|By Brian Whitmer | Excerpted from the December 2009 Socionomist
Originally published under the title “The Developing European Tinderbox – A Socionomic Study”
[Ed: In this compelling article, Brian Whitmer sounds an ominous warning for Europe: Just as the United States experienced a large downturn in the 1850s that culminated in civil war, an “equally perilous period is coming to the European Union soon.” An intensely negative social mood will likely produce the greatest threat to European peace and solidarity since World War II.
[Here is an excerpt of Whitmer’s 2009 article.]
The Supercycle Peak
The Supercycle degree top that formed in the late 1990s provided the decisive push toward the European Union that exists today. Bellwethers France and Germany reached accord on an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1997. Soon afterward, member countries established the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB launched the euro in November 1998. In 1999 the Treaty of Amsterdam took effect and increased the powers of the European parliament. March 2000 marked an all-time high in the Eurostoxx Index. Some nine months later came the Nice summit, which former French President Jacques Chirac extolled as a meeting that “will go down in history.” The Treaty of Nice marked the climax of European optimism, as it threw open the doors to the EU’s eastern-bloc expansion.
Large Corrections Divide Political Unions
All of the progress of a bull market can be brutally undone when social mood turns down. As noted above, we expect widespread conflict in Europe as wave c progresses. A useful template is the compelling precedent from American history. The top line of Figure 2 tracks the development of the American union from independence through its Cycle-degree downturn, which culminated in the American Civil War. The bottom line tracks Europe’s unification trends from the end of World War II to its current downturn, which has not yet ended. The timelines are clearly similar, but more striking still is the form that social mood traced out in both early America and modern Europe.
Observe that both unions were born at Grand Supercycle lows in social mood. Two massive conflicts—the Revolutionary War and World War II respectively—accompanied the bottoms. Then in both cases hostilities waned as mood and markets recovered. And both unions reflected the optimism of a new uptrend by expanding. 19th-century America grew westward by purchasing or occupying territory outright. 20th-century Europe developed its union with cooperative treaties and economic agreements.
Europe’s strong bull market decades of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s included myriad agreements that paved the wave to today’s EU. This period parallels the early land treaties that drove the United States westward during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. …
In this seven-page article, Brian Whitmer looks to the impending dissolution of the European Union: What will happen to recently-incorporated eastern European countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, and what’s to become of the Euro? Continue reading to discover these answers and to learn how to make such predictions for yourself.
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Most economists, historians and sociologists
presume that events determine society’s mood. But socionomics hypothesizes
the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The
events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events,
macroeconomic trends and even peace and war—are the products of a naturally
occurring pattern of social-mood fluctuation. Such events, therefore, are not
randomly distributed, as is commonly believed, but are in fact probabilistically
predictable. Socionomics also posits that the stock market is the best available
meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social
mood, and that financial and economic decision-making are fundamentally different
in that financial decisions are motivated by the herding impulse while economic
choices are guided by supply and demand. For more information about socionomic
theory, see (1) the text, The
Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior © 1999, by Robert Prechter;
(2) the introductory documentary History's
Hidden Engine; (3) the video Toward
a New Science of Social Prediction, Prechter’s 2004 speech before
the London School of Economics in which he presents evidence to support his
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