Recently a very timely (or perhaps untimely) book came out from Ryan Landry entitled “Masculinity Amidst Madness” published by Terror House Press. It is a survival guide of sorts for a spiritual masculinity deeply under siege in the modern world, and well worth a read. So in keeping with the same themes, I will offer a more personal and albeit less exhaustive list of tips for surviving the online world specifically.
There is simply no good way to say this, or rather, it has been said so many times, and in so many numerous ways that scale on a gradient of direct or obscure, nuanced or blunt; The state of the youth is as sick as an old starving dog on the street corner, plagued by numerous social, cultural and spiritual ills, born into a world of uncertainty at the most fundamental of levels, and stripped of all birth rites. Yes it is true that every generation of the young inhabits the same mindset and posturing that they have been jilted and handed a bad set of cards by the forces of history (I.E. mom and dad’s generation) but each generation never had to deal with the realities of extreme atomization, broken/single parent homes, digital simulacra enfolding and invading the fabric of life itself, etc. Perhaps Wiemar Germany is the best comparison, filled with hot sexual tensions, degenerative and maladaptive “liberatory” activities, directionless, decadent, inane, apathetic.
But an extended lamentation over the plight of young people is for another time, it only sets the tone for a few important tips and pieces of advice I have learned over the years that can often become neglected, sometimes at one’s own peril, in the internet age. I am usually not seasoned in writing the advice column/listicle genre of articles, but i feel an off the cuff and more personal advice-style list is needed in this regard. Keep in mind this is of course not closed in or complete (but is rather an ongoing struggle, like all life lessons), but will hopefully give you, dear reader, a sense of what is important in life. Especially when one is caught in that precarious and uncertain state of developing into an adult in the digital epoch. Your late-teens and early 20s, where for the first time, life forces you to make decisions and confront yourself, is where you can carve out a significant path (hopefully). So let us begin with the first point.
1. The Journey of Seeking.
We all know that young men severely lack guidance from strong, virtuous and noble influences in life, but young women also lack such foundational relationships. For this reason, I shall make such advice applicable to most people. It is this “lack of ritual and rites of passage” in the west, Joseph Campbell lamented on, that has led to several deeply pathological social, physiological and spiritual ills our civilization faces; this is why we should not cast aside every insight from the hippies and the “human potential movement”, even if it was largely an intelligence agency psyop.
It is imperative that everyone who is conscious enough to get the message receives it. That it is of the utmost importance that we cultivate supreme excellence and spiritual growth in life as the world continues to descends into madness, disenchantment, and dieseled, parasitical ideology-worship. We must worship that what is correct to life, and correct to God. Only then can what the Greeks called “Eudaimonia”. Contrary to popular belief, it does not simply mean “happiness” in life the way most use the term as a short hand for hedonism, quite the opposite in fact. It means a life build upon a solid foundation of achieving human flourishing. What accompanies this flourishing in the root word of Eudaimonia is the Daemon, the muse, a guiding spirit or power, combined with “Arete” or excellence of ability and virtue through mutual competition.
This is of course a very bare nuts and butchered discussion of Greek thought and pedagogy, but one point I am trying to express is this fundamental and foundational relationship between the mentor and student, both in the ancient West and ancient East. There is in fact a very tiny list of other relationships that trumps that of a mentor, Master, Guru or monk in those formative years of trying to inform and find one’s self. For ultimately the mentor is one who is, along with parents, friends and others, tasked with preparing the youth to face the challenges and crushing realities of the world around us.
The problem is always knowing first and foremost who to trust, and more importantly, who can give you advice, guidance and the proper example to lead to a flourishing life. You must be able to possess a level of prudence/discernment to begin with, which is of course a challenge in itself; There are many charlatans, grifters, and weak men who wish to abuse their positions of influence for their own gain or ego. This becomes harder by degrees of magnitude in online communities where the possibilities for abuse, bad guidance and misdirection are ripe. The challenges of interacting with “brands” instead of people, Anon accounts instead of faces can seem insurmountable. (I once wrote a small guide on how to spot an E-grifter).
