Julian Langness, proprietor and author of the excellent blog European Civil War, wrote a book a while back that I read and found to be really rather good. Shortly after I posted my review and comments, Julian got in touch and very graciously asked if I wouldn’t mind being interviewed by him.
Now obviously, I’m not in any way a particularly noteworthy member of the Manosphere, but I’m always very pleasantly surprised and honoured by the fact that people read what I write and actually enjoy it. So of course, I agreed.
The resulting interview took rather longer than either of us would have liked; Julian is a busy chap and, in all honesty, most of the fault is mine, as I should have responded a lot faster but couldn’t due to various commitments. But it did get done by correspondence eventually, and yesterday the full thing went up at his place.
Since Julian is the one who did all the work in putting it together and posting it, I recommend you access it using the link above. Take the opportunity to read his excellent writing, have a peek at his book, and see what is on offer there. I’ll provide the full interview as-is below the jump.
If you have not done so already, check out his book, on sale here. It is well worth the read and I highly recommend it. I’d also like to thank Julian for the opportunity, for his hard work, and for his very kind comments about my writing.
If men like Julian are any sign of things to come, we have a bright future ahead of us.
ECW: Can you tell us about yourself and the website?
The Didact: As readers of my work will know, I am a foreigner living and working in the United States. As for my personal story:
I was born and brought up in Asia. My father’s job kept us moving around a lot, so I spent time living in Indonesia, Australia, and Singapore before I went to London for university. I ended up coming to America for my postgraduate degree, mostly through happenstance, and have been here ever since.
I found a job here and, much to my surprise, found that I rather liked living and working in America. I’ve come to love this country and its people, with all of their odd mannerisms and idiosyncrasies and their adamant refusal to speak and spell English properly. The dynamism and drive of America, the faith of its people in God that gives them their goodness and decency, and the ardent love of true freedom and all of the responsibility that comes with it, are all unique to America.
Nowhere else in all of my travels have I encountered a nation and a people with these same attitudes- and with good reason; these are the things that have propelled America to its current, sadly deteriorating, position as the world’s greatest, most prosperous, and most powerful nation.
Which brings me neatly to the reason why my blog exists.
Starting in roughly late 2010, a sense of deep unease began to grow upon me that all of the things I had been taught about how a man should live his life, how he should act around and with women, and what Man’s relationship to his people, to his government, and to the world around him should be, were simply flat-out wrong.
The (still ongoing) Crisis of 2008 was the first sign that everything that I had originally been taught in university was likely wrong, but it took a few more years of reading and searching to realise just how wrong I was, on just how many subjects.
After years of reading and processing information from a wide variety of different sources, I had a lot of information rattling around in my head, but I had no clear and distinct philosophy or thought process of my own. So, after much procrastinating, I started up Didact’s Reach on January 1st, 2013.
Over 1,300 posts later, I continue to write about all of the many things that interest me with respect to philosophy, politics, economics, game, martial arts, and other subjects.
ECW: How would you describe your political views and have they always been that way or did you undergo an awakening or ‘red-pilling process’? If so, can you describe it?
The Didact: Certainly. As mentioned above, I did not always think the way I do now. As I’ve pointed out on my blog, as a very young boy I was an ardent environmentalist; then, as I grew into my teenage years, I renounced God and religion and became an atheist. However, I never really was very “liberal” in terms of my politics. I have never really believed, outside of my economics classes, that government has all of the answers, that highly intrusive government is anything less than dangerous at best, or that there are more than two sexes.
Part of that comes from growing up in a very strong nuclear family with a largely apolitical, traditionally-minded father and mother. As a result, my political convictions tended toward “small-c” conservative or, at most, squishy centrism. My parents insisted that I think for myself from a very early age, and they gave me all of the necessary tools to do so, from a virtually endless supply of books both purchased and available through libraries, to some of the best education that money could buy.
Coming to the US and living here, in one of the most liberal parts of the country, was one of the catalysts that propelled me toward first conservative, then libertarian, then neoreactionary, and finally Western civilisationist or “alt-Right” philosophy.
