The “book” is a waste of time and money. I have read it and now wish I had read something else in the time it took to read it and write about it.
Why read it?
I read it for two reasons first, people like Mike Anton had reviewed it positively as if it was worthy of serious thought for the insight it would provide to conservatives. If he had meant the MAGA faithful, then he would be right because this is their type of book and they are the author’s preferred audience, the credulous rubes desperate for someone to tell them how to live as well as to tell them that their lives have meaning and purpose. His review in the Claremont Review of Books was so mistaken https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/are-the-kids-altright/ , it makes me question his judgement, unless he was simply channelling Norm Macdonald’s deadpan delivery by taking something so unserious seriously.
The second reason was that someone suggested I read it so I could at least understand what was swirling around the edges of the rightwing septic system that passes for thinking these days. In that sense, I am glad I did read it as it confirms the thesis that the right wing grift machinery exists to exploit the sucker who is born every minute.
On the surface, the book’s title appears to be either an homage, or a satire on, the book called The Gorilla Mindset. A book that I have neither read nor has anyone ever recommended it as worthy of interest for it lacks any insight or writing that is worthy of any time or money. In his review of the Bronze Age Mindset, https://www.cernovich.com/bronze-age-mindset-book-review/Mike Cernovich makes the weird point that he thought the Bronze Age Pervert was hitting on him (why do we need to know this or that Curtis Yarvin is better looking person than he is on his Wikipedia page?)
There is a story that claims the Bronze Age Mindset was found in a safe box in Kowloon, which clearly borrows from the nonsense of the Celestine Prophecy. In reading Bronze Age Mindset, I kept being reminded of the pseudo science presented in the Chariots of the Gods. Any self-respecting author would have kept this “book” locked up instead of inflicting it on readers given how poorly written it is and therefore how poorly thought through it is.
The book is poorly written, some suggest this is intentional, which is demonstrated or confirmed by the author attempting to write coherently in the American Conservative in response to Mike Anton’s review in the Claremont Review of Books. https://americanmind.org/salvo/americas-delusional-elite-is-done/ In that response the Bronze Age Pervert, drops his pidgin English schtick as the tries to explain why he is a dissident and the American regime is doomed.
The book’s sentences are meandering to the point I began to wonder what would happen if I had finished each sentence with “Yadda, Yadda, Yadda,” would it have improved he argument? At one point I dropped my printed copy of the book mixing up several pages. I could not tell if that made any difference as it seemed to make more sense when several of the pages were read out of order. Perhaps that was what the author intended.
When we look at the book’s many claims, we find it shallow or simply wrong. We find claims or assertions like “Question everything” which sounds like the old 60s slogan “Question authority”. It sounds “deep” until you realise the young are stupid and don’t know anything which means they don’t know which questions to ask, how to ask a question, but most importantly they rarely know what to do with the answer they receive. The book does not move beyond platitudes to make a coherent argument. When it does try to present something that appears light a right wing counter cultural argument, it is married by stupid claims as if the author is scared to make an argument for fear of confirming he has no argument to make or to have one beyond anything he could deny as a jest or joke.
We have statements like “Suburbs are living arrangement for slaves and subjects.” which is nonsensical but again sounds deep to the credulous. If that statement were true, then what does it mean? Who are the masters? How does one ever escape servitude? Do we need to turn to the Pedagogy of the Oppressed for us to overcome our servitude? How did the Bronze Age Pervert escape to tell the tale of our servitude?
Nearly every section of the book is littered with these clearly false statements, which raises the concern that Mike Anton took them as true because they sound plausible to him.
His range of knowledge is vast—or at least appears so. I often found myself willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on scientific concepts I don’t understand because so often when he writes about something I do understand, he gets it right. And when he doesn’t, I can’t be sure he’s not just trolling.
