Jack Donovan (born 1974) is a masculist, writer, and speaker. Beginning in 2010, Donovan was an influential figure in the alt-right until he disavowed the movement in 2017. He also formerly led a chapter of the Norse neopagan Wolves of Vinland, and was a member of the group from 2014 to 2018.
The Way of Men (2012)
- Masculinity is about being a man within a group of men. Above all things, masculinity is about what men want from each other.
- The Way of Men is The Way of The Gang
- For decades, people have been talking about a "crisis" of masculinity. Our leaders have created a world in spite of men, a world that refuses to accept who men are and doesn't care what they want. Our world asks men to change "for the better," but offers men less of value to them than their fathers and grandfathers had.
- Boys and girls don't pair off at birth and scurry off to a dank cave together. Humans have always been social animals. We live in cooperative groups. Our bodies sort us out into groups of males or females. We interact socially as members of one group or the other. These groups aren't arbitrary or cultural- they're basic and biological. Males have to negotiate male and female groups as males. Males aren't simply reacting to female groups as males. We react to other males, as males. Who we are has a lot to do with how we see ourselves in relationship to other males, as members of the male group.
- Pg 1
- If there are females in your group, they will have plenty of hard and necessary work to do. Everyone will have to pull their own weight, but the hunting and fighting is almost always going to be up to the men. When lives are on the line, people will drop the etiquette of equality and make that decision again and again because it makes the most sense.
- Pg 9
- Without strength, masculinity becomes something else- a different concept. Strength is not an arbitrary value assigned by human cultures. Increased strength is one of the fundamental biological differences between males and females. Aside from basic reproductive plumbing, greater strength is one of the most prominent, historically consequential and consistently measurable physical differences between males and females.
- Pg 25
- Men who have more muscle tend to have and maintain higher testosterone levels, and men who have higher testosterone levels tend to have an easier time getting bigger and stronger. Men who increase their testosterone levels- either through training and diet or via artificial means- tend to look more masculine. Put differently, men with more muscle look less like most women, and more like the least androgynous men. This has absolutely nothing to do with culture. There is no human culture where men who are weak are considered manlier while women who are muscular are considered more womanly. The importance of strength varies from society to society (usually in some relationship to available technologies and the kind of work that is required of average people) but strength has been a masculinity quality always and everywhere.
- Pg 27
- Courage is an animating spirit of masculinity, and it is crucial to any meaningful definition of masculinity. Courage and strength are synergetic virtues. An overabundance of one is worth less without and adequate amount of the other.
- Pg 41
- Honor is a man's reputation for strength, courage and mastery within the context of an honor group comprised primarily of other men. Stated as a masculine virtue: Honor is concern for one's reputation for strength, courage and mastery within the context of an honor group comprised primarily of other men.
- Pg 57
- The tactical problems presented by the appearance of weakness as a group explain, to some extent, the visceral response many have to displays of flamboyant effeminacy. The word effeminacy is a bit misleading, because this really isn't about women. The dislike of what is commonly called effeminacy is about male status and practical concerns about tactical vulnerabilities, and it is more accurate to discuss dishonor in terms of deficient masculinity and flamboyant dishonor.
- Pg 58
- Flamboyant dishonor is not a failure of strength or courage. Men who are flamboyant dishonorable are flagrant in their disregard for the esteem of their male peers. What we often call effeminacy is a theatrical rejection of masculine hierarchy and manly virtues. Masculinity is religious, and flamboyantly dishonorable men are blasphemers. Flamboyant dishonor is an insult to the core values of the male group. Flamboyant dishonor is an openly expressed lack of concern for one's reputation for strength, courage and mastery within the context of an honor group comprised primarily of other men... Flamboyant dishonor is a little bit like walking into that room full of men who are trying to get better at jiu-jitsu and insisting that they stop what they are doing and pay attention to your fantastic new tap-dancing routine. The flamboyantly dishonorable man seeks attention for something the male group doesn't value, or which isn't appropriate at a given time.
- Pg 62
- Boys are scolded even for their violent fantasies- for the violent stories they want to hear, the violent books they want to read, the violent games they want to play. Male "demonism" is punished, pathologized, and stigmatized from cradle to campus. Even the good guys are treated like bad guys for ganging up, for being "xenophobic," patriotic, or too exclusive. Video games, fighting sports, and movies are decried for being "too violent." Football is deemed "too dangerous" by many overprotective parents. Everyone is supposed to agree that violence is never the answer- unless that violence comes from the cutting edge of the State's ax.
- Pg 105
- A metaphor for what happens to men living in a secure peace of plenty like your own, the bonobo way looks eerily familiar. Aren't most men today spoiled momma's boys without father figures, without hunting or fighting or brother-bonds, whose only masculine outlet is promiscuous sex?
