The Wages Of Parasites

According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, Sears is on the verge of finally going out of business. For people under the age of forty, this is a meaningless event, as Sears has not been a part of the public consciousness for decades. For those old enough to remember, the early 1990’s was the last time Sears was an anchor store at malls and shopping centers. I think the last time I had a reason to shop at Sears was at the old Natick Mall in the 1990’s. I think I bought a kitchen item, but I no longer recall exactly.

The conventional telling of these stories says that the big retail stores were killed by some combination of Amazon and the internet. That’s mostly just myth-making as companies like Sears were struggling when Amazon was still just a river in Brazil. The big box store, as they came to be called, was always a bad idea that started to show signs of weakness in the 80’s. The logic of this type of retail is a race to the bottom, where margins are maintained by stripping out the value that is implicit in the local retail store concept.

Think of it this way. The local retailer does more than sell stuff. In practice, he stocks the things popular with his community and offers customer service to help his neighbors get the best product for their needs. He’s also going to sponsor the local little league teams and participate in the community. Big retail takes the social capital and the customer service and turns that into a quick profit for the chain store, by cutting prices at the retail side and purchasing power on the supply side. It’s a form of economic piracy.

This model works fine until all of the local competition is gone. At that point it is a battle of soulless wholesalers operating out of warehouse style facilities. The only competition between a Sears and a K-Mart, another defunct chain, was price and location. One thing that is certain about a race to the bottom is that everyone eventually reaches the finish line and for big retail that has meant bankruptcy. You see this with Amazon. Their retailing arm is the marketing expense for their media and technology services now.

This is why conservatives used to be skeptical of capitalism. They correctly saw the reality of large scale retail. It was not that the big retailer was better at selling product or provided a better service. In fact, it has always been the obvious. If you go to your local Home Depot, for example, you are unlikely to get any help from the staff, unless you tackle one of them in the aisle. Even then, the quality of service is so poor, you are better off not asking for help. Big retail turns customer service into a net negative.

Big retail operates as a parasite through false economy. It’s a form of cost shifting, where the loss of social capital and customer service is pushed into the distance, while the cheap prices are in the present. The Old Right understood the corrosive nature of this form of retail and opposed it. Today, everyone laments the loss of local retail and the town shopping district. We’re told it is the result of Amazon being a better choice, but in reality the cause is the willingness of our leaders to auction off our social capital.

Another example of this is the local industrial supply store. Electrical wholesale, welding supplies, HVAC wholesalers and other business that served the trades used to be locally owned family businesses. They were never wildly profitable, but they provided a nice living as a family business. Fred’s Welding Supply would sponsor a little league team, while Fred participated in the community and sent his kids to the local schools. Sometimes one guy would own a couple of stores if his town or city was big enough to support it.

Today, these businesses have been bought up by investment firms powered by credit money from investors. An investment firm gets set up and they bankroll one bigger player as he buys up all of the competitors. The “economies of scale” are that the owners are removed, the accounting and sales staff is centralized and the social capital is carted off to the investors as profit. The customers may get a small break in price, but usually the only thing they notice is the staff now treat them like strangers, rather than neighbors.

Libertarians and “conservatives” will read this and reflexively start chirping about free markets and invisible hands, but there is a reason they are now a punchline. That’s because these are ideologies, if you want to be generous and elevate them to ideologies, that make all the same assumptions about humanity as the Marxists. That is, they see man as the ultimate consumer, a beast that devours his environment, in the same way a plague of locusts wipes out a field. Whittaker Chambers explained this 60 years ago.

Tragedy is bypassed by the pursuit of happiness. Tragedy is henceforth pointless. Henceforth man’s fate, without God, is up to him, and to him alone. His happiness, in strict materialist terms, lies with his own workaday hands and ingenious brain. His happiness becomes, in Miss Rand’s words, “the moral purpose of his life.” Here occurs a little rub whose effects are just as observable in a free enterprise system, which is in practice materialist (whatever else it claims or supposes itself to be), as they would be under an atheist Socialism, if one were ever to deliver that material abundance that all promise. The rub is that the pursuit of happiness, as an end in itself, tends automatically, and widely, to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure, with a consequent general softening of the fibers of will, intelligence, spirit. No doubt, Miss Rand has brooded upon that little rub. Hence, in part, I presume, her insistence on “man as a heroic being” “with productive achievement as his noblest activity.” For, if Man’s “heroism” (some will prefer to say: “human dignity”) no longer derives from God, or is not a function of that godless integrity which was a root of Nietzsche’s anguish, then Man becomes merely the most consuming of animals, with glut as the condition of his happiness and its replenishment his foremost activity. So Randian Man, at least in his ruling caste, has to be held “heroic” in order not to be beastly. And this, of course, suits the author’s economics and the politics that must arise from them.

A life with no other purpose than to work and consume is actually lower than beastly, because the beast in the field only eats to live. It does not live to eat. Like all living things, it lives to make more copies of itself. For man, possessed of a self-awareness and the capacity to remake his environment, the purpose of life expands to the celebration of life by not only reproducing but leaving a cultural legacy for the next generation. The point of life is for old men to plant trees in whose shade they will never stand.

The auctioning off of our social capital has corresponded with the startling spike in suicide rates. Cosmopolitan globalism and the transactional consumerism that drives it, strips people of their humanity. Like drug addicts, they no longer have the capacity to experience the normal pleasures. The heroin addict is always faced with the choice. Give up the junk and became whole again or take the easy way out. That’s what faces the people of the modern West. The choice is revolt against modernity or amuse ourselves to death.

 

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FellowDissident
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FellowDissident

(((They’re))) out to remove us. Societal cost shifting leaves zero doubt nevermind the narrative. Prevail or die. Because you will.

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds

The shopping mall, Press F, is interesting in that all four of the department stores were in the same place, and so had incentive to ensure that none of them eliminated the other. One lost anchor store in a mall causes a domino effect. Very cartel-like behavior that lolbertarians never seemed to notice, not as if the mall developers weren’t deep pocketed. Some may recall the name DeBartolo, before my time.

The mall represents a fake community, and the new “town centers” represent an astroturf community. Amazon isn’t a community at all.

De Beers Diamonds
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De Beers Diamonds

The owner of Sears is a Jewish finance guy that is an Ayn Rand fanatic.

The results were almost preordained.

Rev.Hoagie
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Rev.Hoagie

Sears is a corporation and “owned” by its shareholders. The CEO, Eddie Lampert is not the owner. Sears was started in 1983. How many retail consumer companies do you know that last 125 years? If you are a businessman like I am you will understand that everything has a beginning and an end. Every business has its Bell Curve. Markets change, tastes change. Shit happens. Songle changes can be anticipated some not. Some businesses can change with them some not. But no business will be able to change with all of them. A business just like a frog, a car,… Read more »

Member

Damn good run, I say.

