Arbeit macht frei

September 20, 2012

I recently went back to work after over two years of leisure. I didn’t need to, I could’ve easily continued my merry wanderings for several more years, but my subconscious was giving me an ever louder signal that I need to put on a suit and submit myself to some internally-directed accomplishment and some externally-provided discipline. Your subconscious will first speak to you in fleeting murmours, then husky growls before eventually building up to a crashing cacophony of deafening proportions. It’s your masculine core and it exists to stop your logical forebrain making a mess of the navigation process delegated to it.

pre-Lehman banking

Your ego, logical forebrain and masculine core are all your friend. Yes, even your ego. It requires an occasional sedative but it’s evolved inside you for good reasons. Everything inside you has evolved for the purposes of keeping you alive and getting your seed into some nubile young maidens. It’s not the ego itself to fear, but the various twists and kinks that send it off on fools errands. Slay the demons, sedate (don’t kill) the ego.

So three years ago I’d begun to feel like my career was an unnecessary rat race and my job a chore. Growing up as a smart, well-educated middle class boy the rewards of a higher-beta lifestyle were always going to appeal to me. I expected career success, pots of cash, status increments and all the other accoutrements of mainstream success. Thus I channeled myself down the Attainment Path without ever giving thought to alternatives. For a while my deal with society seemed to work. I got cash, security, gadgets and status while society got a higher-beta workhorse to obey the laws, create wealth, and tax to penury to pay for all the freeloaders. I even got The Girl, for a while (though as I subsequently discovered the Attainment Path was coincidence not a cause of that).

Then when The Girl left I realised that 60-hour workweeks, deadline pressure, 50% taxation and the much higher “cultural enrichment” tax of paying obscene amounts in rent, travel and entertainment to stay safe inside the law-abiding white-man coccoon….. it wasn’t worth it to come back to an empty home, spend a few hours watching TV / playing PS3, then go to bed to respawn next day for another crack at pushing the boulder up the mountainside. It took my subconscious about six months to transition from quiet murmours into deafening roars, and then I quit.

My revulsion for civilisation had peaked. I looked for another way.

For a while I considered Freedom Porn. To cut a long story short it’s bullshit. There is no better or more efficient way of earning cash than learning a trade / expert system and then exchanging your skills for an hourly/daily wage. Freedom pornographers would have you believe the answer is starting an online business, affiliate marketing, coaching or whatever. It’s bullshit. Like the crack-dealer business model, there’s only a few spots at the top of any particular accumulation pyramid. There’s only one Roosh. Only one Richard La Ruina. The pickup pyramid isn’t even a lucrative one. Unless you are able to dislodge one of the top guys then the best money remains in coaching bootcamps, residentials and one-on-ones…. which is exchanging your skill in an expert system for an hourly/daily wage. But I digress.

The office cubicle is a physical and mental prison. Manosphere guys write plenty about the latter, how by suppressing your natural inclinations to fit into corporate culture you are betatising yourself and allowing yourself to be sucked into a hoop-jumping frame of work hard – take orders – get rewarded by status increment. I agree, mostly. It’s also a physical prison because you lock you body into a seated position for hours away from natural sunlight and fossilise. When I woke up that first bright morning after resigning, the office shackles casts off, I immediately set about shaking off the cobwebs and stretching my limbs.

For two years I answered to no-one. My life was an unbroken flow of doing whatever the fuck I wanted whenever the fuck I wanted. It was liberating. I shook off the beta, I shook off the worker-drone frame, and I developed that chill relaxed self-satisfied vibe that attracts women. I recommend it to anyone who has the financial means to do so. But it comes with downsides.

You’ll be wanting coffee and porridge after such a long sleep?

While my vibe and health improved, my subconscious went into a Cthulhu sleep. Enjoy it, it’s what you need, he said and began his centuries slumber. But after a while he began to stir. The problem of foregoing all external discipline is that you must generate it internally. Introverted, motivated, high-self regulators like me can do so for long periods without folding in on themselves. But there are limits. There’s always Dissipation Monkey chattering in your ear… “Ease off, you’ve earned it”… “Might as well drink the whole bottle of whiskey, it’s not like you need to get up for work tomorrow”…. “No need to shower. Skyrim doesn’t care if you smell”… left unchecked the little bastard will dissolve your work ethic and go-getting masculine energy until you become a wop.

I started to feel it. Two years living in a bubble without accountability and I could feel myself wopping out. I’d quit my job to build up the masculine pillars in my life, to gain independence and a good vibe, to get more time to live my life well, but I was neglecting the most important pillar of all – self-sufficiency. Men are the power stations of humanity, self-motivated machines of economic surplus which the herd lives off (i.e. women and children). The male drive is to produce and to stand independent. Lose that and you lose much of your masculine confidence. There’s a reason we all look down on losers.

