Reclamation

This post constitutes my (for the moment anyways) closing thoughts on the Game debate. Deep Strength has given his own, which you can find here. I am prompted to write this because of the following comment left by Novaseeker over on Dalrock’s blog:

As far as I can tell there are three main perspectives that are coming out of this discussion so far:

1. Game is a tool which can be used for good or ill, and can be a practical help for men in pursuing Christian relationships (i.e., marriage). Joseph of Jackson, Hawaiian Libertarian, Deti, Dalrock (I think?), Slumlord (and me).

2. Game is bad for Christians because it was developed by immoral people to further their immoral acts.. Further, it isn’t needed because the bible has all the information you need in order to learn how to attract a mate and maintain a healthy relationship with them. Cane, Donal, Northerner, Elspeth (1/2).

3. Game is morally illegitimate in its provenance and also superfluous because it teaches nothing new. But neither is the Bible a manual of female sexual psychology and inter-sexual attraction. Rather, what you need to do is free yourself of the cultural assumptions arising from living in a liberal democracy, and then figure it out. It’s not hard to just figure it out — and if it’s hard for you, there’s really a lot more wrong with you than we can mention in a blog post. Zippy, SSM, Elspeth (1/2).

====

While I understand that Novaseeker was using broad strokes when he categorized everyone, I think his assigning me to category 2 is a mistake. Of course,  my posts on the matter have been less than clear (You can find them here, here and here). So it is entirely understandable that he might be confused about my position. I guess that I would fall into the middle ground between 1 and 2. To clarify things a bit:

  • I don’t think that the Bible has everything a man “needs” to find, attract and keep a good mate. I think that may be Cane’s position, but I will let him speak for himself on that.
  • My concerns about Game are not so much centered around the fact that evil people created it (and yes, the PUAs are evil). Or that they created it for evil purposes. After all, God can turn evil towards good.

As Cane himself has noted, in the past a lot of the knowledge and skills needed to find, attract and keep a good mate were things that a man could count on his father and other male relatives teaching him. Unfortunately that skill and knowledge has mostly been lost over the past few generations, and even worse, many men grow up without a father or other strong, positive male relatives. Those ancient conduits of understanding have been denied to several generations of young men, who are thrust out into a world that often gives them false teaching instead. The Bible only tangentially addresses these points, in large part because the way marriage was entered into in most of the Bible is vastly different than it is now.

Given all of this, it is important to try and replace that lost knowledge and repair the damage done. Some say that Game is the fix. Others say it isn’t.  My argument is that Game is a partial and problematic solution. For one, much of Game’s tools and knowledge are geared towards STRs, not marriage. Some of it does work there, but not all. In addition, a man who starts to use Game can, if he is not careful, come to adopt Game. As Deep Strength has noted, part of the problem with analyzing Game and Christianity is how people approach the matter. One approach advocates grabbing individual tools and them adding them into an existing  framework. This is using Game. Christian men can grab some of the tools and use them safely. Joseph of Jackson has done so with considerable success, and even I have done this. The other route is to take Game, the whole framework of it, and then try and “Christianize it.” This is adopting Game.  I think this is a huge error, because a man without a strong moral/ethic framework and without a lot of wisdom runs the risk of having the secular aspects of Game overcome him. It puts his soul at risk.

[This paragraph was not in the original version posted, but added from a version which was never uploaded] Something worth covering real quick is the idea of Game as a toolbox. Even if one accepts this analogy, keep in mind that a tool is not useful without instructions. The truth is that Game isn’t merely a set of tools, but a set of tools plus instructions. Now, a tool might be morally neutral, but instructions are another matter entirely. After all, they teach you how to use something, and that necessarily implies a moral choice on how that something will be used. Either one learns to use it for good, or for evil. The parts of Game that concern me are those instructions, because learning how to use things like Agree and Amplify is about more than just knowing what they are. I guess what I am trying to say here is that when a guy learns how to use the various tools that Game artists teach, they pick up (pun intended) a lot more behaviors and mental processes than they realize.

Recognizing this and other pitfalls, my goal (and that of several other bloggers like Chad and Deep Strength) has been to create the “alternative” to Game that Free Northerner asked for. Right now a Christian man really has no place to learn any of this, aside from Game, if he didn’t learn it growing up. I (we) aim to change that. A simple explanation is that we are setting about creating an entirely different set of instructions for a different toolbox in order to create something new restore something old. Some of the tools inside this book might be familiar to Game advocates, and others might be new (or old).

