March 28th 2022.
What is the case for monarchy? Why are monarchies better at long-term thinking? Why do monarchies outcompete republics in protecting property rights, promoting peace, raising living standards, and protecting the value of money? Would a return to hard money bring back the age of monarchies? We discuss all these questions with HRH Prince Philip of Serbia, who became the first monarch to publicly announce being a bitcoiner. Their conversation touches on the story of the Karađorđević dynasty, the factors that led to communist seizure of power in Yugoslavia, and whether a restoration of monarchy is likely, or desirable. In the Q&A, Prince Philip answers questions on his career in finance, ESG, the European Union and whether other monarchs in Europe could serve as allies in bringing about a return to sound money.
- Prince Philip on Twitter
- Three-minute Tonight with Ivan Ivanović interview highlight here and full appearance (Philip appearance starts from 23:49.)
- Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution by Antony Sutton
- Paper by Mauro F Guillén, based on a study of 137 countries, arguing that monarchies provide greater protection of property rights and higher standards of living study than republics.
- The State in the Third Millennium by Prince Hans Adam of Lichtenstein
- Democracy – The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
- Saifedean’s episode with Tom Nelson whether CO2 the Climate Control Knob? with Tom Nelson
- Saifedean’s first book, The Bitcoin Standard
- Saifedean’s second book, The Fiat Standard
Enjoyed this episode? You can take part in podcast seminars, access Saifedean’s courses and read chapters of his forthcoming books by becoming a Saifedean.com member. Find out more here.
Saifedean Ammous: [00:03:02] Hello and welcome to another episode of The Bitcoin Standard Podcast seminar! Our guest today is His Royal Highness, Prince Philip Karađorđević. He is the son of Crown Prince Alexander, who is the son of King Peter, who was the last King of Yugoslavia. He is currently moved back to Belgrade, and also he has come out publicly as an avid Bitcoiner.
Now if you’ve been listening here frequently, our very first episode, our very first seminar in this podcast was a discussion of monarchy. And I made the case for why I think a monarchy is a superior form of government to democracy, and why I think a Bitcoin world is likely to lead to more monarchies and fewer democracies.
Up until now, I hadn’t found any [00:04:02] prince charming who would come and support this vision, but then out of nowhere, a few weeks ago, Prince Philip was on Serbian TV and he explained that he is a Bitcoiner, and I thought I must talk to him. I’ve chatted with Prince Philip before, and we seem to see eye to eye on the relationship between Bitcoin and monarchy.
I thought this would be an amazing topic to discuss, why Bitcoin makes sense for monarchs and why monarchy makes sense for Bitcoin. Like many of our episodes, obviously this is going to get a lot of people’s knickers in a twist. If you’re not a fan of monarchy, perhaps you might want to switch off. If you claim to be a fan of democracy, you might want to actually just sit and listen, and see if you can find the something that is compelling here.
So Prince Philip, Your Highness, thank you for so much for joining us!
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Thank you for having me Saifedean! [00:05:02] It’s a great pleasure and honor to be here. That was quite a nice introduction!
Saifedean Ammous: Thank you. Tell us a little bit more about your personal background, your life outside of royalty and outside of Bitcoin and how that led you to Bitcoin.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I used to live in London, before I moved to Serbia. I’ll actually start from the beginning, when I was born in America in 1982, my older brother Peter was born in Chicago. My twin brother and I, I have a twin, were born in Washington and lived there for a couple of years, and my parents sadly separated.
My brothers and I moved to Seville, Spain where we spent two or three years there until, well there was a decision made that we move to [00:06:02] London to live with my father and my stepmother. And that was very difficult. Living with my stepmother, you can imagine it’s a bit of that usual tell, the evil stepmother, but it’s kind of true. I don’t mind being open about this.
Being separated from your mother was not easy from such a young age. Yes, we do go back to see my mother during holidays, but not easy. We went to school in the UK. I went to boarding schools and then later for secondary education, and then I went to university in London, studied Hispanic studies because I speak Spanish fluently, and it’s a very interesting topic, it’s a very interesting subject.
Then I got involved in the financial world. I was working for an Icelandic bank, which sadly went under during the 2008 crisis because Iceland were highly [00:07:02] leveraged.
And I decided to go into into hospitality, went to Switzerland, Lausanne to the hotel school there. And then left, worked in a hotel, but decided to go back to finance because the money is better. I moved to Cyprus for a year, two years, then moved back to London to work for an asset manager.
All the while, my life is always like thinking this world is not working right. This world, something’s definitely wrong with it. I’ve always thought that from a young age, I remember speaking to my mother when I was a kid, and saying, what’s the point of voting? They all just do the same thing.
She wasn’t very happy about that, but that’s the way I thought from a very young age. And that led me to, I think it was late, well it’s never too late, 2017 is the year I met my [00:08:02] wife and the year I met Bitcoin.
Saifedean Ammous: Same is true for me incidentally, same week.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Same week? What a big week! I married my wife the same year as I got into Bitcoin, but of course I was distracted by the shitcoinery, as most of us do. It wasn’t until two years ago that I started to really see why Bitcoin is the only one. I joined Bitcoin Twitter, I have a dormant account that’s been dormant since 2010. So I logged back into it and I started going around Bitcoin Twitter, and I was like, wow, these guys were making a lot of sense, the maxis that is, of course. There was a lot of intelligent stuff being said, a lot of funny stuff, a lot of great memes, some passion I would say to put it lightly.
And that really made me open my eyes up. And I was like, yeah, I get it now. [00:09:02] I really get it. This is it. Soon after that in beginning of 2021, I dropped all my shitcoins and I went full Bitcoin. I bought your book, The Bitcoin Standard, which was an excellent read. One of the best reads in my life. Heavy read as well, but a must read for anyone who wants to get into Bitcoin, who is into Bitcoin. And yeah, that’s it up until now. Here I am speaking to the likes of you, which I’m very honored to be.
Saifedean Ammous: The honor’s all mine. And this just confirms an observation that I’ve often made that people sometimes like to mock Bitcoiners on Twitter saying it is just a bunch of anonymous losers probably typing from their mom’s basements, but I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve spoken in many places and met Bitcoiners all over, I get invited to speak, and it’s a very [00:10:02] common occurrence that I’ll be at some after event, after I give a speech and then a few people will come and introduce themselves to me.
We get on a good rapport and then they’ll tell me, by the way I know you from Twitter, this is my anon account. And they’ll show me their Anon account, and it’s one of these cat or who knows what profile picture with 350 followers, but the guy would be some hedge fund manager that manages billions of dollars of assets.
And they’ll meet another anon account with 550 followers who will also be some major hedge fund manager, and they might make a business deal out of this meeting. And I think a lot of Bitcoiners want to stay anonymous and it gives the impression that they’re just random people.
But the fact that you have anonymous accounts suggests to me there’s a lot of interesting people there, [00:11:02] princes and hedge fund managers.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I’ve got to say, I don’t like the idea of anonymous accounts really. It just doesn’t really work. I don’t like the fact that I’m anonymous account, but if I started putting my name there, I would get unwanted attention.
So I think for people who don’t have such an attention grabbing name, if I started at Philip Karađorđević and stuff, people would be like oh that’s Prince Philip. And I like to follow and comment, I don’t comment too much, but I like a lot of stuff that could be seen as quite controversial, which is stuff that I believe is correct, because I’m a Bitcoiner.
I see through the BS, but yeah, it’s not to bring unwanted attention for now.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. With time it’s becoming, I agree with you, I think it’s becoming less and less justified to have an anonymous account. We have everybody from 15 year old kids to billionaires posting with their name, talking about [00:12:02] their interest in Bitcoin.
And I think, unless you’re Satoshi Nakamoto or unless maybe I can see how if you’re one of the Bitcoin core developers, you might not want the attention because it might bring you legal troubles. I think at this point there are millions of people that are open about the fact that they’re into Bitcoin.
And I think I don’t really see the excuse for anybody else to be anonymous. And I’m glad that you are now public and open about it and you are a public profile.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yes, it’s great because as a prince I have a voice. It may not be the biggest voice in the world, but it’s a voice. It’s a voice in my region, the Karađorđević family here, the dynasty is very important to Serbia.
My great great great great grandfather, that’s four greats, was Karađorđe, who led the first uprising against the Ottomans. So he liberated Serbia from Ottoman rule, and that is the day that’s marked [00:13:02] as the Serbian National Day, the 15th of February, ‘Sretenje’.