- pg 118
- War against men are known to fewer and fewer of us. Mandatory conscription for the Vietnam War ended the year before I was born. Since then, the United States has effectively created a class of professional contract soldiers who do the government's fighting in faraway lands. Average men know more about collegiate basketball than they know about a given overseas conflict.
- Pg 118
- The human body is made to work hard. When there is no work to do, our physical health deteriorates. Doctors have to tell people to walk like it is some kind of breakthrough exercise technology. Once, I watched in awe as a personal trainer authoritatively led a pair of forty something adults on a walk around their own neighborhood. He was a seventy-five dollar an hour human dog-walker.
- Men may be natural risk-takers, but the increased confidence and surefootedness that we are recognizing as manly courage is the product of constant testing. The chest-thumping of untested men is hardly courage; Hobbes called it "vain-glory", because "a well grounded confidence begetteth attempt; whereas the supposing of power does not." Or to put it in the words of Tyler Durden, "How much can yo know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?" Modern men are not merely lacking initiation into manhood, as some have suggested, they are lacking meaningful traits of strength and courage. Few modern men will truly "know themselves," as men, in the way that their forefathers did.
- Pg 136
On Being a Good Man
- There is a difference between being a good man and being good at being a man. Being a good man has to do with ideas about morality, ethics, religion, and behaving productively within a given civilizational structure. Being good at being a man is about showing other men that you are the kind of guy they’d want on their team if the shit hits the fan.
- To protect and serve their own interests, the wealthy and privileged have used feminists and pacifists to promote a masculinity that has nothing to do with being good at being a man, and everything to do with being what they consider a “good man.” Their version of a good man is isolated from his peers, emotional, effectively impotent, easy to manage, and tactically inept.
How To Start A Gang
- If you want to follow The Way of Men, if you want to advance a return to honor and manly virtue, if you want to steel yourself against an uncertain future—start a gang.
- Gang - A bonded, hierarchical coalition of males allied to assert their interests against external forces. A gang is essentially a male group identity, it’s an us. It’s a go-to group of men allied against them.
The Bonobo Masturbation Society
- The goal of civilization seems to be to eliminate work and risk, but the world has changed more than we have. Our bodies crave work and sex, our minds crave risk and conflict.
- In the future that globalists and feminists have imagined, for most of us there will only be more clerkdom and masturbation. There will only be more apologizing, more submission, more asking for permission to be men.
- How long will men tolerate this state of relative dishonor, knowing that their ancestors were stronger men, harder men, more courageous men— and knowing that this heritage of strength survives in them, but that their own potential for manly virtue, for glory, for honor, will be wasted?
A Sky Without Eagles (2014)
- All governments - left, right or other - are by their very nature coercive. They have to be. A rule not ultimately backed by the threat of violence is merely a suggestion.
- Violence is Golden
- If every man lays down his arms and refuses to pick them up, the first man to pick up can do whatever he wants.
- Violence is Golden
- Our complex society relies on proxy violence to the extent that many average people in the private sector can wander through life without really having to understand or think deeply about violence, because we are removed from it. We can afford to perceive it at a distant, abstract problem solved through high-minded strategy and social programming. When violence comes a knocking, we simply make a call, and the police come to "stop" the violence.
- Violence is golden
- George Orwell wrote in his "Notes on Nationalism" that, for the pacifist, the truth that, "Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others committing violence on their behalf," is obvious but impossible to accept.
- Violence is Golden
- If we feel less threatened today, if we feel as though we live in a non-violent society, it is only because we have ceded so much power over our daily lives to the state. Some call this reason, but we might just as well call it laziness. A dangerous laziness, it would seem, given how little most people say they trust politicians.
- Violence is Golden
- With no more frontiers to explore.... the modern, effeminate, bourgeois "First World" states can no longer produce new honor cultures.
- The basic honor code of the savage -bravery for men, chastity for women- is still recognizable beneath the surfaces of the popular culture that has done so much to efface it. If you doubt it, try calling a man a wimp or a woman a slut.
- pg 74
- Competition with women is almost always a net loss of honor for a man. Men don't consider competition between men and women to be "apples to apples." I don't think women do either... What does a man have to gain? He shows no courage by entering the ring with a woman. He is expected to win. If he does, his victory is shallow and unsavory. He gains no honor in beating a woman- the idea is offensive even to a modern man's vestigial sense of chivalry.
