From time to time I check the International Man archives to have a look at responses written by readers to articles that have been published. I am invariably pleased to note that a high percentage of IM's readers are very well-informed. Regardless of whether respondents agree with the article in question or whether they offer criticism, the comments are generally well thought-out and offer fresh perspectives for their fellow members.
Recently, David M responded to an article entitled "What Will Trigger the Crash" by saying,
"The crash will occur shortly after our government makes an announcement saying that there will be no crash."
It may seem that David's comment is somewhat cynical; however, he is dead accurate. It may also be suggested that he is exaggerating a bit to make a point. On the contrary, here is something to consider: In 1933, shortly after Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated as president, fears were rife in America that he might confiscate the citizens' gold. The new Secretary of the Treasury eased public fears with the reassurance that the Roosevelt administration was not planning to undermine the gold standard. The President himself personally backed up this assurance on 8th March, 1933. To say this promise was short-lived would be an understatement, as the very next day Roosevelt pushed through Congress the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, granting the Secretary of the Treasury the power to seize all gold [that is gold used for monetary purposes - not jewelry and the like] in the possession of citizens. Considering this historical precedent (and subsequent others of a similar nature), it may well be that David's supposition proves to be exactly what occurs.
A shorter and more cryptic response was sent by Tom M:
"Awesome - bubbles waiting for pins."
Tom's comment offers a mental picture that hadn't crossed my mind. It is memorable, in that it evokes the explosiveness with which the Big Crash may take place. The events of the Great Unraveling are occurring ever more frequently, an escalation which historically always precipitates a major event. However, when the Big Crash does occur, it is likely to be so major as to overwhelm the populace. There are many "pins" in evidence, any one of which may trigger the coming major events.
Commenting on "Making Sense Out of the Great Unraveling", Mr. Burke states:
"Great point regarding the difficulty one might encounter when their thoughts and understanding of the economy become 'socially embarrassing' around their peers. I have always enjoyed sharing information with others... But try to explain negative consequences that can result from current situations we now live in, and people got nooo time for you."
Mr. Burke has discovered that, "A prophet is not despised, save in his own country."
Those who take the risk of objectively analysing the future, as opposed to simply regurgitating what they hear on the evening news, will find few supporters. Indeed, they may well find themselves ostracised to some degree. Any one of us who takes the lonely step of the pursuit of truth despite its being unpopular, will at times be prone to self-doubt, wondering, "Am I mad? Is it possible that, rather than becoming more insightful, I am instead becoming the village idiot?"
Actually, that's a good question to ask ourselves from time to time, as it keeps us from being too pompous in our predictions. However, there is also comfort in knowing that other forecasters who are contrarian by nature have a similar experience when attempting to share with their peers what they have gleaned.
The recently published "Arrested Development" warns that, from here on in, we are likely to see more of an economic and social rollercoaster ride, and concludes, "Time to fasten your seat belt."
Timothy J. responds, "It's not time to 'Fasten your seat belt.' It's time to get off the train."
Timothy's conclusion is exceptionally well-taken. In my experience, less than 1% of those who come to the conclusion that the train is on its way off the cliff actually decide to disembark, i.e., to internationalise. Most say that they would like to, but are just too dug in where they are. They have my greatest sympathy, and, as much as possible, I try to provide suggestions to help them survive the storm that is approaching. Still, the best advice is that provided by Timothy: "Get off the train."
Each of the above respondents has done me one better in his response - absorbing the information and stretching the article further than I had taken it. The fact that so many readers do so confirms that International Man is serving its intended purpose, that of providing information and provoking thought. If IM serves readers well, it will not be by telling them what to think. It will be by providing them with "jumping off" points from which to continue their own thinking.
In summary, we encourage your feedback and appreciate your kind words. Your comments often lead to the creation of further articles, especially when they indicate that the articles are lacking in some way, and clarification or expansion of the subject is needed. Please keep them coming.