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Conquerors Don’t Apologize

Not long ago, Mongolia erected a massive monument to Genghis Khan. It is the largest equestrian statue in the world. The greatest conqueror in world history glares out from atop his horse, looking east, towards his supposed birthplace. He is supported by 36 pillars, representing other Khans. The monument is surrounded by yurts and exhibits displaying Mongolian history and culture.

To Mongolians, he is a hero. The local airport is named after him. The president praised him. Merchandise with his likeness can be found everywhere in the country.

Of course, all this celebrates a man who was responsible for an estimated 40 million deaths. He used mass extermination against resisting cities and can be considered a pioneer of biological warfare because of his tactic of hurling cadavers over city walls. He and his successors killed about five percent of the world’s population.

It took Russia centuries to recover independence. China was ruled by Sinicized Mongol emperors. The Caliphate in Baghdad, at that time one of the world’s most advanced civilizations, never recovered.

Europe was not exempt. The Mongol general Subutai, leading a relatively small force, smashed Western armies with ease. If the Great Khan (at that time, one of Genghis Khan’s sons) hadn’t died, the Mongols probably would have conquered Rome itself.

This is a powerful lesson for those who assume Europeans are automatically the world’s greatest warriors. This includes both those who think they are inherently better than others because of their ethnic identity and those who assume Europeans are always oppressors and never victims.

I doubt the latter group will accept this lesson. They have too much invested in a simplistic, Manichean worldview where Western Civilization is always the bad guy. Genghis Khan was responsible for at least six times as many deaths as the Nazis and almost as many as Mao. There were also much fewer people back then.

Yet are outraged Arabs, Russians, Chinese, or Eastern Europeans demanding (or getting) reparations? Is there a movement that suggests this should take place?

Of course not. The idea is absurd. Scholars calmly discuss whether Genghis Kahn’s conquests were a good thing because they expanded trade routes. Apparently, this omelet was so tasty it justified breaking 40 million eggs.

We can also think of examples closer to home. Not that long ago, Napoleon conquered most of Europe. The occupation of the German territories was especially brutal. In one famous case, a man who was distributing a book calling for German resistance to the French was executed by a firing squad. German student fraternities that still exist today originated as underground groups preparing for an uprising. The collective experience of occupation was a powerful factor in eventually creating the united German identity that culminated with Bismarck’s achievement.

Yet is Napoleon a hated figure in the West, or even in Germany? Will you be attacked for expressing a favorable opinion about him? Hardly. His magnificent tomb still draws huge numbers of tourists every year. An author from the Emperor’s most implacable enemy, Great Britain, recently wrote a book arguing that he should be called “Napoleon the Great.” He’s also said the world would have been better off had Napoleon won at Waterloo. Is this author deplatformed, arrested, or assaulted? Of course not.

Journalists don’t demand your job or masked radicals your head if you express admiration for Genghis Khan, Napoleon, or, for that matter, Joseph Stalin. (A recent poll found 70 percent of Russians approve of Stalin.)

So let’s contemptuously dismiss the idea that people really care about human rights or universal moral norms. They care about avoiding taboos. They don’t want to lose money or perceived social status. Whether someone is considered a monster, a hero, or simply a historically important person is entirely a product of power, especially media power.

“History is written by the winners,” we are smugly informed. The ones who tell us this are usually the ones operating from a position of power, even if they pose as victims. They are simply the beneficiaries of previous conquerors.

Those who lecture us about our moral obligations have this power because their superior ancestors were conquerors. No doubt, if their powerful ancestors could see their mentally and physically weak descendants, they would have decided it wasn’t worth fighting for them.

Conquerors don’t apologize. Outside the West, their descendants don’t either. Whoever you are, whatever your ethnicity, you exist because those before you had the courage to fight for survival and work for the next generation.

You’re descended from conquerors. Act like it. Don’t apologize. Become a king by your own hand.

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Aesthetic Justification

Culture comes from the cult, and unfortunately, we live under a cult of ugliness. “Art once made a cult of beauty,” said the late Roger Scruton. “Now we have a cult of ugliness instead. This has made art into an elaborate joke, one which by now has ceased to be funny.”

We all know modern “art” is a scam. When someone bought a banana duct-taped to a wall as “modern art” for $200,000, it barely raised eyebrows. The dirty secret of modern art is that it’s mostly a front for money laundering. Insofar as it has an aesthetic or ideological function, it’s just to tear down what better people created in the past. Rather than inspiring us, it disgusts us, and it does this deliberately.

When Notre Dame burned, even those who weren’t Roman Catholics were horrified. Yet some journalists urged completing the desecration by giving Notre Dame a “modern” look like some shopping mall.

The same principles are bleeding into personal appearances. The corporate media promotes airbrushed, artificial celebrities warped by plastic surgery. They can even insert dead actors into films through technology, which begs the question of why worthless celebrities are needed anyway.

Yet the corporate media also tells us being fat and unhealthy is great because of “body positivity.” Now, we have a society of shoggoths.

Let’s speak plainly. Obesity is a moral failure.

Barring the few that truly suffer from a medical condition, obesity is a sign that you have no self-control, no mastery over yourself. It’s immoral to tolerate it. If a man is drinking himself to death, it’s not the act of a friend to encourage it and say that no one can tell him what to do. If a man is eating himself to death, shaming him and forcing him to stop is a moral act. It’s the act of a friend.

Yet there’s something more important at stake than worrying about health. Aesthetics are deeply important. “[I]t is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified,” wrote Nietzsche. It we surround ourselves with ugly, tawdry things, our minds will be ugly and tawdry. If we surround ourselves with works of inspiration, beauty, and heroism, we will be driven to forge our own works of inspiration, beauty and heroism.

