Hard to believe my seminal essay on Body Language is almost 2 years old now. I did a review of Body Language and a subcommunications with Jon from Modern Life Dating on my latest livestream and it was good enough that I thought I’d make a post of it here.
I’m also helping Jon out with his Body Language Mastery II program this time. I passed on the affiliate marketing stuff for the first program Jon did because I wanted to “audit” the class first to see if it was legit. I understand a lot of guys’ first impression of this stuff can be a bit off-putting, but the videos and the interactive stuff was really pretty good. I get that not everyone in my audience needs this program, but if you do, or maybe you’re just looking to have some interaction about Game, I’m endorsing Jon on this program. If you watch the livestream you’ll understand why.
I’m really late to this party. Tomorrow, Monday, March 30th is the last day to get in, but if you’re interested follow this link:
When something big in the news goes down I’ve learned from experience not to be too quick to write anything about it until the hype dies down and more information comes out. My long-time readers know what I’m talking about. In the early days of this blog I could get caught up in a story about how a guy got Zeroed Out and committed suicide or killed his family and himself, and people would run me up the flagpole for jumping to conclusions. That those conclusions were, in fact, accurate was irrelevant to critics. It was all about ‘hasty generalizations‘ and confirmation biases at the time of writing.
This new Corona Virus pandemic is something different though. There are a lot of people very eager to jump to those hasty generalizations in this global crisis – and pointing out their panic only makes them feel more justified in panicking. At the time of this writing we’re seeing a globalized response to a globalized virus. For all or our new order information, technology, access and connectivity the same old order human nature remain the same. Odd that the people who’ve criticized me for being too mechanistic about our evolved nature are the same people who are in a righteous panic caused by the nature I’ve been told we’re supposed to be evolved above now.
But today, instead of a localized panic, we get a global panic. Instead of localized disinformation, we have globalized disinformation.
“In the social media age, people have forgotten that it’s not remotely normal to be able to see hundreds of millions of people’s opinions & actions, let alone engage with them.
We’re living in the biggest experiment in human history and have little idea of the long term consequences.”
Ironically, Zuby tweeted this quote about a week before the Corona Virus really became what it is now (late March, 2020). At the time I though it captured what was going on in our Global Sexual Marketplace so I saved the quote, but it’s true about a lot of new order areas of our modern globalized lives. And that includes global pandemics too.
I wrote about old order versus new order thinking a few months ago. This essay, The New Age of Enlightenment, is actually an excerpt from my upcoming fourth book in the Rational Male series and is a theme I carry through much of it. At the time of my writing it I had come to much of the same thinking as Zuby had here: it’s time we re-envision what a rapidly advancing global society looks like. My take began in the global sexual marketplace, but it’s expanded to many other areas of life. It’s a challenge to humanity to be sure. Reassessing what was old order wisdom worth preserving and abandoning what was simply inaccurate (or deliberately distorted) in the age of new order information and communication is something most people are unprepared for. Most people are too comfortable in the lives they built for themselves based on the foundation of old order ideals.
The Virus pandemic is proving this to us in real time and online 24 hours a day now. Faced with the rapid, systemic shutdown of every major economy on the planet, the global community now reverts to its very human, very predictable nature. The response to real, existential crisis is what defines the person, and what defines their ego-invested belief-sets – except everything is intensified.
Here’s what I’m seeing happen.
Doomsday preppers rejoice. Christians, Catholics, [insert Millenarian Dominionist religion] all love and hate this crisis simultaneously. It both proves God’s love and God’s wrath in the same breath. And as I’ve expounded upon in the fourth book, there’s simply no arguing with people who have no questions. Don’t take this as a flame on believers – I get why they find comfort in it – it’s a simple observation of how crisis situations bring out what truly motivates people in a way we only rarely see.
Even the woo woo magical thinkers find a common confirmation of their spiritual-but-not-religious beliefs. They all told you so. They all knew it was coming. The tea leaves and energy ‘vibrations’ have all been off for months. If only we’d sent enough positive Juju out into the universe the Law of Attraction would have prevented all this! Likewise, they’re all equally unprepared for it. A reaffirmed faith (however they define it) will see them through. And maybe that’s a good attitude to have when panic and fear are the hot new commodities to sell on the worldwide stage (I’ll get to that in a moment).
Uncertainty is difficult for people, but there’s a lot of comfort in finding confirmation of beliefs in crisis and tragedy. And that belief doesn’t necessarily have to be religious. Political wonks are equally zealots now. This pandemic will define presidencies and, going forward, will likely determine the platforms of future world leaders for some time.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” – especially in an age when the majority of the worlds’ people literally cannot escape seeing it in real time. For the political ideologist, on either side of the spectrum, how this pandemic is being handled by officials, and the prophecies of inevitable economic ruin, is just as belief-affirming as religious confirmations.
For the Left, this is the event they’ve always waited for to bring down a president who’s been effectively invincible since the Primaries of 2015. To use their own words, they can “finally get the motherfucker.” That it took a global pandemic is irrelevant. For the Right, it’s an illustration of how life will look under the fantasy Socialist tyranny they see in the Left. The wholesale closing of abortion clinics is an added bonus. In our own sphere, for MGTOW it’s the sweet humbling of women’s egos as, from all appearances, women turn to a new appreciation of conventionally masculine men and ape the mannerisms of traditional femininity – for now. For the Trad-Con sunhat ladies this feminist pivot is, again, reaffirming. Gone, almost overnight, are the bleating of social justice warriors with all discussions of socially constructed gender norms. Noticeable in its absence is all talk of Women’s History Month (March) and the need for reparations in gender inequities. Hell, in Finland the all-female, all-feminist, government is glaringly impotent from all accounts I’ve read.
Most of this is what I’d expect from the average global citizen in the face of a world changing, relatively lethal, pandemic. However, it’s the new orderOutrage Brokers and Success Porn Hustlahs scrambling to place their bets on the next 9 months who are truly a wonder to behold now.
Outrage Brokers in the Apocalypse
Amongst all of this pandemic gnashing of teeth we get the inevitable grifters. If we’re honest, we knew most of these guys were leeches when times were good. Certainly not all of them, but the temptation of quitting an old order day job for the promise of a new order monthly direct deposit from Google for playing ‘life coach’ on a webcam was a dream come true for most. Now their true natures rise to the surface as they see the chuckwagon of the gig economy pulling away. And just like rats going through an Extinction Burst they frantically try every new angle that they might profit from.
These are the war profiteers of this new order era, but the pitch is the same as it was in the past – stoke fear, sell security.
It almost seems quaint that I brought up this exact formula as discussion topic on Rule Zero just 2 weeks ago. We were illustrating how the term Red Pill (and now MGTOW) has been coopted as a branding opportunity by “coaches” and “relationship experts” with very little experience beyond what they can glean from others in the sphere. The main point was this: it’s far easier to get views and build subscriber bases in next to no time when your material is all red meat outrage for ‘underserved’ Average Frustrated Chumps. Toss out a few “red pills”, paint a few of them black, and commiserate with the average 80-percenter guy’s reality with women, gynocentrism and then play on the same indignation porn that the mainstream has been selling to women for 3 decades now. All sizzle, no steak. Is it any wonder that critics think the Red Pill is populated with nihilistic, homicidal Incels?
But that’s the formula. It just took men longer to perfect it for a fresh generation of male consumers. Indignation might be an innate female need, but the past 3 generations of men have developed a taste for it as well. It’s what happens when boys are raised as defective girls.
It’s important to see this crisis through the emotional lens that the past 4 generations of men and women have been taught to prioritize. For over 50 years now we’ve been conditioned to see the female, emotions-first, experience as the correct interpretation of every facet of a globalizing society. This pandemic is no exception.
Because of their emotions-first nature fear is easy to sell to women. Women’s innate need for security is what made them the primary consumer in western societies, but now we have at least 2 generations of men who were educated to be defective women. ThoseVillage-educated emotions-first men are susceptible to the same sales formulas now. Feels before Reals isn’t just for women, and this pandemic crisis is proving it in spades.
The savvy hucksters know this. The not so savvy ones will attempt to go back to whatever cubicle job they think still exists for them before they quit their day jobs. But the career Outrage Brokers are already profiteering from that formula; feed the fear, sell security.
You know the names. Watch them. You’ll need to remember their nature when things shake out.
What even the best Red Pill rage-bait “entrepreneur” knows is that the vast majority of his/her soon-to-be-former supporters will be Zeroed Out in the coming months. There is no going back to what we thought of as normal. Even if we recover back to a comfortable normalcy fairly quickly this experience changes things. The game has changed, all games have changed, and the uncertainty of the basics will replace the leisure of having the personal concerns we used to entertain before the virus hit.
A lot of good men will be Zeroed Out in the wake of this crisis.
I think it ought to be part of any Red Pill aware man’s understanding that at many points in our lives we will be confronted with the prospects of having to rebuild ourselves. Failure, rejection and disappointment will happen for you, that’s just part of a man’s life, and it’s easy to rattle off platitudes about how many times you get back up being the measure of a man. But what I’m saying is there will be times when total reconstruction of your life will be a necessity.