He was a general, he was from a modest background. From humble background, he became a relatively successful livestock merchant, a pig farmer I guess as well. He was very charismatic and he was a general, he led the first uprising. And since then, that’s created a Karađorđević dynasty, Karađorđe, and Vić is the son of Karađorđe.
And I was saying, I have an important voice. And I like to think that my voice is also a voice for other people. That I’m able to amplify the voices of other people, because I really am concerned about what’s going on, not only in Serbia, but around the world. But in Serbia there’s still a lot of problems.
It’s not a perfect country, like any country right now, but I want Serbia to be healthy. I want Serbia [00:14:02] to be free. And if Serbia isn’t healthy and free, I feel somewhat not healthy and free as well. So I like to amplify their voices and make themselves be heard as well as myself.
And now, since Bitcoin’s come into the equation, I’m really happy and relieved that I was able to get those three minutes, that big Bitcoin blurb in the Tonight with Ivan Ivanović. Which has opened open a new world to me completely. And this is a path that I’m so proud and honored to be going down now, to try and educate the world about the problems of the monetary system that we live in. The Keynesian monetary system that we sadly live in, fiat problems basically.
How this joke of a monetary system leads to so many problems of our lives.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, I think this is becoming more and more of an obligation I think, [00:15:02] for Bitcoiners. If you really care about the problems that Bitcoin solves, I think the best thing that you can do is put your face and name out there and we need more and more people from all walks of life.
Having royalty obviously is great, but also having just random people from all over, children, adults, billionaires, plumbers, everybody’s saying I’d like to have a form of money that I can save in, and I think Bitcoin is that form of money. And I think this is really probably.
It might be more important for Bitcoin’s security in the long term than any kind of technical issues because the more people are open about it. The fact that we have Paris Hilton publicly being open about it, putting the laser eyes on her profile, the fact that we have Tom Brady and Stefan de Vrij, and all kinds of athletes and popular people is going to make it, I think, harder for governments to really crack down on Bitcoin.
The genie is [00:16:02] out of the bottle. And so the more people come out the bigger the genie is I think.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, the people in Serbia that have come out, not many, actually. I think I’m the first high-profile figure here in Serbia. I’m proud of that. There’s always a sense of pride when you’re the first and also pride the fact that I’m probably, I think I might be the first royal to come out, and I hope I’m not the last, so yeah, let’s go!
Saifedean Ammous: Absolutely! I think the Royal family in Liechtenstein have said that they have invested in Bitcoin a few years ago, but they’re not very public about it. They’re not on Bitcoin Twitter posting with the plebs, yet at least. But hopefully you can put in the word and get them to join.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: What I recently learned is that they like to follow a bit of Austrian economics and they’re very libertarian when it comes down to it.
Saifedean Ammous: Very true, [00:17:02] yes. In fact, they’ve invited me to one of their conferences a few years ago, I went to Vaduz and they had an Austrian economics conference. They have one every year, named after Gottfried Haberler. It was a very nice event and I met very interesting people.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: That’s a potential Bitcoin standard nation there.
I think I’ve discussed this before, is that we believe smaller nations will be, it will be easier to orange pill, so to speak. Because they have less divisions within their borders and they can enact these changes much quicker than the larger, more complex countries.
Saifedean Ammous: Yes, very true. In fact the the example of El Salvador, it is a small nation and in a sense, it’s almost like a monarchy. Democracy fans aren’t very fond of president Bukele because they call them authoritarian. But when El [00:18:02] Salvador had a thriving democracy with the rotation of power, it had very violent conflict and government was just there to serve the interests of the ruling elites.
And now the current president has an enormous amount of legitimate support among the population. His approval numbers are over 85% consistently, which is pretty astonishing and pretty royal almost in his regard.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah that’s great that he was able to turn around El Salvador, not just with the Bitcoin, but it was one of the murder capitals of the world.
Violence there was ridiculous. So it’s a great story. Now, of course, you can argue he can be seen as authoritarian, but I guess you needed that at that time in order to enact these changes.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. So tell us, what is your case for monarchy?
So we live in a [00:19:02] world in which everybody thinks democracy is the best thing. Democracy is an unquestionable thing. We’re at the point where, when people want to say something is good, they say that it’s democratic, even though it might not even be democratic.
Yeah, it’s just become this word that means good. So obviously it must’ve been tough growing up as a royal in this time, and how do you answer the haters? What is your case for monarchy?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yes. So firstly, what monarchy means to me is, monarchy means freedom. Democracy actually does not equal freedom, as we can list many examples later on, but monarchy to me means, this is something I learned especially, quite recently is that [00:20:02] it has a natural way of seeing low time preference, of doing things with low time preference. When you run a prosperous and functioning society, we’re using low timeframes and you can do things, you do things that benefit the future for your children.
I’m talking about being a monarch. If I was king, I would focus on not taking wealth from the future, for the present. Because you want to keep that wealth for the future, for your children and your children’s children and so on.
It’s a very long game. With democracies, you have that insecurity, the uncertainness. Because leaders are only in power for a few [00:21:02] years, they come and go. You have elections every four or five years, and that means that their way of doing things is with a high time preference. They’ll be looking to secure wealth and their position by plundering what they can at that time.
And they’re only really thinking about how to keep that job essentially, for the next election. But they’re not going to be there forever, and so that process repeats over and over again. A monarch is not really concerned about what they’re going to take because they have enough really, that creates this stability.
You gave in your first Bitcoin episode a really good example, the analogy of [00:22:02] hunting versus hurting. I recommend listeners to go listen to the first episode. We might touch on a few things here, but it’s a really good listen.
Saifedean Ammous: In the situation of a monarchy, the king expects to be there and expect their kids and their grandkids, 10 generations down the line. He wants them. He wants to hand over a monarchy that is functional, that is wealthy, that is strong, that can resist outside enemies. And in order to do that, you want to have your people be wealthy, strong, and you want them to be loyal and you want them to be happy and wealthy.
And so the focus of the Monarch, because they expect to rule for life and then they expect their children and their descendants to rule for essentially eternity is to try and optimize for eternity. So that leads to a very low time preference. Every time a Monarch carries out an action. I think if you [00:23:02] start thinking of the actions of monarchies from this regard, you start seeing that they make a lot more sense this way.
Everything is geared towards the long-term future. Whereas in the situation of a democracy, it doesn’t matter how legitimate you are. As a president. You’re only there for 4 years, 8 years, 10, 15, 20 years, whatever it is, it’s always uncertain. Even if you lost 20 years, you did not expect to last 20 years when you got started.
You can’t expect a smooth transition to your children. Even in places where we see democratic presidents, turn authoritarians and hand over the reigns to their children, it’s never very smooth and easy, it’s always highly uncertain. It always includes a lot of conflict. Therefore you’re optimizing for grab and run basically.
You’ve got four years in office, yeah, this is your chance to secure your family forever, because most [00:24:02] likely your kids aren’t going to be there. So you want to get them the goods now. You want to give them land. You wanna take other people’s lands. You want to give them monopoly rights on the distribution of certain goods or the other.
So all of these opportunities to benefit from your position of power, in a democracy, are far more pronounced and therefore far more pressing, and therefore presidents everywhere. It’s amazing that people still believe in democracy because it doesn’t matter where you look, in examples of democratic countries, you always see corruption, you’ll always see presidents abusing their power and it’s just natural.
The idea of democracy is against human nature. It presents that you can have somebody in power who’s going to not care about their own wellbeing and not care about their children’s wellbeing. We’re going to have a [00:25:02] popularity contest, and the person who’s going to win the popularity contest is going to be just a complete, to win a popularity contest you have to be extremely megalomaniac, and then to imagine that person is going to be completely selfless and turn around and not think about their own benefits and their own children’s interests and just sacrifice themselves for public office in exchange for a very low salary is completely idealistic, nonsensical in my opinion.
They are going to take advantage of their position and they’re going to do it with a very high time preference, with the inclination to get it done quickly.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: You’re right in saying that democracies, when the election processes, the list doesn’t only go for an election process for voting a leader or politician, but also for companies. It tends to [00:26:02] benefit those who act in a sociopathic or psychopathic way.
And those are the ones who actually tend to make it to the top quite often. And they’re the ones who understand that they’re not there for long, and they do what they can to benefit themselves. Also, those people who sit around thinking, yes the democracy that I’m participating in, that I’m voting, and I’m electing a good leader, they’ll do what’s right for me and everything, so they don’t really stand up or move forward to make these changes. They are too honest and too nice because humans are honest in life. The majority of humans are good. They act in good faith.
