“Of all the thirty-six ways to get out of trouble, the best way is to leave.”
—Chinese Folk Wisdom
The obvious decline of the West has long been a hot topic of discussion, especially among the citizens of Western countries. There’s a palpable air of gloom among Western populations as is usually the case at the end of an era when things are falling apart. Some argue that the decline can be reversed and some others argue that the ship has sailed. This article argues that the ship has sailed but not for the reasons conventional thinkers suspect.
If you’re living in the Western world1, we’ll look closely at the reasons why you should be prepared to leave instead of clinging to the hope that the good old days of the West will come back. If you’re living in other countries, you’ll also find useful information that will help you to plan ahead.
While I think that the air of gloom among Western populations is justified and I’m also convinced that the decline of the West can’t be reversed, I’m far from being pessimistic about the future. In fact, for the reasons we’ll discuss in further detail, I believe a much better future is awaiting productive individuals who are competent enough to thrive in a free market.
However, that I’m optimistic about the future doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a romantic. Not even close. As the saying goes, it’s darkest before dawn. I expect things to get worse before they get better, especially for those who stay inside the borders of Western nations.
The ruling classes have already been resorting to desperate totalitarian measures to stay in power and I expect them to get crueler as they keep losing ground. Western governments have already been erecting barriers in front of those who want to leave and I expect these barriers to proliferate further. If you decide to leave, the sooner you do it, the better. Those who stay will face increasing levels of government oppression, higher taxes, and in all likeliness, violence; and they’ll find no leading institution interested in solving their problems.
As you’ll see numerous times throughout this article and as you probably observe in your day-to-day life, establishment institutions acting in unison against the population is a recurring pattern no matter how nonsensical on the surface and unlawful their acts are. This is no accident. All leading institutions of the current establishment – be it the governments, the opposition parties, the mainstream media, the academia, and monopolistic corporations – know that if one of them goes down, they all go down together, which explains their curious unity.
It’s my duty as a writer to look out for the interests of my readers and it’s your duty as a reader to look out for your own interests along with the interests of your family — a task that can’t be outsourced to corrupt institutions that couldn’t care less about your well-being.
Obviously, it isn’t easy for the majority of people to just pack up and leave but it hurts no one to at least be prepared and have options. Even if you believe that somehow you’ll never have to leave, it’s still better to have alternative places to escape to just in case.
The average person doesn’t even start to consider leaving until it’s too late but since my readers are leaps and bounds above the average, here are the reasons why you should be prepared to leave the West:
1. The Glory Days Of Prosperous Western Countries Are Over
Citizens of developed Western nations had long been enjoying a higher standard of living compared to the citizens of underdeveloped countries. During the better part of the modern age, the power structure in the world has been such that the average citizen of wealthy Western nations was able to consume twenty times more than the average citizen of the rest of the world with the exception of a few non-Western wealthy countries such as Japan.
While newer generations of Western countries aren’t as lucky as, say, the Boomer generation, they still had it better compared to the citizens of underdeveloped countries. Being born in a rich Western country used to be like winning the genetic lottery compared to being born in an underdeveloped country. It still kind of is, though it’s changing at an increasingly faster pace.
Nevertheless, the balance of power is always subject to change; the world never stays the same. The strengths and the circumstances that enabled Western nations to dominate the world and, as a result, become richer than other nations have long been deteriorating; hence the discussions about the decline of the West.
While the decline of the West is more or less acknowledged by most, different people attribute different reasons to the decline. Most of these explanations revolve around the failures of certain groups of individuals. Newer generations blame boomers for squandering the wealth of Western nations, leaving nothing to the newer generations. Boomers blame newer generations for being lazy and irresponsible. Politicians are already held in contempt by the majority of the population and naturally, many people blame them for the decline as they are the ones who appear to call the shots and they’re obviously corrupt. Also; capitalists, workers, leftists, rightists, armies, activists, men, women, immigrants, whites, blacks, Hispanics, China, Russia, and countless other groups and countries have been blamed to a degree at some point by different groups of people.
It’s as if, if we can pinpoint who’s exactly responsible for the decline, then we can reverse it. Believing that the decline of the West is attributable to the actions, intentions, mistakes, and opinions of people implies that the decline can be reversed by nudging people into correct opinions (as in voting the right guy in) and straightening out the behavior of wrongdoers. This is the logical fallacy of those who hope to “save the West”. They are mistaking cause and effect. It’s like believing that you can eliminate an illness by attacking the symptoms without addressing the underlying reasons.
While it’s true that corruption is rampant, mistakes are abundant, ill intentions proliferate, and powerful enemies of the West exist; the decline of the West is more about the improvements in technology (predominantly weapons and computer technology) than the actions and opinions of people, which is why it can’t be reversed. Just like it was impossible for the people of the Middle Ages to go back to their way of living before the invention of the printing press, people of Western countries can’t go back to the living conditions that were peculiar to the Industrial Age.
You can’t “make America great again” by “draining the swamp”. Corruption is a symptom of a dying system rather than the cause. For the last 50 years, people of various Western countries have been voting in and out all kinds of politicians from different ideologies but none of them were able to reverse the decline for the simple reason that you can’t cure a disease by eliminating the symptoms.
It’s true that the enemies of states exist but they have always existed anyway. Enemies become a threat only when the state weakens. If the immune system is weak, the body can’t fight the parasites or defeat its enemies.
