The Origins of the Incel Movement and Liberal Capitalism

Elliot Rodger (1991-2014), pioneer of incel radicalism

I’m sure that, by now, most people have at least heard of the word “incel.” This word has in effect become a type of slur which, within our gynocentric or feminized society, basically entails excommunication and damnation.

It is not simply a mere insult. It is used to also cancel and condemn people.

Initially the word “incel,” which means “involuntary celibate,” was coined to delineate a specific typology of individuals who were unable to date or have sexual relations.

An article on The Guardian from a few years back describes the origins of the word, taking directly from the Canadian woman (known only as Alana) who is said to be responsible for first coining the term:

She came up with the label more than two decades ago, envisioning a community where people who are unable to find sexual partners could turn for support.

She called it “involuntary celibacy”.

A self-described late bloomer, she coined the term involuntary celibate in the late 1990s to describe her own experience of not having sex and not being in a relationship.

It soon snowballed into Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project, a simple, all-text website where she posted theories and articles as well as ran a mailing list. “I identified that there were a lot of people who were lonely and not really sure how to start dating,” she said. “They were kind of lacking those social skills and I had a lot of sympathy for that because I had been through the same situation.” The term was later shortened to “incel”.

The aim was to create an inclusive community, embracing those whose sex lives had been marginalised for reasons ranging from rigid gender norms to mental illness or social awkwardness.

Members of the site spanned all ages and sexual orientations

Now however, the term “incel” is pretty much just used synonymously with “misogynist.”

In fact, even MuslimSkeptic is regularly accused of entertaining incel viewpoints.

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The incel movement is thus one that is complex and difficult to define. It is interwoven with other subcultures that are also not very easy to define, such as the “redpill” and “blackpill” communities, as well as the MGTOW movement.

However, the incel movement has gained popularity due to some drastic deeds (such as Elliot Rodger and the 2014 Isla Vista killings) and a significant online presence.

What we’ll be attempting to do here is analyze the broad philosophical and literary roots of the incel movement; roots which are ultimately found in France.

If you know anything of French culture and its obsession with “romance,” it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that modernity or liberal-capitalism—which naturally strips away the very prospect of romance—chose France as its obvious laboratory for the creation of its incel Frankenstein.

Henry de Montherlant (1895-1972)

As we’ll be taking a chronological approach, it may be appropriate to start with French novelist, essayist and playwright, Henry de Montherlant. Today he is more or less forgotten due to his plays in particular not aging very well.

During the ’20s and ’30s however, he enjoyed a great deal of popularity as some sort of subversive figure. He was a right-wing homosexual (though some would describe him as an ephebophile) like Japan’s Yukio Mishima. His books won a certain level of public acclaim because they represented a kind of “lost world” of the European high culture which was lost due to the WWI and its “modernist” onslaught. After all, the industrial butcherings took place due to “effective” rationalization, mechanization and other such “wonders” of materialist science and technology.

This is most evident in his 1934 novel, Les Célibataires (The Bachelors), which is essentially a satirical novel about a couple of aristocrats who can’t cope with the evolving world becoming more “bourgeois.”

But Montherlant wasn’t alone in disparaging modern civilization.

In England, the likes of D.H. Lawrence also criticized modernity for its materialist and more specifically, its industrial aspects. In France too, there were his contemporaries: the Fascist, Pierre Drieu La Rochelle and the Stalinist, Louis Aragon. They had also written novels (Gilles and Aurélien, respectively) regarding the debilitating effects of modernity that were witnessed throughout the post-WWI society.

What was new, though, was that Montherlant added another dimension to all of this, one that was unknown to these others, and this was “the woman question.”

Montherlant argued that the most apparent sign of the West’s civilizational decay was the feminization of society. His most thorough treatment of “the woman question” is found in his tetralogy, Les Jeunes Filles, which he published from 1936 to 1939 and which was also an early best-seller.

Though it is often translated into English as The Girls, it actually means The Young Girls.

Through his protagonist Pierre Costals, Henry de Monfreid lays down the foundations of incelism. Costals, a playboy, is what would probably be described as a misogynist. He entertains relationships (dating primarily but also marriage) with many women but none of these seem to last very long. This is principally because all of these women, whether the petite bourgeoise urbanite or the humble woman from a peasant background, feel entitled due to a gynocentric or feminized society.

As you can see, it pushes quite a cynical view of women.

In the third novel in fact, he eventually arrives at the conclusion that marriage itself as an institution should be disregarded. This is not because he believes marriage to be inherently bad per se but because the institution of marriage has been delegitimized by Western civilization.

