Rachel’s note: In light of the events on Capitol Hill earlier this week, today we’re sharing a past Conversations With Casey. It has some parallels to today’s wild political events.
In it, Casey Research founder Doug Casey shares why he believes we’re on the edge of an all-out culture war… how he sees a breakup of the U.S. as inevitable… and why we’re in for one of the most turbulent decades in history.
And as usual, Doug holds nothing back…
Rachel Bodden, managing editor, Casey Research: In our last conversation, we talked about changes stemming from this election, like the continued legalization of cannabis and the new legalization of those so-called harder drugs. But what are your thoughts on this general election?
We’ve heard some of your thoughts about President Trump, but we haven’t heard any musings from you about Joe Biden.
Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research: There’s very little, if anything, to be said in favor of Joe Biden. He’s a reflexive leftist, statist, and crony. A lifelong government employee, he and his family have become amazingly wealthy on civil service salaries. From a pro-personal liberty point of view, he’s almost always been in the camp of the adversary, even the enemy. He’s a glad-handing nobody, devoid of talent or virtue. But in the context of the D.C. Beltway, mostly inoffensive, like a beige kitchen appliance.
Kamala Harris, his vice presidential running mate, however, is actively dangerous. I don’t believe she has any redeeming values, beyond ambition. A prosecutor her entire life, until she was elected as a U.S. senator in 2016, she impresses me as someone who tried to put people in jail primarily to add scalps to her belt in order to move up the ladder – not promote justice. She’s a thoroughgoing progressive and SJW, all-in for higher taxes, guaranteed annual income, free college, free medical for all, open immigration, special privileges for LGBTQ types, and the rest of it.
She’s a wannabe Evita Perón, without the charisma. What I don’t understand is how she got the nod for VP, since she had no support when she ran for president in 2019. She was quite unlikable – at best she was smarmy. What kind of backroom deals were cut to put people like these forward to rule the world?
When Biden steps down we could have Kamala for our new president.
If so, I promise we’ll wish for a return of Sleepy and Corrupt Joe. The Democratic Party has been captured by people who want to completely remake the U.S., to conform with the notions put forward by Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and similar groups.
I did an article two months ago explaining the six reasons why I thought Biden was going to win and why this was going to be the most important election in U.S. history – certainly since that of 1860 – which put Abraham Lincoln in office.
The 2020 election wasn’t just a political election with economic consequences. It’s much more serious. We’re at a major cultural turning point in the U.S. In fact, we’re on the edge of a cultural war. It could devolve into an actual civil war, as unlikely as that may sound to some. But the fact is that people in the blue counties and red counties can’t even talk to each other anymore. They no longer share values, or have the same views on what’s right and wrong, good or evil. Many actually hate each other.
I hasten to add that the unpleasantness of 1861 to 1865 was not a civil war; it was a failed war of secession – a very different thing. A civil war is one where two or more groups are fighting for the control of the same territory, and the same central government. A civil war, if it happens, won’t just be about political and fiscal differences, but cultural differences. That’s much more serious.
Rachel: Do you think that there would be a higher likelihood of this civil war if Trump won, or if Biden won? Or do you think we’re just at a bubbling-over point and it’s inevitable?
Doug: You can’t solve moral and cultural differences by passing more laws. If you put antagonistic tribes in the same political entity you’re always asking for trouble. As little as 50 or 60 years ago there were some regional differences in the U.S., sure, but we generally shared the same values, traditions, beliefs, history, language, and religion. Race was a problem, but – at least before Washington started herding blacks into vertical ghettoes, putting them on welfare, and destroying their families – things were getting better. Now the U.S. has turned into a multicultural domestic empire. Empires never end well.
The best possible outcome that we can have today is for the people in the left-leaning, so-called blue counties, and the right-leaning, so-called red counties, to separate in the manner of cantons in Switzerland.
Swiss cantons, you’ll recall, pay a relatively small national defense tax. But all other government functions and taxes are local. In fact, that’s pretty much the way the U.S. states once were. A return to that, however, is a longshot bet, because the Federal government has intruded into absolutely every area of American life.
Regarding the colors, red and blue, I said “so-called” because that differentiation was only made about 20 years ago. Historically, leftists have always been associated with red, not blue. But somebody in the media turned it on its head, and associated them with the color blue – the traditional conservative color. Nobody said “Wait… that’s ridiculous. Red has been the color of the left since at least the days of Karl Marx…”
Like so many things in today’s Bizarro World, even traditional color associations have been reversed, further confusing the public. That’s only a tangential observation, I know, but worthwhile noting.
In any event, the red and blue people are viscerally at odds. Trump wasn’t the cause; he was only the catalyst. But it’s broken up families; they can no longer voice even polite political opinions among each other.