This begins with ourselves, with our own bodies. If a man is weak, fat, or both, we automatically feel disgust. We automatically know this person can’t be relied on. His opinions have little weight. After all, he can’t govern himself, so why should we listen to what has to say about anything else?

If a man is strong, and looks strong, his words have more meaning. After all, we know he can back them with furious action, if he needs to.

We only have so much free will and rationality when it comes to how we view the world. If free will is our mental software, our hardware is the judgments, assumptions, feelings, and impulses that our mind automatically impresses on us. Appearances do matter. Growing strong is important, but so is looking strong.

When we see classical sculptures of the human form, we recognize it as beautiful. Strength is beautiful and so is heroism. In great works of art, we see our Ideal, something higher that we should strive for. It lights a fire in our mind to become our own Ideal, to lift, to train, to grow strong, to accomplish great works.

For almost all human history, this was taken for granted. Kings, Emperors, Popes, and merchant princes patronized glorious works designed to inspire and elevate. Yet today, “art,” massively subsidized by governments and huge foundations, deliberately seeks to grind us down. It requires no insight, no talent, no vision. It just requires having the right political connections.

Instead of buildings that link us with a past and a people, we get soulless corporate structures that make us feel like a product.

Instead of beautiful paintings that require exquisite skill and perceptive genius, we get crude tricks, parodies, and desecrations.

Instead of sculptures that honor great men and great deeds, we get amorphous blobs on college campuses and in city parks.

It’s garbage. The people paying for it and creating it know it’s garbage. We experience deracination, depression, and alienation because we’re surrounded by these things. This is how they want us to be. Our minds are constantly driven into the mud, rather than inspired to look upward, to reach beyond ourselves, to reach for something greater than life.

Rebel against this through action. Training should be a religious act, a holy ritual. Through pain and sacrifice, you are forging yourself into something greater than you were. You are spitting in the face of death, fighting a battle that must be fought, even if the ultimate outcome is the grave. You are doing what you can to turn yourself into your own Ideal.

The stereotype of the dumb meathead setting off “lunk alarms” at Planet Fitness is false. “It is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit,” said Socrates. “But you cannot see that, if you are careless; for it will not come of its own accord.” A strong mind in a strong body is the Ideal and it must be relentlessly pursued.

If you are old, you can still start training. If you are injured, work around it. If you are utterly crippled, read, study, and look to the heroic to transport yourself beyond your current situation.

We were not born to be fat, complacent, and lazy weaklings, our bodies fueled by high fructose corn syrup and our minds filled with some corporate anti-culture. We were meant to be heroes. We are the descendants of conquerors and champions. We should act like it.

Our art should reflect this – in music, painting, sculpture and every other field. Our rituals should fill us with sacred inspiration so we can overcome the weakness within us. Our tribe should hold us accountable, not making excuses but driving us to ever greater accomplishment.

And the first step for all of this to happen is for you to train, to pick up that barbell, select a program, and get to work. Accepting struggle is saying yes to life. Find the hero within yourself. Fight, bleed, and suffer so that you can kill what is and become what should be.

Some may say this is unrealistic. I’d ask them to look again at what art speaks to them, motivates them, or stirs something deep within them. If it’s some “modern” desecration, I have nothing to say to such people anyway.

But I suspect you reading this have the same sense of life that I do. It may be against the spirit of our times, but you should take that as confirmation your deepest feelings are right and true.

Fight back. Rebel against decline. Rage against death itself. Rally to the banner of strength and build something great in this world of decay.

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Our “Support Group” Is Strength

Not long ago, if you were a “normal” man, there were certain things you could take for granted.

You would get married and have children. You would enjoy the support of friends, family, church, and community.

You would have a social role. You knew what standards you were expected to uphold.

You would be taught certain skills to survive and prosper – hunting, fishing, fighting, construction, and craftsmanship.

You would know that you could be called to war to defend your country, but also take comfort because your nation would honor your sacrifice.

This is what it was to be a “normal” man.

These things are gone now.

Because of social media and poisonous doctrines, modern relationships can be a nightmare.

There’s no initiation into manhood.

Many young men grow up without fathers.

Many assume (and accept) they will never be married or have children. If they have no brothers or sisters, their line will end with them.

Men are told they’re “obsolete,” so they vanish into worlds of fantasy and vicarious existence. They define themselves by corporate franchises. Or they disparage manhood entirely and broadcast their weakness.

And the System pats them on the head. It wants us tamed; spaniels, not wolves.

Recently, a System mouthpiece ran a gleeful article about men forming a support group to “shrug off the armor of masculinity to get in touch with their true feelings.”

“Like a sort of anti-‘Fight Club’,” the journo smugly wrote.

The piece celebrated “a shift in attitudes and increased curiosity about what it means to be male.”

A sociologist, another mouthpiece, said it is bad when a worldview sees “every other man [as] a potential competitor.” We must look at each other as “brothers” instead of “rivals.” We will apparently bond through shared helplessness.

Of course, it’s easy to sneer and make wisecracks about “soyboys,” a term that already feels dated. But this is the wrong approach. The problem, pain, and isolation are real. It’s not enough to just roll our eyes and say, “toughen up.” There is a root cause behind this crisis of masculinity.

And, in truth, we’ve all felt it. Atomization, deracination, commodification – this is the Kali Yuga, when everything that is solid melts into dissolution. Men feel confused. We do need brothers, community, solidarity.

Yet can you bond over weakness? Failure? Shame?

