Red Pill Logic: Beyond Red and Blue Pills

Lately it seems that there is some discussion regarding when to move on from the red pill. As someone who found the manosphere quite early, was a part of it for a while, left and then came back I found myself thinking about this idea. There is no doubt that everything we encounter in life is either a permanent fixture or a transitory element, meaning that some things stick with us for life, other things are part of our life for a while and are then left behind. To use weight training as an example, if you build your body over time, then you can maintain it with much less effort than it took to build. Yet if you completely neglect it, it will slowly crumble over time. This is similar with most skills, if they are not used, then they atrophy over time until we find ourselves not having the skills at all. Depending on the skill and the length of the atrophy period, one may be able to re-learn the skill rather quickly, or it may take just as long as the initial learning period.

This lead to the question, if a man internalizes red pill teachings will they remain with him in sufficient strength to avoid the very pitfalls that lead him to the manosphere in the first place? One must keep in mind that most men arrive at this corner of the internet because they have problems they need to solve, the problems are many and diverse, what they have in common is intersexual dynamics. Whether a man is attempting to figure out why his wife of 10 or more years left him for a guy she met a few weeks ago, why he is in a 5 year dry-spell, or why he is living in a dead-bedroom situation the manosphere can offer probable diagnosis and potential cures.

However, the solutions that the sphere offers are often the antithesis of the behavior of the man who requires them. After all, if his behavioral-schema worked, then he would not have the problems that was the impetus for him to seek out advice in the first place. I outlined many of the characteristics of the thesis, antithesis and failed attempts at synthesis in a series of essays earlier this year, and these fall into three categories. What doesn’t work, what works, and what we hope will work. The Blue Pill does not work, The Red Pill does work, and the purple pill is the desire among men who have seen reality to live the illusion. I’ve outlined the major differences in the table below:



The purple pill is that it sells itself as the continuation and natural evolution of the red pill, by having red pill knowledge and utilizing red pill methodology one can achieve blue pill ends. It is for this reason that it advocates many of the red pill methodologies, such as maintaining frame, lifting weights, being the leader of your family and many others that help build and maintains a woman’s perception of having landed the highest possible value male for her. Dread game at its most basic is simply a situation in which the woman perceives that losing her man would represent a bigger risk than potential gains she could achieve by either leaving or going outside the relationship.

The Maslow Problem

From my analysis of the problem, it seems that the focus on “meaning” is in many ways a Maslowian problem. Maslow’s hierarchy outlines different levels of needs that a human will experience. First are the physiological needs, including food, sleep, shelter and sex. Then come the safety needs that include things like personal security, financial security, health and well-being. Then come the social needs such as friendships, intimacy and family, followed by the esteem needs, that include being able to value oneself and being valued by others. Finally, the elephant in the room, self-actualization.

Now the red pill as a philosophy is focused primarily on the first four levels of the pyramid, the initial beginnings of the red pill, PUA were and still are largely focused on satisfying the sexual need. I would wager that even to this day a majority of people who enter the manosphere do so because they are unhappy with their sex life on some level. Be this a husband living in a dead bedroom relationship, a teenager who has no idea how to talk to girls, a divorced man who struggles with getting back into the market and many others.

However, the red pill also deals with safety needs, in that there is much advice on financial security among other things. My risk analysis of marriage for instance is largely focused on the potential financial consequences of current divorce, alimony and child support laws. Other men have focused on the risk of false accusations and threats to one’s freedom resulting from high conflict divorces or break-ups. Health is also a major focus of Red Pill theory, especially when it comes to a man’s duty to maintain his physical strength through lifting and protecting himself against medical problems through optimal nutrition, hormone levels and the likes.

On a social level, the red pill offers a community of men in similar situations, which allows the man to feel part of a community of like-minded men, something which is a rarity in today’s modern world. A major part of PUA in the early days was finding like-minded wingmen that would act as both support-group and drill sergeant in driving a man towards more progress and in many ways this is a fixture of the red pill as well. However, there is little sense in denying that the red pill does put individual over community.

