Today’s Hustle Economy is measured in market shares of ‘influence‘. How many Followers do you have? How many subs (subscribers)? Comments? Likes? Views? What’s your engagement like? In an age when anyone can have a free digital soapbox to prosthelytize from our egos become our brand. So, when you attack an idea you also attack the brand; and when you attack the brand you also attack the ego whose identity is the brand.
Our livelihoods, our wellbeing, are vitally connected to with a Brand of Me which in turn is intimately connected to the self. The separation between man and brand becomes more difficult when his revenue stream(s) is dependent upon man and brand being synonymous. That brand’s value is also quantified and qualified by the platforms (soapbox) it’s based on. Lose followers, lose viewers, lose money and lose self. As a result you get pathological hustlers grifting on other pathological hustlers by selling them access to exposure, influence and and insurance for their very precarious-but-lucrative brand of me. In turn, this “insurance” is a buffer against losing an equally precarious sense of self.
From 2000 to about 2015 organizing live events and conventions was a fairly lucrative proposition in the burgeoning Hustle Economy. Being a speaker at a TED talk held a certain gravitas for the Brand of Me who was invited to relate his very important, self-affirming ideas to a rapt audience. Today, not so much. The TEDx series saw to it that anyone could pay-to-play and thus debased any legitimacy the original TEDs started with. I remember the pay-to-play grift that destroyed the late 80s’ metal scene in Hollywood. Show promoters would buy out a classic venue like Gazzari’s or the Troubadour for a night and then talk “up-and-coming bands” into playing the gigs. All they had to do was sell enough tickets to cover their portion of whatever the promoter had paid to reserve the venue. Whether the bands decided to sell their tickets at a profit or a loss was irrelevant to the promoters – they just had to cover the rent on the club for that night. Most promoters were making their money on marking up that rent, and a percentage of the alcohol sales they’d arrange with club owners. It didn’t matter if the bands were great or they sucked, just that they covered the rent with ticket sales – usually to friends and family to come watch them play on the same stage that Van Halen and Ratt got their start on. The promoters weren’t selling actual talent, they were selling the fantasy of playing on historic stages in L.A. to guys who believed they were good enough to play them. By 1989 pay-to-play was killing what was once a vibrant music scene that naturally culled the talentless bands from the great ones.
Hustle Economy conventions today are following the same pay-to-play graft. It makes little difference what the niché is – masterminds, hotseats, summits, etc. – conventions have become Brand Showcases replete with (gumroad) book signings and the hot girl “Booth Candy” to prove proof-of-concept (i.e. Receipts). Convention promoters care less about the messages of the personalities who speak at their events and more about the gravitas it brings to their event (which is also part of their own Brand of Me). And the loudest most extroverted (pathological) brands of that year always draw attention.
What you get then is a competition of escalation. Punch the biggest guy in the face as soon as you arrive in the prison yard or you’ll end up as his bitch. If you want to make a name for yourself as a niché marketer (especially as a noob in the Manosphere) you have to punch up. Call the biggest name in that sphere a charlatan or a hack and some of his followers might defect to your cult out of spite. Grifters sell other grifters programs and templates to ensure their brand’s value, which increasingly is tied to their own sense of personal worth. Mastermind sessions and “hot seat” workshops become psychotherapy for the Hustle Economy “Guru“.
Insurance of personal brand value will be big business in this decade. It will be sold using the same perception marketing that Instagram influencers use. It will be based on the same insecurities the Hustler sells his products with. Image is all – the Hustler becomes the hustled – but image is fleeting. Even mediocre minds can figure out how to jump on a current trend. Copy & paste a viral tag, aligning with something trending; all that is easy to do, but most niché marketeers lack the talent and insight to understand (much less foresee) a zeitgeist. Good hustlers borrow, great hustlers steal, but the true “ideas guys” are exceptionally rare in the Hustle Economy. Innovators and New Thinkers are the carrion that draws the Brand of Me vultures out in the open.
Hustle Economy carpet baggers live a very insecure and unpredictable existence. They are not innovators – they are fast followers. Not only is their sense of self fused to their brand, but their brand’s success is their metric of self-esteem. Their (often tenuous) mental health is measured in Followers, subscribers, views, comments, likes, engagement, analytics and clicks-per-minute (CPM). It’s never quality of ideas that define value; it’s only numbers. Money in the payment processor or number of email addresses on your list. It’s never ultimate causes / effects, it’s only proximate causality. It’s the number of trees over the health of the forest. But the numbers don’t lie, so the new teachers give the Lost Boys cigarettes, candy bars and cheap booze – or their emotionally proximate equivalents (hope). It’s what they really want, it’s what makes you money and it’s what your ego-brand’s long term security needs. Besides, if you don’t give the temporary salve for their miserable lives another Influencer has already copy & pasted your tags to lap you on the Hustle Economy racetrack.
Insecurity in self, brand, livelihood, sustainable ‘lifestyle creep’, even family relations are what define the Hustle Economy today. Most personal brands rarely last more than two years – at least in their initial incarnation. As such, there is a constant need for belief pivots and “brand makeovers” for influencers. Reinventing one’s “self” becomes a vital part of existence for the career grifter. And there’s a lot of money waiting the clever guy who figures out how to cater to this pivoting need. Those unable to adapt, or those who miss the cues of the rapidly changing zeitgeist, will become extinct. Only true innovators – the Ideas Guys – have any kind of real staying power, and that’s ifthey can roll with the social changes; if they can put off the ennui of seeing their ideas cannibalized and bastardized by the next wave of hustlers who will plagiarize their work with impunity.
