by R.J. Jacob
“If there is any universal virtue in men, it is the fighting virtues.” -Jack Donovan
This book could not have come at a better time. Jack Donovan’s The Way of Men is a spear through the side of the one world therapeutic tribe. Donovan incorporates his theory of masculinity into a Nietzschean critique of modernity that unveils human nature and screams WAR! in the face of feminists and professional utopians.
Donovan explores the origins of masculinity by looking at the human EEA. Different species must evolve different mechanisms in response to the imposed conditions. Donovan describes human males as a party gang species organized into male dominated gangs whose members compete and cooperate for status, women, and the greater good of the gang. The earliest male humans, comprising the genus Homo, needed the warm smell of the gang to survive, to position themselves in, to ground themselves in. For Donovan, the first male “virtues” emerged during man’s hard gang hunter way of life. Donovan identifies four core tactical gang virtues of “primal gang morality” — Strength, Courage, Mastery, and Honor. However, the four gang virtues do not form a highest moral imperative. These are the basic attributes men must exhibit in order to survive and go on to create a set of higher virtues specific to men. But when the higher virtues are established, primal gang morality still lies beneath.
Society is founded by a gang and it grows from primitive gang unit, to culture city, and at last to full civilization. Along the way, women and fearful men supplant man’s tactical gang virtues with a set of civilized virtues to control male dramas, to give nature a make-over, to pull the weeds out, leaving only the pretty flowers and good smells. Donovan breaks down the various power structures put into place to deny men. He shows that as society moves into full civilization, masculinity must become increasingly curbed and controlled as men no longer need to do battle, hunt, kill, and overcome. Man’s explosive drive for sex, control and destruction must be consumed elsewhere through simulated, vicarious, and intellectual vehicles. Manhood is further withered in the statist bureaucracy and brought down to achieve equality and homogeneity which weakens distinction and imposes sameness. All the while man sees his highest values crashing in on themselves. The only way out, says Donovan, is to grow some balls, gang up and bring down the modern world. One of the central themes in The Way of Men is the way in which men of a smaller indigenous gang are often more powerful, more connected, and more holy than men in larger gangs. Donovan decries the idea of large, traitorous, “worthless” empire and calls for a return to the golden summit of small bonded brotherhoods of men.
Donovan’s concept of the “perimeter” sees human conflict as an inborn pattern fixed into existence, an inextricable feature of anthropological human nature. The tactical gang ethos can be used to reach a state of the pre-rational to where we can explore our instincts and passions rather than building men and building civilization on fear and denial. In separating masculinity (Being Good At Being A Man) from ideal (Being A Good Man), Donovan formulates a Nietzschean critique of society’s “Good Man” as a “well behaved slave” serving his masters. Men surrender to the humanist, feminine moral imperative which restricts the desires of men. It creates an acceptable zone for manliness, and by doing so, the imperative structure now has a system of governance. Ruling classes then use feminism and pacifism to serve their interests by selling The Good Man Masculinity to control the way in which men exist in this world. The modern world view is a world devoid of manhood, replaced by an ideal, and the “moralizers of masculinity” use moral evaluation to infect men with self denial and raise everything that lowers men to the ideal. If you buy into the ideal, others gain power over you through the changes made by the values. This is slave morality. Men begin working for a new reproductive interest. Donovan’s description of the “globalist bonobo masturbating society” is probably the best end-game example of slave morality/emasculation I’ve seen thus far. It is the result of a long homogenous form of activity of one kind of feminized man. It is the male experience of being utterly powerless, and the most desperate embitterment against existence for men. The bonobo masturbation society is a challenge to any anarchist stuck in the linear assumption of history that progression of society is unfolding in a process towards “goodness” or perfection. Donovan shows us what it might look like to reach the state of perfection — to access a world in which men live a life where they are no longer a threat to any other human.
Anarchists can take notes from the The Way of Men. One of the most tragic things about the anarchist movement is that it has squandered it’s historical fearsome image. What was once the most deadly movement of the 19th century has become a large sisterhood of saps, yogurt eaters, hipsters, and humanoids. The original anarchists had killed an American President, a French President, the Russian head of state, the Austrian head of state, and the Spanish Prime Minister. How did anarchists go from killer men to rainbow banner activists? How did they go from having public leaders like the all-terrifying Mikhail Bakunin to the gentle speaking Noam Chomsky? Why are anarchists trying to turn the world into a giant hospital with everyone as everyone else’s nurse? It is in Donovan’s natural framework of accepted manliness and tactical gang virtue that illustrates where lay the real power of the anarchist’s appeal — in his masculinity. The anarchic gangsters and outlaws of the Old West may not have been “good men,” but in the words of Charles Portis, they had “true grit.”
I highly recommend The Way of Men to both men and anarchists.
By the end of the book, you’ll want Donovan in your gang.