The Science of Cycles

Thoughts on Cycles
Wealth Pump
London, Paris, and Dallas

Today we continue our study of the historical cycles suggesting a major crisis is in our near-term (5‒8 years) future. We don’t know the precise timing or nature of the crisis, but the patterns indicate one is coming and could be severe.

As with many therapeutic programs, the first step is admitting you have a problem. The good news is we have some time to think, reflect, and position ourselves to weather the coming storm, and with some luck, compromise and cooperation among leaders may even mitigate the problems.

So far, we’ve looked at Neil Howe’s Fourth Turning, a theory based on generational archetypes, and George Friedman’s idea of overlapping institutional and socioeconomic cycles. Both point to climactic events happening in the years around 2030. Today we turn to Peter Turchin, whose new book End Times uses more scientific tools to arrive at similar conclusions.

All three visionaries—an overused word but I think appropriate here—have their own ideologies and presuppositions. I know Neil and George quite well and am getting to know Turchin. (Full confession: While reading Turchin’s book I noticed what seemed to me a subtle left-leaning bias. Then I thought about Neil Howe’s book, and realized he has a right-leaning bias, which I didn't notice at the time because I agreed with it. What would be surprising is no bias in talking about these fairly controversial ideas. In any event, both Howe’s and Turchin’s evidence massively overwhelms any bias.)

I think all three authors succeed in setting their own preferences aside, analyzing through their own informed lenses what they think will happen rather than promoting ideas of what should happen. I highly recommend all three books. Reading them may be the motivation you need to start preparing for what lies ahead.