Joining the jungle
If you’ve decided to move on from this topic, I understand.
In the entry, “Are “bad boy” and “Alpha” just the losers’ excuses?”, Richard P. grossly misreads my position when he suggests I am telling young men to seek celibacy. Does telling men before a battle that some will fall for their country equate with telling them to get killed?
I’m open to any suggestions he might have to improve the future odds, but don’t the statistics he cites confirm what many, both here and on the “game” side, have been saying, namely that promiscuity has produced a too-high a proportion of women emotionally unsuited to marriage?
Perhaps he is interested in the ethics of resorting to sex without the prospect of marriage. Fine—that’s a conversation worth having, but it’s not the topic I had in mind when I posted. I wouldn’t suggest we need to expect perfection from these men here—just SOME measure of stoic composure, as this has been expected of real men facing more difficult trials in the past. The discussion surrounding “game” is not just about extramarital sex: it contains an unseemly degree of self-pity, spite, and the ludicrous conceit that sleeping around has something to do with saving western civilization. It is as if some of these people want to stretch or break rules while having others hold their hands and tell them it’s ok while they do.
The first thing these guys need to learn is that MEN don’t behave this way.
As a point of comparison, let’s consider the Chinese for a moment. We are arguing here in the West over problems that stem from behavior, emotional states and expectations. But what if this were a worse situation, concerning numbers, period:
China now has 18 million more young men than women
Just how are Chinese men reacting? (I don’t know—I ask this as point of discussion)
You write: “I wouldn’t suggest we need to expect perfection from these men here—just SOME measure of stoic composure, as this has been expected of real men facing more difficult trials in the past.”
- end of initial entry -
I agree, but I don’t think you’re taking into account the actual psychology of the Roissyites. Roissyism is about the basest, crudest selfishness, endorsed by Roissy and echoed by his commenters. It’s not about the enlightened selfishness of a whole person. It’s about the selfishness of sex organs. Get what you can for your sex organ.
Given such a view, Any ideal such as “stoic composure” is ludicrous. “Stoic composure” implies a human being and a society to which he belongs which honors that ideal. But there is no society in the Roissyite view. There are just sex organ-possessing entities seeking their best shot. That’s all life is. The old morality has broken down, liberating women’s chaotic impulses toward promiscuity and hypergamy (seeking a mate of higher status than oneself). Their true nature having been liberated, women will do anything to be with an irresponsible alpha man, and they will screw over responsible beta males. We’re living in a jungle, and the only thing for beta men to do is fend for themselves in that jungle the best they can.
If you think I’m exaggerating, read this entry and discussion at Roissy’s site.
What Roissy has done is take the demented conditions of modern, hyper sexually liberated society and treat them as though they were natural. What bothers me is not Roissy himself, but the fact that so many conservatives find truth and value in him. They claim they can separate the ugly and false from the true and useful. I don’t believe it. People who sign onto Roissy, who rccommend his thoughts to others, are helping spread vile nihilism.
Matthew H. writes:
The film Idiocracy is a good sketch of the likely societal outcome of the “Game” mentality. This scene, of a visit to the doctor, portrays an exchange between the “Alpha” type and the “Beta” type. Forgive the lousy version, it’s the only one available (by about halfway through point is made). It includes some vulgarity without which, it seems, it is impossible to accurately satirize contemporary American “Culture.”
Regarding the terms “Beta” and “Alpha”: So Alphas are Darwinian “realists”, eh? I thought Darwinism was about replicating your genes, but all the women the Alphas are after contracept. Alphas are horndogs. Why dress it up with this “bio-con” nonsense?
And the terms are unacceptable. Here are some options:
For men: pig, lout, scum, user vs. good man, father, provider, pillar of society.
For women: slut, whore, skank, tramp vs. good woman, mother, homemaker, lady.
Note that none of these positive roles has to be comprehensive. One does not have to be merely a provider or a merely a homemaker. But they are worthy and essential roles whose dignity ought to be proudly proclaimed and jealously defended, even at the risk of offending someone.
Scott C. writes:
While I don’t subscribe to Roissyism, I understand the viewpoint.
The only thing the modern American (Western) girl has to offer me is sex. Which I’m not willing to pay more for than a tequila shot and a lie to the face. After the fact, what does she have to offer?
Is she going to be my life partner? No. Is she going to be my helpmate? No. Is she going to be the mother to my children? No.
Then she isn’t worth 50 percent. She certainly isn’t deserving of presumptive paternity (20 percent for 18 years for some bastard that isn’t even mine).
