WHAT IS #UPSTREAM?
There have been a lot of comments and questions about #UpstreamTwitter in recent days — what it entails, what we stand for, what we hope to achieve.
We appreciate the interest.
But I’ll admit, although the the group nominated me to take a stab at it — these aren’t easy questions to answer.
The truth is the development of #Upstream was about as organic as it comes.
We didn’t go into this with some grand vision or strategy. #UpstreamTwitter was the spontaneous creation of an ongoing conversation about “the sphere.” Basically, we saw a toxicity growing causing more harm than good, and one day we decided to address it. That’s it.
I think most of us thought we would create some “debate” when we spoke up; conflict is never unexpected when challenging the status-quo. But the pace of events has been astounding for everyone involved. It’s barely been a week and it feels like the community has completely changed.
So consider these ideas loosely. Things are moving fast and we are still figuring stuff out.
For now, here are the themes that tie #UpstreamTwitter together.
#Upstream Theme #1: Ideas Not Gurus
As you all know, the slogan of the Red Pill is predicated on the revelation of harsh truths: “society is lying to you, but we’ll tell you what you need to hear.”
It is a powerful meme: choose the matrix or choose reality, no matter how dark it is.
The only problem with this slogan is that it is, ironically, a lie.
The “sphere,” as it is so affectionately called, might in fact better be described as the bubble. It has degraded and is no longer a revolutionary intellectual space. Indeed, it has fallen prey to the same issues any insulated community does: groupthink, ideological regurgitation, and hero worship.
The cause of this is by and large due to the oversized influence of one individual: Rollo Tomassi.
Our issues with Rollo are not his explorations of female sexuality strategy, though he loves to claim otherwise. These have in fact been invaluable — they have helped countless men parse through the often amoral actions of women and make sense of their tragedy.
Our issues are that (at least in this category — we will return to others later) it is Rollo alone who decides which perspectives are “red pill” or “blue pill,” a line of thought he enforces through simple ideological fatwas. You are not allowed to color outside the lines he’s put in place.
He is the church and the red pill is his dogma. Try to expand or consider ideas that stray beyond (or in his mind: undermine) his framework and you are “purple pill,” accused immediately of encouraging a “pollyanna view” of relationships.
In other words, a heretic.
The reality, of course, is neither I nor anyone in #Upstream has ever encouraged men to put women on a pedestal. Indeed, to the extent that we disagree about anything with Rollo, it is the role of Personality in attraction. This is a topic reasonable minds might disagree on aspects of, but unfortunately, we will never know to what degree — Rollo has shut the conversation down.
Imagine how things might have been different if instead of calling us “purple pill” false prophets, he simply said “I disagree, here’s why.” It is sad this things had to go this way.
For whatever reason to him, inquiry is a threat.
But it’s ok to #Upstream if Rollo is uninterested in considering new ideas. Rollo is but one man, that is not of concern. The issue is his use of his status to cajole and threaten others to not listen or think. This straw-manning of our positions is evident in the fact many think #Upstream denies biological truths about men and women — a patently false claim, but one put out by Rollo on every occasion — even as he runs from an open dialogue and tweets about us from behind a block.
No one else in the sphere does this. If we talked to Illimitable Man, Alexander Cortes, Ed Latimore, Dark Triad Man — they would engage us on our merits. Rollo is the only one cultivating a cult where certain thoughts are anathema if you want to be accepted. He is the manosphere version of a social justice warrior, an ideological parrot who has become an anchor on the growth of entire environment.
#Upstream sees profound irony in this. We came to “the red pill” because we realized society was telling us what not how to think. Yet somehow for simply drawing conclusions about the world around us we have become persona-non-grata yet again — all because some guy is worried about losing grip on his fiefdom.
It’s an unacceptable scenario for us.
#Upstream wants an environment where people come with arguments and discuss them on their merits, rather than shut down the dialogue by shaming and leveraging authority. We reject the Alinsky tactics of Rollo and others who use labeling to deflect and deceive rather than debate.
We want a community based on truth not power. Not Gurus, Ideas.
