I have some bad news. If you’re a man, especially if you’re a young man, you’ve been lied to.
These lies have been planted within us nearly from the day we first started to understand language. This script is not entirely malicious. Much of it used to be good advice. However, it is no longer very useful, and will leave many men in the lurch if they follow it, as it has set me back some years. The younger you discover the script of lies, the better, and fortunately, I have in my 20’s. Other men have been burned, and younger guys are being fed into the buzzsaw.
Hopefully, a few of those younger men are reading this entry. It’s written especially for you. Read on to recognize the lies so you can prepare yourself to take action accordingly.
Lie #1: You are Entitled to Success:
This is something the Millennial generation is especially infamous for, and I only imagine it’s that much worse for the younger men in Generation Z.
Self-esteem education was put into the schools big time by the time I was starting kindergarten. It doesn’t particularly help to change life outcomes as compared to kids in other countries, but it does make American kids have higher self-esteem than other kids. We Americans have high self-esteem even when our country is crumbling and we’re being ripped off.
If you ask me, Americans, especially younger ones, need less self-esteem, not more. Maybe that would give us some incentives to change.
I remember being part of the self-esteem generation. I participated in little league from a time I can’t recall. I was quite young. I don’t think I was ever on a winning team, but that didn’t stop me from piling up a lot of trophies. They’re probably still around somewhere.
The underlying theme to all of this is that failure is bad, hurts people’s feelings, and is to be avoided at all costs. “Everyone is a winner!” This mentality has been a big factor leading to a neurotic, freakish, and degenerate culture. Ironically, with the assumption that defeat is bad and that you are entitled to success, you will not see it.
Success, and of course, True Glory, the thing that we aim for at The Masculine Epic, must be earned, and it must be earned through struggle and sacrifice.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rejected by women.
I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t get a job I wanted.
I can’t tell you how many times I lost out on a deal, started a project that went nowhere, or failed to meet my expectations in an undertaking.
I still keep coming. I’m not entitled to anything.
If you are a young man, resolve to be a sea-bitten veteran and ditch the entitlement complex. It’s a harder road, but you’ll achieve more and, ironically, feel much better about yourself in the process.
Lie #2: It is Wrong for Men to be Assertive:
A related lie that you’re being told is that sensitivity is paramount. “Thou shalt not offend” has become the commandment of the day, particularly for men. Boys in school are now punished for being assertive and engaging in typical “boy behaviors” and are often put on drugs. Men are taught to conform to a perfectly politically correct worldview and are severely punished otherwise.
This is especially true if you are a white man. For non-white men, the poison is a bit more subtle. While it is somewhat OK according to our ruling orthodoxy for these men to speak their minds – it is only so when adhering to a confined set of assumptions. These men are assumed to be victims, creating a mindset that prevents them from achieving self-actualization and alienates them socially in favor of being perpetually aggrieved.
The way out is to be unapologetic in your beliefs, your mission, and in who you are, and to not worry about “offending.”
To quote Chris, do what you want (which is not as easy as it sounds, but it is still the mentality to have).
Lie #3: You Must be Deferential to Women:
This one is also deeply embedded in our culture. Part of it arises from a natural and perfectly acceptable desire from men to protect their women, but it has since been turned into a whole ethos of white knighting that seriously undermines society.
They’re teaching boys to sit down, shut up, and white knight while very young. My recent commentary on a feminist typist’s review of Steven Universe showcases a good example.
We are also still told by women, especially our mothers, to “be gentlemen” to attract women. While “game” has seeped into the mainstream enough to counter this somewhat, it is still a minority voice. Men are told that “being a gentleman,” putting women’s needs above their own, and doing all kinds of nice things for women will make them attracted.
It’s all a lie.
Women are attracted to masculine, assertive, confident men who can lead them into excitement and prosperity. Being secure in yourself and working to fulfill your reason for being on this Earth by rejecting the first two lies will go a long way toward giving you a personality that women are attracted to. This doesn’t mean you can’t do nice things for women – just make sure that you’re doing them on your own terms, from a position of strength rather than weakness (doing something nice because you think it will make a woman like you is one such position of weakness). In other words, make sure she deserves it.
And for your own sake, don’t white knight.
Lie #4: Women Don’t Like Being Approached:
If you’re here, you probably know that “street harassment” is a big issue in feminist circles these days. If you don’t, just look at that video that went viral last year.
You’ve probably also been ingrained with the idea that women hate being propositioned and will bitch out at you for doing so somewhere in the popular media or by word-of-mouth over many decades.
It’s another lie.
Sure, women don’t like being approached by losers. That’s what that “street harassment” thing is really about.
You aren’t a loser are you?
