There was a time in which you could walk through the streets of Slovakia and know for sure who was a Slovak because they were using a durable grocery store bag as a briefcase or gym bag.
They would not just carry groceries in it, they would use it for all manner of things. After all, they paid 25 cents for it, why not make the most of it.
I thought little of it. My Slovak students found it incredibly tacky to see this trend in Slovakia, in which people would use grocery bags as their bags for everyday use.
How Mundane Tackiness Can Displace High Standards
Eventually, I found their concerns valid. This, after all, was a people who would not wear sweatpants to the grocery store. They would not wear hair curlers to run an errand. They would not wear flip-flops to run down to the corner store. If they had a reason to go out of the house, they would look elegant when they left the house. That meant heels, makeup, and dressed to kill. Young or old, that was how you looked as a woman. Men were expected to follow a commensurate standard of protocol in their dress, too. Society demanded those standards of elegance. A grocery store bag reused for the 63rd time did not scream elegance.
It screamed tackiness.
The low standards of the West were creeping into Slovak society. In this particular instance, it was the low standards of Western Europe creeping in, a Western Europe in a state of managed decline under the leadership of ninnies who had fallen for the swan song of environmentalism. Marxism is Marxism. Statism is statism. Totalitarianism is totalitarianism. Those things are bad. However, if you call any of those awful policies “environmentally friendly,” suddenly they are welcomed back.
The Carefree, Free Market Solution That A Simple Grocery Bag Represents
When I lived in Slovakia, I liked going back home to the United States and again seeing our chintzy, little American single-use-only grocery bags that made for great kitchen scrap bags before going to the garbage dump. Then, after a time, they were made biodegradable. After that, they were not even good for kitchen scrap bags anymore. They really did then turn into single-use-only.
Today, in some places in the United States, you need to pay for a bag by law, and it is a durable one like the bags that Slovak grandmothers have used for years and which will not biodegrade. It is another tax on life. And perhaps more importantly, it is also another attack on the quality of life.
Americans now walk around like impoverished Slovak grandmothers, reusing their grocery bags 63 times, as if it were a fine Coach handbag. Men do this rather than buying a briefcase or a gym bag.
It is tacky. It is a diminution of standards. It is not the worst, but in the context of the major societal shifts taking place, it is telling of how things are going. It is supposed to be the poor country that gets richer and learns to emulate the higher standards of the richer country. Instead, it is now the richer country that is getting poorer and is being told it must emulate the standards of the poorer country.
In Your Own Life Is Where You Are Responsible
In your own life, you need to hold the line. You need to care for yourself well. You need to dress well. You need to eat food of high quality. You need to keep your home in order. You need to keep things to a certain high standard. You need to keep lies far from you: the lie of face masks included.
How The Face Mask & Grocery Bag Trends Are Related To Each Other
Much like the grocery bag, the face mask represents such a diminution of standards, except the face mask is so much worse. When you wear one, you tell yourself, your family, and the world around you that you are willing to buy into a lie. You tell yourself, your family, and the world around you that you will fall for all manner of cons. You tell yourself, your family, and the world around you that you will do whatever it takes to avoid the discomfort that comes with not complying.
That is pure evil.
And in that scenario, it is not a mandate that is the problem. It is not society that is the problem. It is you that is the problem. And you, your home, and your community deserve better.
Entropy Surrounds Us, Will You Be The Endurant One?
Everything around us is in a state of entropy and decay. You may not be able to change the world overnight, but it is your job to keep that decay from corrupting your circle of influence. In saying that, I mean that it is your job to protect the world as you experience it.
Especially, if you are a man. But this era is in short supply of such men. I could expound at length about why that is, but it would not change the fact of the matter, nor excuse the pathetic displays I am so often party to. That, then, means that I am looking at you too women, to hold society to a high standard.
Slovak Culture Has Superior Attributes And Inferior Attributes
Slovaks have qualities culturally that I just wish Americans could emulate even one-tenth of. There are many qualities of that culture that deserve emulating.
Carrying a trash bag around and treating it like a Coach handbag is not one of those qualities. Getting bossed around by pencil-neck globalists in Brussels, Geneva, Washington, D.C., or Atlanta is not one of those qualities. Slovaks are real suckers for getting bossed around by people like that. Thinking the Western governments and media know best is not one of those qualities. Those are shortcomings to that culture, shortcomings endemic to the second world.
