Be Positively Rich, Heathen, Coastal, and Elite Foreigners

In his latest edition of his newsletter, The Masculinist, Aaron Renn writes:

The real problem with the purely negative approach is that it’s just not pleasant to be around and tends to attract other unpleasant people. The commenter communities on these various “watch” sites have lots of angry, bitter people that you probably don’t want to hang out with. Who wants to be around all that negative energy all the time? Negativity is also self-limiting because eventually you exhaust your critique space and go into an endless repeat loop. That’s one reason Dalrock’s blog is essentially at a dead end.

Again, it’s also important to reiterate that Throckmorton and Dalrock were, in the main, right. And their work is important. Because of critics like them, the people they critique are without excuse. You can believe these big name pastors, though they seldom ever deign to respond to their critics, are well aware of what those critics are saying. So to the extent that the critics are right, and they frequently are, those pastors will ultimately have to give an account. They won’t be able to plead ignorance.

Contrast the Christian watch blogger with people like Jordan Peterson or Peter Thiel. Those two guys are happy strongly speak against things they believe are wrong. But they also have a positive agenda, like Peterson’s self-help mission and new book or Thiel’s Thiel Fellowships or “zero to one” startup model. Their agendas may not be right or to your liking, but they have them. That’s one reason they transcended the hater blog ghetto and had a much, much bigger impact than those who are limited to merely criticism.

Those two are:

  1. Non-Christians
  2. Rich
  3. Fundamentally Liberal
  4. Not American
  5. Coastal Elites

Dalrock is a random Christian man in Flyover Country raising a family. He’s fully under the crush of elitist anti-father fantasies; fantasies for which nearly every church pastor, priest, and leader gives false testimony. Peterson and Thiel are not Christian so they don’t have to contend with that.

Peterson is a Canadian psychologist and university professor; formerly of Harvard. This is the equivalent of a Cardinal in the Church of Modernism. Peter Thiel is a German citizen, a Big Tech founder, financier, sodomite, and a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee. When they contend with elite doctrines of Liberalism, it is from a position of worldly power and respect.

None of these things should disqualify Peterson or Thiel from our admiration for whatever good things they say. (Some of the money in Peterson’s bank account belonged to me, and I’m happy to have put it there.) But it does disqualify them from comparison to Dalrock. Aaron Renn should have known better.

25 thoughts on “Be Positively Rich, Heathen, Coastal, and Elite Foreigners

  1. I’m actually about halfway through Peterson’s book (Rule 7 right now). Even though he’s clearly not a Christian, he appears to be much more familiar with the Bible than many of these big-name pastors – or at least is willing to use the Bible to back up his points.

  2. @stickdude90

    Yes. I’m subscribed to Peterson’s podcast and YT channel; have been for over a year. I also bought his Self-Authoring Suite for myself and a friend.

    What I’m saying is that Peterson doesn’t think the Bible gives literal instructions, for him personally, the way that a Christian does. He doesn’t have to defend and promote Biblical headship. He doesn’t have to defend wifely submission. He doesn’t have to defend When pushed by an interviewer to see if he is a literal Christian (AKA: nuts) he gets to say that he is agnostic. He can say that spouses should come to whatever agreement works for them, and that he’s just explaining the data.

    Again: I have no criticism to give for Peterson, or Thiel for that matter. The point is Renn’s unfair comparison. I am reminded of Kevin Williamson.

  3. What I’m saying is that Peterson doesn’t think the Bible gives literal instructions, for him personally, the way that a Christian does.

    I completely agree. I just found it very surprising that he as a non-Christian references the Bible as much as he does.

  4. Your 5 points are telling.

    “And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.”

    I don’t know anything about Thiel. I give Peterson credit because he is the man in the arena. He’s employed at a university in Toronto, Canada; so it takes real courage to openly say the kinds of things he does even if those things are not really revolutionary, they just sound that way in 2018.

    I don’t know Renn either, but looking at his blog I don’t understand why he doesn’t grasp the vital nature of Dalrock’s as it is. It’s a bona fide public service. Men are still wandering in from the wilderness to that place. It’s not as though all the readers arrived there in a group years ago, have assimilated a full understanding of feminism in the church, dealt with it on a personal level, and are ready to move forward together with “self-help, startup models” leading to victory.

    There are men at Dalrock’s that have been regulars for years, but also men that got there yesterday and probably more to follow later this year. The posts and comments are what shines a light for them to see more fully what is going on, and work their way through whatever parts of the Kubler-Ross model pertain at the time. Only a very few get stuck perpetually at anger and negativity. The majority work their way to peace and understanding. It’s a process.

  5. I will get a subscription based on the fact you still have yours.

    I saw this earlier –

    “Trigger Warning: This newsletter is not a safe space. It will aggressively challenge the church’s conventional wisdom about masculinity, gender, relationships, and marriage.”

    That sounds like someone who would understand what happens at Dalrock, yet by his commentary (“the purely negative approach”) he did not seem to.

    I guess this –

    “But also it will contain practical tips and suggestions for how we can all become better men and grow in our masculinity.”

    – is where his beef resides. Taken as Peterson, Thiel, and by inference Renn himself are doing this but Dalrock is not.

    It’s an open challenge by a man that claims to be doing the same thing, but implies he is doing it more effectively.

    “Dalrock’s blog is essentially at a dead end.”

    What do you think is his motivation for throwing down?

  6. Also about Peterson, he is actually from a small town in northern Alberta and his parents were a school teacher and a school librarian. He seems to have made his own way into the rich and elite categories.