The success of powerful Western nations used to rely on the success of its institutions accompanied by the state’s ability to monopolize power and wield it on a large scale. The technology of the day allowed that to happen but the technology of today prohibits it. Hoping to restore the West to its glory days is no different than hoping to restore the Soviet Union; i.e. it won’t happen. I mention the Soviet Union because the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union are similar to the reasons for the decline of the West. Let me explain because the collapse of Communism provides important clues to the reasons for the decline of the West.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was interpreted by most as a victory for Western democratic systems. The USA decisively won the cold war and the Western system of democracy proved itself to be a superior form of government than a communist state. While it’s true that Western democracy is indeed a superior form of government than a communist state, the collapse of the Soviet Union was more of a signal that Western democracies will follow the same fate rather than a victory for the West.
The reason is simple. While communist governments and Western democracies are generally perceived as diametric opposites of each other, these systems have more in common than the average person suspects. Of all the other systems of government, Communism and Western democracy were the only ones that survived in the 20th century because both systems rely on total government control of resources which was made possible by successful monopolization of violence. The most distinguishing difference between Communism and Western democracies which made Western democracies more successful than Communism is that the former preemptively confiscated wealth while the latter confiscated wealth after its creation. That’s pretty much it.
In the Soviet Union, private ownership wasn’t allowed. The state owned everything. Western democracies, on the other hand, allowed private ownership which incentivized the creation of wealth which in turn increased taxable wealth. Seizing wealth after its creation rather than preemptively seizing it made Western governments richer than the Soviet Union and other communist governments, which is why Western democracies outlasted the Soviet Union and the USA won the cold war.
It’s not a coincidence that the Soviet Union collapsed just a few years after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The very existence of the Chernobyl power plant was a symptom that the Soviet system of government was about to die. Nuclear power is the most centralized power source. The construction of the Chernobyl power plant symbolized the Soviet Union’s hail-mary attempt to hold back the clock by stretching the limits of centralization which was exceeded when it exploded. Chernobyl accident sealed the fate of the Soviet Union. Once Chernobyl exploded, it was only a matter of time for the Soviet Union to collapse, which came just a few years after the accident.
The Soviets attempted to hold back the clock and resist the changes in technology which worked against centralization but they ultimately failed and collapsed. Since both state systems are fundamentally the same, Western democracies have been subject to the same pressures of decentralization so the decline of the West was rather an inevitability than an unpleasant surprise. Increased totalitarianism, for example, is one of the attempts by Western governments to hold back the clock which is bound to fail, sooner or later.
Just like it was impossible to uninvent the printing press and bring back the glory days of medieval chivalry, it’s also impossible to uninvent the technologies (such as microprocessors) that precipitate decentralization and bring back the glory days of once-great Western countries.
A Western citizen fighting to restore the West to its glory days is the 21st century equivalent of Don Quixote tilting at windmills to revive the glory days of chivalry.
Yet, as we’ll discuss in greater detail in the upcoming sections of this article, the decline of the West isn’t necessarily bad news for productive individuals. They stand to gain unprecedented wealth and freedom provided that they stay out of trouble by leaving for greener pastures and are able to offer value.
2. Predatory Taxes And Worsening Economy
Western welfare states owed a sizable portion of their strength and wealth to their ability to collect taxes out of their comparatively productive populations. No individual citizen had the power to negotiate their taxes with the government so productive individuals were subjected to predatory taxation which amounted to a staggering lifetime tax rate as high as 75 to 90%.
Not only the taxes have been predatorily high, but there’s also inflation which is a form of indirect taxation. Since the governments have a monopoly over printing money, they could always increase their revenues just by printing money, which further impoverishes the population by devaluing the currency.
By definition, you’re a slave if 100% of your economic output is confiscated. A lifetime tax rate of 90% means that a productive individual is only 10% away from being a full-fledged slave which is part of the reason why the decline of the West into oblivion is good riddance for productive people than a loss to mourn for.
Due to unprecedentedly high living standards enjoyed by Western populations during the 20th century, Western democracies were mistaken to be efficient state systems. Unprecedented levels of prosperity cloaked the states’ wasting of resources in enormous proportions which enabled reigning establishment institutions to disguise the predatory nature of the system. Even if taxpayers realized the predatory and wasteful nature of Western governments, which would have been a motive for them to leave the West, during the better part of the 20th century there was nowhere else to go. They had to tolerate high taxes in exchange for the business opportunities and the comfort of first-world living which no other place in the world offered.
However, the times have changed. The rest of the world is catching up. Many cities exist around the world where one can find areas with first-world amenities. Business opportunities are no longer confined to the first world. Another dimension to create wealth emerged with the invention of the Internet, which divorced wealth generation from geography.
You don’t see it trumpeted in the news but productive people are already leaving in droves. The proliferation of opportunities to create wealth in jurisdictions with less predatory taxation and the invention of the Internet has already driven many productive people out of the West. Many entrepreneurs are quietly moving their businesses and assets into tax haven jurisdictions overseas rather than being plundered by their governments. These people prefer to keep their departures quiet because they know their governments will fight tooth and nail to stop them from leaving. No farmer would want his cows to escape, after all.
For example, anyone with a laptop computer and an internet connection can run an online business. There’s no reason for such a person to domicile his business in a high-tax Western country. Not only that but many of these people have also been converting their assets to cryptocurrencies, which has been further impoverishing Western governments.
Obviously, the departure of productive people means less tax revenue for Western governments. To make up for the gap, governments print more money, get increasingly indebted and try to squeeze more tax money out of the productive individuals who weren’t able to escape or those who prefer to stay.
