Reflections on the Roissyite “revolution,” cont.

This entry continues the discussion in the entry, “Liberalism and libertinism,” which maxed out. Comments on Roissyism will be posted here, Unless they are specifically directed at other entries.

Philip M. writes from England:

In response to OI you wrote-

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

This got me thinking about a society that had, in fiction at least, been divided along these lines—Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. This is from a synopsis of the novel at Wikipedia:

Huxley has described an ideal world where women no longer are forced to give birth. Society is divided into five castes, created in these centres. The highest caste is allowed to develop naturally while it matures in its “decanting bottle”. The lower castes are treated to chemical interference to cause arrested development in intelligence or physical growth. The castes are Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons, with each caste further split into Plus and Minus members.

Recreational heterosexual and homosexual sex is an integral part of society. [LA comments: I don’t think there is any homosexual sex in Brave New World.] In this egalitarian society, everyone is treated equally. According to The World State, sex is a social activity rather than a means of reproduction and is encouraged from early childhood; the few women who can reproduce are conditioned to take birth control. The maxim “everyone belongs to everyone else” is repeated often, and the idea of a “family” is considered pornographic. As a result, sexual competition and emotional, romantic relationships are obsolete because they are no longer needed. Marriage, natural birth, parenthood, and pregnancy are considered too obscene to be mentioned in casual conversation. Thus, society has advanced to a new level of reproductive comprehension.

Spending time alone is considered an outrageous waste of time and money. Admitting to wanting to be an individual in the social group is shocking, horrifying, and embarrassing. This is why John is later afforded celebrity-like status. Conditioning trains people to consume and never to enjoy being alone, so by spending an afternoon not playing “Obstacle Golf,” or not in bed with a friend, one is forfeiting acceptance.

Roisseyites are inhabitants of the World State, from the Year of Our Ford 632.

I told you Huxley was a genius.

[Deleted Name] writes:

I haven’t been able to read every comment about Roissy-ism and I don’t have any brilliant analysis to add (like Emily B., I have small children and my brain remains fragmented after they go to bed), but I did want to share a description of the Catholic students’ society at the college I attended. Members were probably all over the map politically, but they all believed the Church’s teachings and the relationship between the sexes there was very good. Men and women were generally calm and happy in their dealings with each other. They didn’t believe in premarital sex so if they dated and broke up, it wasn’t a big deal and they didn’t mind seeing each other at meetings. The realism that is now called “sexism” was assumed by almost everyone. In particular I remember one student saying that so-and-so was smart “for a woman,” and none of the women there took offense; some of them may have emitted a good-humored snort. I don’t know what their personal opinions were on how male and female intelligence compare, but the point is, it didn’t seem an important issue to them. They certainly acknowledged the basic differences between the sexes and were content with them (and content to joke about them in a charitable way.) Everyone who wasn’t going into the religious life expected to get married and have plenty of children. They all, male and female, seemed confident that it would work out well. Almost none of these people had done extensive reading about traditionalist conservatism or identified themselves in those terms. The only factor uniting them was their religious faith. In light of the transcendent, the constant struggle against traditional sex roles just seemed petty and pointless. This was in the early 2000s in the UK. I am told it is still like that.

Speaking of things that are petty, when I was in college a middle-aged woman back home in the U.S. showed me this book for women called “The Rules,” which argues that if you treat men with contempt they will love you. For example, never return a man’s phone calls, be slow to commit to a specific time for date, act like you don’t care about him. I found it really depressing and ridiculous. That said, I did experience some serious harassment by a man a few years later. I treated him in a way that, from my point of view, meant “PLEASE GO AWAY, I DON’T LIKE YOU” and every rebuff caused him to redouble his efforts at seducing me. It occurred to me eventually that my behavior was just what was recommended by “The Rules” and it was having the effect they promised—but it wasn’t what I wanted! Perhaps your men readers can comment on this. I don’t get it.

Christopher C. writes:

Rohan S. comment is remarkable.

