Masculinity - Competition, Conflict, Catastrophe

Modern society has over many generations feminised large proportions of men and put them into bonded servitude to the State. An epidemic of mind-poisons rages amongst the dilapidated tenements of civilisation, turning people (to a large extent men: hikikomori, incel, NEET, karyu shakai) victims of their Selves.

Many mechanisms work together to create this outcome, and not all of them are coordinated by a centralised authority - thus, the 'matrix' narrative propounded by would-be Andrew Tates have to be mercilessly critiqued. But instead of being critiqued, Tate himself has been strong-armed into oblivion, a mis-step than can only serve to propound his ideology further. What critiques there exist tend to be tawdry misrepresentations of the pressing need which Tate has come to service. Much that Tate says has ancient pedigree, and is reasonably wise; much that Tate says also, is a function of a cynical politics that should be recognised as-such (this particular critique will be undertaken elsewhere).

Ambition (and I mean this not in the general sense of the term, but rather the wish and internal wherewithal for something more, not mere empty longing) is the poisonous cure for emotional incontinence and weakness (even as I write this, I am reminded of the Steinbeckian dissatisfaction propelling us onward, ever onward).

And if ambition is shunned for a life of 'quiet and peace', even moreso will quiet and peace not come. The Ego makes an enemy of itself, by submerging it-Self in a persistent state of Self-hatred, until the ultimate decision is dangled before it - the catastrophic decision beckons. In the valiant attempt to escape, only suffering and anguish may result. But all the more should it be borne. Stay alive a little longer, and see for yourself.

The ancient duality of masculine and feminine need not have spiritual/mystical roots. We simply have to look at the genetic differentiation of man and woman to be struck by how alike one another men are, and how alike one another women are, and how unlike one another men and women are to each other. The relativity (of on the one hand the alikeness of the members of one group and unlikeness between them) we must question: is this a result only of prior categorisation, the result of prior difference which became recognised in categorisation, or both? Consider that it is both, and consider also that categorisations by themselves, over generations, build up the crust of difference. 

There is ancient difference then, a fact which cannot escape even the great distinction-effacers, for if there were not then there would be no distinction to efface. This, of course, presupposes the existence of a primitive distinguishing faculty, a faculty which I assume to be perceptual and not 'divine' (whatever that means). For those who would rather believe in a divine or mystical explanation, I would recommend Genesis, or the Sefer Yetzirah (among other things).

Since it is politically untenable for me to comment on feminine perception, I have titled this piece appropriately. Nevertheless, and speaking only to those to whom good sense has graced, I expect that the feminine (and, by-the-by, this might be man or woman - yes, liberal ideology has made this a fait accompli) can take away from this the understanding of how necessary the existence of the other (i.e., the masculine, with all its violence and depredations and inclinations - none of it can be done away with) is required for the continued health of femininity.

That ancient duality that has been replicated in different times and locations exists in the kernel of our differentiation: the binary, or dyadic. The binary takes us away from idempotence, and provides the shifting poles of the psychological primary and secondary. The primary and secondary distinction is purely method, and is simply the easiest way with which to form inroads into an 'infinite recursion'. Given the current discussion, the masculine is designated the primary term, the output term we are considering, and feminine is the secondary term, the 'input' term, which, for socio-political reasons, must remain mostly in the background of this article. 

(Note that depending on the direction of discussion, feminine may, in a different context, be considered primary, and masculine secondary. Masculinity is differentiated with respect to femininity.)

Bonded Servitude
Inequality is an ineradicable part of human society, because it is a direct outcome of market competition. Market competition, in the current discussion, is the primary term (to which cooperation is the secondary term) of human inter-relationship as it is currently conceived (and possibly of existence, although this is not the place to consider it). By the process of market competition human society is stratified into a variety of tiers to which social status attach. 

Man is hopelessly obsessed with status, the masculine part moreso, thus making of market competition a lifelong yoke. The generation of the criteria for the success of competition (i.e., the assessment criteria of status) is given by the feminine: the assessment of adequacy of material and genetic resources, for example. If not feminine, then God, and since "God is dead" (or un-dead, see AGŌN), at least in part, we are left with feminine.

The result is a great pressure to engage in bonded servitude (this is a very great pressure, countervailed only by other great pressures). The quality of this pressure maybe be considered psycho-social, but at certain levels, the pressure becomes directly coercive - see the reaction to Tate and the Unabomber. Considerations of Justice (which in any case devolve to a complex political interplay when voided of metaphysics and theology) cannot adequately explain the social aspect which emanates out into the psychological ecosystem by means of the social-media superstructure. About those who will be up in arms about the Justice of the individual cases: the effect on individual victims are negligible, infinitesimal, non-existent relative to the aggregate effect on the masses.

It is in the example made of men like that, whom, it is said, exemplify 'toxic masculinity', or in any case the badness of masculinity, that the market competition (market for goods and services) is differentiated with respect to modern capital - competition takes on the aspect of  the competition of ideas/opinions. The pejorative aspect cannot fail to be wielded against all masculinity because masculinity is to individualism as to femininity is to communalism, and communalism serves the interests of certain special kinds of community - the State and all those parasitic upon it. At the level of competition (whether in goods and services or ideas/opinions or politics), it is only natural for the State to seek to stamp out dissident communities and individuals.

