Libertinism and liberalism
(Note: because there have been so many entries on this subject over the last couple of days, most of the comments, unless they are specifically directed at another entry, are being posted in this entry so as to make the discussion easier to follow.)
In response to my statement that the bare minimum requirement for conservative resistance and survival in the midst of the total triumph of liberalism, including rampant promiscuity and sexual chaos, is that we refuse inwardly to surrender to the prevailing liberalism, refuse to go along with it, the Roissy-ites commenting at Dennis Mangan’s blog say that I am urging a monasstic retreat from life, and are calling me “evil” and “poisonous.” I didn’t realize that Roissy-ite libertines were so uptight.
Update: Here is my reply to the “monasticism” charge.
Also, if your’re wondering where Roissy, the central figure in this controversy, is really at, Hermes at Mangan’s explains:
Again, Roissy’s conservative fans are reading way too much into him, putting words in his mouth, and imputing to him views he does not hold. The fact that he occasionally lapses into a pose of lamenting the loss of the social stability afforded by traditonal gender roles, doesn’t negate the fact that he has explicitly stated that he’s a hedonist who sees no purpose in life except to have sex, and routinely disparages marriage and children. He wouldn’t change the current system, since that would mean he’d have to settle down with one woman for the rest of his life, a prospect he’s repeatedly spoken of with disgust.
This is exactly what I instinctively felt to be the case about Roissy, based on the only post by him I’ve ever read, which repelled me so much I never read anything by him again. I felt I knew everything about him that I needed to know, though, as we now see, his spreading influence makes it necessary to confront his ideas, or what people imagine to be his ideas, in a way that I didn’t think was necessary at the time. As the recent discussion at Mangan’s demonstrates, many people are fooled by him.
To repeat my mantra: the difference between a traditionalist/reactionary, a conservative, and a liberal is that when something alien and destructive to society appears, the traditionalist or reactionary immediately recognizes it as such; the conservative only recognizes it after it has done a lot of damage; and the liberal only recognizes it after the damage is total—or he never recognizes it at all.
- end of initial entry -
The Game Movement could be seen as a case study in E. Michael Jones’s Degenerate Moderns. His thesis was that you either conform your behavior to your morality, or your morality to your behavior. If you start with Roissy the sexual degenerate (no assumptions needed, he’s professed it), his philosophy follows like night follows day. Naturally, criticisms of this movement bring shrieks and yelps. You’ve chased the jackals from their carcass momentarily.
Here’s at the Mangan’s thread is a comment by a Roissy-ite, followed by a reply that makes clear the absurdity and nihilism of the Roissy-ite position.
At 8/18/2009 03:42:00 PM, Whiskey said…
The anonymous commenter’s remark is the perfect summation of the real meaning of Roissyism, and is worth repeating:
Women have their own income, and thus depend on men only for excitement and thrills. This is not changing any time soon so Auster proposes a celibate monastic life for men following his prescription. One doomed to irrelevancy too, ask the Shakers.
Women have birth control, this allows them to do as they please. This is also not changing any time soon, so Auster proposes simply fantasies in lieu of reality. Birth control = women chasing excitement.
Women have anonymous lives, no social shaming or social control mechanisms. This also is not changing any time soon, so women will continue to pursue excitement.
Therefore, for most men to get ANY sex, or affection, or hope of a relationship, he MUST be EXCITING AT ALL TIMES.
All the time, everytime. Because that is what women select on, and all they select on. Auster proposes a phony moral superiority, that’s great if you are gay or asexual, for those interested in women and relationships with them, he’s useless as asking dating advice from the Pope. What would he know about it?
This has implications too for relationships. They ARE possible but only through constant stimulation and excitement of the wife by her husband. Constant, non-stop Game with never being yourself. That has implications about male intimacy (basically, impossible) but clearly it’s the wave of the future. Short-term cohabitation or marriage based on excitement, then men and women going their separate ways once the excitement dies with the end of the libido and sexual declines in late middle age.
Monogamy is dead. The nuclear family is dead. Traditional marriage is dead. Just like the Holy Roman Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire. We just have to deal with it, not some fantasies.
At 8/18/2009 04:04:00 PM, Anonymous said…
Auster proposes a celibate monastic life for men
Please point me to where Auster proposes this.
Monogamy is dead. The nuclear family is dead. Traditional marriage is dead. Just like the Holy Roman Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire.
Sounds pretty dire. And your “solution” to this collapse?
for most men to get ANY sex, or affection, or hope of a relationship, he MUST be EXCITING AT ALL TIMES
So, we are entering a new Dark Age, and your principal concern is … getting women to sleep with you? And doing so by acting like some trained seal?
You sound a lot more like the outrider of doom than the man coming to the rescue.
[end of comment]
So, we are entering a new Dark Age, and your principal concern is … getting women to sleep with you? And doing so by acting like some trained seal?
Here’s s comment I posted at Mangan’s:
8/19/2009 12:17:00 PM, Lawrence Auster said…
Mr. Mangan in his last comment makes it sound almost as though marriage were effectively dead:
“The institution of marriage has been thoroughly taken over by the new ethos, in the form of no-fault divorce laws and the financial rape of men that routinely occurs in divorce proceedings. So it looks to me like in many cases at least, marriage is a much less desirable option now, and men understand this.”
This is far too negative a prognosis. For one thing, lots of people are still getting married, staying married, and having children,
Further, Mr Mangan himself says, in the same paragraph I just quoted: : “If both spouses are deeply religious, a traditional marriage still seems possible.”
Well, Dennis has answered his own question. The solution to the moral chaos and suicidal careening course of our society is—traditionalism. There is no other solution.
We should thank Roissy and his followers for demonstrating, with absolute, unmistakable clarity, the end result of sexual liberation: pure nihilistic selfishness, part of which is a total indifference to, or even an eager welcoming of, the destruction of one’s society. That’s where radical human freedom leads. And the only solution is rediscovering the traditional and Christian understandings of freedom.
People don’t want to hear that. But, do you want to live (as individuals and as a society), or do you want to die? The path of Roissyism is death.
