What is The Red Pill?

There have been a couple of very good essays written in the past few weeks, the two I want to call-out by name is Troy Francis’ “Reclaiming The Red Pill” and Rian Stone’s “Container words”, the reason why I link these specifically is that they point to a similar, issue, one that I believe is the cause of much of the conflict surrounding The Red Pill and manosphere community in the past couple of years.

Everyone has noticed what Troy pointed out in his essay, that especially since the 2016, there has been an influx and mixing of “The Red Pill” as it pertains to intersexual dynamics with a lot of other supposed Red Pills, “Red Pilled” about politics, finance, news, and countless others. Add in the attempts to mix “The Red Pill” as it pertains to intersexual dynamics with various other things, whether philosophy, Myers-Briggs type indicator, Astrology, Numerology, various occult topics, and ways of “Woo-woo” thinking and many others. Ultimately, this serves not only to dilute, but also to obscure what has been the core message of this space.

Ultimately, I think this is a bad thing, for the same reason that a lack of will to make strategic choices ultimately kills a business; doing too much, to please everyone and instead ending up alienating everyone. The more tangential things that are added, the more controversial things that are added, the higher the probably of a product being rejected, simply because the side-effects are too many and too severe.

So, for this reason I’m going to ask a simple question: “What is The Red Pill?

Based on your perspective there are a few different things you could answer. The most commonly accepted one is that “The Red Pill is a descriptive Praxeology focused on intersexual dynamics”, this is also largely my own personal position on the matter.

In this case Praxeology is defined according to Merriam Webster dictionary as:

the study of human action and conduct [1]

Then there are those who argue that The Red Pill is an ideology, following one or more of the definitions below:


: a manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture


: the integrated assertions, theories and aims that constitute a sociopolitical program


: a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture [2]

The Red Pill as an ideology is wider than The Red Pill as a praxeology, because the red pill as a praxeology is limited to the study of human action and conduct, whereas an ideology using definition C, is a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture.

A praxeology can be a part of an ideology, or serve as part of the foundation for an ideology, especially ideology expanded into the following definition:

a set of beliefs or principles, especially one on which a political system, party, or organization is based: [3]

This highlights an important distinction between praxeology and ideology, where the praxeology is a source of new knowledge based on the study of human action and conduct, an ideology is not a source of new knowledge, but rather the systematic and integrated concepts, beliefs, principles, and knowledge within a group, program and organization.

Then we have the red pill as a verb, or rather as a descriptive term for having one’s eyes opened to reality, a given reality, which also gives rise to The Red Pill as a brand, or marketing term, which translates into “Seeing the truth”, thus when someone refers to their particular area as “Being/becoming Red Pill about [insert]” they are implicitly, saying that they are seeing reality. Which from a propaganda perspective is very effective, because it is implicit in the definition that every perspective which does not align with yours is untrue.

I wrote that rather tenuous introduction to lay out the differences between a praxeology, an ideology and a branding term, because it would be my assertion and starting premise that this is the foundation for much of the recent disagreement within the community between both persons and groups.

The Praxeology :

In the case of the red pill as descriptive praxeology related to intersexual dynamics, meaning the study of human action and conduct as related to intersexual dyanmics, it would rest solely within the realm if epistemology as in

of, relating to, or based on epistemology : relating to the study of the nature, origin, and limits of human knowledge” [4]

One is attempting to decipher objective reality behind human action and conduct as related to intersexual dynamics, utilizing accepted methods for determining objective reality, hereunder among others reason, and the scientific method.

Within this container, the implications of the knowledge, or its application is not a primary driver or concern, one is attempting to answer questions such as “What is”, “Why is it”, “How does it” thus, the scope and scale are very well defined.

What are we studying: Human intersexual dynamics.

Why are we studying it: In order to determine the objective reality of intersexual dynamics and how they function.  

How are we studying it: By using a deductive study of human action and conduct.