Swallowing the “red pill” was without question the major driver behind the changes in my political outlook. It has been said before, repeatedly and correctly, that “game is the gateway drug”, and that is absolutely true. My time here in the US was initially filled with quite a bit of frustration when it came to fitness, money, and women. While I certainly do not claim to have solved all of my problems with respect to these things, I have come a very long way from what I was. And that is all because I started reading the works of men like Vox Day, Roosh V, Neil Strauss, and others.
Once I started down that rabbit hole, there was simply no going back. I give particular credit to Vox Day’s book, The Irrational Atheist, for leading me back to God. It took a very long time and some very hard knocks along the way, but I have seen my faith in the Lord of Creation repaid many times over, and that faith simply grows stronger every day.
I learned that everything our so-called “scientific authorities” had taught us for forty years about diet and exercise was pure garbage; it turns out that meat and fat is exactly what strong men need to eat, and that lifting heavy weights instead of doing endless cardio is exactly how one gets strong and fit.
I learned that everything I had been taught about how to talk to women was simply wrong. Being “nice” to girls is a surefire way to spend the rest of one’s life celibate and angry- whereas being confident, charismatic, charming, and mysterious will allow any young man with a modicum of self-respect to gain at least some access to women.
I had already picked up a great many good habits with respect to money from my father, who is a frugal and sensible man and who taught me the value of investing from a very early age. But it was only when I discovered Austrian economics, and saw just how much more sense the world made in an age of monetary and fiscal insanity when viewed through the lens of praxeology, that I began to undo the damage of literally years of indoctrination in the currently fashionable “neoclassical synthesis”.
This awakening is catching fire throughout the West. Young men everywhere are beginning to wake up and realise that everything they were told about how their lives would play out, is a lie. And they are not happy about it. Because game is itself rooted firmly in timeless truths, those who swallow that very bitter pill will soon find themselves rewarded many times over by seeing the world for what it is, not what they were told it was supposed to be.
ECW: What are your thoughts on the situation in Europe?
The Didact: Put very bluntly: it’s a damned disaster. And one way or another, it will end in precisely one outcome: open war.
You refer to this in your book, Fistfights with Muslims in Europe. As you have seen for yourself, the presence of large numbers of foreigners who are unalterably hostile to the culture and attitudes of their host nations is proving to be an intractable problem. Muslims are not Christians, for exactly the same reason that a tail is not a leg.
As historian Martin Van Creveld has pointed out repeatedly, mass immigration is merely war by another means. It is war because the host’s values and traditions are rapidly supplanted- within the space of just four or five generations- by new ones that are completely different and in many cases totally incompatible.
It must be noted that some immigrants to Europe have handled the process of assimilation far better than others. Chinese and Hindu Indians, for instance, seem to have few problems with simply submerging their own cultural identities into those of their host nations, as I have personally seen repeatedly in the United Kingdom. That is not to say, however, that simply by bringing tens of thousands of people from Calcutta or Shanghai to London, they will magically become Londoners- it would be outright stupid to argue this, given the presence in London itself of distinctly Chinese and Indian enclaves where English is a second language.
The immigrants that Europe really needs to worry about, though, are from Islamic nations. Islam is a political ideology, not a religion, and it is utterly hostile to Western values. In no way can mass immigration from Islamic nations, which are almost without exception human rights disasters with no appreciation for concepts like “women’s rights” and “freedom of association”, end well.
ECW: What do you see unfolding in Europe in the future?
The Didact: Simply put, the end for Europe’s policy of open borders is in sight, and the final collapse is going to be extraordinarily painful and bloody.
Right now, the European nations share a more or less common set of values and a common intellectual heritage. These nations are the result of over two thousand years of cultural growth and expansion and conflict and collapse and rebirth, but present European civilisation is built on three founding pillars: Graeco-Roman philosophy, Christian morality (itself following on from Judaic law concerning Man’s relationship to God), and Enlightenment-era scientific advancement.
These qualities are unique to Western civilisation. These three things have created the most successful series of empires and nations that the world has ever seen.
The problem is that the European peoples themselves have forgotten their own heritage. The overriding lesson of Europe’s bloody history of both civil and international war is that national identities and ideologies matter. Instead of heeding this lesson, though, the Europeans have for more than fifty years embarked on a grand social experiment of borderless societies, common markets, completely “free” trade (which is actually nothing of the sort), and insane experiments in a single currency.
All of these things are in defiance of the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, of common sense, of historical and empirical fact, and of simple logic.
