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All They Have Is Fear

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Progressives use every man’s natural fear of showing fear to manipulate him — inventing fake “phobias” and implying he is afraid of everything they want. But what men are truly afraid of are the legal, social and financial consequences associated with challenging the progressive agenda. 

Progressives only have one good trick, and men keep falling for it.

They keep calling you a coward, so that you’ll do or say whatever they want to prove that you are not a coward.

If they want you to accept a group of outsiders, they call you a xenophobe to dismiss any rational concerns you might have about the motivations of strangers. The only way to prove you don’t have an irrational fear of foreigners is to welcome them with open arms and without questions.

If you question the sanity of a man who can’t be “who he really is” until someone surgically removes his dick, they call you a transphobe. The only way to prove you’re not afraid of trannies is to agree that transsexuals are not only sane, but heroic, and should be welcomed into any women’s restroom.

If you reject any demand made by any woman, you’re “just afraid of a strong woman.” This accusation has been repeated so many times that a substantial portion of the population actually seems to believe that men are at the very core of their being constitutionally terrified by any woman with “attitude.” There is probably some truth to this, but only to the extent that men would rather avoid the frustrating reality that no matter how strong a woman claims to be or what she says, no man or woman on earth will ever forgive a man for knocking her the fuck out. To prove they are not afraid of women, men end up giving women whatever they want, because they can’t stand up to women the way they stand up to each other.

Progressives get men to do whatever they want by manipulating our fear of being afraid. When you recognize this manipulation, you’ll begin to see it in nearly every argument appealing to men and every progressive narrative written about men. Their strategy is to portray masculine men, even men who have demonstrated courage in battle or in legitimately heroic endeavors where they have faced and overcome fear, as being driven primarily by fear and a sense of inadequacy.

It may be tempting to say that this strategy is a reflection of their own fear — that they are so defined by their own fear and weakness that they can’t imagine anyone being motivated by anything but fear. Progressivism is embraced and promoted primarily by women, educators and urban males who tend to be not only physically weaker than other men, but who are also untrained and uninterested in self-defense. Rationally, they should be more afraid than more capable men.

But that’s just you and me thinking like men, again.

They don’t see the world that way. These people have been protected all of their lives. They are the meek who have inherited the earth, and like all spoiled brats they have no experiential understanding of what it took to create their world or what is required to maintain it. Like an heiress who doesn’t care where the money comes from as long as she gets to keep spending it, they have no practical understanding of violence or its role in maintaining their safety.

As I wrote in The Way of Men, the social role of men has been oriented around perimeter defense for the majority of human history and prehistory. Men are adapted for that role, and it is reasonable to say that more masculine men are going to be more interested assessing threats and preparing to deal with them.

One of my best friends installed bulletproof windows in his house just because it seemed to him like the obvious thing to do. He is naturally oriented to see himself as a guardian, to concern himself with protection and defense, even when no immediate threats are present and there is nothing that really needs protecting. He isn’t more afraid than anyone else. In fact he is probably less afraidthan most people. He isn’t paranoid or obsessive about preparing for danger — it’s fun for him. He’s drawn to it like painters are drawn to painting or musicians are drawn to playing music. He’s good at it and doing it makes him happy.

People who have been protected all of their lives, and who have no interest in self-defense, don’t see themselves in the guardian role. They have always lived inside the perimeter, like women, children and the infirm. For the protected, the role of protection is “someone else’s job.” They feel secure because it is in their nature to trust that someone else will protect them from harm.

Masculine men see violence as their responsibility, and the protected see violence as someone else’s responsibility. Threats are as abstract to them as electrical power is to me. My dad was an electrician, but I have no idea how that shit really works, and I don’t care as long as the lights go on when I turn the switch. I’m not afraid of the lights going out. I never think about it. It’s someone else’s job.

I don’t think protected progressives are afraid of violence all the time and I don’t think they realize how vulnerable they look to the rest of us. They are the pinkest, plushiest, softest of targets but they don’t think about threats because they don’t think it’s their job to deal with threats.

And they won’t, until the lights go out. When the lights go out, they’ll realize how vulnerable and helpless they’ve been their whole lives. They’ll see what we saw the whole time.

This may be why they seem to be so profoundly traumatized by violence when it happens, and so “triggered” by references to violence afterward. If you’re expecting violence and someone gets the best of you, you’re going to be angry about it, but you have a way to process it. It makes sense. If you’ve always assumed that violence happens to other people, and then it happens to you…it’s going to turn your whole world upside down.

