Enjoy The Decline – review

May 2, 2013

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….

Not strictly accurate

Not strictly accurate

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.

Minimalists design their own covers

Minimalists design their own covers

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.

That's you, that is

That’s you, that is

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:

  1. 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.
  2. It’s a concise single volume with relatively mild tone that can be passed on to a young lad you think ready for unplugging.


  1. Self-published trash from a corporate wash-out who advocates suicide. Try to get it right.

    Bloggers might have a tad more credibility if they’d stop sucking giant cocks of CreateSpace tripe to short-stroke each other and show a bit more integrity. [Normally this comment would be on my hater-delete list, but I think it shows what Aaron meant about how living well enrages Leftists and losers. K.]

  2. I am very pleased to see you posting more often again Krauser!

    This advice comes just at the right time in my life and I really appreciate you, roissy, rollo et al writing these blogs to educate the next generation. I am a 20 year old young male, healthy, intelligent and ambitious (oh yeah and modest too) studying Engineering at a top uni.

    It’s unbelievable how when I graduate, everyone will leech off my work and effort.

    50% effective taxes in Western Europe are normal. 20 hours of my 40 hour week will be spent providing flat screen TVs and Iphones to 3rd generation unemployed chav families, new shoes and beauty treatments to irresponsible young single mums, funding Women’s studies and other White-Male/Western Culture Hate Groups in the education system.

    What concerns me the most is how all this decadence in the form of feminism and socialism is starting to have a direct impact on my life. It is no longer something I only notice on American TV shows, or something that happens abroad, in far away countries and you would only hear about it on the internet maybe.

    Earlier this year I applied for internships. I found plenty of them which were for women only.
    …Girls make up about 10% of my course and imagine the outrage there would be for “Men Only Internships”

    The students union has special toilets for people who “do not identify within the gender binary system”.

    Despite 52% of the students being female (56% for Post-Graduates, in 2001 it was 60%), there is a Womens Officer to promote womens interests though no equivalent for men who are a minority (there are similar positions for other ethnic groups aswell, though not for white students who are not a majority).

    It’s crazy. ridiculous. If you couple this with the decline in personal and economic freedom, rising taxes, police state, wealth gaps………….Second world countries could ironically become the best places to live. I am already looking into moving to South America when I am older.

    • Here’s what to do bro: Steal the education you get and find a job somewhere in the world where you won’t be taxed into oblivious.

    • @ Parasite

      Leaving the high tax zones where you’ll be shackled to debt and chav farming is the best decision you can make. A couple of friends of mine are software engineers, doing high level coding and data mining. They don’t have an office, instead they do most of their business online and spend their time living like kings all over the world, in countries where their salary is worth a fortune.

      So make sure you learn a trade that is in demand and can be done anywhere, and you’ll be able to live your life any way you want.

  3. Krauser, how does your advice change for men who are already married with children, or may do that.

    You said in the London Real interview you personally haven’t ruled out marriage at some later point.

    Would you adopt minimalism in that situation as well?

    Does the “decline” apply to “Winner Take All” men who have succeeded in the lottery of scaleable careers in your view? (you talked about this in your ‘Accumulation’ post) Or are these men exempt from these rules


  4. The topic of this post coincidentally correlates with the decline of Europe in the downward spiral of the euro and like a drowning man, it’s pulling the nations of Europe down with it. I think the author can use the metaphor of high value man in comparing with nations and economy at large to establish a universality of the subject. Today’s world is infected with the mental disease of bubble-ism and it also translates into economics like the housing bubble. The general difference is that when a person’s bubble pops, the person suffers, but when a nation’s bubble pops, its citizens suffer. Wishful thinking and blind following have many converts until reality which is the highest authority crushes down on the tower of Babel and its prisoners. The truth shall set you free.

  5. Obama won bcause he wasn’t Mitt Romney. I’m a Republican (former Libertarian, will probably switch back after Rand Paul’s 2016 run) and backed Ron Paul, but would have voted for Obama rather than Romney (if forced to make a choice between the two of them) because of the corrupt nature of Republican party behavior during the campaign. That was truly a disgrace.

    • Obama won because it was a gut shot call between people who knew they will be paying off the debt with their taxes and those who think that they wont be so they must as well keep racking it up. The swing voter was the single white female. As it is in the UK. Both the Republicans and the COnservatives are seeing long trend decline amongst young women voters. The dependency culture of ‘sisters doing it for themselves as long as the state (men) bankrolls it’ is strong.
      Meanwwhile the US is projected to have a debt/GDP similar to Italy’s in a few years. Another recession. In the next few years and all of this insanity is going to come crashing down.

  6. Another great post. Thanks Nick

  7. “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.”

    I don’t think it is a good idea to settle for just any trade that brings in cash. When you are young, your brain is very plastic and acquiring new skills is remarkably easier than at 35. A more fruitful alternative would be to pursue a university career in a high income field that allows you to work anywhere in the world. Showing up in a foreign country with nothing more than a suitcase and a job prospect will be an excellent learning experience. Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend time in college, get the required trade qualifications to work in the booming Australian mining sector. Those tradies make $100-200k a year. Either way, working overseas and changing locations once in a while forces you to travel light so you end up avoiding accumulating useless crap you don’t really need.

    Once you got some qualifications in a high paying job you can downshift all you want, either working a few days a week or interlacing six months of work with six months of holiday.

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