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Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men

5,809 words

Jack Donovan
The Way of Men
Portland, Or.: Dissonant Hum, 2012

1. The Way of Men is the Way of the Gang

How do you define masculinity? If you listen to today’s feminist-approved “authorities” on the subject you will be told either that masculinity means nothing at all — that it is “constructed” differently from place to place or time to time — or you will be told that masculinity is now being “redefined.”

As you may have heard, there’s a “men’s movement” today, but it more or less consists in rescuing men from having to be manly. Its aim is essentially to help men divest themselves of the burden of manliness and have a good cry. Time in the sweat lodge (no smoking please!) will be followed by a steaming cup of chamomile tea and a hot towel.

One could call this the “new, effeminate masculinity.” The tremendous irony here is that while good-old-fashioned manliness is being spat upon, suppressed, and defined out of existence, it is simultaneously being urged upon women. Boys need to get in touch with their feelings, but girls need to haul their asses off to soccer practice. Boys need to stop judging, while girls need to be more “assertive.” Boys need to sit still and take their Ritalin, while girls need to “question authority” (remember: “well-behaved women seldom make history”). Boys need to stop being so competitive (because that’s a bad thing), and stop recoiling from competitive girls (because that’s a good thing). And when the day is done, boys need to learn to keep their hands to themselves and let the girls go take their SlutWalk.

Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men is the best book on masculinity I’ve ever read. Why? Because Donovan isn’t out to re-define masculinity; he’s out to recover what is timelessly true about it. The trouble with the “social construction” theory of “gender” is that it flies in the face of thousands of years of human experience, as well as all the science on sex differences that’s been done for the better part of a century.

Everyone whose mind has not been completely warped by political correctness is aware of this. We all know that the differences between men and women are enormous. We all know that any man who thinks that “masculinity can be anything you want it to be” is just trying to change the rules in order to disguise his own pathetic failure at being manly. But even if we’re all on the same page about the falseness of PC “gender” garbage, we’re still left with the problem of how exactly to define masculinity.

Ask around and you’ll find that even those of us reactionaries who believe that masculinity is timeless and biologically-based will differ in what they think is essential to being a man. How do we settle such disputes? Donovan has come up with an ingenious solution. It’s a thought experiment, really. Imagine a primitive society concerned with day-to-day survival. We’re not talking about anything more advanced than a very small village. Given the basic biological differences between the sexes, it is men who would be charged with doing the difficult and dangerous work of hunting animals and defending the tribe’s territory from outsiders. (Donovan doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to prove that men are physically stronger and more aggressive than women. Anyone needing such proof is far too dishonest, or far too brainwashed by PC, to appreciate the rest of his argument.)

Donovan doesn’t refer to Carl Schmitt, but his understanding of the essence of “the political” is uncannily like Schmitt’s. The basic distinction that makes our village a social unit is “us vs. them.” We recognize insiders and outsiders. And “politics” begins when some men (and I mean males) are given authority in virtue of having the appointed task of protecting us from “them.” It’s when men go about this task together, in what Donovan calls “gangs,” that manly virtue first makes itself known.

As I will indicate a little later, there are some ambiguities in Donovan’s treatment of “virtue.” However, he essentially understands it along the lines of Aristotle’s areté, which is usually translated as “virtue” but is better translated “excellence.” (Donovan points out, however, that the Latin “virtus” comes from vir- which means “man,” so that “virtus” originally meant “manly quality.”)

The manly virtues are excellences of the male. Donovan wants to make a distinction between specifically masculine virtue (what he calls “being good at being a man”) and virtue that any “person,” male or female, can manifest (men who achieve those virtues may be “good men,” but may not be “good at being a man”). He makes this distinction in a simple and extremely clever way. He points out that there are certain qualities which we expect men to have. When we don’t find those qualities in a man, we think less of him. However, we don’t think less of a woman if she lacks those same qualities. What are they? They are the basic attributes men must have in order to play their primal role as guardians of the tribe. Specifically, they are: strength, courage, mastery, and honor.

By “strength,” Donovan has in mind literal, physical strength. He’s not talking about Jesus’s “strength” on the cross, and still less about the “strength” that helped transgendered Pat endure all the bullying s/he received in high school. Donovan means strength in its most primal and basic sense. Men have to have this in order to be guardians. If they don’t have it, they’re not good at being guardians and they are perceived as weak links by other men. This is as true today as it was in the primeval forests. Our biological makeup remains unchanged. Life in today’s modern world may require very few displays of physical strength on the part of men, but men are still judged as inferior if they are physically weak.

Why else is it that so many men shell out billions of dollars each year for gym memberships? They want to be strong and to be seen to be strong — by women, yes, but preeminently by other men. Men are hard-wired not just to want to achieve masculine virtue, but to want acceptance and honor from other men based upon their masculine virtue. Why? Because that unit of men that guards our perimeter, that protects “us” from “them,” only functions if all the men are driving each other to cultivate manly virtues.

As for women, nobody thinks Martha is less of a woman if she needs help changing a tire. We never observe physical weakness in a woman and think “she’s unwomanly.” Sally may defeat Martha in an arm-wrestling contest, but no observer thinks “Wow, Martha isn’t half the woman Sally is!” Now, the feminists, of course, will claim that this way of approaching things is the worst sort of sexist ignorance: “Strength isn’t thought of as essential to being a woman, just because women have been taught to think that strength is unfeminine!”

Isn’t feminism just the most shocking hogwash? We really live in the topsy-turvy world, folks, where reality just doesn’t matter anymore. But the reality is that men really are stronger than women, just because there’s always been a division of labor between the sexes: men hunt and guard the perimeter, women cook the stew and have the babies that make guarding the perimeter necessary. We admire strength in men because it’s a sign men have what it takes to play their allotted role. We don’t admire strength in women because they simply don’t need it.

Donovan essentially applies the same sort of analysis to the other three primal, masculine virtues. For example, it’s true that women can sometimes display courage in physical danger, but if a woman runs from a club-wielding Orc we don’t think “What a coward!” If a man did, we would (and even male hobbits don’t get a free pass here).

By “mastery” Donovan means a man’s ability to manipulate and control his environment. This means everything from creating makeshift bear traps to navigating by the stars (at least, this is what it means in the “primal scene” Donovan starts from). To this day, we’re not the least surprised if women aren’t good at these things. If a woman can’t fix a toilet, we find it endearing; if a man can’t fix it for her, we feel just a little contempt for him.

When a man refuses to stop and ask for directions, it’s because he’s got a platoon full of imaginary comrades looking over his shoulder waiting to see if he has the “mastery” it takes to be one of them. His honor is at stake — which is the fourth and last of the virtues Donovan discusses. We men just can’t shake such feelings. And why should we? It’s these vestiges of our primordial drive to achieve the manly virtues that are the last slim thread connecting our doughy modern selves to an authentic sense of manhood.

For Donovan, therefore, what it means to be a man in the most basic sense is to achieve, to one degree or another, these four primary virtues. Further, the drive to achieve these virtues is rooted in our biological makeup. No matter what setting men find themselves in, they are going to feel the desire to prove their strength, courage, mastery, and honor. They will feel the desire to prove this to themselves and, primarily, to other men. Because also hard-wired in us is the desire to belong to the Männerbund — to that fraternity of men who recognize each other as comrades capable of protecting the perimeter. Men are fundamentally pack animals.

