Chapter 27

Doug Casey on Fresh Starts

November 23, 2011

Louis: Doug, we’ve had a lot of requests from younger readers asking for advice on how they should tackle the world, starting out amidst a crisis. We’ve also had questions from older readers asking what you might do differently if you were 21 again, or if you were suddenly unemployed and had to start from scratch. What do you think? Can you stroke your long, white beard and give us some practical guru wisdom for today’s world?

Doug: I keep telling people I have no crystal ball, but they don’t listen. Nobody has a crystal ball. But, perhaps paradoxically, I also keep giving people advice because they ask; and like anyone, I’d like to help—but those people rarely listen either.

Giving advice is temporarily gratifying to the giver, because it makes him feel like he knows something—for that moment. But it’s ultimately frustrating because few receivers ever use advice. People generally have to make their own mistakes. I believe it was Stalin who said that even those few people who learn from their own mistakes weren’t all that smart; he preferred to learn from other people’s mistakes—not that Stalin should be considered a generally sound source of advice. It’s odd, actually—one of history’s great sociopaths dispensing words of wisdom.

L: I wouldn’t say people never listen; last time we were together here in Cafayate, I introduced you to one of my students who took your advice to leave Eastern Europe and travel the world gathering ...

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