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The Way of Men

Art of Charm
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Art of Charm Podcast

I recently appeared on the popular Art of Charm podcast to discuss The Way of Men and other topics, and it was one of my stronger appearances this year. If you don’t listen to every podcast I call in to, this would be a good one.

Art of Charm has tens of thousands of subscribers on iTunes, Stitcher and SiriusXM radio, so there has been some backlash from people who are emotionally fragile or manipulative, or who want to do some transparent moral status signalling to alleviate the boredom of modern life. If you are also bored, angry or standing in line somewhere looking for a cathartic way to waste time, please consider posting a positive review to iTunes or the Art of Charm website.

The Art of Charm -Jack Donovan | The Way of Men (Episode 443)

The Art of Charm on iTunes – http://www.theartofcharm.com/itunes

I also appeared, semi-mute from bronchitis, on a YouTube interview with my good friend Chris Duffin and my brothers Grimnir and Jarnefr from The Wolves of Vinland on building tribes in today’s world.

The Way of Men Audiobook
Blog, Links and Updates, The Way of Men

The Way of Men Audiobook

The Way of Men Audiobook

 

The Way of Men audiobook is finally finished, and it is now available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.

Readers are enjoying it so far, but please be advised that there is a known quality issue with the chapter “The Perimeter.” The whole chapter is there and can be understood, but a few listeners have reported that there are a few clicks or skips. I will re-record and re-submit that chapter when I can find the time, but for those of you who have been waiting for the audiobook either to share with friends who would rather listen than read, or for your own enjoyment, I wanted to put it out there.

I hope you enjoy my narration — I felt strongly that it had to be me who read the book, since so much of it was written in first person.

As always, your positive and constructive reviews are greatly appreciated. Eventually, as with Amazon, there will be some reviewers who write “one star” reviews without reading the material, because they don’t like whatever they think the book might say. (They are probably right about that…)

I think the audiobook will help the message of The Way of Men expand its audience substantially, and while it is a lot of work, I’d advise other dissident writers to look into the Amazon’s ACX service.

A full chapter sample of the chapter “On Being a Good Man” is now on YouTube.

 

Blog, The Way of Men

New Video Introduction to The Way of Men

In anticipation of the upcoming French language release of The Way of Men, I spent the last week developing a video introduction to the book, titled, “What Is Masculinity?”

I’m proud of the way it came out, and I think it will help bring the book to a whole new audience. Watch it here or on my YouTube channel.

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Violence is Golden Quote
Blog, Commentary, The Way of Men

Practical Tactical Podcast Interview

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.

Blog, The Way of Men

Strength Beyond Strength

Hunter from Strength Beyond Strength recently posted a review of The Way of Men.

With that said, I have tried multiple times to read books by Tony Robbins and other popular self-help gurus. I could never get halfway through the demagoguery.  They’re just too gooey and preachy. I always felt like they were talking down to me.  If you feel the same way about the self-help world, then The Way of Men is a must read for you.

Read Hunter’s review here. I don’t consider The Way of Men a self-help book — but many men do find it helpful, so all the better.

Hunter is the owner and head trainer of a unique dinosaur gym in a barn in San Benito County, California.  He’s started blogging about training, and I look to forward to reading more of his posts. I liked his suggestion of trying 10 sets of 3 for a combination of strength and hypertrophy, so I incorporated it into my own lifting routine.

More news and reviews…

Roosh V- “10 Books Every Man Should Read”

Hold on tight during the second half of the book where the author clearly lays out how masculinity is being attacked and marginalized, increasingly seen as something that needs to be treated instead of exalted.

Read the rest of the post here.

Filibuster Cartoons

J.J. McCullough, who occasionally writes for The Huffington Post wrote an in-depth review of The Way of Men at his blog Filibuster Cartoons.

Jack’s critique of gender modernity unapologetically combines the darkest tropes of both right and left alike. Conservatives will doubtlessly enjoy his blistering critique of the politically correct establishment that has worked so tireless to purge every last lingering trace of “boys-will-be-boys” apologism from our schools, workplaces, and families, while lefties will savour his equally savage takedown of late-stage capitalism, a predatory economic system peddling the idea that men should be little more than “sociopathic metrosexual super-consumers.”

Read the rest of the review here.

“…Ragnar Redbeard redrafting Desmond Morris…”

Tony Sylvester, the new frontman for the Norwegian deathpunk band Turbonegro, reviewed The Way of Men for some UK print issue of vice, but neither he nor I have been able to figure out which issue and where to find it, so here are two snips of the review he sent me via Facebook:

The Way Of Men is partly a defensive rationale for man’s place in the pecking order and part polemic to ‘restart the world’, as he puts it: a call to arms where Men become the Wolverines in Millius’s Red Dawn against the invading forces of feminism.

