I’m a bit of an old soul and I do believe that men and women both have very important, yet different, roles to fulfill in family and social life. I will be directing this article at men, not because I don’t think women can’t perform in these areas, but because it’s a requirement for men and optional for women.
Historically it’s always been the duty of men to deal with danger. In all eras there have always been dangers to contend with, whether they were from nature or other men. To put it simply, men have dealt with those dangers to protect and provide for what they felt was most important, typically their families and communities.
As time went on, and danger was dealt with, communities were organized and began to grow. But it wasn’t until the dangers were gone that communities could prosper. Peaceful and productive society requires security from danger. Don’t misconstrue this to say that it’s governments job to protect us like a nanny though, I can handle my own weapons thank you very much.
So if we are to have an area that is safe for children and those who can’t fend off danger, where commerce and the good things in life can take place, we must be willing to protect that area. This requires a boundary between the danger and the good. This is the perimeter.
Jack Donovan explains this concept really well around 5 minutes into this speech, and I think it’s a great visual:
So we have now established three areas of concern. The area within our perimeter, the perimeter itself, and the area outside the perimeter. It’s on the perimeter, and then further out, where danger exists. Our primary plan to confront danger shouldn’t take place within our own perimeter though. That’s silly, exposes your vulnerabilities and gives you no position to fall back on. Inside the perimeter is where last stands happen, in the defense. Instead we should look to start the fight on our own terms, on offense, at a time and place of our choosing, well away from our inner perimeter.
It’s outside the perimeter where your worth is tested. If you’re familiar with Jack’s other work, this is where the tactical virtues are most important. Men who possess these virtues excel at establishing, maintaining, and expanding perimeters and the tactical virtues are the personal qualities that men look for (although some might not realize it) in other men when it’s time to “get things done”. Think about the type of men you’d be looking for when picking a football team, a phalanx or a ships crew.
The tactical virtues as a guide to preparedness.
Jack has defined the tactical virtues as those virtues men would expect, and need, from other men if they were in a survival or dangerous situation together. Situations that men might find themselves in while protecting a perimeter. They are strength, courage, mastery, and honor. By developing a reputation for being strong, courageous, masterful and honorable, other men will either want to be on your “team”, or want you on theirs. And if they are of the opposition, you will at least have established yourself as a hard target, potentially avoiding problems.
You need to be as strong and fit as practical, both physically and mentally. Being in good physical condition makes you less of a liability and more of an asset to the other men who will help protect the perimeter. It really is that important; it doesn’t matter how far you think you can shoot if you’re always exhausted and can’t keep up. Having a strong mind means you can control your emotions in stressful situations and be trusted to make sound decisions when you’re exhausted. Neither of these come without much sacrifice, and are lifetime endeavors, but working to develop them is a key trait between those who are serious and those who are playing.
Courage to face danger is imperative. It doesn’t mean a lack of fear, only that you make the conscious decision to face that fear. Other men will expect you to stand beside them and fight when the time comes, not run and hide. It also means having the courage to do what’s right for the group, even when it’s uncomfortable. This might mean training more when you need it, even though you’re tired or the wife complains about the honey do list. It’s knowing when it’s time to “saddle up” and going, even though it’s dangerous, cold and wet out. It’s about facing your fears with an indignant, “How f**king dare you??” attitude, and destroying them.
Men respect other men when they know their stuff. As I’ve said before, I’m a tradesman. I apprenticed under journeymen and masters for years, and am a master now myself. While I don’t believe that passing a test and paying a fee truly makes you masterful, that only comes with time and experience, other men listen when I speak because they know of my credentials and I’ve demonstrated my experience. I demonstrate my mastery daily in dealing with the problems that arise and need fixed in a time sensitive and dangerous environment. When you can get the job done quickly, efficiently and safely, that is a trait of mastery. When other men consult you for answers, they do it because they recognize your level of mastery in that subject. Having mastery not only means you are good at what you do, but that you can teach it too. Your value to the group is ten fold because you are a force multiplier, enriching the group with your knowledge and wisdom. Other less experienced men will find comfort and confidence in that wisdom, and confidence is contagious. Seek to always be improving those skills that are necessary to help protect and provide.
It’s been said that honor isn’t given, but earned. If you are honored, it is because you have demonstrated that you value a particular group and its values. Honor isn’t necessarily the same as being good or just, but simply a measure of how you stack up against a groups values. If you think of someone as honorable, it’s because you admire his character and actions. A man can be honored in one group, yet despised in another. Look at any of the last several presidential elections for proof of this. You should strive to have high honor in your group, be the embodiment of the values you all believe in.
I feel that a strong element needed in today’s society, and an element that will be essential in the future, is for men to start being men again. Use the tactical virtues as a guide to prepare you for all the situations life can throw at you, and be ready for life outside the perimeter.