This book begins with a treatise on free speech by Quintus Curtius.
He makes the point that we assume incorrectly that society will just get better and better; we assume that we will just become freer and freer, we see the tremendous improvement in human quality of life in the past hundred years of history recorded via grainy photographs, shaky news reel and newspaper clippings and we assume that it’s just going to get better but Quintus warns that progress is not our birthright.
It’s especially easy for young people with no children to assume that the nature of the world is just to get increasingly free over time, barring some extraordinary life experience it’s likely that over time all they’ve personally experienced is their freedom expanding.
We do associate the abstract idea of freedom with our concrete quality of life, consumer choice and the advent of new technologies making our lives more convenient and amusing. Since there is no sign of the Cambrian explosion of consumer options slowing, the idea of freedom contracting seems incomprehensible to most..
But Quintus writes
Time is as much a destroyer as a creator: and perhaps more of the former than the latter.
He makes the case that our society of unequaled freedoms wobbles on a knife’s edge and that there is a good chance that human rights will regress within our lifetimes I’ve long believed likewise that… human rights are antithetical to human nature.
Human nature is evolutionary — of course — and prone to devolve into brutal competition. Human nature is a strong man taking power, money, women and resources from those who he can by sword, law or guile. Human nature is a tribe being fiercely unsympathetic to an out group. Human nature is a syndicate of elites depriving the common people of the fruits of their labor. Human nature is a dictator depriving his people of the ability to defend themselves from their overreaches. Human nature is a ruling narrative stiffling and censoring dissenting voices.
Human rights are not something we deserve by default, human rights are a gift given to us by those before us who paid dearly for them in blood, sweat and ink and it’s a duty for us to maintain and pass them on to our own children.
As Quintus writes
Rights, once won, do not remain won forever.
He argues that free speech is our cornerstone human right that all other rights depend upon, he comments upon the shoddy maintenance of this foundational right by our institutions
Are we progressing ever upwards in our tolerance of free speech and a free press? Or are there more subtle, insidious ways of stifling free speech?
freedom of speech and the press is an absolute necessity for any forward-moving society.
The surveillance state is antithetical to the idea of freedom of speech,
In the first Matrix movie Morpheus tells Neo that 1999 was the peak of human civilization, after Neo takes the red pill he discovers that while technology has advanced exponentially human freedom has steeply declined and nearly been totally snuffed out. An analogy for the delicacy of human rights so apt that the film became the metaphor for men rising above their own visceral desires, revulsions and whims to grasp the fleeting nature of freedom.
It’s a bit of a conspiratorial premise, that some may call alarmist or fear mongering but the rest of the book is a memoir of the public demonization of Roosh V that pretty clearly shows how the cultural left is strangling free speech.
The author is a personal development guru, Internet entrepreneur and nomadic pickup artist. Which is kind of what I do, which is a career and lifestyle path that an increasing number of intelligent young men are choosing.
Men have an evolutionary motivation to spread their genes as far as possible and the modern world of budget travel has made it easier and more appealing than ever to chase the skirts beyond our national borders.
Men also have a motivation to build… something. For generations in the past it was building a family home, digging a well for the village or working on an old Porsche, our generation finds this same fulfillment in building online tribes and websites that attract the like minded, styling one’s self into a personal development guru which of course means that you have to be an Internet entrepreneur of some technical aptitude to communicate effectively.
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People are free to call us douchebags for the deviant lifestyle we’ve chosen but it’s human nature to try to figure out how to maximize hedonism while minimizing labor, they would be doing the exact same thing given the option.
The book follows the author as he goes on a speaking tour and hosts personal development meetups in several different cities in Europe and North America. Which doesn't exactly sound outrageously scandalous does it? Plenty of personal development gurus and pickup artists do tours. However, Roosh V, in addition to being a pioneer of this lifestyle is also a career courtier of scandal — he has an uncanny ability to piss off loud people and is a talented practitioner of the art of Internet trolling.
Because of his past writing in Canada the author becomes the target of a vicious media scandal. I read this book while I was also reading Trust Me, I’m Lying by Ryan Holiday and the Canadian outrage is a quintessential case how the “fake news” that the media manufactures become self fulfilling prophecies which manifest in the real world as violence. I recommend the two books together.
In the end…
Free speech wins, he’s able to hold all of his meetups. The Canadian police don’t throw him in jail and the worst the hysterical mob manage to do is throw a beer in his face.