Member

And the first recognizable escalator in 1899.
Sears, of course, was the Amazon of its day, Imagine the damage done to local handymen and laborers and trades by its mail order catalog- where you could buy a ready to assemble house.

Rod1963
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Rod1963

Sears is part and parcel old school America. The one that existed before malls and big box stores where the white blue collar and middle-class family shopped at during the weekend. Same applied to Kmart. The arrival of Wal-Mart and the other big box stores meant vicious throat cutting competition it couldn’t compete against and survive. The big boxes took out a lot of smaller chains and independents as well. I watched our town center up and die as Wal-Mart and Home Deport got going. Stores that were there on main street for he last 30 years went poof. Another… Read more »

DeBeers Diamonds
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DeBeers Diamonds

Sears was founded as a way to undercut the “general dry goods store” in each small town circa the late 19th century. Department stores happened due to the rural population decline after 1920.

Allstate, Discover and Coldwell Banker were all spun off of Sears due to Wall Street pressure in the 90s. US finance hates this kind of organization that is very common in Japan, the infamous zaibatsu.

Jonah Kyle
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Jonah Kyle

In short, Sears was the original Pre-Internet Amazon, in that their business model was warehouse-to-consumer via the Postal service BEFORE they opened up retail outlets.

Member

Ah, I see I stepped on your point, sorry.

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Then Sears took advantage of the completed small rail network, just as Walmart did with interstate trucking or China and container shipping.

Ganderson
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Ganderson

Richard Sears was a railway agent in Redwood Falls, MN, who realized the potential uses of the rails for retail distribution. Sears, Roebuck did have a good run.

Member

What a black pill here. My dad retired from Sears as an appliance repairman many years ago. Last of the decent salaries ever seen there since. There are a few stalwart family hardware stores near me, to my amazement.

I have had my fill of libertarians (even paleo), Austrian economists and every person that uses that shit term heroic when describing economic man. Progressives? They are nothing.

For the most part we are truly consumerist meat sticks. If Dawkins has his way, that won’t even be a metaphor.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5499911/amp/Richard-Dawkins-claims-eat-lab-grown-human-meat.html

Burner Prime
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Burner Prime

I know people who raised families and retired comfortably from Sears – way back in the day. Appliance salesmen. Sadly those days ended in the early 90’s.

Rev.Hoagie
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Rev.Hoagie

And I know a guy who raised a family and retired comfortably as a milk man. Times change, like I said.

Northgunner
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Northgunner

Note to Richard Dawkins: Soylent Green is people!!

revjen45
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revjen45

At the local Ace Hardware the staff will help you find the right fastener(s) from a stellar array. I hope they stay around.

Member

Agree

Conner Bell
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Conner Bell

Too many small, family businesses began to take their customer base for granted; continuing to charge outrageous prices or failing to join co-op buyers, (which could help keep prices lower), simply because “That ain’t the way we do things around here.” I still recall small businesses in my home town that refused to accept credit cards, because the owners weren’t going to give those finance companies “no damned 2 percent” for such convenience to their customers; well after credit cards became widely accepted. Free market capitalism means: “Change and upgrade and compete on your strengths, or DIE!” We have this… Read more »

Member

Capitalism is merely functional and efficient, but no less corrosive than Socialism. While Libertarians will rail if Washington DC became communist and controlled local business, they will cheer if Wall Street does so (especially if the stock indicies ascend). But does it matter if the local school team is abandoned by Moscow on the Potomac or Wall Street? The free market is efficient, but amoral. There is either no justice, or the warped rules of first party voluntary exchange (toxic waste disposed of in the local river is third party). The Founding Fathers recognized Government as a fire that needed… Read more »

Northgunner
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Northgunner

There is NO ‘Free Market’ and FUSSA is functionally a communist country; read Boston T. Party’s/Kenneth Royce’s “Goodbye April 15th!” the section on the commie manifesto and take note of how many of the 10 planks have been successfully adopted and energized into ‘normal day to day government functioning’. And it’s no good to run about crying, “muhh cuntstipooption!!…we need to get back to the cuntstipooption for ‘murica to be fixed!!” as that document has been proven to be a intentionally contrived criminal fraud by a. hamilton and his ‘founding lawyer/bankster friends and supporters (Aaron Burr had exactly the right… Read more »

Member

Longest surviving written constitution since the Twelve Tables. Not too shabby. I’ll take that and raise you an incoherent rant.

Member

Joe Sobran: ‘ As I sometimes put it, the U.S. Constitution poses no serious threat to our form of government.

Member

Most revolutions are powered by appeals to ancient rights or forms. That parchment may save our grandkids asses some day.

Rod1963
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Rod1963

It has no power. People do but no longer exercise it out of selfishness. Do you see a uprising to stop the Sacker familiy from flooding the country with Oxycontin? No.

Do you see the people getting in the face of Ryan and McConnell to put a end to the censorious crap pulled by Silicon Valley? Nope, just a big yawn.

Or the Chambers of Commerce keeping our boarders wide open? Again nothing.

Lineman
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Lineman

It has no power. People do but no longer exercise it out of selfishness.
Only when they have the organized numbers though… Which I don’t know why the right can’t figure that out…

Member

Did I say this was happening now?
I’m not talking about a prevailing mood, but about how things go historically. Chances are there will be a time of mass discontent sometime in the future and people will look for rationales to justify acting on that discontent. It has happened throughout history, in almost every culture north of the equator.

A.B Prosper
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A.B Prosper

50 Million immigrants will do that to a society. Before that there was barely an “us” in the US as it was anyway. Most of the pre 65 immigrants while “White” were people who simply couldn’t function in a fully developed society like Europe. They were a mess of highly uncooperative people grifters, criminals carpetbaggers, failures at home, surplus people and religious nutters A nation whose stock is made up of folks like that has by nature weak social capital the post war consensus was a product of industrial age and given how easy it was for a small communist… Read more »

Member

It all comes down to the 19th. If women hadn’t been given the franchise, then there is no Prohibition. Without that, the worst of the turn of the century immigrants either fly right or find somewhere else.

james wilson
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james wilson

Sobran also said the Constitution originally was an anti-trust act against government. The anti-Federalist saw it Aristotle’s way–in time this form of government will be taken over by a cabal of it’s enemies, it’s every meaning stood on it’s head. As Z pointed out, it’s run lasted 72 years, we’ve been coasting for the rest.

Member

You post something about your Dad working at Sears and how it had a pretty good run. Then turn around and throw a black pill on the constitution, right after I said it had a pretty good run.

