Can I stop taking off my shoes now?

May 2, 2011
Montevideo, Uruguay

Despite being one of the most cerebral societies in the history of the world, the Ancient Greeks condemned one of their greatest philosophers to death for asking too many inconvenient questions and pestering the status quo.

The Death of Socrates, Jacques-Louis David (1787)

Certain things, as it turns out, are sacrosanct and beyond debate.

Good citizens, whether in Ancient Greece or today, are expected to fall in line with what they’re told, and any measure of dissent or intellectual discourse is met with derision and public ridicule. Anyone who questions the nation’s hallowed truths is labeled as an enemy… or at least, accused of supporting the enemy.

If Socrates were alive today, though, he would be busier than ever.  As uncomfortable as it may be for many people, there are difficult questions that need to be asked.

Is it the nature of justice in America to order the assassination of someone located in another sovereign nation who has not been put on trial, no matter how evil he has been made out to be?

When a country spends 10-years and billions of dollars to chase a man around the world, only to find him ‘hiding in plain sight’ right next door to a country it has invaded, what does it say about its capability to keep the citizens safe?

As the mainstream media is presenting all the information passed along by the US government without questioning any of it, could there be another side to the story that is not being discussed?

In light of such an apparent ‘victory’, when will the civil liberties and financial privacies that have been taken so rapidly since 9/11 be reinstated?

Regardless of any short-term euphoria, is the country headed in the overall right direction? Moreover, has there been any change in the ability of the nation’s leaders to forge real solutions?

Understandably, it’s an easier course of action to celebrate in the streets right now than to ask questions. People are weary of war, and as they have now been told that a grotesque symbol of evil has been put down like a mangy dog, it is no doubt a cathartic moment for those who are emotionally invested.

Yet seeking the truth is not an act of sedition, but one of patriotism. When a society slanders independent thinkers and dismisses those who do not fall in line like chanting Zombies, they’re simply borrowing from the same playbook that the Soviet Union used.

In time, the exuberance will fade, and western nations will once again find themselves facing indelible challenges.  Most of them are already past the point of no return.

The dollar remains fundamentally weak. Commodities and precious metals did fall immediately following last night’s announcement (giving our partner Tim a tidy profit on the short silver position he wrote about last week), though the long-term trend on all tangibles remains bullish over fiat.

Even against other fiat currencies like the euro, yen, and Swiss franc, the dollar is weakening. Debt problems remain unaddressed. The Fed’s balance sheet remains inflated. And a tiny handful of men still controls the money system that has been wrecking the lives of ordinary people around the world.

Roughly 3,000 people died in the September 11th attacks. Tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians around the world have died in retaliatory conflicts since then. Millions of people have seen their lives change for the worse as a result of the consequent erosion in civil liberties. Billions of people are facing a critical pinch from rising food and fuel prices.

Yes, the boogeyman we have been told to hate for the last decade has been put to rest. But if we choose to ignore the real evils that remain in the world for the sake of short-term euphoria, we’re simply dancing in the streets while Rome burns.

About the Author

Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.