Young men are the greatest threat to social order today.
By young men I do not mean men in general, but a specific group of men that have been abandoned by the social structures in which they were ostensibly raised and then rejected. I am talking about the ferals.
This is not the opening to some woke screed about the evils of toxic masculinity and racism, nor is it a contribution to the Red-Blue culture wars that started in America and now dominate wider Anglosphere politics. Rather, it is a sober analysis of an issue that has affected every social order since the dawn of sedentary civilisation; an alpha event in civilisational importance. Alpha events are first order causes that lead to a wide range of secondary effects, which we call beta events.
Alpha event: Feralisation
One of the alpha events of our time is the rise in the population of men aged 15-45 who are “dissocialized”, which has a wide range of consequences; chief among them, causing lone wolf violence. By dissocialisation, I mean lacking an upbringing in a family structured embedded in a wider community, and a lack of education through rituals, customs, and behaviours that prohibit the use of force to get one’s way. They further lack any sort of vocation that marks their contribution to society, and so many of them are jobless at home engaging in mindless consumption of internet trends, video games, and pornography.
This has not occurred in a vacuum. Rather, this state of affairs has been actively encouraged by statesmen and policy-makers at the highest levels, egged on by this New Age belief in the necessity of the dissolution of the family, religion, work vocations, and anything else that had given structure to men’s lives; to be replaced with nothing. And so men fill it with lethargic and degenerate pursuits as they fall out of any social order or tribe. Some become incels or hikikomori. Some young men go a step further and take to spontaneous massacres.
They are going feral.
We have always had the problem of ferals. Bands of men would be left out of the social structures of some ancient Chinese period with no prospects for marriage, work, or general purpose. They would form raiding bands and then armies in search of revenge and plunder. In medieval Anatolia, students from colleges who could not find work again turned to brigandage, raiding and looting the countryside until the Ottoman Sultan had to send in armies to put them down. These examples of dissocialised young men are found in every era and corner of the Earth.
In modern times, institutions like foster care, public schools, and prison systems are social technologies, in the former case designed to account for, register, and pen young males for domestication into the social order, and in the latter to cage adult males who refused to adhere to law and order. This conveyor belt is a failure and not an adequate replacement for what having proper communities and social purpose can do for men. Almost 80% of inmates incarcerated in prisons across the USA spent time in foster care.
In short, wider social structures have decided to abandon their primary role in ensuring that the boys of their society receive the proper upbringing and education to become civilised men.
Beta Event: Discourses on Race and Masculinity
The shift in public discourse around men, masculinity, violence, and race, are beta events as society attempts to crowdsource meaning to explain this rise in random violence, mainly perpetrated by young men. Owing to a sheer lack of understanding, race discourse has become the favourite lens with which to interpret these events. After all, why not? We can use it against our political enemies! But there are inconvenient truths.
What about masculinity?
Are men prone to going feral for feral based on race, or based on some shared ‘toxic masculinity’? I am a man. Not only am I the most lethal species, but put me with a group of other young men and based on muscle mass and testosterone alone, we become the most lethal fighting body on the planet, second only to a larger group of men, tanks and planes. Yet I nor the other men in my community go feral. On the contrary, we use our strength to protect the weaker among us and to perform the harder and more dangerous physical tasks to make society function.
We do not go feral because from a young age we are socialized in our ethnic and religious communities, have a firm family structure with roles, duties, and authority, and we have purpose. We are socialized to feel shame if we express anger outside of its proper context, and can face social repercussions such as ostracisation, ritual shaming, and even exile. We may call this chivalry, futuwwa, javanmardi, or civility. The last of those terms is important as a general catch-all phrase for how to conduct oneself in any given society.
A society’s progress is marked by its degree of ‘civility’. Civility’s exact contours shift from society to society, but the general expectation of non-violence, decency, etiquette, and manners can be considered civility’s core function. For a higher civilisation to operate, it requires civility as a social technology to breed trust between people who share a similar hierarchical organisational structure or area of living and working. Concepts like the rule of law spring out from this, acting as a check against the violence of higher powers against lower powers through setting clear expectations and a mechanistic adherence to them.
One of the main reasons a stable family structure and firm social roles and expectations are important is because it is a disciplining force that transforms men from ferals to civilised members of a society. Now imagine what a young boy who was raised without any of this thinks and feels. No one stops to care what happens to the mind of a young boy exposed to violence and anarchy from a young age, spending time on the conveyor belt of abusive institutions and shuffled from one broken context to another? What happens to young men exposed to pornography, drugs, and video games as a replacement for social purpose and work?
These things have been talked about for decades by right-wing culture warriors as they railed against progressive social policies. Beyond the bluster and political polarisation, they were right. As a result, people on the other side of the political aisle engage in denialism, ignoring the fundamental roots of feralisation while engaging in excessive moralisation about the evils of the product of the very systems they support.
What about race?
The violence committed in African-American communities is overwhelmingly by young, African-American men killing their brothers. Additionally, the recent spate in assaults on Asian-Americans disproportionately comes from young, African-American men. These inconvenient facts result in Pravda-style social media campaigns to shift the focus to “white racism” as the root of all violence, while supporting social policies that see scores of African-Americans growing up without families, in environments, and poor education.
