DNA testing should be a mandatory part of the birth process. That it isn’t, tells us much.
Also, don’t get married.
DNA testing should be a mandatory part of the birth process. That it isn’t, tells us much.
Also, don’t get married.
How America Grew Bored With Love is about how America is now excessively sterile because guys have no game and women are cunts. Guys reading this cannot help the latter problem but can improve the “no game” problem. The article echoes much that you have read here:
Erich Fromm, a Jewish psychologist and philosopher who moved from Germany to New York to escape Nazi persecution, wrote in his brilliant and forever salient book The Art of Loving that love, like any art—engineering, painting, playing an instrument—requires knowledge and effort.
“Our whole culture,” Fromm explained, “is based on an appetite for buying.” As a result, most people think of love only as an acquisition—how can they be loved—rather than learning how to love another. Falling in love is involuntary, but to protect and preserve a more mature and long-term love, the lover must have the discipline, maturity, and faith to “stand in love.”
That’s right: love is a SKILL, not just “something that happens,” contrary to what you have heard from the feminist culture at larger. It is especially a skill for men. Men engineer love/lust in women. Game shows guys how to do this, at the physical and emotional levels. Most guys don’t learn this skills, so they putter around playing video games and watching porn instead of f**king live chicks, which requires that they leave their hourses.
Guys should be careful with their money. If you don’t have money, “No money” becomes your one and only abiding problem that must be solved before all others. I have written a number of finance and career posts, most notably arguing that most guys allocate their money poorly. Most guys spend too much on housing (especially buying McMansions in suburbs or exurbs) and on transport (hot chicks don’t actually care what kind of car you drive). Money should be spend on food (good nutrition), gym (sometimes including personal training if you can find a personal trainer), and to a lesser extent good-quality clothes that fit your body.
Money should not be spent on an expensive “name brand” car. Right now, three to five year old used cars are a fantastic deal. Better yet, get a three-year-old Zero Electric bike for $5,000 and spend nothing on maintenance and almost nothing on fuel while making your date’s eyes bug out. Money should not be spent on a woman’s desire to compete with other women for housing. Much of my best game has been done in a studio apartment in a desirable location that was close to one or two good bars. Beginners in the game think about what to say to a chick, intermediates and above think about logistics because we know chicks are fundamentally irresponsible and want the bang to “just happen.” So we set up the conditions necessary to make it “just happen” for her because we “have some wine” at home.
Dating and impressing chicks costs far less than the typical guy thinks. The typical guy wastes too much money on the wrong stuff. The minimum you need is very minimal. Cleanliness and interpersonal affect are 10x more important than a stereotypically “impressive” car or house. Fromm was right decades ago and he is still right today. The capitalist marketing machine wants you to spend as much as possible and smart guys resist firmly. Smart guys spend time dead lifting more than time shopping.
Stevie Wonder sang in what is now a terribly unfashionable song, “Love’s in Need of Love Today,” that Americans might not have much love for love, and might have lost their desire to watch or listen to depictions of love, because love is subversive to its empire of ego.
This song is not unfashionable. It is true and that’s why it is still good. But it’s also true that guys need either no/very little ego (in the Stoic case) or titanic ego to succeed today. I try to have no/little ego but acknowledge that the “titanic ego” guys can succeed. Most guys have too much ego, in the wrong dimensions, to succeed.
I think love is fantastic, but I am also a realist in that love should not lead to marriage because modern, legal marriage is a catastrophe for men. Instead, I advocate that men do love but without marrying or even necessarily being monogamous.
Men cannot allow themselves to fall in love with a woman before she falls in love with im. Men also must know that most women will fall “out” of love with him before he does with her. Men also need to know that cohabitating will typically kill love, even as women push for cohabitation. Remember how Fromm argued that love is a SKILL? It is a skill most women don’t have and don’t or can’t understand. As a guy, we must be better. Feminism argues for “equality,” but equality must be earned, not given, and very few women earn it. Guys should know this.
Women still want and yearn to yield to a high-status man, but most men have not learned to be men, leaving women frustrated and un-f**ked. When women encounter a man who behaves like a man, they are often flustered, aroused, and confused because it happens so rarely. Game teaches guys how to be guys in a culture that is stupidly pushing guys to be androgynous quasi-humans who hide their dicks. To love requires experience, passion, and getting out of your apartment, out of your video games, out of your movies/TV, and into the real world. It requires the ability to endure pain and rejection, which most modern guys are too fragile to do.