The increasing tax burden isn’t shouldered by billionaires either. The ultra-rich don’t pay taxes. Due to rampant corruption, Western governments are run by oligarchs who are tax consumers, not taxpayers. The burden of taxation is entirely on the shoulders of the small guy who wasn’t able to escape and that’s not even nearly enough for Western governments. The typical Western government is so deeply indebted that it will be your kids who will have to pay the debt resulting from the money governments have already borrowed from the future.
Unfortunately, your troubles as a taxpaying small guy don’t end there. There’s more. Not only the taxes and inflation are predatory but the elites who seized the control of Western governments built such a rigged system that your ability to make money is crumpled. The owners of megacorporations hate competition as it erodes their profits which is why they are hellbent on crushing small businesses. No matter what happens, boom or bust, the money trickles up, widening the gap between the rich and the poor. Heads they win, tails you lose.
All of these would have been a little tolerable if you’ve benefited from government services in return for the tax money you pay but that’s not happening either. The services that the governments are supposed to provide in return for your tax money not only comprise only a small portion of the tax revenue but are also notoriously poor in quality. Your kids get a poor education, infrastructure is crumbling and the protection services you are supposed to receive are of low quality unless they’re used to crack your skull in case you dare to dissent.
3. Dwindling Freedoms
A historically typical consequence of dominant institutions losing their power is that they fight tyrannically to stay in power at everyone else’s expense, which is exactly what’s happening in Western nations.
Censorship and corruption are rampant; human rights, privacies, laws, and constitutions are violated; dissenters are silenced, canceled, de-banked, or jailed; freedoms are revoked; properties are seized for trivial reasons; people are forced into medical interventions they don’t want, etc.
Citizens of the “free world” are not only terrified that the things that “can’t happen here” are happening one after the other but they are also helplessly left alone since all institutions in power have abandoned them. Every time a Western government violates human rights; the mainstream media applauds or scrambles to explain why it’s actually not a violation of human rights; academia approves or turns a blind eye; opposition parties don’t oppose or oppose only for show; megacorporations go along; and Big Tech censors dissenting voices. Not only does no establishment institution side with the people but they also unite against people.
If this ominous pattern of all establishment institutions acting in unison against people surprises you, it shouldn’t. Human nature is such that the fear of loss is greater than the desire to gain. Dominant institutions of the prevailing power structure (governments, opposition parties, the mainstream media, academia, and monopolistic corporations) have long been enjoying immense power and wealth. If a system dies, all of its leading institutions die with it. Their destinies are all tied to each other so they must act in lockstep. They are already bleeding power and the atrocities they commit in unison is their hail mary attempt to hold back the clock and preserve their accustomed privileges. Many people mistake their actions for strength which is not true. They are acting out of desperation, not from a position of strength. The establishment is fighting for its life. They don’t care about you. Their primary goal is to stay in power at your expense.
Yet, the establishment’s desperate fight to stay in power leads to great suffering for the citizens of Western nations who don’t occupy positions of power. Productive citizens of Western countries who want nothing other than to be left alone and mind their own businesses find themselves continuously subjected to unprovoked oppression. While I believe that the establishment will ultimately fail at its desperate attempts to stay in power, things will get worse for the regular Western citizen until that happens. Why suffer in the meantime and insist on remaining at the receiving end of their abject hostility?
You can’t convince these people to quietly go down; that never happened in the history of humanity. You can’t reason with them that their actions mismatch their stated intentions because their concealed intention is to stay in power at all costs so their actions are consistent in their own framework. Of course, they know they are harming you. They don’t care. A better strategy is to move to freer places where you are treated well, with your dignity intact; while being productive and accumulating wealth at the same time.
Increasing levels of tyranny and dwindling freedoms keep providing more reasons and motivation for productive individuals to leave in pursuit of freedom and wealth. Many productive people have already left. Expect the number of these people to increase at an accelerating rate as more and more people are realizing that the “free world” of first-world countries was nothing more than an illusion and the prevailing institutions have long stopped pretending. Even the “that can’t happen here” crowd is finally figuring out that it really can happen there.
Western populations have recently been confused by and terrified of an ugly phenomenon called “wokeness” that permeated the Western culture where seemingly benign activism turned into a monster that ruins innocent lives.
Anger the wrong member of the protected classes and your life will be mercilessly ruined. Say the wrong thing and the woke mob will shriek, claiming to be offended and you’ll be canceled. Hell, you don’t even need to say the wrong thing to be canceled. What you say today can become to be deemed wrong a few years later. The mob will dig it out of the internet archive and you’ll still be canceled and your life will be ruined. Establishing yourself on this wobbly foundation is a fool’s errand. Unless you made yourself antifragile, the career you’ve patiently built over years or decades of toil can be taken away from you at a moment’s notice.
Many people have already lost their jobs or they’ve been robbed of their earned promotions; competent students were outcompeted by incompetent students supposedly to right the wrongs historically imposed upon the designated victim groups.
The cancer of wokeness metastasized into all institutions of Western culture: Politics, employment, education, art, sports, entertainment, social media, and even the army are all infiltrated by wokeness.
Most people don’t care about the destructive influence of wokeness as long as it hurts other people but as wokeness keeps claiming increasingly more scalps, the number of people pushing back against it is growing as well. However, while I appreciate the pushback, eliminating wokeness won’t save the West because just as it is with other ugly stuff that’s been happening in the once-great West, wokeness too is a symptom rather than the cause of the decline of the West. The West didn’t decline because of wokeness. Wokeness emerged because the West went in decline. Here’s what actually happened.
