Trevor Blake - Confessions of a Failed EgoistTrevor Blake’s book Confessions of a Failed Egoist was recently published by Underworld Amusements.

A review of it in TakiMag flustered the editor at Mises.ca, who embarrassed himself with a hasty proclamation that “On Natural Rights, the Egoists Have Nothing.” He also went for the reductio ad Hitlerum (and Stalinum, Maoum, Pol Potum) in the first round, which everyone knows is just bad Internet.

The whole “natural rights” discussion started with Blake’s affirmative review of L.A. Rollins’ book, The Myth of Natural Rightsfound in Confessions.  

The (failed) egoist actually had plenty, as he explained in his response, titled “Tu ne cede malis.”

Miller at Mises packed his rebuttal with a bunch of quotes from the Bible, and convinced no one by comically concluding that the knowledge of the truth was “inside” him.  There’s a mom joke there somewhere.

A colleague at Mises tried to save face with a follow-up, but no one cared who didn’t already believe in the Christian God and “natural rights.”

Speaking of caring, why should you care?

Well, “natural rights” and “natural law” are part of a moral blind spot problem — a “Batman dilemma” — I often encounter in libertarians.

Many readers may consider themselves libertarians in some way or other, and I usually hate libertarians less than other political groups, because they like guns, mind their own business and want to keep people off their fucking lawns.

So listen in and hear Mr. Trevor Blake, failed egoist, ‘splain this whole “natural rights” business.

Trevor Blake will be reading from Confessions of a Failed Egoist on May 1st, at 5pm at Mother Foucault’s bookstore in Portland, OR.

If you liked this podcast, you may enjoy the essay “Violence is Golden” and my book The Way of Men

stw3thumbThis week’s podcast was a discussion with Paul Carter from Lift-Run-Bang, a popular lifting blog.

We talked a little bit about training, but I invited Mr. Carter to share his “feelings” about the world, and an hour and half later we found a stopping point. Paul is a funny guy and it was a great conversation. I’m sure I’ll invite him on again for a future episode.

Some topics covered include:

Handling Frustrating Emotions

“American Girls Have No Game”

Female entitlement

“Manning Up”
“The Mask You Live In”

Chaz Bono and Testosterone

Writing

Taking Risks and Living Life

Defecation as Revenge

Getting Raped by A Grizzly Bear In A Truck Stop Bathroom

 

Last weekend I observed a powerlifting meet here in Clackamas.

I appreciate hard work and achievement. I appreciate seeing demonstrations of the tactical virtues — Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor. Generally, though, I’m not pulled in my the drama of sporting events.

But I know Chris Duffin, and I’ve watched him train. I know how hard he works and how relentless he is. He once told me that his tattoo of an eagle chained to his ankle is a reminder that, usually, you are the one who holds yourself down.

I was invested in this one, and the whole thing was gripping.

This artful min-documentary, made by Andrei Miclea, captured the moment.

Here is Andrei’s personal introduction to it, posted here with his permission:

I started training at EPC [Elite Performance Center] in sunny Portland, Oregon about almost years ago now. I’ve always been the type of person who becomes borderline obsessed with everything he gets himself into…this is both a blessing and a curse. One day I had one of those moments where people decide that enough is enough. I needed to do something about my lack of discipline and my general sloth-like demeanor.

So I took up the fairest sport of them all…powerlifting. See, unlike other sports, this one is a pure discipline. Your competition is you, yesterday. Forget about glory and world records, every day I step foot around the iron I’m put into a place where I can either fight to be better than my past self, or I can give up and accept failure with all of its internal consequences. In that sense its the harshest of the sports, because self-failure hits deeper in the heart of man than any failure that is contingent on other people. The weight doesn’t lie, it has no emotions, it will always be fair to you.

And it drives men to great lengths. This is what I see in Chris Duffin…restlessness. They say that very few people have what it takes to push the rest of us Joes forward, he certainty is one of those people. I’ve seen the man fall victim to the pain of an 800 pound loaded barbell mercilessly crushing him, only to bounce back stronger than ever…as if it had never happened. He chases victory as if his life depended on it. And the thing of it is…you can see it. Maybe it sounds crazy…but watch the video and just look in his eyes.

So I wanted to make this mini-documentary because its one of the few contributions I can make to this great sport, if not by ink in the record books…then by recording great feats of strengths such as these with the cinematography and production quality they deserve.