Anton’s seriousness in reading Bronze Age Pervert is undermined when the Bronze Age Pervert writes
If I would have emphasized anything else to people who had never heard of my book, it is that it deals with a large range of topics, from history to literature to my own personal experiences. It is a book written primarily for fun and entertainment: it’s not a philosophical treatise, and it’s not a political manifesto. I wrote it in a mood of revelry and laughter, these being the sentiments principally to be found also in the phenomenon of dissent that Anton seeks to understand.
By using this claim “I was just joking” or “it was just fun and games” the author wants to have it both ways. He was being serious, he is a dissident apparently, but if he is taken seriously and shown to be writing lazy bullshit as serious advice for profit, he can duck out to say “hey, it was just a joke, I was just trolling…”
The reality is that the book is replete with false claims that are easily disprovable, which make a mockery of Anton’s credibility or his willingness to interrogate the work seriously for his reader. It is as if the author is too lazy to do any work let alone any serious thinking beyond, the system is rigged against us and it sucks. Even if the author is not trolling or simply lazy, we have one those “lifestyle “hacks”” books that, like the Gorilla Mindset, is designed to get the credulous to depart with their money by telling them how to live a better life, which is boiled down to some basic common sense about getting more sleep, avoiding drugs, alcohol, and junk food and exercising regularly. Instead, the reader has paid good money for someone to have a laugh at your expense. Take for example his claim in section 23 that Nietzsche avoided reading anything written by others. It is simply wrong. Nietzsche was a voracious reader, he was a trained philologist, and even a brief Internet search shows that Nietzsche had an extensive private library of books many of which were closely annotated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Friedrich_Nietzsche Yet for the average Bronze Age Pervert follower this sounds true. The book is replete with such nonsense. Anton who fancies himself a “serious scholar” should know that his claim about Nietzsche is bullshit. Yet, Anton does not say anything which suggests he dd not know that it was wrong, was too lazy to check, or does not care.
Another the stupid claim is in section 16 that chimps masturbate in captivity never in the wild (which seems to be borrowed from this 2015 blog http://www.mehergutta.com/masturbation/ , yet dozens of animals masturbate in the wild. https://www.earthtouchnews.com/natural-world/animal-behaviour/masturbating-macaques-give-scientists-a-hand-with-semen-collection/People do research on these topics and he thinks it is funny like some teenage boy laughing because someone said “masturbate”.
In section 49, he claims that the men of Athens were capable of feats fo strength and speed unimaginable today. He supports this claim with the Greek charge at the battle of Marathon as evidence of their physical superiority. He asserts the Greeks, in full armour, charged for a mile. Yet, this is not the case. As this article argues conclusively, the distance was likely less than 400 metres. http://www.electrummagazine.com/2020/06/the-greek-charge-at-marathon-ready-set-go/ The Bronze Age Pervert never investigates his claims in part because he expects them to be accepted uncritically.
What is strange or perhaps illuminating is that Bronze Age Pervert claims to be in good physical shape because he takes care of his body, exercises regularly and understands the demands of being strong and healthy. Yet, he says “I don ’t think any special military units would be able to equal this feat today, and these were average citizens of Athens.” Anyone familiar with the SEALS or the SPETNAZ or the SAS know that this is simply wrong. The soldiers who train in these units endure as harsh training. https://www.verywellfit.com/navy-seals-workout-routine-3119129 But then that is not the point, no one needs to charge in full armour because warfare has changed. It is as if he wants to have his cake and eat it too. The past was better except a unit of SEALS would probably have wiped out the Athenians with automatic weapons, sniper fire, and grenades before they even knew what hit them.
Another claim illustrates this sloppy work, which we find in section 42 that the Puritans who introduced hops to beer to make it bitter. Yet, a cursory glance at the history of beer making would disprove his claim. https://www.britishhops.org.uk/hops/history/ Mike Anton treats this type of argument as a serious work full of serious scholarship that conservatives should take seriously. At some point, we have to realise this is sloppy work that panders to prejudices that flatters for a profit.
