While there is debate as to whether or not our modern society is “better” than those in the past, there’s little debate that our society is weaker. Our weakness shows in our entitled view of how the world works with us at its center. It’s seen in our seeming inability to recognize that evil exists and that it must be met and defeated, not coddled to or ignored. It’s in our priorities, in our vanity, in our loss of the values. Maybe more than anywhere, the pussification of the west is seen in our insanely sensitive society where even our humor is under a microscope.
This weakness exists, in part, because it’s allowed to exist.
Through the wonder that is innovation we don’t have to walk anywhere if we don’t want to. We can hop on a plane and travel the world where we once had to brave the tumultuous waters of our world’s oceans. We don’t have to have face-to-face interaction, we can call or email or Facebook. Our social world can essentially exist within the illusion that is the medias.
We don’t have to kill our own meat. There’s no need to even work for a living in some instances – be it due to poverty and government sustenance or inherited wealth.
There is no necessity for physical toughness or strength – at least as it pertains to survival. The fat guy and the weak guy can thrive as our society sees it just as successfully as the strong guy or the tough guy, and often times even more-so.
Our society isn’t set up so that the strong survive. Sure, it’s those capable and the hard-working and those who go above and beyond that still succeed, but it’s the lowest who are often heard and catered to.
The difference between our modern society and those of the past, even the ancients, is that while comfort has always existed, it hasn’t been sought nor praised nor aspired for as much as it is today.
Being allowed to exist, though, isn’t the only reason why we’re pussies incapable of surviving as we once did, with the elements as our foe and our spirit and ingenuity as our ally. We are weak because we practice weakness.
I woke up at 5:00am this morning. My alarm was set for 3:15am, alas, I opened my dog’s kennel, he popped up onto my bed and we snuggled for a couple of hours before I realized that I’d missed my alarm and had to get my day started, pronto.
From there I walked to my office (which is inside my house), sat down with a cup of coffee, and began to work. An hour later the young fella woke up and I walked him for an hour out in the fields close to my home.
The rest of the day will be spent on my ass in front of a screen. Sure, I’ll go to the gym and feel some pain, I’ll walk the pup again, but I am training to be a pussy.
My battles are won and lost not in any physical realm – as they rarely are – nor against any physical pain. They’re won against the Resistance that aims to keep me away from my work, my calling, my purpose. These battles are real. You likely fight similar ones.
They’re fought along the lines of questions, “should I take a break?”, “am I done?”, “do I really need to get to the gym?”. While the battles are real and winning them will make us tougher, these battles aren’t enough. If this is all we – all I – face in a day as far as a struggle, there is very little strengthening of the spirit because our greatest fear is never really faced: death.
Just because the distraction is there or the ease is available doesn’t mean that it should be our choice or our habit.
We Need More Pain and Less Comfort
I’ve recently opened up the pages of The Warrior Ethos, Steven Pressfield’s wonderful outline of the ethos that warriors since time immemorial have prescribed to. From the Spartans to the Israelis, the Macedonians to the Romans, strong, brave men, warriors, have always had a few things in common and ease is not one of them. Not, however, because it wasn’t a possibility, but because ease is something that the greatest among us, and the greatest societies of our history, have detested.
I’m also reading Rome’s Last Citizen, a book about Cato, mortal enemy of Caesar and hero of many of the founders of America. Ancient Romans had the ability to live lives of ease. They had all the riches and opulence that we have today with a bit less control over the elements and a closer proximity to their enemies.
Today we protect our boys from everything. We freak out if they wander off, if they rough house, if they get into trouble or break a few bones. We train our young men to be pussies, to fear everything and to be able to withstand nothing. Romans, though they may have been rich, saw more value in teaching toughness even if you lost a few along the way. They exposed their youths to the elements, adorned them in simple robes as the Spartans did, and made them often fend for themselves.
During Alexander’s time he and his pals would bathe in frigid waters, train for hours on end, ride all day with no breaks, and just as they were about to get rest at the end of the day their teachers would tell them, “As you lie here at ease, the sons of Persia train to defeat you in battle.”
The Honorable Enemy
What the Spartans and the Macedonians and the Romans trained for was battle. It was such a large part of their culture and survival that it was bred into them to be warriors from a young age. Spartan boys left their mothers at the age of 7 to enter their training.
Our enemy, today, is both internal and external, but it isn’t honorable.
In Samurai Bushido culture, sneaking up on the enemy from behind wasn’t allowed. You had to face the enemy from the front, like a man.
In ancient cultures, innovation on the battlefield was met with sadness because it was seen as the end of honor, today we have little honor as we send drones to do the killing that men should be doing, or they send women, strapped with a bomb, into a crowded market to kill civilians.
It was custom that the leader of an army would put himself within killing range of his enemy so that he could kill. That’s what you have with the sword or the spear and even the arrow, you have to be within your enemy’s killing range to take his life.
What they would think of a woman having a bomb strapped to her chest and walking into a public place to kill civilians isn’t something that they’d likely be able to comprehend. Their cultures were far more brutal, punishment for crimes was often final. But the battle was a place where honor existed even if it was your most hated enemy.
Our lack of honor exists not only with our enemy, but within our society.
We have become vain, where status is dictated by what you own, not the courage you possess or the valor you’ve displayed.
It Is Better to Live in Hardship
It is better to live in a rugged land and rule than to live in a rich land and be a slave. ~ Cyrus the Great
I have an easy life. This is a problem that I’m seeing in my own life and I’m seeing it show itself in ways that have already been talked about.
