What Does It Mean to Be a Man?

Return of Kings links to a profile of an 84-old blacksmith, noting, “This is a man.” The post offers us a good chance to think about something. What is a man?

Unlike so many other philosophical questions seem, the answer to that will have an impact on your life.

To answer the question you must first accept something as true: All animals have an inherent nature.

Some men claim that humans are not like other animals. Next time you wipe you ass or pick your boogers, ask yourself if man is more beast or god.

 Take a border collie that was raised into the city to a farm with sheep. The collie will immediately – if clumsily and overaggressively – start herding sheep. If you put 5 animals that had been raised separately into a confined space, the animals will immediately begin jockeying for status.

When you observe free and enslaved men, a man’s true nature if revealed.

Men are designed for hierarchical status regimes. It is not in a man’s nature to seek or respect egalitarian systems. Men struggle in environments where responsibility is not clearly delineated. Men need to know who is in charge. Men are OK with systems that are “harsh but fair.”

Men are designed for combat. As men respect and are more comfortable with hierarchy  it follows that men enjoy conflict. Any place where men congregate, men will argue.

Men are meant to be guided, mentored, and often ruled by more competent men. Every one of us has had a man-crush on another men. We have all likely worked for someone we admired. Even those of us with huge egos have no trouble recognizing that some men are superior in some ways to us. I have no trouble following orders from someone who is my legitimate better.

Men are not meant to be controlled by inferior men – or any woman. Just as working for or with a superior man is a buzz, having an inferior man breathing down our necks is soul-sucking.

When is the last time a man happily took his wife’s orders? Men do not seek nagging; they succumb to it. Men submit to women only after their spirits have been crushed.

Men are supposed exercise their will. Men fight hard to rise through the ranks of companies. But even dejected men try “leveling-up” in video games. A man with a horrible job might still try building his body at the gym. No many simply wants to rot.

Men are not designed for long-term romantic love. “I miss my dog,” my commanding officer said while we were in the field. He and the other married men laughed. They all could relate, although I was too young to understand. None of them missed their wives but they all missed their dogs.

A dog may live to be 10 or 15 years of age and yet a man loves the old dog as much as he loved the puppy. How many men still love their wives after 10 or 15 years?

It is not that men are incapable of loving a woman. Men simply lose interest after a few years. Long-term relationships are not in our DNA.

Once you recognize the essential nature of man, you begin thinking through the implications and reaching proper conclusions about work and women.

If you are unhappy, it’s because you’ve ignored your essential nature as a man. If you work at a job where women or inferior men give you orders before going home to sit around watching TV, you are of course miserable. You are no different from a dog who is locked up in a small apartment.

Becoming happy in a feminized world requires a rejection of the lifestyle you were brainwashed all of your lives to lead.

  • asdf

    I’m reading through C.S. Lewis’s biography and I was just going over a chapter talking about his rejection of authority. Essentially all of the authorities in his life growing up where corrupt, weak, and pettily tyrannical. Thus, he rejected all authority, even by extension heavenly authority (before his later conversion). When all those in your society seem to be the worst your society can produce you begin to reject even the concept of authority.

    There is nothing more dangerous for a man then to be at the whim of an unworthy authority figure. If all you can look forward to is bad leadership, if all your see as your future is becoming like this person, you will quickly come to hate all hierarchy and authority.

    I think all of us that work in large organizations has seen this. There is an element of game theory in many large organizations that promotes really unethical, weak, unmasculine people to the top. In my own case I found out my boss is my boss because he is very weak willed and his helping my boss’s boss act unethically. The most competent man in my organization with the best character was fired for speaking out against this. It is soul crushing.

  • David Alexander

    Thank you asdf.

    I share the exact same sentiments.

    It took a huge gulp of ego to admit that we do.. at times defer responsibility and obey authority.. And I respect that. The vast majority of young men accredit nearly all of their accomplishments/blessings to themselves.

    There’s a reason why the whole apprentice-tradesman and father/son relationship is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE in a great portion of the pasts’ literature. It is the transferring of knowledge and the rite of passage to mankind (elimination of fear) that forged worthwhile civilizations and societies.

