Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taking on the Cathedral.

The innocuous looking guy to the left has just been recently voted one of Britain's greatest ever foes.

The task facing him was not inconsiderable. How do you beat the worlds greatest superpower with nothing more than a few guns toted by eager youths, a lot of local good will and nothing much else? And yet that is what he did.

Michael Collins is arguably one of the greatest commanders in history. His greatness lays not in his ultimate achievement, rather, in the obstacles he had to overcome to attain it. Obstacles that would have overwhelmed nearly all other mortal men. It was the ultimate challenge; Man vs British Empire.

Collins won.

The task facing Collins was superhuman. How do you secure cure the independence of Ireland from a stubborn British who refuse to yield it?  Collins starting position was tactically woeful. The Irish Republican cause was bedeviled from the outset, by spies, informers, splinter groups factional groups and, of course, the presence of the British Army which at that time was the world superpower. How Collins managed to overcome all of these obstacles is a matter of legend and instruction. He is considered the father of modern urban guerrilla warfare. Mao claimed to have studied his techniques.

The secret to Collin's success lay in his intelligent unconventionality. Collins never did what the enemy expected him to do,  and by outsmarting his enemy he was able to get the British out of Ireland with next to no resources.

Collins serves as a sort of example for the modern manosphere movement, a movement which appears to be gaining some notice amongst the mainstream media. Over the past few months I've noticed a gradually increasing frequency in the media words associated with the mansophere such as alpha male, neg and game. It appears the mansophere is being noticed without acknowledgement and as  the media gives the manosphere more time, sooner or later it is going to be judged by its conformity to the media's program. I suppose that some manosphere writers would welcome the free publicity that comes with media exposure. But it's a poisoned chalice. The liberal media-arts-education complex (a.k.a the Cathedral) has a cultural vision which is profoundly hostile to the underlying ethos of the manosphere. As such, its engagement with the manosphere will eventually be on hostile terms. Those who chose to take the bait (i.e media publicity) are likely to be destroyed.

It is important to recognise that the manosphere would have been impossible without the internet. The ideas which have gained prominence amongst the various factions of it are so politically incorrect and so against the mainstream grain that any airing of them would have been impossible throughout the conventional media.

The official Cathedral line is that it provides for a forum for dispassionate public debate, whereas Cathedral Operations are nothing of the sort. The Cathedral's role is that of culture management and it does it through exploiting the sheep like qualities of the people.  It manipulates public opinion so that the proletariat respond through Pavlovian conditioning in the way which it wants it to. The aim isn't to present a logical argument as it is to enforce an emotional association. For the media have long ago recognised what Jonathan Haidt has recently preached, namely ,when it comes to Joe Average, it's the emotional tail that wags the rational head and not the other way around.

It has a variety of means at its disposal  but the main point is that when the media wants to push a certain line it does so by associating the desired message with positive feelings. On the other hand, when the media wants to ostracise  something it does it by the process of negative association. For example, when the gay marriage agenda wants to be pushed, media presentations of gay marriage will be done in such a way as to elicit positive emotions with the message. Supports will be attractive and highly articulate and socially desirable. Detractors of the gay marriage will be presented negatively. It's classic Goebbellian psych-ops.  The aim isn't to present a logical argument as it is to enforce an emotional association and thereby influence public opinion. Glee, for example, is strong on the song and dance but very little emphasis is made on the gay bar scene; the aim of the producers is to associate gayness with happiness and not disgust.

The machine exists to keep re-enforcing a certain cultural message.The machine is now so well oiled an any person wanting to take advantage of the "publicity" offered by the Cathedral soon becomes a unwitting victim of it if he does not pursue the politically correct line. The Cathedral will promise him a forum where he can get the widest audience whilst setting him up for failure in front of that same audience. The Cathedral is able to do this because, traditionally, the technical means of media dissemination was able to be tightly controlled. And by controlling the dissemination of information, it controlled the public square. Fighting it through the public square means fighting it on the terms set by the Cathedral. It's a recipe for failure.

And lets not forget what the Cathedral can actually do. It can ruin a man's reputation. Wreck his career.  Make him lose his job thus plunging him into poverty and place his marriage under enormous  strain. It can destroy his business. Alienate from his friends. Make him into a social pariah. The point is that the Cathedral is a machine that exists to support its friends and destroy its enemies, it's claim that it is a space for the exchange of ideas is merely a guise.