The fears of interacting with people on the internet are justified, and there are dangers for many, so the logical choice is to remain anonymous. One must only build up the most loyal and prolonged of communications with other people in general; there is a lot of times where older anons are interacting with impressionable younger people and vice versa on a daily basis, and these frequent interactions can hopefully produce insights and ideas worth paying attention to. It was for almost all of human history, a privilege to be in the presence and seek interactions with wise and learned men. You often only received brief glimpses of public intellectuals outside of their work, from interviews and guest lectures. Now you can actually interact with high quality posters, E-intellectuals (pseudo or not) artists and the like. Of course the general cliche of “never meet your heroes” applies here as well, and there are numerous problems with hyper-connectivity. But in general it is easier now more than ever to cultivate a sense of comradery and even online friendships through various means in the online realm when IRL relations with others are limited, or produce little fruit.
The problem with forming relations of any kind in the online world is its ephemeral nature. Posters and personas jump in and out, get banned and never come back, or leave without a trace of alt-accounts on other platforms. In some sense there is a tragic beauty to this reality of life on the net, following strange and interesting people, even forming bonds with them, to then have this all be gone with the press of a button from some careless or spiteful social media Jannie (janitor). This is all immensely difficult however, in terms of forming meaningful friendships and support networks, even ones that could have the potential to bleed into real-life interactions; The E-Anarch is only left with shadows and impressions of real selves across the “series of tubes”. Therefore, one must come to terms with this fragmentation of seeking answers and connections in relational networks of people one associates with online.
2. Contentment in Chaotic Times.
It is a common theme among the great thinkers in the Western and Eastern canons, or at least it is an apparent theme to a novice first studying philosophy, that a main goal of “Lebensphilosophie” is the ownership of one’s own self; from the Stoics to Zen monks, one can extrude very basic comparative insights into the nature of being (and non-being) as placing the subject in an environment of flows, sufferings, beings, objects, etc. And cultivating a sense of navigation that leads to flourishing, or supreme realization into the nature of life, the order of things, and arising out of said realizations as a whole or individuated person.
But to truly live a philosophy as a way of life becomes hampered by several different forces in modernity that make this difficult. We can list them off ad-nausea, ranging from info-overload, the burdens of over-abundance destroying self-discipline, being hampered by state/corporate/culturally enforced ideological moralism, simply trying to LARP by being intrigued with an intellectual ideal, or aesthetic elements of a faith or philosophy instead of living its truths, etc. In this sense we must analyze and reconcile our position of living as an a-historical bourgeois subject, postmodern driftwood in its starkest and bleakest sense.
However, our conditions of living in the digital age are fragmentary, filled with simulations and collectively held-together illusions, but one must realize (and perhaps take a bit of somber and bittersweet comfort in) the fact that every person with a taste of authenticity and inner-sovereignty has felt this sense of deflation, fragmentation of being and uncertainty about things in periods of great transition, and even collapse. It is just that the internet age has made all of these similar trends that happen during times of shifting, disruption and decay much more apparent, reified, and instantaneous to us. We get to “feel” for the first time our place in the world, we get to recognize the turnings happening around us in ways never experienced before. unless of course, there was a previous older and greater civilization that had technologies or spiritual practices beyond our wildest imaginations, but a civilization that was lost and forgotten in the sands of time.
Take the model of Ernst Junger’s Anarch as possessing this inner aloofness towards the conditions of present society and culture in his novel “Eumeswil“. Reflect upon this for a moment, specifically what it entails to be a man (or woman) of the world but not apart of it. To strategically follow the moral qualms and social dictates of society, but to purge one’s soul of all the blackest poisoned clouds offered up to it in modernity. And more importantly to be free of avarice and capriciousness in one’s own being stirred by the machinations of the world. For the Anarch is still morally involved with the people around them, even casting aside petty hatred of the “normies”. That hatred and this particularly peevish egotism, character flaws that unfortunately come to many with a higher awareness and intellect.
