[ExI] The “great gate in history” of Strauss and Howe

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Oct 13 16:51:36 UTC 2023

On Fri, 13 Oct 2023 at 11:07, efc--- via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> I'm not a big fan of doom prophecies myself, but something to keep in mind
> when it comes to economic inequality is that globally, we've never been
> richer and never had it better (see the book "In defense of global
> capitalism",
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Defense_of_Global_Capitalism).
> So a trend throughout history seems to be (if you can ever speak about
> historical trends that is) that we do progress with the help of
> capitalism and free markets, and local downward trends seem to appear when
> ever we move away from that to more authoritarian ideas.
> So curently we are experiencing a bit of turbulence but I am certain that
> after a few years of turbulence, we'll resume are growth trip again. =)
> Best regards, Daniel

I wouldn't call Fourth Turning a doom prophecy.  :)
He is talking about generational cycles, lasting about 80 to 100 years.
This is when the older generation leaves the stage and are replaced by
the younger generation, who have different ideas, want to correct the
previous errors and try something different.
The claim is that we are in the fourth 'down' phase of the present cycle
and from about 2030 onwards, the new 'up' phase will start.

That doesn't necessarily mean another World War is imminent, but big
changes should be expected. The huge Western financial deficits will
never be repaid, so some form of 'debt write-off' upheaval will be required.
Political systems and economic systems may change, but we won't know
in advance how it will all turn out.

As an aside, you probably know that the book "In Defense of Global
Capitalism" has received some criticism. It was published in 2001.
This was from the 'up' phase of the present cycle, before the problems
of global capitalism were realised.

Some criticisms are that the book ignored problems such as:
degradation of the environment, including climate change,
deforestation, and pollution
increased income inequality
distortion of 'so-called' free markets in favour of the already rich.
Also, the book's focus on economic growth and prosperity ignored the
importance of other values, such as social justice, human rights, and
environmental sustainability.


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