You will be zeroed out at some point, and how you handle this is a much different situation than any temporary setback. This zeroing out is made all the more difficult when you confront the fact that what you believed to be so valuable, the equity you were told was what others would measure you by, was all part of your Blue Pill conditioning. At that point you need to understand that there is most definitely a hope for a better remake of yourself based on truths that were learned in the hardest way.
The red meat is still there. The chemical rush that comes from indignation-without-solution will always satisfy in the short term, but now it will be a reminder of what people had a luxury to pursue before all this shit went down. Grifters and Outrage Brokers know this. Zealots and Shamans know this. Black Pills, God-Pills, MGTOW and every Red Pill rebrand knows this. And the old order thinkers who were comfortable and self-righteous in the certainty of a condition that couldn’t ever end for them will all say they saw this coming while they shit their pants looking for a way to sustain themselves. The red meat is all that’s left for them, and they’ll climb over themselves to be the source of it.
I’m not throwing all this out there to freak anyone out. Freaking out is the reflexive response I’ve been seeing for 2 weeks now. It’s more infectious than the actual virus. I’m simply trying to put this crisis into rational, masculine perspective. That requires observation.
Yes, women are going to revert to their survival instincts; observe it, catalog it, use it to confirm what the Red Pill has been proposing for 20 years now.
Yes, lesser men will panic and expect you to panic along with them. Their imaginings and superstitions are a source of dopamine for them. Learn from their real nature.
Yes, the Outrage Brokers will all feed you fear and sell you product to allay that fear. They’ll all have a nootropic pill to cure Covid soon. Make a note of who they are.
And yes, you will likely be Zeroed Out in some manner in the coming year. Take comfort in knowing you’re definitely not alone. You, me, everyone will need to rebuild ourselves to some degree soon. Start analyzing you strengths, pay attention to what’s going on around you. You must be agile like never before. Many different aspects of Red Pill awareness will be confirmed for you, a lot probably have been already, learn from these confirmations. This is the Future Shock. Now is not the time to flounder in despair. Look for the opportunities.
I received this comment on my January 29, 2020 livestream of Rational Male 101:
I think Rollo is talking about an idea that I’ve read about before in Thomas Sowell’s famous book Conflict of Visions. One side of the spectrum says that humans are very animalistic despite their capability of rationalizing otherwise, and human nature must be constrained by laws and social processes (such as constraining hypergamy). The other side of the spectrum says that humans are entirely capable of overcoming their Darwinian natures through intentional decisionmaking and must be unconstrained in order to flourish. Everyone lies somewhere between the two. I assume most men here lean more toward a constrained vision.
Nature vs. Nurture is a constant theme in the Manosphere. Yes, it’s a constant theme throughout most natural sciences, but it’s a paradox that’s going to always pervade intersexual dynamics. And mostly because people’s belief sets are rooted more in one or the other. Personal responsibility versus biological determinism is an issue that defines what our perspectives are on a great many things; not just intersexual dynamics. This isn’t an issue of politics or even worldview. There are plenty of believers in our human capacity to rise above our personal circumstances and evolutionary dictates on both sides of the political spectrum. For every hardline Trad-Con espousing the virtues of the human spirit and freewill superseding our physical conditions there is a left-leaning humanist who’ll conveniently agree that humans aren’t beholden to what some inconvenient science says if it aligns with their belief set.
Most “old order” ideologies today are struggling with relevancy in what I called the age of “new order” thinking or our New Age of Enlightenment. This new order understanding is the result of the unprecedented deluge of information we now have access to in this millennium. Not only is it this new influx of data that’s challenging the old order ideologies, but also the accessibility to it that old order thinkers can no longer keep pace with.
The response to this influx of information requires us to parse it out like never before. In predictable human fashion most people will make a hard turn towards the old order dictates that used to be able to explain harsh truths to us adequately enough for us to move on to other things. Thus, we see the global Village return to an interest in old religions, shamanism, metaphysics and tribal superstitions (and a lot of Chick Crack) today. That’s not to say that some of these old order institutions never had merit. A lot of what new order data presents to us can be confirmed by old order beliefs and wisdom. What we used to take on faith can now be confirmed by new order information. But this is also problematic for old order believers. It’s never a comforting thought to be confronted with what you had thought was sublimely metaphysical actually being something that can, in fact, be quantified. Yes, your religion was correct about some things, but those things are no longer the magical articles of faith they once were.
But We’re Better Than That, Right?
The Nature vs. Nurture debate is really a polite proxy for the war between two perspectives – Determinism vs. Freewill. While questions of consciousness and personal philosophies are outside the scope of this blog, what is in scope is how these perspectives define the way we approach our understanding of innate mating strategies, long term relationships, forming families and raising children.
As I mentioned early, determinism feels wrong to both kinds of believers. When ever I debate the harsh realities of how Hypergamy works, not just for our species, but most of the animal kingdom, I’m invariably met with the question of whether or not Hypergamy is ‘Good or Evil’. There’s always a want to qualify what’s really a natural dynamic. Is a pack of wolves evil for bringing down a caribou to feed the pack in the dead of winter? It all depends on who you’re rooting for I guess.
The ‘sphere’s contemplating these scenarios are nothing new. Considering the moral implications of the uglier aspects of Hypergamy is just one easy example among many other naturalism vs. moralism dilemmas in Red Pill praxeology. Empiricists will explain the dynamic in the hope that knowing about it, and how it works, will lead to better predictive outcomes. Hypergamy works thusly X-Y-Z; now plan accordingly and build a better life upon that predictive model. Believers on the other hand will absorb this data and look for moral equivocation:
They believe that the goal of debate is to establish what is morally better, and what everyone should do. They argue about what is right.
On a recent video I did with Rich Cooper and Dr. Shawn Smith one point of debate was whether or not the idea of Hypergamy should be used as a “predictive framework” for understanding intersexual relationships. The topic of our discussion was the merits of Hypergamy in its expanded, robust, definition and whether it’s a reliable metric to compare people’s relationships (married and dating) against. As you might guess a lot of Red Pill awareness centers on Hypergamy; it’s why I continue to stress it even when my detractors lie about my interests. It’s really that important.
But as we we’re debating the ins and outs I posed another question to Dr. Smith, “If Hypergamy is not a reliable predictive framework for understanding intersexual relationships, then what is a better one?”
I wasn’t being facetious, nor was I trying to hit Shawn with a gotcha question; I genuinely wrote this question down in my preparatory notes for the show. If not Hypergamy, in its expanded definition, (that describes women’s innate mating strategy) then what is a good outline by which we might judge women’s (and men’s) motives, incentives and behaviors with respect to their mating strategies.
Do women even have mating strategies defined by their innate, evolved, natures? Or are their sexual, reproductive decisions purely an act of cognitive will, as defined by their socialization? If 100,000 years of human evolution didn’t shape women’s reproductive strategies, then what are we left with that explains the commonalities we see women using (with our new order data gathering) in their mate selection and breeding (or aborting) habits? Is it entirely freewill and personal choice? We’re certainly meant to believe it’s “her body, her choice” and the decisions are an extension of her cognitive will.
Yes, I get that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. The possibility exists that it’s both nature and nurture affecting women and men’s mating strategies – and certainly choice is involved in the outcome of those strategies. I’m more inclined to believe it’s both, or at least we want to believe our conscious decisions are what’s pulling the strings. I’ve been in all the livestream debates when we asked the question, “Do women have agency?” and if not then are we our Sister’s Keeper? The more moralistic a guy is usually the more he’s likely he is to include women’s lives to his list of masculine duties and personal responsibilities.
The underlying assumptions in all these accounts is “Aren’t we better than this?”
As reasonably rational, self-aware creatures, with what we presume is freewill and a liability of personal responsibility for the choices we make when exercising that freewill, then haven’t we evolved above all our base impulse? If not, then shouldn’t we have by now?
Every day I harp on about the fallacy of the Blank Slate that most old order thinkers can’t seem to disabuse themselves, but if we are in fact “above it all” then the fallacy of the Blank Slate, as well as the notion that we might ever be influenced by our evolved natures is all a moot point. If our conscious selves are in fact better than our evolved natures then the variables of evolution are rendered meaningless. All that matters is the self and developing our consciousness to rise above our conditions.
Our conscious minds are capable of overriding our innate natures. We can, sometimes do, kill ourselves by not eating. A fast or a hunger strike is something we can consciously do as an act of will. A sense of righteousness and virtue can get mixed into that conscious and our will supersedes our innate nature (we get hungry and need to eat or we die). It doesn’t change the operative physical state that our bodies need certain things. We often commit suicide as an act of will or the conscious act of our depressive emotional state. Again, will (however it’s defined) overrides our physical conditions, but how much of what we believe is our willpower is uninfluenced by the same physical conditions, environment, upbringing, socialization and personal circumstance that we hope to rise above?
