a) 50 years is enough for "institutional memory" to go out of the window. This may change with longevity breakthroughs, but 50 years is currently enough for a complete generation exchange, so the new leaders have no memory of the previous upheaval and will make the same mistakes again. Or at least the same kind of mistakes, details are always different.
b) elite overproduction is a "dangerous" topic when even treading on this ground invites charges of anti-intellectualism, but I cannot help looking at the 25+ crowd with fresh degrees, tons of debt and not-precisely-excellent earning opportunities and see that universities have a great racket out of this, while their graduates not so much. If you apply the old "Cui prodest?" question (Romans used to ask "Who profits?"), the answer would be that tertiary education complex is at least as influential as the military industrial complex, and most of the value captured does not even accrue to professors.
That's why education is the most important pillar of democracy. Education is everything.
Humanities degrees are not terribly useful, but boiling all education down to humanities degrees is a blatant strawman that signals a lot about your willingness to have a nuanced discussion.
I think it's fairly self evident that investment in the future is what improves the future and education is probably the most important and significant such investment.
Given its size, configuration, and geopolitical contexts, the US has few comparable nations against which we can test. I guess we can say Russia is closest, followed by Canada & Mexico, then the entire EU and the CCP. India maybe?
> boiling all education down to humanities degrees is a blatant strawman
No, it isn't. The other nations I just listed by comparison churn out very few humanities degrees. What people choose to do with their privilege of going to college is a relevant data point, which feeds back into the quality of the education system overall.
> signals a lot about your willingness to have a nuanced discussion.
Let's not go around insinuating such things when you yourself started this conversation off failing to address the nuances of comparing the US against other "developed world" countries.
> Given its size, configuration, and geopolitical contexts, the US has few comparable nations against which we can test.
Why does country size affect academic performance of students?
Russia, China, India, and Mexico are not developed nations. I wouldn't compare their educational results with the US. I'd be more interested in Canada, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the European nations. The USA compares near the bottom of this list.
> No, it isn't. The other nations I just listed by comparison churn out very few humanities degrees.
You used humanities degrees as a strawman argument in the OP. You asserting you did not do that is just a waste of effort. Perhaps you need to look up what a strawman argument is?
No... are you?
That's easily the strangest question I have ever been asked on HN.
Italy has top-class university system, much older than Columbus, and yet the country seems to be stuck in stagnation for last 20 years and the talented fresh graduates of those top schools move abroad.
If you think anyone said that, you should probably talk less and read more. Because it doesn't appear you're competent in either.
Education is necessary but not sufficient.
To get better educated voters, you need better education for poorest performing students -- not more investment in the high performers. Additionally, poor kids can't focus on school for various reasons ranging from malnutrition to working multiple part-time jobs to keep their family afloat. Addressing poverty on a systemic level will be necessary to raise our baseline of education.
Do people on HN really think the very rich or the very poor were at all bothered by the Capitol riots? Government is irrelevant to both groups, in different ways.
Princeton already proved America is an oligarchy with a paper that was released a few years back, showing that when the rich wanted a certain policy implemented, it was passed into law at any almost 80% rate, compared with the "average voter" wanting a policy made into law at about a 50% rate.
Here's that article:
Now here's what's super telling, or at least should be... if you Google "princeton oligarchy study america" or some combination, the very first fucking result you'll find will be a Vox article saying its wrong. Because the ultra-rich need to perpetuate the myth that your voice matters. Google needs you to be stupid enough to believe that.
1. Average voters still pass laws at a significant rate
2. An elite university publishes the study
It's very far from perfection but I don't think it's an oligarchy. There is always going to be a bias in favor of the rich. That's what money is for.
I dislike the rhetoric you're using that implies the parties are outside and beyond the reach of "normal" citizens. Of course they are institutions with substantial inertia and aims of their own. But as the elections of people as diverse as Cori Bush and Madison Cawthorne and Marjorie Taylor Greene show, it is certainly still possible to make your way from citizen to elected official.
