We Keep Chasing Something We’ll never Catch

Uncovering the forces that drive us to pursue wealth over fulfillment

Erik Blair
2 min readJan 5


Photo by soheyl dehghani on Unsplash

We keep chasing something, and we don’t even know why. It’s that constant struggle to accumulate more, that ever-present dull roar in the back of our minds telling us not to slow down. We don’t know what it is or what it’s supposed to look like if we ever catch it. If you ask yourself what it is or what it looks like, you’ll have difficulty putting that thing or that goal into something easily understood by others.

“The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on — because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.” — Noam Chomsky

This strange, unnatural feeling — experienced by almost 99.99995% of people in Western countries — is the result of our cultural economic conditioning, which is based in capitalism. It’s the bizarre, involuntary ping in our brains that demands we continue to focus on wealth accumulation rather than living a peaceful, content life filled with love and experiences.

“Capitalism is the theory that the worst people, acting from their worst motives, will somehow produce the most good.” — George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever felt that weird feeling after a prolonged period of being couped up in your home? Some people experience this after a short nap, and they awkwardly must immediately find something “productive” to do, or else. But what is that “or else”? It’s the disturbing fact that we live in a society that has brainwashed most people into believing they must be productive workers, or else they will experience some kind of harm or suffering. This is not an illusion — it’s very real suffering and horrific circumstances that can significantly harm those who don’t conform to the cultural economic conditioning.

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” — Erich Fromm

Despite living in the most prosperous, supposedly free country in the world, we are slaves to an artificial economic construct. This is a harsh reality that we must confront and work to change if we want to live more authentic, fulfilling lives.

Society needs to evolve away from this artificial economic construct and become more human again.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash



Erik Blair

Writer, technologist, web dev, consultant, loves travel