Monday, May 11, 2009

The Two Kinds of Assholes

This post is a follow-up to The Master and the Slave and Fuck Being a Fucking Pussy

There are two kinds of assholes: Weak assholes and strong assholes.

Weak assholes are weak men. They come at the world from a position of weakness that they have put themselves in. They don't achieve much with their lives and they blame other people for their problems. When it comes to other men, they resent the greatness they see. When the great man is someone far off, like a titan of industry or a brave U.S. Marine they sneer and mewl, calling these men unfeeling oppressors. When it is someone closer to home — like a friend who is trying to improve himself by, say, spending less time drinking and playing video games, or starting out on a new exciting career — they feel betrayed and often try to sabotage his new project. This they can do subconsciously; in fact, doing it subconsciously is often the first refuge of the weak man, because to come right out and call his friend a traitor would take more balls than he will ever have.

Weak men are often Nice Guys. They whine and complain that women don't love them. They can't understand why everyone doesn't see their special uniqueness. They are precious, delicate snowflakes, a wonder of nature in their infinite sensitivity and complexity. If the world doesn't treat them like this, it's because the world is a terrible place. If a girl doesn't feel sexually attracted to him, it's because of she's a bitch, or because she's been fooled by a slick, scheming "real asshole," (i.e., a Strong Asshole).

When weak men don't get their way, which is often, the weak asshole comes out. They lash out at the world with bitterness. Or they pull into their own shell, feeling surly and unappreciated. And this way of moving through the world just makes them less attractive, causing more bitterness.

Passive aggressiveness is the hallmark of the weak asshole. If he were merely surly and bitter, he might be more fun. We've all met guys who are extremely acerbic and dry, and they can often be a lot of fun. But the weak asshole, through all his bitterness and self-absorption, stridently maintains that he is not a jerk, that he is not bitter. It is his hypocrisy that makes him truly contemptible.

Women do not like weak assholes, and, frankly, neither do I... See, ladies? We have so much in common. I guess I'm just a sugar-coated sweetheart deep down. Like this guy...

Strong assholes are men who move through the world with force. Because he comes from a position of power, the strong asshole feels good about himself. He's worked hard, and he has had to make sacrifices. Hard work and sacrifice give meaning to the pleasures he does indulge in. He is not wracked with guilt, because he has nothing to feel guilty for. When a strong asshole sees a weak asshole, up close or far away, he is sometimes filled with contempt, but just as often he barely takes notice. He is too busy living his own life to worry about what some other punter is doing.

Strong men understand that inner greatness is nothing without outer works. Rather than waiting for people to notice how special they are, they go out and do things, and let the rest go to hell.

The "asshole" side of the strong man is a side-effect of his central masculinity. He's not trying to be a jerk, but it happens anyway. He understands that there is conflict in the world, that not everything is going to be gumdrops and lollipops. He doesn't shit on people just because he can; but neither does he shrink from asserting himself when the time is right. When he sees something he wants, he goes out and gets it. People standing on the sidelines, weak men muttering bitterly, call it being an asshole. But he doesn't care what they call it.

Strong assholes are far more capable of real compassion than weak ones. Strong men don't have a hidden agenda. They have a public one. And so they can act from a place of real kindness when they want to. Strong men can compete openly with other men without resenting them. Strong men can admire other strong men. And strong men can love their women openly, and with power and real feeling. They do not cling; instead they seize.

Women like strong assholes. And that's what confuses weak men who try to adopt the poses of the strong asshole. They get the "asshole" part down, but they never manage the strength.

You have to see yourself as a god first, and behave like one. Even when no one is looking. All the asshole stuff flows naturally from that. You can try and put the cart before the horse, and you might get a few dozen yards down the track. But life is a journey of many miles, and you'll be better served to get shit straight rather than learning a few neat tricks.

Yesterday I inspired myself with references to the raging Achilles, so I'll leave you with a couple of quotes from Lattimore's classic translation.

Achilles is not a good guy or a bad guy... that's too modern a distinction. He is a great man — half mortal, half divine. A hero. And he went to war knowing full well that the prophecy said it would be his doom. Did he mope about the prophecy? You be the judge...

As inhuman fire sweeps on in fury through the deep angles
of a drywood mountain and sets ablaze the depth of the timber
and the blustering wind lashes the flame along, so Achilleus
swept everywhere with his spear like something more than a mortal
harrying them as they died, and the black earth ran blood.
Or as when a man yokes male broad-foreheaded oxen
to crush white barley on a strong-laid threshing floor, and rapidly
the barley is stripped beneath the feet of the bellowing oxen,
so before great-hearted Achilleus the single-foot horses
trampled alike dead men and shields, and the axle under
the chariot was all splashed with blood and the rails which encircled
the chariot, struck by flying drops from the feet of the horses,
from the running rims of the wheels. The son of Peleus was straining
to win glory, his invincible hands spattered with bloody filth.
--Book 20


  1. master dogen:

    again, awesome post.

    its interesting that you speak of Nietzsche and then this dichotomous asshole. it all reminds me of a passage i read in Nietzsche a few years back:

    "To stand with relaxed muscles and unharnessed will: that is the most difficult for all of you who are sublime.

    "When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible - such descent I call beauty.

    "An there is nobody from whom I want beauty as much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness be your final self-conquest.

    "Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good from you.

    "Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.

    From the second part of "Zarathustra".

