Welcome to my weekly digest for July 21, 2022. For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by
I think another thing worth exploring is the parallel (at least I see one) between what you observe with the church giving men false information on relationships and women and the observations of a red pilled feminist Louise Perry (as expressed in this episode of Subversive with Alex Kaschuta https://odysee.com/@kaschuta:f/louise-perry-sex,-reimagined:b). For example, Perry is critical of the sexual revolution and what it has told women about what they should want, saying it has mainly benefited high status males (at least in the short run - or I would say in the flesh). More generally, according to popular conceptions saying that women should restrict themselves in any way sexually is tantamount to regression and oppression, even if it would unambiguously benefit women. A parallel I see is that certain truths aren't supposed to be spoken (or are outright denied) to the detriment of men and women, and it would be interesting to see the Venn diagram of internet subcultures that recognize this.
One reason Peterson is so popular is because, for the most part, he masterfully articulates things that most people know to be true, but don't know how to verbally or mentally express. Like any great leader, when he speaks, his words ring true in the ears of his audience. And not only are his words true, but they are also truly applicable and effective. His advice is good advice. His diagnoses are detailed and specific. His insights into people, the stories they tell, their ideologies political systems, are sharp, clear, and accurate. He sees and talks about the people and their experiences and struggles in clear, fresh, and above all, helpful ways. He is what so many pastors and fathers around the world ought to be, but aren't. The world is starving for that kind of man, and Peterson's fame is a testament to it.
"Greed is good" is so '80's. Today it is more "Greed is relative". Everything can be justified.
I agree with Barnard.
Sarah Hill wrote a book called This is Your Brain on Birth Control. While clearly geared toward women, multiple chapters address research regarding aspects of mate selection frequently overlooked: Birth control affects what traits in men are viewed as more desirable. When it comes to going off the pill, the subsequent shift in priorities may initiate the thoughts underlying women taking the lead on divorces (for couples thinking of starting a family, p110 might be a bit of a shock). I would be curious to hear what value you glean from this book in relation to your aim of bringing men up to speed on reality. When I have brought its topics up to guys, some were baffled, they never learned that hormones affect men and women beyond physical secondary sexual characteristics.
You’ve talked about the testosterone/cortisol ratio; I’m curious if have any thoughts about the study released this week showing no connection between serotonin and depression, yet another crack in the foundation of how we treat anxiety and depression with a shocking amount of drugs.
The church misplaces where Virtue lies even compared to popular influencers.
'Churchianity' (as Dalrock blogger pointed out years ago):
Man up means sacrifice. The purpose of sacrifice is for women and children.
It is virtuous to sacrifice. If you don't, you should be shamed.
If you do, you probably need to examine yourself on how you can do it more, because expecting a crumb of respect is toxic.
Gurus and the Bible:
Man up means sacrifice.
It isn't that sacrifice is virtue, sacrifice for virtue is how to build virtue.
Sacrifice for virtue means it is primarily for the future of the man that is sacrificing, not women and children.
More virtue means more ability. Means more wisdom. Means more power. Means more influence.
Means more due respect. Mean advancement in a proper hierarchy.
Thanks for the open comments. Got inspired to write my own piece on Jordan Peterson. He's been on a dead end road since 2017.
Since he never clearly defines his terms, I'll do it:
Jordan Peterson's 'the good': Balance pleasurable brain states among the population, sustainably, and bound by evolved instincts. Thereby escaping suffering as much as possible.
Truth: that which is useful for reaching the good.
Belief, Meaning, Purpose = When you have subjective positive brain states that avoid suffering.
Soul, God = Things that don’t exist as immaterial objects but are helpful mental concepts to build towards subjective positive brain states that avoid suffering.
One thing that comes to mind that might be worth commenting on is the contrast between what JBP and others have said about the church (that it either doesn't have anything to offer young men or is not operated with a desire to appeal to them) and the fact that the TGC's Rebecca McLaughlin basically celebrates how congregations are majority female. How do we navigate whether to consider female domination of the church a feature or a bug?
