Of Cogs and Continuity

Those of you who follow my twitter feed, will no doubt have picked up on my general sense of dislike for many social organizations, ranging from corporations, to government and the educational system. This could be viewed as a general anti-authoritarian or anti-social bent, and while this was a strong motivation in my younger days, my dislike these days is founded in something quite different. When evaluating any form of group, I find it very useful to begin with the reason for its existence. In a corporation this usually pertains to their core products, the frame through which they view their core business, and the extent to which, their main source of revenue is actually their main focus. When it comes to government it often takes the form of reverse-engineering from the effects to the causes.

In my essay on “The Good Boys” I argued that a social group should align incentives with the behaviors it requires from its population, and that a major problem in our modern western society is that the incentives are no longer there, which is the source of turmoil and conflict. I further expanded on this in later essays, covering how the various institutions that are tasked with raising a new generation of men are doing so based on outdated information. For instance, the blue pill guide to life is still based off the fact that society needs dutiful, conscientious and agreeable men, who work day after day at a job for which they have little passion, but which is secure and predictable. However, that the rewards for men who follow this check-list have to a large extent been removed.

Within political science there are those who think government can be run as a business basing this on the fact that government is in fact a producer of goods and services. Then there are those who think that applying business thinking to government means ignoring that government is generally not run with a profit motive. Both sides have some valid arguments, and it’s too grand of a discussion for me to handle within the scope of a blog-post. However, the former perspective is an interesting one in that if one views various governmental units as producers of goods and services, what information can one obtain?

The Modern Educational System

Most people are not aware that our educational system in the west is based on something called “Factory model education“, a model that emerged in Europe as a response to the new needs of society during the industrial revolution. A society that moved from an agrarian and less specialized economy had different needs than the previous, largely agrarian economy. A country where most people work at a wide range of tasks, where a person frequently has to problem-solve (fixing equipment, finding solutions with limited resources) and be creative, is very different from a country where the production system is built on repetitive, specialized tasks, without requirements for creative inputs, which was the case after the conveyor-belt industrial factory became the backbone of our nations. One could in fact argue that the former is goal-oriented, meaning that it doesn’t matter how you accomplish the task, but that the task is accomplished. Furthermore, that the latter is process-oriented, in that it doesn’t matter if the task is accomplished, what matters is that you followed the process.

Characteristics of the factory model school is top down management, emphasis on behavior and school management, centralized planning, standardization, outcomes to meet societies needs and efficiency in producing the desired outcomes. I’m sure many of you can recognize this from your own time spent in educational facilities. This is not much different from requirements in a standard industrial production process, where the favored structure was (and to a great degree still is) the top down, centralized organization, based of standard industrialized processes engineered to deliver a uniform product on a continuous and predictable basis.

In order to end up with a standardized, predictable production schedule, one requires predictable, reliable employees who are trained, not to think creatively but to follow a process from A – Z. Thus, it’s no great surprise that the world in general ,and manosphere in particular is invaded by men who want nothing more than to get prescriptive guides that they can simply follow.

Male Duty

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about male duty in the past few weeks. It’s also a topic that keeps being referenced during the Red Man Group podcasts I’ve been doing every couple of weeks lately. As part of the research I’ve made the conclusion that the male sense of duty is an extremely powerful mechanism for convincing men to act contrary to their own interests. I’ve referenced the fact that modern men tend to end up in one of two camps, hypoagency or hyperagency. The former consists of those men who view themselves as, and act as if they are objects in a vacuum, motionless unless acted upon by forces external to themselves. The latter consists of those men who view themselves as, and act as if they are omnipotent beings. Each group has their own problem, and each serves a role within the framework. The former as worker drones, the latter as the supervisors of worker drones.

The behavioral conditioning of “The Good Boys” starts early, and is focused on creating a type of man who is conscientious and agreeable. Thus, a man who is hard working, reliable and organized, and is a high performer, performs well in teams, doesn’t argue or start problems, is self-sacrificing and considerate. I actually find it very interesting that the concept of “Emotional intelligence” or “EQ” aligns very closely with extroversion and agreeableness. In my essay on the Big Five and the red pill I outlined a premise that the above average mating success of men with narcissistic or Anti-social Personality disorder, stems from the fact the narcissistic and psychopathic men tend to score low in agreeableness and neuroticism, whereas the average beta male will score high in agreeableness and high in neuroticism.

Throughout our history, men have always been expected to sacrifice themselves to some degree. It was the duty of man to lay his life on the line to protect his tribe in times of conflict, to take on the most dangerous jobs, and in general to be an appliance for his tribe. In return for this sacrifice, his tribe would bestow on him the ability to realize his own ends within certain limits. For instance, a man would gain citizenship through military service, yet be expected to follow the laws of the land. A noble house would often become noble, because of valor in combat, their ability to support the king with troops and resources, or other services rendered. In return the King would give them the reigns of an area within his kingdom.