Once one arrives at esteem, the focus on self-improvement within the manosphere has a dual purpose. While it does increase a man’s sexual market value, thus increasing his ability to find more and better mates. It also helps to build self-esteem and self-respect. For men, self-esteem is built through accomplishments, working through adversity and coming out stronger on the other side. Many of the red pill prescriptions on the earlier levels, such as facing your fear, managing your health, finances, lifting weights and others, helps build a sense of accomplishment in each man. The trouble of many young men in our modern world is that they have never broken through a barrier, they have been lifted over it.

Many men push themselves through the Maslowian levels at break-neck speed, and have few if any of the previous levels handled, but they want to be at the self-actualization level, because it is much more abstract. Where the prior levels have SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) there is nothing of the sort for self-actualization. If we take an example or two from each level, we are all aware of when we are not eating and sleeping enough, or when we are not getting laid enough. The solutions are also specific, if the problem is “I’m not sleeping enough”, the goal is “I must get at least 7 hours of sleep, every day, for the next 30 days” this is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. On level two, the problem may be “I’m living from paycheck to paycheck” the SMART goal could be “I need to save 5% of my paycheck every month for the next year”. If the problem is “I don’t have a social life” then the SMART goal is perhaps “For the next 3 months, go out and socialize with at least 5 different people every week”. If the problem is “I have no self-esteem”, then perhaps the SMART goal should be “Engage in [insert activity] three times per week and set progress goals”.

Self-actualization is the problematic one, and this is also where the focus among some appear to completely reside as of late. It is also where many aging pick-up artists find themselves after a decade or so of hedonistic freedom, they long for more, as Maslow puts it “What a man can be, he must be“. A man who has implemented all the advice the red pill offers on the other levels, find himself looking across the horizon, often looking for another prescription. His physiological needs have been covered, his security needs are taken care of, he has a large and vibrant social circle, and is most likely borderline narcissistic and viewed as high value by many. However, is he all that he can be?

There is no real way to create such goals for self-actualization, which is perhaps also why it is not talked about much in red pill theory explicitly. The Blue Pill Illusion naturally offers some such as being married, being a father, being a high performing employee and various others as “all you can be”, because “the group” has an incentive to create a structure to follow throughout the levels. If society ensures that one must have a job in order to satisfy the first and second levels of the pyramid, then this has certain requirements to behave in a given manner. Likewise, the smaller the Overton window, and accepted behavior in order to function in a social group, the more control the group has, the group also controls whether you are valued as a member or not, and can influence your self-esteem through negative feedback. If someone external to you defines the path to self-actualization/self-fulfillment, it also regulates your journey towards that destination, and therefore controls you.

In essence, culture and the group sets the goals for each level, designs a path that can easily be followed at each level, but does so primarily to get the needs of the group covered, rather than those of the individual.

Summary and Conclusions

If one looks at the table at the start of this essay, the major distinction between the red pill and the other two, is that the red pill does not define the end-state for you, this is something left up to each individual. In this regard it is a highly individual-focused philosophy, which is also why there are many descriptions of paths one can take, but very few that describes the destination. Telling a man to not make his woman his mission, doesn’t guarantee that he will be successful, and is the antithesis of the blue pill idealism that advocates that a man make a woman the center of his life.

One of the things I covered in my essay on “The Good Boys” was the tendency for some types of men to treat life as a check-list. Finish high school, check, finish college, check, get married, check and so on. In essence making all their major life decision without ever introspecting and questioning what paths they want to take in life. Some of the men who do very well with red pill theory, and especially PUA are men of this type, that run through their approaches, burn through the material and have a focus on being able to check off the various sub-points within the theory as fast as possible. As long as they have a prescription, they will follow and execute it to the letter. The trouble is that when these men are left without points on their list, instead of looking inside they look to the outside until they find someone who can provide them with a new point or two.

