ON MARRIAGE: A RESPONSE TO TRADS AND CONSERVATIVES
One of the charges often leveled at my friend BAP is that he is “against” men getting married and having children. Since children are necessary for the continuance of human life, the argument goes that if everyone followed BAP not only would civilization crumble but all of human life itself would go extinct, ergo BAP bad, fambly good.
In reality BAP isn’t anti-marriage or anti-family, he is merely guilty of pointing out that neither getting married nor having children is the brave revolutionary act that trads and conservapundits like to pretend it is. “If everyone followed BAP”—Sorry Kantians but everyone has never followed the same ideology or moral code and everyone never will, even if you want them to (and I know you do). But even if BAP were “anti-family” as you say, he has never said that his message is for everyone. Rather it is an appeal to men, and especially young men in whom the flame of life has not yet been extinguished by the Longhouse in all its forms—whether by age, by work, or yes, by family life.
The truth is that getting married and having children is primarily a female fantasy. It isn’t men who dream about having a big expensive wedding with fancy clothes and lots of guests, it’s women. It isn’t men whose biological clock makes them baby-crazy in their late 20s, it’s women. The male biological clock, the male id, is something else: a desire to have as much adventure and fuck as many beautiful women as possible before age takes away one’s vitality and virility. It’s as simple as that. At a basic level—so basic that it’s unconscious in many—every man knows that he would like to be stronger, smarter and more handsome than his peers, have a bigger dick and use it to fuck more and prettier women than his peers, have more money and more fun than his peers. “Ambitious” men (such as Donald Trump) often acknowledge this frankly, while many others would like to believe that they choose not to compete in this game, and that their “choice” makes them morally superior. In most cases, it is not a choice at all but a mere rationalization of circumstances, including biological and genetic circumstances, that are beyond their control. As one of the gals on Red Scare recently said about such people, their position amounts to: “It’s very important that you see my life circumstances as a moral choice rather than as a huge cope.”
Family life is and always has been either a compromise that men make with women, or more often a trap in which women ensnare men, men who one day wake up in a cold sweat realizing that they will never live the life they truly wanted to live because they are now married with children. (The 80s tv show Married…with Children is entirely about this, albeit making light of it.) I have seen it happen time and again, and you probably have too: a young man has dreams about what he wants to do in life, gets married, has kids, dreams die. This isn’t to say that marriage and family are always the cause of this—oftentimes that man never had what it takes to realize his dreams in the first place, and family life is what he settles for, then tells himself he could have done what he wanted if not for the old ball and chain. But the fact is that when you get married and have children, your entire life changes, and not necessarily for the better. One married friend of mine told me of the joy he experienced one night when his wife was out for the evening and he managed to put his daughter down to sleep by 7:30, and he finally was able to … watch a movie on television. Oh, the joys of parenthood!
The male desire to escape the longhouse and the shackles of family life—every marriage is a miniature longhouse to some degree—is often explored in fiction and cinema. It used to be a standard trope, a common desire that all men could understand and relate to, if not necessarily condone acting upon. Henry Miller’s entire writing career began with him abandoning his family and his shitty corporate job to run off to Paris and be a bohemian. This pivotal decision in his life is depicted in Tropic of Capricorn and later again in Sexus. Godard’s Pierrot le Fou tells the story of a man who runs away from an unhappy marriage with a younger woman. The more recent and banal comedy Wild Hogs tells the story of a bunch of suburban dads who like to LARP as bikers.
Save for actual biker gangs, the motorcycle industry in America is entirely driven by aging men who want to play-act that they are still single and free, even if only in the confines of their basement “man cave.” I have an uncle who got his first Harley in his 40s and has been a dedicated enthusiast ever since, making pilgrimage to the Harley Davidson anniversary parties in Milwaukee and taking long rides with his wife on summer weekends, each of them decked out in their expensive leather biker gear. I don’t mean to take away from their fun, but it’s pathetic, like those old liquor ads: “Banker by day, Bacardi by night.” Each is selling an escape from the misery of domesticated life which merely serves as a pressure release, a compensatory fantasy. Come Monday morning it’s back to work, back to the drudgery of the longhouse.
The men who fare better in family life are those who sow their wild oats in their teens and twenties and effectively get it out of their system. There is nothing wrong with this, and these are probably the families that produce the best children, both culturally and biologically. The men are those who were fit enough to succeed with women in a hypergamous environment, and the women they choose for marriage are likely to be above average. Such a man settles down when he gets on in years a bit, and usually settles nicely into his new role as father and provider, especially if he is also financially successful, in which case he can hire help. Large extended families can also provide help and make the situation more tolerable. The old adage about “it takes a village to raise a child” is true in the sense that two parents doing it alone—or even worse, a single parent—will not have enough energy and will go crazy, to the detriment of the child and themselves.
The ideal way to have and raise children would be something like the Buchanans in The Great Gatsby. Do you think Tom Buchanan stayed home from work, or from play, to spend time with his daughter if he didn’t feel like it? Do you think he or Daisy sacrificed their sleep for the first months of the little one’s life—or did they hire a series of nurses and nannies to absorb the shock? If you’re in a position to do that, by all means have children and lots of them. If you’re not, and you will have to do most or all of that work yourself, think twice and thrice about what you are getting yourself into if you think you can also do other things that you want to do. There are only 24 hours in a day and only so much energy in your body.
