Thursday, May 18, 2023

Currency Debasement and Cultural Degradation - By Doug Casey

 International Man:  How instrumental do you think the debasement of their currency was to the eventual fall of the Roman Empire? How did it affect their culture?........

......Doug Casey: There is a relationship. It’s perhaps not directly provable as cause and effect, but there’s a high correlation between junk money and junk culture. And it’s not just a question of arbitrarily changing taste.

During the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, older generations would sometimes decry rock and roll music. But the fact is, rock and roll music has stood the test of time. Why? It has melody, rhythm, and, in many cases, very poetic lyrics. Rock may be a step down from Bach, Beethoven, or Wagner, but it doesn’t make my dog leave the vicinity. But today’s popular music—metal, rap, hip-hop, and the rest—doesn’t even have a melody. It’s actively dissonant. The lyrics are almost all coarse and gross. There’s rarely any poetry or nobility of emotion.

The same is true of art. Much modern art is something that a chimpanzee can paint. In fact, a lot of it is just a scam, a private joke among galleries and critics who compete in bilking the public. The only good thing about most “performance art” is that it’s gone when the performance is over. I’m not a religious person, but it’s clearly a sign of decline when things like Serrano’s “Piss Christ” are considered art—and things have become even more degraded since. A lot of art is totally lacking not only elegance and nobility but has even less technical skill than Hunter Biden’s paintings. Of course, they don’t really count as art—that was just about overt bribery.

These things would have been met with ridicule and disgust before the 20th century. There is a correlation between the way a civilization expresses itself in art and the money that finances that art. I think it’s more than just correlation. This is even true of how people dress. It used to be that when people went out, they wore coats and a tie. Of course, styles change—but some modes of dress show respect for oneself and other people. Some don’t. Now all you see are t-shirts and torn jeans.

These are all symptoms of bad money. Crappy art, crappy music, and crappy clothes go along with a crappy culture and crappy money.

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