The Zenith of Macho Civilization
Over the bloody field, covered with the bodies of Mexicans, rang the fierce Apache war-whoop. Still covered with the blood of my enemies, still holding my conquering weapon, still hot with the joy of battle, victory, and vengeance, I was surrounded by the Apache braves and made war chief of all the Apaches. Then I gave orders for scalping the slain. —Geronimo, from his autobiography
There is an old-fashioned, and no doubt politically incorrect, system of classification that divides human societies into three grades or levels: savagery, barbarism, and civilization. Savagery would be represented by primitive, mostly stone-age, tribal hunter-gatherer societies, with perhaps the rudiments of agriculture—with a few such societies still existing to this day, to some degree, in places like New Guinea, the Kalahari Desert, and Amazonia. The level of barbarism is attained by the more primitive tribal or family societies coalescing into larger, more organized groups, generally led by a chieftain or king, and usually adopting more advanced agricultural and military methods. Nomadic herders of rural Africa, for example, might qualify as “barbaric” nowadays regardless of how peaceful the people might be; the Apache culture of Geronimo, quoted above, would probably meet the requirements; and certainly such groups as the Huns and Germanic tribes who invaded the Roman Empire, and the Turkic and Mongolian hordes who invaded from the east throughout the Middle Ages, would easily qualify as barbarous. Full-blown civilization has been considered to arise with the advent of urbanization, greater division and specialization of labor, greater systematization of government, with developed codes of law, and, sooner or later, with written language, mathematics, a money economy, and so on. What stage comes after civilization, if anything, is anyone’s guess, as we apparently have never advanced beyond it. Maybe we humans are just too crude an animal to advance beyond it. Traditionally what happens is that civilization becomes prosperous, soft, lazy, and feminized, and collapses back down to a level of barbarism, or at best a cruder level of civilization, usually with the help of warlike barbarian tribes invading from beyond the civilization’s borders.
Although history seems to be frowned upon by postmodern ideologues, if one goes ahead and surveys the historical record anyway, one may find that societies tend to reach their peak of power, prosperity, and success after barbarism develops into a kind of virile, macho civilization, in which men are still required to be tough, brave, and honor-bound to self-discipline, yet have learned to value peace and justice—at least to some degree, even if they don’t always act in accordance with these valued ideals. The ability and willingness to kick ass tends still to be more important than peace and justice, although both considerations have come to have value. Peace and justice at least get an honorable mention. Classical Greece, Rome during the later Republic and Principate, colonial Britain, and America not too long ago could all serve as good examples of a prosperous, powerful, “virile” civilization—although of course all such civilizations could be called “fascist” by the new postmodern fanatical left. For that matter, possibly ALL pre-20th century civilizations could be called fascist by such a standard.
Throughout the existence of the human race, excepting only the periods of greatest decadence, a fair amount of machismo has been seen as not only desirable, but even mandatory for men. In stone age “savage” cultures a youth undergoing manhood rituals or initiation into full membership of the tribe would be required to exhibit some feat of daring; for example, he might be required to kill a dangerous wild beast single-handedly, or accept ritual cuts into his flesh without any sign of fear—to flinch or cry out could mean total disgrace, and denial of the status of a man of the tribe, possibly even death. The ancient Germans during their prolonged barbaric phase also viewed a man who dropped his shield and fled the field of battle to be a coward unworthy of membership in the tribe. Cowardice becomes acceptable, maybe even fashionable, only in the later stages of civilized decadence, before the collapse and reset. By the time savagery has evolved through the stages of barbarism into the aforementioned macho civilization, most of the ritual initiations into manhood requiring defiance of death have become more or less obsolete; yet insistence upon a masculine ideal remains.
A remarkable example of this can be found in Walter Scott’s great novel Waverley. Around the year 1745, a young English army captain goes to visit a dear friend of his uncle in Scotland. The friend, a baron, throws a welcome celebration for young Captain Waverley, involving the consumption of prodigious amounts of alcohol. A guest at the celebration, a neighbor, the Laird of Balmawhapple, is a Jacobite, as is the baron himself, as is young Waverley’s own uncle, meaning that they are loyal to the House of Stuart and despise and wish for the overthrow of the current reigning House of Hanover. Late in the evening, after the celebration has moved to a nearby tavern, the drunken Laird proposes a toast “to the little gentleman in black velvet who did such service in 1702, and may the white horse break his neck over a mound of his making!” Captain Waverley is a bit too far gone to realize that the Laird is referring to the alleged fact that the first King who usurped the throne of the Stuarts, William III, died after his horse tripped over a molehill; but he can tell from the look on the Laird’s face that he means something derogatory. But before he can speak out, the host, the Baron of Bradwardine, jumps in and tries to silence the unfriendly Laird—whereupon the Laird replies:
'And I tell you, Mr. Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine of Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan,' retorted the sportsman in huge disdain, 'that I'll make a moor-cock of the man that refuses my toast, whether it be a crop-eared English Whig wi' a black ribband at his lug, or ane wha deserts his ain friends to claw favour wi' the rats of Hanover.'
