I haven’t finished reading a book in three days for a while. I think I did Jack Donovan’s A More Complete Beast in a few days, but this was partially a matter of its short length (it was only 120 pages).
I finished the 195-page Bronze-Age Mindset by the pseudonymous Bronze-Age Pervert (henceforth BAP), in 3 days flat. Suffice to say, I have not read a more enjoyable work of non-fiction in years.
Peter Bredon at Counter-Currents compared it to Nietzsche via Hunter S. Thompson:
If Hunter S. Thompson had written Thus Spake Zarathustra, or William S. Burroughs had not just pressed The Decline of the Weston his Beat pals but had actually written the book itself, perhaps amusing himself and sparing his family any opprobrium by using the name of an obscure German high-school teacher he might have met abroad, “Oswald Spengler,” this would be that book.
For example, the author (hereinafter “BAP”) as Thompson: “There was loose vampire bat in lobby that had flown in, but this normal.”
He isn’t wrong. Mishima, Ragnar Redbeard, and Donovan also come to mind, but it BAP is first, foremost, and most thoroughly Nietzschean. Bronze-Age Mindset is, in my opinion, actually on par with the great German philosopher himself — in style, in insight, in style of insight, and in nature: both Mycenean Greeks born out of time and place.
BAP touches on all sorts of subjects relative to the modern age, but his central thesis can be summarized fairly simply. He argues that there is a biological hierarchy, and that the great things in life — science, art, valiant action, etc — are the byproduct of great men left more or less to their own devices. Their greatness is not cultivated by civilization; it is instinctual, in their blood. Civilization, in fact, squelches this by denying and oppressing our inner natures (not just of great men, of course, but that is the most tragic part). Boys and young men need un-owned space in which they can develop their natural powers, and modern, global civilization ensures that there is almost no un-owned space. In my opinion, one of BAP’s best little insights is on the subject of suburbs, which almost everyone hates, but few can say why they hate:
Too much is already said about the evils of suburbs, but I think the danger of such places for modern civilized man is so great that it must be repeated. On the other hand it’s important not to take this too far: the Europeans live in the center of their cities and are politically and socially in just as bad or worse situations. Still, I think it’s easier for them to fix their problems, and to avert the greatest dangers, should they arrive. It’s easier because in these places the rightful citizens of the nations still own their cities. I don’t see any evidence that the tax base of America moved to the suburbs by choice. Their inner cities were taken away from them not, as is imagined, by blacks, but by the politicians—and their handlers—who found it more profitable to replace middle class citizens with an underclass. The space to which they’ve been segregated and to which they have to “commute” is I think a form of absolute hell to raise children in, especially boys. There is no freedom of motion except to regimented activities, they are always watched by caretakers of some kind. The places are of incredible ugliness, which takes away also from the will to discover new things at all. There are no nooks and corners where boys can form gangs, be away from prying eyes of parents and others, and have the feeling that they are exploring and owning territory, as there is in the city and in the countryside. America has successfully portioned off its historical population, its rightful citizens, and its tax base, in work camps and dormitories. That is what the modern American “city” is: an economic zone arranged much like a work-camp, or concentration-camp if you want. It would be trivial for the French security services to shut off access to the banlieues infested by turds, and it would be just as trivial for American security services to shut off access to the suburbs and hold the middle class by the neck. I think the reason the suburbs are hateful to the raising of boys is also the reason they are most objectionable in general, namely that while in the countryside or the city a restive population would be able to hold their territory and challenge a power should the need arise, such a thing is impossible in the suburbs. Suburbs are living arrangement for slaves and subjects.
I grew up in a suburb myself, but it was an older suburb (built in the 60s), where the houses had sizeable yards and were not too close together. Still, the neighborhood boys did not hang out in these yards, but in an expansive and heavily-wooded greenbelt, which we called “the jumps,” after a few dirt bike jumps built there by a previous generation of neighborhood boys. This green belt was our escape and our playground, our own little forest passage, haunted by owls and rumors of mountain lions, covered in fallen logs, deep ferns, mossy firs, and deer-trails through blackberries that we came to know inside and out.
Modern suburbs do not have these kinds of spaces. They are composed of large homes, spaces about six inches from each other, with tiny little fake-grass dog runs, lame little “parks” designed more for mothers than for children, and fenced off, barren stormwater drainage ponds in place of the sorts of wild spaces that as children, we were able to take possession of and enjoy. All the spaces are already owned and controlled, and so no development of one’s nature-given talents can happen. Everything is artificial, “fake and ghey.”
