Rachel’s note: I know it’s been some time since we’ve heard directly from Casey Research founder Doug Casey…
But that’s because Doug has been busy finishing up his latest novel in the High Ground series – Assassin.
I figured you would be just as impatient as I was to get some exclusive insights on his latest book…
So I called Doug to discuss Assassin… how it relates to the unrest we’re seeing in the U.S. today… and what’s next for this highly anticipated series…
Read on below for a brand new Conversations With Casey.
Rachel Bodden, managing editor, Casey Research: Doug, you’ve just released Assassin, the third book in your High Ground novel series…
Can you give us a brief rundown of your High Ground Series and what inspired you to write them?
Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research: There are things best said in the form of fiction – and perhaps best not said in the form of nonfiction. Certainly in today’s political climate. And beyond that, there’s a whole universe of people out there who are interested in challenging ideas, but prefer to have them in the form of a memorable story. Nonfiction can be dry.
Those are the two reasons why my coauthor, John Hunt, and I decided to do this series of seven novels.
We trace the life of our hero, Charles Knight, from the time he’s 23. In the first book, Speculator, Charles gets lucky with a junior mining stock, and turns $10,000 into a million – which is possible, incidentally, in the junior mining stock market. He goes to Africa to check out what the mine and the company are all about. In Speculator, we talk a lot about geology, mining, and the resource stock markets. We show that a speculator can be a good guy – which is contrary to what most people think.
Anyway, Charles uncovers a gigantic fraud, gets involved in a West African bush war featuring boy soldiers, and winds up turning his million dollars into a couple of hundred million. He then has almost all of it stolen from him by the U.S. government. But it’s nonetheless a happy ending. Charles goes off for seven years, sailing around the world, seeing the world – because before this adventure, he was just a boy from Montana. Albeit one who modeled himself on Edmund Dantes, the Count of Monte Cristo, and Paladin, the hero of Have Gun – Will Travel. When he returns to the U.S., he becomes a Drug Lord – the title of the second volume.
Here we reform another unjustly besmirched occupation, just as we reformed the unjustly besmirched reputation of speculators. Charles gets involved in both FDA-regulated and DEA-regulated drugs, hooks up with a crew of black gangsters in Washington D.C., develops a world-changing drug called Naked Emperor, makes another gigantic fortune, and gets into even more serious trouble with the law. The government again steals most of his money, but this time they put him in some nasty prisons for two years.
That takes us up to the current book, Assassin. Now, Charles is rather pissed off, having not only had two fortunes stolen from him, but being unjustly imprisoned.
In Assassin, we investigate the idea of political assassination from both a practical and a moral point of view. It’s a morality tale on several levels, a look at the problem of good versus evil. The state versus the individual. Life and death.
Is assassination a good thing or a bad thing? When are killings justified? Do assassinations actually solve any problems, or do any lasting good? And in the course of that, we take apart a number of historical, famous assassinations, including those of Caesar, Lincoln, and JFK, among others. And that leads us to our next book, where Charles is hunted as a world-class Terrorist, and the next book after that where he goes back to Africa and becomes a Warlord.
The idea in the titles of these books is to examine, and reform the reputations, of highly politically incorrect occupations. We turn a lot of conventional thought on its head. When Charles goes back to Africa in Warlord, he takes the sh*thole country of Gondwana and turns it into Singapore on steroids in a decade. That relates to one of my hobbies, incidentally, where I’ve attempted exactly that in a dozen countries run by strange characters, like military dictators, over the years. How that’s done is the subject of Warlord.
The natives, who are very superstitious, think that Charles must be a god, because only God could transform a country like Gondwana. But if you’re accused of being God, you have to do what gods do, and give people a religion.
That’s what the Antichrist is about. Which takes us to the last book, Apocalypse, where it’s up to Charles to determine what he’s going to do when the U.S. is about to launch a massive nuclear strike on the little country because it’s become way too successful and too dangerous to the Deep State.
These novels are full of anecdotes, little-known facts, and challenging thoughts. And, if I do say so myself, they’re very well done. Page turners. As a modern version of Paladin, Charles Knight in Assassin is more credible than Lee Child’s Jack Reacher or Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. He’s actually a realistic intellectual and moral version of James Bond.
Rachel: So we have the first three written, and we’re waiting on the next four, correct?
Doug: That’s correct. And we hope to present one per year. We’ll see if we can meet that deadline. In Assassin, current events – the 2020 election, blockchain, and the virus – seem to mimic the book. Anyway, Charles Knight, the assassin, is an ethical and likable protagonist.
Rachel: Your breakdown actually really makes me want to read all of them, and that’s a super interesting commentary on professions that are only illegal because the government says they are. Which kind of brings me to what happened over the election. Several states have decriminalized or legalized drugs, like Oregon.
So, incidentally, in the War on Drugs, the winner is drugs. I know several of your previous conversations are about how there should be no laws about drugs.
Doug: Yes, that’s right. Drug Lord, of course, goes into both legal and illegal drugs; my coauthor is an MD and a scientist, which is helpful in looking at these things from a realistic point of view. Incidentally, we don’t advocate the abuse of drugs. But insofar as abuse is a problem, it’s about 90% due to the fact that they’re illegal. All drugs have quite valuable aspects. They’re certainly not something politicians should have authority over.
And yes, absolutely everything – including heroin, coke, meth, LSD, you-name-it – should be legalized. Not only legalized, but left unregulated. All the rational, moral, and scientific arguments support that point of view. But surprisingly, few people know them. Or how the various drug businesses work.
Rachel: Absolutely. Nick Giambruno has several stocks on the cutting edge of the legalization trend for psychedelics and cannabis that have potential medical uses. He’s already making a lot of money for his subscribers in Crisis Investing.
Doug: Yes, absolutely. And I thoroughly approve of Nick’s outlook on these things. Which is why he’s working for Casey Research; we’re philosophically on the same wavelength.
Rachel: That is important.
Doug: As is Dave Forest, when it comes to mining stocks, which have long been a specialty of mine. A lot of the stuff in Speculator is somewhat autobiographical – it’s wise to write about what you know. And I can tell you Dave has also had his share of hairy adventures out in the field, looking at mining deals.
Rachel: He is really good at picking those big winners.
Doug: Yes, he is. Unlike most people who write about mining stocks, Dave is not only an active field geologist, but one who has a substantial portfolio of resource stocks. Investors and speculators should take advice from those who are active in the game, and have boots on the ground.
Rachel: It’s always best to get advice from those in the thick of things, like Dave and Nick.
Anyway, back to Assassin… things have gotten very violent in the U.S. lately.
It seems like you hit the nail on the head for the right time to publish this book.
Doug: Well, we hope so. In fact, events on the street are starting to resemble those in Assassin. It’s well-written, thoughtful, and in some ways an upsetting book. I’m not sure it will ever get reviewed in The New York Review of Books because its views are fairly antithetical to those of establishment editors. But with luck, we could wind up reaching millions of people with Assassin in particular, much the way Ayn Rand did with Atlas Shrugged.
That’s because Speculator is about revolutions in Africa, gold, and the mining business – things that are mostly relevant to adventurers. And Drug Lord is an adventure about a U.S. subculture.
But Assassin talks about things that are very upfront and relevant today. We anticipated a lot of things that are not only happening, but are going to happen in the near future in those books.
Rachel: I know that I myself am really, really excited to read this book. Thank you for your time today.
Doug: Looking forward to our next discussion, Rachel.