Power, From the Inside

Power is often confused with dopamine. “If I feel (there’s the dopamine) powerful, then I am.  If I don’t, then I’m not.”

Real power, exercised, is often agonizing, or boring.  You, yourself, can choose, by effort of will, to get ripped, or rich.  In other words: time at the gym, or spreadsheets.  Like I said: agonizing or boring.


This is why our votes don’t matter—because we don’t want them to matter.  Seriously, who wants the headache of being responsible for a country, and not just some third-world hellhole, but the Empire?  We collectively owe CNN and the unelected bureaucracy (so we don’t have to worry about choosing them either) a great debt for taking care of the matter for us.

The reader would be mistaken to think this is perjorative.  OK, the very first part, about confusion, is.  But the sin here is not “not desiring power”  — power’s a headache, don’t have to tell me twice, you want to go get drunk in a shack in North Dakota, you’ll get no shade from me— but lying to ourselves about it.

This is why, paradoxically, the decline of discipline and punishment has made us less powerful.  Odysseus was the only man to hear the sirens and come out alive, and his secret was tying himself up.

Don’t you have work to do?  Don’t I?

Late Night Note On Passivism

I came across a comment on Free Northerner’s excellent (old) post on Passivism:


Augustina wrote:

It seems that the tenets of passivism are 1) become worthy 2) some things happen 3) accept power. Where people are disagreeing it seems is exactly what those “some things” are. Face it, throughout human history those “some things” are violence. Nature abhors a vacuum, and when one authority loses legitimacy and then becomes weak, minor strong men begin to assert power, fight with each other, and then through this process of violence a new authority is brought about. This can take several generations.

Oh, passivism. It has everything to recommend it but quickening the heart.  What follows is a short Q&A:

Q:  What are the “some things?”  Where will they come from?

A:  Who knows?  Probably some violence, probably some scandal.  Chaos.  Cleansing fire.  Things falling apart, the center not holding.  The passivist lets the chaos of the world be his weapon.  Some of it will be human-initiated.  Some of it will even be right-motivated!  But rest assured, it will come.  A self-contradictory world eventually collapses.  A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Q: This is supremely boring

A: Yep, like watching for a pot to boil.  If you’re looking for dopamine hits, I suggest regular calisthenics over politics.

Q: But what about ——————-(some variation of meme warfare or violence)?

A:  These things are unnecessary and only muddy the waters.  The system already unavoidably produces them, or at least the incongruities and discontent that produce them.  One is not a passivist to hasten a collapse—that will happen of its own, and when it occurs, even for the passivists it will get worse before it gets better—but for quickest possible recovery and cleanest possible transition after that.

Q: But then what should I spend my time on?

A:  Probably housework and exercise.

A Question for Readers

In my last post, I wrote that men should engage in endeavors both cooperative and solo to build themselves and each other up in ways that are not vulnerable to capture.  I want to mention a thing I did, but most of all I want to solicit reader opinion on things that would do what I was attempting, but more and better.

I had four guys over a few nights and we set up an assembly line to churn out egg-sausage-pepper-cheese breakfast burritos.  Near the end of our “shift,” I asked if anyone had seen the Gilette ad.  I then shut my mouth as various virtue-signaling things came out, but two guys stuck around and we had a three-hour conversation where I dribbled out some manosphere wisdom from my (surprisingly copious) store.

It was great.  Now these guys (and I) are eating good food, on the cheap, and we built male friendships.

Reader thoughts on other cooperative ventures I could do with other men that would bring mutual benefit, would be appreciated.

The Gaslight Discount

I just had to highlight this comment from Acksiom over at Dalrock’s

>No, they hate natural masculinity

No, actually they don’t. All this pathologizing of natural masculinity is a bargaining trick, a negotiating tactic. Men’s liberation is a threat to their bank balances, so they try to make everyone devalue and dehumanize men and boys, including men and boys themselves. This trains men and boys to accept less compensation for taking on their traditional roles, and trains normal, healthy people to more casually accept the devaluation and dehumanization of their own family, friends, congregations, and colleagues for similar benefits.

“Misogyny” has never really been a thing in western civ. There is virtually no real ‘hatred’ of women in western civ and never was. It was all a big gaslighting lie from the start. And the reciprocal characterization of male-bashing and -devaluing and -dehumanizing as misandry is just as false. They don’t hate men and masculinity. They hate having to pay men what their masculinity is increasingly worth.

(Aside for the PUA’s out there:  who has really been negged?)

Just because they don’t know it doesn’t make it untrue.  But the two are inseparable.  Men are like machines in a lot of ways:  put in respect, get out freeways, airplanes, electricity, medicine…  You can of course want the latter without giving the former, and you can even have that, but it comes with a rider attached:”Your civilization dies.”