If you want to run for office, not only do you have to spend time with these narcissistic, power drunk politicians at the local level, you have to get them to support you.
This meeting was on the extreme local level for a community of maybe 35k people. I can’t even imagine what the county level, or national level would be like.
Maybe others have had a better experience, but this disillusioned me from any participation in politics and politicians in general.
It's so much easier when the troublemakers show themselves out of the room. Of course, nobody could be blamed for wanting nothing to do with politics, but its only the people who are disgusted by the system that change it.
Everything from advertising to filing comes with serious cost in US federal election. In Texas alone it costs $3k to just get on a primary ballot for a federal election as a representative.
Even the candidates you mentioned had to raise over $1MM just to run their elections.
Yes, it's possible just very unlikely if you don't have the cash.
Cori Bush Amount Raised: https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2020&id=M...
Madison Cawthorne Amount Raised: https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2020&id=N...
Marjorie Taylor Amount Raised: https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2020&id=G...
Filing in the 2020 Democratic and Republican Primary: https://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates/guide/2020/...
To update George Washington for current year: While political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled politicians will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
If we want better governance in the US, we must limit or eliminate political parties
Subverting that isn't easy without giving up something that seems necessary. You can eliminate majority rules. You can eliminate freedom of association. You can eliminate voting. Even term limits don't help: you can eliminate the politician but not their constituents, who will find somebody equivalent to send.
I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's not as simple as "eliminate political parties". Even if you could wish them away with a magic wand, they'd come right back.
What do you make of Jimmy Carter saying in 2014 that "America doesn't have a functioning democracy right now"?
Translated from German: https://archive.is/Lhlq2
It might be unpleasant to acknowledge, but there is increasingly overwhelming evidence to suggest that the major American political parties are indeed "outside and beyond the reach of 'normal' citizens".
In 2017, the DNC argued in federal court that, as a private corporation, it was entitled to select whichever candidate it preferred for the general election regardless of the preferences of "normal citizens" who voted in the party's primary election. This was in a hearing for a lawsuit filed by Sanders supporters who weren't happy about the DNC working with the Clinton campaign and against the Sanders campaign, as revealed by WikiLeaks.
Source: https://ivn.us/posts/dnc-to-court-we-are-a-private-corporati... and, for convenience, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/independent-voter-network-ivn...
Growing up in a blue household, social group, and state, I'm less familiar with the history of the anti-democratic machinations of the RNC, but my understanding of the Trump phenomenon was that, at least early on, many Republican voters were attracted to the idea of a political outsider who they hoped wouldn't sell them out like they felt RNC-affiliated Republicans had been doing.
Some contemporary sources seem to back up that interpretation: https://archive.fo/2Vidx (Wall Street Journal) and https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/...
But where is the american movement to end the FPTP-voting system?
On the democrat side, see the treatment of Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard (Both non-traditional democrats in different ways) by their party.
Honestly, after seeing both how the GOP and Democrats treated Trump, Sanders, and Gabbard, I find myself supportive of all three of them despite them having a very different views. I simply like that they're not either party.
It increasingly seems that both parties are becoming incredibly dogmatic, and anyone who doesn't fall in line is simply barred from public discourse or elected office. It is increasingly true that in order to even get to elected office you need the support of a party.
In my state of Oregon, the democrats and republicans actually mandated that you be part of a party before being elected to office. You can no longer run as an independent. It's so bad, some people made an 'independent party' just to be able to have non-democrat or republican candidates on the ballot, but this suffers from the same issues as parties, in that those individuals still need to be 'nominated' by a select group of people annointed by the party organizers, which means even the independent party has a bias, even if they try to minimize it.
We need major electoral reform, nationwide, but it doesn't benefit any party to do that. What I would like to see are protesters from both BLM, Antifa, or whatever and the capitol protesters (not the rioters of any group please...) band together for a change and demand a better means of governance from their legislators. The people need to band together on common principles, instead of being divided by stupid policy points.