Immediately the Baron and Balmawhapple draw their swords and begin to fight, whereupon the lady managing the tavern rushes in and throws her shawl over their crossed swords, demanding that if they intend to kill each other they must do it somewhere else. This defuses the situation somewhat, and all of the gentlemen call it a night and depart to their respective beds.
The next morning Captain Waverley wakes up more or less sober, and, recalling the events of the previous night, and realizing that the insult to King George, to whom he as a military officer has sworn allegiance, as well as the insult to himself, require satisfaction, decides that for the sake of honor he must demand an apology or challenge the Scottish Laird to a duel. He gets up intending to tell his host the Baron of his intention, but the Baron is not at home. After breakfast he shows up with the Laird, Balmawhapple’s arm in a sling, and apologizes on the Laird’s behalf, the Laird himself standing there and making no opposition. It turns out that the old Baron, upon rising from bed, had already gone straight to Balmawhapple and demanded an apology, and not getting one, drew his sword and fought him on the spot. After wounding and disarming him, the Laird finally consented to go for the apology.
On top of all this, Captain Waverley’s regiment finds out about the scene at the tavern, and his commanding officer sternly informs him that:
a report to the disadvantage of his reputation was public in the country, stating, that one Mr. Falconer of Ballihopple, or some such name, had proposed in his presence a treasonable toast, which he permitted to pass in silence, although it was so gross an affront to the royal family that a gentleman in company, not remarkable for his zeal for government, had nevertheless taken the matter up, and that, supposing the account true, Captain Waverley had thus suffered another, comparatively unconcerned, to resent an affront directed against him personally as an officer, and to go out with the person by whom it was offered. The major concluded that no one of Captain Waverley's brother officers could believe this scandalous story, but that it was necessarily their joint opinion that his own honour, equally with that of the regiment, depended upon its being instantly contradicted by his authority, etc. etc. etc.
Thus a young army captain, well into modern times, was considered, as an officer and a gentleman, honor-bound to receive satisfaction or fight to the death, if need be, upon the hearing of speech demeaning the dignity of the king and of his own honor as a servant of that king. The story is fictional, but it does represent the attitudes and standards of those days, which were the same days as shared by such modern individuals as David Hume, Voltaire, and the American founding fathers (although the latter were still rather young, and not yet quite famous).
|17th- and 18th-century Frenchmen were among the extremely few|
who managed to be tough and courageous while at the same time
dressing like sissies
Such a civilization, at the peak of its dominant glory, tends not only to dominate militarily, but with regard to much else besides: philosophy, science, literature, governance, law, whatever. Apparently, bravery, honor, and a passionate love of freedom are conducive to an age of discovery, and to the flowering of genius.
A few early civilizations went so far as to encourage every male citizen to be a dominant alpha, as was the case in countless more “primitive” societies, with meek, mild-mannered fellows having to prove their worth in some other way, such as artistic inspiration or learnedness, to receive anything more than contempt in society. Sparta and early Rome are good examples of this, and they kicked almighty ass, too. For hundreds of years nobody could stand against them.
But now civilized men are less than women by primordial human standards. The soyboys on college campuses would be flinching and shrieking plenty before the knife (or the sharp rock) even touched their delicate skin. We have now almost completely left behind the stage of macho civilization, and are well into the decadent, soft, weak, feminine/feminist stage of decline and fall. We may appear to be prospering still; although we continue to move forward largely as a result of past momentum, and the momentum is waning.
Now members of the new feminized left pathologize masculinity and insist that all men be betas, and then despise the men who comply. Well, to hell with that! A feminized beta civilization simply does not stand a chance against a well organized horde of clever, aggressive macho types, for various reasons. Either western civilization will collapse and be replaced by a more “virile” civilization (with Islam being the prime candidate in Europe), or we will have to reform/relapse into a more masculine culture—or, possibly, we may reach some new form of civilization the world has never seen before. The soft, weak ones are betting their lives, and everyone else’s, on the third possibility, but plain old collapse appears to be at least as likely, and has plenty of precedents on the historical record.