Non-Italian woppery

As I felt my subconscious awaken I knew where it was headed. I’d need to go back to work. The question wasn’t if, it was on what terms. Fortunately together with my buddy Bhodi we’d thrashed out the concept of Expert System Energy Husky. We’d identified this male need to master a system and then produce surplus with it. We’d identified the joy that comes from grappling with an amorphous blob of uncooperative reality until our application of skill and sweat fashioned it into a useful outcome to serve our needs. Your husky needs to go for walkies. You can ask him to lie by the sofa for a while and he’ll obey, but left idle long enough he’ll get agitated. First a whimper and scratching of paws, and eventually yelping and barking at the door to go out. ESEH can be trained. As my revulsion for the corporate world wore off I started to find reasons to like going back to my career.

  • It’s mentally challenging.
  • I have lots of responsibility.
  • I get to wear cool suits.
  • I’m surrounded by high-achieving, reliable, competent men.
  • I learn new things about new businesses every day.
  • My brain gets a workout that will protect it’s higher order functionings as I age.
  • I get to deploy technical skills I spent years acquiring.

You can NLP yourself into enjoying your job. Dale Carnegie wrote a book about it. It’s part of a wider process of Reality Weaving (post to come). I very consciously NLP’d myself based on the rewards of mastering an expert system and not on the cash. It’s so wrong to put yourself into the frame of this is an unpleasant imposition I grind though only because it pays the bills. That’s pronouncing a death sentence on your vibe.

Much of this came to me while on mushrooms.


  1. Krauser, great post. Glad to see you’ve come to the realization that the “freedom porn” lifestyle is a blind alley. Too much of the Game community is caught up in this trap.

    Men evolved to be Progenitors: to create, to build, to work in some fashion in order to produce significant rewards. I agree that, if you are a man who is NOT doing this in some way every day you are not a man – and your masculinity to girls will suffer

    Some thoughts:

    The only thought about the German slogan I care to make: for 60 years the West is trapped in a Matrix of lies and obfuscation. Meanwhile our global elite is not actually living themselves by the shibboleths they spew to the masses. This tells you something.

    There is a reason why the Anglo once owned the world, they had a backbone.

    A great book: “Masculinity” by Harvey Mansfield, available on Amazon. A Harvard philosopher well versed in the ancients.

    The secret teaching in that book is the chapter on “Manly Nihilism”. Nietzsche and Teddy Roosevelt and others. Man creating order and his own reality out of chaos. Its worth reading

    Keep up the good work

  2. Something that i have conflict with in looking for a career is what job to take to allow myself to travel and experience the world. Being 20 and fairly inexperienced compared to the normal high paid workers i’d have to be stuck in a 9-5 office job for a long time until i could give up any commitments and go after the world. What do you reckon? [You’ve basically got three choices: (1) find a job that you enjoy doing. These are usually poorly paid, so you’ll be working most of the year (2) find a well paid job. You accept that your time working may be subpar but it will fund time off to compensate (3) start a business. This is high risk / high reward and guaranteed to be very hard work. K]

  3. Thanks for the writeup Nick. You actually wrote this at the perfect time because i got given an unfair dismissal at my job today purely on the grounds that i was simply not liked. They had made up an excuse to lay me off and used the company policy in their favour to do so with an inability to defend myself.

    My problem has always been fitting in because i’ve always been a natural when it comes to independence and leadership. I guess my alpha male characteristics has always been there. Unable to be pussy whipped by my line manager who i might add was a feminist.
    So i’m not stuck inbetween 2 minds, whether to go it alone and register myself as self employed, or to stick it out and keep looking for that ‘perfect’ job that will give me satisfaction.

    I think inside everyone is a burning desire to offer value to the world. A passion or a burning need to make a difference.

    I think as long as we fulfill that itch, whether it’s through a traditional job, blogger or as an entrepreneur, then we will always feel satisfied.

    Life is never really about working 4-hour weeks… For what purpose?
    It’s not so that we could spend extra time playing video games or farting around in a beach all day.

    Man must work. We are born and wired to perform labour and to achieve something that is far greater than ourselves. Doing anything but that is simply going against our masculinity is in part, one of the things that needs to be employed in order to be a complete man.

    I’ve always understood this, which is why my mission is to leave the 9-5 and to free up time to embark on things that will make a difference, whether it makes me money or not. That will be besides the point since i will have a business that will be supporting me along the way πŸ™‚

    As my family always says… Always have a plan B.

    Keep the posts coming πŸ™‚

  4. Much needed post that the people who need it most won’t be seeing, with the plethora of internet marketers nowadays hypnotizing the weak with great sales copy.