We live in a culture that encourages divorce, out of some misguided need to liberate women from the “oppression” of marriage. And we have a legal system that rewards women for divorce.
Why do you think the divorce rate is so high? Why do you think that over 70 percent of divorces are filed by women, after only a few years? Why do you think it is that 1/3 of the paternity tests performed prove that the husband is not the father of the child? It couldn’t possibly be that the culture and legal system make it profitable for women to divorce their husbands and commit infidelity, could it?
She gets a title, a house, a bank account, income, insurance, and guaranteed child support (regardless of who the biological father is). He gets a roommate and obligatory sex, on occasion.
Is there any other legal contract whereby one party can arbitrarily change her mind, for no reason and without penalty, and walk away with half of everything? No.
Is there any other legal contract whereby one party is required to pay child support for a third person who is not party to the contract, because the second party ran around behind his back? No.
Change the culture and change the law, if you want marriage to mean anything.
Change the culture so that women are held responsible for the consequences of their decisions and actions. Change the law so that the biological father is responsible for child support.
Unless you do that, marriage is a loser’s contract for a man. Until such time, the best strategy is simply to buy her a tequila shot, lie to her face, have sex with her once, then dump her in the morning before she wakes up. Replace her with another bar slut the next night.
That said, I truly believe in the sacrament of marriage, of a co-equal partnership, of parenting, of raising up your children to the greater glory of God. But until women are willing to stand up and accept their responsibilities without question, marriage is out of the question.
Cornelius J. Troost writes:
Both Aaron S. and LA are right that men of character have the moral courage to stand against movements and social games that degrade humanity. I have been sheltered from Roissy and his dogmas by virtue of my age and perhaps my taste in literature and blogs. However, I find this cultish movement perfectly understandable given the decadence of American life. Given the harsh realities of “stone age sexual games” one would expect a leader to emerge who rationalizes decadence into “normalcy.
Back in the Fifties Christian morality was still dominant and young women quite literally served as guardians of sexual morality. I never met a promiscuous female for that entire decade because all had fairly strong religious defenses against hyped up males.Of course women of lower socio-economic status were likely much more amenable to trysts but I never met such women.
It is a short trip from restraint and modesty to moral decadence once morals are merely personal choices and pleasure becomes THE PRINCIPLE. Since liberal values swept to dominance in the last 50 years, we note that relativism has no device for constraining youth who are drunk on the fruits of hedonism. This is why I agonize so much in my book called Apes or Angels?: Darwin, Dover, Human Nature, and Race. As a Darwinist I seek the values of Christianity without the escatology. I detest Brave New World decadence and its poisonous multiculturalism, which Darwinist principles would also oppose. Once Christian values are trampled underfoot, it is all downhill as moral, racial, and aesthetic distinctions are blurred in a frenzy of Obamaesque egalitarian morass. Perhaps my own virtue comes from a Catholic upbringing urged by a mother with strong values but little religiosity. Without that one can lapse into “stone age sexuality” with ease. I have no solution because my Darwinist beliefs place me on the side of the raging liberals whose tolerance of moral deviance is infinite but for their virulent detestation of conservatives and their values. I only know that an atheist can live a good life if they have supreme respect for others AND hold the view that human differences are not imaginary but are realities that are important to acknowledge in navigating this often dangerous trail called life.The facts of nature are to be respected.
Aaron S. writes:
Regarding your point that Roissyites will not be swayed by appeals to the stoic aspects of manliness, I think we have to distinguish Roissy and his closest followers on the one hand from the “in-between” types on the other. (I referred to these as “lukewarm” in the last thread). How many men are in the latter group?
Well, I’ve noticed that this kind of claim keeps showing itself at VFR (I’ll paraphrase): “Hey Auster, I read you and Roissy, too. What’s the problem? You could learn something from him.” These people seem to think that your position and Roissy’s are simply tools that they can put in a kit; pick them up and put them down when necessary. These guys are wrong, and need to be shown why. In The Republic, Glaucon and Adeimantus are charmed enough by Thrasymachus to devise their own versions of his theory. Similarly, we keep getting told that there are different “Roissyisms.” Some of this is just the old and very male intellectual vice of wanting a technique to solve every difficulty (engineers-as-social maladept jokes have a solid basis). Take useful parts, cram them together, move forward. I think we’ve demonstrated pretty well the problems with this.