It’s chilling in its directness and cold logic, in a similar way as its distant relative, Jim Goad’s The Redneck Manifesto, just without the laughs. Whilst it makes me glad that my life contains a certain degree of comfort and cissiness, you can bet your arse I’m gonna want a man like Jack Donovan on my team when the shit hits the fan.

Tony and his tailor are also doing interesting things with custom tailoring…

As always, Amazon…

I’ve received a lot of reviews from readers on Amazon over the past month or so. Thanks, guys. I do read every single one.

I can’t tell you how important Amazon reviews are for a writer. So, please, toss in you two cents, even if others have said similar things. More is always better — reviews from actual readers help drown out the bitchy reviews from people who obviously didn’t even read the book.

August 2013 was actually the book’s biggest month ever, and it’s almost a year and a half old. It’s a sleeper that is gaining steam, which means more men are reading it and getting the word out to their pals, brothers, co-workers, fathers and sons. That’s fucking awesome.

sundaynightsafran
Blog, The Way of Men

Jack Donovan on ABC Australia’s “Sunday Night Safran”

Triple J is an ABC radio station down under. “Sunday Night Safran” is a radio talk show hosted by journalist John Safran and Father Bob Maguire. Last week, they had me on to talk about The Way of Men. I had a good time and I think it went very well.

Download the podcast here: http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/safran/podcast/

25/08/2013
This week: Director of the cult TV series The Thick Of It Armando Iannucci, Author of The Way of Men Jack Donovan, Author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Berendt.
+ download mp3 (30.0)

I’m on around 31:40.

Blog, The Way of Men

Jack Donovan Interviewed by Brett McKay for The Art of Manliness

Brett McKay from The Art of Manliness has done more serious, thoughtful and honest thinking about masculinity than most of the “officially recognized” experts out there, so it was a pleasure to be interviewed by him for his Art of Manliness podcast.

Listen to it here:

The Art of Manliness Podcast Episode #49: The Way of Men With Jack Donovan

Read McKay’s excellent series of articles on Honor.

 

Blog, The Way of Men

New Reviews of The Way of Men – With Some Criticisms

The Way of Men has been reviewed a few more times, and I’ve added the reviewers to the blogroll here.

As was noted in Prax Americana’s review, the majority of the reviews of the book so far have been almost 100% positive. These two bloggers each added some criticisms. I’m not worried about what lefty academics or feminists say about the book, because they’ll read the book with a fundamentally different conception of “what is best in life” than my target audience. I’m far more interested in what guys who liked the book had issues with. In the feedback I’ve received lately, there have been some common themes. I’ll address a few points.

TWOM isn’t “academic” enough

I actually pulled a lot of sources and related arguments out to achieve the overall effect that everyone seems to like about the book. Add a bunch of qualifications, and you end up with an overflow of verbage that is too guarded, says less, and says it weakly. The book wasn’t written for academics, it was written for average guys. Over the years I’ve come to see different levels of discourse. Mark Dyal, for instance, writes on one level of discourse, and I write on another, though often we say very similar things. To bring a message across to “the people,” you need to address different audiences in different ways. I address the audience I’d be most comfortable having a beer with. I’m a popular writer.

Definition of Manliness Isn’t Inclusive Enough

The Way of Men tried to answer two questions: 1) What is manliness/masculinity? 2) How does manliness/masculinity fit into the modern world?

I think I got question# 1 dead on. The way that we sense “manliness” in other men isn’t necessarily about how valuable any given man could, somehow be to a gang or civilization over time. It’s about basic survival instincts and immediate physical reality. That’s the masculinity that is most exclusive to men and most consistent across cultures and across human history. Are there other valuable roles for men within a gang — even roles that men are often better at than women, linked to predominantly male traits (engineering aptitude, for instance)? Of course.

The project of The Way of Men was to universalize a definition of what we perceive as manliness in other men.

I’m probably more of a priest/shaman type myself, and that’s often a male dominated role, and it has value in every culture, and value to almost every gang of men once you get past the SHTF stage. But, being honest with myself, I can’t say that priests/shamans, or even the guys who invent the weapons, are at the top of the manliness pyramid. I tried to resist the temptation to remake masculinity in my own image to attempt to leverage its high social value, which is what I see most authors who write about it do — consciously or unconsciously. Inventors want manliness to be about invention, and philosophers want manliness to be about philosophers, activists want masculinity to be about social leadership, and so on.

Why Do We Have to Start The World? Why Tear Everything Down And Lose So Much “Progress”?

