A brief history behind three philosophical camps.
Theme: Overcoming Obstacles
Length: 1,700 words
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Civilizationists vs. Nihilists vs. Preservationists
A previous post, The intermediate goal is to get past the blinding obsession (2022-4-25), covered a podcast from Adam Piggott and Scott Klajic that addressed many of the topics that were brought up in April 2022 (Theme: Overcoming Obstacles).
This post adds some historical perspective to an older topic Adam and Scott made a familiar reference to in the video.
In the podcast, Adam and Scott described three philosophical camps of men.
Civilizationists – The view of, “Keep calm and carry on.” (This phrase is attributed to Winston Churchill.) Christians and other conservatives must plow on, marry and procreate, in the midst of the catastrophic destruction surrounding them, and do so in faith, in spite of the risks. Adam Piggott appears to take this stance. Interestingly, churchianity does too, or rather, it presents it as a distant goal to dream of “after college” *cough*.
Nihilists – The view of “Fiddle while Rome burns” or “Sit poolside [cigar and cocktail optional] and watch civilization crash and burn.” I’m not sure where these memetic phrases originated, but the latter was made famous by Roissy of Chateau Heartiste. This stance was promoted by Brett Stevens of Amerika as a way to hasten the demise of Leftism. Since then it has gained philosophical traction among PUAs and MGTOWs.
Preservationists – The view of “Saving the seeds of civilization while the fire rushes over the forest.” This idea is sort of a middle ground between the first two, having the nuclear family model promoted by Civilizationists coupled with the socially insulated stance of the Nihilists. This is Scott’s stance.
In his describtion of this stance in the podcast, Scott attributed this quote to Dalrock (at 9:30), and said Dalrock used this quote in a private email conversation they had in 2014. Dalrock is famous for this quote, probably because it matches his overall philosophical stance. However, I’ve searched Dalrock’s site and I can only find this quote in one post, Continuing the discussion. (2013-5-24), and there he is quoting Vox/Ted at Alpha Game: Nihilists vs Civilizationists (2013-5-24). So apparently, this quote originated from Vox.
The Schism between Civilizationists and Nihilists
In 2013, Vox described the schism between these two camps in Nihilists vs Civilizationists (2013-5-24).
“What both camps have in common is a diagnosis. Where they differ is the prescription. This is why they are not functional allies in the long term. Their immediate objectives and priorities have nothing in common and their perspectives are fundamentally different. However, it should be kept in mind that neither side created the problem to which both are reacting, and it should be recognized that both have important roles to play before the course plays itself out.”
In the same post, Vox described the strategic value of both groups, and prophetically foretold how their roles would play out.
“It is the MGTOW who will ultimately destroy the Female Imperative society by removing its foundations. The traditionalists tend to allay the destructive effects of the irrational while the hedonists exacerbate them. This is why the MGTOW incorrectly tend to look on the traditionalists as white knights and useful idiots in the service of the Female Imperative. They erroneously conflate the traditionalists who are simply doing what they have always done with the feminized Church and the female-biased State.
By withdrawing their services, their seed, their paternal support, and their economic surplus from the women and children of society, they render that society unsustainable. They are responding rationally to the disincentives which that society has presented them. Theirs is a perfectly legitimate response to a society gone mad. More than that, their response is a necessary one, it is part of the pendulum swing that is required before society can return to sanity and stability.
However, the hedonistic, self-centered MGTOW will never be able to build anything lasting or replace the society which they quite rightly hate. They must rely upon the civilizationists to do that; without the traditionalists still stubbornly working, marrying, and having children despite all of the societal disincentives for doing so, there will be no eventual recovery from the chaotic, barbaric morass into which the equalitarian-corrupted West is rapidly sliding.
This is why the accusations of lotus-eating on the one hand and white-knighting on the other are both misplaced and ill-considered. Both nihilists and civilizationists are necessary to the process of first destroying, and then replacing, [a Feminine Imperative based] society. One need not agree with the other to respect and understand his — or her – role in the necessary, desirable, and, I would argue, inevitable, process.”
At that time, Vox had an even view of both Civilizationists and Nihilists. Recently, Vox has become scathingly critical of the latter camp. Apparently, they’re no longer in orbit.
Abridged List of Related Posts
For those readers interested in further reading, this conversation about Civilizationists vs. Nihilists has a long history. Highlights appear in the links below. I’ve included the relevant posts that have appeared on Σ Frame. I’m sure I’ve omitted many posts elsewhere that have discussed aspects of the schism. Readers are welcome to leave links to other articles in the comments.
- Dalrock: What is the manosphere? (2013-5-15)
- The Orthosphere (Alan Roebuck, Dalrock): Must a Traditional Man Accept Modern Marriage? (2013-5-20)
- Alpha Game: Nihilists vs Civilizationists (2013-5-24)
- Dalrock: Continuing the discussion. (2013-5-24)
- Vox Popoli: Low Morale Men (2017-12-9)
- Dalrock: No respect. (2017-12-14)
- SFC Ton: Quoted for truth and being zeroed out (2017-12-17)
- Fabius Maximus: An expert: respect is a key battleground in the gender wars (2018-3-18)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Dispensation of the Red Pill (2018-4-7)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Zeitgeist Report 2018 (2018-4-15)
- Σ Frame (Lexet): Charting the Red Pill World (2021-3-26)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Avoiding the Broken Window Effect (2021-7-21)
- Σ Frame (Jack): On the Discernment of Desire (2021-9-24)
- Σ Frame (NovaSeeker): Is a second Dark Ages a real possibility? (2021-10-25)
- Σ Frame (Thedeti): Deti’s Advice to Underqualified Men (2021-12-8)
- Σ Frame (Red Pill Apostle): Dating in the Lion’s Den: Relying on Faith when the options are daunting (2021-12-13)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Not Trusting women is Deep Inner Game (2021-12-15)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Young Man’s Problem (2022-2-4)
- Vox Popoli: Triggering the Irrelevant (2022-3-20)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Status Signaling Narrative (2022-3-21).
