[August 3, 2022] Today, there is a rush to condemn masculinity in all its forms in the West. This outlook has origins in the West’s move to nihilism and the rejection of the family, on the one hand, and in the political progressivism of modern democracy, on the other. We see this manifest itself, at least negatively, in higher crime rates, violence, increased numbers of men in prison, and low labor force participation rates, especially among young men.
I’ve written for many years that true masculinity means channeling men’s aggressive spirit into doing good deeds (as symbolized in the Lion). The primary mechanisms of delivering that message were the nuclear family, male-centric organizations (like the Boy Scouts and the YMCA), and Christian churches. In addition, the media, particularly the film industry, reinforced that learning and supporting strong, protective, honorable men as their lead characters.
We’ve flipped the message from the ancient idea that men are protectors to the narrow woke idea that men are predators. An ideological drum is being beaten constantly by the pathological doctrine that the fundamental human motivation is the willingness and ability to use compulsion (power). This leftist ideology predicates itself on the idea that power is the only (or at least the primary) element that explains human behavior.
The problem with this idea that human relationships are based on power is not just irrational but ignores at least one crucial basis of humanness; mutual trust. The insistence among the radical leftists that power is the all-to-end-all motivation certainly oversimplifies what goes on in any human relationship.
If I’m only motivated by power, then you and I can only get along if our interests align. If you are motivated by power, and I’m motivated by power, and our interests don’t align, then the only option is to turn you into an enemy and destroy you. We cannot engage in dialogue, and the reason is no social bond of trust, just power.
As a side note, the debate we are having in the West is not about who should be allowed to speak freely, although, on the surface, it appears to be the case. That is nothing. That is a trivial debate. Perhaps we can understand this. If I don’t like what you have to say, then I’ll do my best to have you not speak. The real debate is about something much more profound. The real debate is on whether free speech itself is just a mask to justify the oppressive nature of patriarchy. The radical argument is that there is no free speech; that is only an illusion put forth by those who want to justify their claim to power.
The ability to make peace and engage in reciprocal interactions constitutes the basis for a stable relationship. Not power. And, it is the moral duty of men – exercised through their masculine traits – to be that encouraging entity that helps make peace that allows for reciprocal relationships. It follows that the masculine role in child rearing is protecting the family so that stable relationships can occur and children can learn to engage freely and in unhindered reciprocity.
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).