Rohan S. writes:
In a preceding post, “Bio-cons versus social cons,” you wrote:
This is the way liberals argue who seek to make any conservatism disappear; and the bio-cons at In Mala Fide, by showing total contempt for social conservatism, show that they, too, want conservatism to disappear and thus they show what side they’re really on. The Roissy-ites accept the total rule of liberalism, including rampant female promiscuity, and seek to operate within it, rather than offer a countervision of man and society.
It seems very likely to me that the whole package displayed here—the contempt for social conservatives, the obsession with “game” and female psychology, the insistence on seeing rampant female promiscuity as the ultimate cause, not a proximate manifestation, of our woes—is a coward’s excuse for avoiding the fight that matters, which is always and everywhere a fight among men for the civilizational ethos that will prevail. Thus the feverish clinging to the belief that they are nothing more than helpless victims of female choice. But women are followers, not leaders, even in feminized societies like ours—they tend to adopt what they perceive to be the approved views of the ruling men. It’s ironic that some self-described “biological realists,” at least those who appear to have some spark of social interest beyond getting laid, seem to be waiting around for the ladies to start using their inherent female leadership abilities, ha, to turn things around. Women do not make or dictate culture in any ultimate sense. Sure, they choose—but they choose after men have settled the order of things amongst themselves.
Easier to sit around trading tips on how to get one over on, get back at (and how deeply feminized is that attitude?) some confused, de-cultured young woman in a bar somewhere. Organizing and fighting those actual “alpha males” further up the food chain, who benefit from PC, AA, feminism, etc., who are selling out our country, our future, our civilization from under us—now that’s dangerous and frightening, with a terrible probability of defeat. And as you suggest, they do not really want to fight “liberalism,” despite all their posturing, because they share the flaccid libertarian dependence on cultural junk food. They exist in an impotent state of wanting conservatism and “wanting conservatism to disappear”. They adamantly defend their right to perpetual habitation in the ’60s funhouse, yet expect women to “lead the way” and behave themselves: the castrate’s cry for mommy. But these harem eunuchs, who fancy themselves such hard-eyed realists—and who defensively respond by accusing you of being some fluffy idealist who can’t handle the tough truths they revel in—have long since conceded the fight. The “Roissy-ites” flatter themselves that they are “taking back their manhood” in reaction to a feminized, degenerate society. But in reality they are its polished, finished product.
That’s a remarkable comment, very insightful.
Christopher L. writes:
Rohan’s comment reminds me a something that happened after college at my first place of employment in the 1990s. I was in the area where four or five ladies who were secretaries sat. Somehow the subject of marriage and sex roles came up. Being me, I took a traditional, Christian view of the matter. Oh the berating I received for such a view. It was a brief encounter and I was soon on my way back to my desk. Later I was up in the area again except that only one of the younger secretaries was there. As I passed by, she stopped me and in a low voice stated that she was impressed by my ability to stand up for what I believed.
Based on that anecdotal evidence, as well as double digit years of marriage, I would say that Rohan hits a key point. Women want to follow. The problem today’s men have is that they don’t realize that even though women want to follow, they also like to complain about the decisions men make. Why do you think that women around the world prefer men for bosses (except for Indian women who have to suffer with Indian males)? Women know that men typically don’t play the games women do. They want men who will lead.
The Roissy-ites are nuts for thinking that they can somehow beat women at their strength. Instead they need to start acting like men. Men who have honor and integrity. Men who will do what they say and make unpopular decisions. Men who think about more than sex. The Roissy-ites are part of the problem. They declare the ship is sunk, let’s hole the lifeboats and join everyone else in the drink.
Philip M. writes from England:
What a depressing thread at Mangan’s. I get the basic angle—that women, freed with contraception, can now look at a partner exclusively for short-term thrills rather than the long-term qualities of the “beta” men. It is a bit like finding out you only have 24 hours to live, and thus going out and buying the fastest, most dangerous motorbike you can find.
As to the bizarre idea that Roissy is somehow on our side … Conservatives can be a forlorn lot, desperately looking for signs of support and growth where it does not exist. As far as I can see, the only way these people resemble conservatives is that they recognise sex-differences. But they only recognise them for their own selfish ends.
The hatred of women on the site is obvious, and rampant. Sexual liberation has poisoned the wellsprings of trust and cooperation between men and women. We routinely see each other at our most cut-throat in the sexual market-place, and now we loathe each other for it. Maybe part of the reason for this site [Philip is talking about Roissy’s site, not Mangan’s] is that it is men “getting their own back” against women. Some seem to see this as a “conservative reaction” against feminism, but it does nothing to challenge the status quo and only reinforces everything feminists say about men.
I have always been mystified by the mindset of suicide bombers who want to spend all eternity doing nothing but having sex with the harem that Allah gave them. But it seems this is an aspiration for Western men, too. In the end they are creating an anarchy that only Islam or fascism will be able to control.
Philip M. writes:
I will say that it is possible to take some of Roissy’s ideas and use them to good ends. I have had a good look at his website. There are testimonies from men who had bad relations with their wives and who used his advice about being assertive and dominant, and have seen their wives gain respect for them as a result. Part of the site is about de-programming men to stop believing that women want the ideal as portayed in teen dramas and soaps—the wimpy, sensitive guy who wants to talk about his feelings. If men were following this advice simply in the hope of finding a mate, Roissy would be doing a lot of good for Western man. What a shame he didn’t seek to put his valid observations to good use.
He didn’t put them to good use because helping marriage etc. is not his real program, as explained by Hermes’s comment quoted at the beginning of this entry.
It’s analogous to the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU does worthwhile things, defends individuals who deserve to be offended. But that doesn’t change the fact that the ACLU, apart from its work on behalf of individuals, has a political agenda that is very radical and destructive.
Alan Roebuck writes:
I’ve posted the following comment both at Mangan’s and In Mala Fides.
Those who oppose Auster, in this and the related current threads, take the basic position that the secular, liberal, libertine worldview that has caused women to behave like whores is a cosmic given, as unchangeable as the rotation of the Earth. This (allegedly) being so, they counsel beta males to “game” the system, i.e. manipulate women into bed. Since one cannot “game” a woman into traditional virtue and traditional marriage, “getting some” is the best that one can hope for.
