Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The 12-Step Plan to Restore American Machismo

Gavin McInnes explains how.
While getting drunk last night, I noticed a young man had plonked his sports bottle down on the bar like it was a gun and we were in the Wild West. I asked him what the fuck was up with that, and he explained he’d brought it with him to stay hydrated. “What you’re carrying is pussy kryptonite,” I said as Gran Torino-esquely as possible before adding, “Not only will you not get laid tonight, but you just blew it for your two friends there.” The bartender told me to mind my own business as I tried to explain the difference between bullying (picking on physical traits) and benevolence (telling someone what to throw in the garbage). Before the debate could be settled, his friend ordered a gin and tonic with lime, and I walked away in disgust.

I’m no Übermensch. I don’t know where the transmission is on a car and I’m not sure I’ve ever won a fight, but I have laid my fair share of fair ladies and can tell you that the American male’s infantilization has gone so far, it’s basically back in the womb.

Here are twelve essential tips to help get our nation’s testosterone levels back above sea level:

17 replies »

  1. I realize that this article is tongue-in-cheek (though sometimes it’s hard to tell with the nonsense coming from some paleocons) so it may seem odd to offer criticism, but as I think that the article appears to be half-serious, I think I’m justified in offering a few points of disagreement.

    Firstly, I don’t oppose certain “masculine” characteristics like strength, courage, and self-reliance (I think for a libertarian society, those qualities would be desirable in both males and females) at all and in fact, I think that when coupled with an individualist liberty-oriented ethos, such traits among people would be far more likely to lead to a society with greater freedom. I think that a person like Antonio Baron is a shining example of someone who embodies both the positive masculine values I mentioned and a radical individualist spirit on a personal level. As I said before in the first words of mine to appear on this site, I’d rather have one Baron in a serious movement than a thousand of those crybabies and wimps who purposely get arrested at protests then complain about spending a few hours in custody (that’s not to defend the police actions in protest events, just to point out the lack of character in many demonstrators).

    Having said that, I do have a strong disagreement with the idea of what usually passes for machismo being desirable for more men to possess. The first thing to point out is that macho style behavior is often associated with hierarchy, bullying, glorification of violence, and pecking orders (I know the last thing exists in females, albeit as I understand, in a more subtle way). Indeed, the military is about as macho an organization as there can be, and we all know how much of a bastion of liberty and individuality it is. A similar analysis can be made with gangs, Keith’s excellent article “Crime and Conflict Theory” contains a very interesting quote from a prison chaplain, Chris Hoke, showing the striking similarity between a gang and a state ( St. Augustine was on the mark on that one) with the relevance to this article being that gangs are as collectivist as any authoritarian state yet they are considered in the current cultural milieu to be uber-macho, which is a little surprising, considering that today’s youth are considered to be (by the “experts”) a bunch of little narcissists. I don’t want to get off track here so I will cut to my main point, which is that while restoring so-called machismo may be desirable for certain segments of the population, those who value liberty, individuality, and a free society ought to be at the least, a little cautious in embracing the return of “manliness” considering what “manliness” in practical terms in the past.

    “A grown man is meant to be prepared for conflict and provide for his wife and family. Indulging oneself like a gay teen on vacation is not only abandoning your post, it’s leaving women to pick up the slack. And nobody wants a world like that—especially women.”

    Well I guess that makes me a gay teen on vacation, because I have no interest in providing for a family or having a wife. It’s interesting to me that this guy mentions homosexuality because it reminds me of some silly fundamentalist pamphlet I once came across where gays were depicted as mindless hedonists in contrast to the good heterosexuals who grew up, got married, and raised a family. That theme is something I have seen quite a bit in Fundamentalist Christian criticisms of the “gay lifestyle.” I have to wonder if perhaps resentment plays in a role in that and in bigotry in general against homosexuals. Is it perhaps related to the idea that masculinity is about sacrifice and hardship whereas, on some level, pleasure and indulgence are seen as feminine? Anyways, I guess I just can’t live up to the manly standard McInnes demands of me, guess I’ll just give up and go paint my nails pink 🙂

  2. I think the whole thing about machismo is crap. It’s just the kind of thing for men insecure about their masculinity, and I’m not even the type of homo parodied in 60s Mad magazine — I was never interested in girl things to begin with, but then again I never tried to be butch either. I think it goes along with the whole nazi skinhead thing — I’m under the impression alot of them are really repressed homos. Probably no different from typical leather Bears except of course I have an easier time talking to Bears than typical hate-filled skinhead psychos…

  3. Whatever else one might think of Gavin McInnes, one has to love is biographical description at Taki’s Mag:

    “Gavin McInnes founded Vice Magazine in 1994 and recently left to start Street Carnage. He describes himself as a “race-mixing, gay-loving, pro-choice, atheist, anarchist who hates all liberals.”

    That’s not too far from my own outlook.

