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Become Hegemon

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

The Hegemon is the one who has dominance. Power. Authority. In reference to a state, the Hegemon is the superpower and the arbiter. In reference to a person, the Hegemon is the commander. 

If you believe certain mouthpieces, the Hegemon is also a problem to be solved. 

“Hegemonic Masculinity” is a theory created a few decades ago. It claims there is a certain ideal of a man which justifies the domination of women and lesser men. 

What is the hegemonic male? He is aggressive, powerful, and capable of violence. He doesn’t display weakness. He is successful and competes with other men to show his worth. He is attractive to women. 

He is the general, the tycoon, the patriarch. He is both Aristocrat and Outlaw. He imposes his will on the world. 

This is bad, mouthpieces say, because it creates or justifies inequality between men and women. It also “marginalizes” men who don’t act this way. 

Similarly, some argue we are trapped in the “man box.” The box is constructed by expectations, the code of conduct of a “real man.” You are forced into this pattern of behavior whether you want to be or not. 

If you violate these expectations, you are punished. You are mocked. You are bullied. You might be attacked or killed. At least they say so. 

We’re trapped, we’re told, because we are expected to show strength, aggression, stoicism. For our own liberation, we are told, we must escape the box of masculinity. 

Should we thank those who promise to liberate us? Whenever someone tells you that you must question your values, you need to ask yourself something different. How does it benefit this person if I do what he or she says?

You may notice that those who lecture you about “privilege” and “equality” do so from positions of almost unfathomable power. Those called “marginal” are the ones in charge. 

Hegemonic Masculinity is a “social construct” supposedly forced on us. Yet the journalists, the academics, the politicians, the corporate-approved musicians, the human resources mangers… do they not have power? 

Can they not create “social constructs” of their own? 

Do they not attack us if we violate their expectations?

You’ve read the articles online decrying masculinity. You’ve sat through the trainings at your job or watched the videos online. Have they ever made you feel better? Or more worthless? Malleable? Controllable? 

Men are simply being forced into a new box. We are twisted, mutilated and crushed so we can fit into a new little container labeled “Consumer.” There’s no room to move inside. There is no Man or Woman, anyway, just interchangeable units with assigned opinions and activities. 

Masculinity is not simply a “social construct.” The decline of testosterone in men, a biological reality, has had huge effects in the developed world, in cultures as different as Japan and America. Study after study confirms that a decline in testosterone leads to an increase in depression, as well as feelings of fatigue and lack of focus. 

If we were serious about helping men, we might talk about why this is happening biologically. We might talk how this contributes to the lack of purpose many men feel. We might talk about the collapse of communities, institutions, and families. Instead, we’re told that our speech, thoughts, and behavior must be policed even more. If you don’t like it, there’s always antidepressants, opioids, or porn. Anything to shut you up, preferably for good.  

When the System’s powerful masquerade as victims, a noble soul should feel contempt. “Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein,” said Goethe. “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Slavery often arrives in the guise of liberation. 

The weaker you are, the stronger they become. So why wouldn’t the mouthpieces preach the gospel of decay?

There is always a Hegemon. It may not be a man or a state. It may simply be a System, a culture, an ideology or a class. But something always rules. 

This is true of individuals. Who rules you? Are you Hegemon of your own life? 

Every day, you have feelings of weakness, laziness, or greed. It may be something as simple as wanting to skip a workout or eat processed garbage. Instead of improving yourself, you watch a crappy movie you’ve seen already. 

You must become Hegemon of yourself, commanding your body and mind to the upward path. You must despise feelings of pain and resistance.

The Hegemon commands himself ruthlessly. Each moment that passes is a defeat unless it is filled with furious, victorious action. He is dictator of his soul, master of his passions, commander of his entire being. His body and mind become a united Legion that marches forth conquering and to conquer. 

Yes, the “Hegemonic Man” is an Ideal. Intellectually we know realizing an Ideal is impossible. But fuck intellect. Fuck rationality. Immanentize the eschaton and pursue it with total abandon and sacred madness.

What of groups? These “masculinity” experts say that men need to get in touch with their feelings of weakness or inadequacy. What is so sickening is that we live in a culture seemingly designed to make us sick, spiritually and physically. The medicine prescribed is the very poison that made us this way.  

We are told about having a “shoulder to cry on.” Yet when a group endlessly wallows in weakness, does anyone ever emerge? Suicides, overdoses, and self-destruction spread like a virus. 

What about these post-men who have deconstructed themselves? Constantly on the brink of hysteria, their mindset utterly determined by what appears on their blue screens, do they seem happy or content? For that matter, what about many modern women? Are they happy now that they are “liberated?”

