Doug Casey on The Culture War

Doug Casey on The Culture War by Doug Casey for International Man

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“Culture” is composed of the customs, traditions, and beliefs of a group of people. It’s a way of seeing the world and interpreting reality. It determines what’s right and wrong and good and evil. Culture is what ties people together or divides them. It’s a composite of religion, politics, economics, philosophy, and language—but the composite is more important than any one component.

Culture is what ties groups and countries together. When a cultural split develops—such as the one we now have in the US—a country cannot, and, more importantly, should not stay together.

It’s poisonous to keep different cultures together in the same political unit. Politics is all about deciding who decides who gets what, how, and at whose expense. It can be fairly cordial if everybody shares the same culture. If they don’t, it’s a formula for disaster.

In the US, politics has become a contest of who gets to impose their will on the rest of the country. When that’s the case, a country is best off dividing. It shouldn’t be held together artificially or by force, but voluntarily. Freedom of association is necessary for a civil society. People generally prefer to associate with those with whom they share a culture. Birds of a feather do, in fact, flock together.

The alternative is chaos or even civil war. I suspect what we’ve seen in the last few months is only an overture to what’s coming. The US is no longer a country that is united by language, ideas, ethnicity, or anything else. It has become a multicultural domestic empire. The essence of an empire is coercion. The divide between the components of the US is growing and solidifying.

Politicians talk about “bringing us together.” But that’s nonsense. Politics only brings people together by force—the way a pressure cooker brings things together. It may look like it’s succeeding for a while, but when the pressure builds enough, there’s an explosion. Cultures develop organically; political coercion can’t make disparate people like each other.

Apart from that, I’d argue the US has become too large, too complex, and too diverse to be governable. It’s very different from what it was at its founding—or even fifty years ago. For one thing, its central government is already totally bankrupt. Productive parts of the country will increasingly resent a corrupt Washington that supports itself, its cronies, and hordes of welfare recipients at their expense.

Perhaps the US should break up peacefully before the situation gets completely out of control.

But how? The last time the US tried to divide, the result was the (incorrectly named) Civil War. The unpleasantness of 1861–1865 was not, in fact, a civil war, but a war of secession. The South simply wanted to go its own way, much as the colonies did in 1776. A civil war, by contrast, is one in which two or more parties try to take over the same government. That’s very different from wanting to part company.

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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..