From Minimalism To Tech

4 Financial Lessons From Yuri Bezmenov

Posted in Money

Yuri Bezmenov lived through the Soviet Union as a KGB spy. He witnessed the transformation of Soviet society under the rule of communism, a form of central planning. The KGB trained him to destroy and conquer other cultures, such as India, without using weapons, but using advanced psychological warfare against opponents. In the below videos, we see his assessment of these techniques as he lays out the KGB toolkit. While most people won’t take the time in their life to watch either clip, you will walk away much richer by watching both videos – Bezmenov makes many valuable points that will enrich your life in more ways than one.

The Series

  1. 4 Financial Lessons From Alexander Suvorov
  2. 4 Financial Lessons From Genghis Khan
  3. 4 Financial Lessons From John D. Rockefeller
  4. 4 Financial Lessons From Yuri Bezmenov

The Videos

The Lessons

Learn real skills. Have you ever seen people debate about creation vs. evolution, discuss theories like string theory or other absurd ideas that will never be proven (or will be refuted at a later date)? These carry no skills whatsoever – they waste people’s time in that they teach nothing of value to the people learning them. Bezmenov lists mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc while mocking non-useful teaching, like “history of urban warfare” or “natural food” and other nonsense. While I agree on the sciences he advises, I would caution readers that theoretical science is not the same as actual science and is not useful whatsoever. In fact, most mathematical and scientific problems that have been solved in the past have been done by people we would consider wrong in many other areas.

Learn real skills and completely ignore theory. What Bezmenov teaches is that real skills carry value and retaining these will enrich our lives. Also, while many people believe that the internet will always exist, it’s entirely possible that it will cease to exist in the future. Any number of disasters could destroy the internet forever. Don’t assume that you’ll always have knowledge available to you – which is an assumption many people make because of the internet. Some tips to mastering this habit:

  • What do you tend to search for (ie: googling)? What’s the pattern and how can you take time to learn this and memorize this information? Search engines may not exist in the future, so how would you get information if they didn’t? How would you get information if the internet didn’t exist?
  • Memorization strengthens your mind; how are you memorizing new information daily? Always remember that the Roman writer, Juvenal, stated that a “sharp mind in a healthy body” is more than most people have. He’s right and most people don’t invest in their mind. For practice, memorize the four points in this post, then try to recall them tomorrow.
  • Ask yourself: how does this information provide me with value? Before you learn anything, know the answer to this. If knowledge provides you with no value or skill, call the “knowledge” what it is: wasteful. Knowledge you can’t use is as wasteful as entertainment, though people love to pretend the former has some sort of value over entertainment.
  • If you choose to attend college, only attend college to learn something that you can use. Most medicine and engineering falls into this category, with medicine and related disciplines carrying massive value due to labor shortages. While Bezmenov recommends mathematics and science as well, I would caution on these if they are more theory than pragmatic learning. Avoid nonsense like the big bang theory, string theory, the theory of evolution (or creation), or any other theoretical discipline. Theoretical “anything” is a waste of time.

There is an inverse to this lesson as well: be incredibly skeptical of anyone who wastes your time in theories or pointless debate.

Ignore and avoid someone unattached to results. Bezmenov saw firsthand the Soviet bureaucracy – “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us” – and shows why “collecting a paycheck” means nothing if the paycheck comes regardless of results. The only time you should ever get paid is if you created something of value; if you didn’t, you are being paid for doing nothing. You may feel good about this because you have money, but once you begin to realize that others are doing the same thing, what does that say about the society you live in? If you do not get results, you should not get paid. In the long run, a society that earns value without creating value won’t last – the Soviet Union proves this. Money without character is fraud and Mother Nature will prove that fraud in the long run.

If civilization ever collapses, like the Soviet Union collapsed, you will return to a life where you will only eat if you can create food, or some other value that people are willing to exchange food for. The people who learned this lesson the easy way survived (only get paychecks from results); many of the people who didn’t learn this lesson in the Soviet Union died after it collapsed. In other words, if you train yourself to only get paid if you obtain results, you will be prepared when disaster strikes. Reality is clear: if you do not produce value, you should not obtain value. And in the long run, you won’t.

Morality creates and enhances value. Consider the people in your life without morals and compare them to the people in your life with morals. One of the most obvious differences is overall well-being and happiness; deeply religious people are some of the happiest people alive. Religion provides a “why” for morality, whether you agree or not with the why. It also encourages cooperation among people even in competitive environments. A practical comparison of this is the Amish’s entrepreneurial success rate: over 90% of new Amish businesses succeed, even when the new business competes against existing Amish businesses. This is because the Amish help each other, even if they’re competitors. The deeply religious nature of the Amish creates cooperation even though they are very capitalistic people.

As Proverbs 13:20 would warn, avoid people with little or no morals. If someone truly believes there is no Higher Power to answer to, why should they remain honest? Why should they never betray you? When you begin to realize the implication of this belief, you will see why these people may be dangerous later. A wise man knows his limits and he knows why. A fool does not.

Master basic human relations. Bezmenov uses many examples of conflict between people, such as the worker versus the boss, and how the KGB and Soviet bureaucrats used conflicts to enhance their power. Rather than working through conflicts, or negotiating with people directly, the bureaucracy of the Soviet system became the intermediary between these groups in conflict with each other. This feeds on itself: as people demand more intermediaries due to conflicts, they lose skill in negotiating with other people. The irony of this is that all negotiation carries some victory and loss, such as negotiating on the price of a car. By bringing in an intermediary, you guarantee that both parties lose.

If you have deep relationships with people, you will lose sometimes. You will never “win” everything and you shouldn’t anyway, as that’s not healthy. People who learn how interact and negotiate with others will strengthen existing relationships, but will also avoid the pitfalls that many people make when there is a conflict.

Let me re-emphasize that the two videos listed above this paragraph contain a massive amount of value; much more than this post describes. People who want lasting value will watch (less than 5% of the people who read this post). Be a winner and watch both videos; when you finish them, watch them again. Do not make the mistake of assuming that information will always be around. This is the mistake that 95% of people reading this post will make.

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