Read this interview I did with Chris here:

Make It Happen – Interview with Powerlifter Chris Duffin – By Jack Donovan

http://manlyexcellence.com/2012/04/12/make-it-happen-interview-with-powerlifter-chris-duffin-by-jack-donovan/

For more about manliness and the tactical virtues of Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honor, check out my book, The Way of Men.

GOP ElephantAmanda Marcotte recently wrote that “White men, as a group, vote Republican because they vote their resentments.”

The New York Times article she cited didn’t say or even imply anything about resentment. It did say that straight, working-class white men vote Republican because the Democratic Party has devoted the majority of its resources to appealing to women, gays and the various groups of less-white men who are nostalgically referred to as “minorities.” The Democratic Party has been on the opposite side of issues that working-class white men have cared about for decades, and according to the Times piece, many strategists within the party think it’s a waste of time trying to win them over.

Working-class white men vote Republican because the Democrats have made it clear that they care about representing the interests of everyone but working-class white men. These guys vote Republican because Republicans actually make an effort to tell them what they want to hear.

Basically, white men vote Republican because they’re suckers.

The likes of Marcotte say that working-class white men are motivated by fear and resentment, but the majority of people who vote Democrat are doing it for nobler reasons.

They’re not. Most of them are voting for their own short-term self-interest.

Sure, there is a small class of progressive white men who make a big show of putting everyone else’s interests first. They demonstrate their moral superiority by standing up — mostly online — for whatever “rights” they believe that women or blacks or illegal immigrants or transsexuals or chickens are somehow entitled to.

Everyone else is just voting for stuff they want.

Women vote Democrat because they understandably want the convenience of being able to kill their unwanted children. They vote Democrat because they want free birth control and they want free healthcare for the kids they decide to keep. Women also vote for Democrats because Democrats offer special programs to help women get education and jobs.

Women have always depended on men for protection, but they’d rather depend on many men than just one or a few, so they are happy to vote for measures to increase “security.” As a group, women don’t like or understand guns, so they vote Democrat because Democrats promise to take guns away from men — usually those working-class white men — and give them to the big group of men in the government.

Men have historically been suspicious of what big groups of men will do when they have all of the weapons.

Blacks vote Democrat because they are smart and racist. They were going to vote for Obama no matter what he did because he was black, and like sensible people they figure it is better to have one of your own in power. Democrats, as a group, are known for caring more about giving free stuff to black people. Blacks are smart, because they know that it is always better to get something for free than to pay for it.

Blacks also know that you don’t need a permit to buy a gun. You just go buy one from that guy down the street and, you know, take care of business. White men are afraid to buy guns without following the rules, so more rules means less white men with guns. This is good for black men, because they like the convenience of being able to wear a hoodie in the rain without getting shot by nervous white men with guns.

Latinos vote Democrat because their families came to America to take advantage of employment opportunities and all of the benefits and protections that America offers to its citizens. They figure more benefits and protections are better than less, and Democrats always offer more benefits and protections.

In places with a lot of Latinos, Democrats say that you shouldn’t have to go through the trouble of becoming a citizen to get those benefits and protections. This is convenient for Latinos who are not citizens, because using a dead person’s social security number can sometimes be inconvenient.

Gay people vote Democrat because Democrats offer gay people stuff they think they want. Aside from marriage and the sadistic thrill of being able to force Christians to make wedding cakes, this includes free healthcare. Free healthcare comes in handy when you’re a man who occasionally has sex with guys he met 30 minutes ago on Grindr, or a lesbian who occasionally gets drunk and has sex with men. (See the first point about women above.)

Transsexuals vote Democrat because they want the government to pay for the very expensive cosmetic surgeries and hormones that are necessary for them to become who they really are. Also, they are confused about which bathroom to use, so they want more special bathrooms for confused people.

(Chickens are not technically allowed to vote yet, but we hear they want to be free range, which sounds libertarian.)

As Gari Day, the white male bus driver featured in the Times article said, “Republicans make you work for your money, and try to let you keep it.”

He probably doesn’t understand how the government can afford to keep giving everyone free stuff forever. He probably does figure that some of that money for the stuff other people want is coming out of his earnings. But he’s not alone in that — I’ve yet to see a successful Democrat turn down a tax break. No one actually wants to pay more taxes.

Aside from voting to keep more of their own money and to keep the guns they bought, a lot of these straight, white, working-class men are not asking for anything. They’re too proud for that.