I see myself, and the other men working on this project, as following in the tradition of Ezra and Nehemiah. We don’t intend to stand on the shoulders of Heartiste and Roosh. Instead, we are working to rebuild and reclaim what was destroyed and lost over the course of the last few generations. Along the way we will look over our shoulders at the Game advocates, to see what they are doing and to glance at their schematics. Anything of value that can be used ethically we will reverse engineer and integrate into our structure. When we are finished we won’t have to debate the morality of using Game, because we will no longer need it.

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19 Comments

Filed under Attraction, Courtship, Desire, Marriage, Masculinity, Men, Red Pill, Sin, Temptation

19 responses to “Reclamation

  1. I seem to have lost a paragraph somewhere along the way here. Not sure what happened to it. Unfortunately, I started it on word and didn’t save the document. I will try and recall what I wrote and update the post accordingly.

  2. Ton

    I reckon most of the beef about game comes down to control. If a man steps out of their script and find success it becomes much more difficult for them to control him. They have mounds to rebuild, FI & churches to pimp etc etc.

  3. @ Ton

    This is tangential but to be perfectly honest I don’t know why many Christian manosphere posters have such an attachment to “game” (whatever and however you define it).

    We know that masculinity was previously taught from men to boys, and many of the concepts of “game” about not taking women seriously, teasing, learning to say no, teaching how to set boundaries, etc are just things from that. Why is it so important to hold onto “game” as espoused by the PUAs and instead see it as reverse engineered masculinity?

    I personally thank God for having the PUAs open up my eyes through game to the world around me. But I don’t thank them for teaching me the concepts about masculinity as once my eyes were opened I could see in Scripture many similar concepts. Adam and Eve being a prime example of many — hypergamy, blessings and curses, helpmeet, rebellion, and many other concepts that have gone awry in today’s marriage 2.0

  4. There are secular groups doing the same thing, actually. E.g.: http://clarissethorn.com/2011/03/23/ethical-pick-up-artistry/

  5. Interesting link Marcus. Although I disagree that they are doing the same thing. In fact, reading through that triggered a whole lot of red flags for me. Certainly they are opposed to PUAs and their lifestyle, but the alternative that person seems to be advocating isn’t really an alternative. In fact, it seems to me to be a lot like the “Build a Better Beta” stuff that you see pop up on occasion.

  6. Updated the post with that missing paragraph.

  7. Ton

    I’m not sure masculinty really had to be taught vs not suppressed. I also think much of what game is now was not necessarily required when most men had manual labor jobs. I had both my girls over yesterday while I did some good old fashion manual labor around my home. Both the girls and my domestic would step outside to watch me chop wood with an axe. A generation or two back such demonstrations of physical superiority would have been common place. Couple that with no soical compunction against minor physical corrective actions and… How much game would have been required?

  8. @DG

    As Cane Caldo has noted here, a firearm might be morally neutral but the training given in how to use it is not.

    That’s a misreading of what I wrote.

  9. Ok. I will delete that line then.

  10. @ Ton

    Removing the suppression is only part of it. Masculinity can be healthy or not. If it isn’t cultivated properly, then an unhealthy masculinity is likely to develop. Thug culture is an example of this.

  11. Ton

    ….. I don’t know brother, masculinty is masculinty…. the use can be good or bad but masculinity just is.

  12. Elspeth

    Of the two categories you placed me in, I am in partial agreement with what you outlined.

    2) I agree with this part: Game is bad for Christians because it was developed by immoral people to further their immoral acts.

    I don’t fully agree that the Bible teaches you everything you need to know about how to attract a mate but I do agree that it teaches all you need to maintain a healthy relationship.

    3) I do agree with a lot of that except for the part about “if it’s hard for you, there’s really a lot more wrong with you than we can mention in a blog post.”

    There are a lot of things that are hard for a lot of people. We’re human beings and every one of us has something that is very hard for us to master. This is just one example.

    I have never said something is wrong with people who struggle in their relationships. There was a time when I struggled in my own.

  13. Elspeth, I wasn’t the one to place you in those categories, Novaseeker was. Just so you know.

  14. jack

    PUAs did not “create” game, they simply modernized it and gave it the name.

    Game has always been with us. You give them far too much credit. They just were willing to admit and apply truths that were already known by some. Game works, how you use it is up to you.

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  16. Elspeth

    Oh, okay. I’ve never seen that comment before so I assumed it was something you came up with.

  17. .

    I do find it interesting that the last “immoral” category has more women in it than men. Not sure if one should draw any conclusions on that alone though.

  18. Not sure if one should draw any conclusions on that alone though.

    It would depend on your intent. I mean, it’s one thing to draw a conclusion. It’s another entirely if you’re doing it to imply something about, say, the masculinity of the people you disagree with.

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