Very soon, perhaps within my own lifetime, we will be able to genetically engineer humans. In 2018 a Chinese scientist broke codes of ethics to create the first gene-edited baby. The science, if not the technology, is already here. The possibility exists that human beings, through sheer force of will, can custom engineer our physical states to conform to what our ideologies would tell us is preferable. If you’ve ever seen the movie Gattaca you’ll understand the implications of this technology. It’s this author’s opinion that we are living in a time when the ideologies we subscribe to today will affect the ethics of what we engineer into the humanity of tomorrow.
Gattaca is science fiction, but the philosophical questions it poses are very real now. From a objective, humanist perspective this raises a lot of interesting questions. Should we engineer-out of humanity “diseases” like Down’s Syndrome? What about sickle cell anemia? If a gay gene is ever discovered (I don’t believe homosexuality is genetic), should we edit it out of humanity to ensure “normal” heterosexual human beings in future generations?
The Chinese scientist who broke the rules of ethics was reprimanded for his experimentation. “When the news broke, peers in China and abroad condemned him for manipulating life’s building blocks using a relatively untested gene-editing tool.” But why? Chinese official declared his experimentation illegal. It’s entirely possible that a new race of superior humans could be engineered to be better ‘adapted’ to live longer, be smarter, more immune to certain diseases, possibly eradicate some disease and make for a stronger human species. Why would it be wrong or unethical to strive for “perfection”?
Have we not elevated our will above our physical limitations? Or are we using our physical conditions as an implement of our will? We’ll find out soon, but our ideological bent and the ideas of what right and wrong is most certainly influenced and defined by the realities of our physical selves.
Rise of the New Order
This was a comment from Jack about the rise of the New Order:
Rollo, the digital age has ruined us. Culture and pop culture today move at an alarming rate, what was hip now won’t be in the next year or month, society has never moved this fast and as a result the new way is merely a day away from being the old way. The demon’s out of the ring now, no turning back, and there’s no real way to deal with the modern age.
If you are not born into greatness, or utilizing the vast knowledge of the net to surpass everyone and stay there, you get nothing. It’s now the same way with women, previously, our worlds were smaller and hypergamy wasn’t as out of control. There were checks and balances, God and church being two of them, shame was a motivator for keeping women in check as they don’t understand loyalty like men. Now, they have infinite access to all top men, with upwards access to all jobs, and no reprecussions for acting in their very best interests and base instincts at all times. This shrinks the dating pool dramatically to only a few desirable mates because they value themselves so highly. So, if you’re not a natural at flirting with women, or learned how to do it through you and the many other “red pill” men out there AND CAN KEEP THAT ON 24/7 WHILE DOING IT BETTER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE, you will get nothing or lose what you have.
It’s almost all risk no reward for modern men unless you’re alpha”, and even then you’re not safe. Women will always want more and better, so if you’re not constantly 100% on at all times, you lose. If Jeff Bezos and Johnny Depp aren’t safe despite their fame and fortune, what does that say for everybody else? It’s exasperating as a modern man, you have to be and do too much to compete on the global market, as a man younger than you I don’t know if you can understand how daunting it is to have to be everything all at once and it STILL not being enough. You can’t even stay established anymore, if you’re not constantly putting out content, you fall to nothing again and have to start from scratch.
Your competition as a red pilled man, are other men armed with this knowledge, and it will get harder as time goes on with more men are forced to adapt this way of thinking or give up entirely. The new system forces you to constantly adapt faster, and better than all of your peers, or die instantly. There is no rest, no reprieve, no time to catch your breath, either you constantly innovate and improve on the new or you simply don’t eat. I cannot understand how this can keep up when this new “enlightened” era leaves the majority of the male sex in the dumpster.
That being said, without men such as you or Dalrock, established constant fonts of content for this, the kind of thing men need to hear, there will be no direction for men in the coming years. Yes, someone might come along eventually to replace you and the groups you represent, the thought even, but the men like you are very much buoys and lighthouses to keep those of us drifting in the digital age’s ocean from sinking. Without that, we’re all absolutely lost. Without guys like you, it’ll be even harder to aggregate that information and even try to compete or establish relevance. So the destruction of Dalrock’s work means setting those of us who wish to live and fight for a better life back several years, which none of us can afford. Many of us have learned partly, or greatly from you and men like you, whether that’s connecting the dots or having the entire mind opened. So wether or not he wants to delete everything, his work must press on for every one of us who wants a chance to survive in this.
While I’m flattered to be considered one of the pioneers of understanding intersexual dynamics from Red Pill perspective, I can entirely relate with the sentiment of perpetual vigilance. “If [insert male celebrity] can’t make it in today’s sexual marketplace with today’s women then what hope does the average guy have?” is a common MGTOW refrain. I understand men’s desire to just throw in the towel and accept one’s sexless fate. We now live in a Global Sexual Marketplace. The old order rules for the localized sexual marketplace that the last 3 generations of men still expect to work for them today are a thing of the past. And this is only one symptom of the rapid expansion of technology and its effect on our cultural narratives.
For all the alarms we’d like to raise about humans’ genetically engineering future generations of humans, the effects of the meta-scale social engineering experiment that is gynocentrism are already here. Men have always formed adaptations to the realities of solving their reproductive problems, but never have a generation of men had to adapt to so rapidly a changing environment. And it’s only going to get more complex as we move forward.
Today’s men have few options available to them in our present state. Most of us will continue to keep pace and attempt to see the signs of ways to best advantage what comes at us in the sexual marketplace, and really life in general, until we can no longer keep up. Evolve or die. Keep pace with the trends and stay sharp enough to look ahead and leverage what you can based on an objective assessment of what human beings really are. Stay sharp until you no longer can. Hopefully, if you’ve wisely conserved and protected your resources during that time you’ll have some security until you die. If not, then you can expect to fall prey to the next generation of vultures who see your nest egg as their source of revenue.
Or you can give up. You can do just what’s necessary to survive in a system that passed you by and console yourself with complaining about how degenerate and unfair it is. And you’ll be right on both counts because that’s where you are. Old order thinking is very comforting, and it will be until there are no more old order thinkers – replaced by a succeeding generation of new order thinkers who themselves will be swept aside by new order thinkers.
More and more we’re going to see a return to the old order religions, metaphysics and tribalism as the generations that cannot keep pace with human advancement seek meaning and consolation. As a result we’ll also see a new virtue signaling and ego-investments in the power of the self, freewill and mindful consciousness. The Trad-Cons of today are already here and the more ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ social justice adherents apply their own brand of magical thinking, but for the same reasons. The effect is the same – the retreat from competing in a globalizing system that, sooner or later, will outpace us all.
And like all other aspects of this rapid advancement, even this retreating demographic will be coopted and commercialized by savvy ‘players’ who are still keeping pace. Formalizing the retreaters, organizing them, catering to their idiosyncrasies, all will be big business for those who learn to sell consolation (if not hope) to those who think they’ll never keep up.
I can remember a time back in the 1980s when I would visit my mother for a weekend and she’d insist my brother and I go to her church on Sundays. At this point in her life she was very much an Evangelical Christian. I would go with her because my mom’s side of the family had always been the religious side, and that was just part of who my mom was. I did have a basic faith in God and Christianity at the time, but my father was a card carrying atheist (and nominal Unitarian) for his whole life, so I had a pretty eclectic religious education when I was a teenager.
My father was a skeptic by nature and a lot of my own questioning nature was indirectly influenced by him. I can remember going to my mom’s church and suffering through the worship music to get to the sermon. I actually enjoyed the sermons because they gave me something to chew on intellectually. Not that the 15 year old Rollo was much of a thinker at that time, but I always had basic questions for these guys after the speech. When I got a bit older, in my early 20s, I started wondering who these ‘pastors’ really were as people and what made them qualified to deliver sermons. I really wanted to talk with these guys, but doing so meant I had to sit through their hard sell about how Jesus had saved them from themselves. I always thought this was kind of silly considering most of these guys weren’t much older than me. How hard a life could these guys really have lived by 25?
Most of these pastors weren’t used to was really having to engage much with their congregations beyond what was required of them to maintain appearances. I don’t mean that they were inaccessible; most of them had something outside of church that kept them involved with people. It’s that prior to the internet the way a pastor, or a church, did business usually centered on a man delivering a message (presumedly inspired by God) and then shaking hands with the faithful after the sermon was over as they filed out the door. End of sermon. End of discussion.
If you wanted to talk about the sermon, or, heaven forbid, criticize the interpretation or message in some way that was a conversation relegated to your family, or perhaps a home group discussion. Assuming you even were in a home group or had a few peers you could discuss it with, you always risked running afoul of someone whose ego-investments in his/her faith would put them on edge by questioning it. The old order of religion, not just Christianity, used to be based on respecting the man delivering that message as God’s ordained spokesman, or reading whatever book he might’ve published, processing it yourself or with a handful of other believers, sussing things out and waiting for the next message on the next Sunday. There was very little engagement about articles of faith or doctrine unless you were a guy on the inside.
All of this changed with the advent of the internet and the globalization of mass media and communication.