The concept of “gender nonbinary” and the like has become popular in recent years. I reject that utterly. I am extremely gender binary. I’m a man, and feminine women are attracted to masculine men. If you want ugly, fat, mannish women, be androgynous. If you want feminine, attractive women, be a man. You won’t learn how in (most) school, except sometimes from physical education and some science classes. Chicks are waiting out there to be f**ked by a man who is a man.
Go get them.
We’re discouraging marriage and families at every level, then we’re surprised when people stop doing both. That is the point of the new Dalrock post, along with the fact that some of these ideas are bleeding into the larger media ecosystem. I’m not a big fan of him and his relentless coverage of the relentless internecine battles among religious persons, but I subscribe to his blog and find this piece worth passing along.
The free ebook Sex Clubs, Non-Monogamy, and Game is done and it is available for download as:
A paper version is here, on Amazon: I suspect most of you will read on Kindles, iPads, etc., but an easy paperback option is now available. I have also put up an Amazon ebook download, although I haven’t been able to get Amazon to give me a $0.00 price on the ebook version; Amazon will only offer $0.99, so that may have to remain.
The cover is pretty crappy and I made it in five minutes. If you’re a graphic person and want to make a better one, shoot it over and I’ll replace the cover in future editions. Magnum and others have suggested that I pay a couple hundred bucks to get an online freelancer to do a better cover, and they are probably right, but I’m just not willing to go that far for a free book that I’ve already spent way too much time on.
Please get in touch if you have ideas or responses. I view this book as a potential work in progress. I don’t think I’ve covered every aspect of the field, but I haven’t read any books that are as detailed and thorough as this one. The copy I’m releasing today, on 3 January 2019, can be seen as a refined beta release; if I get good feedback, I will put out another version in response to that feedback.
The book is being released under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution license. That means anyone can redistribute the book or edit it, provided that your version attributes the original to “The Red Quest.” I have gone back and forth about whether I should make this book free or paid. A free book is more easily available, but most people value a thing at its price: “free” things are usually worth what’s paid for them. I hope Sex Clubs, Non-Monogamy, and Game is the exception to that principle.
There are other free books discussing the floating around, with The Book of Pook being the best-known. I just read it. I hope Sex Clubs, Non-Monogamy, and Game will be passed from player to player, without restriction, and that guys learn to be guys and learn how to live their possible lives. Please email copies of the book to whoever you think may want to read it.
The book is dedicated to Nash and to everyone who has ever taught me about the game. The first version of the book was about 31,000 words, and this version is about 42,000 words, the majority of those words in response to initial reader feedback.
There is a very large amount of randomness in pickup and game, and I’ve written too little about the role of randomness: it should be emphasized by guys writing about the game. If you’re interested in the psychological parts of pickup, in the “why” in addition to the “how,” you’ll develop a theory of human nature… but that theory needs to have a whole lot of space for “random” in it. When I was younger, I wrongly thought people are pretty consistent. Now that I’m older, I’ve seen too much evidence to the contrary: I’ve seen girls be harlots on Saturday nights and nuns Tuesday nights. Sometimes vice-versa. Girls are so random that part of what guys learn in the game is to accept her randomness. Some of the way chicks run hot-cold is them testing a guy. Some is just them being nutso. It’s just noise in the process. There is experimental evidence for the noise:
I’ll tell you where the experiment from which my current fascination with noise arose. I was working with an insurance company, and we did a very standard experiment. They constructed cases, very routine, standard cases. Expensive cases — we’re not talking of insuring cars. We’re talking of insuring financial firms for risk of fraud.
So you have people who are specialists in this. This is what they do. Cases were constructed completely realistically, the kind of thing that people encounter every day. You have 50 people reading a case and putting a dollar value on it.
I could ask you, and I asked the executives in the firm, and it’s a number that just about everybody agrees. Suppose you take two people at random, two underwriters at random. You average the premium they set, you take the difference between them, and you divide the difference by the average.
By what percentage do people differ? Well, would you expect people to differ? And there is a common answer that you find, when I just talk to people and ask them, or the executives had the same answer. It’s somewhere around 10 percent. That’s what people expect to see in a well-run firm.
