A Conversation with John Hunt – Author, Doctor and Speculator
Throughout human history “imagined orders,” a term coined by Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens, have been used to control populations. Harari states,
“Imagined orders are not evil conspiracies or useless mirages. Rather, they are the only way large numbers of humans can cooperate effectively.” ~ Sapiens – pg.110
It’s vital to define the words we use so that our perspectives can be fully understood. This being the case, I believe Harari would define ‘imagined orders’ as a set of principles that are not rooted in objective validity, meaning they don’t have ties to the laws of biology, physics and chemistry, that govern our world.
‘Imagined order’ is inter-subjective, meaning that even if one person’s consciousness is able to escape the grip of the imagined order, the mass consciousness is unaffected. Examples of inter-subjective concepts are: law, money, gods, nations and schooling.
By now, I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘okay what’s his point?’ My point is that we’re all free to make our own choices, but it’s my contention that on a grand scale, more and more people are relying on the State to make their decisions for them, further expanding the imagined order of our world. The ability to critically think and question our current state of being is lacking, and from my perspective, it’s only going to get worse unless we’re able to wake from this slumber.
Today, I have for you an interview with John Hunt. John is a pediatrician and Chief Medical Officer at Liberty Healthshare, which is a health sharing ministry created to help families combat the burden of excessive health care costs. He has also written a number of books that include Your Child’s Asthma, Assume the Physician, Higher Cause, and his most recent, a series of books collaboratively written with Doug Casey, the High Ground Novel Series; Speculator was released last year, and the next book, Drug Lord, will be released this summer.
Now, Speculator was my first introduction to John, but I found that book so fascinating and important on so many different levels, that I thought it made good sense to interview John to get to know the man behind this masterpiece a little better. If you haven’t already, be sure to read my recent interview with John’s co-author, Doug Casey.
During our conversation, Hunt and I discussed a few of the inter-subjective concepts that I discussed earlier, as well as his two recent books, Speculator and Drug Lord. Check it out, there’s a lot of value to be gleaned from his answers, actionable wisdom that can be applied in all areas of your life.
Brian: You have a very interesting background, majoring in geology at Amherst College and then receiving your medical doctorate from George Washington University.
To me, geology and medicine seem to be worlds apart. How or why did you choose this path for your education?
John: Amherst was a reasonably classical liberal arts college back then, before it became one of the zillion progressive arts indoctrination centers it is now. It doesn’t matter what your major is in true liberal arts—the idea is to teach your brain how not lie to itself. Unfortunately, progressive arts teaches the opposite skill.
Geology teaches a brain how to think in four temporal-spatial dimensions concurrently with ongoing physics and chemistry, with a good smattering of economics in there too. It’s preparation for anything that requires rational intelligence later. Certainly it’s good prep to help holistically think about patients. I didn’t realize all this at the time. I was just a dumb kid that enjoyed rocks and liked the geo professors. My geology training helped a lot while writing Speculator with Doug Casey, though.
Brian: In my opinion, the general population’s ability to think critically is on a steady decline. Following the birth of my first child, I started reading books about education and the different schools of thought for how children are best educated. In particular, two books stood out from the rest; Dumbing us Down and Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto. Gatto, the former winner of the New York State Teacher of the Year award, tells a fascinating story of the American education system. In essence, I believe his message to the reader is that the essential function of the school system is to produce good employees, which yield unwaveringly to authority and stick to the status quo of social norms.
I have a two-part question for you; First, do you agree with Gatto’s thesis regarding the American education system? And second, if so, what needs to occur in order for it to change?
John: Gatto’s work influenced my thinking a lot, so it’s no surprise I agree with him. Schools indoctrinate kids into doing what authorities tell them to do, while video games numb children’s brains to suicidal military missions from which they fancifully can keep coming back to life. The kids are prepped to be either obedient serfs or cannon fodder. Some go on to college to pay the hyperinflated tuitions that result from too much money available in the form of college debt. Without the feds in there, college tuitions would be much cheaper, but the kids didn’t get taught that in school, so they get suckered into selling their lives as indentured servants, paying off forever the company store owned by the government. Politicians claim to fight to create jobs (work) on the one hand while fighting also for shorter work weeks (less work) on the other hand. How about the politicians stand up for freedom instead of work, and let us figure out what we want to do with our freedom? Back to education—to fix it, the governments have to get out of the way. Then the inventors can invent, and the people—instead of the politically powerful—can choose their education. That’s all it takes. Ain’t gonna happen though, so the answer is that the parents and students need to ignore and avoid the government and its subsidies and insanities, and not just in the educational sector, but everywhere government inserts its parasitic tendrils.
Brian: I believe the power of exponential growth is not fully appreciated or understood by most people. Human evolution has grown leaps and bounds in the last Century from a technological standpoint, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing. In fact, author Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book, The Singularity is Near, that with the current pace of technological advancements, humans will merge with machines by 2050 and begin to explore the stars.
Do you agree with Kurzweil’s statement about the current pace of technological advancement and his prognostication about our merger with machines?
John: It’s already happening. The question is will the free market producers much longer be able to outpace the parasitic majority who have been taught in their schools and colleges that stealing from others and enslaving them is their right. By that I mean all the egregious taxation we now suffer that is far outside of the US Constitutional limits (theft), and foolishness such as the right to health care (aka the belief that you have the right to compel someone to provide you with healthcare). If the free market can be left to grow, reasonably unabated, then within a thousand years freedom will bring humans to immortality, incredible power, and near omniscience. But if those who preach the ends justify the means philosophy keep control of the education system, media and politics, then ignorance and immorality will prevail and we’ll fall back into dark ages. Any species in the universe that is even 10,000 years ahead of us evolutionarily won’t allow us to become a member of their galactic club of omniscience and omnipotence if our species still thinks initiation of force and fraud is acceptable. Those alien types (legal or illegal) will keep us down until we grow up, and swat us like flies if we forcibly encroach upon them. So we libertarian types need to gain the cultural ascendency and teach the moral high ground for our species to thrive.