This is what happened with many of the early PUA gurus. If one thinks of PUA as a video-game, they kept leveling up and leveling up until they hit max level, then they spent years grinding the best gear in the game, then they enjoyed playing a max leveled, fully equipped character for a while, but this got boring. They thought pick-up was what would lead to them reaching self-actualization, but it turned out that it was not. Thus, they started searching for more goals, more points to check off their list, which is how most of them ended up married with children, this was the deductive next step that they had been socially programmed to take and which society said would actualize them.

The trouble is that self-actualization is a  subjective concept, what gives meaning to the life of one man can be meaningless for another man. In fact, if a man takes the path of another, he may find himself rapidly descending the hierarchy down the bottom. For instance, a man who follows the prescription to vet a wife, get married and have children at age 25 that some offer, only to find that this does not offer his life meaning, in fact he finds the entire thing to be the antithesis of meaning for him, and then gets divorced, finds himself having made a major life choice that has consequences for the rest of his life based on the perspective of another man, never having asked himself “Is this truly what I desire?”

To summarize, life is not a video game, there is no “Complete strategy guide” that can be downloaded.

A note:

I recently launched a Patreon page where I will be posting additional content every month for those who support me and I will do a Google Hangout for the highest tier Patrons (limited to 10 people).

I’ve also had some requests for consults, which I’ve declined up until now, but due to demand I’ve chosen to open up for doing some consults on request. For details please check out my Consulting and Patreon Page

As always you can buy my book Gendernomics at as both paperback and Kindle

14 comments on “Red Pill Logic: Beyond Red and Blue Pills

  1. David B says:

    This is a fine post, as always. The points you have made in reference to self-actualization are particularly accurate. I am not certain how closely you have been following Roosh V as of late. I find his recently writings almost despondent and it is a bit depressing as he is one of the Legendary Three Rs. If he gets to the end of his successful journey and he is not happy then what hope is there for the rest of us? He seems stressed that he is now not married and with children like his father at his age. He seems stressed out by the fight with the SJWs as disclosed in a recent post and this week he came out with “The Black Pill” podcast which I am still attempting to figure out. Who is next Rollo? Roissy? I agree with your take that the Red Pill promises no end destination. Rollo called it a “safety net” which I think is highly accurate… almost like martial art training. You may never need it but if and when you do you are glad that you were exposed to it.


    • As I argued on twitter earlier, I think self-actualization/finding meaning is a highly subjective process that is difficult to master. Roosh has reached the point where he’s got all the 4 objective steps handled, but he’s struggling with the final step, being “all he can be”.

      I tend to think that you can use other men as role models for many things, but never for what gives your life meaning.


      • David B says:

        Well stated! Thank you again kind sir for the great discussion topic.


      • David B says:

        You are exactly right on your assertion about Roosh struggling with the last step. In my opinion, I think he was close to it with his meet up campaign and he got so badly burned during that encounter that he lost his way a bit.

        As I see it, the Red Pill has much to offer but it has one major flaw when compared against the Feminine Imperative. A man can learn Game and increase his notch count or alpha up for his wife or have that safety net as Rollo describes that keeps him from blowing his brains out after his ‘one’ divorces him but all these efforts are at the grass roots individual level. The Imperative works at the institutional level–changing laws, changing politicians, and changing society to get what it is after. The Red Pill educates but as I currently see it I see no large scale effort to change society as a whole to correct affairs. Dudes seem to be being unplugged one dude at a time. But everyone is more or less out for themselves.

        This is what I think Roosh was struggling with when he came up with his Neo Masculinity and his meet up campaign, his self-actualization. For all the success he has had in his own endeavors, society has gotten worse from when he started where he doesn’t even think he can live here anymore. That is a pretty drastic step. Many folks cannot just get up an leave the country for good like that. I wonder if he would have gone the way of the Purple Pill had he been forced to stay by his financial circumstances.

