Editor's note: Below, Doug Casey shares his thoughts on the self-identified “elite.”
[This essay was originally published in the October 2016 issue of The Casey Report.]
Last month I made a few comments about the world’s self-identified “elite”, and also about the migrants that are plaguing Europe.
Happily, I was able to do some one-stop shopping on both of these topics when I was in New York to attend a very elitist and Globalist conference. I’m not going to name it because its organizers/sponsors are business partners of mine. And since they spent multimillions putting it together, and I pretty much despised their invitees, I’m not about to identify it exactly. Just let me say that the conclave has aspirations to become another Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove, Atlantic Council, or Davos. Same kind of people, same ideas. Uniformly bad ideas. But ideas that the public has been brainwashed into thinking are good.
A lot of people are afraid these groups control the world, or at least governments. They don’t. They’re social gatherings for high level government employees and NGO types who like to network, and feel relevant. And lots of their minions, who enjoy the rich food, pretending they’re big shots too, while listening to pontifications by actual big shots. They hope they can cozy up to them, close enough to ride a richer gravy train.
The avowed purpose of this conclave was to “build the public-private partnership”—the exact definition of fascism. So there were also lots of big league corporate types who want to “make a difference”, and rich guys who want to be known for something besides having money.
The program opened with Warren Buffett’s talk about how he didn’t need $50 billion, didn’t believe anybody else did either, and why he was a “philanthropist” who would give it all away. The avuncular Buffett is an investment genius; I enjoyed and agreed with everything he said on investing. But, like his friend Bill Gates, he’s also an autistic idiot savant. That’s someone who is a genius at one thing, and a fool at most everything else.
Most people assume that if you know about investing, you must also know about economics, which is a related discipline. But that’s completely untrue. It’s analogous to thinking that someone who knows how to drive a car also knows how one works. Economics is the study of how men go about producing and consuming; investing is the practice of allocating capital for maximum returns. Buffett’s grasp of economics is shallow, conventional, and unrelated to his success as an investor.
Furthermore, if Buffett was really a philanthropist he wouldn’t dissipate his $50 billion on poor people in Third World countries (which is where I suspect most of what’s left after administrative expenses will go). That will assuage some liberal guilt, but will vanish without a trace like water poured into the Sahara.
And actually just make the root problem worse in many ways. If he really wants to help his fellow man, he would continue compounding capital at 20%, forever. Capital makes the world wealthy; consuming or frittering away capital makes the world poor. But enough on Buffett (see here for more). He only exasperated me for about 40 minutes out of two full days.
Much worse was George Soros. He spent his time not just passively endorsing (like Buffett), but actively promoting disastrous policies. In essence, these were his major points. 1) Brexit should be overturned, regardless of the vote. 2) The EU should spend at least $200 billion a year (in addition to what individual countries spend) both to make migrants welcome, and to install a Marshall Plan for Africa. 3) All of Europe should import migrants at least proportionally to the 1mm entering Germany. He recognized that the migrants represent an “existential crisis” for Europe, but believes the solution is to accommodate them. 4) The EU should actively arm against Russia. 5) The EU in Brussels should be granted the right to tax.
As I listened to him I felt I’d been transported to Bizzarro World, or perhaps some magic land from Gulliver’s Travels, where everything is upside down, wrong is right, and black is white.
Just as much of Soros’ presentation was on migration, so was much of the rest of the conference. It’s very much on the minds of the “elite”.
His new Marshall Plan would consist of Europe and the US sending trillions to African governments to develop the Continent. Strange, really. Africa has received about a trillion of foreign aid over the last 50 years; that capital has either been wasted on uneconomic boondoggles, or shipped off to the bank accounts of the ruling class. Soros is far from naïve; he’s got to know this. I wonder what he actually hopes to accomplish, and why? After all, he’s 84 years old, and doesn’t need any more money. Well, it’s hard to be sure how some people’s minds are wired. And, as Lamont Cranston once asked, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”
Incidentally—completely contrary to conventional wisdom—I consider the much lauded Marshall Plan to have been an unnecessary and destructive boondoggle. But this isn’t the moment to explain why that’s true.
I spent a couple of hours listening to a panel entitled “Corruption in Latin America”. A bunch of ex-Presidents commiserated on how awful corruption is, and how new laws ought to be passed to stamp it out once and for all. They were all skilled, even enthusiastic, bullshit artists, who knew how to blather meaninglessly, saying nothing. They all agreed that illegal drugs were a major cause for corruption, but nobody thought to mention that maybe the problem wasn’t the drugs, but the fact they were illegal.
None of these people understood the actual causes and the nature of corruption. Which is ironic, since most of them were quite wealthy—something that’s hard to do on a Third World politician’s salary.
One especially naive panelist, representing the US State Department, said “many see the private sector as part of the problem”. What, one might ask, actually causes the problem? You might enjoy this explication that I did a few years ago.
But the short answer was supplied by Tacitus 1900 years ago. He said “The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the State”. That’s because the laws invariably have economic consequences, benefitting one group at the expense of another. The most practical way to obviate them is by paying off an official.
