Justin's note: In this Weekend Edition, legendary speculator Doug Casey and globetrotting crisis investor Nick Giambruno discuss why Cultural Marxism is one of the main forces bringing down Western Civilization…
Nick Giambruno: What exactly are Cultural Marxists, and how are they, and political correctness, contributing to the decline of Western Civilization?
Doug Casey: Economic Marxism was intellectually debunked decades ago. With the collapse of the USSR, and radical changes in China, the man in the street became aware that the “intellectuals” were fools. And that is reinforced by the ongoing disasters in Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela. So, since they recognize that there’s nothing to steal if they implement Marxian economic policies, most “intellectuals” no longer talk about them.
Cultural Marxism, however, is just as destructive. It divides people not into economic classes, but cultural classes. You’re no longer an individual—you’re part of a gender, or a race, or some other group. Undoubtedly one being discriminated against by white males who—not just coincidentally—are largely responsible for Western Civilization.
I despise the wave of “politically correct” thought that’s washed over the world like a tidal wave of raw sewage. I remember when I first heard the term used. I believe it was on Saturday Night Live in the early ‘80s. At the time I thought it was a joke…
A word Cultural Marxists use a lot lately is diversity. “We’ve got to have diversity.” No, we don’t have to have diversity. There’s zero logical or moral reason why every room should have a quota of blacks, Hispanics, LGBTs, women, or whatever. It’s extremely stupid to have people qualify for something based upon accidental characteristics. It encourages them to view themselves not as individuals, but members of a group. So it actually foments class warfare.
I occasionally like to go to a men’s club. It’s odd that men are never invited to ladies’ functions—and I don’t care. Everyone should associate with whomever they like. People who use the State to impose their opinions on others, or approve of it, are essentially criminal personalities. I avoid them at all costs.
In fact, birds of a feather usually flock together. This is perfectly natural. You don’t need diversity; it’s not a necessarily positive value, it’s a neutral preference. If you want it in your club, fine. But freedom of association is far, far more important.
I form my friendships based upon neither diversity nor a lack of diversity, although there’s a natural, genetically based tendency to associate with people like yourself. I form my friendships based upon the character and the beliefs that a person has. The attributes that create diversity are stupid accidentals. The fact that diversity is emphasized draws attention to incidentals like race, sex, and gender, and diverts it from important things like character and beliefs. Diversity has become destructive. Cultural Marxists love “diversity” because, in fact, they actually hate people. And themselves. They want to cause conflicts that work to destroy Western Civilization—which they also hate.
Nick Giambruno: How does the migrant crisis in Europe relate to all of this?
Doug Casey: First, let me say that I’m all for immigration and completely open borders to enable opportunity seekers from anyplace to move anyplace else. With two big, critically important, caveats: 1) there can be no welfare or free government services, so everyone has to pay his own way, and no freeloaders are attracted 2) all property is privately owned, to minimize the possibility of squatter camps full of beggars.
In the absence of welfare benefits, immigrants are usually the best of people because you get mobile, aggressive, and opportunity-seeking people that want to leave a dead old culture for a vibrant new one. The millions of immigrants who came to the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had zero in the way of state support.
But what is going on in Europe today is entirely different. The migrants coming to Europe aren’t being attracted by opportunity in the new land so much as the welfare benefits and the soft life. When they arrive, they expect free food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment—totally unlike past immigrants. For the most part they are unskilled and poorly educated. And 99% of them will stay that way, because it takes generations to change cultural attitudes. Few of them will ever become self-supporting.
What we’re talking about here is the migration of millions of people of different language, different race, different religion, different culture, different mode of living. If you're an alien and you're 1 out of 10,000, or 1,000, or 100, you're a curiosity, an interesting outsider. But an influx of millions of migrants is only going to destroy the old culture, and guarantee antagonism—especially when the locals have to pay for it. In many ways, what’s happening now isn’t just comparable to what happened 2,000 years ago with the migration of barbarians into the Roman Empire. It’s potentially much more serious.
Nick Giambruno: What’s the welfare state’s role in all this?
Doug Casey: The State now pays for food, housing, schooling, and even cell phones for the “disadvantaged.” The next step will likely be some type of guaranteed income. All these things only serve to relieve the “disadvantaged” of personal responsibility for their own lives, which acts to cement them to the bottom of society—while slowly bankrupting the country as a whole.
The welfare state must be abolished, pulled out by its roots, and debunked intellectually and psychologically. If you want to help a deserving individual on your own, great. But to make it part of the State is idiotic—except, of course, for politicians that need votes.
Nick Giambruno: I recently read an article by arch-neocon Charles Krauthammer. He claimed that the failure of the US to more forcefully interfere in Syria is an indication of the West’s decline. What’s your take?
Doug Casey: I despise Krauthammer, and his ilk. But, that said, I believe he dislikes me much more than I do him. He’s one of those creatures who thrive within the swamp circled by the Washington Beltway. His prescriptions are almost universally wrong-headed. Which is to be expected from a neocon, a fan of both the warfare state and the welfare state.
