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SOVEREIGN MAN

How to survive and thrive in the coming turmoil

I was in Paris recently, in a park near the Louvre museum enjoying a lazy summer day. I wasn’t the only one with such a great idea, there were probably a few hundred others enjoying the sunshine– children playing football, kissing lovers entwined on the grass, businessmen on a lunch break…

You can imagine my surprise when I looked up and saw a squad of French infantry troops on patrol through the park, brandishing assault rifles at the ‘ready’ (essentially holding the weapon in a fire position with index finger over the trigger).

The only thing missing to complete the picture would have been Taliban forces and the Afghan countryside.

I was shocked at the display, wondering what possible threat could necessitate sending infantry troops through one of the world’s most peaceful city parks. Even more, though, I was shocked that no one else seemed to be shocked.

This sort of security charade has become commonplace. Ridiculous and unnecessary shows of force are simply accepted in today’s world; our governments blame faceless, conceptual enemies like ‘terrorism’ and have convinced everyone that such measures are for the common good.

Think about it– when taking public transportation or patronizing public buildings, how many times do you see signs or hear announcements that start with, “Ladies and gentlemen, for the safety and security of all passengers…”

Untitled How to survive and thrive in the coming turmoil

This wasn’t the case 10-years ago. If French troops went marching through Paris in 2000, the whole city would have gone nuts. In fact, consider many of the other ways that the world has changed so drastically over the past 10-years:

  1. The endless War on Terror and the rise of police states around the world
  2. Elimination of any semblance of financial privacy
  3. The bursting of four major bubbles– stocks, credit, derivatives, property
  4. Developing nations’ increasing economic dominance
  5. The end of America’s economic and diplomatic primacy
  6. The greatest global economic decline since the Industrial Revolution
  7. Rising world population coupled with food and water shortages
  8. Loss of confidence in major institutions: government, banks, corporations
  9. The growing, addict-like social dependency on technology
  10. Central planning in the world’s most “free” economies

Lying there on the grass in Paris hoping to not get clipped by a negligent discharge, I started thinking about the boiling frog.

The allegory illustrates that when you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, he immediately senses danger and jumps out. When you put him in cool water and slowly bring it to boil, the frog won’t sense danger until it’s too late.

The changes over any decade are remarkable, but what’s happening now is vastly different. In the next ten years through this period of dramatic change, your country, your business, your neighborhood will look nothing like they do today.

In the past, the world ran on a system of endless debt and consumption; everyone played a part. Students would rack up huge debt at university and in turn enslave themselves immediately to corporate jobs in order to service the debt.

Social reinforcement was a powerful mechanism, encouraging people to indebt themselves further through mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. Conspicuous consumption became a social tradition, and corporate profits surged as people filled their McMansion garages with useless imported trinkets.

For those who got in early and played by the rules, the system was very generous. In exchange for unwavering trust in the system and continued indebtedness, people were rewarded with large salaries, excellent standards of living, soaring investment returns, home price appreciation, health benefits, and generous retirement plans.

In fact, the baby boomer generation, which rode the bulk of this tide, is the most prosperous generation to have ever existed in the history of the world.

Little by little, though, this system has been changing. We have spent decades living in a period of unsustainable fiscal irresponsibility. The crisis is accelerating and the consequences are now being realized.

These economic consequences will drive future political decisions, geopolitical tensions, social stability, demographics, crime rates, resource availability, immigration policy, police activity.

They will even affect the reliability of our infrastructure, utility grids, and food transportation networks, leading to a significant reduction in standard of living for hundreds of millions of people.

Undoubtedly, we have entered what I consider to be the Age of Turmoil– a time that is marked by exceptionally rapid change and fluctuating crises.

Many people will resist the change and instead cling desperately to the old system– the cycle of debt and consumption that provided jobs, stability, and prosperity. These people will have their lives turned upside down because that system is gone forever.

