A few months ago, people were asking me to interview Andrew Tate at my online English pub, The Jolly Heretic. I’d never heard of him. Now, Tate and his brother are under arrest in Romania, along with two Romanian women, for rape, organized crime, and human trafficking, and everyone has heard of him. They also know how influential, beneath society’s Woke surface, Tate and his ideas have been. It occurs to me that the influence of Tate, and people like him, is a symptom of a degenerating society’s declining intelligence and social trust.
As society declines, at a certain stage it divides into semi-warring microcosms, i.e., clans or retinues, which are essentially rackets based around charismatic leaders, loyalty to whom is higher than it is to society at large. Thus they become a danger to the central government and must be “taken out.” Is this what we are seeing here?
A former kick-boxer, Tate has built an astonishingly large following of young men based on unashamedly advocating what Woke critics would call “toxic masculinity.” But then came the arrest in December [Andrew Tate Is Charged With Human Trafficking and Rape in Romania, by McKenna Oxenden and Jenny Gross, New York Times, December 30, 2022]. After that, news surfaced that two women had accused him of rape in 2015.
While police investigated, he appeared on U.K. reality show Big Brother until the show removed him [Exclusive: Andrew Tate Was Arrested on Suspicion of Rape in the UK in 2015, by Matt Shea, Jamie Tashin, and Tim Hume, Vice, January 4, 2023]. At the time, news reports claimed that the show removed him after video showed him beating his girlfriend with a belt. She later said the beating was part of a “kinky consensual game.”
Andrew Tate, a former professional kickboxer who frequently made misogynistic comments about women to his large social media following, was detained by the authorities in Romania on Thursday in an investigation of human trafficking and rape. https://t.co/heaHlIE3NW— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 30, 2022
Tate is biracial. His black father from Chicago, Emory, earned the International Master title in chess and had a peak rating of 2508. A heart attack killed him in 2015. Tate’s mother is English.
In the teeth of our Woke culture’s constant denigration of men, Tate proudly espouses male chauvinism. His message is simple: Men must be tough on themselves and on others. If they behave in a traditionally manly and competitive way, then they will attain the primal dream of wealth, power, and a harem of obedient and sexually compliant women.
Women, he says, should “take some responsibility for rape” if they dress in a sexually provocative manner [Andrew Tate: investigation that could bring down ‘king of toxic masculinity,’ by Emine Sinmaz, The Guardian, January 6, 2023].
Tate’s Hustler University teaches disillusioned men how to achieve his own millionaire, ostentatious lifestyle. They pay thousands of dollars to spend time with him. His message is increasingly influential among schoolboys, and, until his arrest, he ran his “cult” from a palatial mansion in Romania [Andrew Tate’s appeal to Birmingham schoolboys ‘looking for direction,’ by David Lumb, BBC, February 14, 2023].
Though TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram booted Tate last year, Twitter restored his account in November after a five-year ban [Andrew Tate gets banned from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok for violating their policies, by Shauneen Miranda, NPR, August 20, 2022]. And, somewhat amusingly, he’s tweeting to his five million followers (!) from confinement.
Mastery is a funny thing.— Andrew Tate (@Cobratate) November 18, 2022
It’s almost as if, on a long enough time scale, losing simply isn’t an option.
Such is the way of Wudan. pic.twitter.com/rJkK92hzCd
The Matrix may have imprisoned me,— Andrew Tate (@Cobratate) January 17, 2023
But I am free inside The Real World.https://t.co/hopcAAMksL pic.twitter.com/uxckupgr24
Tate seems to be the Jordan Peterson for the vulgar and less cerebral. As with Peterson, Tate’s followers are fiercely loyal, and will attack you online for having the temerity to criticize their guru, as I found when I recently made a video about him.
But I think Tate is more than a guru, as I explained in that video. He is the leader of a real-life and online “retinue.”
As I explored in depth in my book The Past Is a Future Country: The Coming Conservative Demographic Revolution, intelligence in the West is declining, and has been since about 1870 for various reasons, such as weakened selection since the Industrial Revolution and the genetic correlation between low IQ and poor health. Intelligence consistently correlates with a number of traits such as altruism, civic values and, related to both, trust. High IQ individuals can work out whether to trust someone. Low IQ individuals are less able to do this and are more likely to be conned, so are better off trusting no one [Generalised Trust and Intelligence in the United States, by Noah Carl & Francesco Bilari, PLOS ONE, 2014].
