Slouching Toward Armageddon with George Soros
George Soros, the billionaire investor and funder of radical leftist causes around the globe, believes that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and this time I agree with him. That's not to say that Soros isn't interested in making more money. It simply means that he thinks the likelihood of global chaos and the concomitant violence that it will engender is greater than the likelihood of making fast money in gold, for instance, which he considers to be the ultimate bubble.
In The Daily Beast, John Arlidge wrote:
Has the great short seller [George Soros] gone soft? Well, yes. Sitting in his 33rd-floor corner office high above Seventh Avenue in New York, preparing for his trip to Davos, he is more concerned with surviving than staying rich. 'At times like these, survival is the most important thing,' he says, peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead. He doesn't just mean it's time to protect your assets. He means it's time to stave off disaster. As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history-a period of 'evil.' Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.
I'm a realist, not a hysterical conspiracy theorist looking for boogiemen around every corner, and like Soros, what I see chills me to the bone. For instance,
- China is on the rise economically and militarily, and Chinese leaders are anxious to solidify their country's position as a global power. That means eventual conflict with existing global powers that has the potential to result in bloodshed.
- Russia is back from the brink after having abandoned radical socialism in favor of pseudo-capitalism, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wants to play an important part in global geopolitics. Per usual, he is positioning Russia to engage the West -- especially in the Middle East.
- Turkey and Iran have grand designs for achieving hegemony over the Middle East and re-establishing the Ottoman and Persian Empires, respectively. Both countries can't succeed, and the battle to determine which country wins is just getting underway.
- North Africa is a powder keg, with Islamists on the verge of taking complete control economically and militarily. Given their suicidal tendencies, that is not a harbinger of good things to come.
- Europe is in total chaos. The eurozone that was supposed to position Europe to compete effectively with the United States and China, in particular, is coming unglued as country after country comes to grips with the reality that the European style of socialism can't be sustained.
- Latin America is becoming a political sinkhole, with the likes of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez taking control and doing their utmost to infect the world with Cold War-era populism/socialism.
- The United States is in the early stages of class warfare that has the potential to turn ugly in a heartbeat, and President Obama is stoking the fires of hate and envy with his rhetoric and his policy maneuvers in hopes of being re-elected.
- Last but not least, Islamists are ascending around the world, and Jewish people in general and Israel in particular are their immediate targets. Islamists have made it clear that they want to rule the world and impose sharia law, and they haven't been shy about saying that their first order of business is to eliminate Israel.
We are in the throes of a breakdown of the existing world order and a global struggle to determine what comes next. Will it be a totalitarian Islamist world under sharia law -- a one-world caliphate, if you will? Will it be a resurgence of Western political philosophies and liberal democracy? Will it be a world governed by global economic and military powerhouse nations such as China and the United States? Will it be a strengthened United Nations with taxing and enforcement powers? No one knows for sure what will happen next, but these things are certain: political vacuums don't last for long, and historically, wars have decided what world order eventually comes into existence.
Under these conditions, Soros' concern about survival makes perfect sense. The first order of business is not to see how much gold and silver, for example, you can accumulate before you die. Job One is to stay alive. In practical terms, that means two things:
1. You need food to eat and water to drink, and
2. You need weapons and ammunition to protect you and your family in case the worst happens.
I'm being very candid, so I want to remind you once again that I am not part of the lunatic fringe. I'm simply examining the evidence, trying to make sense of what is happening, and preparing for what looks like a realistic scenario -- something that could actually happen.
Let me be perfectly clear. I am not suggesting that you should sell everything you own and buy guns, ammunition, and non-perishable food items, but I am suggesting that you should begin to accumulate all of the things that I just mentioned as though they were a part of your investment portfolio. You need enough food and water to keep you and your family alive in case violence erupts and the channels of distribution for foodstuffs are disrupted. You need guns that you can use in case you and your family are attacked and you are forced to defend yourself. You also need to know how to use them. You need enough ammunition to fend off a mob in a prolonged engagement in case you and your family are attacked, because guns are of no value without ammunition.
Again, I'm not betting on the worst-case scenario, and I'm not saying that it is inevitable, but I am cognizant of reality, and I'm preparing for what could happen. Proverbs 22:3 says, "The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it." A wise man prepares for what might happen. That's what I'm doing, and I suggest that you do the same thing.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily. His latest book is titled If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You're Not a Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You're Not an Idiot.