For those who consume this “book” as intelligent it shows they are either credulous rubes or the type of person who thinks that “covefe” is some sort of secret Trump teaching. Anton writes about the Bronze Age Pervert telling his readers to join the Leviathan but retain the pirate’s ethos so that they can change the system from within and bring down the Leviathan.
This rhetorical reversal reminds one of Machiavelli, who frequently tempers his most outrageous statements with sensible and moderate teachings; or to say better, who obscures his sensible and moderate teachings with outrageous statements that appeal to the impetuosity, zeal, and bravado of the young. Machiavelli intimates that the primary purpose of his Discourses on Livy is to prepare a certain subset of the youth to act, when the time is ripe, to overthrow a corrupt “sect” and restore ancient virtue. It is my impression that Bronze Age Mindset was written with the same intent.
So, there we have it. Bronze Age Pervert is saying he wrote the book as a joke and Anton is saying he wrote it as a secret teaching in which his stupid claims hide his deeper serious statements. That Mike Anton says that the author might be writing esoterically (here Leo Strauss laughed) and for the audience that “reads” is perhaps as clear of illustration of confirmation bias similar to those essays that tried to explain “covfefe” as something serious instead of a typing error. It is perhaps this type of thinking by people who claim to be serious that explains why Americans are ingesting horse de-wormer paste instead of taking a vaccine. It is almost as if Americans now lack common sense in that they must follow the political cult over the clear instructions on the side of the packet that says “not for human consumption.”
If we can have adults with PhDs arguing seriously that Trump meant something profound when he tweeted the word “covfefe” by accident, we know that tribal loyalty is more important than critical thought. Socrates would never accept such nonsense and no self-respecting thinker would either, but when politics is more important than the truth, we have left philosophy for ideology. Claremont has accepted irrationality as worthy of respect and followed politics over truth.
No, the Bronze Age Pervert is not writing esoterically, he is writing bullshit and charging you good money for it. More to the point, his poor writing reflect his poor thinking. When he does attempt to write seriously, he comes across as talking points without insight or explanatory power. Here is his claim that he is a dissident because the oppression of his views and those of his followers is worse than the oppression experienced in the Soviet Union or the Easter Bloc countries of the 1970s and 1980s.
If you fail to see that you live in the Soviet Union of the 1970’s or 1980’s, or rather something slightly even more repressive than the Eastern Bloc of that time, it may be you don’t know about the threats, financial ruin, and mob violence that Trump supporters and anyone really who steps out of line has been subject to since at least 2016—but actually since some time before that.
Seriously, if you believe that the United States of 2021 is akin to the USSR of the 1970s or slightly *more* repressive than the Eastern Bloc of that era, then you are stupid. In neither of those places or times could you have had this argument or stood up and voted to change the system. Let alone run campaigns, donate money, and live your life. It is simply nonsense and an insult to anyone who had to live through that era or was a dissident in that era. For some reason, the Bronze Age Pervert and Curtis Yarvin become upset about the DMV as if spending time in line or dealing with a bureaucracy is on par with the torture and death that dissidents in the USSR risked.
https://americanmind.org/salvo/americas-delusional-elite-is-done/ His thinking sums up to being “We are fascists because the left were fascist before us and we need to catch up”.
The left completely abandoned Americanism in the 1960’s; at this point they’ve also abandoned biological reality. Vitalism is all that is left against their demented biological Leninism. Encouraging health, normality, and physical nobility against their celebration of deformity, obesity, and sexual catamitism must be one of the basic functions of conservatism in our time. It is one of the reasons my message is powerful among many who are fed up with the left’s gospel of wretchedness: what is your plan to take that on?
The Left abandoned Americanism so we need to abandon it to keep up with them because we are now the counter culture to their counter culture. Except that the Bronze Age Pervert only understands the 1960s counter culture as diluted and mediated by his preferred writers which means he understands it as he wants to understand it not as it is or was.