As old-fashioned voters, they see themselves as part of the government. They’re not just trying to get more stuff from the government and come up with reasons why they deserve it. They’re voting for a society that works the way they think things should work.

And that’s why they’re suckers.

Democratic and Republican politicians, like everyone else, see the government as a way to get what they want. Politicians want power and status. To get elected, they accept money from regular people, from rich men, from businesses, and probably from foreign countries. In return, they promise favors. That’s how the system works.

People who don’t want anything from the government are useless to politicians, because they are difficult to manipulate and impossible to please. The government, like every big bureaucracy, is in the growth business. Making the government smaller isn’t in the short-term interest of any ambitious bureaucrat. Contraction only makes political sense when you’re trying to reduce an opponent’s sphere of influence.

Democrats promise more government, and more free stuff. Republicans promise less free stuff for poor people, and promise to lower taxes in return, but they rarely manage to lower taxes for anyone but rich guys who — let’s be real — were usually born into money and didn’t work any harder than the guys driving buses. Many of the wealthy elite are white guys, true, but they care about as much about the working-class white guys as the Democratic Party leadership.

White men are suckers because they haven’t figured out that the America they believe in is already gone, and that they are the only ones who aren’t asking for whatever they can get while the gettin’s still good. They’ll vote reliably Republican as long as the Republicans keep talking about self-reliance and how things should work, and that will free up Republican politicians to do favors for people who actually want stuff.

Start the World PodcastFor the second episode of “Start the World,” I wanted to talk to someone who truly knows what it means to be a man not of the State, but living within it, so called Vince Rinehart, an activist within the Tlingit people of Cascadia, and a senior editor at anarchist web site AttacktheSystem.com.

Check out his web site at http://lingitlatseen.com/ to learn more about his vision for his people.

As was mentioned in the podcast, Vince will be speaking on Friday, May 9, at the Alternative Sovereignties Conference at the University of Oregon.

Also mentioned:

John Robb. Check out his excellent book on 4th Generation warfare, Brave New War. He blogs here.

Listen from this site (see blow) or via iTunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/start-world-jack-donovan-podcast/id844102780

Men on StrikeCounter-Currents published an inventively and engagingly written piece by Mark Dyal on the tensions between futurism and fascism in 1920s Italy. Dyal introduced it and linked it to some of my work at his own blog. It’s an inspiring collection of quotes from Italian futurists, as well as an exploration of the relationship between revolutionary forces and the boring bureaucrats who always end up taking over.

Life is Always Right – Futurism & Man in Revolt, by Mark Dyal

I wrote a review of Helen Smith’s book Men on Strike for Counter-Currents, including some commentary on the necessarily conflicted interests of pro-male equity feminists. Smith works as an ally for men, and she aims her book at men, but I think it would be more helpful for female allies of men. Buy it for your wife or your girlfriend or your mom who wants you to get married.

Are Men the New Mexicans? – Pro-Male Feminists Are Still Feminists, by Jack Donovan

Finally, I’ve gone over Bastiat Blogger Sebastian Pritchard’s post on what he’s calling “Septivium.”I hope he cleans it up and turns it into a book. I know I’d love to publish it. He’s smart and experienced, and what he’s laying out is the kind of multi-faceted, self-honing and self-overcoming lifelong program every man should be keyed into as he stares into a very uncertain and unstable future. Become a superman. Or Batman, as the image suggests. Or maybe Bane — the hero the world really needs.

Is the fire rising?

Septivium Begins, by Sebastian Pritchard

 

Start the World PodcastIntroducing Episode #1 of my new podcast, “Start the World.”

In the coming months, I’ll be interviewing contacts of mine who have useful perspectives and information on masculinity, various forms of revolt against the modern world, survivalism, and other kinds of  ”end times infotainment.”

My first guests were Mike Smock and Ron Danielowski of Pulse Firearms Training.

We had a lot to talk about, including resistance to tyranny, training young men for tough times, masculinity, the tactical virtues, gangs, the questionable viability of the US Constitution and “the future.”

The “Start the World” theme song is titled “Empire of the Iron Glove,” from the band Disiplin. I’ve always wanted to use it for this — it has a “B-movie apocalypse” feel that I really dig. The band is currently inactive, so I was psyched that I was able to track down one of the members to get permission to use it.