Maybe in the short term, but shouldn’t real conservatives set their sights higher? After all, the founders of the contemporary secular liberal order faced an entrenched conservative order even more formidable than today’s liberal status quo; in the old days, heretics and traitors were formally ostracized or killed. And yet, beginning in the aftermath of the Wars of the Reformation, liberalism waged a successful, more than three-hundred-year long campaign to take over Western Civilization.
Consider: within the lifetimes of many of you reading these words, it would have been considered absurd that one day, most people would voluntarily submit to racial quotas, the glorification of homosexuality, environmentalism leading to restrictions on consumption, and the rest of the liberal order. One hundred years ago, the establishment of the current Empire of Liberalism would have seemed as absurd as the restoration of traditional society currently seems to the “GameCons.” But since the former happened, the latter is certainly possible.
And consider: The GameCons also counsel that we fight against the laws that maintain the current unjust sexual order. Well and good, but how will these laws be overturned unless the thinking that maintains them in place is overthrown from its position of authority over society? And how will this thinking be overthrown unless conservatives oppose it in the arena of intellectual combat? And how will conservatives enter the arena unless they begin by being fully convinced, in their own minds, that the current order is false? This last is the real meaning of Auster’s controversial counsel:
“…that we say NO to the prevailing values of the liberal order and that we keep saying no, that we never accept them inwardly, even while recognizing the fact that they exercise effective control over society at present and that we may need to accommodate ourselves to them to a certain degree in our external interactions with society.”
Conservatives, therefore, ought to fight for (or at least support) the restoration of proper morality and social ethics. And, conversely, conservatives who deride the hope of this restoration may actually be liberals posing as conservatives.
Karl D. writes:
Reading the comments about the behavior and expectations of these so called Roissy-ites reminded me of something. Some religion or philosophy I had read about once. And then it dawned on me. Satanism. The Satanism of Anton Levey to be exact. When I say this, I don’t mean it in a “fire and brimstone,” evangelical or Puritan way. If you read the link I think you will see what I am talking about.
Leonard D. writes:
“The solution to the moral chaos and suicidal careening course of our society is—traditionalism. There is no other solution.”
Traditionalism (meaning actual belief in traditional Christianity) is simply not available to many people. One cannot believe something by act of will.
There is a second criticism I would make of traditional mores: traditionalism has been tried, and it was defeated. Even if we could by some means turn back the clock, I see no reason to believe it would stay turned back. The same forces that beat traditional Christianity once should beat it again. And probably much faster, this time—the course has been charted.
That is where, I think, people are coming from when they ask you what’s your “program”. It’s not enough to simply advocate tradition: they want to know: how do you move a whole society—not just yourself—there from here? And how will you change the power structure to keep it from progressing?
In my opinion, there are two basic forces that have impelled the breakdown of traditional sexual morality: birth control and democracy. If that is right, then any solution must either admit to being temporary (which may certainly be better than nothing), or else it must confront and defeat one or both of those things.
I do not believe it possible to defeat birth control, certainly not in a democracy. So I advocate the other solution: defeat democracy.
At this moment, 5:58 p.m., August 19, 2009, I do not have a program for the re-organization of society to present to you. But does one need to be given an entire program for the re-organization of society in order to agree with the minimal position I am advocating? Namely, that what is false, bad, and destructive should not be supported? Should not be affirmed? Should not be conceded to? Should not be inwardly yielded to? Isn’t that position—saying to ourselves that what is bad is bad, what is untrue is untrue—the place to start, instead of automatically yielding to whatever seem to be the dominant social trends of the moment? And isn’t that starting point also the sine qua non of developing the sort of right-wing countercultural program you want to see?
Which is also Mr. Roebuck’s point.
And of course I agree with Leonard about democracy. As Americans, we believe in the fundaments of liberty and self-government, which is that power and sovereignty proceed from the consent of the people. But that is not the same as modern democracy with its assertion of total equality of civil and political rights of all persons. Such total equalily is incompatible not only with civilization, but with liberty itself. See my article, “Limiting the franchise: a proposal.”
Josh F. writes:
These Roissy realists are really just chumps who think they can play game when they’re not even on the field.
If we agree that the current environment is one nearly full of radically liberal females, then those who are in the business of carrying on our Western civilization need to get onto the field, tame one of these tragic females, make a woman out of her, make a mother out of her, make her a believer and then make her your wife.
I know it seems to turn things around backwards (find a woman, make her your wife, give her kids and watch her become a lady), but I think for many of us it is the way things are going to have to be done.
Like others have said, the men have to lead and make these wayward females see things right. Roissy realists are chumps in such a battle.
Laura Wood writes:
“That inward refusal, that inward, spiritual independence of our environment, shared among enough like-minded people, can become the basis of a new community. And then other things, more active and external things, may become possible as well.”
We have to find the inner Crusoe.
Ingemar P. writes:
I don’t know how anyone with half a brain cell could think that using “game” to lure women is productive to society. Men who play the game are in it only for pleasure and sensuality; women who are foolish enough to be quarry are likewise. Such anti social behaviour coupled with the desecration of sex leads only to the breakdown of society. In short, everyone who plays the “game” loses.
Some of the Roissyites were complaining that the traditionalist counterexample doesn’t provide a solution to the breakdown of society. I half agree and disagree. Traditionalists may not be able to convince swathes of liber(-als, -tines, or -tarians) to follow their lead but what they can do is stick to their guns whilst the others stay deluded and hard hearted to their destructive ways. Eventually the nihilists will breed themselves out of the gene pool. Like Lot, all that traditionalists can do is depart from the wretched hell hole as it burns, without taking a moment to pause and look back.
Aaron S. writes:
Great thread on the Roissy-ites. If there is a way to put both too fine and too gross a point on something, I think Leonard D. has found it. On the one hand, he seems to be locating the problem in the relatively recent trends of radical democratization and birth control. Yet he says at the same time that there is some kind of grand, inevitable “progress” that will occur again and again against Christianity (he begins to sound like Hegel or Marx here).