- Pg 75
- The pro-feminist male is a wretched, guilt-ridden creature who must at every turn make certain he is not impeding the progress of women in any way. He willingly accepts guild for crime against women he never committed, perpetuated by men he has never met. He must question... admiration he might have for traditional role models- for fear that he is perpetuating cultures of honor or patriarchy that could somehow result in the oppression of or violence against women. He must be careful to include women in every activity, even if he would prefer not to... He is encouraged to work with women to support their interests with little or no regard for how those interests might have a negative impact of men... The only "freedom" that feminism offers men is the freedom to do exactly what women want men to do.
- "Mother May I" Masculinity
- If men are not supposed to tell women how women must behave, what right do women have to demand that men cater to their interest? Who are they to tell men that manhood means? Why should men accept their authority? What the Hell do women know about it what it means to be a man?
- "Mother May I" Masculinity
- The new, independent women should have no need to exploit a man's vestigial sense of chivalry. If they are truly suited to compete with men, they should be able to do so without special rules, privileges and protections. Men should not have to curb their behavior so that women can achieve. If "equality" were truly desired, men would never have to ask, "Mother, may I?"... To ask men to radically alter their behavior to facilitate the success of complete stranger with whom they may well be in direct or indirect competition is absurd. That's not "equality" any more than asking a boxer to fight with one hand tied behind his back and calling it a "fair fight." And yet this is exactly what feminists ask of men... Men need to reject this.
- "Mother May I" Masculinity
- 'I train for honor'... I train because somewhere in my DNA there's a memory of a more ferocious world, a world where men could become what they are and reach the most terrifyingly magnificent state of their nature. I don't train to impress the majority of modern slobs. I train to be worthy enough to be worthy enough to 'carry water' for my barbarian fathers, and to be worthy of the company of the men most like them today. I train because I imagine the disgust and contempt out ancestors would have for us all if they lined up modern men on the street. I train to be less of an embarrassment to their memory. I train because most modern men dishonor all of the men who came before them. I train "as if" they were watching and judging us... I train because it is better to imagine oneself as a soldier in a spiritual army training for a war that may never come than it is to shrug, slouch and shuffle forward into a dysgenic and dystopian future.
- Train for honor
- Before our age of conceit, the whole world was alive in a way. The task of man was to challenge and master the world, to dare and to fight against its untamed fury.
- pg 125
Becoming A Barbarian (2016)
- It wasn't so long ago that Europeans were able to put aside their similarities and fight each other to the death over matters of religion or national honor. The same has always been true of the peoples of Asia and Africa and Central America.
- pg 15
- To say that you care about one group of people more than others is a moral sin in the modern world. It is considered uncivilized- barbaric.
- Masculinity is tragic. Masculinity is a lifelong struggle, a gauntlet run against nature ad other men to demonstrate virility and prove one's worthiness as a man in the eyes of other men. Masculinity is a challenge to honor that ends only in death- a challenge to win coupled with a guarantee that, eventually, even the best man will lose.
Masculinity means being born a boy who can only become a man by becoming stronger, by overcoming fearfulness, by becoming more competent and confident in his abilities, and by earning the respect and admiration of other males.
Every boy is born cursed. Every boy will be tried and measured against others and he soon perceives or understands instinctively- he soon knows that the way of men is the way of competition and strife. The way to manhood is through the gauntlet, and there is no end of it. Manhood is not a destination but a title to be defended... Accepting the fate of men also means understanding that the fight is rigged, and that every man will either die early or live to see himself decline.
- Pg 19-20
- Despite the heavy-handed subterfuges of "multiculturalism" and "diversity is our strength," the underlying reality is that within a few generations, any living culture will dissolve into an innocuous and half-remembered "cultural heritage" and the descendants of separate and even intransigent groups will become interchangeable consumers, voters, and employees. If they don't, they'll end up prisoners, and that also suits the empire of nothing.
- Pg 32
- No one respects a man who is always apologizing and backpedaling. No one respects a man who is always asking for permission. No one respects a man who won't stand up for himself or fight for his own interests. No one wants to cheer for a team that stopped playing to win. Most people would agree that men who don't play to win deserve to lose.
- Pg 40-41
- There are no true enemies, only potential allies- hearts and minds yet to be won, "peaceful people" being deprived of their natural right to fast food, wall-to-wall carpet and high definition pornography. There are no more statues of heroes because no true villains can be acknowledged.
- Pg 54
- There's an old Greek proverb that says, "society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." If you don't like what's happening around you, what's happening to culture, what's happening to men and women, what people are becoming- get out there and start digging.
- Pg 66
- Men everywhere yearn for the collapse of this current mode of civilization that, as an inevitable consequence of its design, must devalue and emasculate them. Apocalyptic fantasies are a particularly male preoccupation. More and more men are focusing on survivalism and preparedness to give themselves a sense of purpose in a world that doesn't need or want them to be strong, courageous or prepared for anything.
