The Atlas Society Asks Doug Casey

June 23, 2023 01:02:31
The Atlas Society Asks Doug Casey
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Doug Casey

Jun 23 2023 | 01:02:31

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Show Notes

Join CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 157th episode of The Atlas Society Asks with Doug Casey. Inspired by Ayn Rand, Doug Casey is a writer, speculator, founder and chairman of Casey Research, and International Man. He co-authors the "High Ground" fiction novel series that weaves together free market principles and adventure.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi everyone, and welcome to the 157th episode of the Atlas Society asks, my name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. My friends call me Jag. I am the c e o of the Atlas Society. We are the leading, introducing young people to the ideas of Ayn Rand in fun, creative ways, like graphic novels and animated videos. Today we are joined by Doug Casey. Before I even begin to introduce our guest, I wanna remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Instagram to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, to get started. Type those questions into the comment section, and we will get to as many of them as we can. Our guest, Doug Casey is a writer, speculator, and the founder and chairman of Casey Research. He is also the founder of International Man, which seeks to help clients around the globe, uh, to maximize their personal and financial freedom. Inspired by Ayn Rand Casey has written both fiction and nonfiction books, including Crisis Investing and Right on the Money, along with co-authoring the high ground novel series that weaves together free market principles and adventure. Doug, thanks for joining us. Speaker 1 00:01:22 Well, thank you, JAG. It's nice to be here. I'm speaking to you now from the, uh, shores of the Chesapeake Bay, although I'm usually in South America. Speaker 0 00:01:33 Well, uh, we will have to catch up with you there as well, because we now have Socio Atlas, which is doing the same work that the Atlas Society is doing, um, in that hemisphere. So, uh, I just have to start out with your novels. Um, I am almost done with the third in the high ground series. Uh, they're just absolutely spectacular. I'm hoping that you have others planned. Uh, they are the speculator drug, Lord, and assassin. And as I have been reading them, I kept wondering if there were any elements from your own life that inspired any of the characters or if you had to do a lot of research, because they, they're extremely intricate and they tie in elements of, uh, speculating in minds and financial adventures and, uh, you know, the drug trade and all of that. Speaker 1 00:02:31 Oh, well, it's said, and I think it's accurate that everybody's first novel is at least semi autobiographical. And, uh, I think that's the case, uh, with me. Um, because I have been involved in the mining business, uh, for most of my life, and I've spent a lot of time in Africa. And, uh, speculator is about, uh, a young guy, high school dropout who, um, who's smart and, uh, self-motivated, gets involved in speculating in small mining stocks, which are very, very volatile. Uh, 10 to one moves are normal, a hundred to one moves are not uncommon, and there is the once in a while, thousand to one move. So he gets lucky, starts out with no money, makes a million dollars, decides to go and see his mine. Uh, mining company in Africa gets involved in a bush war with boy soldiers and the mythical country of Gowana and, uh, uh, actually makes a hundred million dollars and the government steals it from him. Speaker 1 00:03:41 And that's, that's what speculator's about. Uh, then he becomes a, uh, a drug Lord, after sailing around the world for 12 years. I'm, I'm, uh, not personally a a user or a toker. I mean, I've, I'll try anything once, twice if I like it. Uh, but, uh, what I'm trying to do in these novels with my co-author John Hunt, is we're trying to, um, reform unjustly, besmirched occupations, reform the reputations. Everybody's supposed to hate speculators. I'm trying to show that a speculator can be a good guy. Everybody thinks the drug Lord has to be a bad guy. No, can be a very good guy. Uh, third book is assassin where, uh, after the government against steals all his money when he's a drug Lord, and puts him in jail for two years, Charles decides that some people just need killing, which I think is a fact. Speaker 1 00:04:40 Uh, so, uh, the next novel, we have four more planned. Oh, the next one's gonna be called Terrorist, where, uh, uh, Charles ramps it up from point targets being an assassin to area targets being a terrorist. They say, how can a terrorist be a good guy? Well, it depends on who your terrorizing and what your intentions are, and how much collateral damage there is and so forth. But anyway, once you're accused of being a terrorist, uh, there's no place to run and hide except a war zone. So that leads us to our next novel, which will be called a Warlord, where Charles goes back to Gowana, uh, and transforms it from a shithole country into Singapore on steroids in a decade. And this, this leads to a hobby of mine. I've been doing this around the world for a long time, talking to military dictators about reforming their shithole countries. Speaker 1 00:05:46 Uh, anyway, after that we have antichrist where the natives in Gana think that he must be God because he transformed their country. And when you're a God, you have to give them a religion. So turns back to the US and he's accused the antichrist, which he may be, but he is a good guy. The antichrist has a undeserved bad reputation, I think. And that leaves to the last book called Apocalypse where, um, world War iii, which we're heading towards at this time. Uh, but this is an interesting war cuz it'll be the only war in world history where only the bad guys die and none of the good guys die. So that's the series of seven novels. Speaker 0 00:06:34 Well, you have just made my week because I was sad to think that, um, I might be leaving Charles Knight at the end of, uh, what I thought was a trilogy, but I'm very excited. And, um, we're gonna put the link to buy the books and also show, uh, the covers in the, um, in the chat and show him on the screen. Now. Uh, Charles Knight had some early influences, his Uncle Maurice. Uh, of course, the Count of Monte Cristo was a novel that, uh, helped to inspire him and get him through hard times. So, uh, what were some of your early influences, um, or experiences that helped propel you to your extraordinary