Beta, Alpha, Apollo & Dionysus

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“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes” Matt. 7:29

With the rise of the red-pill, men in the alt-right now conceptualize themselves in terms of the alpha and beta. We have the alpha, the aloof cad who gets the girls and we have the white-knighting beta, with his visions of marital bliss and idealism. Many reading are probably already familiar with the dichotomy that Nietzsche drew between the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus in The Birth of Tragedy. I think it would be helpful though to use these contrasting figures to draw a parallel between our concept of alpha and beta. The alpha is Dionysus, lustful, strong, intoxicated, passionate, unpredictable, instinctual and chaotic while the beta is Apollo, reasoned, concerned with truth, law, order, and harmony. If you know your ancient Greek mythology, you will recall that Dionysus was loved by women and had a procession of female followers called Maenads. Apollo wasn’t as lucky. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses he was so desperate that he attempted to chase down and force sex on a nymph named Daphne. I think it is clear the ancient Greeks understood the nature of human sexuality long before we had the manosphere to come and enlighten us. If you’ll allow me to couple the characteristics of the beta with Apollo and those of the alpha with Dionysus, I will briefly show how betas can group together, overpower, and override alphas and how a true leader, the ideal man is neither Apollo nor Dionysus but a fusion of the two.

Imagine with me. Once there were ten people on a desert island, five women and five men, and of the men one alpha and four betas. After one day on the island the alpha using his charm and charisma established himself as ruler of the island. Initially the betas made the mistake of believing he was just like them and because of his strength they went along with the scheme. Some of the characteristics or powers, if you will, that the betas employed were reason, fidelity, consistency of word and action, and the ability to join in a mutually beneficial relationship with other betas. Their weakness was that they initially assumed that everyone else had the same inner nature as them. The betas assumed that the five women and the one alpha were Apollonian. It didn’t take long (a few days really) for the trusting Apollonians to realize that something was awry. The alpha said that he was going apportion resources fairly to everyone on the island. He hadn’t done so. He had horded everything for himself. Also the Apollonians, using their powers of logic, noticed that as his list of decrees piled up many of them contradicted one-another, were chaotic and had no consistency. The Apollonians were forced to conclude that their Dionysian ruler was making decisions based on personal whim rather than accord with their ideal of Justice. To add insult to injury the women only had eyes for the Dionysian and he obligingly took all of them for himself. Once this dawns on the betas (you could say they were “red-pilled”) they were forced to re-conceptualize how they viewed their little island world and the other people in it. They had a sort of collective awakening where they learned to distinguish between Apollonian and non-Apollonian. Soon the four betas made a secret compact with one another that nullified the violated compacts they had previously made with the alpha and the five women and solidified the bonds between themselves. Next they put together a well ordered plan to remove the alpha from power. The four betas initiated their plan and with their joint strength were able to overpower the alpha. They first redistributed the resources equitably and then banished the alpha with his ration and his allotted one lady friend to the far side of the island.

The four betas attempted a joint rule between themselves but it didn’t take long before problems started to arise. You see once the betas came to power they fashioned a wonderful document stating that all betas were equal to one another. It stated, therefore, that all betas had an equal say in how the island ought to be governed. Next they thoroughly reasoned through a set of laws to be put in place laying out exactly how their little society was to be run. Things went well at first and everything was running smoothly until some unforeseen problems started to rear their head. First of all the women were discontent, they liked the comfort and prosperity their new society provided them but they were all haunted by the joyous spontaneity the banished alpha once gave them. More importantly threats to their society were presenting themselves that the betas seemed unable to cope with. If a problem were to come up for which the betas had no written law they would completely freeze. They wouldn’t know what to do. For example, once a large storm hit and they all ran and hid in their huts like cowards not knowing how to deal with the situation. It was so bad that the women had to attempt to save the crops as best they could while their men were hiding out. Another problem is that occasionally wild animals would come in from the edge of the jungle and wreak havoc on the town. Also every once in a while the alpha would come back and rob the betas while they were caught off guard and sleep with their lady friends while they were absent. The betas reasoned that they could join together again to thwart him but by the time they could get a plan together he was gone and the damage had already been done.