The Ideology

The red pill as an ideology is in many ways much more expansive than the red pill as a descriptive praxeology. This is because an ideology moves well beyond descriptive terms, and beyond objective truth, in that it includes not only objective knowledge, but may also include beliefs, principles, concepts,  values, and the interrelation between these, and specific recommendations for their implementation in praxis.

“perhaps the most important usage in contemporary philosophy and politics is narrower and more normative, standing for a collection of beliefs and values held by an individual or group for other than purely epistemic reasons, e.g. bourgeois ideology,nationalist ideology, or gender ideology.” [5]

This is perhaps the most important distinction, which is that the ideology concerns itself with beliefs and values held by an individual or group for reasons other than epistemic reasons, epistemic reasons being defined as:

“Epistemic reasons are reasons for believing in a proposition through being facts which are part of a case for (belief in) its truth (call such considerations ‘truth-related’).” [6]

Whereas the beliefs in a proposition under the praxeology is purely a case of epistemic reason, within the Red Pill as an ideology, other considerations come into play that are not based in objective fact, or other form of epistemic source.

Such examples can include, but are not limited to performance requirements for group belonging or requirements to adopt beliefs and values for non-fact reasons. Such as the adoption of a given philosophy, lifestyle or religious beliefs, this list is not exhaustive. 

The Red Pill as a Rhetorical Weapon and Brand

This is perhaps the most simple one to grasp, when on has a phrase, wherein that phrase “objective truth” is implicit, this becomes a very powerful rhetorical weapon. This is due to merely by saying “I’ve taken the red pill about [insert topic] and you have not” the speaker is establishing themselves as immune to counter-argument on two fronts.

  1. They have not given the objective facts that support their position as being the one most closely aligned with reality.
  2. It means any counter-argument can be automatically disqualified based on “you are not red pilled” or “If you were red pilled like me, you would agree

It also builds a powerful in-group vs. out-group rhetorical position, where those who agree with you are elevated in position, and those who do not agree with you are put in a separate, less enlightened out-group.

This is perhaps the biggest elephant in the room,  everyone wants control over “the red pill” branding. It is a very powerful analogy.

Blue Pilled: Living within an illusion

Red Pilled: Living in reality

The implications of this is obvious, everyone wants to own a monopoly on the truth, because being perceived as being the one that has a monopoly on objective truth, is a position of immense power. Whether that was as a prophet or pharaoh, being perceived as the sole-source of truth is a position of power. Secondly, the expansion of the analogy into other areas “I became Red Pilled about politics”, “I became red pilled about Jesus”, “I became red pilled about fornication” can in many ways be nonsensical in factual terms, but make perfect sense in rhetorical terms.

If one presupposes an objective world and adds that in science a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Then by use of the correspondence theory of truth, we could say that in science the measurement (empirical evidence) corresponds perfectly to that natural world provided that we have the current capacity to measure it, and based on how accurately we can measure it at a given point in time. 

All other things that are not empirical evidence, would correspond in a lesser manner to the scientific measurements because:

  1. The statement relates in a less accurate way to the world.
  2. The statement describes the world in a less accurate way.

Thus, for instance becoming “Red Pilled” about politics, where “Red Pilled” is synonymous with “Seeing the reality” of politics, presupposes that one could find the political equivalent to an empirical factual measurement. Something which is an impossibility as politics is based on ideology, and ideology is a composite of facts, values, principles [5], furthermore, politics is not concerned only with “What is” but also preferences of what “ought” to be. 

The goal of scientific knowledge (STEM) is not to tell us what ought to be, but to measure what actually is where as the goal of an ideology is to influence a person or group towards what it ought to be.

The power of “The Red Pill”, “Red Pilled” and so on within areas such as politics is thus the perception of transforming “ought” into “is”, and subjective elements such as preferences and values into a synonym of truth.

