The idea of the “red pill” seems to come first from the “Manosphere” and represents in theory a radical new way of relating to the opposite sex, without normal social rules and assumptions, cribbing the term from the sci-fi film “The Matrix”.
This view contrasts the old way of dealing with women, with courtesy and respect based on social rules and customs, with a new way, of using sociobiology to behave in a way women find instinctually attractive. The first way is said to be “beta”, and for losers, and the second way “alpha”, for real men and winners.
“Neo-reaction” (the word is sort of an accepted usage, but so lame I feel I need to start with it in quotes) uses the red pill concept as rejecting constitutional democratic politics, with the similar idea that the old system is a foolish illusion.
The trouble in both cases is the movement isn’t as far away as it seems. In the manosphere, the “alpha” man with his manly swagger and good humor is only acting the way a normal, average guy did in the 1950s, and he will still exhibit most of the behaviors defined as “beta”, that is having a good job, having good manners and not yelling at or hitting women.
Likewise with neo-reaction, the followers are using a classic modern model of political action of engaging in an intellectual debate, forming ideas and plans of action, then presenting these to the public and acquiring power and influence. People have been doing this in the West for four hundred or five hundred years.
Sex and politics are closely related; but how do these things relate to each other? In the first case, the idea is that it is stupid to follow rules other people don’t. And this is true- to an extent. In game theory this is called “defection” and is a reasonable strategy under some conditions.
Society must assume some people will not follow the rules and punish those who don’t. This will not be perfect, and some people will get away with stuff. If too many people get away with stuff, people become demoralized and more and more people defect, and the system collapses. People defecting will likely perceive that they are only following a new, superior set of rules, but justifications for violating certain rules have to be seen as mere sophistry.
In an environment with widespread defection, some order can be maintained if some people still follow the rules, even if it is not particularly advantageous or somewhat disadvantageous. Jesus referred to the “salt of the earth”. In those times salt was a critical commodity not as a table flavoring, but to preserve meat. Salted meat could be kept a long time, unsalted meat not immediately consumed quickly rotted, became putrid and covered with maggots.
The concept of “never defect, ever” however has to be regarded with suspicion also. People against Christianity, or some other social system they don’t like, say those following rules that do not appear to directly benefit them are dupes. You have to limit how much people suffer for following the rules, or you don’t have a functioning society that serves people.
The would-be rakes of the manosphere are to some extent rebelling against rules nobody told them to follow. The “rules” of dealing with women only apply if women want to deal with you in the first place, so no if a young man is too shy, not well-dressed or well-groomed, and does not have any accomplishments being polite with women will do nothing for him. And yet if he is attractive in a personal and social sense, he must display good manners and good behavior. On the other hand, the feminist ideal of male behavior the younger generation seems to be exposed to is quite ridiculous, and ignoring it only makes sense.
If there is a sad aspect to the manosphere it is the idea manly excellence can be faked. Maybe it can be, for foolish women for short periods, but a man popular with women likely has other things going for him and is successful and well thought of in other ways. To tell a young man to be the best he can be is advice that will help in every way.
As for the neo-reactors- if something has worked in the past, you might well assume it will work now, except that for some things this is not true. The modern political model allowed some people to gradually increase their power and influence roughly from the time of the invention of the printing press to the invention of the radio. These media are one-way; you can get together with a group of like-minded people and talk about stuff and then go write and publish but TV and radio don’t work like this. The neo-reactors think they are meeting in a coffee house in London in 1700. Those guys were often forgotten crackpots, but some changed the world. The neo-reactors aren’t because the system developed immunity to their pill a long time ago.
Before you take a pill, ask yourself- is it good for me? Is it bad for me? Does it do anything at all?