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  Kurt Horner's Political Archetypes thread in the old forum
Posted by: Odin - 05-04-2016, 03:35 PM - Forum: Special Topics/G-T Lounge - No Replies

Could somebody repost all the stuff in that thread here?


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  Taramarie's question "Why are Boomers moralistic"
Posted by: Mikebert - 05-04-2016, 02:51 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (25)

[Eric]Taramarie's limited viewpoint and way of speaking might be a bit confusing. "Morals" is such a charged and generalized term that it doesn't mean much. But clearly, there is a cycle of spiritual awakenings that are polarized with the cycle of political crisis and transformation, and they happen when prophets and civics respectively come of age.
[Mike]This is the assumption I am working on

[Eric]To seek an explanation about "why" such a cycle exists, the authors looked at how the generations were raised and the kind of culture they grew up in. But the implication is that generations bring into society what they feel is lacking in that time. So that is almost the reverse of conventional cause and effect. Generations do not bring into the culture what WAS given to them in childhood, but what was NOT given them.
[Mike]I am alos thinking along these lines as far the 1T to 2T transition.  A new generation sought to be more than "Organization Men" as the film The Graduate illustrates:

[Eric]This fact, as I call it, is directly related to your question, because it's people who have had some kind of spiritual awakening who can see beyond the conventional paradigm, and CAN thus explain why such spiritual awakenings occur. There are many people today who have had this awakening, as you tacitly admit by saying that the "fervor didn't get extinguished." I may be one of the only ones who have posted here on this forum who have experienced this awakening, but many others are still out there, especially among boomers.
[Mike]OK. Please explain it

[Eric]The explanation has to be along the lines that peoples' soul or consciousness fills the needs of the time that they perceive....At times, people seek to return to and increase awareness of this source of our consciousness, our creativity, and our moral ideals, because the lack in the culture propels them to. The return may be toward limited traditional or evangelical kinds of religion, or to more open and expansive kinds, or both (as was the case in the sixties and 70s), and so it may have both a more conservative or liberal expression...this is called a second turning or spiritual awakening, responding to the conditions of a first turning.
[Mike]OK with you here.

[Eric]At other times society seems politically dysfunctional, and people seek to respond to this condition. This is called the fourth turning or crisis transformation, responding to 3T conditions. That's where we are now.

[Mike]Do young people today feel no need "to return to and increase awareness of this source of our consciousness, our creativity, and our moral ideals"?  Today's society with its rampant inequality, its unending wars, its shallow culture and politics seems to me to be contrary to most people's moral ideals.  (Millennials please weigh in).  If this is so, then why isn't the spirit-dead and outright toxic culture of the late 3T/early 4T fodder for another awakening?

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  Economic Inequality
Posted by: Mikebert - 05-04-2016, 02:48 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (25)

For change having to do with reversing economic inequality trends there is a specific answer to the problem: State collapse and reformation that serves as a secular cycle boundary.

Secular cycles are a recurrent feature in pre-industrial, agrarian societies that have recently been extended to America (in press). They show a rising (integrative) and falling (disintegrative) trend. Embedded within them are cycles of high and low unrest called fathers and sons cycles (FSC). These seem to be generational in nature like turnings.

During the disintegrative trend the high unrest periods feature state collapse (i.e. deposition and typically the death of the monarch). The down phase ends when one of this period of unrest solves the problem that causes the disinegrative trend (too many elites hoarding too much of total output, i.e. inequality). In fact secular cycles can be thought of as inequality cycles.

One way inequality has been solved in the past was wholesale slaughter of elites (e.g. Norman Invasion results in essentially no extant Saxon elites by the time of the Domesday survey or the Wars of the Roses that slaughtered a huge fraction of the nobility). Another task was diversion of elite energies into other roles. For example the onset of the disintegrative trend was delayed during the Plantagenet cycle (1080-1485) by the diversion of large numbers of elites into monasticism during the 12th century. As a result the secular cycle lasted 400 years instead of the typical 2-3 century length. Another example of non-lethal solution was the resolution provided by the Glorious Revolution. The political quarrel between the king and Parliament was resolved in favor of Parliament and the inequality problem was resolved by enlarged the pie. Up until the mid 17th century, real per capital GDP was flat. Then it started to grow, allowing elites to skim off additional wealth without driving wages of the rest of the population to starvation levels as had happened earlier in the century.

