16 August 2014

Masculinity and Virtue

From The Federalist, a blog that tries to find a happy place between libertarianism and traditional values:

The object of a man’s dominance, power, and violence is himself alone, for to be a man is to have subdued one’s self entirely; and to do so is not at all a peaceable thing, for the bestial passions of man, his lusts and fears and selfishness are all quite strong, and so die hard. [...] A man is something that is made. He is made because his masculinity consists in the destruction of his own nature, not in the maturity of it. He is born subject to a slew of desires, some more despicable, such as an unbridled lust for sex and drink, and some more acceptable, such as a desire for fame and affirmation. Though some of these passions are perhaps less unbecoming than others, they all make the man a slave for as long as he is in thrall to them and acts according to them.The act of being a man is realized when all such things are put under the rule of his will and are broken with a rod of iron; when he is no longer driven by his lusts as the Greeks would term it, or the flesh as it would be known among Christians, but rather commands them. Such is the dominance which is to be acquired by the power of his will and reason, and the acquisition of such dominance is called among us “virtue,” which is merely Latin for “manliness.”