Leave the Dead to Bury the Dead

Commenter Bohemund noticed that sex realists, reactionary Christians, and proponents of Natural Law agree on many things, and suggests that in the Orthosphere their various perspectives naturally intersect. He asks, therefore, “What ought to be the correct, i.e., orthospheric, response to feminism and the various aspects of the sexual revolution?”

What’s the Orthospherean response to the degeneracy of the age? Knight errantry.

Things will fall back into place when men stop idolizing sex, stop worrying about their little selves, stop whining, and start focusing their attention on bigger, more difficult things. Like glory.

Patriarchy is an important part of cultural survival. But for that, we need a healthy supply of patriarchs. If you are going to be a patriarch, you need to be fit to rule as king. To be king, you must be first a good knight. Knighthood is not about women. It is about honor, duty, fealty, valor, virtue, intelligence, practical wisdom, and so forth. It is about combat; about adventure; about a Quest.

Get a Quest.

Real alphas are dangerous. Don’t fake being dangerous, like the Gamers. Be really dangerous.

Get fit, obviously, and learn how to fight. That alone will make you pretty intimidating, and change your whole attitude. But being fit and able to fight is just the infrastructure of lethality, and lethality is but the raw material of knighthood.

Best way to be really dangerous: be willing, glad even, to fight to the death. That will make you lethal, but it won’t make you good; so it doesn’t suffice for knighthood. To be a knight, you must be willing to fight to the death for the Good: for you, to be sure, but more for yours – for your Lord, and for your wards – and for your Quest.

Best way to be glad to fight to the death, as a True Knight: care more about your Quest than about your life.

How? Get religion, and use religion to sacrifice your life, right now. Among other things, religion is rehearsal for death; is death practiced with full, conscious attention. Visualize a beautiful, honorable death the way athletes visualize crossing the finish line. Get into the Zone. Practice dying. Inhabit it. Practice dying in pursuit of your Quest.

You are going to die anyway, right? Might as well make it noble.

Plus, it will make everything else seem easy by comparison.

As a Christian, take this natural manly way and sanctify it as a godly way, to plant the Kingdom of Heaven in the Earth that you patrol. Practice fighting charitably and dying a martyr; choose a beautiful, Holy Quest. The Grail will do. Or, if you would rather be a lay than a monastic knight, there are lots of dragons around that somebody is going to have to slay.

Forget the feminists, leftists, nihilists, perverts, and degenerates: the misologists, as Mark Anderson calls them, those who hate the Logos. Demographically, they are doomed, their generation already lost.

I’m getting really sick of thinking about the misologists and their depraved arguments and obsessions. The future belongs to those who love the Logos, and order their lives accordingly. It’s time to start living as if we already lived in the next age, in the age we want to live in: the Age of Orthology. It is time now to start enacting orthology.

Leave the dead to bury the dead. The most we can do for the misologists is to lead a virtuous, noble life, so that they see, some of them, how beautiful and good that can be, remember their ancestral home, and realize they are living in a sty, eating swill; so that they think of returning to the houses of their fathers.

It’s time to set forth on something hale, and clean, a new and glorious adventure. Set your sights then on long term victory, on the achievement of your Quest; and do the right thing to make that happen for yourself and for your children, whenever they happen to come along. Start living orthologically, in everything you do.

Nothing else is in your control. Everything else will take care of itself.

************************

For those who are interested, I have posted two long essays, one on Patriarchy  and one on Game versus the Good, at Thinking Housewife and VFR, respectively.

86 thoughts on “Leave the Dead to Bury the Dead

  1. Yes… but will it get you laid? And laid with a woman who is (how to put this?) worthy of you? In other words, I have no problem with men being told to “Man up”… as long as there an equivalently unequivocal message to women: “Woman up!” And right now there are very few voices among the myriad of traditionalist and ostensibly conservative voices who are saying that.

    • Yes. It will. Women hunger and thirst after men who are lethal and good, and *who are not about women and getting laid.* If you are about getting laid, you are already whipped.

      • Thanks, Kristor, for answering so gently my poorly conceived and rushed firebomb.

        Here’s the issue: Be Valiant tells me what to do, and truth be told I’m already happily married, have a passel of kids, and, tho’ you’ll have to take my word for it, relatively valiant, as circumstances permit. So really it tells me how I should raise my sons. And correspondingly it tells me how to raise my daughters: don’t be a slut and look for a valiant guy (who turns you on, will make a good living, and not cheat on you). Okay… that fixes me and mine, and the tiny fraction of people like me…

        But I still live in the moral swamp that has become the US of A… and for that matter the rest of the barely habitable western world. And, unfortunately, large scale market pressures play a much bigger role in the average moral livability of a place than what the valiant 1% manage to do. And those market pressures have pushed the price of fornication very low. So the answer to the question of what I (as an anachronistic minority) should do is not precisely the answer of what we (as a polis) should do. Why was sexual virtue so much more prized in 1912 than in 2012? Were we really so much less horny? I don’t think so. I think certain externalities have changed… and if those are not fixed, civilization itself may well be doomed… well at least for all but the 1%.

  2. Women hunger and thirst after men who are lethal and good, and *who are not about women and getting laid.*

    I’m afraid you’re wrong, Mr. Kristor, at least in our contemporary society. Virtue is NOT rewarded – either true virtue, or fake virtue. The are some people (men and women) who do reward virtue: but they are a small minority.

    Forget the feminists, leftists, nihilists, perverts, and degenerates.

    Good advice. But what do I have to do for the feminists, leftists, nihilists, perverts and degenerates to forget ME? Or, more specifically, to get them to forget MY WIFE and stop filling her head with feminism tropes and spurring her to become unhaaaapy with her family? And if your answer is, “choose really well, preferably a gal who never watches television and/or is impervious to social pressure”, then tell me, how is such a unicorn-hunting strategy supposed to work on a large scale?

    The most we can do for the misologists is to lead a virtuous, noble life, so that they see, some of them, how beautiful and good that can be.

    Yes – if you succeed. But success does not depend on you alone. What if on your 40th birthday Cupcake decides she’s unhaaaapy, files for divorce, and you have to live in a shack, away from your children (whose probable future you know all too well), and paying for her to live the high life with a new boyfriend. I don’t think any misologist watching this will conclude that pursuing virtue is “beatiful and good”. And that’s what in store for too many of those who try to pursue this path in this decadent age.

    Yes, virtue should be its own reward. But if the incentives to virtue are negative, it will be exceedingly rare, and we shouldn’t be surprised. We can’t demand sainthood as a general rule, even if we should all aim at it. Donatism is a heresy, after all.

    I recomment Dalrock’s blog for the best discussion of these issues from a Christian perspective.

    • You have four choices:

      1. Be weak and vicious.
      2. Be weak and virtuous.
      3. Be lethal and vicious.
      4. Be lethal and virtuous.

      Which do you choose? I mean, regardless of what happens in your life with respect to women, kids and so forth, what sort of man do you want to be, through thick and thin?