There will inevitably be those of the Asian persuasion who at once suggest that communalism is essential to civilisation, and there must be a balance - this is all too common an occurrence. But note at once that there are many different kinds of communities, and one cannot mix up the State and the communities parasitic upon it with all communities. To be more controversial: in relation to States and communities parasitic on them, no-where can there be found Asian communities, in the 'time-immemorial' sense, in the 'custom' sense, terms which Asian-apologists may use. For one, the use of these terms are empty, and state a hypothetical recreation of a past world; worse still, these empty terms are enlisted for manipulative uses. 

No-where in the power relation of the modern world (in the bureaucratic state superstructure) can this suggestion be considered authentic, except perhaps in certain tribal communities and enclaves (who are negligible relative to the state): the power of the Western tradition, with its monopoly on force, has made Westerners of us all. There can be veneers and Phang-ian authocthonies, but these are all so much froth obscuring a vast multiplicity of subnautical manoeuvres. All these reflexive constructions, from authocthony to generational trauma to toxicity has as their source the competition for power.

And, for those who cite China - where has the system of tributes of the dynastic emperors gone? The trash-heap of History. At the level of communities, and not individuals, there is only a realpolitik in the tradition of Machiavelli, Metternich, Castlereagh, Bismarck and Kissinger mixed in with the self-serving morality of Johann Tetzel. China's power is because of market competition, competition of ideas/opinions, and political competition, not communalism. The Asian 'communalism' is a flimsy construction created from out of Judeao-Christian tradition, or at least some form of syncretism - a vain attempt at distinguishing itself from its parent. To consider the other side: I can just as well say that 孔子 and all his petty shibboleths have been thrown away in favour of 商鞅. At best this re-consideration of 商鞅 can be considered a sort of syncretism, and if I were not inclined to be so favourable, it could be considered an outgrowth from the Marxist tradition of historical materialism (and we know today how 邓小平 and 毛泽东 spent their formative years in Paris).

In the end, men must therefore be deprived of the kind of masculinity which serves as the inroad to larger communities opposed to the State. Bonded servitude to the State is what the competitive agent seeks, and one tool is the use of 'femininity' - this is the more nuanced view of the traditional notions of a 'gynocentric' State.

Neuroticism and Personal Anguish - Hypothetical Effects on Self
With no outlet for masculine aggression and the 'warring element', chimpanzee violence overspills into emotional outbursts or sullen withdrawal. A vast amount of human resources is consigned to the charnel house by the pressures brought about by the participation of the State in the various types of competition.

The loneliness scythes. The sight of our face stabs. And then some succumb to Camus' Absurdity and, in contradiction to Camus, decide to take the ultimate decision, a voluntary decision which stops, which halts abruptly any more illusory spontaneity. This is a decision made on the I and the me, a decision which many Selves (Sartre calls this the 'Ego') eventually countenance.

At this juncture of stress and overwhelming neurosis, a disembodied experience might occur - or it might not! - where, as Sartre says (in his Transcendence of the Ego ("TE"), pg. 28), "consciousness suddenly produces itself on the pure reflective level. Not perhaps without an Ego, but overflowing the Ego on all sides, dominating it and supporting it outside itself by a continuous creation."

And what are the characteristics of this experience? Subjectively (there is no other perspective to take here), there is a receding of the Self or Ego, distinctions lose their force, as the possible and real blend together, and substance disappears into the aether, and "appearance is the absolute" (TE pg. 28):
Thus consciousness, realizing what might be called the fate of its spontaneity, suddenly becomes filled with anguish. It is this absolute and irremediable anguish, this fear of oneself, that in my view is constitutive of pure consciousness and it is this that is also the key to the psychasthenic malady I mentioned.
This "psychasthenia" Sartre illustrates (TE pg. 27) with an example:
Consciousness takes fright at its own spontaneity because it senses that it lies beyond freedom. This is what can clearly be seen from an example in Janet. A young bride suffered from a terror that, when her husband left her alone, she would go over to the window and hail the passers-by as prostitutes do. Nothing in her upbringing, in her past, or in her character can serve as an explanation for such a fear. In my view, it is simply that a circumstance of no importance (reading, conversation, etc.) had caused in her what might be called a vertigo of possibility. She found herself monstrously free and this vertiginous liberty appeared to her on the occasion when she was free to make this gesture that she was afraid of making. But this vertigo can be understood only if consciousness suddenly appears to itself as infinitely overflowing in its possibilities the I that ordinarily acts as its unity.
In the sullen silence of anguish, there is fear but also, I think, a welter of irrepressibles which bursts out suddenly as if from a swelling pustule.

The wish for more (and yes, often does it shade into the pleonexia or cupidity of the I) poisons the Ego and thereby protects it from vertiginous sudden realisation. To set in opposition poison against poison is the way of the Ego. 

And now that we have come to the end of this brief discussion, the question must be asked: is it worth-while to, so to say, obscure the consciousness with an even stronger veil, with a veritable iron curtain of ambition? The Ego itself is but another transcendence, and it is a weak stand-in for philosophical development. But Man must live long-enough to realise its own consciousness, and in the interim, there is no alternative but to oppose to the poisons we meet daily, the poison of Ego.

Frederick Yann Yorck



AGŌN has been released 16 May 2023!

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