Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Doug Casey on the Demise of Nation States – Casey Research

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2018

Freedom has been in decline throughout the world. I mean you can’t even arm yourself today without getting permission from the State. And, historically, a major sign of a free man was his right to be armed. Snowflakes, cupcakes, and SJWs are afraid to be armed; they have a slave mentality.

Justin: So, Doug. Are nation states really in decline?

Doug: They’re definitely in decline, and that’s a good thing—nothing to be concerned about. It’s cause for optimism. The question is why are they falling apart?

Some background. The concept of the nation state came about with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, something that everybody only vaguely remembers from a college history class. Actually, today’s students will probably never even hear of it. That class has likely been replaced with Gender Studies or Black History.

Why was it so important? It redirected the concept of “loyalty” away from an individual—a prince or a king—to the State itself. A geographical area now wasn’t so much the possession of a ruler, as a possession of a State. This really got the concept of nationalism going; nationalism is just tribalism writ large.

That’s how the concept was born. But the idea of a nation state is coming to an end. Now almost anybody can go almost anywhere thanks to jet travel; you’re no longer married to one place, like a medieval serf. And you can communicate with anybody anywhere on the planet thanks to the Internet; that makes it much harder to keep all the sheep thinking the same thing.

So, first, people realized that it’s completely ridiculous and dysfunctional to be loyal to some thug who, through an accident of birth or through military competence, set himself up as a prince. Now they’re discovering that it’s equally stupid to be loyal to a government that’s running a country.

Justin: What should be people be loyal to instead?

Doug: Your loyalty should be to people who share your values or philosophy on life. Whatever is important to you. That could be any of a thousand things, including your religion or occupation. Or maybe just a hobby.

The nation state is now an anachronism, and going out of business. It’s dysfunctional, destructive, and serves less and less of a useful purpose. All it does is tax, regulate, persecute, and conduct wars. People got a bit of a scare a couple weeks ago when it looked like the US might start a nuclear war with the North Koreans, or the Russians. Perhaps they’ll threaten China next. That’s all State-on-State action…

Doug: Absolutely. In every country, citizens have much less freedom than they did 100 years ago. The number of laws and regulations has exploded. Equally bad, the income tax is everywhere—it didn’t exist almost anywhere before the 19th century. Even worse, money everywhere is now just a fiction. Before the early 20th century money was completely international. It was gold, which was accepted everywhere. And in those days you didn’t need a passport—just enough money to travel and maintain yourself.

The standard of living was lower in those days. But things have improved because of technology, despite government draining capital away from enterprises, and misallocating it for political purposes.

Technology has advanced tremendously over the last hundred years. But a lot of people conflate the increase in standards of living with the growth of governments. Governments have grown not because they created new wealth, but because they’ve confiscated wealth and used it against their subjects.

But now most of them are bankrupt—even though they’ve taken taxes from trivial levels to monstrous levels. Even with the huge additional amounts they’ve stolen by inflating their currencies, they’re still bankrupt. I suspect we’re reaching the end game—but that’s another story.

So, you’re right. Freedom has been in decline throughout the world. I mean you can’t even arm yourself today without getting permission from the State. And, historically, a major sign of a free man was his right to be armed. Snowflakes, cupcakes, and SJWs are afraid to be armed; they have a slave mentality….

Doug: Well, the declining U.S. Empire will likely confront the rising Chinese Empire. The US still has a very powerful military. The chances are it will use it while it’s still on top. Or a small war could break out anywhere in the world, and escalate. Things could get out of control very quickly. Remember, Black Swans aren’t things you don’t expect. They’re things that you don’t know even exist.

You’ve also got to remember that the U.S. also has a genuine demographic problem. This wasn’t an issue one hundred or even fifty years ago when most of the U.S. population was of European and Christian descent. Today, it’s very different. A huge portion of the population is Hispanic. And these recent migrants have much different traditions. They don’t have traditional American values.

That’s even more true of other migrants. The US is importing migrants from all around the world. These people have totally different philosophical, religious, and racial backgrounds. They just don’t fit in. It’s perhaps like Rome after Adrianople in 378; once the gates were open, within a generation—30 years—the barbarians had total control of the old empire.

Now, I’ll say that it’s fine when you add a few outsiders to a society. They add some spice to the stew. But it’s a formula for chaos when they arrive in massive numbers. And are doing so at the expense of the natives.

This is one reason I suspect that the U.S. won’t exist one hundred years from now. It will break up into different regions. The same thing will happen in Russia, Africa, and many South American countries. For example, there’s no reason why Brazil should be one country. Bolivia will break up into two, possibly three countries.

Justin’s note: Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 of our conversation tomorrow.

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