The journo’s reference to Fight Club is significant, because it was a book and film that captured the way many men felt at the time – devoid of purpose, identity, and the chance for heroism. Yet in the years since, we have been told that men are not allowed to feel this longing. That longing is just proof of our “privilege.” Instead, we must strip themselves of “toxic” masculinity, hold ourselves to no standards, identify only with our flaws and weaknesses.

The intended message of Fight Club is irrelevant. What’s important is that it addressed something real. It also showed two ways of responding. In the beginning of Fight Club, the narrator finds peace by crying at support groups. But ultimately that becomes insufficient, and he derives a deeper sense of satisfaction by creating a forum for combat. What’s more, the men who attend find the greatest brotherhood by fighting each other. Solidarity is built through battle.

Fight Club was two decades ago – it feels like a lifetime. Today, deconstructing masculinity is a profession for some people. People with real privilege, outrageous wealth, media backing and unlimited job security screech about what we must believe. Our assigned role is to be like sinners in a church, crying about our shame and depravity.

It’s no wonder the mouthpieces love publishing stuff like this. They gain more temporal power the more we humiliate ourselves. The reason this article was even published was to push men in this direction, thus granting the priests of weakness more power over us.

Of course, there’s a big difference between a priest from a Christian church and the clerics of egalitarianism. In church, whether speaking to a priest or to your god directly, you may feel shame about your past actions. However, there’s the promise of salvation, forgiveness, and rebirth.

Egalitarian clerics don’t even offer that. You don’t get redemption from a “support group.” You’re never washed of sin through the “precious blood.” You are just told about different ways you must break yourself down even further.

Weakness can’t beget anything but further weakness. There is a better way. Culture comes from the cult. Tribe is created through shared struggle and ritual. Deed begets deed. Strength begets strength.

Does this mean we despise our brothers when we fail or fall short? No, but we don’t make excuses. If a “brother” ignores your shortcomings, explains away your flaws, or says that your weaknesses are “actually” strengths, he’s not your brother. He doesn’t love you and he doesn’t care about you.

The state of the world should make you depressed – if you’re happy about the way things are, there’s something deeply wrong with you. Events in life will hurt you emotionally and spiritually. The strongest men can be crushed by a breakup or divorce. Tragedy can break the will of would-be conquerors.

Yet does a real brother allow you to wallow in this mire of sadness and defeat? Of course not. Have we not all said or done things when we were depressed that seem embarrassing now? How much better it would have been if a brother had listened with understanding and then, physically or metaphorically, slapped us across the face and told us to get up and move forward.

More importantly, have we not all experienced tragedy and anguish from events that still tear at our hearts? Like the indecisive Hamlet, should we just be paralyzed by grief? A brother should listen with compassion, but not enable self-destructive behavior. Your brothers exist to push you over these hills, not to push you back down into the swamp of endless self-criticism.

There is no conflict between a man being your “brother” and your “rival.” They should be constantly pushing you forward, directing you higher, offering challenge after challenge, victory after victory.

Sometimes, the best expression of brotherhood is a fist to the face, followed by a hand to lift you back up.

I am in constant competition with my brothers, and they with me. And it is this continuous challenge, conflict, and competition that makes us strong and sustains an Honor Culture.

Reject what the System and its mouthpieces are telling you. Masculinity is a challenge, and it is a challenge that should be welcomed.

We face a culture that is driving men into suicide, escapism, and self-mutilation. I don’t know whether these consequences are intended or not. I do know that the Lords of Lies gain power from them, and that when they preach weakness to us, it is to enhance their own perverted form of strength.

It is the Age of Iron, and many have fallen away. Death comes, our time is short, and the certainties of the past lie in ruins. We dwell in a Hollow Empire, a mausoleum for a dead culture.

Yet in the real world, away from the blue screens, tribes are rising over ash, flame, and blood-stained altars. Conquerors will emerge from this crucible, not just through physical strength, but through spiritual, mental, and intellectual fortitude. A new culture is born, or re-born. The Age of Heroes comes again.

We reject the System’s values and the mewling of its mouthpieces. We have our own code, one our ancestors would recognize. We hail our own gods, returning in forms relevant to our own world and our own time. Our standard is raised against the world.

If you are weak, become mighty. If you are scared, become brave. If you are comfortable, seek challenge. My brothers are my rivals, my tribe is my family, and my “support group” is our strength.

And no matter how lost you are in the darkness, with the right eyes you can see the fires beckoning you, calling you to a better way.

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Culture Versus Commodities

Cultural Extirpation

A few months ago, Dan Carlin did a “Hardcore History” podcast on “The Celtic Holocaust” and Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul. He observed that the Gauls weren’t just fighting for their families and property, but for the very existence of their culture. Defeat meant utter extirpation. Everything was on the line.

In passing, Carlin said this is something modern Americans can’t relate to because it’s something we would never face. What, after all, would our “culture” being eliminated mean? He lightly wondered whether that would mean no more blue jeans, or iPhones, or Christianity being outlawed.

Obviously, Carlin was making a tangential observation, not a serious philosophical or historical statement. Yet Carlin doesn’t need to wonder about cultural extirpation.

It’s already happened.

Do we have a “culture?” No, we have commodities. We have films, clothing, and corporate brands that are consumed the same way throughout the world. Is that a “culture” – blue jeans and iPhones? It’s more of a global consumer anticulture that everyone participates in equally.

We have fandoms. We have people who define themselves by their attachment to certain movies or television shows. It’s easy to laugh at soy boys who collect action figures or children’s toys. Yet how many men identify with “our” favorite sports team, filled with athletes that have no ties to the local community? The rise in “fantasy football” teams is a powerful indication that even franchise loyalty is fading because everyone knows that this is just a business, and players and coaches are interchangeable.