If you are, it’s alright. Acknowledge it and seek help. You’ll find a lot here.
If you aren’t a loser however, women love being approached, even if they don’t say so. I’ve had my fair share of women thank me for approaching them. I was often the first to do so for tourists visiting the city. One time a married woman I approached on the street thanked me and said I should keep doing it.
I’ve also had women who, with some disdain, mentioned that they were approached a lot but were quite happy or at least content to talk to me. For some reason this group has also tended to be foreign women, particularly Brits, who tell me the men there don’t really approach the way Americans do (even though I’ve found that most Americans don’t approach either, I should know because I used to be one of them).
I have also had a large amount of women brush me off, but usually not with any malice. That’s only happened maybe three or four times.
All this is to say, if you aren’t a loser, which is not a difficult feat to accomplish, women love being approached, even if they brush you off. Think about it – you’re giving them validation and attention, which is what women live for. If social media can teach you one thing, it’s that.
The disdainful bitch is imaginary, despite what feminists insist and what our culture has implied since at least the time I was a little kid.
Get out there.
Lie #5: You Should Eat a High Carb, Low Fat Diet:
They’ve updated it in recent years to a food plate, but it’s still largely the same.
The message behind both is that carbs are the foundation of a healthy American diet and that foods with saturated fat are bad.
But this is problematic for a few reasons. First and foremost, the foundation of this mantra stems from a doctor named Ancel Benjamin Keys who looked to be more than a bit biased in his investigations of the issue in the 1950’s. In conducting his surveys relating saturated fat to heart disease, he overlooked many countries with large staples of saturated fats in their diets, but with low rates of heart disease, like Sweden, among other errors.
It also doesn’t take a genius to see that as the high carb, low fat diet became doctrine, obesity rates skyrocketed. It doesn’t help that a lot of those carbs come from grains that have been stripped of all nutritional value.
I’m not a dietician or nutritionist. Therefore I can’t know exactly what diet works for you. You’ll have to figure that out yourself based on your metabolism, genetics, and lifestyle. What I can say is that many who gorge themselves on carbs have doomed themselves to lives of obesity. Don’t blindly believe the government’s food recommendations or that foods high in saturated fat, such as meats, are automatically “bad.”
Lie #6: You Must go to College:
This is a huge one, and it’s ingrained into us from the time we first start school by our parents and teachers alike. It is, albeit, a bit more complex to unravel than some of the other lies.
The unemployment rate, as the Department of Labor officially counts it, is significantly higher among non-college graduates than among college graduates. College graduates also make a lot more money than non-college graduates.
I assume that the same is true in other advanced industrialized countries.
At face value, this data speaks strongly to the “need” to go to college.
The days of anyone being able to show up to some factory somewhere and make a living are long gone. When those jobs started to get offshored in the 70’s, enrollment in universities increased significantly.
University enrollment was a countermeasure by the masses against the forces of economic stagnation. And indeed, nowadays to even get a job as a secretary for some asshole somewhere, a college degree is usually required. But how great an option is a college degree, really?
Since the 80’s, real income (mainly as a wage) has not grown or not grown much for most people, while personal debt has skyrocketed, despite increased university enrollment. What’s more, some of the nation’s richest men, including Bill Gates, are college dropouts. Real wages have even been stagnant among college graduates since 2000.
I’ll be doing a more in-depth article on this subject to come, but for brevity’s sake I will say, speaking as a college graduate (Fordham University, Class of 2011), that the supposed advantages of a college education are vastly overstated.
For you really young guys out there, consider other options besides college. It’s far from certain that you need to go or that you’ll be a success by going, and what’s more, universities are currently ground zero for poisonous ideologies, directed particularly against men, and even more particularly against white men. Universities are at the point where they can now be dangerous, and all for the privilege of being fed into the corporate grinder with a mountain of debt.
Lie #7: You Must Get Married:
This one’s easy. There is no advantage in marriage for men in today’s environment, period.
It sucks, because I believe that most men don’t particularly see the need to be studs with 500 notches, and there are some good women out there, but the legal system is just too dead-set against you in marriage. A pre-nup is not enough of an insurance policy either. Courts have and will throw pre-nups out on the slightest whim.
If you get married, you are giving someone else control over at least half your future earnings and assets. What’s more, she has every legal incentive to divorce you as soon as things get a little bad or you inevitably become less attractive. Any man getting married in these conditions is a fool.
But you aren’t one, that’s why you’re here.
Unfortunately, as more men like you wise up to the marriage lie, courts are responding in the same way with other types of relationships such as cohabitation, making your prospects of even living with a good woman (should you find one) dicey. We’ll have to see the full extent of this, but for now, getting married is putting yourself in front of a gun, almost literally. There’s no need.