The fourth (and final) novel in the series, The Lepers, could actually be read as a stand-alone book if readers don’t want to go through the three works that precede it. Within this concluding part, Montherlant summarizes “the woman question,” basically characterizing the West as a civilizational simp (the following is a personal translation):

A civilization – ours – where both popular and academic literature, the newspaper, the cinema, the radio, romance repeat the slogan: “what woman wants”; where they have ended up making men believe it; where, for centuries, they have established, assured, envenomed this power of woman, which would be harmless without them, and force the child and the man to gap before it, by an immense conspiracy of opinion, of morals, of innumerable commonplaces […] the idolatry of women means for a man the abandonment of his independence and his dignity, and all the disorders, one has in front of this beating the same feeling of horror that causes you the advertisement for some murderous alcohol.

If the women, at least, were proud enough or fine enough to send to the devil their ugly knights?

If the woman reigns, in spite of a manifest unworthiness, in spite of an incapacity in her own part itself of which testify her lack of clairvoyance, her weakness of judgment, her puerile “strings”, it is thus only by the stupidity of the man.

This stupidity comes partly from desire. Desiring it, the man flatters the desired object, to conquer its favors, and overpraises its charms, to justify his covetousness, as much as the weaknesses which it involves, in his own eyes and in the eyes of others. But this stupidity is not necessarily implied by desire. The peoples of antiquity, the peoples of the East, whose desire for women is certainly not in doubt, nevertheless placed or place women in their true place.

This stupidity comes especially from the after-effects of the ideology applied formerly to the woman: Christian love (the fanaticism of the marriage), courtly love, romantic love, etc. (develop).

Henry de Montherlant remained active after WWII (at a time when his now discarded plays were still major hits). He eventually committed suicide in 1972 in the “Roman-Stoic way.” He was unable to process the idea of aging, especially within such a society, thus opting for his own death instead.

But during this very period of his suicide, someone else would arrive at the same conclusions regarding the feminization of society and desire, though this time it was not as a right-wing ideologue but rather as a Marxist.

Michel Clouscard (1928-2009)

It could be said that the philosophical father of the incels is Michel Clouscard.

We had summarized his thought within a recent article, and we’d encouraged giving it a read. But, as a basic summary, he was a thinker of Marxist loyalties. Clouscard theorized what he refers to as “le libéralisme-libertaire,” which could be translated into English as “liberticide-liberalism” (“libertarian-liberalism” would be confusing since, in the Anglosphere, libertarianism refers to a particular brand of political philosophy).

Clouscard argued that when capitalism moved from industry to services, it went from being an economy centered around production and men to an economy centered around consumerism and women—industry requires men for their sheer strength alone while services could do with women, sometimes even women alone (think of the receptionist and the cashier).

This feminization of the economy would naturally lead to the feminization of other interconnected sectors and fields (such as politics, education and so on), then the feminization of the whole of society itself.

So while women are becoming more powerful, men are becoming weaker, and in a society of consumerism and hypersexualization, the latter is simply unable to compete. The “sexual value market” becomes such that there are just far too many “strong, ambitious, successful women” for the ever-decreasing contingent of men that are able to compete with them.

This therefore creates a sexual schizophrenia. Liberal-capitalism pushes for (sexual) desire but then the same type of society also ensures that men aren’t able to attain it.

As a result you have “sexually frustrated” men with “misogynistic” tendencies, what you could perhaps apathetically define as “incels.”

Michel Houellebecq (1956-)

Michel Houellebecq is the most celebrated contemporary French novelist, both in France and abroad. He’s mainly known for his 2015 novel Soumission (Submission), which is about a supposed future Islamist presidential takeover of France.

He is known for his graceless (some would say inelegant) prose and writing style. He gained some notoriety within his home country during the ’90s, beginning with his very first novel, Whatever, released in 1994.

The French title of this novel, Extension du domaine de la lutte, is actually more complicated. It would translate to something more along the lines of “extension of the struggle domain” and is a reference to how the classical Marxist class-struggle has now been transformed into a gender-struggle. Similar to Clouscard, Houellebecq also blames modern liberal-capitalism for applying its principles of harsh competition into the “sexual value market,” creating a situation where men are naturally disadvantaged (the hero, who doesn’t even have a name, lives a nihilistic existence as a wage-slave, spending his best hours in some cubicle).

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Houellebecq touched upon these subjects in his later works as well.

We won’t delve too deep into Houellebecq’s incelism as, contrary to both Montherlant and Clouscard, numerous articles already exist on the matter (such as this one in The American Conservative).

We thus conclude our examination of the incels not as some anthropological anomalies but as the representatives of a form of modernity gone rogue, and as mentioned earlier, the fact that its main theoreticians were French is also not a coincidence.