Thus, self-sacrifice and service performed for the tribe, would be rewarded through the tribe enabling a man to reach his own ends. Such is a balanced trade where if the man sacrifices himself for the good of the tribe, the tribe will reward him with the right to do what is good for him. As we have progressed into a modern society however, this has been perverted into a situation where the blue pill man not only sacrifices and serves as the enabler of his tribe, but is also expected to fill this role in his intimate family relationships. This is a major element of the social contract that has been altered in the past 100 years or so. In essence, a man will sacrifice 40 – 60 hours or more each week at his job for the good of the social group, and the remainder of his week at home for his family.

Rollo over at Rational Male, wrote a great piece on this entitled “Men in the Garage” [1], where he outlines how our society has moved from “A man’s home is his castle” to a “A man’s castle is for the women and children, he needs to move into the stable“. As I wrote in a previous essay, men strive their whole lives to get credit for their good behavior, women strive their entire life not to be held accountable for their poor behavior.

Perhaps the most insidious thing about the blue pill illusion is it’s constant use of the male’s capacity for romance and idealism, traits that are required by the tribe in order to get men to sacrifice self for a greater goal. Men have created our civilization from externalizing internal vision, in effect shaping the world according to what it could be, rather than what it was. This requires hope and idealism, as they are the enablers in seemingly hopeless situations. If one faces a seemingly insurmountable task, a rational evaluation would often serve to dissuade a man from action, while idealism serves to drive him forward towards realizing his vision despite the hindrances in his path.

An old Greek proverb states

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

Some of the more tragic situations are the men who spend much of their free time searching for the secret key that will turn their blue pill nightmare into their blue pill fantasy. They find themselves having been high performers through the entire process outlined by society as the recipe for a good life, yet their outcome is not what they expected. Instead of questioning the process, they instead accept the blame, and start to search for the error they must have made at some point during the process, after all they have been trained to trust that the perfect process leads to a perfect product.  Men usually prefer to think that they have made a mistake, not that they have been conned by a faulty social contract. Where the hunter and the farmer had to get creative when they saw that their process didn’t work to achieve their desired end, the industrial drone doesn’t notice that the conveyor belt is broken, he just keeps tightening the bolts on non-existent products according to the process.

Summary and Conclusions

It used to be that a man was expected to follow his King in public, and be the king in private. The man made an oath of fealty to his Lord and in exchange he was made a vassal in his own kingdom. However, in the modern world, the man is still expected to follow the King (government) in public yet he gets no reward for it. The stories of men who have lived their lives on a righteous path and been good boys their entire lives, who have expected fair and equitable treatment in divorces, only to be zeroed out are tragic. In a sense, it’s a reminder that in the modern world, the man owns nothing and owes everything. When you read the stories of such men, you are struck by the fact that they enter into the process thinking that as they have been good men, the system will grant them equity, yet at the end of the process it is not uncommon for them to have their entire world-view shattered.

This was the major piece of reasoning that caused me to state that in the modern western world, women have rights without accountability and men have accountability without rights. Everyone is familiar with the “You’re not their father!”/”You’re not my dad!” outbursts when a man is in a relationship with a woman who has children that another man sired. The man is perhaps filling the role of father in all the traditional ways, including paying for everything, yet despite his commitment of resources to the family unit, he has no say within that family unit unless the woman explicitly and clearly grants him this at every turn, something which few women do.

However, how is this different from the state in which a man and a women are married, with shared children, yet the woman can at any time declare “I’m not happy“, file for divorce, get custody of the children then proceed to collect half the assets, child support and alimony for years to come? In both cases, the man is there at the woman’s discretion, she holds all the rights, he holds all the accountability. She takes the action, he suffers the consequences.

This was the fundamental reason why I never felt much appeal to philosophies that are based off the old principles unless they include two sets of prescriptions. The error of those who assume hypoagency is to assume that an equation can be finished by only solving one side of it and it simply cannot. To fix men, one has to fix women, and to fix both one has to fix the context in which they exist. I don’t blame men who opt out of the game at this point after deciding that the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. We have a situation at present where a great majority of men have no idea that a game is being played, a minority of men have figured out how to rig the game, and another minority of men have decided to say fuck it, up-end the table and walk away.

The latter are two very classic male responses, the man who decides that he will win no matter if the game is rigged, he will figure out the rules and make the game work for him, and the man who decides that if the game is rigged, there is no point in playing. This all comes back to agency, do you view yourself as able to beat the house, or do you regard the game as unwinnable, or perhaps the prize at the end as not being worth the labor of obtaining it?

Will you be able to escape the existence as a cog in the machine, occasionally getting some grease, but for most of your life being slowly worn down, until you are inevitably replaced? To steal and re-purpose one of Rian’s favorite expressions “plow horse or breeding stock”, plow horses are fairly easy to replace, a breeding stallion is much more difficult to replace.


[1] https://therationalmale.com/2012/12/03/the-men-in-the-garage/


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