      Just make your choice, and let the chips fall where they may. If you succeed in being pretty lethal and pretty good, and you have a Quest, then women are going to apprehend you as a hero. Because why? Because you’ll *be* a hero. And that’s what they want.

      But here’s the thing, the crucial thing: choosing the right woman and succeeding in love and marriage must not be your primary objective. You must make your life about something other than women. If you make your life about women, they own you. They don’t really want that, but if they find out that’s what’s going on, they’ll take full advantage of a less than auspicious situation. They should. They’d be idiots if they didn’t.

      Get yourself a Quest, welcome hardship and solitude, and let women be an afterthought. You’ll be happier for it.

    • James,

      Women in feminist countries hate virtue, but women in non-feminist countries still value virtue, so find a wife there.

      To get the modern world off your back, I suggest 2 things. First, before marrying, make your wife agree that there will be no television in your house. And second, you and your wife should be active members of a conservative church (like Eastern Orthodox or Anabaptist).

      And that should take care of your third point. It has worked for me for 21 years of marriage.

      • Non-feminist countries? Where are those specifically? Name some, please.

        See, I went that route looking for a husband. Plenty of American males my age group adore feminism. It lets them off the hook, totally.

        I wanted a man who takes raising a family, providing for his family, very seriously and so I found one, from a very traditional culture. Almost medieval, in many ways.

        Then you’ve got all kinds of cultural hoops to jump through. I’m not saying I’m sorry I did it. But I am telling you, you have to be really motivated to make it work. You have to have a very thick skin and a good sense of humor.

        Meanwhile, the country he came from was transformed–in scarcely 10 years’ time–from being a theocracy to just another dysfunctional socialist economic basketcase, which is pretty much what they all are nowadays. Radicalism can dismantle a beautiful traditional culture thousands of years old with breathtaking alacrity.

        There are no pockets of traditionalist purity dotting the globe that we can dip into for our future family members. For anyone who is looking for an escape hatch from the modern world, we are it. Or the closest thing.

      • Clearly Obscure, I agree that it isn’t boolean, there are no completely non-feminist countries today. And there are very few traditional cultures. But there is a distinction between strongly feminist countries and what are basically anarchistic countries where the government is too dysfunctional to enforce feminism. I don’t know if there is much difference in the men, but certainly the women in the anarchistic countries have more appreciation for a traditional provider than women in feminist countries do.

      • I am not sure what you mean by “anarchistic countries,” but the backwards Marxist ideological rat-holes I’ve been to, the government has no role in enforcing feminism. It doesn’t have to. The culture does that, without meeting any resistance whatsoever.

        There is no place you can go nowadays to escape the din of modernity. I’ve sent emails and watched TV at Annapurna basecamp, which is just about as close as you can get to outer space without leaving the planet. The indigenous people there would cut off their right arm for a U.S. visa—to hell with their own culture.

        I agree that there are women who appreciate traditional male/female roles. I know many—they are mostly in their 70s living in places like South Dakota. The developing world? Not so much.

        I have nieces (from my in-laws) in their 20s who grew up in a culture where marriage is a sort of lifelong act of obedience for women. A good wife is afraid to say her husband’s name. And my nieces, typical of girls their age in every way, are adamant about one thing—they do not want to get stuck with a man telling them what to do all the time.

        I don’t know if it’s the corrupting influence of feminism that’s to blame. I think it has more to do with the fact that now they know there’s alternatives—getting a college education, getting a job, earning your own money, traveling on your own.

        Do you have a good argument for why that shouldn’t appeal to them? Let’s hear it. I’d like to try it out on my nieces. I want all their dreams to come true, but I also want them to be under the arm of a good man. I don’t want them to wind up alone like me.

        If you think there are non-feminist Shangri-las in remote places where the women are making quilts and baking bread and waiting to make some man a good wife, then I would like to know where those places are. I would like to see some evidence they exist, because I don’t think they do.

      • Tomas de Torquemada: if you are suggesting that I’m a Nazi, then you do a powerful lot of seeing what isn’t there.

      • Tomas was making a jocular reference to another thread at the Orthosphere, wherein a new commenter was assinged a gravatar icon by WordPress, that looked amazingly like a swastika, and the thread discussed the phenomenon.

        I, too, am now seeing swastikas implicit in many of the icons that gravatar randomly generates and assigns.

      • I hope that can be fixed. The first time I see one of those emblems by my name, I’m out of here.

      • They seem to be generated according to the username, e-mail address, and URL you enter. Changing any of these slightly will generate a new gravatar. On the other hand, gravatars remain consistent so long as you keep entering the same information, and you can always just create an account with WordPress and set your own icon, like I do.

      • Thank you gentlemen for that clarification. I was a bit taken aback. I’ve been called a lot of things, but Nazi has never been one of them.

  3. I need a bit of help, Kristor, specifically with your concept of the Quest. Your post has the same conclusions I’ve come to, but, I have no idea how to choose a Quest.

    Do you have any examples, and reasons why they are suitable?

  4. Athanasius & Simon:

    Look at your handles: Athanasius and Simon. What were their Quests?

    All True Quests are departments of the Grail Quest. If you are after a dragon, it’s for the sake of the Grail; to make yourself worthy of finding the Grail. You can’t find out where your True Quest lies until you are a knight, and you can’t be ordained a knight until you get religion. The door to knighthood is a night on your knees in full armor before the Cross, swearing fealty to God and the Good, and praying for strength to fulfill your vow.

    Once you are a knight, then you can begin trying to figure out what Quest will befall you. You might have to wander about in search of adventure for many years, accepting every challenge that comes your way – a basic knightly activity in its own right – before you discover your Quest. In a sense, your first Quest is to go out questing in search of your Quest. It might be anything, but it has to have at least five characteristics:

    1. It must be terribly difficult (so that it takes a long time).
    2. It must exact a cost, in the form of suffering or deprivation.
    3. It must require tremendous discipline and fortitude.
    4. It must seek a good that is not intended for your own enjoyment.
    5. It must seek a good that is noble.

    How do you tell if a good is noble? Ask your guts. They know. If your guts thrill and quail and feel solid and good all at the same time, that’s a pretty good indication that you’re onto something.

    How do you tell where to look for your Quest? Well, what do you love? Fishing? Botany? Woodworking? Comedy? Start with what you love. The Quest is probably in there somewhere, along with your talents and your heart’s deepest inclinations. If you love doing something, and you are pretty good at it, that’s a pretty reliable indication that you are Meant to be doing it – and that by it you can find a way to do something noble and good for other people, even if it is something silly and fun like doing stand up comedy.

    Serious study of a martial art is important. As it toughens the body and trains the mind, it engenders the proper martial attitude toward discomfort, pain, fear, injury, combat, and death. If you haven’t done it, I highly recommend it. Martial training will help clarify all sorts of things. Plus, it will change your attitude – subtly, profoundly, pervasively – when you realize that you are actually getting to be a pretty dangerous person.

    Time in the woods or the desert is also beneficial, for many of the same reasons. Seek solitude in hardship, and figure out how to be content in it. Learn how to wait.