Most of the wreck caused by wokeness might seem to have come to the surface anew but its seeds were sown decades ago when the Western welfare state started to weaken. As the Western welfare state weakened, its ability to collect and redistribute resources has weakened as well. As the amount of redistributable resources dwindled and the efficiency of redistribution foundered, the accustomed standards of living of Western citizens, especially of the recipients of wealth redistribution, started to dwindle as well.
When standards of living deteriorate, the system becomes prone to crisis. Terrified of retaliation, Western governments found it expedient to shift the blame to innocent citizens by designating many social groups as official victims oppressed by imaginary enemies such as toxic masculinity, patriarchy, white people, entrepreneurs, etc.
Other institutions of the establishment (academia, politicians, monopolistic corporations, and the mainstream media) went along the victimhood narrative because remember, they’re in this together. If one of them goes down, they all go down together.
Many people are especially surprised at observing supposedly capitalist corporations supporting a socialist narrative but it’s not surprising a bit when you consider that these state-protected crony capitalists profit both from socialism and capitalism where each count. In other words, their profits are capitalized and their losses are socialized. These are the corporations that are reflexively bailed out by the government with your tax money when things go south. While a free market is hostile to monopolies, these corporations enjoy monopoly profits protected from competition by the government. There’s a reason small businesses are crushed at every opportunity. So it only makes sense for these corporations to want to divert the wrath of people emanating from their deteriorating living standards to anyone other than themselves.
As a result, establishment institutions keep flaming the fans of wokeness to pit citizens against each other while they get away with their plunder and shield themselves from the outrage of the population for declining living standards. The woke narrative has so far been a success for the establishment because citizens who are pitted against one another are on each other’s throats while the transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top continues at full speed.
Since wokeness is the result of the faltering redistribution of dwindling resources, expect it to intensify as the Western welfare states keep weakening and their capacity to tax keeps plunging. In fact, not only wokeness keeps permeating into more aspects of Western life, but there’s also infighting among the woke crowd due to the vicious competition to secure a share of the shrinking victim pie. After all, if someone can successfully be canceled, their lunch can be eaten by those who cancel them. Wokeists viciously cancel each other as much as they cancel innocent people in a fierce competition to secure cushy jobs in megacorporations. If you see journalists complaining about wokeness, it’s not out of compassion for the innocent victims of woke culture. The mainstream media is losing viewers so journalists are eager to backstab and cancel each other in an environment of declining job prospects. Professional victims in academia too, fight tooth and nail to secure or protect a useless woke tenure, gladly canceling anyone who they can sink their teeth into.
Ultimately, the Western welfare state is a system that permits plunder by compulsion. As long as the system survives, there will be wokeness inside it. As the system gets weaker, wokeness will intensify. It will only die with the system itself. Until then, it’s better for your safety and sanity to check out of the system and go to somewhere that’s not infested by wokeness.
5. Fractured Societies And The War Against Men
During the last 50 years, as Western nations have gotten economically poorer, their societies have been irreconcilably fractured as well.
Groups of people are increasingly turning against each other instead of working together for a common purpose and uniting against common enemies. Social capital is in an unmistakable decline. Close-knit communities are a thing of the past. You were taught at school that your fellow countrymen were your brothers and sisters but the reality of the day is that many of your so-called brothers and sisters are plotting your destruction while they keep coming up with new ways to pick your pockets.
Part of this societal fracturing is the direct result of the decline in living standards of the general population and part of it is because of the artificial discord sown by the establishment.
As we’ve already mentioned, people, by their nature, fear loss more than they desire to gain. As 99% of the population keep losing socioeconomic status, infighting between groups of people is expected. This is what happens when economic growth is arrested by an inefficient system of government and business opportunities and the prospects of upward mobility are robbed by government-protected monopolies.
When the ways to prosperity are clogged in a system by the very people who run that system, social contracts between its people deteriorate, which is exactly what’s happening in Western societies. But it doesn’t end there. Declining living standards inevitably lead to discomfort among the population which compels the establishment to surveil, control, and gaslight the population which in turn further fractures the society.
The establishment knows that if they manage to destroy the social fabric and nuclear family, people become easier to control. The greater the number of people who rely on the government instead of relying upon each other, the greater the odds that the establishment institutions retain their power over people and keep their privileges intact.
This is the primary reason why, during the last 50 years, Western establishments declared war against men. Men, especially heterosexual white men, have been designated as the scapegoats for all the ills in Western societies and unfairly vilified for the “crimes” they didn’t commit. Masculinity has been denounced as toxic and heterosexual males have effectively been pushed to the bottom of the social status hierarchy.
As it is with the other reasons to leave the West we cover in this article, the war against men is fought in unison by all the usual suspects: The prevailing institutions of the Western welfare states. Students at schools and universities have been indoctrinated by anti-male propaganda. The mainstream media has been fanning the flames of the war against men. Men are the least privileged group in the hiring practices of all monopolistic corporations despite the establishment’s claim otherwise.
The war against men has not only harmed countless innocent men and fractured Western societies irreparably, but it has also destroyed the nuclear family.
The elevation of women above men has singlehandedly done great harm to the nuclear family structure since women aren’t hardwired to be attracted to men of lower status, yet the attacks on the nuclear family didn’t end there. Women have been fiercely encouraged by all the institutions of the establishment to get divorced.