I came across the term Lost Boys in 2016. It’s attributed to the fan base that Dr. Jordan Peterson was generating around that time, but I had heard similar references to “drop out” young men as early as 2014. The fem-stream media was concerned that these 18-29 year old men were deliberately thwarting women’s mating/life strategies by not preparing themselves for adulthood. Women were concerned that fewer young men were going to be suitably ignorant-yet-dutiful husband material by the time they were 30. Meanwhile, TradCon media (predictably) made this crisis of masculinity all about men “shirking their responsibilities” from a want to “perpetuate their adolescence”. As expected, men assuming more masculine responsibility was the cure to solving this social malaise. Both sides of the ideological spectrum have never had a real interest in discerning the root causes for the now two generations of Lost Boys. To do so would challenge both ideology’s base presumptions about innate sex differences, feminism, gynocentrism and female empowerment stretching back to the sexual revolution. Hannah Rosen called it the End of Men in The Atlantic back in 2012. The Kidults and Peter Pan Men were an easily shamed novelty. Breitbart called them the Drop Out Generation and we’re similarly dismissed as “lazy kids not preparing themselves for being fathers and husbands.” Even I threw my hat in the ring when I penned Are You Experienced.
In 2021 we are now two generations into the Lost Boys. Just like the latter half of the Millennials, now Gen Z young men are becoming the next wave of guys trying to find purpose in a life that has no need of them – or they’re endlessly derided for not living up to an old order standard. As Rian Stone has said, they are sheep in search of a shepherd – students with no teacher – young men who are effectively rudderless in life. This is where the Red Pill, Manosphere, male space or whatever we’re calling it now is stepping in to become the teachers these young men have lacked. But what are we actually teaching the Lost Boys? From what I see today, most “coaches” haven’t done much more than profit by them. Today, they are more lost now than when Dr. Peterson identified them. What will be the long-term human, societal, cost of two generations of young men guided, taught and/or hustled into, or out of, embracing conventional masculinity?
The Blind Lead the Blinder
“Who’s the more foolish, the Blue Pill chump or the chumps who follow him?”
If you’ve read my latest book The Rational Male, Religion you’ll already be familiar with the concept of The Brand of Me. Today, everyone is their own brand. From the frustrated soccer mom, to the 12-year-old girl interacting with “friends” she’s never met, to OnlyFans girls, to niche marketing Gurus, everyone you know is actively engaged in some form of personal brand management. Even your grandmother on FaceBook is her own PR agent. Likewise, masculinity/positivity gurus are their own personal brands. I’m emphasizing ‘are’ here because we live our own brand identity as our personal identity in our day to day lives now.
It’s becoming exceedingly difficult to separate the ‘man‘ from his brand today. In the Hustle Economy, managing brand identity, is managing livelihood, is managing personal identity. Everyone is their brand. In the early 2000’s it was the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian who were the pioneers of being famous for being famous. Neither had (has) any real exceptional talent that made them celebrities; they simple were famous. There are other examples, but most of that “fame” was generated via careful personal brand management in a time when social media was nothing like it is today. Then, it took a lot more work and money to curate fame for being famous. Now, in the new order, it’s never been easier to create an easily believable perceptions of fame – even if it’s just a low degree of it.
It’s all sizzle and no steak. E-Celebrity is now reality show entertainment that virtually anyone, any demographic, can create for themselves. In my 2014 essay Hysteria I detailed the social experiment of a guy who created his own instant celebrity:
Basically, the guy had a few friends follow him around the mall, one guy filming him and the other two guys (I can’t tell if any of his hired guns were women) acting as his “groupies” or entourage. He goes around identifying himself as “Thomas Elliot” when people, mostly women, ask him his name. Eventually, he begins to pile up admiring and gawking female attention, which only snowballs into more female attention. Apparently, not one of these starstruck chicks thought to question if Thomas Elliot was a real celebrity. That’s the power of preselection and fame; so powerful, it can disengage a woman’s neural logic circuitry.
Remember, the linked videos were produced in 2012. This experiment required a film team, at least 2-3 collaborators to give the guy some legitimacy. You don’t need this today. In fact you don’t even need great post-production or computer skills now. All that’s required to create a similar video is a smart phone and Instagram. Social proof, preselection, status, clout, prestige, indignation and fame have never been easier to manufacture for average people than in the first 20 years of the 21st century.
Never have more people (and mostly women) been so rewarded for so little real work, talent, virtuoso, education or creativity. And rewarded with money, adulation, admiration, “respectability“, love, attention and importance. Today, anyone can become influential – an influencer. Potentially, anyone can get paid better and enjoy more status than the career they may have went to years of college to get. As a result, the value of a formal real education is debased.
But, who cares about college or education anyway, right? Even STEM fields and the hard sciences have been infiltrated by Wokezis. Academia is rife with socialists and Marxism at every level now. Post-modernism has owned the humanities and the arts since at least the 1960s if not the late 1800s. True education has become a grift too. Most universities are just very expensive diploma mills that supply you with the paperwork necessary to allow you to be considered for an entry-level job – usually determined by an underpaid Karen in the HR department; likely with less “education” than what you paid for just to get an audience with her. Now, is it any wonder that education and “preparing oneself for life and responsibilities” is effectively worthless to the Lost Boys generation?
