Trump or not, US meltdown could be inevitable

 Admittedly, some 56 per cent of the voters surveyed say they disapprove of Trump, but a similar proportion also disapprove of President Joe Biden.

This led Peter Turchin to the conclusion that there is a fundamental pattern: an elite grabs power, then over time tries to protect that by grabbing more and more resources. That inevitably ends up leaving poor people even poorer (“popular immiseration”) and spawning an “over-production of the elite” — too many elites chasing too few roles — which, in turn, leads to extreme frustration, anxiety and in-fighting.

The result is usually a social explosion and political disintegration, with Turchin’s models suggesting that such structural shifts typically occur about every 100 years in complex societies

His new book, The End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites and the Path of Political Disintegration

In plain English, this suggests that a figure such as Trump is a symptom, rather than the cause of the US’s turmoil.

Turchin is not the only contemporary Cassandra; even hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio, another believer in cyclical shifts, is warning that rising inequality could create social explosions.

Gillian Tett FT 31 May 2023

Martin Wolf “The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism” Årets viktigaste bok


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