The Anarch cultivates an inner sovereignty but is not some base materialist or individualist, it is not an edgy poseur stance like so many misguided attitudes of youth. Instead the Anarch lives to be one aligned with legitimate authority, a model of inner sovereignty that is much older and more spiritual than mere individualist egoism, which differentiates them from mere anarchists. The Anarch in so many words, knows how to rule one’s self without making a grand spectacle of rejection towards the larger social environment; there must be a transmigration of abjection and displacement into something productive, with the flourishing and self-overcoming always in mind. The Anarch possess a quiet resignation into the worked on and beloved garden of the self, taking to the course of “Apolitea” (qua Evola), always outwardly struggling with the world, but bracketing it, choosing not to get bogged down in its many thickets. Maintaining a kayfabe if you will of perfect adjustment to the outside while taking what is within seriously.
So this leads to the question again of authenticity, for is it not duplicitous to maintain an outward appearance that deflects from a totally different inward life? In some respects yes, but in these times, OP-SEC is important. Unless of course you are a lunatic like me, who wears his beliefs on his sleeve….but for most (employed) people, anonymity seems like the only option, but one should not turn the online world into an MMORPG of politics and ideology. Rather a guilt-free way of doing this is to slowly make the conditions around you “IRL” more amicable to who you are in the online sphere. This seems like an impossible alchemy, but perhaps everyone should take seriously a structuring of one’s life that is not totally unbearable in terms of maintaining a dishonest face or kayfabe. And of course there is a way of approaching this conditioning of people around you in becoming more amicable to your beliefs and life-goals. This again requires the aloof quietism and skillful mastery of having awareness and insight into social conditions possessed by the Anarch. It is always a practical goal to make yourself as anti-fragile to social pressures as much as possible. The goal in all of this should be to be as honest and open as one can afford to be in “meatspace” as you are online, but not in the same ways of course. Call it a form of casual belligerence, to state what your ideas and feelings are about things when asked, and no more or less.
The anonymous internet tends to exacerbate the chaos we find in contemporary life, amplify it, make the friend-enemy distinction even more readily apparent, catch people in whirlwinds of trends and popular ideological brain parasites with the force of social media crowds, etc. These are all basic and cliched takes we know well, about how social media is causing mental illness and eroding the already dwindling social order. But rather than lament it, embrace this by knowing how the online world operates and riding the waves, avoiding its worst excesses, and “not quitting but not sticking” as the Taoists say. Meaning one should take things seriously, and be serious with one’s own self and others, but also know when to pull back, and not play these games that people and society as a whole has constructed for us. Fluidity and reflexivity here are key virtues.
The same goes for interactions with “normies” and people who’s lives are not consumed by the internet. If you are pressed on your beliefs, state them in the most non-edgiest way possible, or rather reason through the logic of what most “normal people” believe in (which is basic liberalism) and drive these sticking points to their logical conclusions, or appeal to common sensibilities. Or find ways in general to vacate politics out of social interactions entirely, which is becoming almost impossible. But whatever you choose to do, both online and IRL, always act and think purposefully and authentically, or as authentically as you can. always choose to pick battles and align yourself with certain people and causes that you truly feel are worth it, and if nothing else, can garner you some contentment in the long run in a very uncertain and downright-insane world. That which can give you long term contentment in life, and we all know what naturally does, is what really matters. which leads us to our next point…
3. Be Ready for Right Answer.
Prudence and levelheadedness above all things will guide you now more than ever, and choosing who to garner friendships, advice and tutelage (as stated above) is of the utmost importance. But also be ready to act upon the guidance you receive, even in the most negative of examples. Because the relationship between a mentor and the student is often an arduous and precarious one. Everyone already has to traverse a minefield of online acquaintances and form relationships with distant people in the absence of close-nit communities. E-mannerbunds will always be strained by this distance, but even at the level of maintaining sanity, it is perhaps wise to form them for those caught in life-situations where those around them do not provide them of meaningful sustenance and connections that can provoke inner growth and long-lasting virtuousness.
A lot of ink and word pixels has been spilled here at The American Sun and numerous other places in trying to formulate ways of overcoming the inherent difficulties of forming strong associations, groups, mannerbunds (with sorority female equivalents) and organizations that can recapitulate traditional social orders and guidance towards higher spiritual, political, artistic and cultural ends. But I say that these groups cannot be formed unless there is an ecosystem of mentorship in place with the sage-like and the wise offering up their insights and lessons to the few and the many in these online circles. There simply must be strong relationships between those with the experience, prudence and wisdom on a personal level before relationships can be formed with groups on an inter-personal level.
