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The Little Things

Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want, 1943.

1,995 words

I think it is safe to assume that most Counter-Currents readers are familiar with the phrase “death by 1000 cuts,” which is an expression translated into English from the protracted Chinese torture process known as lingchi. In political-speak, its close cousin is the analogy of the slow boiling frog. Dissidents on our side of the great divide have an intuitive understanding that we’ve come to our current impasse through subtle but profound changes in policy and attitudes that our political enemies call “progress.”

Both expressions articulate a sense of victimhood, the notion that the trajectory into which our culture has been thrust is one forced upon us by malevolent actors through an orchestrated playbook. While I suffer no delusions concerning the very real and very anti-white organizations (such as the ADL and SPLC) that hold tremendous sway in shaping political discourse, and thus the contemporary attitudes of our society, I contend that our predicament could be just as fairly described as “suicide by 1000 pills.” To put it frankly, much of our suffering is self-inflicted.

Indeed, it is the little things that get us, the small changes that we willingly embrace because they seem to save us time, seem to save us money, or seem to alleviate stress, discomfort, or conflict from our lives. Be it in the form of new technologies, lifestyle conveniences, more options or choices, or more shortcuts, these things might superficially benefit us in the short term, but in the long term, they often serve to further alienate us, to deracinate us, and to retard us from living meaningful lives. They weaken the fibers of family and community that strengthen our society.

I’d like to draw some wisdom from personal anecdotes, the lived experience of a middle-aged Gen Xer who grew up in the semi-rural Appalachian south of the 70s and 80s.

I am the eldest child of a blue-collar working-class family. I grew up in a time when the service sector in our economy, which includes national restaurant and retail chains, was just beginning to expand and drive out small mom and pop local businesses. In the 70s, outside of the hustle and bustle of large cities, most people rarely ate meals that weren’t prepared at home. Fast food franchises were just beginning, however sparsely, to take a foothold in suburban communities, and most people considered themselves “lucky” to have a “Sizzler” steakhouse or perhaps a “Big Boy” serving comfort foods within driving distance. The endless corridors of Applebee’s, Chili’s, PF Chang’s, and Olive Gardens that you see in today’s urban hellscape didn’t exist back then.

Granted, most women were genuinely feminine in the maternal sense in those days, embraced their role as housewives, and demonstrated less grievance toward their families by preparing them home-cooked meals. In a society where people value family over materialism, there is naturally going to be a smaller market for fast food and restaurant dining, and as was the case back then, the occasional “family night out” niche could be filled by a local restauranteur or mom and pop diner.

The 1980s brought sweeping changes to small-town America as women began to flood the workforce en masse. By the 1990s, even two-parent middle-class nuclear families were beginning to depend on take-out dining and processed frozen foods for their nutrition on a daily basis.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m the eldest child of my family. I have one younger sibling, a sister. Though only a few years younger, she was quicker to marry and have children than I. By the mid-90s, she had given birth to two children and married a stable, dependable professional who afforded her the ability to stay at home, at least part of the time, and otherwise pick and choose transient work that amounted to “fun money.”

Yet, as I observed her behavior through those early adult years, it was clear that my sister had been poisoned by the worst selfish, narcissist aspects of modernity. She was basically a good person, but she rarely took the time to plan out home-cooked meals for her family, even when she wasn’t working. Her refrigerator was stocked full of frozen pizzas, TV dinners, French fries, and hotdogs. To be certain, her family never missed a meal and she didn’t evade her duty by at least popping things into the microwave or oven, but neither she nor her husband ever gave a second thought to the psychosocial havoc this was wreaking on their family, not to mention their physical well-being.

You can buy The World in Flames: The Shorter Writings of Francis Parker Yockey here.

My nephew suffered the most from her lackadaisical parenting. He became very spoiled from eating cheap calorie fast food. The breadth of his nutritional intake came from chicken nuggets, French fries, pepperonis, be they on a pizza or straight out of a package, and hotdogs. His grandmother (my mom) had to make sure her freezer was always stocked with the same garbage. It was so bad that he literally refused fruit, vegetables, soups, salads, or even meat that wasn’t served out of a frozen cardboard box.

Some nights, when the rest of the family was tired of processed junk, my sister, or her husband, might put a little more effort into cooking a real meal. Luckily her other child wasn’t as spoiled and would eat most anything he was offered, and I’m sure her husband welcomed the TLC of a home-cooked supper. They might even take this occasion to gather around the dining room table and eat as a family instead of in the living room in front of the TV. Yet, invariably, a frozen pizza or chicken nuggets had to be prepared as well if my nephew was going to eat anything.

By contrast, my mother and father were far from perfect, but this was not how my sister and I were raised. As young children, our only food that came out of a box was breakfast cereal. I remember my dad planting a vegetable garden every year when I was young, and my mother would can much of it in Ball or Mason jars. This only served as a supplement to fresh store-bought food, but we were content to have simple meals of beans, corn, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and occasional meats such as sliced ham or fried chicken.

