Tag Archives: Captain Capitalism

The Bookshelf: Enjoy the Decline

Are you young, unemployed,in debt, and worried about the future? Is the decline of the West getting you down? Does the prospect of a desk job, marriage, and kids sound bleak to you?

Fear not, for Aaron Clarey, the infamous Captain Capitalism, will provide. Having already advised you to eschew university, he is now giving you advice on eschewing the modern life path as a whole in his new book, Enjoy the Decline.

Enjoy the Decline, like the rest of the Captain’s books and his blog, is written in a straightforward manner, there is no flowery BS here. The writing is engaging and entertaining and keeps you reading.

It also seems like he may have read my reviews of his earlier books, because, in a departure from his earlier books, it reads like he actually got someone to proofread Enjoy the Decline. I did not notice the grammatical errors and awkward sentences which plagued his earlier books.

The essential argument of Enjoy the Decline is that America is in a terminal, nigh irreversible decline and you should accept that fact. Having adapted yourself to this reality, you should instead spend your time enjoying your one, finite life instead of investing in a society will not only fail to reward you for your investment in it, but actually punish you for it. He then provides some advice to do so.

Clarey marshal’s a good amount of economic data showing you just how screwed the US is and, by extension, how screwed you are, you poor Yank. He supports his contentions. Having done so, he then tells you what yo do about it.

Life is too short for wasting on being angry or sad about, instead the Captain tells you to live it up in hedonism. Work less, avoid (non-STEM) university, live minimalistically, take advantage of government programs, and don’t save for retirement are just some of the advice he gives that would make your mother cry when implemented. He gives some less controversial advice to enjoy your friends and family and to choose your partner well.

The book is kind of depressing and it seems like a metaphysical defeat, on the other hand reality is reality, and I don’t see western civilization improving any time soon, so maybe we are defeated. The advice is solid if you accept the premises. I plan on taking some of the advice but, as a government bureaucrat (parasite!) with a cushy job, only to a degree.

My main problem with the book comes from the Plunder chapter, where he advises taking advantage of government funding and private charity. While I have no problem with people working for government (see government bureaucrat above) or using government programs when needed, I believe men should avoid the regular use of government programs for their own sakes. It will create dependency in a man, not something a man should allow. Also, taking advantage of government is one thing, but taking advantage of private charity just rubs me wrong.

That being said, the book was a good read and it’s an excellent introduction to the MGTOW theme that exists throughout the manosphere.

Recommendation:

I would highly recommend reading Enjoy the Decline. It’s a perspective on life that you don’t often hear from the mainstream and even if you don’t plan to go Galt, its good to expose yourself to a different way of thinking and living and some of the advice may still be applicable.

I also think it would make a decent red pill starter guide for some types of people.

Enjoy the Decline

****

Reviews of previous books by Aaron Clarey:
Worthless
Behind the Housing Crash
Top Shelf

The Bookshelf: Captain Capitalism: Top Shelf

As mentioned previously, Captain Capitalism (ie: Aaron Clarey) has been a large influence for this blog, so when he released his new book, Top Shelf, I immediately ordered it on Amazon.

The book itself is a simple collection of what CC thought his best posts from his 8 years of prolific  blogging. Coming in at 400+ pages, the book has a whole lot of mini-essays on a wide range of topics primarily in the fields of economics, gender relations, bachelorhood, politics, and education.

Having read through his entire archive about a year ago (a lot of reading), I can’t think of any posts that should have been included that he left out. In addition, there were some good posts in it that I forgotten about. The book is very comprehensive.

The essays are all enjoyable, often thought-provoking, and usually informative. This is good stuff.

Everything is written in an engaging manner by the Captain at the top of his game. Read the first page or two of his blog; if you like what you read, you’ll really enjoy this book.

Grammar nazis may be concerned about the grammar and typos in the book. There are a lot of them, as there are in many blogs, and the Captain made no bones about the fact that he left the original typos in. Overall, I found this doesn’t really hurt the book or its readability, but if you’re OCD about these kinds of things, I might as well give you fair warning.

Another problem that comes up is that in converting his webposts to book format the links and the occasional graph are unavailable. You can understand all the essays even without them, but sometimes you know you’re missing something.

Now, the first question when considering this type of book is, why should I pay for something that I can get for free on his blog?