This has to do with Question 2, and my failure to be uplifting about our prospects for reviving the tactical virtues within the context of our “advanced” bourgeois, globalist, technologically advanced society.

My response is simple:

How are YOU going to do it?

No one has an answer to that, beyond “well, I think there must be some way…”

How?

How are you going to remake, say, The United States, in its current form, into a civilization that encourages  rather than discourages, manliness in men? Through political change?

How?

I’m not trying to be snarky here. I really just don’t see another viable solution. How are you going to redesign the US in a way that obviously conflicts with the interests of both elites and women?

Tell me.

Why Should We Be So Concerned With The Emotional Needs of Men?

Why shouldn’t we?

Everything we do is catering to someone’s emotional needs. Right now, we are redesigning the world to suit the emotional needs of women, gays, nerds and conniving businessmen.

Nerds want to invent things because that’s what makes them happy. We don’t need AI, for instance, and it sounds like a terrible fucking Pandora’s Box-slash-science fiction horror movie, but nerds want to nerd out on it and businessmen think money could be made, so both groups do what they do and invent some bullshit narrative to make themselves feel morally superior for doing exactly what they want to do. They sell it to us as “inevitable progress” and equate “new” with “good.” Personally, I’d see them all hanged by the neck until dead for “species treason” — I’ve read so many posts from science guys wistfully fantasizing about the end of the human race, like that’s the best thing that could ever happen. By comparison, I find the whole violent breakdown of society fairly reasonable and humane.

Society is always designed around our idea of what is best in life. That’s an emotional thing.

Isn’t There Something Better Between A) The Bonobo Masturbation Society and B) Violent Gang Life?

Yeah, I think there is. I think there’s a sweet spot. Veblen called it “High Barbarian.” Sparta, Early Rome, pre-Edo Japan.

To get there we need B) and eventually we always seem to end up with some version of A).

Maybe there is some futurist sweet spot. Maybe we become Klingons. Hard and strong, with technology. But we can’t get there from here.

I’m not saying Violent Gang Anarchy will be fun and swell. I’m not that naive. I don’t expect to become a swaggering warlord. I don’t really even expect to survive. I’m not really that bad at civilized life, and it’s all I’ve ever known. But the current global Zeitgeist will — must — pathologize masculinity and slander, possibly even erase, the history of masculine virtue to prop up its new egalitarian, technophilic mythologies.

Thanks for reading and thinking about the book.  I will probably develop some responses to your thoughts and questions and criticisms into an essay or so for the next book. Writing is a thinking process.

Blog, The Way of Men

Warriors and Capitalists

“Strategist Jack” over at the politics and firearms training blog Warriors and Capitalists just published an in-depth review of The Way of Men.

THE WAY OF MEN BY JACK DONOVAN – A BOOK REVIEW PRESENTED IN CONTEXT OF GOOD MEN SEEKING SECURITY AND PREDICTABILITY IN A WORLD OF INCREASING DANGER AND CHAOS.

The book seems to be finding an audience with the guns and freedom guys, and I am grateful for that.

I was also glad to have someone write something about the book this month, because I’ve been too busy between a new job and tattoo school to write much of anything lately.

If you’re interested in learning more about firearms and tactics, you may want to check out their books and videos at Pulse Firearms Training.

I don’t have a handgun at the moment, but as soon as I’m in the market for one again, I’ll be looking into their videos. These guys have been great to deal with online and they seem to know what they are talking about.

Mercury Dime - fasces
Blog, The Way of Men

Anarcho-Fascism

(Read it in Finnish here.)

 

“In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society.”

—Situationist graffiti, May 1968

 

As a political ideology, fascism was a mixed bag of 20th Century ideas. Its athletic presence hung with flirty, politically expedient schemes like universal suffrage, in many ways last century’s fascism was defined by its responses to other political movements of the time—like Marxism and liberal capitalism.

But, just beyond the historical details of fascism, there is something eternal. Italian writer Umberto Eco called it “Ur-fascism” —meaning “primitive” or “original.” Unfortunately, his snatchy “fourteen points” were overly concerned with the top-down totalitarianism of fascism’s notable dictators and their party boys. His “ur-fascism” wasn’t “primitive” enough. It wasn’t “eternal” at all.

The word “fascism” has become sloppy shorthand for any violent, intrusive police state. For most people, fascism evokes a people forced into lockstep conformity by an all-powerful government. 20th Century political fascism had many other features, and they were instituted differently in different nations. Oppressive, runaway governments are also not unique to 20th Century fascism. Marxism, Catholicism and Islam have all produced cruel, iron-fisted police states. If being more afraid of your own government than you are of its external enemies is a measure of totalitarian tyranny, America’s own “progressive” surveillance state is headed that way. Fascism and totalitarianism may be confused in the popular imagination, but they aren’t the same thing.