But don’t men also want to prove their virtues to women? Yes, of course. In fact, Donovan argues that the primary characteristics that make men sexually attractive to women are strength, courage, mastery, and honor. It’s this last point — honor — that’s crucial in a way, however. Honor refers to men’s desire to be honored — to be praised and accepted — by other men. And the sort of men women find most attractive are those who receive the most honor from other men: the alpha males, in other words. So, it is actually through making themselves accepted and admired by other men that men make themselves attractive to women.

In sum, Donovan’s approach to getting at the core of masculinity consists in identifying the most essential traits men would have to exhibit in playing their basic, primal social role — a role marked out for them by their biological makeup. The result is the most persuasive argument for the “true meaning” of masculinity I have ever encountered.

2. Masculinity: Refined or Unrefined?

Of course, there are certain assumptions that underlie Donovan’s approach. The first is that “true masculinity” is to be found among men in their most primitive and undeveloped form. But I can imagine someone responding to him along the following lines.

There are certain human traits that have developed over time, and we have to understand them in terms of their most developed form, not in terms of their most undeveloped. Take human reason, for example. It begins with a caveman reasoning that since wild boar have to drink, and since the only water source around is this here stream, it follows that a good place to ambush and kill wild boar would be at this stream. Flash forward a few thousand years and human reason is firing rockets to the moon.

To understand reason is to understand it in terms of its excellences — in terms of what it is capable of doing. Clearly, that means that we have to understand it in terms of its most developed form, not its most primitive form. To borrow some words from old Aristotle, we have to understand reason in terms of its actuality, rather than its potentiality. To do otherwise is a bit like defining an oak tree by saying that it’s an acorn.

And shouldn’t this be true of masculinity as well? If we want to understand manliness, shouldn’t we also look to manliness in its most developed and refined form, not exclusively to the manliness of our primitive, subhuman ancestors?

Donovan several times dismisses talk about “nobility” — for example, in Aristotle’s treatment of the noble man — as if it were merely a kind of “moral veneer” painted over primal manliness; as if it were somehow a kind of inauthentic and decadent “civilized” version of manliness. That may be one way to look at it.

But another way is to see ideals such as nobility as a higher-level development of primal masculinity, arrived at when men began to consciously reflect upon the manly virtues. In other words: when men began to be more like men and less like beasts buffeted about by instincts and hormones.

While masculinity may emerge initially from instincts and hormones, as the minds of men developed it became an ideal. And men developed and refined and codified this ideal over time, until manliness actually became something pursued for its own sake. In other words, the manly virtues discussed by Donovan ceased to be thought of by men as good merely because they have utility (utility for attracting babes and guarding babies), and became things noble and fine and pursued for their own sake. (My language here deliberately echoes that of Aristotle, who gets a rather undeserved beating in this book.)

Donovan sometimes distinguishes between “manly virtue” and virtue that has nothing to do (specifically) with being a man in a way that is rather arbitrary. For example, at one point, listing virtues that don’t have anything to do with being good at being a man, he gives “justice” and “honesty.” But both of these seem pretty manly to me.

As Schopenhauer and Weininger will tell you, justice is something women are particularly wretched at. You might say that some women can be just if they try — but some women are capable of being courageous as well. I do associate justice with manliness. And it’s certainly necessary in a basic warrior band setting, by the way — where rewards (honors) must be distributed fairly and with justification, just as blame, dishonor, and punishment must be.

Women seldom have any real concern with justice. It’s usually all about hugs and forgiveness. (Unless they’re scorned, then it’s all about revenge — but that’s not a motivation that flows from a sense of justice.) And the same is true of honesty. Women are the most dishonest, guileful, manipulative creatures on the planet. Honesty is speaking the plain truth, having the conviction that truth is paramount, that reality cannot be faked, that one must present oneself as one is without sham or fakery. This is truly a part of manliness. And it is important, again, to the most basic and primal of male survival situations.

Both justice and honesty seem like very manly virtues to me. But of course they are more refined developments of manly virtue, of which our most primitive ancestors would probably have been incapable, since they require a certain facility with abstract thought and with reasoning in terms of ideals like “fairness” and “truth.”

Now, my kneejerk Aristotelianism tells me that all the above is correct — that we cannot understand manliness by looking solely to its most primitive form. Nonetheless, there are some serious problems here.

Donovan points out, quite correctly, that as civilization developed manliness came to be more and more “refined” to the point where all sorts of things were claimed to be “manly” that . . . well, aren’t. For example, any man interested in the subject of manliness will surely have read one or two medieval accounts of chivalry — and found them pretty disappointing. Why? Because they tell us that, among other things, knights shall exhibit the virtues of “chastity” and “faith.” Well, that doesn’t sound too manly to me. Of course, I’ve got an imagination and I can make up an account of how it’s manly. “Chastity” involves self-control, not giving way to your impulses, and that’s manly. “Faith” means committing yourself to belief even without evidence, fighting for that belief without wavering, etc. Sounds manly. But the trouble is that women too can exhibit chastity and faith — and they’re often better at both than men.

Today we have all sorts of absurd claims about what “refined” masculinity now must consist in. Masculinity means tolerance, non-judgmentalism, and fighting for equality. Masculinity means strength used to help the weak; courage used to help the meek; mastery used to build a prosthetic penis for transgendered Pat; and honoring “diversity.” And all the puny little men making such claims will tell you that this is the telos of masculinity’s history: masculinity in its most developed and refined form. They will agree with me that we cannot understand masculinity merely be looking to its earliest and most primitive state.

Bloody Hell! I don’t want those people agreeing with me!

Jack Donovan is clearly worried that once you start talking about “refined” forms of masculinity there is a danger you will define masculinity out of existence. He’s right. This is why he takes primal masculinity as a kind of touchstone, and there is a great deal of sense in this approach. Nevertheless, I am torn. As I argued above, it makes a lot of sense to say that our conception of manliness has grown and been enriched in some ways, as men like Aristotle came to consciously reflect on those primal manly virtues that Donovan speaks about. However, we need some non-arbitrary way of deciding when “refinement” of masculinity becomes negation of masculinity.

This is a very tricky issue. For example: according to Donovan’s four criteria, members of urban black street gangs would be exemplars of manliness. This is clearly a problem. Yet, there is also a problem with going in the opposite direction and upholding “the gentleman” as the true exemplar of manliness. There is definitely a part of me that sees the classical conception of the “English gentleman” to be a bit effete and unmanly — yet these gentlemen at one time ruled most of the planet. There’s a Tyler Durdenish part of me that sees “civilization” itself as crying out for demolition. But isn’t that the same thing as yearning for a life akin to that of the black street gang? And isn’t that far, far beneath me?

Ultimately, the issue I’m raising — about whether masculinity becomes legitimately refined over time — really may come down to how we evaluate civilization itself. I think one factor that motivates Donovan to take his position is that he is clearly a kind of Tyler Durdenish primitivist. Quoting Tyler: “In the world I see — you’re stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You will wear leather clothes that last you the rest of your life. You will climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. You will see tiny figures pounding corn and laying-strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of the ruins of a superhighway.” I think this is Donovan’s world too, but maybe I’m wrong. Again, I’m torn.