But then there are those people who, those sociopaths and psychopaths, which you see everywhere, you can just use your gut [00:27:02] instinct to see them all over the place right now in the news, are the ones who make it to the top. And they don’t have those people’s interests in mind. And this is what the fiat system and the democracy system benefits. It helps those people.
And this is why Bitcoin, the monarchy changes that. And it helps the people, it helps people being honest. Because that’s what a good functioning society [inaudible] If people are honest with each other, and honest with other people, and you have an honest monetary system where you can’t change the rules. You can’t change the the protocol, you can’t change it unless it’s done by consensus. Where you know that one plus one equals two, and not $1 plus $1 equals as many dollars as you want, for the people in charge.
Then if work by real rules that you can’t change and everybody will end up being much more, [00:28:02] let’s say honest as I was saying, and it wouldn’t be the situation we are in today. These horrible outcomes that we have.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, I agree. I think, ultimately it was being a libertarian that brought me towards appreciating monarchy. I still consider myself an anarchist, and I would rather live in an anarchist society than a monarchist society.
But I think realistically you’re far more likely to have more freedom if you live under a monarchist society than a democratic society, because ultimately what you really want from government, from any government, or what you really ideally want is just the security of property. I think anarchy is just about the security of property and the ability of an individual to own their property and expect to continue to own it for many generations.
If you have that, then you have people developing a lower time preference. Then you have people investing for the future. If you don’t have that, people’s time [00:29:02] preference rises. And the reality is people’s properties are far more secure under monarchy than under democracy. Because under democracy, as we said, the ruler has an incentive to pillage, and grab and go, smash and grab if you want, and under monarchy he wants the country to prosper in the long run.
So you got the security of property, and of course you also have the perverse selection, and I think one other aspect of it is that democracy, it legitimates the idea of government. It convinces people with this extremely dangerous idea that government is us, that we are government.
They talk about their government as if it is we, and I think this is obviously delusional, but it’s not just funny delusional, it’s disastrous catastrophic delusional. When you think that the government works for you, and when you think that, I voted therefore these people should do what [00:30:02] I do, you’re really getting scammed in a very brutal way because they don’t work for you, they work for themselves.
It is only because of this legitimacy that you give them, that they are able to basically exploit you and take advantage of you very heavily. On the one hand, it gives people this idea that they legitimate government, so they start expecting their government to do more, which you see in democracies much more than you see in monarchies.
If you’ve traveled to a monarchy, generally, people don’t have as much of this sense of entitlement. Why isn’t the government doing this for me, why isn’t the government doing that for me? In monarchies, people tend to mind their own business and take care of their own stuff and not expect the government to force feed them things, and that works out much better.
Because you spend your time taking care of yourself, everybody spends their time taking care of themselves, everybody minds their own garden, and you end up with a much nicer society than a society in which everybody wants to [00:31:02] be in charge of centrally planning everybody else’s gardens.
And then the flip side of this is that everybody ends up in conflict, this is the problem with democracy. Everybody wants to be king, and everybody’s engaged in an eternal conflict of who’s going to be king? Is going to be me? Is it going to be you? How do we sort this out? And then people don’t mind their own gardens because they’re too busy fighting over who’s going to mind everybody’s gardens, so none of the gardens get tended. You see this in so many societies that have spent a lot of time suffering in the lawlessness of democracy.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: The other thing is democracies have those small groups of individuals like lobbyists or individuals who help the leader get into power, so the leader has a debt towards those groups, those lobbyist or rich people. They end up focusing [00:32:02] on one on one industry or one thing, so they end up forgetting about the whole country. It just creates divisions really, at the end of the day.
Democracy at the end of the day when people vote, and when people vote say there’s always some people who are not happy with the leaders. And so there’s always some people just saying, oh no, we were left out and we’re not part of that political party or this party, and over time that just creates more divisions.
And it’s easy for the state to control people when they’re so divided, and democracies over time create too many lines really. We can see today what it’s come down to it really. We get this whole woke mentality being born from that, I guess. It’s not nice, it’s not pretty.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, this is the continuation of it. It fits perfectly with the fiat idea, because [00:33:02] when you have this giant pot of gold, figurative gold that is, at the fiat standard that is just, if you win this popularity contest, you get to print money for everybody and you get to take money from anybody. Because you control the central bank, you control the banking system, you can confiscate all of the money of your enemies and you can give all the money that you want to your friends.
Simply having that is just a recipe for disaster, and I think the intertwining of democracy and fiat is very strong. The rise of fiat came with World War I, which is also the time in which the monarchies of the world began to disappear. One of my hobbies almost is to read about the history of countries with this lens.
Everybody’s usually just thinking that there was this glorious revolution, pick any country where they had a king, the king was [00:34:02] evil, then there was the glorious revolution that was going to help the poor people become rich and it was going to make everything better. And then the democrats and republicans came into power and everything was supposed to be great.
But then magically, there was a bad guy who ended up taking over power, and then we had a few genocides and a few million people dead. Then the country fought a bunch of wars and everything went to shit, then we had hyperinflation, and people tend to think that, it’s amazing the way that they justify this and rationalize it.
So for instance, Russia. You look at Russia under The Romanovs, the image that most people learned about Russia is that, oh it was this backward society and the king was a despot, and things were terrible. Clearly nobody’s perfect, and I presume The Czar of Russia was not perfect.
But I think if you tallied all of the people that Czar Nicholas had killed, it probably comes down to about one typical week [00:35:02] of communist rule. All of the people that he’d killed under his entire reign is a weekend’s work for Joseph Stalin. There’s no comparison between the evil that happened before and after.
And if you look at the image that we have about Russia being this backward country, obviously it’s a massive country and modern technology was just beginning to penetrate it, but it was still enormously advanced in many ways under the Russians. And we see these examples in many other places.
So France obviously is the poster child for republicanism. Things didn’t go very well after the fall of the monarchs, did it?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: No, that’s a good point you raised. With the technological advancements since World War II, I will use the case of Yugoslavia, that people will look back in the monarchy and they know that the times are stable, times are prosperous there, but then you have that emotional connection to [00:36:02] the to the other side of World War II, which was socialism, communism.
But that was also at the same time as the technological advancements after the second world war. So people think, oh look they’re bouncing with the technology. Things are good, they’re prosperous, and actually the socialist Yugoslavia was only prosperous because it was helped a lot by the Americans.
They had a lot of American money going in there, but really it was a disaster project waiting to fail at some point. And the failure did come of course, when Tito died. But even before him, the failure was happening. You got you got a lot of especially when The Warsaw Pact fell apart, and that was the created in retaliation to NATO being created. But The Warsaw Pact [00:37:02] didn’t last very long, and so once that disintegrates, Yugoslavia was not part of The Warsaw Pact, Yugoslavia was always trying to play between east and west, but when The Warsaw Pact fell apart, then there was no point of having Yugoslavia at that point, so the attention to Yugoslavia went away.
Maybe rewinding back a little bit, was that America, and the west, and the Brits wanted to support Tito over the monarchy. Because they didn’t like that the monarchy was something that was becoming quite powerful and they couldn’t control.
So there was more, it’s just sad to say, but yeah they went with Tito instead. And sadly, my grandfather when he was [00:38:02] exiled, he was forced out of his country, and he didn’t take the gold, which a lot of people say he did because we were left, we have nothing today.
But he was back in the UK, and then slowly the UK was making concede power by being there, to Tito. Because they wanted to support Tito, because Tito had an alliance with Russia.
Anyways, my point going to what you were talking before was, The Kingdom of Yugoslavia was comparatively speaking, an empire in the 1930s. But the truth is simple, there was that divided period, divide and conquer, it was harder to control highly functioning Yugoslav monarchy over a really weak[00:39:02] starving post socialist federation of Tito of Yugoslavia.
So this is the point that a monarchy is much, much more stable, much stronger. Whereas a failed project of socialist Yugoslavia was always going to be doomed. Even though people did say it was the good years because it’s the good years comparatively speaking to how it failed in the 80s and 90s when inflation was rampant. And then Yugoslavia disintegrated, and fell and took into horrible war as we all know.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, I think it’s easy to have a boom if you borrow from the future and then you cause a catastrophe into the future. We see this in many countries where these regimes come into power, and essentially they pillaged the public treasury that was built up over centuries by the monarchies and they go on a consumption binge.