career, or that contributed to your contrarian philosophy? Speaker 1 00:07:30 Well, philosophically, philosophical evolution, let's say Speaker 1 00:07:35 I started out like most kids do as a liberal, uh, because young kids aren't very smart. They don't know much about the way the world works. Uh, I even remember when I asked my mother, uh, during the Eisenhower years, and this is, this is a fact. I asked her to type, write a letter from me to President Eisenhower asking why the black people in the slums of Chicago where I lived, uh, couldn't he do something about it? Really stupid idea, stupid letter. But from there, I evolved, uh, to becoming a conservative. Uh, what helped was I read Barry Goldwater, uh, Barry Goldwater's book, conscious of a Conservative, when he ran for president in 1964. And then, then the big breakthrough happened. Uh, when I got outta college, I read and Rand's the Virtue of Selfishness. And that book was so stunning. I still think it's the best of her books. Uh, I actually had to put that book down after reading the first page because I was so shocked. It was like just the first page of that book crystallized the somewhat inchoate thoughts in my mind. And, um, I converted myself by reading her, her that one book and, and her, her other non-fiction books to being a, uh, a rite or a randian. Speaker 0 00:09:11 But it didn't Objection, end there. Object. Speaker 1 00:09:13 It, it, I, these are not, these are not ways that followers of, uh, Rand refer to themselves. But, uh, my next step, cause it didn't end with that, uh, I became a libertarian, uh, and, uh, after being a libertarian, uh, and I know that, I know that Rand didn't like libertarians, uh, it was like oil and water with her for reasons which made no sense to me. And subsequently, I've become what you call an ancap or an anarchical capitalist. But, uh, as Jerome Tu Chile said in his book of that name, it usually begins with a rand. Speaker 0 00:09:55 Ay yes. And, uh, well, I'm partial to her fiction myself, but I ha we have many, many young people, um, at the Atlas Society. I'm thinking of one in particular, JC Barton, who I met at a conference. He hadn't read any Ayn Rand, but I was kind to him and got him into a special dinner where he probably had no business being. And I said, but you know, I want you to do one thing in return. I'd like you to go find one Ayran book and, and read it. And it was the virtue of selfishness for him. And when I saw him again a year later at another conference, he said he's read it seven times and it's totally changed his life. So, um, now of course, as we were discussing earlier, the challenge is to continue to allow, uh, these books to have their effect to allow, um, ayran to be as Ed Crane of the Cato Institute once said, the quote, greatest recruiter of all time for the Liberty movement, uh, in an age where young people's reading habits have plummeted, um, 85% in the past 50 years. So, uh, it's, it's a challenge, but it's a challenge that I, I believe we're meeting. So, uh, you talked about Ayn Rand and, um, interesting that it was her, uh, nonfiction that, that really interested you and that you just continued to keep, you didn't get stuck in any one place. You kept on growing and questioning and trying on d different philosophies and I ideas. Um, how did you get your, Speaker 1 00:11:34 I think it's a na I think it's a natural evolution. Uh, once you are, are put on the path by Rand's philosophy to go further. That's the only objection that I have to R'S philosophy is that she didn't take it far enough. She still believed in the state. Now, the state that Rand believes in, uh, since the state is violence, you wanna limit violence. And that means an army, a police and a court system. I could live with the state like that, but, uh, states are by their very nature cancerous, and they always evolve and get bigger. And that's, well, just what's happened to the United States of America. So, uh, that's why I became an anarchist. There's a book I'd recommend to listeners that I think is very important, and that's called The Market for Liberty by, uh, uh, the Tana Hills. And that book had as big an effect on me as Rand's Books did, because they, it explains how society would work without the state. So Speaker 0 00:12:42 Just, all right, so we're not gonna resolve that, uh, that old debate, uh, within the time we have, particularly since. I also wanna hear about how you got your start as a speculator. I, you know, understand you started out as a liberal and then you went on, um, an intellectual journey. But let's talk about your professional journey as well. Speaker 1 00:13:05 Well, uh, I always liked money because it allows you to have and do the things that you want in life. And by doing things, you can be something three most important verbs in any language or have be and do so. Um, in order to, uh, do and be, you gotta have to, uh, so that means get some money. Um, I was always scientifically oriented, uh, very interested in geology. So, um, Speaker 1 00:13:45 That interested me. And I read, uh, Henry Haslett's Economics in one lesson, uh, when I was in college. And that got me interested in the relationship between gold and money, and of course, geology, well, gold mining. So, um, I got into the gold mining finance business, basically, speculating and crappy little exploration stocks. But as I pointed out earlier, I dunno if we were on the air or not when we were talking, that, uh, these stocks, uh, regularly go 10 to one, a hundred to one, a thousand to one. And I've gotten lucky with them and, uh, gained some expertise in the business. So people ask me where I make money speculating, I try to look everywhere in the world. I've been to 165 countries, traveled to 165 countries. I've lived in 10 countries. Um, and I look at the stock markets, the real estate markets, and all these places because, um, different countries have different political environments which create different distortions in the market, which you can capitalize on. Speaker 1 00:15:01 So, uh, always watching the, uh, mining business, which is very, very volatile, and I'm all for in volatility. Uh, if you wanna make money, it makes it easier maybe to buy low and sell high when things have huge runs up and down. So, um, international investing, uh, resource speculating, gold, nickel, cobalt, copper oil, natural gas, all these things, that's, that's what I do. And, um, feel a little bit guilty sometimes because, um, I feel like, uh, I ought to be out digging for the gold with the pickax and a mule, but instead I'm just speculating in the companies or financing the