The following dialogue took place between myself (RV) and Quintus Curtius (QC) on May 28, 2015.

RV:

For an idea that is less than three months old, neomasculinity is getting a lot of exposure, and some of it has been quite heated, with even conspiratorial accusations levied against it. I did not expect such emotions.

QC:

Men commonly react with hostility to things that challenge their preconceptions. The congregation enjoys being berated, but less often enjoys being reformed. Meaningful doctrines are rarely built by committees or by the consensus of many; rather, they flow as output from the creative individual. We do not construct our worldviews around the opinions of the masses, but rather out of a consideration of the laws of history. The provenance of speculative thought is not to be found in the herd.

I found it amusing to hear the complaint that we were not advocating something “original.” What a strange statement! In the ethical and moral realms, very little is new except arrangement. Only a fool or a lunatic is completely original. And why is this? It is because it is difficult to be completely original without also being wrong. What has been proven true by experience also shows what is demonstrably false. The originality is found in the presentation of old ideas to new audiences, and this is something that requires skill. The originality of neomasculinity lies in the fact that it is both “progressive” and “retrogressive”: it looks back in time for the principles that have endowed men with worldly greatness, and at the same time, it looks forward to adapt those principles to the needs of the modern man.

The neomasculist ethic is the offspring of both old and new: the old elements are the traditional virtues of the past, such as stoicism, the acceptance of struggle, advanced problem solving, breaking through barriers, and the submerging of the identity in the idealistic pursuit of a goal. The new elements are simply the flexible, tactical means of achieving these traditional goals. And yet at heart it remains a corrective movement, in the sense that it seeks to restore a proper balance to a wildly unbalanced state of affairs.

RV:

While you would hate to see firm attacks against an idea you know is an improvement, it would be even more strange if there was no criticism at all. If something you introduced did not rouse the emotions of at least some men, that suggests you were taking a safe step to the side instead of one step forward, for it’s forward movement that causes anxiety. It is not always pleasant to think of the future and the changes that are coming.

I see two big problems with the existing groups. The first is that they are unable to see beyond the tips of their noses. They usually have a firm grasp on the problems of today, but are not looking ahead, not even one year into the future. How quickly people forget the changes we have endured in the past ten years! But of course you would have to be thinking carefully of those problems for the past ten years, and based on that, make reasonable predictions of what will happen in the next ten. Existing groups were essentially ad-hoc, created spontaneously by the crowd with no defined purpose and no elders to navigate through the combustive cultural changes we’re experiencing. I fail to see how they can adapt.

The second problem I noticed is that they don’t give solutions that are sustainable. Game is an individual solution that will see less long-term benefits if the quality of women keep declining. Not only are you competing with more game-aware men, but you are competing for women who are getting more obese and deranged and seem to be more interested in virtual living through their smartphones than meeting decent men. Even expatriating is seeing less effectiveness as second and third-world countries become more Westernized.

Game and self-improvement is the individual solution, but without societal solutions that can also be applied, or solutions that are directly applied to women themselves, the decline will be so rapid that within only five years we may find ourselves in a situation where it will be difficult for men to improve their lot.

QC:

Virtuous men are those who take positive action to solve problems. They do not hide from the responsibilities of life behind a protective embankment of negativity.

Diagnosis is one-half of action; the other half is the cure. To go beyond merely identifying the ills of society, to hammering out a comprehensive individual solution: herein lies the great advance of neomasculinity over other systems of thought. It is sometimes necessary to robe old truths in contemporary garments, so that they may be more readily acceptable to men who do not have the leisure or inclination for speculative thought.

And I agree with your point about Westernization happening on a global scale. It is proceeding apace even now; soon it will be necessary for every man to arm himself with some form of neomasculine principles simply in order to maintain his sanity.

An unmoored generation finds itself caught in the turbulent interval between the collapse of the old world, and the advent of the new; the previous generations resigned themselves to corruption and luxury, and failed in their duty to protect the culture from the inroads of barbarism. Our ideas will become part of the new world which is currently taking shape. By helping create a cadre of men imbued with proper ways of thinking and conduct, we will be able to shape our environment. We aim to banish feelings of powerlessness, and inculcate in men a spirit of positive action.

