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Secular Cycle Links
#1
Here are some reference links for secular cycles:

First chapter of Turchin and Nefedov’s Secular Cycles
http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s8904.pdf

Secular cycles as demographic cycles:
http://cliodynamics.ru/download/Korotaye...apter1.pdf

Two millennia of Chinese secular cycles
http://cliodynamics.ru/download/Korotaye...apter2.pdf

Outline of US secular cycle
https://aeon.co/essays/history-tells-us-...-gap-leads

American instability cycles
http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.to...0Paper.pdf
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#2
Since the middle of the last century it has become clear that Europe experienced a series of long-term fluctuations in prices and population during the second millennium Such oscillations, which include similar cycles in political and social variables, are known as secular cycles (Turchin and Nefedov 2009:5) and are the subject of this paper. About nine Chinese secular cycles over two millennia have been identified from historical population data. Secular cycle theory has been used to detect “more than 40 demographic cycles in the history of various ancient and medieval societies of Eurasia and North Africa, thus demonstrating that the demographic cycles are not specific for Chinese and European history only, but should be regarded as a general feature of complex agrarian system dynamics” (Korotayev 2006:44).
 
A secular cycle can be considered as a pair of secular trends, one integrative and one disintegrative, each of which has two phases. The integrative trend comprises an expansion phase during which social trends are positive and a stagflation phase during which the positive trends gradually diminish. The disintegrative trend begins with a crisis phase, often accompanied by state collapse when social trends turn negative. Post-crisis recovery is called the depression phase, which lasts until conditions emerge that allow a new secular cycle to begin. To identify a secular cycle one must quantify oscillations in measureable quantities plausibly related to at least one of four fundamental variables: population, state strength, elite dynamics, and sociopolitical instability. Secular cycle boundaries approximately correspond to cycle troughs in these and related variables.
 
In one sense, secular cycles are population cycles. In another sense, they are cycles of state rise and decline that can be tracked with measures of state strength. Economic inequality exhibits cycles that can serve to characterize elite dynamics. Various measures of sociopolitical instability have been proposed which can be used identify cycles. Finally economic measures such as price level also show secular cycles and may be used as an adjunct to the fundamental variables.
 
Secular cycle can be explained by Jack Goldstone’s demographic-structural theory (DST) of state breakdown. DST describes how rising population relative to available farmland leads to excess workers and falling real wages. Excess agricultural labor implies a shortage of farmland leading to rising rents and land values. Both of these result in rising economic inequality, for which the ratio of per capita GDP to average wage is a good proxy.  
 
Rising land values and falling real wages allowed financially-savvy landowners and employers of agricultural labor to earn windfall profits, leading to elite upward mobility and elite proliferation. Heightened social mobility and larger numbers led to increased competition and factionalism amongst elites. Rising rents were not favorable to less financially astute landowners who had leased their land in long-term contracts. They saw their real income decline and were often forced to sell land to maintain their standard of living. They grew poorer while others grew rich, creating disaffected nobles who were predisposed take sides in challenges to state authority.
 
At some point population reached its limits to growth and there was no more surplus product to extract, leading to intense competition over a no longer growing economic pie. Competition turned to conflict, resulting in state collapse and population decline. This is the crisis phase of the secular cycle. The problems caused by excess elites were eventually resolved over the depression phase, which could contain multiple episodes of temporary state recovery followed by collapse, until elite conflict was finally brought under control and a new cycle could begin.
 
This means an important requirement for a successful state was pacification of elites.
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#3
Dr. Turchin has attempted to extend the secular cycle theory developed for pre-industrial nations to modern times. He has a book coming out this summer on American secular cycles.  I have read a portion of it in manuscript (he had it posted online--it has since been taken down). Basically he has two American secular cycles dated 1780-1930 and 1930-present. Definitionally, secular cycle are oscillations in empirical data: population, state strength, prices, economic inequality, sociopolitical instability etc.  Industrial societies do not show population cycles, and with the onset of fiat money they don't show price cycles either.  A measure of state strength might be Federal revenue as a % of GDP.  This quantity was in the 2-4% range until the late 1930's when it began a rapid rise to about 18% where it has remained since. This increase is state power is a characteristic sign of a new secular cycle.  Prior to the 1930's the American state was a small player and probably not a good secular indicator.

Another indicator that is still relevant is economic inequality.  The figure below shows a plot of inequality. Four peaks can be seen.  The first three correspond to 4Ts, and also the the emergence of "new republics"  the dividers for which are shown by the vertical dashed lines.  Also shown in the figure is sociopolitical instability.  You can see two big peaks corresponding to the Revolutionary and Civil War 4Ts, and three smaller ones corresponding to the 2Ts.  A third large peak occurs around 1920, during a 3T.  This anomaly is what S&H call the "civil war anomaly".  My explanation for this unrest is that American society had entered a secular cycle crisis in 1907.  Conditions for state collapse due to high levels of sociopolitical instability were present, just as they hand been in 1776 and 1861.  Indeed the period after 1907 saw soaring unrest.  But there was no resolution, no new republic, as there had been the last two times.  The reason why was it was not a 4T.  And so the system settled down and waited until the proper generational constellation showed up and then the economy collapsed.

