“You have to be a man before you can be gentleman.” John Wayne
To be frugal but not have the capacity for opulence isn’t admirable. To be timid, peaceful, and soft, and to not have the capacity to be dangerous, isn’t commendable.
To be good but to not have the ability to be barbaric is useless.
… If you’re a man.
The Man Show Episode 1: The Barbarian
Our society is soft. And it’s easy, almost expected, to become the same.
As problems like survival are lost, we invent new problems to focus on. When we no longer have to train defend and protect and even conquer, because statistically in the west you’re unlikely to have to fight to defend your loved ones even though it will always be a reality, we don’t.
Instead, we manufacture problems, we create big issues, though at our core we know they aren’t truly worth worrying about.
We attach too much meaning to things like feelings and take it away from things like accomplishment.
We’re in a period of perception, where truth isn’t truth and reality isn’t actually real, but the weight of how someone feels takes precedence over fact.
As society softens, as it actively tries to soften everyone, the strong, the men, the protectors and providers find themselves lost, out of touch with a world that is out of touch with itself and with reality.
It’s never been more unclear how to be a man, how to be a good man, and how to be good at being a man, and the forces that create this uncertainty are diabolical and persistent.
And so, we’ve largely turned our back on the masculine virtues that created great nations here in the west, ignoring the freedom and personal liberty they gave to humanity while the rest of the world lacked personal property and the rights we too often take for granted.
We come from strength. Strength won the west and it created liberty and freedom.
The average fella feels disconnected. He’s been partially raised by an education system that teaches men that they’re naturally oppressive rather than good and just. They teach that strength and power are things to fear and suppress rather than virtues we use to oppose evil and to protect good and innocence.
You’re an outcast in many school systems, in much of the media, and definitely online if you’re a hunter, meanwhile every form of diet kills, they’re just a few steps removed from what they kill and often ignorant of just how much they kill.
You’re seen as lower class if you lay bricks or build houses with your hands or fix the plumbing in a house for your line of work, regardless if you make more money and carry less debt than your ‘more educated counterparts’.
We – and I don’t mean you or I but society in a broad scope – look down upon the very men who built our great nations.
They’re often much more valuable than the CEO, the broker, the teacher or professor, because they’re necessary.
We’re seeing this, of course, on the feminine side as well, as motherhood and femininity is all but scoffed at by the ignorant and intolerant modern feminist who in no way truly appreciates that which is feminine at all.
But, we’re here to talk about the fellas…
We know that society is cyclical. Tough men create good times which produce soft men who create tough times and then men are once again forced to develop the toughness that will bring back the good times.
This cycle we’re in, however, seems different.
As the education system from grade school to college and the media lambaste men and masculine values, it seems like there’s something deeper attacking the virtues that success demands.
The winner – insanely enough, and this view is held by a very vocal minority – is the biggest victim. Whomever can be a part of the greatest amount of subjectively victimized groups, no matter how delusional their victimhood may be, wins. They’re given praise and status. The biggest victim is their John Wayne or Ronald Reagan or Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, or Warren Buffett.
And they dominate the education system from grade school to university, where young minds are moulded not to seek self-reliance, success, wealth, power, meaning and purpose, but to be a part of the collective, to think like everyone else, to pity certain groups based on their skin tone or sex or geography.
They have – or had – actual laws that pushed certain groups they see as victims ahead of other groups they see as oppressors, or at the very least, not victims.
They do not want prosperity. They want shared mediocrity, poverty, and failure, so long as they don’t have to work and earn and actually produce something like the carpenters and plumbers and mechanics they look down upon do.
And while they want shared mediocrity or equality of outcome, they think they’re intellectually superior, while dawning and using and depending on items and gadgets that capitalism created, that men willing to work hard doing work they look down upon, built.
While times are good, maybe the best in history for the most people, as our quality of life has exploded thanks to smart and tough men and women and the capitalistic society that pushes innovation at the greatest pace that humans have ever witnessed, it’s tough to envision our schools and our media once again praising the hard work, toughness, grit, and masculinity that it praised and pushed during the greatest generation, those who were raised in the Great Depression, fought in the Second World War, and brought a relatively young nation to the top of the world in more ways than just a few.
But, who knows.
What I do know is that men need to teach other men to be tough, self-reliant, and strong.
We need fathers to buck the trend of leaving a woman to care for and raise his seeds and to be a staple in the home and the community, to lead by example and by word and ensure that this weakness doesn’t spread, that it’s not only avoided, but beaten and defeated.
And so we have you. You’re a man. You’re after self improvement, why else would you tune into a show called the Man Show. You’re not soft, but maybe you’re not as strong as you’d like to be – I know I’m not. You’re not timid or weak, but you want to be even grittier – I know I do.
Before this show goes into earning and winning and living and self-responsibility, we have to start at the beginning, at the base, the foundation, we have to discover what it means to be good at being a man before we can truly move forward and be good men.