When we saw the same thing being done to Sanders by the Democratic party (almost an exact mirror of what happended to Paul) it was a strong hint as to what is really going on. Neither party is"better" in this regard...
No, no party is better really. The GOP is the same. It's run by the same kinds of old farts. My main source of good feelings towards the GOP is that I tend to agree with their unelected members. But more and more I'm seeing those members also hate the GOP establishment. I wouldn't be surprised to see the party fracture heavily soon. I hope the democrat party also has the same split. There are good, decent democrats that share common principles and who I'm sure cannot stand their party leadership. I mean, the DNC is so bad, that I actually feel sorry for my left-leaning friends who also seem unable to get any representation.
This seems absurd. If your political reasoning puts you in a situation where Trump and Sanders are both options for you then your system is broken - they are antithetical to each other in style, philosophy, character and most importantly policy. Based on your logic, if both parties rejected Stalin then you'd be in favor of him.
At least voting for a 3rd party one can be said to be contributing to a cause closest to one's ideal, but being favorable to anyone who the mainstream doesn't approve of just seems like flawed logic.
Anti-establishmentarianism can bring together people of different political persuasions who all want to dismantle parts of the current system. What comes after that is a new battle, and that one may end up fought along more traditionally ideological lines.
Corbyn for instance, very much left wing, opposed EU because of all the globalist bankers and buerocrats in Brussels controlling the society, cheap labor bringing down wages.
If you're a bit older or have better knowledge, then trumps policies are far more similar to someone like Sanders if they really wanted to team up. (I'm not talking about his speech and the way of saying things)
I actually have supported with many actions of Antifa / BLM (probably wouldn't guess that from my post history), including the protests at Pelosi's and McConnell's houses, and the disruption of the globalist meetings you mention. I don't agree with them in their destruction of property, especially that of small mom-and-pop businesses, or even big business if it affects small businesses (by raising insurance rates for example). And obviously, I disagree with anything actually threatening lives.
If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. -- Winston Churchill
Yes, I'd rather have a social democrat that rejects Stalin than a fiscal conservative that embraced him.
Unlike the various 'what-ifs' of policy issues, anyone can examine the actual record of Stalin and his policies. And, in my opinion, anyone who finds him a source of inspiration, regardless of their stated policy preferences, has a severe lack of judgement.
I don't blame them, but it sucks for some of these communities.
Sometimes, usually not. It's often (but not always) funded by “school district”, which is often much larger than a neighborhood and may be a large metro area, and often with statewide funding mechanisms that reduce disparity between districts to less than it would be on its own.
Yes, that’s true, but it's not a product of funding by neighborhood, because that's not how the schools in that case are funded.
It's been fairly strongly argued that that's actually because the schools themselves make almost no difference at all on average, and school outcomes are pretty much determined by socioeconomic background and other personal traits of the student with ransome variation, and the “good schools” are just the ones attended by the students with the traits that would produce, on average, good outcomes independent of what school they attend.
The kind of people who get into positions of power - well, my impression is that they think they know better. Even if they are aware of the fact that in 1930 someone fucked up, they will not entertain the fact that they themselves might do the same.
Also, some events are really complex. You can educate people about the 1929 or 2008 economic crises from very different perspectives, from far-left to libertarian, and the lessons will be very different.
I believe that the more perspectives you are aware of, the less likely you are to be dogmatic and extreme in your beliefs and actions. You will be reminded how dissimilar real life is to simple ideas and rhetoric, that it is a shifting ocean of nuances and caveats.
Or society can go the other route, assume you cannot trust the people and create a tyranny of disinformation and control.
I don’t know if you’ve gone to college recently but that was not my impression. It’s a woke monoculture. Discourse is gone.
Moreover, do you notice that my comment is being grayed out as people who disagree are downvoting it? A lot of people who claim to value discussion really don't; not on Hacker News, and not elsewhere.
Ideas should be thrown into the public square, in the full light of day, and judged on their merits.
