Yesterday, Ferdinand Bardamu was kind enough to post a very thoughtful, detailed comment to my essay, Sex, Love, and Marriage in Modern Society: The Clever Pointlessness of Game.
I’ve only become familiar with Ferdinand’s writings this week, but in the essays I’ve tackled, he comes across as a well-educated and open-minded individual. And so I’m happy to have this dialogue with him, even though we have some major disagreements about some fundamental issues.
I’ve posted clips from his comment below, along with my response to them.
FB: “I advocate game as a short-term salve and not as a long-term solution. As I and others have written, having men behave like indifferent cads will speed up society's destruction. The long-term goal is to topple the structures (no-fault divorce, alimony/child support, welfare, etc.) that making using game the only viable option for men.”
TW: I don’t understand this at all. The vast majority of people – even among ideologues like myself – do not make decisions about their personal life on a day-to-day basis with the goal of changing society. What can be the justification for allowing your life to be used as a sacrifice for social progress? And what is your definition of progress? Relatively parochial issues like welfare reform. I’m not a fan of welfare myself, but I can’t imagine any scenario where I would allow the most important thing in my life – my love of a woman – to be dictated by the hope that one day – maybe – through my actions – society will be motivated to change its welfare laws.
FB: “A popular myth is that the intellectual foundation of game is Darwinism. This is incorrect. Only the Roissysphere and Steveosphere hold to this view…The Mystery-Neil Strauss conception of game, the view that is by far the most popular, bases its precepts on a quack pseudoscience called "neuro-linguistic programming"
TW: Again, I don’t understand this. You casually dismiss the twin intellectual foundations of “Game” – which is your prerogative - but then you – as a Gamer - don’t offer an alternative foundation. Normally, I would say that is your prerogative too, but in your writings you clearly advocate Game to advance a larger social purpose. That purpose should have a clearly-stated intellectual foundation. I believe that Game’s foundation – whether you recognize it or not - is “Reductionism.” What is Reductionism, and why is it harmful to the individual and society? See Lawrence Auster’s posts here and here. At the age of 29, Reductionism holds no appeal to me. I’ve traveled that road before, and I have no interest in traveling it again.
From there, the discussion shifts to Spiritual Rationalism…
FB: “So this is your vaunted alternative to game - an elaborate version of telling young men to "just be themselves?" You'll forgive me if I think your advice is rather impractical.”
TW: Well, it’s a little more complicated than “just be yourself,” but I’ll accept that phrase for now. Let me ask you: What is impractical about being truthful to yourself and loving yourself for who you truly are? And why is it “practical” to dislike yourself and create a false persona to achieve morally questionable goals?
FB: "S.R. advances a philosophy of personal integrity (“Be good and be smart”)."
What happens in a world where virtue is punished and vice rewarded, "as our world does"?
TW: To be honest, I don’t think our world punishes virtue and rewards vice. I really don’t. It’s true the world isn’t perfect, but it’s also a place where – more often than not – happy, moral people thrive, and immoral people eventually discover (usually the hard way) that their immorality creates negative consequences.
FB: “There have to be tangible benefits to being a person with integrity (beyond what gratification the person gets from it) in order for people to follow that route.”
TW: Yes, of course. That’s why I recommend integrity. Because it has benefits.
FB: Game isn't about "casual sex," it's about making oneself attractive to women. What happens from that point forward is the man's choice.
TW: An important question: Why is it so vital for you to make yourself attractive to women? Think about it: Why are you judging yourself and basing your behavior on the opinion of other people – people who, in most cases, are expendable clods. Why can’t you find happiness within yourself? A form of happiness that depends on the popularity on others is – by definition – an unreliable form of happiness.
FB: A man needs to be physically attracted to a woman in order for a relationship to be possible. Looks matter.
TW: This is a complicated subject which I’ll tackle at a later time. For now, let me just say, yes, looks do matter, and there’s inherently nothing with that if looks are put in their proper perspective. Looks should never be the number one basis for determining whether or not you should date a woman. That’s silly. The woman you love is always beautiful. If you think I’m naïve, so be it.
FB: Game is not about lying. If anything, game allows a man to be more honest with himself, by enabling him to express his true desires.
TW: That’s not my understanding of game. I watched a few episodes of The Pickup Artist. Lying was definitely a part of the seduction, and proudly so.
FB: Getting good with women is the only way to be selective enough that you can afford to do this. Game helps you get good with women.
TW: I don’t agree - in part, for the reason I stated above. Lying doesn’t help you “get good with women” – unless by “get good” you mean having an unhappy relationship, which is the inevitable result of a relationship founded on lies.
FB: Unconditional love is a myth and an excuse people use to indulge in their worst habits. Should Charles Manson's parents have loved him unconditionally?
TW: Ha! I don’t think they did! Which is why he became a murderer! ;) But seriously, unconditional love is not a myth. Ask most parents how they feel about their children.
FB: Who said anything about "sex with women [you] don't even like?"
TW: Roissy did. He said it specifically.
FB: If alpha males are getting all the women, then men will seek to emulate them. The only way to change this is to change the system that gives these scumbags all of the benefits.
TW: Ask yourself: Why is it so important for you “to get all the women?” Seriously. Wouldn’t it be better to just find one wonderful woman who you love and who loves you? Forgive me, but I have a hard time understanding your premises.
FB: I appreciate your post, and as an aside, I'm interested in your philosophy of "spiritual rationalism."
TW: Cool. If you haven’t already done so, check out my post, “The Philosophy of Heather Manning.” It’s the Cliff Notes version.
FB: Perhaps I’ll read your novel.
TW: It’s a good one, I assure you! ;)
Let me say again that I appreciate Ferdinand’s response, and I hope he’ll consider writing another one. It’s been educational for me. And fun. Also, I’ve put his blog, In Mala Fide, on my Blog List, and I recommend others do the same.
NOTE: Lawrence Auster comments on this email exchange here.
**UPDATE, AUG. 24, 2009**
See the Comments section for Ferdinand's response. And click here for my reply.