GAINESVILLE, Ga. / March 8, 2010 – A study of secessionist activity during the United States’ 234-year history reveals that the country’s pent-up anger during negative mood periods is like the pent-up energy prior to an earthquake – it will find violent release. The question is whether the anger will manifest as civil unrest, secession or war, writes Alan Hall in the most recent issue of The Socionomist.
Hall bases his study on socionomics, a new science of social prediction, which can help people prepare for both good times and bad, depending on whether social mood is trending positive or negative. Hall’s research included the development of a “Secessionism Index.” He used the index to track anti-union sentiment in the United States as it waxed and waned over time.
“We just had 20 years of good times and positive mood,” says Hall, “but that trend reversed in the 2000s. The current feeling of anger is just the beginning. It will heat up as the stock market turns down again. Our research shows that this degree of negative mood always finds violent expression eventually.”
Hall says that when society’s mood turns deeply negative, it often leads to skirmishes with other nations. In the absence of an external foe, anger turns inward in the form of secessionism.
As one manifestation of the downturn in social mood in the United States, Hall expects secessionist sentiment to increase. Tea Parties are an outlet for individuals angry with government. Sovereignty movements are attracting new adherents at the state level. A South Carolina legislator has introduced a bill to bring back silver and gold coins as legal tender – “a direct challenge to the Federal Reserve’s monopoly status,” Hall states
Hall’s study is the third Socionomics Institute research project to focus on how societies express negative mood during bear markets. In the January Socionomist, analyst Euan Wilson examined the socionomic timing of civil wars in the United States, Spain and China. In the December Socionomist, analyst Brian Whitmer forecast that growing negative social mood in Europe is the biggest threat to peace since World War II and will ultimately threaten the European Union and its currency, the euro.
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About The Socionomics Institute
The Socionomics Institute, based in Gainesville, Ga., studies social mood and its role in driving cultural trends. The Institute’s analysis is published in the monthly research review, The Socionomist.