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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Rhymes of History:
   Random synaptic firings

If, as Bernard Lewis said, "Make no mistake, those who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present and unfit to face the future"; if, as Santayana is once to have said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"; if, as Mark Twain, or at least, Will Rogers quoting Twain (??) is alleged to have said, "The past does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme"; then a recent blogging foray of mine shines a little light on recent history, and what may be coming.

My vision is shaped and formed by Strauss and Howe's Generations and Fourth Turning. They posit that history, or at least American history, has revolved about a 4-generation spiral. I apply this by looking at where we were 80-100 years ago and lay it down like a template to today. Now, the template doesn't always fit as well as O.J.'s glove, but sometimes there are useful comparisons. The last time we were here was just before WW1, the height (and depth) of geopolitical realism.

We were also in the midst of an industrial and technological revolution with the expansion of transcontinental railroads, the emerging oil industry and electro-techno gadgets that were transforming our lives before and after the Great Depression, and a political atmosphere counter-reacting to recent mass immigrations. Unseen in the near future was a nascent global economy devastated, in part, by protectionist tariffs and a global war of ideology, first against fascism and then communism.

Getting the chills yet?

We now have the geopolitical realism of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the smoldering ideologies of Islam, and authoritarian nationalism (particularly China), globalization, and the incredible transformation that computer technology is still impacting on economies, before and after the IT Tech bubble.

Heady stuff for someone who scoffs at Revelations and Nostradamus.

Personal note: how about cycles of cycles, a metacycle of generational cycles?


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