Summary and Conclusions

The reason why I mentioned the essays by Rian and Troy in the introduction to this essay, that will most likely be horrible for readership, is that “The Red Pill” has in many ways become a container word, which Rian defined as:

A container word is a box, a box with a label on it. You take this box with a label on it, and fill it with emotions, feelings, and ego. You seal the box and throw it at someone else. they have their own box, and it’s filled with their own emotions, their own feeling, and their own ego.” [7]

And Troy very accurately pointed out the distinction that forms the basis for this essay [8]

Alpha male”, “Tradcon”, “Red Pill”, these are all container words in a sense, and we all fight for our version of the container to “win” when we engage in an ideological battle over which container should be the chosen one. Some fight with memes and personal attacks, some fight with word salads, but we are all trying to browbeat each other into accepting our version of the container.

This is where our conflict stems from, we can’t even decide on what the box is, let alone what to put in it. Like I said initially, I used to see “The Red Pill” as a descriptive praxeology, however, I’ve come to realize that we need to split this up a bit more. Because we do have a lot of components here.

A) The descriptive praxeology that describes the reality of intersexual dynamics.

These are the contents that seek to describe the mechanisms at play, and their given effect. For instance, describing the mechanics of hypergamy and solipsism and how they influence the mating market.

B) Various perspectives on how one should utilize the information from A.

These are those contents that seek to describe how to put yourself in an advantageous market position to exploit the core mechanics. For instance, how to deal with hypergamy in an LTR, what to do to maintain her preference for you as her chosen partner, and how it affects her mate choices.

C) Various individuals and groups that utilize A as part of their foundational material, but who have added other elements to build a full individual or group ideology.

This includes all the content that brings in philosophy not pertaining to strict epistemology and logic applied specifically to the area of intersexual dynamics, such as conservativism, liberalism, fascism, liberalism, progressivism and various religious or spiritual doctrines. (List not exhaustive)

D) Various hucksters, cult leaders,  scam artists, con-men, and opportunists who utilize brand to benefit themselves only.

This includes the content that only seeks to exploit the branding side and that add components that are not related to intersexual dynamics to build a value proposition to make a sale, or to encourage a group identity where they can elevate their position to one of high status.

These categories are by no means exhaustive, and there is quite a bit of overlap between B, C, and D. Thus, my suggestion from a purely practical perspective is to stop referring to the materials covered under A, as “The Red Pill”, as an acceptance that doing so, may have been sensible at one point in time where A constituted and was limited to the information related to the empirical truth of intersexual dynamics, and this was the only use of the term “The Red Pill”, however to accept that this has changed and in order to preserve and insulate A from B, C and D, action is required.

This is not much different from when “Natural philosophy” split from epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, logic and metaphysics, quite some years ago. This allows for two very important things:

  1. It allows A to remain apolitical, amoral, and dedicated to truth.
  2. It enables a clear distinction between “Natural Red Pill” and “Philosophical Red Pill”
  3. It creates a clear distinction between description and prescription

Overall, I think this is the best solution. That way, those of us who prefer to keep “The Praxeology formerly known as The Red Pill” about the harsh truth about intersexual dynamics can do that, and those who as Troy put it, prefer “the version that is increasingly served up these days, watered down with corn-fed, barbecue-dad faux-wisdom, right-wing politics and other ephemera?” [8] or my personal pet peeve version the one composed of equal parts Marxism, Neo-fascism and first-world problems can do that.

Now, for those of you who have suffered through this essay, at least reading it wasn’t as bad as watching Rian’s shirt for 4 hours and 8 minutes on Red Morning.


[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/praxeology#h1

[2] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ideology

[3] https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/ideology

[4] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epistemological

[5] http://page.mi.fu-berlin.de/diederic/downloads/Oxford.pdf 1027

[6] https://www.princeton.edu/~msmith/mycourses/Raz-Reasons-Practical-Adaptive-draft.pdf

[7] https://www.rianstone.com/blog/2019/4/29/container-words

[8] https://realtroyfrancis.com/2019/06/04/reclaiming-the-red-pill/ 

6 comments on “What is The Red Pill?

  1. SJF says:

    Interesting essay, Carl

    I have been witness to to much bullshit rhetoric and understanding over the last 25 years on blogs and forums.

    To expand on what you said, there is such a thing (that my red pill buddy turned me on to) as the Trivium method of teaching and learning.

