Of course you've heard of The Art of Manliness. At this point every American male has. Yes. Every single one. A few years ago I got a lot of "do you know about AoM?" Now no one asks, because of course I know. They are the acknowledge masters of the man-website game. Website founder Brett McKay gives TED talks and writes books. They dominate. They rule. They have the power.
The majority of AoM stories are great. "How To Deal With A Job You Don't Like", or "What You Can Learn From Your Grandparents". Good stuff, and the stuff they made their name on. It's still what they do.
But the language that's used over there has shifted. It's all power language. Dominate. Rule. Power. All stuff that has been at Art of Manliness from the beginning, but is emerging more and more, especially as they get philosophical. AoM has always been a combo Victorian/Stoic Pagan thing, and certainly not Christian. Not that they'd pretend to be.
Now they're going big with it, and it's too much for me.
Here's a sampling of what's been showing up in my Facebook feed.:
If you want to succeed and dominate, to separate yourself from the pack and become the last man standing in any area of life, it’s no longer enough to bounce back from adversity and volatility – to simply be resilient. You have to bounce back stronger and better.
The study of war is the study of life, because war is life in the rawest sense. It is death, fear, power, love, adrenaline, sacrifice, glory, and the will to survive. As Virgil put it, “the sword decides all.”
As people perceive your charismatic Power and invite you into their circles of influence, you’ll gain in real world power, which will make you feel and demonstrate more charismatic Power – setting off a virtuous cycle that leads to greater and greater success. Offering an impression of power mainly comes down to enhancing the things humans are wired to home in on when trying to determine someone’s level of it: body language and appearance. Here’s how to do that, along with a few other proven Power-boosters.
Fighting FOMO: Four Questions That Will Crush the Fear of Missing OutManliness at AoM is about conquest: succeed, dominate, separate, stronger, better, war, raw, will to survive, charisma, power, influence, fighting, crush, fear, greater and greater things.
I'm just not in a mood to be exposed to up-by-the-bootstraps masculinity. It poisons real masculinity. If you're reading an article on chivalry, will it be poisoned by sexual self-interest? If you're reading an article on the appreciation of poetry, will it be skewed by self-promotion?
I'm interested in strength, not power. I'm interested in humility, not charisma. Power and charisma are great things, but what's informing what? Truth, beauty, and goodness lead to strength and humility. Strength and humility lead to power and charisma. That's the direction I want to move in. So I've unliked The Art of Manliness.