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

efc at swisscows.email efc at swisscows.email
Sat Oct 14 12:35:11 UTC 2023

Hello Bill,

On Fri, 13 Oct 2023, BillK via extropy-chat wrote:

> 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

Ahh, thank you for the explanation. That sounds like a truism to me and
I thought it was obvious.

> 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.

Or like with socialism, some forget old bad ideas and try them again
with the same sad result every time. =(

> changes should be expected. The huge Western financial deficits will
> never be repaid, so some form of 'debt write-off' upheaval will be required.

When you say western, are you talking about US? In the EU there is a
pretty clear north/south split. I'm not saying that north is good but
the situation there, financially speaking, is much better than the

> 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.

I have lived a big part of my life in sweden where critique of
capitalism is the national sport (it is a very socialist society). So
even if I haven't heard the specifics, the general themes are familiar
to me, and usually they fall in the categories of:

* Cherry picking
* Not a problem at all
* Something positive 
* A problem but without capitalism the problem would be worse
* A problem that will be fixed through technology.

> degradation of the environment, including climate change,

I do not believe that we're under imminent threat of a global
catastrophy. I do believe the climate has always changed and that we've
had more CO2 before. I also believe that being human beings with it
environmental problems (not including climate change) and that those
will be solved in time when we get richer and with better technology.

I can also add that socialism, especially the soviet style, makes any
climate problems capitalism has seem like paradise. The source of this
is first hand interviews and talks with people who lived in the soviet
union, and people who moved away from russia due to the bad environment.

> deforestation, and pollution

Also true of socialism. But, forrests grow back and pollution has been

> increased income inequality

But greater quality of life for the majority, so please bring more

> distortion of 'so-called' free markets in favour of the already rich.

This I accept. Much of what we see today is not free markets and many
rich people do bribe governments for their wealth. Semi-free markets
like we have today is of course preferable to non-free, but we need less
government power and involvement in markets and that of course will
decrease the nr of billionaires who build their wealth on government

> 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.

Those follow with economic growth and prosperity because only when we
don't have to work 7 days a week can we afford to even care about that.
So one can say, without economic freedom, no justice, no human rights
and no environmental sustainability.

Best regards, 

> ---------
> BillK
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