Ideas should absolutely be judged on their merits; here we agree. Too bad that's not how humans work. Instead, they tend to choose whichever truth they like best based on how it makes them feel; politicians know this, which is why they don't bother crafting logically sound arguments backed with evidence. They play on peoples' emotions.
Moreover, the university is not a public square. You attend as a student, which means you are there to learn, not to share your thoughts like it's a real-life HN thread. Don't want to learn the material? That's completely fine. The solution is to not sign up for the class, not to whine about how "discourse is gone" just because the teacher doesn't want to waste time on every edgy kid's opinions. People didn't pay massive sums of money to hear you talk. They paid to learn from experts.
It’s making me question my assumptions about education. On the other hand Im just one data point.
I know it seems almost impossible–what with them basically espousing the same values that used to be generally accepted as "good" a decade or so ago: overcoming division, not burning coal just to piss off the libs, not killing vice presidents on Wednesdays and Fridays, international cooperation, arms control, caps lock control, etc...
And that YouTube guy you adore does make a lot of sense when he shouts at the camera. Not just on dietary supplements but also how the loss of traditional gender roles has specifically disadvantaged high-IQ males with STEM affinity.
That pronoun thing might even get someone killed, in a very convoluted way.
But even then it just doesn't seem to have the potential to end the republic quite as easily as, say, musing about having the military re-run the election in states you lost, in such an obvious way every living former SecDef signs a letter asking the military to disregard such orders.
This is best exemplified by someone like Michael Tracy or Glenn Greenwald IMO.
In my view they're more wrong than right, but they do have the occasional nugget where they do see through the BS. However, the mainstream view is correct more often than not. Additionally, a significant proportion of their takes are in bad faith.
The goal should probably be a balance. And probably realizing that nobody including the government or media deserves your blind trust.
Most people have limited experience in managing information that they consider authoritative which turns out to be wrong.
I think the best example of authoritative misinformation for 2020 is Anthony Fauci’s guidance that masks don’t help until they do. I’m looking forward to watching people’s reactions when he inevitably asserts they don’t again.
2020 was a good year for skeptic production, boy howdy.
Until that shortcut goes horribly wrong.
That's why it's very important to have a healthy dose of skepticism when receiving info from people who we trust, because we chose the gatekeepers based on our opinions which implicitly selects for our own biases.
For example I don't actually know that the election wasn't stolen. It's an opinion that I hold due to choosing to trust a specific gatekeeper (main stream media) and a lack of hard evidence from the other side. If hard evidence were to be presented, the I would have to reexamine my beliefs even if they go against everything I believed in previously.
In the beginning there was a real question of how this virus transmitted as well as acute supply shortages of n95 masks for first responders.
If you expect scientists to be correct the first time, every time, I guess you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. I suppose when you sit down to code, especially using a new language or framework, you get it right the first time with no bugs? If so, congratulations and let us know how you did it.
“As Fauci told the Washington Post here , at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, masks were not recommended for the general public, as authorities were trying to prevent a mask shortage for health workers and the extent of asymptomatic spread was unknown.”
The man was in a no-win situation, and he had to make a shitty call, but integrity doesn’t mean occasional honesty. He and many others walked through a one-way door and the best move for him is to resign so we can have someone with a clean ethical slate.
Let’s make this simpler. How do you feel about General Alexander’s testimony to Congress about surveillance of the American people?
But on this same site, somoene can literally carry on a discussion echoing the (proven false) propaganda points ("biden crime family"? dear lord) and it stays up without downvote for (checks watch) an hour and counting.
Everything this past week has been a chest x-ray of our collective spirit, and it came back solid white.
This is vastly smaller in degree but not in kind.
Time for some introspection, dear readers.
The last couple of days have been particularly hellish, with many threads that descended into flame wars which drifted far away from whatever the original post was about.
I agree that there have been many threads that were far from being good faith discussions and turned into shouting matches with too many posts made in bad faith (such as citing bad sources that did not contain anything directly relevant to the point being argued, or links to sources that just repeated the original unsubstantiated allegation without presenting any evidence). Actions taken by users in these threads seemed to reflect preexisting biases rather than anything resembling a good faith debate.