RV:

You said that our ideas will become a part of the new world, but is this too optimistic? There is a part of me that is reluctant to cling onto hope, and while I wouldn’t be embarking on this new path if I didn’t have at least some hope that we can make the future better, lately I’m finding myself having to close my eyes and ears to the daily degradations the enemy is levying on our society.

Every day I can point out two news stories. The first shows us making one step forward, where someone, somewhere, unexpectedly resists the tide, and then the next story arrives and it’s three steps backwards. All progress wiped out. Just the other day I read a story out of New York where two men were arrested on the subway for having their legs too far open, which just a couple months ago was the latest feminist attempt to criminalize male behavior. Two men were legally punished for a trifling feminist cause, and this is disheartening.

But I will say that even if you told me there is no hope, and that we will only change one male life, I wouldn’t stop teaching the cure that is needed, because unlike so many other men, I can’t “enjoy” the decline. I can’t enjoy a city or a woman with the knowledge that in a short time this enjoyment will become impossible. In that case it may be better not to enjoy it at all.

Fighting is the only option, until the very end. With neomasculinity we must put forward the solutions, as intelligently and clearly as we can and then pray for a little good fortune that the wind will fill our sails and move our boat through turbulent waves to affect the world in a way that merely doing nothing does not.

QC:

Yes, this is well and truly said. It is understandable, and perhaps forgivable, that many of our brothers see a voluntary withdrawal from society as almost the only rational course. And no doubt, those looking for daily examples of injustice can find them all too easily. They are all around us: evil is of old date, and multiplies with geometric fury. Yet defeatism is unbecoming of a man.

History is replete with examples of minorities acting, against unfavorable odds, as the catalysts for positive change. The truth cannot be denied forever: an edifice built on a foundation of sand must, sooner or later, obey the inescapable laws of historical gravity. Remember that the greatest mass movements in history were begun by a conviction born of blind faith, supported by the winds and currents of fortune. We go the way that our convictions take us, and adopt the assurance born of instinct. Even modest success can be achieved just by showing men that there is an explanation for their predicament, and a prescription for their health.

And as you say, some men are constitutionally incapable of kow-towing to what they know to be lies and hypocrisy. At some point, a stand must be taken; at some point, lines must be drawn in the sand, or else there will be nothing left to defend. We also know—if I can paraphrase a famous Churchill quote here—groups that go down without a fight never rise again; and those groups which exert their zealous energies to advance their causes always rise again.

Positive labor in the service of a noble ideal is never wasted. There is always something that can be done, and there is always one more thing left to do. We refuse to abdicate our responsibility to preserve the ethics and culture of our civilizational heritage. We will not let their lies and corruptions go unchallenged. Certain things we cannot accept, and will never accept.

RV:

The balance, I believe, is to propose the big solutions for the future while teaching men the individual solutions for the present, because if we were to be honest, it’s highly unlikely that all our present problems will be pleasantly and smoothly resolved within our lifetimes. Judging from my travels through Europe, we still have a way to go before the bottom is hit.

For men who want to start a family, there is a clock working against them, so sitting and waiting is not acceptable. We must help these men figure out how to realize their needs. At the same time, there are younger men who are filled with testosterone and cannot be bothered to think in terms of family. Instead, they want to fornicate to relieve a sex urge that, if not fulfilled, can be debilitating to a man’s normal functioning.

While it will be far easier to help the vigorous man than the one who has passed his sexual peak, they will both be served by neomasculinity. A reader may see a contradiction of using game to serve the young man while advocating for tradition on the older, and how game, when applied for ego gratification or entertainment, can be corrupting, but it must be understood that in the modern era, the man without serious game practice won’t even be able to find and keep a woman to create a family with. Game is the big metal gate through which men must pass to experience what their fathers and grandfathers so easily did.