Needless to say, by our teenage years my sister and I were relatively fit and healthy. But times were changing in the late 80s — my own mother was working more, and even she was lured into indulging the conveniences of processed, frozen, and fast food. This had the unfortunate consequence of setting a precedent and poor example for my sister from the get-go, and the quickly expanding service industry of the 90s was happy to oblige her “needs.”

So what became of my sister and her family?

Well, both my sister and nephew became obese. This put a strain on her marriage, and her husband eventually cheated on her (I make no excuses for him, but I’ve no doubts as to the cause). They divorced, and currently live in different states. Her children also live alienated lives, with the less nutritionally spoiled one moving to the West Coast, living as a bohemian, playing in a band, and undoubtedly participating in the Antifa riots, looting, and “peaceful” protests that define our times.

The narrative I’m weaving here is not about casting aspersions on my sister or anyone else. Lord knows that these same social carcinogens have colored my choices and damaged my life as well. I simply possess a more unique gift of self-reflection than most, and have been able to recognize the patterns that have shaped our lives over the course of time.

It’s the small things, the simple choices we make, the shortcuts we take, the bad habits we refuse to confront. These are the pills that collect in our systems and irrecoverably poison us. Destroying the things we should hold dear.

My example of choosing fast food, processed food, highlights the mind virus buried deep in our collective psyches: hyper-individualism coupled with materialism. Our ancestors understood that shared meals, prepared by mothers to be consumed together as a family, provided us a sense of unity. The proliferation of all-too-many choices in our consumer-oriented culture has eroded that unity. Even the seemingly harmless act of picking different meals off a menu at McDonald’s or Taco Bell has the unintended consequence of programming selfishness into the hard wiring of our children’s minds.

We have a choice not to do this, to not allow it to happen to the next generation. A gun was never held to my mother or sister’s head to force them to choose the easy route. With the understanding that the little things, these little choices and shortcuts, are shaping the minds of our children, it is clear that doing it differently might at least create an opportunity for a different outcome.

Personally, I consciously choose to prepare 90% of my meals at home, and I do not give my children a choice. The only frozen foods in my refrigerator are frozen vegetables. I don’t stock a wide variety of drinks, typically only milk, tea, and perhaps lemonade. At restaurants, my children drink ice water with lemon slices with their meal. More often than not, we share off the family size portion of the menu when we do dine out. I make no claim that this is a fool-proof child-rearing strategy, but at least I’m making proactive cognitive decisions about how my children interact with the society we are forced to live in. I’m not programming their minds to believe themselves the center of the universe.

I want to sum this up by pointing to this recent exchange as Tucker Carlson transitioned to his nightly introduction of Sean Hannity on Fox News.

After a critical segment on Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his obscene wealth, Sean Hannity takes a jab at Carlson’s less-than-enthusiastic attitude about unregulated capitalism. Predictably, Hannity defends Amazon’s corporate monopoly because Bezos offers “goods and services” that the public desires. Hannity always takes the side of big business over the good of the public at large.

How does this relate to the anecdotes I’ve offered about my family?

It is just another example of what we have all come to accept, to take for granted, and in some cases even embrace, in the name of ease, comfort, and perceived savings or efficiencies. The Sean Hannities of the world talk a good talk about family values, but refuse to address the mounting pile of elephant dung in the room that our overabundance of individual choices eventually creates.

The Sean Hannities of the world will applaud an endless dystopia of Red Robins, IHOPs, Subways, Golden Corrals, and Papa John’s, because of their endless choices of goods and services, while ignoring the 1200-pound family of four shuffling up to the potato bar in their oversized mustard-stained tee shirts. He’ll betray his vocalized family value beliefs by ignoring the fact that the divorced single mother of three who works at the buffet and stocks the pies is also working 2 other part-time jobs to feed her children while their disabled grandmother takes care of them. Oh, those amazing goods and services that people want, desire, and “need.”

Yes, it’s the little things, these seemingly innocuous small things that add up to create an unsustainable mess of a culture that is spinning utterly, and seemingly irreversibly, out of control.

The little things that start and end with you, with us, together.

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  1. We Need a New Gospel
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time. Cuts deep to a center issue of our present predicament, and one that an all-too-high number of our people struggle to metabolize—but this might just be enough to help the medicine go down. There are people in my life that need to hear this, and I’m prepared to bring it to them. Thank you.

    • John Wilkinson
      Posted July 27, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Thank you!

      I’d be genuinely proud if anything I’ve written here benefits you, your family, or friends in any way.