Brian: Although I still struggle with this sometimes, my biggest take-away from your book, Speculator, was the importance of listening to your gut.
In the book, Uncle Maurice gives Charles the following advice,
“Contrary to common opinion, intuition wasn’t mystical; it was scientific. Intuition was the ability to properly integrate many subtle pieces of information. To have good intuition, therefore, someone needs experience and data and a logical mind that can fuse them into coherence” ~ Speculator (PDF pg.17).
There are a lot themes in Speculator. Is there any particular lesson or theme that you wanted to bestow upon the reader, and if so, what? Why now?
John: Listening to your gut works well, but only if you aren’t prone to lying to yourself. Most people lie to themselves to protect their ego from their own internal contradictions. Internal contradictions induce stress unless the person deals with them or refuses to perceive them. Example—college tuitions rise not because of better teaching, but because of poor stewardship of resources by academics (equivalent to bad fiscal policy) and the ever increasing flood of easy money (equivalent to bad monetary policy). The solution the progressive have for high tuition? Make more easy loans available! That of course was the cause of the problem in the first place but they are in denial about this internal contradiction. They lie to themselves. Another example—medical costs are sky high because of insurance intermediacy and the third party payor mentality—called moral hazard. Moral hazard leads to price inflation, and in health care it is caused by insurance. The response of both progressives and conservatives? To mandate or subsidize insurance—the very thing that caused the problem. To survive with such blatant internal contradictions again requires prominent denial of reality. People lie to themselves all the time. The sequel to Speculator, which is titled Drug Lord, is about the epidemic of people lying to themselves. But the theme of Speculator and the whole series is that morality (natural law) trumps civil law (political law) any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.
Brian: While there’s an obvious connection between Doug Casey and the speculation theme in the book, how would you describe your connection? Are you a speculator?
John: At this point in economic history, stock market investors are really all speculators. The government and central banks are now every bit as influential on the success or failure of a venture as whether it produces value. What should be conscientious investment decisions instead need to be speculative guesses about what distortion the fiscal and monetary “authorities” are next going to apply to the markets. I could say that I speculate that the dollar will continue to fail, that gold and bitcoin will be money. But really I am just gambling in bitcoin because—despite my constant reading about it—too many others have far better knowledge than I do about it. I speculate that government and central bank manipulations will result in a bubble burst that will hurt everyone except those who caused it and a few who prepared. So I am at least partly prepared. But I hedge, by having investments that thrive in the political economy, although I know they will suffer when the political economy melts down. I’m a speculator, sure.
Brian: I recently interviewed Doug Casey, co-author of the High Ground Series, and he mentioned that the second book, Drug Lord, would be hitting the shelves this July. In the interview, Casey makes the comment,
“we’re trying to reform the unjustly besmirched reputations of a number of highly politically incorrect occupations.” ~ Junior Stock Review Interview
Casey is referring to the reputation of a few of the figures that have been and will be featured in the books, such as speculators, drug lords and assassins.
Where do the negative connotations regarding these types of people come from? And what does it say about the social construction of our current society?
John: It’s another example of the collectivist contagion rearing its incredibly ugly head. It’s not speculation, drug dealing or assassination that is wrong per se. Speculators who profit without force or fraud are acting morally and should not be lumped in with fraudsters. Which is immoral—the drug dealer who make possible some voluntary transactions between individuals, or the pharmaceutical company that lobbies for monopoly power through unconstitutional actions of the FDA and lies with statistics to convince naïve medical academies and government guideline committees about the value of their very marginal product? In regards to assassins, the Bible does not say, “thou shalt not kill” but rather “thou shalt not kill unjustifiably”. It is a sad reality that there is no organizational concept on the planet more active in the killing of the innocent than government. Collectivists group, and then attack, the 1%, even though some of the 1% are brilliant producers who help everybody. In contrast, individualists recognize that some of the 1% are cronies, and some of the 99% are cronies, and we prefer to judge against the cronies individually. Collectivists define racism as one race oppressing another. This group think definition falsely accuses good people of being racist—based solely on the color of their skin, nullifies individual responsibility, and obviates individual power to end racism. This collectivist definition has resulted in the recent exacerbations of racism in this country. Individualists define racism in the much broader terms of discrimination based on race, which places the individual moral agent into the process of choosing right from wrong. Overall, our culture has been infected with a destructive contagious disease called collectivism. We need a vaccine.
Brian: It has been a pleasure John, thank you for answering my questions.
The imagined order of our current state of being should be questioned as a number of our society’s strongest beliefs are broken and appear to be on their way to getting worse. The ability to critically judge ourselves and the inter-subjective concepts that we live by is vitally important, in my opinion.
On another note, I’m eagerly anticipating the release of John and Doug’s latest book, Drug Lord, this summer. If it’s anything like Speculator, it’ll be a MUST read for anyone looking for an entertaining story. For those looking to explore some deeper concepts, I’m certain John and Doug will not disappoint, as they attempt to reform the unjustly besmirched reputations of a few of the society’s most politically incorrect occupations.
Don’t want to miss a new investment idea, interview or financial product review? Become a Junior Stock Review VIP now – for FREE!
Until next time,
Brian Leni P.Eng
Founder – Junior Stock Review