We have a country – or at least a passport. Yet does that country share a history, culture, heroes, or even a common language? Does everyone who holds citizenship feel it defines them? Perhaps it was that way once, but it’s hard to say it’s that way now.

We have religion. Yet switching faiths today is as easy as switching between Reebok and Nike. In some denominations, the clergy don’t even believe their own sacred teachings.

We have media – by far the most powerful force today. Media can tell people to believe almost everything, and though there is rising distrust of the press, most people will still believe whatever they are told.

Yet its power is brittle. It almost doesn’t matter what message is conveyed; media is so all-encompassing that people could be convinced of anything no matter how absurd. That doesn’t mean media is powerful, it just means most people are mentally and spiritually weak. If media preached different values, most people would instantly switch their “beliefs” without even noticing.

So who are we? What is our culture? How do we define ourselves? These aren’t questions for any particular group, they’re for everyone.

Recently, there was another tiresome debate about “cultural appropriation.” The specifics don’t matter, it’s just another example of people using a display of weakness to pursue power. Yet there’s a fundamental question at stake. Do certain practices, clothing, hairstyles, or whatever else belong inherently just to a certain group? And if so, does this apply to everyone?

Should I be outraged that people protesting “cultural appropriation” are speaking my language of English? Isn’t that cultural appropriation? Or is English not even my language?

After all, English itself contains Latin words that came into it following the Norman Conquest of 1066. To this day, people with Norman names in the United Kingdom (like “Percy”)  tend to be wealthier and live longer than those with common names (like “Smith”). If I’m not of Norman descent, am I internalizing oppression by speaking English? Some people thought so. There was an even an effort to get people to speak “Anglish,” a version of the language that eliminated all the borrowed Latin words. (The word “uranium” becomes “Ymirstuff”) for example.

If you want to wage war against “privilege,” you’re waging a pointless struggle because inequality is natural and inevitable under any system, even within a small group. Similarly, if you want to protest “cultural appropriation,” you’ll be reduced to tedious logic-chopping exercises about who can “authentically” claim a symbol.

Of course, those who protest “cultural appropriation” probably aren’t making a serious critique, but just want a financial payoff or Internet attention. They are using symbolic totems, not asserting something real. It’s a cargo-cult mentality.

This is also true of those who surround themselves with selected commodities to claim a certain label. It’s like proclaiming yourself a “redneck” because you listen to country music during your commute to an office job in a big city.

What we’re left with is the question of Identity. One’s Identity is defined by those things that can’t (or won’t) be reduced to a commodity. It’s a combination of those things you are born with (your background, family, birthplace) and those things you hold beyond monetary value. These are the things you would sacrifice for, work for, die for. These are the things with which you identify your Honor. The potential for danger and sacrifice is what separates LARPing from Identity.

There’s subjectivity here, because some might be willing to make almost everything in their life a commodity. They’ll sell out anything and everything for convenience, comfort, or media approval. Such people are not really people at all but simply commodities of another kind. “Free” social networking programs and apps have revealed a terrible truth – we aren’t buying a product, we are the product, and our behavior, interests, and data are bought and sold.

It’s not surprising that in this kind of climate we’re seeing new “communities” and “identities” multiply online with no end in sight. Much of it seems artificial, but the subconscious yearning expressed is all too real. People want something essential, something that isn’t a commodity.

Yet the only way most people can fulfill that yearning is by using the very means – the Internet, social networking, pop culture – that has stripped them of Identity and meaning. The only way most think they can create a community is by defending the same decrepit values – universalism, egalitarianism, victimhood – that have destroyed real communities.

What’s the answer? To return to basics. First, real community is not found online. If you have a Facebook group or a Discord, that’s not a “tribe,” that’s a computer game. You must step forward. You must build something real.

Second, study your Tradition. Look to your ancestry, your history, and your roots and find what is relevant to you. This isn’t a question of “picking” something like choosing one brand or another at a supermarket. Don’t try to be something you are not.

Finally, see what the Tradition means in this time, in this place, in this world. This can only be done through experience. Identity is not something that is entirely self-created but nor is it simply assigned or accepted. It is discovered through ritual, sacrifice, and tribe.

“Your” sacred symbols and traditions mean nothing until you have experienced them and made them your own. A living culture is connected from the beginning until now by shared symbols and traditions that embody eternal truths that are experienced differently by each generation. Without that experience, without that blood-and-flesh reality, you’re just dressing up in a costume.

Your culture isn’t blue jeans or iPhones made by Chinese slave labor. Your Identity isn’t by a passport or a jersey with some dude’s name on it. It’s defined by roots, community, and honor. What is that which you value beyond money? What do you have which can’t be reduced to a commodity?

Once you know the answers to those questions, you’ll know who you are. You’ll know what you must defend. And you’ll know what you must do next.

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Weakness Is A Will To Power

Always show strength, even in defeat

As above, so below, as within, so without. The eternal battle between Order and Chaos, Form and Entropy, takes place within our own bodies. At death, everything that makes us who we are disintegrates, becoming amorphous corruption.

You are most who you are when you are strong. When you fall apart, when the body fails and the mind follows, identity fragments. That’s why we sadly say an elderly person lost to dementia is “already gone.”

“No matter how long and intense the training,” said Yukio Mishima, “our body, deep down, is progressing little by little towards decadence.” That thought so tortured the Japanese author that he committed ritualistic suicide rather than face aging.

As we’ve discussed before, many cultures and religions believe the dead somehow live on “in their prime,” either as proud warriors or in perfected bodies. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs about the afterlife or lack thereof. But when it comes to our physical bodies, we all know we’re born into a losing struggle.

We age. We sicken. We die. The only question is how we respond.