And then people [00:40:02] see that when this new glorious leader came in, we had all kinds of amazing things because he was spending to win his popularity contests. And then by the time he dies, sometimes before he dies sometimes a few years after he dies, but you know 20, 30, 40 years later, the bill comes in. You’ve spent all of the saved capital, and now the population needs to deal with the inflation.
The sad thing is people associate that, oh he died and then we had inflation because inflation just happens, it’s like an earthquake. But as Mises says, inflation is a man-made thing, it’s not a natural disaster. It’s a man-made thing, and it’s made over years and years, it’s very thoroughly earned.
Egypt is another example like this. People still associate the good years of Nasser, a lot of people have a nostalgia for the good years of president Nasser. But the real good years were under the king. In the [00:41:02] 1930s and 1940s Cairo was one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The country was growing economically massively, and it was improving, and there was a real improvement in the country, and then the socialists took over and then they had a massive consumption binge, all of the fancy headlines. Tito and Nasser were quite friendly with one another, part of the Non-Aligned Movement.
So it was a very similar story, massive spending, and people think this is a great thing because we have all that spending, and then they don’t connect the bill that comes through the spending after that with all of the spending that came before. They think we can just, if only Nasser had lived for another hundred years, we would have had all of that glory continue indefinitely. We could have kept on spending from the future indefinitely.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah. Also the tendency to then get help from the IMF is a problem. It’s what happened in Yugoslavia as well. They poured [00:42:02] a lot of money and ran up a huge deficit.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. Incidently, you mentioned how the British were quite happy to support Tito, one of the very very interesting history books I have read, probably one of the most influential history books I’ve ever read, and it’s something that very rarely ever gets discussed, is a book by Anthony Sutton called Wall Street and The Bolshevik Revolution. And it’s an astonishing book because it shows he was a historian at Stanford, so this isn’t some crazy tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist from his mom’s basement. This was a professor at Stanford University who spent decades of his life meticulously documenting Russian history and the influence of British and American interests in the Russian revolution.
And what you suggest, I think is extremely astute in the same [00:43:02] case, it’s the same thing for Yugoslavia and for Russia. Americans and British interests were served by getting rid of the monarchs and replacing them with insecure dependent revolutionary leaders. Let’s face it, one of the interesting aspects of this fraud of these kinds of leaders is, they pretend to be nationalist leaders who are saving their country, but they’re just regurgitating the moronic propaganda of American and British universities.
All of this Marxist garbage, all of this third world liberation anti-imperialism nonsense that all of these supposedly revolutionary anti-imperialist leaders regurgitate, it all is manufactured in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and other universities of America that have been producing ridiculous propaganda for more than a century [00:44:02] now.
So there was a lot of financial and political support for taking down monarchies all over the world. And the beneficiaries from this are the same people who finance this very strongly. And I think it’s coincided with fiat because the first thing that these revolutionary leaders always did was go off the gold standard, confiscate the central banks gold, confiscate the peoples gold as they did in Russia, they confiscated the gold from all the churches, which was where most of the gold was. And of course, you throw in the anti-religious propaganda there as well, and you take up the gold, and you give people slave paper money, and then these thriving republics then just March on the road to hyperinflation. It takes several decades.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Not only [00:45:02] places like Russia, but also in Britain they got rid of that gold as well, they sent it to America. FTR took money away from his from his people as well?
Yes, FTR did that in the US, yeah.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I mean it’s everywhere.
Saifedean Ammous: Indeed it is.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah that’s what happened, when Peter I, my great-grandfather came to power, he promised Serbia to move away from the German Austro-Hungarian sort of influence into a more Russian alliance. That would work out quite well, but obviously that annoyed the Austro-Hungarians and they imposed sanctions on us, but he managed to, with a lot of hard work, just for a few short years, to move all the commerce to his new allies.
And that was [00:46:02] great, Serbia actually did quite well under that. Serbia then became Yugoslavia under Alexander I. But this alliance with Britain stopped at some point when they saw Serbia become too strong, too independent themselves, where they had people in Serbia becoming very rich.
You had one family, the Savić family who were in today’s money was worth about $14 billion, which is quite incredible. And this created actually quite a strained situation where the people loved him because he created a sort of fake socialism for his work. They gave him free education, free housing and free health care.
But it worked to some extent there, there were strange question marks around that, but this extra power that Serbia had was obviously annoying the other [00:47:02] powers of Britain. And as you talked about, Britain wanted to have control and they still do, around the world. And that’s when the lines started to disintegrate.
Yeah. It all happened at the same time when they started really pushing out the money printers, around 1918.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, and also let’s not just focus on the British and the Americans here, I think it’s important, in Anthony Sutton’s book it’s also very clear, that it wasn’t just the British and the Americans who were working on bringing down The Czar, it was also the Germans as well.
One of these kind of obvious facts that gets ignored is that Vladimir Lenin led the Bolshevik revolution from Switzerland, and then what exactly was he doing in Switzerland, skiing? I doubt it. He was being financed by German bankers who wanted him to take out The Czar because they [00:48:02] wanted to get rid of Russia’s, they wanted to weaken Russia as part of the war.
And this idea that these revolutionaries are out there to help the country and help the people to the country, it becomes very fragile as a pretense to maintain once you see who finances them and then who benefits from them. And it’s almost always the enemies of the country who benefit from the country being weakened.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yes. That’s the whole idea of revolution. It really was led by, revolutions always tend to be led by one individual, but I think the new revolution today is going to be led by us finally being individuals.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. My view of why I think Bitcoin fixes democracy by replacing it with monarchy is that I think ultimately democracies are always going to vote for fiat.
They’re always going to vote for more money printing, [00:49:02] and they’re always going to keep just going bankrupt more and more. I think you see it all over the world. Even the poster children for democracy are voting for extremely illiberal measures and extremely inflationary measures.
They want the government to control everything. Now we see it with the COVID hysteria where government needs to decide based on everybody’s, everybody needs to get tested and the government needs to assign your rights based on your status and your medical status, and the government has infinite money to hand it out to everybody and stop people from working and just give them money.
This kind of insanity, obviously it can be maintained for a few years, but not for too long. And I think eventually democracies are just going to go bankrupt and either, yeah go ahead.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Sorry. No, I say that doubling down now, tripling down now, inflation is rampant right now, but what are they going [00:50:02] to do? They’re going to hand out checks to the people who are suffering from inflation. You’re tackling inflation with inflation.
Saifedean Ammous: But it’s even better than that, they’re going to first give people money so that they can buy, so they’re going to throw more fire on the fuel, but also they’re going one step further, they’re also cutting out the water that could turn down the fire, which is they’re raising taxes on fuel companies, because clearly that’s going to fix it, because clearly the whole thing is just fuel companies being evil conspiracists wanting to raise prices.
Suddenly all of a sudden the same fuel companies that went bankrupt two years ago. Now they have decided to take revenge by raising prices. And so if we tax them and we take their money and we prevent them from investing, we take away money that they would have invested in building infrastructure to [00:51:02] make fuel. And we take that money and we give it to genius government clowns like president Macron and Elizabeth Warren in the United States, we give them the money instead so that they can hand it out to win their popularity contests, then the prices are going to drop.
That’s a democracy for you.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Oh yeah, it’s complete clown behavior. It’s a crazy world.
Saifedean Ammous: It is. And I think, Bitcoin, if you’ve been in Bitcoin, you know that Bitcoin favors low time preference, Bitcoin favors people who can think long-term. And I think naturally, people like you, monarchs are just going to be very inclined to this.
You view life in terms of, you’ve got a history of family, a family history that extends centuries back and you think further centuries ahead, and so something like Bitcoin is going to fit in nicely with that vision. So my idea is that [00:52:02] democracies are going to bankrupt themselves and monarchies are going to be in much better shape.
And then I think it’s either democracies are going to be taken over by monarchies or the best scenario for them is to wake up and restore their domestic monarchs.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: So here’s a question, what do you think will come first, countries to adopt monarchy or countries adopt a Bitcoin standard? Which one will lead to the other or the other way around?
Saifedean Ammous: I don’t know, I think we’re going to have a variety of experiences, but I think basically strong, vibrant, functioning democracies that are really very good at being democratic, are going to just keep doubling down on bread and circus and popularity contests, and Elizabeth Warren kind of genius where we punish the producers, and we hand out money to voters in our [00:53:02] popularity contests.
And I think at these places we’re going to witness just more and more doubling down on fiat and then more and more bankruptcies, and it’s going to be very ugly. If these kinds of countries have monarchy neighbors, then these monarchs might just step in and take over, but hopefully they’ll just restore their own monarchs.
