Jack Donovan Quotes
Relieved of moral pretense and stripped of folk costumes, the raw masculinity that all men know in their gut has to do with being good at being a man within a small, embattled gang of men struggling to survive.
When men evaluate each other as men, they still look for the same virtues that they'd need to keep the perimeter. Men respond to and admire the qualities that would make men useful and dependable in an emergency. Men have always had a role apart, and they still judge one another according to the demands of that role as a guardian in a gang struggling for survival against encroaching doom. Everything that is specifically about being a man—not merely a person—has to do with that role.
Men cannot be men—much less good or heroic men—unless their actions have meaningful consequences to people they truly care about. Strength requires an opposing force, courage requires risk, mastery requires hard work, honor requires accountability to other men. Without these things, we are little more than boys playing at being men, and there is no weekend retreat or mantra or half-assed rite of passage that can change that. A rite of passage must reflect a real change in status and responsibility for it to be anything more than theater. No reimagined manhood of convenience can hold its head high so long as the earth remains the tomb of our ancestors.
Men of ideas and men of action have much to learn from each other, and the truly great are men of both action and abstraction.
Courage implies a risk. It implies a potential for failure or the presence of danger. Courage is measured against danger. The greater the danger, the greater the courage. Running into a burning building beats telling off your boss. Telling off your boss is more courageous than writing a really mean anonymous note. Acts without meaningful consequences require little courage.
Before you can have church and art and philosophy, you need to be able to survive. You need to triumph over nature and other men, or at the very least you need to be able to keep both at bay.
There is always a higher status man, if not in your group, then in another, and if not in this way then in that way, and if not now, then eventually. No one is the strongest, most courageous and the smartest or most masterful man—though some men are closer to the ideal or perfect "form" of masculinity than others. Masculinity in the perfect ideal is aspirational, not attainable.
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