Print this post Print this post

Be Yourself?

1,739 words

Andy Nowicki’s Counter-Currents article “In Defense of ‘Squares’” has prompted a reply from Ferdinand Bardamu, “Can You See the Real Me?” Both articles raise important questions about identity in connection with the “game” or “PUA” (pickup artist) phenomenon.

Nowicki argues that the gamesters are right about female psychology, namely that women are primally attracted to “alpha” male traits. Gamesters teach beta males to mimic alpha traits to get laid. Nowicki’s objection is that betas pretending to be alphas is fundamentally false, inauthentic, and self-alienating. Nowicki, who describes himself as a proud beta, instead counsels men to be more concerned with discovering and being themselves, as opposed to pretending to be somebody they are not in order to conform to female expectations and desires.

Bardamu’s reply does not really address the essential premises of Nowicki’s argument, namely that there really are alpha and beta males, and that betas pretending to be alphas is just that, namely pretending, and is thus inauthentic, self-alienating, and fraudulent.

Instead, Bardamu argues that the advice to “be yourself” is an excuse for complacency when self-improvement is in order. As an example, Bardamu tells of his own transformation from obese nerd to fit, socially-competent hipster. He claims that if he followed Nowicki’s advice to be himself, that transformation never would have happened.

Justifying your unwillingness to improve your life by claiming to be “authentic” or “being yourself” is just a lie you tell yourself to protect your ego. . . . his argument is fundamentally a loser’s argument. You almost never hear this kind of argument coming from anyone who’s accomplished anything real in life. You don’t hear it from athletes, you don’t hear it from musicians (real musicians, not kids living on trust funds), you don’t hear it from international travelers. You hear it from fat girls, feminists, and nerds. “Have another Snickers bar, you gorgeous girl, you!”

This is a good argument so far: If you take “be yourself” to mean “remain as you are at any given time,” then self-improvement is not necessary. It is not a reply to Nowicki’s argument, but it is a good argument nonetheless.

But then Bardamu adds a very questionable metaphysical statement:

Here’s the truth — there is no “real” you. You don’t have an inviolable, unchanging identity that defines you from the day you’re born to the day you die. Your identity is just who you are at this particular moment in time. You’re not the same person you were ten years ago, and you won’t be the same person ten years from now. You won’t even be the same person six months from now. Oh sure, you may have the same name and see the world through the same set of eyes, but events in and out of your control permanently and slowly change you. Getting married and having children, losing your job, moving abroad, graduating from college, the death of your parents — all these and other events leave lasting marks on your soul. Game, along with self-improvement methods like the Paleo diet, are nothing more than ways of guiding your intellectual development in productive directions, taking charge of your life instead of just letting things happen to you.

In other words, being yourself is impossible, because there is no fixed self. Being the real you is bad advice, because there is no real you. Bardamu denies that there really are alpha or beta males. There are just alpha and beta performances. And if one performs the same role long enough, it becomes “nature”:

A funny thing happens when you do something over and over again — you get good at it. In fact, you eventually get so good at it that it becomes second nature. You no longer think about it consciously; you just do it without thinking or hesitating. If you practice the guitar for fifteen minutes a day, every day, eventually you’ll be able to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from memory. If you eat soup and tap water for dinner every night and jog/walk three miles a day, eventually you’ll be skinny and fit. If you play the part of an asshole consistently and convincingly, eventually it stops being a persona and becomes who you are.

He goes on to add, “There was nothing fake about me . . .” Which follows from his basic premises: There is nothing fake about him, simply because there was never anything real about him. He cannot betray himself, because he has no real self to betray.

Now this is a very common viewpoint. Indeed, it is the deep metaphysical presupposition of modernity. The modern worldview sees man as the master of nature, which requires that nature be malleable to the human will. This means that all fixed and immutable natures must be discarded as impediments to human power.

This is the metaphysical presupposition of modern egalitarianism, for instance. There are no inherent, immutable differences between the sexes and the races, because such differences would frustrate the egalitarian project. Therefore, all racial and sexual differences must be socially constructed and socially mutable in the direction of equality. There are no objective standards of beauty. They are all socially constructed and mutable, so ugly people can feel good about themselves too. (But the differences that the Left wish to maintain or excuse, such as homosexuality or fatness, are genetic and cannot be changed.)

One can, however, preserve Bardamu’s essential argument – and harmonize it with Nowicki’s — by dropping this false metaphysical presupposition.

Bardamu is assuming a false dichotomy: either the self is what is actual at any particular moment — or there is no self. The third possibility is Aristotle’s view of nature as potentiality. For Aristotle, everybody has a self, but it is not necessarily the person one is right now, for one’s self can be more or less imperfectly actualized.

For the couch potato, “be yourself” translates as “remain as you are now, in your degraded, unhealthy state.” For Aristotle, “be oneself” is equivalent to “actualize oneself,” which, for the couch potato, translates as: turn off the television, stop eating chips, and start exercising. Bardamu’s story of self-transformation is completely consistent with an Aristotelian metaphysics of self-actualization.

