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The War on Manhood
The governing logic behind our regime is fear of manly self-assertion.
It is pointless to seek a rationale behind the abuses that our ruling class inflicts upon us daily. The civilized instinct to understand one’s opponent, to get to know why he thinks what he thinks and maybe reach some compromise with him, is nothing more at this point than a wearisome exercise in futility.
Why is COVID-19, which has a 98% survival rate, a threat great enough to bring all human life on earth grinding to a halt, whereas a vaccine against COVID-19 must be yanked from circulation if (much like birth control) it causes clotting in a small number of women? Why is looting a Walmart or shooting a cop a brave cry in the language of the mostly-peaceful unheard, but traipsing through the Capitol in Viking drag is a dangerous insurrection? Why aren’t we even allowed to see the data California uses to justify keeping us on house arrest?
These are pointless questions and it’s stupid to keep asking them. Because, that’s why. Because we win and you lose. Also, shut up.
So, far be it from me to march you tediously through another thinkpiece about “The Left’s Rationale.” But I do think it’s worth noting that many seemingly contradictory acts of predation on the part of our oligarchs suddenly make sense if we understand them as unified by one governing imperative: extinguish manhood everywhere.
Why can’t you shout at sports games, even though you’re already masked and sitting six feet apart? Because that raw release of energy is part of why men like sports, and it just seems like it must be dangerous. Why were so many gyms closed for so long when exercise is one of the best ways to stave off death from COVID? Because gyms are, and always have been, schools of manhood—they are where men go to compare notes on how to be men.
And why must we defund the police in the name of Black Lives, when 81% of black people see plainly that to do so would be a disaster—for them and their communities most of all? Why do pregnant women need not only to be in the army but to have special maternity uniforms? Because the protection of human life and national security by physical force is the height of manhood. Every male role must be made a mockery of and undermined at every turn, even if it makes us less safe and less free.
I’m not suggesting that these principles are always explicit in the minds of the people making these cockamamie decisions. But I do think that the gut instinct of our ruling class is to stifle and frustrate manly self-assertion. They just don’t like it: they find it distasteful, toxic, uncouth, insensitive, and unacceptably risky.
Well, masculinity can be risky and insensitive—it’s also indispensable. The middle part of the soul that Plato called thumos, the passionate forcefulness we associate with both anger and courage, the mediator between principled belief and the will to follow through: no civilization can accomplish anything great without a healthy dose of that thumos, that virtù, coursing through its veins. In our degraded and materialist age, we have settled on calling this manly life force “T” for testosterone. But it’s more than a chemical. It’s a spiritual property. And the low-T dweebs who run our country hate it so, so much.
I think I know why. In Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there’s a brief episode in which a drunken lout named Boggs is shot by an iron-willed aristocrat named Colonel Sherburn. The townsfolk band together with the intent of lynching Sherburn. But he turns on them and, in one of the book’s best speeches, stops them cold. “The pitifulest thing out is a mob;” says Sherburn, “that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it, is beneath pitifulness.”
The Marxists who burn buildings on our city streets, the sheep who mouth woke slogans at the front of classrooms and force their students to repeat them, the feckless Party hacks who put a desiccated old coot in the White House: they are a mob without any man at the head of it. What they cannot stand is the idea that some virtuous few might plant their feet down—might simply have the stones to refuse their mandates, to laugh in the face of their sickly lies, to shrug off every baseless accusation and simpering piety they invent to shut us up. And so of course, that is exactly what we must do.