I’ve been thinking a real martial artist is BS. A real martial guy must actually fight. A practiced mercenary is probably more worthy in a battle than a guy who has only been in the gym—even if the gym guy has been there for 20 years. Same with seduction. But the mercenary must have fought; must have killed, and the seduction artist, well, he’s either won and married or he’s a practiced fornicator: there’s no other option. This discussion has brought me to this. There’s no halfway measure. Sure lots of Roissy is useful, if taken correctly. But war and love yet have rules. To be good at war without regard to proper rules of war is to be, basically, a murderer or a tool of murderers, tyrants, etc. To be good at seduction of women without regard to the proper rules of love between the genders is to be, basically, a fornicator, a masturbator with female enablers. Why does Bill Clinton come to mind right now? Roissy is in the gym in a way. Both he and the women have agreed to a ditch dogma; ditch all the rules. There they drift into oblivion. While alive, of course, there is a chance at realization, repentance, penance, etc. But the drift is there. There’s no love. It’s not about the love. Roissy says it’s about the love. He goes through woman after woman looking for the love, he says, while he’ll take the pleasure. Like he can’t know if it’s the love of marriage before taking the pleasure. No, he’s a mercenary who’s irresponsibly failed to take the justice of the fight into account. Per Catholicism, you can’t have sex before marriage. Bottom line. Game is too tied up with that actual final conquest as a mere learning practice experience…. ah, this is still draft. I’d like to still split the baby/grab the learn game but not become a fornicator dilemma by the horns….

August 21

Rufus W. writes:

Is it time for a new coinage to describe the disciples of Roissy? 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.

LA replies:

I knew nothing about this phenomenon until a few days ago.

But doesn’t “Roissyites” convey that they take themselves seriously?

Rufus replies:

Yes, I suppose it does well enough at that. It also clearly identifies them as disciples of Roissy, who even among the like-minded has a particularly reductionist and cynical bent; a statement I’m sure he would find complimentary.

Correct me if I am wrong, but in previous eras male promiscuity was not considered a particularly difficult thing to achieve. The elevation to a hobby, to a study, to a lifestyle, of what was once considered silliness strikes me as noteworthy. Is it really hedonism if you have to work so hard at it?

LA replies:

That’s a very funny remark. What you say makes sense.

But again, if we take seriously the Roissyesque analysis of the unique and unprecedented sexual circumstances of the last 20 years, then it is the case that ordinary men now require special skills and techniques to overcome the unprecedented sexual disadvantages they are under, namely that ordinary women have become promiscuous and are going after the alpha men, and so are no longer available to the beta men.

I’m not saying I accept the Roissyesque analysis as true. I’m just trying to understand it.

Gintas writes:

I don’t buy that it’s up to women. If so, we’re done. I’m reminded of George Gilder’s Men and Marriage, where he contends that women civilize men. No, men civilize men, specifically, the older men civilize the young men and boys. If the men are civilized, they are building or maintaining a civilization, and women will fit in. Women domesticate men, which is not the same as civilize. So that these young men aren’t willing to listen to the older men is the problem.

Here’s a message from the older men to the younger men: get it together, you mob of shapeless sacks! Cut your hair, comb it nicely, get a shave, wear nice clothes (Jeff Tucker tells us how to dress like a man, here and here.), wear a nice stylish hat (I like a fedora, and it really does get comments from young women, always “Nice hat!”; proper response: tip your hat, you might add a “thank you, ma’am”), stand tall and straight, and act like a man. Put away your iPods, stop playing games on your Xboxes and PlayStations, speak adult English, call your elders “sir” and “ma’am” and “Mr. So and So” or “Mrs. / Miss. So and So”, say “sir” a lot to other men, look people in the eye and nod to them as you walk by, stop watching TV, watch movies made before 1960, listen to music made before 1960 (better yet, from before 1860). Stop dealing with sluts, and make it clear to them they’re not good enough for you, because bad company corrupts good character, and you have good character, right?

Here’s a comment at Mangan’s that seems relevant to Gintas’s comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on the post “Game and Social Collapse”:

Since I am pretty old, I look to the future. I tell my son all the time what girl is good for him. I tell not to go for a girl who is the oldest in the family because she will be too bossy. Pick the second or third preferably with at least one or two older brothers. Make sure to spend time with her family to watch that she is polite and respectful and deferential to her father and brothers. The way she treats them is a good indicator of how she will treat him. Go shopping with her. Check to see what she buys. Is she greedy, does she waste a lot of time? Does she do charity work? Does she care about others? Does she like kids? Babysit a lot? Is she a healthy weight? Is she at least 5 years younger than you? Does her mother look normal, not deformed by obesity? Spend as much time with her family as you can. Does her mother treat you with respect? Make your favorite foods? Is she punctual? Does she want you to take her out and entertain her? (RED FLAG!!) Does she make you cookies and do nice little things for you?

