Episode 11: Internalized Capitalism – Throwing Ourselves Thanklessly into the Machine

Internalized Capitalism is the (often) self-imposed valuation of one’s self and life (waking or otherwise) in terms of production and monetary value. It’ source is from the worship of the economy and GDP as the almighty deity. 

Laziness is this religion’s cardinal sin, including necessary rest and leisure. Leisure is only forgivable once you’ve “earned it” by entering the saintly caste, also known as the wealthy. Once obtained, you may live leisurely, pampered lives without critique while judging the lower caste from on high. This is especially true for those who didn’t have to work their way up, having inherited their wealth.

To reach sainthood, a worker must perform a miracle; they must do the conceptually impossible task of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Despite the saintly caste getting a pass, the working caste is told that happiness comes from work. 

The priestly caste is economists, financial experts, and (typically) right-wing politicians. All who subscribe to this pseudo-religion will worship the rich as “job creators” that are better than those who toil in said jobs.

As demonstrated in the pandemic, lives are secondary to the economic interests of those who follow this religion. The priestly caste perpetuates this religion by convincing the working caste that staying the course is the only option, and any alteration will lead to financial ruin. They neglect to mention whose financial ruin will come from change, and it is often not the workers. Let’s not forget the cries that stopping child labor or slavery would destroy the economy. Our response in such instances should be: Good; decay in the dustbin of history.

Waking Life (2001): “They pay you for your waking life and get your dreams for free.”


  • Internalization (Psychology)
  • Internalized Sexism
  • Internalized Oppression
  • Capitalism
  • Protestant Work Ethic
  • Max Weber — The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
  • Asceticism
  • Reddit post that spawned this concept [for us]. Original Quote:
  • How to know you’ve Internalized Capitalism: 
    • You determine your worth based on your productivity 
    • You feel guilty for resting 
    • Your primary concern is to make yourself profitable 
    • You neglect your health 
    • You think “hard work” is what brings happiness
  • Social Comparison Bias
  • Need for Cognition
  • Cold Reading
  • Economics 101-ism (Unlearning Economics, “The Death of Economics 101”)
  • Shaun Tweet: “if you’re a landlord worried about tenants not paying rent, here’s some advice: just rely on your savings. tap into that rainy day fund. borrow money off your parents. sell your iPhone. you really should have planned ahead for something like this. it’s not too late to go back to school and learn a trade. apply yourself. print some resumes and go hand them out”
  • Closing Polling Stations (2020 election)
  • Illegal to Give Water to Voters Waiting to Vote in Georgia (CTV News)
  • Neoliberal Capitalism
  • Milton Friedman (famous American economist) confusing capitalism with democracy, and socialism with capitalism
  • Burning Man Prices: 
    • In 2018, revenue was $46M according to federal tax docs
    • Tickets cost an arm and a leg, all in USD:
    • Presale: $1400
    • Main sale: $425
    • Late Registration: $550
    • Kids 12 and under can go for free
    • Approved applicants “in need” can go for $210
    • $100 for cars
  • Burning Man Values
    • Radical Inclusion – everyone is welcome. (Violated)
    • Gifting – people should give gifts to each other without asking for anything in exchange. (Sustained)
    • Decommodification – people should not let money get in the way of having an experience. (Violated)
    • Radical Self-reliance – people at Burning Man should try to take care of themselves and not ask others to take care of them. (Semi-Sustained (see #2))
    • Radical Self-expression – everyone should share what makes him or her special. (Sustained)
    • Communal Effort – people at Burning Man should cooperate to make the festival good and safe. (Unknown)
    • Civic Responsibility – people should be good citizens (Unknown)
    • Leaving No Trace – people should clean up after themselves. After they leave there should not be any sign they were there. (Semi-Violated)
    • Participation – Everyone should join in and not just watch. (Sustained?)
    • Immediacy – People should not let things stop them from learning about themselves. (Sustained?)
  • Phil’s Article on HittingEject.com—The Best Way to Travel
  • Phil Misremembered: Butter Chicken is Indian, but Chicken Tikka Masala is unclear, but some claim it was invented in England.
  • Phil was wrong; It wasn’t Japan that built a scale model, it was China. The same reasons apply.
  • Mexican Fisherman Story

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