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How Current Social Programming Cripples Your Potential

In this post, I’m going to cover how social programming cripples your personal growth, particularly if you’re a Westerner.

It’s the role of your home culture to programme you. For the first 20 years of your life you absorb all its messages, lacking a filter to separate the wheat from the chaff. Many never develop that filter. Being a Westerner has both pros and cons in that regard. Today we’ll be looking at the cons.

Social Programming: Disclaimer!

My goal is not to demonise Western society or social programming, and even the more extreme parts of this post are a little tongue in cheek. As citizens of modern, Western countries, we should be extremely grateful and realise how privileged we are. But there’s many dysfunctions in our culture that often go unnoticed. And we absorb all of them.

The same is true of each of the areas I’ll be covering – we want to recognise both their enormous value and their crippling weaknesses.

And this isn’t a conspiracy theory – I’m not much interested in those. My goal is not to have you point the finger at others and blame them for the limitations and downsides of our culture. Rather, it’s to empower you to be aware of these negatives and then go beyond them.

Social programming is essential – in a sense, you need to be programmed by your home culture. That’s just how it is, or at least it has been since the dawn of humanity. It also has a logic and wisdom to it: it’s how societies grow, build and expand. If society just reset to zero every few decades, we’d never have advanced beyond separated tribes fighting for survival on the savannah.

On the other hand, if you never go beyond Western social programming, you’ll get to Orange at best. And you might even have a very Amber way of embodying Orange values.

Let’s now look at the main features of current social programming.

Social Programming Cripples Your Value System

What kind of values does Western society force down your throat as you grow up?

Consumerism is the number one – have you noticed that brands and corporations run the show? And the biggest, wealthiest organisations aren’t doing amazing things for the world. They’re lining their pockets by selling us products we often don’t need and which usually have a negative effect on us and the ecosystems we’re part of.

These brands brainwash you into valuing their products. They spend enormous sums of money and thousands of hours on marketing, advertising, research and development, product design, and so on. All this influences your values and desires. It alters your worldview. It changes what you talk about.

Sadly, these companies do this not with your best interests at heart, but rather to please their stakeholders and make sure their financial statements look pretty. Don’t fall for the veneer of customer care – they don’t give a flyer about you if you’re not opening your wallet.

Closely tied to consumerism is materialism – the more you desire, the more you consume. Basically, what you value is having things and your image as a smart consumer. You think that when you’ve bought the house and the shiny car (preferably made by a trendy brand), land yourself a trophy wife or husband, and become a fat rat by buying all the things you want, that you’ll have reached the pinnacle of life.

Far from reaching the pinnacle, you’ll have reached perhaps 1% of your human potential. And the underdeveloped people you mingle with will only reaffirm your delusions of grandeur.

butterflies hatching from cocoons, metaphor for personal growth

Education Cripples Your Personal Growth

Be aware that I’m writing from my experience of the UK school system. There may be some exceptions out there, like the systems in Scandinavian countries. But I was a straight A student, the best in my year, and also have a top degree from a respected university, so I’ve been “successful” in the modern education system. I’m a good little sheep.

Where do I begin?

Well, mainstream education has you believe that learning is a process of memorisation. The whole school system is designed this way. If you can regurgitate the learning outcomes like a robot in your final exam, you get a nice little grade, the teacher gets a nice little class grade average and earns favour with department heads and senior teachers, who also get in on the act by having high school rankings and good university admittance rates.

But beyond all the bureaucracy, who are you? What have you, the student, “the centre of the learning process”, become?


All you’ve become is a parrot, an unimaginative sheep with no creativity or appreciation for knowledge. So you now believe that learning, knowledge, wisdom and success boil down to memorising information passed on from the elders, the bastions of knowledge: stressed, overworked schoolteachers who themselves went through this same paint-by-numbers, cookie-cutter system and are whipped by those above them to pump out more and more sheep and cookies.

This takes me on to university. Oh dear.

School brainwashes you into going to university. School subtly and overtly bullies you into thinking that without university you won’t be successful. Universities. Don’t they just take knowledge to a new level? They’re the true bastions: they pump out the sheepiest sheep and the cookiest cookies in the land. And how much does it cost to become a sheepy university sheep?