‘Cause I’m a twenty-first century digital boy I don’t know how to live but I got a lot of toys My daddy’s a lazy middle-class intellectual My mommy’s on Valium, so ineffectual Ain’t life a mystery, yeah?
Bad Religion, 21st Century Digital Boy, 1990
Damn, that song was prophetic. If an education’s purpose is to allow the graduate access to the job (in the working world) he believes will profit him best, and he’d have better results in the Hustle Economy, why bother with the investment of time and student debt? If a young woman can make a fortune from the minimum investment needed to be an OnlyFans influencer (sex worker) why bother to study nursing? If a guy can make more money and be more attractive as a “life coach” for far less investment than a degree in a suspicious major like psychology what’s the incentive to be educated?
The motive is profit and the process is profit. In the New Order we’ve become hyper-efficient at commodifying both motive and process. This has led to a mistrust, if not disdain, of education, science (as a method), wisdom and genuine creative inspiration.
“If it doesn’t lead to my first million dollars what’s the point of doing it?” “Fuck it, I’ll just be a stripper OnlyFans girl or entrepreneur.”
As a result the Hustle Economy tends to attract pathological personalities. As most of my readers know, crazy tends to draw more crazy into its orbit. Pathological doesn’t always mean criminally insane. Guys like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk had/have pathological reality distortion fields about them. And while they are what we’d excuse as eccentric, maybe asocial, they weren’t destructive malcontents. Unfortunately, they’re the rarer exceptions. Get rich quick, get fit quick, get clout quick, get love, adoration, props, respectability, attention, concern, empathy/sympathy, and commiseration instantly, with the least amount of money and personal investment is an irresistible pull to pathological personalities. In any other era, these guys would have to be supremely creative and driven to get up and over the loser status barrier to become more than they started as. And only then after a constant learning from defeat and setbacks. For today’s TL;DR generation, if it can’t be delivered instantaneously why else would you bother doing something?
“Only the insane have the strength to prosper. Only those who prosper truly judge what is sane.”
For the past 12 years I’ve been asked some variation of this question:
“Rollo, why should a man bother with women at all today? All women today, yes allwomen, are vain, self-important, narcissistic, hubristic and entitled. What average man would ever want to have anything to do with the average woman? By the time a girl reaches her late teens she’s already conditioned to expect a High-Value Man is what she’s due in life. By the time she’s in her early 30s she still hasn’t had the delusions of her entitlements dispelled for her – no matter what the realities of her situation might hold up in her face. What’s the average guy supposed to do about the average woman?”
Although I’ve been writing about intersexual dynamics for 20 years now, there’s definitely been a sea change in those dynamics since the rise of social media. While the last two generations of women have been the test experiments, it’s not just a case of “Bro, women’s egos and assessments of their own SMV are blown out of all proportion because of Instagram.” Men’s expectations (really anticipation) of average women’s overblown egos is also part of the experiment. We’ve come to a point where men don’t expect anything else from women than an aggrandized sense of female self. The average guy has little recourse but to accept this ego-appeasement and adapt to a sexual marketplace defined by women’s hubris; or by choice, or necessity, (usually necessity) they simply opt out of that marketplace – or they convince themselves they do. In fact, much of what passes for dating now is really a form of personal brand management that has to contend with the rigors of a global sexual marketplace. No one really “dates” in this market. Without realizing it they simply look for strategic co-branding opportunities that align with the changing perception of sociosexual value in global society.
How will the images of me dating this guy increase my brand engagement?
How will the pics and video of him appearing in my feed impact my future opportunities to get with a hotter guy?
How many Simps (commodified Beta orbiters) funding my lifestyle will abandon my brand as a result?
While these (and more) may not be conscious concerns for women “dating” today, the sociosexual context of this brand management is pervasive. It is the acknowledged environment in which men and women have play the game.
In a Gynocentric global social order the sexual marketplace is by women, for women’s short term and long term mating strategies. Men are simply the replaceable accessories needed to optimize those strategies,…or to be used as convenient foils when the consequences of those strategies become unignorable. So, it’s hardly surprising then that we’re moving into the second generation of Lost Boys. Young men with no real purposeful direction in life, less creative drive and a generation-defining sense of existential ennui.
And what would be their incentive to prompt them to creativity or purpose? Certainly not the long-term reward of an adoring woman or of sexual satisfaction born of her genuine desire. Those rewards are reserved for the High Value Men all women (young and old) believe are their due. Anything less is just brand management now. In an age when girls are raised on the ideal that no woman ought ever to do anything for the express pleasure of a man, doing something pleasurable for one becomes an act of rebellion against the Strong Independent Woman character they’re raised to emulate. Thus, any guy she’s motivated to go against her Fempowerment programming for had better be extraordinarily, confirmedly, high value. To paraphrase Patrice ‘O Neil, women want a man who’s better looking, smarter, stronger, more dominant, educated, taller and richer than they are, yet still wants him to think of her as his equal – or his Queen. He’s the ideal Superman who still defers to her socially-mandated authority (because he respects women) despite being her superior in every way she measures high-value. Oh, and he still has to continually qualify for her intimate approval even if he initially passes the average woman’s filters. Otherwise she might begin to feel as if she settled on him.
