Does Stoicism Extinguish the Fire of Life?
An honor culture can only function in a society in which there is a shared code — clear rules, standards, and expectations for interaction and engagement — and within a closed community of equals. But as the Roman Republic transformed into a sprawling, porous, far-flung empire, its society became increasingly large, complex, and diverse, and “The citizen of Rome became a citizen of the world,” this common, level playing field disintegrated.
In an honor culture, you can only be insulted by someone you consider an equal. But in Roman society, discerning who deserved this level of respect, and whose slights to take seriously, became increasing difficult and unclear. If someone possessed a different set of values, was a citizen still honor-bound to care what they thought?
Early Romans had shared rules of engagement — boundaries that checked their competitions and kept them civil. In the greater chaos of the empire, in the absence of shared norms, citizens made the rules up as they went. It was every man for himself. In fact, the less a man cared about honor, the more unable he was to be shamed, the more strategic advantage he gained. Early Romans had not played to win, but for the sake of engaging in a good fight; now, citizens were prepared to win at any cost.
the noble loser
political gain > spiritual
Romans thus came to see contests as unequal and destructive. Those who engaged in competitions under the old assumption of participating on a level playing field, found instead that the odds were stacked, and this gap between expectation and reality engendered great bitterness. As did the fact that it seemed more and more men began receiving commendations, laurels of honor, who hadn’t actually earned them.
no meritocracy or scant
As a result, Romans became disillusioned and began to withdraw from the contest, from active engagement with their fellow citizens and civic life. “When competition was insupportable, then paralysis, the desire to hide, and the desire to be insensitive and autonomous became widespread cultural phenomena. With the loss of the good contest and the rules that framed it, cold, callous, brazen shamelessness became a cure for shame.”
hopelesssness (a sin if you check with Catholics, despair)
“individualism” ego rationalisation, vanity (good for self and appearance’s sake, not for thede)
“Shamelessness” for the Romans did not necessarily mean, as it does for us, to be unvirtuous, but rather to literally be incapable of being shamed. That is, the shameless care nothing for what others think of them.
spiritually vapid celebrities or role models
It always starts with the men doesn’t it?
Weak personal morals/actions of men, appeal to exception and excuses, weak moral authority > no honour > loss of respect to other men and all women, no social power, nobody listens. The levy breaks, the dam bursts. “If it’s okay when they do, why not me?” Monkey see, monkey do. Children don’t listen what you say, they witness you.
A hierarchy of modern men would rank far below late Romans, but how often do they virtue signal against men who’d at least risked death in battle? Like, STFU. They could build houses and fires. They were useful. Women hate gammas for the fake signals like that. The snarky “I’m so much better” – then DO something, DO anything useful!
Fathers should stick around to tell their sons this, it isn’t women’s business and we resent this novel pressure to kinda ‘mansplain’ to boys what they should already know as adults – STANDARDS.
Women who complain about the manchild are 100% right, there shouldn’t be a word! Nor mantrum! We shouldn’t understand what it means nor see it!
While today we tend to admire this kind of radical indifference to public opinion, to the Romans unbounded autonomy was the mark of a man whose energy had been drained, whose being had been destroyed;
libertarians are lazy, in practice
excuses to do less, altogether
as Cicero put it: “To take no heed of what other people think of you is the part not only of an arrogant man but, to be sure, of a dissolutus.” How could someone who remained unmoved even in the face of legitimate criticism, who refused to be ashamed even when confronted with their culpability, ever be trusted?
the shameless man, the attention-seeking psychopaths as role models based on short-term results
high time pref parasitism on society
[see Hare’s work]
Still, even Cicero, though himself a political leader, was sympathetic to the impulse to become callously disengaged, rhetorically asking, “what spirit trained in these times, ought not to become insensitive?” Elsewhere he quotes a line of Euripides: “If this mournful day were the first to dawn for me, had I not long sailed in such a sea of troubles, then there would be reason for anguish like that felt by a colt when the reins are first imposed and he bridles at the first touch of the bit. But now, broken by miseries, I am numb.”
it isn’t an excuse
it’s egocentric to assume the world must care about your trivial problems or bow to your whims, princess
Social media has even made men princesses who “need” their coffee and “need” a chest wax and “need” to take a selfie. Is all that really a need or are you an entitled brat?
Hollywood tells us stuff magically happens. That’s why people pay – to see the FICTION.
Reality doesn’t allow escapism but genetic suicide comes close. Moral self-destruction.
The Bible warns about disconnection of the spirit, it’s the ideal condition the Devil wants, all you have left is the animal body, hedonism. There’s no judgement or conscience or sense of higher things, basically Nietzsche’s abyss wasn’t death, it was hedonism. It leads to excuses for oneself – a form of moral relativism.