Now, what we found was 50 percent, 5–0, which, by the way, means that those underwriters were absolutely wasting their time, in the sense of assessing risk. So that’s noise, and you find variability across individuals, which is not supposed to exist.
And you find variability within individuals, depending morning, afternoon, hot, cold. A lot of things influence the way that people make judgments: whether they are full, or whether they’ve had lunch or haven’t had lunch affects the judges, and things like that.
Now, it’s hard to say what there is more of, noise or bias. But one thing is very certain — that bias has been overestimated at the expense of noise. Virtually all the literature and a lot of public conversation is about biases. But in fact, noise is, I think, extremely important, very prevalent.
Accept this in pickup and pickup should become more pleasant. Young guys ask themselves, “Why does she like Mike and not me?” There may be great reasons for her to prefer Mike, but often the reasons are that she’s not that into you, she has a boyfriend she genuinely likes, she’s not in the mood, she hates men that day, etc. etc. Your approach will fail no matter what, because of matters internal to her own mental state. The higher your value and the better your game, the more likely she’ll go for you, but that’s not a guarantee.
Sometimes she likes Mike even if he is “worse” than you in ways pickup artists would identify. Take Peaches. She is still seeing her original guy. He is worse than me in most ways… dumber, worse body, worse career, worse social skills… doesn’t matter, she still likes him, for whatever reason. I may be too masculine for her. Seriously, some chicks like guys a little more feminine and androgynous. Not most chicks, but some, including some who are pretty attractive.
Randomness also leads to the conclusion that “Women don’t think that women can make adult decisions and be held accountable for those decisions.” How a woman feels is often more relevant to her than what she promised or previously decided. Fundamental irresponsibility also helps explain why so few women make it to the top of big corporations, where internalizing responsibility is vital to improvement.
You cannot judge your own game skills based on a single interaction. You can try to improve one thing from every single interaction, but you can only average your skill across many interactions. The underwriters in Kahneman’s experiment have great incentive to be consistent, but they are not. The underwriters are “noisy.” They are operating in the Fooled by Randomness world of Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Guys also have some randomness, though we often call it “state.” I have been the funniest, sharpest, most socially wonderful guy in the world. I have also been mopey, miserable, depressed, anxious. In one state I do pretty well, in the other I don’t do well, most of the time I sit between them.
Guys in the game need to do two things:
Many guys who think they’re in the game seem to get stuck one point one. Some guys do a lot of point two and none of number one and then wonder why their fat, floppy, sloppy selves can’t get chicks. Combine them and you will maximize the likelihood of getting the good chicks.
Almost every guy learns that chicks are random… Chris at Good Looking Loser calls it “Sexual availability” and some other names too… Guys get confused by female randomness because 1) guys are more logical than chicks in general and 2) guys have a simple mating algorithm: we want to have sex with as many as the hottest chicks as possible. Chicks have a much more confused and nuanced mating algorithm that chicks themselves don’t understand. And they frequently can’t explain why they feel or why they do what they do. If you try to interrogate a chick’s logic, you’ll often get such confused garbage and babble that you’ll still not understand it and, worse, make the chick angry by quizzing her about it (I did this some in high school and college). Chicks feel more than think. It’s important for guys to lead for many reasons, one being that most chicks are psychologically incapable of leading in a romantic situation. Their evolved psychology compels them not to lead. Guys feel too, but the feeling is much simpler… “Is she hot enough to f**k? I want to f**k her.”
Novice guys want to do what they could have done differently with “this one girl.” The answer is often, “Nothing.” Or, “Something, but she still might have said no.” Don’t let any individual girl get in your head. She probably says no for reasons that have little to do with you and a lot to do with her.
“Chicks are random” is also one of the many factors explaining why few women reach the top of companies and organizations. Guys figure out that women are random and keep that in mind when choosing colleagues, promotions, etc. And randomness in dating life also manifests itself at work. That’s why your female colleagues are more likely to have weird random meltdowns, be inconsistent, etc. Chicks are wired that way and can’t help it. The randomness players see in the dating market, you will also see in job markets.
Magnum also says, “women are random.”
Victoria’s Secret knows that women want to be sexy and get that top guy. You wouldn’t know it, though, from this stupid New York Times article about the company.