There are 3 primary reasons:

1) Support the author. The Captain has been giving us free content for almost a decade, paying . This of course doesn’t really benefit you directly, so if you’re a strict homo economicus this won’t really be convincing. Although, if the Captain is not working because his website is providing a minimalistic living, he has more time to devote to giving us more posts.

2) Save time. As I said, I read through the entirety of the CC archive about a year ago, it took me about two weeks during a really slow time at work. It required dozens of hours. Top Shelf skims the cream off and gives it to you in a format that can be read in an evening or two. It let’s you get the Cappy Cap goodness without such a time investment.

3) Hard copy format. I find it a lot more convenient and comfortable to read from a book than off a computer screen and Top Shelf let’s you read dead tree-style. Convenient.

Now comes my biggest complaint about the book and something I’m hoping Aaron will fix in his future books:

Top Shelf needs an index.

There are dozens (I don’t know exactly how many because there’s no index and flipping through counting them would be a pain) of mini-essays  in this book and they do not seem to be arranged in any particular order. If I want to find, re-read, or reference a particular essay, it requires a lot of page-flipping. A basic index listing the page each particular essay is on would be handy.

This complaint aside, I found the book well worth it.

Recommendation:

Buy this book, it is worth it. If you like reading Captain Capitalism’s blog, this book is a must-buy.

If you’ve read his blog and for some weird reason don’t enjoy it, then you probably won’t like this book, so I can’t recommend it.

If you’re really broke, but have a lot of time on your hands then you can read his archives instead.

Other than those two exceptions, I’d recommend getting Top Shelf.

Previous reviews for other books by Aaron Clarey:
Behind the Housing Crash
Worthless

The Bookshelf: Behind the Housing Crash

The next review is of Aaron Clarey’s 2008 book Behind the Housing Crash. Clarey is probably better known in these parts by his moniker Captain Capitalism, and I’ve reviewed one of his previous books: Worthless.

Before I go on, I will mention that the Captain and his blog hold a special place here at this blog. CC was my introduction to manosphere. I had read Roissy on and off for a few years prior, but had never gone beyond that or taken it more seriously than an interesting diversion, but when I started reading CC last winter is when I really began to explore the red pill in earnest.

The book reads a lot like his blog with a similar writing style. That’s mostly good, as the Captain has an enjoyable and engaging writing style. It does have its negatives though, one aspect it shares with blog posts is that there are grammatical errors, awkward sentence constructions, and the like throughout the book. This is fine in blog posts, but just reads off in an actual book. It’s hard to fault Clarey too much for this though, the lack of an editorial process is one of the major problems with self-publishing. The editorial problems only slightly detract from the book, though, so it’s not too big a deal. In a way they

The book itself is essentially an extended diatribe against the corruption of the banking industry and developers. You can feel Aaron’s rage burn through as you read the book. The book does contain a fair amount of analysis and explanation, but at its heart it’s a screed against the greedy, corrupt fools who helped destroy our economy. I think the book benefits from this; you can find analysis of the housing crisis everywhere from every possible ideological angle, but a book detailing an insider’s rage, struggles, and resignation is something more interesting.

That’s where this book shines. The book illustrates how an idealistic young analyst trying to do his job is continually stymied, harassed, and beaten down by the system and incompetents around him until he finally simply does what the corrupt and incompetent in charge desire out of resignation. The anger, cynicism, and alienation the banking system created in this particular employees seeps through every part of this book.

If you want to know why men drop out of economic production to play video games or why there’s a “demise of guys”, this book is a great illustration of the alienation the current labour market engenders in aspiring young adult males.

The stories about his interactions with bankers and developers make this book worth reading. The book is filled with his dealings with corrupt bankers, incompetent managers, and sleazy developers and the stories will sometimes amaze you, sometimes, amuse you, and engender a fair amount of cynicism in you.

I also like his conclusion at the end of the book. Most analysis of the housing crash I’ve seen puts on the blame on their ideological boogeymen. Liberals will blame the bankers and regulators, socialists blame the capitalist system, conservatives blame the government and the irresponsible, libertarians the Fed and the government, etc.

Clarey does not shy away from blaming the bankers, the developers, irresponsible borrowers, and the perverse incentives of the banking system, although, he does excuse the Fed, who I think was partially to blame, but he goes further. The book points out what few analysts seem to, the housing crash was not just some corrupt authority figures and some idiots, it was a systemic corruption at all levels of society. He concludes with blaming the entitlement mentality and the “thin-skinned economy” where being nice is more important than being right.