Yes, the drive to complete equality may be seen as the culmination of trends dating back to the reformation and the Thirty Years War. But in that case, it is clear that the concerns were not the same as ours. Does Leonard propose that in reversing a few of these trends, we must tread exactly the same path henceforth? This makes sense only if you believe there is something natural or true in anti-Christian, liberal ideas.
Still, his prescription against democracy is a good start. (Just think how many problems would disappear quickly if we adhered to something even remotely like the founders’ intentions on the franchise!) [LA replies: if you’re speaking of the 1787 U.S. Constitution, it says nothing about the franchise, which is left entirely to the states,]
A second thing: I applaud Josh F.’s spirit, but let’s not allow valor to get the better of prudence. We would do well to remember Plato’s emphasis on “cutting” as a part of moral and social treatment:
Asclepius may be supposed to have exhibited the power of his art only to persons who, being generally of healthy constitution and habits of life, had a definite ailment; such as these he cured by purges and operations, and bade them live as usual, herein consulting the interests of the State; but bodies which disease had penetrated through and through he would not have attempted to cure by gradual processes of evacuation and infusion: he did not want to lengthen out good-for-nothing lives, or to have weak fathers begetting weaker sons;—if a man was not able to live in the ordinary way he had no business to cure him; for such a cure would have been of no use either to himself, or to the State….
Now, as it has always been, there are women fit for marriage and women who are not. The Roissy people are correct that the second group is larger than ever, but it is not too late. Knowing the difference (and knowing it early) is greatly important.
…they [the sons of Asclepius] would have nothing to do with unhealthy and intemperate subjects, whose lives were of no use either to themselves or others; the art of medicine was not designed for their good, and though they were as rich as Midas, the sons of Asclepius would have declined to attend them. (Republic III)
Rohan S. writes:
Josh F. writes:
“If we agree that the current environment is one nearly full of radically liberal females, then those who are in the business of carrying on our Western civilization need to get onto the field, tame one of these tragic females…”
Josh, I think you’re side-stepping the fundamental point—the “business of carrying on Western civilization” is an argument, or a fight rather, with other men, not some paltry, individual exercise in establishing dominance over some individual “tragic female.” As you phrase it you are merely reiterating that same deluded world view our host is arguing against. “Taming” some woman is meaningless if the debased, nihilistic culture promoted by your adversaries (who are men, not women, to be challenged) is left in place. (And sorry, but a phrase like “taming one of these tragic females” brings up risible images of romance novels and the pulp fantasies of adolescent boys, not an exalted struggle for civilization. We’re talking about human beings, not horses, right?.). It’s not “all about the women”. There is no getting around the confrontation with men who desire the order you consider pernicious. When I point out that women are followers, not leaders here, I am not referring to atomized personal relations, which is all “game” concerns itself with, but with the fact that men, not women, make the social order, make civilizations, and women follow along after, setting up a necessary but secondary order in society. An individual man can only “lead” (if that’s really the word) a woman in the context of an order that has been fought out and settled among men. In the “current environment,” you can “tame” women ‘til kingdom come, but we’ll still be going to hell in a handcart, and failing to “carry on” diddly. [LA replies: I don’t think Rohan is being entirely fair to Josh. I think that Josh’s proposal is not just about changing individual relationships, but is presented as part of a larger social change as well.]
And btw, I don’t believe that the “current environment is one nearly full of radically liberal females.” That implies some systematically thought-ought view of life. I do see a lot of people, young and not-so-young, of both sexes, wandering around in a de-cultured and “consumerist” chaos that results in behavior that can be more aptly characterized as “thoughtlessly conformist” than “radically liberal,” even if a more and more “radically liberal” social (dis)order is what results.
Here’s a comment I’ve sent to Mangan’s on Wednesday night (this is slightly different from the posted comment):
Whiskey calls the traditionalist position delusional. But let’s consider his position. He accurately describes a metastasizing social catastrophe unprecedented in history, and then he says that men practicing Roissyesque seduction techniques can reverse it.
Did anyone ever hear anything so ridiculous? It’s like something in a science fiction story, but presented as though it were serious.
So here’s what I think this is all about. The Roissyites are into what they’re into, we all know what that is. Going to bed with the greatest possible number of women, and the most attractive possible women, is the only thing that matters in life. And because they know that such libertinism is deeply offensive to most people, they need to dress it up with this pretty idea that it’s really about saving civilization. And this scam—fortified by their impressive, conservative sounding diagnosis of society’s sexual ills—works! People—especially conservatives—fall for it. And they start rhapsodizing about how Roissyism is conservative, traditionalist!
Roissyism, as everyone knows, consists of techniques to manipulate the emotions of liberal women. What is less appreciated is that Roissyism also consists of techniques to manipulate the minds of conservative men.
Is it time for a new coinage to describe the disciples of Rossy? I think “cad” is inadequate, for it connotes a certain lightness and frivolity; a refusal to settle down, start a family, accept responsibility, etc in exchange for a casual and eternal adolescence. Roissyites, however, take their hobby very seriously indeed. There are hundred dollar game seminars, game discussion boards, and endless dissections of the act of seduction.
I’m having trouble finding a good way to describe how weird I find that.
I knew nothing about this phenomenon until a few days ago.
But doesn’t “Roissyites” convey that they take themselves seriously?
Josh F. writes:
Rohan’s argument reminds me of the Darwinian argument that says real change happens at the population level, when we know that really real change happens at the individual level.
It seems beyond doubt that most females and even more so those in marriage range (18-40) believe that the freedom to be promiscuous, have abortions and get divorced are the very essence of modern liberal freedom or just freedom for short. If we agree that “beta” males live in a sea of such women then what is the only viable solution for the INDIVIDUAL beta male who believes he is fighting to save Western Civilization? [LA replies: and what’s the answers?] Once again, much like the Roissy realists, Rohan seems to adopt a very liberal stance which looks very much like quitting at the individual level.
Any beta male worth his salt takes the female from the alpha male. Beta males should look with disdain at both the alpha and omega males [what are omega males?] for the degenerates they are. And he certainly doesn’t forget that finding a good woman requires the ability to show the falseness that underlies modern female’s “freedom” to her mom, sisters, daughters, grandma, etc.[LA replies: don’t understand.]
