It can existAs a young man, a foolish young man at times, I was often driven quite mad by the insults and jibes of others. There were fighting words, things another boy could say to get my hackles up, ways to get my sight all askew as I shook with rage and saw red. This has largely faded away with maturity and an overdeveloped sense of self-confidence. This is also why I don’t much care for or bother with the alpha/beta dichotomy (or expanded universe using more Greek letters); I know who I am and where I stand, and I don’t care. When I refer to my past behavior I do use “beta orbiter” because it perfectly encapsulates a behavior that I would like to steer any young man reading my blog away from. It’s unhealthy for them and any friendship with the gravity well they orbit. By facing a constant improvement and demanding more of myself I’ve liberated myself from the barbs of others: I take what they say more to reflect on them than myself. This is extraordinarily powerful. In politics, romance, and entertainment, we are often driven to deride or otherwise poke our rivals. It is the nature of men*, for good or ill, to struggle to be the top crab in the bucket and there isn’t anything wrong with this. There is, however, a great deal of foolishness in allowing another man to drag you down with simplistic attacks on your character that aren’t true. In the former two, politics and romance, these are most common. But in the grand scheme of it all, romance is the source of most strife between men even if we do not realize it. We compete for resources and the love and affection of a woman is built into us as one of the most important resources. You can see this throughout history, in religious texts, and in our art.
Often we resort to calling one another stupid. This was probably the first insult that I became accustomed to reacting to by ignoring the speaker: I know I’m not stupid, and stooping to his level would only prove him correct. Even if a man is stupid he shouldn’t stoop to responding to such a claim because there is nothing to be done about it. Ignorance can be cured, but stupidity is forever. In all my life I cannot remember once when a person called me stupid and also had the upper hand; it is a last resort, an attempt to anger, a way to make me call them a name back and cede the high ground. Men: don’t fall for this, even if you’re stupid.
In the same vein as the importance of romance we often deride other men’s masculinity or sexual prowess, and people love to insult the size of men’s sexual organs regardless of the actual size of said organs. This, too, is an attack to be ignored: I’ve spent quite some time becoming proficient at providing sexual pleasure, and nobody to ever see my genitals has actually said anything negative regarding their size or function. Perhaps I am still at the level of anecdote rather than data, but either way, the attacks will be coming from people I do not intend to engage in sexual activity with, so why bother? This often gets men of all ages riled up but they should simply ignore it, because unless they are trying to bed the person why does that opinion matter?Lately in politics, and by lately I mean the last twenty years or so, whenever one disagrees with another the attacks are largely centered around either fear or hatred. We accuse one another of being afraid — homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, “afraid of a strong confident woman”** — or hateful — racist, sexist, bigoted — regardless of actual evidence. The typical response to this among many has been to either smartly accuse the attacker of making a foolish personal attack and declare victory OR the cuckservative*** tact of virtue signalling. “I have black friends.” No, no you don’t. Though, recently it is more likely to be, “I have adopted a black child!” Which is just shameless virtue signalling and virtually abusive toward the child adopted. They’re reduced to nothing more than a prop, a pill to assuage white guilt.
Guilt is for the guilty — if you feel it, what have you done?
The virtue signalling folks out there are truly dangerous. We saw this with Hugo Schwyzer: he insisted to the world he was a feminist and he abused his station in order to abuse women. While I may parry accusations in an attempt to further the actual logical point I no longer take the accusation itself seriously, and nor will I be making any effort to prove it wrong. The insult is beneath my contempt and not worthy of a response. Instead, it is just an attempt to derail a discussion by a losing party. Once you start to virtue signal you have also lost.
Once you start to sabotage and attack others as some perverse way of virtue signalling, not only have you lost but you’ve surrendered yourself to your enemy.If someone makes a claim that is not true the best course of action is not to attempt to prove them wrong: they are trying to goad you into doing that, into taking your time to respond to their ridiculous accusations. Further nothing you say will convince them anyway. This is likely because they don’t believe it, but are just saying it. You can’t convince someone of what is in your heart or mind and every moment you spend attempting that is a waste of your time — time you cannot ever get back.
I would also advise that people of good repute and stature shun those who resort to virtue signalling: at the first opportunity, those people will attack you in order to continue their campaign of signalling to your (and their) enemies how virtuous and kind they are. The better your name the better a scalp you are for them. They are worse than trolls, worse than the crimes they are actually accused of — because in all likelihood what they will attempt to divert onto you is a sin they themselves wish to commit.By releasing yourself from this human requirement to respond you will achieve a sort of invulnerability in an argument. You may not believe me, but believe Donald Trump. He’s said things that offend a few people and a great deal of the media, but he’s resilient because he just doesn’t respond. That’s a type of armor you can’t buy. The man dismisses attacks that are beneath his contempt or not worth a response and continues on course toward his objectives. Like or hate Donald Trump you have to respect the way he handles criticism. Brutally, honestly, and without fear. That makes him invulnerable. That makes him free.
* This may all well apply to women as well, but I am not a woman so I cannot comment on how women think.
** This has always struck me as ridiculous. I’ve never met a man that wanted a stupid or weak partner. My wife is strong and intelligent and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
*** I’ve really started to embrace this term because the people it applies to continue to throw their own to the wolves and pretend to be conservative.