by John Hawkins | December 10, 2014 4:55 am
Jack Donavan’s The Way of Men is an excellent book about the nature of men. You want to know what men are like all the way down in their souls? This book will tell you. Here are the best quotes from the book.
Men are freer to take risks for the good of the group, believing that their offspring will live on.
Men have always had a role apart, and they still judge one another according to the demands of that role as a guardian in a gang struggling for survival against encroaching doom.
Epics and action movies translate well because they appeal to something basic to the male condition—a desire to struggle and win, to fight for something, to fight for survival, to demonstrate your worthiness to other men.
Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor are the alpha virtues of men all over the world. They are the fundamental virtues of men because without them, no “higher” virtues can be entertained.
There is no human culture where men who are weak are considered manlier while women who are more muscular are considered more womanly.
The word courage is used cheaply today. Any celebrity who gets sick and doesn’t spend every day crying about it is lauded by tabloids for his or her “courageous battle” with cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome or depression or even “food addiction.”
It is not the strongest man who will necessarily lead, it is the man who takes the lead who will lead.
Before you can have church and art and philosophy, you need to be able to survive.
Reflexive honor is the signal of the rattlesnake, communicating a reputation for retaliation summed up by the popular old motto Nemo me impune lacessit, or “No one attacks me with impunity.”
A man who refuses to strive to be as strong, courageous and competent as he can, but who flaunts these codes theatrically for all to see is a weak link. He makes his peers seem more vulnerable for tolerating vulnerability, and more cowardly for tolerating cowardice. He brings shame on the group, and with shame comes danger, because public displays of weakness and cowardice invite attack.
Men want to believe that they are right, and that their enemies are wrong. To separate us from them, men find moral fault in their enemies and create codes of conduct to distinguish themselves as good men.
We want our external enemies to be defective and unsympathetic. Many have written about our tendency to dehumanize our foes. Emasculating them is another aspect of that—it adds insult to injury. We also want to puff ourselves up and psych them out.
Further, if the “job description” of being a man is written in such a way that the qualities which make a good man are basically identical to the qualities that make a good woman, then those qualities are more about being a good person than anything else.Read more at location.
It is good to be honest, just, and kind, but these virtues don’t have much specifically to do with being a man. Manliness can’t merely be synonymous with “good behavior.”
There is a difference between being a good man and being good at being a man.
In dire times, men who are not good at being men won’t last long enough to worry about being good men. Strength makes all other values possible.
The first job of men has always been to keep the perimeter, to face danger, to hunt and fight.
The problem with outlawing violence is that doing so requires violence, and the problem with outlawing war is that doing so requires universal simultaneous agreement to outlaw war—otherwise the peaceful doves end up sitting ducks.
Men are dropping out and disengaging from our slick, easy, safe world. For what may be the first time in history, the average guy can afford to be careless. Nothing he does really matters, and—what’s worse—there is a shrinking hope of any future where what he does will matter.
The Way of Men is to gang up and fight each other, or fight nature. Teaching men to despise that is teaching them to despise their history, to hate their own talents and to reject their natural place in the world.
Cultural repudiation of The Way of Men extinguishes the dream of virile action and makes its equivalents seem hollow and base. It erases the secret hope of men—the fantasy that one day they will be tested, that one day they will be thrust into a dire world at the bloody edge between life and death where everything they do will really matter.
Men want to be remembered, they want their tradition to survive, and they want sex. Ultimately, these psychological mechanisms and desires will allow them to pass on their genes.
The goal of civilization seems to be to eliminate work and risk, but the world has changed more than we have. Our bodies crave work and sex, our minds crave risk and conflict.
How long will men be satisfied to replay and reinvent the conflict dramas of the past through books and movies and games, without the hope of experiencing any meaningful conflict in their own lives? When will we grow tired of hearing the stories of great men long dead? How long will men tolerate this state of relative dishonor, knowing that their ancestors were stronger men, harder men, more courageous men—and knowing that this heritage of strength survives in them, but that their own potential for manly virtue, for glory, for honor, will be wasted?
“Can men change?” is the wrong question. Better questions are: “Why should men change?” and “What does the average guy get out of the deal?” When pressed to answer this question, feminists and men’s rights activists never seem to be able to come up with anything but promises of increased financial and physical security and the freedom to show weakness and fear. Masses of men never rushed to the streets demanding the freedom to show weakness and fear, and they never braved gunfire or battle axes for the right to cry in public. Countless men, however, have died for the ideas of freedom and self-determination, for the survival and honor of their own tribes, for the right to form their own gangs.
Today’s robber-barons and fat cats are figureheads that captain global enterprises which can basically function without them. The reigning presidents and CEOs are often as disposable as the workers. They come and go. There is no “Man.” There is only the profit-driven, hydra-headed legal entity, whose workers make cost/benefit analyses to increase profit and further their own status and salary, usually with an eye on producing immediate, short-term results. Those workers don’t care about what happens to a company in ten years, because if they are saavy and career-minded, they may well be working for a competitor by then.
Organized, armed resistance movements end in “death by cop” long before they gain the money, the numbers, or the momentum necessary to make themselves a viable threat. This ain’t Africa or Central America.
As things get worse and the State seems powerless to help, the State will seem less and less legitimate. People will lose their moral connection to it. Laws will seem more like revenue traps and shakedowns. The state will start to seem more like another extortion racket, and, as in Mexico, people will have a harder time telling the good guys from the bad guys.
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