Woman and Truth-Telling

Guillaume Durocher, American Renaissance, January 29, 2018

A complementary approach to success.

What better proof of God, and of His love for us, than the beauty of women? But women are beautiful because they are not men.

Men and women’s brains are wired differently. There is no use in raging against that: Millions of years of evolution, of hard-won male and female wisdom aimed at their own perpetuation, have seen to it. There will therefore always be tension between man and woman; their natures pull them in different directions. But a well-ordered society should be organized so that these two natures are complementary, and the tension would be fecund and creative, just as the tension of well-tuned harp-strings produces the most beautiful music.

Man is political, warlike, and competitive; he takes high risks for high rewards. Woman is psychological, social, and conciliatory; she wants a husband who has mental strength, economic resources, and social standing. She craves respectability so that her babies will be safe in a family that is considered an upstanding part of the community. Women nag and go to church (or whatever is the postmodern equivalent). Men are less biologically determined, more unstable, more diverse, more prone to the heights of genius and the lows of anomic solitude. In excess, men tend towards predation, women towards parasitism.

There is a huge tension between the truth-affirming man and society. There are inevitably truths that, if expressed, threaten established order. The truth threatens the false doctrines of priests and official ideologues, it threatens corrupt and selfish governments, and it threatens the vanity and prejudices of the masses. This is by no means unique to our times. As Arthur Schopenhauer said: “The naked truth does not belong before the eyes of the profane mob; it can appear before them only heavily veiled.”

A man can choose to be a householder or a monk. The householder has a family, wife and children, economic responsibilities, and rank in the community. Perhaps he even holds political office. All of these social bonds are so many checks on his ability to tell the truth—or at least, to tell the truth directly—for he must care for their interests by not alienating society. His family and friends themselves are parts of society and embody its prejudices.

The monk frees himself from all that: homeless, wifeless, childless, jobless—to the extent possible—he is free to train himself, to pursue the Way, and to tell the truth. In exchange for social standing he gains something much more valuable: what the Greeks called parrhesia, that frankness of speech which is dangerous both for the speaker and for the evil he denounces. The monk’s sacrifice is powerful, and inspires others to virtue, but a society cannot be entirely composed of monks. Many have warned of the dysgenic consequences of Buddhist and Christian monastic orders.

The great religions often emphasize the tension between family life and adherence to values, especially revolutionary or heretical values. The wife of Socrates, Xanthippe, is supposed to have gotten so angry with her ne’er-do-well husband that she once emptied a chamber pot over his head—which he received graciously. After Socrates was sentenced to death by the Athenian democracy for, in effect, thought-crime, he asked that his wailing wife be taken home, that he might be able to spend his last hours practicing philosophy.

We must each accept the role that is most useful to our people and most in line with our nature. The overwhelming majority of us must be householders and experience the joy of breeding and educating beautiful children. This constrains our ability to speak freely. There is no shame in that. A Spartan king once told his son, who was fighting too recklessly in battle: “Either increase your strength, or reduce your self-confidence.”

Not all of us must be bald truth-tellers, and some of us must be statesmen. The poet Hesiod said that when a king is blessed by the gods: “out of his mouth the words flow honeyed.” People turn to him for decisions and he brings harmony and reconciliation. Do we not, in this sense, have a duty to use our speech responsibly? The householder may not always be able to speak the truth, but he may do better: He may live it and speak with his actions as much as with his words.

Woman, by her nature, is a representative of society in your own house. That can seem like a constraint. But she also carries wisdom within her: to avoid excess, to avoid needless offense, and above all to stay socially grounded. A man cut off from his own society is useless.

There is no doubt that, in the great majority of cases, men and women are morally improved by marriage and parenthood. The excesses of each sex are checked; both become less selfish and more forward-thinking. The very act of harmonizing our soul with another person—difficult as that is—is great practice for harmonizing ourselves with society.

In this, I believe a shared spiritual practice—something long forgotten in our age—is a great help. Ancient Greeks and Romans had household shrines dedicated to their ancestors, at which the paterfamilias held regular rituals and sacrifices. This was a huge boon to paternal authority and familial cohesion, and reinforced the idea that everyone must perpetuate his lineage.

Man is evolved to practice religion, with its song and ritual and spiritual practice. This binds us to a community and its values. Such practices have powerful effects on the brain, akin to those of sex and drugs. I believe such practices, whether philosophical or religious, also have a powerful effect on the subconscious. Our brief flicker of existence in the world appears more meaningful. Our own personal suffering appears more as it really is, that is to say, trivial. And we tend more towards living every moment with our ideals in mind. A shared practice, between husband and wife, raises the souls of both and reminds them of the inevitability of death and of the higher values that govern a good life. We must all learn that, in times of crisis, some things are more important than respectability and even family, let alone our own constrained existence. Among these, there is one that ought to be self-evident, yet remains taboo in our misguided society: the survival and prosperity of our people.

(Credit Image: © Circa Images/Glasshouse via ZUMA Wire)

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Guillaume Durocher
Mr. Durocher is a European historian and political writer.
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