We may have to segment men based on the stages of life they are in, the “young” neomasculist who seeks practical advice to improve his life, and the “old” neomasculist who seeks deeper meaning and understanding. It seems to me that serving the young will be far easier than the old.

QC:

Every stage of a man’s life will be adequately served by the neomasculist core principles. Every man will project on to these principles that which serves him best. For just as children born from the same parents may acquire different looks and mannerisms, so too does each person contain within him perennial movements of the passions, and individual qualities, that may make him emphasize one point of neomasculist doctrine over another.

Especially important for us is to ground our doctrines on actual experience. Francis Bacon warned us that error can arise from three sources: “idols of the tribe” (fallacies common to all men), “idols of the cave” (shortcomings in an individual man), and “idols of the market-place” (errors that arise from a man’s interactions with others). In your neomasculinity article, you were careful to derive each principle not from theory, but from actual practice. I believe this is important.

What is also important is that now, at least, we have a comprehensive guide that offers a realistic alternative to what is presented to us by the mass media. At least now there is a program of action, however imperfect it may be. Even the most intrepid travelers need a guide. Our goal, I think, should be that neither worldly cares, journeys, or ill health should ever hinder us from practicing these principles. Success in these matters seems to come more from diligent practice and study, than from an inheritance from Nature.

What, may I ask, do you find to be the most encouraging signs you now see, as far as the popular culture is concerned?

RV:

The main encouraging sign I see is that the establishment has lost its stranglehold upon their controlled bullhorn. The fact that our dialogue will be read by thousands of men within a month of its publication is proof that “dangerous” ideas can quickly, efficiently, and cheaply find the minds of men who value them. If the establishment was still the sole gatekeeper to media publishing like they were before the internet, our reach could only be locally based, perhaps within a small men’s club, but now it’s global. This tells me that the internet, for all of its disruptive influence, is the main tool we have in exposing corruption and lies, and without it this conversation may not have even taken place.

The upside leads to an immediate downside: we’re not the only ones releasing ideas. With so much media content being published by both the establishment and independent creators, there is tough competition to grab a person’s attention in the face of unlimited options, and the fact that we’ve already been attacked shows that other groups don’t want us speaking to their existing followers. This means that, ironically, we’ll at some point have to mimic media establishment tactics to create more appealing offerings that make us more like them. When men encounter an article or video on the internet, they make a snap judgement on its presentation, and if that judgement says “amateur quality” then we have lost a key opportunity.

While it’s tempting to jump into things with big plans, I’m certain we should move slowly. For every idea we put out there, we must listen to men and see what their thoughts and concerns about it are. Yet there still has to be some friction to what we’re presenting, because only through conflict and debate can the right ideas and arguments rise to the top, and have them last for generations.

QC:

This is most certainly true. It seems to me that a suitable analogy can be found in how the muscular contractions of the human heart push oxygenated blood through the body. This systole and diastole of debate over ideas will act to circulate neomasculist doctrines within the collective body of our readership, in the same way that the beating of the heart circulates blood in the human body.

And with regard to ideas, yes, what is unfamiliar requires time to assimilate. Experience and time will reveal what is acceptable and useful, and what is not.

What is most important is that men remain steady and confident in the face of the great external challenges that are almost daily imposed on them. They must remember that they are the bearers of a great tradition, and the inheritors of an esteemed mantle. Man was created for great things, and he must make his way in reliance on this fact. We should be mindful of Cicero’s words in his treatise “On Laws” (I.7.22): “The animal we call man, who has foresight, wisdom, perspicacity, sharpness, memory, and a bounty of reason and counsel, was created by the supreme deity for a supreme position. Of all the living beings in nature, he is the only one who partakes of nature’s reason.”

This to me conveys our responsibility admirably. I know of nothing that has as much power to console as the contemplation of this idea.

RV:

While it will be hard to remain steady in the face of rapid change never before seen in the history of humanity, let us now do our best to provide the guidance and knowledge that men need to survive these times. I hope we retain both the strength and energy to improve the lives of men for decades to come.

This dialogue was originally published on RooshV.com.

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