Masculine men are, by their very nature, afraid of being afraid. Or perhaps more accurately, men are naturally afraid of being seen as being afraid. Looking scared means losing the circular stare-down that precedes violence. Vulnerability invites violence. It makes it look easy. This is a rational fear. It can collapse into irrational paranoia, sure, but unless you are trying to blend into a crowd, whywouldn’t you want to look like a hard target in a flock of fleeced pajama boys?

Men in groups don’t want to look vulnerable for the same tactical reasons. Men don’t want to be associated with vulnerable-looking, fearful men in a group context, because men signalling weakness or cowardliness make the whole group look vulnerable. Appearing to be afraid lowers your value to the group. On the other hand, demonstrating courage makes you a more valuable member of the group. Men don’t want to be seen as being afraid, because their value as men, their identity — their honor — is closely tied to having a reputation for being willing and able to process and overcome fear.

Modern civilization lacks sufficient opportunities for men to prove their courage to other men, because modern civilization has eliminated many risks, and by design the majority of men must live within the protected perimeter. The efficiency of modernity means there aren’t as many guardian jobs as there are guardians. Men have also lost opportunities to prove themselves within tightly bonded groups of men, because young men are forcibly integrated with women in nearly every aspect of modern life. They are integrated with women at school, at work, and in almost every gym or school of martial arts. As a result of this integration, bonds among men tend to be weak, and few young men have had sufficient opportunity to build a secure masculine identity — a firm sense of who they are as men within groups of men.

As feminists have shrewdly pointed out, many modern men have a particularly fragile sense of their own value as men. They have little experience overcoming fear, no reputation for demonstrating courage, and no sense of belonging within a group of other men. These men are aware of this either consciously or subconsciously, and it makes them anxious. This anxiousness about their own manhood makes them easy to manipulate with made-up phobias and groundless goads like “you’re just afraid of a strong woman.”

Progressivism is presented as a revolutionary movement. Its propaganda encourages people to believe that they are “standing up” to some kind of powerful evil, or “speaking truth” to power, which can only truly be done without violence and with the relative impunity that progressive “rebels” enjoy because their aims are either complementary or unthreatening to the aims of those who are actually in power.

When power comes at you with bean bags and tear gas and rubber bullets, you are not a serious threat. When power sees you as a threat, it comes after you with S.W.A.T. teams and Apache helicopters.

Progressivism employs the language of violent revolution, but this is pure melodrama at this point. Progressive views are establishment and conservative.

For instance, if ever was, it is no longer “revolutionary” to be against racism. There has been a systematic campaign in education, in the media, in government and in the military to tell everyone in the Western world that racism is wrong. You grew up in a society that was forcibly integrated against the will of many of your ancestors, probably before you were even born. You’ve been exposed to positive media images of people of other races, protected from negative ideas about other people and taught by every institution that racism and stereotyping of any kind is morally wrong. If you believe that racism is wrong today, to borrow the words of Barack Obama, “You didn’t get there on your own […] You didn’t build that.” You did not “reason” your way out of racism. You are not enlightened or sophisticated or evolved. You believe exactly what you’ve been told to believe.

Pat yourself on the back.

Throughout the Western world, there are major social and financial risks associated with being racist or being perceived as a racist or being associated with racists. In mainstream social circles, you’ll be ostracized. If you’re a celebrity, your career will be over. If you apologize, no one will believe you and they’ll talk about it for the rest of your life. Mainstream politicians call each other racists and compete to outdo each other in the feel-good diversity and token-pimping department. If you’re an employee, being found out as a racist can make you virtually unemployable in the age of search engines. If you have a business, you may be boycotted, and other businesses may cancel your accounts to avoid associating with you. If you’re an academic, you will be attacked in the media and you may even lose your job for coming to a conclusion that seems racist, whether it is true or not. In Europe, you can be arrested for writing or saying something openly racist or “xenophobic.” Saying something that could be perceived as racist or in any way derogatory about another group, whether it is true or not, actually takes courage. Being a “racist” or a “xenophobe” actually takes balls.

There are no social, financial or legal penalties for saying that you are against racism or xenophobia. None. Self-proclaimed “anti-facists” who want to get a danger boner “fighting racism” actually have to hunt down accused racists and harass them in the street, hoping for some sort of scuffle. And they when they do it, they do it knowing that they’ll be absolved of any potential legal hassle by the lawyers who will either volunteer to “fight racism” in court for them pro bono or be paid by any number of well-funded and well-established anti-racist activist organizations.