Michael Collins recognised that the way to take on the British Army was not to take it on directly (which would be suicidal) but to engage it on his terms. The way to fight it was unconventionally. Playing the traditional media's game is to engage it conventionally. Thus, in my opinion, the manosphere should discount any advice about courting mainstream publicity and resist it as best as it can. The aim is to engage in cultural guerrilla warfare. The medium through which this warfare must be fought is the internet, a forum where the media has virtually no control on the subject matter.

The free for all environment of the internet and its distributed nature makes "enforced" consensus extremely difficult. Ideas can't be policed easily. The Climategate story, for example, was all over the internet despite the mainstream media's efforts to quash failure to pick it up.  History will see it as a watershed event.The advantage of the internet is that everyman can potentially reach a world wide audience. Every blog post an opinion piece and every combox discussion a moderated thread. It's true, that for most bloggers and web pundits, their influence will be minimal on an individual level (though there are exceptions)  but taken in total, the manosphere can exert enormous cultural effect outside the control of the cathedral.

Another problem for the Cathedral is any attempt to take down one of web pundits instantly generates more web traffic for the pundit and his cause. This presents a problem for the cathedral. Whereas previously they could isolate an opponent and present the pundit to the public in a manner of the Cathedral's liking, it now cannot regulate what the public actually reads at pundit's site. The pundit actually gets a fair hearing.  The aim then, if media attention is inadvertently gained, is to engage the media of terms of your own choosing. Do not give a media interview, instead let the media interview you on your own blog, that way the media cannot manipulate your public image or selectively misquote you. The worst thing to do is go "live " in an environment where they control what gets said, whom you are associated with  and whom your opponents are. Roosh V's foray onto Ukrainian television was a classic example of what I'm  talking about and a close run thing.
It started normal enough where they asked me general questions and then they started bringing out "surprise guests" which completely caught me off guard. They had me thinking "How the fuck did they find these people??!" 

............I sat in the chair and had the lights on me, the audience on me, and the host and the celebrity panel and so on, I felt quite calm and just focused on answering the questions while not letting them paint me [ED] as someone I was not.
The point is that the way to attack the cathedral is to attack it from outside and on your own terms. Playing the conventional media game only makes you its pawn or its victim.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely brilliant. Bookmarked for future reference.

I can think of one example of the Cathedral's cultural messaging: Gender is a continuum, with femininity on one end and masculinity on the other. Men need to "cure" themselves of the "binary" and learn to become more fluid, to move freely along the "continuum" as women do.

Ah, but gender does not exist along a continuum. Sex differences and their manifestations in femininity and masculinity are permanent, and as perennial as the grass. One cannot "choose" what they are; it is not a menu.

Men must not be under any illusion that the Cathedral is benign. It took 800 years to get Britain out of Ireland, and so it may take a very long to raze the Cathedral to the ground. Pour Round Up on its roots. Piss in its back yard. Slash its tires.

KK said...

Do not underestimate The Cathedral. Climategate is a good example on how the internet is able to present a dissenting narrative, but it's also a good example on how effective the old guard can be in damage control. My impression is that the respectable opinion about Climategate has settled on that while the email conversations display a clear lack of adherence to scientific objectivity, there was nothing in the actual results that significantly contradicts the consensus view on climate change. I've seen this sentiment expressed in popular science mags and major newspapers (and their comment sections).

That's not to say that the event hasn't changed the general opinion at all, though. Of course it has, but the effect on the discourse around climate change hasn't been as direct as one might hope.

All that said, I strongly agree with the gist of your post. Guerrilla warfare is where it's at (and where it has been for a while).

Brendan said...

I very much agree.

The trouble with the "just stand up for yourself" approach is that it can often be suicidal in the face of massive power arrayed against you. That isn't a good strategy overall, because you just end up with fewer soldiers. Collins hated losing his "boys", really, and was very careful about the risks they were taking. Of course there was plenty of risk involved, but it was calculated risk, with an approach designed and tailored to fight an overwhelmingly strong adversary. The situation that men advocating for men face today is not dissimilar, and a similar approach is called for.

Anonymous said...