A high level of social trust allows not only large and complex societies to develop, but along with them, democracies in which politicians and their voters can trust that their opponents won an election fairly and won’t purge them once in power [The Limits of Democratization: Climate, by Tatu Vanhanen, Washington Summit Publishers, 2009]. Low social trust destroys democracy.
And recall that Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam found that ethnic diversity decreases social trust, which is low between ethnic groups and decreases among the natives, possibly because they fear fellow natives will collaborate with ethnic minorities against them [E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-First century, by Robert Putnam, Scandinavian Political Studies, Volume 30, 2007].
Thus, we should expect society to break into warring microcosms. The internet is making this even more pronounced due its enabling access to information and permitting people to find others similar to themselves. In the past, we had to rub along with those who were at least slightly different in their views. But now, as we polarize, we tend to join groups to which we signal our loyalty, and in which we attain status by becoming ever-more extreme.
The result is an acceleration of this societal Balkanization: a “nation” that exists only on the surface. Beneath a thin lid of national unity bubbles a cauldron of mutually hostile sub-groups.
These sub-groups will have charismatic leaders who will provide their followers with something useful—entertainment, information, a sense of importance—in return for money, the status of having a following, or whatever else.
In one sense, they are little different from the religious cults of the 1990s, such as David Koresh’s Branch Davidians. But, in another, they are very different. The internet means that they require less commitment, less extremism, they are easier to create, and they can become a lot larger, which threatens the cauldron’s “lid” and those who sit on it.
Thus, as in any dictatorship, we would expect the (relatively weak) national government, and its supporters, to be in constant battle with such groups, especially if the groups attack the Ruling Class ideology that just about holds things together. In this case, that ideology is “Wokeness.” Paul Joseph Watson has averred that the Ruling Class is using lawfare to damage Tate, taking advantage of Romania’s general corruption.
But in another sense, these warring microcosms are like the ganglands of yore, such as those in about 1600, when by a measure of per capita major innovation, IQ was about as low as it is now.
What was life like in 16th-century England? As I have explored in detail in my book The Ruler of Cheshire: Sir Piers Dutton, Tudor Gangland and the Violent Politics of the Palatine, which is about my own collateral ancestor, the answer is “retinues”—genteel protection rackets. The government did not control much outside of London. Everywhere else was a gangland in which warlord-like landowners protected tenant farmers and the land they farmed in return for their fighting in a landowner’s gang. The gang might occupy the land of political rivals, undermine them, and sometimes even murder members of rival retinues. If a gang member got into trouble, his gang leader nobbled the jury or blackmailed the complainant. A member’s sense of identity was based on his retinue, and he sometimes wore the livery of its leader.
Occasionally, the leaders of these retinues threatened government policy, as did Sir Piers Dutton’s nephew, William Brereton, who refused to hand over money needed to bribe a cardinal to smooth the way for King Henry VIII’s divorce. Thus, the king’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, had Brereton executed on trumped-up charges of adultery with Anne Boleyn.
The Irish and Scottish clan systems worked exactly the same way, with most, but not all, members of each retinue being related, sometimes quite distantly. In Somalia today, where the IQ of the natives is much lower than ours, the clan system corrupts the society. Each clan elects an “emir,” who is paid to look after the interests of clan members, including bribing officials and doing whatever else it takes to protect the interests of his familial retinue [Somalia: Overview of corruption and anticorruption, by Kaunin Ronan, Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, 2017].
So it’s not a mere cliché to label someone like Andrew Tate a “guru” or “cult leader.” As I noted in The Past Is a Future Country, we are living through the winter of our civilization because of materialism, feminism, multiculturalism, and sexual libertinism—most notably the tolerance of homosexuality—everything else that marked the end of Greece, Rome and Baghdad.
Thus, we should expect the disintegration of formerly united polities into ganglands with identity based around support for charismatic leaders.
Perhaps the Andrew Tate affair signifies that something like this is already happening.
Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland. You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.