Of course, we are all weak sometimes. A relationship ends, a child dies, a horrific disease strikes from nowhere. Our soul cracks. We give in to despair. Many of us will grow old and enfeebled in body. King Death takes us in the end. 

When we fall, we look to our tribe to lift us. This works only if the tribe itself is a banner of strength, if our brothers and sisters fill our hearts with fire, passion, and contempt for pain and suffering. Strength attracts strength. 

I have seen the strongest men I know, men I freely admit are far stronger than me mentally and physically, brought low. I have seen how tribe has ripped them out of the abyss to restore them to their higher self and drive onward. And in my weak moments, they have done the same for me. 

This is what the mouthpieces will never understand. When a brother is stronger than me, I want to surpass him. In a contest, I want to defeat him. In a fight, I want to hurt him. Yet this isn’t an expression of hostility, but loyalty. 

In a tribe or group, there is always a Hegemon. But the best don’t make their followers feel worthless. What glory is there in tending a flock of sheep? 

The Hegemon elevates his Companions. He makes them feel like he is leading them on a heroic journey, a saga that will be remembered. He demands the impossible. He pushes them to surpass themselves. He challenges them to surpass him. And when age, battle or misfortune finally claims him, the Hegemon is remembered. 

This is the true secret of Valhalla. A man can become legend through his deeds. He lives eternally in the deeds he inspires in his brothers. He becomes a god who posthumously commands his followers to Keep Rising. 

This is how we become Hegemon over King Death Himself. 

I said you should question the self-interest of anyone who preaches morality at you. So what do I gain if you believe me? I may gain a strong opponent I will face someday. I may gain a source of inspiration. It’s possible I may even gain a comrade or brother I will see across the fire. But I know I don’t benefit from your weakness and depravity. 

Can the mouthpieces say the same?

You are a creature of limited means and power. You have this brief time to justify your existence. Marshall what resources you have. Rally to the banner of strength. Smash the box they want to put you in and forge your own path to immortality. 

Become Hegemon.

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The Wolf God and the Ecstatic Host

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

Wodan id est furor – Adam of Bremen

There is one true Wolf Cult. It has existed from the beginning. It manifests in different forms throughout the millennia. Yet it always serves the same function. 

Kris Kershaw’s The One-eyed God: Odin and the (Indo-) Germanic Männerbünde gives us a glimpse of the sacred mystery at the cult’s heart. From Greece, to Germania, to India, groups of young men were taken from their homes and initiated into an oath-bound warrior band. They would be dedicated to a specific god. In battle, they were the “highly mobile bands of ecstatic warriors who would fling themselves first into the fray,” the guerillas who would raid and reave.  Yet they would learn also the lore, the prayers, the veda. 

They were outside the protection of the larger tribe and whatever law existed. For this reason, the avatar of the Wolf became universal. The wolf is outside settled life. He represents savagery and viciousness. But wolves also work together. 

“The werewolf life is part of the training of the young warrior throughout the IE [Indo-European] world,” writes Kershaw. The male child symbolically dies, and through a period of trial and learning, prepares for the time when he will be part of the tribe and have a wife, land, and children of his own. 

Yet this wasn’t just physical training. The young men were stripped of their own identity. In masked rituals at certain times of the year, they would rampage through villages and towns, demanding tribute. It was chaotic and destructive, but the people accepted it, because it was thought to bring prosperity for the coming year. In European folklore, this is remembered as the Wild Hunt. We’ll even see degraded remnants of this tradition in a few days, on Halloween. 

What were the youths doing? When they masked themselves, sometimes with ash, they were not “in disguise.” Everyone could recognize them. Yet there were no longer themselves. They were the Ancestors. A young warrior’s physical death is meaningless because in the sacred realm, the only one understood to be “really real and meaningful,” he’s become the Dead. 

More than that, he is one of the Dead who represent the “Immortals, in whom the life-force, that divine spark, is far more potent and efficacious now that they are no longer mortal.” That force, which we understand as strength and vitality, is most apparent in young men. Thus, they carry out this ritual. “Whether the man has died in battle or of old age, he lives on as the warrior in the prime of his youth,” writes Kershaw. 

This belief lives on. Obviously, we think of Valhalla where the heroic dead fight and feast eternally. Yet some Christians also believe that those saved will have perfect bodies in heaven, all imperfections removed. 

Whatever your faith, I ask you to think of the last funeral you attended for one who died in old age. Generally, you don’t dwell on dementia, cancer, or sickness. You remember the dead in his or her prime, full of strength and vitality. 

