The Golden One (I)
Updated: Nov 16
I don’t agree. I think there’s a problem with the framework that lies behind this video, which is actually the common framework for men today.
In the first place, I don’t think you have “no innate value” as a man just because you exist. It depends what you mean by “value”, of course. If you mean economic value or utility value then almost no human is “without value” as an innate fact, except perhaps people paralysed from the neck down.
So even if you’re just a body you have some utility value as a body. However, I think the subject under discussion is more existential than just an economic observation that anybody could sweep a floor and create value for someone.
The video is introduced as an “annual mental health video” (which is significant, and we’ll come back to it)—so it’s more “existential” than just “economic activity” or “ability to undertake tasks”.
If we look at it at the existential level, then even then you do have value just because you exist—not much value, but some value. That’s because everything is permeated with the divine light, the astral light—even ugly creatures like cockroaches have some value in this respect. Not the same value as a falcon or a man, but some value.
So I don’t accept the opening premise that a man has “no value” from the start. What the Golden One says, in effect, is “men are made, not born—until you’ve made a man of yourself, you’re just a boy (even some 60-year-olds are still boys).” That is so, in one respect. I think he wants to drive the message home with an extreme statement: until you’ve made something of yourself, you’re nothing—therefore, crack on as soon as possible (because time is short).
He also wants to underline the difference between men and women in a stark way, in that women have a higher innate value than any man, in the material dimension, because of their desirability to men (their ability to have children)—whereas no man has the same intrinsic social value a woman has, as derived from her biological assets.
The problem with the video is that it ultimately comes from a materialist and atheistic perspective—“mental health”. The term “mental health” was popularised by a Canadian psychiatrist who was sympathetic to the Communists and hated European people, thought they needed to die out (be bred with other races). “Mental health” is the enemy—the counterpoint to it is “the spirit”.
It’s allied to this view as regards masculinity “what do I bring to the table?”, which is a popular view with men like Peterson as well—in fact, it’s the normative view in modernity. What interests me about this view “what do I bring to the table?” is that it’s purely transactional. The idea is that you arrive in a situation with “x units” (of ability, of skill) and then you do a trade for resources in exchange for these units. “Bring value to the table”—it’s corporate jargon, as you put on your CV “goal-orientated problem-solver”.
This jargon, the jargon of “Human Resources”, itself represents a view where man is instrumentalised and quantified—and reduced to banal cliches, which the Golden One uses here (“Be the best you can be”, “Bring your A-game tomorrow” etc). Nobody actually takes it seriously, and people who repeat the jargon in too cliched a way are laughed at—and yet if you have an annual review you’re meant to provide this jargon-laden fiction statement about “expanding my professional competencies in these key areas this quarter”.
This viewpoint, itself quantitative, constitutes part of the difficulties we live in today. People are regarded as economic units, just like a car—you flip through the website and say “it does x, y, z which is perfect for the off-roading I want to do in Scotland”. That’s what it “brings to the table”. Now, if I compare lots of sites, visit a few dealers, I can get the best return on my money…
How does this pertain to politics? Like so: when someone says, “Immigration will cause GDP to rise 4.6% year-on-year and this will resolve the pension crisis,” they say that because they think in terms of “Human Resources” and “cost-benefit analysis”. Western nations are not protected because everyone thinks and speaks in this utility jargon about “Key Performance Indicators” and “I’m glad you raised that issue, Simon—that’s some real out-of-the-box thinking…”.
In fact, politicians only speak in banal meaningless cliches—that’s why people liked Trump, he speaks halfway like a real man and with spontaneity.
If you think in “the HR way”, everything is a trade-off, everything is open to negotiation (a concept Peterson loves, because it removes all confrontation and all danger from the situation—everything can be like buying a car from a dealership, safe and scented with pine). So if everything is “just a trade deal” and you assess humans by “what they bring to the table” then why not do a negotiation for, let’s say, 40,000 migrants a year to cover shortfalls in key sectors? This is what most right-wing people mean by “being realistic” and “being a man”.
It’s the “horse-trading” attitude that predominates in our world, and it’s why the Jews dominate it—because we’re a civilisation that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing (this quarter).
It’s a totally utilitarian materialistic framework—and it’s even applied to marriage. So marriage is no longer a sacred bond between man and woman, rather you acquired a wife because “you brought demonstrated value to the table (this quarter)”. I don’t believe men and women are actually brought together because of their “key assets” in the first place (unless those “key assets” are breasts)—I don’t think women are that motivated by an assessment of “whether he’s a stable provider” (so much as whether he’s exciting and dangerous), and men will just have sex with anything that’s warm.
I don’t say that things can’t be looked at in terms of “Key Performance Indicators” and utility, but I don’t think the world is like that even in business—I think, like “mental health”, that’s just some imposed jargon of modernity that people talk about; and the more jargon they use, the less they know about how to run an actual business or to have a life that has some joy in it (the Golden One doesn’t sound very happy—I think because he doesn’t really believe what he says, I think he thinks he needs to motivate people, especially young men, and he needs to scare them a bit to motivate them).
It might be that to be scared a bit and told you’re valueless will motivate some people to “get their skates on”, but I’m doubtful—mostly because it’s not true. People aren’t valueless in the innate sense, either in utility terms or as spiritual entities—and also they’re not helpless, because they can call on the gods and, usually, their family for help (although if they are inculcated with this melancholic quasi-Nietzschean message, they will not do so—they will be weakened, in fact).
