Jayant Bhandari: Contrarian View On Western Virtues, Junior Mining, Precious Metals

Jayant Bhandari the founder of Capitalism and Morality sits down with Maurice Jackson to provide contrarian views on the virtues of western civilization, junior mining opportunities, and the value proposition of physical precious metals. Mr. Bhandari is one of the most respected names in the natural resources space and pull no punches as he shares his views.

Video length: 00:35:18


Maurice Jackson: Joining us for conversation is Jayant Bhandari, the founder of Capitalism and Morality and highly sought-out advisor to institutional investors. Mr. Bhandari, welcome to the show, sir. Always a pleasure to speak with you. For the reader of today's discussion members, we will be addressing global unrest, arbitrage opportunities for your natural resource portfolio, and the value proposition of precious metals.

Jayant, when we last spoke, we were addressing global civil unrest and the vices of education, prosperity, and democracy. I want to begin our conversation with the latter. Jayant, most people view education and prosperity and democracy as a virtue. Why do you believe this is a sophism?

Jayant Bhandari: Maurice, education, prosperity and democracy, put together, has been a complete disaster for the Third World, and we continue to think that the more we educate, the more prosperous these Third World countries become, the better it will be for the world. We continue to believe that the more democracy spreads, the more stable the world will become. The reality is actually completely contrary to the conventional wisdom.

Let's look at prosperity. What happens when a lottery winner gets his money in the U.S.? He gets his millions of dollars, he leaves his job, he marries a stripper, he takes on drugs, and in a few years' time he will have lost everything that he made from the lottery, and he would be much worse off than where he started before he won his lottery. Exactly the same thing is happening in the Third World. People in the Third World have become rich before becoming enlightened, before becoming rational, before becoming open-minded. They have become pompous and noisy. They have polluted the planet. And the end result is that they have become extremely materialistic.

Now, Maurice, I'm not a religious person, but we all should have a higher calling in life. We should aim for bigger things in life. Pleasure-centric life does not satisfy us. But people who haven't become enlightened, people who don't have families, and these days more and more people don't have families. People just are pleasure-centric, and they are decadent in a lot of these Third World countries. And prosperity is working against them.

Maurice Jackson: How is democracy impacting the situation?

Jayant Bhandari: Now democracy is creating a very similar problem as well. The key thing is that education should have made people enlightened and rational. What education is doing is that it is telling us to become entitled. We go for all these liberal arts studies, gender studies, and we gain a sense of entitlements in the universities. We learn bad habits. We learn bad characteristics into our personality in these universities. Democracy means that everyone has a vote. Whether you understand public policy, whether you have a character or not, you still have a vote.

Masses don't have a character. Masses are interested in materialism. And as time has gone by, character of the masses has come to be reflected in our politics in the Third World countries. Third World countries were much better off as dictators. In fact, democracy in any country, even in an enlightened country, will result in degradation of the institutions, because the level of democracy, the character of the masses, will reflect in the institutions. And institutions will fall to the level of the masses. And that's why democracy is degrading the society as well.

Maurice Jackson: Yeah, I often run into or had discussions with people where they say everyone's entitled to their opinion and I agree with them. They are entitled to their opinions, but everyone's opinion doesn't count. And I was given the example of if you needed a surgery and five people had an opinion on your surgery, four of them are doctors and one's a janitor. Does everyone's opinion count? And then it makes sense to them.

Jayant Bhandari: Absolutely. And that is why if you don't understand public policy, you should not have the vote. You have no business participating in the political system if you don't understand what is happening. And this is a big problem even in a relatively enlightened country like the U.S. or in Scandinavia. Even in such countries, more than 50% people want free stuff from the government and they can't really understand that free stuff is not free stuff because you have to take it away from the wallets of someone else.

And these people, because of the fact that they vote, they have created institutions that are welfare-state institutions. They give free money to you and take away money from people who generate wealth. And because these people don't generate, [and] they don't understand public policy, they should not have had a vote. But because they have a vote, they have corrupted the institutions in the Western countries. And the corruption of institutions in the Third World countries have been absolutely horrendous.

Maurice Jackson: How does education, prosperity and democracy fit into the narrative of the former, as we're witnessing an unprecedented number of protests currently throughout the world?

Jayant Bhandari: It boils down to one simple thing. Our institutions around the world in the First World countries and in the Third World countries have degraded with time. Democracy has destroyed our institutions. Our institutions have become less and less rational with time, because they're not for governance. And to maintain the rule of law, they are there as nanny states today.

So our institutions have become worse, and at the same time our people, our society, has become infantilized around the world. Because of democracy, people have this sense of entitlements, and have become increasingly naive particularly in urban centers—and, of course, in the Third World countries, because they have got this sense of entitlement and they vote for free stuff.

Now, [with] this combination degradation of the institutions and infantilization of the society, you have protests and extremely unstable societies around the world. The good place in my view, is East Asia—China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan—where the sense of entitlement does not exist. Democracy has not set its roots very deep in those countries, and as a result East Asia in my view is the only stable and improving part of the world.

Maurice Jackson: Speaking of Hong Kong, you recently wrote a musing regarding the situation there. For someone not familiar with the situation and the potential contagion that may occur, can you provide us with an update?

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