    There is no guarantee that any of this is going to turn out well for you. Indeed, the only guarantee is that you’ll end up dead, in the process losing everything you love and enjoy. But since that’s going to happen anyway, no matter what you do, you might as well lead a noble and admirable life, no?

    Notice I said “lead” a noble life. Don’t live your life; lead it.

    Anyone, whether he is valorous or timorous, can suffer a lousy life, in terms of women, family, money, career. But the life of a valorous man, no matter how difficult or impoverished in outward terms, can be noble, and rich in spiritual goods. And mutatis mutandis, the valorous man is more likely to lead a prosperous, happy life.

    But for the man of valor, prosperity and happiness are not the point: honor, glory, virtue are the point; such happiness and prosperity as then attend him merely follow in the train of those more perfect goods. For the man of timor, his life is all about prosperity and happiness, and if he loses them, or never attains them, his life is nothing. So, ceteris paribus, the valorous man is always better off than the timorous.

    • This is epic. I hadn’t really been able to put my finger on it until now, but the Quest was why I enlisted in the Marine Corps. It all makes sense now.

      Women hunger and thirst after men who are lethal and good, and *who are not about women and getting laid.*

      True. And being over six feet tall and having a chiseled jawline helps too.

      • It seems the Marine Corps was the last place a boy could go to become a man, under the banner of God, Country, Corps, as a professional warrior-poet. Not anymore. Not only have they been forced to deal with the WMs, they now have to deal with sodomite activists. What boy seeking to become a man will want to go there now? It will be all about the MGIB from now on.

        The Corps met all of Kristor’s points for me 2002-2006, but now it too will be further feminized and demasculinized. There is nowhere left for boys to become men apart from their mothers and sisters. No social institution I know of celebrates masculinity any longer. The closest you will come to such a celebration is the MMA industry, and I avoid it because I am a virtuous man who does not want to see ring girls involved with The Quest, as Kristor puts it.

  5. Thanks Kristor. Though I don’t disagree with a word, I think it’s important to place achieving lethality below achieving virtue in terms of importance.

    Have you read The Napolean of Notting Hill?

    • Yes; lethality is a combination of a number of virtues. Learning to be lethal, as by studying the martial arts, trains many of the virtues. That’s why boys play at war. The whole course of studies is built into men. We are fitted for it. That’s why we like violent movies.

      For many men, the study of the martial arts is their first exposure to the disciplines of learning the virtues. Because like most arts the martial arts are fathomlessly deep, they may form the matter of a whole life’s quest toward the Good. Advanced students of the martial arts are almost invariably wise, and prudent.

      Have not read The Napoleon of Notting Hill.

      • Lethality is a combination of virtues… I will think on this, but it seems at first glance too general. Maybe I don’t understand what you mean by lethality, but I think martial discipline would be a better term.

        I think you would like the book. Prophetic satire, anticipating your call to arms.

    • Gabe, could you expand on that reference to The Napoleon of Notting Hill? Recently I began a rereading (after a first reading about 37 years ago!) and kind of bogged down… maybe I didn’t read far enough.

      I should say that Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday is one of my top books — I mean for my whole lifetime. I must have read it half a dozen times at least. I reread The Ball and the Cross not too long ago and it held up pretty well too.

      • Chesterton isn’t for everybody (though he is my favorite, no question). He tends to repeat ideas several times with slight changes in example or emphasis, and it gets on the nerves of plot driven readers (my wife doesn’t enjoy reading him, sadly).

        Napolean of Notting Hill is a call to awareness of the sacred things you take for granted, and to defend them to the death if necessary, and this here post reminded me of it immediately. Money quote:

        “‘Oh, you kings, you kings!’ cried out Adam, in a burst of scorn. ‘How humane you are, how tender, how considerate! You will make war for a frontier, or the imports of a foreign harbour; you will shed blood for the precise duty on lace, or the salute to an admiral. But for the things that make life itself worthy or miserable—how humane you are! I say here, and I know well what I speak of, there were never any necessary wars but the religious wars. There were never any just wars but the religious wars. There were never any humane wars but the religious wars. For these men were fighting for something that claimed, at least, to be the happiness of a man, the virtue of a man. A Crusader thought, at least, that Islam hurt the soul of every man, king or tinker, that it could really capture. I think Buck and Barker and these rich vultures hurt the soul of every man, hurt every inch of the ground, hurt every brick of the houses, that they can really capture. Do you think I have no right to fight for Notting Hill, you whose English Government has so often fought for tomfooleries? If, as your rich friends say, there are no gods, and the skies are dark above us, what should a man fight for, but the place where he had the Eden of childhood and the short heaven of first love? If no temples and no scriptures are sacred, what is sacred if a man’s own youth is not sacred?'”

        Ball and the Cross, also excellent and relevant to the post. I should re-read Thursday. I’m reading A Short History of England right now, and I would suggest it as required reading for reactionary Christians. Since I’m an American, it’s filling a void instead of conflicting with existing ideas, but it’s fascinating. I’ve been comparing to the official narrative as I go.

      • Thank you, Gabe, for the comments on The Napoleon of Notting Hill. I stopped my second reading too soon, obviously.

        Along with The Man Who Was Thursday, I like well Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse and The Everlasting Man.

      • Haven’t read the Ballad of the White Horse yet, it’s in the queue. The Everlasting Man was an eye-opener for me. I read it when I was young, before I really appreciated how much sense my faith made.

      • My office walls have pictures of Tolkien, Samuel Johnson, Dostoevsky, Dante, and St. Ephrem of Syria (an icon!) as men of literature, and I should put up a picture of GKC too.

  6. Here are a few thoughts:

    1. Anyone who responds to this posting and who likes exciting imaginative fiction should look up the novels of LARS WALKER — The Year of the Warrior and its sequel West Oversea; Blood and Judgment; and Wolf Time. (His most recent book, which is available only as a download, is Troll Valley — a good book but not as relevant to the knightly issue as the others.) The Year of the Warrior is outstanding in its presentation, from a Christian point of view, of the idea of the Viking ideal at its best. Unfortunately it’s out of print and you will have to buy a used copy. Some of these copies are expensive. I think Walker is becoming something of a cult author. However, they were published by Baen Books, perhaps the major science fiction publisher (in paperback anyway) at the time, so there are plentiful copies around.

    2. Also highly relevant is C. S. Lewis’s gem, “The Necessity of Chivalry,” which may be found in an essay collection called Present Concerns. That book, by the way, is one of Lewis’s less well-known books but one that has a number of pieces that are highly relevant to topics discussed here, e.g. “Equality.”

    3. Remember, from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight etc., that the Christian knight is courteous. Even when he is being vamped by the sexy lady of an absent lord, he keeps control of himself and speaks politely.