There are two alternatives. You can rage against it, while acknowledging its inevitability. You can build power, seek adventure, create legends. Demand the impossible. Become your true self, your highest self, your greatest self. And live a Myth that will last forever.

The alternative is to preach decline, weakness, and death. It’s to define yourself by your flaws and sicknesses. More than that, it’s to use your weaknesses as a weapon against others. This is the Victim Culture that reigns today.

Morality, after all, is a Will to Power. Morality is the after-the-fact justification rulers use to defend concrete interests. The various “-isms” people fight against are just ideological constructs. If you go along with their morality, you’re giving them license to your money, your time, your life.

The newest “-ism” is “Ableism.”

Obviously, if someone is sick or hurt, it’s reasonable for society to accommodate them. It’s cruel to mock or stigmatize people for poor health. Even those who are strong can be instantly struck down by illness or injury. We should always be conscious that we can’t take health for granted.

Thousands of young Americans have lost limbs or suffered terrible brain injuries after fighting in the Middle East. Mocking such people, instead of honoring them, is perverse.

But does anyone actually do this? What problem is “ableism” supposed to solve?

Today, it seems “ableism” is a celebration of disability rather than a justified request for dignity. Just a few days ago, #YouMightBeAbleistIf trended on Twitter. Many of the complaints focused on the “ableism” of people who encourage weightlifting, losing weight, or bodybuilding.

It’s “ableist” for fictional characters to have a handicap removed.

It’s “ableist” to develop technology that will allow those crippled by sickness to walk.

It’s “ableist” to hope your newborn child is healthy.

It’s “ableist” to tell fat people to lose weight – in fact, to end “fatphobia” we need to end Western Civilization itself.

This isn’t compassion. It’s fetishizing weakness and ugliness. Most people who are hurt or ill want to get better, not be congratulated that they are part of the “oppressed” class. If being sick or suffering is inherently good, it would mean that we should stop practicing medicine or studying diseases, lest we “stigmatize” or “erase” those we can’t immediately cure.

Helping those who are hurt and tolerating destructive habits are two different things. Someone who is fat because they lack self-control doesn’t deserve praise, but tough love or shame. Acknowledging problems, weaknesses, and failures should never cross over into accepting them, much less praising them.

So many of those who criticize “ableism” are acting in bad faith. Affluent and powerful writers proudly recite their supposed “mental disorders” as if it exempts them from criticism. This isn’t a rebellion against oppression. It’s a weaponized morality they are using to protect their elite status.

“Only the inferior strive for equality- those seeking to make more of themselves are not interested in the concept of egalitarianism or ‘fairness,’ and reject that as a childish notion,” wrote Paul Waggener. “In this life, we will have either what we can attain and hold for ourselves, or what those stronger than we are decide to allow us.” The worst part about our present condition is that those who have power over us justify it by claiming weakness.

But weakness is more than a political pose. It’s a brutal, crushing reality we all confront as we age. Yet the reality of weakness and death doesn’t negate the value of strength and life. A healthy (unless that word too is “ableist”) society values beauty, creation, and production. Ugliness, destruction, and decay exist, but to praise these forces is to deny life.

This isn’t do say that pain can’t have value. Nietzsche suffered from debilitating headaches from the time he was a child. Obviously, if there was a cure, he probably would have taken it. Yet without that pain and that experience, he may not have been driven to philosophize with a hammer.

Those who are chronically ill or dying can still serve life. There’s something heroic about those who risk dangerous treatments to provide information that will help others. Yet even this is an act of defiance against death. Pain is justified if it is a spur to accomplishment.

Even in defeat, we recognize strength and dignity. Think of sculptures like “The Dying Gaul” or “The Lion Monument” to the Swiss Guard. Contrast that to the “art” of today that serves to deconstruct the very idea of beauty, like a banana duct-taped to a wall that recently sold for $120,000. The former achievements will last forever. The latter will simply be a historical footnote about an embarrassing age of decline.

Strength, power, accomplishment – these things outlast any individual’s life. Weakness, defeat, petty scheming – these are rightfully forgotten.

In a larger sense, it’s the awareness of oncoming death that drives us all forward to greatness, to grow strong while we still can, to seek beauty while we have the chance, to risk death when we still have life. As countless books, films and poems have pointed out, if we had bodily immorality, we might even yearn for death simply out of boredom.

Perhaps one day our descendants will confront that problem. But we won’t. Death is coming for you, inevitable and inexorable. Your body is decaying, your cells collapsing into entropy. How will you respond? Not even today is guaranteed.

Don’t beg for “equality” – in the physical sense, we’ll all be equal when we’re dead. You’ll get your egalitarianism soon enough. What will do you to serve life? What will you do to build something beyond yourself?

In creation, in combat, at the gym… defy pain, sickness, and ugliness. Fight with every ounce of strength against entropy and despair. Endure. Be remembered as a hero, not as an object of pity. And when King Death comes for you, sneer in triumph because you built something beautiful that outlasts even Him.

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In Hoc Signo Vinces

The Standard

In the year 9, three Roman legions were destroyed by the Cherusci chieftain Hermann. Germania was spared Gaul’s fate of becoming just another province.

Most people who identify with or even know about the Germanic gods are familiar with the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It’s almost cliché.

Fewer know what the Romans did during the disaster. The greatest disgrace for a Roman soldier was to lose their “eagle,” their standard. One Roman standard bearer, refusing to give the barbarians the satisfaction of a captured eagle, reportedly threw himself into the bog with it. He drowned. The eagle was lost, or, in that soldier’s last thoughts, saved.

Many people know the Emperor Augustus supposedly wandered the palace after the disaster, crying, “Where are my legions?” But other accounts have him saying, “Where are my eagles?”