One thing that our new order communication society has made unignorable is that the truths we used to build the previous social orders on aren’t exactly what we believed them to be. In some cases those presumptions were useful faiths in truths we expected others to mutually accept; others were pretty-but-useful lies. Regardless, we still cling to romantic ideals that were tenable in previous eras despite the growing (easily accessible) research, data and empirical evidence that puts the lie to that romanticism. What we’re left with is a conflict of old order hope, faith, romance, emotionalism and the lives shaped by these influences versus the often harsh, empirical, objective truths about human nature that are unignorable in this age. Reason itself doesn’t destroy comforting faith, but it does take the magic out of faith by explaining it. Faith confirmed by reason only reinforces faith, but it can never go back to being a faith again once it’s explained. This is a hard pill to swallow for generations that have made a faith in emotionalism the guiding principle that defines their personalities, entitlements and expectations of the opposite sex. And this is to say nothing about the current global social order founded on emotionalism (Feels Before Reals).
Long ago I wrote an essay titled The True Romantics where I asserted that it was men, not women, who are the true romantics – of this age and those past. Men are innate idealists. This idealism prompts us to the performance we use to establish dominance and competence hierarchies amongst ourselves, but it also incentivizes us to the romanticism we hope will solve our reproductive problem. I’ve said in the past that this idealism is both our greatest strength and our most exploitable weakness. For the past two generations this idealism has been a liability for most men. When you make a man necessitous it’s his idealism that makes him hopeful in hopelessness. It’s idealism that makes him a suicidal nihilist or a pollyanna optimist. It’s idealism that keeps him going to work each day in the hopes that his dedication to a proscribed rule-set he believes everyone else is (or should) be playing by will earn him respectability. It’s idealism that makes him a Black Pill Doomer when he can’t reconcile his old Blue Pill conditioned hopes and goals with the Red Pill aware, new order data confirmed for him every day on social media or is just a Google search away. And it’s idealism that makes him hate the women who will never make those pleasant Blue Pill fictions a reality, while he hates the men who brought him to that despondency even more.
Both sexes are gravely, irreversibly, disillusioned today. Both would like to return to some idyllic time where women could swoon for a dashing high-value man who would become a husband they could admire (and be hot for) – and men could find a suitable mate via an understandable and realizable performance, acceptable responsibility, and actionable authority. But an underlying blind faith in the Blank Slate, Social Constructionism, Emotionalism and Subjectivism have made all this impossible. Progressivism, feminism, gynocentrism, (Wokeism) and all of the fallacies that built them, are really old order faiths founded on previously accepted presumptions – presumptions that are destroyed by new, easily accessed, empirical data every day. The more empirical truth (or even the questions that come from it) the more desperate the old social order becomes in maintaining the frameworks its power relies on to sustain it. Red Pill awareness of intersexual dynamics is one such catalyst that is disrupting those old order, Blue Pill, false ideals. It exposes a game we all enjoyed playing up until technology made public what the winners and losers had to do to be so. Women want to play the game, they don’t want to be told they’re playing it is an old maxim I’ve used for over a decade. Now we can apply this to the entirety of our globalized social order; except being told we’re all playing an old game is unavoidable. It makes playing it seem contrived, but it also calls into question why we’d ever build our lives around the contrivance.
Women and men are being dragged from this comfortable game based on emotionalism, false potentials of a Blank Slate and social constructivism. They are being forced to take the Red Pill and cross an abyss very few will have any idea how to deal with. We need new paradigms of thinking, and new ways of inter-relating with each other that align with an empirical understanding of our natures. This will require an acceptance of Red Pill awareness, and innovation and creativity that is sorely lacking in these generations.
After 3 years the time has finally arrived. I pushed the button on the official publication of The Rational Male – Religion on January 4th, 2021. I know, I know, it’s been a long time, and try as I might I think the blog suffered a bit for it. The good news is I’ll be getting back to my writing here on the regular again, but I will admit this project consumed me more than I had ever anticipated. The process of writing a book of this caliber taught me a lot of valuable lessons, not just as a writer, but as a researcher and a thinker (if you’ll grant me that). I bit off way too much for me to chew in a lot of ways when I embarked on this project. I’m proud to say I had the commitment to chew it all eventually, but writing a book more or less from whole cloth was something I was less prepared for than my previous 3 books. So, for this Return to the Blog post I’m going to tell you about the book itself, my approach to it, the process of researching and developing it, and what I learned along the way.
The Rational Male – Religion has been available on Amazon (print) and Kindle for a little over 2 weeks now. It’s been the #1 New Release in the Science and Religion category since I published it, and it’s been #1 through #6 in some of the Religious subcategories as well. This is a big compliment to me since my intent from the beginning was to open the Red Pill up to an audience that wasn’t likely to be savvy of the Manosphere. Thus far the dozen or so reviews have all been 5 star, but moreover the comments have been overwhelmingly positive – to the point that some are calling it my best work since the first book. Flattering as that is, it’s the result of a degree of planning, research, discussion and attention to detail that I’ve learned is needed to have anyone outside the ‘sphere take Red Pill praxeology seriously. It’s one thing to discuss the often unflattering truths about women’s nature and the latent purposes of mating strategies; it’s quite another to assert that our personal beliefs and religious faiths are intertwined with them. I knew from the start that I’d be navigating a minefield of readers’ preconceptions, and ego-investments in them. This was my challenge: convey the Red Pill praxeology of intersexual dynamics in the context of personal beliefs while being mindful that the past four generations have had Blue Pill conditioning inform a lot of these beliefs. I also had to bear in mind that the convictions, values and faiths being informed by Blue Pill conditioning aren’t just limited to those with a belief in God.