I think that would be smoother.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I hope so too. Even in a parliamentary, a constitutional monarchy with a democracy, that’s still a lot better than these republics. You see that, you listed all the countries that are constitutional monarchy.
You’ve got Spain, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Japan, United Kingdom. And all of them have, there’s others as well, the one thing [00:54:02] they have in common is stability. Yes, they’re not perfect, they’ve got problems with the democracies, but compare those to some of the other countries, other republics.
Yeah, it’s different. Here’s the thing, if you would implement a monarchy, probably countries that are a Republic for now, will probably go with constitutional monarchy first. I’m going to be realistic about this, because when people describe absolute monarchies, they group them together with dictatorships.
So it’s sad, but that’s what we have to do. But I think with time, people will start to realize if we make our argument known out there. But yeah, even a constitutional monarchy does give that check on the democracy on the government not to do stupid things. And it’s worked before at times.[00:55:02]
Yeah, that’s still better than no monarchy.
Saifedean Ammous: Yes, I agree. In fact, there’s been this study that was done by an economist called Guillen, and he looked at 137 countries between the years of 1900 and 2010. So that’s 137 countries over 110 years. And he found monarchies tend to be dynasties and therefore have a long-term focus.
If you focus on the long run, you’re bound to be more protective of property rights. He found that monarchies offer better protection for property rights, and also. I think most relevant to Bitcoiners, they had much lower inflation, monarchies had lower inflation than republics.
And I know from the example of Arab countries, a few years ago I did a study on this. You look at the Arab [00:56:02] countries, they’re culturally very similar countries, 20 of them. There’s basically 10 republics and eight monarchies. I looked at data for 18, 10 republics and 8 monarchies.
If you rank them by the degree of the devaluation of their currencies versus the U. S. dollar, and then you see that basically the ranking is split in half. All the monarchies had much lower inflation than all the republics, without comparison. It isn’t even close. All the republics destroyed their currencies. Every single Arab Republic has destroyed its currency, and I think pretty much all the republics over the world have destroyed their currency pretty much.
There will be a few exceptions here and there. Switzerland has been on a gold standard pretty late, but I think the trend is unmistakable. Democracy leads to high time preference, leads to currency destruction. [00:57:02] I don’t think there’s any escaping that. I think what Bitcoin introduces is a solution and a way out for people who live in those countries.
So previously it used to be that if you were in a country that gets taken over by fiat Democrats, they’re going to destroy your wealth and you had no choice. Now they can destroy their wealth, destroy the people who like them, and who trust them, but those who don’t trust them can opt out. And that’s where I see the light at the end of the tunnel, that monarchs and their supporters will opt out with Bitcoin.
And it’ll just get easier because it’s going to be the old easy money versus hard money story that I discussed in The Bitcoin Standard.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah. Finally Bitcoin has given me and many people hope. I mentioned this before, but it’s as you said, light at the end of the tunnel. It’s given [00:58:02] meaning to our lives again. Before everything was so abstract or ambiguous, really. Everything was really all over the place.
Fiat money is abstract. Fiat money is ambiguous. Fiat money is everywhere. It’s very rare that two economists can agree on the same principles. Whereas with Bitcoin, as I said before it’s there, the protocol is there, you can see it, you can feel it and it doesn’t stop. It’s as simple as, well it’s a complex process, but it’s as simple as one plus one equals two and you can’t change that ever.
And this is what really blew my mind, and what really helped me is that you can’t stop Bitcoin. Bitcoin doesn’t care. Bitcoin doesn’t care about you, Bitcoin doesn’t care about anyone else, and that’s what’s beautiful. When people get the heads around that, that is really what changes a lot.
[00:59:02] Because those 10 minutes, every 10 minutes, a new block is mined, over and over again, and you can’t stop that. And that’s beautiful.
Saifedean Ammous: Absolutely. It’s really one thing in this world that can’t be ruined by fiat, I think this is what it really comes down to, and I think the reason that Bitcoiners can be just such ruthless critical thinkers is that, think about any other kind of setting, think about the best universities in the world, where they attract the smartest people in the world, all the smartest people in the world go to some of these universities, they meet there.
There’s very smart professors, very smart students. Somebody starts to think critically about something and they come up to a conclusion that is basically politically incorrect. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, it doesn’t matter how good their conclusion is. If they come up with a conclusion [01:00:02] that is, such as let’s say, monarchy is a better system than democracy.
If you were at Harvard than you came up with something like this, It doesn’t matter how smart you are, it doesn’t matter how well you argue that position, it doesn’t matter how much conviction you have, how much evidence you present. None of this matters. Ultimately reality doesn’t get imposed in that kind of fiat world by logic, by reality, by arguing, by intelligence. Reality flows from the top down, from the money printer downward.
So it doesn’t matter. Harvard is supposed to promote democracy. You go there and you talk about monarchy, you’re going to have a bad time making it in your department. You’re going to have a bad time getting funding for your next research proposal. You’re going to have a bad time getting invited to the end of year parties with your colleagues.
All of the money comes from above, all of the research grants are assigned from above, and it comes from the fiat money printer, [01:01:02] which basically subverts reality. Doesn’t have to be an example as controversial as monarchy and democracy, even if it’s something trivial, let’s say for instance biofuels, I use this example because that was what I was into in my graduate studies.
If you come up with an answer that says, we need alternative energy because that’s how the world is going to fix carbon dioxide boiling the oceans. Then, you’re going along with the group think, you’re going along with the money printer.
You can get more cash from the money printer and you can keep your job, and you can get promoted, and you can get more research grants, and you can hire more graduate students to do slave work for you so that you can publish more, and continue to try and shape reality with this ridiculous, insane narrative that we’re going to replace hydrocarbon fuels with corn and wind and sunshine.
[01:02:02] And that’s how this narrative continues for 50 years on the other. Try and be just only slightly sane, like for instance, Alex Epstein, whom I’ve hosted several times on this podcast, a great writer. He has absolutely no place in the university system because he goes against the fiat money printer.
And so there aren’t any major university professors who can get famous or go to get good jobs at good departments, who’ll make the blatantly obvious case that we can’t replace hydrocarbon fuels with sunshine, wind, corn, and angel farts, as people tend to think. And that just continues within the university.
And that’s why I think in Bitcoin, we see this restoration of natural order. We see it across everything. That’s why Bitcoiners, all of the environmental hysteria, it is far more popular outside of [01:03:02] Bitcoin circles than in Bitcoin circles. There are still of course, a lot of hysterical Bitcoiners who think CO2 is going to boil the ocean, and I wish the best of luck reaching adulthood, but within Bitcoiners the numbers are much smaller.
Once you’re free from this fiat printer imposing reality from above, it becomes possible to think. And I think as Bitcoin spreads, we’re going to see this more and more. And that’s kind of my optimism on the issue of monarchy and democracy.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, that’s great. You have to reach the approved conclusions basically when you’re in the fiat system. Otherwise, if you have any sort of principle thinking it’s yeah, you’re not going to go far in the fiat world that way, you’ll be censored.
Saifedean Ammous: So you’ve moved to Belgrade. What are your plans [01:04:02] there? How are we going to get the monarchy back?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, I moved here just over a year and a half ago, with my wife, Danica, and my son Stefan. So maybe go back to when I married my wife and I had my son a year after in 2018, that woke me up a little. That just revived my monarchical duties, I guess. I was living in London, minding my own business, doing my work in finance.
But then I realized, when I married my wife, she’s Serbian, I got more in touch with my Serbian side and I had my son. And when you have your son, you realize, oh my God, what world am I going to leave for him? I have nothing really to get for him, Serbia is in a bad shape, [01:05:02] it’s all just not great.
I need to protect life for my son. So that really woke me up. And so I started getting more involved with things in Serbia. And as I said before, because I’m a prince, I have a voice, the Karađorđević dynasty is very important to Serbia.
Yes, there’s a lot of propaganda, that’s gone against Karađorđević’s that was taught at school. they taught us that we went against the people, that we stole, we left the country with all the gold and the disintegration was all Alexander I’s fault.
But that’s very short-sighted, it just doesn’t hold up, and a lot of people are waking up to that. And as I said, if I have a voice and I want to do what’s good and I want to give other people the opportunity to to speak out as well, to amplify their [01:06:02] voices.