Stay away from selfish, self centered, arrogant party girls. Today’s excitement is tomorrow’s headache. Go for the sweet, shy wallflower. That doesn’t mean ugly. It means she is not an attention hog who expects everyone to adore her. Nice girls are not at bars with a coy “ya wanna do me?” look on their face.

A parent’s job is to give good advice, not be cool or a friend. Start early with the advice like 9 or 10 years old. My mother did and I used it to get a great spouse, attractive, intelligent, fun and faithful for over 20 years. Even at 9 or 10, it is not to early to point out traits that are desirable and undesirable. How to spot deceitful and disrespectful attitudes. By the time he is old enough, the ideas will be ingrained. They were for me.

Lion writes:

You may find of interest a discussion occurring on the blog Beta Revolution. It discusses the project of reclaiming for what I would call the “Game Generation” the provider-male role as an object of reverence. Currently, many men (as you have been discussing over the past several days and Ian B. articulates nicely) consider familial providing to be “beta” and therefore worthy of scorn. Roissy of course is the main example of this.

August 22

Rufus W. replies to LA:

I think that’s his point of view, more or less; maybe add to that the current social mores which have a higher tendency to beta-fy men than in ages past. Roissy is hardly the only one to remark that masculinity is not a much valued trait of character in this time and place.

That seems like a more or less fair representation of his view. It seems internally consistent and plausible, which of course does not mean that it is true. It certainly seems that his writing has the ability to capture the imagination; see the extensive comments on each of his posts and the extensive commentary on his writings at blogs ostensibly unrelated to his!

Bill Carpenter writes:

This discussion puts me in mind of Gide’s Immoralist, who undertakes the arduous Nietzschean discipline of liberating himself from servitude to traditional values and roles. His drags his ailing wife from town to town in pursuit of his destiny, and to what end? So he can sodomize little Arab boys. There is also a Pasolini film about a man who casts off his family and his place in society so he can have intercourse with men. Finally, Flannery O’Connor has a great story about an arrogant woman philosopher, proud of her freedom from illusion, who is seduced by an unscrupulous traveling salesman. “You think you’re so smart,” he says to her after the deed (to the best if my recollection), “because you don’t believe in anything. I’ve believed in nothing since the day I was born.”

James N. writes:

I don’t have much to say about this, although it’s a vitally important subject and is begging for further exposition. I will say that the “gamers” are performing a social service by lifting the lid on their particular scene so everyone else can get a good look inside, because they do describe reality of a sort, which reality is hidden from many men.

In our culture, the baser, or devilish, aspect of men’s (males’) nature has become well-known, and is the subject of constant exposition for ridicule or condemnation, depending on the circumstances. At the same time the higher, or angelic, aspect of woman’s nature has been made the subject of countless pieces of literature and popular entertainment. I had two boys in K-12 from 1985-2002, and, there’s no doubt, the message of the powers that be in society is, “men bad, women good.”

I had the experience of being “on the market” (again) from 1993-1996, and dated mostly in the 32-38 age range. Lemme tell you, if you want to explore the seamy side of women, that’s the pool to swim in.

While I am not a fan of deprecating women as a class, nor of emphasizing their foibles to the exclusion of their virtues, there’s no doubt that the Roissy lens contributes something that’s missing to the education of, especially, young men. And perhaps also, as I now find myself, the fathers of girls.

Among the things that women have been liberated from is the necessity of taking into account the predatory, or dark, side of male nature. We have corresponded about this before.

Roissy (and, as has been pointed out over and over again, he didn’t invent game nor did he invent writing about it) is killing some pretty little lies, and, to the extent that those lies are blinding young men and young women to an aspect of reality, with the resulting carnage and sexual Stalingrad, then his work may be of some value.

Of course, you and his supporters are playing “Devil or angel—which is it?” Roissy is embracing and proclaiming his inner Devil. His attackers recoil, and put forward the gentler aspects of our nature.

The reality is that the answer to “devil or angel” is, “both.” For the good man to prevail, he has to love, really love, that bad guy he’s trapped in the same body with, for that bad guy can only be overcome with love.