3. Nietzsche: He’ll Tell Us What to Do

Really, what I am suggesting above is that while Donovan gives us excellent guidance in understanding the core of masculinity, I believe his account of manly virtue can be expanded. The tricky part is how to do the expanding without diluting manliness until it’s unrecognizable. That would happen, as Donovan astutely recognizes, if we made being “manly” include virtues that we expect women to exhibit as well — or (worse yet) if we twisted manly virtue so as to make it serve unmanly interests.

I alluded to this last point when I spoke about how the PC morons want manly strength to serve the weak, manly courage to serve the meek, etc. Some of my readers may have immediately recognized this sort of thing as what Nietzsche calls “slave morality.” In The Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche hypothesizes that the first human civilizations were ruled by the “master” type of men, who exhibited virtues (excellences) like strength, courage, mastery, and honor. Everyone in these early societies, even those who were not warriors, paid tribute to these virtues and to the men who achieved them. Nietzsche refers to this as “master morality.”

But what about those who failed to live up to these standards? The men, for example, who were physically weak or cowardly? Well, some men of this sort recognize and accept their own inferiority, but nonetheless revere their betters. (Donovan points out, correctly, that the stronger men in warrior bands are often quite gentle with the weaker men and try to find some way to make them useful — unless their weakness becomes a serious liability.)

There is another sort of man, however, who feels hatred for the men who embody the virtues he lacks. This is what Nietzsche calls the resentful type. Such men eventually find ways to turn the tables on the masters by spreading, through various means, a new “slave morality.” This consists essentially in inverting the values of the masters, so that, for example, “meekness” is celebrated instead of courage (“the meek shall inherit the earth”).

What slave morality is really all about is getting masters to do the bidding of slaves. But this means not so much destroying master virtues as perverting them so that they wind up serving slave ends. So master types are allowed to be strong and to display courage — so long as they understand that it’s the weak and the meek that these virtues must serve. When Donovan writes about how political correctness actually tries to appeal to the very manly virtues it attacks — telling us, for example, that “real men” honor diversity — he is giving a very Nietzschean analysis. (This is particularly true of his free eBook No Man’s Land where he convincingly argues that PC critics of masculinity like Michael Kimmel are motivated by resentment against the manly virtues they sorely lack.)

Now, in The Way of Men Donovan is concerned to make the point that the manly virtues of strength, courage, mastery, and honor are “amoral.” This can easily be misunderstood. All Donovan means is that these are virtues that even gangs of scoundrels, up to no good, find useful to cultivate. Even men bent on evil purposes strive to cultivate strength, courage, and mastery. And as the old saying goes, there is honor even among thieves. This is a perfectly correct observation — but it leads us into some very deep waters. The truth is that we men admire these manly traits even when they are exhibited by evildoers. And this means that there is a kind of manly goodness that exists quite independent of what most of us think of as “moral goodness.”

My contention here is that Donovan is really resurrecting Nietzschean “master morality.” One could equally well say that he is resurrecting old-fashioned, pre-Christian pagan warrior ethics. I think this is a point Donovan would be sympathetic to, but he does not develop this idea in The Way of Men. Indeed, he does not offer a very clear sense of what he means by “morality,” and more often than not (unless I am mistaken) he seems to simply identify it with Judeo-Christian slave morality. Because authentic manly virtue has nothing to do with that sort of morality, he seems to conclude that it is therefore outside the realm of ethics entirely.

For example, Donovan tells us that “Being good at being a man isn’t a quest for moral perfection, it’s about fighting to survive” (p. 45). In a way, this is certainly true just in that men fighting to survive aren’t thinking about moral perfection. But as a good pagan moralist I would take the position that moral perfection indeed comes from developing all that it takes to survive (and to protect one’s one). Donovan actually states the pagan perspective quite well when, earlier in the book, he alludes to the fact that virtue originally had to do with manliness, and that andreia (courage) just means manliness.

The problem here seems to come from assuming that “morality” always has something to do with fealty to abstract laws which apply universally to everyone, male or female. But this is simply to take the Judeo-Christian view of morality as absolute. Again, when Aristotle speaks of moral or ethical virtue he simply means excellences of the character. I am not simply a “person,” however: I am a man. Developing my moral character, therefore, involves developing excellences exclusive to males. But this is nonetheless part of “moral character.” So, in a sense “being good at being a man” is definitely about “moral perfection.” In order to see this, however, one has to thoroughly purge any hidden vestiges of slave morality from one’s mind . . .

Again, I don’t think that Donovan is in principle opposed to the idea that the manly virtues can form the core of a “new” master morality (or of a resurrected one). And to give such a morality to men and say “Go and be manly, knowing that this is true virtue,” would be an enormous service. But he doesn’t do that here — and actually that’s just fine.

The first step in freeing men from the ways in which slave morality has perverted manliness is to get them to see that manly virtue doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with any kind of “higher” moral aim. Nevertheless, even though this is the case all honest men will see that manliness is “good” whether it is exhibited by saints or sinners. Donovan accomplishes this in The Way of Men, and this is enormously important. The next step, in my view, is to go “beyond good and evil” —  beyond morality as we know it — and establish a new morality altogether, from the four small seeds of manly virtue sowed by Donovan. Or: breathe new life into the oldest of old moralities. It comes to the same thing.

As the reader will no doubt have gathered by now, this is a book that is not only filled with new and bold ideas: it will also give rise to new insights, new values, new ways of living and of facing the world.

4. Save the (White) Males

Suppose Donovan is right that the drive to achieve manly virtues is rooted in our biological makeup, and that no matter what setting men find themselves in, they are going to feel the desire to prove that they have these qualities. If so, then we have to recognize that men are fated never to be satisfied by the modern world. Much of The Way of Men is devoted to discussing this point. This is an important book for many reasons, but one of them is that it so clearly demonstrates that the modern world is built upon the suppression of masculinity.

Because this world is focused entirely on the achievement of material comfort and security, it satisfies only one of the three parts to the Platonic soul: the appetitive side of our nature. Ideals that rise above the desire to acquire more money and possessions are ridiculed, and the idealists who dream them are regarded as in need of better medication. It is the spirited part of us — what Plato calls thumos — that motivates us to strive for such ideals, particularly where this involves a vision of ourselves and how we might and ought to be. It is thumos that is the primary thing that is manly about men (as I believe Donovan recognizes).

I’ve discussed thumos in other essays, most recently in my review of Fight Club. Thumos can be found in both males and females, but it is far more developed in the male. We see thumos especially behind Donovan’s concept of honor, motivating us to keep to our code, to be loyal to our comrades, and to strive to be more than we are. It’s also thumos that is behind courage. Donovan speaks of courage as putting strength into action. This is true, but behind courage is thumos, which is not a “virtue” per se but the part of the soul that spurs us to achieve virtue. Thumos is even behind “mastery”: driving us to want to dominate our surroundings.

But to make this modern democratic, capitalist, egalitarian, feel-good world work, thumos has got to be ruthlessly suppressed. Male aggression, ambition, competition, and desire for dominance have got to be pathologized, lampooned, and drugged away (while, as I noted earlier, women are simultaneously encouraged to ape these very traits).