While one political group wants people to believe that there is no issue with violence, the other side wants people to believe that this level of violence is exclusive to African-Americans. Over the past decade, we saw scores of young Muslim men leave their homes to fight on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. And in recent years, young white men are going on shooting sprees against Black, Jewish, Muslim, and now Asian-American minorities across the Anglosphere.
The “diversity” of race and creed suggest that this problem is not about any particular culture or some external influence; rather, the Anglosphere as a whole (or rather, America and its orbital colonies) is failing in one of the core functions of civilisation; to properly raise its male population in an environment of civility and chivalry, of family and community, and of vocation and purpose. Reducing this to race discourse is a lazy response by rent-seeking apparatchiks looking for social currency or sinecures from a government now obsessed with “equality and diversity” as it continues to ignore the fundamental issues of its policies.
Progressive or “woke” discourse or whatever you want to call it isn’t the only culprit. On the other side of the aisle, popular narratives around the Great Replacement, Islamic conquests, and Qanon conspiracies, give young white men in particular a way to make sense of their generally purposeful lives; our people are under siege, and our state of apathy is a direct result of the enemy wanting us to let this happen unopposed. We must fight back.
Right now, there are possibly dozens of plots being formed across the Anglosphere to target minority homes, businesses, and places of worship. After the Christchurch attack, we felt a sense of loss. But I also felt a sense of unease, like a new era was just dawning upon us. Most days one wonders, ‘when is the next one?’ The inability to defend our communities because of the state’s treatment of aggressor and defendant as being the same sort of violence makes this helplessness all the more palpable.
Complaining about racism is cope. Telling men to "do better" is cope. The fundamental fact is that we are witnessing flares of violence from the cracking seams of society. Without society, men are mostly ferals. You cannot educate ferals, nor do ferals care about the colour of your skin; they only want to spill blood, and all blood is red.
This is the Mad Max world we should worry about; not a dystopian wasteland of roving bandits, but the banality of everyday life regularly interrupted by spontaneous and indiscriminate slaughter. The feral wolves lying just over the borders of civilisation will bring chaos, chaos bred by the incompetence of the elites, and the jealousy these abandoned wolves feel for those who still enjoy the benefit of a normal life.
Can the state intervene by arresting and killing feral attackers?
I don’t think that existing lone wolf violence will turn into groups of brigands, mainly because even as society disintegrates state power is increasing. The correlation may or may not be so obvious. The first drone strikes to occur on U.S. territory against U.S. citizens will probably occur before 2030 and be against feral attackers. Precedent already exists. However, the state’s hammer and nail approach is unlikely to deal with deep rooted social issues. Even as the state is able to locate and eliminate any attempts at forming groups dedicated to violence, it will be unable to suppress spontaneous feral violence unless we see the adoption of a China-style surveillance society.
We are starting to see echoes of this with the increasingly Sinified elite getting a taste for absolute power after the COVID quarantine. And yet this won’t be enough; the underlying socio-economic problems remain unresolved. Furthermore, the homogenising eye of the state sees no difference between virtuous violence (e.g. defending the weak against an aggressor) and vicious violence (feral attacks against the weak). Good men needed for the defence of society will be treated equally as criminals, creating a vicious cycle of alienation and distrust. It also lends itself ot the concept of X, whereby real crimes go unpunished but those who attempt to defend themselves against said crimes are punished.
What if we (re)built the social technologies necessary for a functioning society?
Our time is not exceptional. Most great civilisations have had to deal with this exact issue. Whether it is 200 BCE China, 1400 CE Ottoman Empire, or 21st century America, individual men left out of the social order meet together on its fringes to form bands of wolves that then return to civilisation to pillage and loot, both out of greed and lust, and out of anger at the society that rejected them.
Peter Turchin’s work on producing a quantitative history and theory of ‘elite overproduction’ is a step in the right direction but doesn’t give us the full picture. The problem is usually far wider than elite overproduction, which itself is a symptom of wider civilisational issues. One of these issues is the flaring in male violence; feral attacks and general banditry.
Thousands of years of social disorder shows us that the only way to change our situation is the hard slog upwards; rebuilding the social order, building new structures of meaning, vocation, and purpose, and once again demanding virtue both in private and public life. The last of these things is the hardest thing to swallow for factions on every side of the socio-political order. Yet virtue is the trait that teaches us filial piety, not to use our strength against the weak, and to dedicate ourselves to a life of purpose.
I won’t pretend to know any firm answers as to how to achieve this on a wide scale. I have previously written about the wider causes of socio-economic collapse and how a religious-based effort between the Abrahamic faiths can help to push back through building new institutions, dedicated to the rebuilding local economies and communities. But to inculcate virtue requires prophets and religious fervour, not technocratic policy-making and the hollowness of secular living. But we seem to stray further away from any foundational religious and moral roots every day.
Which way, western man?
I conclude with a speech by Aragorn at the end of The Return of the King,
"A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day."
"An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Men comes crashing down; but it is not this day! This day we fight!"
We have a responsibility to ourselves, our friends, and our families to ensure that the era of wolves never comes to pass. In struggling for some vision of a virtuous future, we may form the bonds of a glorious brotherhood to come for the good of all civilisation. We share this land, so we must choose to share in a harvest of blood or a harvest of fruits. I would much rather choose the latter.