  5. Does this mean you’re choosing to go back to being a higher beta? [No. K.]

  6. Will be interesting to see how this affects your Game. Fascinating and couldn’t ask for a better interlocutor-keep up the good work, K!

  7. I work harder now then when I had a “real” job… and I don’t even do workshops! [which is something the freedom pornographers don’t properly recognise. Four hour work week indeed! Running your own business is real work, not a holiday. K.]

  8. Interesting ideas about motivation and having a project.

    I suppose you could say that I’ve achieved the freedom porn lifestyle, but I started way back before it was a thing, and the cost of success was a decade or two of debilitating hand to mouth poverty. But like with any craft, with practice comes proficiency, and even incompetent entrepreneurs hit on a winning strategy if they keep in the game long enough.

    But you might be right that going it alone isn’t the most efficient use of time to make money, on average. I think the reason many of us do it is more temperamental than financial. Giant overblown egos that don’t believe in failure, a will to take over the world one piece at a time, and no sense of financial satiation.

    But on your point, ya, it’s about the money, but it’s not only about the money. A motivating project that you are into is a reward.

  9. I wonder how this will affect your game strategy.

    You’ve had lots of time to dedicate to gaming girls. Long facebook chats with girls over long periods of time to draw them in and keep them hot. Proper amounts of time with girls to convert their souls. The ability to spend a few hours with a girl in the middle of the afternoon.

    Will be very interested to see if you need to change strategies with less free time available.

  10. Pingback: Linkage Is Good For You: I Have Arrived | Society of Amateur Gentlemen

  11. “There is no better or more efficient way of earning cash than learning a trade / expert system and then exchanging your skills for an hourly/daily wage. ”

    Hey K, I’m still a young’in having graduated from a university in a highly skilled area (related to the energy sector) and I cannot for the life of me get a fucking well paying job.

    The first blow is realising your degree means shit, the second is realising all that time you wasted at uni (not all wasted, some of it i was wasted) could have been spent getting experience in any area job or discipline.

    I have very much the freedom porn junkie the last few months (as you suspect it’s not working out) and had this deep feeling in the pit of my stomach that learning a trade any kind of sought after trade would be the key to living the life I want (men are built to use skills).[ I vaguely remember a reference to the value of non scalable occupations in nicholas taleb’s black swan]

    Now reading your post it’s kind of clicked that the bullshit tim ferriss et al have been peddling is not easy to get.

    Could you expand on examples of what you mean by a trade/expert system ? What could I offer in the UK that would be just as prized if i decided to up root and go live in, say Slovakia for a few months?

    Cheers, between these posts and Roosh’s they have been keeping me halfway sane while i figure out what my next step is. [You are unlucky enough to be graduating at the worst time possible. I graduated right into the middle of the late-1990s hiring frenzy in London. Getting that first job that puts you on a path is so important and I had a helping hand with timing…. I read that Taleb book and agreed with him, you have to be crazy to try a scaleable industry as your Plan A… I’m mid-career, having worked in banking for 9 years, I doubt you have my current options. You have to earn your way to that position by hard work, good decisions and a bit of luck. For now, just get your head down for a couple of years to build the skill, assuming you can land that first job. As for expert systems, look for anything that provides real value to real businesses and has a skill set that has to be mastered through intelligence, application and effort. Some examples are the tradtional professions (law, medicine, accounting) plus newer things like computer programming, risk & compliance, investment management etc. You have to find a space in your discipline. It’s not easy. One of the big reasons mature men are attractive to women is because they’ve solved the problems younger guys like you are still struggling with. K.]

  12. what’s the reasoning behind picking a Nazi concentration camp slogan for your article? it seems highly cynical as of the people who walked through the gate that you chose to depict very few walked free, no matter how hard they worked. [That’s where the phrase was popularised. K.]

    • Yes, and that is exactly why it seems tasteless to use it for a popular blog. I have probably been a bit brain washed by the German education system but you don’t think there is something wrong with using a phrase that symbolises the death of millions of people? No matter how well it works as a title for your article (which I like btw), “Arbeit macht frei” has been tainted by history and should not be used lightheartedly. (And I am not German, in case you would like to argue that I am on some sort of guilt trip.)

  13. What’s cool about suits?
    Stuffy and formal, nothing more ‘restricting’ than a tie around the neck ….

  14. Would appreciate an addendum to this post, four years later. You stepped off the rat-race treadmill, then consciously rationalized your return. I suspect you hopped back off afterward — I myself have gone through the cycle several times already. Again I’m feeling the pull to go back, Wondering if you have any new insight to offer. Thanks.

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