But at the end of day, the Beta male has to take the female and make her into a woman and make her a mother and believer. Never let her quit. Show her what real commitment is. If this isn’t taking the fight right to the alphas and omegas then what would the fight actually look like?
This is what I do and believe me I MAKE people notice
Peter A. writes:
Josh F. writes: “Like others have said, the men have to lead and make these wayward females see things right.”
Yes. But how will men lead their women? by lecturing them? or by appealing to their attraction mechanisms via Game?
Peter B. writes:
I’ve read quite a bit of Roissy, often in horrified fascination, and the thing that strikes me is that he has what I would describe as a basically conservative understanding of the world; men and women having different natures being the most obvious aspect in his writing, but that all his conclusions come out as ultimately liberal.
It’s not that he doesn’t know what’s going on in the world. He just doesn’t care.
Leonard D. writes:
Regarding what to call the practitioners of “game,” I might suggest that we take their own label for themselves. While discussing what they do, “game” is the preferred term. However, “Roissyite” is inadequate as a term for the entire “movement” (if it may be so ennobled). This is because Roissy is by no means original. Roissy studied other modern “gamers” who wrote books. But of course, they studied the actions of other men, natural cads, seducers, and “players,” and it goes back endlessly. The fundaments of “game” have been around longer than humanity itself. [LA replies: Longer than humanity itself?]
Right now, the term that I see them using on Roissy’s site that I find best for the group as a whole is “seduction community.” Yes, the phrase “X community” is an awful modern thing that sticks in the throat. But “seduction” is very good—it is as neutral term as you are going to get for both the means and the end of “gamers.”
Incidentally, if you did not read the link that Mark P. sent you to Roissy’s site, I would urge you to do so. Roissy writes a few framing comments, but it is mostly a compilation of comments posted by one of his readers, “Dave from Hawaii,” about how he uses game-based seduction techniques on his wife. He credits “game” with saving his marriage. One can never know, but it seems to be the truth. The point being that seduction is a tool, neither inherently good or evil.
Todd White writes:
I’ve been closely following your online debate regarding “Roissyism” and modern sexuality. I’ve posted my own article on this topic in which I quote you on several occasions.
Through the Sexual Revolution, women have acquired many of the vices of men, while acquiring few of their virtues. The “liberation” of women didn’t create a happy blending of “masculine” and “feminine” inside the hearts of every person, but rather, the devolution of women into lesser forms of men. In today’s society, women have been coerced into male aspirations regarding employment (having a career and high salary) and sex (having a rich, diverse sex life). Men, on the other hand, remain men.
Some of the highlights from my piece …
From the perspective of a man, the quality of women has been in decline for many years, and continues to fall unabated.
The blogger Barium writes, “The issue that I and other bloggers are confronting here is the sexual impoverishment of beta males in the modern West … We need a new strain of conservatism that acknowledges the realities of human sexuality while maintaining its ideological integrity.”
Fair enough. So what kind of “conservatism” do we need?
According to Bardamu—and other bloggers—we need “Game.”
From the perspective of both Gamers and their critics, Game is a reaction to the “Sexual Revolution.” And of course, that’s partly true. But could there be an ever greater instigator of the “Game Revolution?” Yep, Reductionism. And more specifically, Darwinism.
Roissy indulges in the Darwinian ethos: “We are here on this earth to serve one purpose—the propagation of our genes. Everything we do is either designed to push us toward that goal or is a byproduct of that purpose.”
If a person accepts Darwinism, and also accepts Roissy’s assertion that the best (indeed, the only) way to enjoy the company of women is through “Game,” isn’t it logical to ask, “What’s the point?” Personally, even when I was a Reductionist, I would never read Roissy’s essays and think to myself: “Cool!” Rather, I would ask, “What’s the point?” I mean seriously, “What. Is. The. Point?”
That is why “Game” is really a bridge to nihilism.
Darwinism—the “truth” which Roissy uses to justify his behavior is, flat-out wrong. In addition, Darwinism’s impact on society has been dreadful.
Once we junk the Darwinism nonsense that Roissy and his ilk spew, we can enable reason to retake her throne and continue our project with confidence.
First, like most people who believe in Darwinism, Roissy completely misunderstands the theory. According to Darwinism, there is no purpose either in individual organisms or in evolution as a whole. Organisms spread their genes because they had ancestors who had random genetic mutations which gave them features or behaviors that resulted in their producing more offspring, and so individuals with those features spread through the population. There is absolutely no purpose on the part of an individual organism to “spread his genes.” If he’s good at spreading his genes, it’s because he is an automaton determined by his genetic inheritance genes to behave in ways that will result in his spreading his genes, not because he has a purpose to do so.
Second, what does Roissyism have to do with spreading genes? All these Roissyesque encounters are purely for purposes of selfish gratification, not having children.
Leonard D. writes;
does one need to be given an entire program for the re-organization of society in order to agree with the minimal position I am advocating? Namely, that what is false, bad, and destructive should not be supported? Should not be affirmed? Should not be conceded to? Should not be inwardly yielded to? Isn’t that position—saying to ourselves that what is bad is bad, what is untrue is untrue—the place to start, instead of automatically yielding to whatever seem to be the dominant social trends of the moment? And isn’t that starting point also the sine qua non of developing the sort of right-wing countercultural program you want to see?
First off, let me agree that of course, the “false, bad, and destructive should not be supported” or affirmed. Conceded to … hmm, would have to think on that more, but I don’t think concession is necessarily wrong. Concession can be made to reality, to power, without moral compromise. But that is quibbling. Your meaning is clear and I fully endorse it. You are right: we must fight progressivism to beat it.
Where I expect we differ is in whether or not the particular changes we’re talking about all fall into these categories. Some of them do; some of them do not. I am not particularly conservative—I am anti-progressive, and they are very different. I don’t think premarital sex is wrong. I don’t even think extramarital sex is wrong if the parties have explicitly contracted to allow it. I have no problem with birth control, and even support it. I have no problem with homosexuality.