companies where somebody goes out and do does that. But it's specialization in divisional labor. You can't kiss all the girls, you can't do that Speaker 0 00:15:58 <laugh>. Um, all right. Now I wanna remind everybody who, uh, is watching on whatever platform you are joining us from. Please, we're gonna turn to your questions in just a bit. I have a few more that I wanna get to, but, uh, you can go ahead and type those in, in the comment section, and we will get to them shortly. And, um, anticipating one, what I think one of the questions might be is what advice might you have for young investors who are just starting out? What are the key principles or strategies on which they should focus? Speaker 1 00:16:32 Well, first of all, don't clutter your mind up, uh, by taking economics courses in college. Uh, it'll take you years to unlearn the false in false premises, false information, false philosophy that economics courses universally teach you in college. So don't do that. If you want to, uh, make money as a speculator, uh, let me go further. Don't go to college. The next book that I write, in addition to, uh, terrorists, the fourth novel, there's a book called The Renaissance Man, where it, it's, it's a guidebook for young people, but for all people, uh, about self-education and how to be, do, and have everything that you want in the world, what to read, what to do, where to go, what courses to take, and very importantly, why not to go to college. It's a stupid misallocation of four years, at least of time. And today, several hundred thousand dollars of money, which could be much better used. So that's the next book. Speaker 0 00:17:47 Well, we're looking forward to that. It's, uh, been a theme that we've explored on this show. And of course, uh, one of our recent honorees at our gala, Peter Thiel, is also an advocate of, uh, uh, not, uh, having those opportunity costs of, of missing out on all of the real education that you might get. And of course, uh, avoiding debt as well. So, uh, given Speaker 1 00:18:13 The, you know, I, I, I have the good fortune in 1980, the day before the National Presidential elections, when Ronald Reagan was running against Jimmy Carter, uh, I had an hour by myself on the Phil Donahue Show, which in those days, if people don't know, it was the Oprah, uh, uh, it was huge, gigantic. Everybody watched it. And, uh, one of the things that I said, the audience liked me saying radical things, except there was two radical things I said they didn't, like, I went into explaining why I wasn't voting the next day. But what they really didn't like is I told them that I wish I hadn't gone to college. And I advised 'em even back then in 1980, not to go to college. So this isn't the new idea as far as I'm concerned. Speaker 0 00:19:01 Wow. Um, okay. So let's take a look at today, the current economic geopolitical landscape. A lot of uncertainty, uh, a lot of instability. What are some of the key trends or opportunities you see for an investors in the near future? What are you looking at? Speaker 1 00:19:23 Well, from a macroeconomic point of view, it seems to me that the, uh, United States has been going downhill, more or less from its founding from a philosophical point of view. And it's been going downhill rapidly, uh, from a philosophical point of view. Uh, well pick the time, the Lincoln administration, the Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt administration, uh, and now we're at the point where we're actually in a collapsing civilization. Uh, you know, this, after the Teddy Roosevelt administration, we had Wilson, who was a disaster. Roosevelt an even bigger disaster. And then all the rest of these, nothing nobodies that have been president since then, just layering on more laws, more taxes, more inflation. And, uh, it's become, I think, harder and harder, uh, to make an honest living. Now, what, to answer your question, what are you gonna do if you wanna make money in the stock market? Speaker 1 00:20:31 I think that right now is a very bad time to be in the stock market. Um, when you look at things like price, earnings ratios, price, the book, value ratios, uh, debt levels, uh, so many things, uh, I'd say the stock market is overpriced, but it could go up a lot. Cause where are you gonna put your money? You can't put your money in bonds. That's the kiss of death. They're triple threat to your capital. You've got the currency risk, cuz the dollar is going to be destroyed within our lifetimes. I believe, uh, yours is longer than mine, but maybe within my lifetime. Uh, you've got the interest rate risk. There's every reason to believe that interest rates could go back to the levels that they were in the early 1980s when the US government was paying 16 or 18% for it's T bills. Most people are unaware of that simple fact. Speaker 1 00:21:36 Um, so it's, um, I'm not crazy about the stock market as a, um, as, as an investment medium. It's strictly a speculative medium. Uh, there's problems everywhere, quite frankly. Uh, you know, the more involved the government gets in the economy and they've always been involved, but now they're super involved, super involved, uh, it becomes impossible to be a, an investor. You have to be a speculator. And, um, most people don't know how they confuse being a speculator with being a gambler, and they're very different, but most people don't know the difference. So, uh, we're in for some rough running throughout this decade and maybe beyond, but maybe at the end of this decade, um, Ray Kurzweil will be right, and we'll experience the singularity, which might kiss everything and make it better. We'll see, this is a great time to be alive. And if, if the singularity's real, maybe you'll get to live as long as you like, not just, uh, you know, four score in seven years. The way most people Speaker 0 00:22:52 Let's go. I'm gonna turn, I'm just checking on our questions here. We've got a lot of good ones, but since you brought up the singularity and since, um, Peter Diamandis is very close to the Atla Society, a lot of people in that community are all about universal basic income. Speaker 1 00:23:10 Crazy. They don't know anything about, they don't understand economics, they don't understand psychology, they don't understand ethics. Anybody that believes in that, uh, is lacking in those three areas at least. Why does Diamandis and Teal do those guys believe in that? Uh, Speaker 0 00:23:30 Uh, you know, Diamandis, who calls himself a libertarian capitalist, um, I mean, I don't know if it's because he's got this abundance 360 com community, and a lot of people are in tech, and so a lot of them