When good men sit down, bad men stand up. When masculine virtues are ignored, masculine vices reign. When kings are told to go away, tyrants take their place. This is not just a description, but a strategy.
This results in a world where a plurality of masculine figures without virtue are in leadership positions in governments, companies, and organizations. This structure is incentivized to forward and repeat the societal talking points whereby masculinity is defined as toxic. This narrative helps prevent good men from rising up.
The toxic masculine narrative is the norm, of both history and today.
I’m going to crush this status quo, by uplifting masculine idealism.
It is a simple formula. Competence + Ethics. This is the masculine ideal.
We are a species that doesn’t do well with nuance. We see so many bad men in the world and in the news, and we drift towards simple answers: men are bad. With this we forget that our last and best hope against tyranny is the development of masculine ideals and virtues.
It is for this reason that stories about the positive masculine (and omens about the negative masculine) have survived and thrived for thousands of years.
I’m going to crush the historic and modern status quo that defines all men as toxic, not by offering my critique of their position, but by offering the alternative. The alternative are these stories and lessons from history, philosophy, and idea. These stories have one purpose: uplift the positive masculine, and teach masculine ideals.
Is civilization technology or idea?
Obviously, it is a bit of both. But in our modernity – surrounded by big data, cameras, and supercomputers that fit into our pocket – it is easy to see that we tend to favor technology and forget ideas. While at some level it is difficult to imagine “civilization” without basic technologies. From food, water, shelter, security, and reasonable personal autonomy, we do need a foundation of material to distinguish civilization from our more prehistoric past.
But once that foundation is set, what is it, technology or idea?
Again, I believe it is both, both matter and have equal value. What is important is keeping them in balance, and today, ideas are falling behind, if not outright ignored.
Nowhere is this more true, or more significant, than in leadership. Nowhere is leadership more taught, and more explored, than in the stories of kings, and the philosophy of kingship.
Today I’m going to tell you a story that will change your life, and one you’ll never forget. I know this is true because it has changed mine, and the hundreds of people I’ve told it to, and it lives on in these memories. Knowing it will make your life better. If you truly understand it, you will develop a type of emotional invincibility or an indomitable will. It is the story of one of the greatest warriors to ever live…
The hero’s journey, for you, requires both will and ability. Will is your aim, morals, values, desires, and hopes. Ability is your discipline, talent, art, and craft – this is the way of the warrior, and walking it is the path of the warrior.
This episode tells the stories of Jeremiah Denton, elevates a new “responsibility to bear arms,” and concludes with its centerpiece on the lessons from Miyamoto Musashi and his “Book of Five Rings.”
We need to get back on track, by looking to history with respect, and to the future with realism and idealism. This is the masculine ideal for the path of the scholar. To history, with respect; to the future, with enlightened realism.
But this is something you must pursue on your own, as there are no institutions today calling upon any of us to do so. But why is this the case today? Why is this mature, balanced, thoughtful outlook so absent from the powerful corners of our society today?
While complex phenomena always result from many causes, I believe that there is one significant aspect that poorly shaped the intelligentsia, and therefore what we call “education,” today: risk. Or, to borrow from Taleb, there is no skin in the game.
Today I’m going to share with you stories that have stood the test of time. Those that you can apply to your own life, in your own way, right now, and forever. And best of all, it’s free. The venerable courts make up the ground we tread on everyday. They are simply waiting to be picked up and respected once again. And as your respect for these ancient wisdoms, and the true path of the scholar rises, so too will the ground beneath you. You will have a vantage point above and apart from triviality, insecurity, fear, and the greatest enemy to living an extraordinary life – blandness.
The Path of the Scholar is about making the unknown, known. Not simply to acquire information. Not simply to point out facts. But to march through the jungle of suspicion and skepticism into greater clarity, greater utility of knowledge, and greater prosperity based upon that utility.