Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Bookshelf: The Way of Men

The first book I read on my trip was Jack Donovan’s The Way of Man.

The book is a theoretical discussion about manhood and what defines a masculinity. In terms of writing style, the book is written in an engaging and clear manner. It reads well and communicates effectively without slowing down as theoretical books are often wont to do. It is an enjoyable read.

The first couple chapters  introduce the concept that “the way of men is the way of the gang”. Essentially, masculinity is defined through a man’s interactions within a small group of other men gathered together for resource acquisition and mutual security. Essentially, manliness was defined by man’s position in a small war band or hunting party.

From there he describes the four tactical virtues men that defines a man’s worthiness as a man within his gang: Strength, Courage, Mastery and Honour. He makes an excellent case for these virtues being the defining traits of masculinity and I would agree with him on his chosen traits. They represent what I’ve noticed masculinity is generally defined by.

After a discussion of the virtues, he writes of how “being good at being a man” differs from “being a good man”. The four tactical virtues are the virtues that define masculinity, on who demonstrates these virtues is good at being a man. Other virtues (piety, charity, temperance, righteousness, etc.) may make a man good, but do not necessarily make a man good at being a man. (I like the implicit acceptance of virtue ethics by this book).

This distinction is important and brings this book far above most other writings I’ve read on masculinity, which usually conflate being a man with the author’s own personal morality, often to results that don’t quite sit right. Christian writings on masculinity often conflate Christian morality for males with masculinity,excluding obviously masculine men who might not follow Christian morality from being a man. Game advocates often define masculinity through a male’s attractiveness to women making masculinity dependent on female approval and implicitly denying the masculinity of men who aren’t superficially psycho-socially dominant. Society as a whole usually either defines masculinity through anti-social thuggery, reducing masculinity to nothing more than the gratification of base urges and denying the masculinity of men dedicated to higher values, or the approved beta life path, making masculinity dependent on providing for women and denying the masculinity of those who don’t “man up”. It’s good to have someone define masculinity in a neutral way apart from the moral preconceptions of the author.

He then discusses the way of the gang in relation to civilization for a few chapters, with a chapter focusing on Rome in particular. As society becomes more civilized and peaceful the need for gangs decreases, so men  redirect their gang activities into simulated (ex. playing sports or games), vicarious (ex. watching sports or war movies), or intellectual masculine (ex. economic or political competition). Men will be content in civilization as long he has sufficient redirection for gang activities, but increasingly our society is limiting men’s opportunities for participation in masculine activities.

He illustrates with a comparison of the Way of Women and the Way of Men through a comparison of  Bonobo and Chimpanzee society, respectively. If men become too decadent and their opportunities for gang activities too few, civilization will become a “Bonobo Masturbation Society” where meaning and purpose are replaced by “fun”.

These chapters are excellent at explaining why men are in a crisis of meaning in our modern society despite being more prosperous than ever.

The last few chapters summarize the consequences of the previous discussions. Men have to choose whether to have civilization with access to a meaningless world of pleasure and fun, the Bonobo Masturbation Society, or a more meaningful society of the Way of Men. He discusses how reasserting the Way of Men is impossible in a democratic society and requires the collapse of prosperity, security, and globalism.

These chapters are rather bleak, as the only solution given to the modern malaise besetting men is collapse, but I can’t argue that it’s not true.

He then gives some advice on starting your own gang. This last chapter is the only part that may be practically applicable to your life, the rest of the book being a theoretical and philosophical discussion of masculinity.

Overall, this book is an excellent exploration of masculinity, and I think Donovan gets everything exactly right. This is simply the best book on masculinity I have read.

Recommendation:

If you are at all interested in men’s issues or masculinity (and you are reading a manosphere blog, so you probably are) or if you’ve ever wondered how to be man, read this book. In itself, it won’t really help you become a better man or improve your life, but it will give you the theory necessary to understand what you are missing, so you can begin to find solutions for yourself.

Buy the E-book here for only $5.99

I’m Back

So, I’ve returned from my vacation. I’ve looked through the comments of the posts here, but there’s too many to reply to.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first few posts in my Biblical Alpha series. I’ve got a few more posts in the series in the works, but it’s a long-term project; I’m putting it to the side for now as I need some variety on here.

I read a lot on vacation and caught up on a fair amount of my manosphere-related backlog of books , so most of the next week will be book reviews.