One highlight of Augustus’s reign was ensuring the return of eagles that the Persians had captured in a previous war. Even though he got them back through diplomacy, not war, Augustus treated it like a great victory. The Romans getting the eagles back is even depicted on Augustus’s armor on the famous statue we’ve all seen.

It’s easy to be ironic about eagles, flags, or other standards. In one play, Shakespeare’s character Falstaff dismisses the very idea of honor as absurd (“a mere scutcheon”) and says, “I’ll [have] none of it.” But his friend who becomes King Henry V gives those heroic speeches (“Once more into the breach” and “We band of brothers”) that audiences respond to even now.

Napoleon supposedly said that “a soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.” If he indeed said it, he didn’t mean it cynically. He restored the tradition of giving “eagles” to his regiments. Of course, while they were a rallying point for the men, they were also targets for enemies. If a person captured one, he was a national hero.

But at the end of the day, they were chunks of metal.

The same is true of flags. If you identify with a certain country, its flag is something sacred; if you hate it, it’s something vile. If you don’t care, it’s just a piece of cloth.

We stroll past things in museums that earlier people thought were powerful, sacred, worth killing or dying for. This age has its own taboos, ones that will appeal foolish to future generations. The same person who smirks at a hero’s tomb will react like a scandalized Puritan if you question the equality of all men.

The anarchist Max Stirner said ideas like “God,” “Fatherland,” or “property rights” were just “spooks,” empty ghosts that people have created for themselves or to trick others. Most people think they are really serving some higher purpose when they are just fulfilling their own self-interest, or being fooled into serving someone else’s.  There’s a lot of truth in what he says.

Yet is it really that simple? Like the Roman who killed himself to spite his victorious enemies, there are countless examples of men who sacrifice all that they have for honor’s sake, even if it seems pointless, even if nobody will ever notice. That’s why we respond to tales of heroism and sacrifice, even in defense of causes that make no sense to us today. “You say it is the good cause that hallows any war. I say unto you: it is the good war that hallows any cause.”

There’s something inherent in us that wants to reach beyond ourselves; there’s something in life that reaches beyond life.

We read that Odin sacrificed “himself to himself” to gain knowledge. There are many ways to interpret this, but one is that he was willing to pay the price of death to glimpse a truth, even for just a moment. Think of the concept of a “good death,” which different cultures like that of the Japanese, the American Indians, and the Vikings all shared.  There was this concept of ultimate self-realization at the moment of your extinction. When famine, war, disease, and tyranny were so omnipresent, the way you met your death was basically the only choice you had.

Today, many people probably don’t even realize when they are dying because they are drugged up or unconscious. Yet ultimately, most still have that same choice. More than that, we have the far more important choice of deciding not what we will die for, but what we will live for, and how we will live.

In the past, heroes fought for a god, a flag, a king, or some other authority because they were in an environment where it was expected. Your identity was assigned to you. This was comforting in many ways.

We are wiser now, or perhaps just more cynical. We have the terrifying, awful freedom to choose our standard, to create our own eagle. We aren’t assigned it automatically. There’s no Emperor to order you forward, no warrior king to take you on a great quest. We must do it ourselves.

In this consumerist, post-honor, and increasingly post-human society, it’s easy to walk away from commitments, to shed identities, to “choose” a religion with no more thought than you might choose Amazon or Netflix. Even Marx wrote, “All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned.”

Of course, he was wrong; new idols have simply been created to replace the old ones and blasphemers are punished in the same old ways. Now, the priests of weakness preach the creed of self-degradation, and call it humanity; of degeneracy, which they call liberation.

What has truly been destroyed is the older idea of heroism, of living your life to serve something greater, higher, and nobler than yourself. Even if these concepts are just self-created, what’s been taken away is the idea of “sacrificing yourself to yourself,” of forging yourself into your own Ideal, of living a Myth and so making it real.

This is why Operation Werewolf is necessary. There is a Need to create a real culture, to worship strength, to tap into an everlasting Tradition and make it relevant to this time. In an Empire of ashes and dust, we must look to Iron and Blood to rekindle the living spirit of something authentic.

It is here. It exists now. The black flag of the Operation has been unfurled, the Totenwolf revealed, the Iron Age upon us. It is a challenge to all the world, but ultimately it is a challenge to ourselves.

Are we willing to rally around this standard? Will we accomplish what we say we will? If necessary, will we sacrifice all for this banner, the way a legionnaire would value his life as nothing before the eagle?

Many have enrolled in Werewolf Elite. Yet Operatives who didn’t, for whatever reason, are still part of this. They are still claiming the same standard. They are still creating this rising culture.

As you go into the new year, there’s a question you must ask yourself. What standard are you showing to the world? Are you willing to defend it to the end? What are the values that you proclaim? Are you going to be the person you say you are?

At a time of deracination, degradation, and entropy, we raise the banner of strength. We rally to no standard but our own. We show our belief in the Myth by living it. And we will create something that lasts forever under the banner of the wolf.

Iron and Blood,

Operative 413

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The First King: Birth of an Empire – Review

Every empire begins with a tribe. Every tribe begins with a cult.

The First King is ostensibly about Romulus, Remus, and the creation of Rome. Yet it’s really about leadership and identity.

There are no marble columns or statues in this story, no patrician class. Romulus and Remus are two shepherds eking out a living, covered in dirt and grime. After they are almost killed by a flood, they are captured and enslaved by masked warriors from Alba Longa.