Consequently, a resurgence of strong conservatism may be a very good thing for the western world—even though technically I personally am not a conservative, and such a resurgence might be very inconvenient for me. For instance, a return to devout Christianity might cause problems for me as a Buddhist monk, and I’ve never been much of a fighter in the physical sense. (In this respect of endorsing what I don’t follow I’m somewhat like old H. A. Goodman on YouTube, a devout Bernie Sanders Progressive who constantly bashes the corruption and sleaze of the Establishment Left, so that most of his viewers are Trump Republicans. I have to feel for that guy.)
It might be nice, a step in the right direction, first of all, for the system, including the educational system, to stop pathologizing masculinity! Or, if the weaklings, snowflakes, and man-hating lesbians refuse in this, the next best thing would be for the few men who still have balls and a spine to take matters into their own hard and callused hands; if they really stand up for themselves and assert their right to be masculine, the decadent weaklings and cowards couldn’t stand against them. Exclusive men’s groups could be established, with mainstream political correctness strictly forbidden. Maybe, eventually, even such “manly” institutions as dueling could be decriminalized and revived. (Black guys especially might go for this, with rival gang members lined up for their turn.) Possibly we could even bring back (voluntary) gladiatorial combat. At any rate there should be some return to masculinity, even if it is little better than mandatory military training or local fight clubs. (The first rule about Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club.…)
Women might wind up with fewer civil rights upon a return to macho civilization, they might possibly lose the right to vote for instance, for the good of society; but on the other hand they would probably be more greatly respected and could wield a more positive influence on society than they do now—lately they appear to be more destructive than otherwise, not through a desire for destruction, but through a desire for mandatory feminized weakness and unrealistic reforms based on irrational wishful thinking. Macho civilization is not necessarily a culture of female oppression, but is one of more defined, more natural differentiation between the two biological genders. History shows that the men of ultra macho civilizations like Sparta or ancient Germania revered their women, even to the point of eliciting ridicule from outsiders for it—although their women were required to be modest and faithful, just as the men were required to be brave and honorable.
Oh, the very idea! To acknowledge decadence, and to back away from it! How does one persuade postmodern western women that being sluttish to the point of moral worthlessness is itself inferior to being modest, restrained, and genuinely respectable? How does one persuade an effeminate millennial male that being a man involves a few responsibilities, like courage and honor? Even Islamism may be preferable to a third-wave feminist utopia, although the Muslims rather overdo it with modest female dress codes.
Appendix: Excerpts from Two Codes of Honor
The following excerpts are taken from a little booklet written by John Lyde Wilson, a former governor of the state of South Carolina, entitled The Code of Honor: or Rules for the Government of Principals and Seconds in Duelling, the first edition of which was published in 1838. The first excerpt is Chapter V of the code he himself compiled as a guide to American gentlemen, especially in the southern states. The excerpted chapter describes in ten points the duties of duelists and their seconds on the actual dueling ground.
1. The principals are to be respectful in meeting, and neither by look or expression irritate each other. They are to be wholly passive, being entirely under the guidance of their seconds.
2. When once posted, they are not to quit their positions under any circumstances, without leave or direction of their seconds.
3. When the principals are posted, the second giving the word, must tell them to stand firm until he repeats the giving of the word, in the manner it will be given when the parties are at liberty to fire.
4. Each second has a loaded pistol, in order to enforce a fair combat according to the rules agreed on; and if a principal fires before the word or time agreed on, he is at liberty to fire at him, and if such second's principal fall, it is his duty to do so.
5. If after a fire, either party be touched, the duel is to end; and no second is excusable who permits a wounded friend to fight; and no second who knows his duty, will permit his friend to fight a man already hit. I am aware there have been many instances where a contest has continued, not only after slight, but severe wounds, had been received. In all such cases, I think the seconds are blamable.