    4. Men, we do need a revival of the Christian knightly ideal. As a college professor who will be 60 before very many more years have passed, I observe the demeanor of strapping young men who are, in fact, effeminate. Yes, for all their “masculinity.” First, a man who is led around by a seductress is effeminate. You get glimpses in pre-modern literature of the scorn felt for a man who is dominated by a loose woman’s sexuality. Second, they chatter (via text messages) like nothing so much as a teenage girl yakking on her phone in some Fifties sitcom. How is this masculine? Third, both whites and blacks seem to be obsessed with clothes and accessories: the right shoes, the right caps, the right ear studs! What a coup for apparel makers it was when teenaged guys etc. became a dependable market for their hi-priced wares (no doubt cranked out by semi-slave laborers in China, Malaysia, etc.).

    • Great comment. I too do not understand the Modern preoccupation with clothing and shoes. Look sharp, look classic, and look masculine.

      • Great comment indeed and would add not only an obsession with accessories, but accessories that involve bodily desecration–tattoos, ear gauges, piercings. Even only twenty years ago, these things were largely the province of convicts in prison.

    • Scott W., the tattoos on men that especially prompt my amused disgust are the ones on the calf or ankle. I can understand a woman wishing to draw the male eye to the curve of her calf or to her shapely ankle.

      But on a man… it’s just weird.

    • What are things in our lives now that impair us? Here are two thoughts for what they may be worth. I’m not trying to lay down legalistic burdens; maybe we could have some discussion.

      1.Avoidable debt is a spiritual issue, not an adiaphoron (=an indifferent thing). The apostle Paul said, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another,” or “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt of love.” My understanding is that this apostolic command must be interpreted in the light of other and greater commandments, so, for example, when a man has a genuine vocation to the Office of the Holy Ministry and runs up debt as a seminarian, this is not a sin. If a man of God buys a house for his family and has a mortgage, he does not sin. But much indebtedness comes from our habit of buying presents for ourselves.

      Such debt limits our freedom, preys on our minds, creates worldly obligations, etc. So I think it should be avoided. This means standing against economic norms. Our present social order requires that people buy things they can’t afford and don’t need. Probably the government is funding research now to find a way to enable people to shop while they are asleep.

      2.I wonder about female nudity in movies. I understand the artistic arguments to be made and accept some of them. But in recent years I find myself thinking that, when some actress accepts a role that requires her to bare her charms for the delectation of men like me, she is revealing that which should be for her husband’s delight alone. So can we watch such things and not be complicit in a bad decision that she made? Can we watch these scenes and not be impaired in our own souls?

  7. Sorry, Kristor, but, although I agree with you often, I beg to differ on this one. You cannot ignore the (sinful) world and expect the world to disappear. This is magical thinking. It’s kind of similar to the positive thinking: if you behave well and think well, everything will take of itself. Next step, the Law of Attraction.

    I don’t think it’s Christian. Being a good Christian does not guarantee a good earthy life (“everything will take care of itself”, as you say), but a good eternal life:

    (I have looked for a beautiful fragment of a Paul’s Epistle that I know and that supports my point for half an hour. I don’t have any more time. If I find it, I will post it here)

    Granted, if your goal is to be a monk, yours is a good strategy. But if you want to be a family guy (as I do), some other people enter into the equation and you can ignore the depraved world anymore.

    I am not talking about sex. I am talking about family. The thing that matters the most after God.

    You can be the best patriarch you can, you can be the better Christian, and your wife can divorce you. It has happened lots of time and will happen again (although being a good Christian decreases the odds). You can’t isolate yourself from the sin of the ages.

    You can be the best patriarch you can and your daughter become a promiscuous woman (see, for example, Katy Perry, who was raised in a devout Christian family and became famous for his lesbianesque hit “I kissed a girl and liked it”).

    I think a better strategy is to be realistic. To know that you are fighting a really difficult battle against all society (government, media, even friends). To know that your loved ones are being subjected to a flood of corrupting messages. To take all the precautions you can. To pray and hope everything will work out well. But to be prepared when things go wrong. Not to take for granted that, if you seek the Logos, everything will take care of itself. Believe me, it won’t.

    For me, this path included expatting and living in a society that values fathers and families. I know it is not a path for everyone. Even here, the feminist messages comes through mass media and international agencies (United Nations) that try to corrupt society. So I will do my best to get the best but I am prepared for the worst.

    • Actually, I don’t see where you disagree with Kristor in any meaningful way. Even when Kristor said to forget the misologists, I didn’t take him to mean to ignore the very real damage they inflict. And when you bring up the possibility of unfaithful wives and promiscuous daughters, what of it? You are right in that these things can happen, but I think Kristor would agree that these things are largely beyond your control even when you take care against them. What can be controlled however is what choice you make ranging from weak and vicious to lethal and virtuous. Or to channel the easily-mistaken-for-weak St. Teresa–we are not called to be effective, but faithful.

    • I didn’t say it would be easy, or nice, or turn out well. Indeed, what good is a knight’s valor in a comfortable situation? [It is in part the prevalent comfort and safety of the modern age that has made knighthood so relatively rare among us, and timorousness so common.] Knightly virtue suffers with fortitude and grace, and good cheer. Indeed, graceful suffering is almost the whole point of knighthood. The knight’s oath of office is effectually to complete in and with his own body the sufferings of Christ (Colossians 1:24).

      There are however two senses in which True Knighthood can improve worldly life. In the first place, knighthood is a spiritual discipline for the knight himself, a discipline that will by perfecting him help him cope with the vicissitudes that naturally beset any man. In the second, a society where there were lots of True Knights roaming about looking for difficult Quests by which they might salve their fellows would have a better shot at being properly ordered, so that its members – especially women – were in general happier. There are no guarantees of this, of course – we’ve got the wrong universe for that.

      Knighthood is not, however, likely to lead to happiness for the knight himself. It is likely to lead only to increase of virtue. The knight aims, not for happiness – indeed, he rather despises happiness, or comfort – but to be a eudaimon, who is magnanimous: to be animated by goodness or greatness, to be great of spirit.

      The magnanimous knight is likely to be called upon to suffer much. He is the one who will be called to sally forth against dragons, while lesser men sit safe at home.

      And the knight’s life is very likely to end in tragedy. The Arthurian cycle is among other things a profound exploration of the knight’s moral and practical predicament. Notice that Morgan le Fay is always out there; and, for Merlin, there is Nimue. Notice that, of all the knights of the Round Table, things end well only for Percival and Galahad. They are the only ones who completely succeed in making their lives about something other than women and worldly success. The others all suffer tragic death, or like Gawain survive catastrophe and soldier on, beset on all sides.

      The original question, remember, was not, “What can be done to make everything all nice and safe and sexually fulfilling?” It was, “What is the correct Orthospherean response to the degeneracy of the age?” Knight errantry is the correct response; and the correct response will have causal effects upon society, so that it is somewhat nicer, safer, and more sexually fulfilling than at present. But it is not a panacea, or a magic bullet.