The game as we know it is being reset, and the new rules have not yet been written. For those who are well prepared, this is a time not of fear, but of once in a century opportunity. During this rough period, the die shall be cast for generations. Fortunately, we can see what’s coming and there is still a bit of time to act.

You can survive and thrive in the Age of Turmoil and over the next several days I intend to lay out a set of core principles which, when adopted, can shelter you from most of the pain, and position you and your loved ones to reap great rewards.

I sincerely believe this series of dispatches are the most important I’ve ever written so please stay tuned and, even if you’ve never commented before, I’d love to have your feedback on each of these important letters. Starting with this question:

Do you agree that we’re in the initial phases of the Age of Turmoil? Whether you do or not, please share your opinion.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cyprian Gwozdz

    NO.

  • Clallen77777

    Yes, I do believe we are in the Age of Turmoil. In the U.S. we almost daily experience new changes that many don’t agree with, but don’t have the slightest idea of what to do about them. I think you are feeling the ‘pulse’ of many of us out here.

  • Peter

    Simon: You’re spot on. I got my first real inkling of the severity of the changes when I read The Sovereign Individual by Davidson and Rees-Mogg. That was in 1997 and a great number of their predictions have already come true. (I’ve read it six times.) And it truly is going to be a time of great opportunity, even as was the Great Depression. Many fortunes were made then (legally) and there will be far more to come during the Age of Turmoil. -Peter

  • Financial Foghorn

    Nice post. As various commentators said years ago, humans in Germany had 3 choices back in the 1930s: Rebel, become a good German (AKA soon to be boiled frog in your piece), or emigrate. Seems like Boobus Americanus is facing the same three choices.

    • Tim

      You know, I so agree. My wife and I U.S. citizens just got our Italian citizenship – aka 2nd flag.

      We muse at the point that just 2 generations ago, our families were leaving their countries because of turmoil at the time and now we are doing the same. I am sure that they had many friends and family telling them that they were crazy for picking up and moving to the U.S. Now we have people telling us that we are crazy.

      Just another cycle.

  • Steveloy

    Absolutely agree!
    The uncertainty about everything is overwhelming to the point that you cannot do anything but guess what is behind door number 3.
    Steve

  • Joseph

    Hi Simon, Steve here, I am new to your site and found it days ago through looking for a reference on “The International Man” I picked up, looked over – and should have bought – about 10 years ago.

    “Are we in an age of turmoil!?” You bet and for some time now I would say, having gone on behind the scenes for sometime only now coming up to peoples awareness, or why seeming recent now. It floors me how most people, complacent, become further complacent (mostly because people cannot confront / acknowledge evil) and just allow things to slowly creep in or is “normal” now! I read alot about the International Banking Families, Europe, (favorite being the 22 part narrated series …”The Money Masters”…highly educational/ informative,15 minutes per series.) Dumbing down slowly each generation before, I’d say its their time now or as you say the “turmoil period” / biggest change is being perpetrated and thrown further over us and with greater succession. It would be nice if we could get everyone’s awareness up, to short of rioting to get back to printing – as in “coining” – our own money again. (Backed by silver, 1 to 1, not gold, harder to corner, hord all silver.)

  • http://biosphericresonance.com Nicole

    Well yes, we sure do live in “interesting times”. I’m frightened and sad about the nasty part of what’s happening, yet also excited about the opportunities for founding a new civil society that may show themselves amid the wreckage.

  • Jeff

    Agreed, but I still feel relatively free and safe living/traveling in Thailand, Philippines and HK.
    Jeff.

  • http://www.thefreedomtobelievecompany.com EMILY DALE

    Completely agree with your article Simon! The signs of the domination of force creeping into society and our own government here in America going against all of the regulations we used to have in place disappearing. That’s why I love your letters, you keep me up with what’s going on world wide. Thank you so much, my friend!!!