Some Americans Would Be Better Off In The Second World
Some Americans would be better off in the second world.
Parts of America are unquestionably like the third world. They all appear to be run by ne’er-do-wells. It is not for lack of money. It is not for lack of effort. It is for lack of standards. Let that segment of the population live that way. Do not let your home be that way. Do not let your life be that way. Demand better.
A Change In American Grocery Stores That You May Have Missed
If you have never gone shopping for groceries in the second world, perhaps you are missing something long unknown to most Americans — the increasingly common smell of rotting produce. This is starting to be noticeable at even American grocers that market toward the upper middle class.
This stench is normal for the second world. It is a new phenomenon in the United States, the breadbasket to the world. To notice it even in higher end stores is shocking to me. I believe so few Americans have travelled in the second and third world that they do not notice. It is likely some portion of those few residents of the United States who do notice may be happy that things are starting to feel a little more like home.
There is certainly a mass diminution of standards being allowed to take place in America. And I suspect many people, even some of the most savvy, do not even recognize it is happening.
Without having travelled, lived, and observed in the second world, how would such a person even know that reusable, eco-friendly garbage bags are psychosis? It is a psychosis just like the “eco-friendly” selling of produce picked out of a rotten lot of produce, rather than the freshest of the fresh.
Watch Out For These Comforting Lies You May Tell Yourself
You may comfort yourself by calling that reusable Slovak grocery bag “ecologically friendly.” You would be either a fool or a liar.
Really, is this where we are? Is this where we want to be? Not a land with every man with a beautiful leather valise or leather briefcase that he takes care of for life and hands down to his grandson, but a reusable plastic bag good for up to 60 uses?
You will own nothing and like it.
Is this where we want to be? Not a land with every woman with ten or twenty durable and beautiful leather purses for every occasion that she takes care of for life and hands down to her granddaughters and great-granddaughters, but a reusable plastic bag good for up to 60 uses?
The Cultural Decay Of The Globe Can Be Seen Through The Microcosm Of Slovak “Ice Cream”
Another aspect of a culture I love, but which shows the cultural strain of having lived through communism, is the food product known as zmrzlina that exists in Slovakia. All those consonants together sound something like this: “Smurf-Sleena.”It literally means “frozen thing,” and is often translated as ice cream. There is less milk in this product than there is in a McDonald’s shake. The main ingredient in zmrzlina is often margarine.
On hot summer days, Slovak children have frozen margarine with artificial exotic colors and artificial flavors handed to them on a cone or in a bowl. Do you understand that?
That is what the powerbrokers of the globe want to make sure your children also get on a summer day. And sadly, most Slovaks know no better. It looks pretty much the same as the movies and does not taste half bad, but you are eating flavored margarine in place of the finest ice cream known to man.
The Many Modern Belief Systems That Act To Level Society, Commoditize Society, & Dehumanize Society
Communism, like its cousin fascism (the combination of business and government power), or its cousin crony capitalism (the combination of business and government power), or its cousin globalism (the disempowering and isolation of the individual at the behest of collectivist bodies, through the combination of business and government power), bring about the leveling of society and the mass production of the lowest common denominator product. Though often called a free market, these are as far as one can get from free markets.
A free market does not have as its defining feature the combining of government interests with any other interests, least of all mercantile interests.
In the systems described, there is an over class, an enforcer class, and the rest. “The rest” get to feed their children margarine on a stick colored with red 40 and the “natural” flavor that is beaver gland secretions.
The rest get to take their children to “free” government cancer centers where they can take it or leave it, but a third option is not available.
The rest get to work in their unionized quasi-governmental jobs.
The rest get to drive the uninspiring car that is the same as every other uninspiring car — gets you from point A to point B, and scolds you throughout the process.
The rest get to take their children to government indoctrination centers for 8 hours a day.
The rest get to come home to their tired wife dragging herself and the kids in the door from a draining day of work before someone does the sink full of dishes, eat some fast food or TV dinners or whatever slop a tired working family can whip up, and watch another 3 or 4 hours of government indoctrination until they start snoring on the couch.
This is a far cry from a free market. This is a far cry from high standards.
The Slow Wearing Down Of Humanity That Modernity Has Exemplified
Slovak culture up until World War 2 is societally admirable. Slovak culture from all points thereafter has been a slow wearing down of the humanity of the individual. Modernity has proven itself a mighty challenge on that culture, which had previously so well survived the test of time. Poland, the Ukraine, Mongolia, and Morocco are the same in that regard.
