Rachel’s note: Regular readers know our founder, Doug Casey, believes the coronavirus hysteria is overblown – and that the government’s response will ruin our economy.
In today’s Conversations With Casey, Doug shares his thoughts on the long-term political implications of this “manufactured crisis”… and what could happen next…
Daily Dispatch: Doug, you’ve talked about the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus and what effect it will have on the economy. Following up on that, how does that all play out politically? After all, it is an election year.
Doug Casey: The political consequences of this are going to be very interesting. Will Trump be re-elected in the midst of all of this? Well, if the Democrats are stupid enough to run the corrupt, senile, and clearly somewhat demented Biden, I think Trump could win. But no guarantees in the middle of a world-class crisis.
I’ll make a guess: The Democrats are going to exchange Biden for somebody that’s younger, smarter, and more dynamic. Not one of those embarrassing nobodies we saw on the stage a few months ago, though. I think they’ll pick someone much more dangerous. A terrible human being, actually. Maybe even worse than Hillary. That would be Cuomo, the governor of New York.
And if he runs against Trump in the midst of a crisis in November – and the crisis will be worse, not better, come November – then we’re really in for some trouble. For all I know, he could make AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] his number one counselor.
Daily Dispatch: Yeah. So, just on the political side of things – or rather, the social side of things: When this news started coming out of China, the mainstream media noted how the Chinese were painting marks on the sidewalks, and how they were telling people not to go anywhere, and they were locking them up and telling them not to go out.
At the time, the Western media was saying, “Oh, that could never happen here, because our people wouldn’t stand for it, we value our freedom too much.” Yet, that did happen.
Not only that, but look at how quickly everyone rolled over to this whole idea of closing down businesses and people locking themselves up at home. Now they’re also cheering for it. They’re snitching on their neighbors for going out to get a newspaper, or going out for a walk.
I assume none of that surprises you whatsoever, how quickly the population accepts that kind of thing.
Doug Casey: Not only does it not surprise me, I rather expect it.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say we won’t be able to have this conversation in a year or two, because it would be deemed unpatriotic, or tending to diminish the public’s confidence in our institutions.
And of course, they have a point, because our institutions are now so weak that they rest on nothing but confidence. Which is not a very solid foundation, because confidence can blow away like a pile of feathers in a hurricane. Which is exactly what’s likely to happen.
Look at what happened to Russia as it turned into the Soviet Union, Germany as it turned into National Socialist Germany, and lots of other countries. It’s pretty easy to turn a country into a police state. Most people don’t want to get in trouble. They want to keep their heads down.
Americans have gotten used to taking orders, and they’re happy to “see something, say something.” The police, and especially the military, do what they’re told. People like a strong leader – that’s why Trump is popular. In fact, the worse conditions get, the more people absolutely demand a strong leader.
The US is well on the way to being a police state, and the people will want a strong leader to straighten things out, kiss everything and make it better. But strong leaders are poison to freedom. I’ll give odds that at least one party puts up a general in 2024, because the military is about the only institution Americans still trust. That’s really scary – the Pentagon is really just a multitrillion-dollar version of the Post Office in many ways.
Western civilization has been moving downhill since 1914, and that downtrend is going hyperbolic at this point. I don’t know where it’s going to end except to say it’s going to end badly. It’s not going to magically get better because the foundations of our culture have rotted. After this hysteria dies down, the US, and for that matter the world, but particularly the US, will have changed permanently, much the way it did after 9/11. Much for the worse.
This is much more serious than 9/11 in its social and economic implications. And its political implications, which we will see before the year is out.
Daily Dispatch: Even the local governments didn’t waste any time at all in exerting their authority over things. It’s almost as though this is the thing that the mayors of “small town America” have been waiting for their entire lives. They’ve gone from setting bus timetables and being responsible for garbage collection to suddenly having the power to tell people they can’t leave their homes, and if they do they’re going to arrest them.
Some people might say that to call this tyranny is just an overreaction. But it does feel that way. These people have seen an opportunity to exert maximum power and they’ve grabbed it.
Doug Casey: Well, you’re quite correct, and there are probably two reasons for that. First, the kind of people that get into government, whether it’s local or national, are the kind of people that like to control other people. That’s why they want to get into government.
You don’t get the so-called best and brightest. You get the worst kind of busybody, the most dangerous type of sociopath, who wants to go into government. That’s reason one.
Reason number two is that even if the rare decent person gets into the government, he feels like he has to “do something.” Everybody now feels the government is a cornucopia, and should “do something.” So of course they’ll act. But there’s nothing useful the government can do, since they don’t create wealth, only take wealth from some and give it to others.
The problem is the institution of government itself. It’s intrinsically flawed. I don’t know how we solve this; I believe it’s past that point. The situation is reaching a grand climax after deteriorating for roughly 100 years. It’s something I’ve said for a long time.
What’s happening now is another step towards total government control. It never takes a step back. There’s going to be even more government control in every part of the economy.
A perfect example of this was the creation of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) – a creation of the last crisis – a completely dysfunctional and worthless organization. At best it’s a giant nuisance. What are the chances that the TSA is ever going to be abolished, and its 70,000 bottom-of-the-barrel employees forced to go out and seek productive work?
I’d say the chances are about zero at this point. That will be equally true with any new agencies created due to the current hysteria.
Daily Dispatch: In that case, what happens the next time there’s another one of these viruses? Does the government do the same thing? Shut everything down?
Doug Casey: They’ll do something to justify their existence, and convince Boobus Americanus it was necessary.
People fail to understand that government is basically and intrinsically different from any other institution in society. Government isn’t based upon choice and production. It’s based upon coercion. It comes out of the barrel of a gun, as Mao said. And the prime directive of every entity – I don’t care if we’re talking about an amoeba, an individual, a corporation, or a state – is to survive and grow.
Government is uniquely well-positioned to survive because it’s the only body that can legally point a gun at anybody’s head. It grows like a parasite. There’s always a danger a parasite will kill its host.
The US Government was already running a deficit of over a trillion dollars, financed by selling paper to the Fed. The $2.2 trillion in the corona stimulus program is a disastrous idea. Giving away that kind of money – especially in a short time – guarantees a gigantic amount of fraud, and even more waste. It will totally distort the markets, and is a major step towards the destruction of the dollar. And what’s left of American culture.
This is a curve that’s gone hyperbolic. In other words, the rate of growth of government has turned exponential with this coronavirus event. All we need now is something resembling World War Three to put a cherry on the cake.
Daily Dispatch: On that note, thanks for your time Doug.
Doug Casey: Thanks. But I’m not going to sign off by saying anything stupid and unnecessary like “stay safe.” I’m sick of people whimpering “stay safe,” while they huddle, sheltering in place like whipped dogs, doing as they’re told during this hysteria.
But do have a good day.
Daily Dispatch: We will. Thank you.