Looking for some consistency here.

Extra-long Dendrite
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Extra-long Dendrite

Right. Homo sapiens has been reduced to Homo economicus. Rather than growing up and learning to deal with the existential challenges of life, we are reduced to choosing among big-box stores and products. I am continually amazed by the length, depth, and sophistication of many product reviews on Amazon.com, versus the ignorance and thoughtlessness of people’s political, social, and philosophical views. Some years ago there was a popular bumper sticker: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Toys — whether they are rubber ducks or game consoles — appeal to children of all ages. And that’s fine with governments… Read more »

Random Dude on the Internet
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Random Dude on the Internet

In my teenage years, I worked at a dying big box retailer and I remember, without a hint of irony, everyone talking shit about how Walmart was putting all the medium sized big box retailers out of business.

Also at this point, I think I despise libertarians more than communists.

Northgunner
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Northgunner

libertarians (small l) and anarchists/voluntarists won’t kill harm or kill you as we have a “live and let live” approach to life and do abide by the Zero Aggression Principle…read Larken Rose’s “Most Dangerous Superstition” and “The Iron Web” and check out his numerous videos on youtube. collectivists, whether they call themselves commies, republocrappers, demoturds, socialists (commies without the balls to grab the AK47 and go for it..yet, yes this describes that freeze dried commie bernie sanders and his pathetic followers) and “Large L” ‘libertarians’ (really republocrappers without the parasite class’s funding but still want to grab for the ‘Ring… Read more »

Sub
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Sub

Always funny to hear the unhinged rantings of lolbertardians about those “collectivists”. They all seem to think that Horatio Alger was a real person.

Meanwhile, in the real world, anyone with a functioning brain can see that humans are a species that evolved as collective groups(there are species that actually are individualistic out there for comparison too), with radical selfish individualism being largely a deathwish for most our history.

But you know, boot straps, muh chamber of commerce, etc.

Member

They have never been in a position to kill large numbers of people. What they would do if they were in such a position is an unknown.

Wolf Barney
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Wolf Barney

Sometimes simple things can make a difference. At Sears there were no shopping carts and cash registers were located in different sections of the store. So you tended to purchase your one or two items at one section of Sears and leave and then maybe shop at some of the other stores at the shopping mall, which wouldn’t be conducive to pushing a shopping cart through the mall. At Walmart you filled your shopping cart with items from all over the store and paid for them at the checkout, located all in one place, near the doors.

Random Dude on the Internet
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Random Dude on the Internet

Another critical aspect of the killing of small business is local government with their excessive regulations, red tape, and their overall sluggishness. It is very difficult and very frustrating to deal with byzantine rules that are seemingly designed to kill off organic business growth. Meanwhile, the federal government is subsidizing Amazon by covering a sizable portion of their costs for delivering packages on Sunday. To add insult to injury, government subsidized small business loans are handed out like candy to minorities who abuse the system and rip the public off. Modern day business is seemingly designed only for large businesses… Read more »

Pimpkin's Nephew
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Pimpkin's Nephew

Here in NY state, it is all but illegal to mow a neighbor’s lawn, paint their house, baby-sit their kids, sell home-made pies to them, cut their hair, or clean their gutters, without incentive-killing fees, applications, licenses, back-round checks… I am honored to say that my fingerprints are on file with the State Police. My crime? My late wife was a day-care provider. I lived in the same house where she provided this service. One can’t be too careful – so I got fingerprinted. So, all I meant to add is – yes, you are correct. We have one donut… Read more »

Member

I think you get right at the core of the thing with this post, Zman. But I really don’t know anyone from the managerial class who would give up all of their material bennies for more community. Many are in fact down-right hostile to the concept of community and seem to associate it with patriarchy, choking conformity, and their own miserable adolescences. Speaking of Nietzsche, he was convinced that taking the 90% of us humans who had been in some sort of bondage since the late neolithic, and making us into citizens would lead to some Very Bad Things. These… Read more »

Din C. Nuffin
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Din C. Nuffin

Sears became, not a retailer of merchandise, but a creator of contracts paying a high rate of interest. If you had money, you bought the washing machine somewhere else, where it was cheaper. If you didn’t have money, you paid more at Sears, but were allowed to put it on credit. Eddie Lampert, supposedly the smartest man in the room, couldn’t turn it around, but he personally is emerging in good financial shape, unlike the rest of the shareholders. All the buying and selling of stuff isn’t what it’s all about. Whitman said “The kelson of creation is love.” He… Read more »

Member

If capitalism is your economic choice, well and good. If capitalism is your theology, you will fall heir to the exact same mistake Marxism makes: that man, and his existence, is ultimately existential materialism. Adam Smith wasn’t wrong, the trouble moves in when people try to use capitalistic “pursuit of happiness” to functionally only encompass material possessions and one’s own pleasure. You have to first take the Jeffersonian-Bible approach, and take out any thought that the best things in life aren’t things. Money isn’t the root of all evil. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” is… Read more »

Din C. Nuffin
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Din C. Nuffin

Jefferson invented “pursuit of happiness”, It isn’t a capitalistic goal. The correct terms were Locke’s “Life, Liberty, and Property”, but Jefferson had trouble envisioning “property” as a God given right, so he improvised to make it fit his narrative. Perhaps some of the difficulties with “Capitalism” stem from the legal fiction of the Corporation, Mike Mansfield, Senator from Montana years ago, said :”No ass to kick, no soul to damn, that’s the Corporation”. He had a point. Still, property rights and the freedom to exchange with each other is the genesis of prosperity, lets not drown the goose in the… Read more »

A.B Prosper
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A.B Prosper

Americans barely know the difference between doing good and doing well. That said nearly all of our economic ideas Capitalist and Communist are elderly and were thought up long before automation, computers, home gene engineering , robots and the like Coming up with policy and ideas that make sense for the current conditions is not going to be easy. My guess is the model is going to be state capitalism ala Singapore . We see elements of this all over Asia and in Europe and to a degree here. To work properly though it requires a measured level of graft… Read more »

Member

Over the years I’ve read a fair number of economics articles looking at scale economies in different industries. It’s weird, but with exceptions like electricity generation, they don’t much exist. Trucking, grocery stores, package delivery, hospitals, etc. UPS, for example, keeps making this stupid mistake. They think Amazon volume is awesome because they figure it just helps their scale economies so much that, basically, they pay Amazon for the privilege of delivering their stuff. Amazing. Same thing with industries like banking. The economies of scale there might be that larger firms can manage having the entire staff living in India… Read more »

Rev.Hoagie
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Rev.Hoagie

One mans pirate is another mans privateer.

