As I’ve said before, there are few books that make a deep impact on me. Atlas Shrugged was one. The Gulag Archipelago was another, as was A Father’s Voice. But, other than those few, there are few books I’ve read that remain constantly on my mind. Now, after reading The Bronze Age Mindset, I have another that will constantly remain with me.
The Bronze Age Mindset isn’t for everyone, to be clear. BAP is irreverent, writes in meme speak about half the time, advocates for a way of life that seems dramatically out of place in the modern world, and has what some might regard as a dark outlook on life and humanity. Plus, he’s supposedly a friend of Steve Bannon’s that worked in the Trump White House, so that shows there are at least some real men in politics still, and that BAP thinks correctly about politics.
But, at the same time, BAP offers the antidote for the feminization of society that is the plague of the modern world. His way of life is the way Beowulf, Alcibiades, and the conquistadors lived. A diet of real food (meat and vegetables), a life spent in the sun, muscles sculpted by lifting steel, and riches won with iron rather than bought by gold.
The ideal life for BAP is one spent as a Viking, living a manly life and punishing weakness at the point of a sword.
It’s a book that will attract some, intrigue some, and repel most. But, regardless of what category you fall into after reading it, The Bronze Age Mindset is a book you need to read. The rest of this review will explain why.
Summary of The Bronze Age Mindset
BAP begins his book with a short introduction that ends with this passage:
“In the Bronze Age men had life and force, and I already see, far on the horizon of our world, but the glimmer is surely there—may it not be a mirage!—I see this spirit returning surely in our time. Piratical bands and brotherhoods will take to the seas, and not just to the seas. The enemies of Western man and the enemies of beauty are to learn just what was meant by a piratical race, a nest of pirates like the Chinese thought of the Dutch on first meeting them. I want to prepare you to receive this old spirit—old spirits are moving, from behind the reeds… the silhouette shimmers against a river in late summer, and I see already men who know how to honor such uncanny old friends.”
That passage is the essence of The Bronze Age Mindset. It’s a book about preserving Western Civilization by returning to its roots- Ancient Greece, Imperial Rome, and the conquistadors and explorers that sparked centuries of Western domination.
Later, he develops it further, explaining the title thusly:
“Many times I’m asked, why the Bronze Age? Because it’s the heroic age you see in Iliad and Odyssey, yes, but don’t forget what hero really means. Thucydides says the men of that time enjoyed piracy, and saw nothing wrong with it, and this is true. And what is the pirate but the original form of the free man and of all ascending life!”
After the introduction, BAP begins his ruminations, most of which center around two ideas- owned space and making one’s mark on the world.
The first, owned space, dominates the early portions of the book. BAP explains how healthy animals, including men, desire space of their own. Space to own, dominate, and in which they can prosper. In other words, we must maintain the property rights so integral to Western Civilization. A few passages help show that point:
“The most noble animals refuse to breed in captivity. Many animal, not just man, choose death when trapped. But I thought all life strove for mere survival and reproduction; but this not enough? But if not enough then must understand animal in some other way. Very much when thinkers talk about “evolutionary psychology” they abstract from way of yeast to way of animals and man, but this is backward.”
“For this reason Nietzsche say, noble peoples do not endure slavery, they’re either free or they die out.”
“A healthy animal not under distress, not maimed, not trapped by man, seeks first when young: space.”
“You must learn to see the secret language of nature and what it drives at: there is one path that drives for the production of a supreme specimen. It is the path that governs higher life; survival and reproduction are only side effects of this path. Life is at most basic, struggle for ownership of space.”
His point is that noble animals, and thus noble men, are the ones that seek out and dominate owned space. If a situation arises where they might be turned into slaves and stripped of their property, like the Jews at Masada or the Spartans at Thermopylae, then they’d rather go down fighting, or even by committing suicide, than live yet remain enslaved. Great men do not surrender, they die fighting for what is theirs.
Later in The Bronze Age Mindset, BAP develops this point further, explaining how the steaming cities of the Orient (cities that we have now, sadly, replicated in the West), packed as they are with masses of humanity, are detestable because of the very lack of owned space. There are renters and denizens, but not owners. As a result, the men in them take no pride in life; rather than dominating and defending what is theirs, they are instead dominated by despots in far away, decadent capitals and by their wives at home. For example, he describes them as “the faceless clerk or merchant who claws his path in the antheap of this society is beholden to his hectoring wife like slave.”
When compared with the city-states of Ancient Greece or Renaissance Italy, small affairs focused above all on individuality and citizenship, it’s obvious why BAP prefers the West to the Orient in the matter of cities; owned space is a reality rather than an impossibility.
After discussing owned space, BAP proceeds to spend the rest of The Bronze Age Mindset discussing the type of man and the type of lifestyle he sees as best.