Etruscan FascesThe fasces was a powerful symbol before Mussolini was born, so it is possible to separate the symbol from his regime and see it in its own right. I am not concerned so much with the usage of the fasces as a symbol of magisterial power in Republican Rome. I am more interested in the phenomenon this pre-Roman symbol appears to represent. Fascism has been described as a “male fantasy,” and I agree that the fasces symbolizes a distinctly male worldview. What is it about the fasces that captures the male imagination?

Most people associate the “evils” of fascism with a top-down bureaucratic institution, but to me the fasces itself appears to symbolize a bottom-up idea.

The bound rods of the fasces represent strength and the authority of a unified male collective. That’s its “primitive” appeal. True tribal unity can’t be imposed from above.  It’s an organic phenomenon. Profound unity comes from men bound together by a red ribbon of blood. The blood of dire necessity that binds the band of brothers becomes the blood of heritage and duty that ties the family, the tribe, the nation. The fasces captures the male imagination because it appears to symbolize the unified will of men. Men prefer to believe that they offer their allegiance by choice, whether they truly do or not. Free association—or the appearance of it—is the difference between free men and slaves. If you can’t just walk away, you’re a prisoner. If you choose to stay, if you choose to align your fate to the fate of the group and submit to the collective authority of the group, you are a member, not a slave. As a member, you add the weight of your manhood to a unified confederacy of men.

Mercury Dime FascesThe fasces became a popular decorative motif for American government buildings in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and its symbolism is consistent with an earlier Latin motto adopted by the union: e pluribus unum. “Out of many, one.” 20th Century political fascism itself was preceded by the Italian fascio—voluntary “bundles” or unions of men uniting to assert their collective interests. Mussolini was member of a fascio before he was a “fascist.” This idea of men choosing to band together and increase their strength was most eloquently explained by the ape “Caesar” in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011).  Breaking a single stick, and then gathering a bundle, Caesar shows his imprisoned comrades that, “Ape alone…weak…apes together…strong.”

When the fasces is revered, it symbolizes “our power.” When the fasces is reviled, it is despised because it has become a symbol of “their power.”

Virile men do not unite to become sandbags. The fasces symbolizes men bound together with an axe, ready for action, issuing a threat of violence—of “or else.” The fasces is a warning, a promise of retaliation, a paddle on the wall for traitors, slackers and law-breakers.

In The Way of Men, I wrote that “The Way of Men is The Way of the Gang.” Primal masculinity is rooted in the practical, tactical ethos of a gang of men struggling to survive and triumph over external forces.

From this perspective, I see the fasces as a “universal gang sign.” It symbolizes, better than any other symbol I can think of, the moment when men tie their fates together and align themselves against nature, against other men, against…the world. The fasces depicts the genesis of “us,” of “our team,” of “our culture,” of “our honor” —the formation of a collective identity. It symbolizes then moment when the war of all against all becomes a war of men against men, of “us” against “them.” The fasces symbolizes the moment when men create order from chaos.

This pure, primal manliness can only be realized under stress. It can only rise out of chaos, as a reaction to external forces. From there it matures, shaped by time, into an honor culture, and from that culture—that combination of collective history and custom that characterize the identity of a people—comes Tradition. Everything I recognize as good and worth saving about men and masculinity thrives in this cultural sweet spot between the purity of the warrior-gang and the spoiled, conniving depravity of complex merchant-based cultures.

With no more frontiers to explore, save space—which can only be allowed, even in fantasy, as a neutered bureaucratic project—the modern, effeminate, bourgeois “First World” states can no longer produce new honor cultures. New, pure warrior-gangs can only rise in anarchic opposition to the corrupt, feminist, anti-tribal, degraded institutions of the established order. Manhood can only be rebooted by the destruction of their future, and the creation of new futures for new or reborn tribes of men. It is too late for conservatism. For the majority of men, only occupied structures and empty gestures remain.

The way of men can only be rediscovered in Night and Chaos.

Ur-fascism is the source of honor culture and authentic patriarchal tradition.

Ur-fascism is a response to anarchy.

The political position of The Way of Men is “anarcho-fascist.”

This anarcho-fascism is not an end; it is hungry for a new beginning.

START THE WORLD

 

The secrets of the hoarie deep, a dark
Illimitable Ocean without bound,
Without dimension, where length, breadth, & highth,
And time and place are lost; where eldest Night
And Chaos, Ancestors of Nature, hold
Eternal Anarchie, amidst the noise
Of endless Warrs, and by confusion stand.

—Milton, Paradise Lost