I did my first two years of college at the Pennsylvania State University, then transferred to the University of Pittsburgh, where I majored in psychology and minored in philosophy. The catalyst for my leaving Penn State was the fortuitous intersection of a failed-before-it-happened relationship with a girl and the aesthetic impact of the Cathedral of Learning upon me when I first visited Pitt. To this day, I still love Pitt, and I have always been proud of my time there; the academics at Pitt were second to none, and I had the great honor of meeting a number of brilliant men while studying there, including the great Sir Roger Penrose (as a side note, I asked him to sign his book The Emperor's New Mind for me, like an idiot, as though he were a rock star, which to my mind, he was; he kindly obliged). Generally speaking, the quality of student at Pitt was far higher than the quality of student at Penn State, which makes a certain amount of sense; Penn State is, after all, a much larger university.
When I continued on to my master's degree, I was struck by the lackluster intellect of many of my fellow students, with only a few exceptions. Having long since been interested in neuro-psychology and questions pertaining to mind-body problems (i.e., the origin of consciousness, etc.), I had grown accustomed to a STEM-field (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) attitude towards psychology during my time at Pitt. Unfortunately, I was in for quite a shock; the field of psychology is, as a rule, more akin to the humanities, which would be not be a problem at all if it were not a science- but it is a science, and so it is a problem. But perhaps a few examples would be in order...
I had a particular professor of psychology who was a feminist from Berkeley, and we had a long argument about "benevolent sexism" (what used to be called chivalry, and was in the long-long-ago considered entirely appropriate behavior for a man). During the course of the argument- right after I said that the entire concept of benevolent sexism was ridiculous-, she asked me, "So if two people were drowning, one male and one female, and you could only save one of them, which of them would you save?" And I answered, "I'd save the woman." "Why?" she asked. "Because as a man, I am obligated to protect women and children; the man can fend for himself." "Well," she said, "that's sexist because it implies that the woman cannot protect herself." To which I responded rather vehemently, "Well, if I had said that I'd save the man and that the woman can fucking drown, you'd call me a sexist too, so in what scenario am I not a sexist in your worldview?"
[Note: For those interested in the philosophy of science, I might recommend a quick study of the philosophy of Karl Popper, especially his theory of falsifiability: A hypothesis in which any outcome proves the point- as is the case with feminism- is not a scientific hypothesis at all.]
She had no answer to that, and we moved on.
I recall another argument with another professor who wanted us to write an essay pertaining to "white privilege," a term so ambiguous as to mean essentially nothing (there is an enormous variety of "white people," and there is little similarity of experience between them). When I asked her which "white people's privilege" we were to discuss- the trust fund kid from Berkeley? the guy who works in a Boston fish market? the steel mill workers I grew up with who worked for 18 hours a day in 130 degree factories? the hillbilly from Appalachia who still lacks plumbing and electricity?- she answered, "Well, nobody ever said that privilege conferred a benefit. To which I shot back, "Well, what the hell is a privilege that confers no benefit?" This, as one might imagine, did not go well.
To the credit of each of these professors, our arguments never had any effect upon my grade: I was always able to articulate why I thought what I thought; I was always graded accordingly. Still, it gave me quite a lot of insight into the psychology of those that teach psychology. It should come as no surprise, of course, since the field of psychology is about 70% female, and largely feminist. And so I was a man among women, a stranger in a strange land, a lone voice of reason crying out in the wilderness.
But the most important moment in my study came during graduate school while discussing the role of punishment in psychology (spoiler alert: It has none). I asked why it was that punishment is not used in psychology even though punishment is used in the military and in the martial arts, for instance, and to great effect, to which the professor replied, "Because of the Hippocratic Oath: "Above all, do no harm."" And in that instant, I had a moment of clarity; I had a realization as to why I had always bridled at psychological theory: The modern psychological paradigm is a paradigm of fear and weakness. "Holy shit," I reflected to myself, "I don't believe in any of this!"
"Above all, do no harm."
~ The Hippocratic Oath ~
Something had clearly gone wrong. But how had it gone wrong, and when? Even more importantly, why? And finally, was there a solution to the problem?
Although I already had a general feeling for the problem, things crystalized for me one day when I came across an argument attributed to Allen Wheelis pertaining to paradigm shifts in the history of psychology, specifically insofar as they pertain to psychoanalysis: He argued that psychoanalysis was an extremely effective mode of therapy for many years because at that time, westerners were still largely under the influence of a Victorian moral ethic, and as such, any insight into one's own underlying psychology was followed by immediate behavioral changes (i.e., "Oh, it seems that I am not really angry at my son at all; rather, I am just projecting my bad relationship with my father upon him- and so I will be certain not to do that any longer!"). However, as classicism gave way to modernism- that is, when the old Victorian moral ethic began to give way to post-Victorian, Marxist/neo-Marxist social theory-, the efficacy of psychoanalysis began to diminish. Essentially, the Victorian esteem for willpower was a necessary prerequisite for psychoanalytic success; without it, any insight was rendered impotent. And indeed, there does appear to be some correlation between the decline of Victorian moral ethics- what might be considered the classical tradition of morality- and the decline of psychological health and wellbeing in the West.
This makes sense, of course: If self-agency is any measure of mental health- and it is-, then any philosophy that ignores or abandons self-agency as a goal is doomed to fail. And in the West, it has failed. The abandonment of self-agency has resulted in a psychological void, with nothing to fill the void but drugs, drugs, and more drugs (as of this writing, the number of Americans taking psychotropic drugs is estimated to be somewhere between 70 million and 100 million). However, the popular narrative misdiagnoses the problem: "Big Pharma" has gotten the blame rather than a much more insidious cultural-philosophical trend away from personal responsibility.
Scapegoating "Big Pharma" is simply easier than solving the real problem: We westerners have abandoned responsibility for ourselves, and so rather than work towards our own self-empowerment- a difficult thing to do!-, we seek salvation elsewhere. But "Big Pharma" is not the cause of our obsession with drugs; rather, "Big Pharma" is the consequence of our obsession with drugs- and external solutions in general. The pharmaceutical industry is reacting to market forces driven by the deterioration of self-agency. Does the pharmaceutical industry bear responsibility for its reaction? Perhaps it does. However, so does everybody else.
And so I began formulating a new psychological paradigm, which I now call Virilis but then referred to as Heroic Theory. Psychology as a field of study has been thoroughly ruined by Marxism; most psychologists- most of them feminists- have adopted the underlying dialectical materialist worldview of Marx in spirit if not in letter. Predictably, more traditionally-oriented individuals have fled the field. The result has been a field so completely poisoned by Marxism that the American Psychological Association has openly condemned traditional masculinity as "harmful and dangerous" [www.apa.org/monitor/2019/01/ce-corner].
Clearly, an older, bolder, stronger paradigm is necessary. However, up until now, the question has not been asked, however, "What exactly would a masculine psychology look like?"
What is good? Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself, in man.
~ The Antichrist ~
Generally speaking, a masculine psychological paradigm would require at the very least a radical reorientation of worldview insofar as society and its relationship with the individual person is concerned, and thus recognition of the following principles:
This and more is necessary- but this is a good beginning.
The human being is tribal in psychology; civilization must be organized in accord with his tribal instincts if it is not to breed distortion, which it already has, and on a massive scale. Turning back the clock will be difficult, though not impossible. However, such an endeavor will require no small amount of wisdom. Fortunately for all of us, truth is immortal, and so we have only to look back in order to discover the path ahead...
~ Joshua van Asakinda