Our modern world neuters the natural male desire to construct hierarchies and to make distinctions by means of a pervasive relativism that teaches us never to judge — just like our (female) kindergarten teachers wanted. All the traditional settings in which men proved themselves as men have either been done away with or invaded by women. Male bonding has been destroyed not just through the presence of female interlopers, but through the post-modern hermeneutic of suspicion that reads “latent” into everything. And speaking of which, men who openly reject and deride masculinity are now officially welcome in what everyone once thought was the last and best school of manliness: the military.

In an essay published on this website, Derek Hawthorne quotes D. H. Lawrence characterizing masculinity as follows: “It is the desire of the human male to build a world: not ‘to build a world for you, dear’; but to build up out of his own self and his own belief and his own effort something wonderful. Not merely something useful. Something wonderful.” But today, men no longer fulfill themselves by building a world that is noble and fine, and not merely useful. They have been conned into building “a world for you, dear,” a world for women, that enshrines the values, attitudes, and priorities of women.

Thumos is permitted to display itself today only in so far as it can be channeled into the service of this feminized world. So, for example, male aggression and honor-loving are allowed to express themselves in military service — but the military, of course, is merely a tool used to safeguard the world we’ve built “for you, dear.” One has to feel sorry for all those poor dumb recruits who think they are going off to prove their masculinity, not realizing they are just cannon fodder for Big Sister.

Make no mistake, this modern world is built upon the broken bodies and spirits of men. If Donovan is right about our nature, however, one can almost construct an argument for the historical inevitability of the modern world’s downfall. So long as our biology remains the same, we will continue to feel the desire to live as men — and we will continue to feel oppressed by the present situation. Can our thumotic rage be forever contained? Because it is so clearly at odds with biology, the modern world is inherently unstable. (And I might add here that while it can be argued, as noted earlier, that this world is inherently “feminized,” ultimately it leaves women unfulfilled as well.)

The logical “what do we do now?” conclusion to Donovan’s case would be “go form Project Mayhem.” He doesn’t say this, of course, because he doesn’t want to encourage criminal behavior. Instead he concludes The Way of Men simply by urging men to form “gangs.” He says little here, other than urging men to come together and form groups of whatever kind they choose. He speaks of Mormon men forming male Mormon “gangs,” etc. It all sounds a little too non-specific. But I think there is a hidden agenda here, and I like it.

If men do form “gangs” then, by virtue of our biological programming alone, they will find themselves spurring each other on to cultivate the manly virtues. And the more these men come to realize their own masculine nature via the gang, the more they will feel cut off from modern sensibilities. The commitment to cultivate the primal masculine virtues implicitly entails a rejection of the modern world. And truly cultivating those virtues creates an ever-widening distance between ourselves and the beaten-down bonobos who are quite happy with their Ipads, their porn, and with vicarious enjoyment of masculine virtue.

I have very subversive hopes for these gangs. (And I think Donovan’s hopes are subversive too — though I’m not sure, and I don’t want to put words in his mouth.) I would like to see these gangs proliferate, to grow in power and influence. I want more and more men to essentially “go on strike,” binding themselves to other men in loyalty, and in reaction against the modern world, coming more and more to hate that world with each passing day. And I want them to eventually come out of that basement . . .

But don’t misunderstand me. I don’t really want to bring down the modern world to save “men” in general. I do sympathize with the men of other tribes, in so far as men are men and have much the same problems and concerns. But it’s the men of my tribe that I am really concerned with — just because my primary concern is with the survival of my tribe and my culture. Jack Donovan has taught us that masculinity first displays itself in this concern with the survival of the tribe — of our tribe, not theirs; with “us” not “them.” Fundamentally, what he has taught us is that to be a man means to be at odds with the men of the other tribe. If Donovan really gets his way and “gangs” proliferate, they’re not going to all go bowling together. They’re going to begin history again. And it’s going to be intense.

Our people can only survive if our men go back to being men again: if they can throw off the weight of slave morality — feminism, multiculturalism, relativism — and recover their primal nature as those who guard the perimeter, protecting us from them. They must cease being camels and go back to being lions, to borrow an image from Nietzsche. Their souls must be quickened again by the desire to test their strength and courage, and to prove themselves to their comrades. Saving our people means saving our men. This is the wider political implication of Donovan’s book. (An implication he does not himself speak of.)

As I put it in another essay inside every “nice,” metrosexual, non-judgmental Nancy boy — yes, even inside Justin Bieber — is a real, hot-blooded thumotic he-man screaming to get out. Get our men back in touch with that primal man inside them, and the whole great, stinking edifice of lies, envy, and ressentiment will collapse so quickly it will surprise all of us.

This is the ultimate reason why The Way of Men is such an important book. And the reason why every man reading this review should buy it today.

 

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25 Comments

  1. Exenith
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I tried to put into words the feelings this book evoked, but it’s just not possible. Give it to every teenage boy.

    • Gregor
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I have a nephew of 18 who needs to read this book, but there is a problem.

      The link at the top of the article leads to Amazon, and they only offer a Kindle version.

      When and where will a “real” paper version be available?

      • Kevin Slaughter
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        A print edition is forthcoming… (Late April/Early May)

      • Gregor
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Kevin Slaughter:

        Thanks for that information. I hope Counter-Currents will offer it. Why give the $$ to anyone else!

  2. Markus
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    This was a great read, thank you. You’re my favourite writer on this site. Manliness (and the lack thereof) is one of my favourite subjects to read and think about, especially since I’m from Sweden and, well, we all know about Sweden. This world is missing something fundamental. Jack Donovan seems like an interesting author, I have to read his works.

    • Jef Costello
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the kind compliment!

  3. Robert Mau
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I’ll definitely buy this book! I’m a huge Jack Donovan fan. Although I don’t agree with everything he says, to me, he’s about 90 percent spot-on. One question…what about “the geek?” These are guys who may lack physical strength, or “virtus,” but certainly the technological advancements that are part of this modern world are male-created. Men who advanced medicine, communication and even weaponry would probably not be able to survive on their brute strength alone; however, in some men, perhaps the superiority of the male brain compensates for the traditional masculine qualities that we celebrate.

  4. Jack Donovan
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    I mention the geek in the chapter on Mastery.

    Here you go:

    “Advanced levels of mastery and technics allow men to compete for improved status within the group by bringing more to the camp, hunt or fight than their bodies would otherwise allow. Mastery can be supplementary—a man who can build, hunt and fight, but who can also do something else well, be it telling jokes or setting traps or making blades, is worth more to the group and is likely to have a higher status within the group than a man who can merely build, hunt and fight well. Mastery can also be a compensatory virtue, in the sense that a weaker or less courageous man can earn the esteem of his peers by providing something else of great value. It could well have been a runt who tamed fire or invented the crossbow or played the first music, and such a man would have earned the respect and admiration of his peers. Homer was a blind man, but his words have been valued by men for thousands of years. “

    • Tanja
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Good article, I’ll definitely have to buy this book.

      As a woman, it’s very interesting for me to read about manliness and what it really means. I tend to agree with Donovan that the manly virtues are amoral, meant for survival rather than for moral goodness. There seems to be a moral system inside the Männerbund that is not the same as the morality in greater human society (for example, the ring-leader of a gang rape is often an “alpha male” and admired by his group, and thus honorable by their standards.) The four virtues are pretty much spot-on, and it’s what I as a woman admire in men. The virtue of courage is probably what does it for me – I always liked a man who dares to do what other men don’t. For a woman, the most boring thing is probably a man who is part of the grey mass, a non-distinct and slavish drone.

