The International Fellowship of Chivalry-Now

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The Book (see Introduction)

Chivalry-Now, The Code of Male Ethics is a book that attempts to recover an important aspect of Western Civilization that has been lost.
     Chivalry itself was a code of behavior of the knightly class during the Middle Ages. It was originally based on the warrior ethic of loyalty to one's lord or leader. It gradually developed to include other virtues as well, including honesty, humility, justice, defending the weak, serving women, and courtesy. Although most knights only loosely adhered to these ethics, chivalry remained as an inspirational ideal that contributed to the Western idea of being a gentleman.
     The author's premise is that chivalry encapsulated the Western idea of manhood. If it had properly evolved into modern times, many of the social problems we suffer from today would be less significant. There would be fewer men in jail, fewer abused women, less corporate crime, and more politicians we could trust.
     Male development needs a cultural guide that describes what it means to be a man. Without such a guide, it is difficult to find purpose and meaning in life. Male energy becomes misdirected, unappreciated and often stagnates into a wasted life.
     To remedy this situation, this book takes the original tenets of chivalry and updates them to be applicable to today's world. Included in this work is a viable description of attainable romantic love, and a discussion of the spiritual side of chivalry, questing for the Holy Grail that exists inside us all.
     Chivalry-Now, The Code of Male Ethics is the source for this web site, which offers other information to help inspire men to higher ideals.

(read book's Introduction)

You can order this book through O-Books or Amazon.com or other online book stores.
   
If you would like to help us spread the word about Chivalry-Now, ask your local librarian to carry the book, so that one copy will reach many people..

 

 

 

(The following is taken from the Introduction of Chivalry-Now, the Code of Male Ethics):

Introduction

Trapped in No Man's Land

What does it mean to be a man?
     This is surely one of the most significant questions we face — and one of the least considered, reflecting a functional void in our mainstream culture.
     Coming from a long career in social services, I firmly believe that almost all our social, political and family problems flow directly from our inability to fill that void. Its influence affects us all, shaping how we relate to one another and how we treat the world around us.
     This is not just a male issue. Its ramifications affect both genders, because all our lives are interconnected. In the words of Martin Luther King, "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be."
     This relates not only to matters of race but to gender as well. While positive examples of manhood can still be found here and there, they are deterred by a pervasive mindset that neither propagates nor recognizes it.
     In America, we shy away from defining manhood as if the very subject were taboo. After a long history of unwarranted violence and discrimination, men are being taught from birth that they automatically carry an inheritance of guilt for past sins. We make sure that no male child slips by without taking his share. Each of us is expected to bear the guilt of our forefathers along with a personal stigma for simply being male. We are told in a thousand different ways, either in silence or in the commercial media, that there is something inherently wrong with being a man.
     The intent is clear. We do not want today's men repeating the crimes of the past. The hope seems to be that by tearing us from any sense of cultural identity the world can move toward greater harmony. More guilt and less pride make for a calmer species. Women and minorities will be treated better. The demise of Western male dominance might even bring an end to war.
     Such conclusions are dangerously simplistic. We cannot excise the cultural identity of half the population like a cancer and replace it with nothing. Doing so sends our entire cultural evolution into a tailspin, leaving a psychic void that can only lead to disaster.
     The results are all around us — a population of boys and men searching for who they are and how they fit in. No road map, no gender specific guidelines, no rite-of-passage — not even an articulated goal. Finding no guidance at all, many turn to whatever distraction is available, be it entertainment, business, sports or narcotics. Or they just give up.
     Through diversionary substitutes they are introduced to poorly contrived role models:
     Movie heroes, mostly dysfunctional, yet always scripted to come out on top. Selfish, angry, violent, often brutal, they appeal to those whose real cultural identity is sadly unformed. At the same time, the entertainment industry pushes socially accepted limits with sexual innuendo, foul language, and in-your-face aggression. They often appeal to the angry animus of young men, who do not understand the fundamental source of their anguish.
     Business icons rip off millions of people to further engorge their bulging coffers. Despite their inhumanity and complete lack of conscience, they represent what appears to be a successful male paradigm, where immoral and even criminal ends justify the means.
Professional athletes, sometimes referred to as "All-American" - as if they represented the very best that the U.S. has to offer. We hear about them on the nightly news, throwing tantrums, taking illegal body building or performance enhancing drugs, and being charged with rape. Advertisers portray them as ultimate images of manhood, despite their obvious shortcomings. And young people buy into that.
     Politicians selling out to big business, contriving slurs and telling outright lies about their opponents, all for the accumulation of power.
     Media journalists, once considered heroic bastions of truth, now prostituting their trade, focusing on the lowest common denominator of titillating gossip while foisting their own political bias on a public in desperate need for truth.
     The results are apparent. Jails are overflowing. Wealthy businessmen violate the trust of innocent people. Politicians ignore the threat of pollution and global warming, even encouraging the populace to burn as much oil as they possibly can. Pornographers are treated as respectable businesspeople. Even religious leaders are now suspect, with thousands of charges of child molestations made against them and a Church dragging its feet in response.
     This is the society that young people grow up in — a society without heroes, without myth, where virtues are so coupled with hypocrisy that they can no longer be held in esteem.
While many factors contribute to this, a central component is the degradation of what it means to be a man in relationship to the world. Men still carry a lot of power — but it is power that often lacks a viable moral compass.
     The denial of cultural identity is akin to ripping out a person's conscience, taking away his name, firing him from his job, stealing his language, cutting him off from friends and family. Cultural identities, especially those of gender, need to be recognized for the role they play in people's lives. They need to be honored, but they also need to be honorable, while retaining a strong continuity with the past.
In short, they need to evolve.
     Part of the problem stems from the growing rapidity of social change that started with the Industrial Revolution, when men traded their independence for the closed-in, repetitive conditions of the factory. Cut off from a respectful relationship with nature, they no longer performed work that varied with the seasons. They no longer worked side-by-side with their children to mentor them. This resulted in a cultural shock with on-going ramifications.
     The development of technology has distracted us from this trauma by "making life easier," glossing over the broken status quo by adding benefits of convenience. Despite the continual advance of scientific and psychological progress (or maybe because of it?), we drift even further from knowing who we are in the depth of our being. We live in a sort of stasis, confused, frustrated, looking for something - without knowing what.
     The purpose of this book is to remedy that situation. Our goal is to first recover and then reinstate a viable cultural identity for men.


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