Dinothedoxie
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Dinothedoxie

Im convinced that economies of scale are just rationalizations for ego driven empire building.

I remember the push for interstate banking in the early 90s ( the real genesis of multiple financial crises of the last couple of decades) all basically came down to dick measuring contests between US and Japanese or Europeans Banks – ie “the greatest country on earth should have the biggest banks and ours are a fraction of the size of Japan’s // England’s // Germany’s.

Chet
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Chet

Sears owns much of the real estate under their stores. Also you wrote how Sears and K-Mart are competitors. Not so much. I’m not sure who owns who but it is the fucked-up management that ruined K-mart who is also managing Sears. Back in the 90’s K-Mart came out with a new agenda, they weren’t going to sell guns or ammo any longer. Within a year almost every K-mart was tit’s up in Texas. If you want to suck up to globalists, you won’t make it in Texas. We still have some Sears hanging on around the State, but remember,… Read more »

Northgunner
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Northgunner

“Back in the 90’s K-Mart came out with a new agenda, they weren’t going to sell guns or ammo any longer. Within a year almost every K-mart was tit’s up in Texas.”

dicks and other vendors are beginning to learn that lesson the hard way as well after the FF Parkland “shooting”; Springfield Armory among others just said “FU dicks!!” and kicked them to the curb as have a lot of former customers…enough that they’re worried about their “bottom line”.

Bruno the Arrogant
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Bruno the Arrogant

Actually, Sears has owned K-Mart since 2004. So no competition there, either.

Member

Worst hot dog I ever had was a K-Mart dog. That’s what people should call cheap crappy hot dogs. “Why’d you throw away half your hot dog honey?” “K-Mart dog”. “Oh”

Member

When Lampert bought Sears some years ago, there was considerable speculation in the Chicago press that he was doing it simply to acquire the real estate. I certainly don’t know what his motivations were, but it does seem that he’s tried to keep the ship afloat.

Member

Communism and Capitalism are ending up at the same destination, with monopolies owned by “the people” but run by a managerial class.

Northgunner
Guest
Northgunner

Actually that is fascism, at least from the former Italian ‘expert’ that was just hanging around with his pals after the “war to save joe stalin/communism”.

No different from what “frank the gimp” roosevelt enslaved the fussa to..and he had commies like harry hopkins and alger hiss among others working right beside him.

Joe McCarthy was more right than we know!!

dad29
Guest

Joe McCarthy was dead-on. That’s why he is hated by ALL the Establishment, ALL the colleges (with maybe 2 exceptions) and EVERY member of the MSM.

Dinothedoxie
Guest
Dinothedoxie

Publically traded US corporations are socialist institutions in a real way, and as such suffer from the information problems predicted by the ole And Syrian economic school.

So take heart, the failure of Sears and the like is a failure of socialism.

active pu-ter
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active pu-ter

you wrote:
“in reality the cause is the willingness of our leaders to auction off our social capital.”
————–

But why? Because our leaders are getting rich off of insider stock tips and access to IPOs…
the gop congress hides behind mcconnell and ryan, who take the heat while the gop congress does nothing to further the trump nationalist agenda…and the media helps them hide from the voters

Liberty4Ever
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Liberty4Ever

There’s a surprising amount of trash talk in the comments criticizing libertarianism and capitalism. Libertarianism is basically “don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff.” Capitalism is two people voluntarily exchanging goods or services because both benefit. So, where’s the beef with either of those? The Left confuses capitalism with cronyism (which ironically is enabled to a greater extent by leftist policies), and the criticisms of capitalism in these comments is similar. Capitalism isn’t some unsustainable soulless race-to-the-bottom cut throat multinational corporatism. For most of America’s history, capitalism worked just fine, with all of the important subtle nuances that are… Read more »

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

The free market most efficiently produces material prosperity. My complaint is when a capitalist insists that the free market must be the highest value. For example, I am willing to pay more for produce and manufactured goods that are produced by an American making a good wage. The capitalist will criticize my choice as not maximally efficient but misses my point. The community that is engendered by protectionism and restrictive immigration is qualitatively better even if it is not the most free market. Do we have an economy that serves our people or do our people serve the economy?

Northgunner
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Northgunner

When one studies Austrian Economics as taught by Von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard and others, one understands that there is NO separation between the economy and people; we humans ARE the economy and the economy is merely another ecosystem that we inhabit.

When anyone unbalances an ecosystem it will ALWAYS create harm to those within it and the system will try to reset to a balanced state if it can.

Yes, there are certain tests that will flush out the collectivists/statists..they can’t seem to help popping up like the ‘whistle dogs’ here in Arizona when their ‘Matrix’ is questioned or threatened.

Bruno the Arrogant
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Bruno the Arrogant

I tend to view the economy as analogous to a river. Everybody drinks from it, some enterprising souls will find creative ways to profit from it, some people will use it as a convenient way of disposing of trash or dead bodies, polluting it for everyone else. While I agree with the libertarians that a free market provides the most efficient distribution of resources, I disagree that maximum efficiency necessarily results in the most beneficial results. The reality is that the economy is a shared resource that, like the river, needs to be managed such that particular parties can’t pollute… Read more »

bogbeagle
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bogbeagle

Yep, the piece is click-bait for all the closet-Collectivists.

And, they are Legion.

LineInTheSand
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LineInTheSand

Saying ‘Libertarianism is basically “don’t hurt people and don’t take their stuff.”’ is like saying “Feminism is just giving women equal rights.” This may be what the dictionary says, but in practice, libertarianism, capitalism, and feminism lead to the social atomization that dissolves white communities and leaves us helpless before other organized ethnic groups.

Sub
Guest
Sub

There was an example in China some years back that I thought was an interesting test case for economic theory in practice. An overpass on one of their superhighway collapsed, and an investigation found that the concrete was not sound because the manufacturer of th concrete had been diluting it with garbage in order to increase volume at no cost, and bribing the local inspector to look the other way. In a true free market, the problem here was not the development of an inferior product to get an edge on the concrete contracting market, as building codes are a… Read more »

orosboru
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orosboru

If the country you live in is rapidly destabilizing and everyone is collectivizing for safety, you’d be a fool to believe that ‘being nice to everyone’ will protect you or your family. I don’t hear anyone talking about the Bosnian libertarian, the Rhodesian libertarian, or the Syrian libertarian. I bet soon that the South African libertarian will be alive as long as it takes for the local ANC militia to come and respect his private property rights.

Lineman
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Lineman

Exactly right…I don’t know why they can’t correlate that… Community will be our saving grace in terms of saving our culture…

Alzaebo
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Alzaebo

Let’s not hyperventilate, libertarian within certain (White) norms. Libertarian global Kapitalism is what doesn’t scale.

