As he says, “There are positive things that men can do to make the world a better place. And good men are doing good things; and that’s what really counts.” In his second article he said, “The masculine instinct is to be a protector and defender of his society.”
Amen to both of those ideas! Men are vital, necessary, very significant when it come to the health and well-being of our society. Something that keeps coming up is the whole idea of having dominion, ownership, property rights. The first thing we need to really own is a future and a hope.
People become alienated, disenfranchised, because they feel as if they haven’t got a future and a hope, but they also haven’t got an investment in their community, a sense of ownership, of property rights. They are on the outside, the Have Nots looking in at the Haves.
That’s a sticky wicket to talk about in our culture right now because we are very much at war with the idea of property rights and even at war with the concept of dominion. It’s very fashionable now to perceive the world as if we were all victims of it, and rather than claiming our dominion, there is tendency to want to eliminate the very idea of property rights entirely and to redistribute the wealth.
We shall call this dark thing metaphorical socialism, because what is a mass tragedy, an act of violence against innocent people, but an attempt to share the misery and pain? It is tragic, perverse, but it is a form of collectivism. You don’t destroy or harm those you love and are invested in, you place them above yourself.
Also there is human history there, there is the horror of slavery, a history of people being treated as things, as disposable property, rather than precious and being made in the image of God. So I kind of prefer the word “dominion,” which in some dictionaries simply means, “sovereignty or control, the ability to self-govern one’s own territory.”
If you’ve ever seen someone lovingly restore an old car or create beautiful gardens, that is the power of dominion, that is the significance of property rights. If you feel a sense of ownership and pride, you tend to take care of the things that belong to you, even more so if you’ve helped to create them, invested in them, and they now represent your footprint in the world.
Seattle currently has a huge homeless problem, actually it’s primarily an addiction problem, but many people are living on the streets, and so there is lots of garbage everywhere and petty crime. One reason why we see that is because homeless people are not business owners, they are not homeowners, they are outsiders, they have little or no investment in the community.
You can’t just put people in homes or just hand them money. I mean, there is a whole spiritual and emotional part to cultivating that sense of ownership, to fully knowing that you have property rights and dominion, a piece of the pie that is really yours, your territory, your area, your investment. I’d actually name it, “a sense of entitlement,” the good kind. I am entitled to the fruits of my labors, I am entitled to my little piece of the pie, I own it. I have dominion over it. It belongs to me.
There is actually biology at play here, and as we proceed to attempt to redesign our culture and our society, we really need to pay attention to human biology. Many of the things that we have been doing as a culture disrespect the nature of own biology, they run counter to who we are as people, to what is natural to us. Many of our attempts to create a “better” society, are actually artificial, literally social constructs, many of which try to completely ignore the truth of who we are as people.
Men and women are not all that different in our need for dominion, in our desire to have some ownership, some control over ourselves, over those we care about, over our own lives. However, going back to Nightwind’s one sentence, “The masculine instinct is to be a protector and defender of his society,” that really is innate, biological, a foundational truth about men that simply cannot and should not be swept under the rug. It’s actually a concept that should be nurtured, encouraged, embraced, taught.
That is one reason why it is so harmful for us to try to redefine the family as if men are not really needed in the equation, to speak of masculinity as if it is always toxic, to place more control in the hands of government, to speak of socialism and dismantling property rights, and to eliminate or disparage the framework that Christian values bring to the social structure of our culture.
Something I really appreciate about Jordan Peterson, many times he brings up the idea of “don’t think you’re good.” Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Accept the shadows, the truth of the darker aspects of yourself. We all want to draw lines in the sand to separate ourselves from the “bad people.” We all want to fancy ourselves as “good.” The problem being that often creates a split within us, a division, a lie, an unrealistic expectation that makes us fall short. In faith we might say something more like, “we do good things because He is good.” It’s not your own goodness that is important, but rather Who you serve and what His will for us is. Or as the bible says, just relax because, “there is none righteous, not one.”
Use your superpowers in the service of what is good, in the service of the One who is good. It makes all the difference in the world.