|By Alan Hall | Excerpted from the October 2011 Socionomist
Originally published in title “Democracy Under Attack”
[Ed: In the West, few institutions are as revered as democracy. Yet socionomics holds that social mood pushes around even society’s most sacred norms. In this pivotal 2011 article, socionomist Alan Hall reveals that democracy itself is now coming under attack. Where will politics end up after a historic bear market? As Hall shows with his breakthrough “Socionomic Nolan Chart,” the only certainty is an increasingly fragmented process.]
The Socionomic Nolan Chart Helps Us Map Current Events
Expressions of the large-degree negative social mood trend now seem to be accelerating and putting aspects of our Socionomic Nolan Chart (Figure 1) into motion. (For a review of the thinking behind the chart, click here). So forceful is the mood shift that even democracy itself, an idealized form of government during the Grand Supercycle uptrend from 1784, is now coming under more-widespread attack from within democracies. It is still early in this process. One should not assume that democracy, or at least its current form, will survive the expected Grand Supercycle downtrend in social mood.
You Are Here: Western society’s ideological decentralization process appears to be somewhere between stages 2 and 3.
In the United States, Peter Orzsag, the former director of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, wrote an article, “Too Much of a Good Thing: Why We Need Less Democracy.” Orszag said U.S. “political polarization was growing worse – harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing.” Beverly Purdue, the governor of North Carolina, called for suspending elections for two years so that Congress can “get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things.”1
Citizens, too, are increasingly questioning whether representational democracy works. “‘Voting is worthless’? Global protests share contempt for democracy,” reads a September 28, MSNBC headline. The article cites a common theme in the recent street demonstrations, boycotts and strikes in New York, London, Spain, Greece, India and Israel: “wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.”4
“We’re the first generation to say that voting is worthless,” said a young Spanish woman. A young Indian woman said, “We elect the people’s representatives so they can solve our problems, [but] that is not actually happening. Corruption is ruling our country.” A young Israeli man said, “The political system has abandoned its citizens.”
Read the rest of this four-page article to learn what the 2009 Tea Party protests and the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movements have in common. Discover what is happening to the number of liberal democracies worldwide, and why Hall claims internal fragmentation will become the “new normal” of society.
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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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