It takes absolutely no courage to say you’re against racism or xenophobia because there are absolutely no risks. Anti-racism, orchestrated integration, multiculturalism, pro-immigration, anti-xenophobia, anti-profiling, anti-stereotyping, “diversity is our strength”… these are all establishment ideas and default positions that are socially rewarded and affirmed. Risks only result from challenging these ideas in some way or other.

So who’s really afraid?

The same can be said of outright sexism, homophobia, transphobia and any of the other initiatives that progressives say secretly scare men to death. How many male politicians would ever dare imply that things would be better off if women didn’t vote, or if they hadn’t been encouraged to seek equal pay and treatment in the workforce? It’s illegal in most places to start a business that excludes women as employees or customers, and apparently God won’t help you if you refuse to bake lesbians a wedding cake. After they smear you in the media, they’ll sue you and ruin you financially.

Every male employee of every major company knows he can be fired for saying something “insensitive,” or which could be possibly perceived subjectively by someone else as “sexual” or “threatening.” A tattoo client of mine was recently told by his human resources department that he was “too manly” and needed to be more “gender fluid” because his “certainty about his gender” might make those who were uncertain of their genders uncomfortable. He was asked to shave his beard and wear baggy clothes to hide his muscular frame. The Harrison Bergeron world of the Handicapper General is no longer dystopian fiction — it’s becoming dystopian fact!

Every male student and every soldier has been subjected to hours upon hours of training about sexual harassment and cultural sensitivity. They’ve all signed policy statements and handbooks explaining the penalties for doing or saying or even implying the “wrong” thing. They know they’ll be punished, not only by institutions, but by the people they call friends and maybe even their families.

And that’s what they’re really afraid of.  

When a woman says she’s for equal rights, or that she thinks people should help refugees or that she’s against racism, I chalk it up to natural empathy and moral signalling. She’s telling people that she is of high moral virtue based on the criteria of the society she lives in. Instead of making a big deal about being a lady or a Christian or a virgin, she’s hard-signalling the only kind of moral purity anyone cares about here in this international empire of nothing.

When a man makes sure to tell me that he’s against racism or sexism or xenophobia or homophobia or transphobia or whatever the thing of the day is…

…all I see is fear.

He’s afraid of losing his job.

He’s afraid of losing customers.

He’s afraid of getting kicked out of school.

He’s afraid of being smeared by the media.

He’s afraid of getting sued.

He’s afraid of losing his house.

He’s afraid of losing the support of his friends and family.

He’s afraid of losing his wife or his girlfriend.

He’s signed the manuals, he’s watched the videos and the Powerpoint presentations. He knows the rules and he’s seen what happens to men who break them.

A lot of men are afraid to even think the thoughts that lead to saying the words that could get them in trouble.

It’s scary. I get it.

I only became self employed a couple of years ago and there’s no guarantee that will last forever. I worked for 20 years, signing manuals and policy statements. I’ve watched the mandatory videos. I don’t come from money and I’ve never had much of a safety net.

A man’s gotta eat.

But where does it end?

How many phobias are you going to allow them to make up to exploit your fear of being afraid?

How many impossible things are you going to agree to believe?

When you stop falling for the same cheap trick, how many more times are you going to nod your head and say the words that you no longer believe?

When I see men arguing about who is more racist or sexist or transphobic on television  and shaming each other as if they’ve never said or thought the same things — political pundits and even sportscasters seem to do it all day long now — all I think to myself is, “what a bunch of lying, opportunistic money-hungry cunts.”

When I see a man apologize for “offensive remarks” or, worse, claim to be “offended by remarks” I see a scared, desperate man.

Maybe he’s protecting his family or his friends or even his employees. That’s legitimate. I get it. But how often and for how long is he going to debase himself like that — publicly supplicating himself, supinating his open outward-stretched hand like a scared chimpanzee?

I know that career-destroying public statements are probably too much to ask for most guys. And here’s no point or honor in arguing with women about what they believe unless you’re dating them.

But men, you can start by refusing to be afraid by refusing to bullshit the guys you see everyday. Stop bullshitting each other. Stop assuming that other men believe the things you don’t believe, and just say what you actually do believe.