      I don’t agree with everything Costello says (what, are women incapable of virtues such as truth and justice? How many of the worst people in history were women? Also, I don’t find it “endearing” when I am incapable of fixing something, and need help. It’s not endearing, only embarrassing.). However, Costello does make a good point about the modern world where the best men are chained to slave morality – we really live in a weird society, where the slave-hearted cowards who couldn’t build a society are now the rulers of it.

      • Posted March 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Tanja, I suppose women can be seen as lacking virtues such as truth and justice not because of what they do, but what they lead men to do- murder, lie, and ruin their souls- and usually they (we?) do so with glee…note how some women love to write their checks their husbands have to cash: starting fights with strangers, pushing their men to ‘defend their honor’ when they’re in the wrong…. Aside from that, women tend to use the fact that men want to sleep with them to manipulate and control them. Maybe I’m just speaking from personal anecdote and extrapolating from my own behavior, but it seems that most women do not respect the power they have over men. I think that’s the big difference in the sexes….men are taught to control and respect their (physical) power, but women are taught to never control theirs…..

        A stronger, more masculine society would not only benefit men, but also women, by curtailing these pathological urges. Women are capable of great things, but not when their narcism and base urges are calling the shots. Of course NAWALT and all that, but there is certainly a pattern.

      • Posted March 26, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Damn autocorrect. Narcissism.

  5. Alaskan
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Anywhere to procure this title in physical book form? I’m old fashioned like that.

  6. Jack Donovan
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    The book will be out in print in about a month.

    • Greg Paulson
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I wish I would have known that. I would have preferred to buy the physical book, but now it seems like a less justified purchase.

  7. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    THEIR GOAL IS GENOCIDE. OURS. WHAT’S YOURS?

    Jef Costelo in blockquote:

    The good news: Mr. Costello has written three or four excellent essays dealing with Donovan’s new book.

    The bad news: Mr. Costello merged them all into one. He has a lot to say, and says it well. I’ll try to be as brief as possible, as well.

    1. If “the way of Men is the way of the Gang,” then hierarchy based on the division of labor and MASTERY of the skills needed to ACHIEVE give the Game to us. A psychologist named David McClelland developed a psychological test called “nAch” – the NEED to achieve. That is the hidden spiritual framework that pulls us forward, from the desert steppes, to the day our Posterity can walk Among The Stars. (HT: Kevin Alfred Strom)

    Hierarchy organizes, and “gangs” get things done. Think of the organizational genius of Genghis Khan, and imagine if his need to Achieve went to zero. Now think of giving the next Genghis Khan a steady diet of Ritalin as a child. THAT is how women achieve “equality” with us – chemical castration, mixed with psychological gelding.

    2. Masculinity has the choice of being defined or refined, by WHO gets to choose? In this social system, usually, it’s women – particularly at the school level, where unrefined masculinity is defined down to the lowest common denominator consistent with self-selecting serfdom.

    This is a very tricky issue. For example: according to Donovan’s four criteria, members of urban black street gangs would be exemplars of manliness. This is clearly a problem. Yet, there is also a problem with going in the opposite direction and upholding “the gentleman” as the true exemplar of manliness. There is definitely a part of me that sees the classical conception of the “English gentleman” to be a bit effete and unmanly — yet these gentlemen at one time ruled most of the planet. There’s a Tyler Durdenish part of me that sees “civilization” itself as crying out for demolition. But isn’t that the same thing as yearning for a life akin to that of the black street gang? And isn’t that far, far beneath me?

    Not really, because black street gangs are not exemplars of manliness. They are PARODIES of manliness. Nominally hypermasculine as a matter for Form, they are, in fact, Feminine in matters of Substance. This is what three generations of anti-Male systems have to show for it. Look at that wonderful HBO series, “The Wire.” The REAL Hero of the series is a black homosexual – exclusively, straight-out, open homosexual.

    All members of the black gangs play Follow The Leader until there is a new Leader. Then, they play Follow The Leader. They are all headed in one direction, and that is DOWN. “Followers,” and in “Feminine?” Please. Look at the number of black organizations wearing HOODIES tonight, in a show of “racial solidarity.” How many people who matter wear HOODIES as a matter of PRIDE? WHY is this something to be PROUD of? Follow The Leader. Girls.

    3. Nietzsche WILL tell us what to do, but not how to do it. THAT is up to us, and requires us to accept Masculinity in a metapolitical framework. What is all of this testosterone/nAch good for, if it is not to build Civilization? How can Civilization be built wen the men have become women, and the women are men in all but physique? It can’t. Men need to do Fight Club, and use their anger to burn off the dross of the Illusions that keep them socially gelded as serfs in all but name.

    4. As for “Saving the (White ) Males,” one good example is defined loosely:

    Fundamentally, what he has taught us is that to be a man means to be at odds with the men of the other tribe. If Donovan really gets his way and “gangs” proliferate, they’re not going to all go bowling together. They’re going to begin history again. And it’s going to be intense.

    “Begin(ning) history” again, setting the wheels of History back in motion contra Fukuyama, et. al., is a theme Harold Covington explicitly states in the opening to “A Distant Thunder.” Note that the EFFECTIVE yoking of Soul to Spirit’s Purpose is one of the foundations of Paganism, which gave Masculine power to Christianity when it truly needed it.

    Organizing, starting with the New Paganism, might be an excellent place to start. Becoming part of the Living Foundation of a Church that REALLY respects Masculinity is a good idea. As i have said before, the local Leader of the Pagan Priesthood said, “Our Men see more in the flickerings of campfires and bonfires, than you see in your Scriptures. We actively commune with OUR Gods, and you merely disgrace yours.”

    Ultimately, the issue I’m raising — about whether masculinity becomes legitimately refined over time — really may come down to how we evaluate civilization itself. I think one factor that motivates Donovan to take his position is that he is clearly a kind of Tyler Durdenish primitivist. Quoting Tyler: “In the world I see — you’re stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You will wear leather clothes that last you the rest of your life. You will climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. You will see tiny figures pounding corn and laying-strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of the ruins of a superhighway.” I think this is Donovan’s world too, but maybe I’m wrong. Again, I’m torn.

    This is a good metaphor, but there is no real need to be overly literal about it, any more than you need to join the tribe of the Rainbow Thong Wearers. What you need is to acquire the MINDSET of the Hunters who “stalk elk through the canyons of Rockefeller Center,” and stop choosing to be a Victim.

    The easy First Step is to send money to counter-currents regularly; monthly would be fine. The Second Step is to send money to the Northwest Front. Testosterone and nAch require linkages to metapolitical purposes to be purposefully effective at the Racial level.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

  8. UFASP
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I like the cover. I might just pick this one up if I get some extra cash. It seems to be a contemporary, anecdotal Genealogy of Morals, which is fine by me.

    I concur with the writer of this piece about Aristotle being unfairly beaten. The Greeks are unfairly seen as Christian-lites by the radical traditionalist right, I think. I say this as a Nietzschean, myself.