That’s housekeeping stuff out of the way. Now, about my vacation…

If this was a travel-blog, I’d brag about the sites I visited, the restaurants I ate at, etc., but you can get that anywhere; I’m pretty sure nothing I did or saw hasn’t been done, photographed, and blogged a million times already.

This is a site dedicated to personal self-improvement, exploring men’s topics, and alt-right politics, so, I’ll write about that instead.

*****

First, some quick, off-hand alt-right observations.

In the relatively ethnically homogenous, northern European countries I went to across the pond, there seemed to be a level of social trust that isn’t always available in Canada.

Prices were ridiculously high and customer service sucked. (The wonders of democratic socialism).

It’s amazing how much history there is in Europe. Everywhere you go, there’s ancient churches, ancient buildings, ruins, ancient this and ancient that. It’s something I miss living in North America, where something a fifty years old is considered historical.

Europeans are a lot riskier with their children. They had child play facilities (it was a family vacation; children were there) there that would never get off the ground here for liability reasons. They still had the old wooden playground equipment that’s been eliminated over here. I think it’s a good thing, I favour the free-range kids approach, but it was odd.

Also, I didn’t notice as many fat people. It might have been just the places I visited, but I noticed that there weren’t near as many fat people over there, as there were here.

Nothing that hasn’t been observed before. So, enough of that, onto personal improvement stuff.

****

One thing I planned to work on while there was approaching woman. I had no plans to game anyone or go for a close or anything, but just open and sustain some conversations with some women  to get over my approach anxiety (baby-steps).

One problem I didn’t count one: I didn’t really notice all that many women in the proper age bracket while I was there. Most of the things I went to were with my family and were either touristy or family-oriented; I saw a lot of jailbait and older women, but not many young women.

But I did have five good opportunities to approach a women of the appropriate age. I’ll be honest, the first two opportunities that presented themselves I blew entirely.

The first was on a train; I ended up sitting beside a very cute brunette (easily a 9 for those of you into numbers) for about an hour. She gave me a few sidelong glances that may (or may not) have been indicators of interest, but I did not talk to her, except some functional stuff when she needed to get by me to get off the train. At the time, I rationalized my cowardice by telling myself she was too young , but in retrospect, that was just an excuse, she could have been anywhere from 16-20, and I had no plans other than to just open a conversation, so there was nothing sleazy to it. In retrospect, that was just me chickening out (but I kinda knew that at the time to).

The next opportunity was at a gift shop in a tourist trap; I was buying a beer mug from a moderately pretty clerk (about a 7). As far as I could tell, she looked amenable to conversation and I intended to strike one up, but when I was making my purchase I fumbled with the credit card machine, got embarrassed, and pussied out.

That was dispiriting, but fear not gentle reader, for I rallied later in the trip. Feeling shame over my cowardice, I decided to do better on my next chance, and I did.

The third opportunity was at a train station. I was trying to decipher the train map with my sister and a somewhat plain lass (mostly about a 6, but with a very ample bosom that nudged her to a 7)  was also reading the sign. I struck up a conversation with her and it ended up we both needed to take the same train. She turned out to be a back-packing Yank, and me, her, and my sister talked for a while and she displayed a number of interest signals. I estimate there was a decent chance I could have set up another meeting at this point if I tried for it. A couple other backpackers came on and joined in the conversation. One of them began to dominate the conversation and I didn’t care enough to wrest it back; I had accomplished what I wanted.

The fourth opportunity was at an amusement park near closing time. My nephew wanted to go on a kiddie ride; I got on with him, and while getting on, the really cute blonde ride operator (an 8.5, but subjective 9.5, as innocent-looking blue-eyed blondes are the definition of my type) asked me a few questions about where I was from. I answered, got on the ride. On the ride, I realized she had been flirting with me (I’m not very good at reading body language). My nephew wanted to ride again (and again, and again) and while getting on talked more with the operator, and, yes, she was indeed flirting with me very heavily. When my nephew was done his multiple rides and my family moved on I stayed behind, and started a good conversation with her. We talked for about 10 or so minutes, she seemed surprised at my age when it came up, then when I asked her if she was in university or anything, she answered high school and told me her grade. Her grade made it sound like she was 15 or 16 to my Canuck knowledge (later I learned her grade would have made her 17, maybe 18). The conversation continued for a few minutes more, but even after the reveal of a decade or so age gap, she still seemed very much into me.

I was at the time, and still am, 95% sure that I could have either gotten her number or a date after the park closing had I simply asked. Somewhat regretfully, I decided not to, though. I was not going to start a long-distance relationship with a high-school girl and am not planning on engaging in casual sex, so there was not any reason to pursue further.