Having already “died,” young warriors would live forever through their tribe, and thus represented their people’s collective identity. They would throw themselves into battle with ecstasy, without fear, because their temporal existence no longer mattered. They were in an eternal battle to uphold the cosmos and the existence of their tribe. 

It’s easy to see why Odin was patron of such groups. He could raise those dedicated to him to “super-human heights,” but could allow them to be struck down for his own mysterious purposes. Odin was also the god of knowledge, poetry, and inspiration, who would give those dedicated to him verses and songs that hailed strength, beauty, and heroism. 

What a contrast to the stereotypical poets of today, who pen cynical and crippled words that express their disgust at being alive. 

Odin was the collective embodiment of a principle or a group. Some call Odin Herjan, usually translated as “lord” or “ruler.” Yet Kershaw shows it really means he was “the mythical leader and personification of the “herr, the warrior band. He’s a war-god, but of a very particular type. He’s the Wolf God, a Death God, the avatar of an oath-bound warrior band. 

That said, the understanding of Odin changed over time. Kershaw notes that Odin was not always portrayed as one-eyed. “It is in Odin as leader of warriors–in Odin as leader of an army of ecstatic wolf-warriors–that we will find the answer to the puzzle of Odin the one-eyed god.” [Bold text in original]. 

Kershaw exhaustively connects Germanic customs and symbols with those found in India. He links Odin to wolves and dogs and those animals’ symbolic connection with death. He also identifies Odin with aspects of the Hindu deities Rudra and Kali, and a mysterious ritual in which a game of dice would select the leader of a war band. 

Paradoxically, it was the loser of this dice game, the person left with a single token, who became the “Dog, the Leader of the Wild Hunt” or the “Dog of the Wilderness.” The outcast thus became the center. He suggests that over millennia, this developed into our image of Odin as the One-Eyed. 

Of course, with the paucity of sources, we can never know for sure. “Much ancient wisdom concerning both Indra and Rudra must be forever lost to us,” Kershaw writes, which could be said of almost all ancient Indo-European traditions. This shows the foolishness of trying to slavishly “reconstruct” an ancient belief system. At different times and in different places throughout the Indo-European world, people understood the Wolf God differently. 

Yet these same symbols, rituals and archetypes kept emerging. What matters is identifying the common elements that spawned from our collective unconscious. More importantly, one needs to understand why people did these things and why we are still called to them. What eternal truths did these rites symbolize? What living force are we tapping into? Is there some primordial tradition that these names, symbols, and forces represent? 

Ritual and tribal life must be something real, organic, relevant, and dangerous. Otherwise, it’s just playing make-believe. If you’re reading off a script, you’re doing it wrong. 

For this reason, it’s worth considering what Odin represented both then and now. “He never hangs around for years: he is the wanderer, the guest, and always mysterious,” writes Kershaw. This is Grimnir, the Masked or Hooded One. He was a god of thieves and footmen, of berserkers and youthful warrior bands that were not really in the society. Those who march under the banner of the Operation can understand this feeling of being outlaws. Under English common law, the term that meant a person was outside the protection of the system and could be killed was caput gerat lupinum, “may he wear a wolf’s head.”

And yet, as Kershaw notes, the wolf-god Odin and those like him in other traditions can also become a “god of the center.” Odin is the “All-Father,” the lord of Asgard, the god we think of as “head” of the pantheon. 

Thus, we can speak of the Odinic path as encompassing outlaws and kings. The Wolf’s path to kingship is a crooked one. For what is a king but one who has made his own law? And what are we here for if not to become kings by our own hands?

Yet this cannot be done alone. What the modern world lacks more than anything else is initiation, a process by which young people, especially young men, understand their history and identity. There is no trial or challenge that marks the moment of responsibility. There is no tribe, no oath-bound group to hold you to a code of honor.  

Then we wonder why men kill themselves, become addicted to opioids, or disappear into a bottle. Or, arguably worse, we see “men,” including “successful men” with jobs and careers, lapsing into a kind of permanent childhood and obsessing over fandoms, toys, and corporate franchises. 

For men, for those who are something more than consumers, the only acceptable response is scorn and defiance. Yet there must be a way forward. 

This is what we are building with the Wolves and with the Operation. The point is to reconnect with something eternal, to build what needs to exist in this dead world. To offer that initiation, that challenge, and that honor culture. To pick up that torch which has fallen, but which is never extinguished.  

In coming weeks, you will see what we mean. This is about building something real, in this world, today. 

The Hooded One has appeared in many guises, under many names. Now, the Wolf God is showing himself again. He offers a path. But you must take the first step.