Traditionally, men were not expected to play much of a role in an infant’s life beyond working to provide material support. In ancient Sparta children were raised entirely by women until age seven, at which times boys would begin their training with the men. More recently, the husband would go off to work and the wife would stay home with the baby, hopefully with the help of her mother or other relatives and friends. Today this is often not the case, and most women expect men to be both breadwinners and co-caretakers, essentially co-mothers. (This is partly because extended families are more fragmented and many women lack the extra support from elsewhere.) Men are not biologically adapted to this role and will find themselves miserable in it. Furthermore, women know at some level that this isn’t what men are supposed to do, and she will lose respect for you, if only unconsciously. If you’re lucky, she won’t completely resent you because of this emasculation and might stay married to you rather than divorce you and take your money and your children so she can go “find herself,” which the courts absolutely ensure that she can do.
I am not exaggerating or doomsaying; in today’s “Western” world a bad marriage which either ends in divorce or persists in relative misery for one or both spouses has become the rule, and the happy couples and families are the exception. Perhaps it was always so, and that is why Thoreau said most men live lives of quiet desperation. A marriage is like a job in that most people have one they don’t like—they stay in it out of necessity and habit. There are lucky people who have a job they like, who get paid to do something they enjoy, but they are the exception, and likewise those who have a truly happy marriage.
Even in a more traditional society in which men fared relatively better in family life than they do today, it was neither sufficient nor desirable that all men should marry and have children. Even leaving aside the question of eugenics and who is truly fit to reproduce, the reality is that the family, although it is the “basic unit of society” as conservatives say, depends for protection upon the gang, upon groups of strong men working together to defend “civilization” from outsiders and evil-doers. And the gang depends upon a supply of men who are strong and brave, who are willing and able to fight. It is better if most or all of those men are unmarried and unattached, so that they are not conflicted about whether to fight and die or to retreat to be with their families.
Fortunately for families and for “civilization,” nature is generous. Men have innate dispositions towards fighting, becoming strong, and seeking adventure. In the past, it was understood that these qualities in men are desirable for civilization precisely because they are its means of defense, its wall of Spartans defending the home and the homeland. But what happens when “civilization” turns against strength, and bravery, and fighting, and men? That is the question now because that is what has happened. Traditionally, young men’s desires for fighting and adventure were channelled into military service, which was structured to provide them with a mix of fun and danger that would satisfy these desires. (A flourishing prostitution business in close proximity to every military base and port city is not a coincidence.) But today’s woke military is not structured that way, nor, for that matter, is today’s society structured in a way that gives industrious young men a good supply of potential wives with whom they could start one of these mythical families that trads keep harping about. Instead, the life program offered by frankly delusional conservatives amounts to “be a man, wife up that roastie and be a father to her children.”
A healthier society would recognize that marriage and the production of children has its place—even a privileged place—but is not the be-all and end-all of life, nor the sole criterion of the good life. Some men are not made to do much more than father children and provide for them, and that is fine. If such men are denied wives, as many of them are now thanks to hypergamy and feminism, they are essentially denied their function in life. Other men are not made for that at all; they have within them drives to explore, to conquer, to invent, to birth something into the world that is not just another hueman to serve as just another battery for the longhouse leviathan machine. To try to chain such a man to family life would be as unjust as expecting the average office worker, breadwinner, to give up his family to pursue a creativity or drive that he simply does not have.
What the Right fundamentally lacks today is not families and children, nor even “family values.” What it lacks is masculine leadership rooted in strength. That, as I understand it, is BAP’s message to men: to cultivate strength and cunning for the hard times that lay ahead. Not surprisingly, it is a message that appeals to a large number of married men in addition to young single men. Even if you yourself are married with children (and hopefully happily so), you would do well to follow the example of Thomas Jefferson’s father, who made sure that his son got the first-rate classical education that he himself never had. In our era, that means teaching them game—making sure that they understand female psychology and the socio-sexual hierarchy, either because you teach them yourself, if you can, or because you make sure they read Rollo, Heartiste and F. Roger Devlin.
I am not saying, and BAP is not saying, that you shouldn’t get married and have children. I am saying that before you can even begin to answer that question for yourself, you must heed the words of the ancient oracle and Know Thyself. Know what kind of man you are and what you want in life. Know the world you live in and obstacles it imposes on men, be they warriors, adventurers or husbands. Know the differences between the trad fantasy of family life and the reality of marriage and divorce in the 21st century pozzed “Western world.”
Conservatism is fundamentally a philosophy of retreat and defeat. First it was leaving the cities for the suburbs because the influx of blacks from the South caused a surge in crime. Now it’s abandoning the suburbs as well to live on a farm and larp as Little House on the Prairie. This won’t last either because the forces of entropy and destruction, the leviathan that is the interahamwe left, will not leave you alone. Sooner or later, you will have to face the reality that the privilege of your safety and security is dependent on men who are stronger and more ferocious than you, and you are not in a position to scold those men or lecture them about how they really ought to wife up a roastie and start churning out some chillens so they can be mOrALLy uPRiGHt like you.
THIS PIECE IS AVAILABLE IN PRINT FORM IN VOLUME II ISSUE VI