Libertarian warmaking-being free to attack and pillage under some made-up ‘national security’ bullshit, or as a manufactured threat like ‘drug cartels’ or ‘white christian militias’- well, that doesn’t scale either.

Dinothedoxie
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Dinothedoxie

The problem with libertarianism, is that it is predicated on people not cheating too much, being punished by some higher power when they do and also on a minimal level of criminal predation.

All of that existed to some extent at various places in the post civil war US up through the 1930s or so.

Failure to recognize that underlying social construct, and it uniqueness is the fatal flaw of the ideology

pyrrhus
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pyrrhus

Good essay, Z-man…The joy of living comes from interaction with 1) Nature in all its magnificence, and 2) other people, in person or through their works of art or craft, from Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Van Gogh to art work or choral singing from your local high school….Consumption and pleasure seeking cannot and will not sustain a person, but our evil culture pretends otherwise.

Zorost
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Zorost

“the cause is the willingness of our leaders to auction off our social capital.”

I’m not so sure about that. I think us commoners have had a lot to do with it. If people kept shopping at small businesses the transition wouldn’t have taken place. The people abandoned small businesses to save a few bucks.

Member

The truth of this post is undeniable, but it still hurts to hear malls being criticized. Not too long ago it’s where all us teenagers hung out on weekend nights. Most of my best junior high and high school memories happened in malls. Your parents could drop you off and feel ok about it. It was the perfect setting. Shelter from the elements. All night safety. Malls offered more strolling time and variety with a date or friends than you could ever get on the old time “mainstreet” or “soda shop” (before my time). On the social end of the… Read more »

Bunny
Guest
Bunny

I remember when you could smoke inside them. FREEDOM!

Joseph Suber
Guest
Joseph Suber

I worked at a mall movie theater 88-90. Everything you say, especially the girls. How many John Hughes movies are set there? It was implicitly white and we didn’t even know it; just like libertarianism.

Member

Z, this is one of your best articles, it addresses the big picture. Man’s biggest fight is the one with himself. Biblical morality achieves a better outcome, but it comes only by denying the instant gratifications, of which are more easily available in the modern world.

Northgunner
Guest
Northgunner

” Biblical morality achieves a better outcome, but it comes only by denying the instant gratifications, of which are more easily available in the modern world.” Is this to say that people who happen to be Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Anamist or Neo-Pagan/Wiccan either don’t have or aren’t capable of being moral beings and living and interacting with others in a moral fashion? I’m a Neo-Pagan Witch, and live my life in a moral fashion that both honors my religion and honors and respects other individuals that I meet and interact with. I also have no problem with delaying personal gratification… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

In other words, you’re White. You don’t fall into Dinduism. Case in point, only Punjabi can be Sikh. Only a Hindu can be born Hindu. The religions were born and made in bloody times, in wars between racial cultures. First, one must quell the wars between one’s People. The big religions largely succeeded uniting for defense, but the Semitic ones united for conquest. Blood determines religion’s thrust. (The Bantu and Han sought local dominance. Theirs are illustrations of regional, racial religions without all the universalist frippery. Genocide holds no guilt for them.) I say the Whites were used as a… Read more »

joey junger
Guest
joey junger

One of the most important aspects of difference between local shop and big box is the accountability factor, which in turn explains the general decline in the quality of things. In the old days, if someone sold you a shoddy suit or wobbly table, that guy had to pass you on the street at least once a week or maybe once a day. Now, if something you buy breaks an hour after you got it, your only option is to get the run-around on a phone-tree manned by an army of Shaniquas more interested in tending their pedicures than addressing… Read more »

Thisisme
Guest
Thisisme

Progress. It’s just buffalo chips to me. The obsession with constant progress. Where a great invention is destroyed just to make room for a replacement touted as “a better, new, and improved, widget”. What you really get is mass produced, large volume crap. Much like everything China barffs up and sells to the starry eyed masses of dummies addicted to “the latest and greatest” whatever. Consumers are just that, consumers. Where did the well rounded, even keeled life go. It’s going full circle. We have to make what we need with our own two hands. If it’s to last long… Read more »

Burner Prime
Guest
Burner Prime

That’s all fine and dandy, but don’t worry, Amazon sells many of the base tools you need to survive without the system.

Burner Prime
Guest
Burner Prime

I’ve already given up on humanity. And now I feel little guilt about buying from Amazon or Walmart or whoever has the lowest price. I buy local when the price difference is small, or sometimes from worthy entrepreneurs at the farmer’s market. But the things I buy are purposeful, in preparation for the inevitable collapse, not fashion clothes, or TVs, or jet skiis. The money I save funds more preps or gets put into worthwhile assets, property, or escape plan B. Community is already a dead concept, and I am already over lamenting its demise.

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Do you plan to survive the “inevitable collapse” without a community?

Northgunner
Guest
Northgunner

Just remember that no man is an island; the lone wolf will die (usually in a quite miserable fashion with much unecessary suffering). No matter how much you may try to escape it, we humans ARE social animals; even the most monkish of us needs SOME interaction with others. Read what Mountain Gorilla has to say about the importance of kith and kin, clan and tribe. In the upcoming unpleasantness, you will need them as much as they’ll need you…if nothing else to watch your back while you sleep or to deal with medical emergencies like if you suffer a… Read more »

Greg Johnson
Guest

One of your very best.

You are a “5 to 9 Conservative,” as all real Rightists are: https://www.counter-currents.com/2011/10/5-to-9-conservatism/

John Smith
Member

The market always wins. Capitalism has proven this hands down. Scream about WalMart to your heart’s content – but that is as good as it gets in today’s world. The Chinese, the Russians, and pretty much the entire second and third world would give their left nut to have it as good. As would your ancestors. The problem isn’t Walmart… it’s us. We are too stupid to see that the cheapest product is not the least expensive. Eg. 15 years ago I spent $200 on a pair of camping pants and a shirt. They were made by a local company… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Funny, but just last week finally wore out a pair of Filson shorts. Probably 15 years old. First of their products I’ve ever had to toss.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Amen on that…Sense of Community has been deteriorating for years which is why we need to be bringing it back with a vengeance to survive and thrive…Oh and if you brought a welding supply store into my town and I knew you and what you stood for me and all the people I know would shop there…

Joseph Suber
Guest
Joseph Suber

I owned and operated a small retail store. People had no problem walking in and asking me if a product I sold was a better deal on some ebay auction or Amazon. I eventually gave in and started selling new and used stuff on ebay. When I couldn’t take the low-margin sub-minimum wage workload any longer, I quit.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Well if that’s you in your avatar pic and you gave them that look I too would be shopping online…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The boss gets paid last.

