Justin’s note: Russia is Public Enemy No. 1.
At least, that’s what the mainstream media is saying. According to most news outlets, Russia hacked Hillary’s email server. It’s said they rigged last year’s presidential election. And now, they’re supposedly using social media to divide the United States.
The New York Times recently said these attacks represent "an unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy."
Now, that may be true. But I still can’t help but wonder if the average American should be worried about Russia.
So, I asked Doug Casey to weigh in on this matter…
Justin: Doug, just how big of a threat is Russia to the U.S. right now?
Doug: This is a tempest in a tiny little toilet bowl. The Russians are not a threat at all.
I’ve often described Russia as being nothing more than a gun store attached to a gas station in the middle of a wheat field. And that’s all it is. It’s not an economic power.
The country suffers from chronic alcoholism, and is in perhaps terminal demographic decline. It’s not an economic power. It’s not even a military power anymore. This hysteria about the Russians is crazy. It’s a fabrication of what Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. They’re in back of this spate of Russophobia as well as the insane sport wars the U.S. is fighting all over the world.
Justin: So, they’re not a threat to the U.S. in the traditional sense. But what about in today’s digital world?
Doug: In other words, did they hack the election? That impresses me as ridiculous on its face. For all we know, if some foreign computer was addressing U.S. voting machines, maybe it was a couple of Russian teenagers playing around. Maybe they decided to set up a Facebook presence, one being pro-Muslim, one anti-Muslim. Maybe one pro-gun, anti-gun; or pro-black, anti-black. And were just experimenting to see how it worked out. And maybe some Russian bought a few thousand dollars of political advertising as a goof. So what?
And why should this only be the Russians? People all over the world can set up Facebook presences or buy a few thousand dollars of advertising, a trivial amount. I mean, it’s not even enough to be called a rounding error. Then you get some politically motivated American hysterics trying to make it into a big deal.
Even if the Russian government were directly or indirectly involved in trying to influence the U.S. elections, the answer is, “Why not?”
Justin: What do you mean?
Doug: U.S. elections influence the rest of the world. The Russians, the Europeans, Koreans, Chinese—everybody—have a huge stake in who the Kardashian-watching Walmart shoppers vote for in the quadrennial popularity contest. If the U.S. Government didn’t have hundreds of military bases around the world, and didn’t control the world’s financial system, they wouldn’t care nearly as much.
Not only that, the U.S. has a long history of actively, violently, and directly influencing the elections in foreign countries in every way possible, most recently in the Ukraine. And if that doesn’t work, fomenting a coup d’etat.
Most of what’s in the news, certainly its interpretation, is make-believe by who knows who. You have a talking-head newsreader, repeating what’s on the teleprompter. The people who write his script haven’t been on the scene either. The news is like a group of kids playing the game of telephone. But worse, because kids don’t have an agenda. Most of this is hysteria fomented by denizens of the cesspool known as the Democratic Party. It’s a gigantic pot calling a tiny little kettle black.
I’m much more concerned about various Americans hacking election machines. They’ve got a vastly more direct interest in who wins than the Russians, or any other foreigners.
Justin: So, it’s obvious you’re not worried about Russia. But why do you think so many other people are?
Doug: Americans—in particular elements of the U.S. Government—are just looking for a foreign enemy at this point—someone to blame for whatever problems they have. And the Never Trump people are looking for something, real or fabricated, to pin on him.
It used to be—back in the ’70s—that Americans would blame the Saudis for making the price of oil too high, or maybe too low, and then they’d say, “Well, we’ll just confiscate their assets here in the U.S.” It’s helpful to have a foreign enemy for domestic problems.
This dangerous meme started floating around in the U.S. The type of thing you’d expect only from a banana republic, where it’s SOP to fabricate some excuse to nationalize—which is to say steal—foreign property. And then the Chinese became the enemy of the day, and needed to be punished for filling U.S. stores with affordable merchandise. Now the North Koreans are the enemy of the day—a complete non-entity of a little country. Certainly, no threat to the U.S.—unless you provoke them with annual military exercises and multiple carrier groups off their coast, as we do. The North Koreans may be a problem for the South Koreans, the Chinese, the Japanese, and others in the region. It’s insane to make them into a U.S. problem.
Justin: Don’t forget the Mexicans. Haven’t you heard? They took all our manufacturing jobs.
Doug: Yeah, the Mexicans. They’re an excellent excuse to “unite” Americans. The problem is that Americans barely even have a culture anymore. And, assuming being united is a good thing, which is questionable, it’s now impossible anyway. We’re now “multicultural”—Mexicans, Somalis, Kenyans, Iraqis, Pakistanis—people that generally don’t understand what it means to be an American. Nor do they particularly care to find out. The days of Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best are in the distant past.
Today’s Russians are actually more culturally similar to the old America than the new multicultural U.S. is.
Justin: What about the U.S. government? What if anything should they do to prevent foreign “trolls” from influencing the political discourse in this country?
Doug: The government is always looking for an excuse to “do something,” and solve an imaginary problem. As I said before, I’m much more concerned about domestic than foreign enemies. For one thing, there are a lot more of them—there are more communists in the typical U.S. university than there likely are in all of Russia. And, apart from that, how are they supposed to stop foreigners from having opinions, and dispensing them to Americans? Have a news blackout from abroad in the months before every election?
In the end, it all just exposes what a charade “democracy” is in today’s world. The voters in the U.S. can be swayed as easily as the mob at the funeral in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, listening first to Brutus then to Marc Antony. People elect candidates based on emotional impressions, hearsay, and fake news. It’s quite ridiculous, and embarrassing.
I guess they just want to make sure all the fake news is domestic in origin…
Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.
Doug: My pleasure.
Justin’s note: Every month, Doug shares his unique insights in The Casey Report, our flagship publication.
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Today, lots of praise for Doug’s essay on the destruction of the dollar:
As succinct and pertinent as anything you have ever written. Unfortunately, Congress and the presidency reflect the people who elected them, and the electorate is completely ignorant about how wealth is created. So is the ruling class.
It's not just that our educational system has eliminated economics and civics from the curriculum. Small producers of wealth have been demolished by the likes of Walmart, Target, Staples and so many others who have concentrated the distribution system into the hands of a few very wealthy people and the funds they control.
All the small businesses that have disappeared have taken their knowledge of production of wealth with them. The concentration in huge institutions has led to the switch from a producing culture to a consuming culture. I have hope that the process can be reversed, but its fading fast. Keep up the great work.
I could not find any false logic nor false wisdom in any part of your article. I was amazed at its clarity and simplicity and its profundity.
Great article. The way to prosperity is through capitalism, not government intervention—or communism, socialism, or corporatism. Until majority in USA realize that, I feel the future of this country is bleak.
I am continually amazed and pleased at how clear-thinking and observing Doug Casey is. And it is depressing to read the myopic and just plain stupid (which may be the same thing as myopic) comments from readers on his essays. His “Destruction of the Dollar” essay is at once both the pinnacle and an all-encompassing assessment of the current situation in the U.S. His insight and articulateness have produced a valuable gift for those who have the ability to understand.
He has jumped ship to Argentina. I picked Switzerland, however, not wanting to be car-dependent, and valuing the independent freedom philosophy of the people there. I will pack up and move as soon as I am able, financially and for family reasons.
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