Well, they charge you tens of thousands of pounds (or dollars, if you’re an American sheep) for a degree stuffed full of academic nonsense and with no practical application in the working world. Not only does it not teach you how to live to your full potential, it leaves you with a chain of crippling debt around your neck.

And not only are you a sheep, you’re a close-minded sheep.

In most schooling, you’re subtly taught to value scientific knowledge more than anything else. So after hearing that message for decades, your mind is now closed and you spend your life parroting scientific dogma and ridiculing all other knowledge.

Social Programming: The Influence of Science

I suspect that in future I’ll have to write much more about science. But let’s take a brief look here. Western social programming brainwashes you with the idea that modern science is the ultimate arbiter on truth.

Regardless of surface shifts, they believe that science holds the key to understanding all of life and that any truth claims outside its rigid paradigm are out of the question. This is done in seeming ignorance of the historical phenomenon of new scientific discoveries completely debunking old truths.

But speak to any close-minded science fan boy and you won’t find this same open-minded scepticism and willingness to evolve. You’ll find the same dogmatic attitude, as though science had found the answer to all of life’s biggest questions.

It’s perfectly reasonable to suspect that we’re in the dark ages regarding our understanding of life. Just look at the historical trajectory of scientific knowledge. Everything we hold to be true, even the most established facts we believe to have uncovered, could be completely debunked. And if not debunked, they could be recontextualised to such a degree that we view those same truths very differently.

A lens with rings of light, representing different perspectives

But when the scientific establishment has an imperative to survive and spreads the idea of being the guardian of truth through media, politics and education, you fall for it hook, line and sinker. Your own social survival may even depend on it.

You think that as a scientist, a rationalist, as someone who has memorised the scientific gospels, that you’ve reached the pinnacle of human life. But this dogma, which is denied to be dogma, blocks your access to the highest levels of human development, the real pinnacle of our humanity.

Social Programming and Career

The social programming we receive in our career life is very damaging. Joe Rogan shot a popular video on this problem.

In short, you’re brainwashed with the idea of working for someone else. For most, this happens from birth, through their family, their education, and media.

Those around you, do they encourage you to follow your passion? Do they teach you how to be creative and effective? Does society value teaching skills we need to make our vision real, to actualise our deepest desires?

The answer is no. This vacuum leaves you with no other option than to become a wage slave: an unimaginative sheep carrying out the orders of your superiors in return for a miserly pay check.

What’s more, because you need to pay bills, buy food and fund your social life and hobbies, you actually value being a wage slave. You defend it and get triggered when people suggest alternatives! You defend working for fifty years in a job you don’t like, doing boring, robotic, meaningless work.

And you then indoctrinate your children with the idea that the most they can hope for is to work for fifty years with no passion, no wealth, and no meaningful impact on the world.

You better believe this cripples your growth. You come home exhausted, limiting your capacity to do deep inner work, gain skills, and explore life. You’re not in touch with your creativity. You’re not living your dreams. You might even be actively repressing them so you can justify your wage slavery. You have no chance of reaching the highest levels of human flourishing.

A Final Trap: Identity Politics

You might wonder how identity politics also jeopardises your growth. Sadly, this questionable ideology is dominant amongst younger generations and adults with an axe to grind. If you’re not careful, it will infect you too.

The fundamental point is that buying into the dogma of identity politics can, again, make you as close-minded and defensive as any scientific materialist or religious fundamentalist.

You believe that people of different genders, races and creeds are equal and that making any distinction between them is discrimination. You fight for “equality” in all spheres. Hey, you might even become as partisan as a racist, believing that rich white men are the source of all the world’s evil.

close-up of a field of yellow tulips with red tulip amongst them

Developmentally speaking, even though you believe you’re beyond the mainstream, you might embody values below those of the crowd. Orange is usually considered the most dominant stage in Western society as a whole. With the rise of Orange comes free speech, democracy, and knowledge societies. Of course, the most extreme social justice warriors don’t want any of that. Much of their preaching embodies pre-Orange values.

And this disease is spreading among mainstream media faster than the Delta variant. It’s remarkably evident in sports, social media, the Woke movement, the news, and many other places.

This will trap you in your growth. I’ve witnessed some sad cases of angry feminists and social justice warriors who also think they’ve arrived to the pinnacle of human life, but are actually languishing in misery after years of unsuccessful evangelising.