Today, there’s hardly a pastor (mainstream or obscure) who doesn’t have a blog or a YouTube channel on which he (or she) contemplates his last/next sermon. In the 80s-90s even the most introspective religious leader would have only a handful of people to bounce ideas off, but today a sermon is almost focus grouped before the guy walks up to the pulpit on a Sunday. Meanwhile, that same pastor is engaged on two or three social media accounts discussing everything from religion, to politics, to praying for his favorite NFL team to make the playoffs.
The old order of how religion was done has given way to a new, globalized process of how we do religion. Today anyone, believer or not, has access to that pastor on a moments notice. Didn’t like the message? Thought the interpretation was inaccurate? You can tell him on his blog’s comment thread or fire off a tweet to start a discussion about it before he can even drive home from church.
This is the age of globalized engagement – and this new paradigm is fundamentally altering old order institutions. What the Guttenburg press did for religion by publishing the Bible for the masses, now the internet has done for the old order way in which people can engage with the process of their beliefs – and not just religious belief.
The New Enlightenment
February of last year I wrote an essay about the Global Sexual Marketplace. In that post I described how globalization isn’t just about economics or demographics – globalization also applies to intersexual dynamics. Gone are the days when a young man or young woman could expect to meet one of the handful of eligible, single people in their high school, small town or limited social circle to pair off and start a family with. In the old order young people were stuck with the choices of a limited Local sexual marketplace. Today, with our instant, robust forms of communication, a worldwide sexual marketplace has now opened up the romantic prospects of virtually anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection. Don’t like your prospects in your hometown? Now there’s a whole world of men and women waiting to meet you. The old order of intersexual dynamics has fundamentally shifted and all in less than 20 years.
The rapidity of this shift is what I believe is at the root of the problems that surround the new way of doing the old order institutions. As a global society we are still reluctant to let go of the falsehoods of those old order institutions; even in light of the new order evidences and data collected as a result of this unprecedented access. While we attempt to reconcile our old order beliefs with what a global information network confronts them with, we cling evermore tightly to what we thought we knew because it formed the foundation of who we are. And as we try to make sense of it we are presented with both true and false narratives that pander to the fact that this information and technology is progressing at a rate that most human beings’ minds were never evolved to keep pace with.
My good friend Aaron Clarey (Captain Capitalism) recently published a tour de force article on women entering into and dominating most of the future of Corporate America, and how men ought to welcome this change. It’s a great post, so definitely go read the whole thing, but after I’d finished it I was struck with the idea that what Clarey was on to was describing an old order institution (Corporate America) and how we still perceived it from an old order understanding. On the surface it seems counterintuitive to think of women assuming authority over what was the Male Space of Corporate Culture as a good thing. Cap was being facetious for the whole thing, but his point was really this: women have coveted the reigns of Corporate America for a long time now, but their feminist thirst for power (Fempowerment) is based on an old order understanding of what Corporate America really is, or will eventually become. Like a debutant late to the party, the status and prestige that the Feminine Imperative sells women to believe is inherent in Corporate America is all old order bullshit. So, yeah, have at it ladies. The information age has stripped back the curtains on the Corporate America you assumed all that student debt to participate in.
Academia is another area in which this old order vs. new enlightenment understanding is taking place. Prior to 2000 if you heard a particular professor had a reputation for being tough, you had to get it from a third party. Today we have rate-the-professor.com or something similar. Now you can see how well a teacher performed from students who took their classes from a decade ago.
GlassCeiling.com is an aggregate of current and ex employees rating the work environment of damn near any company today. Yelp.com does something similar to a businesses performance. And as a result most of these companies hire specialized personnel to maintain their online reputations – and this is the paranoia that comes from presuming old order impressions of a company are relevant in a new order paradigm.
Analog Thinking vs. Digital Thinking
“In the future, everything that can be digital will be digital.”
I’m not sure who originated this quote, but I can remember it being tossed around in graphic design circles as early as 1993. Back then the print industry was transitioning to a digital way of production. Adobe Photoshop was at version 3.0 (when I started using it) and QuarkXpress was revolutionizing pagination for pretty much every publication at the time. The writing was on the wall. I was fortunate to be coming into my career on the cusp of the old order traditional ways of creating ads and publications (stat cameras and pasteup galleys) and learning their digital equivalents in design applications. I had to get real good, real quick, not only in terms of understanding the hardware, software and networking, but also in using it to create effective, creative, advertising. A lot of my contemporaries struggled with this transition. My mentors in design were old school designers. They taught me a lot with respect to effective advertising and design, but they couldn’t teach me the new tech that was changing every 6-8 months. Whereas in the old order a design agency only focused on print media and employed a full complement of professionals for each aspect of production (photography, typography, pasteup, pressmen, etc.) now I was responsible for all of these jobs and more to come as the internet opened up more new media to desktop publishers like me.
I had to get real good, real fast, and maintain my creative edge all while expanding into more and more new areas and methods of producing what I do. The old order designers either adapted or went extinct. Since the early 90s this narrative has played out across countless professions and trades. I can remember listening to Lars Ulrich from Metallica complain about how Napster’s peer-to-peer file sharing of MP3s was going to be the death of the music industry. The old order musicians weren’t ready to accept the realities of “everything that can be digital will be digital”.
Analog business models, analog thinking, that have formed the basis of who we are as a society are still in place today. In some ways we can force-fit those old order ideas into our new order digital reality, but eventually that old order thinking reveals its age. College professors, church pastors, your 9-5 corporate American cubicle supervisor, the self-help guru you think has some sort of relevance, the old pop psychologist whose heyday was in the last millennium, all these personalities and an endless number more are all struggling to stay relevant against the information that the new order of 2020 confronts them with.
It’s not that these people are luddites. They embrace the technology and the new means of disseminating their craft, their ideas, their ideologies, in the digital age. It’s that their thinking is still mired in the analog age – an age in which ideas were formed on information that was limited to what generations that came before could gather with the means they had available to them then. The ideas of an analog age are what we’re presently trying to force-fit into the new understanding presented to us by this digital age. We enjoy the luxuries, sensations and entertainment that the digital affords us, but we immerse ourselves in it without realizing how our old order thinking defines why we enjoy it. Our analog selves, the product of millennia of evolution, still defines what our digital selves are without realizing the dangers inherent in our engaging with it. As such we get digital addictions – pornography, social media, ‘engagement’ – and we make our analog selves dependent on a digital economy.
How many YouTube content producers rely on their ’side hustle’ revenue to pay their bills today? How many self-published authors have quit their day jobs to write for their new employer, Amazon, today (Amazon owns 86% of the publishing market today). How many former cubicle workers decided it was more lucrative to start an internet business than continue slaving away at a corporate gig that only made their bosses rich? Today, we’ll readily shift to the digital world to sustain us financially – in the end we don’t have much choice – but it’s the old order thinking that pervades this new “reality” and causes problems.
The number one way that couples meet, since 2005, is online. Via Tinder or Match or other net based ways. Gone are the days of boy-meets-girl, eyes fixed on the other across a crowded high school gym dance floor. Gone are the days of meeting your “bride” at church camp. Those are old order romanticisms, and ones that we still want to force fit back into our new order reality. We think in analog, but we live in digital.
Barriers to Entry
Another thing I did at age 15 was play a lot of guitar. My teenage, MTV fueled, mind really had a love for music. The heavier the better. But the barrier to becoming a “Guitar God” like my heroes was something that was very prohibitive at that time. If you wanted to get good; good enough to actually get a band going, you had to seek out a guitar instructor at the local music store who hopefully shared your taste in music. Beyond a once-a-week, 1-hour lesson, you had no other means of learning an instrument than practicing on your own, buying a book of guitar tablature from the music store, or endlessly wearing down a cassette tape by going back over the song you wanted to learn again and again. And all this was the process of learning to play just a song you liked. I had to learn how to compose a song, write some lyrics, form a band, learn to promote it, and somehow figure out how to scrape up enough money to record a demo in a music studio. The barrier to entry was very steep. You had to love the art so much that you would dedicate a good portion of your life to mastering it.
Today I can go on YouTube and find a 9 year old girl in a country I’ve never heard of before play Eruption by Eddie Van Halen, note for note, because she learned it from another YouTube “content provider”. We have far more resources to understand how to be competent in, if not master, virtually anything today than at any other time in history. We have access to the entire world’s aggregate of information in a device that fits in our pocket.
In his book, Mastery, Robert Greene describes how the barriers to entry into previously prohibitive arenas of life are gone in the digital age. And just like the music industry of the 70s through the 90s, old order industries and institutions have had to cope with the restructuring of their businesses and lifestyles as new generations of digital savvy (if not digital thinking) people become competent in, sometimes master, what took them decades of perseverance to master themselves. What we see in this shift is the Barons of the old order media, industries and institutions – who jealously guarded their own knowledge-base – attempting to force-fit their analog thinking into a digital mold.
As a result, conflicts arise. When Über revolutionized the idea of ride-sharing in the digital age, the old order taxi companies enlisted every legal tool in their arsenal to fight the inevitability of their old revenue model disappearing. We see the same scenario play out in everything that can be digital becoming digital now. Even the old order institutions that built their mastery and prosperity on a successful pivot to the digital (the early dot coms) are finding that even newer aspects of the digital now threaten the successes of that initial pivot.