The marketing of Victoria’s Secret has been nothing if not consistent. The company’s fashion show this month, complete with skinny models, push-up bras, thongs and strappy stilettos, was a near carbon copy of the one it first mounted in 1995, albeit with more feathers, sequins and wings. And its adherence to that vision of sexy will not be compromised.
Women, however, are not stupid. They know guys like boobs, butts, and height-weight proportionate women, and they will buy products that accentuate these ideas. If I were at Victoria’s Secret, I’d double down on being hot.
Women know that top guys have choices, and women know guys like youth and beauty. Women know that they are competing against other women for top guys. Older women at the New York Times may not want to acknowledge this, and they may not like it, but it remains true.
Smart companies may pay lip service to the bullshit in social justice warrior twitter and at the New York Times, but they know that their core clients remain in the game. The fight against lingerie will never be won by fat chicks or older writers at the New York Times, for the same reason fat acceptance will never happen.
Warning: as with “Get past your identity and look at the data,” “The stink of poly-ticks is high in this post, which has little to do with actual game, so you may want to skip it.” You’ve been warned. You should read “Ms. Slav story updates: Enter new girl Peaches” instead.
There are few fields with larger gaps between the “Twitter world” and the “knowlede world” than immigration. Most people who live in the latter don’t do Twitter as “Twitter natives” do. Among historians, anti-immigration sentiment is almost entirely absent. Why? For one thing, the data show that “Immigrants are doing a great job of becoming Americans.” Plus, historians know that the arguments against immigrants have always stayed the same and have always been wrong. Like Henry Cabot Lodge’s famous speech 1896 speech, “The Problem of Immigration”:
other races of totally different race origin, with whom the English-speaking people have never hitherto been assimilated or brought in contact, have suddenly begun to immigrate to the United States in large numbers. Russians, Hungarians, Poles, Bohemians, Italians, Greeks, and even Asiatics, whose immigration to America was almost unknown 20 years ago, have during the last 20 years poured in in steadily increasing numbers, until now they nearly equal the immigration of those races kindred by whom the United States has hitherto been built up and the American people formed.
In other words, we gotta kick out those foreigners who are different than us. Today, of course, their descendents are making the same anti-immigration arguments that are common on Twitter. Lodge also says:
It is not necessary to enter into a discussion of the economic side of the general policy of restricting immigration. In this direction the argument is unanswerable. If we have any regard for the welfare, the wages, or the standard life of American workingmen, we should take immediate steps to restrict foreign immigration. There is no danger, at present to all events, to our workingmen from the coming of skilled mechanics or trained and educated men with a settled occupation or pursuit, for immigration of this class will never seek to lower the American standard of life and wages
It is necessary; immigration improves American lives and immigrants don’t compete for the jobs Americans do. Funny stories like, “Farmers Finding Few Americans Willing To Do Jobs Immigrants Do” are common. I have friends in the restaurant biz. Try hiring native-born Americans to be dishwashers. The places in the United States with the highest immigration rates also have the strongest economies.
No one arguing against immigration is highly knowledgable about history, or the way their arguments have been used for the last one to two hundred years, and they’ve been wrong the whole time. And anti-immigrant rhetoric is rarely if ever supported by (real) research in peer-reviewed journals. For example, The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries finds that immigration improves GDP and “recent migration flows have been beneficial for 69% of the non-migrant OECD population, and for 83% of non-migrant citizens of the 22 richest OECD countries.”
We are seeing immigrants create new jobs. Immigration does not create crime and if anything immigrants have lower crime rates, on average, than native-born persons. So why do these memes persist? It seems that humans like to sort ourselves into tribes and it’s fun to create out-groups, and immigrants make handy out groups. Normal people don’t go trolling through the literature and instead form their views on single-hit sensationalist stories and the like. Most people also don’t think about history or their own families’s histories, which, in the United States, always includes immigration somewhere (unless a person is Native American).
The United States is not an ethno-state. It is a set of ideas and ideals. It is also a machine for taking in disparate people and turning their children into Americans (some of whom will in turn adopt anti-immigrant rhetoric). We should be happy this process works and works well. We should also be attentive to the kind of evidence cited by anti-immigrant types. Yes, there are sensationalistic stories about individual bad acts. Just as there are… sensationalistic stories about individual bad acts by people born in the United States. But the anti-immigrant rhetoric is almost totally absent among historians and economists. We should be thinking about why that is. Yes, it’s possible that there’s a giant conspiracy theory. Or, more likely, knowing history makes people chill out about the supposed foreign invasion.
