Salvo 08.09.2023 4 minutes

In Tate We Trust


Half-truths are no antidote for lies.

Everyone seems to be talking about Andrew Tate.

Love him or hate him, liberals and conservatives alike can’t stop talking about the latest antics of the kickboxer-turned-pimp-turned-most googled man on earth. To quote one internet commenter, “Tate has become our new unit of measurement.”

Recently, several mainstream conservatives—Tucker Carlson, Patrick Bet David, and Candace Owens among them—have given interviews and/or commentary that seem to cast Tate in an extraordinarily favorable light. This despite the fact that Tate embodies and advocates a set of values, practices, and behaviors that appear to run directly against the traditional grain of the Christian West, many of them actually quite liberal.

Tate’s sudden and meteoric rise isn’t hard to explain. Given the false choice between “soy boys” and “bad boys,” most men and women alike (if they are truly being honest) will choose the bad boy every time.

It’s little surprise that a politically incorrect, ethnically ambiguous, kickboxing pimp fares better than the increasingly docile, neutered, and hyper-feminized nu male of the industrialized West at catching the attention of the young, sexually frustrated, disenfranchised white males who are perpetually bombarded with media messaging to the effect that their very existence is inherently toxic. What’s more, rather than just peddling in ideas and intellectual abstractions, Tate is modeling a set of behaviors and an overall demeanor; one of virility, competitiveness, physicality, assertiveness, personal responsibility, confrontation, and dominance. These attitudes and practices have been long suppressed in the male Western psyche.

Yet despite his advertisement of an authentic, unbridled masculinity (which he opposes to the so-called “Matrix”), the mindset that Tate sells actually works to strengthen the dominant world regime rather than to actually fight it in any serious way.

We can easily recognize some of Tate’s prescriptions as healthy, refreshing, and highly necessary, among them the injunctions not to be physically or mentally weak, to take personal responsibility, to assert oneself, to reject both feminism and feminization, and to honor God. But there’s no separating these prescriptions from the net message of Tate’s overall brand.

The upshot of that message includes advocacy for such things as: being a pimp, engaging in fraud, sleeping around, repatriating to Romania or Dubai, amassing harems, sports cars, and other markers of conspicuous consumption, converting to Islam, and teaching tens of thousands of men online to do the same. Taken in aggregate, Tate’s instructions for “fighting the Matrix” are really ways to increase its power. They will only serve to shackle Western men to sexual vice and consumerism, to deracinate and to atomize them, to wither the civilizational foundations of faith, family, and flag, and to thereby strengthen the present world regime under the false pretense of undermining it.

What’s more, for someone purporting to be some underground freedom fighter, it is equally peculiar that his image and likeness now seem to completely saturate nearly every major media outlet, as well as all social media platforms, worldwide. This sudden and inexplicable rise to omni-present super-stardom seems about as organic as that of Volodymyr Zelensky, Greta Thunberg, or gangster rap. Yet the message compels because the urges that Tate and his followers are fundamentally responding to are still very real.

For years, I too was lured in by the false promises of the “Pick-Up-Artist”/”Red Pill” narrative. I can both sympathize and empathize with the profound sense of loneliness, awkwardness, and total invisibility experienced by many Western men today, as well as the general sentiment of being completely fed up with the present rainbow regime and with modern existence in general. Tate’s brand and messaging promises to attend to and relieve all such frustrations. But, as I can personally attest, it’s a promise that will bitterly disappoint.

As Mark Twain once wrote, “falsehood grows in the shade of truth.” There is clearly a yearning deep within the Western psyche for the return of strong, virtuous, virile, patriarchal leadership. And while flashy, bombastic, and machismo-laden surrogates might satisfy this yearning in the short-term, in the long run, they will not suffice. But if Christians, Americans, and conservatives want to offer a better alternative, they will have to recognize and remember the virtues of true masculinity, including not only strength but also justice and mercy. That should be good reason to hope that the rule of law will win out over the social media court of public opinion in Tate’s own trial for human trafficking in Romania.

However that case ends up shaking out, I still can’t help but feel that historians will look back upon this unique period in human history with amazement. Men were so starved for role models that even a pimp and a con artist could attract an entire generation of Western men simply by acknowledging basic facts about human nature. Perhaps they will also lament that a man who could have led his followers out of the Matrix chose instead to lead them further and deeper in.

The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.

The American Mind is a publication of the Claremont Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life. Interested in supporting our work? Gifts to the Claremont Institute are tax-deductible.

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