Thursday, October 5, 2023

Elite Crisis Playbook

 My Fellow Commoners,

  My efforts today are prompted by the review, which Christine sent me, of a Peter Turchine book, "There Will Be Blood", which asserts that the civilizational crisis within the US is underway, and is not avoidable, but might be addressed by reforms and lead to less than 30 years of civil war, or it might not be well addressed, or might be addressed in ways that prevent societal harmonization and stabilization. The destabilizing factors which have led to this have been in play a long time, since the early 1980s. 
  It is notable that the recurring structure of American government is that of Oligarchy, particularly Oligarchy of the Wealthy, a Plutocracy, which is one of the less inherently stable forms of government. That structure was mitigated during and after WW-2, and some would say under the administration of FDR, but it is debatable.
​  "Turchin’s predictions are clear, and his prescribed remedies are equally so, and are simple (to explain conceptually, if not to implement politically). The United States must turn off the ‘wealth pump’; it must raise the relative wage and keep it raised, and it must make housing and healthcare more affordable and accessible to greater numbers; to counter elite overproduction and alleviate immiseration, it must make regular, non-elite work pay, and accord those doing such work dignity and esteem. Reforms that accomplish any of these goals will be concrete and recognisable."

  The derivation and logic of Turchin's work delves into historical eras of political instability over the past 10,000 years. This discipline is called "Cliodynamics" after the Greek goddess of history. This is anthropological analysis, and Turchin transposes the analysis into a mathematical model, called the "Selfish Elite Model", which is used to calculate a "Political Stress Indicator".
  Within these models there are important actors, the Elites (who "tax" and reduce economic output), the Commoners (productive citizens), the State (which manages the economy in the primary interest of elites, or even an elite faction, and secondarily or sometimes equally in the interests of Commoners), and the Environment (which can be seen to include, oil, coal, pollution, weather, agricultural crop yields and aquifer resources, to name a few components). Non productive citizens factor indirectly in several ways.
  Going through the math of the Political Stress Indicator equations, it is apparent that the factors all multiply and divide together, which is not hard to comprehend. 
  There is one factor which shows twice in the multiplication in different forms, and therefore affects political instability as the square of itself. This is basically the Gini coefficient, which describes relative income inequality, with higher values expressing more income inequality. This factors into Elite instability and also into Commoner instability, which multiply by each other, and also multiply by government instability. 
  Government Instability is worsened when debt is high compared to economic output, and is worse when government is not trusted (not trustworthy, erratic payments).
  Elite instability arises from too many elites, especially younger elites without jobs. Elite instability might be the best group to look at, since elites exert disproportionate agency in societies. The Gini coefficient plays into this because elites are not "productive" members of society, but limit the industrious output of society by taking their "pay". This drives down the economic production of the economy (GDP), and drives down Commoner wealth. Reducing GDP increases government Debt to GDP, which destabilizes government.
  Increasing Government Debt: GDP ratio and "immiserating" Commoners are processes that destabilize a country slowly and structurally, and predispose to a crisis, which is typically sparked by specific events and interventions.
  When the number of Elites, or aspiring Elites, groomed for Elite roles, rises above the number of good-paying-jobs for those Elites, a class of disaffected Elites exists. Competition between Elite factions is typically very destabilizing to a national economy. Consider the Bolshevik and French Revolutions.
  When good paying jobs exist for truck drivers, carpenters, welders and plumbers, fewer young adults will pursue elite livelihoods, such as Law. When "immiseration" has removed non-elite options for good livelihood, the number of Elites and Aspiring Elites grows until they are in stressful competition, which creates a group of Counter Elites, with winners and losers, such has become the case in the US. 
  Government jobs have traditionally employed various elites in law and management, as well as technical experts. As Government regulations increase, Elite jobs are created in business and industry to comply, but they still extract a "tax" upon production, in order to fund Government and fund Elite incomes. 
  It can be seen that as long as there are government jobs, "compliance" jobs, and "management" jobs for these trained Elites, they can be placated. Government can borrow money to fund these jobs, which increases the Government Debt to GDP ratio, structurally destabilizing Government. All of this increases the "tax" load on productive-economy, which shrinks productive-economy, which is the support system for the country, providing for all human needs.
  Commoners, the productive workers in society, are destabilized by "immiseration", which is the stress of not being able to securely meet their needs and the needs of their families. This is clearly worsened by low wages, which are the consequence of Elite "taxation" of the economy to provide Elite income (such as wages, "capital gains" and other "unearned income"). Young adults facing this seek Elite careers, which may not exist for the number of aspirants, creating unemployed Lawyers (Jacobins come to mind).
  Another destabilizing demographic is represented in 20-30 year olds within a society. This demographic is more prone to destabilization, and further prone to destabilization if urban. 
  The higher the percentage of the population living in urban areas, the more destabilizing. Those with an income of zero will be most unstable. 
  A critical mass of disaffected urban dwellers, particularly young adults at the core, can quickly form riotous mobs. There would typically be something to precipitate this, sometimes including intervention by an elite faction seeking political gain or advantage. Sometimes a weakening state will reduce support for the Coercive Apparatus of the Police and Military, intentionally or unintentionally, such as reducing pay, numbers or morale. The Coercive Apparatus is particularly instrumental against Counter Elites, identifying them, then imprisoning, killing or exiling them. At a critical moment, the transition of loyalty of the Coercive Apparatus manifests as a coup d'etat, which may succeed or fail.
  Reduction of environmental support is further destabilizing, as in the case of a fuel shortage, food shortage, water shortage, external embargo of goods, or a price-shock, as with devaluation of the local currency.
  Positive environmental support for a government may exist in the center of an empire, where wealth from tributary states comes in to support Elite and administrative jobs in government, and supply fuel, food and other goods at low cost to Commoners and Elites. The withdrawal of this environmental support is a shock to the country.
  Multiple examples of triggering events for violent revolt are explored, but they presuppose the chronic stressors noted above, or people will have more invested in their jobs than in revolution. People who have energy, nothing to look forward to, and little to lose are inclined to revolution.
  When a government loses popular support after a long period of societal stress, it tends to be a rapid cascade of loss, like the paradigm shifts in the US and France in 1968.        One reason for this cascading loss of support for a government is that Commoners and Elites tend to hide their growing dissatisfaction until they see a large enough group displaying the same dissatisfaction, that they can decide to openly join it. 
  The higher the Reputation of the new group, and the higher the perceived Moral Integrity of the group, the more likely disaffected Elites and Commoners will be to join it.
  The analysis of the Post Soviet history of Ukraine is most instructive, but it must be read with the knowledge that one of the authors of this 2017 paper, Sergey Gavnilets, was funded by the US Army. Views unfavorable to the Army and Covert State Apparatus would presumably be presented in a veiled fashion, if at all.
​  Linking “Micro” to “Macro” Models of State Breakdown to Improve Methods for Political Forecasting  2017​, Turchin, Peter;Gavrilets, Sergey;Goldstone, Jack A.