  • jo veno

    agree the age of turmoil. but there are degrees of turmoil. the one at the center: the u.s. and europe. the semi center: the bric countries and other emerging nations. they will do fine. the periphery: the yak herder in bhutan who cares not what happens in the world as long as his yak is giving milk.

    so it’s a matter of perspective alright. where are you going to place yourself in this mindspace?

    a more interesting take on the coming age of turmoil: david wilcock and richard hoagland. check them out. their thesis on the fundamental nature of reality changing as we speak is quite radical but logical. the future is golden my friends. their sites:
    divinecosmos.com and enterprisemission.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Crafts/1848510499 Tom Crafts

    I think a key to life independance begins with our psychology. As Simon iterated in this article, if we listen to the daily inputs from what is marketed to us, adviced to us from media, friends and associates, etc., and fail to step back and evaluate from a 1000-foot-view perspective, we will get sucked into the minutia that becomes mainstream logic. As in investing, if most everybody’s doing it this way, at least investigate the other way – entertain being contrarian. Change your personal psychology and the rest of what Simon speaks of begins to take shape.
    Great job – love the information.

    Tom

  • Wendy

    Yes, it seems we are in a new age of turmoil, but perhaps working in technology prepared me for it. Companies get formed, and go public or die, or both at a rapid rate. If you miss a design cycle, that may be the last thing you do.
    We always said the fastest rats see it coming and jump ship quickly (the slow rats go down with the ship). For that reason, although we are American, we figured our kids should learn either Chinese or Spanish, so we opted for Spanish and left the US about 7 years ago. With the internet and cable TV, they are not completely out of touch with American culture, but I think they see the world very differently. I hope that this will help them get a good job in the future, and and time will tell which coutries will have the best opportunities. By the way, I could totally relate to the reaction to Simon´s comments on the military. No one seems to understand that you can disagree with the US being at war, while still supporting the troops. Also, there are a lot of people who look at us as un-American for living outside the US.

    • Tim

      Don’t worry if a lot of people think that you are un-American. There are a lot of us that agree with you and are joining you.

    • A word

      May I ask where you reside? I assume there are more advantages as well than what you mentioned?

  • Trish Shelton

    No question about the changing times and new conditions for all of us. The difficulty is making the psychological shift in the mist of the chaos so that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Opportunities are always available for those who are looking for them. Your insights certainly will help those of us who are searching with an open mind. Keep it coming!

  • Bellatruth

    You must buy my answer

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1947741 Andreas Decker

    Agree 110%

  • dh

    yes its true and its not doubt we’re things are going… the sad outcome will be those that reject the change and the re-ordering of there lives will be the ones that suffer the most

  • ES

    Your are certainly correct regarding a police state that is quickly ramping up. Living here in Canada as a so called Canadian you can see the frog starting out in the cold water slowly being cooked!

    The Canadian government federally, provincially, or locally lip services privacy but share this information inter-governmental sharing to keep tack of the populous.

    An example is a recent experience where I was stopped buy local municipal police here in British Columbia. The reason for the stop was their ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) camera alarm was triggered. Cause me to be stopped after using a friends car.

    Interesting enough the friends car is registered in the province but he is licensed and resides in the province of Albert next door. But their download information daily from the provincial insurance company here in BC.

    It showed the friends Drivers as expired even though he has a current valid one from the neighboring province. So the insurance database is limited to the police.

    However, the next interesting thing I experienced is that I travel a bit and hold an international license. The police while in there car checking out the license went to the length of contacting the Canadian immigration service.

    They were informed of the date and time I had returned into Canada by this other government body! My experience of information privacy here is Canada is not limited to this experience but to others situations personal or through friends.

    So, I agree there will be more turmoil and governments will try and cling to their old tried and true methods of dealing with people with control, and authoritarian means! Paul Hogans experience is just the canary in the coal mine of what’s to come!

  • Jke823n

    What can also be added to your thoughts is that of the present pensions debate in UK. During my working life I have seen, or perhaps experienced would be a better word, four changes in the pensions system, all by government, and no guess as to which end of the stick I ended on!
    I can’t see this getting any better. And anyway, who would trust any shade of government to provide a pension after my sort of experience? For me, I’d advise put your savings into a Swiss franc account or something similar, perhaps a Singpore dollar account would be better.