This one was major confidence booster. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a natural omega, and deep-down I still have the internalized omega’s doubts about my attractiveness to females. So, such open and heavy flirting from such a highly attractive stranger was very nice boost and has helped alleviate some of my doubts. A few more interactions like that and I might be rid of them entirely.

The final opportunity was at an airport terminal. I exchanged a few glances with a moderately pretty blonde (about a 7, subjective 8) at the duty-free while paying for my liquor and then saw her in the terminal for the plane I was catching. I sat beside her and started reading, intending to strike up conversation when it looked like I had an opening. Before I could, she asked me when the plane was coming, I told her and we started talking. She seemed interested, as the conversation went along, it turned out she was also in high school. I could most likely still have gotten her e-mail address or phone number after that had I asked, but again, to what end? I let the conversation die a natural death as we got seated. Then waved goodbye to her when I saw her in customs after the flight.

So, maybe not the most interesting interactions and there’s no real game conclusions to be drawn as the conversations I had were fairly mundane with no attempt at game on my part. Any alphas or game-types reading this are probably snickering to themselves about me writing about such go-nowhere interactions, but for me these were big steps.

These were my first cold approaches and the first time I ever opened strangers. So, overall I’m pleased with the results and the positive responses, especially from the one blonde, were shots to my confidence.

*****

One thing from these interactions, especially the last two was whether I’ve attracted female attention before but didn’t notice?

I’ve never been able to read body language all that well and I’ve always assumed I didn’t attract female attention, an ingrained attitude coming from my school years as a skinny, socially ostracized nerd. But the last few years I haven’t looked as nerdy, have not been as socially awkward, and am not the toothpick I was in high school. Lately I’ve been trying to learn to read body language, especially as it relates to inter-sex interactions. Six months or a year ago, I never would have noticed the flirting from the operator or the glances from the other blonde. I haven’t noticed any female attention in my real life, I got more attention in the three weeks of the trip than in the last year at home. Have I been receiving this kind of attention from females for a while and either not noticed it or discounted it? Something to keep an eye out for.

*****

There was also one other interaction of note. I was at the beach with my folks and was just standing around staring at the ocean, when a random guy came up to me and started what turned into a rather awkward conversation. He was either gay or practicing his English, I’m not sure which, but I think the former as he was very obviously (European swimsuits) at “half-mast” for the conversation (or a rather unimpressive “full-mast”), although, he did mention how he enjoyed practicing his English, so the “half-mast” might possibly have just been an unfortunate coincidence.

But either way, the conversation was rather awkward. I’ve wondered whether that uncomfortable awkwardness is what a women feels when some guy tries a lame approach?

*****

Anyway, that’s the end of my self-absorbed, navel-gazing for today. Maybe you found it interesting, maybe you didn’t. I’ll have some real content in the next couple of days.

Biblical Alpha: Samson

Next in our Biblical Alpha series is Samson.

Samson is promised by an angel to his parents, who are required to raise him a nazarite. He will never drink alcohol, eat unclean food, or cut his hair. The last one is important to the story. He’s born to his parent’s who raise him as instructed.

The first action Solomon does that’s recorded by the Bible is demand his parents get him a Philistine (Israel’s traditional enemies) woman as his wife.

Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, “I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.”

His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife? ”

But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me. She’s the right one for me.” (His parents did not know that this was from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.) (14:1-4)

That’s neither here nor there as alpha goes, but as they go to meet this woman:

As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. (14:5-6)

He kills a lion with his bare hands. That’s pretty impressive demonstration of strength and real alpha behaviour.

On the other hand, in the next part of the story we can see that, although Samson can often act alpha in relation to his environment and other men, his betaness with women is often his downfall.

Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. When the people saw him, they chose thirty men to be his companions.

“Let me tell you a riddle, ” Samson said to them. “If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast, I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes. If you can’t tell me the answer, you must give me thirty linen garments and thirty sets of clothes.”

“Tell us your riddle,” they said. “Let’s hear it.”

He replied,

“Out of the eater, something to eat;
out of the strong, something sweet.”

For three days they could not give the answer.

On the fourthday, they said to Samson’s wife, “Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death. Did you invite us here to steal our property?”

Then Samson’s wife threw herself on him, sobbing, “You hate me! You don’t really love me. You’ve given my people a riddle, but you haven’t told me the answer.”

“I haven’t even explained it to my father or mother,” he replied, “so why should I explain it to you?” 17 She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.

