Doug Casey on Whether It’s Possible to Find Freedom in an Unfree World

Doug Casey on Whether It’s Possible to Find Freedom in an Unfree World by Doug Casey for International Man

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International Man: Statism has become a new religion.

A growing number of people are interested in using the State’s power to tell others how to live. They are also voting themselves freebies at the expense of others.

It’s clear that those who want to be left alone won’t be. Is it possible to find freedom in an unfree place?

Doug Casey: Back in 1973, my old friend Harry Browne wrote a really fantastic book called How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, where he dealt with exactly that question.

Remember, that was almost 50 years ago now—a lifetime.

The book was timely, even though the world was much freer then than it is now. We now have vastly more financial and travel controls, however—many new penalties for saying, or even appearing to think, the “wrong” things. You’re now monitored in many more ways.

Harry’s book is brilliant and actually more important to read now than it was then. His answers to how you find freedom in an unfree world are useful and relevant.

But the fact is that you can run but you can’t hide.

That’s because the world has been infected by a virus. I don’t mean the ridiculous COVID virus. I mean the virus of statism and collectivism.

There’s really nowhere you can go to be safe from it—only some places that are better than others.

For instance, the so-called Five Eyes countries—the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. They were once the major bastions of Western Civilization, the only civilization—ever—that held personal freedom as an ideal. But now they’re the very ones leading the route downhill.

It’s a real problem for freedom lovers. We’re a smaller and smaller minority. Most people, however, prefer a strong leader promising the illusion of safety and security. Nothing has changed since the days of Rome. It devolved from a yeoman republic to a multicultural empire with onerous taxes in order to pay for bread and circuses to keep the capite censi under control.

In the latter days of the empire, many of its citizens attempted to escape, to live among the barbarians—even while the barbarians were taking over the empire itself. Pretty much the same thing is happening now in the West in general and the US in particular.

The best thing you can do to defend yourself—at least while it’s still possible—is to become rich enough to insulate yourself from the State. Rich enough so that even if they steal a lot from you—and they will— you still have enough. Enough to absorb the hit, keep moving, and live life as you’d like.

Let me go off on a bit of a tangent here, and look at things from the viewpoint of class. That’s perhaps appropriate in a world where neo-Marxism is being promoted everywhere. I see classes according to how they align relative to the three most important, most basic verbs in any language—be, do, and have.

If you’re lower class—which is to say have a lower class mentality— you just accept what you’re given. The lower classes are defined by psychological demoralization, apathy, and hopelessness. At best, they just think about having stuff—cars, houses, food, mates—but don’t even succeed at that very well because of their values. I doubt, however, that anybody now reading this fits into that category. Historically, they’re by far the largest group, and their numbers are now growing rapidly.

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Doug Casey

For over a quarter of a century, legendary investor and best-selling author Doug Casey and his team at Casey Research have been helping self-directed investors to earn superior returns through innovative investment research designed to take advantage of market dislocations..