IS THE RED PILL BAD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
Anyone who’s spent much time reading this blog knows that in the past few months, I’ve become entranced by the New Misogynists – bloggers, both male and female, who believe that civilisation started collapsing the day women got the vote. These Manosphere bloggers are themselves part of a wider neo-reactionary movement that’s coming to be known as the Dark Enlightenment, (though it should more properly be called The Extinguishment, because it seeks to overturn the Enlightenment virtues of liberty and suffrage).
Although the more pretentious members of the movement have started to use the term ‘Dark Enlightenment’, most of the everyday bloggers refer to themselves as ‘red pill takers’.
The ‘red pill’ reference comes from The Matrix. If you swallow the red pill, you see the world as it really is. If you swallow the blue pill, you remained plugged in to a comforting dream.
It’s a very funny and perceptive video. One of the most acute things he says is that one side effect of taking the red pill is that people who have swallowed it don’t seem to be very happy: “It may even be a depressant.”
And how right he is. Take a look at the post Red Pill Isolation, from the Apocalypse Cometh blog, where the author, C.M. Sturges, says:
“There’s a common misconception in our little corner of the webz. That exposing yourself to the truth, essentially going down the rabbit hole, is going to make your life better. Nothing could be further from the truth…
You are going to become isolated. Most notably socially but also with your thoughts, opinions and your ability to finally see what surrounds you in this crumbling society.”
She appears to be an observer of the orthosphere, and makes some rather level-head analysis of it. Where I think her analysis needed some extra work was separating “red pill knowledge” from the application of said knowledge. (See bottom on the role of diagnostician and clinician.) Since she seemed very cordial with Sturges, so I hazarded a comment to her post. Reposted in its entirety:
I agree with a large part of your assessment, but I would ask you consider this:
It is a well-known phrase that politics makes strange bedfellows. With the overwhelming degree of uniformity in the mainstream media and culture, it is inevitable that all dissenters will be lumped together as “The Others.” For example, in a world that bases equality of genders on belief in the *sameness* of genders, anyone who dares believe men and women are different is a dangerous heretic. And so you end up grouping together those who favor more traditional approaches to dating with those who believe women shouldn’t have the right to vote.
And so it is absolutely true that daring to question the premises of a culture we don’t believe in brings an incredible amount of intellectual isolation. How could it not? For merely stating an obvious fact, such as women bear children and men don’t, or that men and women tend to exhibit different problem-solving techniques, I am branded a dangerous heretic, or a “misogynist,” in today’s lingo. Interestingly, many of these facts when stated by women are considered laudable, but when stated by men they are detestable. This is usually fueled by fears and assumptions of the other party’s motives:
Woman: “Men and women think differently”: Yes! Celebrate our uniqueness and individuality!
Man: “Men and women think differently”: No! Gender is a social construct! A woman can do anything a man can do!
Facts can be stated by good people and by evil people. The problem is that public discourse has decided to disown any and all facts that could possibly be used as ammunition by evil people. This means that the system has chosen to designate as its enemies not just the “evil” people, but the reasonable ones interested in facts. It is this anti-intellectualism and counter-factualism that has created an environment of intolerance, and has spurred the rise of the “Dark Enlightenment,” “Neoreaction,” “Red Pill.” If you “criminalize” normality, then don’t be surprised when normal people become “criminals.”
Few of us are intent on doing evil. But all of us demand that the facts be heard.
The isolation is lonely. That is part of The Matrix analogy as well; compare the glitz and comforts of the fake world with the drab clothes, gross food, and ugliness of the real world. The analogy is not cherry-picked for its best parts; we accept it as a package deal.
But I’ll also agree with C.M. Sturges. It is liberating to understand that you aren’t going crazy, and others share your observations. We are building a community where we fit in, and finally have an venue to apply our constructive efforts. Don’t overlook the “manosphere’s” huge emphasis on self-improvement. (Nor its contrast with the Jezebel-esque attempts at self-delusion: obese is beautiful, you should be loved for just being you, you’re perfect as you are, etc)
And while I have refrained from the meta-writing impulse to place myself in context of the cosmology of the orthosphere, this seems like a pretty good time to do it.
At present, I consider myself a social diagnostician. As I said in my intro to the Neoreactionary Canon:
A confluence of sharp minds is taking place on the internet. Intelligent writers covering a wide range of issues have realized that conventional understandings of civilization and its history don’t “work.” The theories fail to hold predictive value. The models are broken. To repurpose an image from one of the original writers:
“It is impossible to enumerate the full list of reasons behind this belief. It’s like asking you why you prefer a romantic candlelight dinner for two at a simple, yet elegant, French restaurant, to being dragged alive behind an 18-wheeler at highway speed until there is nothing on the rope but a bloody flap of skin.” – Mencius Moldbug, “An Open Letter to Progressives,” pg 121
To answer the above question would be difficult, not for lack of reasons, but for an abundance of reasons; it is difficult to decide where to start. Furthermore, the fact that the question was even posed leads the reader to believe that the questioner not only needs an answer, he needs help. Specifically, he needs help so badly that he doesn’t even recognize it.
I commit myself only to the idea that what we are doing isn’t working. My series on The Revolution and my analysis of Post-Modern Progressivism focus firmly on the ills of the here-and-now. My conclusions have aligned with those of the neoreaction, and so I am with them thus far. (Reading Moldbug’s social commentary was like an exercise in reading my own thoughts.)
And yet deciphering what is wrong is a far cry from determining what is right, that is, to be a social clinician. Several ideas of various levels of unorthodoxy have been proposed. Serious discussions of monarchy and crypto-tyranny have arisen. These I treat as interesting thought experiments, but things to which I am not willing to commit. At the less serious, yet more successful end of the scale, bloggers such as Matt Forney and Return of Kings have inspired amazing levels of awareness and outrage at politically incorrect gender-relations truths. While seemingly unrelated, Truth is Truth, and if the orthosphere is about the right to speak uncensored truths, than their role in this community cannot be denied.
This post covers a lot of ground, so to recap: Yes, the “red pill experience” entails a lot of intellectual loneliness. No, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I align with the neoreaction. No, I’m not endorsing monarchy. Yes, I believe the truth about gender relations is suppressed. Maybe, the way RoK makes their points is rough, but maybe that’s the only way the truths will be heard. And yes, I will continue to write until I have nothing left to say.