Although this is all pitched as “rightist”, it’s to the left—the message, like Peterson, is all about “service”. It’s a very Christian concept, but with these Scandinavian types it almost always means service to your wife or your children—because they’re riddled with feminism; and, indeed, women are not as valuable as men—any man is more valuable than any woman, because only men can achieve union with the divine; so the Golden One’s message, being atheist, is implicitly feminist. It says women have more innate value than men.
Women are not more valuable than men, even just taken raw—every woman is lower than the lowest man.
So in this frame your life is all about the feminine value “service to others”—“I did it for the kiddies”, “I sacrificed so much for you”. It’s this total bullshit that leaves people filled with resentment (anger) against their parents, their children, and the world at large.
It’s what the Buddhists call “being a stone Buddha”—it’s the most subtle form of selfishness, as learned by clever people. It’s when you learn as a child that rather than scoffing all the biscuits that if you carefully offer them to everyone else in the room first you will be rewarded with praise “he’s such a good boy—that’s a good boy, Charles.” Then there’s some dance where your great aunt pretends that maybe she wants one, but she didn’t really want one, but she takes one “just to be polite and to set a good example”.
The result is that people learn to hide their selfishness in a clever way. These people talk about “service to others” but they only ever serve themselves (that’s all anyone can ever do)—the way they serve themselves is to be good politicians and diplomats who “always consider others”, the reward they get is the little mental halo “I’m a good person” (and, in fact, material rewards from society they pretend they don’t want but do). Now, they hate and resent doing all these things because they don’t want to do them—they do them for social approval.
Then they sit there and think “I’m good, I sacrifice myself—not like my brother Ben; he’s bad—he’s selfish.” The hatred grows. All these people have done—and Christians are particularly this way—is hide their selfishness and then feel smug about it. You’ve just learned to be “a good boy” to get what you want by pretending you don’t want it which is why you feel sad all the time, because you’re riven with unexpressed anger (depression is unexpressed anger) that you suppress so you can pretend to be “good”—which is why the Golden One seems so miserable in this video. It’s a video about “being good” (being angry).
All this diplomacy and negotiation—which goes along with subtle selfishness, “approved selfishness”—leads to anger and lies, and eventually it explodes (in something like Israel-Palestine, which has been handled by “good” self-sacrificing negotiators for decades, which is why it’s a hate-filled war zone; an excess of “good self-sacrificing people”).
I saw that during this recent war on Gaza it started to rain—a great thunderstorm—and it was a relief because there was no mains water for days and it was very dry, the Palestinians had to collect water where it spilled from broken tankers on the road. A Palestinian child said, as he collected the rainwater, “It’s from Allah, because he has shown us mercy.” And I thought, “Yes, that’s true.”
However, “good, self-sacrificing men” who bring “value to the table”, such as Hamas and the IDF, are too busy being “good” (namely, murdering each other) to notice that.
What’s your alternative? To be whole—to be holy. That is, to be sincere and to say, “I’m not offering you a biscuit, because I hate your face and I hate the way you smell.” “Charles, that is a shocking thing to say to your great aunt—go to your room at once!”. But then your father will come up later and say, “Never mind, I always thought she smelled funny myself. It was the best laugh your mother and I have had in ages.”
That is not moral! No—because morality is the husk of religion. If you don’t break free from this ridiculous act that you’re “a good person” you will never discover your destiny, you’ll just be really good at convincing other people you’re “good” because you bring “value to the table”—you’ll just be a really good liar. But you’ll never be sincere, you’ll never know the heart.
The Golden One talks about alchemy, but he doesn’t understand alchemy in the least—because alchemy is a means to become whole, which is to become the perfect man, which is to be a portal through which the divine enters material reality. And to do that you have to break the false shell you made—your parents made, your school made, your society made—to convince people through lies (the work of the Devil) that you’re a “good, clean valuable member of society” (a good liar).
Be outrageous, be savage, be kind, be tame—but do not calculate and always be sincere. This is alchemy—act without thought for result, do not be “a good servant” when you do not want to serve (turn over the table, so long as you mean it). Do whatever you like, so long as it is sincere.
Overall, the Golden One’s message is too bleak and nihilistic; it’s too modern. People don’t need “mental health”—they need to talk to the gods again (which means to regain the knowledge of the heart, which can be reduced to “don’t lie”); and your value as a person is not, at the fundamental level, determined by “what you bring to the table” (this quarter).
He says that if you “do good things for other people” you will feel happy—that is not true, that is to be a people-pleaser. This idea “do things for other people and you’ll be happy” is a modern notion put about by socialistic regimes (“random acts of kindness”). It’s narcissism at worst.
It’s about “helping others”—it’s materialistic, socialistic, “improving”. You can only help yourself, if you live for others you live for an illusion—but what people love (and hate) the most are people who only live for themselves, because they give them something real. People who live for themselves are self-sufficient—like God—not dependent (like women).
Further, the Golden One talks about being happy and how to be happy—but does he look happy? No—he looks miserable (and sounds miserable too; and that’s because he’s an angry moralist—all the times he suppressed his true will he became more and more angry, and more and more moral). So how would he know how to be happy, maybe you should ask a happy man how to be happy?
There are many other dimensions to life excluded by the techno-science framework we live in that are also essential to life but cannot be reduced to “the goods that you bring to the table”—and I think everyone knows that, really. This idea about how “to become a man” is not about earning money, or becoming strong, or having children, or having a good act—that’s all material. What people lack today is initiation, we don’t have it “because it doesn’t bring value to the table”, not being material—but that is how to discover what is within, the light that illuminates everything.
What people need to hear is that there’s more to life than matter, than looking good to impress other people—and that everyone, even the most humble person, has a destiny.