As such, this grand experiment is doomed to failure. Unfortunately, it is the people of Europe who will pay the price for this incredible folly.
The first point of fissure will almost certainly be Europe’s common market. We are already beginning to see this happening with the historic Brexit vote, the results of which delighted me beyond measure. Sooner or later- I’m betting on sooner- other nations within the EEC will begin clamouring to be released from the straitjacket of the EU’s common trade, tariffs, fisheries, and agricultural policies.
With the end of the grand experiment in European integration will come the end of Europe’s equally foolish experiment with a single currency. The reality is that a currency designed to promote a German-style economy will never work for a Greek or Italian situation, because of the totally different economic realities that persist between the wealthy, stable “northern” European nations, and the far less wealthy, far more hedonistic “southern” nations.
The final breaking point will almost certainly be the massive influx of “refugees” from the Middle East. The reality is that most of these people are economic migrants, not genuine refugees. They are coming to Europe to take advantage of the continent’s massive social welfare apparatus, not because they are actually capable of assimilating or contributing anything meaningful to the economies of their new hosts.
With this influx of “rapefugees”, the social compacts that define European societies will be stretched to and beyond breaking point. We are already seeing signs of this happening in Sweden, Norway, and Germany.
What remains uncertain to me is the extent to which Europeans will fight back to regain their lands and cultures. Early signs are not encouraging. It would appear that a great deal more stress will be required before Europeans mount a truly militant offensive to take back what is theirs. The problem there is that, when that rupture finally comes, the toll of blood is likely to be extreme.
ECW: One of the things I love about your website is its focus on masculinity. What do you think are the keys to living a fulfilling life as a man in our modern society?
The Didact: An excellent question. I certainly cannot claim to have all of the answers- I’m still trying to figure this out myself.
If I can distill down the lessons that I’ve learned along my own journey, I’d say it comes down to four things.
First, concentrate on self-improvement. Hit the gym, hard. Lift weights, for a strong mind cannot exist without a strong body to support it. The iron is a crucible in which a man’s character is tested and forged in fire into the very steel that he struggles against. It is the greatest teacher that a man can have.
Never stop improving your mind either. Read constantly, even if reading isn’t really your thing, whether it be the great works of long-dead men, or the blog writings of your fellow neomasculinists.
Never forget that your mission comes first. Before you can have a wife and children, you must have a sense of purpose. No man can be strong without a strong purpose to guide him.
Second, switch off as far as possible from the lies that our society is built upon. Cut off your subscriptions to mainstream television. Every dollar you refuse to spend on the filth and sewage spewed forth by broadcast and cable networks is one less that they can use against you. Get your news from sources that actually publish the news, like Breitbart.com. Seek out alternative points of view wherever possible. Understand one thing, and understand it well: the mainstream media no longer exists to hold politicians accountable, it exists solely to further its own interests. And those interests are directly hostile to your own as a free man.
Third, look to start a family that you can raise out of the toxic swamp of cultural Marxism that surrounds us. This is highly controversial advice to many men in the Manosphere, and rightly so. After all, it is becoming next to impossible to find a good girl to marry, given the current state of Western law and the extreme degeneracy exhibited by most Western women.
I agree wholeheartedly with these sentiments. Yet the cold, hard fact is that Western civilisation will not be saved if the Men of the West are not able to fight for it. And in order to fight, we must have warriors. In order to have warriors, we must sire them.
Never forget that there is no greater responsibility that a man can undertake than to raise young boys into strong, righteous, morally upstanding men. This is the highest calling, the most weighty duty, and it falls on us men to be the very best husbands and fathers that we can be.
Fourth, never lose your faith in God. I am not a Christian. I’m not even religious. Yet I have a personal relationship with my Creator; I ask for His wisdom and guidance every day. And, much to my surprise, He has answered. Despite my, oh, many and repeated offences against Him and His Law, He continues to listen to my prayers, and He continues to guide me.
Religion may not be your cup of tea, and that’s fine. But remember one thing: the war for Western civilisation is an existential one. If we lose it, we’re done. There is nowhere else to turn. The only choice is between survival and extinction. In a fight like that, if you show up with the knife of secularism to a gunfight of faith between two opposing ways of life, where one side believes completely that its point of view is justified by its perverted interpretation of “god”, then YOU. WILL. LOSE.