Great, great post Slumlord. The approach you advocate is likely the only one that will have any success given the current climate. As Brendan said, anyone rushing headlong into the Cathedral is likely on a kamikaze mission.


Anonymous said...

Collins arose out of the ashes of the 1916 Rising, an attempt to take on the British Empire not only with conventional warfare, but with a notion of soldierly heroism and sacrifice that was completely out of touch with the cynical, mechanised warfare that had been developed since August 1914. Our heroes polished the buttons on their uniforms, read their proclamations, and set up as if for a cavalry charge. The British scratched their heads at the tactical naivete of the rebels, pointed their artillery at the map references of the landmark buildings they occupied, and blew them out with high explosive. There's a lesson to be learned here by mens' activists who think that being the better person and fighting their corner honorably and chivalrously is the way to win over the media machine.

Dropit said...

One thing to remember---it is not even necessary to take the Cathedral head-on.

Were all men to wise up at the same time, their combined frame would flip women to their side in a week. The problem is that that's not how it happens:guys wake up in isolation, and they are soon either placated with sex ("Oh, I guess I was wrong, there's a nice girl out there for everyone.") or shamed into submission.

So anything to support them in that critical stage is good---the Manosphere in internet form is good; friends you know are better.

Be that friend. Answer questions. Be reasonable, implacable, friendly, and sensible.

Infest it from the inside, and it WILL come crashing down.

Dropit said...

Oh, oops, that second link is worthless.

jonathan said...

Collins, like Gandhi after him, was basically pushing at an open door. A large minority of the British establishment was in favor of Irish Home Rule, so were sympathetic to his cause. And don't forget, he ended up being murdered by his own side.

The Social Pathologist said...


Collins wasn't pushing on an open door. The Ulster Unionists were stubbornly trying to keep it shut, with the British Army supporting them.

The Black and Tans tried to suppress the IRA and failed. Yes, he was murdered by his own side because he was percieved us giving up the north of Ireland.

Deti, blogger ate your comment.

jonathan said...

The Conservative and Unionist party opposed Home Rule but the Liberal Party, in Government at the time, was broadly in favor of it. A Home Rule bill was placed before Parliament in 1912 but all talk was stopped by WW1.
Most Irish people at the time saw the Easter Rising as a betrayal while tens of thousands of Irishmen were fighting in France.

Anonymous said...

Look up William Lloyd Garrison. He is a far better example to go by. He ran a abolitionist newspaper when slavery was not at all on the national radar. His newspaper, The Liberator, was like a website of its day, constantly commenting on every new wrinkle, pushing their "frame," endlessly agitating. He was first ignored, ridiculed, then they even tried to lynch him at one point. But he kept enflaming northern sensibilities. Then the civil war ended slavery and he ceased publication and retired.

chris said...

Irish make the best rebels.

The Social Pathologist said...


Without this delving into an Irish War of Independence thread, I'll acknowledge that there was a lot support amongst the educated British for Irish Home Rule.

The situation Collins found himself in was in many ways akin to the one Ho Chi Minh found himself in Vietnam. Many Americans supported Ho's ideals but the governing class didn't and thus he had to fight a war.

but the Liberal Party, in Government at the time, was broadly in favor of it.

It really all hinges on what "broadly" mean. The devil is always in the detail and I get the impression that the Irish idea of home rule was different from the British one.

Most Irish people at the time saw the Easter Rising as a betrayal

Correct. It was an idiotic action on the part of the Irish but the British response was even worse. The harshness with which the British treated the Irish Rebels and the Irish public worsened things.

The fact of the matter is that Irish Home rule had lots of cultural but little political support. There was a lot of talk of home rule but very little actual action. The home rule bill of 1914 was never implemented. Instead a new one won was drawn up that catered to the wishes of Ulster Protestants (Sin Fien, who by this stage had gained the popular electoral support weren't allowed any input into the document) and thereby divided the country, ensuring the Irish civil war.

Rum said...

Since the Ulster Protestants were in every way BRITISH and wished to remain so, why is it odd that London would cater to their wishes?
Collins played well with the cards he was dealt but a semi-free Irish Republic in the Catholic South could have been negotiated into being at many times prior to that if The North was left out of the deal. W.S. Churchill never had much of a problem with the concept and he was the personage representing the Establishment during the talks leading up to the treaty.

jonathan said...

