A VFR reader defends Roissyism

Ryder writes:

As I’ve made clear before, I am a fan of yours. I am also … wait for it … a fan of Roissy’s (as well as some of the commenters over there; I suspect that you have more overlap readership than one might at first imagine). I realize that some may see this as incompatible, but I don’t think it is. Obviously, I don’t speak for Roissy in any way, shape or form, but here is my take on what “Roissyism” in general is.

If you look at the banner of Roissy’s site, it says “Where pretty lies perish.” What are these pretty lies? Well, basically the lies of feminism, liberalism, racial egalitarianism, etc. The lies of the dominant leftist orthodoxy. The Roissy critique of modernity is quite similar to yours. Or, at least, you reach similar political conclusions, though lifestyle recommendations radically differ (to put it mildly!).

This much must be understood: Roissyism is a savage, brilliant and witty attack on the current leftist order. I think part of what people find fascinating is that this attack is not coming from expected quarters or the usual suspects. Phyllis Schlafly he ain’t.

There is no be a good boy and politely criticize the prevailing order. Instead, it’s more like “Hey, you malevolent leftist clowns have turned marriage into a farce, institutionalized divorce-theft as a way of life, freed women from any accountability for their actions while simultaneously denigrating men—particularly white men—and to top things off, you are dispossessing my people with nonwhite immigration. In fact, you say that my people don’t even have a right to our own country. And you expect me to play along? You expect me to play nice? Nah. Tell you what I’ll do. You’ve loosened women up? I’ll exploit it. You’ve destroyed standards and decency? I’ll exploit that too. You are not just going to get gelded betas, you are going to get Hyper Alphas, the exact opposite of what you want. Your leftist lies are only going to lead to one thing: the prevailing order’s destruction. I’ll be laughing all the way. You’ve destroyed society, well, I’ll help that process along. Maybe something better can replace it. Anything would likely be an improvement. At the very least, I can get some pleasure out of life, rather than play the role of Denigrated Gelding and whipping boy that the current order has planned for me.”

Anyway, that’s my take on it, obviously painting with broad strokes. Clearly, Roissyism doesn’t offer the ultimate solutions that we need, and there is a certain childishness to it. However, it does have a compelling logic, especially if one accepts (as I tend to) that the current status quo is essentially unreformable and needs to decay to the point where it can be replaced, root and branch.

So yes, I can see the logic of Roissyism. Moreover, I can see the appeal of it. I love the savage attack, bloody in tooth and claw. Lord knows that the leftist order deserves it. And until we get a real movement going, something that has a serious chance of winning, I would expect Roissyism to spread. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing. In a way, it’s sort of like Atlas shrugging—while making sure to date a hottie.

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LA replies:

In your enthusiasm for some aspects of Roissyism, you are closing your eyes to, or actively signing on to, the selfish nihilism that is an inherent part of it.

Andrew E. writes:

Ryder writes:

If you look at the banner of Roissy’s site, it says “Where pretty lies perish.” What are these pretty lies?

One pretty lie that escapes Roissy’s savage truth-telling is Darwinian materialism, the one lie that makes all the other leftist outrages that Roissy rails against possible. Roissyism is thus hollow and incoherent. Take a look at this nonsense of his:

No, the solution is to give the New Girl Order exactly what it wants: Game, and an army of cads that practice it. Force feed the beast until it is choking on its own gluttony. The emissaries of the Great Lie must have the consequences of their ignorance and treachery shoved down their throats. In time, the unabashed pursuit of hedonism and the embrace of Darwinistic nihilism (two potent forces which, coincidentally, happen to have truth and pleasure on their side. Exhibit B: God is dead) will raze the neoliberal monolith to the ground, and from the ashes the eternal human cycle will begin anew, strengthened and revitalized. A complete reconciliation with our tragic destiny gives us the only chance to avoid it.

Tell me, with what exactly are we to rebuild civilization if we’ve killed off or denied the transcendent forces which make civilization possible? Roissy once wrote a post where he declared the non-existence of God and the transcendent and later in the same post claimed he really was a lover of beauty (in the context of female beauty of course). I challenged him in the comments section saying that this makes no sense (the coexistence of chaos and beauty) and explained why, borrowing heavily from Kristor’s analysis here at VFR. Predictably, I never got a response from him or any other commenter there. He’s incapable of engaging a direct challenge to his philosophy.

Your work and those of the VFR’s commenters the last few days in exposing Roissy has been magnificent. Thank you.

LA replies:


Your quote of Roissy shows him to be, at the least, a disordered human being. One of the reasons I have avoided reading him at length, depending instead on the statements of his followers and explicators to understand the Roissyite point of view, plus occasional excerpts of Roissy himself, is that I sensed that he was much worse than was grasped even by his defenders who admit that he has flaws, that he is, indeed, evil, and I suspected that if I began reading and commenting on him, the discussion about the Roissyite phenomenon would take on a much more strident tone (at least from my side) which would not be helpful to the kind of thoughtful discussion we’ve had. Dealing with more moderate explanations of Roissyism from knowledgeable students and third parties (of whom there are many) has made it more possible to have a reasonable exchange about these ideas.

Ryder writes:

I should have been more clear about a certain point: I’m a fan of Roissy in the sense that his critique of the current order is devastating. Also, credit where it is due, the guy can write. He’s a talent in that respect, when he doesn’t lapse into the pornographic and puerile.

However, I am not a fan of “Roissyism” in terms of lifestyle prescriptions. I understand it, I see the logic of it, and to a certain extent I accept the inevitability of it, but I can’t support being a cad. As something of a womanizer in my misspent youth, I can say that such a course is pretty much the road to nowhere.

Roissyism essentially says that, in a decent society, cads should be sanctioned and discouraged. However, since we don’t live in a decent society, being a cad is rational both as a means of personal preservation and to help weaken and bring down the leftist order. It should also be pointed out that there are Roissyites who are happily married and do not seek to be cads at all. Roissy’s insights can be used for a variety of ends. But still, the thrust of Roissy’s lifestyle prescription is to avoid marriage as it is currently constituted. Be a player instead.

In short: I love the critique, but can’t support the proposed solution. I think there are better solutions. But, as mentioned before, until we develop a real movement that has a chance of winning, I would expect Roissyism to spread.

If nothing else, the whole thing is a fascinating study of the law of unintended consequences. The left wanted gelded, spineless beta males. Sorry to say, it’s getting quite a few of that sort. But the leftist overturning of our social order is also leading to the creation of Hyper Alpha Cads that won’t play by leftist rules. These cads make the leftist social prescriptions untenable and unworkable. Feminist supported divorce-theft won’t work if the guy won’t marry at all, just for starters.

No matter the leftist policy, economic or social, inevitably forces arise to bedevil their schemes and render them disastrous. But, again, I don’t support this particular prescription. Rather, I hope that men who are seriously concerned about the survival of our people will be able to find good women, marry them, treat them well, and raise the next generation. To be a part of something bigger, something transcendent. We need to do more than just throw monkey wrenches—we need to survive as a people and a culture.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 21, 2009 09:25 AM | Send

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