One beta in particular was deeply concerned about the future of his little island society. He was also very hurt by the fact that his lady friend didn’t at all reciprocate the love that he had for her. One day he trotted off into the jungle and didn’t come back for well over a month. While he was there he had time to be away from society and reason through the problems that were facing it. One night, as he was sitting by a fire he had made, he began as he usually did to contemplate and reflect. This night though, the pain of his rejection and the fear of destruction were more acute than they had ever been. While he sat there deep in thought the creatures in the jungle were making a cacophony of night sounds. In this moment their rhythm spoke to him and as he stared into the beautiful mesmerizing flames. At that point something changed in him. He stood up, ripped off his garment, and began howling at the moon like a wild beast. The next morning he awoke hungry, as he had not brought any food with him into the jungle. He got up, found a long piece of wood, and crafted a spear out of it. He spent the next several days hungrily tracking wild game. He finally managed to slay a wild boar with the spear he had fashioned. He dragged the corpse back to his campsite, gutted the carcass, and then smeared some of the blood on his forehead. He cooked the meat over the flames and enjoyed a delicious meal.

When he finally emerged from the jungle and returned to the little society, he was a changed man. He now had the strength to rule and the wisdom to guide his society into the future. He drew council with the other three betas and explained to them the transformation he had undergone. He showed them the spear and the skull of the boar he had slain. They were all taken aback and really thoroughly impressed. They also noticed that he had an assured tone in his voice and that he was able to speak persuasively. They saw in him the steadiness and fearlessness they knew they would need to save their society. After a few hours in their meeting the three betas emerged from the tent and announced to the women that the once beta would now be called leader. Leader then emerged from the tent and they put a rudimentary crown made of sticks on his head to symbolize his new authority. From that day forward not only was the society run in an orderly and harmonious fashion but leader with his new found strength was able to act in times of crises to avert danger. The alpha from the other side of the island tried to come back and cause trouble once, but he was soundly defeated by leader. The other three betas found inspiration through their leader and to a certain degree he imputed his essence on them. The women were now fully content and happy, especially leader’s lady friend, as she had nothing but the utmost adoration for him. The society flourished and grew and the island was transformed from a jungle into a fruitful tropical garden. A place anyone would be lucky to visit.

 

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The Rape of Europa

“If it hadn’t been for the joint determination of the Athenians and Spartans to ward off the approaching slavery, now nearly all the races of the Greeks would be mixed up with each other, as well as barbarians with Greeks and Greeks with barbarians, just like those nations whom the Persians rule over, who have been split up, then awkwardly mingled together, and who now live in scattered groups.” -Plato, The Laws

With Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations

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B.M. Palmer – The South, Her Peril And Her Duty

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This is my reading of an excerpt from a discourse delivered in the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, Thursday, November 29, 1860 By Reverend Benjamin Morgan Palmer. Palmer was an eloquent and well known Presbyterian minister around the time of the Civil War. Like other Southern Presbyterians, he believed that the pulpit was sacred and therefore not the place to discuss political and worldly matters. However, on the eve of impending conflict, he found it prudent to speak his mind. This particular excerpt has to do with the issue of slavery, the French Revolution, and Divine Providence as it relates to authority and hierarchically ordered society. He comments on the deranged fanaticism of New England abolitionists that sought to destroy existing organic hierarchy in favor of new systems of radical egalitarianism. This should be of particular interest to Southern-Reaction and Neo-Reaction because it is a Calvinist critique of the Post-Puritan, Unitarian, and Transcendentalist utopian-ism that helped create our modern political and cultural environment. Palmer saw the South and the Civil War as the last holdout for traditional society against the modern world.

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Dabney On Corporations

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The following is my reading of an excerpt from an essay by Robert Lewis Dabney entitled “The Philosophy Regulating Private Corporations.” R.L. Dabney is one of my very favorite historical figures. He was a preeminent theologian and a very gifted intellectual. He was a Presbyterian minister, seminary professor, and served as chaplain for Stonewall Jackson. His work was essential to the continued conservatism and orthodoxy of the Southern Presbyterian Church. Sadly the modern denominations, that he and those like him spiritually fathered, do not give him the proper respect and credit he is due. Clearly, it would be far easier to condemn him for his now unfashionable racial and political views than to confront the modern Zeitgeist. His intellectualism towers above the modern theologians who are his descendants and I think that in time he will be justified. He wrote about a wide range of issues, including economic ones. This passage here has to do with the negative effects of industrialization and the centralization of capital. Some of his criticisms sound similar to those of Karl Marx, but they are being made from the viewpoint of a reactionary rather than a revolutionary socialist.