Aristotelian self-actualization is, moreover, consistent with the acquisition of various abilities through the repetition of certain actions until they become “second nature.” But for Aristotle, second nature is grafted onto “first nature,” the nature one is born with, and for the graft to take, the two natures have to be compatible. You can practice guitar or piano all you want, but if you lack innate musical talent, you will never rise above mediocrity.

This brings us to Andy Nowicki’s concern with honesty and authenticity. For an Aristotelian, there is a self, thus it is possible to be true or false to oneself. Being true to oneself means actualizing oneself: living in accord with one’s potential for excellence. Being false to oneself means living in a way that is indifferent to one’s true nature or in conflict with it. Health, mental and physical, can be defined as a life in accordance with one’s nature. Ill health, mental and physical, can be defined as a life in conflict with one’s nature.

To adapt an example from Schopenhauer, imagine two men, one brawny but not bright, the other brainy and weak. The brawny man would be most satisfied with a physically active life, say being a lumberjack. The brainy man would be most satisfied with an intellectually active life, such as being a math professor. Now switch the two men’s professions. Send the math professor out to cut down trees, and put the lumberjack in the classroom. Both men would be miserable, because they would be required to live in a way that conflicts with their natures. And even if, through a massive act of will, it were possible for both men eventually to perform the other’s job competently, they would still be miserable, because they would be constantly going against rather than with the grain of who they really are.

Nowicki’s concern is this: If there is a real self, then there must be negative psychological consequences to pretending to be somebody one is not. If there are alpha and beta males, then there must be negative consequences for betas pretending to be alphas. Yet that sort of fundamental falseness is being sold by the PUA community, as well as such pop-Nietzschean swill-mongers as Tony Robbins and his ilk, who promise success — defined in the basest materialistic terms — in exchange for what is often fundamental self-betrayal. I think Nowicki’s concern is completely valid and defensible.

My own concern with “game” and allied phenomena — as well as the metaphysics of the will that often accompanies them — is that they appeal to and empower narcissists, pathological liars, and sociopaths.

A narcissist is a person whose identity and self-worth are not anchored in the reality of his own nature and achievements. Indeed, he may be profoundly alienated from himself. He may even believe that he has no real self, just shifting desires.

A narcissist is a fundamentally dependent, parasitic personality. To satisfy his desires, the narcissist does not change reality, he manipulates others. The narcissist’s identity exists in his reflection in the minds of others.

The narcissist spends his time acting — projecting a persona — in front of an audience in order to manipulate them into satisfying his needs. When others believe his act and reflect his persona back to him, he feels a sense of self. When they approve of his persona, he feels a sense of self-worth. When they question or dislike his persona, he feels rage. Thus narcissists are pathological liars and manipulators.

The most successful narcissists are also untroubled by their parasitic, manipulative relationships with others because they have no conscience. They are sociopaths or psychopaths, incapable of human empathy even as they are highly astute at reading and manipulating human psychology.

For such men, “game” is merely another tool of manipulation that they can use to get women into highly vulnerable situations.

I have met three men who were really into game, and two of them were narcissists, pathological liars, and possible sociopaths. I would feel a lot better about the ethics of the game “community” if it not only offered men advice on how to pick up women, but also offered women advice on how to see through and avoid narcissistic sociopaths who are trying to bed them, or worse.

 

If you enjoyed this piece, and wish to encourage more like it, give a tip through Paypal. You can earmark your tip directly to the author or translator, or you can put it in a general fund. (Be sure to specify which in the "Add special instructions to seller" box at Paypal.)

39 Comments

  1. Tanja
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Good article. Both Greg and that Bardamu guy bring up good points.

  2. daniel antinora
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read this whole article yet but I’m working thru a book on philosophical realism right now. The root of Bardamu’s complaint about the lack of a “real you” seems like nominalism rather than metaphysical Heracilitianism.

    I might very around to addressing this very important topic.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      More like pop Nietzsche: the bad Nietzsche, who denied there is a self or a truth, not the good Nietzsche, whose understanding of values and psychology unlocks so many mysteries.

      • danielj
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        After having read the article, I am in fact surprised at Bard’s lack of mention of Aristotle. Certainly, as an evolutionist, the lack of attention paid to development was also a glaring oversight.

        I mean, are we undergoing some radical “break” with every change we undergo? If so, what “we” is said to be undergoing this alleged change. He is assuming the existence of the self to deny the existence of “substantial” self. I would have preferred that he then outline for us this remaining self. Personality is functioning here as some manipulable and (barely) existential “rider” or epiphenomenal excreta. This still leaves a foundational self, which I’m inclined to believe that Bard would describe as the TACGACTG self. There must be some material cause.

        So, perhaps you are right that he is setting up an anti-Aristotelian, or Aristotelian foil here with his denial of immaterial (as in non-material) causes.

  3. Johnnie Appleseeds
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Fantastic.

    Never mind the fact that putting up a false front is devastating for long term relationships.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, this is the fundamental reason that pathological narcissists are unhappy people: they exist in the thoughts of other people, which are fickle and hard to control. Thus they lock themselves into exhausting and ultimately futile attempts to control other people. They make it impossible to associate with quality people: the strong, the perceptive, the independent, because their whole mode of existence is predicated on deceiving and dominating other people. Thus they exile themselves among weaklings and dupes.

