Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review - The Way of Men by Jack Donovan

"The Way of Men" by Jack Donovan is one of those books that if there ever was to be a "Manosphere Bible" it would be a "must" to be included, just as the Book of Matthew or Exodus.  It encapsulates some of the key tenets of being a man in today's world, and compiles and succinctly presents millennia of wisdom from our forefathers.  I would consider it to be "required reading" for anybody out there traipsing upon this realm of the internet and not to procrastinate in going to buy and read this book.

Of course, it was only until now I read it, but my procrastination and hypocrisy aside, the above paragraph is 100% true.  This is an ABSOLUTE MUST-READ book.

The reason is simple - it provides men of all ages an explanation of what it means to be a man.

At first this may sound a bit esoteric, even a bit effeminate.  Who asks themselves "what does it mean to be a man?"

But without answering this very basic and fundamental question, most men are condemned to wander this world and waste their lives.  It is a question that needs to be answered because it not only identifies you in respect to this world, but explains to you your basic function here.  This book not only answers that vitally important question, but provides guidance, context, and wisdom about how to live your life given that you have the answer to that question.

From here Mr. Donovan goes into the four basic traits of what it means to be a man:

Mastery and

I did not particularly like this part of the book in that through empiricism and age I (at the risk of sounding arrogant) "already knew it."  But this does not lessen the part of the book's value to younger men or men who have yet to find their way in life.  Jack goes into logically-supporting detail as to what each is and how men can attain those traits.

From there the book goes into what I would consider it's general premise:

That men, and thus our psyche, have largely evolved outside of civilization.  And that with the relatively recent advent of civilization the purpose of men, the way of men, is becoming obsoleted no matter how hard our frontal lobes may try to adapt.

This results in a BRILLIANT comparison of true masculinity that was required (and thus gave men their true purpose in life) in pre-civilization days to today, where technology and the state have largely replaced men, and we now go vainly looking for "substitute masculinity."  Specifically, there are three forms of substitution:

Simulated Masculinity - Sparing, rolling, UFC, sports, etc.
Vicarious Masculinity - Watching sports, war documentaries, playing video games, etc.
Intellectualized Masculinity - Focusing on yourself, self improvement, within the confines that society allows

But regardless of how men cope with their obsolescence, it doesn't change the fact that they aren't wired to do so, and that the civilization that has replaced them is flawed and not feasible in the long term.  This has resulted in an identity crisis for men, as well as a full blown assault on maleness and masculinity.  What worked in the past and allowed civilization to form was manliness, strength, and men.  However, now that civilization exists, technology serves our every need, and the state has supplanted men when it comes to women, there is nothing for men to do but play video games, read about WWII and jerk off to porn.  Worse still is the criminalization on all things male and masculine by various political forces as their obsoleted skills are not only no longer needed, but a threat to those in power.  And making matters even worse, the masculine skills of foresight, logic, and common sense makes the collapse of society perfectly predictable to most men, but because of democracy and civilization, they are powerless to do anything about it, rendering them "Mythical Cassandras" and causing untold amounts of frustration and insanity.

But Jack Donovan knows civilizations collapse.  No empire lasts forever.  And Rome did fall.  And in preparation for that, his book becomes instructional.

His last few chapters focus on what can be done despite an insane, and largely, anti-male civilization.  Working out, finding purpose, finding agency, etc.  However, the very last chapter is titled "How to Form a Gang," in that a gang was the original unit of society that not only survived in a non-civilized world, but is the origins of the way and meaning of men.  This was particularly useful and insightful in that it spoke directly to my experiences that I was happiest NOT when I was richest or had the most amount of money, but when I was absolutely my poorest, but had the most amount of male friends in the exact same horrible environment I was in.  Yes, food was an issue.  Yes sleep was a problem.  But the mental sanity that came with having my own crew and own team is one no amount of money or financial stability can replace.  And it is this last chapter that explains why that is.

So if you are confused or need guidance.  If you are a young man looking to understand your place in this world, or an old man who could never find it.  Or you still have a lot of questions about society, where it is going, and why certain groups of people seem hell-bent on villainizing you, I cannot recommend enough that you read The Way of Men.

You can find Jack Donovan's website here.


grey enlightenment said...

He is gay though. Not that it matters, but it guess if civilization is failing there is no need to have a family. may as well beat around the bush (no pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book. I'll definitely read it in the near future.

The only part I could disagree with is the claim that men are obsolete. That is simply not true. No matter how advanced civilization gets there will always be a need for people to maintain the infrastructure. I can't recall ever seeing a woman paving roads, hauling trash, or doing grunt work of any kind.

This civilization may think it doesn't need men. That doesn't change the fact that it still needs men just to keep it running.

All the jackoffs that think society doesn't need men anymore are in for a rude awakening when enough men decide to withdraw their support. Society can't survive with only femhags and pajama boys, no matter how badly they want to believe otherwise.

'Reality' Doug said...

@grey enlightenment: Gay? That's the deal breaker? Gay? I don't think it is hard to concede that a homosexual man can be masculine. It is the other thing I can't get past. In any event, men are in no way obsolete because resource control will never be obsolete and thus conquest give men purpose. This order shall fall and then men will be able to express themselves fully at some primitive level until civilized culture is formed.

Dr. Vagabond said...

He's a homo, thank you. Nothing "gay" about Mr. Donovan in the 15+ years I've been following him that I've ever seen.

You certainly have a point, but since yours in the only comment thus far I feel compelled to counter it.

eldm said...

@grey enlightenment
So is Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club. Gay men also run the fashion industry. Very interesting that in the 21st century it is the gays that tells men how to dress and how to act. Maybe it's the freedom from pussy that enables them to truly contemplate masculinity.

Dan said...

@grey enlightenment - He actually has written a very interesting book about homosexuality called Androphilia. He deconstructs modern "gay" culture brilliantly and has some very good arguments about gay marriage. Even as a dude who is a fan of the ladies I'd recommend it.

Anonymous said...

I read the book. Thought it was interesting.

But I can't identify with the idea of needing to be part of a gang.

Always been more of a loner, in my hobbies, when I'm travelling. Even when socialising I more often than not heading out on my own.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the fact that he is homosexual precludes his viewpoint, that would be silly, but it does inevitably have at least some bearing on his views about male only gangs.

Anonymous said...

"No empire lasts forever."

The empire of the microtubule has been around for 2.2 billion years.

Same thing will happen with the artificial microtubule.

One day biology, flesh and blood, will be obsolete. Living beings will get to decide what life form they want to be instead of being forced to accept what nature gave them.

The empire of the artificial microtubule will last forever.