In the past three years, I’ve written about masculinity and society at various times, and I find myself doing so again. Recently the “manosphere” which is the sort of collective online community of Men trying to help men become more capable men, its gone through a disintegration period.
Personal dramas between individuals and perspective differences aside, I view this in the context of the larger moral crisis that is unfolding in Western Society.
Mainly-Society has LOST its sense of what is GOOD.
And one of the foremost models of what is good is one’s FATHER.
I’ve described what I believe makes a good father before, but what I want to directly address here is what a young man or woman does if they lacked for father figures, and are looking for role models in real life that they learn necessary qualities from.
In determining one’s role models, its important to determine who are NOT role models, and then sort through who is left over that meets the criteria.
First and Foremost, make sure your models are Men that meet Basic Biological necessities
There are TWO fundamental, principle duties a Man must fulfill
1. He MUST protect himself.
2. He MUST provide for himself.
A man who cannot protect himself in nature is DEAD.
A man who cannot provide for himself in nature is DEAD.
Ideally, a man that is paternal is able to protect and provide for not himself, but his family as well (Or as my buddy Tanner says, Protect, Provide, Preside).
Speaking practically though, these two things need to be met by any man. A man who struggles to protect himself, and/or struggles to provide for himself, that man is not a good role model.
For this reason, I would discourage young people idolizing other young people as role models. This is sometimes unavoidable, but a younger person will rarely, if ever, be as good a role model as an older person.
Second, Make sure that the man embodies the tactical virtues of masculinity
Jack Donovan, who wrote the way of Men, he differentiates between “Good Men” and “Good at Being a Man”. I would encourage everyone to read the book.
Being a “good man” are those virtues which have clarity of right and wrong.
Being good AT being a Man are those virtues which are essential regardless of moral considerations.
To be clear, Donovan does not endorse being “evil”, rather his point is that morality cannot be considered unless COMPETENCY is present in the first place.
This competency comes from FOUR virtues, which he calls tactical virtues, that define masculinity
Strength-Of both Body and of Mind. Strength is the quality of power and force. Physical strength is obvious. Mental strength shines through in tests of will and endurance.
Courage-The quality that exercises strength; risk taking, be assertive, being brave. Courage is required to create or do anything. Strength without courage is a cowardly lion.
Mastery-the quality of being skillful and competent at many things. Mastery requires INTELLECT, and masterful skills show the qualities of man who can focus, practice, learn
Honor-the quality of defending one’s self, respecting one’s being, and backing up word with deeds. Men who are pushovers are not honorable, as they are men who lack self respect. Men who are overly aggressive are not honorable either, as they are disrespecting without cause
These virtues are mandatory, because without them, no higher virtues can be entertained. Men who LACK these virtues are universally hated in every culture on earth and considered disposable, because they ARE.
These virtues are the foundation for EVERY kind of masculine archetype.
I often refer to the Archetypes of King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover as being model archetypes for male behavior.
But those archetypes cannot exist fully without the Tactical Virtues.
These tactical virtues are the virtues that enable men to SURVIVE in a primal world. They are the virtues that enable men to cooperate in groups and get along with one another, build together, and create a more comfortable and civilized world to inhabit.
If a Man lacks for these qualities, he is NOT a role model.
A man that lacks in the tactical virtues will be corrupted in other virtues he lays claim to. Especially in the realm of HONOR, because honor is that virtue that leads to the formation of moral virtues.
Men who preach dishonorable behavior are NOT role models.
If a man has these virtues, he will be a good embodiment of the archetypal roles of masculinity, which are the following.
King-Leadership, both of themselves and of others
Warrior-Fighting Spirit, the skill and willingness to fight for something larger than themselves
Magician-Mind power, men who are studious, observant of the world, recognize truth, and create prosperity and wealth
Lover-Love and warmth, men who have a lust for LIFE, and have good relationships with both Men AND Women (This last point I cannot emphasize enough)
Men who make good role models typically encompass all the qualities contained within the archetype, But there is always an archetype that Leads
To give four hopefully familiar modern examples,
Jocko Willink-Embodies leadership and warrior spirit, but is also a highly studious man, and father.
Jordan B PetersonUndoubtedly a man of the mind, a life long professor/teacher, but also a father, a leader, and a man who maintains a standard of physical health
Michael Cernovich-the epitome of a man who leads himself, Cernovich has had great influence on me in that his life has been entirely self determined, something I strive to do myself daily
Naval Ravikant-Naval is quite popular on twitter, and has very much a sage-like personality, personally I’ve found his meta observations on wealth, health, and work in society to be the most illuminating.
Following men online is one area, but how do you find a Man in real Life to be a role model?
This is no doubt a difficult question to answer, and I don’t have a truly adequate one.
I believe the best way would be for a young person to learn a SKILL from a masterful teacher. Typically for young men, (and men in general), this is why I always recommend to “learn violence”.
Be it boxing, Brazilian Jiujitsu, Muay Thai, or something else, learning combatives is an excellent way to find a man who is a teacher and has that element of paternalism to his being.
For the young women, you COULD do this as well, but I’ll readily admit that I think young women are more underserved than fatherless man in this regard.
A young woman trying to find a dad figure is at risk being taken advantage of, and young women DO often sexualize the older men that they look up to.
There’s not a clear path that way.
One of the ironies of the “manosphere” is that the some of the men have gotten a female fanbase (ie, myself). This is not accidental, as I realized two years ago it tended to be
a) older women that like men, and often are looking for men that are role models for their sons
b) young women that legitimately lacked a father figure, so the more social adept, not emotionally defective, and healthy men in the manosphere were a welcome find.
Finding Archetypes in Literature
Another place to find role models is in literature. Cicero is my current author Im reading. Seneca (Letters from a Stoic), and Marcus Aurelius (Meditations) I would consider must reads.
What books and films would YOU recommend to a young man or woman looking for a Paternal role model?
I’d be interested to hear your suggestions.
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