      • The original question, remember, was not, “What can be done to make everything all nice and safe and sexually fulfilling?” It was, “What is the correct Orthospherean response to the degeneracy of the age?” Knight errantry is the correct response; and the correct response will have causal effects upon society, so that it is somewhat nicer, safer, and more sexually fulfilling than at present. But it is not a panacea, or a magic bullet

        Well… yes… that was the original question. But I was looking for a correct response that would… well… correct something. Denizens of the Orthosphere as well as of the traditionalist right (if in fact they are distinct at all) are already, in their own ways and always imperfectly, living that response. They are constrained by faith to live in a certain, self-sacrificing way.

        But society, who is largely ignorant or resistant to our faith, continues to degrade (I’ll not link to it). What I’m saying is that the sex realist community (aka. the manosphere) offers a red pill: men are polygamous by nature, women are hypergamous by nature. And it. explains. everything. Or at least everything that seems to ail us (fornication rates, bastardy rates, dependency on handouts, demographic decline, declining working class wages, corrupt politicians, hell, even unsustainable debt). So why are so many of the traditional conservative persuasion unwilling to swallow the pill? It isn’t mean to tell the truth. And even if it were, truthtelling remains an unalloyed virtue.

      • That’s what the manosphere says? Whenever I read something from that way it sounds like they’re trying to get a piece of the pie the only way a modern knows how: cast yourself as a victim.

        What’s the manosphere solution to this problem? Marriage 2.0?

        Are you under the impression that those of the traditional conservative persuasion are unacquainted with lust?

      • Gabe,

        Society itself, civilization itself, is a victim of feminism. Corky here confesses that he “was divorced (note the passive voice)”. Somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of all divorces are initiated by women. “No fault divorce” is a horrid euphemism–it means: unilateral divorce. Same thing happened to Stephen Baskerville and Elusive Wapiti. It means a wife (or a husband in 1/4 to 1/3 of cases) can just walk away and there’s not a thing in hell the other party can do about it. And since No Fault is now the default, it is now rare indeed for anyone to actually contest a divorce… and largely hopeless to try. And it can be very much in a woman’s financial interests to do so. And the kids? They almost always get put with the mother, because, after all it was a “no fault divorce”… and “children need their mothers”.

        And if it can happen to Corky, Baskerville, and Wapiti, and countless other honorable Christian men, then it can happen to anyone, no matter how valiant they are.

        So my take away from the sex realist world is: 1) beware marriage as it is now practiced, because a) you have a high probability of failure, and b) if you fail you (O Man) are screwed, butthexed, tucker max rhymes with goldman sax; and 2) if you are married, you dern well better stay that way (see (1)), and probably the best way of keeping your wife happy is by raising, by various means, the status she perceives in you (which is really just manliness repackaged for a generation of men raised, alas, in a woman’s world).

        For the rest of the “androsphere”, I could take it or leave it….

        Are you under the impression that those of the traditional conservative persuasion are unacquainted with lust?

        No. However, I get the distinct impression that they think women are largely immune from it.

      • Well that’s a weird impression to have. Anyone care to guess how many women have read this thread?

        Beware marriage… that’s what you’re going to tell your sons? So they’re swimming in a culture that could not have been better designed to churn out misogynistic womanizers, and that is your advice? I’ll say this. It would be better for them to go to their graves never having known a woman than to become the ideal of the manosphere. But it is unlikely that such a choice will be forced on them. It has never been a good or wise move to approach marriage casually, I would just use a different words.

        Also, if your primary reason for avoiding divorce is financial, you’re priorities are messed up and you’re doing it wrong.

        We agree about the state of the institution. Doesn’t change anything for us.

      • Beware marriage… that’s what you’re going to tell your sons?

        What I am telling my sons, in doses appropriate to their ages (20, 13, and 10) is to look for a virtuous wife, and therefore likely young, likely not career oriented, not willing to excuse frivolous or semi-frivolous divorce in her sisters or best friends, and willing to shun sluts and sluttiness. In other words, avoid marriage as it is commonly practiced.

        Also, if your primary reason for avoiding divorce is financial, you’re priorities are messed up and you’re doing it wrong.

        Obviously the number one reason to avoid divorce is hell… tho’ the financial disincentives might very well keep you in a marriage… and might somehow save your soul… if there was anything in hell you could do about it. My whole point is that it isn’t a level playing field. It is, instead and in contradistinction to the practice of the entire human race for 99% of all human history, tilted strongly towards women, both financially and in terms of child custody. That’s why women seek divorce so much more often than men… or at least a large part of it. Of course, in the long run, a divorce woman suffers more than a divorced man socially. But women, on average, tend to be a bit more flaky than men, which probably contributes to the statistic as well. The potential of divorce, and absurd injustices of the “family law” system, such as it is…, should make a man very careful of marriage, not to eschew it as it can be and ought to be an unalloyed good for him and for society, but to be careful.

        We agree about the state of the institution. Doesn’t change anything for us.

        I don’t see how you can say that. The destruction of marriage is the destruction of the natural family… which is the absolute bedrock of civilization. And even laying aside the greatly reduced pool of potential suitable mates for our children, even well within the confines of the Church so-called where the modern poisons continue to work their misery largely unchecked, we have massive externalities to pay for: lawlessness, dependency, thuggery, poverty, bastardry, crassness, ennui… to name just a few off the top of my head. It changes A LOT for us, I think.

      • Kristor, I think much of what you are saying comes down to this: our calling from God to live well in an unhappy world as well as a depraved one.

        Has anyone read M. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft? It seems to me that one of the best things the young knights could do is learn how to do things. That gives a sense of personal capacity akin to the martial arts skills you mention, and knowing how to do things could also be a way to serve others.

        I’m going to say here that, as someone approaching 60, I mentioned to my pastor the other day, not with anger but with sadness, that I sometimes now think of my generation and people a bit older than me as belong to The Damnable Generation. I say this not to encourage the young knights to hate us. But my generation has hurt the younger generation so seriously. We often have not handed on the best that we received, supposing we received it. We have spent now literally trillions of dollars that we do not intend to pay, offloading debt (public and private) onto the younger people. The schools in which we have (in many cases) “educated” our children were bad places in many ways, perhaps above all in that they have conveyed to the young the deception that our contemporary way of life is normal. Our characteristic artifacts include the aborted child and the frog deformed by the introduction (apparently) of contraceptives into the water supply. But why go on?

        The younger people need to protect themselves against the institutions we have established or entrenched further. Of course from time to time they may be able to find people of my generation who retain roots in the Good. In many cases, though, they will need to seek out wise counsel in books. And it is true that good books have never been so widely available. We older ones should be ready to pass on such books to young people who can profit by them….

      • Has anyone read M. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft? It seems to me that one of the best things the young knights could do is learn how to do things.

        Yes, the ever important poet part of the warrior-poet idea. It is critical in mentoring other young men to become better men.

    • I turned 60 last year, Dale, and agree 100% with what you say in your last comment.

      Our generation has much to atone for.

      But isn’t it typical Boomer self-centeredness to think of ourselves as the most damnable generation ever?

      • Well, I didn’t exactly say we were the worst! But your point is a good one for me to hear.