I am against significant parts of the progressive project. As far as families and marriage go. I am against: state run education of any kind; free education; celebration of bastardy; affirmation of the individual’s desires above marriage; welfare in general, that is, the no-strings financial support of anyone including mothers; no-fault divorce for families with children; the redefinition of marriage to allow philandering. And I oppose progressivism at its two core beliefs in this domain, namely, (1) that men and women are exactly alike and should be treated exactly the same (except where they are not), and (2) all individual desires should always supersede those of other people. Statement (1) is outright and obviously false, which is reason enough to oppose it and all policy based on it. Statement (2) is bad and destructive.
As for the program I would want to see … well, it’s kind of right-wing, kind of not. These days I endorse Mencius Moldbug’s neocameralism as the best available design I know of. And while neocameralism has many features a traditional conservative would like, it also has many that he would not like. And it is, of course, a completely un-American design, and would probably require a military coup to implement. On the other hand, it solves the related problems of “how do you move a whole society” (from above) and “how do you stop progressive decline” (by banning politics).
Note that there is nothing in neocameralism that would force it to move to a more traditional society … it’s just that I think almost any government other than mass democracy would do that, because what we have now is deeply unnatural for the average person. Put another way: it requires mass education over many years, and continual propaganda, to maintain the current social/sexual order. Remove those two things, and the order will change to something much less demented.
But to get back to your statement: yes, knowing the truth and knowing what is bad and destructive is vitally important for any anti-progressive, including conservatives. I.e. if you read Mencius (or even the summary I linked above), he spends far more time attempting to get his readers to see the nature and reality of progressivism and the modern structure of government, than he does advocating neocameralism or any other “program.” Your site is another example: you spend lots of time just documenting the reality of modern crime and disorder, and their progressive apologists.
Your comment is interesting and readable, and so I’ve posted it despite its length, despite the fact that most of it is not really germane to this discussion, and despite the fact that you are using it to lay out your own world view which as you say is not conservative or traditionalist. Please keep in mind that VFR does not exist for the purpose providing a platform for non-trad-con manifestos. Such views can of course be brought forward in the context of debate on particular subjects.
Roissy-ism and its children proceed from an inability to comprehend metaphysical or rational truth, and as a consequence, all that remains for the bio-cons is simple existence. Yet this does not satisfy Man in any meaningful way. Concentration only on physical existence denies any serious contemplation of becoming and ending and limits being to “survive, thrive, and multiply.” Survive and thrive are extensions of existence. Multiply, i.e. sex, mimics becoming and ending, though without any higher philosophical or religious foundation, it remains mere mimicry. Still, since “Man cannot live on bread alone” (survive), and since there is nothing more base than “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die” (thrive), all the bio-cons have left as an end is multiply. Thus the structure of bio-con-ism has appearance, but not reality, as you and many of your readers have commented.
The bio-cons lack even multiply in any real way due to birth-control and abortion, The denial of their end—their only possible end—produces the massive resentment of the bio-cons against women. It’s the same frustration that a Darwinist experiences upon realizing that matter cannot produce consciousness, that consciousness exists, and that therefore something besides matter must exist. Similarly, the bio-cons rage; similarly, the bio-cons curse; similarly, the bio-cons despair.
Now, are the bio-cons really conservatives? They deny the metaphysical ideas of liberalism: absolute equality, absolute liberty, and absolute fraternity. They are then not liberals. Not-liberal, however, does not imply conservative. How can conservatism found itself by the determination and application of fundamentally true principles and then accept bio-cons who deny the existence of truth? Conservatives cannot. If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality, then a bio-con is a liberal who’s been betrayed by (liberal) metaphysicality.
We live in a liberal civilization that denies metaphysical truth beyond its own arid principles, and the bio-cons are rightly revolted by its wasteland but then wish to carry the rest of us back to the wildness. They know no other choice. The bio-cons need to understand that their visceral revolt against the powers of this world is correct, but that their rejection of the City of Man should not lead them to be beasts. Rather, it should lead them onto the City of God.
Again, we see the applicability to Roissyism of Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose’s analysis of the four stages of Nihilism.
The first stage of Nihilism, Liberalism, people stop believing in any higher truth, but they don’t come right out and say so. They maintain some outward deference for the tradition and so keep using the names of higher truth even though they don’t believe in it. In the second stage of Nihilism, Realism, people say that the only truth is material. Realism corresponds with positivism, Darwinism, sociobiology, and so on. In the third stage of Nihilism, which is Vitalism, people react against the depressing sterility of Realism and embrace fun, excitement, stimulation as ends in themselves, explicitly rejecting any notion of truth.
And this is more or less the way Roissyism has developed. Coming out of a background of Liberal relativism toward truth plus brutal biological reductionist Realism, Roissyism promotes a cult of sexual conquest for the sake of sexual conquest. And this embrace of pure selfishness and meaningless excitement combined with the rejection of all truth except for materialist truth (which is no truth at all) leads to the fourth and final stage of Nihilism, the Nihilism of Destruction, which we see in the Roissyites’ continuing promotion of and pursuit of sexual promiscuity even as Titanic is sinking.
Peter A. wonders,
“Yes. But how will men lead their women? by lecturing them? or by appealing to their attraction mechanisms via Game?”
False dilemma. Game—what a nerd term. Nerds have this fetish for “gaming the system.” Gaming the system is not about changing it, it’s about giving the system operators a little come-uppance. The same ones who were unpopular in high school now seek their revenge against the stuffed suits and pointy-haired bosses (PHBs): the “alphas”, the popular ones in high school.
Look at the matter of women and financial independence, which is a complaint I see from the Gamers, and is a real problem.
The answer is simple but harsh: don’t marry a financially independent woman. If you can’t find a woman who would stay at home nurturing the children in Spartan material conditions while you worry about the heart attack you’ll have if you lose your job, you go into exile. Celibacy never killed anyone. Many men will have to walk this wilderness before the women realize things have changed, and fall into line. Stop playing the Game and the women will follow.
But the Gamers don’t want to change the system. They aren’t willing to walk in the harsh wilderness of exile. They are the soft, spoiled children of the Boomers, who just want in on the action.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.” Sgt. Stryker, Sands of Iwo Jima.