Governments have been encouraging women to get divorced by enacting laws that aim to eliminate the downsides to divorce while jacking up the upsides. The welfare state replaced the husband as the provider which in turn disincentivized marriage and incentivized divorce for women. When her provider is the government, a woman is basically married to the state. The mainstream media has elevated single moms to hero status while declaring masculinity as toxic. Women have been encouraged to put their careers above their families.
As a result, a Western man who gets married against all odds in this hostile environment is sentenced to fight an uphill battle to keep his family intact while his wife is encouraged by powerful forces in society to divorce him. Humans don’t always respond to incentives but they usually do. If divorce is incentivized, it’s all but natural that there will be women responding to it. Seen from that perspective, it’s not surprising that 69% of divorces are initiated by women.
The consequences for male-female relationships of the war against men don’t end with the attacks on the nuclear family. Unfeminine traits such as obesity, combativeness, entitlement, self-mutilation, and promiscuousness are pervasive among Western women which is exactly what you would expect to happen when you not only push heterosexual men to the bottom of the social hierarchy but also strip them of their provider status and delegate it to the state. The increase in the number of women with unfeminine traits reduces the supply of women with who a man can form harmonious relationships for the simple reason that men are hardwired to be attracted to feminine women.
And remember. The lifetime tax rate in Western countries is 75-90%. If you’re a productive man who makes an honest living in a free market, not only most of your hard-earned money is extorted by taxation but the money extorted from you goes to feed the very people who declared war against you. In other words, the majority of the fruits of your labor are eaten by your enemies.
The abundance of opportunities in a permitting political system to make money without creating value attracts manipulative people aiming to snatch away a piece of the tax loot without having to do the hard work, which explains their zest to gain political power. Creating value is hard. Making an honest living or getting rich in a free market requires years of hard work. What’s much easier is to just take the tax money collected by the state. Since 75 to 90% of the wealth created in a Western welfare state is collected as tax money, it’s only natural for some people to want a share of this loot and many people do exactly that. Thanks to the political machine, manipulative and unproductive people can gain political power to extort resources out of you without having to do actual work or ask for your permission. They even get to attack you in return for you feeding them with your hard-earned money let alone be grateful to you. How great is that?
As a productive man, it’s normal that you aren’t interested in politics. You want to be left alone, minding your own business. But politics is interested in you. The political machine takes your hard-earned money by force and wages war against you in return for your generosity. You were taught at school that your fellow countrymen are your brothers and sisters. This was state propaganda anyway but there used to be instances that it actually brought people together for a common purpose. Not anymore. Can you call the people “brothers and sisters” who make a living at your expense and fight a war against you in return?
You can either stay in a system all institutions of which are hellbent on exploiting, demeaning, and destroying you or you can leave and go to places where you are compensated for your work, keep the fruits of your labor to yourself, accumulate wealth, and be treated with respect. You can find jurisdictions where you pay fair and lower taxes and keep the fruits of your labor to yourself instead of giving them to your enemies. You can find places that aren’t contaminated and corrupted by anti-male propaganda and meet feminine women who are capable of respecting men.
If it’s a community of brotherhood that you want, you can find communities with people of genuinely shared interests. As we’ve mentioned, many of your fellow countrymen, your so-called brothers and sisters are openly hostile to you. You can leave the West and join genuine communities with shared interests where the members are actually deserving to be treated as your brothers or sisters.
6. High Cost Of Living
It’s no secret that it’s expensive to live in Western countries. 50 years ago, it made sense to live in a first-world country despite predatory taxation because the standards of living were objectively higher compared to the rest of the world with the exception of a few first-world countries such as Japan.
But during the last 50 years, not only the incomes of the 99% of Western populations have plummeted, but the cost of living has soared as well.
To buy a house in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, London, Paris, and many other places in Western countries is all but impossible, especially for young people with no capital. The cost of healthcare has been skyrocketing, along with the cost of basically everything else.
In contrast to 50 years ago, many non-western countries exist with cities that offer first-world amenities at affordable prices.
7. Citizenship Is Obsolete
One powerful bond that binds people to their home countries is citizenship, not just as a formality but with the emotions involved. There’s nothing wrong with loving your country but, as we’ll see in greater detail in this section, adhering to your citizenship duties is irrational and counterproductive which makes them liabilities to get rid of rather than assets to hold on to.
Citizenship isn’t what most people believe it to be. It has nothing to do with loving your country or your fellow countrymen. It’s an artificial construct that facilitates the exercise of power for the elites at the expense of the citizens. That’s all there’s to it. Let’s see how it works.
Citizenship, in its contemporary form, didn’t exist before the emergence of nation-states. When nation-states came into the scene after the Industrial Revolution, ruling classes found it suitable for their purposes to indoctrinate their people with citizenship duties. Citizenship duties compel people to engage in irrational actions (which “coincidentally” always benefit the ruling classes) that a sober cost-benefit calculation would forbid.
Citizenship is a racket with dire consequences. If not for the citizenship indoctrination that his duties to his country are more important than life itself, no sane man would agree to be sent to die in a war at the other end of the world in which he has no personal stake. The costs massively outweigh the benefits. Citizenship duties are extremely costly, the ultimate price of which is death.
Millions of men died or were maimed fighting the elites’ wars for no objective personal gain. Warmongering elites and journalists don’t fight and die in wars, and neither do their kids. It’s you or your kids who will be sent to a pointless war, supposedly honoring citizenship duties, to end up dying to protect the interests of the very people who hate you.