      • @ Samsonsjawbone

        Listen whippersnapper, we 60-year-olds are the generation that *invented* the personal computer. I made my career in software.

        They were our “thing”, like automobiles and airplanes were to the generation that came of age at the beginning of the 20th Century.

        Also like radio was to the generation that was born in the 1920’s. A lot of my Dad’s generation was into ham radio — when they weren’t out towing their trailers from campsite to campsite. They had accepted the automobile as an integral part of their culture in the same way that Gen X kids take computers for granted. A very different attitude toward the technology that what you see in the “pioneering” generations.

  8. As someone who has been divorced (note the passive voice) and is now (finally!) at an age when the sexual urge is fading, perhaps I should add a few words from my perspective.

    I agree with what Kristor says about the obsession with “getting laid” and about the power over you that this gives to women. It’s an appetite you must learn to master, like any other, or you will be its slave.

    The “manosphere” is correct to note that, in today’s world, marriage is something that exposes men to serious legal and financial risks. I wouldn’t advise anyone to get married without first understanding those risks and without realistically assessing the chances that the marriage will end in divorce.

    The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. If He gives you a wife, be thankful for the gift. If the two of you have children, be grateful for that too. Whatever prosperity and happiness is your lot, you should appreciate it while it lasts.

    And if (some might say “when”) the day comes when it is all taken away, you need to accept this too, in the stoic, warrior spirit of what Kristor calls the knight errant. Don’t be so foolish as to think that any of this was “yours”.

    Read Job, and also Epictetus’s little combat manual of the soul known as the Enchiridion.

    • “Getting laid” was my euphemism for breeding, for creating a legacy, for patriarchy. I cannot stress enough that essay. It was my first palpable red pill moment. Patriarchy explains nearly everything: sex drive, civilization, the development of taboo, the evolution of religious practice. I see it as an effectual evolutionary adaptation. That the Bible confirms patriarchy is not therefore surprising.

      What traditional (i.e., socially effective) sexual morality does is basically guarantee approximately one woman for one man… a deal. And the deal is thus:

      A young man, who at a relatively young age is probably “outranked” by his wife in SMV, promises his devotion to her and to make babies with her and only her. In exchange, she promises to not make babies with anyone else, because no man wants to be cuckolded, i.e., raise another man’s spawn.

      Biology has given him the ability to mate with hundreds if not thousands of women and spread his genetic material far and wide. But traditional marriage corrals this ability and restricts him to one woman.

      Why this seeming conflict with traditional (i.e., successful) sexual morality and nature?

      1) Human children take a long time to raise and benefit richly from a stable two-parent home. But childbirth and age negatively impact the woman’s SMV. The man, physically unscarred by childbirth and less affected by the ravages of age (a man’s SMV consists of a lot more than mere looks) is naturally tempted to go and spread the genes with women of higher SMV, but he’s gotta keep up his end of the bargain for the good of his kids… and also not to get killed by jealous husband or father or set of brothers.

      2) This ensures a steady supply of females, who again at a certain age outrank their prospective husband material of similar ages, for single males, who upon marriage will then work much harder to be productive in society, and contribute to economic growth for the polis.

      3) Maternal uncertainty is practically non-existent. Paternal uncertainty is. We must have an arrangement to make sure a man’s kids are actually his. If we don’t, he may not eat them as lions do, but he is much less likely to support them.

      So it is thus perfect natural for the arrangement we call patriarchy to arise in civilizations, whether aided by God’s special revelation or not. And it is perfectly obvious that where it establishes itself best, civilization will tend to advance the most.

      Unfortunately, feminism is root and branch, top to bottom, all about getting rid of patriarchy. It is a full frontal challenge, all of course under the clever guise of additional civility.

  9. I’m afraid that I must agree with imnobody on this one. I am a married father of two young children, and I find that the actual world I live in is constantly intruding and diverting me from good things. In fact, in my mid 40’s I am re-discovering almost daily that to be a “real man” who provides for his family, one must eat a never ending supply of crap sandwiches.

    When time and circumstances force me to eat another stinky sandwich, I do so with certain principles in mind. First, I will not tell my tormenter (i.e. my boss) that I enjoy the taste of the sandwich. Secondly, I will not ask for another helping; if I have to eat crap, it’s only because somebody else made me. My wife appreciates this about me, as my putting up with nonsense at work enables her to stay home with the kids. She is a fine mom, and works very hard at being a submissive wife.

    Perhaps the dragons one kills are chosen for him. In this case, you don’t need to be a knight errant; rather, you can be a slave to whichever lousy modern hell-hole provides your daily meat, but you can do so with some dignity.

    A sense of humor really helps, too.

    Now that I look at what I’ve written, I realize that it has “Beta male” written all over it. So be it.

    • Finn wrote, “First, I will not tell my tormenter (i.e. my boss) that I enjoy the taste of the sandwich.”

      I don’t want to encourage anyone to invoke resentful pride, a temptation that’s thrown me by the heels more than once.

      Still, let me quote from John Buchan — I think he attributed it to one of the earliest English kings:

      Hast thou a woe?

      Tell it not to the weakling,

      Tell it to thy saddle-bow;

      And ride singing forth.

      • I have to add to my comment to Finn — the verses from Buchan were suggested to me just by Finn’s words about “not telling.” The verses don’t apply exactly to the situation he describes — one for which I have much sympathy.

        I’m a little reluctant to write what I’m going to say next, because if there is anyone who does not practice it, it’s me, but: in that kind of situation, we are to forgive. It’s precisely someone who is an enemy of our dignity and sense of justice that we are to forgive.

        That forgiving takes repeated efforts for most of us. I guess for me, sometimes if I am tempted to an angry response, just about the best I might manage right that split second is a silent refusal to flare out. But the harder part is dealing with the drag of temptation to resentment or perhaps revenge that will present itself… again and again… Hang in there, Finn.

  10. This is so awesome, thanks. I’m 21 and have, I now realize, trying to be a knight since I was 19 and first became interested in Catholicism. I’m in the process of converting, but I’ve dragged my feet for almost three years, and part of it was because I knew it would make me unavailable to have sex with women who were not (and even had no interest being) my wife. In short, whipped.

    The thing about getting fit is so true, too. As a former fat, pale, gamer nerd, (who was sheltered and spoiled by erroneous, though ultimately well-meaning parents) I began to realize that it wasn’t right for the simian, unchivalrous renegades concerned only with pleasing the Four F’s of their limbic system to have all the strength and martial prowess. In fact, not only is it “not right,” it’s downright dangerous.

    Whenever I had tried to get fit and strong in the past, it was for the same reasons as them (to get more, and hotter, girls) and I always failed. Though when doing it to be strong not for my own benefit but for that of my future wife and children (and sister), I have found it much easier to get in shape. I’d be lying if I said I was Adonis or Hercules now, but I am markedly stronger than I was even a year ago, and I don’t plan on quitting. (It’s especially important to have strength for guys like me, who are on the shorter side. Fellow 5’10’s and under, I’m talking to you.)