In good news, American support for immigration is at all-time high. I doubt this is because of a newfound love for and knowledge of history, but it is nice.
Overall, Western Civilization is a hardy weed and normal people around the world want TV, convenient food, and hot sex.
I don’t expect to change hearts and minds because almost no one thinks statistically or attempts to systematically review what data exist.
The stink of poly-ticks is high in this post, which has little to do with actual game, so you may want to skip it.
Riv finds it strange that I don’t have an anti-immigrant or right-wing identity, since both seem somewhat common among RP guys, but I suspect I simply read a lot more than most guys, and that reading leads to posts like, “The best books for learning game.” It’s also led me to the literature on identity and identity formation, and there’s a good book on that subject, Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America. It’s about the presidential campaign, sure, but it’s also about how the stock of anti-immigrant sentiment got turned into a flow of anti-immigrant sentiment in 2016.
Anti-immigrant sentiment has a long and weird history in the United States. It’s “weird” because the United States is an immigrant country; unless you are Native American, your ancestors moved here, and they probably moved here in a way that would be “illegal” today (mine did). Seriously, go back and look at the Know-Nothing Party, or this article. People hated the Irish then, as a group. People hated the Italians in the first half of the 20th Century. Over time, these groups became part of the background of the United States, as other identities formed.
Today the arguments are the same… the immigrants are coming to steal your jobs, change your religion, dirty your house, etc., etc. When the arguments remain exactly the same but the targets of the audience change, you should be real suspicion about the argument’s accuracy. You should build your identity around examining arguments, not around believing one of them. We should read more history and put forth fewer online memes. We should look at the data that show immigrants are great. We should encourage people to be free and expressive.
So where’s this RP, right-wing thing coming from? Probably from the bad feminist tendencies on the left. It is true that the feminist left-wing in Western politics is very bad. But I would encourage Red Pill guys to avoid thinking that, because the feminist left-wing is bad, we must therefore join or admire the right wing. We don’t and we shouldn’t. Game works to make the world a better place by helping guys gain the social skills and make the connections that wouldn’t happen otherwise. We should be thinking about how to do the same thing, in political terms.
There are also few genuinely religious people left, particularly among the young. Most of the “Young Christians” I know have had so many “slip ups” and “mistakes” that you can discount their protestations of faith. What takes up the space that religion used to occupy? Claire Lehmann is one of the most interesting people on Twitter and she says, “Having hundreds of people explaining to me on Twitter that everything from sex to nature to beauty is ‘political’ makes me realise that Western civilisation really hasn’t come up with a viable alternative to religion, yet. Until we do, politics will be the opiate of the masses.” A lot of Red Pill guys—like Blue Pill guys and people more generally—treat politics like a religion, instead of like an intellectual field in which new information should be able to change your mind.
If you find yourself lining up behind one party on all issues, you should really stop and ask yourself: do my views on these numerous and unrelated issues line up so neatly? Or am I following the herd?
Players know the danger of herd-following. Try to be yourself.
Outside of Twitter and among people who study actual immigrants and immigration, there is little doubt that immigration improves lives. Here is one paper, but there are many more. Don’t let emotional coverage of one extremely uncommon event sway you. Look at the data. Just as a player should not let any interaction with any given chick sway him, you should not let some random and unfortunate event sway you (unless maybe you are going to let an equally random and fortunate event sway you).
Why doesn’t this information make it to guys on Twitter? Partially because Twitter is limited in character count, so no one can make complex arguments on it (like this argument). Partially because all of us, including me, like to incorporate information that already agrees with our preexisting worldview. Partially because almost all of us need someone to hate. It’s not the Communists anymore, so immigrants and Chinese are conveniently distant bogeymen.
One of the best guys I’ve ever worked with was born in Pakistan, and his family brought him to the U.S. when he was small. He didn’t get his immigration situation sorted out till he got married (to a U.S. citizen). It is striking that the people who are most opposed to immigration have the least exposure to actual immigrants. People are more alike than not, and that is why game works in different countries: there are cultural variations, but the male-female dynamic remains. It is true that wealth and access to medicine changes the supply curves and elasticities of sex, but the game skillset and mindset remain.