If some guy gets offended and starts lecturing you — if he starts repeating all of the things he was taught in college or by the media, just ignore him. You probably didn’t actually have much in common, and he sounds like a cunt anyway.

Life is short and the world is getting stupid. Surround yourself with allies who share your values.

And if you’ve ever found yourself saying you support things you really don’t even care about because you think that’s what people want to hear, like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho talking about ending apartheid and the nuclear arms race, stop doing that, you sociopathic scumbag.

If another man accuses you of being a racist or a sexist or a homophobe or a xenophobe, accuse him of being weak and afraid and easily manipulated. Accuse him of being too worried about his bottom line to think for himself or say what he means.

Don’t backpedal. Don’t qualify that shit.

If another man accuses you of being a racist or a sexist or a homophobe or a xenophobe — own it and make him feel like a cunt for pissing his pants about it.

Progressives want to convince you that you’re afraid if you disagree with them, but the truth is that most men today are afraid todisagree with them.

Call them out on it.

They’re not afraid of “strong women” or dickless dudes or gay weddings or “foreigners.” They’re afraid to speak their minds because they’re afraid of social and financial and in some cases legal consequences. That’s real fear. And they’re painfully aware of it.

Call them out on it.

Call them cowards.

But if you do, you should probably also be prepared to get punched in the face by a guy who is really, profoundly afraid of what it means to be labeled a sexist, or a racist, or a xenophobe, or whatever other scare words they make up to manipulate him.

Original source and podcast version:


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  1. Posted December 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Jack…I have read much of your work and agree with comments already made here. This is a stunning essay, a rousing war cry, that should be read as widely as possible. Thank you. A few years ago, my legal career and reputation was destroyed in my country of origin because of two short and respectfully-worded essays I wrote on the subject of gay marriage. To this day, I harbour some regret for my wording of the third and final essay. It was a non-apology in response to demands for one by SJWs, so it is not something to be too ashamed of but the SJW SOBs should have been met with an unequivocal dismissal to ‘get stuffed’. O, to go back in time and reword that final letter! Thank you, Jack. You are a man of courage, integrity and leadership.

  2. Posted December 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Supposedly, Harrison Bergeron was actually written as a satire of the way in which White middle class perceive equality: i.e. as some disastrous and monstrously Jacobin levelling program.

    That comports with the rest of what we know about Vonnegut.

  3. Zero the Hero
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Jack, should you release a second collection of your essays, please make sure to include this one in it.

  4. Posted November 30, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Women are more afraid of racism accusations than being raped, the only logical conclusion for wanting to welcome the 60-70% single adult male “refugee” population. Rotherham is a state of mind, not just a city.

  5. Zero the Hero
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Another great article by Jack. One of his best ever. I always enjoy his lengthier writings.

  6. Emil
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    The mother of all risk-laden, fear-inducing accusations, which Jack should have mentioned forthwith, is “anti-semitic.”

  7. Bobby
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Great article by Mr. Donovan, that illuminates some more of the nature of that mysterious of all things, the human brain. Thank you. I always appreciate writers who grapple with these difficult ideas and try to make them clear to layman like myself.

  8. Petronius
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Excellent piece. And so true. I have experienced this countless times. They want to get you by the balls, trigger you by your sense of honor, but never ever jump through their hoop. Be aware of hoops. Some are really subtle. Frame control is all. If they call you a “coward” to provoke you, realize it’s just another manipulation to screw with your head, don’t try to explain them you are not. Don’t even contradict. Give a f*ck. Shrug it off, reframe, counter-attack, call them out on their own fear and cowardice. If they ask you a question, ask one back. If they accuse you, accuse them back. Or do it as Trump would do it. Say “anchor baby” instead. “Agree and amplify”, as Heartiste would recommend. Never qualify. Make them qualify themselves.

  9. Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Jez Turner ~Britain: Shylock To Sovereignty: A Nation Once Again:

  10. Posted November 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Excellent and timely essay. I noticed this in wrangling with a number of progressives this past week. They constantly beat the drum of “fear”, to the point I though I was dealing with bots. I got so sick of hearing it, I just said, “yes” and moved on with my attack.

  11. Sean
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The calm republic of European man stands as the Self. Its Shadow Self is the corps of men who hold the border. They are men who, through dark and blood-soaked deeds, prevent Chaos from creeping in behind the gates.

  12. Julean
    Posted November 29, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I like.

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