Folly & Faux Masculinity, Neo-fascism and Violence

Behind the violence in our time so visible in men hiding behind assault weapons and killing 19 children in grade school; or killing 10 black people shopping in a grocery store; or descending on Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to make havoc on a Pride parade; or violently invading the nation’s capital there lies a masculinity problem. 

Republican strategist Mark McKinnon joins Katie Phang to discuss the growing authoritarian tactics of the GOP. MSNBC.

Neo fascism, authoritarianism and faux masculinity are on the march around the world and certainly in America. 

Those elected congressmen who refuse to eliminate assault weapons or even to raise the minimum age for carrying them from 18 to 21 years (because to say or vote otherwise might endanger their job status) also have a masculine problem.  

One who is not willing to lose his job over a value that matters (like honoring the lives of others) is not morally adult yet.  And politicians who feed homophobia by attacking transsexuals for political points have a masculinity problem.

It is interesting that the mother of one of the men arrested in Idaho and belonging to the Patriot Front group tells how her son became after she and her husband divorced and he was essentially fatherless as a teenager.  Then found the Patriot Front.

“What we know about Patriot Front and its origins” – hate organization targets lone, disaffected men as recruits. CNN

A president who cheers on proud boys and oath keepers and others bent on violence while they storm the capitol to interrupt a congressional duty to pass power peacefully also displays a masculinity problem.

As does a president who lacks the manliness to admit he lost an election and chooses to tell lies instead and whip up others to follow the lies.  Real manliness is lacking in a president who prefers telling lies to speaking truth.  

The results are predictable—all sorts of weak souls and morally challenged individuals choose the folly of violence over peace-making especially if they have the blessing of father figures. 

Jan. 6 Committee Plays Video Highlighting How Proud Boys Coordinated For Capitol Riot after the former White House tenant ordered them to “stand back and stand by.”
NBC News

Recall that Susan Sontag understands fascism as “institutionalized violence.”   As a major political party in America more and more invites neo-fascists into its belly, it also welcomes the institutionalizing of violence.  January 6 was just one instance. 

Humans often choose folly, as we meditated on yesterday.  There is also violent folly which more and more is and will be making headlines. 

For this reason and also because we have been meditating together on the shadow that can take over our 7th chakra and deliver all kinds of havoc and chaos, war and violence, when unattended, it is good to visit the healthy masculine.  

To be continued

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, pp. xxxviii, 300.  

And Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Prophet against fascism, activist singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie with his guitar labeled “This Machine Kills Fascists.” Mural artist unknown, Germantown, KY. Photo by Don Sniegowski on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you see a “masculinity problem” on display in today’s political world?  Do you recognize a connection between it and the rise of authoritarianism and fascism and welcoming it into political parties?

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11 thoughts on “Folly & Faux Masculinity, Neo-fascism and Violence”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Our Queries for Contemplation are: “Do you see a ‘masculinity problem’ on display in today’s political world?” Yes, of course! After a litany of many of the bad things Politian’s are doing now, I would add, I think lobbyists are one of the biggest problems in our government, and thus for us. Why? Because lobbyists represent corporations, companies, and causes which want to buy their votes–regardless if it is best for us our not. As a major political party in America there are more and more invites to neo-fascists into our midst, who seem to welcome the institutionalizing of violence. I once had a talk with a lobbyist which was very enlightening concerning the work they do.
    “Do you recognize a connection between it, and the rise of authoritarianism and fascism, and welcoming it into political parties?” Yes, again. But at this point I would like to share something that will seem unrelated–but it is not. And it is this: Most people think that we fought the Nazis during WWII. In reality, the military was not a Nazi military. It was a German military. Nazism was a political party that had won the election, and were then in power, but the Nazis were not the only party, nor did everyone vote for them. And so the army was actually made up of Germans of other parties, and Nazis. I know one is not supposed to speak about religion or politics– but if not here where else! I do see a connection between the rise of authoritarianism and fascism seemingly being sucked into the parties, but especially (my own personal opinion) the Republicans. It was clear throughout
    the whole the Trump administration, and especially at its end in the January 6th insurrection. May more of our voices be joined with other like-minded people, and work towards a way to turn the tide, rather than be swept away by it, or end up fighting the tide and getting no where.