This was my prime directive in writing Religion. I wasn’t about to sugarcoat or dance around the tough, ego-investment challenging aspects of the Red Pill. I have an obligation to objective truth, but I also didn’t want the book to become a “Rollo bashes religion in this one” effort. The most common hesitation I get from people curious about this 400 page book is “Hey man, I’m an Atheist, religion is just a bullshit cope, should I just skip this one?” Likewise, I have Believers ask me, “Is this book just about bashing Christianity and traditional values?” The answer to both is ‘No’. In fact from the Introduction I anticipated this response. It’s why I wrote the book actually. The Rational Male – Religion is an exploration of human intersexual dynamics and their influence on spiritual belief, religion and social values. Empiricists and Believers alike will get a lot from this book. It is a Red Pill look under the hood at the roots of men and women’s “need to believe” in love, God and the metaphysical to solve our mating imperatives. I don’t try to convert anyone to religion, nor do I try to convince you to abandon your beliefs. As always, it’s about connecting dots and seeing correlations.
Religion is structured differently than any of my previous books. The Rational Male was originally a collection of what I believe are the most imperative Red Pill truths for men to understand in this new era of information. These were drawn from my past essays on this blog, which were prompted by long discussion threads on the SoSuave and other forum posts from as far back as 2002. I then reworked and curated these essays into what is now the Bible of the Red Pill. For Religion I had to take a new approach. Although I drew upon some prior essays, the majority of this book I wrote from scratch. Dalrock of course was a major influence throughout the book, but even for the older ideas it was necessary to rewrite the concepts both to modernize them for the coming decade and to make them accessible to a reader who may not be familiar with the Red Pill we take for granted now. This meant that I had to start from a point of explaining Red Pill root concepts in the beginning chapters and build chapter by chapter to the greater concepts. The overarching theme of the book is the need to recognize that we are now 20 years into a New Age of Enlightenment brought about by the internet, social media and an accessibility to information unprecedented in human history. I make a distinction between old order thinking versus a new order understanding that challenges (and confirms) those old order belief sets. This is the first hurdle most unfamiliar readers will have to consider. Most old order thinking is what constitutes our beliefs, convictions and values, but the data age (for better or worse) access to information (accurate or not) is challenging these ego-investments. Whether or not you think these challenges confirm your beliefs isn’t the point; the point is that this new order information is forcing the past 4 generations – and future generations – to reassess how we’ll progress as a globalized society by accepting new truths or clinging to old order thinking.
The book builds chapter by chapter up to the most salient parts in the final chapters. This is by design. I needed old and new readers to digest the way I come to the bigger concepts of the book before I get to them. This book is by far the most meticulously researched and sources-cited book I’ve ever written. In my prior books and on this blog I’m accused of not having peer-reviewed, har data to back up my assertions. Most of this is just disingenuous filibustering by lazy critics who don’t have the time to click on the links I put in my essays. However, I wasn’t going to have that in this book. I footnote every source I used in the research of this book. If you’re wondering why a book like this took 3 years to produce, a good portion of that time was spent reading and archiving the research. I should add that this aspect of the book is something I don’t see any writers in this sphere doing to such a degree. This process taught me to be very detail conscious about what I was writing. Most people don’t really care about the sources you cite, they just want to know you did look something up. In the TL;DR generation no one will take the time to read through the 20 page, peer-reviewed, meta-analysis they require from you to prove your assertion. They just find one study that reinforces their beliefs, link it, and dismiss you. So, my intent in citing sources in this book was more in the interests of thoroughness and less about trying to change anyones mind about their beliefs.
The biggest change you’ll note in this book is my writing style. I’ve learned to kill my darlings and only rarely pepper in a $10 word when I thought it served. This came from my reading Writing without Bullshit by Josh Bernoff. This book made me realize the importance of presenting my ideas with clarity. The cardinal rule of writing is this; never waste the reader’s time. In the past I’ve used some complex terms and, lets just say long-form, sentence structures to get an idea across. Too many people thought that I was trying to sound intelligent by using words they had to look up afterwards, but I’ve always thought that the English language was too rich to be limited to basic ‘caveman’ words. I don’t write for the 8th grade reading level most journalists are taught to do, however, I realized my ideas were too important not to be accessible to everyone. This book is 400 pages of tight, concise, cohesive writing in a way I really had to retrain myself for. Gone are the superlatives, qualifiers and needless reinforcer adjectives I used to think were useful. I had ample material to use and I knew where I wanted to go with the book from the start, so content wasn’t going to be a problem. The challenge was making it intelligible to all readers, not just the ones who already knew the Red Pill lingo. My purpose then became making the read engaging enough to give readers an Ah-ha! moment about the prior chapter when they got into the following chapter. It became an effort in knowing what to throw out, what to keep and how to simplify saying the same thing in fewer words. As a result, my outlines and my drafts are littered with dead darlings that I wouldn’t have thought twice about keeping in my prior books.