​  A History of Possible Futures: Multipath Forecasting of Social Breakdown, Recovery, and Resilience​  2018​ , Turchin, Peter;Witoszek, Nina;Thurner, Stefan;Garcia, David;Griffin, Roger;Hoyer, Daniel;Midttun, Atle;Bennett, James;Myrum Næss, Knut;Gavrilets, Sergey
[Funding was provided through US Army Research, Office of Naval Intelligence, and National Institute for Mathematical and Biological ​Synthesis (NSF) Grants​, and others.]
​  Recent years have seen major political crises throughout the world, and foreign policy analysts nearly universally expect to see rising tensions within (and between) countries in the next 5–20 years. Being able to predict future crises and to assess the resilience of different countries to various shocks is of foremost importance in averting the potentially huge human costs of state collapse and civil war. The premise of this paper is that a transdisciplinary approach to forecasting social breakdown, recovery, and resilience is entirely feasible, as a result of recent breakthroughs in statistical analysis of large-scale historical data, the qualitative insights of historical and semiotic investigations, and agent-based models that translate between micro-dynamics of interacting individuals and the collective macro-level events emerging from these interactions. Our goal is to construct a series of probabilistic scenarios of social breakdown and recovery, based on historical crises and outcomes, which can aid the analysis of potential outcomes of future crises. We call this approach—similar in spirit to ensemble forecasting in weather prediction—multipath forecasting (MPF). This paper aims to set out the methodological premises and basic stages envisaged to realize this goal within a transdisciplinary research collaboration: first, the statistical analysis of a massive database of past instances of crisis to determine how actual outcomes (the severity of disruption and violence, the speed of resolution) depend on inputs (economic, political, and cultural factors); second, the encoding of these analytical insights into probabilistic, empirically informed computational models of societal breakdown and recovery—the MPF engine; third, testing the MPF engine to “predict” the trajectories and outcomes of another set of past social upheavals, which were not used in building the model. This “historical retrodiction” is an innovation that will allow us to further refine the MPF technology. Ultimately our vision is to use MPF to help write what we call “a history of possible futures,” in which the near- and medium-term paths of societies are probabilistically forecast.​     [I ​personally suspect this model is being tested and refined in real time as we progress, thanks to deep-state "weaponization.]