are actually kind of pretty woke and ideologically left. Um, but he's, he's, you know, a true believer that, uh, we're headed for some kind of techno utopia where, uh, robots will be meeting all of our needs. And Andre, therefore, um, uh, he's been on the fence and I've been trying to pull him, uh, back to, you know, our, our side on this. But then, you know, Elon Musk weighs in and says, oh yeah, we need to have U B I. So, Speaker 1 00:24:13 Well, they're all, they're all completely wrong. It's the best way to destroy the human spirit in general and destroy people's psycho psychology as individuals. I'm all for robots doing every, everything and anything. I mean, IBM used to have the model. People should think, uh, machines should work all for it. Absolutely. But when you supply people with the universal basic income, you have to ask yourself as Rand would've done at whose expense. Right. It's coming outta somebody else's pocket. Speaker 0 00:24:47 Yeah, Speaker 1 00:24:48 Exactly. Ok. And, Speaker 0 00:24:50 Um, Speaker 1 00:24:52 You know, it, it's not like if people have a, a UBI of thousand dollars a month, 2000, 20,000, I'm talking current dollars a month. Uh, it's not like everybody's just going to sit around and, uh, try to write the next Beethoven science symphony and no, probably they're, they're going to dissipate cost. Yeah. That's, that's probably what they're gonna do. Uh, so the world where you have a UBI is a world where everybody lives in, in a, uh, cubicle and watches TV all day and is fed three. Yeah, so, exactly. So, but anyway, it's not a question of it being an economically stupid idea and an unnecessary idea. These people won't be unemployed because why won't they be unemployed? Because there's an infinite demand on the part of every human for more goods and services. If you have one house, well, I want a summer house and I want a ski lodge. If you have one car, well, I'd also like a Ferrari, and I'd like a Bugatti. And it's like that with absolutely everything. So there's an infinite demand for goods and services, and basically people have to produce or manage or do something. All of these things. I mean, if you, if you have a ubi it rules out actually being productive. It's a stupid idea. These people have been, uh, swimming around the woke cesspool of Silicon Valley for way too long. It's treated them well. Uh, but, uh, big mistake. Speaker 0 00:26:29 All right, well, I'm glad you have, uh, we have you on record with, and we're gonna meme that because, um, I, I feel like this, this, uh, idea is gaining traction and, and I I also think it'll be a disaster. Um, let's Speaker 1 00:26:43 Speaking. Well, I, bad ideas are gaining traction everywhere. I mean, the fact that, uh, look, you just have to look at the way people voting. And as I said, I don't believe in voting. I don't believe in politics. I don't believe in government, but look at the people they've been electing. I mean, Clinton was pretty bad. He was a classmate of mine at Georgetown, for what it's worth. But, uh, then after that, uh, Jesus, all these horrible people, uh, that the senior bush, the baby bush Obama a nightmare. And, and now we, we've come to actual jacobins controlling the US government in Washington, and the people love it. They support these, they, they support these idiots. And the alternative is Donald Trump, who's, well, better than the alternative, but, uh, he has absolutely no philosophical core. So, uh, this is, this is bad news. Anyway, I'm sorry to cut you off, Speaker 0 00:27:41 <laugh>. That's alright. Um, I wanna dive into some of these questions because everybody's been waiting very patiently. I'll start with Christopher Barker on YouTube. What countries and the world are friendliest to marriage and parental rights? Where can people get married and stay married? Where can we find free range kids? So, I mean, I, I think that gets into, uh, you know, your life as an international man, your consulting company. Um, this viewer is particularly concerned about best places for parents and, and, uh, parental rights. And where, you know, you're not going to be having your kids taken away from you if you won't affirm their gender at eight years old and all of that maybe Speaker 1 00:28:31 Or vaccinated against their will. All all, yeah. All those things. Yeah. Well, look like Joe Lewis said, you can run, but you can't hide. And the fact is, is that every country in the world is, is is a disaster today. It's just a question of choosing the most dilute poison that you can. Uh, I lived in Hong Kong for years. It used to be a wonderful place buy back then many years, huh? Speaker 0 00:29:00 How many years I Speaker 1 00:29:01 Lived there? I lived there from, uh, well, let me see, when did I go there? I think about 1983 or 84 up until the early nineties. In other words, the Suzy Wong days to, well, since then, it's been transformed. Trans transformed, totally. Now, Hong Kong, forget about Hong Kong. Singapore is a, uh, you know, a police state with a high standard of living. Where do you go? Australia or New Zealand? Nope, lemme put it this way. There are no countries where they'll leave you alone. I live in Uruguay and Argentina now most of the year. And if you are, um, if you're a rich guy, uh, they tend to leave you alone almost anywhere, quite frankly. You can isolate and insulate yourself. I mean, look, uh, in Uruguay, uh, I've got a thousand acre farm. I'm in the middle of it. I've got, I don't have to be in touch with anybody. Speaker 1 00:30:05 I've got people that shop and do everything for me. So I don't know what's going out in the greater Uruguay world. So it's incidentally the mellow country in Latin America now. So it's worth looking at. It's not a bad alternative, but there are no good alternatives. The answer is gonna be, I think, um, Neil Stevenson put it across in his novel, uh, diamond Age, the World Nation states are gonna break up and go away and good rids, uh, they're gonna be replaced, I believe, by what Stevenson calls files, where people that have share values or interests or whatever's important to them align and take care of each other in the same way that countrymen today take care of each other. And I don't believe in countrymen, because that's just an accident of birth that you're born in the same geographical area. Doesn't necessarily mean that you share any, anything except a passport. So, uh, answer to the question, no good place. Best thing you can do is get on a plane while it's still possible, and fly around and check out some li likely countries. But you'll have, you'll have to learn another language probably, and you've gotta have some capital. And no easy answers to the question. I'm sorry. Speaker 0 00:31:30 So I would, uh, just another question that I had had, and we have our, you know, 95,000 followers on Instagram that send us questions every week for our answers. And a question that I repeatedly get, and I've been waiting for an opportunity to ask it of someone like you, is which country in the world today most resembles Ayn Rand's ideals? And doesn't sound like you have an answer for us there either. Speaker 1 00:31:56 Well, look, there is a place called Liberland. Have you heard of it? Yeah, you have. