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Response to Mikebert on Yuku
#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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#2
The latter part of the Unraveling brings about weak government that appeals to the vilest tendencies in business. That permissive government guts the old constraints on greed and financial recklessness, typically fostering an economic bubble that draws most capital away from more traditional and productive activities. Of course it is possible to make a fortune off shoe-string innovations in technology and entrepreneurship. So it was with fast food; so it has been with computer software. Real estate bubbles as in the 1920s and the Double-Zero decade depend upon huge quantities of Other People's Money.

If one is to invest Other People's Money, then one had better be careful. But financial caution is not the way of the latter part of a 3T. When the bubble bursts, then there isn't much left.

It's the bubble that does the damage; the inevitable financial panic is simply the recognition that the bubble has no foundation and that the assets poured into it have been wasted.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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