    When I think of all the great leaders…. the emperors of Japan who inspired devoted samurais to complete obedience, it baffles me. or a Marine who swears by oath that he will do what it takes for the safety of his nation. I’d gladly follow a St. Thomas More, or a St. Augustine, or a Christ or a non-crazy revolutionary (Che at the beginning) or a Otto Von Bismarck, or a George Patton if we’re fighting for something bigger than ourselves. Leaders inspire by means of having something INSIDE THEM that gets people to do things they never thought possible.


    And then I look at the scum of the earth being paraded around like an Alpha Male. tuckermax golden sax. No wonder there are heaps of anarchy-desiring, missionless, dopamine-chasing, discipline-less manchildren frolicking about. They hate authority and all that comes with it, and for good reason.

    I wanted to join the boat, but then I realized. no. Order is a work in progress, and it’s an accomplishment. Sure, we can learn survival skills and live off the land like a bunch of nomads, but buy astutely delegating a status ON BEHALF OF MERIT AND ONLY MERIT, we can start to live with more fulfillment. Even piss-poor janitors and long-term construction workers are pleasant to be around and have stories to share.

    There is godly spirit in all of us if you think about it. What is God. The one who creates. The one who reigns. The one who leads. The one who sees. And the one who knows.

    Do we not thrust ourselves in experiences—hoping to attain knowledge? Do we not take it upon ourselves to have the burden of responsibility? Do we not find various venues to create works— literature, technologies, arts, buildings, rules and so on and so forth. Surely we have that. We’re also horny savage beasts who can be conditioned by rewards. But we’ve got something… something above that as well.

    Before heavy female influence, I want men to realize that they are the descendants of the people who shifted, created, carved, and morphed the world to their visions. And that you are, by default, required not to be a pussy and let stupid ass insults get in the way of your development. Capische?

    I disagree with the romantic love point. Men have shown in the past that they have what it takes to love deeply. They’ve given their lives after all? When you have people who fight… who risk their mortality for the sake of an idea crafted from their fukking cerebellum.. you begin to see man’s spiritual nature. Women do not. Women have shown that their love is petty and an agent of nature. They have spread their legs for the sake of survival and social status–their true motivators since the dawn of time, and until the apocalypse. That their true desire will only be to the biggest, baddest, motherfucker in all the land and even the stricts of Christian and Islamic practices can only curb their behavior—temporarily. Until all hell breaks loose.

    I honestly think that abstractly-speaking, we have the capacity to do so. To love something eternally and unconditionally. But it has to surrender its mind, body, and soul entirely to us. It has to be devoted. It has to put faith in us. ANd of course its got to have tits and that ass.

    But we’ll never find that. Soo.. watch out for yourselves first and foremost brothers. ANd keep on keeping on.

  • David Alexander

    Re: Tony Burch

    No surprise there.

    I’ll give credit where credit is due. Burch KNOWS how to attain POWER instinctively. And one of the most important laws of power is to “Get others to do the work, but take all the credit.” Combine that with her disposition to ingratitude, and narcissistic vanity and you’ve got a recipe for a dishonest thief. Yuck. Tis a shame that’s the formula for a winner in life. It seems like honor and class really do hold many back eh?

    Re: Marines and betaness.
    There should be a distinction between two types of honor.

    The honor that you have as a human being. Meaning you don’t break your promises, you adhere to your principles, your word has value in it and so on and so forth. Your personal integrity.

    And the honor that others use as shaming tactics to get you to do something. The whole “do the right thing.. marry that single mom” or “zomg you’re a selfish piece of shit why odn’t you donate hundreds to the poor kids in africa” or “that’s not right that Joe Rogan reatliated when that heckler attacked him, he should have manners” etc. etc.

    Recently, I was visiting a bodybuilding Misc and let me tell you this. There was a story about a guy who cheated on his girlfriend. A few said “lol good job bro.” (Whatever) Others said, “you broke your word you should’ve stayed single” (That’s more like it) and then one comment really struck out to me was this. “You are the scum of the Earth you are low and unclassy and this cheating/lying probably carries on to the rest of your life.. Scumbag”

    I bet you this is the same shaming language that got the Marine to commit. That, or he was a clown.

    I wanted to really make this distinction.

    Womanizers are not inherently bad/scumbag people. They are PLAYing a DANGERous game where errthing goes.. alls fair in love and war.

    Didn’t Chesterson or Neitzsche or Mencken or some smart fellow say something about fighting with fire. Or “I consider myself a fair man except in the realm of women.”