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:32:04 Okay. I think we're having founded it. It was, it's anomalous. It's an island in the Daniel River between Croatia and Serbia. And, uh, I was just talking to Vi Ika, who was the guy that founded it and is the president of it just yesterday, as a matter of fact. Um, so he's trying to make that into a, uh, an anarchist country in the middle of Europe. He's a very sound guy. I've been involved in the new country movement trying to found the country that would be nice for years. Like, oh my God, trying to think of all these disasters that, uh, we've lost from one to another. Probably the first one I was involved in was the Republic of Minerva, which was some reefs that were above water at low tide, uh, off, not far from Fiji. Uh, Minerva's an interesting thing. I was involved in Vatu. Uh, Speaker 1 00:33:08 There was a country we tried to find called Noria Mel, which is the northern island of Vatu, uh, that could have, would've, should've worked, that was trying to take the island of Abaco in The Bahamas, uh, and separate it. Uh, look, there's a dozen countries that I've been to where I've tried to pitch the guy that runs the country, preferably a military dictator. They're really the easiest to deal with cuz they wrote, they don't have to deal with parliaments and stuff like that, which are impossible. And I present 'em with an idea. I I tell them, I can do three things for you. I can make you legitimately wealthy. You don't have to steal money like Mobutu and Marcos and those guys did. Uh, I can make you internationally famous, not infamous, but, uh, everybody in the world will know who you are other than a few obscure people that know that you run a little shit hole country. Speaker 1 00:34:10 And three, I can make the people love you. And they're all afraid of a 45 to the back of the head. So they like that idea. And then I give them my plan, which is basically to privatize everything, all the government's, uh, assets, but not by selling them, but by, uh, distributing them to the people pro rata according to a formula. And then taking the thing public so that they can realize the value and run the country like a profitable corporation spinning out some long story. And that's not what we're here to talk about. But I guess to answer the question, there's no place you can run and hide today. Uh, best thing you can do if you're looking for freedom in an on free world, incidentally, a great book you should read by my old friend now, deceased Harry Brown. How I found freedom in an on free world work of genius. Uh, you have to do it yourself. You almost have to make your own little, um, Speaker 0 00:35:08 Golf cult. Speaker 1 00:35:09 Exactly. Surround yourself with friends and, uh, let the rest of the world go to hell because it's OK. And process. Alright, Speaker 0 00:35:18 This is, um, this is a kind of a niche question, but I see our friend dementias here, and he's good enough to always send us questions every week for the Instagram takeover. So I'm gonna pose his question to you. Uh, he says, interesting that you're from Uruguay, thoughts on nearby country Paraguay and its economy. Do you have any visibility on the para? Speaker 1 00:35:42 Oh, listen, uh, I'm a fan of Paraguay and always have been. Uh, first time I went to Paraguay, I, I could tell you great stories about Paraguay, and there have been very interesting books written about Paraguay. It is a weird country and used to be much weirder than it is today. It's meowed out quite a bit from what it used to be when the boys from Brazil ran it, uh, when I first went there. Uh, it's, uh, Paraguay, if you want to get a second citizenship, which is wise and advisable, Paraguay is, uh, the easiest and cheapest country to do that in. You can buy a passport from St. Kitson, Navis or Dominica, Grenada, places like that. But, uh, Paraguay, uh, it's possible to, um, become a citizen quicker and cheaper than in most countries. And it's, um, it's, uh, now it's a very unusual and interesting place. You have to go there, have to go there. Uh, Speaker 0 00:36:53 Here's, here's another question, uh, from Instagram. And one, I think you might take exception two given, uh, what I've read in your novels and other books. James Rohan says, the stock market is now rigged by insider high frequency trading and giant hedge funds. These folks get inside information trading before anyone else. Speaker 1 00:37:15 Well, of course. I mean, look, anytime you get involved, I, I never like to be on a level playing field level playing fields. Uh, sound nice in theory, but they're for fools. When you're, whether you're sitting at a poker table or playing in the stock market, you want to be someplace where it's tilted in your favor. Uh, yes. And that I think that's all true. And there's an, the whole world is entirely too financialized at this point. Way too many people are way too interested in the stock market. You know, when Warren Buffett first started making his fortune, uh, it was actually quite hard to get financial information, especially on smaller and more obscure countries, uh, comp companies. I mean, you couldn't just, you could, today, you can dial up anything on any country. It's all at your fingertips in the computer. Uh, those days are gone in the stock market and the, uh, distortions that it was possible to take advantage of don't really exist to that degree. Speaker 1 00:38:24 Yeah. So, uh, yes, you're right with, you know, algorithms trading and all this kind of nonsense. Uh, it's one of the reasons I don't like the general stock market today. I mean, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs and these guys, uh, that's why when I'm involved, the stocks that I'm involved with are an obscure area that nobody even cares about, which is small mining stocks. I mean, these, these outfits don't even care about it, and it's a really unlevel playing field, which I care about. Uh, but what was his question that I can answer? Uh, my answer, I guess