There are two lessons that compliment each other the young and impressionable student trying to find a higher, a more noble, virtuous and Godly path in life must internalize. These also applies for those seeking mentorship from those closest to him or her, or from a distance in online spheres: there is the first lesson I have pointed out above, which is the skill of weeding out the serious and honest mentors and relations from the charlatans, E-celeb cultists and grifters. And naturally the second one is that when you have formed a bond with a mentor, a guru (but this term comes with its own baggage) or “consigliere”, one must learn how to actually take lessons and advice in the fist place.
A mentor will come to you sometimes in those most somber and unexpected of moments, at those times when you most need advice and a different perspective, but are not ready to receive it. It is almost a universal trope that the master or Guru imparts lessons and the hot-headed student, filled with the arrogance of youth is in no position to heed them just yet, but learns them through a gradual process of transformation and self-reflexivity. So this incontinence of emotion and haughtiness in the face of solid advice and perspective is a natural reaction at first, and must be tempered over time with humbleness and openness to recognizing one’s weaknesses. There is almost a synchronicity in these moments, where they come at the right time. Insights that confound you and press on all of your inner vulnerabilities.
An example I can offer from my life is a conversation I had around 3rd or 4th year of undergrad with my Professor, who became my graduate supervisor and a foundational influence on me. This was during a quite difficult time of just starting to get my work out into the public, and i questioned the purpose of what I was doing, and what steps to take next. After handing back a minor essay through the term, he said to me something I will never forget: “Giovanni, you have to ask yourself now, and there is no wrong answer. Do you see yourself as an original thinker or are you content with just being a Historian of Ideas? Very few academics are both”……At this point I was in full comparative philosophy mode all of the time, seeing elaborate connections with everything and anything. Disjointed and vague connections between thinkers and ideas without proper grounding, nuance and context bled into my work (and still does to this day). So I needed it spelled out for me in the starkest of terms possible, like a Zen Koan, to break me from that certain path of habituated comparative thinking.
So what should be done when these relationships are more indirect, or fleeting and often disrupted (by account bans) or come in drips and drabs by interactions, online impressions, and the like? In the realm of “IRL” there is a slow personal mythologizing of these interactions, friendships and mentorships. What happens is with the doubt, uncertainty and persona-mask we wear online, this mythos happens almost instantaneously; One can look back on fragmented digital runes, archives of tweets, blog posts and forum caps, chasing an elusive imago of a poster you have grown attached to. In some ways this embodies a digitalized version of seeking out the master or sage in new lands. Only now we can do this from our rooms, as “data pagans and cyber vegans“, new nomads seeking tribal filial connections and loyalty to those we may never meet or know the real names of. There are posters who are long gone, but still posses and influence that resonates still in those that gravitated towards them. So in this way, from chasing alt accounts, new blogs, new faces in the gallery of personas one adorns. “Let me also wear Such deliberate disguises” (to quote T.S. Elliot).
It is not lost on anyone reading this that sometimes it is these flowing and happenstance connections on the internet that informs our worldviews and attitudes towards the order of things even more than connections on the outside, in “meat space”. The nature of subjectivity in the digital age is a highly talked about, analyzed, and yet still relativity mysterious ongoing issue. Most of us are forced into its disguises, its machinations and uncertainties for a variety of reasons. But the lessons one receives from E-friends and trusted colleagues in the digital realm perhaps may not be as spurious or passable as they may seem. But this all requires just as much openness and honesty to the E-other as you would have towards the most trusted in-person mentor. And in these circles of political, religious, and cultural dissent, these relations become even more vital when existing in online territories owned by the enemy. hence elaborate and byzantine meme languages that are developed for OP-SEC reasons, or such complex handshakes signaling acceptance in the form of “deep lore” on such memes and common references.