UPDATE: If you’re looking for STW on iTunes, it is here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/start-world-jack-donovan-podcast/id844102780

 

 

Raymond Tusk from House of CardsWriting for Cato Unbound, Mark Weiner, author of The Rule of the Clan, recently made several correct observations about the problem of reconciling statelessness or “small government” with American conceptions of individual liberty.

Many of my readers tend toward libertarianism, and I favor libertarian ideas by default. As a natural-born American, it’s in my DNA. You know what I’m talking about.

However, I also think it’s important to look at how the State makes this swaggering self-conception of the romantic one-against-all rugged individualist possible, and how this modern anti-clannishness actually makes the individual more dependent on the modern State.

To begin, let’s look at Weiner’s essay, and go over what he got right.

“The Paradox of Modern Individualism”

What Weiner calls “rule of the clan” is similar to the male group mentality I identified in The Way of Men  as “the way of the gang.” Weiner admits that the “rule of the clan” is a natural, universal form of human organization which exerts a “gravitational pull,” and that it is the object of modern liberal government to resist that pull. He defines the “rule of the clan” first as a society based on kinship, but notes that extra-genetic kinship is possible, and points to the existence of gangs and criminal brotherhoods which inevitably form in the smooth, derelict spaces of failed or impotent State influence.

Weiner is also sharp for making the distinction between the modern, liberal idea of honor, which is a self-imposed standard of moral goodness, and the clannish or traditional idea of honor, where individual honor is linked to both the reputation of the group as a whole and the individual’s reputation within the group. He reduces and degrades this primal, tribal form of honor with a vulgar financial analogy, but recognizes that group honor enables group autonomy and group independence. He also recognizes the profound benefits offered by group identification. In his words, the way of the clan “fosters a powerful sense of group solidarity,” “gives persons the dignity and unshakable identity that comes from clan membership,” and “generates a powerful drive toward social justice — a political economy that prizes equality.”

Weiner’s admission of the benefits of clannishness is significant, because he sums up many far-right and reactionary criticisms of modern liberalism and globalism. The prices of liberal, globalist modernity include rootlessness, detachment, an emptiness and desperation for identity that is easily exploited by commercial interests, a lack of community, and a lack of intra-national loyalty that encourages financial greed and insulates elites from the social responsibilities of nobility and the social penalties for betraying their kin, neighbors and countrymen. As the modern, liberal State is easily influenced by large amounts of money, it also insulates the wealthiest individuals from taking physical responsibility for their crimes and betrayals.

Can there be any doubt that it is only the armed protection of the State that has made it possible for the gun-grabbing billionaire Michael Bloomberg to escape a spectacular skyscraper defenestration?

Weiner argues that the modern libertarian idea of individualism , “the modern self” — which generally includes a freedom from responsibility to clan beyond the immediate nuclear family and voluntary instead of mandatory association with groups — is a in fact a product of state development which owes its fragile sense of individual autonomy to the legal protections provided by the state and the conditions of modern life.

This makes perfect sense to me, because I’ve never understood the weird, crypto-religious libertarian obsession with the idea of “natural rights.”  I have always understood “rights” as a bargain between rulers and subjects, or in the case of the American democratic ideal, between “the people” and “their” government. In nature, men have no rights. There are no police to call and there is no mechanism to sue any entity that has wronged you or “infringed upon your natural rights.” This is why the primal form of human organization is not the pioneer nuclear family of libertarian individualist fantasy, but the patriarchal clan or tribe or gang of men who unite to provide coordinated protection against danger, and a communal mechanism for righting wrongs or resolving disputes. How “fair” or “just” these tribal systems of resolution and retribution actually are is varied, culturally relative, and subject to taste.

Weiner has concluded that, for the liberal state to thrive and continue to deliver on its promise of individual freedom and autonomy, it must do a better job of doing the things the clan has always done better. He suggests that the state “pursue policies that moderate economic inequality,” “provide space for the flourishing of voluntary civil society organizations that provide opportunities for solidarity,” and “ensure that individuals have fair opportunities to exercise their autonomy within the marketplace,” whatever that means.

At first glance, his suggestions sound OK, if you’re into that whole “saving the modern liberal state” thing.

However, after a closer look, they quickly become unworkable. He is also overindulgent of the fictions of the modern State, and he barely mentions the biggest elephants in the room.