  • The unknown comic

    My Dear Mr. Minister,

    You sound like a typical liberal, in the cloak of Alan Grayson. You took evidence (the video) and decided it was an example of your agenda. My agenda in using it is quite different from yours. I will stay on purpose though if you reply again I’m sure you will still refuse to see the evidence. My point was to prove there is a significant turmoil in America at the grass root level (Jumanah) that even you will have to deal with in spite of YOUR ignorance of the Qur’an. Do you think inflation and monetary concerns trump the turmoil written of in the Qur’an? You are quite naive to think so. You’ll survive inflation but you will not survive the Qur’an if people like Rauf (Mr. Turmoil) have their way.

    In that video episode Horowitz merely asked a question of the student. Was he liar-your word-in asking the question? The “Woman,” as you call her is a “misguided amateur.” You saw the video and your response to it was wholly non sequitur. Here is your naivete because you have not read the Qur’an: while she might be an amateur, not an Imam, (have you looked into that title or do you just assume you know) she is NOT misguided. She chose the answer she gave to Horowitz and you are quite an amateur to think she was ignorant of her meaning. You, and unfortunately there are many like you, are the Nevile Chamberlain’s of the world. Do you know who he was? He pronounced, “Peace in our time” as he waved the peace treaty he and Herr Hitler signed. The world achieved the greatest turmoil in its history out of that, Mr. Minister, because no one read his manifesto-Mein Kamf. Hitler told us what he was going to do. He was a wallpaperer and misguided political amateur. Read the Qur’an, please. But, you will not; yet you will persist in thinking your ignorance is right as you go into that most favored ego defense mechanism called denial.

    Now for my “hinging ignorance.” Here is what Simon asked of us (it’s his quote):

    I’d love to have your feedback on each of these important letters. Starting with this question:

    Do you agree that we’re in the initial phases of the Age of Turmoil? Whether you do or not, please share your opinion.

    Disraeli, I showed you, Simon and others, with crystal clarity, a turmoil in what I feel is in its initial phase. I meant it in the spirit of sharing the Islamic reality with those who are unaware of the seriousness of that reality and as a result are, as you say, misguided amateurs. I understood what Simon asked of us. It seems by your retort you did not.
    To your health and well being, sir.

  • NC

    Very interesting piece!

    Some thoughts:

    One of the ways to survive is to look at the microtrends (to borrow a phrase) that are occuring around us and act upon them…

    This means:

    - Get rid of any dollars and make safer investments
    - Go and live in a country where there is plenty of local food and good water
    - Share any good info and knowledge you have because we got into this mess due to thinking as individuals and will only survive as a species
    - learn conflict management skills as there will be a greater need for that
    - accept that change is the norm.

    Thank you for this forum and the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded people.

    NC

  • Enakurt

    Two books that I have read this last year bring me to agreement that we are entering an age of turmoil, Game Over, and The World is Flat. I don’t agree with everything in these books but many points are made to let the reader know we are in for a lot of change in the next ten years. Add to that what one sees day to day shows us to hold on tight and enjoy the wild ride coming up.

  • Terry Trickey

    I am an Australian Entrepreneur living in Cambodia and would like to offer our services (see below) to add to your data list.

    We have lived in Phnom Penh for the past four years and have very good contacts with expats on the ground that would fit within your organization.

    Some of our services include:

    Business visas, one year (within three days)
    Property Development and buyers advocacy
    Assisted Banking Services (with an Australian Bank foreign currency account)
    Attorneys
    Setting up a business we show how to cut through the red tape.
    All services are 100% legitimate

    Phnom Penh offers an incredible opportunity, it’s exactly like Thailand was 20 years ago, and development that is taking place is just phenomenal. By way of an example Phnom Penh eight years ago did not have any made roads, buildings are going up at such a rate, investment from China and South Korea is pouring in.

