“There are no solutions – only trade-offs. You can make some things better by making some other things a little worse and sometimes you can make some things a little better by making some other things a lot worse.” – Thomas Sowell
On June 8, Mr. Frank Worley penned a column on this publication in which he laid out a plan to start what he calls “a MGTOW nation” in the current US Commonwealth territory of Puerto Rico.
Incidentally, I’m probably on the same page with Mr. Worley on 90% of the issues (most likely even more), and yet I still think his approach is unattainable. So in this article I’ll try to explain why and, since I’m not a follower of Critical Theory, I’ll also provide two alternatives that make more sense for someone wanting to take radical action.
Fair warning: This will be long.
The main flaw in Mr. Worley’s plan is that it doesn’t account for one simple truth: gynocentrism is a given. It’s not going to go away – not now, not ever.
Human nature is flawed – and gynocentrism is one of those flaws. So the question arises on how to erect institutions that constrain those flaws. And herein lies the second flaw in Mr. Worley’s plan – it never answers to the question and then what? Allow me to elaborate.
Throughout the plan there is an implied view that if we just get the right people in power in the area to-be-turned into a micronation, everything will be just fine. This is essentially what Thomas Sowell calls the unconstrained vision of man in his seminal work A Conflict of Visions.
The unconstrained view is the view that man is fundamentally good and it’s solely the institutions that cause harm. As such, the unconstrained vision goes, one only needs to put the right people in the right institutions and a far superiour society (if not an outright utopia) would emerge.
The constrained vision of man, on the other hand, acknowledges right from the get go that human nature is flawed. As such, the constrained vision views power, any kind of power, with suspicion and purports to erect institutions meant to dilute and diffuse the power as much as possible. Lord Acton’s Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely – is a great illustration of the constrained vision of man.
Mr. Worley’s proposal seems to adhere largely to the unconstrained vision of man. One such example of this adherence is in this paragraph:
It also requires that mother’s pay the exact same percentage of child support to the fathers, during the time the children are with the fathers which should be 6 months out of every year.
Such an approach lacks any proper nuance. What happens if both parents stop working (and thus can’t afford the reciprocal constitutional child support)? Send them both to jail?
Also, believe it or not, there are countless couples in the US and worldwide who are more than happy with unequal arrangements. Divorce was very rare when I was growing up, but I had a classmate whose parents were divorced but got along very well. She (the classmate) was spending 9 months a year with her father with the mother only visiting once in a while – and then three months in a row (usually in the summer) with the mother. Such an arrangement would be unconstitutional in Mr. Worley’s MGTOW nation, even though it satisfied both of the parents and the kid.
A constrained vision would seek to disincentivise divorce through courts. And the model already exists in most of Eastern Europe, most of Scandinavia (except Sweden), the Netherlands and a few other places.
In my neck of the woods, no matter how much the ex-spouses hate each other, they both hate the Court even more because it’s slow and largely inefficient (like any proper State bureaucracy). As such, incentives to work things out through private arbiters (mediators) are high and this cuts back quite a lot from the divorce rape that can be seen in the Anglosphere.
As a general point, for a MGTOW nation, there is quite a lot of attention given to family law. But MGTOWs as a rule don’t seek to get married. As such, the target demographic to me looks more like being geared towards already divorced men and second-wives who get harmed indirectly by the misandric practices of the current US family courts system – and less towards MGTOWs per se. But I digress.
But perhaps the most open adherence to the unconstrained vision of man comes at the beginning:
While the source of our oppression comes from women in general and feminism more specifically; it is the state that is our greatest enemy. The entrenched forces of Marxist Feminism and the cowardly politicians who cater to them, have taken all that is worthwhile from these once great and free nations.
For starters, there is no such thing as “once great and free nations” – and that is because there are no perfect solutions, but merely trade-offs. Was the US that imprisoned people for public statements against war a freer nation than 2015 US? Was the 1950s US when any message had to be de facto pre-approved by the Cathedral media which acted as gatekeepers of large audiences freer than 2015 US when we literally are the media?
The US (and the world in general) has gotten freer in some respects and less free in other respects. Whether the trade-offs balance each other out is up for discussion but the quote above lacks any kind of perspective.