ECW: How do you see the culture of Occidental countries (Europe, US, Canada, etc) developing over the next couple decades? Is Cultural-Marxism in its death throes or about to go full totalitarian? What will happen with gender roles/families/birthrates? What other thoughts do you have on this?
The Didact: I think that the most likely scenario is one that William S. Lind depicted in his novel, Victoria. That is not a happy book. This book is essentially a fictional exploration of what the world would look like if everything you and I have observed about tribes, cultures, and the destruction of the West were taken to their logical endpoints.
In that book, the United States fractures into distinct cultural entities. New England becomes its own independent nation- and New York City, or Gomorrah-on-the-Hudson, as people like us prefer to think of it, gets sold to Puerto Rico, very much against its will. Several American states and Canadian provinces in the west form a new nation called Cascadia, dominated by loony environmentalists. (Lord, forgive us our redundancies.) The American South does rise again (sort of) into its own separate nation.
Black America separates itself from White America- though not completely, as the book points out. Black culture in all of its squalor and degeneracy implodes, with terrible and devastating consequences for the inner cities of America.
Plagues created by irresponsible and foolish individuals who opened Pandora’s Box are unleashed upon the world, devastating world populations. The Four Horsemen of War, Famine, Plague, and Death stalk the lands of the West.
Looking farther afield, the book paints an equally bleak picture of the European nations, splintering and crumbling under the accumulated weight of decades of cultural Marxism and its accompanying insanity.
The future painted in this book- which Mr. Lind wrote in serial form way back in 1994, making it an eerily prescient warning from the past- is one in which tribal and cultural identities once again determine the fate of nations. This has always been true, but we have in our stupidity failed to acknowledge this fact.
And the inevitable result of ignoring very real tribal, cultural, and racial differences is open war.
The world will go through a terrible Time of Testing. War will come to America’s shores, and Europe’s, whether we like it or not. New nations and new tribes will arise. Homogeneous nations will arise from previously heterogeneous empires. White people will reclaim their nations for themselves, and non-whites (like me) had better get with the program, and fast. We have no claim whatsoever to the American national identity, and those of us who are like me need to understand this, and quickly. When retribution comes from the white populations of the Occidental world, it will be swift and dreadful and bloody indeed.
That is the future that I see for the West. And it terrifies me, as it should any forward-thinking awakened man.
It has been said in many different ways that whom God would destroy, He first makes mad. I have seen enough of the world to believe this as absolute truth.
Yet even now, even today, hope is not lost. For is it not also said that he who loves God, and lives by His Law, will be saved no matter what horrors befall him?
As the novel Victoria also points out, once the Time of Testing is past, the Men of the West will rediscover the ancient masculine virtues of their culture. Their rediscovery will bring forth a new golden age of refinement and civilisation.
Traditional gender roles will be rediscovered. Women will once again become feminine and beautiful. Men will once again be filled with the purpose and strength that is our birthright. Their children will grow up safe and happy under the open skies of God’s Creation.
World populations will recover, eventually. Nations that never forgot their origins and traditions, such as Russia and China and Japan, will begin to rejuvenate themselves- because one of the clearest patterns in demographic history is that after war and famine, human populations rapidly grow and expand.
The near future is dark and grim indeed. The world is in for a very rough time ahead. But beyond that, I believe there is a future of great joy and prosperity to be found- if, and only if we, the Men of the West, do everything in our power to restore our culture and rediscover our posterity, that our children may enjoy the fruits of the same.
ECW: What are five of your favorite books?
The Didact: Wait, you mean I have to pick justfive?!? Dammit…
OK, well, if it’s that limited a selection, I’d better choose well. Here goes:
The Holy Bible
The Old and New Testaments combined form the moral backbone of Western civilisation. Without the Holy Bible, there wouldn’t be a West. The Old Testament is formed of a combination of stories, songs, psalms, and laws that have provided spiritual nourishment and comfort for an entire race for nearly five thousand years. The New Testament, the chronicles of the life and death of Christ, are the “completion” of the prophecies and the moral codes of the Old, for Christ Himself was the fulfillment of prophecies that preceded him by many hundreds of years. The West has grown decadent and weak in large part precisely because it has ignored the teachings and laws of the Good Book. It is only through rediscovering the Word of God that the West, and all the good that has come from it, can be saved.