Once these hurdles are jumped over, there is always the issues of trust and loyalty that prevents deeper connections from being made. People shark-womb and stab each other in the back quite frequently because the costs of betraying trust and loyalty are still so low in the online world. Dare to make these conditions different, and dare to takes things more seriously, which leads us to the next point.
4. The Limits to Ironyceldom.
I believe it was Foster-Wallace that said “irony is the song of a bird who has come to love their cage”. Irony isn’t always this cynically intoxicating, spiteful and apathetic. Irony has numerous uses that are helpful to online dissidents. In fact meme culture in general, with its complex systems of evolving meme-templates and ever-more sophisticated referential and self-referential characters, needs irony. In some ways irony lost its hold, and the “new sincerity” has been a total disaster (or so Sam Kriss claimed in an excellent article on DFW vs. Easton-ellis).
It is no secret that to constantly immerse one’s self, online or otherwise, in that dark pool of irony and apathy leads to a constant state of agitation and bemusement. The ironic pose often quickly outlives its usefulness, and then you find yourself slipping into a persona of constant biting cynicism and detachment. To be “above” everything and anything is quite frankly exhausting. Not only will this prevent you from forming real relations with others, but will entail a constant war with yourself over very basic beliefs and structural assumptions about the self and the greater life-world around you.
You must be cautious of the deployment of irony as a constant state of (non) being in order to hide one’s inadequacies or avoid being trapped in a certain ideology or belief-system. There is always a middle way to this in that you must never let yourself be pigeon-holed as an ideologue, or a slave to a certain group, network or movement (but more on that coming up). However, at a certain point you must stand for something and defend with utmost importance and conviction what you truly believe, within reason and prudence of course; one aspect in the numerous motivations that lie behind the irony-poisoned way of living besides masking deficiencies in one’s thoughts and event feelings on things is this pervasive appeal to intellect.
What plagues current discourse more than anything else on the internet is this shall we say, “Reddit” assumption about irony being bundled up with a high intellect. It is the appearance of intellect as a form of social capital that often becomes commodified, and the cheap and easy way to do this is the old Generation-x trick of cynicism and ironic detachment. Most people simply cannot tell the difference between knee-jerk contrarianism and genuine apathy towards things that do not matter. And to tie this back to our main thrust of this being an E-survival guide, filtering out nonsense is vital to your own sanity and well being.
There is a certain nerdy and nebbish character that comes with this pretense to intellect and reason via Irony. BAP talks about this in Bronze Age Mindset (Stanza 28, Pg. 54 on artificial intelligence) when referencing nerds. The modern nerd is not a heroic explorer of concepts, things and places, quite the opposite in fact. The nerd now a days is a “creature of will, a petty will” that “desires gain and prestige” who knows not the greatest innovations of scientists, artists and men of great passions. Rather the nerd is an over-socialized creature of the zeitgeist, always fiending for social approval and recognition of a very reified and commodified version of intelligence/reason. The nerd is fundamentally unmanly because this rapturous desire for recognition, prestige and material gain from one’s intelligence “leads to cowardice and lies to others and one’s self“; the intellect overpowers everything and therefore “the nerd doesn’t hate himself, his nature, his tenancies or spirit, nor is his intellect powerful enough to over-awe his needling will and consider things without the pressure of interest or the gravity of petty desires“.
Does this not describe the irony-poisoned individual to a T? They lie constantly to others and one’s own self and refuse to own up to possible flaws in this anti-belief system that is purely nihilitive. The ironic nerd wishes to seek prestige and the appearance of being smarter and wiser by outright annihilating all beliefs and convictions, cowardly choosing to remain “above it all” in a detached pose. Nerds are often stereotyped as cynical and always bitingly ironic, but this holds true for the bad faith and inauthenticity possessed by the Ironycel.
There is also a poseur effect that happens when one offers up a pastiche of intelligence through excessive irony-posting, even if it is strategic and mercenary in nature. It is one of the easiest impulses to simply avoid the seriousness of a particular conviction or position, and this can often lead to deflated expectations, or a crossing of signals. People always construe a sort of misplaced idea about someone, and in the era of anonymous brands, this is intensified. It will then lead to confusion and accusations of ulterior motives when dealing with people who wish to receive honest answers. And besides the impracticality of always being an ironist, always playing a game and acting like a jester, soon these trivialities add up to a shell of a personality/brand/mystique. Genuine intrigue and mystique will always be generated from something deeper than irony alone.