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Social Recognition in the South

Familiarity vs Merit

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“The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk–
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;”
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.”

~Rudyard Kipling

I often hear outsiders complaining about how hard it is for them to fit in socially in the South. I know this true where I am from because I see people struggling with it year in and year out. With the exception of hipster meccas like Austin or Athens and major cities like Atlanta, I would say that this is probably also true of the South in general. Down here we love who we know. We love what is familiar to us and spurn all that is strange and foreign. Down here you could be beautiful, intelligent, talented, and a generally likeable person and still find there are certain circles of people that don’t want to have anything to do with you. The reason these people are having a hard time is because here, unlike the rest of the United States, social status is based on what I call familiarity rather than merit. It is about who knows you and who you know rather than your accomplishments or your stellar personality. If you are in New York City and you are an attractive interesting person with a good job, congratulations you are hot stuff. That wouldn’t necessarily be the case in the South. You could easily feel like a total outcast down here. Now this seems arbitrary, unfair, and backward to people looking in from the outside, but perhaps if we take a closer look we might find that this system isn’t as silly as it seems and we may even find that it is preferable.

One of my favorite books of all time is The Republic by Plato. In it Socrates outlines what would be necessary to create an ideal society. In describing what the guardians of that society ought to be like, he compares them to dogs. They ought to love what is familiar to them and to hate that which is unknown. Oddly enough, Socrates also says that a dog is like a philosopher because he is a lover of what is known (He is a provincial) and therefore, like the philosopher, is a lover of knowledge.

“well-bred dogs are perfectly gentle to their familiars and acquaintances, and the reverse to strangers”

“Would not he who is fitted to be a guardian, besides the spirited nature, need to have the qualities of a philosopher?”

“Why, a dog, whenever he sees a stranger, is angry; when an acquaintance, he welcomes him, although the one has never done him any harm, nor the other any good. Did this never strike you as curious?

The matter never struck me before; but I quite recognise the truth of your remark.
And surely this instinct of the dog is very charming;—your dog is a true philosopher.

Why?

Why, because he distinguishes the face of a friend and of an enemy only by the criterion of knowing and not knowing. And must not an animal be a lover of learning who determines what he likes and dislikes by the test of knowledge and ignorance?

Most assuredly.

And is not the love of learning the love of wisdom, which is philosophy?”

It may seem counter-intuitive to compare a provincial hound to a lover of universal truth and knowledge, but I believe that Socrates was on to something here. I will leave it to you to ponder that mystery. The point I am trying to make is that Southerners are like dogs in the way of loving what is known and hating that which is unknown. While we are a supposedly hospitable people, and many of us are when we are trying to be, we must also admit that when we aren’t we may find ourselves growling at strangers and saving our most tender affections for those we know best. The stranger may be a better person than the one we know, but still we will stick with our own. The stranger may be a real stand-up guy. The stranger may even be acceptable to us, but the greatest advantage we always give to the one that we know.

Now how exactly is this system reasonable? Why do I find provincial bonds and affections preferable to merited ones? Before that is answered, know that any social hierarchy isn’t going to be purely merit based or familiarity based, but will be some mixture of the two. However, in order to find out which one should be dominant and which system is preferable, we need to take each element and isolate it. We need to examine each as if it were the only factor in determining a person’s social standing.

First of all, familiarity is more of an unconditional form of social recognition whereas merit is not. Imagine you move to a new city where people come and go on a regular basis. If you are young, outgoing, friendly, and just plain have it together, you may find yourself quickly meeting the approval of other people like yourself. Having a history with someone doesn’t count for anything because no one stays in the same place long enough for it to occur. You may be elated at all the new friends you are making and how sharply your social stock is trending upward. Who could possibly want to live in a backward place like the South? The people in this city don’t care about where I come from, what I’ve done in my past, or who I know. They are less judgmental, more accepting, and just better people when you get down to it. Are they though? If something is quickly gained, it can also be quickly lost. What if something were to happen to your career? What if you were injured or became seriously ill? Will those same people still care who you are when you no longer have anything to offer them? When you become a burden to them? Why would anyone trouble themselves about a person they only met a short time ago? Why would they care about a stranger? Down here people get sick, injured, or fall on hard times and the community will root for them, pray for them, and pull together. Why? It is because they are known. They are familiar and close to the heart. They have a history and they are a part of those who know them. The more you are known and the better you are known, the more people will still give a damn when your merit based value fails you.

