May 2, 2013 10 Comments
As I lie here in my hammock listening to the clatter of squirrels running up and down my garden trees, soft jazz on my speakers, I consider getting up to replace the now-melting ice in my tumbler of Johnnie Walker Double Black. It’s roasting hot, the London weather having finally turned good. Not that I was here for the bad weather. All of February was spent on the beaches of Rio, sandwiched on either side by two trips to Barcelona to bang my Belarussian and Romanian girls respectively. I guess there’s alot of guys sitting in cubicles this afternoon. The lucky ones have window seats so they can at least look at the weather I’m enjoying.
But where was I? Ah…. something about enjoying the decline….
A couple of weeks ago during my tour of several FSU countries I had one of those Fridays that stick in the memory. I woke up in my downtown apartment and shuffled off to a cafe for an 11am breakfast with Anastasia, a 21yr old Russian microbiologist. We had a walk around the nearby park, kissed a little then I let her go. 3pm was an afternoon coffee first date with Deria, a 23yr old fashion designer. We chatted, held hands a bit and then made out at the steps to her subway home. Just before that date I’d seen Dasha walking into a grocery store and introduced myself. She’s a slim 23yr old too so we swapped numbers and I had a 4:30pm drink with her. Another makeout which she said was strange “because I have a boyfriend and we just met”. Round about 6pm the sky takes on an early dusk tinge and my tummy is rumbling. So I take Elena out for pizza, my new 22yr old ballerina girlfriend. I round off the day with a two-hour 9pm cocktail bar drink with Inna, a tall 19 year old dancer who has her hand on my dick before rushing off to join her friends for some nightclubbing. I go home, close my eyes and wonder….. am I really living this?
I dated five “eights” in one day, all the right side of 25, all exquisitely feminine, all thrilled to be in my company and all good hard make outs. All on a multi-country Euro tour that I booked on a whim, without saving up and without asking permission from anybody.
I don’t do this everyday, but it does happen.
Aaron Clarey‘s new book Enjoy The Decline finishes with an impassioned plea to live life to its utmost because we only get one time on this earth and living well is the best revenge on the Leftists who have destroyed our civilisation. Judging by the hater comments I delete, I guess that’s what I’m doing. I just finished his book in one sitting so I guess a review is in order.
Much has been made recently on the bitter taste of the red pill, that destabilising sense of loss as your pretty lies perish and you realise that as a right-of-the-bell-curve male you are the power plant that the rest of society lives off and yet…. you don’t get to enjoy any of its fruits. How do you hold yourself together as reality crumbles and the white picket fence respectability you were taught to crave has been exposed as an unattainable high-risk at best, or a decorated gulag cabin at worst? How are we to navigate the minefield? I’ve written two of three parts on my path. Foundations. Accumulation… and I needn’t write the last part because this book does a more comprehensive version that I’m about 90% in agreement with. Let’s recap
Ayn Rand’s Aaron’s basic thesis.
America (and construed widely, the West as a whole) has unequivocably and permanently chosen socialism. We are therefore fucked, the path to ruin and decivilisation locked in. As the producers of the world are we to throw ourselves under the bus for the good of the moochers and looters, or should we shrug as did Atlas? Aaron suggests we Go Galt and spends his book laying out the case.
First up is an economic summary which will be familiar to Mish‘s readers. It’s an Austrian-lite summary for non-specialists going through the basic problems of debt-to-GDP, unfunded liabilities, overtaxation and public sector crowding out. The economic conclusion is that employment opportunities in the traditional careers are dead, the boomer generation will milk its descendents dry and just don’t bother. The American Dream is dead. It’s all sound stuff. He seems to err towards inflationism whereas I’m of the opinion we are in a permanent deflationary spiral but that’s a minor objection.
The solution is to embrace minimalism and self-interest. Declare to yourself that you live for yourself first. To throw off the parasites you will starve the beast by deliberately ratcheting down your income to the minimum threshold necessary for the quality of life you require. Efficient cost control keeps this number low in a Fight Club-esque “the stuff you own ends up owning you” mentality. The cost control side is low-tech and really just a psychological downshift. On the income side he recommends learning a trade (i.e. plumber, electrician) or STEM career or to hold off on careerism until you’re 35 and just treat employment as a source of cash and no more.
Downshifting frees up your time and this is the major win of enjoying the decline. You no longer covet the McMansion, the new lease car, the caribbean family holiday. You no longer feel compelled to marry and have kids. From this expansion in your freedom comes a great peace with the world as all the stress of modern life evaporates. A single man needs very little to get by.
More chapters follow on psychological adaptation (mostly about accepting your mortality and therefore commiting to live your life now instead of constantly deferring your pleasure), the importance of high quality people in your life, and to avoid the temptation to build up a pot of gold that a future wife / socialist government can steal from you. This is all good advice. Strangely he doesn’t mention Game despite his blog showing a clear awareness of it and Roosh’s book being mentioned at the end. Perhaps he doesn’t feel qualified to advise, or perhaps its to avoid tailoring the book to just single men – though it is this category who stands to win most from Going Galt because they are the host upon whom everyone else is a parasite.
Most of the book is accepted knowledge within the manosphere. I’ve written myself on the psychological declaration we must make when unplugging. I’ve written about the importance of building a group of high value friends. I write about building the international lifestyle and turning yourself into the Most Interesting Man In The World. There’s nothing new in Aaron’s book. Nonetheless I still read it cover-to-cover in one sitting because it gives you two things that amply justify the cover price:
- Another voice of a man who has been-there-done-it reassuring you that this is a great path to go down with rich rewards for your quality of life. We all get 4am moments, those dark nights of the soul, when we wonder Cypher-like “wouldn’t it be better to plug back in”. This book helps banish them for those of you still wavering. Aaron is one of the older guys who isn’t bitter from divorce, isn’t an ex-pat loser, and isn’t a wannabe-baller. Just a regular guy who made smart choices and can pass on the thought process.
- It’s a concise single volume with relatively mild tone that can be passed on to a young lad you think ready for unplugging.