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Masculinity, the Warrior, and the Fall of the West

Commentary by Robert V. Reich————

I’ve been thinking. I know that is dangerous. But I’ve been thinking about our country and our society and frankly what I see going on today is very disturbing. Since it is the Christmas/Holiday season let me begin with god. Or more specifically with “gods.”

We live in a very materialist society that is really bent on celebrity, fame, and fortune. Many of us spend a good portion of our lives chasing after things like new cars, clothes, and the latest gadgets. And even when we get those things they don’t satisfy us and we think we need something more. Something more to make us feel complete, worthy, and good. It’s an endless cycle and it’s a cycle that can easily get out of control and send us into financial oblivion especially at this time of the year. The fact is none of these things really satisfy us because they can’t satisfy us. Material things never can. Satisfaction comes from within us, not outside of us. Yet, we spend a good deal of our waking ours in an endless and crazy pursuit of these material things and, when it comes right down to it, aren’t these things our “gods”?

As I said, I’ve been thinking and I’ve come to the conclusion that our real “gods” in this society and nation are things like money, greed, and even corruption. These are just some of the things we spend much of our time chasing after endlessly. We desire them. We want them. We have to have them! And we’ll just about do anything to get them. So, yes, these things are our “gods” today.

And what is the price we pay, really, for these “gods”? One price we pay is we sacrifice our individuality. We all want those latest trending clothes and haircut. We all try our best to sound “cool” and “hip” just like our home-boy or home-girl. What we fail to realize is that we start to look and sound and even behave like clones. Exact carbon copies of each other. There goes our individuality!

What else do we sacrifice for our modern societal “gods”? How about our financial security? Hey, give us that credit card with a mega credit limit and, hell, we’re good! And we don’t waste one second spending that credit limit. And when the bills come do then the reality of our financial irresponsibility hits home and we have to fork up the dough to pay the credit card bill. Ah, nothing like being a mindless consumer droid is there? I mean, afterall, isn’t that what our “gods” want us to be today? Sure do.

Greed, Money, Corruption. These are some of our “gods” today and we will stop at no end to appease them. To eternally worship them. To possess them and allow them to possess us. What most of us don’t realize is that these are the very things that dim the soul and, perhaps, that is the saddest tragedy of all in modern society. Most of us have lost our souls long, long ago when we began to worship these false and materialistic “gods.” They robbed us blind of what really matters. They’ve dulled our minds. They’ve dimmed our spirits. Let’s face it. The price we pay for chasing after these “gods” is extremely high and we all know it even though we don’t really want to think about it.

In my pondering as I was considering our many modern “gods” I realized that these are also the very things that have destroyed and are destroying our society in the West. We’ve run amok chasing after these “gods” to the point that, let’s be true, Western society IS in a perpetual state of collapse now. Oh yes, we see it all around us even though we try to ignore it and pretend like “it just ain’t so.” But, we all know that the West is collapsing and no matter how we try to be self blind to it, we know it is true. And guess what? So do our enemies.

I’ve studied a lot of history especially ancient history and what is happening to western society today has happened before. And just so you know the end is not good. Many societies have come before us and one thing I’ve noticed is that in empires they usually plant the seeds of their own destruction from within and that’s exactly what is happening to America if you think of it in terms of an empire. The disintegration of morals and values is one of those seeds of self destruction we have planted. The rejection of any real meaningful values is another. We’ve done just as most other past empires have done when it comes to our own self ruin. We’ve turned right into wrong and wrong into right. We’ve made up to be down and down to be up. We’ve turned everything upside down today and most of us don’t even realize that this is exactly what happened in many of the past great societies of the world. The same exact thing. That’s kind of sad in my opinion. Sad that we, humankind, fails to learn from the past.