Before sunset on the seventh day the men of the town said to him,

“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”

Samson said to them,

“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have solved my riddle.” (14:10-18)

Samson has a pretty good racket going with some young men from the Philistine village, but he gives in to his woman’s crying. That betaness causes him to lose his little wager, foreshadowing greater problems that will be cause by his weakness to women.

Samson gets his revenge:

Then the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. He went down to Ashkelon, struck down thirty of their men, stripped them of everything and gave their clothes to those who had explained the riddle. Burning with anger, he returned to his father’s home.  

That’s a rather alpha display of strength.

But then this:

And Samson’s wife was given to one of his companions who had attended him at the feast.

Later on, at the time of wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat and went to visit his wife. He said, “I’m going to my wife’s room.” But her father would not let him go in.

“I was so sure you hated her,” he said, “that I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more attractive? Take her instead.”

Samson said to them, “This time I have a right to get even with the Philistines; I will really harm them.” So he went out and caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs. He then fastened a torch to every pair of tails,lit the torches and let the foxes loose in the standing grain of the Philistines. He burned up the shocks and standing grain, together with the vineyards and olive groves.

When the Philistines asked, “Who did this?” they were told, “Samson, the Timnite’s son-in-law, because his wife was given to his companion. ”

So the Philistines went up and burned her and her father to death. Samson said to them, “Since you’ve acted like this, I swear that I won’t stop until I get my revenge on you.” He attacked them viciously and slaughtered many of them. Then he went down and stayed in a cave in the rock of Etam.(14:20, 15:1-8)

The Philistines than come for him, so he let’s the Israelites bind him and turn him over. He snaps the ropes and slaughters them all with donkey’s jawbone. He then leads Israel for 20 years.

Samson shows some oneitis here. His woman is given away, when offered a more attractive, younger woman, he instead takes revenge. When the Philistines take revenge on his woman and her father, he takes revenge on them, then when they come for him, he kills the lot of them.

Again, he shows alpha in relation to other men and his environment, but is a beta sucker for women.

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.”

But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. (16:1-3)

Prostitutes are generally considered beta behaviour, an alpha male would get sex without paying. So, it’s possible he’s not that good with women. After that though he shows some impressive feats of strength.

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels[a]of silver.”

So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.”

Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.

Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.”

He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.”

So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.”

He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabricand tightened it with the pin.

Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric.

 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength. ” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines , “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him.

Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!”

He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him.

 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. (16:6-21)

Samson gets another case of oneitis and becomes a beta schlub. Despite his woman betraying him three times, he doesn’t dump her. Instead, he gives her the secret to his strength. This supreme act of beta, delivers him into his enemies hands, where he’s blinded and enslaved.

Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying,

“Our god has delivered our enemy
into our hands,
the one who laid waste our land
and multiplied our slain.”

While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

When they stood him among the pillars, Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform.Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (16:23-30)

In one final act of impressive strength, he gets revenge on his enemies at the cost of his life.

****

Here we can see a dichotomy.

Samson was superficially an alpha: he was a paragon of strength, vengeful, and a warrior who killed his enemies by the hundreds and thousands. He was a leader of men, who led his people for 20 years.

On the other hand, when it comes to women, he’s as beta as they come. He has multiple cases of oneitis, to the point where he continues loving a woman even after she repeatedly betrays him. He resorts to prostitution. He repeatedly allows himself to be pulled into women’s frames, resulting in many problems for himself, and eventually his downfall.

We can tell from the story though, his alpha behaviours were blessed by God, while his beta behaviours caused him nothing but grief and pain. The moral of this story, don’t be beta. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted by woman and stay out of their frame.
_______________________________________________________
*All references from Judges

Biblical Beta: Saul Crowned King

Having discussed the alphaness of young David, who was anointed king, we will contrast his alphaness with the betaness of another young man anointed king, Saul (The same Saul who is David’s king). 

When we first meet Saul, he is described thusly: “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.” (9:2)*

So, in the realm of physical looks, he had a great, natural advantage of physical dominance over the competition. Too bad he ruins it with beta behaviour.

Saul is looking for some lost donkeys at his father’s request and this interaction occurs:

When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”

Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel[a] of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.” (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was. (9:5-10)

We can already see some beta behaviour here. Despite Saul being blessed physically, he is somewhat indecisive, unwilling to take risks, and allows his servant, his social inferior, to lead him. He lacks leadership.

