The Problem With Middle Men In Our Daily Business

Direct interaction helps makes us better social beings, but it’s rapidly disappearing from our world

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Very Unpopular Strong Opinions Blog by Christyl Rivers

The Problem With Middle Men In Our Daily Business


Once upon a time you could go directly to the shaman when you wanted medical care. Or, to the wizard, mid-wife, village sage, or that shady lady with potions, or …that guy with bottles and gizmos.

Today we have middle men. The insurance company, your employer, your billing people, your banker, your pharmacy, and more are more then happy to interfere with your direct healthcare.

Whatever its disadvantages, you could get personal attention. This is why so many people now opt for alternative medicine.

Where you live

When you wanted to move, you could put up a shingle, or put the word out your house is for sale or rent. You could post an ad in a paper newspaper. Today, for sale by owner sites are online — usually for a fee. But, all realtors have a monopoly called the multiple listing service, MLS. You cannot post your property there, and even if you could, it’s unlikely to draw buyers because they now come almost exclusively with realtors.

One would think the rise of photos, video, and off-site visits would make selling directly more possible, but it’s not.

Realtors, like for profit healthcare services, are involved for profit. Although all their advertising says it is for you, you must remember it is a business. They do not exist for your best interest as buyer or seller. Realtors primarily push papers, and make every effort to be two people (buyer’s realtor, and seller’s realtor) in between direct information flow about the property and its history

Food for thought

Think about what you eat.

Retail and restaurant outlets are there because we no longer forage, hunt, or farm. Better in some ways, but at an enormous cost.

One primary cost is the lost direct sensual immersion in food finding, nature, and community interaction. Processed, packaged foods are terrible for human health. Likewise, sugar, fat, heavy meat, and limited biodiversity is bad for nutrition, but also extremely polluting to the planet and the extermination of nature. Let’s also think about the disconnection to animals, flavors, cultural customs, and connecting to one another with both food acquisition and preparation.


We have a two-party political system in the USA. This is sold as a vast improvement over total authoritarianism, as if we have no choice.

No matter how often people try to launch a third-party option, politics runs more and more on an extreme binary. We are polarized by design.

One might say that politicians have found the perfect way to stand in-between voters and their interests. One must declare one interest — be it gender, race, guns, or religion, etc., — and vote according to “who does the least damage to my cause.”

What we watch

Your entertainment choices are also increasingly narrow, and polarized. Algorithms carefully monitor what your attention is drawn to, and sells to you accordingly. Tribalism is set by place, affiliation, sports team, class, and your stolen sense of loyalty.

It’s very weird when you think about it. Sitting around the fire telling stories used to connect us. Now, almost everything is designed to divide us.

The great outdoors

National parks are no longer free. Maybe a walk in the country, forest or meadow still is. However, middle men who prosper by industry, deforestation, pollution, or noisy engines are going to limit how much access you have to the healing powers of immersion in natural settings. You are also limited, by race, sex, place, wealth, and time.

I have never found a neighborhood in which to walk that didn’t feature motors, noise, fumes, distracted people and their dogs (and poo). Spotting wildlife is getting more rare, also.

Is there anywhere where we do not have middlemen?

Maybe when you are asleep and dreaming, but I think there are apps and alarms even for that.



Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.