  4. Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Excellent piece. Always good to see Schopenhauer, especially in his own pre-Game persona, offering “The Wisdom of Life” as he calls it.

    Since the Left has no metaphysics, only ad hoc strategies of social destruction, it easily moves from one mutually inconsistent position to another; violent black criminals are victims, hate criminals are monsters of evil; George Zimmerman is a member of a vibrant, soulful but oppressed minority, George Zimmerman is an angry White man, etc. In the 60s, the Jewish social terrorists ["psychologists"] were pushing the Real Self line, versus the artificial, “thin veneer of civilization” that was ‘repressing’ us. Let it all hang out, man! When Alan Watts would get that question in a hot tub at Esalen, “show us your real self, Alan!’ he’d tell them he was showing it to them right now, they just needed to look harder. Watts considered the ‘real self’ idea to be part of the skin-encapsulated ego idea, which he identified as the source of our curiously Puritanical materialism. Given your past essays on Watts, what do you think his position would be here? Perhaps his point is more epistemological than metaphysical; I suppose Aristotle would agree that ones Real Self is manifested wholly in ones actions, not hidden away inside.

    Speaking of psychopaths, in addition to the Bateman references, I note that Bardamu’s description of ‘becoming what you do’ reminds me of this exchange from Manhunter:

    Will Graham: Why does it feel good, Dr. Lecktor?

    Doctor Hannibal Lecktor: lt feels good because God has power. If one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is. God’s a champ. He always stays ahead. He got 140 Filipinos in one plane crash last year. Remember that earthquake in Italy last spring?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Watts is rightly critical of the idea of the self as a little god, fundamentally different in substance from the material world and thus deeply alien to it. For Watts, ultimately, there is just one thing: the whole cosmos, and each individual is just a fleeting glimpse of that cosmos from a particular point of view. It is a very objective notion of the self. And just as the universe changes over time, unfolding its potentialities, I think Watts would grant that the self does so as well, and so I see him as being reconcilable with a kind of Aristotelian understanding of identity.

  5. Andrew Hamilton
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Wow, good article!

  6. Deviance
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    The so-called “Game” and “manosphere” communities and blogs provide true insights on the nature of human females and the biological laws of sexual attraction, though it is old knowledge which is simply recycled and vulgarized. Sometimes badly: Roissy, for example, does understand the product of Evolution but does not understand Evolution (he often says “Evolution wanted us to”, or “If we start evolving again”, which would make every knowledgeable evolutionist smile).

    It’s the other half of what they are which troubles me greatly: after having exposed in dozens of articles the immobile and cruel laws of Mother Nature, they proceed to self-improvement Voodoo discourses that would make any Jewish psychoanalyst jealous. You too can become a natural Fifty Cent, or Usain Bolt! You just need the right knowledge, the right diet, and the right amount of exercise. Practice makes perfect, doesn’t it?

    An eerie feeling crosses my nervous system at light speed: isn’t that the basis of leftism and Christian universalism? The belief that, given the best conditions (best medicine, best knowledge, best food, best teachers), any living human can become a Nikola Tesla or an Abraham Lincoln.

    Doesn’t that contradict too the very premises of Game? If men can change their behavioral characteristics, why wouldn’t women be able to do the same, and choose to be attracted by what’s best for them (nice beta-providers) rather than by what’s worst for them (alpha jerks)?

    Can genes be fooled? If men can perceive the ugliness of women through their make-up, why wouldn’t women be able to sense the real man behind the act?

    So much fascinating questions.

    The truth is that humans can indeed change their behavior. They can lie and act. They can decide to stop breathing until their lungs call for help, to stop blinking until their dried eyes hurt, or to kill themselves, thus circumventing deep-rooted instincts and reflexes. A smart human can play the idiot. A shy man can swallow his timidity for five minutes and ask a woman in marriage. And an introverted nerd can play the cool jerk the time of one party, especially if he is helped by ethanol.

    The problem with self-conscious behavioral modifications is that:

    1) It increases brain activity and energy draw

    2) It dedicates an enormous amount of neurons to the task

    3) It can hit physical limits (the obvious example is that a low-brow dude cannot play the brilliant dude, while the reverse is possible).

    That means a man can “Game”, but he will have some moments of absence in a day, if he is distracted by something for example. Moments that will lay bare his true personality. Some other elements of his face (like the look in his eyes or his face muscles) will betray his true self too. A girl isn’t that dumb. She will notice.

    The latest research in neurophysiology, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience, for those interested, can provide additional information to what is contained in my message.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the outlook often boils down to: women are fundamentally things ruled by hormones and genetics, but men agents who have virtually infinite potential to transform themselves. I think it is rubbish when women scream “misogyny” at every peep of traditional, common-sensical, or scientific “sex realism.” But then, again, just as there really are people among us who hate Jews and blacks, there are people who hate women.

    • Andrees
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      I read Roissy’s blog for his insights, and, beneath the hedonistic surface lie deep social insights of the type I haven’t seen anywhere else. I’ll let you judge.