Today we are in again in a secular cycle crisis which we entered in 2006.  We were already in a 4T configuration when this happened and just two years later the economy tried to collapse, as it did in 1929.  This event shows up as the same sort of event using my K-cycle tools as 1929 did.  But the ruling elites were able to prevent collapse and so the new republic was stillborn.  What happens next is unclear.  I believe that next year or the next the economy is going to try to collapse again.  We will see.



[Image: Amer-sec-cycles.gif]
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#4
(05-16-2016, 08:31 PM)Mikebert Wrote: Dr. Turchin has attempted to extend the secular cycle theory developed for pre-industrial nations to modern times. He has a book coming out this summer on American secular cycles.  I have read a portion of it in manuscript (he had it posted online--it has since been taken down). Basically he has two American secular cycles dated 1780-1930 and 1930-present. Definitionally, secular cycle are oscillations in empirical data: population, state strength, prices, economic inequality, sociopolitical instability etc.  Industrial societies do not show population cycles, and with the onset of fiat money they don't show price cycles either.  A measure of state strength might be Federal revenue as a % of GDP.  This quantity was in the 2-4% range until the late 1930's when it began a rapid rise to about 18% where it has remained since. This increase is state power is a characteristic sign of a new secular cycle.  Prior to the 1930's the American state was a small player and probably not a good secular indicator.

Another indicator that is still relevant is economic inequality.  The figure below shows a plot of inequality. Four peaks can be seen.  The first three correspond to 4Ts, and also the the emergence of "new republics"  the dividers for which are shown by the vertical dashed lines.  Also shown in the figure is sociopolitical instability.  You can see two big peaks corresponding to the Revolutionary and Civil War 4Ts, and three smaller ones corresponding to the 2Ts.  A third large peak occurs around 1920, during a 3T.  This anomaly is what S&H call the "civil war anomaly".  My explanation for this unrest is that American society had entered a secular cycle crisis in 1907.  Conditions for state collapse due to high levels of sociopolitical instability were present, just as they hand been in 1776 and 1861.  Indeed the period after 1907 saw soaring unrest.  But there was no resolution, no new republic, as there had been the last two times.  The reason why was it was not a 4T.  And so the system settled down and waited until the proper generational constellation showed up and then the economy collapsed.

Today we are in again in a secular cycle crisis  which we entered in 2006.  We were already in a 4T configuration when this happened and just two years later the economy tried to collapse, as it did in 1929.  This event shows up as the same sort of event using my K-cycle tools as 1929 did.  But the ruling elites were able to prevent collapse and so the new republic was stillborn.  What happens next is unclear.  I believe that next year or the next the economy is going to try to collapse again.  We will see.



[Image: Amer-sec-cycles.gif]

Looking at that chart one thing that stands out is that inequality sharply declined late in every 4T but that it starting raising early in the Great Power 1T but late in the 2T in the Civil War and Millennial Saeculums
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#5
Good observation.  Turchin has one secular cycle over 1780-1930, which would make the Civil War 4T a integrative trend conflict.  integrative conflicts tend to be milder and less consequential than disintegrative conflicts (e.g. the WoR is greater than either of the Baron's wars, the English Civil Ear is greater than the mid-Tudor crisis.)  The Civil War is the biggest of American internal conflicts.  It also saw the outright collapse of the Confederate state.  If you are familiar with Lind's three republics[1], one can describe the Civil War 4T as the rise of the 2nd republic in the North while thje 1st republic continued on in the South.  In the war the new republic defeated the old. 

That is, politically, the Civil War serves as a secular cycle "state collapse" and reformation, starting a new secular cycle. Most sources do not show a serious decrease in inequality coming from the civil war.  This is because they do not consider slaves.  About one fifth of white southerners owned one or more slaves.  Slaves were valuable, about $145,000 in todays money for a prime slave.  Slaves made up close to 60% of the wealth of slaveowners.  When slaves were freed Southern elites lost the greater part of their wealth.  At the same time the status of black people increased. They gained the right to keep money they earned (some slaves had paid jobs, their wages would go to their masters--now their earnings were their own).  This means a portion of American wealth holders lost a goodly chunk of wealth while at the same time one eight of the country gained some wealth.  The measure of inequality I chose captures this idea.  Measures that just look at white folks do not.