    A person who is "nice" and "polite" but is that way out of submission or meekness is weak compared to a person who has the same kindness from a position of power. The person in that position of power can get what he wants or needs without the superfluous acts of kindness or benevolence, yet he conducts them, and his virtue is higher than that of the weak...this is a beautiful act to Nietzsche.

    in a similar vein of the two assholes, as you described very well, we have the asshole who is that way because of his internal weakness and another who is that way because of his strength.

    it all gets down to Nietzsche's "Will to Power". The strong trumps the weak, the good trumps the bad; we've all fallen into our place, now we spend our lives trying to jumble it up, switch places, and wear different masks to avoid that place of weakness.

  2. Passive aggressiveness is the hallmark of the weak asshole.And society condones this true assholery disguised as niceness.

    For example, holding a door open for someone who still is far away can make an interesting attempt at status reversal.

    By forcing the other person to go faster and then even thanking for the supposed "niceness", the passive aggressive "nice" guy gained a brief moment of power and sadistic joy.

    Polite gestures can be deceiving. Gut feeling is the best indicator who has dominance in a social interaction. That is also why some most of the "feigning alpha" attempts of aspiring PUAs fail so miserably.

    As you point out, the weakness of these guys roots in fear and lack of discipline.

    Not surprisingly, one can show that these men lack success in life for the very same reasons.

  3. this post reminds me why I hoist the black flag and live a life less ordinary.
    "Strong men can admire other strong men. And strong men can love their women openly, and with power and real feeling. They do not cling; instead they seize."

    Insecurity/resentment of those who have achieved et cetera, is clearest sign of a non Alpha male.

  4. Let's use some basic logic here.

    A weak asshole and a strong asshole are both assholes and yet one is attractive to women and the other is not. Think about this for a moment. If your argument is correct, then the key distinction between the two is strength. Strength is what is attractive and weakness is what is unattractive.

    Why is it necessary to be an asshole at all?

    I think this is a classic case of confusing correlation with causation. It might be that women are attracted to strong assholes, but it doesn't follow that being an asshole causes women to be attracted to you.

  5. Anonymous:

    Well, yes. Congratulations. You just repeated the whole teaching in a shorter space. Well done!

  6. Except that you're suggesting that it's necessary to be an asshole. Why? Why not just cultivate strength?

    Roissy is also a proponent of what he calls "asshole game." I don't see what being an asshole adds to the equation.

  7. Where do I suggest that it's necessary to be an asshole?

    The whole point of this post is that what people call being an "asshole" is sometimes real assholes (weak men) and is sometimes just natural strength, as perceived and resented by weak people. I think you and I are saying the same thing, anonymous. You just took my words a little more literally than I intended them. Of the "two types of assholes," only one is REALLY and asshole (the weak).

    As for "asshole game," it certainly works. Again, as you (or maybe not you, but other people, at least) can tell from my post, I think strength is better than assholishness. But it works because it signals that you don't need a girl's approval, that you don't give a shit what she thinks, and this signals that you have lots of options, and this signals that you are a desirable mate and this turns women on. All this happens in a split second, far below the level of conscious awareness. That's why it works, anonymous.

    But if done in a stupid, aping, beta way, it backfires. That's why real strength is a central component.

    Hope that clears things up.

  8. To add to what Master Dogen said, the strong man exhibits strong traits and characteristics (he isn't overly concerned with others well-being as much as polite society would have, but he isn't rude either; he's just a MGTOW). The weak man, in an attempt to be a strong man, merely apes the strong man's actions.

    This feigned attempt winds up like all such endeavors; they miss the essence of their intention and come off as fake and in this case, asshole-ish.

    To me, the strong man is maligned by the weaker types who attempt to mimic his actions. Their misfiring gives the strong man's intentions a negative connotation, when in reality, he's just looking out for number one. The weak man feels that to look out for number one, he has to bring down #2, #3, etc. because they are direct competition, or because he assumes that's the path the strong man took to get to where he is.

  9. Chuck:

    It was a real eye-opener for Apprentice Dogen when he learned the truth of your last sentence there. You may compete with others, but "bringing them down" (especially in the form of badmouthing them), is entirely superfluous, and often a hindrance.

  10. Master:

    the smarter weak types have learned to not outwardly seek the demise of nor speak ill against others. to do so is neither wise nor becoming.

    therefore, as time goes on, it becomes harder to discern the weak because of the disparate inwardly weak and outwardly weak types, but i digress.

    to add another point similar to bringing down others...a weak man gains by another man's losing, therefore, it is easier for him to feel as if he gained (and he doesn't have to do any of the work) if he looks better relative to another.

    a weak man revels in a strong man's weakness because it does the heavy lifting for him. he doesn't have to work, strive, and possibly fail. it follows that a characteristic of the weak is that they refuse to *try*. they have excuses for not trying.

  11. "Hope that clears things up."

    Yes thank you, it does. I think we do agree.

    Normally I would give your post a more charitable reading, but many people in the community ascribe to asshole game, and it's creating droves of unpleasant and irritating douchebags.

  12. Anonymous:

    Understood, and agreed.

  13. Men were men in the days of hand to hand combat. Methinks a return to bloody glory would fix our countries malaise right quick. In short order only the strong and adaptable would remain.

  14. Which is why they should make duels legal again. Or at least stop prosecuting good old fashioned non lethal bar fights between men.

    An armed society is a polite society.

  15. Achilles is an interesting case. He was brave but also a "take my ball and go home" kind of guy. Standing up for your own interests is alpha, but there is a war going on. I am pretty sure I'd want Audie Murphy on my side over Achilles.

  16. sfer:

    That's a good point. He does spend more than half the Iliad sitting around in his tent pouting because Agamemnon took his best girl. But that's an interesting thing... All the Achaeans in the Iliad are kind of selfish that way; in the Odyssey too.

    The Persian Wars 400-500 years later are perhaps a better example of manly men banding together in solidarity. But then, poets make heroes, and even Herodotus can't measure up to Homer.