One scripture I have been pondering lately comes from the Book of Mormon:

for I know that [God] granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life;

Sooner later, everyone gets what they want.  Whether they’ll like it once they’ve got it is another matter.

But away from schadenfreude and towards something useful.  What are men to do?  How does Acksiom’s comment change our understanding?

First, and most importantly, it highlights that there is a price to be paid.  True, it is no fun to not be paid what you’re worth—but it’s even worse to internalize it and believe you are only worth what you’re being paid.

Can you just send out a memo to the world and say, “Hey guys, I realized I’m worth more, start paying me my due”?  No.  Not usually.  You get what you negotiate, not what you deserve.

You can go on strike.  There’s a problem with this, though:  a strike means you’re not working.  And you should be working:

Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake…In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground;

Work is good for you.  It’s the power to affect the world.

The answer is to work, but for things that can’t be stolen.  Health, knowledge, good will, spirituality.  Moldbug wrote (somewhere…) that free trade is the weapon of the strong—we can generalize it and say that fungibility and transferability are good for the strong (because they can use what they take) but bad for the weak (because now they can be plundered).  We are not strong.

This suggests, by the way, one area that Reaction and the androsphere could improve on:  the fine art of tax evasion reduction.

Men should actively look for opportunities to cooperate with and help each other.  Group buying, loans, small companies, lectures—these sorts of things are how a group acquires power.

Will the world come, penitent, on hands and knees?  Focus on smaller goals.  By the time they do, after all, we (or our children) will wish we’d prepared better.


What Are Women For? Part 1

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

They are for men.


This is not one of those self-satisfied posts that offers a cryptic saying and then stops.  Or rather, it is, but with the promise of more in the future.  A good way to put it is:  this post is meant to frame the question, where the question is: “What does that mean?”  Later posts will answer it.  God bless you and yours.

Complexity Tip: Stay In Your Lane

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a pretty interesting person.  It’s not like this blog is advertised—well, except on This Week in Reaction, but if you’re reading that, then you’re definitely interesting, so.


More than interesting, you’re probably interested.  This area of the internet tries, successfully or not, to cover it all: sociology, complex systems, religion, economics.  You can find well-written arguments on both sides of issues, as well as opinions to the effect that the real issue is…


It can be a lot.  Dalrock likens some of what you learn around here to wearing They Live glasses—and it really can be.  You sort of walk around looking at people and noticing dumb things they do, and you feel alone because you know if you spoke up about it there’d be an uproar.  And meanwhile maybe you’re asking yourself, “What is the proper Reactionary thing to have for breakfast this morning?”

So all of this stuff, the complexity of the world around you, and in you, can add up and be overwhelming.  And one who is overwhelmed is one who is losing.

Here is my solution: to stay in my lane.  It’s a false choice between “Fix everything and be overwhelmed” and “Retreat and let things go to hell around you.”  “Fix everything and be overwhelmed” isn’t actually an option—in practice, you fail at fixing everything and just get overwhelmed, which helps nobody.

On the other hand, the good you do for yourself, you can also prevent yourself from destroying.  You can sow, with some expectation of reaping.

Feelin’ good today, reader.  Good things ahead.

The Grim Knight

One cannot fully appreciate Christmas; to do so is to fully appreciate Christ, and that is a work not completed in this life.

All Christmas commentary is therefore incomplete and fractured.  But here I will present the aspects my thoughts linger on at the moment, and hope they are of some use to someone—for cheer, comfort, gratitude, reverence, resolve—whatever is needful.


Victory, Power, Superiority

Perhaps for fear of scaring both others and ourselves, I fear we often understate the God-ness of Christ.  The babe in the manger was the same Jehovah of the Old Testament that parted the Red Sea, ordered and sealed the conquests of Moses and Joshua, and wiped  Sodom and Gomorrah off the planet.  He is the Lord of Hosts—that is, of armies.  Other notable members of that category include: Genghis Khan, Shaka Zulu, Julius Caesar, and Alexander the Great.  Winners.  Rulers.  Conquerors.  Cities trembled, and rightly so.  Christ just wins.  You and I, losers born, hope that no one sees through our facades to the loser within.  But Christ is the real thing, a Winner—with all the confidence, authority, and ruthlessness that implies.

This is a good thing.  To us, flawed and foolish weaklings that we are, it is unsettling because we know that we are not of the same stuff; that we are unworthy on our own merits, and we fear what we cannot control, having no leverage.  But Winning, and Power, are good things, and they do not cease being so just because they might scare us when we don’t have them.  We should seek after them, in their place.  The alternatives, after all, are Losing and Helplessness.

Mercy, Invitation, Condescension

The above can create connotations of cold, will-to-power, adversarial situations.  And those situations exist, and are real.  But one of the great messages from He Who Wins is that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Winning means surplus—and surplus means an opportunity for generosity.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Why all this striver-sounding hullaballoo about winning, ruthlessness, and success?  To be their master, rather than to be mastered by them.  For kindness, peace, love, and joy.


