International Man: Today, political risks around the world are growing rapidly.
Aside from acquiring a second passport or residency and diversifying yourself financially, what are the benefits of physically diversifying yourself and where you live?
Doug Casey: Political risks are indeed growing very, very rapidly. The COVID hysteria is international and has greatly amplified political risk everywhere.
By far, the most important reason to diversify remains getting a second passport, or at least legal permanent residency. It’s perverse, but only by becoming the de facto property of another government can you insulate yourself to some degree from the depredations of your home government. It’s a sad testimony to the state of liberty on planet Earth.
There are, however, plenty of advantages besides the political and financial ones to diversifying physically and geographically. The weather and the local culture can only be improved by moving physically to another place. Personally, I prefer mild warm weather to nasty cold weather. Culturally, I wouldn’t want to live in a place like North Korea or Saudi Arabia. Or a war zone. Or a police state.
It’s better to locate where not only the weather suits your clothes but the way people think and act also suits you. Foreigners are more likely to allow an expat his eccentricities than his own countrymen.
It can be psychologically as well as politically and financially liberating to expatriate. Most people have the mentality of medieval peasants, who felt that if they wandered over the next hill, there might be dragons. The only way you can overcome that psychological attitude is by proving to yourself there really aren’t dragons over the hill.
International Man: For years, you’ve recommended that our readers find a second crib outside of their home country as a form of diversification.
In light of the current global hysteria, what other things should people consider?
Doug Casey: Governments are unpredictable, much in the way a demented individual is. You can’t be sure exactly what they’re going to do, simply because national leaders are almost necessarily psychopaths. As a consequence, the situation is constantly changing.
For instance, when I lived in Hong Kong in the 1980s, the place was great; it was a really free, wide-open international city. It was exotic but low cost—before property prices moved up 10-fold. Since the Chinese government forced the British out, however, it’s become much more constrained. Most recently, with political violence and the COVID bugbear, Hong Kong has become a much less desirable place to live. It’s gone from being one of the freest places in the world to one of the more locked-down places in the world. And that can happen absolutely anywhere. A word to the wise.
The colors of the map on the wall are always running; nothing stays the same in terms of international politics. If you don’t want to be roadkill, it’s important to be proactive, as opposed to reactive. Plan ahead rather than trying to play catch up.
It’s possible to read the writing on the wall to some extent, though. I expect quite a few unpleasant things to develop in any number of countries. Unpleasant, at least, if you care about your personal freedom and financial opportunity.
International Man: What do you say to people who say that the US and Europe are still the best places to live?
Doug Casey: In many ways, they are. But look it at this way. In the ancient world, if you were a free man, probably the best place to live was the Roman Empire. That was true for centuries, until the 220s. It offered the highest standard of living, the most opportunity for self-realization, and the least danger of being robbed and murdered on the highway. It was an advanced, orderly society. The barbarians outside the border mostly had to grub for roots and berries while living lives that were solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. But things started going seriously badly in Rome during the 3rd century.
By the time Constantine took over early in the 4th century, Rome was turning feudal, and he started its transformation into a theocracy. Romans were no longer free citizens; they were subjects. Many were already trying to exit the empire to avoid its onerous taxes.
Still, it was a relatively good place to live. They still had the Roman baths and books. Commodities were still traded around the empire. Things basically still worked. In 378 AD, however, the barbarians won the battle of Adrianople; within two generations, the Roman world had transformed totally, absolutely, and irrevocably. It headed rapidly into the Dark Ages, where it stayed for five centuries.
Why do I bring up this bit of ancient history? It’s pretty much the way both the US and Europe are heading. They’ve gone from being free and open societies with high standards of living to following the path of Rome after Adrianople.
Tens of millions of migrants are going to overwhelm North America and Europe, and they’re going to permanently change things. Some immigrants add some spice to the stew, as it were; everybody enjoys some new ethnic cuisines. But past immigration was fairly orderly and almost all from Europe. However, if you transplant 20 million Nigerians to Canada, it’s going to look like and act like Nigeria, not what used to be Canada. That’s what’s happening on many fronts around the world today.
Is that “good” or “bad”? As a fan of Western Civilization, which is responsible for almost all the progress the world has ever made—and, yes, I understand it’s shockingly un-PC to even think that—I’d say it’s bad. But who knows what humans will say 500 years from now when—hopefully—all the action is elsewhere in the solar system, or even elsewhere in the galaxy?
International Man: The truth is, there is no “perfect place.” And at various levels, the governments of every country are engaging in destructive behaviors.
Does it come down to personal preference and finding a decent place where you can ride out a crisis?
Doug Casey: Personal preferences matter. There are four things that are important to me personally, namely, to maintain my health, maintain my wealth, maintain my personal freedom, and associate largely with people I like.
Based on that, where can you best maintain those values? It’s becoming problematical, in part because the US and China are heading toward something like World War III. This war will be fought with very different weapons and will be much more destructive than what we saw in World War II. That, however, is an entirely different discussion. For the moment, let’s just say I don’t want to be caught up in it.
One thing for sure is that this COVID hysteria is a godsend for the people that like to control other people. The public is as easily terrified as a herd of sheep. Like herd animals, they stupidly self-control by all conforming to the herd. COVID has transformed the US and Western Europe from lands of whipped dogs to lands of snitching rats. Excuse my mixing several metaphors…
Anyway, this hysteria has been so effective that I’m sure we’re going to have a COVID 2.0 and a COVID 3.0.
It’s a great setup for what the horrible people at the World Economic Forum have been talking about very overtly—The Great Reset. They recently said that in 10 years, “you’ll own nothing, and you’ll like it.” I’d dismiss them as annoying busybodies—except that they’re rich, powerful, and control the world’s governments. Worse, the hoi polloi seem to respect them. So the situation appears fairly hopeless.
Where can you run and hide at this point? Almost nowhere because the whole world is moving in the wrong direction.
The old pieces of the puzzle are going to be completely upset, and I don’t know how the new pieces are going to realign. I’m convinced that this decade is going to be one of the scariest in world history, at least on the order of 1929-1945, maybe, the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, or, maybe, the collapse of Rome itself. Definitely exciting, but not in a good way. How’s that for a bearish prediction?
It’s time to lay out options for yourself now, so you’re not reacting.
Reprinted with permission for International Man.