Really deep philosophical differences divide Americans about moral issues, and the way the world should work. We’re now looking at irreconcilable differences. The best way to solve them is for people to go their separate ways, as opposed to fight for control of the central government, and then impose their views on the losers.
I expect the U.S. itself is going to change form radically over the next few generations – much more even than the last 50 years. Allow me to make another seemingly outrageous prediction: the U.S. will probably break up into different regions – to start with.
But the U.S. is already no longer America. America was more than just a piece of geography; it was actually a unique and excellent idea, one that its citizens shared. But now many want to disavow everything from Columbus Day to Thanksgiving, its principles, its founders, and their ideas.
Many young people have been completely indoctrinated by four years of college, where they’ve been bankrupted financially and mentally; almost all the professors are hard-core leftists. The same is true of the high schools and grade schools, where kids absorb concepts by osmosis. Surveys show most Millennials think socialism is better than capitalism.
Rachel: Yes, that’s very interesting. Do you think right now, the U.S. is like the “Stans” that are just arbitrarily drawn lines in a country, with no culture or shared beliefs holding us together?
Doug: Increasingly. The main things holding the country together now aren’t values and traditions, but artifacts like fast food franchises, hotel chains, big box stores, the Interstate Highway System, and government-issued ID. And what you said is interesting, because the fact is that most of the countries in the world today are artificial constructs. Most countries in the world are… on the edge. It’s not just the U.S.
Every country in Africa was assembled from completely arbitrary lines drawn in 19th-century boardrooms in Europe. As were every country in the Middle East and Central Asia. Frankly, even countries like China are likely to break up into five or six different entities corresponding numerous local languages, cultures, and traditions. The Communist Party is widely – but quietly – viewed as a scam to benefit mainly its members. Of course, Inner Mongolia, Tibet, and Xinjiang are all actually different countries that have antagonistic relations with the Han Chinese and Beijing.
We’ll see not only the breakup of the ill-advised European Union, but the breakup of countries in Europe itself.
The colors on the map on the wall are always running. And this is one of those times. It’s like the paleontological concept of punctuated equilibrium, where things go along for a long time without changing, and then all of a sudden they change radically.
I think we’re at a point like that right now, both within the U.S. and around the world. It’s going to be a turbulent time, lasting at least through this decade, probably longer. It will resemble the 1930s and ’40s a lot more than the ’50s and ’60s.
Rachel: That’s a stressful outlook, but it could be a very interesting time to live through. And especially right now.
Doug: You know the old Chinese saying about interesting, don’t you?
Rachel: No… But I know about the Chinese symbol for crisis and opportunity being the same, as in the Crisis Investing letter.
Doug: Good point. But it’s a Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times.”
In history, “interesting” can be a euphemism for “buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Rachel: In some ways, it might be better to have things boil over rather than sit here, worrying about it, just simmering forever.
So, you think that there’s going to be a lot of countries breaking up around the world. What’s your best guess for the U.S.? I mean a lot of people think, “Okay, the war of secession.” That was just the North and the South.
But do you think that there’s actually more like five or six different countries that the U.S. should be broken up into politically, culturally?
Doug: Yes, I do. And there have been a few papers and books written on the subject. For instance, young Chicano males in Southern California and Texas have absolutely nothing in common with elderly female Medicare recipients in Massachusetts. And as various government welfare systems go bankrupt, they’re not going to want to pay for old white women with whom they have absolutely nothing in common. Nor should they, quite frankly.
The Hispanic areas of the Southwest are going to move towards independence, viewing it as the Reconquista. Ecotopia in Northern California, Oregon, Washington – and for that matter, British Columbia – have nothing in common with the Rust Belt, or the Deep South. The farming regions in the middle of the country have nothing in common with the BosWash corridor.
This type of thing is a natural evolution throughout 5,000 years of recorded history. It’s nothing new. It’s normal and natural. The political lines on the map aren’t part of the cosmic firmament.
Rachel: Yes. I mean, empires typically have a shelf life, correct? And we’ve exceeded that, don’t you think?
Doug: Like I said, the U.S. has devolved into a multicultural domestic empire, and hopefully it will come apart peacefully. The way Yugoslavia did into six countries, the Soviet Union did into 15, and Czechoslovakia into two. The outcome can be salubrious and peaceful – unless somebody, a modern Lincoln equivalent, tries to hold the country together by force.
Rachel: I guess we can only hope for as peaceable a solution as possible.
Thank you for your insights today, Doug.
Doug: Thanks, Rachel.
Rachel’s note: What do you think? Is the U.S. on the verge of a total breakup? Are there any shared values holding Americans together? Let us know at [email protected].