Justin’s note: Three weeks ago, someone sent pipe bombs to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, and the offices of CNN.

Thankfully, no one was hurt. But that doesn’t make this story any less disturbing… especially since these attacks appear to be politically motivated.

Of course, this isn’t the first time this has happened. During the 1970s, hundreds of political bombings occurred. They were commonplace.

So, I recently called Doug Casey to find out if he sees any similarities between what’s happening now and what happened in the ‘70s…

Justin: Doug, do you see any parallels between what’s happening now and what happened in the ‘70s?

Doug: They’re similar in that the natives are restless. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the Vietnam War was the centerpiece, and—in very general terms—the leftists, hippies, and blacks were arrayed against the establishment, the middle class, and the working class. This time is very different. The US is engaged in wars everywhere, but nobody cares. The leftists have completely won on the ideological level. And the leftists and blacks have been reinforced by massive numbers of Hispanics, migrants, and—counterintuitively—college graduates.

It’s much less violent than in the early ‘70s when there were hundreds and hundreds of bombings around the US, sometimes several a day. Those were all conducted by radical fringe groups with very few people. But they got a lot of press. And it was kind of exciting to go out on a date on a Friday night and smell the tear gas in the air in Washington, D.C. I kid you not.

There used to be something called the Symbionese Liberation Army that kidnapped Patty Hearst, for instance. The Weathermen, the SDS, the Red Brigades. There were many groups like that. They seemed to specialize in bombings at universities and banks.

But they were outliers, by no means mainstream. They were genuine fringe groups.

The recent faux bombings, apparently pipe bombs that couldn’t go off, are totally meaningless and trivial by comparison. To start with, absolutely anybody can fabricate an IED by stuffing a bunch of matchheads in a pipe and rigging a timer. Considering the law of large numbers, the fact there are 330 million people in the US, probably a third of them have done psychiatric drugs, and most of them seem to hate another group’s politics, I’m surprised this is the only incident.

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Justin: Interesting… But political tension is obviously on the rise in America. Why is this?

Doug: It seems that most people in this country now either really like Trump or really hate Trump. It’s not really his fault. He’s just a lightning rod; the storm has been brewing for years. The leftists and the traditionalists are watching separate movies. They neither understand nor like each other.

In the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a lot of MSNBC and CNN. The talking heads on these stations love to yap at each other, and are uncompromising in their hatred of Trump and Middle America—which is characterized as uneducated white males. There’s some truth to that, in that perhaps 40% of the US is now what are known as “people of color.”

Incidentally, that recently coined phrase is symptomatic of the problem, and how the right has completely conceded the field of words and ideas. It used to be “white people” and “colored people”—a simple distinction. But why “people of color” now? Perhaps because “people of non-color” don’t exist—a subtle psychological distinction…

In prisons—most Americans are unaware of this—the inmates strictly segregate themselves by race. Blacks, Hispanics, and whites. There is zero crossover or communication between the groups, and failure to observe protocol will put you in the hospital. The US is, more than ever, being divided along racial lines. Which may come as a surprise to those whose real-world exposure is mostly TV. On TV groups are always biracial, and blacks are always smart and successful.

Justin: Do you see tensions between the left and the right getting better or worse?

Doug: Well, we kind of returned to normalcy after things blew up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. But I don’t think it’s going to change for the better this time. And I’ll tell you why.

Up to the 1970s, relatively few people went to college. Those that did might be corrupted by leftist teachers. But there were far fewer socialist/Marxist/SJW teachers than there are today. And lots less college students, either relatively or in absolute numbers. So they were a fringe group.

Almost everybody goes to college today, however. And the ambiance in academia is very statist and collectivist. Even the teachers in high school, and for that matter grade school, are now leftists.

When you send a high school kid off to college, with basically an empty head, his teachers will fill his mind with their views. It’s easy, since they’ve already been softly and subtly inculcated with these values from what they hear on television, movies, and high school teachers. The average American has been floating in a philosophical cesspool since childhood, and college cements them together intellectually.