And here’s Jeremiah:
This is what the LORD says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
I appointed watchmen over you and said,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’
But you said, ‘We will not listen.’
Therefore hear, O nations;
observe, O witnesses,
what will happen to them.
Hear, O earth:
I am bringing disaster on this people,
the fruit of their schemes,
because they have not listened to my words
and have rejected my law.
I am struggling to comprehend this whole Roissy phenomenon. I’m not sure it is worth the struggle. The whole thing looks to me like a last absurd rococo sequela of liberalism, an eddy curling back against the main flux of our long slow cultural fall, that does not at all impede it. Liberalism leads naturally and straightforwardly to libertinism, and once a libertine has got addicted to his vice he finds himself in a much more severe moral predicament than he suffered when as a mere righteously sinful Pharisee he was innocent thereof. As addicts, libertines are much less likely than righteous Pharisees to cleave to the Traditionalist argument for personal and social righteousness. The Roissyite cads may therefore be correct that a conversion of libertine society is quite unlikely; as unlikely as the conversion of the Sodomites who lusted after Lot’s angelic guests. They are surely correct also that the ineradicable physiological bases of traditional sex roles—our very bodies being embodiments of the truth about man, about the Form of the human species—still perdure and operate in all women and men, and that they may be used as means in the pursuit of our selfish ends, like any other lever upon reality, such as knowledge of electricity or mechanics. They are perhaps right even in arguing that by invoking the animal wisdom of women’s bodies they are in a sense recalling to life the basic sexual dynamic of sustainable human society, wherein men assume leadership and control.
The moral error they make lies in treating other humans as means, as tools. It is no accident that “tool” is an insult to men, tantamount to “impotent fool.” In using the vicious socialization of most women to get what they want, the cads propagate and reinforce that vice. They become themselves agents of social destruction. They become like the men of Sodom, baying at Lot’s door. They hunger and thirst after something less than righteousness.
And they are likely to get it. They are not likely to enjoy it. It is no accident that “righteous!” is slang for “intensely pleasant and good.” Ceteris paribus [all other things being equal], you can’t earn a net profit of enjoyment except by righteousness. The convicted sinner ends in a sty of some sort: sexual, moral, financial, or spiritual. In their Darwinist reduction of all sexual relations, the cads effectively convince themselves that righteousness as an empty category. They doom themselves to empty, joyless lives, like mice who, given the power to excite their limbic regions, forsake everything else in favor of coming to death.
The restoration of male leadership that the cads effect with their game is that of the beta male, who sneaks about posing as an alpha to sire offspring on the alpha’s women. I.e., it is not true leadership. Game pretends to sexual leadership, when really, in its obsession with getting laid, it is the opposite: for true sexual leadership depends ironically on not caring about sex and reproduction only for their own sake, but rather only in the pursuit of, and in proper subordination to, a transcendent ideal—such as the survival and prosperity of the whole clan, the whole House. The true leader, in his attention to that ideal, is both consciously assuming the responsibility of stewardship over a precious and venerable patrimony handed down to him by his forefathers, and at the same time is concerned with the whole future of his house—with his seed forever. The true leader, that is to say, is wise and righteous. His dependents are more likely to prosper and succeed. Such men, who care for more and greater things than sex, are therefore more attractive to women than those who treat women as nothing more than onanistic tools.
The success of game, if such there be, is due to the fact that the gamer pretends to be such a leader, and deludes women to the belief that he is righteous, sapient, and magnanimous, and furthermore magnanimous to them. The whole thing is therefore based on a lie. No good can come of it.
“They [the Roissyites] are surely correct also that the ineradicable physiological bases of traditional sex roles—our very bodies being embodiments of the truth about man, about the Form of the human species—still perdure and operate in all women and men, and that they may be used as means in the pursuit of our selfish ends, like any other lever upon reality, such as knowledge of electricity or mechanics.”
This reminds me of Jim Kalb’s definition of liberalism: the application of technique to achieve the equal fulfillment of human desire. Don’t the Roissyites fit this definition perfectly? They, being Betas, have been deprived of the equal fulfillment of their desires compared with other groups, namely Alphas males and women. Roissy discovers and states certain laws of existence, having to do with the nature of women, and works out techniques which exploit these laws in order to help the Betas get equal fulfillment of their desires. Pure liberalism.
A further thought on the meaning of male magnanimity. So far as the future of a righteous and magnanimous man’s House is concerned, it is embodied in his wife. Thus the attraction of a woman toward such a man lies in her apprehension that he is the sort of man who, focused on something other and larger than his own fleeting pleasures, and wise to where the true value of life is to be found, can be relied upon to defend her and her children, if necessary at the cost of his own life. So when a man falls in love with a woman, he feels that he has discovered something more precious to him than his own life, a thing so precious and dear to him as to be the completion of his otherwise ultimately bootless partiality and futility, a thing that portends his whole future, is the vessel of its enaction, and that forms the very meaning of his life. When a man loves a woman, he feels that she is the fruit and queen of the whole world, that everything he wants and loves and hopes for in life is summed and manifest in her. For her, he would perform prodigies, would essay any foe. For her he would die. He would be her true knight.
I will not presume to guess what a woman feels when she falls in love, but I would wager that it is the obverse of what the man feels. However it feels to a woman to be a true knight’s lady, and to see her banner carried forth upon the field by her champion, her own champion who loves no other; that must be how women feel when they fall in love. Each completes the other, in any case; this is a commonplace of the romantic literature, and all true lovers have felt it.
What is missing from the game, then, is just this: love. Love is the genius of sex. Without it, sex is dumb; is dead.
All good, but the Roissyites will reply to Kristor, as they have to me, that he is hopelessly out of touch with the reality that younger men are actually dealing with, and that men over 40 or 50 have no conception of what younger women today are like. It’s a different world, they say, different from any that has been before. They can’t change that world, they have no choice but to deal with it as it is.
Be sure to see also Ian B.’s essay on “The sexual catastrophe: who’s really to blame for it, and how it can be ended,” posted in a separate entry.