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Modern day incelism is due to guys who regret that in school they weren’t popular or stong enough to act tough so they try to project a tough guy image online now to gain popularity. And more importantly, they never received female attention so they think by changing their personality they will have loads of girls chasing after them lol

Abu Makinat

I get the impression you don’t understand what an incel is and haven’t actually read this article


Let’s not pretend feminism didn’t help create incels.


It didn’t. It was guys who couldn’t handle the fact that women also care about looks, so they think acting a certain way will make up for that. It won’t.

Anti PC Akhi

Nonsense. In high school, in US, in one of the most liberal cities, the 2 White guys out of 400 students of mostly Black, Hispanic and Asians got no action not even from White girls. Why? Because White boys were considered pus#ies. Even if these two were on the football team. They didnt represent the cool crowd of thugs and gangsters who called these young females b&tches and hoes.

Even the Bosnian guys had to go out of their way to tell people they werent “White”.

Anti PC Akhi

Why does that matter? Because the cool crowd were the Tupacs, Biggie Smalls, the gangsters and thugs, the P.I.M.P types who ran credit cards thru female a$# cracks and forced middle school girls into prostitution. Every girl was aspiring to be a hoe and bit#h. That was the SUPERIOR WESTERN PRO WOMEN culture that was blasted on every liberal democrate owned TV and radio station. It wasnt the conservative republican who were blasting this fine culture to their youth.


If you were ugly or fat, it didn’t matter if you were a gangster, girls wouldn’t be into you

Anti PC Akhi

All this girls education, women rights, metoos, and at the same time same people promoted a culture where being PIMP was AWESOME! Pimp my car! Pimp my house! Every kid wanted to be a pimp. And many were pimping middle school girls. High school was another level.

All in the liberal, minority, diversity, feminist loving “urban centers”.

As a Muslim dumped midst this amazing culture, like most emigres, it was a shocking experince because a dala, barwa (pimp) is the lowest of creatures for us.

Anti PC Akhi

Guess which communities think that “sex work” is this amazing feminist right to be an independent woman today? Which communities are flocking to onlyfans and instagrams, silicon injections and idolizing the Cardi Bs and Nickis?

The down trodden “urban” communities. The wage and sex cattles. The cesspool of “diversity” where now the new fresh wage cattle “refugees” from Muslim nations are thrown in.

Its heart breaking. May Allah SWT preserve these families.


Depends on the age. The older a woman is the less looks count and the more finances do. Male attractiveness is dependend on many factors: looks, personality, earning ability etc. Environment is also important. If you’re residing in a dangerous area or country your abiliy to protect will be highly valued. This is why poorer women like men with imposing physiques (height especially…and large muscles). Rich women like height but are turned off by large muscles and prefer a professional look.


Don’t think so. The far majority of guys have never been popular in school prior to SM. Lets say a good 90 to 95 percent. The populars were max 10% at any given time…being generous. 30% were totally invisible and 60% around average. With the advent of social media the numbers are obviously even much worse. Likely: 80% completely invisible, 15% somewhat average and 5% popular. Inceldom would have been the norm if high school popularity had been the defining factor.


Right, but most guys don’t carry that regret of not being popular, the modern day incels do.

Haziq Farhan

That’s because according to you, females only cares about looks and popularity.


Gender equality = sexual inequality. Women mate select horizontally and preferably up. Men do this up and down. When a woman goes up the socio-economic ladder her pool of potential suitors becomes smaller. When a man goes up the socio-economic ladder his pool becomes larger and larger. In the West women in their twenties and early thirties are better educated and earn more money (higher social status) than their male counterparts, result is: historically low marriage and fertility rates.


…demographic issues on the horizon and more ethnic tensions as these countries become more dependent on mass migration to offset the lack in native births, and no one group having an absolute majority.

Incels might have something to do with this, indirectly. Not sure they would fare well in a more traditional society. These guys seem terribly socialized, and many look like they are on the autism spectrum. The current setup is only making a bad situation worse for them.

Haziq Farhan

I have somewhat of a sympathy towards them, living in a culture that destroys norm tend to that to a man. Confused and lost, not knowing what they should do. Notice how everytime someone tries to explain what women wants, that person will get cancelled because of they are being presumptuous.


Salam Bheria,

I think it would have been interesting to speak about Alain Soral as well, he often talks about this specific question.


This article seems to share the same opinion as the french “intellectuals” used as an example in it; I mean the opinion that the marketing of services came after the industrialization, wich is so deeply wrong. Free market started when the first human beings engaged in the barter of goods and services , and later on used precious objects to represent value and use it as a currency. Those intelectuals were good at their field (philosophy), but in economics they had 0 idea