    If you were to purchase Real Estate in Cambodia, we advise you NOT to use a Real Estate Agent!!
    We know how to obtain a HARD TIITLE a must have if you intend to purchase an apartment in Cambodia, and want to sell it in the future, what areas to stay away from.
    With apartments in the right location going from US$20,000 now is the time to jump in. We could spend a day explaining the complexities of real estate here; there are a lot of expensive traps for the inexperienced purchaser. For example there is a lot of building on top floors with a view, but they are highly illegal and worthless as a resale, others can seem to be illegal builds, but are lawful.

    English is now the preferred language, cable TV is free (stolen from Thailand), we currently rent a seven bedroom five bathroom, two kitchen, two living areas and a huge open terrace apartment for US$300.00 a month.

    Cost of living, cigarettes sell for $1.25, a large bottle of Bacardi 750ml $7.50 at the local 7/11 supermarket, a typical western meal $8.00. The other night we went to a Khmer Beer Garden twenty two of us, and as we are Australian we pounded down the beers, had a huge banquet with Crabs seafood steak etc, the total bill was $69.00. By the way they didn’t have my favourite drink, Bacardi I just sent a tuk tuk driver to buy a bottle and was permitted to drink free of charge at the banquet!!

    The Intercontinental Hotel , Raffles Hotel The Himawari Hotel and many other top line hotels offer first class rooms from $60.00 per night.

    With the flood of NGO’s Phnom Penh now offers night clubs, girly bars, sophisticated dining venues, has a huge French influence, which gives it all a bit of class from an Asian perspective.

    With Air Asia and Maylasian Air are now servicing Phnom Penh airport and an expat is only one and a half hours from Kula Lumpur. Four hours by bus from Ho Chi Min city Vietnam.
    My son who is aged 34 and lives here is going home to Australia next week to visit (he loves the informal way of life here without all the restrictive rules and regulations that exist in Australia) just paid US$174.00 with Air Asia including all taxes from Phnom Penh to Melbourne, Australia.

    Things that I love about Cambodia are the people, I have travelled to a lot of places (more than fifty countries) and I believe this is the happiest place I have ever visited. The people are so innocent and maybe a little gullible, but after all the tragedies that have befallen this country I just can’t explain why they flash such happy genuine smiles, and the best part is they are not money orientated (read Thailand) or sad sacks (read Vietnam).

    I would like to finish by saying that we would like to offer our consulting services from an on the ground practical service that can assist permanent travellers, entrepreneurs etc. with setting up a new life in Cambodia
    By the way I forgot to mention that its safe, much safer than the U.S. and has first class private hospital and medical system equal to the first world if you are a paying customer at very reasonable prices.

    Cheers

    please contact me through this forum

  • Cynically

    You’re late.
    For 20 years I was heavily involved in politics; I was a successful campaign manager, speechwriter, and political columnist as well as a teacher and political advocate. I traveled the whole country, teaching people everything from how to be poll watchers (and why) to how to become elected officials – and what to do AFTER they were elected. I was even elected to political office – twice – the last time without opposition. I believed in America, I believed that common sense could and would prevail.

    5 years ago I discovered that I was wrong. People do not want freedom with the concordance of responsibility for their choices; they WANT a nanny guvmint that tells them how to live and coddles them from birth to death and perteckts them from the boogeyman. They WANT to blame the rich or blame the poor or blame the government without realizing that they only have themselves to blame, by not watching their elected officials and not demanding that they toe the line – the frogs have been coming to a boil for quite some time. So I quietly set about preparing to survive the coming cataclysm – not in a biblical sense, but a pragmatic sense. I sold everything I had, bought a piece of property 50 miles west of the exact middle of nowhere, and set out to become as self-sufficient as possible.

    Let me make this clear – I am NOT a loony loner survivalist. I do not think that I can outgun, outrun, outhide, or outthink the FBI, the BATFE, or any other Alphabet-Soup Bureaucracy. I am surrounded by some people who think and reason as do I, and together we have weighed our strengths and weaknesses and have determined how we will work together to survive. We own our own property (we are not a commune nor an encampment). We avoid debt. We grow our own food, and are working individually to barter and share and trade not only the basics, but service and abilities. We are keeping our individuality and merely becoming as mutually self-sufficient as possible. We have no political or religious fanaticism amongst us – we simply want to be left alone.