Secondly, Marxist-Feminism is a symptom of the human flaw of gynocentrism. And the symptom emerged the moment societies started to abandon the constrained vision of man and gradually moved towards an unconstrained vision. And this shift happened in peacetime. You’ll notice there is no Marxist-Feminism during wartime.
Thirdly, the politicians aren’t cowards – they just follow (like everyone else) their own self-interest on the short run. The politician’s primary interest is to get votes and keep his/her cushy job with all the perks, privileges, benefits and entitlements that come with that job. And precisely because gynocentrism exists, there are thus inherent incentives to pander to women.
It therefore follows from these facts that Mr. Worley’s nation would be subjected to the same gynocentric incentives as anyone else. Sure, one could argue that the first (or even the first three) generation of citizens won’t fall prey to these. But sooner or later, it would still happen if the legal system is similar (and it is, in Mr. Worley’s proposal).
And then what?
Whenever a plan for building anything that is meant to last is being put forth, the next logical question is and then what? What happens after the nation has been established?
Suppose one gathers the 25,000 voters needed and establishes the nation, just like Mr. Worley says. Okay, then what?
Mr. Worley tells us that “[i]f the petition for independence was denied by Congress then simply declare independence recognizing what that might imply” – but is it really that simple?
Let’s presume it is. What’s the plan if the Congress orders a full military invasion? And don’t tell me it can’t happen, because that’s magical thinking. The belief that the largest and the most military powerful State on the planet would just accept loss of territory simply because some random dudes coordinated on the Internet, moved there and “declared independence” is as realistic as the belief in Santa Claus.
Let’s be crystal clear: even if the first 25,000 are all young, healthy and military trained men – that’s still not enough to defend the newly created nation. Puerto Rico also has the geographical disadvantage of being sea-locked. Which means there’s no room for retreat. All the US military would have to do is to surround the place and bombard the whole island into oblivion. And the “International community” won’t say a thing.
But if a military invasion seems extreme, there’s also another even more likely scenario: what if the local population simply doesn’t like this new nation’s arrangements?
Mr. Worley himself admits that the independence sentiments in there is geared mostly towards unconstrained government and gynocentric leanings – which increases the likelihood that the locals will just rebel. What happens then?
But let’s assume the locals would join hands and sing Kumbaya and the Congress won’t order a military invasion. That still doesn’t mean the US would be happy. It is entirely within the realm of possibilities for the President to just simply declare the new nation as a rogue state – and then what? Being declared a rogue state essentially means that no relevant actor on the global market wants to do business with you. What then? How would a proper economy develop?
Where I’m getting with this is that there are countless ways for the US government to treat such a development negatively and Mr. Worley’s plan doesn’t seem to take any of them into consideration.
Also, the original plan doesn’t say anything on what will happen in order to avoid the fate of the Shakers. Sure, the Shakers were a religious sect but MGTOWs are usually disinclined to have children. Sustaining a nation through immigration only is possible – but for how long?
Most people want to have children, but most MGTOWs don’t. Would this new nation change its focus once it’s established?
But before even thinking of further developments after the establishment of such a nation, one should first honestly examine if such thing is possible to begin with.
The proposal says that what is first needed is for 25,000 US citizens to move onto the island, buy property and register as voters to tilt the balance of power into a more liberty-oriented worldview. Mr. Worley says that we can see “liberty and equality in our time”. Of course, there’s an argument to have on whether he means “equality” or rather “equity” (I presume he means the latter) but let’s leave that aside for the moment.
Let’s look at a similar example.
The Free State Project vs. the “MGTOW Nation”
The Free State Project(FSP) commenced in 2001 (14 years ago) as a project to convince 20,000 libertarians to move to New Hampshire to achieve “Liberty in our lifetime” – just like Mr. Worley.
But FSP has more advantages than Mr. Worley’s project. Last presidential elections brought a little over one million votes for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. That said, it means that there are at least two million libertarians in the US that could resonate with the FSP.
So, FSP caters to at least two million people and wants to convince 1% of them to move to NH. Moreover, FSP has ideas less radical (for starters, they don’t want to secede from the union).
