The masculine protest that leads to fight club, like all forms of social critique, produces insiders and outsiders; those in the know, and those in the dark.
The dominant critique of mass society--so powerfully articulated by William Whyte and his brethren in the 1950s and David Fincher in 1999--is a form of masculine protest against the threatened erosion of gender difference.
Writing for Fortune magazine, Whyte is firmly located within the very business culture that youthful critics in the sixties will identify as the culprit in their own, generational, form of masculine protest. For Whyte, the problem with the collectivism spawned by organization culture--what he dubs the "Social Ethic"--is that it goes against the grain of American individualism based on private property, competition, and the subordination of the larger social good to the individual's well-being.
The tradition of masculine protest has produced a national mode of dissent that is impoverished, perhaps most strikingly by its inability to shift its own terms and to imagine new narratives of dissent and countercultural critique.