I’ve debated Charles on three separate occasions. He has a high IQ, but his ideas are quite stupid—if we define stupidity as an unwitting tendency to self-destruction. I recently discovered that he is also a leading bioethicist—which I didn’t know when I did an essay on that pernicious group of busybodies.
Nick Giambruno: Webster’s defines bioethics as “a discipline dealing with the ethical implications of biological research and applications especially in medicine.” What’s so pernicious about that?
Doug Casey: Bioethics is a phony science, recently concocted by people working for pharmaceutical companies, governments, and medical institutions looking for excuses to justify what they have already decided to do.
A bioethicist is someone who's supposed to determine the right and wrong of these things. I consider them self-appointed censors pandering to dimwits apparently incapable of thinking out psychological/ethical/economic dilemmas on their own.
That’s dangerous enough, but these are not just fools sowing confusion, they are mostly of a particular mindset—that is to say, they are a bunch of collectivists and statists—who pretend to be objective. Worse, they espouse policies with wide-reaching implications, almost universally wrong-headed and disastrous, which are a reeking part of the rotting fabric of what was once American society.
But what really gets me about these bioethicists is that they are not technical experts contributing to debates among scientists—they're just a bunch of busybodies who want to tell everyone else what to do, based on their own opinions of morality and notions of political correctness. This is especially dangerous, because people make decisions and act based on their ideas of what is right and wrong—on moral grounds. By setting themselves up as the great determiners of what is ethically correct, these supposed experts become a sort of new secular priesthood to guide us all. They're worse than run-of-the-mill busybodies, however; they want to play the role of Gríma Wormtongue in counseling rulers. They are generally sociopaths who want us to accept their statist, collectivist ethics, and thereby exert control over the direction of society, taking it down paths they deem best.
These so-called ethical experts insinuate themselves into the bureaucratic machinery of the State, into the flow of intellectual and academic debate, into the course material taught at universities, and they exert influence.
It’s especially dangerous because when people read about a consensus of Ph.D.s agreeing that X or Y is ethical, they may be seduced into letting these others do their ethical thinking for them, instead of holding on to the vital responsibility of thinking through ethical matters for themselves.
From the beginning of the Dark Ages up until the early 1500s, the Church of Rome was the arbiter of morality in the West; that was highly problematical, because it substituted the judgment of some priest for that of each individual. It's one reason that the medieval era was so backward.
Individual responsibility to understand ethics and act accordingly is a cornerstone of Western Civilization, going all the way back to the Greeks. It's what the play Antigone is all about. This is one reason that Islamic countries are basket cases—they’re at the same stage of philosophical evolution as the West was in the medieval era.
Anyway, the decline of religion in the West over the last century—a trend I applaud for many reasons, but won’t go into now—has left something of a moral vacuum. It’s been partially filled by secular religions like Marxism, but Marxism has been debunked everywhere but on college campuses… so the bioethicists are the latest fad trying to fill the space.
Individual responsibility, rather than diffuse responsibility among classes of people, is a major reason for the individual accomplishments and innovations that led the West to global eminence. Bioethicists are trying to set themselves up as a new priesthood. If they succeed, it would reverse an essential element of Western thought. Bioethicists are irksome because they’re a visible cutting edge of the knife destroying the foundations of Western Civilization, and yet they are given unearned respect and material prosperity.
Nick Giambruno: Can President Trump, or anyone, for that matter, reverse the decline of Western Civilization?
Doug Casey: Once an empire starts falling apart, trying to stop it is like trying to stop a tree from falling once its roots have rotted. It can’t be done, and it’s best not to be around when it happens.
The Cultural Marxists and other enemies of Western Civilization are in total control of the education system, so the next several generations of young people are corrupted. They control the media, so they control the prevailing intellectual climate. They control the NGOs, and the “think tanks” that infest DC and other major capitals. They control the Deep State.
So, no, Trump can’t reverse it. Among other reasons because he himself doesn’t have a philosophical or ethical core. He’s just a businessman; his object is just to make things more efficient. Like Mussolini, to make the trains run on time, as it were. He’s a good influence in that he hates the Cultural Marxists, and they hate him. But it’s not like he can offer a positive alternative for people to believe in.
Nick Giambruno: What’s the bottom line here?
Doug Casey: I always like to try to turn a lemon into lemonade. But it’s impossible if someone drops a 500-pound bomb on your kitchen, and follows it up with a poison gas attack. That said, I like to do what I can. Not because I expect success, but because it’s the right thing to do. And that is as important, from a personal viewpoint, as anything in the world.
Nick Giambruno: Thanks, Doug, until next time.
Doug Casey: Thanks, Nick.
Justin's note: There's major turmoil ahead for Western Civilization…and it could be catastrophic for global currency and stock markets. Many investors won't be able to handle the chaos. But Doug and Nick know how to turn it into huge profits. And they're sharing need-to-know information about the coming global economic meltdown. Click here to learn more.