After 14 years of heavy investment and advertising, they still haven’t secured 20 thousand people to even promise to move there. At the moment of this writing, 1,755 people had taken the step and a bit over 15,000 more have promised to move there when the 20,000 goal is reached.
In other words, they’re barely 7% on their goal in 14 years. Even if their rate of commitment and movement doubles in the next 5 years, it would still take more than 20 years from now on until the project may reach completion. Not quite “in our lifetime” for the early movers.
On the other hand, Mr. Worley’s proposal caters to a far smaller demographic of people, proposes measures that are far outside of the Overton window and comes with higher costs.
It’s one thing to require 20 thousand out of at least 2 million to move to a state with the population of Bahrain and the surface of Macedonia – and a whole other thing to require 25 thousand out of a far smaller demographic to move to an isolated place with the population of Uruguay and a surface smaller than Cyprus. Space really is an issue.
No matter how one looks at it, the total number of MGTOWs in the US isn’t that big. Reason magazine (a libertarian publication) has a circulation of roughly 50 thousand in the US. That means 50,000 Americans are willing to pay money for libertarian content. On the other hand, no MGTOW space reaches that number even if they offer their readers their content for free. The most performing MGTOW spaces I’ve encountered are at around 25 thousand subscribers, but not all of them are from the US.
At best, the total number of MGTOWs in the US is around 100,000 – and I admit to being overly-optimistic with that number.
So, to recap, FSP wants 1% of libertarians in the US to move to a state and tinker with the political space a little bit to make it more liberty-oriented. The “MGTOW nation” project wants 25% of MGTOWs in the US to move to a much smaller area and with a bigger population in order to secede from the US. And the 25% figure is based on the highly optimistic assumption that there 100,000 MGTOWs in the US.
One is allowed to dream – but common-sense should dictate that this unattainable now. The emphasis is on “now”. It doesn’t mean it’s unattainable ever, but for now, things are quite clear.
As I said, I’m not an adherent to the Critical Theory (criticize for the sake of criticizing) – so let’s examine two alternatives.
The alternatives presented are by no means perfect because they stem from the constrained view of man and the view that perfect doesn’t exist. The purpose of the alternatives is to be more attainable.
Alternative #1 – Subverting the culture from inside
If there’s anything history teaches us is that political change follows social change. Sure, there are exceptions to that rule, but not too many exceptions.
Marijuana legalization or removing the state-funding for male genital mutilation were totally unthinkable in 1990 and they are now the policy in several states.
The same will be true for family law and the welfare of men on the long run. Here are a few tactics that undermine/subvert the unconstrained vision of today:
- create male scarcity for women
- alternative narrative
All three of them are already happening and a very safe bet is to invest time and other resources into accelerating them. But let’s explain these tactics a bit more.
By “male scarcity for women” I don’t mean “avoid women” or other forms of radical separatism – but rather a scarcity of resources.
It’s no secret that the consumer economy is mostly women spending men’s money (see the numbers that show that women are responsible for most of the purchases, regardless of how much they earn themselves).
Also, given that in most countries men pay most of the taxes and women are the primary beneficiaries of government handouts, another way of creating scarcity is for individual men to shrink their contributions to the government.
There are a lot of ways to do that. Minimalism, as explained by economist Aaron Clary, is one of the options. But not the only one. People associate “tax avoidance” (a perfectly legal procedure) with the ultra-rich but the reality is that this procedure can be (and indeed is) used by a whole plethora of people from all walks of life.
And this is already happening, but not fast enough. Even if a small percent of people in a region opt out almost entirely from the tax system, change can occur in that region. Opting out of marriage is one of the ways to do this.
Many people don’t realize how opting out of marriage harms an unconstrained government – but one should take a look at Japan or Germany to understand how serious the marriage-avoidance is. You’ll notice that virtually the only ones pissed off at the situation are those from the Government.
There are also ways to create scarcity socially. We already see traditional gynocentrists whining that men are cheap, and the modern gynocentrists trying everything in their power to justify collecting money from men directly. This should happen more often. Annoyed gynocentrists should be music to any sane person’s ears.