  7. Interestingly, Dalrock is one of the few ‘dead end’ sites I still read because he keeps hacking at the roots of the poison tree. Especially because the poison is so insidious, he finds the problems that are easy to miss. And to compare him to Thiel and Peterson is a category error. As great as they may be, they are always going to be regarded as huge notch lower because of their lack of faith. It 1000x easier to quote ‘ancient Hebrew’ sayings when you don’t have to admit that Jesus talks to you on a regular basis.

  8. The other difference is Peterson, Mike Cernovich and some Christians whom Dalrock critiques are “taking it to the streets,” using their real identities and directly confronting the SJWs.

    My admiration for people hiding behind pseudonyms and AVs is limited…and yes, I’m in that category as well.

  9. @LP

    What do you think is his motivation for throwing down?

    I only have guesses, and they’re not worth airing except that I understand the desire for more answers and less criticism. My response is: So what? There are still men out there who need to be told to open their eyes.

    Renn seems to want a one-stop-shop; as if blogs are free self-help books. They aren’t. They’re social activities.

  10. @MKT

    The other difference is Peterson, Mike Cernovich and some Christians whom Dalrock critiques are “taking it to the streets,” using their real identities and directly confronting the SJWs.

    Sure. Piles of cash make good padding.

  11. Story of commenter FFY dead-ending on Dalrock’s blog:

    Dalrock-

    I am getting married in November and have to thank you and many of the long time commenters for a lot of inspiration and guidance. I’ve gone through the entire archive and comment sections twice now in the past few months and your posts and the resulting discussion about marriage roles, authority and responsibility, and dissecting Churchian half-truths or lies has been incredibly helpful and inspiring.

    I fully believe in marriage now and can see how good it is and my fiancé and I are going to Church more and fully intend on moving onto the Christian path. For all of this I owe you and your commenters a big thank you.

  12. Nobody likes being around people who are negative without reason. If you’re suffering maltreatment, however, then talking with others who have been through similar maltreatment is a source of encouragement and relief. Other people like hearing stories of other people’s hardships. My Obamacare rants were popular.

    “Dalrock’s blog is essentially at a dead end.”

    “What do you think is his motivation for throwing down?”

    Probably it’s a criticism of Dalrock not ‘accomplishing’ anything. Our society increasingly respects only those who have power and use it selfishly. Dalrock has not gained any worldly power or wealth from years of blogging. He’s obviously a loser going nowhere… never mind that we serve a God who values endurance and truth over victory.

  13. Its interesting I don’t read Darlock as much anymore but that’s, I think, for the same reason I’m not as often _here_. It isn’t as regular. I also tended to enjjoy his nerdier more economics oriented stuff than some of the pastor critiques. I actually think he is stronger there (probably due to his background.

  14. It 1000x easier to quote ‘ancient Hebrew’ sayings when you don’t have to admit that Jesus talks to you on a regular basis.

    At least one regular commenter at Dalrocks said that hearing from Jesus was a sign of mental illness, which shows that many Christians think it is a mental illness to hear from the Lord Christians serve.

    Very sad overall.

    ====

    I am not sure if I Christian could make a living at giving out solid advice, without advance cash like a Thiel or Peterson have. I may chance it myself, but we shall see how that shakes out. I am certainly not even blogging much, though I am still adjusting to my life being rocked with divorce a year and a half ago, so that is not a surprise.

  15. Dalrock’s stuff is fresh and original on even non-Christian stuff, like say divorce and remarriage rates. It’s far from an endless repeat loop. The “negative” work of dalrock and others generates the demand for positivity and positive alternatives. It’s solid data that the positivity people can point to as a reason the world needs their positive vibes.

    And Dalrock’s blog won’t be at a dead end until the post feminist world is sane.

  16. Not only does Renn miss the point that Dalrock is in a wildly different position from Peterson, Thiel, et. al., he also seems to misunderstand the role of criticism. To his credit, he sees that criticism has left its targets “without excuse,” which is good, but criticism is also an approach to thinking through an issue toward a positive solution. That’s why we call the study of literature literary criticism, or the ability to interrogate an issue deeply critical thinking.

  17. BillyS,

    “At least one regular commenter at Dalrocks said that hearing from Jesus was a sign of mental illness, which shows that many Christians think it is a mental illness to hear from the Lord Christians serve.”

    8 or 9 regular commenters at Dalrock have admitted they are atheists. Many more are not Christians.

  18. I have been receiving “The Masculinist” since this post. The essays are interesting and clear. Renn is not radically different in approach to feminism in the church than Dalrock + commenters, he just takes on both roles himself, pointing out shortcomings and offering his own recommendations for same.

    He shows some latent white knight tendencies in my opinion, but on the whole I find the material reasonable and worth reviewing once a month.

  19. @LP

    Renn is one of the good guys. I listen to his podcast and still receive his newsletter.

    He doesn’t have a warrior’s ethos. He seems to think that warriors should build as much as they destroy, and if they don’t them they’re not good warriors. No. Destruction of enemies is a warriors business, but rebuilding is not. We’re nowhere near a rebuilding phase anyway! Renn writes as if he’s made it, and that if he can do it others can too. But in truth he hasn’t done it. None of us has.

  20. “He doesn’t have a warrior’s ethos.”

    “We’re nowhere near a rebuilding phase anyway!”

    That’s an excellent context to bear in mind when reading Renn – and some others…

    See Ecclesiastes chapter 3 for confirmation.

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