And yes, that includes Jordan Peterson, Jung, and all the others.
Around here no one is infallible.
The 1st Theme of #Upstream: Ideas not Gurus.
#Upstream Theme #2: Skin In The Game
Though we’ve had our differences in the past, the tweet that started this current wave of conflict was this one I posted about Rian Stone, after Hutt and him had been going at it for awhile.
There are many things that bother #Upstream about Rian, but the biggest one by far is he is a broken person with no skin in the game.
This is unfortunately a common theme in “the sphere.” Rian, for instance, has never been married (I was wrong in my tweet, the reality is actually worse) despite moderating the Married Red Pill forum. In this position of authority, Rian, like a good lap dog, makes sure all “purple pill” threads that stray from his master’s gospel are shut down, all while offering pearls of wisdom to men in marital crisis such as the reminder that “commitment is beta.”
It’s an open question just how many men this empty shell of a human has harmed with his unwarranted influence. If we sound pissed, it’s because we are — he is the Paul Bremer of the Manosphere — an incompetent and unqualified trainwreck, somehow completely insulated from the consequences of the damage he causes.
#UpstreamTwitter considers his legitimacy a moral outrage. Unless you are a married or de-facto married man, you should not have a place in the Married Red Pill forum… and you definitely do not have a place moderating it. The people who lead that community should be guys who are living its ideal: happily married men, particularly those with kids — or at the very least men struggling in the situation who are figuring it out as they go along. Men who know the challenges.
We are disinterested in associating with those who lack this basic requirement of living what they preach. Just as Roosh parodies himself larping about the decline of the west while whining about the lack of trad virgins for him to bang, the manosphere’s credibility problem borders on the absurd. Young men need mentors that aren’t avoiding their own problems. It’s not about perfection, it’s about earning the right to an opinion on the matter.
#Upstream’s perspective is clear: we need more The Family Alphas speaking about marriage and more Goldmunds speaking about dating… and less broken men whose only justification for leading is being stuck in the same thought loop for too long.
The soldiers to follow aren’t the ones who keep washing out of bootcamp, they’re the ones who move onto ranger school and beyond.
The shit shouldn’t rise to the top.
The 2nd Theme of #Upstream: Skin in the Game
#Upstream Theme #3: Construction > Preservation
One of the most common deflections against #Upstream has been that we don’t appreciate the state of modern women and what men have to contend with in society.
The reality, however, is #Upstream has been more than exposed to the ideas of runaway hypergamy and female solipsism, as well as fem-centric nature of society. And we accept it all as true.
The difference is we don’t consider these reasons to retreat, but to rebuild.
I won’t name names, as there are many, but one of the funniest things we have witnessed in “the sphere” are the “men of the west” bombastics who write post after post about guys “preparing for the fight”… all while elevating infantile accounts who have zero skin in the game:
“Yeah, save the west man— but marriage is a really stupid decision, haven’t you heard of the feminine imperative? I’d like to have kids but divorce rape bro! Lol anyway fuck feminism, girls are so self-absorbed today — I’m gonna be a nomad and bang chicks until I’m 40 but right there with you”
We get it — these guys at least pay lip service to your motif. But they are non-credible children inundated in cognitive dissonance. #UpstreamTwitter will call this like we see it.
Here’s the reality:
Life is risky, but nobody changed the world by running away.
#UpstreamTwitter is very well aware of the current state of society. The difference is we aren’t pussies. Unlike many in the “manosphere” we don’t show guys how to dodge the draft but how to fight. We believe in educating men about women so they have the best possibility to succeed in a relationship with them.
Did you read that carefully?
We are not a rainbow and unicorns movement. We make sure guys know exactly what they are getting into with women, prepare them for worst-case scenarios, and then encourage them — after appropriate consideration of the woman — to commit.
#UpstreamTwitter is about rebuilding not running. We understand the reason moral order and gender dynamics have collapsed is not muh feminine imperative but because men stopped leading. By derivation we also understand that the way to solve things is to become attractive and authoritative men who women desire and support — and to leverage this desire into new female behavioral norms.