We want to travel Serbia and the region, meeting people, get to understand the problems. I just want to work on things that are beneficial to Serbia. Like we want to start, for example, I want to start a foundation that works with promoting local businesses, making them do businesses that are good for locality I guess, I’m not sure if that’s a word, but also to work the things that help the environment, there’s a lot of stuff that’s happening, there’s a lot of pollution in the rivers. There was a big thing where Rio Tinto wanted to come and mine lithium of all things in Serbia and destroy the countryside.
And I’m not a supporter of that, but also not a supporter of electric vehicles in general, they don’t make much sense in my opinion. [01:07:02] So anything to stop them getting their hands on more lithium is a good thing. Cause this would have been one of the top one of the top 10 biggest mines in the world.
And that also is to do with the whole globalist idea. That money wasn’t going to stay here, that money was going to leave the country. So we’re going to do things where the money stays here, the wealth stays here and people are free to do what they want over here.
And on top of that, want to work on cultural heritage projects. There’s a lot of, for example, my road where I live right now, there’s a beautiful villa just down the road that was recently destroyed because fiat problems, because someone bought the Villa because it’s worth a lot now, because the property prices have gone up, because of the fiat problems.
So they buy the house, they buy the house and then they want to destroy a beautiful villa from 1924 or 1934, anyway, beautiful villa built [01:08:02] in the time of the kingdom, and then they want to destroy it, and then build flats for purpose-built income taxes. And yeah, that’s not cool.
And this happens to not just one villa, but it is many villas around this happens to. The day before yesterday, we went to visit a hotel which was an old building, palace of the Obrenović dynasty which is the other dynasty that came about here during the second uprising for Serbia, and this beautiful palace was was then, back in the day, the Karađorđević family have a connection to it because they helped to restore it. I think I forgot the date, but I’d say a hundred years ago. But then recently, it was burned from the inside out.
You can still see the outside, [01:09:02] some of the roof has collapsed, but this was done on purpose basically, because they have a lot of people here destroying what’s cultural, the identity of Serbia and Yugoslavia, and I want to change that, I want make people proud of being Serbian.
A lot of people have left the country because of the economical disasters of the last 70 years. But also because of their political ideologies, a lot of the monarchists actually, all around the world, you have so many diaspora all around the world. The biggest is in Canada, then you have in America, Germany, Australia, the UK, you have big communities there.
And I want to tell them that it’s okay to come back to Serbia and it’s okay to not speak the language like myself and I’m learning it. Then you can come back, you can learn the language here, and people will be very open arms to you. We don’t want this demographic [01:10:02] suicide to continue where people are leaving, there’s huge brain drain.
And Serbia does still have opportunities, and it has a lot of potential. So you come here, not only will you be helping the country, but you can also make a good life here because of the potential aspect of it as well. There’s a lot of things I want to focus on here, but yeah, it’s exciting times.
But then on top of that, there’s Bitcoin. Side by side with Bitcoin. When I discovered Bitcoin, when I figured out that it’s all about Bitcoin, I think that Bitcoiners can go hand-in-hand with helping Serbia and the region out.
Then I wanted to start doing projects with Bitcoin here. Maybe my foundation is to have a section of Bitcoin education, help people to get jobs to do with Bitcoin. There’s a lot of tech oriented minds here, there’s very mathematical brains in Serbia. So maybe [01:11:02] the development side could spring up as well.
And maybe help companies get their treasuries onto Bitcoin and maybe even start saving programs with Bitcoin as well. There’s these ideas floating around now, but I think Serbia has a space for that. And hopefully rush it towards the Bitcoin standard as soon as possible.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. I’m guessing you have no interest in running for office, parliament or anything like that, do you?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: No. Politics I’ll leave out.
Saifedean Ammous: I think this is an excellent example of what I was discussing, that you have all these goals about how you’d like to make Serbia better, but they would not get you elected, but you don’t care.
And if you compare your agenda to the average Serbian politician, they’re probably far more of a [01:12:02] short term kind of focus on the agenda. Let’s boost government revenue by having Rio Tinto come and destroy the countryside so that they can make Teslas and electric vehicles for us.
This is how people get elected. You come in with that plan, you say we’re going to spend money, we’re going to build, we’re going to hand out money to people for all kinds of popular ideas. How are you going to finance it? Oh, I’m going to let this company come and mine.
And the company will mine and it’ll destroy the countryside for centuries, but it’ll boost government revenue for five years during which this guy is in office, during which time he can win a lot of elections, and help his supporters and punish his enemies. And it’s refreshing to see somebody take this kind of long-term perspective.
I see this in Jordan, for instance, where [01:13:02] you have democratic politics, and you have the politicians and the ministers that are fighting over day-to-day stuff, and then you have the monarchy that has a very long-term vision for the country, and they think in really long-term. One of my favorite examples to illustrate the value of monarchy is to just compare Jordan to its neighbors.
You look at what happened to Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Palestinians, over the last century without a Monarch, without the king, without the Hashemites, these places are in very deep trouble today. I invite skeptical listeners to look at examples of this in their own neighborhood, in their own part of the world.
Try and clear out the democratic propaganda that you’ve heard about how all the kings are evil and all of the glorious military leaders are glorious and well-intentioned, although sometimes they [01:14:02] can be uncomfortably genocidal, mass murdering, but we still excuse that for them.
Just look at the currency, compare the national currencies of monarchies to, pick any monarchy compared to its nearby republics, and see.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: You pointed this out, and one thing is that monarchies don’t want to engage in war. Well, it’s against their interest to start war. Whereas with a democracy, you get some crazy leader, some stupid leader that want to get into a stupid project or getting into war for his popularity, and to raise money with the contracts that go along with war. With the war machine.
So monarchies don’t want to get involved in wars like that because it’s not good for them, because if if they do something wrong they’re not going to [01:15:02] last, and then their family lineages, it’s done, it’s gone. So it’s an interest of peace and stability. You can’t really argue against that.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. The century of central banking and democracy was the century of world wars and endless conflict, and just interminable wars. There’s always this idea that we live in peace, if you just ignore all the genocides and wars that have taken place and take them out of the data and you look at selective periods of time, then yeah, this is the most peaceful period of time ever.
But I think the evidence really points to the contrary of this. And I think in the case of a monarchy, the king will carry the responsibility himself, his bloodline, his children, forever. If you mess up a war, you are in trouble. Whereas in the case of democracy, there’s actually a positive incentive to get into war because [01:16:02] war allows you to suppress local opposition, all the local opposition become traitors, and then you can just suppress them.
And it’s a way for insecure presidents to try and secure their rule and Ireland and lengthen their rule to launch conflicts. You see this in many cases where these republics just start picking fights with their neighbors and also, a part of it is just that the leaders themselves, they become megalomaniac.
They’re not blue blooded. They haven’t been raised in a family with several generations of history of being in charge. So they don’t have this kind of restraint of the father and the grandfather and the uncles who’ve always told you to keep a long-term perspective on things.
You get somebody [01:17:02] like Saddam Hussein in Iraq who just got so megalomaniacal about the fact that he had so much power and money. He invaded Iran, invaded Kuwait, and really the Iraqis are paying for that until today. Before the insane revolution of Iraq, Iraq had the Hashemites and under the Hashemites who are currently the same ruling family of Jordan, it was the cousin of the king of Jordan, was the king of Iraq.
And under the Hashemites, Iraq was stable, it was peaceful, it had good relationships with its neighbors, it wasn’t launching wars, and had they stayed under the Hashemites, I am 100% confident there would not have been an Iran-Iraq war, and Iraq would be in a very different place than what it is today.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, I completely agree.
Saifedean Ammous: So are you familiar with the work of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein? He wrote this [01:18:02] book, The State in the Third Millennium.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I haven’t read it. I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t read it. I know that we talked about Liechtenstein, it can go very well.
Liechtenstein is basically speaking about Bitcoin without speaking about Bitcoin. So yeah, but they may hold some Bitcoin, but haven’t gone public about it. Yeah sorry, more about this book, tell me!
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. Prince Hans-Adam, who’s the prince of Liechtenstein currently, he wrote this book which I think, I’d say it’s an incredibly important book. And if we weren’t in a fake fiat world, this would be one of the most important books taught in political science departments today. But I haven’t heard of a single university that teaches it.
I’m sure there must be someone somewhere doing it, but very few. But he makes the [01:19:02] case for monarchy in the third millennium. And I think it’s a pretty original case, and it’s a very compelling case. His idea is that we should move away from thinking of government as a monopoly and to think of government in a competitive sense. Government needs to compete for its subject.
And it’s less confrontational to democracy. It argues a position that can, I think, be accepted more by Democrats, and perhaps I should turn down my antidemocratic rhetoric and accommodate, because what he says is the right for democracy is the right for self-determination and it’s the right of succession.