He meets Samuel the prophet, who tells him anoints him king. A meeting is called of the tribes of Israel where the new king is to be enthroned and this occurs:

When Samuel had all Israel come forward by tribes, the tribe of Benjamin was taken by lot. Then he brought forward the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan, and Matri’s clan was taken. Finally Saul son of Kish was taken. But when they looked for him, he was not to be found. So they inquired further of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”

And the Lord said, “Yes, he has hidden himself among the supplies.”

They ran and brought him out, and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people.”

Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the Lord. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.

Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched. But some scoundrels said, “How can this fellow save us?” They despised him and brought him no gifts. But Saul kept silent. (10: 20-27)

Saul is, literally, anointed by God to be King, and when the kingship is to be given him, he hides like a coward instead of taking leadership. Then goes home quietly rather than accept his rule and does not answer those who scorn him. That’s weakness, that’s beta.

Following this, Saul, seized by the Spirit of God, finally takes some leadership when the Ammonites attack Israel:

Just then Saul was returning from the fields, behind his oxen, and he asked, “What is wrong with everyone? Why are they weeping?” Then they repeated to him what the men of Jabesh had said.

When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger. He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one. When Saul mustered them at Bezek, the men of Israel numbered three hundred thousand and those of Judah thirty thousand. (11:4-8)

He wins the battle and is anointed king.

He is crowned king, then goes to another battle where he is commanded by God to wait for Samuel to commit a sacrifice:

The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

What have you done?” asked Samuel.

Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor. ’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”

“You have done a foolish thing, ” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”(13:5-14)

First, Saul loses control of his men, (showing a lack of honour) who being to desert him. Then, instead of obeying the commands of God and waiting or showing leadership to control and comfort his men, he decides to violate God’s command out of fear. When rebuked, he dishonourably shifts the blame to his men and circumstances rather than take responsibility for his actions. He loses his future dynasty because of his disobedience.

Saul’s story of beta continues, and will be continued for the series later, but for now we’ll stop here.

****

In Saul’s first appearance his betaness is made plain. He’s indecisive and let’s his social inferior, his servant, lead him around. He is anointed king, but cowers in fear rather than take the power given him. He then let’s those he rules scorn him without answer. He then has his moment of alpha and takes his kingship.

He follows this up with a complete fiasco. He fails to lead or control his men, who desert him. Instead, he lets their fear and actions drive his behaviour and control his frame.

Saul loses his dynasty because of this lack of leadership, this betaness. In the future, his betaness will result in his continued downwards trajectory.

_______________________________________________________
*All references from 1 Samuel

Biblical Alpha: David fights Goliath

For the Biblical Alpha series, we are going to start with King David, whom God called a man after his own heart.

When we first meet David (16:8-13)*, he is tending sheep. He is called by Samuel (a prophet) from his duties and is anointed king.

The current king Saul is troubled, so he asks his court to find him a musician to calm his nerves. One of his attendants responds:

“I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.” 

David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”

 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him. (16:18, 21-23)

We can see here that David, despite his youth, is a man of many talents, demonstrating mastery. He’s known for his courage, for being a warrior, for his oratory capabilities, and his artistry. The king instantly takes to him and makes him what is more or less part of his royal guard.

Israel enters another battle in their perpetual war with the Philistines. A champion named Goliath, a giant, calls out all of Israel’s warriors, but everybody is too afraid to take him on, despite the king offering huge rewards, until David shows up to take food to his older brothers.

Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”(17:25-27)

David gets there, sees this giant challenging Israel and sees everybody’s afraid of him. His first question, what do I get for killing him? His second question, who is he? Stone cold.

So, King David immediately goes to see the king, demanding to fight the giant:

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

3But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” (17:32-37)

He convinces the king to let him fight a giant everybody else is afraid of, by recounting his stories of killing lions and bears. Remember, he is thought of as too young to fight in a war in an ancient tribal society when he did this.

Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (17:38-40)

The king gives him some armor and weapons for his duel, but David shrugs them off, instead choosing stones and a piece of wood for giant-killing

Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals! ”

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (17:41-47)

The giant is obviously not impressed by the boy and his sticks. The boy confidently tells him God will help him and begins the fight.

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent. (17:48-51,54)

David rushes the giant, then one-shots him in the head with his sling, demonstrating mastery over his weapon. He then takes his head and weapons as trophies. Thanks to David’s victory, the Israelites rout the Philistines.