Member

You’re not wrong, exactly. But the reason we have social rules is to prevent socially destructive behavior like this. Except we abandoned those rules because {current_year}. Back when I was a callow youth, I would argue in favor of Walmart with all the familiar muh capitalism stuff. But, just as smart economists back in the 90s thought Russia would be fixed as soon as we gave them functioning Western institutions, plenty of them were ignorant to the fact that local communities relied on massive levels of public good production. All that was assumed to have exactly zero value while consumers… Read more »

Nikephoros II Phokas
Guest
Nikephoros II Phokas

Good point. But the missing piece is the rise of toxic advertising and propaganda that really picked up in the early 20th century. People are addicted to consumer goods for the same reason they’re brainwashed by SJW nonsense — because they’re being aggressively bombarded by messaging that’s purposely hitting their psychological triggers. Then you have the destruction of American education, which removes any resistance. Of course, all great empires are corrupted by their wealth, but what we see in the modern West (and spreading to Asia, etc.) is an even more perverted version of that corruption created entirely by design.… Read more »

Cabron
Guest
Cabron

About six months ago I was in the local mall here in Vermont. Inside I saw an elderly Chinese couple trimming their fingernails into a garbage can in front of the Sears. There were very few other people around. They are tearing down the other Mall in Burlington. Malls will not be missed.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

Malls won’t be missed but having a communal civic space, an ersatz town square will be.

A nation made up of atomized consumers is no such thing and won’t stand against a stiff breeze much less an existential threat

Member

It seems like every big change wrought by a new iteration of capitalism has involved the breaking of some unwritten rule that everyone has unconsciously learned to respect and observe, and the capitalist either recognizes his opportunity out of consideration of the facts, or is simply morally unaware, or both. You mention the town retailer and Sears. Sears didn’t get started by selling stuff people couldn’t otherwise get. Folks could order anything Sears offered through their local retailer, but by ordering direct they bypassed the local middle man. Funny thing is, you could tell when Sears was beginning to struggle… Read more »

Ace Rimmer
Guest
Ace Rimmer

Old Chambers could turn a phrase, couldn’t he?

Member

Witness is one of the best books you’ll ever read.

Swrichmond
Guest
Swrichmond

“A life with no other purpose than to work and consume is actually lower than beastly”

Amen, brother. Consumption often leads to debt slavery, which is one of it’s purposes.

Tom
Guest
Tom

And that MS (((Rand))) childless, spent her last days dependent on social security, is the irony.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

You know what’s even more ironic is those that want to be just like her and insist that you should as well…What’s up with people who want to follow in the footsteps of loser’s…Sad That…

MikeCLT
Guest
MikeCLT

A profound essay ZMan

Member

Your last line reminds me of the Neil Postman book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. I highly recommend it.

Patrice Stanton
Guest

“The point of life is for old men to plant trees in whose shade they will never stand.” Wow. How simultaneously poignant and beautiful.

TomA
Guest
TomA

I would suggest that the angst that leads to high suicide rates is grounded in a personal sense of worthlessness. This desperation is often wrought by the absence of existential challenges in one’s life experience and the corresponding lack of opportunities to overcome obstacles and prove one’s mettle. If you’re never tested, you will never know pride of accomplishment. And no one starts out wanting to become an addict or a parasite.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

There is a predilection towards suicide for certain people. It is how they are wired. Just as money can make the misery or joy more comfortable, so can fame and fortune make the depressive personality more comfortable. But it doesn’t change how the person is wired, underneath it all. Agreed, the drivers are often a sense of worthlessness, but that can well up inside a person, no matter what he has done. There are a lot of Anthony Bourdain fans (like me) who deeply appreciated what he said and did in his books and broadcasts, and can say he brought… Read more »

John Hinds
Guest
John Hinds

Worthlessness? Or self loathing. How many of the suicides also have tattoos, body piercings?

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

It’s all part of the package. One thing that turns up again and again is the inability to consistently regulate one’s outward behavior patterns over time. “Why did you do that?” “I don’t know”. The whole “falling off the wagon” thing. Perhaps the internal thinking and sense of self-worth and self-loathing (two sides of the same coin) are just as inconsistently internally applied or responded to, which results in occasional bouts of extreme behaviors.

dad29
Guest

Errmmmm….that ‘worthlessness’ (if that be the cause of suicides) is due to atheism, whether real or ‘practical.’ IOW, one’s worth is infinite to the God who created one, and knowing that makes all the difference.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

They see it or they don’t. Maybe suicidal tendencies are God’s Darwinian winnowing. Wheat from chaff.

Desert Pundit
Guest
Desert Pundit

Once again, somewhat off kilter. To take one of his points, suicide rates. The study did not, and probably could not, control for willingness to accurately report suicides. Previously, suicide was often reported as an accidental death, for many reasons: religious, life insurance, social reputation, etc.

Member

I bought a ceiling fan at Home Depot once. I didn’t look closely at the box, and when I arrived home I had this sinking feeling as I opened a box that had clearly been opened at least once before. Broken hardware. Missing parts. So, back to Home Depot I went to turn it back in. Since I wanted to see what would happen, I didn’t otherwise mark up the box. A few days later, it was taped back up and placed back on the shelf. Now when I return things, I write on the box with a Sharpie, “Missing… Read more »

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The elites relate to the rest of us strictly transactionally. The virus is spreading.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The commercial tenants pay the high rents because the underlying property is valuable. Because the property is valuable, there is usually a lot of borrowing (financing) involved in the ownership of the property. So the money flows uphill from the customer to the business owner to the landlord to the bank (or other financing institution). Only the ultimate lender gets much return, in the short run. The traditional way of breaking the cycle was for the business owner to own the property under the store. Price Club, the predecessor and model for CostCo, strictly adhered to the “own the land… Read more »

Member

Yeah, I know how it works. I almost bought this building 5 years ago. Decided to buy some property up in the mountains for my family’s personal use instead. His mortgage is about $5500/mo and the rents deliver about $12000/mo. It’s not a huge facility. He has $$ room to keep businesses open and bays full. I put my foot down on CAM a couple of years ago and told him to stick it where the sun don’t shine (he had raised it 30% in less than 3 years) which stopped the bleeding. Threatened an audit, and that put an… Read more »

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

How hard would it be for you to move? I mean when does the cost of staying outweigh relocating where you don’t have that…

Member

For me, my lease is nearly up, so I am outta here. I can move 7-8 miles south outside of town limits, in a different city/tax base, and reduce my costs 25%. More available retail space, lower triple-net, better property management.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Still in CO though which is turning bluer by the minute…Come on up to MT;)

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Can’t everbody move. This sh*t is what happens when the city dads, politicals, have no risk and start to get greedy, eyeing their golden parachutes. That, and being squeezed by the governor above to pass bigger payments upward, because our politicians are a mafia.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

I disagree anyone can move if they have the will…I do agree about the greed of some and I know it’s something we would have to contend with no matter where we are…But a sizable group working in concert can have a huge impact on their community especially if it’s ideas that benefit the community at large…

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

Where are you again, Lineman? What general area of MT?