    What people on radical traditionalist right need to understand is that “morality” changed sometime during the progression of Western metaphysics and not just because of the softness that the Gospels injected into it (but that is also by no means insignificant). Virtue ethics (Greek wisdom) is NOT today’s morality. People scarcely can relate virtue to morality because today’s morality is seen as LAW-based morality, not virtue-based. That’s what people think of when they hear the word “morality”– “law”, not an evaluation of character. Because that’s “judgmental,” after all. And we mustn’t judge. Well, if we can’t “judge,” then to the Ancient Greeks there is no morality! Real morality is pagan-based natural law, not Protestant skydaddy law. It’s not just Nietzsche who would have issues with our modern morality.

    For example, contrast these two kinds of moral thought:

    “I better not steal those cookies; that’s bad!”

    as opposed to:

    “Only a slug would steal something as trivial as cookies.”

    That distinction in how we conceive of morality is extremely important. The whole rebel, bad-boy bullshit we get inundated with today is mocking LAW morality (and perhaps rightfully so in some instances). But try countering these types with hierarchical snobbery. All of a sudden James Dean 69.0 with his ridiculous cockeyed, straight brim Starter cap, sports jersey, and sagging pants has nothing to say. It’s quite amusing how snobbery makes these tough, “bad boys” impotent. Beneath their bravado and “coolness,” they are pre-supposing egalitarianism and no real “judging” (at least on YOUR part). Or if you are judging, you’re throwing universal Law at them instead of “I am just better than you. Why? Well, look at you!” In other words, everyone thinks of each other as a herd animal. It’s morally shocking to say “no, I”m not” effectively. So don’t give these “bad boys” that ground. Be judgmental and watch them fold like the house of cards they are. Aristotle would approve just as much as Nietzsche!

    This is why opposing equality is not merely a philosophical way to deny baby mamas their ‘wefare’ checks. It has real application everywhere!

    But EVEN if or when people do think of behavior and character with respect to morality, it is still secondary to skydaddy law feelings even among ‘secular progressives.’ Such law is truly egalitarian and the morals basis for The Last Man. This slight of hand with language where virtue “morality” becomes law “morality” is also in line with Nietzsche’s view about morality being shaped linguistically (in contrast to someone like Hume who thought it was all “custom”).

    In religious terms, Catholics still believe in the virtues, at least TECHNICALLY (but no one pays attention to the Church anymore except clueless Third Worlders and Protestants are all about “God’s Law” which is why they tend to be even more obnoxious). Virtues in the modern vernacular are just buzzwords and punchlines and occasional head-scratchers that people throw out from time to time to sound pretty. Nice little add-ons. Without understanding Socrates or Plato, one probably doesn’t understand traditional, ancient moral wisdom. And if you don’t understand it, you’re going to mistake Plato or Aristotle’s morality for Kant’s “catastrophic spider” (Nietzsche’s words) morality.

    What I’m getting at is that Nietzscheans often attack the Greek thinkers in ways that are unfair because what he says about morality is true with respect to today’s morality so they just assume that it applies to all moral thinking. It’s true that Nietzsche railed against Plato for being a “moralist.” But Nietzsche’s disdain for Plato is that he “Apolloized” morality, essentially (which gave us Kant over time). Plato, to Nietzsche, made morality all “Reason” which does kill our blood-thirsty, edgy, Dionysian “instincts” he celebrates as the basis for higher man and higher culture. But even with the criticism of Socrates and Plato (and Aristotle), Nietzsche’s philosophical epistemology (as far as I can tell) leaves a question mark over whether or not big “M” morality exists AND DELIBERATELY so to avoid falling into the same trap he accused Socrates and Plato of falling into where language over time can turn morality from “taking cookies is for lowlifes” into “taking cookies is bad.” When he writes about “truths” he is talking about MAN, not the COSMOS. (This confusion is the basis for left-wing adulation of Nietzsche, as far as I can tell. The academia crowd seems to cling to this interpretation because they want to associate him with linguistic masturbation and other such “philosophizing” like most existentialism and post-structuralism and the like.) In other words, I read him as attacking men’s minds rather than as someone insisting upon metaphysical nominalism which is what many Nietzscheans unfortunately take away from his writings. How else can someone like Sartre call Nietzsche an influence with a straight face? But nominalism is itself nihilism which Nietzsche wanted to overcome. He knew that a Dionysian answer to epistemology left him in nominalism-land and so he set out to restore the ancient world with his Will To Power philosophy. At least, that’s how I interpret him.

    Even in metaphysical terms, there are light parallels between Nietzsche’s concepts and Aristotle’s. (Heidegger said that Nietzsche never actually left metaphysics.) For example, Aristotle’s Final Cause has shades of Will To Power. In the same way an acorn’s Final Cause is to “flourish” into a tree, Nietzsche would say that the acorn’s growth is an expression of its will to power. Obviously, Will To Power is far more agnostic and less abstract but that’s rather the point of his philosophy– to flush out the Apolloian in Western man. It denies the Creator (or “pure actuality” in Aristotlean terminology) but it frees man’s imagination to become great. Another parallel is between Aristotle’s Formal Cause and Nietzsche’s appeal to “healthy instincts.” Each are appealing to an ideal. Again, Nietzsche dislikes abstractions so he’s using language that isn’t going to put shapes and ghosts into people’s minds. But the two concepts serve the same function within the broader scope of each thinker’s writings– they are each the basis of an object from which everything that proceeds from it can be defined. In other words, the rightness or perversity of something within either thinker’s writing necessitates such a conceptual anchor.

    With such metaphysics put into such plain, “shocking” terms (to inspire), it’s no wonder Nietzsche is the most misunderstood thinker in perhaps Western history. (It’s not as if Aristotle and Plato were Mr. Nice Guys. Just read The Republic! Their metaphysics CAN be interpreted just as harshly as Nietzsche’s or their metaphysics can be impregnated with Gospel teachings to soften them; realism is more very flexible than is often supposed. We know Plato and Aristotle themselves were not softies, though.) I recently argued on another site that Nietzschean morality is actually “agnostic Platonism” or “anti-realism” or “realism for free spirits”. In other words, he’s shooting for many of the same ends as these early Greek thinkers; it just seems to him in hindsight that the linguistic (and the conceptual) formulations made by these Greek thinkers de-clawed man. He wants to put claws into morality. He wants to make man noble again.

    “Donovan sometimes distinguishes between “manly virtue” and virtue that has nothing to do (specifically) with being a man in a way that is rather arbitrary. For example, at one point, listing virtues that don’t have anything to do with being good at being a man, he gives “justice” and “honesty.” But both of these seem pretty manly to me.”

    I agree, basically. But justice is a nebulous thing to speak of and this is where you can see the metaphysical realists beginning to fall into the pit of universalism Nietzsche railed against. Justice, in the sense of pushing back, is absolutely masculine. “Social justice”? Not so much. The problem is each have a claim on Socrates’ big “J” justice.

    “As Schopenhauer and Weininger will tell you, justice is something women are particularly wretched at.”

    Schopenhauer is the best gender realist in the pantheon of Western philosophy. Most of us understand justice to be something that must be “harsh” at times. It’s not hard to see why women fail to emphasize it in the same way as men do. It’s tied to honor. And at the risk of sounding terribly chauvinistic, I don’t think women possess much (or perhaps any?) in-born honor. The honor that they either have don’t have comes from some degree of male influence. I don’t write such words because I “hate” women. I write them because of my beliefs about the basis of noblity. Since men possess all the natural strength, control over such strength is going to ennoble them to one degree or another. I hardly “hate” women over something that is as iron-clad as biology.