Content is King
Mastery is now easier to attain than at any other time in human history. The old order, analog thinking masters strictly limited teaching their secrets to anyone but the most worthy of apprentices. Those apprentices had to had the most serious dedication to their interests and would likely do menial tasks for much of their apprenticeships just to be in the presence of their mentors. That hard-won mastery is gone in the digital age. That’s not to say that practice and dedication aren’t still necessary for mastery today, but the barriers are largely removed. As a result, we are now encountering a generation of self-appointed “masters” in arenas wherein previously the title of that position of mastery implied respectability. Again, old order thinking predisposes us to believe that if a self-declared master online grants himself a title we should presume he “did the work” to earn that title.
For all this easy access to competency, mastery, information-based skills, what we find lacking is real, valuable content. It’s great that we have access to the tool boxes of old order masters, but what do we build with those tools? Thus far, not very much. Usually those tools build rehashes of old order ideas to be sold as something novel in the digital age. When I’m critical of the Success Porn grifters of this digital age, what I’m really drawing attention to is the reselling of old order, tired ideals. Motivational speakers, new age gurus, self-help “coaches” of today, are really only selling the same old order thinking in a more convenient, more easily disseminated digital method. The content is old. The religion is old. The thinking is old, and it’s thinking that is still firmly rooted in an old order understanding of how the world ought to be based on the limited information set available to the people creating it at that time.
The ease of the digital new order makes us lazy. For all of the access we have now, for all of the information we have, we’ve never been more unmotivated. The process of mastery, the process and dedication needed to attain it, used to contribute to the creative impetus required to use it. Today we’ve never been less creative in our thinking. It’s why we keep returning to old order stories and movie franchises. We just retell the same old order thinking stories in more advanced and colorful ways with the technology of the digital order. But we just repeat ourselves; or we add some social justice twist to stories that were timeless because the art took precedence over any other consideration.
The Red Pill
In the earliest days of the seduction community the forums that sprang up around men looking to get laid was an extension of this old order vs. new order thinking. The internet and conversation forums dedicated to Game, pickup artistry and dating were a predictable application of attempting to solve old order problems (getting laid) with new order information. Men in particular wanted to figure this out, so, as expected, they would coalesce and compare notes across the planet, each sharing their personal experiences with other men. Then further combining that experience with data available from psychology, anthropology, sociology, evolutionary theory and dozens of other related fields of study to provide a global consortium of men with a more accurate database on intersexual dynamics than they’d ever had available to them in any prior era.
Up to this point (I estimate 2001 or so) men had to figure out the dynamics between themselves and what women were becoming since the Sexual Revolution. And most of that “figuring it out” was based on limited information, based on old order thinking. The old challenges of understanding ourselves doesn’t change, but the way we think about those challenges is in constant flux; and that changing has become increasingly more rapid in a global age.
With that change comes conflict with the old order thinking. In terms of the Red Pill, old order thinking manifests itself as Purple Pill regressiveness. Often times the new Red Pill awareness conflicts with the old order thinking that present generations have based their existences on. They refuse to acknowledge the data we have access to now that we didn’t when they were forming beliefs and ideals that would form their personalities and ego-investments. Yes, there are certain timeless truths, but we must hold “common sense” to the same scrutiny we would apply to new ideas in this age. When I identify a person or a concept as Purple Pill this is what I mean by it; usually, it is an old order ideal being force fit to conform to align with new order data.
We desperately want our belief sets, our ideals, to be confirmed by the information we have access to in the digital age. Sometimes this does happen and we feel validated for it, but more often we see that our efforts in building a life according to the old social contract or an old order way of understanding ourselves and the world is invalidated. And this is what either builds us up anew or forces us into stasis in our lives.
The Red Pill has been redefined in many ways on many occasions over the past 20 years to fit the sensibilities of people who really want to give a new validity to whatever pet ideology they think it should apply to. Most of these people have no business calling anything “red pill”, but they’re attracted to the concept as a proxy term for ’truth’.
Initially, in the earliest days of the SoSuave Forums, we used the Matrix analogy to describe how a guy who still believed and still behaved according to his old order understanding (his conditioning) of intersexual dynamics was stuck in his ignorance. The old way of thinking about women – that up to that point was based on limited and largely inaccurate information – was still what a Blue Pill guy would accept as reality. It required a guy to “unplug” himself from that old order-informed way of thinking and transition to a new awareness of intersexual dynamics. Hopefully that guy could live a better life (even save his own life) by using the information in that new order tool box. Thus, we have the Red Pill analogy, but what the Red Pill really describes is exactlythe casting off of an old order ignorance in favor of a new order thinking predicated on information we were limited from in prior ages.
We are entering a new, digital Age of Enlightenment. I know a lot of the Manosphere would tell us we’re heading for a new Dark Ages of degeneracy and decay. Enjoy the decline, right? If this is true and we are spiraling to more ignorance, depravity and superstition on a now globalized scale it will be the result of not changing our ways of thinking according to the new data we have access to today. It’s never been easier to become what we want to become today, but with that facility comes lethargy, a lack of creativity and insight, and self-gratifying sedation. Just because we’ve been enlightened by this new, globalizing knowledge-base doesn’t mean we know how to apply it.
If we do enter a decline it will be the result of an inability to unplug from a comforting old order way of thinking.
This essay is from an abridged preview of my upcoming book The Rational Male – Religion.
“Yeah, well, not all women are like that. Men do it too and they’re even worse!”
“People are people. Everyone is different, you can’t predict human behavior because we all have freewill.”
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
“Everyone is born equal.”
“If women are hypergamous, men must be too.”
“Double standards are so unfair.”
The legacy of the Blank Slate has been one of the most pivotal influences on understanding intersexual dynamics for over the last century. In the time I’ve been writing I’ve covered egalitarianism’sinfluence on Blue Pill conditioning on at least 5 occasions. In all of these essays I’ve made the case that what we consider the Blue Pill, and the perceptions it instills in us, is firmly rooted in a preconception that an egalitarian state between the sexes is not only possible, but eminently desirable. In fact, I would argue that the presumption that an egalitarian state between men and women is ideal is the foundational premise of a Blue Pill social order.
Since I began writing on these topics one thing I’ve experienced that underpins people’s understanding of intersexual dynamics is an established belief that men and women are functional equals – or ideally they ought to be – who exist in a state of disequilibrium. This equalism(my term) is akin to a religious belief, albeit one most people are unaware they believe in. I first encountered this belief when I was in college. Around the same time I discovered that among the most rational of my fellow students and professors in behavioral psychology, most clung to the soulmate myth, I also noticed that most of them held to the hope of an “equal partnership” with whomever their ‘soulmate‘ turned out to be. Here I had some very empirical minds who would write thesis papers on human nature according to what we knew about evo-psych, evo-bio, anthropology and sociology, yet they would revert to the Blank Slate hope that ‘people are people‘ and we’d evolved past our innate natures when it came to finding their ‘One‘.
The idea that humans have ‘evolved beyond’ our animal natures is the lynchpin in the modern belief of the Blank Slate.
What we know as the Blank Slate, as a concept, evolved from the Enlightenment era idea of Tabula Rasa. Originally it was Aristotle who came coined the term, then it passed through the Stoics, then other notable minds of antiquity, but the root of what it has become today began in the Enlightenment era with John Locke.
On paper it’s a very ennobling idea. All people are born with the same intellectual (and later spiritual) potential; we’re all the same except for what society, environment and circumstance writes on the slate that is our intellect and personality. The object of this essay isn’t to give you a history lesson, but if you’re really interested in the development of how we got to our default, equalist, concept of the Blank Slate I’ll refer you to Steven Pinker’s great book The Blank Slate.
From the time of the Enlightenment the concept of the Blank Slate has been embedded into our core cultural beliefs about human nature. It dovetails very nicely into the concept of freewill and it also satisfies the of hopefulness human beings need to combat the determinism that might lead to nihilism. It’s exactly this human need for hope that makes the Blank Slate so appealing. People who hold a belief in the Blank Slate take it for granted to the point it becomes an ego-investment, and internalized thoroughly, it becomes the subconscious point from which people begin when it comes to understanding human nature. So, challenging the validity of whether human’s have innate, evolved, aspects of their natures – and their influences having a bearing on our decisions – borders on attacking their religion or who they are as a person.
From a Red Pill perspective, proposing that men and women are different physically and mentally, and that we’re subject to evolved influences as a result of these differences, is also sacrilege. The Blank Slate ideal is what defines every aspect of what Blue Pill conditioning would have men and women believe about intersexual relations and gender ‘equality’. In fact, as James Damore found firsthand, the Village forbids even the discussion of questioning the Blank Slate. The religion of the Blank Slate is also the state-approved religion, and this has implications in social realms that go well beyond intersexual dynamics.
With the rise of feminism and a feminine-primary social order, social adherence to the Blank Slate ideal became vital to the survival of feminism’s power base. Once the modern research and understanding of human beings’ evolved nature became unignorable the social institutions founded on the Blank Slate were challenged. Today, Red Pill awareness in men is one of those challenges.