But I’m supposing that for some of these men, this is as much about emotional comfort as it is about a lack of mental or philosophical clarity. It’s this part that I was calling unmanly. They want to have “game” and still consider themselves responsible—and worse yet, they want others to think so. This is “unmanly” not in the sense of shirking social responsibilities (this, you rightly suggest, would beg the question), but in the more basic sense that precedes any acculturation. This basic sense of masculinity is what gives a term like “coward”—or if you like, “sissy”!—its force; it is at work any time you get a sizable group of men together and allow them to interact unhindered. [LA replies: this is a good point that I don’t think has been made before. The whole point of Game is that it makes one manly; but practicing a technique to win and gain influence over women is the very opposite of manly.]
And here’s something that struck me in this conversation: many of these men appear “alone” not only in the sense of not having a woman. One wonders whether there are any normal male friendships here. Would your compatriots have allowed you to whine publicly in this way without calling you on your manhood? I don’t think mine would have. There would be no need to bring social responsibility in, just simple taunts relating to how needy and weak you were appearing.
I’d hardly be the first to point this out, but male friendships are typically solidified through a bit of rough-housing, and this applies not just in the physical sense, but in the social and intellectual senses as well. Taunts, arguments, various forms of testing all play their part. Has feminism so denatured the school yard that these men would no longer point out when the others are acting like wimps? In that case, the normal mechanisms for the working of manliness have been shut off. We need to open them. The fence sitters should at the least be made uncomfortable. Socrates argued, but he also cajoled, teased, and occasionally, manipulated.
Richard P. writes:
Aaron S. asked this: “Has feminism so denatured the school yard that these men would no longer point out when the others are acting like wimps?”
Yes! Yes! Dear God yes! Aaron’s question sums up the problem pretty nicely. The usual mockery and rough-housing that boys do has been largely banned in our schools. They further have to deal with enforced female hypersensitivity that can land them in trouble. By the time they hit their teens, a lot of these boys avoid anything that could “offend” anyone. Then they hit colleges and workplaces with many of the same rules. My best friend and I rip on each other constantly and viciously, and we’ve always assumed that’s what buddies do. But I’ve always been amused at how many younger guys think we are “mean”. It’s just sad.
What we need is the restoration of some social stigmas. The social stigma against female promiscuity must come from men. If enough men showed that they actually disapproved of such behavior, it would be marginalized. It won’t happen as long as most men are either afraid of offending women, or else are taking advantage of that promiscuity (i.e. Roissyites). That’s why we also need to restore the stigma against spineless men. If their friends gave them hell for submissive behavior around women or for dating sluts, attitudes would change fast. A little mockery goes a long way.
RE: Aaron’s comment on China. I don’t know about China, but I have spent a lot of time in India and they have the same problem. Young men vastly outnumber young women. You really haven’t heard spite and self-pity until you’ve spent some time with young single Indian men. Rage-filled outbursts, fighting, and conspiratorial thinking are pretty common. I have little doubt that much of the problems there with crime and terrorism (both Naxalite and Islamic) have much to do with the dim marriage prospects for many young Indian men. I would guess that much of the reason that China hasn’t had similar levels of the same problems is because the Chinese government is willing to use ruthless lethality to keep social order.
“The social stigma against female promiscuity must come from men. If enough men showed that they actually disapproved of such behavior, it would be marginalized.”
All right! This is the kind of male assertion society needs, not the ersatz Roissy kind.
But such an insight is essentially impossible to material determinists who think that matter controls us, who define whatever the current trend happens to be (e.g. women behaving like whores) as the determined outcome of material evolution, and who therefore think that all we can do is accommodate ourselves to, or seek to exploit, whatever the current trend happens to be. Materialists think that a non-material view of existence is impractical and impotent; in reality, only a non-material, spiritual view of man can be effective against the onslaught of destructive materialist forces. To resist something, to exert pressure against it, you have to be outside it, just as (as I always say), to resist liberalism, you have to be outside it.
In the 1970s, the entire Western political and intellectual establishment, including Nixon and Kissinger, thought that the steady advance of Communism was inevitable, and that the best we could hope for was to accommodate ourselves to it. Reagan and Solzhenitsyn disagreed. They saw that Communism was false, evil, and destructive, and that it could be stopped by truth backed by the readiness to use force. They rejected material and historical determinism. They said that there is a higher reality that man can access. What gave Solzhenitsyn in the 1960s and early 1970s the will to stand alone against the entire Soviet system? He knew it was false. What enabled him to see that it was false? His vision of the spiritual truth of existence, transcending the material determinism on which Communism was based.
Mark P. writes:
I’m sorry to say, but this discussion does lend credibility to the Roissyite accusation on the Game threads that traditonalists and conservatives are wallowing in an overly “monastic” outlook.