You can’t easily get rid of these bad ideas. It’s very hard to unlearn things. Just like if your dog or if a horse picks up a bad habit, it’s very hard to break that habit. It’s the same thing with kids. Both Lenin and the Jesuits are famous for saying that if you give them a kid for the grade school years, he’s a believer for life. You can easily verify that. Look at how many people will say something like “Well, my parents always taught me…” when justifying their beliefs. They don’t realize that it’s a stupid, thoughtless argument for or against anything.

Anyway by the time people get out of college, they’ve been heavily politicized. And everything that they continue to hear from the movies, television, the newspapers, or their friends reinforces that.

There’s no question we’re on a slippery slope. And it’s only going to get steeper and more slippery in the years to come. Trends in motion tend to stay in motion. Maybe we won’t see the violence that we got with fringe groups in the ‘70s, if only because the average American is too fat, drugged up, and occupied by video games, the Internet, and his cell phone. We all live in bubbles today. But it’s going to be something serious. A culture collapse is much worse than a financial collapse—which we’ll also see.

What’s going on is a change in the nature of American culture itself. Western civilization is going downhill rapidly, noticeably. That’s what makes this much more serious than what happened 40 years ago.

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Justin: So, you don’t think that all this tension could boil over into violence like we saw in the 1970s?

Doug: That’s a good question. On one hand, I think the US is moving towards something resembling a civil war. On the other hand, the average American is pretty used to doing what he’s told.

It’s a pity. Not so long ago, America was unique and better than the 200 other nation states that cover the face of the planet like a skin disease. Now… not so much.

Justin: How would a major economic or financial crisis impact political tensions in the United States?

Doug: I think a crisis would accelerate the direction of things. And the chances of a major crisis while Trump is in office, at least during his first term, are approaching 100%.

If anything goes wrong, half of the country is going to blame it all on Trump. And since Trump is mistakenly associated with capitalism and the free market, we’re going to get an ultra-leftist from the Democratic party in 2020.

And we already have a wide variety of wackos front and center of the Democratic party. Everybody from Pocahontas to Cory Booker to the creepy porn lawyer. There’s a wide variety of them and one of these guys will get the nomination and try to be the new Franklin Roosevelt.

Socialism has become something that’s openly advocated now. So, when the crisis hits, it’s going to be electoral gold for the Democrats and the Democrats are going to win in 2020.

There’s also an excellent chance that one, or both, of the parties is going to put up a general because the military, idiotically, is about the only institution that both the right and the left still trust.

So we’ll get a right wing or a left wing general, which is about the worst possible thing. Generals are like corporate suits, except that they wear uniforms. They’re basically political guys that know some military strategy and I’ll still put my money on a general for being a candidate for one or both of the parties.

Justin: You think we could get a general candidate as soon as 2020?

Doug: Quite possible. We could have a real economic upset in the next year or so, especially if the trade war with China doesn’t get any better.

I mean this might get nasty from a military point of view. Maybe the US is going to feel like it’s got to push the envelope in the South China Sea. Or maybe the US is going to feel like it’s forced to invade Saudi Arabia.

It’s hard to say where the next flare up could happen because the US is sticking its nose into everything, everywhere.

Justin: Do you think the US is becoming more adventurous with its military because it’s an empire in decline?

Doug: Yeah. From listening to the talking heads on all the channels, they’re all talking about we’ve go to unite the country. We’ve got to get the country together.

Now, that’s a stupid idea for all kinds of reasons that we won’t go into just now. But the best way to unite the country is to get a foreign enemy that we can all fight against, one that’s threatening everybody.

So, whether it’s Trump or the next person after him, someone is going to start a real war. And it won’t be one of these little sport wars we’ve got all over the world. It will be a real war in order to unite the country and that would be quite serious.

Justin: Thanks, Doug.

Doug: My pleasure.

Justin’s note: If you missed our previous Conversations With Casey, make sure to catch up right here:

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