A Blue Pill, equalist, mindset doesn’t coexist well with empirical evidence that shows men and women are more different than alike on fundamental levels. Today’s Blank Slate is, as Dr. Pinker describes, a ‘modern denial of human nature‘. The Blank Slate belief set is codependent on Social Constructionism. The idea is that we are all just empty vessels that a nebulous ‘society’ builds through media, culture, school, religion, family, etc. And while all of these outside influences certainly mold us, by necessity the Blank Slate ignores the import of our mental ‘firmware‘ – the innate proclivities that come standard in males and females.
The Human System
I use the term “evolved mental firmware” a lot in my writing. I look at it like this; we have the hardware that is our biological reality, a firmware that is our in-born, evolved proclivities (and the psychological aspects of how men and women’s hardware affects it) and the software that accounts for the social programming we learn from our environments and circumstances. From the perspective of my theory on perceptive processes (Instinct, Emotion & Reason) our firmware influences all three of these processes.
Blank Slate equalism would condition us to believe that our biology (hardware) is insignificant, our firmware is non-existent or inconsequential, and our programming (social learning) is the only thing that makes us what we are. If this sounds like progressivist boilerplate you’re not too far off. Modern concepts of social justice use exactly this social constructionism to justify their positions on a great many issues – and especially gender issues.
However, it’s a mistake to think the Blank Slate is a religion only for leftists and feminists. Equalism is the starting point for the beliefs of many well-meaning Blue Pill conservatives too. Feminism depends on egalitarian ideals setting the intersexual ‘Frame‘ for selling its ideology.
“If only men would cooperate and help smash the Patriarchy we could live in an ideal state of egalitarian equalism.”
The cover story of a ‘push for equality’ all depends on the Blank Slate notion that men and women are functional equals and all this inequality is the result of social doctrines (and plenty of evil men). If it’s all about social constructionism then all that’s needed is to change everyones’ programming and thus an idealized gender neutral world ought to be possible.
Male feminists, Mens Rights Activists and Masculinity Apologist organizations all have this in common – they buy into the Blank Slate and the feminist lie that gender equality is an achievable goal based on it. Most of them don’t realize they’re carrying feminist water in their egalitarian beliefs. They just believe in the hope of an “equal partnership” in their marriages and ignore or demonize the influence our evolved firmware exerts in themselves and their wives. So even when they accept intersexual differences and the influence of our firmware, the next defense of the Blank Slate is moralism.
Moralism for Rationalists
The Blank Slate is a lie, but it’s a lie that’s pregnant with hope. Men and women are different; and our differences are too significant to ignore. But even when the Blank Slate is effectively challenged and our evolved natures are acknowledged, the next rationale is that, if we’re only moral enough, intelligent enough, or “evolved” enough, we ought to ideally be able to effect the ideals of the Blank Slate above our base natures. The appeal to rising or evolving above the influences of our evolved natures is always the path of the moralist and the intellectual. Shouldn’t we strive for Equality? Would an equal state between the sexes not be a good thing? If we were good enough, and exercising our powerful freewill, men and women should be able to be more equitable, right?
The question isn’t whether we can overcome our evolved natures – we do this all the time actually – but whether we should strive for the egalitarian ideal. In the most egalitarian societies on the planet human being still opt for “traditional” (conventional) gender roles. Given the freedom to believe in a Blank Slate ideal and choose their roles in an egalitarian social order (or its best approximation) men and women still prefer the roles we’re supposed to believe are so constraining for us. The roles we’re supposed to believe are foisted on us by social constructionism.
I would argue that much of the gender conflicts we experience today are the result of force-fitting men and women into an egalitarian ideal with the expectation that our evolved (or designed) proclivities are ‘unnatural’ creations of a nebulous society. We’re told that gender is not binary and it’s really a social construct, yet we still need hormone therapy to alter the biochemistry of children to help them ‘transition’ to another binary gender.
I find it kind of ironic that a mindset, a social force and a belief system that would otherwise call for a natural balanced harmony in life is the most disharmonious with respect to a natural evolved order among men and women. The conclusion I come to then is that promulgating the Blank Slate social religion is more about power dynamics than a real push for an equalist harmony.
In 2019, after decades of advancements in the cognitive sciences, neurological study, anthropology, sociology, etc. we can lay the Blank Slate to rest, but so much of our social and intersexual understanding of human nature (or even the denial of it) is dependent on it being an ideal to strive for.
When I make an unflattering observation of women’s nature the first response from conditioned men and women is to firing back with some equal-but opposite-reaction. Our natural, human inclination is to look for symmetry and balance in things. The default belief is to think that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, or to distract from the observation by making value judgements.
Well, men do it too, only worse.
Deal with the plank in your own eye before you pluck the mote from mine.
If it’s true for one, there’s an opposite truth for another.
The reflexive need for a symmetrical balance – even when there is none – is a human default. ‘Men and women are different’ is a radical statement in this era, not the least of which because it contradicts the Blank Slate religion that persists in spite of itself. When people ask me whether I believe men and women are equals and I answer ‘no’, they look as if I pulled the wings from a butterfly. I believe men and women are complements to each other and we’re better together than apart, but we are not equals. We are different, with differing motives and strategies that are part of who we are. We could achieve a far more harmonious social state by accepting and embracing these differences.
Fortune cookie, non-comital internet “wisdom” like this abounds on Twitter and in the self-improvement sphere today.
I read a lot of these rationales from women and male allies whenever a guy makes a general, empirical, but unflattering, point about the nature of women. Even casual observations or questions about this nature are met with subjective answers that put the blame of asking back on the guy. There must be something wrong with you for even making mention of it.
As I mentioned in my last post, there’s a kind of ‘talking past’ one another when it comes to believers vs. empiricists. Notice that all of these common dismissals are based on value judgements. The nature of the conversation between these mindsets begins in the misunderstanding that both are focusing on a mutual goal.
People resort to denial when recognizing that the truth would destroy something they hold dear. In the case of a cheating partner, denial lets you avoid acknowledging evidence of your own humiliation. Short of catching a spouse in bed with your best friend, evidence of infidelity is usually ambiguous. It’s motivated skepticism. You’re more skeptical of things you don’t want to believe and demand a higher level of proof.
Denial is unconscious, or it wouldn’t work: if you know you’re closing your eyes to the truth, some part of you knows what the truth is and denial can’t perform its protective function.
One thing we all struggle to protect is a positive self-image. The more important the aspect of your self-image that’s challenged by the truth, the more likely you are to go into a state of denial. If you have a strong sense of self-worth and competence your self-image can take hits but remain largely intact; if you’re beset by self-doubt (a hallmark of self-righteous Beta thinking), however, any acknowledgment of failure can be devastating and any admission of error painful to the point of being unthinkable. Self-justification and denial arise from the dissonance between believing you’re competent, and making a mistake, which clashes with that image.
The ideology of personal responsibility is the Swiss army knife of subjectivist rationalization. “Extreme Ownership” is a lot like the “just be yourself” non-response people will give you when they don’t know what to tell you about your lack of Game. It sounds like wisdom, but it’s really based on the presumption of knowing a guy must always find fault in himself before any other consideration. Guys rarely struggle with overconfidence, but tell him the solution to his problems lies in him self-deprecating more and that he can get behind.
In this subjectivism there are no outside variables. There is no intentional maliciousness from others, or extenuating circumstances, only how you react to them and what you did to bring them on yourself. All the blame for anyone’s bad condition rests on the shoulders of the individual:
Your life is fucked up? Your fault.
Your Game/relationships suck? Your fault for tolerating it.
You think women are one way – a way counter to the popular norm? You’re just meeting the ‘wrong kind of women’.
Again, value judgements replace objectivity. If your life sucks it’s real easy to presume the individual is the cause of the suck. And any analysis (even the desire to objectively analyze) of other people’s will, motives or outside circumstance is always an excuse; a redirection away from owning the suck yourself.
Maybe that person was the ‘right‘ one all along, you just were the wrong one for her? Self-doubt is a key element in subjectivism.
Your Game/relationships suck? Your fault for tolerating it. You think women are one way – a way counter to the popular norm? You’re just meeting the ‘wrong kind of women’. Again, value judgements replace objectivity. There’s no such thing as a general truth when your grasp of human nature is that, subjectively, everyone is a random unknowable snowflake. “People are people, man. Everybody’s different. If you think different it’s because you’re judgmental.“
The popularity of ‘Success Porn‘ online today depends heavily on this self-evincing subjective ownership. It’s far easier to solve a person’s problems if he’s the source of his problems rather than the particulars of his circumstances. The Tony Robbins of the world have raised this to an art form. Owning your faults locks in very well with stoicism, but too much stoicism and you cancel out the emotional high that you need in an adherent to get pumped on your motivational speaking.
Guys who ‘go black pill‘ are the opposite extreme of this. Black Pill as a movement focuses on objective realities to such an extreme degree that nihilism defines it. But that nihilism is also a necessary part of subjectivism.