    I’m not, I don’t think, really a reactionary…yet. (More of a Burkean liberal, really – but I came to that from teenage Marxism, so who knows where I’ll be in three more years?) But as I read this and listen to Mumford & Sons, I can’t help but feel like one. “Love, it will not betray you,/Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free/[b]Be more like the man you were made to be/There is a design, an alignment[/b], a cry/Of my heart to see,/The beauty of love as it was made to be.”

    So thanks for penning this, Kristor. As a young man struggling to live out real manhood, this is invaluable for me. And, while I’m here, thanks to Bonald for leading me to the Orthosphere, though I’m afraid I can’t think of whoever brought me to him a year or so ago.

    Finally, I can attest to the fact that this message, so long as we say it loudly and enough, will convince some young men, even the alphas. Though never one myself in high-school and college, most of my close friends are, and the things they will confess to in their cups (futility, nihilism, a desire for purpose, etc.) might shock you. One of my best and closest friends, a strapping 6’4 lad with more confidence and arrogance than he knows what to do with, has expressed to me, on multiple occasions, his boredom and desire to have a meaningful, lasting bond with a woman that is more than physical. Which when you think about it, actually makes a lot of sense for an alpha male; when you can bag and tag basically any doe you want, where’s the challenge?

  11. Mr. Nelson,

    Thanks for your kind words. You are certainly right about the dangers of nursing secret resentments. I do it regularly, and Christ flat out said that if we do not forgive others then our Heavenly Father will not forgive us.

    In heaven, we will not only be in palpable proximity with Christ, but we will no longer even be tempted to sin. All resentments gone, all bad memories swallowed up in the grand knowledge that truly, the Lord meant all that hard stuff for my good.

    Have a beautiful Maundy Thursday, and take care.

    Sincerely,
    Finn

  12. An excellent post, Kristor. This is the sort of thing that young men need to hear. There are too many left lost, aimless by the present disorder. I will not be one of them.

    The ideals of Knighthood, Patriarchy, Kingship are those to which I aspire and so must all other men who would be masters of their own fate in the time of decay we are entering. I am young; I believe that the world cannot go as it is now and great changes will occur in my lifetime. Kristor is quite right to say that we must live as if we are already in the next age and that is certainly what I intend to do.

    As to the practicality of all this, I myself have never questioned that even today it is possible to lead a noble life if you are brave and bold. For my part, I hope to go into the Army through Officer Candidate School, doubtless ambitous traditionalists such as myself will be needed in the organs of decision as the world descends slowly into chaos in the coming decades. Leadership is a necessity for the masses must see that wise and valiant men still live in our prosaic 21st century to lead us through the darkness to a new dawn. If that sort of thing is too much for you then I will repeat Kristor’s advice above and say, follow your talents and natural inclinations. If you are at all artistically creative, take up a pen or an instrument or a brush or a chisel, for if we are to see a new age we cannot sustain a culture solely on the works of the past. If the spirit moves you take up the priesthood or a ministry, for we must bolster our failing churches with inspiring new leadership. If you are not suited for any of those things then the least a man can do is build a strong, healthy family; teach your children to be valiant and wise, and fear not the degeneracy of the world around you.

    We traditionalists must not simply wait for the system to collapse and expect to gain ascendency afterwards without any active effort. We must all work to build a new world now, so that when the present order falls we stand ready as an establishment in waiting. Indeed, we must do whatever we can to push on through to the other side of collapse, today.

    • Robert, why are you using Justinian for your avatar? He was a thug who supported the feminism of his time and who perverted religion with his despotic intolerance.

      • Firstly, because I resemble him physically. Secondly, for all his flaws, I’ve always liked the man.

        To address you’re objections at length, I’d say I’m surprised at you’re negative appraisal of Justinian as a ruler. I have read several general histories of Byzantium as well as Robert Browning’s Justinian & Theodora and I recall all of these leaving me with a generally favourable impression of him. Now, perhaps you know more about these subjects than I do and if you have any good books going into greater detail on the subject to recommend, please let me know. Based on my own knowledge of his reign, I would certainly not call the Emperor a thug or a feminist. I am aware of some legislation in the Corpus granting rights and protections to women but all of it seems reasonable to me, not at all like a proto-feminism. As to the his religous policies, I understand it that it was Justinian’s intention to unify the Empire to prevent a split along doctrinal lines as well as a schism with Rome, the latter he had only recently healed, a nearly impossible situation with no easy solution. Suppose you had the ear of the Emperor; what policies would you have advocated?

        Anyway, Justinian was not exactly a paragon of all virtues (though the Orthodox Church does venerate him as a saint), but he did make a valiant attempt to rule the Empire with wisdom, prudence, and daring. It isn’t always possible to square the latter with the former two in this fallen world, but rulership is never easy in any case. Finally, I think Justinian can remind us of the great difficulty of exercising the Christian virtues to perfection in a corrupt world and trying times, important lessons for the serious traditionalist intent on changing the world. With that in mind I think Justinian is a better avatar for me than any more obviously holy figure or symbol… and I’m certainly not going to use one of those default gravatars, half of them look like swastikas don’t you know?

      • My opinion is based on “The Secret History” by Procopius. Procopius may have been biased, but modern historians are even more biased with their liberal agenda. It’s a short book, well worth reading. I also understand why the Orthodox Church liked Justinian, because he exterminated the competition. Not very Christ-like, but then those in power, even in a church, tend not be saints.

      • Thank you, Franklin; I really should read more primary sources. I’ve always had the impression that “The Secret History” should be read with a pinch of salt, but I’ll give it a look anyway.

  13. Without slut shaming reinstated and working towards restoring patriarchy this will all come to naught.

    Churchianity is incapable of condemning feminism forcefully and this is why it is dying. I hope the few remaining real Christians see and understand this.

    • You’ve got it exactly backwards. You have fallen into the trap of believing feminist history, and thinking getting back to the feminists’ dystopia is a worthy goal. You think once men can be men again, things will straighten themselves out.

      Here’s the problem with that: men can be men now, it’s just hard and not guaranteed to work out (in this life; if you think this is it, yeah, maybe Jack the Ripper had a point). This is terrible, awful, etc. But it is actually better than men being men without virtue, which is what you would have if you “restored the patriarchy” tomorrow. Yes, no fault divorce is a travesty, custody laws an abomination, wanton female sexuality a gaping pit that swallows many souls. Feel better now? So what are you going to do about it? Spout some evo psych or dedicate yourself anew each day to being a better man and teaching your children what that means?

      The he-man woman haters of the manosphere annoy me even more than feminists, because they deny their own agency and wallow in despair and debauchery.

      • I think you’re being a bit presumptuous here Mr.Ruth, Reactionary_Konkvistador said nothing to indicate he is a “he-man woman hater”, he only expressed a frustration common among young men at the devastation inflicted on society by feminism and the impotence of the religous establishment in combating it. While I do agree with you that he has the solution backwards, the first part of that solution, the call to personal valour and social fortitude, seems impossible to many people raised in our cheap consumer culture. We must show the world greatness of soul is still within reach by living that way ourselves, in time others will take heart and follow.