By “monastic” I don’t mean an infantile purity or chastity. I mean a completely different set of institutional structures. In the old Catholic world, you had the more mainstream “secular” clergy in contrast to the various monastic orders (Benedictine, Franciscan, etc.) that were universally revered as the highest forms of piety in their devotion to God. Traditionalists seem to operate within this separate insitutional space, but without the same reverence that the old monastic orders held within their respective, Catholic societies.
What is worse, traditionalists seem to operate on what is probably a false empirical assumption: they think the choice is between the sex-organ satisfying Roissyite man-child and the dignified, real-man with a home and a family. What happens if the choice is between “Game” and being alone? Trust me when I say this, being alone does not make you look good. At worst, people think there is something wrong with you; at best, it narrows your margin of error in a similar way that being fat frontloads people’s opinions of your capabilities, character and other factors.
The end result of trad-con monastic piety is to reduce its adherents to marginalized failures. How, then, is the Truth of traditionalism to be spread from such a position of weakness? It cannot.
Roissyism is not normal. It is simply a response to this degenerate society. There is nothing wrong with making use of its methods and adherents in a larger war against the Left. They are shock troops. And there is nothing wrong with succeeding in a Leftist world while holding that same world in deep contempt. Liberal Jews did this all of the time before they successfully helped engineer the contemporary world.
Very simply, I don’t accept Mark’s premises. He’s saying that there is this hideous crisis (no betas can find women), and that the ONLY way to solve the crisis is by following Game, which, not coincidentally, also means following the sewer website which is Game’s headquarters. I don’t buy it. It’s like Obama saying that America has a horrible healthcare “crisis,” and that the only way we can get out of the crisis is to let him nationalize the entire field of health care. People invent crises in order to win acceptance for their bad solutions to those crises. And I think something like that is happening here.
But let’s say it were true. Or, since Mark likes such stark choices, let’s make the choice even starker. Let’s say that men were told that they would never sleep with a woman again, except by sleeping with whores. Would they say, “Well, that’s it then, we have to sign on to whoredom.” Many would. But many would say, “If THIS is the choice, there’s something wrong here, and I’m not accepting it. In any case, whatever happens, I’m not sleeping with a whore.”
And I would say to people, whatever you’re doing in your life, whatever you need to do to solve the problems of your life, don’t sign on with Roissy.
Aaron S. writes:
I must admit I don’t understand parts of what Mark is saying here.
He is arguing that traditionalists hold to a false dichotomy. We would say there are better lives and worse ones—I don’t see how that rules out the in betweens. Isn’t this thread all about the issue of what to do with this group?
At the same time Mark is raising a dichotomy of his own: being alone or practicing game. This is misleading: being alone can be temporary or permanent, long or short, chosen or unintended. Which does he mean? And to whom do we look bad by being alone? Assuming we can settle this business, there is still the question of what one’s GOALS are… if there is a thought for substantive relationships, how could one be harmed by developing genuine masculinity as opposed to facile tricks? A man can no more “game” his way to a healthy relationship than a woman can sleep her way to the right husband.
But perhaps Mark just wants us to say, “given the situation, it’s ok to use women just for sex.” I will repeat something now that I merely suggested before: a man who needs hand-holding on this point is not ready to fight for his civilization. “Shock troops?” Men who sorta want to be cads, but sorta want to have a family?
If sleeping around is the desired goal, then just do it—but traditionalists cannot make vice into virtue, or participate in the illusion that in choosing promiscuity, you have succeeded or helped society. Productive change can only begin by telling ourselves the truth.
To Aaron’s excellent comment, and especially his last paragraph, I would add: this website is not about giving people advice on their sex lives, a role into which this whole debate seems to have implicitly pushed it.
Todd White writes:
I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around Mark’s P.’s comment. I think almost everyone who has been a part of this discussion over the last few days understands that more choices exist than just 1) “Game” and 2) “Being alone.” The question is: To what extent does Game live up its promise of being 1) a way to help men in their personal relationships with women, and 2) a way to help conservatives rebuild American culture?
Up until last week, I knew nothing of “Game.” I began my research with an open mind. Having completed my research, I feel comfortable stating that Game is not the answer because it fosters an attitude in which men objectify women, casual sex is excused or even encouraged, and as it pertains to married couples, it doesn’t facilitate the emotional, spiritual connection that is the key to true happiness. Of course, knowledge is power, and it is worth knowing what makes women “tick.” But that’s independent of Game, which has—for whatever reason—morphed into a chauvinistic pseudo-religion among the men who preach its gospel. The bottom line is: There are better alternatives to Game.