Sorry for getting slightly off topic SP. History is one of my hobbies
I think your general hypothesis is correct but I'm not sure that the Cathedral are really at the stage where they'll be receptive to an alternative view. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Jason said...

A really good essay doctor, maybe even brilliant. As I am wont to do though, let me offer two qualifications that you may or may not agree with:
1. There are a minority of individuals who I do believe are called to either speak out publicly and/or act outside of the confines of the Internet, whether they be men and women who are working to changes things from within the Cathedral (there are good people at Harvard, after all) or those who are challenging it from without. Certainly I would advise those though who choose to go down these routes to know what they might be in for, and prepare themselves accordingly; as you and Brendan have pointed out, the Cathedral can and will often try to destroy you if you wander too far off the reservation. Probably it would be wise for most of this select group to wait until they’re rather established in their financial situations, careers, and family-formation, and then take the plunge.

2. The major concern I have about the guerilla form of warfare that you suggest is that people will more or less rest on their laurels and not do anything more than just complain and bitch on Internet chat boards. There is way too much whining on various Alt-Right/Manosphere/Dark Enlightenment sights by bloggers and commentators who believe anonymous written criticism is the only avenue available to them. “My pastor doesn’t teach the need for wives to submit to their husbands…..” whine, whine, whine; “My priest is just a liberal globalist who espouses political correctness….” whine, whine, whine; “All women today are feminist sluts so I might as not bother anymore….” whine, whine, whine. Such critics believe they are being hairy-chested here, when in reality they are simply engaging in a form of cowardice, unconsciously attributing to themselves a virtue which they really have no right to claim. Never does it seem to occur to them that there eventually comes a point in which they should not only write but also take reasonable constructive action, whether it be simply having a word with their clergy personally or taking reasonable steps to meet up with that segment – admittedly a minority - of virtuous women. Such individuals are, to mention a slogan made against JFK for not being anti-Communist enough during the Cold War in spite of his stirring rhetoric: “All profile, no courage.”

Rum said...

With all due respect, keep in mind that there a large segment of the "sphere" that believes that humans beings will not follow traditionalists paths of sex and family formation as long as they think they have another choice. In times of widespread prosperity and safety, female hypergamy will run un-checked and there is nothing any Preacher or group of Preachers can do about it. Except, of course, punish the red pill messengers. And they will do this until society collapses utterly. Imagining that the underlying dynamics can be changed without extreme environmental pressure is a big mistake, imho. Females themselves will never vote to give up on alpha-chasing. They would much rather that society indeed collapse before they did that. THIS is the strong force driving the train over the cliff.

The Social Pathologist said...


Since the Ulster Protestants were in every way BRITISH and wished to remain so, why is it odd that London would cater to their wishes?

The problem was that British exclusively catered to the Ulster Protestants. As mentioned before, Sinn Fein wasn't even allowed on the deliberations. I don't have a problem with the British supporting the Unionists, but it's you guys who are arguing that the Irish would have gotten home rule if they waited. The attitude of the British government seemed to be to give the Ulster Protestants what they wanted (with whom they consulted extensively) whilst the Catholics would have to be happy with they gave them. The home rule bills weren't "fair" in any sense of the word.

The second problem with your view is that the British actually fought against the Irish in areas where there was a Catholic majority. County Cork took a particularly hard beating. The Black and Tans weren't confined to the Protestant areas but roamed far and wide about Ireland. The home rule that the British wanted to give Ireland was not the home rule the Irish wanted.


No problems. The Cathedral are never going to be accepting of an alternative view. Our aim is to win "hearts and minds" by bypassing it.


There will be a time when individuals will have to take the public stage, but that time should be when there is already a large amount of support on the ground. It's this ground support that needs to be developed.

The major concern I have about the guerilla form of warfare that you suggest is that people will more or less rest on their laurels and not do anything more than just complain and bitch on Internet chat boards.

This is where "Game" is so different to everything that came before. It "alpha's" the constituency in the process of spreading the message. It raises a new generation of leaders who control the frame of the conversation. It works at a direct local level. Its a "bottom-up" approach instead of the Cathedrals "top-down".

I agree with you. The MGTOW are all profile and no courage. But the manosphere has pretty much sidelined them. The Christian alpha won't commit to a carousel rider but will hang out for the "good girl" even if it means travelling far and wide for her.