is stay outta the stock general. You Speaker 0 00:39:06 Were agreeing with him, um, in, in saying that, uh, you know, he felt that it was kind of rigged and that it, there there wasn't a lot of opportunity. It kind of feeds into something that, that I was thinking about. I, I had the great fortune of working with two, uh, really visionary investors, David Murdoch and, uh, the late Ted Forsman. And Mr. Murdoch used to, uh, do, he would po he invested in penny stocks, and he would pour over all of this obscure research and ferret out opportunities that no one else, um, was able to see, like, uh, advantageous mining rights. And, and Ted Forman also would talk about finding such opportunities. And his, uh, motto was in the, in the, uh, land of the Blind, the one i, I man is king. But if what I'm hearing you is correct that we are living in this over financialized world with this ubiquity of financial data, uh, and so that it really is harder for speculators to spot those hidden gem investment opportunities. Speaker 1 00:40:13 I don't believe if Warren Buffet was a young man today, he could use the methods that have served him so well. I don't think he could use them today. I really don't. Speaker 0 00:40:22 Interesting. Speaker 1 00:40:23 I agree. Speaker 0 00:40:24 Yeah. Times have changed. All right. Uh, so, Speaker 1 00:40:26 But at the same time, there, there's many paths up the mountain, so, uh, you know, if an avalanche blocks this one, you gotta find another one. Speaker 0 00:40:34 I agree. Um, all right. I've see a couple of questions coming in with a similar theme about cryptocurrency. Uh, last year at the Atlas Society gala, Michael Sailor, co-founder of MicroStrategy was our honoree. And this year he's going to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Mexico's Ricardo Salinas. Now, we connected with both of them over their shared admiration of Ayin Rand, but both are also famous, uh, Bitcoin evangelists and, and Maximalist. So you've always been a strong advocate of holding gold, particularly as a hedge against inflation. Any thoughts on Bitcoin's potential in that regard as well? Speaker 1 00:41:19 Well, you know, sailor had a debate, or I should say a discussion with my old friend, Frank sra. I saw that. Who? Mining, mining guy. I dunno if you saw that or not. I Speaker 0 00:41:31 Did, mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:41:32 <affirmative>. Okay. So I don't know Sailor, but I know Frank very well for many years. And, uh, the answer to the question is they were both right. You've gotta have gold, and I think Bitcoin is going to make it as a money. Uh, I was a late adopter to Bitcoin. I only got into it in 2017, uh, a Speaker 0 00:41:52 Year than I did. Speaker 1 00:41:54 Well, you know, Speaker 0 00:41:57 I guess that's your job. Speaker 1 00:41:58 Kept me out of it. I mean, all my friends got into this years before that, back in, back in 2012 or 2011 guys made. It was the best thing that ever happened to libertarians that are tech savvy. I mean, uh, they made millions, many millions, these guys why I shot myself in the foot, because I said, look, there are characteristics of a good money, uh, Aristotle define them, and there's one has to be durable. Uh, that's why you don't use money. It has to be divisible. That's why you don't use, uh, art as money can't divide the Mona Lisa. It has to be convenient. It's why you don't use lead's money. It has to be consistent. It's why you don't use real estate as money, and it has to have utility value in itself. So you're not stuck holding the bag with, you know, a trading sardine as opposed to an eating sardine. Speaker 1 00:42:55 Um, and I couldn't figure out what the value of Bitcoin was. Well, it's a transfer mechanism. And in today's world with foreign exchange controls and, you know, banks, uh, it, it's a transfer mechanism. It's, uh, so I'm a believer in Bitcoin also. The quantity is limited, which is very important for money. So I believe in both gold and Bitcoin. I think you ought to have both, actually, but probably only Bitcoin because there's 20,000 other cryptos out there, and I think most of 'em are scams, and most of the rest of 'em are useless, even if not scams. Speaker 0 00:43:33 Uh, Michael Sailor would agree with you there. Yeah. So, uh, in addition to Casey research, I think we mentioned before you started International Man, which helps clients with international diversification as an insurance policy against, uh, their home country going full tyranny. First the extent that you are comfortable sharing, or perhaps you can give examples of how you or other clients have implemented diversification in, uh, your own life and investment holdings. Any examples of how you've helped clients in that regard? Speaker 1 00:44:10 Well, I don't take any individual clients. I'm not interested in dealing with the public or people's individual problems It's doing. That just opens up a Speaker 1 00:44:25 Ness of problems for me. Uh, I wrote a book back in 1977, uh, called The International Man, which subsequently became the largest selling book in the history of Rhodesia. Uh, because once I went, this was during the war, uh, when I went to Salisbury, I found a publisher that I got along with, and he loved it because at the time, there were 250,000 people of European descent. And what is now is Zimbabwe. And they all wanted to make the chicken run. And they all have, there's only about 5,000 white people left in, in, uh, Zi Zim now. Um, well, in the years since then, I started a blog called international man.com, and every day we have articles on very interesting internationally oriented subjects. So people ought to go there and take a look. Um, but, uh, I'm not answering the question directed to me again. Speaker 0 00:45:29 No, no, that's okay. It was just examples of how people are, uh, diversifying. So, I mean, in your case, I'm taking, Speaker 1 00:45:39 I think most, are most of your listeners mostly Americans? Speaker 0 00:45:45 Um, no, I'd say we're, we're maybe uh, 70% Americans here. Speaker 1 00:45:51 Okay. Well, Americans are really screwed, uh, because for an American to diversify himself internationally, and he must, because as great as the financial risks are today, the political risks are much greater. Uh, your main enemy is your own government, and it's stalking you like a leopard in the jungle. Uh, and you can't get away from it because the US government is reaching, its tend tendrils everywhere. It's like Soran and Lord of the Rings it'ss horrible. Uh, look, if you're an American, uh, you can't practically open up a bank account or a brokerage