​  Peter Turchin gave a lecture in late 2019, predicting instability in the US in the 2020s, of which I cannot locate a recording or transcript.
The 19 slides are illustrative of all the points made above. 

  Let me point out slide #15, summarizing the book: "The Great Leveler" (Death), which asserts that:
"Inequality can decrease only by major, violent shocks: Mass-mobilization Warfare, Transformative Revolution, State-Failure/Collapse, Lethal Pandemic"
(I suspect that American elites might see this as a list of ​tactical-options, through which they might devise strategies to maintain ​their control of society.)

  This article about Gladstone and Turchin's model draws from a June 2020 interview with Professor Gladstone as the divisive stress of the November elections between Trump and Biden loomed. The author said the model predicted "civil war", but Professor Gladstone specifically refuted that assertion in the interview. A lot of political flavoring is apparent here, perhaps foreshadowing of events to come, and events which did not ever manifest, like the staged January 2021 "insurrection" by polite Trump supporters.
​  In the early 1990s, when Bill Clinton was in the White House and the United States looked unshakeable, the administration appointed Jack Goldstone to study how states fail. They meant other states; not the US. Few expected that his model would later predict their country's collapse.​  [Sounds like CIA funded regime-change research to me.]
​  In an unpublished paper submitted for peer review, Professor Goldstone, who is a sociologist, and Peter Turchin, an expert on the mathematical modelling of historical societies, have concluded that the US is "headed for another civil war".
​  The conditions for civil violence, they say, are the worst since the 19th century — in particular the years leading up to the start of the American Civil War in 1861.
​  The reason for this are trends that began in the 1980s, "with regard to inequality, selfish elites, and polarisation that have crippled the ability of the US government to mount an effective response to the pandemic disease," they write.
​  This has also "hampered our ability to deliver an inclusive economic relief policy, and exacerbated the tensions over racial injustice."​ ...
​..Professor Goldstone is a leading authority on the study of revolutions and long-term social change at George Mason University. The model developed by him and Peter Turchin tracks such data as the ratio of median workers' wages to GDP per capita, life expectancy, average heights, and the number of new millionaires. It also measures political polarisation or the degree of overlap between the parties.
​  Applied to US history, it 'predicts' the 1861 Civil War and the unrest of the 1930s — a time of Jim Crow segregation, Gilded Age inequality, and fascism.
Ten years ago, Professor Turchin pointed his model towards the future, and made an uncannily accurate prediction. Just like in the 1850s, crisis indicators were rising, he wrote in the journal Nature. They could be a reliable indicator of looming instability and "look set to peak in the years around 2020," he wrote.   

The Political Stress Index combines three crisis indicators: declining living standards, increasing intra-elite competition/conflict, and the weakening of the state. Growing PSI indicates likelihood of political violence. The Well-being Index indicates greater equality, greater elite consensus, and a stronger, more legitimate state.

​Charles Hugh Smith, May 19, 2020  Our Fate Is Sealed, Vaccines Won't Matter: Four Long Cycles Align

Spartacus Podcast 13 
​  Why don’t I support military service? Because, quite simply, we don’t have a democracy. We have a spookocracy. Our government is run by spooks. Spooks choose our political candidates, and spooks decide our military targets, and the goal is never to protect average citizens or enhance our national security, but to consolidate more power in the hands of supranational institutions led by unelected, spook-picked puppets. When you enlist for military service, you are agreeing to kill people on behalf of—and potentially die in the service of—this viscerally disgusting and illegitimate form of government, which has, as its goal, the abolition of the nation-state and its replacement with a globe-spanning human cattle farm.
​  Michael J. Glennon put it best in his book, National Security and Double Government. There are two bodies of government in the US; the Madisonian institutions, consisting of the office of the President, Congress, and the other legitimate, surface-level aspects of government, where people’s vote still seems to have some sort of influence, at least at a glance, and then, there’s the Trumanite network, which consists of all the unelected national security goons in military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies, as well as their Deep State contractor, NGO, and supranational buddies, whose appointment is not in any way subject to a vote or any democratic or legal processes whatsoever, and who actually call the shots and write the foreign policies that presidents and congressmen absent-mindedly rubber-stamp.
​  This is very much like how organized crime works. Organized crime rings always have fronts that appear to be legitimate businesses on the surface. Restaurants, bars, nightclubs, betting shops, payday lenders, and so on. When you go into the basements of these establishments, it’s a bunch of people in Tyvek suits cooking methamphetamine. The US Government is exactly the same way.