I feel like I’m a better writer for it now. Most of my essays average between 1,800 and 2,800 words. My process usually starts with a hand written outline of concepts I want to hit on and I go from there. Some of these outlines can get really complex as I move from point to point, which create further concepts sometimes. I’ve learned that I don’t necessarily need to cram all of the outline into one essay or one chapter. While I’ve always crafted each post on this blog, I recognize the need for brevity now. The Red Pill praxeology and intersexual dynamics span many subfields, and while I try to be comprehensive in relating the data that makes up Red Pill concepts, at some point I have to trust my readers to get it. Either that, or I have to link what I can and let the bigger ideas carry the concepts into future posts. My challenge now is balancing being thorough with being concise – and all while considering what counterarguments will arise.
I finally feel like an author now. To be an author requires a certain amount of conceit. You read that right; in order to be an author you’ve got to be at least somewhat conceited. Not necessarily in a bad way, but you’ve got to make some presumptions about yourself before you can get past the sticking point of actually typing out ideas on a blank page. The first presumption is the hardest. You have to ask yourself, “Do I actually think I’m so important, worldly or wise that anyone should take me seriously enough to care about what I have to say?” Even if you’re just blogging about something you know well enough, or you just like the topic enough, you have to get past the the hesitation in thinking other people who know better, or are bigger fans than yourself about something you love might be considered better authorities or authors than you.
I don’t really believe in fear being the biggest stumbling block for would-be writers. Most people aren’t fearful of failure or ridicule when it comes to becoming an author. Fear is a stupidly common theme for motivational speakers. Fear is the easiest rationale to target for the ‘go getters’ trying to build a brand on positivity. Fear just sounds like something people would deal with. Athletes, artists writers, everyone’s fearful of failure, right? Wrong. It’s about hesitation in thinking anyone should take you seriously. Then hesitation turns into procrastination and would-be authors turn into pundits or critics, or else they endlessly pontificate about how wrong other authors are and how they’ll correct them in the book they’ll eventually write,…eventually. If you think would-be authors are fearful of failure just look at how easily people blather on for multi-Tweet threads on Twitter, 280 characters at a time. The truth is, damn near anyone can write, but few people are actually authors.
Getting past that hesitation is becoming much easier in the internet age. First it was user groups, then discussion forums, then blogging was the thing that got us past the hesitation. We had to presume that someone, somewhere, might actually read our thoughts and care about them. While social media and Twitter destroyed our critical thinking and insight about what we were writing, it did help to kill any hesitation about presuming someone might think we were unqualified to have an opinion on anything. Fan fiction was one of the first genres of writing to evolve along with the internet. 50 Shades of Grey was literally the work of an amateur fan fiction writer who took the time to become an actual author. Her book was roundly criticized as fan pablum by critics, but you couldn’t argue with the numbers. At some stage a writer has to say screw it and just go for broke. Readers and critics be damned, when we become and author we write a book we want to read.
Once you get past the hesitation, and trot your ideas out in the open it comes down to honing your craft. The craft of writing is the next stumbling block to becoming an author. Anyone can write Tweet or a blog post and be entertaining. It takes an author to hold a reader’s attention for 300 pages. Most writers today are little more than word processors. The self-published “authors” of today were the cubicle jockeys of yesterday writing fan fiction or political screeds from their workstations on company time when they got bored. Just the self-appointed title of author has a romance to it. Few writers today actually know the craft of writing or storytelling, much less a comprehensive knowledge of what they’re relating most of the time. Even learned professors with lots of letters in their degree’s titles who find a new popularity in the Hustle Economy really have a grasp of how to write well.
I’ve often wonder when I could start thinking of myself as a real author. One book? Three books? How many pages do those ‘books’ need to have for me to be considered legitimate? Hemingway’s, Old Man and the Sea is 128 pages long. Hmm,…so, not pages. What about word count? 27,000 for that book. Nope, not word count. Damn, what makes a book a book and a writer an author? Inspiration? Sincerity? Drive, moxie, perseverance? Probably all of those and a few more adjectives I can muster, but when should a guy start calling himself an author? The best answer I can come to is when he’s honest with himself. When you’re honest with yourself about the reasons why you write, why you feel you need to write, when you have mental conversations with yourself about what you’re going to write, all without the pretense of how anyone will misinterpret your words or any thought to what your grandchildren will think about you in the future – that’s when you’re an author. When you’ve filled your 7th little notebook to remember ideas in because your sick of forgetting the brilliant things that came to you at 2am when you woke up to take a piss in the middle of the night, that’s when you’re an author. When you write to yourself and not for your readers, that’s when you’re an author. When you sit down at your iMac with no inspiration and write for 4 hours anyway, then you proof read the brilliant, inspired, words that came to you during the last 30 minutes, that’s when you’re an author.