When the State pursues policies that moderate economic inequality,  to do so, it must become more nationalistic — more clannish, even — not more economically libertarian. A chief contributor to economic inequality in America is surely the ability of corporations, wealthy individuals, even small businesses to undercut American labor and outsource it to foreigners. A little more economic protectionism and certain degree of nationalistic isolationism might go a long way in the long term, but would be damaging to “the economy” in the short term. American politicians are necessarily short-term planners, because they are held accountable in the short-term, so the likelihood of American politicians acting to serve the long term good of the nation while cutting off a foreign supply of cheap labor for corporations, wealthy individuals and small business owners in the short term is approximately zero. This is probably why, for all of their populist posturing about getting tough on immigration, and despite widespread popular support for immigration control, conservative politicians almost always fold.

When Weiner says he wants the State to “provide space for the flourishing of voluntary civil society organizations that provide opportunities for solidarity,” that sounds good, but the reality is that the State as it currently exists would end up micromanaging these organizations to the point where no one would actually want to be members of them anyway. The alternative would be the State creating space for organizations which, if left to flourish organically in harmony with human nature, would eventually challenge the authority of the State itself. Surely, no explicitly kin-oriented groups could be encouraged, especially for white people, because that would be racist. No groups that exclude women could be allowed, because that would be sexist. And the more the State intervenes to regulate and sanction the activities of individuals who associate voluntarily, the more laughable this whole idea of individual autonomy within the context of the State becomes.

What Weiner really fails to acknowledge with this suggestion, even though it is implicit in everything he has written, is that opportunities for “solidarity” and truly meaningful group bonding are a threat to the State, which exactly why there isn’t more room for them now.

People already express group solidarity in ways that are acceptable to the state and its corporate sponsors. They become sports fans. They invest money and time and emotional energy in a group identity that revolves around the dramatic but completely inconsequential activities of, usually, a gang of men.

If men put the same amount of time or energy into forming a highly visible organization with ethnic concerns, for example, half of their enthusiastic new members would probably be FBI agents, because that kind of loyalty would threaten the interests of the liberal state by creating an alternative — and clannish — network of support. The power of the liberal state depends on dependency, and as Weiner has noted, even libertarianism depends on it to protect “rights” and “liberties.”

Finally, in his ode to the State, Weiner perpetuates the fiction that the American State is some kind of benevolent expression of the will of its citizen voters, and he all but ignores the most powerful actors in American politics: corporations. Corporations amass enough money to fund, manufacture and distribute the scientific miracles we use on an everyday basis, but they also perpetuate their own amoral existences by using that money to buy and exert influence on the American political system, whether they are American or foreign-based corporations. Because corporations can exert so much more influence on politics than any voter, the modern liberal state has become a tool of corporate interests, not as Weiner idealizes, a guarantor of individual liberty.

The clan, gang or tribe poses an economic threat to corporations by creating alternative support systems, reduced consumption of goods produced extra-tribally, and the possibility of supply-chain disrupting inter-tribal violence or violence against the State. The State will always oppose clannishness because the state responds first to the interests of self-perpetuating legal entities known as corporations, and because the State is, itself, a self-perpetuating legal entity that will, like any fundamentally amoral corporation, act to perpetuate its own survival above all other concerns.

If the State is over-reaching and becoming the biggest threat to the liberties it supposedly protects, as many men with libertarian tendencies now believe, the solution is not a return to the atomized, go-it-alone individualism that ultimately relies on the liberal State. The only viable option is to increase clannishness or tribalism, which Weiner correctly identified as the natural counter to the modern liberal State.

Last week, Casey Bohn invited me to call in to his popular “Practical Tactical” podcast to talk about The Way of Men.  Mr. Bohn has been a paratrooper, police officer and a security contractor, and he found out about TWOM after reading a quote from the essay “Violence is Golden” that went viral on Facebook. I don’t know who made that image with the bearded guy who isn’t me, but it’s definitely made the rounds.

Listen to our conversation on gangs, the police, violence and The Way of Men here.

Time Magazine - Hillary POTUSI, for one, look forward to the Hillary Clinton Presidency.

Radix Journal presents my endorsement here.

Why We Need Hillary” at Radix Journal

Richard Spencer and I recently talked to Swiss author Piero San Giorgio about postmodern alienation, the zombie hordes, survivalism in one of the most animated and entertaining  podcasts I’ve done called into in a while.

Postmodern Zombies” at Radix Journal’s Vanguard Radio

Have a listen here, or through iTunes.