Chris’ note: I was going to write to you today about the rally in bitcoin. But in light of the dramatic events on Capitol Hill, I’m shining the spotlight instead on the “big picture” view of what’s going on.
You see, yesterday’s mobbing of the Capitol is part of a bigger theme our cofounder Doug Casey has been writing about for years. As you’ll learn below in the Q&A we first published in our Casey Daily Dispatch e-letter last November, Doug believes we’re on the edge of a culture war that could break up the United States.
It’s led him to conclude that we’re in for the most turbulent decade in living memory. As usual, Doug holds nothing back in the conversation below. So if you’re easily offended, you may want to read something else.
Doug Casey: I wrote an article two months ago explaining the six reasons why I thought Biden was going to win… and why this was going to be the most important election in U.S. history – certainly since that of 1860, which put Abraham Lincoln in office.
The 2020 election wasn’t just a political election with economic consequences. It’s much more serious. We’re at a major cultural turning point in the U.S. In fact, we’re on the edge of a cultural war. It could devolve into an actual civil war, as unlikely as that may sound to some.
People in the blue counties and red counties can’t even talk to each other anymore. They no longer share values or have the same views on what’s right and wrong, good or evil. Many actually hate each other.
I hasten to add that the unpleasantness of 1861 to 1865 was not a civil war; it was a failed war of secession. That’s a very different thing. A civil war is one where two or more groups are fighting for the control of the same territory and the same central government. A civil war, if it happens, won’t just be about political and fiscal differences, but also cultural differences. That’s much more serious.
Rachel Bodden, managing editor, Casey Research: Do you think there is a higher chance of this if Trump wins or if Biden wins? Or do you think we’re just at a boiling point, regardless?
Doug: You can’t solve moral and cultural differences by passing more laws. If you put antagonistic tribes in the same political entity you’re always asking for trouble. As recently as 50 or 60 years ago there were some regional differences in the U.S., sure. But we generally shared the same values, traditions, beliefs, history, language, and religion. Race was a problem. But – at least before Washington started herding blacks into vertical ghettoes, putting them on welfare, and destroying their families – things were getting better. Now the U.S. has turned into a multicultural domestic empire. Empires never end well.
The best possible outcome we can have today is for the people in the left-leaning, so-called blue counties, and the right-leaning, so-called red counties, to separate in the manner of cantons in Switzerland.
Swiss cantons [Switzerland’s equivalent of states] pay a relatively small national defense tax. But all other government functions and taxes are local. In fact, that’s pretty much the way the U.S. states once were. A return to that, however, is a longshot bet. Because the federal government has intruded into absolutely every area of American life.
Regarding the colors, red and blue, I said “so-called” because that differentiation was only made about 20 years ago. Historically, leftists have always been associated with red, not blue. But somebody in the media turned it on its head and associated them with the color blue – the traditional conservative color. Nobody said, “Wait… that’s ridiculous. Red has been the color of the left since at least the days of Karl Marx…”
Like so many things in today’s Bizarro World, even traditional color associations have been reversed, further confusing the public. That’s only a tangential observation, I know, but it’s worth noting.
In any event, the red and blue people are viscerally at odds. Trump wasn’t the cause; he was only the catalyst. But it’s broken up families. They can no longer voice even polite political opinions among each other.
Really deep philosophical differences divide Americans about moral issues, and the way the world should work. We’re now looking at irreconcilable differences. The best way to solve them is for people to go their separate ways, as opposed to fight for control of the central government, and then impose their views on the losers.
I expect the U.S. is going to change form radically over the next few generations – much more even than over the last 50 years. Allow me to make another seemingly outrageous prediction: The U.S. will probably break up into different regions to start with.
But the U.S. is already no longer America. America was more than just a piece of geography; it was actually a unique and excellent idea, one that its citizens shared. But now many want to disavow everything from Columbus Day to Thanksgiving… its principles, its founders, and their ideas.
Many young people have been completely indoctrinated by four years of college, where they’ve been bankrupted financially and mentally; almost all the professors are hard-core leftists. The same is true of the high schools and grade schools, where kids absorb concepts by osmosis. Surveys show most millennials think socialism is better than capitalism.
Rachel: Do you think the U.S. is like the “Stans” – arbitrarily drawn lines in a country with no culture or shared beliefs holding us together?
Doug: Increasingly. The main things holding the country together now aren’t values and traditions, but artifacts like fast food franchises, hotel chains, big-box stores, the Interstate Highway System, and government-issued ID. And what you said is interesting, because most of the countries in the world today are artificial constructs. Most countries in the world are… on the edge. It’s not just the U.S.
Every country in Africa was assembled from completely arbitrary lines drawn in 19th-century boardrooms in Europe. As was every country in the Middle East and Central Asia. Frankly, even countries like China are likely to break up into five or six different entities corresponding to numerous local languages, cultures, and traditions. The Communist Party is widely – but quietly – viewed as a scam to benefit mainly its members. Of course, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang are all actually different countries that have antagonistic relations with the Han Chinese and Beijing.
We’ll see not only the breakup of the ill-advised European Union, but also the breakup of European countries.
The colors on the map are always running. And this is one of those times. It’s like the paleontological concept of punctuated equilibrium. Things go along for a long time without changing, and then all of a sudden they change radically.
I think we’re at a point like that right now, both in the U.S. and around the world. It’s going to be a turbulent time, lasting at least through this decade… probably longer. It will resemble the 1930s and 1940s a lot more than the 1950s and 1960s.
P.S. Chris here again – Doug’s big-picture outlook has profound implications for your wealth. If he’s right, and we’re heading into the most turbulent decade in living memory, you’ll need to think long and hard about wealth protection as well as wealth creation. More on that in future dispatches.