This is where we must talk about the strength and power being pushed as dangerous, and see it as it is; great in the right hands, no, necessary in the right hands.
If you’ve never listened to the Jocko Willink Podcast where Jordan Peterson is the guest, you should.
The point is made that good men who are more dangerous and stronger than the evil men in our society who will always use whatever strength they have over the weak to take advantage of them, are necessary.
It’s like the sheepdog who protects the flock from the wolves.
You cannot be ignorant to the existence of wolves. Without the strong protecting the gates the weak and vulnerable cannot live freely and peacefully. The wolves always there, lurking, waiting for a sheep to go astray or for the farmer to take his eye off the flock or for the sheepdog to get distracted. Then they attack.
The more sheepdogs we have, whether they’re strong men who know how to fight or just good men who know how to use a gun, the better off the rest of society are.
And as a man it’s your damn duty to be that sheepdog.
That’s the foundation of masculinity.
Before you can be kind and soft, before you can be a gentleman, you must be dangerous, and you are not born dangerous, or at least you’re not born dangerous ENOUGH.
True, effective danger demands training, it demands practice.
You have to practice being tough and dangerous in the gym, in the woods, in the mountains, and in the ring or on the mats.
About 12 years ago or so, after I dropped out of college and stopped playing basketball, I walked into a boxing gym. I wasn’t ‘young’, per se, being in my early twenties when most guys who fight start fighting when they’re still in the single digits, but I was athletic, and I was eager.
I was also naive.
I thought I was a good fighter. I’d been in fights many times before and had done well. The other guy was always beaten and bloodied, but the other guy wasn’t dangerous either.
The first time I ever sparred I got my ass kicked by a guy that weighed 30 pounds less than I did.
He walked out of the ring out of breath because of the sheer volume of punches he landed on my face, and I walked out of the ring with a busted up nose and a few loose teeth.
I was not as dangerous as I thought I was.
Let’s say you’re out with your lady and some other fella mistreats her, maybe he wants to rob her or you both and while you’re tough, while you want to stand up for her and you, you can’t. You don’t know how to.
You are, essentially, ineffective.
It’s a man’s duty to not only defend his family, but to be standing after it’s done. To die trying isn’t good enough. They need your protection and they need you around afterward.
So while the rest of society tells you to be soft and kind, good, to be a gentleman, don’t build your foundation on sand. Build it on stone. On rock. On the necessary barbarism that men need to be men.
It’s here that I highlight one of the most truest and factual statements that has ever been uttered, and it’s one given to us by Theodore Roosevelt:
“Over-sentimentality, over-softness, in fact washiness and mushiness are the great dangers of this age and of this people. Unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.” –Theodore Roosevelt
Again, unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.
This statement alone gives me hope.
Good strong men have been fighting this pussification since this society was born.
Theodore Roosevelt saw the danger in over-softness. He saw how it would lead to the erosion of the virtues that kept us free and independent individuals with a stake in our nation and how it was led, how it either thrived or decayed.
So, the marching orders for this, the first episode of the Man Show, is to not get soft. Do not be a pussy. Do not be lazy. Be dangerous, tough, strong, and able to endure the crap that life inevitably throws your way.
Don’t do this by wishing to be tough or dangerous, actually practice it.
- Join a gym and put your body through the pain of working out at least 4 times a week.
- Second, join some combat gym, be it boxing, kickboxing, BJJ, or some other form of fighting. Learn how to be dangerous.
- Buy a gun, and get good at using it. To hate this step is to be ignorant of the wolves. They’re out there. They have guns. The police take about 15 minutes to respond, to arrive to the crime scene. Do not be ignorant. The best form of self-defense is to be armed, and that actually especially goes for women. Get a gun. Get good at using it. Don’t ever give your enemy an advantage because of some soft ideology you abide by.
- Learn how to survive. Get into the woods. Hike, hunt, shoot, fish. Learn how to fix things in your house. Learn not to depend on others for things you do not know how to do. Learn how to do them. Then do them.
- Do things that you do not want to do. Things that you struggle to do. Wake up earlier. Work harder. Develop more discipline. Rid yourself of addictions. Eat healthier. Take care of yourself for those who will depend on you for years to come. If you don’t feel like doing something, this is a sign that you have to do it.
- Change your view on setbacks of any sense. See them all as good, as challenges that you can now solve, confront like a man, and win. Nothing, no setback, no atrocity, is bad in your life unless you choose to see it as such.
Warriors, men, see challenges. Weaklings see curses.
And, well, in the words of Jocko Willink, whose podcast you have to subscribe to, get after it.
If you want to learn how to become more disciplined, to use your time well, to think disciplined thoughts and to stay on the correct path, living as the correct man, please, accept the gift of my new audiobook, the Lost Art of Discipline, that you can get for free at thelostartofdiscipline.com.