Joel Skousen on Y2K: The threat was real. The world really owes Gary North a debt of gratitude for sounding the alarm, but…


World Affairs Brief, June 10, 2011 Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World. Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (



If we have to deal with one major error in the freedom movement relative to continue projections of economic collapse, it is the error of wishful thinking that fundamentals will take down the Powers That Be (PTB) quickly. They are much more powerful and resilient than we know and can drag this out much longer than we think. That’s where my analysis differs significantly from the others in the movement. We don’t differ about the problems, nor the ultimate consequences; only in the timing and the severity of the downward slope.

I’ve been right so far, but that is only an advantage to readers if you use the extra time to prepare for worse things to come—not to bet on the possibility that it may never come. It will—both economic hardship via inflation and war.

I fear that many of our people are so caught up in trying to “win back” our liberties that they are not preparing for the wars and real economic destruction that may come in its wake. Some think nuclear war is unsurvivable but they are wrong. Most people will live through it, and wish they had prepared better against the following widespread famine and sicknesses.

There are several ways in which people’s mindset, whether philosophical or religious, sets them up for believing in partially true scenarios, and misjudging the intensity or ultimate impact. For example, the noted free market economist, Gary North, thought Y2K was going to bring the evil powers that control the world to its knees. It could have. The threat was real. But North failed to realize that the PTB would pull out all the stops to fix it. What they didn’t fix (about 5 major failures), they covered-up for. Don’t get me wrong: I respect Gary very much. He is a brilliant writer and free market thinker and he’s fun to read about relative to almost anything. Even relative to Y2K the world really owes Gary a debt of gratitude for sounding the alarm.

If Gary North made any mistake at all it was letting eschatological (end times) theological beliefs get in the way of judging the facts on the ground. For example, North’s Calvinistic view of end times saw the necessity of some great disaster that had to unseat the PTB so that the evil world could healed and presented to Christ at his second coming, whole and good. While Y2K didn’t do it, it isn’t hard for Christian Reconstructionists, as they are called, to see the coming economic storm as the thing that brings this house of cards down.

Other Christians, in contrast, believe Satan’s power among men will increase until the whole world is nearly under his control, except for a remnant of good people crying day and night for deliverance, and that Christ’s Second Coming finally intervenes to end the earth’s grand test and save humanity. There are dozens of other variants on the “end times” theme including the surprising number of millions that believe in pre-tribulation rapture—perhaps the ultimate in Christian wishful thinking.

But as the world descends inexorably towards the loss of liberty and freedom, those that believe in a post-tribulation meeting of Christ descending from the clouds, are increasingly confident of their position. My personal belief is that we are going to go through the wringer. God is a great believer in the “refiner’s fire” of adversity, and the salutary effect it has on men’s souls in making them tougher and greater.

I only bring up the difficulties of interjecting theological beliefs into judging reality because it is something that most good people have to deal with. Far from being one that disparages all spiritual insights, I believe heavenly intuition plays a very real role in sensing whether or not disaster is imminent or farther away. There are both false and true spiritual realities out there.



Joel Skousen: Why Most Doomsday Scenarios Don’t Pan Out — “I can see this thing going another 10 years…”

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