Here’s something else I’ve noticed in my studies of history and past civilizations. In just about every one of them the role of the male became diminished. Now don’t think I’m a sexist because I’m not and I don’t blame the fall of ancient empires on women either. In fact, I blame it on the MALES! It appears to me that in many ancient societies that grew into empires the males in those societies became “soft” and “weak.” They started to become decadent and forsook their roles in leadership often times. I blame that on the males not the females of those past societies. In fact, I’ve read accounts in which many of the women in these past societies were absolutely disgusted by the growing weakness and decadence of the males! In some of these ancient societies women didn’t wait around for the men to save them. They TOOK the reigns of power right out of the hands of the men! That was probably a good thing because those ancient women rulers most likely saved their empires and societies from wholesale slaughter by the “barbarians.”

That being said let me continue with my focus on males. The traditional and historical role of males has been the role of the warrior and soldier. That’s what males have always been. That’s what males have always most closely identified with and wanted to be. Warriorhood has been the traditional and historical male ideal and role model. And when the males of a society begin to turn away from that role model they become soft, weak, and decadent. And the result is, usually, the society or empire falls. Keep in mind this is not so with all past societies because in some of them the females took the reigns of power and, literally, saved the nation/empire and society.

When I speak of warriors it’s not in the context of what you see in the movies or on video games. All of those guys and figures you see slaughtering other people indiscriminately are NOT warriors! They are murderers and killers! They would have been rejected in any warrior society. In fact, it was men like that that warrior societies killed because they thought such men had poisoned minds and poisoned souls. They would not have been considered “men of honor” and, therefore, not “true warriors” because in a warrior society HONOR is a really big thing.

The warrior was a man of honor not dishonor. He was a man of honesty not dishonesty. He was a man of courage not weakness. He was a man who fought to PROTECT life (the life of his people) and not one who sought to kill and slaughter indiscriminately. Warriors didn’t value machoism. Rather, they highly valued MASCULINITY. There’s a big difference between the two. Machoism is an act or a mask a male wears usually because he’s afraid and insecure of and about his own self. Masculinity is something that is innate (natural) in males. It is a male just being a male with nothing to prove to anyone and with no desire whatsoever to impose himself on anyone like the Macho man tries to do so often.

The ancient warrior was a masculine man. A man who was brave, courageous, intelligent, and compassionate. Not one who was weak, ruthless, ignorant, and filled with hate and anger. He was a man of honor and honor encompassed all of these things. He was a man who was an enigma because he could be just on one hand and perhaps even unjust on the other. Or at least he might have appeared to be unjust to some especially if they happened to be the warrior’s enemy.

Honor, compassion, courage, bravery, fidelity, intelligence, vision, masculinity. These are the things that made the warrior and these are the things that made the man. And in ancient warrior societies these are the things that made up what the ancients called the “noble man.” Yet, we’ve lost these values today in manhood. We’ve become weak and soft. We’ve become decadent and our society is faltering because of it. And that endangers every life young and old in our society today.

It’s just not government or the economy or that somewhat elusive enemy known as al-Qeada that is causing ruin in our society today. IT’S US!! And, honestly, I have to say it is MOSTLY US!! I know that’s a bitter reality pill to swallow but I think it’s true. It’s us! We’ve abandoned our values and morals in this country. We’ve turned right into wrong and wrong into right. We’ve walked away from the traditional and historical roles and values of masculinity and common sense that that our warrior ancestors once had. And all in the name of “modernism and the glorious future.” Excuse me? What is so glorious about this future that we are all now living in called the “Fall of the West” or the “Fall of America”? Sorry but I seen nothing truly glorious about it at all. In fact it’s all rather alarming!

I think that by going back we will find a better way forward. Does that make sense? The future, our future, is perhaps to be found in the past, our past? By going back to the masculine male role as noble warrior and men of honor and once again embracing those traditional and historical values we may be better able to move into a future that is truly glorious instead of wallowing in this present and future we have now that, frankly, seems to be becoming a living hell on earth for most of us.

So that’s what I’ve been thinking lately. Yes, I know, dangerous LOL. But that idea of finding a better future in the past really intrigued me. In fact it fascinates me. For myself there is something in that concept that rings so true, so pure, so real than does all of this ROT we see around us today. Rot brought about by our endless chasing after our fake “gods” named money, greed, and corruption.

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