      It doesn’t take much generosity to interpret something such as “Evolution wanted us to” as shorthand for “The trajectory of evolution would have continued with,” or something to that nature. I have never seen him claim evolution has stopped; on the contrary, he’s said things such as:

      http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/is-female-beauty-increasing/

      He also never stated that learning game will turn one into “50 Cent” or “Usain Bolt.” He’s explicitly said that game is only a single limited manner in which one could improve their chances with women, which is easier than becoming super-rich or gaining a perfect physique:

      http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2007/05/29/the-limits-of-game/

      “If men can change their behavioral characteristics, why wouldn’t women be able to do the same, and choose to be attracted by what’s best for them (nice beta-providers) rather than by what’s worst for them (alpha jerks)?”
      Women CAN better their standing in the relationship arena, he’s even specifically advised it at some points:

      http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/i-give-girl-game-advice-to-a-girl-newly-arrived-in-the-city/

      Also, by “what’s best for them” in an evolutionary sense, is not what gives them the most attention, it’s what passes their genes on most effectively.

      I thought it’d be fair to mention those.

    • Verlis
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s the other half of what they are which troubles me greatly: after having exposed in dozens of articles the immobile and cruel laws of Mother Nature, they proceed to self-improvement Voodoo discourses that would make any Jewish psychoanalyst jealous. You too can become a natural Fifty Cent, or Usain Bolt! You just need the right knowledge, the right diet, and the right amount of exercise. Practice makes perfect, doesn’t it?

      Just because you can’t be the best doesn’t you mean it’s pointless to get better.

      Saying practice makes perfect doesn’t mean that if you practice you will achieve perfection; it means that if you’re going to achieve perfection, practice will be required — it won’t happen by itself.

      • Deviance
        Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:24 am | Permalink

        I totally agree that a man should try to get better in all areas, simply to discover the areas where he is able to excel, and acquire basic knowledge in the others. But as ancient aryan wisdom summarizes, “Some are born to be rulers, others are born to be slaves”.

        The idea that personality or talents are of environmental origin is fundamentally modern: read pre-1950 books and newspapers articles. The writers always took the assumption that men were “natural X”, “born X”, and the same for peoples and races.

        Hitler, for example, did not think that any man could become an able military officer just because he wanted to.

  7. Verlis
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Excellent article.

    Yet that sort of fundamental falseness is being sold by the PUA community, as well as such pop-Nietzschean swill-mongers as Tony Robbins and his ilk, who promise success — defined in the basest materialistic terms — in exchange for what is often fundamental self-betrayal.

    While I think Robbins deserves a lot of the scorn that is heaped on him, this statement is nevertheless unfair. Some of the material Robbins provides is decidedly untrue and useless, but the tools and insights that he provides that do work really do work extremely well — in my experience, much better than any other popular self-help author’s (99% are total junk). The main problem with Robbins (aside from the crass commercial shysterism) is that he tries to extend what works to absolutely absurd lengths. The effect of setting such ludicrously unrealistic goals for the average person is not only that he will inevitably give up in short order, but he’ll feel bad about himself for it and sour on the concept of improving himself at all. The effect on the more intellectually astute reader is that the message of the effective material is drowned out by the groans and sighs the ludicrous material induces.

    Bardamu is assuming a false dichotomy: either the self is what is actual at any particular moment — or there is no self. The third possibility is Aristotle’s view of nature as potentiality. For Aristotle, everybody has a self, but it is not necessarily the person one is right now, for one’s self can be more or less imperfectly actualized.

    Another way to conceptualize it is heredity endowing us with proclivities, rather than “fixed” traits (such that however you are at any one time is how you were always meant to be and can only be). For example, ever since I can recall I have been revolted by human biology, by the “stuff” we’re made of and biological processes. I’ve often wondered if I were caught in some disaster and left alone with a pregnant woman about to give birth who required my assistance whether I could actually provide that assistance or whether I’d leave her to her own devices, even if that meant her death — that’s how revolted by it I am. Grisly thought, but fundamentally self-honest. Now, I’ve brought myself to the point where I can watch a surgery on TV, but it does require a bit of forcing and I’m not at all comfortable with it. For me to have to work with sick, wounded or retarded people would be purest misery, even if I could teach myself to tolerate it. On the other hand, give me financial or social statistics and I’ll happily sit there perusing them and mulling over them for hours on end.

    These examples of “likes” and “dislikes” are easiest to understand, but the point goes much deeper, to values, feelings and even beliefs. That is, we’re endowed with proclivities to feel a certain way most of/some of the time; to value certain ideals or emotional states more than others (eg a sense of mercy over a sense of justice; eg a sense of adventure over a sense of stability); and, I would argue, to believe certain things about people, ourselves, the world etc. Using myself as an example again, from the very youngest I’ve never cared about equality. It was obvious to me some people were smarter, some braver, some fairer, some just generally “better”; and others who were dumber, slower, weaker, more cruel etc. These differences never bothered me. I never felt a hint of regret that we’re not all the same. As I grew older, I began to learn that human differences were politically significant — to put it plainly, I was haunted by what the Nazis were “all about” — and I tried very hard to be an egalitarian, to believe the arguments of egalitarians. Ultimately, not only did I fail to find egalitarianism convincing it, it never even felt comfortable. Silly as it may sound, I was miserable as an egalitarian even when egalitarianism flattered me. I’m much more joyful as an inegalitarian even when inegalitarianism reflects badly on me.