And in his idea, kings and monarchs should be like service providers and local communities can decide to either join a monarch and be [01:20:02] part of their constituency, or break away and become independent, or join another country and join another constituency. And it’s a free market model for government.
We keep hearing about different ways in which, you want to make government more competitive. I think prince Hans-Adam has really hit the nail on the head in this, in presenting it. This is how they run it in Liechtenstein. So I think it was in 2004 where they had a referendum in Liechtenstein where essentially the people voted to give the prince of Liechtenstein more executive power at the expense of the parliament.
And the idea was that they would get this right of self-determination. So it’s like you sign up for a CEO, but you can sign out, you can check out anytime you want. And so any part of Liechtenstein can choose to become independent anytime it wants, or it can choose to join [01:21:02] Austria or Switzerland, the neighboring countries.
And they are part of Liechtenstein because they want to be part of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is a tiny country, but this is a model that I think scales. Because essentially all the tiny hamlets of Liechtenstein, which are small little villages, people in those hamlets, they vote to be part of Liechtenstein by majority of the inhabitants.
And at any point in time, if they don’t like being part of Liechtenstein, they can vote it out. So this gets rid of the dysfunction of democracy in the fact that you have to have everybody agree and you have to have people debate and everybody wants to vote. And everybody wants to be in power. You get rid of that by giving more executive power to the prince and then you just have the right to exit.
So similar to why do you get a good laptop? It’s not because you have an executive power in the laptop company. You don’t go to Apple [01:22:02] and you tell them, hey, I’d like you to do this and do that. You’re offered the product, and if you buy it, you get it. If you don’t like it, you go to the competitor.
And this is what keeps all laptop makers constantly in competition with one another, and improving their products. Because they have to compete to win their customers. And this is effectively what Prince Hans-Adam is suggesting. That the model should be that people choose out of self-determination to join princes and kings. And the best princes and the best kings will succeed in attracting more and more communities to join them.
I suspect within a few decades, we’re likely to begin to see parts of Austria and Switzerland, particularly after the last couple of years when Austria and Switzerland became just another COVID shit hole, locking people up because of [01:23:02] respiratory illnesses. I think we might see parts of these countries decide to vote to join Liechtenstein.
It’ll be interesting to see how Austria and Switzerland react to this.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I have to read that book, it sounds fascinating. Yeah, I heard great things about the prince there. I’ve heard about that book as well, but didn’t realize, the way you explained it, it’s a must read.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, it’s a great book, and he’s a great intellect. Obviously he doesn’t get given a lot of attention because we’re living in a democratic propaganda age, but yeah, I think it’s very fascinating, and it might be useful for you in your restoration efforts.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yes, thanks!
Saifedean Ammous: Excellent! All right, Stefano has a question for you.
Stefano: [01:24:02] Thank you Saif and thank you Prince Philip, it’s been very interesting to listen to you! Actually I have two questions. The first one, I’m curious to know if you have any relationship with other monarchs in the area, such as I believe Prince Nikolai from Romania or the monarchic family in Bulgaria?
That’s the first, and the second, you mentioned that you lived in London for a long time, and you recently moved back to Serbia, to your home country. I’m curious to know what’s your observation, what did you notice, what was your experience in going from west to east?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Sure. So relations with other monarchies, other royal families. Firstly, my mother is a member of royal family as well. She is Brazilian royalty, she’s from the Orléans dynasty. So there’s Brazilian, Portuguese, and French roots in there, and her mother was from [01:25:02] Greece.
So I’m a big mix, but the royals there have good connections with, for example my father has connections with the Romanians and they’ve come to Belgrade a few times. I’ve met a few times with the Greek Royal family as well. The Spanish, of course I have relationship with them. I was at Prince, well he’s The King now, King Felipe’s wedding in 2004. I am good friends with the Belgium Princess, and also I actually know someone from Liechtenstein members of the Royal family, but not from the head branch.
So yeah, this I do know a bit of Royalty, maybe [01:26:02] not as much as I would have done the monarchy was a functioning monarchy. Also I should mention that Queen Victoria is a friend, and she also was the best woman to my wife at our wedding.
You should orange pill some of them.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, that’s the idea now.
To answer your other question is that moving from London to Serbia has been a big eye-opener. I think Serbia is a great place to be where it has a good balance between east and west. And I was more brainwashed in London, living in the UK.
And come to Serbia, you see things differently. And that also came along the time when I became Bitcoin maxi. Yeah, the Serbs have gone through a lot of crap in the last 70 years years. And [01:27:02] especially now more recently with the wars that broke up that tore apart Yugoslavia. The bombings, the 99 NATO bombings, which was just disastrous, really that Serbs are now, oh, the west is saying the east is run by the propaganda machine. Maybe so during the communist years, but not anymore, now it’s the other way around. Serbia and the region is very aware of this propaganda that’s happening in the Western world and they know, they see it and they talk about it.
It’s a great place to be on that side.
Stefano: Thank you Prince Philip. That’s very nice.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Thanks Stefano.
Saifedean Ammous: Nathan, do you have a question?
Nathan: Yeah. Sir, thank you for your time, this has been very interesting. I wonder if you could give a perspective or a sense of the feedback you get since you’ve [01:28:02] publicly started talking about Bitcoin? Like from colleagues, business associates, other politicians, are you getting any taps on the shoulder suggesting you shouldn’t do that or encouragement?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah, good question. That hasn’t actually filtered through to the fiat world so much. My work haven’t got back to me yet. I’m not such a big figure in my work, I’m middle rank, I should say.
I’m not too client facing and all that. If you search for me and my work, you won’t see that Prince Philip works at my company, so it hasn’t filtered through yet. Although I’m not scared, but I’m waiting for it to happen because I’ve spoken about a few things like ESG, I’ve called out on.
And I actually worked with ESG, as part of my work has to do with ESG as well. So [01:29:02] hey, at least I’m being honest. But with politicians, not yet. Hopefully the idea would be that I’ll be able to speak to politicians about it and engage with them to educate them, anything to speed up the Bitcoin adoption.
Yeah, the only reaction I think is great is mainly the reaction I’ve had from the Bitcoin community, which is incredible. And it’s very warming to have that reaction. I had some reaction within the Soviet Union on my Twitter. You’ve got some people saying, people who don’t understand Bitcoin saying The Prince has gone crazy and things like that, but that was expected.
Saifedean Ammous: The haters will hate, part of existence. Anytime you want to do anything worthwhile, you’re going to get people’s knickers in a twist, and that’s just par for the course. Actually, could you tell us a little bit more about your experiences in fiat finance? I heard you on [01:30:02] Daniel’s podcast, we’re going to post the link where you called ESG enriching sick globalists.
What drives you to such extremist conclusions? Why do you hate BlackRock and Vanguard? Why shouldn’t they be able to make trillions of dollars from selling CO2? Sounds like such a brilliant idea.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I don’t work for those two luckily.
CO2, how do you price that? What does that actually mean? CO2 is everywhere. CO2 is, contrary to what people are saying, CO2 is actually fundamental to life as well. We need CO2 for living organisms to survive. Yes, you can have too high CO2, but also you can have too low CO2. And the world has gone through cycles, that CO2 has [01:31:02] been high millions of years ago, but also it’s gone too low for life as well to exist.
So going back to finances, it creates a big confusion. No one knows how to price it. And on top of that, it just creates new markets, which is based on thin air, I guess. It’s just another way of making money. And yeah, it’s a new repackaged way of making money.
I’ve seen it grow since I first started working in finance, but especially working, writing RFPs requests for proposals. I talked about it in Daniel’s show, that I saw the question of ESG growing all the time. There’s more talk about ESG, so that obviously caught my attention.
But then when I moved into my new team, which was not new anymore, and [01:32:02] I started actually working on some ESG projects and I started to see right through it basically. And a lot of it’s just checking boxes and brainwashing, and anything to make yourself look good to satisfy the investor that is interested to try and “save” the planets. And this doesn’t make much sense to me.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. A couple of episodes ago, we hosted Tom Nelson, who’s a terrific independent researcher who’s been looking into this for a very long time. And I think, obviously if you have a shred of critical thinking, you can’t but help realize there’s just an enormous amount of unsubstantiated conclusions being reached by the kind of people who think that this is really a crisis, and that it is going to destroy the world.
But then you see, the [01:33:02] flip side is, when people who have experience with the financial world, you see just how much money there is to be made from this hysteria, from keeping people scared about it.