This is very important. The housing crash only could come about because the entirety of society was (and is) corrupted by an entitlement mentality and people chasing after stuff they had not earned. Clarey does not shy away from coming to this conclusion.

The book ends with a little section of changes that could be made to prevent a future bubble and crash. Most of these seem reasonable to me.

Recommendation:

If you’re interested in the housing crash, want a story of a man being worn down by the system, and/or simply enjoy angry screeds against the incompetent I’d recommend the book, it is engaging, enjoyable, and informative.

If you’re a pedantic grammar-nazi I’d avoid it.

Lightning Round – 2012/06/05

Some sad news for the Manosphere: Ferd is shutting down In Mala Fide. I wrote on this already, but it bears repeating.

In other Manosphere news, the Captain is creating an intro guide with links.

INTJ’s seem overrepresented in the Manosphere. There must be something about analytical, socially awkward individuals that attracts them here.

CDM-N has some advice for Christian ladies looking to become marriageable.

Questions for budding patriarchs: do you practice and live what you preach? I haven’t, but I hope to create this.

The Captain finds a humorous video.

Interesting that this is coming from a mainstream magazine. Wonder if this will help change anything?

Waiting until her thirties can really reduce a women’s options.

Oh Spain. Too bad TNR doesn’t really connect their ideology with what’s happening there.

Only the government could lose money on a Timmies in Canada.

The social gospel types in the Catholic Church are reaping what they sowed.

(h/t Instapundit)

Lightning Round – 2012/05/01

Everybody enjoying May Day? I hope you are.

Did you know that the average person could be making $100,000 a year? The Captain does the math.

A great speech given to the Fed. Long, but read it.

“The president has a very difficult time with the business community. Most people in business and most people who are successful are Republican that’s just a fact of life.” I wonder why?

The system is hungry; it must eat. Poor Sweden.

Marriage is fundamental to the church: when it declines, so to does the church decline.

Related: Why Evangelical Princesses are un-marriageable; a great post from CMDN.

We won! Yay!?!???

How you create a mass-murderer: Teach him to hate himself, then act surprised when he externalizes that hate.

Becoming as weak as your foes doesn’t help you or them.

Shame the beta month; it looks like it could be interesting.

(ht/ SDA, AMN, CC)

The Bookshelf: Worthless and Freedom 25

Today, I am going to review two books from the manosphere: Worthless by Aaron Cleary and Freedom Twenty-Five by Frost. I read these books a month or two ago, so the reviews will be fairly short and based on what I remember, but these were the first manosphere book I read and I figure I should give some props to them for their influence, as both the Captain (though more his blog than the actual book, as I graduated a few years ago) and Frost really made me reconsider aspects of my life.

Worthless is more or less a guide to choosing a university degree. It’s a fairly short book, but it goes through a lot of the considerations someone entering university should think about. It outlines which degrees are worthwhile; ie. the STEM fields (or at least most of them) and which you should avoid ie. the liberal arts. The book pulls know punches and presents the harsh reality of the current post-secondary education system. It’s an enjoyably written screed that presents the necessary information without having so much data it overwhelms the narrative.

The one criticism is that a lot  fair amount of the data was Minnesota specific. I don’t think national data would have changed the book much, but would have been somewhat more convincing.

If you are thinking about university buy this book; if you have a loved one thinking about university, buy them this book. If neither applies to you, check it out if the subject matter interests you; it’s still a good read, but not essential.

Freedom Twenty-Five is essentially a short guide to red-pill living. If you’ve been around the manosphere for a while, you probably already know most of what is in the book. On the other hand, I’ve never seen anything else that collects and distills red pill thought in such a convenient matter. The information in there, while mostly basic red pill knowledge, covers information that would otherwise require reading hundreds of posts on dozens on blogs to acquire. The book reads well. The only complaint is that he has some braggadocio that can at is at times be tiring.  The book spoke to me because as I’ve mentioned I found a fair number of similarities between his life and mine prior to when he started his blog and quit his job. It prompted me to try the primal diet (I had known and read of it beforehand, but never tried to apply it). It was also a driver in me starting this blog to explore things for myself.

I heartily recommend the book, especially for those who are just starting to learn of the red pill. Even if you’re familiar with the manosphere, it’s a handy summary of knowledge.