Are you familiar with the author Matthew Fray and his book “This Is How Your Marriage Ends”? Do you have any thoughts on it?
JP, Jocko, and other types are popular because, as you have rightly pointed out, they speak to actual issues men face and recognize that men learn differently than women. Consider years past, schools were often single-sex. Or the book of Proverbs, written as a father instructing his son. Solomon doesn’t just teach by grace through faith but actually instructs his son using real world examples lessons of working hard, how to deal with money, and how to honor women. Most “Gospel-centered” evangelicals are too pietistic and gnostic on this and forget that it is the Gospel that is the engine of good works, which includes distinctly masculine good works like providing and protecting.
Yglesias's comments here, like most of the work I have read from him are garbage. On Trump, it is common for real estate developers to have disputes with subcontractors over pay for services provided specifically if there are questions about the quality of their work. Given his other ethical shortcomings Trump may have pushed this further than he should have at times, but I seriously doubt all the fault in these disputes lies with him, especially when dealing with union controlled companies in 1980s and 90s New York.
On Musk and Twitter, it has now been proven the user data Twitter gave Musk before his purchase was fraudulent and that the company's reported user base includes an unknown but large percentage of bots. In the kind of society Yglesias claims to want, the Department of Justice would be ripping Twitter apart, bringing criminal charges against its board and advertisers would be winning judgments against them. Claiming Musk's decision to reconsider is due to a short term dip in tech stocks is idiotic. If the data Twitter had presented to Musk was honest, the stock price would recover and surpass what he offered in a typical market cycle. These criticisms of business law and eroding social norms are rich coming from a trust fund "journalist" who has never done a day of meaningful work in his life. Yglesias is a great example along with his old buddy Ezra Klein of how much damage can be done by generational elites who have no understanding of history or how the world works outside their bubble. To claim this sort of thing didn't happen in the past is laughable.
As a longtime reader and fan of The Masculinist, I've often wondered: what would an ideal Gender Studies 101 syllabus look like? Gender Studies is actually an important subject, that has unfortunately been colonized by progressive ideology. It would be fantastic if Aaron could post a model syllabus for this subject, useful for college students who are being fed the usual pack of lies. A few ideas: Ivan Illich, Gender. Abigail Favale, The Genesis of Gender: A Christian Theory. Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae. Leon Podles, The Church Impotent. Scott Yenor, The Recovery of Family Life: Exposing the Limits of Modern Ideologies. Bradford Wilcox. Alastair Roberts. A two-semester version of the class could cover: 1. An honest presentation of the biology and social science that are usually twisted by progressives and 2. The philosophical and theological questions - "what is a man? what is a woman?" - that are ignored entirely by progressives.
I think Jordan Peterson sees some deep issues in our culture really clearly, and is becoming more frustrated as he sees them more clearly but doesn't quite know how to help. For instance, he's starting to see the connection between the decline of masculinity in the culture and the way men are generally treated in churches. He sees how bad it is, but since he doesn't quite have a full Christian worldview or any sort of trust in the providence of God, he just wants to start yelling at the problems. I think it's an understandable response, and while his evolution into a more bombastic rhetoric is jarring, he still has a point. I think if he ever comes to a place of faith he would realize Christ is still building his kingdom, and the secular "Man Up" types, while they see real issues in the culture, are operating outside (even if sometimes in similar directions) of what Christ is doing.
Societies that are high-trust, in the normal sense of that term, have generally been in northern Europe or populated by people from northern Europe. There might be a handful of exceptions, depending on how you define the term, but those would also be comprised of relatively homogenous populations.
Matt Yglesias famously advocates that we bring in 700 million additional immigrants to create One Billion Americans. If that were to happen, the connections between US residents would become so tenuous that the term "Americans" would need quotation marks. It's hard to think of any policy change that would reduce social trust as much as that.