Lie #8: Home Ownership is the American Dream:
Somewhere along the way, home ownership became synonymous with the “American Dream.”
All kinds of government policies, including massive tax incentives, super low interest rates, and civil rights laws incentivizing increased lending (for fear of discrimination lawsuits), were pushed to ensure that every American could own a home. The private sector was all too eager to go along with the government, deceiving the public about the strength of mortgage-backed securities and selling them to the biggest fools that could be found.
We all know where that led to.
At The Masculine Epic, we laugh at this interpretation of the “American Dream.”
By going the home ownership route, you’ll likely be sinking most of your wealth into one very illiquid asset, making it hard for you to weather the storm should times get tough. The amount of families that got sunk by the last storm in this way is staggering.
You’ll also probably be in debt for a very long time. Although the interest and monthly payments on mortgages are typically low, they’ll be just one of many payments that need to go out in the month. Should times get dark again, which is far from a distant possibility, your ass will be on the line.
The most common argument that home ownership is a necessity is that by renting, you won’t be building any equity, and the extra taxes you’ll be paying will be crippling. Indeed, I previously worked with clients who wanted to buy for that same reason.
On the surface, it makes sense. In a personal way, it certainly does. My parents bought their apartment, the place I grew up in, in 1988 for a price of $97,000. That’s $195,671.06 today. The apartment is now worth around $900,000, good for an increase of 4.59 times in real terms. My parents got an insider deal, so an ordinary person would have made a little bit less. It would have been about $140,000 otherwise, good for $282,411.83 today.
Approximate net income on the insider deal: $704,328.94.
Approximate net income on the regular price: $617,588.17.
To compare, the S&P 500 at the start of 1988 (February) was at 250.50. As of this date in 2015, it is at 1961.04, good for an increase of 7.82 times, even despite the numerous recessions in the interceding years.
To get more specific, we can compare the real total returns if those dollars had been invested in the S&P. From the start of 1988 to August of 2015, the total real return on the S&P was 280.463%, good for $548,784.92, in 2015 terms.
This is obviously less than the value of my parents’ home. Yet, there is also an underlying dynamic that I have neglected to mention thus far – my parents’ home is in an extremely valuable neighborhood in New York City, so it is far from a typical real estate investment.
As you can see, the real median price of real estate in 1988 was a bit over $175,000. Perhaps surprisingly, this was larger than the full price of the home here, but it isn’t a total surprise when you consider that New York City was a crime-ridden shithole in the 1980s (I’m even told that there was probably a pimp living in the apartment building at the time). The median price in real terms today is a bit over $200,000. That’s a terrible return.
Even if you’d sold at the high in 2005-6, for a bit over $275,000, your approximate net income would be $100,000. Compared to the S&P over the same period (1988 – 2006), that $175,000 would have gotten you a 224% increase, good for $392,000.
This is, of course, a far riskier mode of investment than real estate, and I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have the stomach for it. My only intention here was to expose the lie that you absolutely have to own a home. Stocks outperform real estate, and the amount you make will be more than you save in tax deductions.
If you’re just looking to live a content life with some happiness and a bit of money, home ownership is fine, but no one that’s really rich or appears to be living a free, truly fulfilling life, goes the route of investing all their money in home ownership, which is essentially a path for a disappearing middle/debtor class. These people live normally – they go into debt, build what equity they can, and work for a wage or struggle in some other way. My own parents were no exception.
This is averageness, and we do not aspire to be average at the Masculine Epic.
This information on home ownership probably isn’t too applicable to most of you now (nor for that matter, to me), but it is something to keep in mind. I’m not sure what the tax laws are on this outside the U.S., so this is primarily applicable to an American audience (as you might know from the subtitle). If you are from somewhere else, look into those tax laws for your long term planning, though I imagine you won’t get breaks for rent anywhere.
Overall, if you’re planning on being a homeowner, try to build up other assets first, take as small a mortgage as possible, and remember that location is everything. If you’re going to take that plunge, do it in a place where it will get you a lot of money. Make sure you’re really ready for it before you get suckered into some long-term debt. I would also avoid the U.S. Southwest, as I see that region being the epicenter of many logistical and infrastructure problems in the next few decades.
And don’t foolishly think that it’s fulfilling your “American Dream.” Living well is about what you do, not what you own.
This is only scratching the surface. We’ve been told many lies over the years, and our political culture is filled with them, but these 8 are the ones that will have the most impact on your life, as they directly and negatively affect your mind, body, sex life, and wealth.
There’s far more to do, but recognizing and counteracting these 8 lies will already put you well ahead of the pack.