6. If after an exchange of shots, neither party be hit, it is the duty of the second of the challengee, to approach the second of the challenger and say: "Our friends have exchanged shots, are you satisfied, or is there any cause why the contest should be continued?" If the meeting be of no serious cause of complaint, where the party complaining had in no way been deeply injured, or grossly insulted, the second of the party challenging should reply: "The point of honor being settled, there can, I conceive, be no objection to a reconciliation, and I propose that our principals meet on middle ground, shake hands, and be friends." If this be acceded to by the second of the challengee, the second of the party challenging, says: "We have agreed that the present duel shall cease, the honor of each of you is preserved, and you will meet on middle ground, shake hands and be reconciled."
7. If the insult be of a serious character, it will be the duty of the second of the challenger, to say, in reply to the second of the challengee: "We have been deeply wronged, and if you are not disposed to repair the injury, the contest must continue." And if the challengee offers nothing by way of reparation, the fight continues until one or the other of the principals is hit.
8. If in cases where the contest is ended by the seconds, as mentioned in the sixth rule of this chapter, the parties refuse to meet and be reconciled, it is the duty of the seconds to withdraw from the field, informing their principals, that the contest must be continued under the superintendence of other friends. But if one agrees to this arrangement of the seconds, and the other does not, the second of the disagreeing principal only withdraws.
9. If either principal on the ground refuses to fight or continue the fight when required, it is the duty of his second to say to the other second: "I have come upon the ground with a coward, and do tender you my apology for an ignorance of his character; you are at liberty to post him." The second, by such conduct, stands excused to the opposite party.
10. When the duel is ended by a party being hit, it is the duty of the second to the party so hit, to announce the fact to the second of the party hitting, who will forthwith tender any assistance he can command to the disabled principal. If the party challenging, hit the challengee, it is his duty to say he is satisfied, and will leave the ground. If the challenger be hit, upon the challengee being informed of it, he should ask through his second, whether he is at liberty to leave the ground which should be assented to.
The mention of “posting” somebody in rule 9 refers to publicly advertising a man as cowardly or otherwise dishonorable.
The following excerpts are from Wilson’s appendix to his second edition, consisting of a similar code of honor for gentlemen in Ireland, first published in 1777.
Rule 1.— The first offence requires the apology, although the retort may have been more offensive than the insult.— Example: A. tells B. he is impertinent, &c; B. retorts, that he lies; yet A. must make the first apology, because he gave the first offence, and then, (after one fire,) B. may explain away the retort by subsequent apology.
Rule 5.— As a blow is strictly prohibited under any circumstances among gentlemen, no verbal apology can be received for such an insult; the alternatives therefore are: the offender handing a cane to the injured party, to be used on his own back, at the same time begging pardon; firing on until one or both is disabled; or exchanging three shots, and then asking pardon without the proffer of the cane.
If swords are used, the parties engage till one is well-blooded, disabled or disarmed; or until, after receiving a wound, and blood being drawn, the aggressor begs pardon.
N.B. A disarm is considered the same as a disable; the disarmer may (strictly) break his adversary's sword; but if it be the challenger who is disarmed, it is considered ungenerous to do so.
In case the challenged be disarmed and refuses to ask pardon or atone, he must not be killed as formerly; but the challenger may lay his sword on the aggressor's shoulder, then break the aggressor's sword, and say, 'I spare your life!' The challenged can never revive the quarrel, the challenger may.
Rule 9.— All imputations of cheating at play, races, &c, to be considered equivalent to a blow; but may be reconciled after one shot, on admitting their falsehood, and begging pardon publicly.
Rule 10.— Any insult to a lady under a gentleman's care or protection, to be considered as, by one degree, a greater offence than if given to the gentleman personally, and to be regulated accordingly.
Rule 13.— No dumb-shooting, or firing in the air, admissible in any case. The challenger ought not to have challenged without receiving offence; and the challenged ought, if he gave offence, to have made an apology before he came on the ground: therefore, children's play must be dishonorable on one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited.
Rule 16.— The challenged has the right to choose his own weapon, unless the challenger gives his honor he is no swordsman; after which, however, he cannot decline any second species of weapon proposed by the challenged.
Rule 22.— Any wound sufficient to agitate the nerves and necessarily make the hands shake, must end the business for that day.
Rule 25.— When seconds disagree, and resolve to exchange shots themselves, it must be at the same time and at right angles with their principals.
If with swords, side by side, at five paces interval.
Wilson’s booklet was printed in a format small enough that the thing could be carried in the same case as one’s dueling pistols. The entire document is public domain, and can be downloaded for free from projectgutenberg.org. Just look up “Code of Honor.” And remember: The sixth rule of Fight Club is the fights go on as long as they have to.