The phalanx

laidnyc wrote a very interesting post recently about his thoughts regarding an impending usurpation of the 'Sphere by those who seek to hijack our mad little corner of the world:
In ancient times, walled cities were built to protect against invading tribes. As populations grew, walls were built outwards in concentric circles. If they were attacked, the people withdrew behind the outermost wall. If that wall was breached, they would withdraw within the next wall, and so on, until they were forced into the center, the most heavily guarded part of the city: The Citadel. The Citadel contained all the town’s treasures and housed the most important people: the king, nobles, officers. Defense of the Citadel was the key to the city’s survival: as long as it could be held, the rest of the city could be recaptured and rebuilt. 
So what is the manosphere’s citadel? What must be defended at all costs? 
Chateau Heartiste. 
You may not like the answer, but there it is. Almost all other manosphere blogs do not matter in the least. Sturgeon’s Law defined. Now, people always have some minor gripe about CH: christians don’t like that he’s against marriage, pussies don’t like that he’s racist, reactionaries don’t like that he doesn’t speak out against suffrage, and some people hold against him that his writing quality declined a little since 2011.  But look at the cumulative: There is no greater entry point for the curious man, no better archive, no blog more skilled and entertaining at truth telling, nobody overlaps the various worlds of truth better, nobody reduces the opposition to point and sputter better than CH. He doesn’t sell products or ads or spam affiliate links. Nobody produces more value for so little cost.
With the greatest possible respect to laidnyc, I must disagree on two points.

First- and this is strictly a matter of personal opinion- I'd say that the Manosphere's real thought leader is Vox Day. I say again, that's just my personal opinion, and I come to that conclusion mostly because that's how I got into the 'Sphere. I used to be a squishy right(ish)-leaning centrist. When I ran into Vox's blog sometime in late 2007, I was at first quite annoyed at what a cocksure jerk he seemed to be. But then I actually started reading what he writes, and I realised that it's simply impossible to argue with his logic. In terms of writing style and panache, sure, Roissy has him beat six ways to Sunday. But in terms of intellectual heft and intelligence, there is no one else in the 'Sphere who produces anything like that kind of quality. Vox has been instrumental in changing my mind about a great many things, including economics, religion, and socio-sexual relations. Roissy focuses on very specific topics, and does a phenomenal job covering them; Vox covers a much broader range of topic, and does an equally excellent job.

The funny thing is, though, that knowing Vox (and I don't, personally), he does not give a flying proverbial what I think about his writing. (Or what anyone else thinks, I imagine.) I have no doubt that Roissy thinks the same thing- either you like what he writes, or you don't, and if you don't, that's your problem. Neither of them needs any of us to defend them. Vox most assuredly doesn't need anyone to defend him- he is perfectly capable of doing so on his own, and on many memorable occasions in the last five years I have seen him do precisely that on his blog, by tearing some midwit critic apart in the most brutally efficient manner.

This brings me to my second and much broader point. There is a reason why the rabbits keep trying to invade this haven. It's not because they are strong. It is because we are strong, and they are weak. It is because our ideas make sense, and theirs do not.

I have been greatly honoured over the past year to meet a couple of the 'Sphere bloggers in person- The Observer last year, and Matt Forney this year. Neither man is weak in any way. Nor are others like Halfbreed or J Sploosh or D&P or countless others. None of these individuals wants, needs, or asks for the support of others. We write for the pleasure of writing, just as we live for the joy of living.

I am not for one moment saying that it is wrong or indecent for one of our own to ask that we support another- hell, I'll probably kick a donation to Roissy myself, since I like what he writes. I am simply saying that such a thing is not really necessary, because that is not the source of our strength.

The rabbits fear us because individually, we are strong- and together, we are stronger. And that, ultimately, is why they won't win.

An apt metaphor for the workings of the 'Sphere would probably be the classical Spartan phalanx. The Spartans were the most feared soldiers of their- and possibly any- era precisely because while they were individually terrifying warriors, when banded together, side by side, they were virtually unmatched. They fought for what they believed in- for ancient rights and freedoms, for martial virtues, for their lands and their people. They lived lives of honour and discipline (yes, I realise I am glossing over certain ugly details here). An individual Spartiate was a citizen-soldier who was a truly formidable opponent in battle- but when banded together with his brothers in the impenetrable unity of the phalanx, he became unstoppable.

It is the same with the 'Sphere. Individually, each of us has strengths and weaknesses. We all think differently, we act differently, and we believe different things. But on the important issues, we are united, we are strong, and we act with common purpose. We believe in ancient freedoms; we support martial virtues; we argue for what we believe in.

That is why they fear us- because we are strong. That is why they seek to tear us down- because despite our vast and numerous differences, we are still united.

And that is why they will never succeed.

Through Knowledge, Victory
Through Victory, Unity
Through Unity, Peace
Honour, Valour, Allegiance, Excellence
Today, Tomorrow, Forever
From Earth, For Earth
Together We Rise
Together We Prevail
Forward Unto Dawn
-- Adapted from the poem "Forward Unto Dawn"


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