In America the most recent example of FSC periodic unrest was during the 1907-1941 secular cycle disintegrative phase. Here I quote a paper I am working on:

Quote:The progressive era contains one of the periodic episodes of high levels of social unrest in American history (Turchin 2012). These episodes define a cycle which corresponds to the “fathers and sons” cycles embedded in pre-industrial secular cycles (Turchin and Nefedov 2009:79). Pre-industrial English fathers and sons outbursts in instability that occurred during the disintegrative trend of a secular cycle typically involved internal conflict leading to the monarch being deposed and often, killed (Alexander 2016). This did not happen during the period around 1920. Rather, a pair of realigning elections over 1918-1920 replaced a Democratic-controlled government with a Republican one, which went on to rule for twelve years. The replacement of the President and Congress by an opposing party with strongly opposing ideas might be considered as equivalent to the premature end of a monarch’s reign. The incoming Republicans appeared to have resolved the crisis by restricting immigration and suppressing militant labor unions, but this was not the case

 I then quote an author who described how the Republicans set themselves up for financial crisis. I point out that the Republican solution to the FSC violence around 1920:
[Image: cycles-violence.png?1344015330]
did not solve the underlying problem (the inequality) and so the disintegrative trend continued. Until the "elite problem" is addressed this trend will continue on and on (170 years in the case of the Plantagenet cycle).

I then continue:
Quote:the Republican state remained blind to the challenge to its legitimacy posed by the Depression. Their blindness led to a rejection far larger than had occurred to Democrats a dozen years earlier. From 1930 to 1937 the Republicans lost control of the Presidency and its share of Congress fell from about 60% to 20%. Democrats went on to hold the executive branch for the next twenty years after 1932. For the next 62 years, they would hold the Senate 84% of the time and the House 94%. Such an electoral repudiation can be seen as another “fathers and sons” outburst of political instability (of a non-violent type leading to a collapse of the old Republican order. By the time the Republicans recovered a semblance of political control in 1981, they had become a different party than they had been in 1932.The solution to the inequality problem was achieved by the New Dealers over 1933-1945, as I show elsewhere in the paper.

We only began the disintegration phase of this cycle around 2006. Last time there were numerous political responses to the problem which we know as the Progressive Era. None of them solved the problem, inequality continued to rise, leading eventually to economic collapse, as shortly after a second, larger state collapse. I submit that the reason why they did not solve the problem when things got bad around 1920 was because it was a 3T. The recessive/conservative generation in charge was not suited to enact a secular crisis (even though there were triggers galore--hell the period was the closest we have gotten to a revolutionary situation since 1774-1775.) But a little more than a decade later, despite no revolutionary situation, a solution was obtained, because a dominant/liberal generation had come to power. That is I am merging secular cycle theory with S&H theory.

Here's the problem we face. According to my best models, we saw a dominant generation come to power around 2001. That is the 4T started then. But we we were still in the integrative trend of the secular cycle (that is, inequality had not yet become a structural problem). We entered the disintegrative trend around 2006 and in that same year Congress switched parties and two years later we got Democratic control of the government and some major legislation was passed. It now looks like a Democrat will win a third term for the first time since 1940. This implies that 2008 was a critical election which is an indicator of a political moment. So the period from 2008 on qualifies as a fathers and sons cycle "up" phase. Inequality has not been addressed yet. And maybe it wont be. My best estimate is that the next recessive generation comes to power after 2020. So that implies the next four years are critical.

I believe the only way the secular cycle and secular crisis can both be resolved favorably is with an economic collapse like last cycle. As you probably know I am calling for a 10000 point drop in the Dow by 2018. If this happens and if it is accompanied by another financial crisis (I think this is 50:50) then there is a possibility for panic amongst the economic elites like the Koch bros. If the Koch's rein in the Cruz faction (who can Cruz work for after he leaves elective office when everybody hates him? He will have to attach himself to a patron and the Kochs have been friendly to him) then president Clinton would have the ability to prevent collapse. If she is smart enough to realize that unless she restores prosperity in two years she and her party will be destroyed in the next election she will hold out for a truly massive stimulus or go to full-scale crusade war to accomplish the same objective (re-election). Massive stimulus or war will be inflationary until action is taken to raise taxes to the rafters. Even then inflation could crush wealth unless they permit Clinton even more power to regulate the economy "for the duration of the crisis". Note that a war which actually costs the elites something is a war that will be WON as soon as possible and that takes care of re-election.