It gets a lot wrong in the problem solving department, but what Black Pill gets right is their understanding of the shifting of causality. For Success Porn gurus, optimism is an easy sell in an age of negativity. So maintaining the idea of an endemic negativity in the culture is a necessary part of the ‘rise above it‘ mantra. You don’t have to actually defeat anyone else today, you have to defeat the worst parts of yourself. It’s much easier when there’s no real external opposition and it’s just you against you.
All the salesmen of the “feel-good pill” have an ironclad rationale; people are the source of their own misery. ‘Own your problems’ is a go-to answer because it gets the salesman off the hook with respect to actually analyzing and solving anyone’s problems.
This is the counselor’s dilemma: Most people’s internal struggles are personal to them and require a personal understanding and interaction on the part of the counselor. That kind of personal investment is tough to do when you’ve got 10,000 people in a concert hall all begging for you to solve their unique set of problems. Thus, finding a way to convince the majority of a commonality in their personal problems with those of everyone else is necessary. Personalized subjectivism fills this need for the believers, but it has to have a common root that everyone can commiserate around – me against me.
Subjectivism, social constructionism and blank-slate egalitarianism are the -isms that have defined western cultures and their thinking for the past 60 years. Now, I know the tone of all this seems like I’m picking on Trad-Cons or the new wave of Manosphere Moralism today, but it’s also a mistake not to highlight just how this subjectivism pervades the ideologies of the Village, social justice, intersectional feminism and religion steeped in the Feminine Imperative today.
One common theme I see in researching how feminism and the Feminine Imperative are assimilating mainstream religions is where almost all of them end up – this same, all-is-one subjectivist belief set. In every instance of the Feminine Imperative assuming control of a faith, that faith is converted to unitarian tolerance, then acceptance, of elements that religion was opposed to in its prior iteration. Clear, distinct, articles of faith are replaced with an unconditional doctrine of inclusiveness that homogenizes separate faiths into one global faith based on the ‘cult of love’.
In my upcoming book, Religion, I detail this ‘cult of love’ and it’s end-goal of creating a unitary world-faith that’s dependent on the Feminine Imperative defining it. For now, its enough to consider that this push towards a one-world religion will find its foundation in the same subjectivism we’re seeing clash with objectivism in the ‘sphere today.
I’ve been meaning to do a post about this for a while now, and given the present ideological schism in the Manosphere (still searching for a better term) I thought reposting this would be relevant to the discussion. This is from an old Purple Pill Debate thread on Reddit. I was made aware of it by Rian Stone about a year ago and I’ve returned to it often enough in commentary and Tweets that I felt it deserved a post and a discussion of its own here.
Now, I understand that thedefinitions of what constitutes a red pill understanding versus a blue pill outlook are always going to be subjective to the individual guy. The “red pill” and the “blue pill” have become so distorted recently that as terms, as loose brands, they’ve become effectively meaningless. Anyone who reads my work or has heard me opine about these terms already grasps what my own interpretations are. However, far too many disingenuous actors have entered this community of late and all have an interest in shifting those definitions to cater to their pet ideology. In fact, converting the Red Pill to be interpreted as an ideology rather than a praxeology (or a heuristic if you prefer) founded in an objective understanding of intersexual dynamics has been their primary goal.
All this redefining has done is (deliberately) confuse the purpose of understanding gender interrelations by inserting ideology into the mix. Often this is an effort at reprioritizing how interpreting intersexual dynamics ought to discussed. Most often it’s a conflict of the ‘correct’ way of approaching the interpreting of observable facts & data. So moralists believe in one goal for the interpretation while objectivists see another. The result is we talk past one another. Then one disavows the other, goes off to broadcast what he thinks is truth – according to their origination premise – and builds a brand based on that redefinition of “the red pill” according to them.
You’ll get a better understanding here (emphasis my own):
Red Pill and Blue Pill people end up talking past each other because they cannot even agree on what they should be debating about. The sets of values they hold are completely disjointed. They cannot even agree on what a “debate” is, and what the goals of a “debate” are.
Red Pill people generally bring the following assumptions to a debate:
They believe that there is exactly one reality, and that truth is what accurately describes that reality. The better a statement describes reality, the more true it is. They are factual absolutists.
They believe that whether something is “good” or “bad” is a matter of opinion, and that all systems of morality are things societies invented to get a result, and it is therefore pointless to argue about whether something is “evil” or not, instead of about what effect it has. They are moral relativists.
They believe that the goal of a debate is to establish what the facts are, and how this knowledge can be used to control outcomes. They argue about what is true.
They believe that debates are a cooperative process between two or more people who have the shared goal of achieving a more accurate picture of absolute reality, and that, while people may stick vehemently to their positions, they can also reverse them on a dime if new information comes to light, because the only real attachment is to the truth. They believe debates occur between theories, not people. Thus questioning someone’s character is off-limits, because it is irrelevant.
Blue Pill people generally bring the following assumptions to a debate:
They believe that reality is subjective, and what is “true” is simply a matter of who you ask. What is called “truth” is simply a codification of someone’s perspective, and it is therefore pointless to argue about what is “true“. They are factual relativists.
They believe that there is exactly one set of moral laws, which human beings have gradually discovered in a historical climb towards ethical perfection (or degeneration). Certain people are ethically better or worse based not only on what they do, but also on what they believe. They believe that different ethical systems exist, but they can be ranked from ethically worst to ethically best based on a sort of meta-ethics whereby they can be tested for degree of compliance with the one absolute set of ethics that underlies reality. They are moral absolutists.
They believe that the goal of debate is to establish what is morally better, and what everyone should do. They argue about what is right.
They believe that debates are a competitive process between two people, who each have the goal of establishing their views about right and wrong by attaining a state of moral ascendancy over the other person. They believe that anyone who changes their views is revealing a flaw in their moral character (because their previous views were not morally correct), and must thereafter relinquish the moral high ground and submit their actions to the moral judgement of others (usually the person who won the debate). They believe debates occur between people, not ideas, for the precise purpose of establishing who should be allowed to set standards for the behavior of others (because they are morally superior). Thus, questioning someone’s character is not only relevant, it’s the whole point.
This is why Blue Pill adherents think “those Red Pill guys” are “misogynists” or bad people. Because they cannot imagine an analysis that does not occur for the purposes of judgement, much less one that doesn’t include any idea about what people “should” do.
This is why the Red Pill insists that the Blue Pill are willfully blind. Because, to them, anyone who doesn’t admit the truth must be unable to perceive it. They cannot imagine anyone not caring what the truth is.
This is why Blue Pillers keep thinking that Red Pillers are trying to restore the Dark Ages. They cannot imagine any group with shared views not having one moral agenda that they wish everyone to abide by.
This is why Red Pillers think that Blue Pill adherents must be hopelessly bad at understanding human social structures. They cannot imagine anyone not wanting to do things in the most effective possible way.
Here’s an example of this kind of misunderstanding in action:
Here we see an interaction between RP and BP regarding age of consent laws.
RP’s primary objective to propose an algorithm for making legal judgements about consent or lack of it, which he believes will best serve what the majority of people desire to see these laws do. He looks at the issue as an engineering problem, and he proposes a solution.
BP’s objective is to establish whether or RP is a bad person. If he can be gotten to agree to a statement which BP thinks of as diagnostic of “evilness”, then the debate can be won, and anything RP says can thereafter be dismissed as originating from an evil person.
BP says “All this so you can justify getting laid.”. BP thinks RP is trying to “justify” something according a set of moral rules, because to BP, every act has a moral valance, and anyone who wishes to do anything must at least be ready with a moral excuse.
RP has been arguing, meanwhile, about which metaphors best illustrate human social and mating dynamics. RP does not address the issue of right or wrong at all, and seems to believe BP is engaging with him on factual level.
Thus RP and BP cannot even agree on what the argument is about.
RP thinks right and wrong are a matter of opinion, and BP doesn’t care what the facts are.
I imagine the discussion thread for this post is going to get pretty heated. However, I want to point out that a lot of what I’m seeing in the Manosphere at present is rooted in factual relativists attempting to establish what the “Red Pill” ought to mean to people, and thereby redefining it to suit their goals of couching any objective discussion in moralist terms.
What’s happening is that factual relativists want the Red Pill to be about what’s right or wrong according to their ideological bent. So they will bend over backwards to reinterpret what is actually an objectivist exploration of intersexual dynamics to fit their ‘interpretive headspace’ – or they will simply write off the Red Pill wholesale and say “Those Red Pill guys are just bitter, negative, misogynists” without a hint of their own irony.
Example: The realities of Hypergamy aren’t right or wrong, they simply are. In any of my numerous essays outlining Hypergamy, and for all my attempts to dispel the misconceptions about it, I’ve never once stated that Hypergamy was ‘evil‘ or that women’s nature is evil because of it. It’s simply a reproductive strategy that manifests per the realities of women’s nature and needs.