With that I want to express my appreciation for the moderators who's job I do not envy but who are very necessary to keeping this site functioning in any way.
Culture might be a more important aspect than education. Education is relatively easy to transplant (c.f. China & the rest of Asia, or the US stealing many of Germany's good scientists after WWII, or the Brits leaching French expertise after the revolution). Culture is really hard to transplant because nobody knows which are the good bits and which are the bad bits.
I'll throw these two in because I they are an interesting and relevant example:
Scholars deeply steeped in Bismark's thoughts & mistakes, or in English constitutional law, didn't make these jumps.
Carl Schmitt did in fact made the jump, and he's one of the most read constitutional law writers in the last century. Not sure if Max Weber would have done the same, most probably not (he was really versed in English constitutional law, his "Economy and Society" has lots of quotes to Maitland's "History of English Law"), but he didn't strike me as a fervent supporter of democracy rights either.
And there was also the definite jump made by Heidegger, not exactly a legal scholar but a very well-read person nonetheless (and a mentor to Hannah Arendt, among others).
The germans you mention were certainly well-informed about foreign traditions, but their knowledge didn't create a living continuation of these traditions where they ended up.
(The context is, since it's been a few hours, was a claim that education was a way to circumvent this 50-year institutional forgetting, which I took to mean national institutions. And the counter-claim is that many places have good education and terrible institutions, why haven't they imported this ersatz institutional memory? If it works for local preservation, why doesn't it work for international transplanting? And I don't completely know, but the successful international knowledge grafts seem to be technical subjects. )
And an ironic situation, given his nazi ties and her jewishness...
It feels as if the Australian Government wants to move in the same direction, and / or have already been doing so for a few years.
Education has its own benefits to society as a whole, therefore we all suffer when a majority are locked out of pursuits that require and encourage depth of thought and logical thinking.
Perhaps it is an intentional long play by the Right in Australia to pursue this kind of minimisation of education
I'd bet it's more likely that higher education correlates well with elitism, and that elitism happens to have a left-ish flavor in some countries and a right-ish flavor in others, simply by accident of history, not by some general rule.
I don't see how.
> If you look outside the US the education level does correlate with the political spectrum.
I didn't mention anything about the US, it's a global phenomenon.
Personality is a largely biological construct, and it's also highly correlated with political leaning.
Looking at the big 5 model, left leaning people tend to be high in neuroticism(emotional stability) and openness, and low in conscientiousness.
Right leaning people tend to be the opposite.
These same traits influence peoples decision to work in academia, openness is a beneficial trait for learning new ideas.
Meanwhile people high in conscientiousness, low in neuroticism are highly sought after in industry.
I feel bad harping on common talking points but most degrees do not teach analytical thought.
As my example stated, the far right in Australia would be considered left in the US... the whole spectrum has moved... not talking about individuals... they still exist across that spectrum
True; college students are noted for their lack of idealism.
Conversely right leaning occupations such as veterans, oil rig workers and farmers always have their head in the clouds with high minded idealistic notions that don't work in the real world.
Is this a joke?
Yes. The person I was replying to seemed to assume that college was where people are disabused of idealism. My response was satirical.
I don't know if I'm delusional at this point for mistaking sarcasm for mainstream political culture opinion, if it's scary that belief is even possibly real, or somewhere in between.
Yes, I think it was a joke.
(UCLA’s) Eugene Volokh’s blog has been examining this for some time from the perspective of legal education, and of course Bret Weinstein rather famously came into contact with it when (literally) run out of Evergreen.
I remember we used to make jokes about how off the wall Evergreen was, but now I think those things we used to laugh about have become more normalized. They are certainly avant garde, but it seems the tendency of entrenchment dictates that where Evergreen goes so goes the nation’s education system. If you want to see where the nation’s education will be in another 15-20 years, look no further than Evergreen today.