What is now clear is that freedom of speech and the press exist merely as possibilities, and not as the absolute rights that they should be.
The book helped me to clarify my belief in radical and extreme free speech, otherwise known as free speech. Baring exceedingly clear examples of speech intended to cause violence (like a mafia boss ordering a hit) as culture unless we have an extreme level of free speech then inevitably the right will decline for everyone. Extreme free speech means that we will have hate preachers and “neo-nazis” along with gangsta rap music and really terrible comedians but it also means that we can use our free speech to ostracize and expose their bad ideas.
In the book he includes the full transcript of the speech he gave, here’s the crux of speech which sparked a controversy from coast to coast of the second largest country on Earth…
At any other point in history day to day life was likely a tremendous struggle for the individual man; he had to labor in a factory or a field for well over 10 hours a day just to put a little bit of bread and soup on the table. He was in constant mortal danger of the tribe from over the hill invading his territory and killing him. His freedom of vocation and recreation was limited to a very few options and there was always a high likelihood that his king or country would conscript him to go marching off in a suicidal war.
Fast forward to modern day life and we find a stark contrast in a man’s life; we suffer from diseases of superfluous comfort, we are exhausted from the decision fatigue of deciding between so many enjoyable ways to spend our time and our lives are so safe that out of boredom we invent risky sports and hobbies to participate in.
But there was one thing that was quite easy for the man of the past: courting and marrying a good wife. The hardness of life created all the incentives for women to be very feminine, virtuous and loyal. Women who didn’t marry a similarly virtuous and hard working man at a young age were literally not likely to survive.
Roosh V makes the point that the kind of loyal, wife material woman that was so prevalent in times past is now very rare and that the great struggle men face today is the holistic personal development necessary to find and attract a “unicorn” — woman who is young and attractive with good character that is unspoiled by cultural influences.
Every time period has a sacrifice, and the sacrifice that we have to make is not food, is not work, is not living in filth, but it’s quality relationships with women. (p. 150)
It now takes hundreds of hours of game work and self-improvement work to enter a sexual relationship with a girl who is good looking. Did your dad have to put in a hundred hours to meet your mom? My dad had to take a shower every day. (Laughter and clapping.) Is that enough now? (No.) (p. 146)
He goes on to describe the modern day necessity of the art of seduction
Their “natural” self will lead to reproductive failure without purposeful intervention that increases their attractiveness in the eyes of women who (p. 199)
“Game” is a collection of socially-based tactics and reproducible behaviors that increase a man’s sexual attractiveness to women (pp. 199–200)
You can read the rest of the speech in the book, it’s mostly NOT about clever ways to pickup and have one night stands with women from bars or clubs. It’s mostly about how to long term become a better man that can enter a relationship with a great woman.
That was the secret sentiment communicated at these meetups that so many people in Canada did so much, so ineffectively to prevent from happening. You may totally disagree with this sentiment, I’m not sure if I’m 100% on board with it either, but if you think about it, it’s really a useful message…
- It’s a call for personal development.
- It’s a call for adapting oneself to the cultural environment.
- It’s a call to rediscover the visceral experience of being a man by unplugging from the technological and ideological matrix
Which brings me to a nuanced point…
There’s certain false beliefs that serve us very well
Like recently I was watching an interview with the author Sam Harris and he said that libertarian free will is not a real thing.
Libertarian free will is the idea that we can choose our socio-economic position in life. That we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps from poverty to become successful. Sam Harris makes a pretty good case why Libertarian free will is an illusion.
I’m not sure, I’m not convinced either way; however, what I know for sure is that I would definitely rather live in a society and have friends that believe in Libertarian free will than the opposite. If an accurate social science experiment could be conducted on different cultures I’m sure it would find that the cultures that believed the most in Libertarian free will were the most healthy and had the happiest people. If Sam Harris is right (and I suspect he is) Libertarian free will is a very useful illusion we should embrace.
Now you may totally disagree with Roosh’s sentiment, you may believe something more mainstream like that courtship is simply more difficult for both men and women in the modern age.
You may disagree with the premise of the book, that we have lost free speech and that this will lead to the decline of the most advanced culture this planet has ever seen. But logically you must see how, like Libertarian free will, Roosh’s ideas will lead both to personal development and a more free, healthy society. At least you will after reading this book.