In this self-imposed withdrawal and “the collapse of conditions for healthy competition in ancient Rome . . . various strategies [had to be] devised by the Romans for creating a new emotional economy and redefining their spirit.” Said another way, “With the loss of the rules and conditions of the good contest, the entire language of honor ‘imploded’ and had to be ‘reconstructed.’”
oh yay critical theory
This reconstruction process would involve nothing less than a complete inversion of values, and produce multiple radiating effects on Roman society.
pride from shame
free from diseased
individual from alone
Honor centered around control, constraint, consistency; the ideal man becomes he who is poised, tranquil, disengaged. The passive values were elevated above the active.
Good for a society of strong defences, death for a society of weak ones, permitting invasion for shekels.
Virtue < Virtue signal
I can be a slut, if I criticize sluts.
Moral hypocrisy, hallmark of degeneracy. The bottom of honour’s barrel. Drunken chambering.
Soldier becomes selfish slutty peacock, basically. It’s Calhoun but IRL. Needn’t be slutty with the opposite sex either, people forget that. The homosexuality rates are an outcrop of this noxious social weed where we don’t expect successful men to marry faithfully.
Shame is GOOD and JUST and NECESSARY for civilization.
“judge not lest ye be judged” refers to using the same societal standard for the entire society i.e. NO exceptions based on class, wealth, sob story etc etc
It does NOT say “never judge” – notice that?
Double standards are the first weakness e.g. cheating in sports.
Read the rest yourself, it’s jarring.
Fifth, as Romans collectively withdrew from participating in a contest culture, they ironically began to lionize the individual who continued to play the game, and did so with a “winner-take-all” disregard for the old rules. The “man not prepared to lose” was idolized.
Instead of competition being something in which every average citizen took part, the masses mounted the bleachers, to cheer on, and live vicariously through, the few “gladiators” still in the arena. As spectators, they both worried over and felt excited by the rise of would-be tyrants who were willing to crush anyone who stood in their way; the thrill of the cult of victory,
infantilising the criminal
siding with the anti-hero
sports substitute for war
idolatry cult – celebrity role models
Cult of voyeurism, we even have that with fucking now.
There was a rarely mentioned line in Fight Club, “this isn’t love, it’s sports-fucking”.
That’s it, right there. That is the essence of the degenerate. The sick men who look up to the unreal Tyler ignore the fact it’s satire, it’s mocking them. But they are shameless. They make all sacred things worldly.
Teenagers are brainwashed but anyone older who views it feels a little disgust, if their conscience, moral compass functions. Tyler says “God hates us”, he means himself. His God is the Narrator, and does hate the impossible fake* ideal. Tyler is Ikea Model Man, a product of society and NOT a person. Americans in particular miss all this subtle irony, since it’s like an ego play. He remodels his kitchen, then his reputation. It’s ridiculous, a morality play. If you could be transplanted into the “perfect” body of a warrior, you’d still be a coward. It’s your soul, your character.
How many buff gym dudes with tatts nowadays would refuse the draft more than the scrawniest Boomer?
Some Boomer-bashing comes from weaker men. Would Tyler go to war? But he runs a military cult.
Tyler knew he was a character, from wall breaks, and would be destroyed in the end like a Devil on the shoulder.
A mannequin of postmodern immoral “manliness”. A man with the appearance of a God and the low morals of a Devil.
*worldly, hedonistic, materialistic, VAPID, Tyler is all-looks
Vapid: I don’t need women ….but here’s Marla, fuck capitalism ….but start a business, I have depression and no purpose ….except I’m energetic and obsessed**, who cares about appearances but punch my face, he’s basically a bloody thot, come on. Well ‘ard, he call them here, like a chav. Can you imagine what he’d do alone? Nothing, he has nothing. It’s like James Bond, if he can’t shoot it or seduce it, he isn’t interested.
Edgy McEdgelord, Puncheyface Champion.
Shocked he didn’t get Marla to strangle him during sex with apron-strings.
Print it, Hollywood!
A chav with better threads.
Modern men are sports-fucking civilization to death. No love, totally sterile of meaning. All about the cult of victory and selfies. Muh “men invented civilization” bullshit is proof, number 1 white men (and women) and 2 get off your arse then and at least maintain it!
It’s like the son of a famous gardener standing before a pile of weeds and bracken, pontificating how it’s HIS garden and it won awards and it’s HIS HIS ALL HIS.
On behalf of all women: STFU.
Be useful and still, STFU.
Be Spartan with your words, please.
** fucking uwu lad