In other words, we believe we can fix the world by fixing ourselves — and then importantly — risking ourselves.
Committing when you have a fairy tale notion of relationships is stupid and naive. But running away when your eyes are open is nothing but paranoia and weakness. Women are simply not that scary. That doesn’t mean they aren’t potentially dangerous, but like with demolitions, learn to handle them safely and you won’t blow yourself up. Be cautious with them, not craven. It’s about choosing carefully, not refusing to choose at all.
The guys fixated on the biological amorality of women — of which men, do not forget, have their own flavor — are the most psychologically controlled by them. Their obsession belies a total encapsulation in the feminine frame. Nothing exaggerates the power of pussy more than a dude who spends his life in fear of what a woman could do to him. Transcend this pathetic adolescent boy bullshit; grow out of the animal and become a man.
#Upstream’s orientation is forward. Guys can make their own choices of how to live their lives but we encourage constructive actions over self-preservation. The latter is meaningless in the end— and those who hide, not those maneuvering, are the ones who become the easiest prey.
The 3rd Theme of #Upstream: Construction > Preservation
#Upstream Theme #4: Progress Must Integrate Tradition
A common critique of #Upstream of late has been that we are “tradcons looking for a time machine.” Of all the criticisms I will concede this is the one most on point.
However we are not tradcons, and if we are looking for a time machine it is not towards the past… but towards what is yet to come.
I will repeat it again: #Upstream is future oriented. The name #Upstream is not a coincidence. With all due respect to the genuine tradcons who support us and may have been confused themselves, we understand the past is in the past. We are not here to shame young men into obeying moral strictures from an abandoned age — such an approach is unrealistic and will only result in their demise.
Rather, we are here to empower and prepare them to birth a new one.
The truth is men have been shamed enough by society — adding on any more guilt, even with good intentions, will only be counterproductive. Instead, we want to guide them towards a life of fulfillment and meaning — to help them as they grow as individuals. To raise their consciousness rather than enforce their behavior.
We know the world has changed. For better or for worse the 1950s are not coming back. This doesn’t mean there are not aspects of that era we should not attempt to integrate into the new one — far from it — but moral guidance in the future will be more about the carrot than the stick. Show a man how to navigate the world and entice him towards a life of meaning, then let the resulting behavior unfold naturally. Recreate morality indirectly through a culture that incentivizes opting-in to such behavior, via the modeling of its most attractive members.
These are ideas to explore, not dictates, but the point is — #Upstream wants to bridge what has worked with what can be. What we do not want is to unimaginatively spend our time complaining about the status-quo. We do not want to hide from responsibility under the disingenuous farce of being a “praexology.” We want to create. We want progress.
From the perspective of #Upstream, what’s most important is not what is done but that lessons are learned. We don’t care about checking boxes. If for someone to grow they need to play the field and have a bunch of relationships, cool. Learn fast and don’t get stuck is our mantra, not “do this.” Arrested development is the trap we seek to avoid; whether you date or not is neither here nor there.
Nobody knows exactly what the future will hold, but the zeitgeist is shifting. Esoteric as it might seem, #Upstream feels this. We know responsibility for culture will soon fall into all of our hands, and we do not take this role lightly. The “enjoy the decline” years of the last decade were fair enough when resistance was futile, but those days are over.
The ball is in our court. We need men to grow up and seize it.
The 4th Theme of #Upstream: Progress Must Integrate Tradition
#Upstream Theme #5: Bad Energy / Intention Contaminates Content
If my main beef with Rollo boiled down to ideas, Artful’s came down to energy. He sensed and put to words first what many of us felt early on: that whatever truth was in Rollo’s message was tainted.
I noticed it as well when I read his first book, The Rational Male. Much of the material was enlightening, but unlike most insightful books there was something else beneath the content that was hard to describe. Although it was pitched as a facts-only book “telling it like it is,” reading it made me angry. It made me look at my wife as if she had some ulterior motive — like I couldn’t trust her.
It was sheer, inexplicable paranoia. It took me a week to process the poison out of my system once I realized what was going on.