    The most successful narcissists are also untroubled by their parasitic, manipulative relationships with others because they have no conscience. They are sociopaths or psychopaths, incapable of human empathy even as they are highly astute at reading and manipulating human psychology.

    This rings uncomfortably true for me, I must admit. Yet you’re correct that I’m fundamentally untroubled by it. Why should I be? Are you without sin? Are you flawless? Wouldn’t advice on how to mitigate our demons be more worthwhile than condemnation?

  8. Jaego Scorzne
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Yes, let us become ourselves. Nice synthesis of opposing viewpoints. The “all nurture, no nature” school has gotten a massive shot in the arm from the growth of Buddhism in the West – even though they differ radically in their premises. Buddhism does affirm an ultimate nature – Buddha Nature. And from that follows morality, both personal and social.

    Significantly, Conservatives always affirm the importance of nurture, but Liberals refuse any significance to genetics, except as you say, on their pet issues. Buddhism, with its idea of karma, covers its base on this issue as well. There may be no self, but there is a history – and thus people aren’t born as bank slates as the Liberals say.

    Thus Buddhism with its strange spiritual anthropology can still provide the basis for advanced civilization – whereas Liberalism cannot. Our Western Traditions as well as the Semitic, all see the self as real – at least relatively. God is the real Self, the ultimate identity. Buddhism is the odd man out in its refusal to recognize this personal level at all. And they deny the Ultimate Self as well – though that might be more semantic and in accord with Buddha “cool style” than a real difference in experience. Traditional Buddhists disagree of course.

  9. race religion
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    It looks like the Jews just can’t avoid pointing out Diversity threats to “being themselves,” while at the same time they demand we embrace these the Diversity threats. Why should Jews expect to “stay themselves” as America’s voters increasingly become black, mexican, muslim, and asian, none of whom has their salvation tied up in sentimental notions of the Old Testament’s Chosen People?

    Who will AIPAC shake down when the money and the Whites are to weak to do anything for “greatest ally”?

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/04/adl-acknowledges-demographics-matter/

    • race religion
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      When the Jews shut down free speech on the Internet, I’m sure they will use this article, as well as anything written by MacDonald, as proof that “some people just can’t handle the responsibility that comes with the First Amendment, and we just can’t afford to allow their hate to threaten equality, democracy, and burden our most vulnerable and at risk citizens and guest workers and their large and enriching families.”

      Is anyone out there tracking the calls to censor the Internet? UK has a bill, and now Arizona! And didn’t Congress pass a bill recently that created a free speech elimination zone around politicians?

      It’s all part of a piece, and each of these little steps are not isolated, just like the “elections shouldn’t mean so much” coming out at the same time that the NC Gov. suggested we postpone elections and a former Obama budget czar suggested we remove some governmental processes from the risks of elections and hand them to self selecting boards.

      Everything we read in the news that sounds shocking or offensive has been long in discussion and planning by those who know how to get things done at our expense.

      Glen Beck does a good job of showing videos of conferences where the libs are all cozy over planning the programs that shocked the rest of America into the Tea Party.

      Everything horrible has an incubation period. We are just late at recognizing the signs of the preggos in Babylon.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      How is this relevant to the article? You need to stay on topic.

  10. Dominion
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    There is a lot of crossover with the Game community and other forms of self-improvement. Ferd himself recently published some works on how love can exist on a world of alienation (Age of Onanism).

    It’s important to strike a balance between the sort of temporary psychological disassociation which is necessary to objectively reach a conclusion about what to do (the approach gamers take toward women and their psychology) and keeping in mind that this is, in fact, temporary. Knowing what a women responds to and acting in accordance with the goal of winning and keeping her affections, for example.

    The idea that ‘being yourself’ is ‘creating a greater experience and increasing in excellence’ is extremely useful here, and Greg may have solved the debate by bringing it up. We take a more mechanical view in the short run so that we may reach a stage where ‘being ourselves’ leads to a greater experience of life and its possibilities.

  11. Mighty
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m neither beta or alpha, I fall somewhere in-between. With that said, I’ve dabbled in game increasing both the quantity and quality of women in my life; the success does, indeed, come at a price: I do, sometimes, feel psychologically exhausted with it all.

    • uh
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Ditto. I don’t know how guys like Bardamu do it. Heartiste recently came out as married with children, which makes sense — there isn’t the same tumult of the unattached male as in Bardamu’s writings. Bardamu is always proving himself as if in a mirror, just as in the image of Patrick Bateman; he then strays all too far into modernist relativism. At this point he can deny the self, or parry his own thrust by mocking poor whites after mocking blacks so as not to rouse the philo-semites.

      Even commenting on that blog (Heartiste), much more putting its insights into practice, wore me out in months. A single night attempting to manipulate females wears me out, in fact. ‘Tis all symptomata of the age. Everything fickle and flickering, all frayed nerves; nothing staid, stable, coherent or plain.

      One thing’s absolutely certain: White women are no longer viable en masse, and women of all races are undergoing quite rapid memsahibization. The proof is this blog. And all the rest of them.