We already exist in a series of sophisticated games, make-belief systems, “serious playing” as Alan Watts said. Why add to the collective meaninglessness and vanity of apathy that we already bathe in all of the time in our current zeitgeist? If we exist in a series of absurdist games and conjectures that negate true existential authenticity, why must we play games? The only way to win the games presented to us by those on high, those engineers (enemies) of reality is to simply not play games to begin with.
But there is a sense of high irony that can be poetic in certain ways, and is meant for a deeper purpose of awakening people to what is going on. While most irony is crass, cynical and mired in the purposes of midwit IQ-maxing, Irony still has its place in a way of arguing a point indirectly, in the Straussian hidden/concealment of the text, or Socratic dialogue. You should differentiate between a high irony and a gutter-level contrarianism that reveals nothing but an empty inner character, a child’s sense of ironic detachment vs. true artistic wordsmithing.
5. Never be a Jannie, Never be a Capo, Never be a Carrier Pigeon, Never Sweep it up, Never do it for Free.
(before proceeding, please watch this informative short video on the subject by People’s Populist Press).
This is quite possibly one of the best pieces of advice anyone can give you when dealing with any online communities, especially with the new ability to communicate and exchange discourse with your favorite writers, posters, artists, content creators, etc. in the digital world. These are unfortunately lessons people often learn the hard way, and it is all too common a trap that snares many. So let me break it down from two different perspectives, both from that of the Jannie/capo/carrier pigeon, and that of the E-celeb, significant person or content creator. But first, what is a Jannie? or a Capo? or a Carrier Pigeon?
A Jannie is a janitor, originally a derogatory Chan culture term to denote a moderator or admin. The Jannie is more than anything else a mindset, a mentality that mask several different pathological weaknesses of character and poor inner development as a person. A Jannie is a blind follower of a person, an E-celeb, a content creator, or even of whole movements, ideologies and tribes/groups.
The capo is a higher-order Jannie, an actual admin or co-host or well-known affiliate, who does most of the dirty work and lives a thankless life of constantly promoting and cleaning it up for another. The Capo is an integral part also to any grift structure or pyramid, because they are the ones who have several different task that are of more importance than just ordinary low-level Jannies. They often work long and hard to be in the good graces of their preferred Guru, or Movement or E-celeb, and like all Jannies, act as Remora fish latched to the the bottom of the big fish, trying to pick at the tinniest crumbs of recognition that fall off of their under-side.
A Carrier Pigeon:
All three of these terms are interchangeable, but a carrier pigeon is a specific role certain Jannies are tasked with. Carrier pigeons send messages out for the “big accounts”, content creator or groups of people they emphatically praise and work to please. They are the ones who act as emissaries, contacting and direct messaging others when it is not advantageous for their masters to be seen directly communicating to certain groups or people for OP-SEC reasons, or risk having DMs and Chat logs leaked. The carrier pigeon then plays a vital role in creating distance between certain factions, and therefore often find themselves in a precarious position of having to hide certain allegiances and loyalties, often with little to no compensation or recognition in return.
Jannies and carrier pigeons often try to dig up dirt, run “ops”, clean things up and harass enemies to their precious E-celebs or movements. In times of faction wars, failings-out between people, movements dissolving and falling into a state of in-fighting, etc. When personalities and groups have to, as the mafia used to say, “go to the mattresses” with warring parties, it is the Jannies, Capos and carrier pigeons who’s hands are dirty, so that other hands remain clean.
One must realize the temptation to Jannie, to clean it up and do it for free is ever-present. Because one is tricked into believing that you will be rewarded if you go beyond merely being supportive, amicable and trusting towards whichever person or movement that gives you meaning and fills a void within. You will then find yourself actively trying to sweep up any criticism, reply-guy, and do all manners of grunt work. The Jannie will then be told to or even willingly cut off certain relations and attachments to others, will be made to be fully committed and sycophantic, and follow with blind loyalty and obedience, even to the detriment of their own well-being.
