Us vs. Them

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Recently by Simon Black: Jim Rogers Is Right


Greetings from paradise. We have a lot to cover today, so I want to get right down to it.

First, long-time readers know that I don’t really do public speaking gigs or interviews. We get a lot of requests for these but usually turn them down with few exceptions. Chris Martenson is one of those exceptions.

If you don’t know about Chris, you should – he’s one of the sharpest financial minds out there, and we look at the markets with a similar perspective. Chris speaks routinely with folks like Jim Rogers and Marc Faber, and as we share a similar worldview, I happily sat down with him recently for an interview.

We discussed how the best opportunities now are outside the western world – greater reward, greater freedom, greater adventure. If you have 30-minutes, you can listen to the interview on Chris’s website.

Next, Monte writes, “Simon, I worked for Bolivian president Evo Morales and had first-hand experience with the issues you discussed. Bolivia is taking a dangerous rode to both socialism and hate; our leaders want to improve things by telling us that we have to chase bad guys, i.e. anyone with a dissenting opinion.”

It’s the old ‘us vs. them’ approach: define a clear enemy (them) and people will gravitate towards the side of ‘right’ (us). This is a core principle of psychological warfare; human nature wants to divide the world into two sides and then be on the ‘right’ one, often without fully understanding the issues.

Politicians know that this is an effective tool to rally support for a cause, and history provides many examples. Hitler painted first the Communists, and then the Jews, as enemies of the state in order to build support for his dictatorial control.

The US government applied the same tactic 10-years ago, defining ‘evil terrorists’ as the enemy in order to build support for the erosion of civil liberties in the United States.

Anger and hate may be effective tools to rally popular support, but such polarization rarely leads to solutions… just witness how governments are now defining ‘evil oil speculators’ as the enemy. It’s easy to side with the politicians on this one – after all, everyone hates paying more for fuel.

But will breeding such negativity bring down gas prices? No chance. In the same way, democrats and republicans painting each other as the enemy does nothing to bring down the US debt.

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