First, to do so, he discusses the degeneracy and weakness of the modern world, pointing out, as I have, that the modern world is a place of weak, servile men (warning: there is some graphic language and BAP is speaking in meme speak):
“Modern adult Western male seeks permission to watch other men playing sports, quaff vegetable oil relish, beg for “coochie” in simulated intercourse, masturbation with plastic on dick. Precisely a character born for conquest, for expansion, a precocious type of boy who seeks real development and the real domination of the space around him, who understands in his blood that play and manliness are to this end, precisely such a boy will have his expectations about life crushed and thwarted as soon as his eyes open.”
“Physically, spiritually and in intellect they exceed us in every way. I give example: our elite athletes, our special forces operators, are nothing compared to them. We find Paleolithic bones, the femur, so robust that nothing from our runners or power-lifters equals. These men were capable of sustained speeds unimaginable today. You know about Marathon, but not the whole story. The real physical feat wasn’t just the soldier who ran the twenty miles or so back to Athens to warn the people. The entire army ranged on the beach in heavy bronze armor, facing the enemy. After the Persians landed, the Greeks charged them from more than a mile away. The Persians were amazed at the line of gleaming bronze running toward them and their war cry. These men ran a mile in very heavy armor and also carried six-foot-plus ashen spear-spike. They drove the invaders into the sea. And right after this great effort they marched, still in armor, all the way back to Athens without pause, to prevent the Persians from making an opportune landing there. I don’t think any special military units would be able to equal this feat today, and these were the average citizens of Athens.”
“these were men of conquest, exploration and adventure first. Aeschylus had on his tombstone engraved that he fought at Marathon, not that he wrote his plays. The free man is a warrior, and only a man of war is a real man.”
Using examples such as the ones above, BAP demolishes most of modern society, showing it for what it is: a cult of weakness and degeneracy. Our warriors are weak when compared to the ancients, men are servile and dominated, and the glorious feats of old are so different than the middling “accomplishments” of today so as to feel alien.
However, BAP is not completely despondent about modernity. Some figures fit his mold, as exemplified by these passages:
“Some time ago I spoke with another frog about Generalissimo Alfredo Stroessner. He was dictator of Paraguay for forty years. He went to sleep at one in the morning and got up at 4 AM; aside from this he took a two hour siesta in the afternoon (this is before air conditioning, and siesta is a necessity in tropical places). The entire day he worked relentlessly for his country and to keep down the vicious and Satanic communist sect that would have massacred his people—but he also did this for his own glory!”
“Even as versatile and flashy a man as Trump is very far from this possibility in our time, though he at least makes such a type somehow believable.”
“The coming age of barbarism will not be owned, as so many of you urban cucks fear, by the gangbangers and the unwashed hordes of the teeming cesspools of the world, but by clean-cut middle-class and working-class vets, men of military experience, who know something about how to shoot and how to organize. The fools who think oligarchs will be able to control these men for very long should look to the fortunes of the Sforzas and many others, and remember that money is no match for force of arms combined with charm.”
But, while he knows such men can exist, he is worried that the sad state of modern affairs will make it near-impossible for them to do so, as shown by these passages:
“We take the wolves and lions and leopards from among us when pups and break them with false ideas, vicious conditioning, and lately, drugs that would have lobotomized a da Vinci, an Alexander, a Frederick the Great out of existence in his youth.”
“The condition of other modern nations is worse. In our time friendship is made illegal between boys in school, real fraternities are for all purposes banned, and the scouting movements are forced to accept women—and women are destructive entirely of any great friendship.”
“He said, “Hippocleides you have just danced yourself out of a marriage” …but the answer was “Hippocleides doesn’t care.” In this one phrase you have the whole attitude of this beautiful, reckless piratical aristocracy that colonized and conquered their known world. It’s an attitude that upsets all the moralfags of our time”
“The military is already so full of homofaggotry that it will be very unpleasant for any man who is a man to join its ranks at the moment. He might have a hard time advancing in its hierarchy, even affecting the views of a traditional religious conservative or a mainstream Trumpist which is, I suppose, as far as you could go right now. I would hate also to see any free man killed or maimed in the service of this military that’s been turned into a Hessian merc force for Gulf nabobs, for various ethnic groups, for the idiotic schemes of international financiers and the benefit of machine politicians looking to advance their families’ fortunes abroad.”
We can’t live up to the standards of the past because we’re weak and dominated. Men such as Hippocleides didn’t care what others thought; they did what they wanted and lived out their personalities in a positive way. Modern men are broken by the wheel of “political correctness” and not being offensive or impolite. Men other than the ones BAP celebrates, such as Trump or Viktor Orban, that is.
Furthermore, we’ve been dominated by betas and puritanical leftists. Such men are not fit to rule, much less set societal standards. BAP emphasizes that in these passages:
“No…great civilizations and cultures were never founded nor kept alive by “betas.” The nerdoids who have taken over much of the right have brainwashed you to this view, but it’s wrong.”
“The problem of the modern world, as also of the degradation of the environment, isn’t technology or a way of life or an ideology, but the ubiquity and rule of a certain kind of human…. and until this problem is solved………”
“the many find solace and meaning only in submission.”