Dune by Frank Herbert
This is, quite simply, the greatest science-fiction novel ever written. I have read it repeatedly since I was a teenager and every time I go back to re-read it, I find something new to appreciate. It is awesome in scale and scope. It is rich in memorable characters. The concepts that Frank Herbert came up with in the novel are mind-bogglingly complex. The ideas that he explores, whether in relation to ecology or xenobiology or religion or prescience, are unmatched by anything else I’ve ever seen except maybe Hyperion, by Dan Simmons. What makes this book the greatest of its genre is its narrative style and power, its majestic scale and scope, and its sheer impact upon the imagination.
Starship Troopers by Robert Anson Heinlein
As I said above, Dune is the greatest sci-fi novel ever written. Starship Troopers, on the other hand, deals very specifically with military science-fiction. And it is the greatest mil-sci-fi novel ever written. Which is odd, because this book isn’t really a sci-fi novel at all. It’s actually an incredibly powerful civics lesson on the virtues and responsibilities of citizenship. In just 268 pages, it explores more ideas, more brilliantly and in greater detail, than entire libraries of civics textbooks could ever do. This book fundamentally changed the way I look at the world, at the concept of “citizenship”, and the idea of what it means to “belong” to any tribe. On top of all of that, it is simply a damned good read.
The Transformation of War by Martin Van Creveld
There is no finer military historian alive today than this Israeli researcher and academic. He is a historian and researcher in far more than just military history, of course, but his work in that field has been his most important. This book, written shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, was perhaps the single most radical rethinking of the long-established relationships between people, state, and military that has been postulated since the time of Clausewitz himself. As Mr. Van Creveld points out in this book, the old “trinity” that supported state-led wars through to victory is breaking down and is being replaced by a reversion to much older, far less civilised, and far more lethal forms of warfare that are “non-trinitarian” in nature. Other military minds, most notably William S. Lind, have built and expanded upon this concept to come up with ideas like “4th-Generation Warfare”, but the entire idea started with this book.
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
OK, yes, I know, technically there are actually 3 LOTR books- which are themselves split into two books each, so it’s really six books. Sotechnically this is cheating- technically. Not like I care, of course, because without Tolkien- or, as I simply call him, “The Master”- there would not be any such thing as high-fantasy as we understand it. The funniest thing about the LOTR series is that Tolkien himself was a linguist, not a storyteller. The LOTR series sprang forth from bedtime stories he used to tell his children. And you can see the effects of that lack of polish and sophistication in his legendarium; the story meanders quite a lot, there is plenty of unnecessary exposition, and that ridiculous ending in The Return of the King could easily have been chopped out with no adverse effects whatsoever. In particular, Tolkien’s lack of understanding of military tactics led to some flatly absurd things like the charge across the Pelennor Fields into the teeth of an entrenched enemy. And yet, for all of its flaws, there has never been anything before or since that has matched what Tolkien achieved, never mind exceeded it.
ECW: What are some other topics that currently interest you?
The Didact: A major field of interest for me is of course martial arts. I started training in Krav Maga about 3.5 years ago, and the more I know about the fighting arts, the more circumspect I have become because I know that I can never stop learning enough about how to fight. I expect this to become a major focus of my writing over the coming years as I continue my journey down that road.
I also expect to spend a lot more time writing about the coming collapse and revival of Western civilisation. This isn’t a happy topic, but I view that collapse as inevitable. Empires have always collapsed when they reached their point of maximum decadence. The difference in this coming collapse is that the Men of the West have something that the Romans and the British did not: the manosphere. There is so much accumulated knowledge and wisdom available at our fingertips now; when the time comes to rebuild and rejuvenate our world, we will have a repository of knowledge and a set of connections to other masculine men and feminine women that has never been seen before.
I anticipate that the recovery will be much faster and more thorough than any of us can imagine.
ECW: How can people support your website?
The Didact: At the moment, simply by stopping by and reading what I write and commenting on the same. I have no immediate plans to monetise my site; my day job pays me quite well, so I have no incentive to do so. I write for the pleasure of it, and I intend to continue doing so for as long as possible. And in the process, I hope to support the works of other good men doing good things.