account anywhere unless you can show that you're actually gonna be living in that country. It's very hard. Or you have a lot of money. It's, it's very problematic. And of course, I'm sure everybody knows that even if you, uh, leave the US physically and never come back, the government still expects to tax you for the rest of your life. Exit Speaker 0 00:46:53 Tax. Well then exit tax too, right? Speaker 1 00:46:56 Yes. If you renounce your citizenship, uh, there is an exit tax you have to pay. Uh, you have to pay capital gains taxes on all accumulated property at the moment, you renounce. And it, it, it's a, it takes a long time. And, uh, it's, it's a disaster. Used to be very easy, but they make everything harder. So, uh, but, uh, especially if you're, uh, young, uh, do it now. Uh, just as if you were, uh, in Russia in 1917, you wanted to get out before Len took over, not after. And in Germany, you wanted to get out before Hitler took over, not after. And the same thing goes for China before Mao, not after. Uh, and in the United States, uh, we're heading, uh, the same direction. I'm really fear for the future of the us and in that light, if the United States collapses, uh, boy, look out for the rest of the world, because it's not very good the United States. I mean, it's just one of 200 other countries today. Cause we lost the original thing that made America, America, uh, it's not America anymore. It's just another nation state. But, um, uh, do it now. So, uh, get another citizenship and passport now, and think about renouncing your citizenship. Now, I would say it's, it's a liability. Speaker 0 00:48:33 All right? We have, uh, Speaker 1 00:48:33 We become a Canadian or an Australian, something like that. Speaker 0 00:48:38 Yeah. I would probably, uh, get Indian citizenship since I was born in New Delhi. Speaker 1 00:48:43 Huh. Not a very good passport, though. You'll, you'll find that you, you need a visa to go anywhere and everywhere, and you won't be very welcome. Speaker 0 00:48:53 Well, maybe I'll come and, and, uh, visit you down there, <laugh>. Well welcome. All right. So, uh, Guda Tara, um, who I'm going to see in a few weeks, and hopefully you'll help me correctly pronounce your name when you join us in Nashville, July 27th through 29th. Uh, is asking, hi, Doug, what are your predictions for the real estate market in the us? Speaker 1 00:49:20 Uh, Speaker 1 00:49:22 Here's the problem with real estate in the US and real estate has been very, very good to me. Uh, it's just that, um, it's an asset that is easy to tax, and local governments want more money. It's easy to tax real estate, so that's not good. But the big thing is that real estate in the US and most of the Western world floats on a sea of debt, mortgage debt. And as interest rates go up, people can't buy and they can't sell unless they borrow money. So, um, that's, that's, uh, a ticking time bomb interest rates, you know, have gone from mortgages 3%, um, a year to two years ago to, uh, 6% to 7% today. They could easily go back to the levels that they were in the early 1980s, 12 13th percent. And that's gonna have a very bad effect on the affordability of houses. So, to answer the question, if you're gonna buy a house, that's fine, but treat it as a consumer good. Don't treat it as an investment. Okay. I think that game, that game is largely over. Uh, Speaker 0 00:50:46 All right. I'm gonna take this one last question from Connie Keller, uh, asking, with EFTs BlackRock's recent wins and Fidelity acquiring grayscale, would you agree that it gives Bitcoin more credence? Speaker 1 00:51:02 Well, yeah. The more people that use it and understand it to some degree and accept it, the more liquid it becomes. Yeah, it's a good thing. But on the other hand, um, you know, governments are getting into their own cryptocurrencies, and they're going to try to get you to have everything, all your money and everything digital on your phone. This is a, a disaster in the making because, uh, we'll be able to shut you down in a New York second. Uh, Speaker 0 00:51:37 Yeah, he just posted a meme with somebody trying to, uh, get something out of a vending machine, and he gets the message access, uh, transaction declined your, uh, Speaker 1 00:51:51 Social credit score Speaker 0 00:51:52 Violated, uh, yeah. Community guidelines or what have you. And, and that, yeah, SG economy really is a kill switch economy, so, oh, um, Speaker 1 00:52:01 It, it's a nightmare. But most of the people in the United States or worldwide, you know, see, hey, it's convenient. I can do everything, you know, financially now, they like the idea, it's convenient, and, and they're so uneducated and so stupid, they don't realize it. They're being transformed into serfs by themselves. So I, I'm very gloomy, despite the fact that the singularity is coming, and that's gonna be wonderful. I'm very gloomy about the prospects for personal freedom, certainly over the next decade at this point. So, uh, we may be in an every man for themselves type of situation. Speaker 0 00:52:46 Well, I think I'm gonna, I'm gonna get you more involved with the Out outlet society, because I'll tell you, uh, it is very easy to despair, particularly if you look at the news and of course, the trends that are very real. But the young people that we work with at the Atla Society, um, the, the fact that they are inoculating their minds against the socially transmitted diseases of resentment and envy and, uh, a avoiding debt, um, there's, you know, just remember that no battle is truly lost without any hope for reprieve reversal until we concede that it is. So, we have a few more minutes. I wanted to kind of open this up to give you an opportunity to touch on anything that, um, we didn't get around to otherwise. I just wanna keep talking about your novels, which are such a magnificent achievement. Um, what, what inspired you to embark on this path? How did you find your co-author? How do you guys, what's your process? I mean, I'm, I'm assuming you, you pretty much plot out your, uh, your plots in advance. Speaker 1 00:54:00 Well, I've become very lazy as time has gone on. And, uh, I was introduced to, uh, uh, John Hunt, uh, and we share philosophies very much, uh, by a mutual friend. And the way it works is that, uh, I came up with the overall theme of the seven novels and reforming unjustly besmirched occupations, and John does the individual work, and then I fill in all the blanks and riff, uh, you know, all the time on different things, which I, which is the fun part as far as I'm concerned. So it's a, it's a truly cooperative, uh, effort. Uh, although it