The United States is great at taking in people and, within a generation, turning them into Americans. Europe should be trying to do the same thing. So let’s have less blood-and-soil, less xenophobia, and more historical knowledge. Immigration is good from both a moral and practical standpoint. Don’t let your right-wing identity get in the way of those basic facts. Think for yourself.
I have seen lots of ill-conceived political tweets from Red Pill guys, but the real response to those political tweets is book-length, not tweet length. Even this post is far too short. I write it because I want at least one comprehensive statement out there. Your identity as a player need not be linked with an anti-immigrant or right-wind ideology. Go your own way. Be independent.
The world is not a zero-sum place. If it were, we’d not have had the incredible progress of the last two centuries.
Let’s all try to do better.
Is this not enough on the topic for you? Here is a follow-up post with yet more data citations.
I don’t love the terms “alpha male” and “beta male,” but sometimes they just fit too well to ignore, like in the sex diary about “The New Mom Feeling Nostalgic for Her Lap-Dancing Days.” This woman is married to a beta male and has a toddler, though it’s not clear whether the baby is actually her husband’s:
Damn, I lived it up.
I was pursuing musical theater in New York. I was hot. I was a dancer and top earner at a members-only traveling lap-dance party. C would visit me. He’d get hard watching me dance topless, legs spread, reverse-cowgirl style, closer and closer to the eyes of a well-dressed Wall Street exec. C would follow my ass, and we’d lock eyes as I simultaneously led another finance dude to “get comfortable.” Well, those days are gone.
Most guys should be smart enough to know not to get in serious relationships with sex workers. This one seems not to know that.
Today is the day C works from home and I get to see J, my Sugar Daddy. I busted my ass in class today; I’m going to look hot.
J is somewhat new. We’ve been fucking once a week for three months. He gives me an allowance of $3,000 per month. I’m saving it all to go to nursing school. Plus, we’re planning on moving in a month, out of my mom’s house. We need all the money we can get right now. We never intended to be here for more than a couple months. C knows about J — he gets off on the idea of another guy jerking off to me on the regular.
This guy is working and taking care of a baby, so that his wife can go f**k another guy for cash? No way.
And this other guy is paying an older woman who’s already had a kid $3,000 a month for sex? WTF? Even in Silicon Valley, he should be able to get much better value for his money. Unlike some Red Pill guys, I’m not opposed to paying for it (in the right circumstances), but $750 per lay with an older woman is crazy.
If guys are wondering why a lot of women are outrageously entitled, look no further.
I’m an only child, and my parents are divorced. I’ve always had a rocky relationship with my dad, but my mom always supported me in theater. I went to a private Catholic high school
Bad relationship with the father… into theater… the red flags as far as long-term relationships go just pile up.
She looking at yet another guy to f**k for money, too.
I believe that, in the course of seven days, she f**ks one guy for cash, goes on a date for another, and never manages to lay her husband:
C is pining for a blow job. I offer sex — that’s my test. If he rejects sex, I know he’s just lazy and wants to come effortlessly. Sorry, C, no can do. I’m just as lazy and tired as you are right now. C masturbates. I like to listen by the door. I am a closet voyeur. I love the idea of watching a guy totally uninhibited, unaware that he’s being watched. It turns me on the most.
She’ll get it up for the guy paying, but not for the man she lives with and she’s married to. Diagnosis for husband: Beta.
My only hope is that the story is fantasy, not reality. From a man’s perspective, the whole story is “what not to do.”
“After a year of #MeToo, Americans are more sceptical about sexual harassment.” Good, and that is as it should be. Having been victim to false accusations and rumors myself, whenever I hear these kinds of accusations, they make me think less of the person making the accusation.
Maybe normal women understand women’s propensity to blame-shift in the sexual arena. Normal women fear that their husbands, brothers, and sons will be targeted. I get it. Women are very fond of doing things, then saying, “It wasn’t me.” MeToo is really about evading personal responsibility. Normal people also know that “Women love the sexual interplay they experience with men, and they relish men desiring their beauty.” Why don’t strident American feminists know this? Because they think pleading ignorance will improve their bargaining position.