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Bitterroot Valley called the Banana Belt of MT because of its milder weather…

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

This may sound like a weird question, but does the pH of the soil at Bitterroot Valley trend alkaline?

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Depends on which side of the Valley you are on… People grow all sorts of things here…It would of been the orchard capital of the US if the transportation aspect could of been overcome…What did you have in mind to grow?

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

This is becoming the Great White Migration. The Retreat is becoming a Rout.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

We need somewhere to go, to congregate, for girls to meet boys.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Yep Agree which is why I yell Community so much… Probably get tired of hearing of it;) but it’s my calling at the moment…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Not tired, you and Zman are both building community. Online or physical, we must hear that there are others like us, a sanctuary.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Thanks Brother we will need each other in these coming trials that will test our faith and fortitude…

Member

That’s a fair enough analysis of corporatization and financialization. It’s a bit of a misunderstanding of Sears (and its competitors such as Montgomery Ward and Spiegel) because it picks up the story very late in the day. Those enterprises began in the nineteenth century as mail-order retailers serving the settlers opening up the American West. The big mail-order houses were the only way that folks on the farms and in the small towns of the Midwest and the West could obtain most manufactured goods. No mom-and-pop store had the capital to fulfill the needs of a widely scattered population. Sears,… Read more »

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Your post reminds me of being a boy when the Sears catalog had a few pages of bra advertisements. At the time, this was the only place for young boys to see women in bras. Exhilerating!

Member

Oh yes!

Gerard Van der Leun
Member

“The heroin addict is always faced with the choice. Give up the junk and became whole again or take the easy way out.”

And now we have an actual junkie suicide in Anthony Bourdain.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

The addictive personality and the depressive personality seem to have many similar things going on. Think of it as the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, and the addictive brain or depressive brain chooses to deal with the devil, who takes him over the edge. Most of the rest of us are content to work with the angel and ignore the devil. Walk or run away from what can hurt you and those around you. Not everyone can do that, and, IMO, many of those who deal with the devil do so with some understanding that… Read more »

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Or the other option which will be the one we have to use eventually unless you plan on being enslaved or letting them put you in the ditch…We Are At War Remember…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Just a small bit about projection, since you’re thinking about Leftist brains. Projection permeates Leftist thinking, even to the point where the projectors constantly accuse the Right of projecting. Why do they do this? How to tell a projector that he’s the one projecting? It’s because they are trying to figure us out, through the lens of their own feminine thinking- their own hamster hindbrain. That’s why it quickly devolves to immediate, personal attacks. They don’t see the larger world beyond themselves, so everything gets personal. And vindictive. And faddish. Do unto others before they do unto you. That’s why… Read more »

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Gerard, aren’t you going to record a tearful hysterical video rant and post it on Instagram over Bourdain? No?

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

“Only a Trump could cause this despair…
Only an Obama can stop it!…”

Pimpkin's Nephew
Guest
Pimpkin's Nephew

Yes – the first like totally ever.

Out of curiosity, who is this guy? I never heard of him.

addendum: ok, I’m told he was a TV guy who wandered around the planet eating weird food.

Karl McHungus
Guest
Karl McHungus

Ideally Trump will be able push Turkey economically, and get them pointed at Iran for relief (i.e. by taking Iranian oil fields)

Roulf
Guest
Roulf

Ideally all neocons will croak before the next election, thus reducing this toxic influence of Trump to do Israel’s bidding.

Member

Btw, Sears didn’t collapse for any reason other than they got rid of their catalog operations back in the late 80’s or early 90’s. They had a fantastic catalog operation back in pre-internet days. Shortly after they abandoned their catalog offerings, the internet exploded. If Sears had stuck with that service offering, they would have been one of the best positioned companies in America for the internet revolution.

Member

I am not sure that follows. Plenty of stores (JC Penney) had strong catalog and that doesn’t offer any advantage to internet migration.

Member

Exactly. Apparently the people running it no longer had the know-how.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Anonymous White Male

Sears sort of tied themselves to the mall as the “way of the future”. What happened to the malls? For one thing, time. Malls are aging structures which can be refurbished inside, but rather difficult on the outside. Plus, you have to be able to afford to update your look. Mall rent has always been too high. You have to have a certain amount of traffic to maintain the income stream. Stores like Sears were immune to that in that they were a national chain with thousands of stores and could support non-performing stores with other stores that were profitable.… Read more »

Member

“Traffic stayed the same or even increased, but serious buyers decreased.” This hadn’t occurred to me. But yes, I do see mass strolling compared to buying. Here in SoCal it’s what many Latino families do after church. And hordes of Chinese, who you’re constantly dodging because they walk like they drive. I can’t think of anything in life that I’ve gone from loving so much to hating so much, as malls. They were so peaceful and nice when I was a kid. They’re what nurtured my lifelong love of elevator music. I still remember the smell of the water fountains… Read more »

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

It helps knowing where someone hails from to understand their comments and where they are at in the awake spectrum… Thanks…

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

I hadn’t thought much lately about the malls when I was a teenager, but your experiences mirror mine almost exactly. Mine was the one in Carlsbad, CA, along El Camino Real. Drove by it last week, still there.

Phil Ossify
Guest
Phil Ossify

Southwyck? Not in a “good” part of Toledo, at least in the 80s.

Member

Oh my gosh. How did you know I was talking about Southwyck? Yes, not best part of town, but I’m ok with working class whites. The other mall, closer to me, was Franklin Park Mall. Do you know that one too? wtf…

Phil Ossify
Guest
Phil Ossify

Bowled at the nearby alley. Dad worked in south Toledo.
I went to a couple of movies in the late 80s until I noticed my friend and I were the only white kids there.

Did go to Franklin Park. It’s hard to go back and visit and see how hard Toledo was hit after 2008.

Member

Yeah, mid to late 80’s is when it started going down like that. Oddly, the last movie I saw there was Colors, with Sean Penn. I took the half-retarded kid from school to see it just out of kindness. None of the kids from school we saw there would even acknowledge me (us). Nice. Hah. Reminded me of that passage from Catcher in the Rye where Holden wonders during a movie how even bitchy women can be moved to tears at the revealed humanity of some scene. Then when the movie’s over slip right back into being hard hearted as… Read more »

Tim
Guest
Tim
notsothoreau
Guest
notsothoreau

I don’t think you’ve lived in a lot of rural communities. it’s nice to think the local stores respond to local demand. Unfortunately, when they are the only business in town, sometimes they don’t.