    • Deviance
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      “I’m neither beta or alpha, I fall somewhere in-between. With that said, I’ve dabbled in game increasing both the quantity and quality of women in my life; the success does, indeed, come at a price: I do, sometimes, feel psychologically exhausted with it all.”

      See my message above for the reason why you feel so exhausted at the end of the day: acting puts a big strain on the brain.

      I suspect the less you’re a natural alpha, the more you have to act and consciously correct your true personality in real-time, which simply exhausts you. Roissy or Bardamu, if they really say the truth about their own lives (can be doubtful: a lot of talk on the Internet is from people attempting to convince their own selves), are probably half-natural alphas, which eases their efforts.

  12. Lew
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I agree Ferdinand Bardamu misread Nowicki and seems to confuse “being yourself” as Nowicki defined it and “staying the same.” Nowicki didn’t say or imply if one is “a virgin with bitch tits” one should stay a virgin with bitch tits.

    That said, there is obviously nothing wrong in principle with mimicking and emulating people who are successful. It’s a key to success in any field or endeavor. Aristotle recommends this approach in the Nichomachean Ethics. He recommends finding a person who is good at what you want to do and copying that person’s approach. He also says “habituation” is very important, that is, just doing something over and over again until you get good at it even if at first you don’t understand why you’re doing it.

  13. Nyklot (Mark)
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your position that there are both good points and bad points to both Nowicki and Bardamu’s position, and that something good can come from both of them. To bring this back to nature, and the brawny guy and the brainy guy. The brawny guy is the one that has the potential to become strong, then formadible then dominant, whereas the brainy guy can use his intelligence along with high openness to experience to become creative, and thus prestigious. The important issue that they have a certain nature that limits what they should pursue(Nowicki), but they must pursue excellence(Bardamu). Maybe Andi was the “weird and nerdy” kid, who cannot be the bad boy without being inauthentic, but lets remember that traits like high verbal intelligence and creativity have also been sexually selected for in human males, and he seems to have those.

    Here is the ideal that we should promote, someone who has both, the philosopher warrior. Someone with formadibility and dominance, along with high verbal intelligence and creativity. What comes to mind is the ancient Indo-European, a mighty warrior who created a very advanced metaphysics. I know that Jack was just focusing on the “pink slime” for now, but we can still have our ideal.

    As far as the critique of the PUAs, I would go down a different route. If we go back to the bonobo / chimpanzee example in a previous article, we can use that to analyze the PUAs. Chimpanzee society is more patriarchal, whereas bonobo society is more matriarchal. Chimpanzees solve problems through conflict much more than bonobos. It is interesting that bonobos have a superior social brain to chimpanzees, like females to males. The PUA uses female social skills to achieve their goals. For example, I saw a bunch of videos once where a man called the Asian playboy is showing how to deal with “cockblockers” through witty comments, as opposed to showing both the ability and willingness to inflict damages. We don’t live in a competitive patriarchy where you are actually tested, we live in a egalitarian matriarchy. Game which is tantamount to pragmatic language skills based upon psychological manipulation is a feminine tactic, but one which the PUAs do better than women, so they have the most successful system given the matriarchy that we are in.

    • Jaego Scorzne
      Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Also lets praise the PUA’s amongst the Elephant Seal Community: little guys scarcely bigger than the Females who sneak into the bull’s harems and pass on their genes without fighting. Brains over brawn – a succesful adaptation I’d say. For the male usually pays heavily in the mating game: the Peacock with the biggest and brightest feathers attracts the most females – but also the most predators. And the feathers get in the way of getting away.

      • Nyklot (Mark)
        Posted April 4, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        PUAs as a successful adaptation?

        The biggest criticism of PUAs is the lying and bluffing. Attempting to portray the alpha qualities that they lack. Lets make up a story about being leaders of men, though we never actually were leaders of men, the same about being pre-selected by women. The reality is that there is an animal that does use this strategy, and it is the fiddler crab.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1690591/pdf/10821619.pdf

        My big claw gets the female fiddler crabs, and scares the other male fiddler crabs, I just hope they don’t find out that it is hollow.

        In all fairness, I don’t think that all of the PUA principles are centered around this strategy

  14. Greg Johnson
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Don’t bring forum feuds into your commentary.

  15. Mike Conner
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Greg,

    Wonderful article. The “game” people definitely have some genuine insight on human male-female interactions, but I have always felt an uneasiness about their project that that was hard to describe. I think you hit on the nail on the head here:

    My own concern with “game” and allied phenomena — as well as the metaphysics of the will that often accompanies them — is that they appeal to and empower narcissists, pathological liars, and sociopaths.

    Yes, this is the problem. These game people are egoists, plain and simple. They’re no better than the average politician who allies with Jewish media power in order to advance their careers. That’s very clever too, isn’t it? Clever, but racially destructive. The overlap between the WN community and the PUA community is overstated, it’s vanishing and, as I am increasingly convinced, not constructive. We stand for the survival of race and higher civilization. They stand for what? The passing endorphin rushes that come with orgasm, I gather. What heroes.

    This is not to say that nothing can be learned from the PUA community. Their analysis can indeed help young guys meet and win women, which I applaud, but it would be better to frame that analysis in a moral perspective that benefits our race. To summarize, we need more non-douchebag PUAs.