One cannot "shift" demographic group merely by attending classes and many groups are highly polarized by demographic group often in excess of 3 to 1 for one party or another.
Probably it's fair to say education may give feelings of better understanding of things (whether it justified or not is a separate topic), and when it is not translated into higher social, and economic positions it naturally leads to growing hostility towards current system. Will it take a right, or left form, or something you cannot reliably put in this spectrum - is the issue if present conditions.
> American history is driven by periodic moments of moral convulsion. The late Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington noticed that these convulsions seem to hit the United States every 60 years or so: the Revolutionary period of the 1760s and ’70s; the Jacksonian uprising of the 1820s and ’30s; the Progressive Era, which began in the 1890s; and the social-protest movements of the 1960s and early ’70s.
The 2020s was about when the US was 'due' for something to happen, so the next decade or so will apparently be a bit of a ride.
People living in the colonies already had this. When Parliament started asserting more control over the colonies, they fought to restore their control over government.
There are numerous studies and theories saying that late 19th-early 20th century revolutions wouldn't have happened if they hadn't been coordinated by educated people who hadn't found a stable job (mostly as government employees, not that many private white-collar jobs back then). The Russian revolution definitely wouldn't have happened without university-educated Lenin and Trotsky, and I'd say that even Stalin falls under "educated but with no stable job" umbrella (if I'm not mistaken he had gone to a priest seminary).
In my country (Romania) most of the inter-war intellectuals had turned extremists for exactly that reason, i.e. too few white-collar jobs to chase for people who had finished university. The most well-known examples are guys like Eliade or Cioran, but a more relevant one is Corneliu Zelea-Codreanu , which is currently well liked by some people in the US  and in Northern Italy . A very relevant book on the subject can be found here , unfortunately for the time being with no English translation.
Once that became normalized it spilled off campus and grew into what we're seeing now.
Imo, it is very clear that the OP was not trying to imply that the students/professors were the ones personally or even indirectly involved in these riots. I also feel that it is clear that they were not trying to say that the students were nessicary doing anything wrong. They were replying to their parent comment which was discussing the effects that education had on Russian revolutionary leaders, and connected that same discussion to what we see today.
Do you think that they're wrong? Are they missing something critical? Reply to that instead of complaining about how it AlwAYs ComES bACk tO thE LefT.
If the facts make a certain group look bad, arguing that it's unfair to make that group look bad doesn't add anything. Add your own insight to the conversation and tell us why you think it's wrong or more nuanced
But, to put a fine point on it, the Russian Revolution happened without Lenin or Trotsky. The Bolsheviks overthrew the February Revolution in a coup.
In interwar Czechoslovakia, we had quite a few intellectuals who were openly Stalinist.
That's much less than what I would think.
But maybe I misunderstand. It happens regularly :)
If you gave me full control (on the sly, so they maintained the role they currently have) of Harvard, Yale, NYT, and WaPo—I wouldn't care who held the Presidency or sat in Congress, and the military is a distant afterthought. All would follow my dictates to the letter and I would be able to entirely transform every aspect of the country.
So who, again, is in power? Votes (and by extension, voters) don't matter because they do not affect actual power. It's kayfabe on a grand scale.
"Elite overproduction, and especially overproduction of the youth with advanced degrees, continues unabated. Our institutions of higher education have been churning out law, MBA, and PhD degrees, many more than could be absorbed by the economy. In a Bloomberg View article published just a few days ago Noah Smith provides the numbers for the overproduction of PhDs (America Is Pumping Out Too Many Ph.D.s)."
I would say that the population is, on average, much older and has more to lose. Fortysomethings do not regularly engage in street chaos. This is even more visible in Europe, even in formerly violent places like the Balkans or Northern Ireland.
Once the share of the young hotheads in the population drops, you have much smaller probability of really serious riots.