My discipline is softening, my values are being wavered upon, reasoned with. What helped me improve as a man is slowly dissipating, which is why I’m training not only to bring it back, them back, but to become something better. And it’s not a “better” that will be shown in acts that the public can see, nor in fame or popularity or even wealth or financial success.
Better can be something that only I am aware of, along with those closest to me and my Maker. It’s something devoid of the motivations that grasp so many of our actions and decisions: show and tell. We buy shit we don’t need to impress people we shouldn’t be trying to impress. And we’re miserable because of it.
It’s this desire to improve, to become better, to become tougher, that is fueling a more grueling life. It is, it seems, better to live on your own land, to hunt your own game, to harvest your own crops and feel nature’s wrath than it is to live in man’s attempt at controlling his environment, the city.
5 years ago I wanted to live in the heart of the city. Everything’s there for you. People. Entertainment. Babes. My desires are now moving outward, beyond the attempt at a Utopia where we can easily grow ignorant of the harsh reality of life. Sure, crime is greater in a city, but vanity rules. Danger still exists, but fear is rare, especially the fear that comes from physical harm, from the elements.
We need the frigid waters, the physical battles as well as the battles we face to create. The artists battles are no less important than the warriors, but men are both artist and warrior, we need the physicality to perfect the mental.
We need to feel pain early and often to acquire the grit that will make us better men.
This cannot be all of our reality, however. We need to end the pussification from the country to the city and it starts with the individual because, as we’ve seen politically, in the media, and among the celebrity class, the pussification is a part of their agenda whether they know it or not. Where many are weak, the few will flourish. Where the many are free and strong, many more will flourish because of them.
We’ve become a culture that is ignorant of evil yet sensitive of even the most minute slight. A man so sensitive that he cannot take a joke cannot call himself a man.
Soft Hands Make Soft People
You’re likely not the weakness that has been described thus far. You, like I, most likely crave the ruggedness of times past. You want more in your life because you see the value of it. This article wasn’t written to lambaste, but simply to awaken.
You can become tougher, as can I, and though society may be headed in the other direction, there are small and seemingly insignificant ways in which we can once again rise.
1. Don’t coddle your kid.
Give them freedom. Let them make mistakes, painful mistakes. Give them more responsibility than they can handle and let them sink or swim.
2. Don’t coddle yourself.
Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself or think that ease is earned. Rewards are good, enjoy them, but ease is evil. Train your body and your spirit for war even though a literal battle you may never fight. There are wars being fought daily, and your improvement as a man is vital to you coming out victorious.
3. Toughen up.
Do the things you don’t want to do, and do them well.
Take it upon yourself to use your hands more often. And not just in the gym. Develop calluses that come from manual labor. Enter the wilderness and learn to survive. Push your body daily. Take no days off from at least doing something difficult.
4. Take pride but lose the vanity.
Take pride in how you carry yourself and in how you dress. But don’t be vain. Vanity removes the capacity for toughness. Vanity is being a pussy, it’s not wanting to get down and dirty because you’re too worried about how you look.
This stems to every area of life.
Don’t be afraid to look like a fool. Dance like an idiot. Get your hands dirty. Fight. Be a barbarian first, then be a gentleman.
It means nothing for a pussy to be gentle, it requires no discipline. But for a barbarian to quell and temper his aggression, that’s impressive and worthy of praise.
5. Have a routine and rules.
Without rules there is no freedom from the laziness, the sloth, the unproductive human that you can “naturally” become.
Rules and routine free you up to be the man you’re capable of becoming, but more than that, they allow you to experience life and the adventure that it can be when you buck the priorities of a society that only consumes.
Selflessness is the quality most prized in a warrior. Medals of valor aren’t given to the nutcase who kills a bunch of bad guys and calls himself a hero, they’re given to the man who has no regard for his own life and puts it on the line for his comrade – and kills a bunch of bad guys while he’s at it.
Serve always. Give, not just money but time, spirit, and body. Labor for others, for your Maker, for whatever you want to labor for, just give your time and energy to something other than the facade you’re trying to create.
7. Take the hard road.
Take cold showers. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Walk instead of cabbing. Join a boxing gym. Start a HARD weight routine (like this one). See how the masses are being weakened and fight the urge to go along with them. Break the mold, the monotony of accepted weakness and end the pussification of the west by toughening up on your terms instead of waiting for the world to force it upon you.
The Pussification of the West
Political correctness and a heightened sensitivity is how this pussification is showing itself most on a daily basis. Rather than bringing people together it just broadens the divide.
And it’s starting young.
We reward and award kids not for having won anything, but simply for participating. We’re telling certain colors to feel entitled and others to feel ashamed. The West, namely America, was the first free and democratic society of its time. It was the first without a monarchy at its figurehead. It was the first to fully welcome capitalism and thrive upon it. It was won with strength and freedom. And now it, like all other western nations, is turning its back on the values that made it great by allowing those who hate those values to uproot them and dismiss them from history.
As we’ve grown richer, we’ve grown weaker. Which makes sense. But tell Marcus Aurelius or Seneca that wealth must equal weakness. Tell that to Alexander the Great or Theodore Roosevelt. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean that it’s the road you have to take.
To avoid your own pussification take on a harder, rougher way of living. Though society may become increasingly pussified, it will, at some point, still need to find its backbone and that’s when good men will rise and the cancerous weakness that once rooted them out will come calling for help.
Reclaim that masculine aggression before you try and become a gentleman. Wild at heart is how you were made, return to that origins.