If you want to understand the 1960s counter culture, the read some Joan Didion because at least you get someone who lived within it and understood it for what it was and understood what it would mean.
Instead of insight, we get warmed over platitudes which is not much help. We want change because we do not like what we see but we do not understand what we see or experience beyond we do not like it. The DMV is our Lubyanka appears to be the Bronze Age Pervert’s claim. He and others think somewhere there is a better alternative without understanding either the status quo beyond a solipsistic view of the world or what an alternative means assuming that one has understood what is happening instead of buying into bad faith arguments that America today is more repressive and dangerous than USSR of the 1970s.
If the goal is to raise the challenge of a right wing counter culture movement similar to the one that we saw in the late 1960s in the United States, then the author has done a poor job. We perhaps await a right wing Joan Didion to set out the crisis. If one does not exist, it certainly is not the Bronze Age Pervert, Mike Anton, or Curtis Yarvin, then we would be better served by revisiting what Joan Didion wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem since her words are directly applicable to what appears to be happening among the right wing culture at least suggested by Bronze Age Pervert and endorsed by Mike Anton.
“We were seeing the desperate attempt of a handful of pathetically unequipped children to create a community in a social vacuum. Once we had seen these children, we could no longer overlook the vacuum, no longer pretend the society’s atomisation could be reversed. … [W]e had somehow neglected to tell these children the rules of the game we happened to be playing. Maybe we had stopped believing in the rules ourselves, maybe we were having a failure of never about the game. Maybe there were just too few people around to do the telling. These were children who grew up cut loose from the web of cousins and great-aunts and family doctors and lifelong neighbours who had traditionally suggested and enforced the society’s values. They are less in rebellion against the society than ignorant of it, able only to feed back certain of its publicised self-doubts, Vietnam, Saran-Wrap, diet pills, the Bomb.
They feed black exactly what is given them . Because they do not believe in words….their only proficient vocabulary is thin the society’s platitudes. As it happens I am still committed to the idea that the ability to think for one’s self depends upon one’s mastery of the language, and I am not optimistic about children who will settle for saying, to indicate that heir mother and father do not live together, that they come from “a broken home.” They are…. an army of children waiting to be given the words. Slouching Towards Bethlehem pp122-123
It is here that Didion proves a better critic than the Bronze Age Pervert who seems to revel in his pidgin English as if by ageing the pidgin English of the internet he is somehow making a statement because she understands that freedom, if not being human, depends on the mastery of language. In effect Bronze Age Pervert and the other rightwing grifters do not want to pass on the mastery of language because they do not want the young, their followers, to think for themselves. Instead, they and others enforce the echo chamber because they will give their followers the words to follow.
If instead of following their nonsense, you want to educate yourself and begin the arduous but liberating process of learning to think for one’s self, I offer the following books as a possible starting point. All of these books are relatively short, on average less than 200 pages in length.
One book that will actually teach you something about the world and how to live, then try something like A Guide for the Perplexed by E F Schumacher. He knows about the world, how it works, and best of all how to think about it.
If you want to understand the counter culture, then pick up Joan Didion’s the White Album and read the essay The White Album.
If you want to understand what it means to know a topic, and to educate yourself, then consider Umberto Eco’s How to Write a Thesis. If you want to begin to understand the problem of modernity then pick up Sigmun Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents or Nietzsche’s Anti-Educartion. If you want to begin to master language, so that you can think for yourself then get a copy of Joseph Pieper’s Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power.
In the end, if you follow the Bronze Age Pervert and buy what he sells, then you have been taken for a fool. The old adage that a fool and his money are soon parted is proven true by those who bought this book. For those of you who read it and think it is serious, then you appear to want to be in on the long con as you seem unable to admit it is bullshit because it would make you question the bullshit you have been presenting as a “teaching” or some “deep” insight into politics or culture. The Bronze Age Mindset is intellectual Ivermectin.