Ironically, we are studying whether lead caused cohesion problems for the Roman Empire  , so it isn't as if we didn't suspect lead before to cause civilization-scale problems. And while the modern drop in blood lead levels is big in the developed world , it is still orders of magnitude greater than pre-industrial levels.
The book "Generations: The History of America's Future" by Strauss and Howe was published in 1991 and predicted exactly the same thing. It was a bestseller at the time.
It's so well known that it's notable on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss%E2%80%93Howe_generatio...
It predicted a "crisis of 2020" caused by a number of factors including the temperaments of baby boomers.
There's an interesting interview with one of the authors here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/28/us/politics/coronavirus-r...
“It is only mildly amusing that nowadays the standard Republican/Tory after-dinner speech is a two-part affair, in which part one celebrates the virtues of unimpeded competition and dynamic structural change, while part two mourns the decline of the family and community ‘values’ that were eroded precisely by the forces commended in part one. Thus at the present time the core of Republican/Tory beliefs is a perfect non-sequitur. And what does the moderate Left have to offer? Only more redistribution, more public assistance, and particularist concern for particular groups that can claim victim status, from the sublime peak of elderly, handicapped, black lesbians down to the merely poor.”
Link to article here. https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v16/n07/edward-luttwak/why-f...
> These moments share certain features. People feel disgusted by the state of society. Trust in institutions plummets. Moral indignation is widespread. Contempt for established power is intense.
> A highly moralistic generation appears on the scene. It uses new modes of communication to seize control of the national conversation. Groups formerly outside of power rise up and take over the system. These are moments of agitation and excitement, frenzy and accusation, mobilization and passion.
> In 1981, Huntington predicted that the next moral convulsion would hit America around the second or third decade of the 21st century—that is, right about now. And, of course, he was correct.
"To understand others is to have knowledge;
To understand oneself is to be illumined.
To conquer others needs strength;
To conquer oneself is harder still.
To be content with what one has is to be rich.
He that works through violence may get his way;
But only what stays in its place
When one dies one is not lost; there is no other longevity."
I remember it because I thought is was insane, and then we worked together at a summer gig and talked about it at length - he flipped me. Prediction that were key was a long war in the early 2000s and significant unrest in the 2020-2030 timeline.
His rationale was that the fall of the Soviets would take about 10-15 years to have a real impact on US policy and the 2020-30 timeframe was when the ruined farmers (caused by the policies of the 80s and 90s) passed the torch to the next generation in full and the broader ex-urban economy would be dead beyond redemption.
He was a brilliant kid, who unfortunately passed away too young in an accident.
However if you expand it to other countries I think it quickly breaks down. In Latin America or the ME you have these cycles on a per year basis if they actually ever stop, in some regions you have way more piece and stability for hundreds of years.
The 'two generations' logic makes sense if you sneak into your assumption that you're in what I'd call moderately violent, fairly stable society like the US, but the reasoning is kind of circular.
Also assuming cliodynamics actually did have predictive power far beyond common sense then you have fully entire Foundation territory because then you're in some sort of strange loop where the acceptance of cliodynamics likely diretly impacts cliodynamics.
However, eventually you get an actual success at fixing the underlying problems (often related to elites accumulating too big a percentage of the resources), then the "fathers-and-sons" cycles stop because there's not a big well of repressed anger for counter-elites (Robespierre, Cromwell, Lenin, etc.) to draw on.
So, for each country, it will not always be a two-generation cycle because it depends on whether you have the intra-elite competition, fueled by an ever-increasing concentration of power at the very top, which causes the disaffected masses to have a counter-elite to follow down the path of upheaval.
This "cliodynamics" seems to be an effort to put these sorts of ideas on a more academically respectable footing.
Lot of people have this weird idea that 2020 was somehow the last of it. I think it was the beginning and 2021 and onwards will be a tough battle.
Without a specific definition, such as “civil war resulting in 620,000 deaths”, they’re fairly easy to predict.