Something like this is the only way I can see a positive result from this 4T. More likely is Clinton is a one-term president having achieved nothing, after which GenX is in power and no resolution of the disintegrative trend will be possible for another 80 years.

This latter result is actually the more likely. Turchin dates the America secular cycles as 1780-1930 and 1930-ongoing. Since his first cycle spans two saecula, then why wouldn't his second? In this scenario this 4T will be another inconsequential 4T (from an inequality viewpoint) like the Civil War or Armada 4T and the real action will come in the next 4T long after all of us here are dead.

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  Response to Mikebert on Yuku
Posted by: Bob Butler 54 - 05-04-2016, 02:17 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (1)

The following was written in response to a Mikebert post on the Yuku form.  Hopefully it will stand on its own.

I would add another element to your list.

1.  Many Catalysts, most of which occur during the late part of the unravelling.
2.  One Trigger event, a big one, with Pearl Harbor being the archetype, which clearly leads too a full commitment to new values and transformation.
3.  Regeneracy.  This is the point when the progressive faction seeking transformation gets sufficient momentum to steamroll the conservatives.  This clearly hasn’t happened yet in the current cycle.  The trigger might cause the regeneracy.  Still, the Four Freedoms speech manifesting the World War II regeneracy came almost a year before Pearl Harbor.
4.  The Climax.  This is the moment of Great Danger. The Crucial Moment that confirms the death of the old order and the birth of the new. Total War often happens during the climax.
5.  The Resolution.  A triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from the losers, resolves big public questions, and establishes the new order.

To these I might add possible complications.  One is the false regeneracy.  The example I’d use is Bush 43 deciding to go for a military solution without addressing underlying causes.  His ideas included a return to colonial imperialism and changing cultures at gun point without sufficient boots on the ground to control conquered land.  He had a potential trigger event in September 11th.  He briefly had a united population willing to give him a blank check.  If he had made it work he might have had a values transforming war.  He didn’t make it work.  Thus, we had a false regeneracy, a failed crisis, a return to an unravelling stalemate mood of political bickering.  The new values he attempted to foster faded and failed.

A second point of note is that the current issues, as serious as they are, are not serious when compared to slavery, the Great Depression or the Fascist - Nazi attempt at world domination.  With those issues, emotion and values rang high.  The perceived need for transformation was clear.  Today, not so much.  As I see it, each crisis era will attack the most significant problem of the era, with some smaller issues getting cleared up in the backwash.  Crisis brings transformation, though, not perfection.  The seeds of the next crisis are visible with the benefit of 20 / 20 hindsight.  However the enforced lockstep of the 1T high will suppress further transformation for a time, often until the next crisis.

In part, we haven’t had a regeneracy as there has not been a perceived need for a regeneracy.  None of the catalysts have yet to be perceived as a trigger.  Neither the progressive nor conservative values have been able to sustain a working majority of Congress, thus transformation has not happened.

A technical factor contributing to this is the modern rules of order.  Filibuster has become the norm rather than rare.  A 51% majority is no good, doesn’t get one anywhere.  Thus, if regeneracy happens when a new set of values dominates government, it is harder to achieve regeneracy.

Just as there are multiple catalysts, there can be multiple issues.  You mentioned Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and identity politics.  I might mention September 11th and Katrina.  We could likely find other catalysts and issues.  Most of them resonate along the Red / Blue divide.

I’d suggest that a catalyst can’t become the trigger unless and until the culture is regeneracy ready.  The issues highlighted by the trigger have to be well understood.  The values required to solve the problem illustrated by the trigger should already be felt by a heck of a lot of the people.

I could ramble some more, but I think this will do.

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Thumbs Up Welcome fellow ex-TFT Forumites!
Posted by: X_4AD_84 - 05-04-2016, 01:42 PM - Forum: Special Topics/G-T Lounge - Replies (57)

Hi there. I was XYMOX_4AD_84 on the TFT forum, now shortened up to X_4AD_84.

Water's fine, come on in!

Big Grin

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Posted by: taramarie - 05-04-2016, 12:23 AM - Forum: Generation X - Replies (3)


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