    “You might say that some women can be just if they try — but some women are capable of being courageous as well. I do associate justice with manliness. And it’s certainly necessary in a basic warrior band setting, by the way — where rewards (honors) must be distributed fairly and with justification, just as blame, dishonor, and punishment must be.”

    Exactly. But again, today the word is associated with (liberal) moralizing, not honor-based instinct. This falls in line with your point about virtues being understood in general. They are easily corruptible through language. “Justice” is no exception.

    “For example, Donovan tells us that “Being good at being a man isn’t a quest for moral perfection, it’s about fighting to survive” (p. 45). In a way, this is certainly true just in that men fighting to survive aren’t thinking about moral perfection. But as a good pagan moralist I would take the position that moral perfection indeed comes from developing all that it takes to survive (and to protect one’s one).”

    Exactly. If this was used to dismiss Aristotle, I feel like I must say this comes from mistaking an early realist like him for a universal Kantian spinning webs to stick man into.

    “The problem here seems to come from assuming that “morality” always has something to do with fealty to abstract laws which apply universally to everyone, male or female.”

    Right. Again, it’s Laws we emphasize as opposed to virtue ethics. Desert morality over Western morality. Our WHOLE culture is so awash in Protestant-Judaized morality that many “Nietzscheans” are discovering the same morality Plato believed in without even realizing it.

    “But this is simply to take the Judeo-Christian view of morality as absolute. Again, when Aristotle speaks of moral or ethical virtue he simply means excellences of the character. I am not simply a “person,” however: I am a man. Developing my moral character, therefore, involves developing excellences exclusive to males. But this is nonetheless part of “moral character.” So, in a sense “being good at being a man” is definitely about “moral perfection.” In order to see this, however, one has to thoroughly purge any hidden vestiges of slave morality from one’s mind . . .”

    Excellent. I really do think these circles suffer from a lack of emphasis on Greek thinking. Is it because they got the Christian rub? Are they less sexy via approximation to Aquinas? It’s refreshing to see a writer who understands Greek morality. Good show.

    I just want to add that I’ve heard Mr. Donovan in a couple of interviews (Alt Right/ Voice of Reason), and he seems like a very valuable writer for our cause. I’ll be keeping this book in mind.

    • Donar Van Holland
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Thank you for your insightful remarks about virtue-based versus law-based morality. It helps me to understand Nietzsche better, I think. I always found Nietzsche horribly cynical and far too individualistic, but maybe with your remarks I can find some idealism in him. Though it may still be quite difficult to reconcile his way of thinking with my “Völkisch” concerns.

      • UFASP
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        I’m pleased you got something out of my drawn-out response there (typos and all, heh).

        One of the key features to keep in mind when reading Nietzsche is that beneath the “cynical” and “individualistic” sounding language, he is essentially a deeply religious thinker. Even though he lost his Christian faith, I don’t think the thundering Lutheran pedigree that ran through his blood ever left his sensibilities.

        He’s called an “atheistic” philosopher by (shallow) modern academia and I won’t completely dispute such claims because such a label is beside the point as far as Nietzsche’s philosophy itself is concerned. (Seriously, American philosophy is so Anglicized (and perhaps Judaized) that a great deal of cerebral German philosophy like Nietzsche’s is simply beyond them, I think.) But it’s still a terribly shallow way to view the man’s thinking, particularly if one is fixated on his “God is dead” parable from The Gay Science which is probably the most misunderstood phrase any philosopher has ever penned. That cynicism you perceive in Nietzsche is him trying to separate superstition (both from the scientific community and the religious community) from what he ultimately thinks is worth worshiping. In crude terms, he doesn’t think a healthy society can worship bullshit and he’s trying to cull all of that out from the “science” crowd as well as the hocus pocus crowd. Yet, he also understands (unlike the modern atheist) that man needs to worship something.

        Byran Magee, a man who helped popularize philosophy with a television program on the BBC that aired during the late 70s and early 80s, once wrote in his autobiography that Nietzsche’s philosophy “settled for less.” (Incidentally, I highly recommend watching Magee’s old program which can be found on You Tube if you are interested in philosophy in general. He and most of his guests are excellent!) From one point of view (The Apolloian), this is a very true statement Magee made about Nietzsche’s writing. Indeed, Nietzsche is trying to shove “greater questions” which manifest themselves as the Socratic man off stage. Because the Socratic man, in trying to reason everything to death, kills God. The Socratic man is that guy who would go to see a production of Beowulf and say “ooop, there’s a plothole; ooop, there’s a plothole.” They, without meaning to, soil the divine that the Dionysian has cultivated through a frenzied “instinct” rather than through calculus. This is why Nietzsche is very much so a “Volk” philosopher. Are Jews not the ones reasoning and deconstructing your identity the way my imaginary big mouth is deconstructing Beowulf? So Nietzsche leaves room for “Volkishness.” He doesn’t think it dignified to substantiate (and then perhaps deconstruct) such an identity the way Platonic thinking MAY lead a person to do without even realizing it. It is the act of the ignoble man in his philosophy.

        Another aspect I forgot to mention above with respect to language involves the scientific revolution associated with the “Enlightenment.” Nietzsche is reacting negatively to all of this self-praise man is giving himself by virtue of this epoch’s existence. During this time, man discovered certain scientific “laws” of nature. In particular, Newton’s “Laws” instilled in man this idea that the universe ITSELF is governed by “laws” we observe from a “scientific” perspective. Well, you can see where I’m going with this. Along comes Kant (who was perhaps one of the most intelligent, impressive men in history) and says, “why can we agree on scientific law and not moral law and if there is a fixed moral law (as there SHOULD be according to the logic of the observable universe), what of ‘free will’?” He finds this all deeply troubling. But you can see fallacy (incubated by language) is already present from the onset of Kant’s thinking. To be fair, Kant was responding to Hume’s challenge of whether or not philosophy had any application given the implications of Hume’s own empiricism on reality. But nonetheless, previous Rationalist thinkers (as flawed as they were) were right to not equate scientific law with considerations of moral evaluation. In short, we placed too much emphasis on scientific “truth.” This is something racialists (particularly those that label themselves “Nietzscheans”) should keep in mind when going on about “science” and “truth” within the same breath.

        It is my opinion that Nietzsche resolved the this particular discrepancy between “scientific law” and the looseness of moral perceptions that Kant observed by adapting the ontology of the great Greek pre-Socratic Heraclitus. Heraclitus believed that existence was in constant flux, you see. In other words, one never steps into the same river twice. And if the universe is in constant flux, then these scientific “laws” are as well which then squares our approach to what we call “morality” with the workings of the natural world. I hope that makes sense. (Very rarely do I see people explaining Heraclitus as a skewer to the Newtonian concept of reality that thinkers like Hume and Kant believed in. This is a shame because it leads to a scientism on our side that has all the trappings of any reductionist system of thought.) But the beauty of such thought is that it doesn’t deny morality or science as we observe it. It squares the circle between Kant’s “world of appearances” and the shifting sands of morality.