Inequality in the North was unaffected, and with industrialization would rapidly rise over the next few decades.  Hence the decrease in inequality was localized and fairly rapidly reversed by events in the North. Because of this it is hard to make the case that Turchin's first secular cycle is actually two cycles.  The reason I favor this view is because inequality is now as high as it has been at the ends of former secular cycles and so it looks like the end game of the secular cycle that began with the new Deal.  This secular cycle spans one saeculum.  If I consider the Civil War as another secular cycle ending event, then we get a one-to-one match with secular cycles and the saeculum for the modern 80-yr saeculum.  This is not the case for the older 107-yr saecula since the Armada is a 4T, but not a secular cycle crisis.




1. https://nomocracyinpolitics.com/2013/12/...l-history/
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#6
(05-16-2016, 07:26 PM)Mikebert Wrote: Two millennia of Chinese secular cycles
http://cliodynamics.ru/download/Korotaye...apter2.pdf

I'm no expert on Chinese history by any means, but I have a hard time believing the severity of some of those population crashes.
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#7
(05-17-2016, 03:52 PM)Odin Wrote:
(05-16-2016, 07:26 PM)Mikebert Wrote: Two millennia of Chinese secular cycles
http://cliodynamics.ru/download/Korotaye...apter2.pdf

I'm no expert on Chinese history by any means, but I have a hard time believing the severity of some of those population crashes.

Europe experienced a series of population crashes as well during its secular cycles.  The European declines are less well documented (the Chinese have census figures).  The biggest decline was the 14th-15th century which started with the Great Famine and was followed by the Black Death which killed 50 million resulting in a population decline of up to 60%.
 
The Plague of Justinian in 541-2 and its recurrences in the 6th and 7th centuries killed about half as many as the Black Death. It weakened both the Byzantine and Persian empires, making them ripe for conquest in the 7th century.

The Antonine Plague over 165-180 was less severe, but it's recurrence during the crisis of the thrid century helped the intensify population reductions due to economic collapse and war.  These plagues were features of Chinese-like population cycles in Roman and medieval Europe.
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#8
(05-17-2016, 10:04 AM)Mikebert Wrote: Good observation.  Turchin has one secular cycle over 1780-1930, which would make the Civil War 4T a integrative trend conflict.  integrative conflicts tend to be milder and less consequential than disintegrative conflicts (e.g. the WoR is greater than either of the Baron's wars, the English Civil Ear is greater than the mid-Tudor crisis.)  The Civil War is the biggest of American internal conflicts.  It also saw the outright collapse of the Confederate state.  If you are familiar with Lind's three republics[1], one can describe the Civil War 4T as the rise of the 2nd republic in the North while thje 1st republic continued on in the South.  In the war the new republic defeated the old. 

That is, politically, the Civil War serves as a secular cycle "state collapse" and reformation, starting a new secular cycle. Most sources do not show a serious decrease in inequality coming from the civil war.  This is because they do not consider slaves.  About one fifth of white southerners owned one or more slaves.  Slaves were valuable, about $145,000 in todays money for a prime slave.  Slaves made up close to 60% of the wealth of slaveowners.  When slaves were freed Southern elites lost the greater part of their wealth.  At the same time the status of black people increased. They gained the right to keep money they earned (some slaves had paid jobs, their wages would go to their masters--now their earnings were their own).  This means a portion of American wealth holders lost a goodly chunk of wealth while at the same time one eight of the country gained some wealth.  The measure of inequality I chose captures this idea.  Measures that just look at white folks do not.

Inequality in the North was unaffected, and with industrialization would rapidly rise over the next few decades.  Hence the decrease in inequality was localized and fairly rapidly reversed by events in the North. Because of this it is hard to make the case that Turchin's first secular cycle is actually two cycles.  The reason I favor this view is because inequality is now as high as it has been at the ends of former secular cycles and so it looks like the end game of the secular cycle that began with the new Deal.  This secular cycle spans one saeculum.  If I consider the Civil War as another secular cycle ending event, then we get a one-to-one match with secular cycles and the saeculum for the modern 80-yr saeculum.  This is not the case for the older 107-yr saecula since the Armada is a 4T, but not a secular cycle crisis.




1. https://nomocracyinpolitics.com/2013/12/...l-history/


I now wonder if the anomaly was in the Great Power Saeculum rather than the Civil War Saeculum; inequality started raising sooner and and instability spiked in the 3T but not in the 4T.  On the other hand instability has peaked every 50 year other than when it peaked about 1830-1835 rather than 1820 as the pattern would predict.
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#9
Smile 
My second paper has been accepted with no modifications for publication.  Smile This one is about how the inequality reversal last cycle happened.  Hopefully it will be in the next issue.
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#10
(02-21-2017, 08:48 PM)Mikebert Wrote: My second paper has been accepted with no modifications for publication.  Smile This one is about how the inequality reversal last cycle happened.  Hopefully it will be in the next issue.

Congratulations!!!
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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