    I always laugh roundly at the people who shout, “Buy gold!! Buy silver!! Buy______ (insert item here).” I tell them – I have two chickens. You have a Krugerrand. I can choose to sell you a chicken, or her eggs, for your Krugerrand – or I can choose to let you starve, gnawing on your gold. If you cannot produce, you are at the mercy of those who can produce.

    Purchase power means nothing in a world gone mad – especially if you only have a minimal amount of that power. Those who either have or seek more power will take yours from you, and you’ll be lucky if they don’t trade you copper-jacketed lead for it. The only ones who will truly survive, like the French farmers during the Dark Ages and the plagues, are those who are far removed from the fanatics of all stripes bent on self-immolation – and who have a network of folks of the same mindset and differing abilities who can work together to do so. Anyone who tells you anything different is trying to sell you something.

    • http://deliberatecoincidences.blogspot.com/ Freaklemon

      @ Cynically: You cannot possibly produce every single thing you need to survive from your chickens and vegetable garden, nor can your neighbours offer everything you need worthwhile to barter. A society without a medium of exchange reverts to a primitive subsistence existence. Gold is only one of the items societies have trusted…and any computerized barter system like work units of some communities work fine locally, but not beyond. Don’t pooh-pooh gold and especially silver. It won’t directly satisfy hunger, but it might just provide for that solar panel or water heater….something your neighbours might not have to barter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericgyoung Eric G. Young

    This is, without a doubt, one of the most compelling articles I have read on any blog in some time. I agree nearly 100% with your assessment and that we are entering the Age of Turmoil, as you put it. Great challenges lie ahead for humanity to keep its grasp on reason rather than violence, and these challenges will be exacerbated greatly by continuously dwindling resources such as oil, food, and water. I have serious doubts about the U.S. political system’s ability to meet its domestic strife which could be a powder keg if there is any further decline in the U.S. financial systems or infrastructure.

    Where I disagree, however, and this may be putting too strong a point on it, is that social technology may prove to be one of the most useful means to combat some of these same evils. Perhaps, this sub-topic will be explored in greater detail in subsequent articles.

    Again, very good reading and thought-provoking. I will look forward to your next postings.

  • Watcher

    Watch this two part video I will link below.. “The Money Masters” and you will then know who is behind the insane (but well planned) New World Order movement, and all of the wars and turmoils we are experiencing. Communism, socialism, gun bans, big brother government/police state, multiculturalism, feminism, boom and bust economic cycles, the destruction of true Christianity and the flooding of Western nations with 3rd worlders as well as outsourcing, and a lot more:

    Part 1:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6076118677860424204#

    Part 2:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7336845760512239683#

  • T Wallace35

    nope. French troops have always garrisoned Paris and combat troops walking through public spaces with fingers on the triggers of assault weapons certainly are not anything new. Its been that way for decades in European cities including Paris.

  • Clawl8

    I agree the times have progressively worsened and our world is heading to a single global power force. I agree that we are asleep at the wheel, I speak of America. Europe is farther ahead to adapting to govt control and accepting, as mentioned in the article, shock troops in odd places. Unfortunetly I strongly believe we are headed for a vast and destructive world war that will claim billions of lives. That will not only lead to turmoil, but also a cry for peace like no other time. Then the agenda of world unity and peace will be pressed and usher in the final world govt, of course in the name of peace and security. Quite a deception but its working.

  • Joe Severa

    Doesn’t Richard Maybury & his wife have a similar take on the world, at least as far as No. Africa & the Middle East are concerned?

    Economically speaking, we’ve been in decline since before Geo Bush took office, it certainly isn’t just a recent happening, but the rich & well to do always land on their feet, it’s the masses that shoulder most of the burden of a declining economy. Amen.

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