    Someone should’ve relayed the message to that scoundrel.

  • asdf

    I’ll add one more thing. Generally, I find the most manly men I know all work at “real” jobs. They make stuff, build stuff, or truly manage something (like a business). It’s rare to meet a manly desk jockey, though some exist (the environment is anti-masculine so its tough). One of the worst things about our economic change over the last several decades is I’ve watched lots of hard working manly guys slide down the socio-economic ladder even though they are very productive men. Then they get looked over by women in favor of dishonest pencil pushing charlatans (well, for marriage at least).

    My best example of masculinity in my life was my father. He was a kind of Hank Hill type person. In the show Hank’s living was once threatened by a globocorp and saved by a deus ex machina. But in real life it was more like what happened to my Dad’s union, they got forced to take a 40% paycut and give up all their benefits. In the new world Hank Hill’s can’t make a living, and he never would have gotten someone like my mom. Meanwhile some investment banker is an “alpha male” because he ripped off my Dad’s pension fund.

  • Rob

    If you aren’t loyal, you aren’t a man.

    From Pulp Fiction, one of my favorite scenes (it’s a shirt audio quote):


  • ASF

    This post echoes the themes of the book The Way of Men, which everyone man should read. Then, you should identify any weaknesses in you that are important for men to have, and work on improving them.

  • tygertgr

    Status hierarchies are a tool, nothing more. You need them for large organizations, like the military or walmart. You especially need them for wringing acceptable performance out of marginal people.

    Egalitarianism and consensus work great when there are small groups of competent people. No need for much “management” at the boutique firms I deal with. They’re almost completely flat.

    They’re also full of people who hate hierarchy. I think you’re projecting your own nature. Didn’t you like being in the military? Most people would not.

    • T and A Man

      Very few men hate heirachy, what you are railing against is if that heirachy isn’t meritocratic.

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  • http://www.ernst-juenger.org/2008/04/anarchs-relationship-to-society-and.html The ghost of Ernst Jünger

    A passage from Eumeswil:

    “I tend to distinguish between other people’s opinions of me and my own self-assessment. Others determine my social status, which I take seriously, albeit within certain limits. Nor am I dissatisfied with it. In this respect, I differ from most Eumeswilers, who are dissatisfied with their positions or their standings.

    I could just as easily say that I neither am satisfied with my position nor take it seriously. That would obtain for the overall situation of the city, the absence of any center, which puts every office under obligation and gives meaning to every action. Here, neither oath nor sacrifice counts any longer.

    Nevertheless, when anything is possible, one can also take any liberty. I am an anarch – not because I despise authority, but because I need it. Likewise, I am not a nonbeliever, but a man who demands something worth believing in.”

    If there is so much anti-authority sentiment in today’s men, then it is because such men realize that today’s authority is not worth submitting to. And they’re right.

  • http://www.illusionofsanity.com/blog Dr. Illusion


    I understand that it sucks what happened to your dad, but it was a good thing for society. Unions need to go. Pensions need to go.

    Since I have grown up knowing that I will never have social security or a pension, I know I damn well need to earn my ass of while I’m young and save my money. Play the stock market. Have investments. Generate multiple streams of income. Knowing you have a safety net, and being paid more than you deserve for your skill set, makes you soft.

    Take for example all these guys working for GM that were making 50 bucks an hour to do a simple task on an assembly line, and they had pensions, crazy benefits, etc. They did not deserve that money. They don’t have any real talent or skills. I have no sympathy for them losing everything. And I think the unions need to be abolished.

    I worked for a union for a short time and left of my own accord. I am an electrician/instrument fitter/instrument technician. When I joined the union, I was extremely insulted. Guys who couldn’t hold a candle to me in
    terms of knowledge, speed, and production were getting promoted and getting raises before me because of “seniority.”

    Screw seniority. May the best man win. I’m 26. I already have a stock portfolio and a nest egg worth about 100,000. Not to mention my six figure income from my career and my other revenue streams. If I had got a comfortable union job and stuck with it, I would think I could be mediocre, spend everything I earn, and still be taken care of when I am too old to work. I am thankful I never operated under that illusion.

    The theme of the post is that we should have to earn our place. Every day. That means seniority and union ideals have no place in a real mans society. The strong survive, the weak perish. Earn or starve.

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