Ethics is a distinct branch of philosophy. It proposes to address the questions that trouble all of us as we go about our lives: what is the best life, and how can it be lived? What is wisdom? What is virtue? What is the best way to find happiness and fulfillment in life?
The discussions that Roosh and I have had on these matters have illuminated us both, and perhaps left us more perplexed than ever. Every question prompts a hundred answers, and every answer branches off into a labyrinth of yet more interconnected lines of inquiry.
Is there any way to make sense of this chaos of conflicting and complementary principles? I have tried to narrow our list of ethical candidates down to those which seem to have had the most longevity in the life of man. Durability in history counts for much. The river of ideas consigns some to the shoreline, and others to the main current.
We claim here no original system—since there is nothing new except arrangement—but instead wish to extract the best of the existing systems. The originality lies here not in the ideas themselves, but in the packaging, exposition, and presentation of those ideas to a new generation as an antidote to the ills of the present age.
We believe the inclusion of a principle on our list here is supported by a careful study of the world’s major religions and philosophical systems. And yet we wish to prune the tree’s branches, while trying to avoid doing violence to the tree itself. The specialist will find this list to be woefully short and deficient, and the casual reader will find it to be tiresomely long. Yet every journey must begin with some steps forward.
In this spirit, and with these preliminary cautions in mind, we hazard the following list of neomasculine ethical principles:
1. Virtue is to be found in the balanced operation of the bodily faculties, governed by rational thought.
2. Starting a family is a positive good if it serves as a net benefit to man, rather than a burden. For as Francis Bacon says, “Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.” Healthy societies are grounded on a stable family unit; and the decay of the latter invites the collapse of the former.
3. Change is the essence of the operation of the universe: things grow, mature, decay, and die. We must make use of the limited time we have here.
4. A soul exists in every man, and is man’s intangible essence of character. Soul does not exist without the body; their mutual health must be a primary concern. Both body and soul must be cultivated and nurtured as part of our program of development.
5. The gaining of wisdom does not consist only in reading books about wisdom; it lies in the training of the body and mind as a harmonious unit towards virtuous goals. It also lies in the pursuit of direct experience with hardships. Struggle is the mother of wisdom. Struggle brings the lessons of wisdom to fruition. The pursuit of wisdom is a continual process that lasts a lifetime, and will end only in death.
6. The pursuit of solitude for its own sake is to be avoided. Man is a social animal, and must avoid the timid extreme of retreating into a protected enclave. Wisdom consists not in avoiding the responsibilities and challenges of the world, but in confronting and overcoming them.
7. A man should treat his brother has he himself should wish to be treated. A man must cultivate the bonds of fraternal affection with his fellows. The modern ethic of individualism and selfishness is socially destructive, and must give way to a more communitarian ethic. No man is an island unto himself; he is part of a group and must consider the good of his fellows along with that of himself.
8. The good man will accept as part of life all of the vicissitudes of fate: loss, failure, defeat, pain, and even death. He accepts all this, yet strives to transcend the pain of his earthly existence by aspiring to higher spiritual truths. Endurance of hardship must be a cornerstone of our belief system.
9. We cannot know all things in Nature. There is hidden wisdom in our earthly suffering that we must try to turn to our advantage.
10. We should examine our consciences regularly to see if we are advancing our ideals, and living up to them.
11. We must cultivate our spiritual side. Philosophy without some form of spirituality is a dark and empty thing.
12. Knowledge of the world comes from two sources: from the senses, and from divine illumination (i.e., an intuitive perception of the Divine Essence). Training in bodily health will improve our sense perceptions, and our knowledge of the physical world. Training in spiritual exercises (contemplative or meditative thought) will advance our spiritual development.
13. All of life, and all of physical reality, is the dynamic movement of matter. Creation and destruction are around us constantly. We are an essential part of this process. The universe, and apparently we ourselves, are likely to live through numerous cycles of birth, destruction, and rebirth. We find, for example, this idea in the Hindu concept of the atman (individual soul) being re-absorbed into the world soul (brahman) on death; and the poet Virgil, in his Fourth Eclogue, prophesized that history would repeat itself continuously.
14. Social morality must be based on moral codes that have stood the test of time. Moral codes, whether they come from religion or philosophy, are essential to social cohesion. Moral codes keep the baser instincts of man in check, and codify biologic and social principles that have proven valid for thousands of years of history.
15. We reject fatalism and the idea that things are preordained. Every man must make his own choices, and live by those choices. Free will is an essential part of our philosophy. Positive action, rather than passivity born of fatalism, is our preference. Man’s actions, or inactions, can be decisive in historical events. The individual personality is a determining factor in history. Men make and shape history, more than unseen, nameless forces.
16. The definition of “goodness” for man lies in this: the cooperation with Nature, rather than the vain pursuit of sensual pleasure. We must, therefore, avoid a surfeit of vice. At the same time, we should also avoid the danger of slipping into asceticism, or a withdrawal from the vigorous responsibilities of life.
We encourage readers to make their own modifications and adjustments to these naturally flexible principles, while keeping faith with their general spirit. Our purpose is to arrive at those principles that have stood the test of time, and that complement the principles of neomasculinity as described in our earlier articles.
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