    The Red Pill is such a thing that takes learning, and then applying.

    The Trivium method of education/learning is in three steps. Grammar, then Logic, then Rhetoric.

    In a different way of saying it: Facts, then Understanding, then Wisdom.

    I’ve been exposed to all kinds of idiocy on internet forums and blogs when men try to talk back and forth without that order of understanding, learning and speaking.

    What typically happens is that men take an ideological stance without going through the stages. They start with Rhetoric and alleged Understanding. They argue.

    Let’s walk through.

    Grammar/Facts would be: Young women have menstrual cycles. Men have Testosterone and logical brains.

    Logic/Understanding would be: Women behave different in Luteal and Ovulatory phases. Men get horny and want to fuck.

    Rhetoric/Understanding would be Game. What to do with this information that came from grammar/facts and logical understanding.

    The problem occurs when men jump the order and go to rhetoric/understanding and then get Ideological. They skip the process.

    And then it turns into a shit show.

    I had a forum that I subscribed to for like a decade. It was based on being a Sportsman’s Forum, hunting fishing and outdoorsman’s. Sometimes what happens to men is that they get stuck in Grammar/Facts. This would be the typical boring discussion with men that gets in recounting hunts and fishing outings that one would have. This last spring I got caught at an outing where guys I didn’t know (in the pole barn, while guys I knew were out in the field) just sat around and told one story after another–I fished here, I hunted here, in a meandering discussion that brought up Zero-NADA of where and what their life, passion, and goals, including interacting with women actually meant. No logic, no understanding, no rhetoric, no wisdom. I was never so bored by a discussion in my life. Thankfully my real buddies got back from the field and there was bourbon.

    And furthermore, that forum had a political section that was a shit show. In which men took a rhetorical/ideological position first. And then talked. It was demented. No facts/grammar first, then logic/ understanding second. All Rhetoric and faux Wisdom. Bullshit. So logical discussion was non-existent. With all the logical fallacies and Straw-men overdone, over and over.

    Othertimes, men obsess over the understanding and logic and read and discuss and go on and on about process. (I actually do that as an INTJ to a fault, but I digress…)

    But when a good foundation on the Trivium is in place, now men can get to Rhetoric and Understanding and have a decent conversation that is directed to get shit done with Red Pill. Moving forward, as is the firmware of men not trapped in buffers and blue pills. Learn, Understand, Do.

    Take the info, deduce stuff and then get stuff done.

    Don’t just take a top down Rhetorical, Ideological approach and start spouting off on Muh/My Principles. And bullshit on the webs.

    This process can also be applied to the latest shit show in the manosphere. Using upside down learning and speaking. Clinically retarded. That’s no way for men to behave in discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] There have been a couple of very good essays written in the past few weeks, the two I want to call-out by name is Troy Francis’ “Reclaiming The Red Pill” and Rian Stone’s “Container words”, the reason why I link these specifically is that they point to a similar, issue, one that I believe is […] Source link […]


  3. Veneno112 says:

    In the end a reader of RP knowledge must decide how He will change is outlook, ideology, and goals as it pertains to his life. I am atheist because I from a probabilistic standpoint can see there is no personal God but it doesn’t mean that I must evangelize my standpoint to other RP practitioners but I can objectively try and see their opinion.

    The Red Pill is simple you start at a set value and extrapolate to value you perceive as a goal. You can’t tell some guy he is alpha/beta or that the Nazarene is Red Pill. You have gone beyond the point how do I get laid.


  4. […] couple of weeks ago, I sat down and I wrote a fairly long, intricate essay entitled “What is The Red Pill?“, I was somewhat puzzled that I had to do such thing but I decided to write it out, if for […]


  5. […] These are all subsets of the same thing, and are built on Red Pill theory, they are tailored applications of the Red Pill Theoretical framework. […]


  6. […] and so on with the objective truth of The Red Pill, I spoke about this at length in my essay “What is The Red Pill” which is concerning people who desire to mix politics and The Red Pill, Religion and The Red […]


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