Some years ago I read Starship Troopers, a science fiction novel written by Robert Heinlein, one of the great authors of the genre. The storyline was set in a utopian militaristic society, and was developed around the conflict between the Terran Federation (the ruling body of planet Earth) and a hostile alien race called the Arachnids. With this background Heinlein starts a philosophical journey, using the plot to debate many classic masculine themes like responsibility, sense of duty, honor, self-sacrifice and the source of authority.

I believe that one of the great ideas present in the book is contained in this quote:

“Violence, the supreme authority from which all others are derived” – Robert Heinlein

Violence, or the ability to physically damage others, is the natural root of all authority and social dominance. Think of every politician that existed throughout history. Would any of them have in their power any amount of authority if they couldn’t exert it through any kind of armed force (police, army, a crazy mob of supporters)? The original example of this is the caveman leader (history’s first politician/dictator). Normally he was the best warrior of the group.

You can argue, “But many times we chose our leaders based on their ability to handle the economy.” Yes, that’s true, but the ability to handle the economy didn’t give them the real authority. It gave them the compliance of people who were capable of exerting force (army, police force, etc), putting violence on their side, and because of that you accepted their orders even if you strongly disagreed with them.

Facing The Ultimate Consequences

Every interaction between two humans can lead to a physical escalation. Most people will flee when confronted with this possibility. This can limit our choices, because we don’t act in such way that might spark a fight with another individual, even if that action leads to getting something we want.

Being ready to face the ultimate consequences if any situation goes wrong lets you take more risks, makes you more assertive and unconsciously increases your confidence around other people.

See that girl with the jock that you want to meet? Let’s do it! Who gives a fuck if the jock tries to intervene? In the worst scenario I’ll just punch my way out.

See that idiot in my social scene who’s always mocking me and giving me a hard time? I’ll give him shit. Did it hurt his feelings and now he’s angry? Who gives a fuck? In the worst scenario I’ll just punch my way out.

The examples above may seem exaggerated or taken directly from Fight Club, but let’s be honest: how many times do we restrain ourselves from doing or saying something because we fear that situation might go wrong and escalate to a fight? True freedom of action in our society comes from knowing that no matter how worse a situation can get we will know how to fight our way out.

The effects of learning this skill can be felt in every human interaction that you have. You will be more outspoken and you will talk to others with more calm and confidence. Women and men will feel your change in body language. You will not let others talk you down, and people will think twice before double-crossing you or talking shit behind your back. A world of possibilities in human interactions will open before your eyes, as you will stay relaxed and secure about yourself no matter how bad it gets.

A Necessary Condition But Not A Sufficient One

I am not saying that learning fighting skills (or at least being willing to fight) will solely improve your social life dramatically. It’s a necessary condition to become a true master of one’s fate and socially dominant, but not a sufficient one.

Your belief system and general attitude towards life will also have an important role. The ability to fight will do nothing in terms of improving the life of a beta man. To make full potential of this skill, he must change his belief system and attitude first. But without the fighting skills he will never realize his true potential and become a dominant alpha.

Now relating this to my personal experience I can firmly say that every major alpha that I know are great fighters, or at least are willing to fight anyone. As an outcome of this they do whatever they want and are totally dominant in every social situation. Everyone knows that any challenge they might pose to their status might end up in a physical confrontation. As result you can say that their social position goes practically untouched as 99% of people prefer to avoid any kind of fights.

The Rugby Player

Living in a society where we are constantly hammered with the message “violence isn’t the solution to anything,” I was kind of skeptical about the value of force. But after reading Heinlein’s book, I started to notice a certain pattern in one of my closest friends, a tough guy with whom I had played rugby for most of my teenage years.

Every time we were in social situations together he would act erratic and unpredictable. He would mock everyone randomly. He would speak to every girl (even if she clearly was with some guy). Everything is possible for the sake of his amusement (he also got into lots of fights due to this behavior). He took some serious risks with random people and as I had this question dwelling in my mind I started asking him: “What if they get pissed off and start hitting you?” He consistently answered in a calmly manner “Well, if that happens I’ll punch my way out.” He simply wasn’t worried—he knew how to fight and was willing to do it.

As a result of his thrilling behavior, everybody I know loves him and tries to please him. Girls want to be around him because it’s exciting (and he surely knows how to capitalize on that). He dominates every social situation without effort because he isn’t scared of being challenged. He is ready to face the ultimate consequences. But how can we explain such character?

While growing up he attended to one of the most dangerous schools of our county. Reports of daily violence between students were common. He naturally had to adapt to this environment. Several years of serious disputes during recess taught him the skills of street fighting. And also inadvertently taught him how violence could help him stay at the top of the food chain in our human society. That was the source of his erratic behavior. The answer was always before my eyes, I just had been too brainwashed to see it. Afterwards I started noticing this pattern in my social circle, as I said before the major alphas of my social circle weren’t scared of the possibility of fighting.

One of my high school friends was a muscular and big framed guy who was also goofy, awkward and anti-social. He didn’t know how to fight and, as a product of our society, wasn’t willing to do it. In our senior year he got his ass kicked by a freshman and decided it was time for some boxing lessons (for self-defense purposes). After some time he became more outspoken, and started taking some risks socially. Two years into boxing he became a bulldozer with his hands. He doesn’t care about being called a goofball or a dork, because if someone mocks him he gets his ass kicked. He pursues fun with disregard to social conventions and no one condones him. When he is trying to pick up a random pretty girl, I pity the ever present random boyfriend that tries to intervene.

Violence Has Always Been Around And Always Will Be

Since I realized the importance that violence will always assume in our daily lives (and society as a whole) as the natural root of authority I started taking boxing lessons in a nearby gym. Not being able to cope with violence restrained me. This personal admission required my ego to be put aside, but it was true: the possibility of getting into trouble dissuaded me from lots of actions. I wasn’t a fighter before and I’m still far from being good at it, but starting this journey gave me insight into my limitations in social interactions, and how I could work over them. Every time some new acquaintance becomes aware of my pleasure for boxing training I see the expression of doubt on their faces: “Maybe this guy can’t be easily pushed around”.

In conclusion, learning how to fight can be a liberating experience. It gives you the unique confidence you need to become a dominant man. Even for the accomplished player, fighting skills will open a world of possibilities that were unthinkable before.

Read More: Learn To Be An Alpha From Athletes