is concerning to me that, uh, I think you're quite correct, Jack, that people don't read books as much today as they once did, because there's so much in the way of videos, and Speaker 0 00:54:59 It's a, it's a very saturated, I mean, you know, I, we, I talked about that statistic of, uh, reading for pleasure among young people, declining 85% since the 1970s. And the flip side of that is that the average young person is spending s nine hours a day on his screens. Um, and, you know, maybe a little bit of that is reading, but I was actually, you know, the biggest pushback that I sometimes get from our donors is saying, well, you know, these graphic novels and the videos and, you know, you need to be having longer lectures and white papers and more in depth. And I always say that, um, at the Atlas Society, we have programming for skimmers, for swimmers and deep divers. And, uh, you know, the skimmers, it's the memes and it's the animated videos, the swimmers, it's, it's the pocket guides and it's webinars like this. And then the deep dive divers, you know, it's, um, the content provided by our faculty, our, our conference. Uh, but I mean, I, I'll admit, I actually listened to your novels on audiobook and, uh, audio, audio has, and that's important. Uh, but, um, I don't know, did you have a particular target market for this, this, cuz they're not exactly young adult fiction. Speaker 1 00:56:26 No, it's not. You know, it, it's, it's, they're just some things that I felt needed saying and some things that I wanted to do. So it was actually quite selfish. I'm not trying to, and I don't think it's possible to change the world. I think the world has a life of its own. And people like you or me, or members of the Atlas Society and Arco capitalists, people on our side of the barricades, uh, I'm afraid that we're rounding errors to the population at large. We're insignificant in terms of numbers. And when they see us, they actually dislike us. I'll go further. They hate us because I've got to tell you, I subscribed to the New York Review of books and the London Review of books and occasionally see Atlantic Magazine and the New Yorker and all that. And any article that you see that the, or on Quora is another place where a Rand's name is mentioned, the venom and the hate that spewed is absolutely unbelievable. So these people see us as the enemy, and I see them as the enemy too. Uh, Speaker 0 00:57:45 Yeah, I don't, I don't think we, we reach those people. Uh, I don't feel like we reached the indoctrinated, but I think that, um, particularly, uh, in this Gen Z and the polar gen coming after it, yes, there's a lot of problems. There's a obsession with safety. There's an immersion in, uh, online. Um, but I think that there's other things that are opportunities. Okay. It's actually becoming a much more secular, I know a lot of conservatives see that as a negative, but, um, the fact that people are perhaps becoming less mystical, uh, and more independent, the growth and independence. Um, so I, I, you know, if I was as pessimistic as you are, then I wouldn't be doing what I do and I wouldn't be asking people for, uh, donations to support our work and well listen. Just cause, Speaker 1 00:58:42 Just because I'm pessimistic does not mean that I've, I've, I've given up hope. I I think we're on the losing side of, we're on the losing side of history, uh, actually, uh, for, for a lot of reasons. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't, you shouldn't fight the bastards. I ab I absolutely believe that. Speaker 0 00:59:04 Uh, yes. And, and I, I, uh, I'm not quite a, uh, Buckley ask standing author history and yelling, stop. Um, I think that those of us that master these new technologies, uh, have a real opportunity with these converging exponential, um, technologies. And, you know, uh, yeah, I totally believe in diversifying as well, at least in terms of our programming content. We used to be primarily focused on the United States. Now videos that we launch in the United States that get a million views, get 8 million views in the Middle East, get 6 million views, India. Oh, Speaker 1 00:59:46 That's fantastic. Speaker 0 00:59:47 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:59:47 Well, and, and listen, you mentioned something earlier that I think is worth touching on, and that is artificial intelligence. A lot of people are terrified by the prospect. Uh, I'm not, uh, because the more intelligent AI becomes, and of course it's supposed to become exponentially intelligent very quickly, uh, that's a good thing because frankly, collectivism and stateism and things like that Speaker 0 01:00:14 Irrational, Speaker 1 01:00:15 There's signs of stupidity. So if AI really is going to, uh, take on a life of its own, it'll be free market and free pro freedom oriented. So I think it, it, it, it could be a fantastic thing Speaker 0 01:00:31 On that optimistic note, and I've already, uh, gone over time here, we're going to end it. So, um, I want to thank you, Doug, uh, for this magnificent fun, uh, hour. And thank you for your beautiful achievement of your work and your novels and, uh, all of the services you provide. Uh, what are the best places to, to follow you and learn more about you, sign up for your newsletters? Speaker 1 01:00:59 Well, no newsletter that's in the past. Go to international man.com, which comes out free every day. That's quite good. If I do say so myself. And also on YouTube and these other similar channels, uh, it's called Doug Casey's Take, where Matt Smith and I talk about everything under the sun for a half an hour or an hour, couple times a week. So that's where Great, Speaker 0 01:01:28 We'll, we'll follow you there. So thank you. I wanna also thank all of you excellent questions today. Uh, I Rand observed that those who fight for the future live in it today. So if you are interested in fighting for that future and living in it today with us at the Atlas Society, if you enjoyed this interview, if you enjoy our other content and the work that we are doing, please consider making a tax deductible donation to support our work. Uh, if you are new and have never supported the Outlet society before, our trustees will match that donation. Please consider tuning in. Uh, next week we are gonna be here again with, uh, senior Fellow of the Manhattan Institute and host of the Last Optimist Podcast, Mark Mills. He, uh, is gonna talk about his latest book, the Cloud Revolution, how the Convergence of New Technologies will unleash the Next Economic Boom and a Roaring 2020s. We'll see you then.

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