Is Switzerland still a safe jurisdiction for investors in precious metals? – OpEd – Eurasia Review

Over the past two years, we have all witnessed abuses of state power and extreme excesses that many average citizens never imagined they would see in their lifetime. This has caused much of the body politic in many Western countries to revisit their previous beliefs about what is and is not possible for their governments and to question whether there really is such a thing as going “too far”. or if anyone in the political class is subject to the same rules as them.

For the majority, it was a lesson learned the hard way and very surprising at that. But even for those of us who understand the lessons of history and who have never harbored any illusions about the nature of the state and the character of anyone who claims to know what is best for someone The other, it was all the same an experience of “awakening”. This is perhaps best applied to conservative, long-term investors concerned with protecting and preserving their hard-earned wealth and keeping it safe for the next generation.

For people who fit this profile, the answer has been pretty simple for many years. Physical precious metals held outside the banking system in a safe and predictable jurisdiction have always been the best way to ensure that their wealth would be kept at a safe distance from the greed and whims of anyone who happens to be in power in their own country at the time. . Of all the possible candidates for such a safe place to store its metals, Switzerland was also the clear and straightforward choice, especially as time passed and all the other candidates began to show clear signs of moving towards more centralized and authoritarian systems of government.

Thanks to the country’s strong and long tradition of respect for property rights, its constitution, its economic and political stability and, above all, its guiding principle of subsidiarity, investors knew they could rest easy knowing that their gold was safe no matter how terrible things happened in their own country. Wars, recessions, regime changes, all kinds of crises and emergencies have come and gone, nations have gone through incredible changes and our way of life has changed drastically over the decades, but Switzerland has remained safe, stable and relatively unscathed.

Now, however, some investors are rightly wondering if this time could be different. Could it be that the covid crisis and the vast economic destruction that the response of governments has unleashed has also changed the way we should think about Switzerland? Could it be that this historic change, all the abuses of power and all the unprecedented measures that we have witnessed and continue to witness have also “corrupted” the small Alpine nation? Is it still a safe jurisdiction for precious metals investors or could it be that even this “last bastion” of individual freedom and financial sovereignty has also fallen?

Well, the simple answer is no. But there is really nothing simple about all these questions and concerns. Of course, as a proud Swiss, some might think I’m biased, but those familiar with my beliefs, my speeches and my writings will know that I am a very vocal critic of state abuse wherever it occurs. , and I do it even more fiercely. when they happen in my own country.

And there have been quite a few attempts here too in recent years, and especially since the emergence of the pandemic. The rest of the West has certainly gone off the rails politically, but it is true that we have also seen a number of power grabs in Switzerland. The virus has been used as a pretext for political minorities and all the megalomaniac fanatics (we have a few of them in this country too) to launch alarmist campaigns and do their best to divide the people and make them vote against their own interests.

But this is what differentiates Switzerland from its peers; always did and always will: it is a nation defined by its own will, founded on a history of independence and armed neutrality. Due to its decentralized structure (for example 7 presidents and not just 1), different languages, different cultures, different religions coexisting in a very small territory, it has always been known as a place of tolerance and more than that, as a place of welcome and nurtures different ideas. This is why we still find here freedom of expression, the principle of non-aggression, the right to vote with one’s feet, competition at the municipal level, even in times of collective madness. That is why even the founders of intellectual idiocy like Marx and Lenin lived freely in our country.

No centralized government or king has ever dominated the people. Instead, we still governed ourselves in the communes and cantons. It is only on this small scale that democracy can really work, where every vote directly affects every individual voter. As a result, so far, despite all the influences and pressures to accept a move towards centralization, Switzerland has managed to preserve a much higher level of trust and social cohesion between its people than its neighbours.

And it is because of this long history and the decentralized cultural and political structures that quite a few people in Switzerland were shocked to see how federal politicians violated our Constitution during the covid crisis. And now they are trying to do it again, attempting to conduct negotiations that are not aligned with sovereignty and unconditional armed neutrality. However, actions have consequences and one of them is that the number of people who now realize that these central government actions are not in their best interest is increasing. As a result, local groups are already forming to join the ideas competition in the future, seeking ways to prepare for the coming global economic crisis. The number of such people in Switzerland is impressive. This, combined with the still high level of trust among the population compared to surrounding Western countries, allows for the peaceful detachment of simple ideas from the federal government. They not only have the will to do so, but also the means: they can vote with their hands, and if they fail, they can vote with their feet. I am therefore convinced that Switzerland will continue to respect private property. The state in this country is not as powerful as abroad and it knows it.

That doesn’t mean we should become complacent, or that we shouldn’t be alarmed at the change we see in this nation as well. After all, the nature of the state is the same everywhere and even if it is small and contained like ours, the dangers of excess are always present. However, what is important to remember is that there is no place on earth that is perfectly safe. Switzerland, as a jurisdiction, happens to be by far the best of all the bad options.

Thelma J. Longworth