        By the way, it’s good to see I’m not the only one who reads both the Orthosphere and Alternative Right, assuming this is the same R_K who comments there. The religous and secular reaction should not segregate themselves any more than is necessary. Remember that we are all on the same side here and need to cooperate if we’re ever going to succeed in seeing the end of the leftist/liberal disorder. Divided we are weak; strength lies in unity.

      • As a point of clarification, would you be for or against attractive, masculine Christian men affirming their agency by saying, with regularity, things like “Lady Gaga is a disgusting slut, I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole?” Assuming, of course, that they follow up by affirming their agency further by not touching that with a ten foot pole.

      • I’m fine with it, so long as they understand that the first is just a performance if done with regularity, and agency is only demonstrated by the second part.

        And what does our hypothetical individual’s physical appearance have to do with it? Are physically unattractive men held to a different standard?

      • @Robert Equestris: The same, didn’t expect that I would stand out enough for people to point out my nick elsewhere. 🙂

        @Gabe Ruth: I think Bill was trying to get at that a man who would not look like he would be capable of it if not for his morals is a bit vulnerable to be accused of sour grapes.

      • If you look like you would be capable of pulling chicks and refuse, they’ll tell you to come out of the closet. Do we care what motivation they project onto our actions now?

      • Performance, like rhetoric, is good to the extent that it is not sinful in itself and advances good causes.

        I had in mind RK’s motivation and also the fact that, to the extent that slut-shaming works from men at all, it works from desirable men. So, yes, there is a different standard. Being attractive, like any gift, carries with it the obligation to use the gift in service of the good. Attractive men get to say “Attractive men like me want a girl like X.” They should do this by choosing virtuous women and also by saying what they are doing (because 50% of all people have below average intelligence).

        Just communicating the simple truth that sluts are intrinsically unattractive (for relationships!) would be useful. “Men sleep with bad girls but marry good girls,” as it were. It’s only a minority of women who want to ride the carousel. Mostly, they ride because they think that riding is going to land them a desirable man for a long-term relationship.

  14. So what are you going to do about it? Spout some evo psych or dedicate yourself anew each day to being a better man and teaching your children what that means?

    False dichotomy. You could very well do both.

    My primary critique is that traditionalist conservative religious right is soft on feminism. Very soft. You don’t need to believe in evo psych to believe that women are prone to certain types of evil. All you need is an honest read of the Bible, and we rarely even get that these days. That evo psych happens to confirm the Bible should, however, not at all be surprising. But we cannot today even expect that, i.e., an honest read from the Bible on women, from ostensibly traditional, ostensibly conservative ostensible Christians.

  15. women are prone to certain types of evil
    Right. Because women are never, ever satisfied. Give them everything under the sun and they still want more. (And I’m a woman, so I’m including myself.)

    The serpent in the Garden picked Eve on purpose. He didn’t just so happen to bump into her first. He already had her pegged as the one most likely to give into temptation and disobey the Lord.

    This is consistent with everything I have observed and experienced with females my entire life (again, myself included).

    This message doesn’t go down so well with young females, however. Especially when they’ve got the pop-culture noise-machine telling them 24/7 they should have everything they want.

    That’s where the left has got us beat. They know how to reach the young. Conservatives either don’t try or they give up too easily.

    • More like a running joke than hysteria. At least, that’s what I meant. Tone does not translate well over the internet.

  16. Bill|… It’s only a minority of women who want to ride the carousel. Mostly, they ride because they think that riding is going to land them a desirable man for a long-term relationship.

    Exactly. Women, en masse, are reacting to what (so-called) men, en masse, have demanded.

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  20. I’m a great fan of your writings, Kristor, and have been quietly following this blog since I discovered it a few months ago. I find your articles very enlightening, sometimes even nearly transcedentally so. I am quite taken by the idea of chivalry, but I do have a bit of a quibble with you over this line: “Knighthood is not about women.”

    I’d like to point out this excellent (if somewhat lengthy) article on Chivalry and Our Lady.

    In it, there is a very interesting historical anecdote about King Arthur, the very icon of chivalry. It mentions him fighting pagans with the image of Our Lady emblazoned on his shield. The actual work referenced reads thus:

    “The eighth battle was at the fortress of Guinnion, in which Arthur carried the image of holy Mary ever virgin on his shoulders; and the pagans were put to flight on that day. And through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and through the power of the Blessed Virgin Mary his mother there was great slaughter among them.”

    I do recall hearing somewhere on the Orthosphere that Jesus is the ultimate man (male), and myself finishing that thought with “…and Mary is the ultimate woman.” I do think there is a significance in the fact that the first Christian was a woman, Mary. Christ suffered, died, and sacrificed himself for the Christians, for the Church (also represented as a woman).

    I told my brother, who is aspiring to the priesthood, that every man is a Knight, and every Knight must not only have a Dragon, but a Lady. In the case of the priest, the Lady is the Church, or, if it is more appropriate, Our Lady, as it was for Arthur at his battle. And for the layman, his Lady, as Knights, shall be, in youth, his mother (Christ, once again), and when he leaves his father and mother to cleave to his wife, the Lady is, then, his wife. I still stand by my belief that a Knight not only must have a Quest/Dragon, but a Lady. When the Knight/Soldier leaves his home to sally forth against the malignant foe, he embraces his tearful wife and children, most likely for the last time, and turns, so that they do not see his own tears, then walks away, determined to stop the foe that dares menace his Church (it is always heartbreaking when Catholic countries go to war with each other), his Fatherland, and his Family, his wife and children.

    By no means is sexual pleasure the object of the Knight. Nay, man marries in order to fulfil his telos (c.f. Gen. 2:18: “It is not good for man to be alone”), to serve his patria (Bonald: “Sex binds”) by propagating the human race, and as a natural expression of his erotic and agapic love for his spouse (I believe Bonald and Feser have both written on this aspect). But also, by no means are woman not a critical focus of the Knight.

    P.S. Interesting observation: a woman and a dragon. Why does this sound so familiar?

    • Thank you, John. I am glad that you find my writings helpful.

      The article you linked was fascinating and informative.

      To answer your question, what I meant by saying that knighthood is not about women is that one doesn’t become a knight *in order to get women.* One does it in service of a Quest; and the knight’s duty, at all times, involves chivalrous service and protection of the weak and defenseless, including women. So, while knighthood is not *about* women, a knight’s Quest might be *for the sake of* a woman, and a knight’s duty is *in respect to* women (among others).

      The knight’s basic pledge is to do good in service of the Good – of our Lord. The specifics of his chivalrous duties, and of his Quest, follow from that pledge. If his first loyalty should ever stray from loyalty to God – as with the chevaliers who got absorbed into the cult of courtly love – the knight will have fallen from his vocation, into something less.

      I hope that makes it clear.

      • Ah. I see. Thanks for the clarification. It’s just that the tone of that line seemed to exclude women entirely from the conception of chivalry.

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