By Jeff Thomas,
Feature Writer for Doug Casey’s International Man and Strategic Wealth Preservation
For decades, in discussing the ever-increasing hegemony of the world’s principal governments (US, EU, et al), I’ve been asked repeatedly, “When will the governments understand that this obsession they have to become all-powerful is not in the interests of the people?”
The answer to this question has also remained the same for decades: never.
Although most all thinking people will readily admit that they regard their government (and governments in general) to be both overreaching and corrupt, they somehow attribute political leaders with a desire to serve the people. This is almost never true.
In my own experience in working with (and against) political leaders in multiple jurisdictions, I’ve found them to be remarkably similar to each other in their tendency to be shortsighted, self-aggrandising and almost totally indifferent to the well-being of their constituents. Indeed it’s a real rarity to encounter a political leader who does not fit this description.
Therefore, we should take as a given, that all political leaders will continue to pursue their own power and wealth, at the expense of their citizenries.
This, then, begs the question, “If they won’t stop themselves in this progression, is there no other outcome than eventual total slavery to the government?”.
Well, here, history informs us that this is not the case. All governments will tax the people as much as they can, regulate them as much as they can, socially dominate them as much as they can and remove as many rights as they can. However, they rarely totally succeed and, even when they do, the clock is ticking against them.
In 1999, I began to warn that the US military would steadily increase its warfare against other nations and would only cease their military expansion if and when economic collapse made it impossible to continue the expansion.
In 2008, I began to warn that the US, EU and other jurisdictions would eventually attempt to eliminate the use of paper currency, or “cash”, and force all people to rely almost totally on electronic transfers of money. (I had pictured plastic credit cards being used – I hadn’t imagined at that time that smartphones would make such transactions even easier.)
In addition to the above abuses, I projected that these jurisdictions would become more collectivist, would increase legislation to dominate their citizens socially and would eventually come to resemble police states.
But, at the same time, I projected that, although I believed that all these developments would increase steadily, both in magnitude and frequency, they would reach a peak point, then begin to unravel – and would do so more quickly than they had been implemented.
This would happen for two reasons, and neither of these reasons come from some crystal ball. They come from history.
As has always occurred, for millennia, such rapidly-expanding excesses cannot be created by governments without creating debt. The more rapid the level of change, the greater the debt necessary.
Today, we’re witnessing the greatest level of debt the world has ever seen. As always in history, this is a ticking time bomb.
The second reason is that, such rapidly-expanding excesses cannot be created by governments without creating resentment. The more rapid the level of change, the greater the resentment.
Taken as a whole, what this means is that all of the increased hegemony, of every type, rises to a peak, then collapses – often all at the same time.
We can see the economic warning signs as the financial institutions have run out of new measures and are now relying on band-aid measures. This tells us that we’re entering the final years (or possibly months) of the debt mania. Consequently, the only remaining measures will come under the heading of abuse to the consumer within the system.
Militarily, we see the end nearing, as the world becomes ever-more resentful of the US as the self-imposed world policeman. (This is particularly acute outside of the US, as those who live outside the reach of the US media understand that the US has, for years, been inventing its excuses for warfare, where there was no real justification.
For many years, I’ve said that we’ll know that the unravelling will be very near when the creators of the abuse begin to realise that the hegemony is nearing its end and is due for a reversal.
Recently, two events have occurred that suggest that this part of the process has begun.
First, the EU has launched public consultation to get the pulse of the people of Europe on their War on Cash programme (which they term, “de-cashing”).
The findings, even though the questions were phrased to make it difficult to oppose the concept, indicate that more than 99% of respondents see no benefit in de-cashing. Further, 87% regard the use of cash as an essential personal freedom.
Although the people of Europe have tolerated one hit after another from Brussels, de-cashing may well prove to be their Waterloo.
As this was occurring, across the pond in the US, the military has performed a study to learn how much further they can push the world with their present level of aggression and have determined that, “the status quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II”, and has been dramatically expanded in recent decades, “is not merely fraying, but may, in fact, be collapsing”.
It’s often assumed that empires tend to expand until a point at which they subside, but this is not the case. Very much like a market bubble, they tend to reach a dramatic peak just before they collapse. Almost invariably, those who are the last to understand that the end is near are those who are at the very apex of power. Therefore, rather than back off their programme of hegemony, they expand right until economic collapse destroys it. Like heroin addiction, greater amounts of the drug are injected, right until the fatal overdose takes its toll.
What this means to the reader is that, although he may either live in, or in some way be under the control of one of the current empires, his lot is far from hopeless, but he must be wise enough to keep his powder dry until the collapse is under way.
From the present day until the collapse, the empires will increase taxation, increase regulation, increase warfare, increase social dominance and remove the rights of their people in evermore dramatic ways.
Those who seek to sidestep this process might well pursue international diversification as a bridge to freedom. In this race against time, nations will make it increasingly difficult to escape and freedom will only be realized after the collapse. The greater the preparedness today, the greater the likelihood of coming out the other side in several years, with wealth and freedom intact.