Used to be a store out in the middle of nowhere, that sold 6 packs of pop for $5 back in the 80s. He had a sign that read: This is not Burger King. You get it my way or hit the highway.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Yep some people are like that where greed rules the day then when the competition comes to town whether by mail order(Amazon) or a new store they screech and moan about loyalty of customer and the need to shop local when they never gave a damn about their community in the first place…

Din C. Nuffin
Guest
Din C. Nuffin

Notso… You are implying not all local businessmen are altruistic? But that would destroy the narrative of the post, would it not?

Member

Din C, there’s a difference between Z being flat out wrong, and Z making generalizations which have to be made in short posts that don’t bore the shit out of everyone with details and qualifications.

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Now THAT’S what I call “Dissident Right”!

Amen!

John
Guest
John

I can see the Natick Mall from my little jail cell cubicle and if I want a good parking spot I go to the Sears side where the lot is always empty. The Wegmans they just opened to replace another old retailer JC Penney is booming.

Tax Slave
Guest
Tax Slave

Heh, heh, hey, man…wadda you in for? Heh, heh…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Now that is good thinking. The whites have been chased out into buying new suburban tracts, leaving the former community hub filled with nail salons- yet the vibrants don’t have any grocery stores.

Anon White Male is right, the ladies stop shopping when they have to run a gauntlet of foul-mouthed ferals outside the front door.
I don’t go back there either. Used to love the mall, loved it.

Member

Wegmans is a great store and like the other up and coming retailer, Aldi, is privately held. No need for stupidity to meet the quarter’s numbers.

Corn
Guest
Corn

This post is poignant to me, very topical for the time. My hometown here is a small Illinois town of about 900-1000 people. Next week a grocery store in town that has been open since the early 1970s will close….. and a Dollar General will open next month. Part of me wants to rail against big business and big chains, but as Glenfithie said, we’re the root of the problem. I’d run to this store for milk or bread or the odd item, but me and everyone else in town would drive 20-30 minutes into the city to buy most… Read more »

Joseph Suber
Guest
Joseph Suber

I fell for Miss Rand’s polemic against the leftist looters. Doubts emerged after my high school days in the Mall were over. I did some years as a local “Fred’s Welding Supply” equivalent as well. When I was done with a long day, I’d catch Anthony Bourdain, on No Reservations, jetting around to the places I had no time or money to visit, and hinting at his existential angst and doubts about consumerism. He got the first important message of this column, Z, but never the second.

Joseph Suber
Guest
Joseph Suber

Solzhenitsyn: “If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one’s life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

Jordan Peterson has riffed on Solzhenitsyn, stating that meaning, not happiness, should be the goal, in order to have a healthy and moral life. The mere pursuit of pleasure alone will never allow one outrun the cruel, relentless realities of mortality that keep one awake at night.

Abelard Lindsey
Guest
Abelard Lindsey

The problem with Sears is that it has been poorly managed for decades. It started declining in the 1970’s, even before malls became popular, let alone the internet and Amazon. Other “big box” retailers such as Best Buy and Ross Dress for Less are doing just fine. You can order from them through the internet, then pick up at the nearest store to your home or work. Walmart offers the same service. Businesses that adapt to changing conditions usually do OK. Those that don’t usually disappear. A lot of this is due to poor management. E.g. why didn’t the railroads… Read more »

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

So in other words you have no heart no soul no care for your fellow man… Everything is just a business transaction to you and you would rather interact with robots than humans…What a loss…Sad That…

Din C. Nuffin
Guest
Din C. Nuffin

Seems like Abelard prefers to interact with the fellow man that offers him the best deal, a character flaw i share,.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

Even if it means putting money into the pocket of your enemy…Soros loves you kind of people and selling you the rope to hang yourself…Sad That…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The key words are ‘fellow man’. There’s a difference between renting beside each other and The Girl Next Door.

Abelard Lindsey
Guest
Abelard Lindsey

When I get up each morning of my life, I have certain goals and objective I pursue, both on a daily basis as well as long-term. I interact with individuals, companies, and institutions IN A BUSINESS SETTING (as opposed to family, friends, and other I associate with for fun) for the purposes of accomplishing those objectives. The people, and especially institutions (companies, government, other organizations) offer value to me only that basis, none other.

Your comment, as well as the original posting, is rooted in the human suffering aspect of these matters. I will address that in a separate comment.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

That works well when everyone is following that same path but when they are not and everything they do has a purpose and that is to eradicate you, your family, and your way of life then you will lose everytime…See they don’t separate business and pleasure everything they do has a focus and a goal in mind and that is to control or kill you it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to them…

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

The idea seems to me that certain institutions can’t survive soulless, transactional diversity. Our little Chinatown has dragon parades and sponsors churches/temples, our weekend auction and Latino grocers are big, bright, teeming with happy brown crowds, they sponsor futbol teams and dances. Our Sikhs have ginormous weddings and sponsor farm expos. When the whites leave, malls die, along with their ecosystem. You’ll never see a brown Macy’s / JC Penny combo thrive. Bazaars are the brown style. Dindus, of course, have nothing. Even the liquor stores have closed, only Arab mini-marts survive there. It wasn’t that way before bussing when… Read more »

Member

Sears and K-Mart are owned by the same company.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

I met an old guy who told me that the best thing about Sears catalogs was that they made great toilet paper in the ol’ outhouse back in the 1930s. He said that in every outhouse in Nebraska, someone was sitting, reading and wiping …
He was born in 1927.

I love oldsters.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

It definitely was in my Granddad’s outhouse in the Sandhills…

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

We’re probably related.

Lineman
Guest
Lineman

It’s a possibility;)

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

They were America’s answer to corncobs, for sure. Red ones for wiping, and white cobs to see if you were done. Until the Sears catalog came!

Our ancestors were a tough bunch.

Jack in NH
Guest
Jack in NH

I looked through 145 comments to see if anyone caught the most important line in this essay- no one had.

“The point of life is for old men to plant trees in whose shade they will never stand.”

Amen.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Apparently you didn’t.

Rod1963
Guest
Rod1963

Oh I read it all right. But what’s to comment on? I’m old enough to have watched our elites rip the guts out of American culture from the 80’s onward in order to benefit themselves and to punish us for beling alive. I watched the f**king boomers destroy California so they could get a six figure pension out of the state. They didn’t care, they fled to other states to poison them as well We have the government green lighting the mass distribution of Oxycontin from certain well known pharmas that killing whites across the country and ruining families. Hollywood… Read more »