Everyone can think of examples of this, such as certain rallies and their figureheads (whom shall remain nameless), or certain E-celebs that cultivate whole armies of Jannies and Capos. It will always end badly because the Jannie or Capo will never be respected the way a real friend is respected or paid heed to. At the end of the day all Jannies are disposable, and can even become collateral damage, and some have had their lives ruined for it; That is why it is often the case that if Jannies possess the slightest deviations or harbor any hints of criticism, they are dolled out harsh punishments, denunciations and even doxing. They will never be respected or tolerated beyond being a mere convenience or fulfilling a momentary purpose for others.
The Jannie is a creature of blind subservience and submissiveness, often lacking a character or personality of their own, and thus are comfortable with living vicariously through the lives and ideas of others. They are creatures that live in the shadows of the other, and therefore can never grow as a person or are actively encouraged to stunt their own personal development if it might get in the way of being a vessel or a cog. The Jannie will go to extreme lengths to prove their loyalty, and show nothing but praise, monetary tributes (in other words being a pay pig) and even preform elaborate spectacles online to win over their object, movement or person of desire. This is very grovelling, weak-willed and pathetic to those on the outside, but the Jannie is often trapped in a prison of their own making. They cannot grow or have any original thoughts, beliefs and feelings of their own without others, yet they are often the lowest rung in any movement, group or tribe/cult of personality. They rely on the very things holding them back to give them meaning and a sense of subjectivity.
This is why you should never under any circumstances offer yourself up as a Jannie, or a Capo or a Carrier pigeon. The pitfalls are too great, such as losing your sense of self. You will be made to alienate people, and get involved in online slap-fights and faction warfare. Things which should be avoided as much as possible, unless under dyer circumstances where you must choose sides and fight for what you feel is righteous and just, or if you are being personally threatened. The vast majority of the times, internet fights are totally superficial and pointless, even if they are easy, addicting and prove to be cheap dopamine sources. This is why Jannies and Capos willingly engage in such online flame wars, because their particular dopamine rush derives from pleasing their masters and movements. But the reality is Jannies are creatures of the pursuit of loyalty but are actually often disloyal at heart.
What does this mean? The psychology of it is that Jannies are submissive and empty inside, yet they expect to be paid in loyalty and recognition. But as soon as the Jannie realizes their efforts have been wasted and are actually paid little regard by the other, they spiral down into a near psychosis of scorn, bitterness and a shattered self-image. The Jannie will then stop cleaning it up and become a backstabber and a turncoat, often leaking information to the enemies of the movement or content creator, counter-signaling, acting like a woman scorned, etc.
This is why from the perspective of anyone with somewhat of a following or are apart of a movement, you never want to cultivate a follower-base of Jannies and Capos, even if this is inevitable. You should never expect people to clean it up for you or become your reply-guys because this is not only dishonest, but shows a sign of a deficient moral character to always expect praise and blind loyalty from others. You never want to always be in the company of yes-men but instead the company of true friends and mentors. It is only the friend who will tell you right from wrong and offer up honest perspectives and insights on things, even if they grate with yours.
Furthermore, Jannies and Capos are liabilities who will only provide you with nothing but cheap dopamine highs from being flattered constantly, and contribute to a vainglorious self-image. At their core they are untrustworthy and will often become disloyal when they realize they are just tools and useful idiots; Jannies who have become scorned and aware of what their station is in life have historically been the Achilles heel and downfall of many a movement, E-celeb, ideological group or thinker. The most vicious criticisms and backstabbings have come from former Jannies and Capos that have been privy to private information, and in some extreme cases have even been federal informants , doxers and snitches.
So with all of this in mind, truly think about the role of being a Jannie, a Capo or a carrier pigeon. Think about the consequences of such actions, and more importantly, think about the true character of a movement, cult of personality or tribe that would allow their followers to become sycophants, or expect them to be nothing more than a sweeping squad of true believers. Think about what that means, and what would happen if you were to get involved in a situation where you need help, or charge at much bigger opponents than yourself. Often it is the case that Jannies and Capos receive no cover or help from the “movement” or E-celeb, but instead are sloughed off and met with a quick and guiltless denunciation and disposal. This is why being a Jannie or Capo is fundamentally different from being a true follower and a friend who is given some amount of mutual respect and loyalty.