> between 15 million and 26 million people participated at some point in the demonstrations
> arson, vandalism and looting caused about $1–2 billion in insured damage between May 26 and June 8,
> By early June, at least 200 American cities had imposed curfews, while more than 30 states and Washington, D.C, had activated over 62,000 National Guard personnel in response to unrest.
> By the end of June, at least 14,000 people had been arrested at protests
Massive 1-Year Rise In Homicide Rates...in 2020
> New Orleans-based data consultant Jeff Asher studied crime rates in more than 50 cities and says the crime spikes aren't just happening in big cities. With the numbers of homicides spiking in many places, Asher expects the final statistics for 2020 to tell a startlingly grim story.
> "We're going to see, historically, the largest one-year rise in murder that we've ever seen," he says.
We'll have to wait and see what the final figure is, but the midyear figure in the article is much higher:
> Murder up 36.7% in 57 agencies with data through at least September (though most have data through November).
(Note: I have no idea if Jeff Asher is a credible source, but NPR seems to think so.)
"Instability events vary in scale from intense and pro-
longed civil wars claiming thousands (and sometimes
even millions) of human lives to a one-day urban riot
in which several people are killed, or even a violent
demonstration in which no lives are lost. In constructing
the database I chose to include only lethal events."
"Thus, although the most common fatality rate
per event was 1 (48% of cases), in rare cases the ‘butcher
bill’ could run into hundreds (less than 1% of events had
a fatality rate of 100 or more). As a result, the rare but
bloody events have a disproportionate effect on the trajectory. A good example of this effect is the latest ‘peak’
in the trajectory (during the 1990s) – it is entirely due to
168 deaths associated with a single event, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing."
After reading the book, it was really no surprise to me when the capital was overrun with rioters. The book convinced me, we could very well have a bloody revolution or war considering the unaddressed underlying conditions: extreme wealth inequality, pandemic, desperation, hunger and feeling like one has no personal stake. The rise of China and decline of the United States contributes to another dangerous possible outcome. The tech industry's most recent moves to purge conservatives/libertarians may make our social condition even worse, by isolating rather than including the most desperate people in our society.
May it be possible you formed a bias? Take extreme examples of preppers or religious nuts - if something happened tomorrow, they'd be the first to say "I've been telling you for years". Does that mean they were right all along or rather that given a long enough time frame anything can happen?
> unaddressed underlying conditions: extreme wealth inequality, pandemic, desperation, hunger and feeling like one has no personal stake.
on the flip side, no revolution since and including arab uprising was successful, and unlike us, they're actually prepared to sacrifice themselves for their ideals.
A revolution/civil war in the US is impossible. The US military is the best-equipped in the world (with tons of equipment no private individual can ever hope to acquire) and backed by the world's leading intelligence community. Regardless of how angry or desperate American citizens are, they don't have the capacity to wage anything resembling a war on the government. Violent protests (and continued domestic terrorism) are an entirely different matter, though.
However, so far he has been "wrong" about his "prediction" that after that the events would be completely unpredictable. In fact, so far events have been very predictable - this might change after the inauguration though?
Turkey and Erdogan with Islam,
Poland and Duda with Catholicism
Russia and Putin with Russian Orthodox
India and Modi with Hinduism
US and Trump with White Evangelical Christianity
It seems the old liberal democratic order is under severe strain.
We’ve lowered the barrier to being an elite, to having that reach.
Also, we’ve made it possible to see that everyone around you might also be an elite.
Not only is elite over production occurring, we’ve lowered the cost to produce elites, and we’ve increased societal visibility of the elites that exist.
I don't think Trump would accept being barred from running in 2024 if the impeachment vote is allowed to go through. This is his only move right now. The national guard is already in the capital.
Booting him off of Twitter and social media, was a plan to disrupt his ability to address the nation, and possible liability around not carrying his address should he win.
As I think some TV stations will probably block the emergency address. Trump is also convinced he would win the in person ballot, should a military declare a new election.
Media speaks almost in one voice now, joined by big tech, the left will be controlling almost all the levers of power otherwise. So he has large support in the population to stop that