Taking personal responsibility. It is a concept the plebs in the modern progressive world fear more than anything else. Yes, they may panic and become hysterical after watching the latest fear-mongering news report (if one may call it as such) from the mainstream media. But taking personal responsibility is what they fear the most. And the only people who win are toilet paper manufacturers.
Yes, the shit has hit the fan. But now it is your turn to act. What to you do? Panic? Whine? Despair? Act like a pleb would act? Or stand up like a man (or a good woman, for that matter)? I sincerely believe my readers will fall into the latter category, or they would not be here reading this.
The obvious course of action in any hardship is to take charge of the situation. This is what distinguishes real men from the plebs. In reality, though, taking charge of ones life begins much earlier. The ancient Romans did not (well, not in the early and middle Republic at least) engage in degenerate activities which do not support life. They held discipline and civic virtue in high esteem – the story of Cincinnatus and his resignation of near-absolute authority is a leading example of it. Anything else was suspect and viewed with disgust. By modern standards the Ancient Roman society was a harsh one, with its constant warfare, harsh discipline, farm work, and the competition in the Cursus Honorum. But often the modern scholars disregard the fact, that the Roman people – and ancient peoples in general – were of a different stock than the modern couch dwelling fatty sitting in front of the Telescreen (as seen in George Orwell‘s 1984). If this offends someone, then great! If it triggers someone enough to move his/her lazy ass and take responsibility for his/her life, then it is all worth it. The end of the matter is, people in the past were raised not to whine and accept responsibility from a young age.
Taking responsibility is not something one should do when things get bad. Taking responsibility at all times should be the basic modus operandi for everyone who takes themselves seriously and wishes to rise above mere mediocrity. Let the others content themselves with the government handouts and other socialist policies, as their pleb ancestors were content with free grain and subsistence in the late Republic and in Imperial Rome. That is not to say, that handouts are inherently evil – no – but the attitude it promotes, is certainly not a virtuous one. Socialism, and most socialist policies inherently incentivise mediocrity. At one hand it is great to be able to survive, and the landless (and in many ways unjustly so) masses in Rome certainly benefited from free grain. But the real (albeit temporary) beneficiaries were the rich, who instead of taking responsibility and trying to help the people in order solve the underlying issue of poverty (providing education for the people, redistributing illegally acquired land – something that got the Gracchi brothers killed -, fighting corruption, decadence among themselves, etc), opted in for a more comfortable, socialist solution that in the long term benefited no one and made matters worse for everyone involved. Unfortunately the handouts people will receive or have already received due to the 2020 corona outbreak is a dangerous precedent not unlike what happened in Ancient Rome, with the masses becoming dependent on the state, and becoming political tools for the rich political elite.
Instead of opting for a temorary band-aid, the governments should find means to promote civic virtue among their people. Spartan Greece is perhaps an extreme example of what it would look like, but even a relatively moderate approach akin to the early and middle Republican Rome would make a huge difference. All it takes it to raise the children – leading by example and being a good role model – in a way that encourages them to take responsibility. Also, promoting Stoic philosophy and the works of Socrates, Plato, Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius would benefit the society at large. That said, in a progressive society where even university students (at least in non-STEM fields) are largely illiterate, there are far more pressing issues that need to be addressed in beforehand. Unfortunately, while many of the problems could be easily fixed in a single generation, the solutions are not in the best interest of certain political demographics.
At the end of the day, it comes down – as I have repeatedly stated – to taking personal responsibility. Taking responsibility for one‘s health and physique. Eating healthy and avoiding fake processed food. Boosting the immune system. Exercising regularly, and welcoming hardship and discipline. After all, the best time to train discipline is when the times are good – and despite the crisis we are in, the times are good. Take one of the best Roman emperors, Marcus Aurelius, for example. He had absolutely everything. He could have done everything he ever wanted. He could have said no to everything he did not enjoy. Yet he did his job with a rigorous discipline. He was the ultimate Stoic alpha man, taking total responsibility for his actions, while being indifferent to what makes no difference. Marcus Aurelius is the prime example of everything the progressive plebs are not.
To put it short. Embrace hardships and discipline. Take charge of your life. Take responsibility of your actions, and live a virtuous and successful life. Not only will you yourself, as an individual, enjoy a higher quality of life, but so will the society as a whole. And caring about the society as a whole, is in essence, civic virtue. And civic virtue is what made Rome great.