It’s citizenship propaganda that allows the ruling classes to bald-facedly demand from you self-immolation “for the greater good.” It exists to extract compliance for irrational demands with the least cost possible. On another note, if someone demands your compliance “for the greater good” it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re about to agree to destroy yourself. Just say no.
As we’ve already covered, another costly citizenship duty is paying your taxes which is a bad bargain considering the services you receive from the government in return for your tax money are of low quality. Moreover, as we’ve also already covered, a major portion of your tax money is used to fund corruption, tyranny, and manipulative people who fight a war against you. You have no moral obligation to be a model citizen and you have every reason to avoid being taken advantage of.
The decline of the West is bound to culminate with the death of the Western welfare state and citizenship will die with it. A rational and productive individual has nothing to regret about the death of citizenship because it was already a terrible deal. In the meantime, citizenship will increasingly keep being a burden on the shoulders of those who can’t or won’t leave. It only makes sense to leave if you can before it drains you of your hard-earned money and gets you or your children killed in a pointless war.
Shaking your citizenship indoctrination off not only rids you of the irrational costs of citizenship duties but also potentially rids you of the opportunity costs as well. The opportunity cost of holding on to the outdated notions of citizenship is missed opportunities elsewhere to live freely and accumulate wealth without the compulsion to pay exorbitant taxes and die fighting other people’s wars. The way to realize this potential is to go to places where you can live and work freely without being exploited.
One or two generations ago, citizens of the world didn’t have alternative places to go anyway so even if they were to snap out of their indoctrination, there was not much they could do. But as of today as the nation-state is weakening, there’s a proliferating choice of domiciles where you can live freely, not as a subject of a government. Snapping out of your citizenship indoctrination can open the doors to declaring your independence from politics which has thoroughly become corrupt.
Moreover, don’t discount the dangers to your life that are to be precipitated by a collapsing system. Today, no one can realistically rule out the possibility of a civil war in any Western nation. The ruling elites would be willing to start World War III if it means they have a shot at staying in power. Even if a civil war or World War III doesn’t break out (hopefully), that doesn’t rule out other forms of violence which might come your way. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that there will be violence as it’s guaranteed that the beneficiaries of the prevailing system won’t politely let their privileges go away. They will fight tooth and nail to preserve their status so you’ll risk being perished in the middle of a vicious battle that’s not yours to fight. Also, anarchy is a strong possibility as a consequence of a weakening state.
Those who are early to exit and move to safer places will reap the most advantages, including a body intact with limbs and all. Moreover, the earlier you start accumulating wealth unimpeded by predatory taxes, the earlier you’ll arrive at financial independence.
Another advantage to an early exit is that it’s certainly going to become harder and harder to leave. Just like communist states didn’t allow their subject citizens to leave (for example, Berlin Wall existed to prevent the people of communist East Germany from leaving), Western governments don’t want their cows, which they are accustomed to milking, to leave. While many of those developments don’t make their way to the news, they are quietly erecting more and more barriers in front of those who want to leave. Western governments probably won’t erect physical walls to prevent people from leaving but exit taxes already exist, more regulation is added regularly making it harder to leave, and more pretexts are invented to ban or discourage international travel, etc.
“Where there are no longer any profits to corrupt, or fears to deter, the charm of dominion is broken, and the naked slave, as awake from a dream, is astonished to find he is free. When human nature appears in the utmost state of corruption, it has actually begun to reform.”
If the idea of leaving your beloved, (arguably) once-great country sounds depressing, keep in mind that you can carve out a better life for yourself; freer and happier than anyone who lived during the 20th century. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to escape the tyranny of oppressive centralized institutions that have long exhausted their potential.
It’s normal for the eclipse of any era to bring with it an air of gloom, especially for conventional thinkers, but this need not necessarily be so. In fact, if you’re a productive, hardworking individual, your future is potentially bright depending on how successfully you are able to adapt to a freer market economy while you shield yourself from the inevitable dangers that a transition is likely to precipitate. For the reasons we’ve discussed in detail, the collapse of the current oppressive system will rather be a good-riddance than peril.
When George Orwell wrote his seminal novel Nineteen Eighty-Four in 1949, he predicted a grim future for the people of the world where totalitarian domination of the state over every dimension of life would destroy the autonomy and self-respect of the citizens. He said, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
What he didn’t foresee, however, was the push for decentralization that would be compelled by advances in technology. The Soviet central state didn’t even last beyond the millennium and the centralized Western welfare state is bound to follow the fate of Communism.
Thank your lucky stars that the technology of today can potentially spare you from “a boot stamping on your face forever.” It’s up to you to realize this potential. Be grateful that there are places free of government oppression to escape to, and the number of these places will increase in number which is why it pays to be prepared to leave. If you keep an open mind, be disciplined, work hard and smart, and think beyond the outdated notions of the Western welfare state, you have a pretty good shot at living a life of freedom, autonomy, self-respect, and prosperity.
Preparing for your exit is a better use of your time than clinging to false hopes and wasting your time with futile efforts to revive the glory of the once-great West which won’t happen. Keep an open mind and plan ahead with a sober, rational attitude.
Instead of clinging to a particular place just because of an accident of birth, you can make the world your oyster. Instead of mourning for the decline of the West, be grateful that you were born in a wealthy Western country and enjoyed better standards of living while it lasted and that building an even better future is possible. While the skyrocketing of opportunities on a global scale is better news for competent third-world citizens as the old systems unravel, it’s also good news for citizens of Western nations provided that they’re productive. Greener pastures do exist for everyone and will continue to proliferate.