        And finally, you have to remember that Nietzsche is interested in what “type” of man does any manner of thought produce over time. This obsession with “type” is what he thinks will bring out the best in everything. So it’s only natural that systems, which ignore the specific question of “type,” would annoy him due to their tendency to distract from what he saw as the verities of life.

      • UFASP
        Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        “Along comes Kant (who was perhaps one of the most intelligent, impressive men in history) and says, “why can we agree on scientific law and not moral law and if there is a fixed moral law (as there SHOULD be according to the logic of the observable universe), what of ‘free will’?” He finds this all deeply troubling.”

        Upon re-reading this part of my post, I just realized how terribly I worded this part (and consequently, how wrong it is). If you read this as written, it’s misleading and incorrect. What I actually mean here is that Kant deduced (like his predecessors) that scientific observation implied a very deterministic, iron-clad nature. And if that nature is fixed, then how does morality as understood (in terms of “free will”) make any sense? After all, we have to be “free” to choose if you’re viewing morality in terms of rules to “choose” to follow or not follow rather than viewing it as a measure of who you are (irrespective of “free will”) which is character-based. Again, the character-based morality is the Greek, pagan, “Aryan,” (and even Catholic, to be fair) conception of morality that is tied to nature itself.

        So how are we “free to act” if the rationalist/empiricist “fixed mechanical” picture of the universe is accurate? You see, these types of pictures of the universe give us a pesky dualism that began with Descartes. If everything is fixed and mechanical, then where’s the differentiation for choice (and thus morality) to emerge? So this is where German idealism (which started with Kant) comes from– it reconciles morality with the “science” dot-matrix ontological picture of the universe. (I won’t go into detail about idealism as I’m already rambling.) But he takes this picture of life rooted in his idealism and nonetheless views it as an existence that must abide by certain “laws” to be moral. Basically, the idealism creates sliver of space for a soul to interpret the “science” world so morality can become an intelligible concept. I hope that makes more sense. What I wrote above there is really misleading and jumbled. I just wasn’t thinking.

        Of course, Nietzsche rejected Kant’s idealism and his notion of moral laws. And scientific observation still seems to us (in our limited understanding of the universe) “bound by laws.” But since the idea of moral laws seems to be absurd (if reading Kant’s project is any guide), then there is an inconsistency between the science picture of the world and our conception of morality. Now, keep in mind that Nietzsche is not concerned with “free will” like Kant was– he is concerned with refuting the idea that morals exist in the ether. Nietzsche, I suspect, reasoned that it must be our picture of the Newtonian “law” universe that is mistaken as opposed to us just not getting the moral formula right (because Kant sure gave it a hell of a try). Hence, Nietzsche’s appreciation for Heraclitus’s idea of the universe as constantly changing. Heraclitus allows a consistency to emerge between the universe itself and Nietzsche’s concept of morality.

        In a way, he works in the opposite direction as Kant did. Instead of going from “science” to morality, Nietzsche starts with “morality” and deduces that our science can’t answer what it thinks it can even if science itself is totally valid. You see this sort of ambivalent attitude toward science with Nietzsche. He’s open to it. But he doesn’t want man to make too much of it.

        And there seems to be interesting findings with respect to Heraclitus’s idea of change. Quantum physics, for example, certainly casts doubt on the “law” view of the universe that was once so certain as a philosophical claim about nature. But even with the discovery of quantum, we can never answer such a philosophical question conclusively with science.

        I hope that makes more sense now. I conflated two different ideas in my above post.

  9. WG
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Excellent. I’ve been advocating for White “gangs” for years on various WN websites, so I wonder if JD has been reading my comments.

    • Jack Donovan
      Posted March 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Not that I know of. But if something makes sense, it makes sense.

  10. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted March 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    As Hegel (and Ken Wilber) said, to transcend is to go beyond but preserve. We can go onto higher levels of being without becoming devitalized or effeminate. We can retain the capacity for violence, be is psychic or physical, but use it with ever greater levels of justice, restaint, finesse, and yes – effectiveness. This is the true Path of the Gentleman. Obviously many do become detached from their lower capacities either by a conscious decison or by inclination. Most Monastic Paths are of this nature. But some must not take this Path – for the good of All.

    It’s a simple principle but compicated in its working out. As Krishnamurti said, Mahatma Gandhi was a very violent man – on the psychic plain. Each Man must find his own particular balance. For some, the Bliss of Peace will lead to a renounciation of certain capacities. Others like Arjuna and Ali, will find Peace on the Battlefield itself.

    Ken Wilber, despite his vast knowledge of the levels and their interactions, is in league with the Globalists. He knows that Africa is a basket case but he can’t admit, at least out loud, that it is existential and cannot be overcome. And he would probably disparage the nobility of the Warrior Saint as hopelessly traditional – not an honored word with him. He cleaves to the Evolutionist Paradigm and and to him, the idea of a Golden Age is just a projection of the Future into the Past. Thus he fell in with the Globalists and their demented Utopianism.

  11. Mark
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    There is an interesting thing about the underlying principle of the virtues that are listed here, and that is how they are attractive to women when they are most fertile. Nature has made it that women are most noticed when they are physically beautiful, but men are most noticed when they are socially dominant(1). This is the main error of feminism and other forms of Neo-Marxism, they carry the blank slate version of the psyche to its logical conclusion, and thus show how it is erroneous. They believe all of this is due to power relations creating social constructs, and that nothing is innate, that nature has no role in human characteristics. There is a quote that should be repeated to every neo-Marxist, “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret”.

    In case you are interested, this point has been developed in an article by Geoffrey Miller, titled, Sexual Selection for Moral Virtues. Pagan and Nietzschean virtues are seen as an overabundance of strength and power, in a similar way that the peacock shows an overabundance of “power” through his large and beautiful tail(2).

    There is another virtue that could be listed under mastery, but I would like to emphasize it anyways. That is creativity. Creativity is a male virtue, and it is something that is also highly selected for when women are most fertile(3). This could be the key element of what defines “refined masculinity”. The goal is culture creation, who is idealized in The Birth of Tragedy, the Ancient Greeks or the Mongol Empire. Take these two quotes by Lovecraft and Howard, and synthesize them.

    “The primal savage or ape merely looks about his native forest to find a mate; the exalted Aryan should lift his eyes to the worlds of space and consider his relation to infinity!!!!”

    “The ancient empires fall, the dark-skinned peoples fade and even the demons of antiquity gasp their last, but over all stands the Aryan barbarian, white-skinned, cold-eyed, dominant, the supreme fighting man of the earth. ”

    1. http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/ep06328341.pdf

    2. http://hss.caltech.edu/~steve/miller.pdf

    3. http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/webdocs/haseltonmiller.pdf?spnCategory=529&spnDomain=17&spnContent=23&spnContent=28&spnID=26606

  12. Posted March 27, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    A brilliant essay. In order to restore manliness and honor to our Aryan Race, the slave religion on christianity must be replaced with a Tribal-Pagan Warrior Religion such as the Esoteric Hitlerism of Miguel Seranno and Savitri Devi.

  13. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Most of the Men’s Movement, even the best parts, is still entrenched in Universalism. All men against Feminism: Black, White, Brown, Yellow etc. And they bitterly resent any “Nazis” pointing out that Blacks and Women are on the same side – both children of the Federal Goverment. And like the Tea Party, they expect vast numbers of Blacks to beat a path to their door any minute now.

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