  2. Avatar

    Seems the issue lies much deeper than a ‘masculinity problem,’ the latter of which is but one of the post-modern symptoms of evil, the real pandemic of our times. And the deeper issue (cause), as Matthew has cogently taught, is what it’s always been historically with regard to social and political evils— spiritual self-alienation owing to a loss (absence) of the transcendent and a sense of the sacred in societies at large. And like a mutating virus on the timeline of history, this pandemic of evil not only doesn’t go away, it’s getting more virulent and resistant to the good, targeting those who rise to power (infected males) as hosts. Not enough is said about the fact that this dark state of affairs is more an indictment of those who vote them into office, than the toxic figures who find their way there by their own cunning. The latter, like Hitler, are merely the personifications (embodiment) of the same widespread toxic energy inherent in the electorate (populace) who allow, silently enable, or vote them into office. A certain spiritual sensitivity is needed to see this, a talent for the long-view, with a sharp eye toward the biblical timeline that outlines such. From earliest of times humanity has struggled, on the whole unsuccessfully, against the force of its own narcissistic gravity (evils), but with little avail save in smatterings, fits and starts. And that, despite a Redeemer who offers, without charge, divine inoculations and boosters along redemptive lines. By way of analogy, the lives of humans parallel the lives of stars, which from the beginning struggle against the force of their own gravity. Stars, like souls, can oppose this only by generating tremendous amounts of energy to maintain and overcome these internal pressures. But the star ultimately can never win the battle, for when it’s fuel is exhausted, gravity wins and the star must die. Such parallels the forces of entropy (evil) that continue to fatefully plague unregenerate mankind on Earth, who otherwise has no chance against these prevailing principalities and powers. By contrast, the remnant of the enlightened and redeemed, always a minority, remain among the choir of voices whose cries and protests fall largely on deaf ears save for their own, living in the promised hope that in the end justice, mercy, and goodness will overcome the sheer weight and terror that, as in stars, threatens the seeming inevitability of their extinction.

    1. Avatar

      Well said, Joe. I agree that those who actively or passively support the authoritarians with their votes–or lack of votes for more virtuous candidates–are every much as responsible for the spread of evil as are those who embody it. And not enough is said about the mothers, who fail to teach their sons love and respect for others–and try to find father figures for those who do not have good examples to follow. There are mothers who do teach real values and make every effort to find role models for their boys, but they don’t get the support of society, and there are not enough of them. Too many women are passing their own bitterness and resentment onto their children, it seems to me.

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    Jeanette Metler

    What I see is a psychological trauma… the fear of the loss of the individual identity of the masculine energy as its been illusionally defined throughout the history of humanity. What I see is the fear of diversity within unity… perceived as a threat to this delusional understanding of individuality of the masculine aspect of the self. What I see is the fear and the pain of this psychological trauma expressing itself in violent displays of criticism, judgement, condemnation and hatred. This psychological trauma, I see as a deep spiritual soul wound, within the collective consciousness of humanity… both in men and in women… revealing and expressing itself in various degrees. This psychological trauma is a global pendemic within the collective consciousness of humanity… in which the pain of this is in need of healing… and which the fear of this is in need of transformation.

    Part of our collective calling as lightworkers is to access the neutrality of the Spirit of unconditional love and acceptance, within the seventh chakra and anchor this in the heart chakra of compassion and understanding. Through the FEELING awareness of the Divine Feminine… and intuitively connecting with the Cosmic Mother… we can be of assistance in ushering in the consciousness of this healing and transforming energy. And as we each take responsibility for this inner shadow work, within ourselves… merging with this spiritual energy within the 7th chakra, and anchoring this in the spiritual energy of the heart chakra… this then influences and impacts the collective consciousness of humanity… which upon reaching a critical mass, creates a paradigm shift. This is something we can all choose to participate in… contributing our part… in the midst of these challenging times, within the unfolding and emerging evolution of humanity.