The MGTOW crowd are the antithesis of the alpha philosophy.

INTJ said...

I've made another analysis of marriage rates, and have included older U.S. census data. Thought you might be interested:

Dale said...

The Cathedral in the U.S. will fall shortly; hyperinflation destroys social support for government. Historically about ten years (U. S. Confederation, 1st French Republic, 4th French Republic, Weimar Republic, even communist Hungary did).

Nick B. Steves said...

On the one hand, the internet is a place where anyone can say anything at all without fear of editorial review. On the other hand, the internet is a place where anyone can say anything at all without fear of editorial review.

This makes the average signal to noise ratio so low that I fear it strengthens, rather than weakens, the Cathedral's hand.

I do hope I am wrong. The manosphere has coalesced around a relatively small number of very strong voices. But as VD notes, not in same league as the (execrable) Jezebel. Still, if these folks can fight only the battles they wish to fight, and only on their terms, there is reason to hope that sex realism could leap the gap, un-neutralized, into mainstream consciousness.

The Social Pathologist said...


I'll have a look.


I think we're headed for some sort of social crisis. Political/social support can come from now where. Sinn Fein had hardly any support prior to the Easter Uprising but won by a landslide after it. The thing is to have "depth" to your ideology when put to the test.

The manosphere is small at the moment but surprisingly intellectually coherent. Politics ultimately reflects culture. The important thing is to get the cultural foundations right first.

@Nick B Stevens

Yep, there is a lot of noise, but not as much noise as you would think. There is a great amount of dissatisfaction out there and people want things to change, it's just that mainstream advice is crap. There is a huge market for the message, it's slowly getting out and that's a good thing. If it's just a trend it will disappear quickly but I think the manosphere is in for the long haul.

Martel said...

Game and persuasive Rhetoric are the same principles only applied differently.

A manosphere representative need not surrender if he appears on an MSM program if he applies Game framing principles. He needs to recognize what they want to do to him (which you describe perfectly), and turn it back on them.

Amused mastery is one of the best ways to do this. In addition to good vs. bad emotions, if viewers like you more than your opponent, you win (even if your arguments make no sense, all the better if they do). If any attempts by the host to mock you are twisted to make the host look like the bad guy, you win. Or perhaps follow Aristotle's advice and oppose mockery with earnestness and earnestness with mockery. Make the field of battle your own.

Your description of "the Cathedral" is perfect, but sometimes Collins had to go on the offensive. We'll have to as well, but like Collins we've got to do it on our own terms. To spread our message we'll have to appear in some pretty hostile environments, but if we understand those environments (which you obviously do), we can make them advantageous.

asdf said...

"The manosphere is small at the moment but surprisingly intellectually coherent."

Outside of how to pickup women this seems totally false.

Your got raging atheist and orthodox religious. You've got prole sympathizing economic nationalists and internationalist Ayn Rand cultists. Other then wanting better divorce laws I see no agreement. Economic policy? Immigration policy? Trade Policy? Education Policy? It's all over the place, as are many of the philosophical fundamentals.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for what you're doing here. Would it be possible to conact you via email?

The Social Pathologist said...


Can you ask the question again, just to prove you're not a spambot?

Sam (Anon) said...

Certainly. I was wondering if it would be possible to contact you via email. Given your background, I was wondering if I could get your input on a somewhat Cathedral-related issue.


The Social Pathologist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Social Pathologist said...

I'll get back to you in the next few days Sam.

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing this term "the Cathedral" popping up all over Manosphere sites for a while now and had no idea what it meant.

I googled it for Urban Dictionary and here are the meanings;

Anonymous said...

"Collins, like Gandhi after him, was basically pushing at an open door. A large minority of the British establishment was in favor of Irish Home Rule, so were sympathetic to his cause. And don't forget, he ended up being murdered by his own side."

And lets not forget that Gandhi was riding on the backs of the NON non-violent freedom fighters that came before and during him, like Bose and many others, who did the actual REAL work of getting the British out.

But the British liked Gandhi and allowed him much PR because they wanted him to serve as a role model of how good little Indians should be - "non-violent".

That way the British wouldn't have to actually stay in India - SIX FEET UNDER or CREMATED.

Bloody bastards.