I don’t have a clever marketing term for my viewpoint, but basically, I believe that men should be confident and happy with themselves, and that eventually (maybe not instantly) that confidence and happiness will attract the right mate.
Yes, I understand that might not be what people want to hear. After all, as Mark P. points out, there are many men who are alone right now. Good men. Men who deserve happiness and fulfillment with a woman. Men who deserve families. And I sympathize with all of them. I’ve been in that situation. But Game is not the answer. The idea that one must choose between “Game” and “Being alone” is a false one.
I probably should’ve concluded with “patience, patience,” to reinforce the point that the destiny of these men is not to be alone forever as long as they remain self-confident and proactive in terms of meeting women.
Richard P. writes:
Mark P. is replacing one “false empirical assumption” with another. The only choices aren’t “game” vs. being alone. It isn’t necessary to memorize “negs” and choreograph body language to attract women. What is necessary is to display true masculine strength and character. Too many of these young men are attracted to game because they don’t know the difference. The older generation who should have taught them that failed, mostly because they acquiesced in the rapid feminization of our culture.
One example of masculine strength can be seen in the different outcomes of the Larry Summers and Officer Crowley cases. Who won? The man who stood by his actions and didn’t apologize. Many of the single young men I know would back down from almost any challenge—especially from women. The biggest missing component of female attraction for these men is respect. Women cannot respect a man who backs down from any conflict, apologizes for every comment, and acts as a virtual servant to their whims. They expect us to lead, and have contempt when we don’t.
Mark’s portrayal of the pickup artists as “shock troops” against the left is just absurd. What are they accomplishing but furthering the “Sex in the City” mentality among women? Those are allies we don’t need. Likewise we don’t need to withdraw from culture as his monastic straw man suggests. If the choice is (as in your analogy) between detente and engagement, then engage! Openly disapprove of promiscuous women. Make clear that they aren’t what you want in a mate. Rib your friends when they date one. Don’t back down from what you believe, and don’t be afraid to say it. Don’t be a doormat.
Michael S. writes:
My response to Mark P. probably falls into the “easier-said-than-done” category, and may seem simplistic and unrealistic to some.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 25, 2009 03:00 PM | Send
Speaking as a conservative Catholic (unfortunately that phrase is not as redundant as it should be these days)…
You can’t change the world by embracing its values. Yes, Saint Paul said that he wished to become all things to all men for the sake of Christ, but “getting Game” isn’t what he meant.
I’m sorry to say, but this discussion does lend credibility to the Roissyite accusation on the Game threads that traditonalists and conservatives are wallowing in an overly “monastic” outlook.
I wonder whether the people who insist on this “monastic” characterization have ever done a retreat at a monastery. (I also wonder whether these so-called “Gamers” ever truly learned how to benefit from solitude.) Contemplative orders do two things: pray and work (indeed, that is the Benedictine motto: “Ora et labora”). Granted, life in the world is a little more complex than that, but it’s a good way to begin ordering one’s life. What does “wallowing” have to do with that?
What is worse, traditionalists seem to operate on what is probably a false empirical assumption: they think the choice is between the sex-organ satisfying Roissyite man-child and the dignified, real-man with a home and a family.
That is certainly a stark pair of alternatives. If a man does not pursue marriage and family life, the temptation can certainly be strong to choose the other. But not inevitable.
Again, from a Catholic perspective, the assumption that those are the only two alternative certainly is empirically false. There are four vocational possibilities: marriage (for most people), the priesthood (for some men), religious life, and consecrated lay celibacy (probably the rarest of the four). A life of unmarried fornication is not considered a genuine option.
What happens if the choice is between “Game” and being alone?
That is a false dilemma. If you’re not married yet, and you want to be, then you pray. Pray for God to show you the way to a worthy wife, and pray to grow in holiness and be prepared to be a good husband. Pray and work… work at meeting possible candidates for marriage, who are themselves discerning marriage.
Trust me when I say this, being alone does not make you look good. At worst, people think there is something wrong with you; at best, it narrows your margin of error in a similar way that being fat frontloads people’s opinions of your capabilities, character and other factors.
Perhaps, but it also depends on how old you are. Being single at 25 is not the same as being never-married at 45 or 50. Again, you cannot let those considerations rule your life.
Roissyism is not normal. It is simply a response to this degenerate society.
It is a degenerate response to a degenerate society.