-But Lane, if Western welfare states are dying, why are the people of poorer countries vying for Green Cards and trying to get into the first-world countries?
First and foremost, the decline of the West doesn’t automatically mean that all other countries are becoming prosperous. Many of those poorer countries have puppet governments installed by Western countries which keep their populations oppressed and poor. On the other hand, many booming jurisdictions already exist that are eager to attract able individuals by offering low taxes, safety, and a better standard of living. The world is a big place.
Second, Western countries have long been known to be places of prosperity and opportunity. That perception doesn’t change overnight. It takes time for people to catch up. Many people of the non-Western world still operate from the increasingly outdated idea that they will be set for life once they manage to get into a Western country, which is no longer true.
Last but not least, there’s the propaganda part of it. Remember, oppressive regimes don’t want their subjects to leave. If Western governments can’t erect a Berlin Wall to prevent their people from escaping, they must resort to other ways to keep people inside. One of the most efficient of these ways is propaganda.
Mainstream media is the propaganda arm of the government. By heavily broadcasting news of people from poorer countries trying to get into the country, they are covertly pushing the propaganda that it’s not a good idea to leave. The average viewer automatically jumps to the conclusion that “Hmm, if everyone else is trying to get into this country, why should I leave? It’s bad here but it must be even worse elsewhere.” The most effective kind of propaganda is where you draw your own conclusions which is exactly what the MSM achieves by these broadcasts. Once the viewer is convinced that it’s worse everywhere else, he/she is likelier to quietly endure tyranny and less likely to decide to leave.
-But Lane, if this corrupt and incompetent administration is outvoted and my guy is elected, my country will be great again!
The idea that the decline of the West can be reversed by replacing a corrupt administration with an honest one stems from the assumption that corruption is responsible for the decline of the West when in reality it’s the other way round. Corruption is a symptom of a dying system, not the cause of it, which is why the resolutions to “drain the swamp” are unlikely to avail.
Besides, is it really a good idea to expect a politician to save your life? Which one do you prefer? Relying on someone else to make your life better or relying on yourself to do it? Would you rather just wait and hope that someone else fixes your problems or would you rather stop waiting and start taking responsibility to fix them yourself?
-But Lane, I can’t leave my family behind.
There’s no rule that says you can’t take your family with you.
-But Lane, those who leave are cowards! They’re traitors! I will stay and fight!
The United States of America, the leading country of the West, was founded by the children of those who left for greener pastures when their opportunities within the established system in their homeland were exhausted. Benjamin Franklin’s father, Josiah Franklin, emigrated to America from England because “[English] law made it impossible for Josiah to go into a new trade without serving another apprenticeship.”2 He moved to America to make money free from the shackles of cumbersome English bureaucracy. Later, the American War of Independence broke out because of predatory taxation and Josiah’s son Benjamin Franklin was one of the leaders.
People who left England for America are anything but cowards. It takes tremendous courage to venture into uncharted territory and build a new life from scratch.
Humans have the birthright to move to the friendliest environment to actualize their potential. Rational and able people will leave if the current configuration of institutions hinders their potential, which is exactly what Benjamin Franklin’s father did and what’s also rational and able individuals are increasingly doing in the West. Those who leave are neither cowards nor traitors. Homo economicus is probably the closest term to describe them.
Moreover, leaving doesn’t automatically equate to not fighting. In fact, those who leave probably deal a greater blow to the oppressive tyrants than those who “stay and fight.” They are hitting the tyrants where it hurts: they deprive the tyrants of their tax money. If the beast is deprived of tax money, it will starve. Since leaving can be framed as another way of fighting (probably a more potent way of fighting than to actually “stay and fight”), do not alienate those who manage to leave. They are your allies, not your enemies.
I remember watching Andrew Henderson of Nomad Capitalist’s video entitled Moving Overseas Beats “Stay and Fight” where he answers the criticisms that he’s a coward and a traitor for leaving the USA instead of staying and fighting. Watch the video and note that the people who hurl insults at Andrew know there’s something wrong with the West but they cling to the hope of saving the West. They’re falling into the same logical fallacy we’ve talked about above, that the West can be saved by curing the symptoms of the decline. Andrew Henderson is neither a coward for he’s a risk-taking entrepreneur navigating uncharted territory nor a traitor for he’s just doing what a rational and able man ought to do.
Goading the people who want to leave to “stay and fight” won’t avail anyway because life is short and they deserve to live their short lives free from government oppression and extortion. Leaving doesn’t mean that you don’t love your country either. Those who leave don’t leave because they hate their country; they leave because they hate tyranny and thanklessly being taken advantage of. It’s a good thing to love your country but you don’t have to love the government in order to love your country.
As we’ve already mentioned, Western societies are fractured. Each side is calling the other side traitors. People are at each other’s throats. If you’re worried about being called a traitor for leaving, keep in mind that at least half of your country is already calling you a traitor anyway regardless of where you stand. If you are going to be called a traitor anyway, go ahead and do what’s best for your well-being without a care what others think of you.
Do you know what kind of loyalty matters the most? Your loyalty to yourself and your family. Not your loyalty to strangers many of whom hate you. If you have a place to escape to before things go south, you can not only build a better life for yourself and your loved ones but you might also save yourself and your family from the violence that’s likely to break out sooner than later.