Contempt for Press Freedoms: U S Officials Bar Tucker Carlson from Interviewing Putin

RNC Threatens To Ban Ramaswamy, Christie From Next GOP Debate For 'Unsanctioned Dialogue'
GOP presidential hopefuls—Vivek Ramaswamy and Chris Christie—have been threatened with expulsion from future debates by the Republican National Committee (RNC) after the duo decided to hold a discussion on Fox News.

​Will the Biden regime accept blame for a long list of failures and exit stage left, or will current uniparty Bush/Clinton/Obama elites double-down to military takeover?
US Funding for Ukraine Gov't Reportedly to 'Run Dry by November'

​The current elites have been getting a lot of laundered kickbacks through Ukraine-funding, and they have "special-projects" there.
Could the McCarthy saga be a bipartisan strategy to quietly end aid to Ukraine?
Now that concerns about Kiev’s corruption have gone public, is Washington preparing an off-ramp to stop dumping cash into Zelensky’s lap?

​  I am reluctant to beat a horse, which models predict will soon be dead, but this has been a day of study for me, and I should spit out some synthesis.
I went back in my blog posts to links featuring the work of Peter Turchin, as prompted by the review of the book, "There Will Be Blood", and I discovered US government funding of this predictive modeling of societal breakdown going back to the Clinton administration, with funding continuing, and mathematical models now able to predict probabilities of certain societal outcomes of political and economic crisis, based upon demographics, discrepancies in income, economic and governmental stresses, and various interventions by local and outside elites, economic factors and military factors.
  This is the kind of model that Covert Operations Agencies (CIA, for instance) always crave, and cannot wait to try out. I presume that they have been trying it out on Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Cuba and Ukraine, which appears to have been intensely scrutinized. They would have lots of data on the US, of course, and the UK. They seem to have been feeding stories about a new American Civil War into the media for at least 5 years now. 
  A lot of what has happened during and after the COVID-Pandemic intervention looks like it could have been a test-of-model, including mass-interventions like isolation, masking and vaccination, as well as shunning and depersonalizing the non-compliant "unvaccinated" resistors.
  It looks like the interventions failed to achieve "critical mass", and opposition to the interventions is building, much of it presumably kept personally, due to fear of reprisals and social shunning, as aptly described in the model. 
  Loss of support for an Elite regime tends to be a rapid cascade, as I experienced as the 1968 Paradigm Shift that America was losing in Vietnam and that sons, grandsons and neighborhood boys were dying and being ruined for nothing. 
  As I look at the recent years of "doubling down" on policies to extend their dominance by the elites of the fading global financial regime, supported by military and clandestine forces, I suspect that they have been taking undue risks with their interventions... The result is a cascade of failures, some of them visibly attributable to elite policies, such as the vaccine deaths and adverse events, in which they seem deeply invested. How can they let the cat out of the bag, but it is already more deaths than in Vietnam, and more disability, yet they are pushing the latest death-vax booster as you read this. 
  My role, as I see it, is to help the cascade of open disapproval to flourish, to facilitate open discussion of these military interventions against American society, European society and the rest of the world.
  What I would hope to see is a more rational faction of elites (I'm realistic), such as Trump and Kennedy, who are willing to break from the failed corruption and covert tyranny to which we have been subjected, without resorting to warfare.
  I anticipate that the trend to de-dollarization will defund the US Federal Government, military-industrial-complex and alphabet soup agencies, and my Social Security check. The rest of the world will demand wheat, coal and airplanes, rather than US Treasury debt. How will the US default? Roosevelt defaulted on gold domestically by confiscating it and devaluing the $US. Nixon defaulted on gold in international settlement of $US trade imbalances (and effectively formalized the Petrodollar). The next default might need to be back to a Gold Standard, which might need to be at something like $10,000/Oz, or even more.
  In the near term we, as a society, need to face reality, need to avoid being weaponized against each other, and need to closely watch and openly discuss the corruption of the current ruling elites, and their financial overlords, the "owners".

Unemployed Worker Bee (pictured planting a bur oak seedling)

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