They and other slaves are forced to fight to the death as part of a sacrifice. Romulus tells his brother to beat him mercilessly. When the priestess approaches to ritualistically smear blood on the “dead” Romulus, he awakens and grabs her. The other slaves break their bonds and kill their enslavers. Romulus is wounded, but he tells us brother that “the god,” represented by the fire kept by the priestess, is coming with them now.

Romulus defies two conventions. He touches the sacred priestess and he claims ownership over the fire. However, he does not deny the god’s existence or the power of Tradition. Instead, he claims it for his own new tribe.

The small band of slaves and rogues escape into a forest. They want to kill the wounded Romulus, but Remus insists that Romulus be saved. However, at one point, Remus goes to find food, and one of the men takes this chance to finish off Romulus, this burden to the group.

However, the priestess builds a “sacred fire” around the wounded man and invokes horrible curses on anyone who crosses it. Terrified, the man backs down. Remus then returns with a deer he’s slaughtered, and it’s clear he has become the leader. In fact, he proclaims himself “king.” The first king is not Romulus, but Remus.

The men then kill a band of warriors from a nearby village. Remus enters the village with his warriors, with the head of the former leader on a pike. He claims the village as the seat of his new kingdom. The priestess wonders whether he is a kind of god.

However, after a sacrifice, the priestess inspects the entrails and says that one brother must kill the other in order to create a powerful state. Everyone assumes this means Remus must kill the wounded Romulus.

Remus responds in Nietzschean fashion. He defies the prophecy and ties the priestess in the woods to be devoured by beasts. He burns the village down and lets the sacred fire go out. He kills a villager in cold blood. When defied, he forces men to bow before him. He asserts that “the god” isn’t real, and that men will make their own fates.

Romulus, now somewhat healed, confronts his brother. Remus, ashamed, goes to find the priestess, but she has already been mauled by animals and is on the verge of death. She tells him to “run away.”

Meanwhile, Romulus consoles the mourning villagers and helps them bury the dead men with the appropriate rites. He also rekindles the sacred fire and picks a young girl to feed it for the rest of her life. She is the first Vestal Virgin.

Remus regathers the remainder of his small group of warriors and try to flee the area by crossing a river. Unfortunately, the mounted soldiers from Alba Longa have finally come for revenge. They are outmatched, but Romulus and the villagers arrive to rescue them.

Yet even after this, Remus insists on his regal title. He wants everyone to bow to him. There’s an old legend that Romulus killed Remus after the latter leapt over Rome’s initial walls. Romulus then said something like, “Woe to whoever overleaps my bounds.”

In this film, Romulus makes a boundary between Remus and the sacred fire. Remus crosses it and is slain in the ensuring fight. Romulus is horrified at what he’s done, but recognizes it was necessary. Remus repents just before death, recognizing that Romulus is his king.

The small group burns the body and Romulus says his brother’s strength will guide this new settlement, Rome.

It will be a haven for slaves and outcasts, who will in turn become masters of the Earth.

If Operation Werewolf is about anything, it’s about worshiping strength. However, strength is not enough. Remus is the strongest, yet his power and charisma can’t build a society. Romulus is powerful but also what Nietzsche calls a “creator of peoples.”

He gives them a faith and a creed to bind them together. He reconnects to an ancient tradition – the sacral fire that represents the presence of “the god.” Yet he also violates the taboos. He appeals to something eternal but he adapts it to his own needs, his own time, and his own conditions.

Remus is a great warrior – the priestess even admits he is something of a god. Yet because he does not link that strength to anything greater than himself, he is ultimately defeated. His claims to “kingship” over a petty band of scruffy villagers seem pathetic and self-aggrandizing.

Yet to his credit, Remus recognizes this. Before he dies, he salutes Romulus as “my king.” In turn, Romulus holds up Remus’s strength and pride as noble qualities for his new Romans to follow.

And who are his new Romans? Outcasts, former slaves, a few warriors, some old men. But Romulus teaches them that they are strong if they are united. Outcasts can become a tribe, a tribe with a tradition becomes a people, a people can create a rising culture.

What is the ultimate goal of Werewolf Elite? Of course, there’s the objective of Total Life Reform. However, like Romulus, we want to link people to an eternal tradition that is expressing itself in new forms.

Even if you can deadlift 600 pounds, defeat anyone in a fight, overcome any physical challenge, it can only go so far if you aren’t part of something larger. Werewolf Elite is about forging something greater than ourselves.

Individual physical strength is the foundation. It’s necessary to everything we want to accomplish. But by itself, it is insufficient.

There is one final opportunity to enroll in Werewolf Elite. Then, we are cutting it off. If you feel the call to not only rebuild yourself, but build something greater than yourself, this is for you.

Remember, even Rome started with just two men.

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Of Wolves and Rulership

Written for Operation Werewolf by Operative 413

 

“A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war…” The Prince, Machiavelli 

 

“The life of man upon earth is a warfare, and his days are like the days of a hireling.” – The Book of Job

 

The Book of Job uses “war” to represent strain, slavery, and life’s endless burdens. In contrast, Machiavelli describes war as the sole study of rulers and the means for the lowly to reach greatness. It’s a means of ascent and somehow life-affirming. Those rulers who don’t keep it at the forefront of their minds are displaced–as they should be. 

 

War, then, is a constant. It’s fought with guns by states and gangs. It’s fought in a more dishonest manner with media smears and betrayals. War is simply the eternal struggle for power, through whatever means. 

 

Most of us don’t deal with an invading army. Yet some of us wish we did…anything for a sense of clear purpose. Of course, there’s also this despairing, nagging feeling that their world isn’t even worth fighting for.  No wonder so many feel the temptation of the noose, the needle, or the gun. In a society like this, depression is a sign of vitality. 