  2. Posted July 27, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The blogger Modern Heretic 3000 referred to McDonald’s as the yellow slop house. Haven’t been able to eat there since I read this

  3. Jud Jackson
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Great Article. I might change the title to “The Big Things.” “Bit” as in “Really Important”.

  4. Some White Guy
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I applause your piece, Mr. Wilkinson. My upbringing was similar to yours, although about a decade before you and on the other side of the country. There are exceptionally few people today who impart the simple values you mention, and sadly so. My best memories of growing up are of family meals, family gatherings, the annual family gardening, and a summer of endless swimming and no television (no reception at the summer house in the pre-cable era). When I see how children are raised today, it seems criminal by comparison.

  5. Wendy Harper
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Food is the foundation of everything. Realizing what the food industry has done to American health is a big red pill, but it’s hard for some people to swallow the fact that these big powerful corporations do not care if you get sick and die, as long as they get your money. It’s depressing to realize the rich and powerful are our enemies and that so much of what we’ve been fed (literally and figuratively) all our lives is poison. I muse sometimes about the types of people who break free from the Standard American Diet (SAD). I wonder if, like me, they have a tendency to be loners with a critical eye, a bit antisocial and possibly with roots in a rocky childhood. Some of them were driven to seek healthier food by their own chronic health issues. Whatever causes people to wake up and push away the poison, more and more of us seem to be doing it. But the process is so slow.

    • John Wilkinson
      Posted July 27, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      It really is, so very truly.

      If you go back in time, and think about the very first (well in modern terms at least) fast food and junk food businesses, I think we can all agree that they were an honest business model.
      Prior to WW2, the soda industry, for example, existed almost purely as a “treat” beverage. Something that a father and/or mother might indulge their children on the weekend when they went into town to do the week’s shopping or after church. Very few people kept their refrigerator stocked with Coca-Cola or Dr Pepper 24/7/365.

      Fast food for most people was a drive-in, and again, this was a “date night” thing, or a family event. And probably not all that regular for 95% of families. People just simply considered such things as treats or luxuries, not as staples of their diets.

      Fast food in itself isn’t all that new. They’ve excavated kiosks on the streets of Pompeii and Herculaneum that served whole grain bread, roasted meat, dried figs, and beer or wine “on the go”. But those foods reflected a normative healthy caloric intake rather than cheap carbs and fats that make up american diets today.

      I do think that the diet redpill is critical. The very notion that corporations have lobbied at the state, federal, and even local level for this current mess is extremely troubling. Unfortunately these wealthy and powerful elites see us as cattle to be managed. Feeding us is just a math formula to them. Our poor health just opens up more markets and more jobs in the pharma and health industries. And that’s good for their bottom lines.

  6. John Wilkinson
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t go into this deeply in this personal narrative, but I don’t want to leave the impression that I don’t love my extended family nor that I question my sister’s love for her children. The pistons of modernity leave none of us unscathed. Women are especially vulnerable. Their wills are more easily broken and their attitudes more easily influenced by popularity and status. This doesn’t make them bad people, in a saner time, women would be just as “devout” in their devotion to nation, hearth, and kin, as they are currently in their devotion to modern mores.

    • John Wilkinson
      Posted July 27, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      *poisons* of modernity

      • Adrian
        Posted July 28, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        *Pistons* works for me.

    • Jageo
      Posted July 27, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      And from that it follows, as the night the day, that they should never be allowed the franchise.

      They could be be allowed to run for office though. My own innovation and concession to extraordinary women.

  7. Liam Kernaghan
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I know I’m stating the obvious, but preparing meals from scratch is not hard and saves a helluva lot of money. It’s not even that time consuming – a stew or casserole can be left to cook on a gentle heat unattended while you busy yourself with other tasks around the home. The only element that absorbs time with this sort of food preparation is the peeling and slicing of vegetables; the possible cutting of meat or fish, and the par-boiling or stir-frying of the ingredients prior to adding the stock for cooking. For a medium to large stew or casserole, this latter should only take about 20 minutes. Any uneaten food can be refrigerated or frozen for use later.
    I hardly ever eat takeaway or restaurant food, first and foremost because in the UK, perhaps most fast-food outlets are owned by non-White immigrants and secondly, as mentioned earlier its the expense. If I’m travelling a long way from home and I need something to eat, unless I’ve brought some home-made sandwiches, I’ll head to a large nation-wide chain supermarket and purchase relatively inexpensive sandwiches and pies to keep myself going.

  8. Robert Clingan
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed that some people merely use the “saved time” by cutting these corners to indulge themselves in more television watching or video-game playing. Wasting more time is not saving it!

    By the way, there is an effort to make “diversified” versions of Norman Rockwell paintings like the one in this article, offering a direct contrast between the wholesome lives we want and the perversions the enemy wishes to inflict upon them. New York Times ran an article on it:

  9. Archer
    Posted July 27, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    OT, to the editor, I think it would useful to analyze and rebut Ron Unz’s recent diatribe against “white nationalism”. I thought there was some incorrect reasoning in there, much of which was touched upon in the comments, but a complete response is warranted.