They are the second world.
The second world is not the first world, and, for some unclear reason, many Americans act like the idea of the second world is preferable to what America has known. And while these countries are not the second world, France, Sweden, and Finland are just as hopelessly lost. Ikea chic is what the young urbans aspire to live in. Driving “Smart” cars is a dream come true. And so is living the gender fluid and confused existences cited by historians as having existed in places as disparate as Jonah’s Ninevah, the Medici’s Florence, and the Rockefeller’s New York.
Hardly can the West be looked to for examples of high standards.
Buried deep within the second world is a different example — men and women who live lives according to timeless values. Within those countries, their cultures stay alive. These are versions of culture more aligned with the values that allowed those cultures to stand the test of time.
The drive for uniformity in those present-day cultures are very powerful, though. How hard the modern seeks to hammer out the timeless and beautiful details of culture that the blindest members of society can only perceive as inefficiencies.
In this regard, the students of Milton Friedman are as active in modernizing as the students of Gramsci, Adorno, or Marcuse. Though some would challenge the distinction as modern versus post-modern, both classes of thought so significantly leave out the important human element as they seek to both describe humanity and prescribe to humanity.
Yes, I just placed Friedman and Gramsci in the same category.
Your Silence May Work Against You
In the first world, such people seeking to live by timeless values exist too, though far less plentifully. Their cultural hiding places are so mightily under siege and have been for far longer than in the second and third world. The second world, to some extent, but especially the third world, are only starting to have their cultural hiding places fall under attack in this drive to level humanity, make it efficient, and to make it manageable.
The cultural interventions that have transpired since the Ides of March 2020 are but an extension of that movement. And in that, one may ask: what is a free man to do when he has eyes to see that evil for what it is?
Starting with you, and by focusing on your values, is where that solution begins. If you have no values, then get a Bible to read a little every day and get to a church that never closed down. The hour is very late, but you are in good company, for the opposition to the dominant societal trend is so very resolute. Perhaps some among them will even come to see that it is time to stop hiding.
And if you already know those values of yours, then rely on them, but it will be hard for you to find better than the sources I have just described. It is incumbent upon anyone who desires to be considered an adult to be adept at identify his boundaries, communicating his boundaries, and defending his boundaries. This is the same as to say it is incumbent upon anyone who desires to be considered an adult to be adept at identify his values, communicating his values, and defending his values.
This is the basic work ahead of you. It extends into real applications in the world around you. Those applications of this concept to the world around you allow you a different path. They allow you an exit from this mess we are in.
The Way Out Is Simple, The Solution Is Clear, Victory Is Within Reach
The way out is this simple: quit living like a slave. Demand better. Demand better at every turn in your life.
You do not need to change the world overnight. Lay one good and decent step in front of another. Be as good as you can.
Nothing more is needed of you.
If you stop trying to change the entire world overnight, if you focus primarily on your behavior, and if you focus secondarily on the behavior of those closest to you, then you will come to change the most important thing about the world that you can — yourself.
In doing so, you will come to change the world as you know it.
The distracting news from around-the-corner, and from far-off places alike, want to attract your attention elsewhere. It is meant to draw your attention away from that righteous pursuit to focus on yourself, your home, and your community in that order, and to do so guided not by what the news says to take note of, but guided by your values. Entertainment does the same. The many electronic boxes and screens around you seek to do the same. Anyone trying to get you to open your wallet seeks to do the same.
Focus on yourself, focus on your home, focus on your community — in that order. If you can do that, you will change the world as you know it.
Quit wearing the slave mask. If you don’t know why to quit wearing the slave mask, then “Face Masks in One Lesson” (available here) (https://www.amazon.com/Face-Masks-Lesson-Allan-Stevo/dp/1953847005) is for you. For more on why that is so important to do, read “Face Masks Hurt Kids.” (available here) (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1953847153/) For hard-hitting, daily emails filled with wonderful wisdom on this topic and others, visit www.RealStevo.com.
The daily news and opinion site LewRockwell.com was founded in 1999 by anarcho-capitalists Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert to help carry on the anti-war, anti-state, pro-market work of Murray N. Rothbard. Visit https://www.lewrockwell.com
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