My hope is to keep this sense of Christmas with me all year long—to be grim and stone-faced, that I may be able to be kind and understanding when it is needed, that I can afford it.



“Here is the grim knight, cutting capers on his horse.”

How to Do Abundance

No one ever explained this to me, or if they did, it was in a stupid hand-wavy way.  On figuring it out, I felt somewhat like Scott Alexander:

 I’ve had to listen to so many people talk about how “we must respect native people’s different ways of knowing” and “native agriculturalists have a profound respect for the earth that goes beyond logocentric Western ideals” and nobody had ever bothered to tell me before that they actually produced more crops per acre, at least some of the time. That would have put all of the other stuff in a pretty different light.

Here’s how abundance works.  It’s just a pairing of:

  1.  Contrary to the marketing (“Give everything away!  Expect more to come through magic!”), being very frugal and conservative in spending resources, so as to maintain a reserve or surplus
  2. Investing in ways that will have illegible returns—unpredictable, or in different forms than can be predicted.

EXAMPLE:  Nassim Taleb’s investment strategy of regular purchase of options, most of which expire worthless.  This may seem spendthrift, but it is actually quite “frugal” in  that the loss is bounded.  The returns come when some sort of “Black Swan” event happens, and will make the fund $UNKNOWN amount of money.  It’s what happens when, in order to make money, you’re willing to sacrifice knowing when or how you will do so.

EXAMPLE:  Helping your neighbor move in.  Later, your water main breaks and he helps you clean it up.

EXAMPLE:  Most learning, actually.  Intrinsic to learning is that you don’t really know exactly what you’re going to learn—if you did, you wouldn’t need to learn it!  So you’re spending time for an unpredictable reward.  Academia makes it much more predictable, but often at the heavy cost in overhead and boredom.

EXAMPLE:  Placing a little free library in your neighborhood.  Just like countries benefit (mostly) from an educated populace, streets benefit from having books available—in a million little ways that add up, combine, and multiply.

ANTI-EXAMPLE:  Polluting.  What will happen as a result of pollution?  a)a cost (waste disposal) will be reduced by a known amount, and the world will be worse in a bunch of ways, mostly small, but some unpredictably big.


Whereas most financial decisions are two-sided, i.e. investment and return, decisions made in an abundance paradigm are more one-sided, as the return is by definition incalculable.  The chief question is: “Will this put me in the poorhouse/make other concerns fail from lack of resources?”  The second question is: “Ballparking this, is this likely to lead to “good” returns, where “good” is basically defined by my gut, and “returns” are not well defined?”

Side benefits to this approach are at least threefold:

  1. A mandate to give forces discipline on the rest of the budget.  If you’re giving 10% away, you will be all the more careful managing the 90%.  And it’s the care, not the amount
  2. It also stimulates the search for other sources of income/resources.
  3. Keeping a reserve acts as a hedge against random disaster.  The rarity of this scenario is matched only by its importance.

A Cruel Dialogue

“I really admire and appreciate you.”

Really?  Then why aren’t you hotter?”




  1.  This can happen two ways, with a man in the first role and a woman in the second, or vice versa.
  2.  No one ever says the second line out loud, nor do they think it clearly.  But I think they should think it explicitly, because if they are thinking it, they might as well know that they are thinking it.  It should be a motivation to either (or both) work to improve themselves to attract better mates, or to realize they’re on a hedonic treadmill and need to check their pride.  Generally men should lean more towards the first, and women towards the second, but neither gender gets a free pass on either.
  3. It is useful to keep this couplet in mind when seeking to express appreciation.

Without a Word

I went on a date today.  The young woman in question was smart, pretty, and ambitious—stupidly ambitious, the way I was when I was her age.

Finally, I understood how my father felt all those years ago, dealing with me.  He, too, was ambitious when he was young.

The reader must know: I basically idolize my father.  I have repeated his sins, if they are sins, in terms of career overreach.  He is smart, and I am smart—but neither of us as much as we thought we were.  Hubris is in our blood—fitting that I come up against it behind a pretty face.

I like to think I’ve gained some wisdom from my journeys on the internet, the world, and work.  Some of this I dispensed today over lunch.

It was like talking into a vacuum cleaner.  I just kept talking.  Not in some socially awkward way—at Secret NRX Bootcamp the first lesson is “how to not be a frikkin’ weirdo”—but because who doesn’t like a pretty girl hanging on their words?  In some ways I stimulated the growth of what I hate—knowledge without understanding

But it comes to naught.   A man does not wish to be an encyclopedia or a self-help book, particularly to a woman.  He wants his words to be valued and respected, certainly, but he himself does not want to be valued because of his words—in fact he must not, because if he is only valued for his words, what when he must say things that are hard to bear?