|By Alan Hall | Excerpted from the February 2012 Socionomist
Originally published under the title, “How Will the New Social Psychology Affect Military Action?”
[Ed: History shows that in large-degree bear markets, second negative mood phases, not first negative mood phases, tend to produce major wars. Yet even first phases bring plenty of risks. In this February 2012 report, socionomist Alan Hall sketches those risks – such as cyber warfare, bioterror, and drone attacks – that we could face during the rest of the current initial Supercycle decline that began in 2000.]
Why Big Initial Declines Tend NOT to Produce Major Wars
As you can see from Figure 1, none of these first waves produced major wars. In Chapter 16 of The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (1999), Robert Prechter hypothesized why this is the case:
Apparently society handles the first retrenchment in social mood, no matter how severe. “A” waves surprise optimistic people, who are unprepared and unwilling to wage war. It is the second drop that makes a sufficient number of increasingly stressed people angry enough to attack others militarily.1
We hypothesize that during the first downtrend people are too busy adapting to the stunning financial setbacks to organize all-out war.
As concern for matters at home begins to dominate, people care less for expensive military excursions overseas. The U.S. and the U.K. have the world’s largest and third-largest defense industries, and both say they plan to cut military spending in coming years….
… The Risks We Face in Wave (a)
As animosity rises and military budgets fall, expect even more belligerence-on-the-cheap. Verbal threats, espionage, trade wars, financial conflicts, internal terrorism, cyber attacks, authoritarian clashes, border conflicts, drone attacks and anti-satellite attacks should all increase.
Following are some of the major dangers and types of actions we will face as we wend our way through wave (a).
1. Living in a Materiel World
The world today brims with historically high stockpiles of conventional weapons.17 When a nation becomes destabilized, individuals and groups within the country may access the weapons. For example, one military expert said Libya’s arms imports “reached farcical levels in the late 1970s and 1980s.”18 The 2011 Libyan Revolution “liberated” many of those weapons. Libyan rebels and others looted some 12,000 land mines and an estimated 20,000 hand-held, heat-seeking surface–to-air missiles capable of shooting down commercial jet liners.19 Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, said, “weapon proliferation out of Libya is potentially one of the largest we have ever documented … . a thousand times the explosives that the insurgents in Iraq had.”20 …
In the rest of this major, seven-page article, author Alan Hall describes six more imminent risks –trained mercenaries, nuclear threats, cyberwar, drones, bioterror, and “radically empowered” individuals – that we are likely to encounter during the current first decline. How prepared are you? This article can help you anticipate times of increasing hostility and stay of their way.
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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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