So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
Back in 1971 when John Lennon wrote that song, the world certainly was ‘wrong’. The US had just abandoned the gold standard so it could pay for the Vietnam War with paper dollars. The song was a protest about that war.
Forty years on and we reckon Lennon would say not much has changed. The world is still so wrong it’s not even funny.
We don’t mean to sound like a ‘social engineer’ when we say that. The world is not wrong because it doesn’t conform to our standards and tastes. If it did, it would be a boring and soulless world. It’s wrong because elites and power mongers all over have trampled on the principles of freedom for their own benefit.
It’s like a bunch of office psychopaths have got together to run the place. You know the type. They’re the ones who lie, manipulate, steal ideas and scheme, while having the ability to turn on the charm and be ‘normal’ whenever the situation (and their advancement) depends on it. Sounds like definition of a politician, doesn’t it?
And it’s like the population is so dosed up on ketamine that no one notices what is going on. Music is a great social commentator. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was all about the protest song. It was a time of great social and economic change.
Then, as the US dollar lost value throughout the 70s, so did the music. Disco gained in popularity around the time. Enough said.
As disco fever swept the world, a new style of protest music emerged on the fringes. Punk. The Ramones in New York and Sex Pistols in London epitomised the new style.
Maybe it’s because we’re older now and we don’t know where to look. But where’s the rage gone? It’s not on 2DayFM that’s for sure. And it’s not even on Rage, the long-running ABC music video program, with the ads featuring Australia’s original ‘wild child’, Johnny O’Keefe.
We put it down to currency. The debasement of a nation’s currency mirrors the debasement of society’s values and morals. In the same way the US dollar is still the world’s reserve currency, the US is still the world’s dominant cultural force.
In 2001, one US dollar bought around 1/300th of an ounce of real money, gold. Ten years later, the same US dollar only buys 1/1,600th of an ounce. That’s monetary debasement for you. Is it a coincidence that over the past decade you have seen a surge in the shallow and vacuous culture of ‘celebrity’ around the world?
In what other monetary era would anyone with a brain give a hoot about keeping up with the Kardashians, who, apparently, are famous for…being famous.
An era of easy money makes society worship bling and excess. Easy money makes anyone think they can get money for nothing.
The world is indeed wrong. But we have no intention of wanting to fashion it to our own tastes and preferences. What we’d like is to see free markets become free again. That way ‘the market’, which is just billions of individuals exercising free choice (choice without physical or monetary coercion), would set society on a much different course to the one it’s on now.
Would it be better? It would for some, not for others. But at least free people would determine the course of events, not petty office psychopaths running the world to their own agenda…
…And so this is Christmas. What have we done?
Does writing the Markets and Money count as a contribution in the fight for freedom? We hope so. Buying gold? We reckon so.
Even more important, we think, is how you act…to your wife, husband, daughter, son, friends, wider family and strangers. If you show kindness and compassion – and don’t rush to judge or blame – your world will be a calmer one.
Let people be. That’s freedom too.
Right then, enough of the sermonising…
From everyone at the Markets and Money, we thank you sincerely for reading, writing back, thinking about and sometimes deleting our daily musings. Have a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe and we look forward to your company again next year.
for Markets and Money