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    Jeanette Metler

    “As you announce peace with your mouth, MAKE SURE, THAT GREATER PEACE IS IN YOUR HEART. Let no one be provoked to anger or scandal through you, but may everyone be drawn to peace, kindness and harmony… through your gentleness, acceptance, understanding, compassion and forgiveness… graciously and mercifully given. For we have been called to this: to heal the wounded, bind up the broken, and recall the erring.”

    Paraphrased from Richard Rohr’s DM posted today.

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    Thank you Phila Hoopes for your disturbing but truthful DM on this dangerous, racist, and violent escalation in America, especially among white male extremist groups. This racism and ignorance has even infiltrated most of the Republican Party and Republican voters, and that is how we elected a facist, racist Donald Trump who still has a cult like influence on many Americans. We are indeed living in dangerous times and many sociological and political analysts have been comparing it to the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the early 20th century with its’ catastrophic worldwide destructive effects. This rise of racism, fear, violence, and authoritarianism seems to be worldwide, and along with the increasing destruction of our planet by our capitalist materialistic economic systems, humanity is indeed going through a very dark night as a civilization and as a species. Spiritual leaders, prophets, and social justice activists like Matthew have analyzed the spiritual and societal roots of these modern and historic problems such as toxic masculinity/patriarchy/egocentric values that are deeply imbedded as wounds in many men that lead to violence and racism. Matthew’s two books at the bottom of today’s DM analyze these spiritual and societal issues in greater depth and are recommended for everyone, especially males.
    On our spiritual journeys it is more important than ever to take responsibility for deepening our inner transformation with the grace of God’s Spirit of Love, Wisdom, Truth, Healing, Peace, Justice, Strength, Creativity, … so we can be guided daily with the unique human-Divine gifts that we have been given and that are among us in this earthly dimension and in our spiritual multidimensions so we can be co-Creators with-in God’s Diverse Oneness and multiverse Creation~Cosmos…. Like Teilhard de Chardin has said in his famous quote, and I’m paraphrasing, when humanity discovers the power of Divine Love, our human evolution will be like the discovery of fire in our past history….

    1. Phila Hoopes

      Oh gads…..apologies!! I had logged in under my name to respond to a comment, and then forgot to switch it over when setting up Matthew’s DM.
      This was Matthew’s DM, not mine (and has been corrected to reflect this)! Oy vey!!
      Phila Hoopes
      Blog Coordinator

  6. Avatar

    In addition to all of these issues articulated so well above linked to neofascist patriarchy, is neoliberalalism of the Democrats and Republicans. Neoliberalism feeds fascism by making workers and democracy disposable. Only profits are the true King. The violence is that of raging white men who are lost as they no longer have a place in society and fall prey to these dark forces. These men need to join a Union in addition to the need for other communal ritual practices.

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    More thoughts. I believe worker democracy is an important progressive move the progressive movement. Fighting for funding for Co-ops and worker democracy in corporations is a good plank to push for. Also we can’t deny the effects of militarism and militarized over funded policing are destructive policies that help spur fascism at home.

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    martina nicholson

    I was a busy working mom, and now they are grown, and I am retired, I feel guilty that I didn’t do enough nurturing of my sons. Other moms who did not have such exhausting schedules were much more present for the children. I know I am not the only one, and also that all of us tried to be good parents when we were with our families. Our intentions were good. But when I see the boys with this hyper-macho identification and anger, and the preoccupation with guns and violence, I feel we need to attend more deeply to the need for nurturance, and to help our boys find ways to do self-soothing and calming their anxiety or anger. We need to be explicitly teaching compassionate ways of interacting, and being helpful. When we are really busy it is not easy to truly listen, and to slow down to be fully present. Our frenetic culture and the intrusiveness of social media makes this even harder to accomplish. The dads are also vitally important, in teaching these skills at becoming a respectful and compassionate man, but moms sometimes get caught up in the workaholic model, and our children get less of that quiet attention they need. All of us need to try to help the children learn nonviolent communication skills!

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