Never trust any movement, persona or content creator that is willing to treat you like a Jannie or a reply-guy, because not only will it end badly, it is a sign of deep inner insecurities and egoism on their part. This is why those personalities and content creators who cultivate a Praetorian guard of Jannies are often prone to failures and downfalls, because soon they alienate and cast aside everyone around them when things turn south.
What is the point of all of these snippets of advice and even conjecture into the nature of interactions on the internet? As life increasingly becomes dependent on the online world, there will be few who can properly navigate and find their voice above the chaotic fray and cacophony of voices, and truly experience a form of individuation whilst being physically distant from most people one interacts with everyday. “Netizen” might be a truncated neoliberal tech-optimist 1.0 term, but it is apt as a descriptor of a totally online and decentralized society. The micro-tribe and E-mentorship model will become even more important in the coming decades, especially as traditional models of pedagogy crumbles. Homeschooling will become more important as the schools crumble, or school life and universities becomes an unbearable burden for most.
But the key lesson is to commit to a program of being informed, conscientious and Anti-fragile in all relations online and even IRL. One must be aware of what is really happening in a lot of online spheres and interactions with others, especially those “bigger” or more well known than yourself. One should not fall victim to any games or become a tool or another agenda. You should be loyal to those who are loyal to you, radically open and as honest as one can be, but also stay close to alternative paths at any given time. One should not use people as a means to an end, but also not be blind to the possibilities of betrayal, once again to embody the less of what the Tao Te Ching referred to as “not quitting, not sticking”.
Being fluid with interactions, movements and E-tribes, but not in the way a snake is fluid. To be cunning, but without giving into avarice and vanity. To learn to be mentored and taught wisdom and lessons, but not become a fool or a puppet, or a simp. And when one is in a big enough position to do so, to offer up advice, mentorship and guidance, and not expect blind sycophancy and jannie-hood in return. As painful as it might be, one must learn to not take all criticisms as personal slights, and tread affiliations and friendships on the internet as you would IRL. A lot of problems could be solved in online spheres and movements if everyone realized there is more to personas on the internet than just anonymous profile pictures and words. It is easy and even advantageous to detach online personas from actual embodied personhood, but when it comes to spheres and movements you are apart of, this temptation must be met with honest to God comradery, loyalty and trust.
In life there is the intertwining of two powerful forces, that of friendship and sacrifice. One must sacrifice for the other, if the cause is just, and if there is a prudence and loyalty that is reciprocal. Friendships are often build on a foundation of sacrifice, mutual hardships and sticking with each other even when it might be momentarily advantageous to go separate ways; therefore, this shallow lizard-brain opportunism that often happens online, where there is zero sacrifice “fair-weather” friendships built upon convenient alliances, and are quickly discarded when conditions become less than advantageous, must stop being the norm. True mentor relations, tribal structures, viable ideologies and identities cannot be built on foundations of sand. Hence why people (by people I am of course referring to “normies”) still do not take things in the online world seriously, despite the hyper-real online colonizing the IRL with degrees of magnitude. When nothing is treated as serious or enduring, everything becomes an ironic game.
This point also reveals itself on the way identities and “brands” are constructed on the internet. Many choose to invest in meme-driven ideologies, and often cobble together half-ironic syncretic beliefs and idea-brands for the sake of window-shopping a sense of self. This is often because there is no guidance offered to younger people in particular, festering in an environment of anonymity which detaches beliefs as heartfelt convictions from mere intellectual exercises, fadism and edgy poseur stances that become consumable. An informal mentor system could potentially solidify true characters in the absence of the IRL offering such things, and people could treat things with more seriousness and earnestness. The Jannie personality could also be eliminated as most people would grow a sense of self and actually commit to sorting out their own ideas with proper advice and guidance. Dare to make things different, because the Online world soon will become the world, so try to lay the groundwork now for something more meaningful.