    Best, -Mike

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Mike

  16. Remnant
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Very good article with a lot to think about, but I think you are also setting up something of a strawman Bardamu: it may have been implicit and gone largely unsaid, but Ferd was not making an “anyone can become anything they want” argument.

    He was talking about living up to your potential, even though not everyone’s potential is the same. He may not have made this explicit enough, but it is not fair to present his position as one of blank slate-ism or of “I believe that given the opportunity, most people could do most anything” (NYTs reporter Deborah Solomon, quoted in Derb’s We Are Doomed).

    To show that Ferd’s position was more nuanced than you are giving it credit for, two quotes, one from Ferd’s article, the other from Ferd addressing someone in the comments section:

    1. “No, not everyone can become a Casanova or ripped or the next Kurt Cobain, but you can refashion your life into something you can be proud of.”

    2. “‘Bill:

    What about, say…guys with down syndrome? To pull back the hyperbole a bit, what about guys with personality disorders or chronic mental illnesses?’

    Oh FFS, am I really required to add obvious disclaimers to EVERYTHING I write?”

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Genesis P. Orridge! What a load of crap.

      I quoted Bardamu’s article and criticized it for what it said. The fact that Bardamu subsequently backed off from the absurd implications of his stated views under very similiar criticism to mine does not mean that I attacked a Straw Man. It means that he changed his mind.

      Yes, Bardamu is talking about actualizing innate potentials for excellence. The trouble is that he threw in some pseudo-Nietzschean nonsense about there being no real self, which contracts the idea of innate and determinate (and thus finite) potentials for excellence.

  17. Posted April 4, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    As always excellent article, and a nice merge between the two modes of thinking. I would like to add though, that sometimes going against the grain in some aspects of ones-life can be productive. Although they may not contribute to the same sort of happiness as aspiring towards one’s best self, it can contribute to long term contentment- say the intellectual starts to lift weights too, or joins a boxing club. It may not always be about being above average at one’s endeavor’s but being better than you were.

  18. RX-78 Alex
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Highly structured Mystery-style game, in particular, has the potential to turn men with co-dependent tendencies into full blown over-compensatory narcissists:

    http://therawness.com/reader-letters-1-part-4/

  19. Vick
    Posted April 4, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Really nice article. Good job taking difficult ideas and making them easy to understand.

    My $.02:

    Identity is a notoriously slippery subject.

    We want to believe in free will. No one wants to accept that they can’t change for the better. We look down on people who constantly make excuses for why they can’t do better, blaming their problems on aspects of themselves that they say they can’t control.

    On the other hand, you don’t have to be a race realist to acknowledge that biology is real. We don’t know exactly how much of our lives is determined by our genetic programming, but we know that there is a complex interplay between environment and our bodies, and that our “self” is somewhere in between, being pushed and pulled and also pushing and pulling.

    As trite as the name is, I fall ultimately on the “be yourself” side of this debate, I suppose. The irony is that “being yourself” is actually quite a bit more difficult than following some program of 101 Ways to Make Friends and Screw as Many Hot Chicks as Possible. Modern life conspires at every turn to obscure our “true selves” making it just as hard to be “ourselves” as to be PUAs, or whatever the latest lifestyle fashion is. Given this, it’s no surprise that the issue of authenticity is central to the postmodern plight.

    There’s obviously room here for some sort of racially aware pop pyschology to help folks push back against all this. We need someone to popularize a brand of Heideggerian mysticism. I would, but I’m kind of busy.

  20. Posted April 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    If you are PUA you lack virtue per se. Virtue implies a man (vir) who does not want to put his DNA into any female hole for entertainment but gives the procreative act its proper respect. The PUA and the jerkoff artist are both materialistic narcissistic products of our materialistic and narcisssistic culture. iF you can call it culture at all. anti culture.

    You can’t fake virtue. You can only cultivate it, the habit of doing the right thing over time, as the consequence of a thousand moral choices.

    A worthy woman will be attracted to alpha characteristics like intelligence, confidence, physical strength, but she will also have the insight and character to see through to deeper personality and character attributes that are virtue. She will not rut like a bitch in heat, but will restrain her prize appropriately in order to reward relationship attainment and build it.

    I’m an alpha, not because of “conquests,” which now only embarass me. I’m an alpha not because of wealth most of which I have gained through inheritance and accidental success at work. I’m an alpha not because of my strength and intelligence and size all of which were inheritance as well. I am an alpha because I have survived and prospered byeond those gifts over time through virtue, what little I have, which is more than most men of today who ill befit the word at all. I am neither saint nor hero and in an earlier and better age I would have been unremarkable and far more beta than alpha.

    What young men need to do is make a habit of chastity, that is not jerking off all the time and trying to screw dates constantly and avoid marriage and family commitment. That is what boys do. Men develop virtue and they cultivate the family. That takes self restraint and discipline. Those virtues will lead to wealth creation and accumulation that is the sine qua non of successful family development and sustenance.