  4. I’ve always promoted non-political “consciousness-raising” reconciliatory methods based in psychology and sociology as a way to advance peace and equality between the sexes, more based in pop psychology and spirituality books and marriage jokes from classic stand-up than the negativity-based, super-intellectual dogma of the Marxoids, believe it or not, that’s why I find alot of the more moderate palecons at Taki interesting (besides being always funny and insightful), they square up with the views of say someone like Bill Hicks on genders and marriage (I have a feeling he hated establishment feminism) suprisingly well.

    And obviously as one of those “emasculated” gay kids myself (well I’m actually fluid, 75% straight or so) I couldn’t agree more with Jared, that gender view is actually very close to a consensus that’s been had among spiritual explorers of gender ideas for a while. I often like to criticize feminists by pointing out that spiritual gender thinkers normally point to “pathological masculinity”, or an excess of masculinity as the cause of domestic violence, etc, rather than all masculinity or men in general. And its especially disgusting to hear them talk as if all this is inherent to people with penises, instead of just ignorant social conventions we all pick up and either must embrace or question.

    But I can’t help but concur with the paleocons: expressing positive masculine qualities can’t possibly be helped by an over-reaching modern state that eradicates all the free non-state culture of hunting and fighting and courting that men need to thrive and/or express their qualities, a gov’t run by feminazis who only make men more defensive and sexist to women in general. Cause its obviously the state and the screwed up economy that drive those “upwardly mobile” pussified men (they seem to be the dominant type of man portrayed on TV actually) the paleocons talk about to dress and drink the way they do, or even act like they do, its not open-minded nonconformists seeking an individual path for themselves like liberal spiritual feminists want.

  5. Jared-

    Why do you desire the approval of a man who reserves the right to hate you and create social conditions under which it would be impossible for you to be happy? You do know what happens if you are born in the wrong ethnostate under national anarchist rules, right?

  6. Aster,

    If you referring to the last part of my comment, let me make it clear (sometimes my writing is not) that I was being completely sarcastic, I have no desire to seek the approval of a McInnes or anyone else for that matter (though from Keith’s description of him, it does not appear that he is any sort of far right type). If this is a more subtle reference to Keith himself, then I will simply say that I have have written anything that was an attempt here to court anyone’s approval.

    I also do NOT feel any need to gain the approval of any on the far left either, I am a white male and I feel absolutely no compunction for being one. The guilt mongering on the left is Imo, simply the flip side of the collectivist coin to the white supremacist idea on the right. Funny enough, the last part of my comment on “fear of an erudite white” would simultaneously piss off those on the right and left.

    Btw Aster, if you are still interested in contacting me privately as mentioned in a previous comment, my email is

  7. Um, I think I’ll pass. You are an intelligent person, and I agree with you on quite a number of points. I certainly don’t think that anyone should ever feel guilty over one’s ancestry or unchosen inheritance, But I have trouble feeling much connection to anyone who feels put upon for being a white guy, for reasons which are more aesthetic than political.

    Sure, white people are hurt by a culture which restricts the human potentialities of everyone, and systems of domination are bad for the privileged as well as the subjugated. Patriarchy sucks for men almost as much as it does for women.

    I’m not greatly impressed by any faction of the Left myself. The establishment progressives are compromised hypocrites and the radical leftists are incompetent and scared of our material world. But the Left is certainly preferable to the chest-beating alternatives, and virtually anything is preferable to patriarchal village fascism.

    And I was referring to your relation to Keith, not McInnes.

  8. “Um, I think I’ll pass.”


    “You are an intelligent person.”

    I don’t know if I can agree with that 🙂

    ” I certainly don’t think that anyone should ever feel guilty over one’s ancestry or unchosen inheritance, But I have trouble feeling much connection to anyone who feels put upon for being a white guy, for reasons which are more aesthetic than political”

    In defense of myself, I only meant that comment in the first sense of not feeling guilty over an unchosen aspect of who I am, I could have used other examples to make my point, and in hindsight, I realize it probably was not the best one to use due to the baggage associated with it. Let me make it clear that I in no way feel “put upon for being a white guy” and I’m not the kind of type to feel insulted because of what someone else thinks of me (even this does not bother me and I would defend Mr. Kambon’s right to say it). Also, well I wouldn’t be offended, I would consider it to be a unfair judgment of myself if you were to form a negative opinion of me based on one line I wrote. I have experienced some treatment and discrimination due to disability which I won’t against into here because of the public nature of this setting. Having said that, the only people I’ve ever been put upon by have been other white people and white people are the only people I’ve had personal grievances against.

    “And I was referring to your relation to Keith, not McInnes.”