Naturally, nobody even broached the subject that laws themselves cause corruption. And corruption is actually not only necessary, but is encouraged, whenever economic laws are passed. Plan your life around corruption remaining endemic, no matter how much self-righteous apparatchiks blather on about it at conferences.
I listened to David Petraeus offer solutions to the world’s problems. They were what you might expect from an ex-general and CIA director. To David it’s all about using force and money “intelligently”. It never seemed to cross his mind that adventures like those in Iraq and Afghanistan ($6 trillion and counting, to accomplish absolutely nothing) might actually bankrupt the US. Or that he was intimately involved in the ongoing disaster.
My takeaway is that, after David collects say $20 million in the “private sector”, we’ll see him resurface as a candidate for the US Presidency. He’s smooth, polished, and confident. I was somewhat surprised that some general wasn’t tapped this election for a VP slot, since the military is the US Government’s most trusted branch by far. Rest assured there will be a general running in 2020.
Donald Rumsfeld also held the stage for 40 minutes. He was affable, likable, and entertaining, as are many sociopaths. Not even the faintest acknowledgement passed his lips about how the current migrant disaster was rooted in his unprovoked attacks on backward countries on the other side of the world. But why should he care? He’s already collected his $20 million in the “private sector” after many years of “service”.
Another highlight was listening to a Roundtable on “The Public/Private Partnership on Migration”. It might as well have been a meeting of the Soviet politburo, where everyone implicitly accepted the same totally flawed principles, speaking seriously and sincerely to each other about how they plan to change the world. These people were mainly interested in reinforcing each other's views, like a conversation on NPR.
How to solve the refugee/migrant situation? No solutions were proposed by any of the 40 high government officials and think tank big shots. Everybody’s attention focused on two things: how awful the situation is, and how they can feed, clothe, and house the masses. I was amused at the sight of parasites talking to parasites about parasites.
References were made to “broader economic integration”, a nebulous phrase that can mean almost anything, and no references at all to freer markets. There were continual references to a “partnership” between the public and private sectors. It made me feel I was among aliens. How can there be a partnership between producers, and those who not only steal 50% of the production, but then want to direct where the remainder goes. These people all seemed to believe that if you earned money, you didn’t deserve to keep it. But if you needed money, you were entitled to it.
There was a discussion about how the crisis that started in 2007 has set back the progress of Africa. But zero discussion of what caused the crisis. Or what would happen when it started up again (which is happening right now). The only discussion of how to create prosperity was about Special Economic Zones—areas insulated from the taxes and regulations affecting the rest of the country. Needless to say no one thought to ask why an entire country couldn’t become an SEZ.
A question occurred to me about the several hundred thousand refugees/migrants that will be imported to the US if Clinton is elected: Exactly who will pay for them, and how much will the pleasure of their company cost? These people have nothing but the rags on their backs. Will they be ferried to the US on commercial airliners? When they land, how will they be clothed? They’ll need to be fed for an indefinite period. And housed. And entertained. Mosques must be found, or founded, so they can worship. Very few have any marketable skills, and very few even speak English. Most of them could just stay on welfare for the rest of their lives.
It seems completely insane. But it’s clearly the “Globalist agenda”, endorsed by all these people. Of course there’s some perverse justice at work if the US winds up having to import a few million Muslim refugees. The Muslim world was, at least, stable before Bush and Obama went on a wild “regime change” adventure. Now chaos reigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya.
One justification put forward for migration to Europe was that its population was dropping, and it would need people, if only to take care of the oldsters. For what it’s worth, we’ll have robots doing that within a decade.
You’re perhaps wondering how any sensible person could sit there and listen to such blather and nonsense for two days without reacting. Of course I wanted to debunk about 95% of what I heard. But the Summit was structured so that Guests didn’t have a forum from which to challenge the Nomenklatura and their Apparatchiks. So I sat there, observing an alien species in a sort of formalized mating ritual. No opportunity presented itself to shock these copulating dogs with a bucket of cold water. Certainly not from a seat in the Peanut Gallery.
Are conferences like this one, and its lookalikes, a waste of time? Completely. And keep that in mind before you make a contribution to a charity or an NGO.
Could it have been worthwhile? Yes. If it had addressed the questions I posed above. But, even then, the answers would have been worthless, given the attendees.
I think migration is going to be one of the biggest problems in the next generation. It’s a sure thing that not just millions, but tens of millions of “feet people” and “boat people” are going to try to overrun Europe. If they’re accepted and resettled it will destroy what’s left of Western Civilization. If they’re repelled, it could result in millions of deaths, and be quite a scandal. I don’t know how this will sort out. But it’s going to be a big deal. And ugly.
What should you do? Own plenty of gold and silver, and make sure that you have one or more residences that are out of harm's way.
Editor's note: Doug has just issued a major warning. After accurately predicting the savings and loan collapse of the ’80s, the dot-com and housing crashes, Brexit, as well as the Trump presidency…Doug sees a very serious and dangerous currency shock that could hit the U.S. dollar very soon, wiping out the savings of millions. Click here for full details…