In fact, one of the more fascinating passages is BAP’s speculative theory on the origin of the modern “queen,” the flamboyant homosexual:
The peculiar “history” of how the queen develops, the modern effeminate homosexual, is very telling. The problem of the modern homosexual is revealing because it is the model according to which many other kinds of higher life have been thwarted and warped into something else. Don’t be fooled by propagandists: the modern homo has nothing to do with ancient “predatory bisexuality” or with the pederastic rites found in many societies. On one hand such people as the modern queen have always existed but on the other, there are many specimens now who become this, who would not have before. It is very unfortunate event in life of animal. Camille Paglia says that the modern homosexual is the product of the pressures of post-industrial life. Her model for this is that a very sensitive young boy, open to aesthetic experience of all kinds, maybe the kind of slightly neurotic and artistic boy that a century ago would have experienced synaesthesia; such boy is turned off by the horseplay and “rough” masculinity of his brothers and father and other boys his age. The distancing from this masculinity is concurrent with his becoming over-close with his mother, idolizing the feminine: upon puberty, the distance or fear from masculinity leads him to eroticize it, while he turns away from women, either because of too much familiarity, or too much awe. In this she is only half right, and the other half of the story I discovered from an alien mind whose teachings have been spread among some of the frogs. His name Harro MJ, but I think this is false name. I tell some of his ideas here as best I understood. He tells I believe his own story, or someone he knows: he tells of how modern world corrupted his nature through stricture and turned him into a homo. But I think his story speaks to many others, who didn’t turn into ghey, but who have nevertheless been disfigured in some other way… by the same force. Now, Paglia’s restatement of Freud is correct, but she misses an important element of the story, which is why such a boy turns away from the masculinity of his peers in the first place. It is not horseplay or the roughness of male competition as such that makes him turn away, but the utterly fake or artificial character of such displays, usually, in our time. Such boy perceives what his peers don’t, the conditional and entirely dependent character of life in our age. It is not the masculinity, the competition for status among men, the physical roughness, that makes him turn away… but the fact that all such play is happening in already owned space. It is this aspect of our time that is crucial to understand. When I speak of something like owned space, it must not remain mere word. When you understand something: I mean you must see and feel it like you would a landscape you know from youth, how to navigate all its nooks, the different heights of earth, the banks of streams, where the trees are and how it feels inside them, how long it takes walking from this or that group of beech to the abandoned factory, so that the map is already in your body. This is only way to really understand something. I believe boy like this is one of the types that sees through the charade the lords of lies have dangled in front, the shadow-play to dazzle the many, and he is turned off, maybe not by manliness, but the buffoonish, deluded character of modern masculinity. The defeated male that is turned into a peon and a neutered beast for women and hidden masters is a terrible thing to see. The jockeying for status, the physical fights, the adventures boys are supposed to have in a state of nature…all of this is in nature meant as preparation for life, for a life of conquest and expansion. Roman teenagers of patrician class were sent already on missions on behalf of Empire abroad. Modern adult Western male seeks permission to watch other men playing sports, quaff vegetable oil relish, beg for “coochie” in simulated intercourse, masturbation with plastic on dick. Precisely a character born for conquest, for expansion, a precocious type of boy who seeks real development and the real domination of the space around him, who understands in his blood that play and manliness are to this end, precisely such a boy will have his expectations about life crushed and thwarted as soon as his eyes open. This may be around the age of six or seven, but it sometimes happens earlier. Such boy then comes to have only contempt for those among his peers who, not seeing the subjection we are in, continue under their delusion and accept the breaking that the lords of shadows begin on the human spirit around this age of awakening—by nine or ten, the “education” is almost already complete in our time. They submit to the yoke and their sham simulated masculinity is now a parody of the true manliness, which in a state of ascent develops into the will to actually dominate space around oneself, not into a caricature for the benefit of women. But this domination is not possible when space is already owned. This intuition of owned space comes on one very early: with eyes open, it’s like an evil spirit inhabits everything. I think there are many types of energetic and perceiving boys who reach this stage, who are turned off by the moral and biological self-castration of their conventional peers, who sense the suffocating limitations of modern space. The rest of this story is more particular to the boy who as response becomes a homo or trap, and Paglia is right about that part—masculinity rejected simply because of distance from other boys in general, mostly as a result of a certain native over-sensitivity.
I’m not entirely positive that the pirate-morality BAP argues for follows from these observations, at least not exclusively. Intuitively, the achievement of greatness of spirit seems attainable through dedicated investment and sacrifice, not merely as an incidental byproduct of instinct. But I also haven’t thought about this as deeply as BAP. Perhaps a subject to return to later.
Overall, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is enjoyable, educational, but above all, intensely motivating. Motivating to do what? Mostly, to care a little less, to work and enjoy the sun more, to develop natural propensities for intelligence, beauty, and charisma. But most of all, to think like a Greek, which means — to translate Nietzsche into modern vernacular — to see the white pill in the black pill.