Familiarity occurs in relation to other people over long periods of time. Merit assesses people as individuals and thus ignores human social value. We are social creatures and therefore a large part of our value to others is based on whether or not we are members of the same group. My value to another person immediately increases once he recognizes that we have a particular group identity in common. Now there are all kinds of groups to which we can belong. Some of these group identifications are trivial. These are memberships which can be obtained and disregarded rather easily, like identifying with people who dress in a certain manner, listen to a certain kind of music, or are a fan of a particular team. There are others which are innate and cannot be quickly taken up or discarded like nationality, race, family, or religion. In addition there are other unchangeable parts of our identity: where you went to high-school, the neighborhood in which you grew up, the children you played with when you were young, the children your parents played with when they were young and so forth. If we don’t put value on these parts of our identity and if we primarily associate with people, who by nature of not belonging to these groups, also put no value on them, this value will be lost. Not only will that value go unaccounted, if we ignore it thoroughly enough, eventually these parts of who we are will die and be forever lost. In choosing where to live, who to marry, and how to raise our children we are either perpetuating or ceasing certain identities in the next generation. Associating and giving social recognition based on merit rather than familiarity ignores these identifications.

With this in mind we must also take into consideration that, if everyone started to devalue these aspects of who they were, then eventually the groups themselves would disappear. The gate-keepers of our modern cultural and political atmosphere use Orwellian buzz-words like “Diversity” and “Multiculturalism” religiously, but how do you think the diversity of peoples and cultures in this world came about in the first place? It certainly wasn’t by being “Open” and “Tolerant” to anything and everything that came along. It was by being exclusive and by placing value on one’s own. Undiscriminating acceptance of the other is in reality just a form of adulteration and if it goes unchecked is extremely destructive. The great irony is that when politicians, bureaucrats, and media-figures, champion “Diversity” they are almost always bringing about something that will in fact lead to the opposite, uniformity and blandness. What we end up with is a godless, sexless, and deracinated modern consumer with no sense of home or identity. We have cities filled with millions of people who have no history in common, people who couldn’t possibly understand one another or feel at home with one another. They are, each of them, a modern day Babel. These cities are filled with those who have suppressed hostilities toward one another. We have nations coming together whose ancestors have warred against each another for centuries. Do you think that animosity just goes away? It can be suppressed and ignored, but it is still part of who we are. We carry the past inside us whether we realize it or not. No wonder modern man is isolated and depressed; he has been disconnected from that to which he belongs and thrown into a den of foreigners. This is the trend of the Western World and it is a trend that has always been at odds with the Southern mindset. We have been forced into Modernity against our will, but we will prevail by holding fast to what is known.

All this being said, merit does have its place in the context of familiarity and I do think there is a place here for outsiders. However, it takes both time and patience. The South is where you go when you are ready to settle in for the long haul and find a home. In the South, reputation and recognition are built by consistently displaying meritorious behavior over time and in the context of a community. Our reputations are not only tied with our own behavior but also the behavior of our family in generations past. Unlike the American ideal this system is far less individualistic, but it is also in keeping with more traditional and stable forms of social organization. Also, despite the cynical comments I often hear, having money does not necessarily ensure a high social standing in the South. A person must also be active in their church, treat others justly, and use their money tastefully. The members of the Southern upper-class, not unlike the British landed gentry or Dutch nobility, are among the finest, gentlest, and well-bred people that can be found the world over. As for those who might make their home here I would ask, are you tired of hustle and bustle of the metropolis? Are you tired of living without community? Are you tired of being surrounded by unfamiliar people, people who don’t know you? Are you tired of living in a lonely and rootless world? Then at heart you are a Southerner and I would like to extend my welcome to you. Just remember it may take time for everyone else to come around. It may take years, decades even but it will be worth it. It is the natural way to live. I would go so far to say that it is how we were created to live. Be patient and determined and you will prevail.

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