2023 has been a challenging year for most of us. We who live in the Western sphere can only with great difficulty argue that we are in a better place today than we were a year ago, let alone a decade ago. The West is declining, culturally, socially, economically, and militarily. Our living standards have peaked. As opposed to what our useless leaders will admit, the reality is that Western living standards are simply unsustainable unless we reduce individual and national consumption to the levels of production. I learned this reality already in public school. Today, I meet university graduates who think we can print and spend our way to utopia.
The war in Ukraine is still ongoing with no plausible peaceful end in sight. HAMAS, a cult celebrating death as the highest value, attacked Israel in the most sadistic way imaginable, on October 7. Now there is a full-blown war in the Middle East. The Washington-led response to both these wars has proven futile, delusional, and without a willingness to find solutions based on diplomacy.
The self-proclaimed “adult in the room”, President Biden, has with his Washington incompetent acolytes exacerbated Western decline with shocking speed and determination. Biden is clearly mentally and physically impaired to such a degree that he is unfit for his office. Everyone knows it, but the Democrats and their media cronies refuse to admit it. In my mind, he is the most dangerous and incapable US president ever.
At least four pillars once made the West more prosperous than any other competing culture. Free speech, cheap energy, rule of law, meritocracy. Unfortunately, our leaders have sacrificed them all on the altar of arrogance and stupidity. Politicians and other elites's biggest fears seem being called Racist, Misogynist, or Islamophobic. It has rendered them unable to make commonsensical decisions in the protection of our nations, let alone the constitutions they have sworn to uphold.
Radical leftists pretend to care for the unfortunate, but like all good Marxists, they just hate the success of others. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in destroying key Western institutions, e.g. traditional families, universities, the police, the military, and lately the judicial system. Hating your own white culture has become the new orthodoxy where you can claim the highest moral virtue. The level of cultural self-destruction by stupidity beggars belief.
The institutional rot has emerged slowly for decades but came on full display in 2016 when Trump became president and the Brits voted to leave a failing and increasingly totalitarian EU. Since then, Western societies have descended rapidly into a quagmire of madness. The false climate crisis, the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) programs, the trans ideology, the open borders, soaring crime statistics, wars, and relentless deficit spending are all signs that our once thriving societies are teetering on the brink of collapse. The political direction is unsustainable – something must give. The unanswered question is HOW and WHEN.
Governmental inability and unwillingness to solve domestic problems, make them turn to warfare and welfare to cover up their ineptitudes. It is designed to facilitate a massive transfer of wealth from productive middle-class citizens to the ruling elites. As a result, paychecks lose purchasing power and you have to put in ever more work hours for the bare necessities in life.
Did you ever think you owned the outcome of your labor? Think again. The reality is that nothing prevents governments from declaring a “national crisis” and confiscating 100% of your income and wealth – all for the “common good”. FDR did similarly in 1933 when he criminalized private ownership of gold and raised taxes.
Except for Sweden, all Western governments declared national emergencies and granted themselves unlimited powers to “flatten the Covid curve”. The outcome of such abuse of power was severe inflation, a mental health crisis, crime waves, and unprecedented institutional attacks on civil liberties. Today, we know that the vaccines did not work as promised, but there is no accountability for the lies and deceits perpetrated by government officials and media. The unhinged radicals who suggested that the unvaccinated should be rounded up in Gulags are still there, waiting for the next "crisis" to justify their sordid hate against critical thinkers and traditional Western values.
COVID demonstrated that Western populations have become gullible and weak – accepting the loss of civil liberties without any meaningful pushback. Fortunately, there are small signs that some have started to wake up. Ireland and Holland serve as some examples where politicians are called out for what they are - liers and ideologues. It remains to be seen whether the Americans can rise to the occasion and oust the Biden regime. Still, I think a new Republican president will make little difference. As the UK Tories have demonstrated - an overwhelmingly political majority has little power when the civil service can thwart and outright stop political decisions. We should dare to consider the probability that our cultural decline has passed the point of no return. Before it gets better we should expect worse to come.
2024 will indeed become an interesting and very exciting year. Global trade is cooling and we may be in a recession already. Nonetheless, markets seem to believe that central banks will save the day by manipulating interest rates significantly lower. In so doing the White House and Fed chief Powell think that markets overflowed with printed fiat dollars will save Biden’s re-election in 2024. Still, a lot can happen till then, and there is a high probability that this strategy will come back to haunt us all. Inflation is still here and may return with a vengeance, destroying all chances of a Biden re-election.
Should we leave the markets entirely in fear of a crash? I think not, but age, income, savings, and personal objectives are all important variables helping to decide what your portfolio should look like. Try to educate yourself on the basics. Do not let financial intellectuals impress you with endless predictions and useless tribal talking points. Trust yourself but remember - markets are not casinos. Never has it been more important to protect our savings, our wealth, and our way of life. A well-diversified portfolio reflecting your risk tolerance is essential to survive whatever is coming.
However, there is a wild card no portfolio can protect against – government abuse of power. Politicians and liberal elites will leave no stone unturned in going after middle-class wealth. You must "pay your fair share" you know.
All the best for 2024.