I feel for your young male correspondents. There really is a lot of bad stuff out there. Women are not, for the most part, exclusively angelic creatures, and a lot of their bad stuff is not well known to young men (nor is it well known to young girls). Of course, living the Roissy fantasy turns you into a man that, at the end of the day, you can’t live with. But as information, well, as they say, “He has a point.”

LA replies:

James wrote:

The reality is that the answer to “devil or angel” is, “both.” For the good man to prevail, he has to love, really love, that bad guy he’s trapped in the same body with, for that bad guy can only be overcome with love.

This is getting rather precious, and I think is missing the point that Roissy and his followers are actively advocating evil.

Tim W. writes:

A few months ago Steve Sailer noted that in some societies men are provided with a dowry when marrying, while in others the man must pay for the woman. In the Western world and in the Orient, the bride’s family gave the husband something. It might be money, jewels, or a plot of land, but they gave him something of value. In the Muslim world, in Africa, and elsewhere, the husband buys the bride. He gives the girl’s father twelve goats or eight cows or something similar to purchase his mate.

What’s the difference? Well, in dowry societies a man is expected to take responsibility for his wife and subsequent offspring. He has certain rights, such as holding the position of head of household and making family rules, but that is accompanied by a very serious responsibility to provide for and protect the family, even to the point of giving his life if necessary. Because of this great responsibility the man is undertaking, the bride’s family rewards him, gives him something of value to help start him off on what will be a lifetime of obligations.

A case can be made that the West rose to such heights in part because it hit upon such a perfect balance between male authority and rights on the one hand, and accompanying male responsibilities on the other. The noble concept of chivalry is based upon male authority and power being used to defend women. It is in fact a transcendent concept.

Societies where men buy their wives never rise to such heights because the men do not feel any particular obligation to women. Leftists can tolerate these societies as part of their multicult fetish, but they cannot tolerate traditional Western society because it is transcendent and creates a well-balanced, and natural, interplay between the sexes. This offers little rationale for massive state power grabs, which are the ever-present goal of the left.

Roissyites want a society where men and women compete without the state taking sides. Men would surely win in such a society, but it will never exist because the state will always side with women in a “war of the sexes” because women want to be taken care of by someone. If men won’t do it, then women turn to the state to do it. Leftists understand this, hence they have destroyed the ties that bound men and women for thousands of years and instead have made them competitors. The Roissyites want a world in which they can rule over women but not be burdened by the attendant responsibilities that traditional society expected men to undertake. Good luck creating that world! I’d place my bets on traditionalism making a comeback once the nihilist leftist generations have died off.

Mack writes:

Don’t you think this whole “game” thing borders on ridiculousness? First, if it hasn’t been mentioned before, it’s of particular interest to note that the origin of “game” in this context is in urban black culture (“got game”) and is, like so many other modern cultural phenomenon, aped and appropriated by a certain class of whites. Secondly, in the conceptual sense—it is nothing particularly new—the “game” concept is simply an extremely un-subtle manifestation of Goffman’s classic sociology of the “presentation of the self”—it’s nothing more than boiling down a series of social interactions that typically take a protracted amount of time into just a few moments of discourse.

I think the thing that truly makes the defense of “game” to be a bit ridiculous—particularly when defended from the perspective that it can be used to find a wife as easily as to find a casual hook-up. This is completely ignorant of the implication that a woman who responds positively to “game”—responds positively to “game”! Your game, my game, anyones game. Not the way to find a committed partner regardless of your political orientation.

Karl D. writes:

I am not sure if you are aware of it or not but Roissy is merely the tip of the iceberg. There is an entire global seduction community that use “Game.” It was something created years ago and has been (and is constantly being) refined. It is a full fledged business with seminars and everything. There was a show on the cable channel VH1 called “The pick up artist” run by one of the “Game” practitioners called “Mystery.” He took a dozen young guys who were awkward and painfully shy (better known as geeks) and taught them how to use these techniques. I have to say that it had some really positive and profound effects on some of these young men, and really brought them out of their shells. The danger now becomes in taking their new found power and abusing it. While some have, others merely used it to meet and maintain a solid relationship with a single girl. That is why I have mixed emotions about “Game.” If you are using it as a good ice breaker, then have at it. If you are using it as a means to just be a sleazeball then I have a problem with it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 20, 2009 07:59 PM | Send

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