Technology already subverts (and will continue to subvert) the State’s reliance on “women as bait” for men’s resources. The inevitable emergence of reliable male birth control, the rise of sex robots or the rise of artificial wombs, are pieces of technology that unabashedly undermine the current zeitgeist. These things will do more to force a change in the State’s approach than any new nation could ever do.
On the alternative narrative front, one should consider more often to promote one in corners where nobody thought before. This is already happening but again, it doesn’t happen fast enough.
Collectivists, gynocentrists and establishmentarians promote their narrative every chance they get – why shouldn’t the rest do the same? Besides, sometimes promoting an alternative narrative amounts to one simple word: “NO!”
One would be amazed how much can be achieved by simply saying no. There are numerous social situations where men’s goodwill is implicitly expected because “that’s the way it is” (or because potato). Saying no when perfectly capable adults just expect you to do stuff for them pays dividends in the long run. This aspect deserves a separate discussion in and of itself.
The combination of these three factors – technology, alternative narrative and male scarcity – is deadly for the current zeitgeist if enough pressure is applied. And it has the bonus that it doesn’t require relocation and can be (and indeed is) applied globally.
Alternative #2 – Private cities
Now, whenever someone mentions “private cities” most people think of either artificial islands or places like Gurgaon, India. Sure, those are private cities, but are not the only model of private city out there, nor the only conceivable model of private city.
Atlantic Station in Georgia (the US state, not the nation) is another example of private city. Now, I happen to think in quite unfavorable terms of Atlantic Station and consider it a place that I wouldn’t enter even if I were paid $100 per second spent there – but its existence shows that the concept of a private semi-autonomous city within an existing nation is not exactly a pipe dream, but rather the reality.
But if the degree of autonomy that Atlantic Station enjoys is debatable to say the least, there are other already existing projects around the world that make far more sense.
One particular example is the Honduran ZEDEs (Zone for Employment and Economic Development). What makes the ZEDEs from Honduras so special is that these areas have the privilege of opting out from most Honduran laws if they so desire and deem that would increase their competitiveness and ability to attract investors and/or entrepreneurs.
Given the economic state of Honduras in comparison to the US – it is far more attainable to move to one of these areas. As explained above, Mr. Worley’s proposal, if it is to happen at all, would have to take even more than the Free State Project (time-wise). In contrast, the building of the first ZEDE is already under construction and most likely will be completed before the end of this decade. By the time FSP reaches its goals, there may be even two ZEDEs in Honduras. By the time Mr. Worley’s proposal gains any semblance of attainability in the horizon, there would be more than 100 fully-functional private autonomous cities around the world.
By no means should one think that the private city alternative is perfect. But the current trends pretty much make the case themselves that this alternative is better than Mr. Worley’s.
This is a discussion that will keep on going for years to come and there are numerous competing ideas on what men who want to opt-out of the uber-gynocentric culture can do in this regard.
The purpose of this article was to provide an alternative view that is more focused.
With all due respect to Mr. Worley, seceding a territory from the US is just unattainable. Reality doesn’t work that way. Also, adopting a similar legal system that led to the problem in the first place shows that the reality of gynocentrism is not yet clearly understood.
And on the point of legal systems, I would recommend looking more into the croud-sourced laws idea since such a project would allow to incorporate what has worked around the world on various issues, as opposed to just taking the US-style legal system as a default.
There are countries out there in the world where divorce rape doesn’t happen (or it happens with far fewer consequences than in the US). Yet MGTOWs from the Anglosphere don’t even consider studying them, let alone advocating for (some of) them.
What I’m trying to say is that more study is needed before jumping to radical solutions. Our philosophical opponents are doing enough of that (jumping to radical solutions and/or conclusions without enough study).
Most of us here at AVfM, when we decided to join the politically activated non-feminist sector, we joined for the long run – under the realistic expectation that we won’t see equity in our time, but rather small and gradual cultural shifts that would lay the ground work that shall constitute the turning point to get that for our children or grandchildren.
Just like one doesn’t plan to buy a Cadillac when he can’t even afford a meal a day – the same way one doesn’t plan to build a nation when it’s not even clear there’s a reasonable amount of demand and resources available for that.