The New American Nightmare

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by Doug Casey, International Man:

An International Man lives and does business wherever he finds conditions most advantageous, regardless of arbitrary borders. He’s diversified globally, with passports from multiple countries, assets in several jurisdictions, and his residence in yet another. He doesn’t depend absolutely on any country and regards all of them as competitors for his capital and expertise.

Living as an international man has always been an interesting possibility. But few Americans opted for it, since the U.S. used to reward those who settled in and put down roots. In fact, it rewarded them better than any other country in the world, so there was no pressing reason to become an international man.

Things change, however, and being rooted like a plant – at least if you have a choice – is a suboptimal strategy if you wish to not only survive, but prosper. Throughout history, almost every place has at some point become dangerous for those who were stuck there. It may be America’s turn.

For those who can take up the life of an international man, it’s no longer just an interesting lifestyle decision. It has become, at a minimum, an asset saver, and it could be a lifesaver. That said, I understand the hesitation you may feel about taking action; pulling up one’s roots (or at least grafting some of them to a new location) can be almost as traumatic to a man as to a vegetable.

As any intelligent observer surveys the world’s economic and political landscape, he has to be disturbed – even dismayed and a bit frightened – by the gravity and number of problems that mark the horizon. We’re confronted by economic depression, looming financial chaos, serious currency inflation, onerous taxation, crippling regulation, a developing police state, and, worst of all, the prospect of a major war. It seems almost unbelievable that all these things could affect the U.S., which historically has been the land of the free.

How did we get here? An argument can be made that things went bad because of miscalculation, accident, inattention, and the like. Those elements have had a role, but it is minor. Potential catastrophe across the board can’t be the result of happenstance. When things go wrong on a grand scale, it’s not just bad luck or inadvertence. It’s because of serious character flaws in one or many – or even all – of the players.

So is there a root cause of all the problems I’ve cited? If we can find it, it may tell us how we personally can best respond to the problems.

In this article, I’m going to argue that the U.S. government, in particular, has been overrun by the wrong kind of person. It’s a trend that’s been in motion for many years but has now reached a point of no return. In other words, a type of moral rot has become so prevalent that it’s institutional in nature. There is not going to be, therefore, any serious change in the direction in which the U.S. is headed until a genuine crisis topples the existing order. Until then, the trend will accelerate.

The reason is that a certain class of people – sociopaths – are now fully in control of major American institutions. Their beliefs and attitudes are insinuated throughout the economic, political, intellectual, and psychological/spiritual fabric of the U.S.

What does this mean to you, as an individual? It depends on your character. Are you the kind of person who supports “my country, right or wrong,” as did most Germans in the 1930s and 1940s? Or the kind who dodges the duty to be a helpmate to murderers? The type of passenger who goes down with the ship? Or the type who puts on his vest and looks for a lifeboat? The type of individual who supports the merchants who offer the fairest deal? Or the type who is gulled by splashy TV commercials?

What the ascendancy of sociopaths means isn’t an academic question. Throughout history, the question has been a matter of life and death. That’s one reason America grew; every American (or any ex-colonial) has forebears who confronted the issue and decided to uproot themselves to go somewhere with better prospects. The losers were those who delayed thinking about the question until the last minute.

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