That’s all very prosaic, but being an author needs to be defined now more than ever. It’s easy to write — it’s a calling to be an author. Lord knows, I never planned to be an author. The Rational Male wasn’t published until I was 45 years old. It took a lifetime to come to the knowledge and craft necessary to write it. Few people actually read books today. They’d rather listen to them, or they skim through them, watch the movie or just read the outline to form an opinion of the ideas or material. I’ve called this the TL;DR Generation – Too Long; Didn’t Read. Feed me the salient points so I can see if you’re full of shit, call you on it or give you praise, and then move on to the next post. Actually writing something that stops a reader in their tracks is the hallmark of an author. Writing something that inspires genuine conversation, debate or writing a story that a reader can lose themselves in is the craft of an author. Writing something a reader actually internalizes, especially in this generation, is a rare, practiced, gift of an author. Being an author is difficult today. The distractions are endless. It’s not enough to just write ideas and relate them with skill, you have to be engaging and accessible to your readers in ways that authors from past eras never imagined. This is why most writers never become authors. Writers lose themselves in the distractions. They get lost in building identities, brands and images of themselves they believe their fans expect of them. Authors write in spite of themselves. Authors are so enveloped in their ideas and craft that they don’t care if they come off as assholes for ignoring distractions. Writers get off on the image of being writers, authors are too busy exploring and relating ideas.
Back in January of this year I published a bit from my upcoming 4th book in The New Age of Enlightenment. As I get closer to publication the current events of 2020 have made me consider a new dynamic in regard to how, in an unprecedented way, the new power of cancel culture has given rise to what I’ve called the Hustle Economy.
How many YouTube content producers rely on their channel as a ’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.
I write this at a time when several prominent names in the Manosphere (and other spheres) with large subscriber bases are having their channels erased by YouTube/Google. In some cases this erasure is a complete deletion from mainstream social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even WordPress). I’m not a fortuneteller, but I did predict this happening as far back as my State of the Manosphereaddress in 2018 and as recently as a defunct convention I spoke at back in May of 2019. I said a storm was coming. I saw then that a mainstream Village would need convenient foils, easy targets, to defeat in the 2020 election cycle; and the “Red Pill” – as subjectively defined by every online ideologue-grifter – would make the perfect, easy-to-hate, villains to bring down to prove a point. Purging long-overdue “hate accounts” would seem like a necessary and needed step to prove ideological virtue to the ‘woke’ masses.
Well, that storm is upon us now, and the people who convinced themselves they were entrepreneurs, and a much more profitable side hustle was their true calling in life, are looking around with a bit of nervous hesitancy now. Even the guys with the temerity to start an online business in the wake of the Corona Virus eliminating their jobs are now realizing they may not be as anti-fragile as they thought. Cancel Culture isn’t just about getting ideological enemies fired from their day jobs. It’s about total personal assassination, and stealing that person’s bread in the form of denying them any future ability to exist online, much less generate revenue, is the real objective. Right now, the Cancelled are just faceless randoms online losing jobs and tenured university staff who got too comfortable in the belief that they could never be fired. But in the coming months the Cancelled are going to look like an army of dispossessed with nothing to lose by hunting down the ones responsible for canceling them.
An Economy of Hustlers
The Hustle Economy came about because the barriers to entry into that economy have never been lower. For roughly 7-8 years anyone with a laptop, webcam and a basic understanding of social media and WordPress could join the hustle revolution of online “influencers“. Who wouldn’t want to make more money than the shitty 9-5 corporate cubicle job they spent 4 years in college to get into? Is it any wonder that for a decade the various ‘spheres have been dissuading young men from attending college, to get worthless degrees, in order to get into one of these jobs? Why bother with the “leftist indoctrination” we call education when you can make six figures in a couple of years online if you learn how to leverage SEO, engagement, grow an email list and pitch offers and merch? Hell, you can pretend to be a dog online and make more money than that job you thought assuming all that student debt for would be so rewarding.
The Hustle Economy was a natural progression from the Gig Economy. A lot of companies understood the sense in ‘retaining’ at-home employees, or project/contract workers. No benefits, next to no overhead, productivity was up to the freelancer completing the tasks on time (instead of monitoring hourlies’ productivity in a cube farm) and all for about the same, if not less, compensation. Don’t like your gig? Fine, just fire your “employer” and go back to your service advertising site to pick up a new one. For being a hired gun or contractual employee working from home most smart pros saw the freedom of the Hustle Economy almost immediately. Cut the middleman out and have the “jobs” come to you in the form of a potentially worldwide clientele.
Around 2014 the online Coaching/Guru hustle really began to develop into a template that anyone with a bit of social media savvy could follow. ‘Smart’ men and women quit their dead-end cubicle jobs or rearranged their Gig Economy jobs, for the more lucrative positivity hustle dollars that only required the small investment of a laptop, webcam and a willingness to parrot the scripts of Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill or Norman Vincent Peale. To be fair, this new Hustle Economy isn’t unique to the Manosphere; the Lost Boys Generation – this generation of directionless young men – niche market is just one among many lucrative markets today. Health & Fitness, “Entrepreneurs”, dating/relationship/marriage, personal empowerment, motivational positivity, the Law of Attraction, these are just a sampling of what I’ve called the Success Porn industry in the past. And new order technology makes all the old order grifts seem novel to a generation that’s never experienced them before. This Hustle Economy online template is cross-cultural and largely globalized now. Religion, psychology, motivation, business, philosophy, fitness, medicine/health, dating/relationship, marriage, child-rearing, or even just catering to the red meat needs of others’ desire for affirmation in their own despondency; all of these and more are now the spheres of the Hustle Economy.