    About Fred. Nietzsche was pathetic both in his homoerotic adulation of Wagner early on and his girlish vindictive rejection of him once he fully appreciated the Christian content in Wagner’s work and it became to repellent to him to ignore. I cant make heads nor tails out of most Nietzsche and the more I read of him the less seriously I take him. Oh, I am convinced of one thing however, and that is that he was a philosemite. Contrary to his neice Eliz promotion of him to NS. FN just loved them, read his gushing praise in genealogy of morals. Oh hey btw you need to have the discipline to read the whole book and not just the first couple chapters to get it.

    • Andrees
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Saying a good woman will appreciate “intelligence, confidence, physical strength, but she will also have the insight and character to see through to deeper personality and character attributes…” is like saying that a man of good character won’t be phased by a beautiful face and low waist to hip ratio. It’s a massive over-simplification.

      As for chastity, while I appreciate it as a virtue, there’s a difference in chastity and involuntary celibacy. A man who couldn’t keep the attention of a woman if he tried is not making a positive decision: He’s not making any decision.

  21. Johnnie Appleseeds
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but ‘game’ makes me want to puke. Its so fake, so unnatural.

    This whole false front thing (well depicted by the picture accompanying the article) is so anti-Aryan.

    If you are self-realized and at peace with yourself, women will flock to you. Period. You don’t have to say ANYTHING. THEY (the women) WILL KNOW!

    Game is for losers (90% of men who are insecure despite appearances).

  22. Fourmyle of Ceres
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

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

    I appreciate the critical commentary of the entire “Fake It Till You Make It” crowd, and the general attempts at manipulation from the people who sell tapes, DVD’s and “seminars” where you are “life coached” into facade management.

    That having been said, I see a little bit of awareness of “Game,” and a tiny bit of being able to practice “Game,” as being like a vaccine that uses small amounts of a toxic substance to build resistance to greater amounts of a toxic substance. In effect, it is a form of manipulation that slows you down from being destroyed by larger amounts of another form of manipulation.

    “Hawaiian Libertarian” did an excellent analysis of how useful “Game” can be for us in his analysis of a popular television series, “The Big Bang Theory.” http://hawaiianlibertarian.blogspot.com is where his fascinating discussion takes place.

    “Game” has a singular advantage to us if we are aware of it being used as a means to end, against us, rather than an end unto itself, against us. In small doses you build up the resistance to the Gamesters of both sexes, both personally and professionally.

    Or is there anyone here who does not believe the entire WN “Movement” has, with a few exceptions (Rockwell, Covington, counter-currents, Bob Whitaker and Horus the Avenger) been played like fish in a barrel, easily manipulated into doing incredibly ineffective things to fulfill Someone Else’s Plans for us?

    Just look at any history of the “Movement,” and see how easily it has been neutralized at any point where it seemed to be on the verge of actual effectiveness. Think this is all by coincidence, Young Padawan?

    Neither do I.

    Here’s a hint for all of the detractors. People who practice “Game,” however little they may do so, are only effective because they have a Game PLAN. To paraphrase Heath Ledger’s character “The Joker,” “Do WE look like someone who has a Plan?”

    No, because the Idea of a Northwest Republic is simply too mature, too Adult, and too overwhelming for far too many of us.

    For now.

    What’s In YOUR Future? Focus Northwest!

  • Video of the Day:

  • Kindle Subscription
  • Our Titles

    New Right vs. Old Right

    Lost Violent Souls

    Journey Late at Night: Poems and Translations

    The Non-Hindu Indians & Indian Unity

    Baader Meinhof ceramic pistol, Charles Kraaft 2013

    The Lightning and the Sun

    Jonathan Bowden as Dirty Harry

    The Lost Philosopher, Second Expanded Edition

    Trevor Lynch's A White Nationalist Guide to the Movies

    And Time Rolls On

    The Homo & the Negro

    Artists of the Right

    North American New Right, Vol. 1

    Forever and Ever

    Some Thoughts on Hitler

    Tikkun Olam and Other Poems

    Under the Nihil

    Summoning the Gods

    Hold Back This Day

    The Columbine Pilgrim

    Confessions of a Reluctant Hater

    Taking Our Own Side

    Toward the White Republic

    Distributed Titles

    Demon

    Proofs of a Conspiracy

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    The Wagnerian Drama

    Fascism viewed from the Right

    Notes on the Third Reich

    Morning Crafts

    New Culture, New Right

    An eagle with a shield soaring upwards

    A Life in the Political Wilderness

    The Fourth Political Theory

    The Passing of the Great Race

    The Passing of a Profit & Other Forgotten Stories

    Fighting for the Essence

    The Arctic Home in the Vedas

    The Prison Notes

    It Cannot Be Stormed

    Revolution from Above

    The Proclamation of London

    Beyond Human Rights

    The WASP Question

    Can Life Prevail?

    The Jewish Strategy

    The Metaphysics of War

    A Handbook of Traditional Living

    The French Revolution in San Domingo

    The Revolt Against Civilization

    Why We Fight

    The Problem of Democracy

    The Path of Cinnabar

    Archeofuturism

    Tyr

    Siege

    On Being a Pagan

    The Lost Philosopher

    The Dispossessed Majority

    Might is Right

    Impeachment of Man

    Gold in the Furnace

    Defiance