    I had a feeling you were referring to Keith. It seems to me that your description of him is a little extreme, and well I have no doubt it would be an apt description of some of his associates on the paleo right, I doubt that Keith himself would like to set up some village fascist regime. The reason I found Keith’s site in the first place was through reading one his articles on (I know that probably lowers your opinion of me, though the think the site has definitely become less paleo since I started reading it). I found his work interesting and I liked having another take on politics from a libertarian perspective, I started participating when I wrote to him expressing my concern over the increasing content of his site coming from paleocon or alternative right sources. As the contents of one email was used as part of a article, I responded to some people who commented and since then, I have from time to time expressed opinion on certain articles here when they have dealt with topics that I have been interested in. Many things I have written here have been criticisms of paleocons and social conservatives, and as I said before, I don’t believe that anything I have written here has been an attempt to garner approval from Keith or anyone else. I don’t think that I’m somehow aiding and abetting NA’s because of writing a few comments here. I understand you have a very different take on Keith, and that’s your view, but what I don’t understand is why you would even look at this site at all if Keith is a horrible fascist patriarchal monster. I’m not saying that to insult you, I just wonder you would subject yourself to the writings of someone who you say has been extremely abusive to you in the past?

  9. I read this site because I take the hard right seriously. The bourgeois mainsteam chronically underestimates fascism, partially because it doesn’t want to examine its own investments in a softer form of the same basic authoritarian social formations, and partially because of smug out-of-touch class complacency. In my book, fascists merely say out loud what the mainstream prefers to sweep under the rug. Anyone who cares about the future today would be wise to pay attention to the nouvelle droit and the ressurection of fascism in Europe- and people are not paying attention. Where better to read about it all than here?

    My specific concern is the degree to which libertarianism has allowed itself to be used and coopted by the racist/traditionalist/patriarchal right. Left-libertarianism, at least, has been immunised against this particular virus.

  10. BTW, I don’t think you are aiding and abetting national anarchism. I do think that Keith’s primary political motivation is to create a world in which patriarchal and racial heirarchies are a legitimate social option, which means that the lifelong subjugation and entrapment of those born into conservative or otherwise authoritarian communities is inevitable. And I think his view of life in one with no place for love or idealism, and that common sense says that people who concieve of life as brutal struggle will not hesitate to strangle you if and when it proves convenient. A large part of the point of social heirarchies is that it allows for those with power to exploit others with stability, by gauranteeing to those of the favoured sex/race/class/whatever that they will never be on the wrong end of the stick of oppression. And it’s a lie. First of all, the boundaries are fluid and change with time and convenience- any dominator with brains knows how to pretend inclusion one day and then reassert caste barriers forcefully on the next. Secondly, people who are after power will make lots of promises and then sell out their own gang when necessary. Keith’s whole point is to slip white nationalism and the like under the door of ethical respectability, just as his Holocaust-denying associates merely wish to give lies an equal status with truth. In both cases, debate is counterproductive because it suggests that what the fascist is proposing is a reasonable option; furthermore, the entire strategy of the ‘alternative right’ is to make fascism a normal and acceptable political position via an inauthentic appropriation of other spaces. movements, and ideologies. Holocaust denial is not theory but rather a lie pretending to be a theory. National anarchism is similarly not about liberating human beings but about twisting language to demand the imprisonment of human beings in the name of liberty. These guys want to rule you and hurt you and behind their facade of intellectualism is a desire to push you into a closet or into a gas chamber. This is what racism and nationalism does.

    I think you mean well, but you are looking for allies in all the wrong places.

  11. I call all this “ideology-baiting”. You’re a fascist! You’re a socialist! You’re a racist! You’re a race traitor! Conservative bloggers probably do it best, but the left is just as guilty. They just write long screeds that are about 65% buzzwords for the purpose of attracting a little cadre of followers and reinforcing their own beliefs, which are mostly built off buzzwords anyway. Not like we’re completely not guilty of this of course, I think ATS could benefit from portraying PC for example as an authoritarian perversion of liberalism and pointing out the particular flaws it has in its analysis of race, gender, etc., than just relying on conservative ideology-baiting, not that we should ignore their analyses, they’re the best at PC bashing.

  12. “I think ATS could benefit from portraying PC for example as an authoritarian perversion of liberalism and pointing out the particular flaws it has in its analysis of race, gender, etc., than just relying on conservative ideology-baiting,”

    Yes! This is one of the areas where my own work is the weakest. I view the fight against Totalitarian Humanism to be a continuation of the historic battle between Anarchism and Marxism. Anyone who claims any kind of classical liberal, libertarian, anarchist, or even a constitutionalist or a liberal civil libertarian should be a fierce opponent of TH. We do need to make these arguments more clearly and more forcefully. Myself most of all.

    “not that we should ignore their analyses, they’re the best at PC bashing.”

    Well, they’re the ones who been the most receptive to my TH theory, for obvious reasons, which is why I’ve become closer to their camp in recent years. It reminds me of when Russell Means used to speak to John Bircher types about repression of the Miskito Indians by the Sandinistas in Nicaragua while leftists would show up to heckle him. I’ve often thought of the irony of a crazy anarchist guy like me being featured so frequently in far right gatherings, publications, and radio programs as an outspoken critic of PC.

  13. Noonan, I’ve been working on an essay critiquing political correctness from the left for a while now. I’ll try and wrap it up soon.

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