Editor's note: Today and tomorrow, we’re sharing an insightful piece from Casey Research founder Doug Casey on his favorite place in the world. As you'll see, it's a place well worth hearing about.
Doug is well traveled, having been to 155 countries, many of them numerous times. But he decided to build a freedom-lover's paradise here…
What my favorite place in the world doesn’t have…
✔ Cultural conflicts
✔ An immigration crisis
✔ Political correctness
✔ High prices
What it does have will surprise you…
Reading the news while enjoying a cortado at a café in my favorite place in the world often causes cognitive dissonance.
How, I ask myself, can life here be so tranquil when the rest of the world appears gripped by madness?
As you might suspect, the café is located in Argentina.
Sure, until recently, we had to put up with the antics of La Presidenta, Cristina Kirchner. But she was largely a bad joke ignored by Argentines with any intelligence.
She’s gone now, replaced by the free-market-oriented engineer Mauricio Macri.
While one can never know how these things turn out, from what I’ve seen so far, I think he’s going to make a huge difference in pretty much every way that counts.
Maybe Argentina won’t return to its former position as the sixth-largest economy in the world, as was the case in the early 20th century, but the conditions are right for the economy to do a rocket shot.
That’s usually the result when a new team sweeps away the spaghetti string of truly stupid socialist policies and lets an economy breathe.
China’s decades of stunning growth following Deng’s liberalization provides a useful lesson.
An Embarrassment of Riches
Then there’s the proven fact that Argentina has an abundance of natural resources including gold, copper, oil, and natural gas.
And there’s the famed Argentine agricultural land stretching from one end of the country to the other.
There are few countries in the world with the ability to be completely self-sustaining—Argentina is one of those.
Of personal importance to me, it also has a well-educated population, the most sophisticated in South America. Anyone worth knowing down here speaks two, three, or more languages.
That is due, in part, to the country’s legacy as one of only a handful of immigrant cultures in the world. Just like the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
What these countries have in common (besides geographically secure borders) are that, in the early days, hardworking settlers from around the world flocked to the country’s wide-open spaces.
In the case of Argentina, the indigenous population was largely overrun (it happens) by Spaniards, English, Italians, Germans, Irish, French, etc.—rugged pioneer types who set out to the new world to make their mark.
Unlike the current mess in Europe where the immigrants have brought their bad habits with them and refuse to assimilate, in Argentina the newcomers culturally assimilated into the modern Argentine. Generally speaking, a confident, lively, and fun-loving sort who, like the Europe of old, work to live, not the other way around.
Returning to the beginning of this letter, Argentina is a “café society,” where people love sharing ideas over leisurely lunches and late dinners. They enjoy life a lot, even when saddled with a poor government such as the one we’ve just seen the back of.
There is a reason that, out of all the places in the world I really enjoy, Argentina has filled that spot for many years now.
There are other reasons I’ll get back to in a moment but first, back to the cognitive dissonance.
A World Gone Mad
Even a cursory glance at the headlines should give any thinking person pause.
While I consider myself an optimist over the long run, I am considerably less so over the short-to-intermediate period.
Of course, these things are all relative and, in many cases, based on geography.
Living in Aspen, provided you can afford it, would give you an entirely different perspective than what you’d have from living in the ’hood of Chicago or Detroit.
In Aspen, your biggest challenge of the day might be deciding which upscale hash house to dine at. By contrast, in Chicago or Detroit that challenge might be getting to the grocery store and back in one piece.
Likewise, living in Argentina, especially as an expat with a few bucks in your jeans, life runs to the idyllic with a rare cultural harmony.
In Europe, on the other hand, the citizenry is under siege from a politically contrived invasion from the Middle East and Africa.
Life(style) & Liberty
In Argentina, people enjoy an extremely high quality of life thanks, in no small part, to low prices and the excellent quality of the food (and wine, for that matter…) which is among the best in the world.
This is especially true in a small town such as that of Cafayate, where a group I am part of has built a truly exceptional lifestyle community. In Cafayate, most of what you eat comes from family farms in the valley or just beyond.
Back in the “first world” the opposite is true, with high prices and increasingly low-quality produce and meat, as often as not coming from industrial-scale operations.
Then there is the steadily encroaching police state in the United States and, increasingly, in Europe. In these places, people are actively afraid of the militarized police.
Here in Argentina, outside of some of the more densely populated barrios in Buenos Aires, the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.
In the scenic Northwest where La Estancia de Cafayate is located, crime is pretty much non-existent.
In the U.S., a dangerous meme has arisen that the military and police should be treated like a special class.
Here, as blowback to the excesses of the military government 30 years back, the police and military are reviled or simply ignored by the public, relegated to a far more appropriate role as night watchmen.
A Refreshing Lack of Political Correctness
Sometimes I can’t believe the articles people email me from the U.S. can be true, but they are.
For example, about how one public figure or another has their career ruined for the ginned-up “offense” of speaking their mind about a politically sensitive topic.
There is even talk about arresting people who doubt the bad science behind global warming. And a truly perverse culture has grown up around universities where even the slightest perceived slight, a “microaggression,” of a real or fabricated minority sets off a firestorm.
I’m happy to report that, so far, political correctness has gained almost no foothold here. I always find it amusing that people still call each other by nicknames such as gordo (fatty), negro (dark-skinned), flaca (skinny), pelado (baldy), and so forth. And no one gets offended in the slightest.
Just as it should be.
But I fear things in the degraded democracies are only going to get worse.
Fortunately, Argentina saw the light and got rid of its version of Hillary Clinton and, hopefully, won’t make that mistake again for many years to come.
It Gets Worse
Nobody would deny that there is the equivalent of a terrorist Olympics under way. No one can know where these malcontents are going to strike next, or how.
But you know the next attack is coming, and that they will continue to come, probably for decades.
Of course, the odds of you or anyone you know dying from a terrorist attack are approximately the same as hitting your head after slipping on a toad.
The real danger is from the inevitable overreaction of the Deep State, the thick layer of bureaucracy now running the world, to these attacks.
Imagine the immediate consequences of a large bomb going off in a major seaport? Or a successful drone attack on some high-value target? Or, or…
If the attack is serious enough, and sooner or later it will be, legions of security apparatchiks would slam the borders shut before your morning coffee hit the counter. Remember the empty skies after 9/11?
Personally, I just don’t want to live in that world. And, so, I don’t.
Editor's note: Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow, where Doug will explain more about his favorite place…and how you can join him and a group of friends and guests there for an exclusive weeklong event next month.