The masculinity crisis presents an existential risk to civilization.
Men continue to overdose, drop out, and kill themselves at alarming rates. Millions of children are being raised in single-mother households. Men are retreating from society. They continue to disappear from the workforce, refuse to join the military, and build fewer close friendships.
In an America post-material scarcity and post-sexual revolution, men have been told they are obsolete. They’re not welcome on campus, they’re not welcome in the workforce, and they’re not welcome in positions of influence unless they’re willing to capitulate to leftwing orthodoxy.
Enter Nick Adams. Adams is a conservative, Australian-American author who leads an online community of aspiring “Alpha Males” primarily consisting of 15- to 35-year-olds. Adams’ new book Alpha Kings, according to its website, is meant to provide “the roadmap for every young man to unlock their full potential.”
Adams’s book contains a good amount of wisdom from his life experiences, from recalling how his education in an all-boys school in Sydney, Australia, taught him the importance of male friendship to recounting how his father once chastised him for poor posture to emphasizing that men must be particular when selecting a mate. Through relaying anecdotes and observation, Adams shows young men that they can, in fact, thrive despite the anti-male sentiment of our era.
But here’s the thing: Adams is one cheeky bloke. It’s partially why people find him so endearing and others find him offensive. You either get his sense of humor or you don’t. Sure, Adams is a die-hard Republican who would “bathe in a pool of molten hot lava if it meant President Trump would return to the White House for 4 more years,” but have you also considered that he might not be serious about immolating himself?
A 30-second scroll of his social media should make clear that while he is largely doing a gag, he is also pointing out some pretty important truths. Whether he’s posting satirical homoerotic reminders so guys remember to make time for their friends or waging war on woke brands that indoctrinate the masses, Adams brings levity into the inner world of men as it is increasingly characterized by nihilism and despair. (It’s a sad state of affairs when the literal nature of comedy needs to be explained, but I digress.)
Satire aside, Adams is absolutely correct that American masculinity is largely in crisis because men forfeit the very notion of manhood to the fairer sex by over-emphasizing external validation in the sexual marketplace and the satiation of aesthetic insecurity.
Comparing the United States to places that have more robust cultural identities, Adams writes, “In the United States of America, women have defined what a man is … This makes America unique in the world … in the old world cultures … men define what men are.”
He later explains, “An American man sees his value as based upon the attractiveness of the woman that he can pull. Let’s not forget that the term ‘trophy wife’ was coined in America. It’s somehow become a symbol of success, capitalism, winning, and all the other great American traits. A hot wife is the ultimate reward in the American male mind.”
Adams calls on men to reconsider what drives and defines them. “Men, the battle in life is your heart and your mind. They are the muscles you need to train,” Adams writes. “You are not suffering externally … you have been annihilated internally.
Emphasizing that “masculinity is a mindset, not a physical feat,” Adams calls on men to hold themselves and their peers accountable, assert themselves, and never abandon their families. He even dedicates a considerable amount of time to condemning Prince Harry for this. Criticizing the prince as weak for allowing his relationship with Meghan Markle to cause friction between him and his family, Adams says, “A strong man with real family values doesn’t desert his family because of a new wife’s influence.”
Adams also calls on men to do away with apathy in the home and to take a more proactive role in the lives of their family members. “Contrary to everything you have been told, real men do give a sh-t. About almost everything. Being a man means working hard, not just at your job, but constantly around the clock, and with even more emphasis and effort on the family and home,” Adams writes. “Alphas always care and take an interest, even in things that may not be their natural forte.”
But most importantly, Adams says that men need to have discipline to survive in the 21st century, and he is correct. What ultimately determines the quality of our lives is mentality. If men can develop a positive attitude and discipline, they will be able to weather whatever storm comes their way. “You need discipline to walk away from sex. If you are going to know more about your tax bracket than your tattoos, you have to be disciplined. You’ve got to be disciplined to sit down and read boring stuff,” Adams says. Discipline, Adams argues, helps cultivate the steadfastness men need to reclaim their roles in society.
Throughout the book and in many of his talks, Adams also calls on men to turn to God. “Church attendance is a non-negotiable part of any alpha male’s Sunday,” he writes. So, his skepticism toward the institution of marriage is a bit perplexing. “The truth is that in 2023 there is very little incentive for a man to get married,” Adams says. “Men don’t want to lose their freedom and wealth, just to be belittled and diminished by their significant other. In fact, thanks to de facto laws, you don’t even need to be married these days to be fleeced by a woman.”
[Listen: Nick Adams On ‘Alpha Kings’]
Yet there appears to be a correlation between the increasing secularization of men and the masculinity crisis. As more and more young people reject religious affiliation, fewer and fewer marry. More children are born to mothers without committed fathers, and these family units increasingly lack cultural institutions that inform them about the role a man should play, so the cycle continues.
Adams even points to this early in the book. “The problem is that people aren’t going to church anymore, and traditional theology-centered lifestyles are disappearing,” Adams Laments. “To add salt to the wounds, far too many American religious leaders are weak, woke, and writhe with discomfort when having to engage with their congregation in meaningful ways.”
That isn’t to say that marriage is fourth-wave feminism’s silver bullet, but there’s a reason secular leftists reject Christianity and the traditional roles it emphasizes. Religious devotion also provides young men a way to opt out of the onanistic, pseudointellectual Nietzschean grift that only isolates and commodifies their existence while feeding the very premise they claim to be rebelling against.
Adams isn’t attempting to inculcate an army of Ubermenschen. If anything, he’s doing the opposite. He repeatedly calls on readers to adhere to traditional values and live by the examples set by great men of the past. To be fair, a satirical self-help book probably isn’t the best place to try to evangelize people or probe the depths of theology, but if there is one shortcoming of Alpha Kings, it would be its underemphasis on how religion can empower and embolden young men.
Throughout Alpha Kings, Adams shares stories to emphasize his points about masculinity. Sharing with readers more about his faith and relationship with God could give those unsure where to begin their faith journey a nudge in the right direction.
Central to the Alpha Male project is a desire to see men thrive in a world that is largely against them while engaging them through levity. Adams is absolutely correct to remind men that iron sharpens iron, we should cast aside the social apathy that has been forced upon us, and that discipline will help ensure success.