Understand: most men are already filled with pain at the hands of women when they fall into Rollo’s material, so they are in a ready, receptive state to hear how they have been wronged and victimized. Most guys are also unable to read subcommunication so the moral framing of the text gets missed.
But I could see it clearly in my physiological reaction, as Artful had long before. I was being manipulated.
Most of the themes we’ve discussed might have organically evolved within “the sphere” and would not have required a new movement. But it was because of this last one that made #UpstreamTwitter necessary. Despite the self-improvement aspects of the red pill, the community is a toxic, paranoid, victimized one — and it all comes back to the work of The Rational Male.
I recognize this is a bold and inflammatory statement that will piss thousands of people off. I also acknowledge Rollo is far from the only one who has poisoned the well. But no person has had a greater impact on the psychological state of “the sphere” than him. The reason the brand “Red Pill” is absolutely toxic to normal people is not the content, which I have explained to multiple different “normies” who have mostly received it with interest, but his caustic pathos which has sunk its tendrils in everywhere.
This is a tragedy. The information he provides, while far from complete, is good — and given the context of the times, essential. But #Upstream understands energy is more important than content. Indeed, as Pook himself noted, in the long-term it is all that matters:
“When food and poison compromise, which is the victor? It is the poison. Eating it may be sustaining… for the short term… but your body fills up with these poison toxins. You begin to lose your ambition, your passion, and generally become filled with bitterness.”
Yes, I know — Pook was referring to MGTOW in that post. But it and The Red Pill have the same demons; they simply draw different conclusions about how to handle them. One complains about women and says they don’t need them (lol at the subtext there), and one complains about women and then tries to game them.
Both are filled with underlying resentment towards them.
This is the reason the Red Pill is broadly an intense, angry group, completely lacking in self-awareness. It’s a group of guys filled with pain they have no idea how to solve.
It is of no help to them The Rational Male does not want them to find a way out.
#UpstreamTwitter believes energy and intention are paramount. We believe that the mindset and attitude of the individual matter as much if not more than what that individual has to say.
And so we watch peoples’ sub-communication intently. Disagreements are fine — encouraged even — in #Upstream. Negative energy, fatal… and prevented at all costs.
The 5th Theme of #Upstream: Bad Energy / Intention Contaminates Content
Conclusions: Why We Fight
#Upstream understands the fighting of the last week has been exhausting for most people to witness. We know many of you think we are being petty — or even if you agree, want it to end so your feeds get back to normal.
Accept this as short-term pain for long-term gain. By 2018 you will thank us for doing you a favor.
The “sphere” is filled with some of the brightest minds alive today. Absent these problems, many of the masses would jump onboard to support it. It has the potential to shift the world in the coming transition.
There is no justifiable reason why it should remain a low-consciousness crab bucket because of one guy’s need for control.
At a certain point you need to set aside ego and view your community objectively. It should be a red flag to those watching that big names who come through the manosphere like Cernovich burn all bridges with it. It should raise alarms that bright minds and natural allies like Jordan Peterson, Naval Ravikant, and Scott Adams want zero association with this place.
It is, as Mike famously said, a ghetto.
Nobody likes surgery, but excising this tumor is the only way our patient can survive.
We understand if many of you do not see this yet. Truly we do.
It is difficult to accept that the person who fed you while you were hungry also poisoned you so you would remain dependent on his charity. It is difficult to detect narcissism beneath apparent kindness.
But Rollo’s world is a prison. We saw this early and are now doing what we can to shed light on it. Speaking up was not an idle decision nor we do not speak simply for ourselves. We know how many of you felt unable to talk — we have gotten scores of messages saying as much. Do not feel that way anymore.
#Upstream has your back.
To everyone else still on terms with the Rational Male Mafia — pay attention. Rollo’s support of you is conditional. You are a franchise in his network — under his brand, subject to his approval. You exist to increase his value. Mark Baxter knows what this is like first-hand. The Family Alpha will soon learn the same.
Do not be deceived. We did not start this for the drama or personal profit. We started it for a much larger reason.
It was the right thing to do.