If the only reason to domicile your business in the West is your loyalty to your country, snap out of that illusion because as the state gets more desperate, it will resort to more desperate measures to squeeze those who stay to the last drop. As Western democracies are increasingly turning to totalitarianism, more of your rights will be violated, your taxes will be increased, inflation will rise, your properties risk being seized, your bank accounts risk being frozen, your passport risks being canceled, wars can break out, etc. Anything is on the table. You’ve already seen that Western governments can resort to desperate measures and they don’t care about your rights at all. There’s no hostility they won’t resort to if it means they remain in power. They’ll refuse to go down without a fight. Be prepared to leave so that you stand a chance to avoid getting your life ruined by a desperate ruling class.
Confronting the government is dangerous. It’s wiser and safer to escape and fly under the radar. I understand that some people won’t want to leave or won’t have the means to leave so confrontation is inevitable for them. Frankly, I’m not sure what’s the best way to help them other than warning them about the dangers of staying and convincing them to at least consider the option of leaving and start preparations for their exit. Things will probably get violent and I see no other way than leaving to stay out of trouble.
-But Lane, there’s nowhere to go!
Really? There are ∼200 countries in the world. The number of business-friendly jurisdictions is increasing by the day. Many of them are eager to attract productive people because they want their countries to prosper. While I can’t do research in your stead and there’s probably no single place that checks all your boxes, places to go do exist and you can find the most suitable ones for yourself if you are willing to do your homework by at least browsing the Internet.
There are already many opportunities out there. Tax havens exist where you can domicile your business to pay lower taxes. Western passports are still strong so you can visit many countries to see how it is to live there. Some countries offer citizenship by investment. Some others offer residence by investment. If you have the means, you can outright buy some strong passports.
A common mistake that those who contemplate leaving a Western country is to plan to move to another legacy brand Western country. There’s no point in leaving the USA and moving to Australia or Canada or the UK, or Germany, etc. They are different shades of the same brown. First-world amenities are not exclusive to the first world anymore. Quality of life, especially healthcare and education caught up. In fact, they’re already better in some other countries than they are in the West.
In the past, other countries were even worse with regard to freedom and human rights but the citizens of many other countries today experience more freedom than the citizens of first-world countries. Productive people will increasingly find places where they can be free while Western governments keep limiting freedoms, which makes leaving the West a winning proposition provided that you choose the right places to go to. American people are already leaving California and New York in the thousands to move to Texas and Florida. If you can move to Texas, you can move to another country.
Seek out ways to legally pay fewer taxes. Seek out ways to obtain other passports or permits of residence. There are countries where you pay zero income tax. Recently El Salvador designated Bitcoin as the legal tender. The number of jurisdictions to escape to will multiply in the coming years. Don’t limit yourself to your native country. Don’t let an accident of birth steal your future and rob you of the opportunity that didn’t exist for your parents.
Moreover, there’s every reason to believe that the future will bring even better opportunities. There’s a strong possibility that we’ll have private governments that actually answer to people. If that happens, instead of being a subject citizen who has no say in how your country is run, you’ll be a sovereign individual who buys the services you need from a private government. Instead of you answering to your government, your government will answer to you, as it should be.
Even if you believe you’ll never eventually have to leave, it never hurts to have options. Notwithstanding the other reasons, the possibility of civil war and anarchy should motivate you to be prepared. It’s good to have places to escape to in case things go south in your home country, rather than get stuck in an unsafe place where everyone is a law unto himself. Also, Western governments are deeply indebted institutions. You don’t want to be among those who are left holding the bag once the financial system collapses under its weight.
Think of leaving not as a sacrifice but a realized opportunity. Sacrifice is giving up something of higher value for something of lower value. Leaving the West for greener pastures isn’t sacrifice. It’s running away from something you don’t want (totalitarianism, conflict, war, predatory taxation, and even slavery) and running to something you want (freedom, safety, and wealth).
-But Lane, they will install a one-world government. We are all toast!
This mindset is of lazy defeatism. It’s throwing the towel without even trying. For the reasons I’ve been talking about in detail throughout this long article, I am rather optimistic about the future. Unless the ruling classes pull off a miracle and manage to stay in power, there’s a bright future for productive individuals free of government oppression. Sure, things will get worse in Western countries but I believe they’ll get better in many other places. While tax consumers will be worse off, productive people will be at a tremendous advantage. It’s under your total control to be a hardworking, productive individual.
The plan to install a one-world government is nothing new. It’s more than 100 years old. The fact that they haven’t been able to pull it off as of yet tells you that it’s not an easy feat to achieve. By no means there’s a guarantee that will happen. Far from that. In fact, chances are extremely slim that there will be a one-world government. Bar an unlucky miracle, that won’t happen. A much likelier scenario is that there will be hundreds, even thousands of mini-states to choose from.
Is it better to sit down and quietly accept the doomsday scenario that you’ll be a slave in a totalitarian one-world government or is it better to work tirelessly to expand your options? Is it better to do nothing when things are increasingly going south in your home county or is it better to build the means to go to better places before it becomes too late to leave?
I think you know the answer.
Be sure to read:
- How to Be a Superior Man, Chapter 2: What Makes A Man A Superior Man
- 5 Instilled-In Limiting Beliefs That Will Keep You Down In the 2020s And Onwards
- 5 Surprising Ways You Are Unsuspectingly Sabotaging Yourself
- How To Cultivate A Can-Do Attitude Without Being Delusional
- 3 Unusual Ways To Stop Being Lazy And Start Getting Things Done