based on my time living on a rural island, it worries me that many city people might not even be capable of becoming more self-sufficient. Just like how animals raised by humans often die once they’re released into the wild, humans raised in advanced economies might not fare much better once their living standards depreciate enough.
The increasing urbanization, dependency on value-in-theory hyper-Keynesian economics on crack, speculation, and reduction of the human to simply a consuming statistic — the absolute demoralization of especially the male (particular the working class and middle class white male) will cause this thing, which is already held together by duct tape, make-believe, and unicorn farts, fall apart and make it ripe for CCP, Russian, and DPRK pickings.