“Roissy discovers and states certain laws of existence, having to do with the nature of women, and works out techniques which exploit these laws in order to help the Betas get equal fulfillment of their desires.”
I completely agree with this, with the exception of the word “equal.” Roissy himself has repeatedly stated there’s no equality of results here. “Game” doesn’t make anybody into an alpha with hundreds of notches on the bedpost, it just makes you more able to be attractive to women, or to a specific woman. [LA replies: The Roissyites themselves have repeatedly stated that this is about making even the playing field and getting theirs. Whether the result is total equality or a lessening of inequality, the idea is the same.]
I would argue the precise opposite: allowing betas to achieve—to some extent—their desires with regard to women is the best way to maintain civilization. Remember, the basic problem with beta men is that most of them impress women with a whiff of the desperate loser—the hard-working chump who can be “just a friend” or someone to squeeze money from before she tosses him aside when Mr. TallDarkNHandsome shows up. A notable fraction of the people involved in the “Game” discussions certainly are in it for the purpose of having sex with as many different women as possible. Another segment of the population is in it because they are constitutionally inclined to choose and stick with one woman, and given the realities of the divorce courts today, want every tool they can find to prevent disaster. [LA replies: I’m sorry, but to me this sounds like, “Mussolini made the trains run on time.”]
Civilization in general is a product of beta males being granted sexual exclusivity with their own woman. Exclusive monogamous relationships mean that men know the woman’s children are his, and therefore he will work—and fight—to support them. In a society dominated by alpha males and females, most men have no guarantee that any child is theirs, so they will deliberately cheat, trying to leave bastards in various places without worrying about following up on their upbringing, and in the meantime putting any extra effort he cares to into his own amusement. One can either accept that situation and maximize short-term amusement from it—as Roissy does—or work on shifting the balance back. The facts of human nature can be used to either purpose, but the important thing is that they ARE facts, and that the feminist-dominated culture deliberately lies about these facts to everyone, starting from childhood onward. Those lies are the root of the problem. They have to be recognized as lies, and that’s why Roissy has earned an audience. [I’m sorry, but the very definition of men as Alpha males and Beta males, looking at people in such terms, and talking about organizing society on that basis, is in itself incompatible with any civilized order. There has never been and never will be a high civilization that defines its own members in reductive, biological terms. Roissyism is a symptom of the materialist reductionism and sexual liberation that have dragged down our culture; it cannot lead us out of it. The notion that it can be anything more than a coping mechanism is a preentious fantasy. As I said here, just as Roissyism teaches beta men to market themselves to women, as alpha men, Roissyism markets itself to conservatives, as a form of conservatism..]
Richard S. writes:
Even if female 5’s can get male 8’s or 9’s, do they really want them?
I don’t mean in their fantasies—I agree that women of average looks lust after male studs—but in reality. Put it this way: is the female 5, having had the male 9, satisfied? Granted a few are; the majority, if that’s it, wham-bam-thankee-ma’am, are not satisfied; in fact they are miserable. It’s not in the female makeup to be promiscuous. Mating, for them, is a catalyst to bonding. And when the male doesn’t reciprocate it is not too strong a description of their state to say that they are devastated. Bottom line? The sexual revolution, sexual liberation so called has been for women especially a catastrophe.
What is the up side for them? I can’t think of any. Girls just wanna have fun. Do they?
The Roissyites would say that you are clueless as to the nature of young women today. Your thinking is so … Eighties.
Emily B. writes:
It’s been a long time since I’ve written you; I read daily, though. Life is so busy with five little ones that I will be interrupted many times in the course of writing this :)
I’ve been beating the drum that women submit to dominant men and the ideology they espouse. That any man who thinks the system can be changed by changing women is not any kind of realist.
Your other commenters have made these points very well. There are a few premises that have been accepted, however, that I believe are dead wrong and they really frost me.
First, is it true that normal women are throwing themselves after the “bad boys”? I’ve always assumed lower class women do this, but all women want a strong man.
The male equivalent of such women is the man who only notices a woman’s looks and is oblivious to a hideous personality. This is so well-known that it passes without comment. While we try to teach our young men about these women, many will have to learn the hard way and it is accepted as part of growing up.
What really angers me is the cacophany of men who keep saying women are broken and need fixing. This lie is supported by the following reasoning:
Women tolerate, no, PREFER men with a storied sexual past. So, though women and men are fornicating more, women today are worse than in the past, but not men.
This is THE pretty little lie these men tell themselves. They add to the delusion by saying “Nobody meets at Church anymore, we are forced to meet women at clubs or bars.”
I left the “market” at age 17 when I met my future husband, so I wasn’t there long. I remember being taught a few things by the older women in my family and they were right:
- There are many men who will want nothing to do with you when they find out you will stay a virgin until marriage. Some will even react angrily and be cruel. The bright side of this is that you will be able to separate the good from the bad.
- “Why is he with such a b****? The sex, my Dear.”
- In the end, a virgin is much more desirable than any other woman.
So, at age 32, I get to see the same type of men who either ignored me or insinuated I was abnormal and possessed irrational religious hangups, bang the drum about women “messing up society.” Incredible.
My brother just got married in June. I wrote to you about him and his now wife Both were in their early thirties and both were virgins. They cannot get over how much married, conjugal life has brought them closer together. My brother never once lamented over his virginal status and that’s because he was chaste for God and his future wife.
First, is it true that normal women are throwing themselves after the “bad boys”? I’ve always assumed lower class women do this, but all women want a strong man.
Here we get into that confusion again between whether alpha means strong man or bad boy. But a commenter, perhaps Ian B., helped clear this up by pointing out that the meaning of alpha has changed, because feminism has rendered the older type of strong man irrelevant or non-existent, and all that’s left of masculinity today is the brute.
This isn’t a new idea however. Stanley Kowalsky entered the world in “A Streetcar Named Desire” over 60 years ago, well before modern feminism. But we could say that that was an early appearance of the type who later became common in our culture. For anyone who’s not familiar with “Streetcar,” Stanley Kowalsky is very relevant to this discussion and I recommend you see the movie, with Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando.
(This entry has filled up. The discussion continues here
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 19, 2009 11:21 AM | Send