Old Order Mastery vs. New Order Hustle
In 2015 I had a guy approach me at the Man in Demand conference who wanted to thank me for my work and The Rational Male. He said he’d come to reading it at the suggestion of his (male) therapist while he was recovering from a nasty divorce. This was the first time I had ever been told that a legitimate clinical psychologist had been using my book as a part of their therapy practice. The significance of this was profound for me then, but I don’t think I fully appreciated it until I had more men relate a similar beginning to reading my work in 2017 up to today. Here were real psychologists with doctorate degrees using The Rational Male as a reference in their practices. It was at this time I began to pay more attention to doctors and scholars and legitimate business pros who were aligning themselves with the various influencers of the new order spheres.
Psychologists are the best example of this because of the diversity of fields they can involve themselves in. Take a guy like Gad Saad, easily one of my favorite evolutionary psychology researchers. He’s a bonafide doctor and evo-psych scientist who’s found a new celebrity in various Hustle Economy sub-spheres on Twitter and elsewhere. His YouTube channel is pushing 180K subs and he managed to leverage himself as an e-personality. But Gad is one of the few legitimate psychologists to successfully transition to the new order hustle. More psychologists struggle with it because they still cling to an old order thinking that their pre-New Enlightenment educations were founded upon. They may still hold private clinical practices that they developed some 10-20 years ago. That’s the way you did it as a therapist in the old order. In fact, one reason I never pursued a postgraduate in behavioral psychology was because the only way to make any “real money” was to get a doctorate and start a practice. Masters degrees would get a you a job as a social worker.
Today, legitimate psychologists must actively compete in the Hustle Economy to make the hard work, time and money they invested in their degrees pay off as well as an online self-help Guru or Coach‘s hustle; some of whom have had their own practice open online with a 99 page “e-book” available filled with positivity pablum lifted from The Secret, going for as long as they’ve been in school. When WebMD first launched in the late 2000s doctors everywhere had to contend with their patients diagnosing themselves with whatever disorder they believed their symptoms indicated according to what they read on the site. The age of the self-educator had begun in this regard and online “clinicians“, both certified and holistic, saw the opportunity to profit from the symptomatic fears of people about their health. Real doctors had to either fight a losing battle of reeducating and allaying the fears of increasingly more people’s health concerns one by one, or find their own angle in the Hustle Economy and leverage their title and credentials to add validity to it. Today, an honorific is respected in name, but it’s by no means the path to earning potential – at least in the short term.
I occasionally encounter the critic who will claim I don’t site sources or my own work is speculative or just opinion. Wherever possible I do in fact cite sources, stats and research, but in the new order information age quoting stats or correlating studies has become an exercise in “dueling research”. And that’s assuming a critic has the time and interest enough to consider what you’re citing and counter it with their own. If you’re diligent enough it’s likely you can counter even the most basic of scientific presumptions with some research, TED talk or meta-study data. The truth is most people simply don’t develop their personal belief sets based on the data of multiple peer-reviewed, independently funded, experimental research PDFs someone links them online. They usually go with experience, emotional resonance and what “sounds right” according to how they were raised. If anything, rationality and critical thinking – the kind of mental presence sorely needed in higher education – is distrusted above all else in the Hustle Economy.
So, I can certainly see the frustration most old order career professionals have with the online template success models of their new order competitors. Add to this that they are both vying for the very sparse attention of the same customers – all of whom are little experts themselves – and you begin to see the practicality of, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. Thus far I’ve used psychology as the illustration, but this Hustle Economy dynamic applies to all old order businesses, academia, government systems, and religion. Religion in particular (as I’m writing about) was, and is, one of the first spheres to eagerly embrace the Hustle Economy. With everyone online being a little expert and everyone having some relative platform on which to prove it, religion, spirituality and magical thinking were easily monetized and template-formed. And their profitability is made all the better when one sphere’s template (religion) complements or amplifies another (government, psychology, fitness, sex, etc.).
Garbage In, Garbage Out
Kicking and screaming will the old order thinkers be dragged into the Hustle Economy of this new age of digital enlightenment. Back in the late 2000s I can remember being told that to make ends meet a family needed two incomes and a side hustle. Now that side hustle is the main thing. The old plan of going to 4, maybe 8 years, of college to get a good job that paid well is hard to sell in the age of hustles that can pay far more than a formal degree does. Don’t think for a moment I’m in any way celebrating this development. A good education should be its own reward. Being well versed in a variety of areas, and understanding critical thinking and how to learn should be a priority for well-educated people. But even our institutions of higher learning, our esteemed universities, must also contend with the Hustle Economy. As COVID forces us to stay home, and classes, and jobs, are moved online, people are only now realizing just how unprepared their schools and employers are to deal with the new order way of learning and working. They’re beginning to see how many hours of their lives they waste in pointless formalities and commutes, but more so, they see how antiquated the old order systems they relied upon for security for so long really are. And in turn, those universities and corporation must now enter the Hustle Economy themselves if they want to survive.
This is the essence of the Red Pill. While I believe that Red Pill ought to only be used for intersexual dynamics, I do see the parallels in transitioning from a reliance on old order thinking to seeing how deceptively false the premises of that thinking are in light of new order, readily accessible, information today. We are presently in a state of radical transition – made all the worse because most of the last 4 generations neither realize it nor understand how to deal with it – and the old systems based on old presumptions are failing right before our eyes. These generations are ill prepared because all they know, all they’ve been taught, are failed, failing or outmoded ideas of the old order.
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.