“When they say they are atheists, I never believe them: atheists act like Stalin or Brezhnev, not like a Presbyterian schoolmarm. The truth is that these who make the core of the modern left are moral fanatics. There’s not a drop of atheism or relativism in them.”
“Do you imagine that men of genius or, let’s say, men of science in history walked around clear-headed, “disenchanted,” reasonable, with the tight-assed attitude of the science cultist and materialist? No great discovery has ever been made by the power of reason. Reason is a means of communicating, imperfectly, some discoveries to others, and in the case of the sciences, a method of trying to render this communication certain and precise. But no one ever made a discovery through syllogisms, through reason, through this makeshift form of transmission. Great mathematicians saw spatial relations, as great physicists saw and to some extent felt physical relations.”
Finally, BAP uses the last pages of The Bronze Age Mindset to explain how modern man can recover the mindset he cherishes, breaking the slave-like bonds of modernity and becoming a great man. He first suggests electing such men as Trump, Viktor Orban, and others that care not for the “bug men” or “yeast” of the left (so described because of their hive mind and the cancerous way in which they clump together and grow, overpowering their betters) and, rather than behave in a conciliatory manner, instead fight with everything they’ve got to champion manly virtue and Western Civilization. Then, focusing on the personal rather than the political, BAP gives this advice:
“But a regime of sun and steel is absolutely required, for your mood, your aesthetics, for getting the attention of women and the respect of men, and above all for preparation for struggle and war. In ancient Greek cities, only the citizens were allowed to lift weights and work in the gym: slaves were forbidden. It’s no wonder that the robots of Babylon seek to ban gyms for men in our time.”
Get outside. Lift weights and exercise. Learn how to fight. And, after you’ve taken those steps, focus on greatness and owned space. Be a man like Alcibiades and make your mark on history with fighting spirit, charisma, and confidence. That’s BAP’s advice for modern man.
My Take on The Bronze Age Mindset
As you probably guessed from the summary and introduction, I was a huge fan of The Bronze Age Mindset.
For one, the irreverent manner in which BAP writes is hilarious and highly entertaining. Words are occasionally spelled like they are in memes, his depiction of leftists as bugmen, and the way he skewers the beta males that aren’t charismatic or masculine is terrific.
More importantly, however, The Bronze Age Mindset gets to the root of what is wrong with modern civilization. Men have become weak. Most Americans are too fat to fight. They don’t exercise, don’t go outside, eat processed grains rather than meat, and won’t fight for what’s theirs. Their wives cheat on them, they work under the crushing yoke of a soul-erasing job, and they’re disconnected from the powerful forces in nature.
How many modern men know the feeling that comes from stalking a deer, knowing you’re about to extinguish the flame of a life? Who among us would have the internal fortitude and utter ruthlessness necessary to be a conquistador, landing in a foreign continent with a few dozen men and utterly dominating it? How many are left that embody the principles of greatness found in The Lives of the Noble Greeks, Beowulf, or The Song of the Cid? I’d say very few.
Furthermore, BAP is right in both what he criticizes about modernity and what the likely solutions are.
The main problem we have is weakness. The left is the side, as he says, of bugmen. They don’t think for themselves, behave as a hive rather than as individuals, and are generally weak betas. The conservative right, as Kurt Schlichter once said, is dominated by “bowtied virgins” that are of little use in a no-holds-barred brawl over the future of Western Civilization. Men on both sides have allowed themselves to be dominated by the feminine. Gone are the days of brawling on the playground, ruthless geopolitics, and cultivating masculinity. In are the days of talking about feelings and mindlessly declaring that violence is never the answer.
It’s only an exceptional modern man that has escaped those traps of modernity and embraced the virile masculine life of the sort BAP champions. Trump is one, Bob Denard is another, the former Rhodesian and South African soldiers that created Executive Outcomes is an entire group of such men, and the Rhodesian farmers that defended what was theirs from Mugabe and his Marxist thugs were an entire society of such people. Like me, BAP is very complimentary of Rhodesia. I’d also add the brave men of Azov Battalion and Right Sector to the list, along with Wagner Group, Blackwater, and Cliven Bundy.
He, therefore, calls for us to follow in the footsteps of such greats. Fight for what’s yours, taking and dominating owned space. A life of sun and steel. Connect to the land that’s yours and feel the ancient strength that comes with embracing a heritage of honor.
But, above all else, be an individual and make your mark on the world. BAP rightly denigrates the idiotic, evil Nazis that march in the streets or the weirdos that champion edgy ideologies online; they’re obvious lunatics and, in the case of the Nazis, not individuals but rather a different type of bugmen that have an even more reprehensible ideology. Instead, it’s the individual that is the future; the mountain man out West, the entrepreneur, the Orban-like defenders of the West. Be like them, not the lunatics.
The Bronze Age Mindset is a marvelous book. From beginning to end, BAP does an excellent job of explaining what is wrong with modernity and what the remedies to the virus of weakness are. Read it. You’ll be a better, stronger, more confidant human if you do so.