Heresy and the U.S. Dollar – Chris Martenson

When confidence in one’s viewpoint is high, it’s wise to seek out contrarian counsel to determine if your convictions are guilty of any blind spots. Since we (and an increasing number of others) foresee a coming currency crisis caused by more central bank money printing, we’ve asked our recently-announced contributing editor Charles Hugh Smith to argue the other side of the table.

There is only one word to describe the opinion that the U.S. dollar is in a multi-year uptrend: heresy. Understanding why this is so may well be critical to understanding market action in the 2011-2016 timeframe.

Embracing the contrarian viewpoint offers little joy, because heretics are constantly being hounded by devotees of orthodoxy seeking their conversion to the one true faith or their crucifixion as mortal threats to the orthodoxy.

Why is this so? For two simple but profound reasons. The human mind strongly prefers certainty to uncertainty and simple, fixed explanations over complex, contingent explanations.

The human mind has a second, superglue-like quality: Once a viewpoint has been plucked from the swirling chaos of beliefs and explanations, then the mind quickly solidifies that view, resisting any future modification. Very little energy is devoted to questioning the position, while enormous energy is devoted to defending it.

This reality is expressed via “confirmation bias,” the term used to describe our tendency to focus on data that supports our pre-selected view and ignore data which challenges it.

Orthodoxy—fixed positions that are articles of faith to be defended against all challenges—is thus a psychological safe haven in a risky, dynamic world. Having a belief system or global explanation not only offers us the comforts of certainty, it also enables us to make forecasts based on that explanation. Those forecasts become part of the orthodoxy which must be defended.

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via Heresy and the U.S. Dollar – Blogs at Chris Martenson.

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