- Pg 71
- The modern individualist - egoist, even - usually still talks about what everyone else talks about when they are talking about it, operates within a comfort one of social norms and lives by himself in a way that is generally acceptable to what he calls, usually with some derision, "the herd." At his most individualistic, he is a troll, a heckler, a parasite. A troll can't be trusted, and should always be shunned and despised, even though it will only feed into his self-schema.
- Pg 88
- Debate for the sake of debate is an intellectualized form of masculine competition in a world badly in need of visceral, direct masculinity... Explanations and apologies to outsiders are the issue of flaccid, failing and feminine cultures.
- pg 121
A More Complete Beast (2018)
- Men who spend no time training the metaphorical muscle of masculinity like to believe that they would be able to step in and be a hero if some extreme scenario demanded it, but this is for the most part a fantasy sold to them by the entertainment industry. Men who work call centers and spend all of their free time watching television or playing video games are not going fight off any man who has experience with violence. They're not going to save the world, or their girlfriends, or even themselves.
- pg 25
- Masculinity is no longer necessary. Today, masculinity is a hammer seeking a nail in a house that's already been built. But art isn't necessary either. Music isn't necessary. No one needs art or music to survive. Fine food isn't necessary. None of these castles, cathedrals, pyramids or exultant wonders of the world that men cross oceans to behold were, strictly speaking, necessary. Humans can survive in prisons and cardboard shanties, eating flavorless gruel, while they perform repetitive, meaningless tasks in joyless silence. Arguments from mere utility reduce human life to its lowest and most basic form, excluding the aspects of humanity that reach beyond what is merely necessary to create the extraordinary lives, achievements, monuments, works and legacies that inspire us and spark our imaginations. They reduce us to rats in cages, monkeys, slaves. When someone argues that masculinity is no longer necessary, what they are saying is that your masculinity is not necessary to them, and that it inconveniences or threatens them in some way, so you should consciously limit your potential to allow them to realize their potential or find joy and fulfillment in what way pleases them. If you confine yourself to this spiritual reservation willingly and of your own free will, you deserve the tiny, wasted life of subservience and dishonor that your owners have assigned you.
- pg 29
- While its true that masculinity must be forced and fostered, this is also true of any human potentiality. One must be forced, or force oneself to learn a language or play an instrument or solve mathematical equations. No one calls an accomplished dancer, painter, athlete or singer a phony because it took years of disciplined practice and some kind of nurturing environment to become what they are- for them to develop their talents to their full potential. On the contrary, to ignore these talents is considered a tragedy.
- pg 31
- Once, the men who ruled the world commissioned great works of art and public statues of bronze and marble to honor war heroes as exemplars of virtue- masculine virtue. Today's warriors are merely memorialized as victims of war, so that they can be regarded sympathetically by a society in which victimhood is a marker of moral purity and victory is morally suspect.
- pg 38
- Moral rules and social norms no longer flow from the wise or the accomplished or from custom. The new moral rules and norms and taboos are frantic mass responses to claims of discrimination, oppression, offense, hurt feelings- even a failure to affirm some obvious delusion or pathosis... The Empire scrambles to accommodate victims, and that gives those who claim to be victims - often the most fragile, helpless, dysgenic and emotionally needy people - ultimate moral authority.
- Pg 41
- Grown men, otherwise daring, capable and virile men of accomplishment frequently find themselves terrorized and terrified by ridiculous accusations of bias or impropriety cast by spoon-fed students, indignant sluts, disabled lesbians, bipolar transsexuals, illegal immigrants and the morbidly obese. In the space of a few hundred years, the noble morality of the sovereign has been exchanged for the ignoble morality of the squeaky wheel.
- pg 42
- Most average people will allow themselves to become slobs, especially if everyone around them does, too. They will defend their "right" to be slobs, and rationalize away any opportunity to improve themselves. In the world-as-it-is and not how we might wish it to be, make no mistake- these people are normal. You beasts are the oddballs.
- Pg 43
- Ugliness is the new beauty. Weakness is the new strength. Emotional survival -endurance- is the new courage. Women are applauded no matter what they do and masculinity is institutionally denounced. Adolescents are treated as if they are supernaturally wise, and the aged and experienced are ignored or dismissed as if they were children. The heroes of history are now villains and every guttersnipe is glorified.
- pg 53
- Blood-brotherhood is one recurring cultural solution to the problem of recognizing powerful emotional bonds between men that avoids effeminizing comparisons to romantic courtship and affirms the masculinity of the men involved.
- Blood-Brotherhood and Other Rites of Male Alliance (2009).