And just the idea of carbon trading initially sounds, it seems like such a neat market solution. Oh instead of just subsidizing and taxing the different energy sources, we should just place a tax on carbon, and that will allow the market to figure out the best way to reduce carbon emissions.
And this was the conclusion, of I’m ashamed to say it, my PhD at a fiat university, that look, subsidizing energy sources is a bad idea, it’s central planning, but placing a carbon tax, that’s much better. Because now you’re going to you’re going to let the market decide.
But in reality, all that you’re doing is just creating a market where essentially BlackRock gets [01:34:02] to basically decide what is CO2, who gets to emit CO2, how much they get to the mint and what qualifies as environmentally friendly and what does not. And then they trade based on that.
So you’re separating business operations from profit and loss and just moving the customer away from being the one who decides who’s creating value and who’s not creating value, and then just letting a bunch of bureaucrats decide this for everyone.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah. The rating providers of ESG that we used to help build our models, they also contradict with each other as well. I think I can give you an example, one company gives Tesla like a AAA because electric cars, but the other company gives it the triple C because it mines lithium in very [01:35:02] questionable, horrible ways.
So they can’t even make up their minds on that.
Saifedean Ammous: Yep. And it is subjective, it’s entirely subjective and this is why these things are just a back door for central plannings to come in. Who’s going to decide whether we care more about CO2 in the atmosphere or lithium in the water and destroying the Serbian countryside.
What do you care more about? Obviously for people in Serbia, they care more about their countryside being destroyed, but for the rest of us, who cares about Serbia anyway? So maybe we should just be caring more about the CO2 in the atmosphere. So it’s obviously ridiculous, and the free market answer for this is property rights.
People who own land can decide if they want to dig for lithium in it, and the people who don’t own the land don’t get to make that choice. And by bringing in these, essentially central planners, [01:36:02] to provide ratings and criteria, you are just allowing them to play king.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yep, correct.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. Stefano has another question for you.
Stefano: Yes, thank you Saif. Prince Philip, I’m curious to know, I know that Serbia applied to join the European Union, I believe they are on the list of candidate countries.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yes.
Stefano: But they’ve not been granted membership yet. What’s your opinion about that? Do you think it would be a positive development if Serbia joins the EU or not?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: My opinion is going to piss off a few of the progressive’s here, but no, I don’t think it’s a very good idea, I think The European Union is a bit of a disaster, really. I think The European Union should have stopped at just being an open economical area.
When it became too political, and especially now, not now it’s been going on for 20 years [01:37:02] now, the Euro, absolute disaster. It’s just another centralization within a centralization. This is centralization squared really. It’s not a great idea. I think that Serbia will stand to do better if they have better economic ties with our neighbors.
Joining the European Union is just another way of just conceding more power and more control over to something that’s not working.
Stefano: Yeah. I think many of us here agree with you. And what do you think about, since you left London very recently, and England left The European Union four or five years ago.
How has the situation been in England? Is it better since they left The European Union? What’s your assessment of that?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Worse, because of the distraction that everyone is getting under really. [01:38:02] But I think in the long-term, we’ll be better. At the beginning, I was not for Brexit, but then that’s because I was getting a bit more brainwashed, but now obviously I see the positives of it.
Yes. There’s going to be short term consequences, but then the long-term benefits are going to much outweigh that. I also did see the arguments on both sides, but I think that maybe if Britain stayed in the EU, they could help to enact change by being inside, but no, I think the best thing is to break up.
Stefano: Thank you Prince Philip!
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Thanks.
Saifedean Ammous: Finally I don’t know much about Yugoslavian politics and Yugoslavian history, I don’t claim to [01:39:02] be an expert, but I’ve always been very strongly opposed to the partitioning of Yugoslavia for the very simple reason that I think a Yugoslavian national team in football would be an absolutely amazing thing to watch.
So I remember in 1990 they had an amazing team and they lost to Argentina on penalties in the world cup. And I hated Argentina because I was a Brazilian fan. I’d lived in Brazil and Argentina eliminated Brazil, and then Yugoslavia came very close to eliminating Argentina, and then Argentina won.
And since then I’ve had a soft spot for them. Then they were kicked out of the European championship in 92, and then they were split up into many countries. And I might be the only person in the world who supports all Yugoslavian teams.
Croatia in 1998, I was very happy to see them do this. And then in 2016 again,
Prince Philip Karađorđević: It’s incredible what they did!.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah. And I think in [01:40:02] 1998, they would have probably won the world cup. The Croatians made the semifinals, so if you added a few Serbian and Slovenian and the rest of the players, I think they would have probably been good enough to win the world cup.
This is my bias, but I know obviously there are other considerations that people who lived there might have, but what are your thoughts on this? Do you think Yugoslavia should be one country or do you believe in self-determination for the people of all of these nations? Or do you think smaller ethnically and religiously homogenous kingdoms or principalities is a better arrangement?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I think maybe the latter is the best arrangement to say, because it’s more decentralized, but of course I was a fan of Yugoslavia. It was not because of the football, but because of the kingdom and how prosperous, and how well [01:41:02] the people lived under the kingdom.
But nowadays I think the world is different and I think we’re figuring out that this decentralization is better for communities. But at the same time, I don’t support any more decentralization that’s happening in Serbia with costs of being independent. I don’t recognize that as being independent, but I think Serbia will be fine to stay as it is, but it’s important to create strong relations to further their strong relations with their neighbors. Anything to help the locals prosper, but not go overboard with any sort of globalist ideologies.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, sadly, we’re just going to have to see them play in different teams, but it’s ok.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Yeah. We [01:42:02] do have a decent team that beat Portugal to reach the finals this year.
Saifedean Ammous: That’s true, that’s true.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: North Macedonia beat Italy to now play Portugal in the playoff. So that was quite big.
Saifedean Ammous: Yeah, absolutely. It’s very impressive how, and it’s not just the football, the former Yugoslavians are just so good at all sports, it’s amazing, and basketball, handball, they dominate everything, water polo, yeah. Ana is a Serbian living in the UK and she has a question for you.
Ana, you want to go ahead?
Ana: Hi everyone! So I live in up in Scotland and I was just really curious about all the projects that you were mentioning in terms [01:43:02] of starting Bitcoin projects in Belgrade or Serbia. So I wonder where I can find a bit more about this.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: This is still ideas floating, but it’s something I definitely want to do and I’ll need to pick the minds of people like you and people like Saif and the community to see what I can do. I had one idea is to make a Bitcoin education page on my website, which hasn’t been released yet, my website.
So I will need to work on that. But the idea is maybe start a savings, a pension scheme. Bitcoin only pension scheme, but invest directly into Bitcoin and not exposure to Bitcoin. And the other thing would be, I personally want to start some businesses on my own, but I haven’t figured it out quite yet, but it will be Bitcoin related. But also to convince companies to get Bitcoin on the treasuries [01:44:02] and projects like that.
So I’m open to ideas, I’m open to suggestions. That’s something I’m really excited about.
Ana: Yeah, so where can I find a bit more about this? Do you have a page or?
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Not yet, it’s not yet. We haven’t even started a Bitcoin page, but that’s more of a very recent idea. And I guess if you follow me on Twitter, but I’ll have it circulated in many other places as well.
Ana: Perfect. Okay, thank you.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Thank you, hvala!
Saifedean Ammous: Okay keep us posted on all of these developments. We’d be happy to share it with our listeners. I know many Serbians all over the world who tune in, and I look forward to seeing you in Miami in a couple of weeks you’re going to be joining us for [01:45:02] the carnivore dinner there.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Hopefully, I have some passport issues, but hopefully I’ll get there.
Saifedean Ammous: Yes. I can’t believe even Royals have to deal with this passport nonsense.
Okay. Prince Philip thank you so much for joining us today, this has been absolutely fascinating. I enjoyed this!
Prince Philip Karađorđević: It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here, really exciting!
Saifedean Ammous: Thank you, thank you. All right, we’ll definitely stay in touch and we’ll definitely have you here again to catch up and hopefully with a full monarchist restoration in Serbia next time.
Prince Philip Karađorđević: I would love that, yeah, that’d be great. Thanks again. It’s been so much fun as well, and thank you as well to the attendees, really. Thank you so much, I had a good chat with you guys earlier. It’s so great to meet you all.
Stefano: Thank you !
Saifedean Ammous: Cheers!
Prince Philip Karađorđević: Take care, bye.
Saifedean Ammous: Take care, bye bye.