****

David as a young boy is a master of his weapon, the sling. He’s a master of the arts, good enough to play for the king and is known for his oratory skills. He’s an acknowledged warrior, known for his courage and put in the king’s guard. He’s killed lions, bears, and a giant, demonstrating unreasonable strength. At an age when most modern young men are killing virtual giants, he has a giant’s head and weapons as his personal trophies.

That’s alpha.

_______________________________________________________
*All references from 1 Samuel

Adam’s Original Sin: Disobedience and Betaness

For the Biblical Alpha series, we’ll start at the beginning of the Bible, with the first man, Adam.

Now, the first mention of man’s creation goes:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. ” And it was so. (Genesis 1:26-30)

We can see here that man was created to rule. Man’s purpose, the reason for his creation, was to rule over the rest of creation and to his expand this rule over whole earth. Mankind’s purpose is leadership.

Now, knowing man’s purpose, we move onto the first man. The Bible only gives a few chapters to Adam but they are revealing. He was created, told not to eat from a specific tree, and named the animals. While in Eden:

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the ribhe had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:15-22)

The creation story is re-iterated, putting the focus on man. Man is created to care for creation. His purpose is leadership over the earth.

We can also see that woman was created to be a helper for man. Man is to rule, woman is to assist the man in his leadership. This is the natural Christian order of earth, man rules, woman helps man.

Man was created by God for the purpose of being the alpha over the earth. He ruled over paradise with his helper at his side.

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.(Genesis 2:25)

Man (and woman) was originally created to feel no shame. Shame is a result of sin.

It is interesting to note, that the alpha is immune to shame, but susceptibility to shame is the hallmark of the beta.

Then the Fall occurs:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from? ”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me —she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:1-12)

Here Adam displays a stunning lack of leadership and betaness leading to the fall.

First, while he is with her, he allows his helper to be tempted by the serpent, who is under his dominion, and he does nothing. He takes no leadership over either his helper or the one he rules.

Second, he then allows his helper to convince him to violate his duty. He falls into the woman’s frame and allows her to lead him against his own principles and duty.

Then he, rightfully, feels shame.

When confronted with his disobedience, what does he do? He shifts the blame. Instead of taking responsibility for his own actions as a man and a leader, he blames his helper.

The original sin was disobedience to God. This disobedience was caused and exacerbated by the beta actions and inactions of the first man, Adam.

Had Adam taken his alpha leadership role given him by God, the Fall would not have occurred.

Libertarian Monarchism

I am a libertarian with a strong bent towards subsidiarity, I support individuals’ freedom to engage in economic, personal, and social activities with minimal intrusion by a central government.

I am also a constitutional monarchist, and a supporter of the anglosphere. I support the Queen and am in favour of expanding the monarchy’s power so the monarchy has real control over the executive branch of government. As a supporter of both the anglosphere and the monarchy, I am in favour of the increased union of the English nations (the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and NZ) until all Englishmen are confederated under the British Monarch.

Now, monarchism and libertarianism are often not grouped together; libertarianism is about self-determination, while monarchism is about inherited rule, seemingly contradictory impulses.

How do I reconcile them?

****

Libertarianism* is based on the  notion of private property right; you own yourself (or, for the religiously inclined, God, not man, owns you) as private property and and you are able to own external goods.

Most libertarians acknowledge the need for a state to ensure property rights, enforce agreements, and prevent/punish aggression.** Most use social contract theory, whereby individuals contract away some of their freedoms for protection, but that leaves the control of the limited libertarian government as common property, even if that common property is run through the “self-determiniation” of democracy.

That’s where the monarch is brought in. In a libertarian monarchy, the realm is the private property of the monarch.

The monarch would have no power over the private property of any individuals, but would own the state apparatus (ie. the executive branch), “public” lands, and other “public” property as the private property of the monarch and the monarch’s house.

****

The benefit of this is that the monarch would have an incentive in running the state and public property efficiently and effectively, as it would be her own property to be passed down to her children.

The monarchy would also be able to take the long view of the realm’s affairs, rather than the short-term view the electoral system forces on prime ministers and presidents.

The parliament would still create laws and the monarch would have to abide by the constitution (whether codified or uncodified), acting as a check on the monarch’s power.

If the parliament and/or monarch became too corrupt or power became too centralized, the free citizenry would have the muzzles and blood to rectify the situation.

****

That’s the political system I would create if given my druthers.

_____________________________________________________

* We will focus on right-wing libertarians, ignoring libertarian socialists, ie. anarchists, who are whole different breed.
** Anarcho-capitalists and objectivists would disagree.