If there are seven billion people on Earth and roughly half of them are male, that works out to about three billion men (males above the age of 18). In an ideal world, all three billion men would have some productive occupation that benefits society in some way. Clearly this is not the case, which is why there are homeless, criminals, unemployed, etc. These people are either paid by the government to stay out of it via food stamps, disability, etc, or if they can’t be paid off, they’re contained in some other way to prevent them from messing with the productive parts of society (e.g. jail).
America’s population in 2022 is hovering around 330 million people. We can guesstimate the number of males over 18 to be 100 million. To put this in perspective how much damage 100 million men can do, Genghis Khan’s army never numbered over 200,000 soldiers. This army killed an estimated 35–60 million people. Now multiply that army by 500 and you have the population of males over 18 in America.
This is all to say that “the system”, however you want to think of it, is placed in a bind. On one hand, people universally agree that crime is bad and that there should be less of it as we progress. Fair enough. On the other hand, as technology gets more advanced and things get increasingly automated, there is a decreasing demand for the types of labor that men used to do. To top it off, the population of men has been steadily growing, which means that now there are more manpower available to fill fewer jobs.
The issue here is that energy that doesn’t have an outlet will find an outlet eventually, and if that outlet isn’t productive, it’s very likely to be criminal. A growing supply of male energy and a shrinking supply of productive outlets for that energy means that there’s a lot more energy that could potentially be used in destructive, destabilizing ways. And “the system” doesn’t want that, so what does it do?
The simplest approach to this problem is to burn off male energy as waste heat. Even though the energy isn’t being used productively, that’s better than it being used counter-productively.
Enter: capitalism, the greatest reducer of homicide rates in history. It does so by converting conflict into competition. Now instead of shooting up neighboring gangs and trafficking drugs, the boys are pitching a retarded start up idea to a panel of VCs. There are too many musicians, too many podcasts, too many startups, too many knock-off products on Amazon, too many dating apps, and too many gym rats. Most people will fail to find outstanding success, but at least people benefit / aren’t hurt by them trying. Competition is a great energy-sink, and the results benefit everybody.
That’s also where “the Matrix” of consumerism and identity comes in. Twitter, identity politics, Birken bags, celebrity gossip, Instagram, etc, etc — the point of all of this isn’t to control you, it is to drain your battery so that you don’t spend your energy messing things up for everyone else.
Competition, consumerism and identity-shenanigans works for most people. For the ones that still direct their energy in counter-productive or criminal ways, they’re either kept under control in prison or paid off using food stamps, disability, welfare, etc.
Not only has “the System” done a great job decreasing violent crime rates, it also managed to give us Amazon.com in the process. What a deal!
Related: Hipsters on Food Stamps, Part 2