- Vox Popoli: Mailvox: Woman Trouble (2022-3-22)
- Adam Piggott: I agree with Vox (2022-3-22)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Another Status Signaling Narrative (2022-3-26)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Epilogue: Counting the Cost (2022-3-30)
- Σ Frame (Oscar): What Ted got right (2022-4-4)
- Adam Piggott: Podcast #151 – The sexual misery episode with Scott Klajic (2022-4-24)
As readers can see from the list of posts above, these two philosophical camps have rammed heads again and again for the past 10 years, and we continue to see this on a regular basis here at Σ Frame.
Note that by early 2018, the need for respect was identified as a key battleground for men, beginning with the Manosphere and then extending to the wider culture. However, persecution ramped up that year and this topic was largely forgotten. I’ve attempted to raise the issue since then, but more or less inefficaciously. It seems that men have forgotten what it feels like to be respected. Vox’s tantrums about MGTOW and his other weirdnesses haven’t helped raise awareness of this crucial need for respect at all.
Identification and Motivation
However much insight Vox has offered, he has not addressed the social identifiers and motivations that drive this schism. This is not merely a schism between two philosophical camps disagreeing about their vague notions of the future. There are other reasons that Civilizationists and Nihilists are at fundamental odds. Here are a few.
Class Schism — Under the current system, marriage and having a family is more available to the economic elite and less attainable by those making average wages. This socioeconomic class divide continues to grow wider as time goes on. Civilizationists are busy working the system to earn more money to support their families, while Nihilists are (not so) busy undermining the same system simply because it’s a broken system.
SSMV Hierarchy Schism — These days, just as in days of yore, the Alpha Male of the Group™ is not easily convinced to show grace and mercy to the men under him in the hierarchy, men who are not as aggressive, not as athletic, not as popular, and not sufficiently up on their level of the Game. It is much more ego affirming and satisfying for them to summarily ostracize and discriminate against their plebian underlings. LastMod gives us a daily reminder of this reality.
The Exceptionality Clause — Within the church, a Pearl of Great Price™ is not easily convinced that a man who is not in the upper 80% is worthy to open her clam, let alone to be considered worthy of her hand in marriage. To receive any respect from others, including a potential bride and her father, a Christian man needs to prove himself to be exceptional.
RedPillBoomer put it like this.
“I can clearly see the line that divides the “haves” from the “have not’s” with the young men.”
“…it is going to be difficult for the “lower 80%” of men to get a girlfriend; not impossible, but difficult given this current SMP.”
Readers may be able to come up with other differences in identity and motives between the “have’s” and the “have not’s”. But my point here is that there is a pattern. The largest difference between the Civilizationists and the Nihilists is that the former has access to realizing their evolutionary imperative of marriage, sex, and procreation; whereas, with the way things stand now, there are a number of hoops and hurdles for the latter camp of men to jump before they can ever consider marriage etc. to be an actionable choice.
The common argument that we often hear is that unexceptional men should somehow make themselves exceptional. This advice may help a small number of men who are on the cusp of Alphatude and need a little edge to qualify them for sociosexual visibility, but it is untenable as a general practice, and unfair to the average man. All that can be realistically done is to raise the quality of the average. But what we fail to see is that we (as a society) tend to only respect those men who can pass women’s hypergamous filters. To wit,
- Women want the Alpha badboy.
- Women want an upper middle or upper class man.
- Christian women want the exceptional Christian man.
By accepting all these qualifications for respect that are put upon men, we are still buying into the Feminine Imperative. So the bottom line is that we are still playing by the gynocentric rule book.
To sum it up quite bluntly (CH style), pu$$y makes all the difference in men’s outlook on life. Men and women alike judge men by whether or not they can lock down a piece of the pie. Therefore, marriage is for the elite, because hypergamy. I’m not saying this is right nor how it should be, but only that this is how it is. Within this gynocentric cultural paradigm, Civilizationists are the “have’s” who want to keep the folds convulging, and the Nihilists are the “have not’s” who are broiling in envy and want to “burn it all down”. Such is the root of this schism.
Moreover, men are just as much enslaved to their desire for pu$$y (whether it be real or virtual), as women are to hypergamy and the Feminine Imperative. When a man can look past his human evolutionary functions, look towards Christ and His purposes, and start exercising respect for those men who rightfully deserve it (rather than for those men favored for their utility to women), then he might have a shot at ending this schism, turning things around, and accessing the Power of God in his life. For example, this is exactly what Scott has done with LastMod, and both men have been blessed. More men need to emulate these kinds of behaviors. Otherwise, we’ll never achieve solidarity and get the respect we need as men.