Friday, May 19, 2023

How to be a man? Josh Hawley has the (incoherent) answers.

What is a man, anyway? Hawley’s various answers are not very illuminating. Men are dependent (“a man cannot be who he is meant to be on his own”) but also independent (“dependence is in fact a temptation to every man, in every age. It is the temptation to let someone else do it for you”). Men do not “blame someone or something else,” such as “society,” or “the system,” but men do, apparently, blame “Epicurean liberalism” for almost everything that ails them. “Manhood is real and biological,” but some of the central masculine virtues “can be learned,” and the venerable Greeks and Romans “held that manhood was a vocation that each man must struggle to assume. … Boys were born as males, but not yet as men. One became a man only by acquiring certain character traits.” A man is a rugged individualist who figures things out for himself, but he also relies on how-to guides to teach him how to exist.

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