Jun 17, 2013

Virtue, Masculinity, and the Manosphere [by Prince Jonathan]

  There are few political concepts which truly anger me; whether this is to my pride or to my shame depends upon your point of view. The definition of all morality in terms of freedom angers me, attempts to paint history in modern light irritate me, serious errors about the basic teachings of the Church frustrate me, and the increasing hypersexualization of the culture fills me with rage. But what angers me the most is the alpha-male/beta-male concept, and the Manosphere discussing it. This concept arouses my particular ire because it is one of those subtle, seductive evils which builds lies on top of truth so that they cannot be spotted, and has thereby succeeded in insinuating itself into many bastions of Catholicism and Traditionalism. 
   These corrupted centres of Tradition are known collectively as the Manosphere, and I consider them one of the greatest threats to authentic Traditionalism and Catholic Culture. Even leaving out those groups which embody promiscuity and nihilism, the Manosphere is still critically flawed in thought. It is barbaric, modern, and doomed to failure; although perhaps not through any fault of its own. It is flawed because its foundation is flawed, and that foundation is the alpha-male/beta-male concept. To sum this concept up: it divides men into two camps, the first, more common group being the betas, passive men who act with neither initiative nor leadership; the second, rarer group being the alphas, who take the lead and move with self-confidence. It goes on to say that since the essence of masculinity is action and women are attracted to men who take the lead, alphas are superior to their beta cousins. Indeed, it is often stated that only alpha men deserve to find love, since only they act as men ought. 
   The Manosphere is built upon this concept, and dedicates itself to cultivating alpha-ness; alphitas, if you will. It attempts to build up this alphitas in its own members and in the Culture as a whole by spreading the word and attacking the passivity of the modern world. It encourages men to take an active role, to date aggressively, to not be afraid to confess love, to not back down from threats, and to comport themselves well. What really makes the alpha-male/beta-male concept frightening and dangerous is the same thing that makes anarchism frightening and dangerous: the fact that it is built upon a core of truth. Passive men really are the majority in our present day. Those who refuse to act in a masculine way and still expect to be treated as men really are dominant in the Culture. 
   It takes only a bit of thought to make it patently obvious where this trend comes from. We live in an anomalous age, and one of the most dangerous anomalies is the ever-increasing passivity forced upon children by the Societal Engine. Passivity is the water that must be swum in in the public school system and the political correctness that it has birthed. Girls have a capacity to resist this, due to their greater innate affinity for passiveness giving them strength to resist its use as a weapon. Boys, on the other hand, have been ruined. Passivity is the antithesis of masculinity, and males have almost no ability to work within passive structures. Thus, authentic manhood is ruined, and has been ruined for generations; with only a scant handful of survivors, and even fewer men lucky enough to avoid the issue entirely. 
  The Manosphere, therefore, is a rebellion against the modern destruction of masculinity; and inasmuch as this is true, it must be praised. The Manosphere is an attempt to take manhood back and fight against the feminization pressing in on all sides in the modern world. It holds as its cause the defence of coming generations from the mistakes of today, and this cause is most laudable. Indeed, it is a cause necessary for the survival of civilization. 
   Why, then, do I hate the Manosphere? Because it has failed! It has made one of the most fundamental moral mistakes, and in doing so has made something just as inimical to masculinity as the passivity it hates. In the absence of a firm tradition, in the absence of any sort of precedent, and in the absence of guiding religion; the Manosphere has attempted to define masculinity as a negative. The alpha-male/beta-male concept does an excellent job of defining what it fights against, but it does not define what it fights for, thereby causing masculinity to be defined as the absence of passivity. This is a disaster! The opposite of being a follower is not being a leader, it is being a rebel; the opposite of loneliness is not love, it is promiscuity; the opposite of being shy is not being outgoing, it is being a boor; the opposite of shame is not honour, it is arrogance; the opposite of being a beta is not being a man, it is being an alpha. 
  All these things are obvious in the Manosphere; one must only look to see. So what is masculinity, then? Why, we all know what it is! It is what the Church has always said it is. It is the prudence and justice to know how to act, and the temperance and fortitude to be able to act; all in a masculine manner, which is to say, in leading and in sacrificing. Men are meant to lead, and they are called to sacrifice themselves for others; therefore, being able to do these things virtuously is the epitome of manhood. That is masculinity. It is simple, and it comes naturally, but it can only be perfected by God. It is the call to step into that area of the world men are meant to fill, and to do it well. All that this is is a particular application of the virtues. It is therefore blissfully simple and terribly difficult, and that is its beauty; because it is, in the end, a tangible thing, not a mere absence.