        In your opinion, what are our best options for correcting affairs beyond the knowledge in this country? Would you consider the Men’s Rights Movement the way or perhaps another group that is making some strides against the current culture?


  2. Brad Matthews says:

    My experience: masculine Christianity is the highest form of self-actualization. Redemption through submission. Men are wired to submit to superior authority, but pride gets in the way. Marriage and fatherhood produced immense personal growth, satisfaction, and potential legacy but are not required. Spirit is most over-looked aspect of modern society. There is a source of faith, hope, and courage from which all men can draw strength. It’s respected by some and mocked by others, but I would recommend some serious contemplation if you are undecided. Red pill men are quick to follow good advice, and this is the best I have to offer.

    That’s a really great article. I appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • David B says:

      Brad, I am so glad that you offered this. There is a statement attributed to Napoleon about the power of the spirit compared to the physical being three to one for his men. He was dead on with this comment. When I was a young man, I spent all my time in the gym working on the flesh. As an older (and more seasoned man), I spend all my time in church working on the spirit and I am much happier and centered for it. I do not know why people overlook the spiritual so much (even if it is not Christianity). It is a tremendous resource that has helped me move mountains in my own life.


      • Brad Matthews says:

        It’s cultural programming. The narrative pushes Christianity is for the weak because the Left is terrified of a masculine, powerful church. Red pill reality is typically the result of some gut wrenching female behavior. The bounce back is game and notch count which is initially difficult to reconcile with the message of redemption. But, as Roosh has noted, it is fairly empty in the end. Tough young soldiers respond well to the gospel from men they respect. We are starting a Bible study soon with some ex-military guys in my friends Jiu-Jitsu gym. I firmly believe men will flock to attend once word spreads that there are a group of guys committed to making a real difference. Thanks for the encouraging words.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. The meaning has to be within. You cannot expect your surroundings to provide for meaning.


  4. Xerox says:

    Not trolling you sir, but the sphere has a core life meaning for dudes, “improve motherfucker or die”. It’s the nature speaking through the sphere and nothing else is more important.
    Guys going soft, start searching sphere for something nicer, hit the wall hard and turn bleak.


  5. […] This lead to the question, if a man internalizes red pill teachings will they remain with him in sufficient strength to avoid the very pitfalls that lead him to the manosphere in the first place? One must keep in mind that most men arrive at this corner of the internet because they have problems they need to solve, the problems are many and diverse, what they have in common is intersexual dynamics. Whether a man is attempting to figure out why his wife of 10 or more years left him for a guy she met a few weeks ago, why he is in a 5 year dry-spell, or why he is living in a dead-bedroom situation the manosphere can offer probable diagnosis and potential cures. Continue reading → […]


  6. […] while ago I wrote an essay entitled “Beyond Red and Blue Pills” the title of this essay was inspired by “Beyond Good and Evil” by Friedrich […]


  7. Red Pill Eagle says:

    A good solid read. Thank you for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ollieoxenfree1 says:

    A man who has internalised the red pill shouldn’t be capable of making the decisions that led him to the manosphere. For instance he would know the value of a woman. A woman’s utility is through the act of sex and conferring social validation. A man must decide how great his need is for either.

    He must also be wary of those needs and his susceptibility to them.

    Intersexual relationships are akin to a game of chess where some of the man’s piece are missing at the outset. Although he believes he can still win. At some point in the relationship he’ll realise that’s not possible and he’ll seek to bring about a stalemate. Although unbeknown to him, his opponent (the woman he’s paired with) will press her advantage and go on to win the game.

    A red pill man would never lose sight of these facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. […] decided to get on the Jordan B. Peterson “Meaning” train, which lead me to write “Beyond Red and Blue Pills” and a few other essays, outlining why I thought that as in my view “The Red […]


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