 

Why is it this way? Machiavelli knew that wise rulers must master both the war of force and the war of fraud. In the former, enemies are defeated honestly. In the latter, they are reduced to “hirelings” through deceit.

 

Clearly, we’re in the latter position today, and it’s been shaped this way deliberately. 

 

In The Prince, Machiavelli advises rulers “to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against snares and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves.” A ruler, he says, should be “half beast and half man,” and attributes the law as fitting to men, and force as fitting to beasts. 

 

Yet he also dispassionately notes the “faithlessness of princes” and the worthlessness of promises. “He who has known best how to employ the fox has succeeded best,” he says. A leader should be a “great pretender and dissembler.” 

 

If that’s what’s fitting to men, I prefer beasts. 

 

Machiavelli advises, accurately, that even when a prince plots the destruction of his enemies, people should see him as “merciful, faithful, humane, upright, and religious.” That sounds familiar. 

 

How often do we hear sanctimonious, self-righteous slogans or pleas of victimhood, guilting us into surrendering power and control over our own lives? It’s nothing but a trick–a cynical way of gaining power, self-interest disguised as self-sacrifice

 

Yet Machiavelli was just explaining the way things work. Whatever men or women say, life is about the pursuit of power. The more someone claims altruism, the more you should suspect their motives. 

 

However, I think if he was alive today, Machiavelli would rewrite some of his axioms. He dealt with men like Lorenzo the Magnificent, Cesare Borgia, Julius II. Even his “foxes” possessed virtú, the drive to accomplish great deeds.

 

We’re in a world without lions. When you look at so-called “elites” in the media, in politics, in culture… does anyone feel fear? Awe? Even respect? You’re more likely to feel utter contempt. Yet at the end of the day, these are the people who rule you. Today, a journalist triggered by a mean tweet ultimately has more power than the most highly trained soldier. 

 

The virtues of the “lion”–the ability to fight, to hunt, to lead groups of men–seem antiquated. Some tell us men themselves are outdated.  

 

We’re ruled, in short, by foxes, by the masters of the lie. They’ve ensnared the lions, or at least tamed them. Proud boasts about strength or bragging on social media doesn’t disguise this reality. 

 

Still, Machiavelli also says the “fox cannot defend himself against the wolves.” There’s something more to this than just metaphor. 

 

The Wolf is a powerful archetype that reaches back to the origins of many cultures. The Wolf is the outcast, yet also works as part of a cohesive unit, united under a natural hierarchy. The Wolf doesn’t simply try to overwhelm a foe with a direct charge. It hunts, it tracks, it uses skill and an uncanny wisdom to bring down its prey. More than that, by working as a group, it can overwhelm even the largest creature. 

 

And, as Machiavelli says, the fox cannot defend itself against the outsider, the beast in the night. Outside the civilized realm, that is, the controlled system, tricks and fraud don’t work. 

 

Today, only in the darkness can truth be victorious. 

 

Machiavelli advises those who wish to gain renown to be a “either a true friend or a downright enemy… he who conquers does not want doubtful friends who will not aid him in the time of trial.” Here again, we see this idea of an “honor culture,” where respect and fear are linked. 

 

Strong words must be backed by strong deeds, else they weaken the speaker. We live in a time where, thanks to social media, there’s more boasting and bragging than ever, yet the culture is dominated by those pose as victims and weaklings. There’s a lesson here in the real nature of modern power, for those with the wit to see it. 

 

How do we respond? It’s not fitting to cringe, fake, and pretend like the lords of lies we see on the blue screens. It wouldn’t work anyway. We can’t deceive like those born to it. 

 

No, in an age of decline, we must take a road different than that of the fox or the lion. We must look to the periphery, to the darkness, to the real world that exists apart from online gossip or media manipulation. We look to the Wolf.

 

Rather than trying to beat liars at their own system, we must defeat them by ignoring them. We must approach life with a radical sincerity. We must use terms like honor, loyalty, tribe, and ritual and defend our banner with the fanaticism of rabid animals

 

At the same time, this must be done deliberately and with structure. We must be aware that we are connecting with something vital lying within the very blood of our species. 

 

This is why Werewolf Elite has been created. 

 

You are already in a war. You are ruled. Yet you still have a choice. 

 

Do you want to throw away your life in pointless braggadocio and self-deception? 

 

Do you want the life of a “hireling,” yearning for the peace of the grave? 

 

Or do you want a chance to carve out a saga that means something, that offers you a path, purpose and Initiation into something greater? 

 

That is what has been created. That is what begins in just a few weeks. This is not simply a fitness plan, some self-help group, or a logo for edgy photos. This is a program of Total Life Reform, an honor culture of group accountability, and standards that will be ruthlessly enforced. 

 

The purpose is nothing less than to wage the war of life in a new way, to remake the world as we see fit. 

 

If you’re satisfied with the way things are, then this isn’t for you. 

 

If you’re scared of some mean words online, there are other things you can do with your time. 

 

If you’re content to be a “hireling,” read no more.

 

If you want your life to mean something, sign up for updates here. Werewolf Elite launches December 1. And we intend to shake the cosmos with what we are creating. 

 

This is the Wolf Road to power, the means to tear free of the lies and snares that are holding you back and to remake yourself in the forge of trial, struggle, and brotherhood. We don’t promise you something easy. We promise you something that will make you stronger, more capable, more driven, and, for the few, a brotherhood that not even death can sunder

 

“Nothing recommends a prince so highly to the world as great enterprises and noble expressions of his own valor and conduct,” wrote Machiavelli. 

 

It’s still possible for such things, even in this world. For you princes of men out there, for you who still have the blood of victorious ancestors and conquerors, this is your sign.

 

Join us.  

 

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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.