  10. Posted July 27, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    The traditional Western family is the most efficient and effective social “program” ever devised.

    It is Marxism’s primary competitor.

    Mating practices may explain the intelligence disparity between black Africans and white Europeans.

    Here’s why:

    The ideal European model had been one-mate-for-life. “‘Til death do us part” compels one to chose a mate with forethought. The African model has been impulse mating with no forethought of outcomes, resulting in a trans-generational perpetuation of impulse mating.

    It seems Western culture has succumbed to adopt the sub-Saharan African model.

    What do you think?

    • John Wilkinson
      Posted July 28, 2020 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Undoubtedly the 1960s sexual “revolution” was “devised” as a means to destroy the family unit. I use the term revolution loosely, because just as the current “revolution” is being sponsored by corporate America and western oligarchs, the social revolutions of the ‘60s were deliberate and well funded, hardly spontaneous.

      As to africanizing our culture, I think the general thrust of egalitarianism based on Frankfurt School Cultural Marxism is to destroy, undermine, and delegitimize anything that is superior or strong. This gets into R/K selection theory, but obviously the monogamous European nuclear family ideal is superior to promiscuity, but inverting everything in order to make promiscuous behavior seem more desirable serves to bring people down to the “lowest common denominator”. Thus you see this growing fetishization of black men by desirable white women, the kind of white women who are most susceptible to social pressure and the need for status and popularity.

      It’s all very sinister.

      • Posted July 28, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink


      • Jaego
        Posted July 28, 2020 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Black Pigeon just made a video about the Kalergi Plan. He’s stayed away from overtly White issues up to the point, but the ferocity of the attack has evidently moved him – and off youtube to Bichute.

    • Lord Shang
      Posted July 29, 2020 at 3:24 am | Permalink

      Roger Devlin has written brilliantly on these themes. See his CC book and many essays on the Sexual Revolution.

    • A.M.
      Posted July 29, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Kenn, I just linked to your site, and I appreciate the content, I’ll definitely be returning to it from time to time for the foreseeable future. Thank you specifically for featuring the video with Core Issues Trust leader Dr. Mike Davidson challenging Britain’s scientifically invalid justification for it’s illegalization of voluntary change oriented therapy for people with unwanted homosexual attractions, something that even the majority of “zoomers” in that ultra-liberal country do not support. You should also feature his last video in which he, and his colleagues, talk about the way “gay” activists spent the last month incessantly sabotaging and torturing them for doing the kind of work they do, in which they show viewers a picture of one of the messages sent to him by one of them in which they tell him that they hope his family will get raped and die, and how he should commit suicide.
      This coming from people claiming their primary concern is with empathy towards people struggling with desires to commit suicide because of other people’s cruelty. These people, if they can even be called that, are absolute monsters with no scruples or conscience whatsoever. What you’re wrong about is that these developments are in any way actually
      connected to authentic Marxist ideology, however. I suggest that nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing similar has ever happened in a country ruled by an orthodox communist party, nor was it even conceivable, and the few countries which still retain such governments today are among the least likely in the world to ever enact such measures. These facts stand in glaring contrast with your thesis that Marxism is the motivator for all degenerate behavior in contemporary western society. Moreover, consider the fact that homosexuality was only declassified as a mental illness in 1999 in Russia, decades after the 1972 declassification date in capitalist America, and a decade after the collapse of the USSR. I also have a persuasive anecdote to add to that. My country was still ruled by a party that adhered to orthodox Marxist ideology when I was born, and I myself am a Marxist. Neither I nor any orthodox Marxist I have ever met
      ever considered homosexuality a mental condition that should ever even be declassified
      as a mental illness in the first place, a perspective considered disagreeably illiberal even on a “radical” rightist site like counter-currents. Whether for better or worse implications about it, I believe you, and most westerners, routinely mischaracterize Marxism out of political pragmatism. Both the so called left and right are guilty of this, even the term “cultural marxism,” though surely preferable to simply using the term marxism in the same context, is guilty of proliferating this mischaracterization. I disagree with you
      about that, but I’m sure that there are a fair number of things, like that a saner world begins with recognizing the reality of differences, both desirable and undesirable,
      among people, or that illegalizing a voluntary therapy that helps people live more
      socially productive lives is wrong, that we can agree on completely.

  11. Afterthought
    Posted July 28, 2020 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    An important topic. The real epidemic is not some silly virus, but obesity.

    In short: back to the land, eat less-move more, reduce stress/cortisol by sleeping, avoiding stress inducing propaganda, and finally counteract the Great Stressor: Nihilism, in the manner that you see fit.

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