The factual relativists responds to this in two ways: First, is the nihilistic approach (Black Pill if you must) – Hypergamy conflicts with their personal interests and ideological bent. Thus, Hypergamy, or women’s inability (or choice) to police it for their betterment, or humanity’s betterment are evil. Second, is the approbation approach – “You talk about Hypergamy too much (or at all), it must be because you’re fundamentally a bad, damaged, morally compromised person.”
A debate never really occurs between these headspaces because the goals of the debate are never the same. Now, add to all this that factual relativists are appropriating the ‘red pill’ as their own “Brand of Me” and building revenue streams around their ideological interpretation of its original intent. Any counter argument proffered by factual absolutists is not only a challenge to their ego-investments, it’s also interpreted as an attack on their livelihoods.
It’s my opinion that red pill awareness needs to remain fundamentally apolitical, non-racial and non-religious because the moment the Red Pill is associated with any social or religious movement, you co-brand it with an ideology, and the validity of it will be written off along with any preconceptions associated with that specific ideology.
Furthermore, any co-branding will still be violently disowned by whatever ideology it’s paired with because the Feminine Imperative has already co-opted and trumps the fundaments of that ideology. The fundamental truth is that the manosphere, pro-masculine thought, Red Pill awareness or its issues are an entity of its own.
Unfortunately, this is where we are at today in the modern ‘Manosphere‘. The reason I’m attacked with accusations of enforcing some ideological purity tests for the Red Pill is directly attributable to the mindset of the factual relativists; whose livelihoods are now dependent upon the redefinition of whatever the Hell the “Red Pill” means to them or should mean to those they broadcast it to.
So, I become a ‘Cult Leader‘ because their minds can only think in terms of ideology. Again, the factual relativist never leaves the ideological Frame in which they believe the debate takes place.
A consistent criticism I’ve received over the years is that the Red Pill is so negative. Why cant the Manosphere just sweeten up? Its truth is definable and self-evident, but why can’t Rollo adjust the ‘tone’? I’ve lived and written through several waves of newcomers to the ‘sphere and in each generation the same want for a ‘kinder, gentler’ Red Pill is always there. The idea is that if you just changed the delivery of the truth it would somehow make it more palatable to a wider audience.
Who’s It For?
I want reiterate here that it’s never been my goal to write for an audience. Whether it’s writing on this blog, my books or when I’m discussing things on various podcasts my only imperative is to convey the information I think is relevant to the topic of intersexual dynamics. My obligation is to picking apart and considering as close as I can get to an objective truth. And I don’t do this by way of some sense of duty to objectivism – it’s just the way that’s always seemed most efficient to me to come to a usable truth. It’s pragmatism on my part, not dedication.
Yes, I know, true objectivism is impossible for human beings. Yes, I also know that even biases we’re unaware of will subconsciously influence our rationality. Spare me the classicist intellectualism, I’ve been at this long enough to have considered all that. But the fact that objectivism is never perfect doesn’t mean we should strive for our best attempt at it – nor replace it with moralism.
I don’t write for an audience. I write about what I see going on around me and I connect dots. Writers today, of all medias, will tell you to “give your readers what they want” if you want to be successful. Writing about uncomfortable truths that rattle people’s cages is counterintuitive to the write-for-success mindset. If you want to sell books, if you want to monetize blogs, if you want to get more channel subscribers you gotta give the folks what they want, right? That’s how most churches work today; cater the message to the congregation if you want the tithe checks to stay consistent.
And always write to appeal to emotions too. People don’t enjoy thinking, but boy do they ever love feeling something – particularly in an age when female emotiveness is the order of the day.
When I began writing regularly it was in a forum environment. We hashed out many ideas and weren’t afraid to get ugly. It was a necessary part of the process. There was no pretense of appealing to an audience for money, traffic or readership. The sole focus was debating the truth about a dynamic. That debate was always a hot kitchen, but the results were something greater than the process.
As a result my essays carried over a lot of the heat from the SoSuave days kitchen. I wasn’t writing to impress readers or increase traffic to the blog it was just to document and codify the objective truths I came to. There is no monetization and the comment threads have never been moderated (besides spam and trolls). Almost 8 years later my charter is still about the same objective debate.
The drawback to this commitment to objective truth is that it rarely appeals to emotionalism. No, it’s not the ‘tone‘ or the feel of the information being related that’s so off-putting – it’s the information itself, and how it makes one feel, that determines whether it’s perceived as positive or negative.
Feels Before Reals
Most people who are still plugged into the proverbial Matrix are living in a world that prioritizes feels before reals. The purpose of consuming really anything is to judge it by how it makes us feel; and especially so in an era defined by the female experience. Emotion always comes before reason in women’s natural, unlearned, interpretive processes. This is also extended to men who’ve been conditioned to prioritize emotions before reason. And this is exacerbated by their need to be better feelers, better emoters, than those other ‘typical’ guys if they want an emotional woman to ever bear their children at some point.
Anything that prioritizes reason before emotion will always run the risk of being perceived as negative. Even if the sum of the information is positive, the fact that you had to come to the truth by way of reason rather than emotion will make it negative.
If you used your head instead of your heart to figure something out, in Girl-World, at best it’s bad form. At worst, you’re a negative pessimists or a cynic.
Usually those designations are reserved for the men who make a habit of using reason to the exception of emotion to relate an objective truth that’s unflattering to the feminine. Again, it’s the information, not the tone, that’s offensive to the emotions-first prioritization. To the Blue Pill mind, any strong idea that conflicts with this prioritization is an affront to the personal investments they’ve made in ideas that it challenges.
So, understand, I’m not a negative person by nature. I’m an artist. Few people know that my 2nd degree is a BFA. I draw, I paint, I play four instruments, I used to do Shakespearean stage acting – I’ve even done children’s theater.
I fully embrace the emotional as a necessary part of the human experience – Hell, half of Red Pill awareness is acknowledging and confronting emotions. I’m certainly not a cynic or a pessimist. Anyone thinking so usually hasn’t read my work. I’m very much an optimist when it comes to creating a New Hope for men in a Red Pill paradigm. I don’t just stop at clinical realism and leave men hanging. I don’t subscribe to the ennui of the “Black Pill” – I’m certainly not absolutist or a determinist.
However, I also have a commitment and an obligation to objective truth in everything I write. Trust me, there are times I wish I could use my wife and my marriage as a ‘proof of concept’ example of how a Red Pill aware guy can make a relationship work today. But the objective truth would make me look like a charlatan if I tried to convince a man that marriage was at all a good idea in its present state.
That’s tough for me. I have had to hold back from posting pictures of my beautiful wife and daughter to prove something to truly negative naysayers. Ladies, you want me to write something positive about women? I love my wife dearly. She’s been a net benefit to my life for all of 23 years now. My daughter is a model. She’s feminine to a fault and she’s smart and ambitious. I would die for her, gladly.
But I never use my personal life as an example in my work for their protection, but also because I don’t want to lead men astray by in anyway implying that what I have is possible for them. And I’ve had men tell me that, “I want what you have.”
But I don’t make value calls. I consider information, I try to interpret it, and I present it in such a way that it’s useful to men where they’re at. I want to give you tools to use to build your own life, not mine.
Truth & Hustle
Admire the Hustle. We read this a lot in the Manosphere among the guys who fancy themselves entrepreneurs. I think one reason critics think the Red Pill is negative is because all they see is the Hustle. The Hustle has a way of becoming the whole point of anything.
I’m an abortion doctor, but I make six figures and I’m the best at what I do. No one will out-work me. Admire the Hustle baby.
When the selling is more important the the product itself, then you have problems. When the truth is less important than the Hustle inevitably our truth becomes the Hustle. There needs to be a balance and that’s getting harder and harder to find now.
We’re at a moment in the Manosphere where the truth is starting to get lost in the Hustle. I’m accused of it, or I’m accused of associating with ‘too much Hustle’. Well-meaning colleagues with too much perception and not enough information are feeling that salesmen care more about the sale than the product.
I hear you.
Let me finish here by reiterating that my obligation to objective truth will always be my motivation for doing anything I put my name on. It always has been. However, I have worked for amazing companies who sold things that people loved and enjoyed only to watch them crumble and die because the sales team assumed control of the ‘product’. The selling became more important than what was being sold.
My books, my blog, my appearances, every aspect of The Rational Male is my art. I craft each essay. It’s what I care about most. I will never allow the truth to be compromised by the Hustle. The Hustle is important, particularly when it’s about disseminating the truth, but it is secondary to the truth – even to the exception of the Hustle. Sometimes the truth doesn’t sell.
This Is Important
We are rapidly entering a time when our ideas will be vilified. Very soon the objective, life-saving, praxeology that is the Red Pill will be used as a label, as a synonym, for negative ideologies that never had anything to do with the Red Pill. And people who are all about the Hustle will gladly abandon the truth they’re selling now if it means the public opinion of it would compromise their Hustle. It’ll be less about what we’re discussing than how influential and how many followers the person we’re discussing it with has.
Others, those who were appropriating the ‘brand’, will throw the Red Pill under the bus to save their own necks. The coming storm is going to test the resolve of people who are all about the Hustle and all about the Red Pill. I know where my obligations lie, they’ve never changed.