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The late 2010's and early 2020's upheavals were predicted 10 years ago by a relatively simple model that accounts for elite infighting, income inequality, number of 18-29 y.o. people, etc. The same analysis was retroactively applied to many civil wars and revolutions throughout history and the results were pretty consistent: wars, revolutions and upheavals follow pretty deterministic patterns. The thing that's impossible to predict, is the trigger, the casus belli. In-depth paper in [1], 2020 prediction in [2].

On the other hand the rate of profit is falling (empirically proven in [3]), which makes the contradictions accelerate: median living conditions become increasingly unbearable, inequality between the working population and the elite skyrockets, etc. (coronavirus and climate change are just accelerating even further the process). The question is not if, but when, will capitalism collapse. Two options at that point: regression, the elite fights back and wins (fascism, neo-feudalism, apocalyptic-tier world wars, pick your poison) or progression, the working class fights back and wins (socialism, which means the long term construction of post-scarcity society i.e. communism).

[1]: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6qp8x28p
[2]: https://www.nature.com/articles/463608a
>Quantitative historical analysis reveals that complex human societies are affected by recurrent — and predictable — waves of political instability (P. Turchin and S. A. Nefedov Secular Cycles Princeton Univ. Press; 2009). In the United States, we have stagnating or declining real wages, a growing gap between rich and poor, overproduction of young graduates with advanced degrees, and exploding public debt. These seemingly disparate social indicators are actually related to each other dynamically. They all experienced turning points during the 1970s. Historically, such developments have served as leading indicators of looming political instability
>Very long 'secular cycles' interact with shorter-term processes. In the United States, 50-year instability spikes occurred around 1870, 1920 and 1970, so another could be due around 2020. We are also entering a dip in the so-called Kondratiev wave, which traces 40-60-year economic-growth cycles. This could mean that future recessions will be severe. In addition, the next decade will see a rapid growth in the number of people in their twenties, like the youth bulge that accompanied the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s. All these cycles look set to peak in the years around 2020.
[3]: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/55894/1/MPRA_paper_55894.pdf
>The downward trend of the rate of profit, its empirical confirmation, highlights the historically limited nature of capitalist production. If the rate of profit marks the vitality of the system, the logical conclusion is that it approaches further to an endpoint.


shameless self-bump




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None of this is promising for the U.S. We have a dogmatic view of socialism as simply not being an option. And while the left is picking up a small amount of steam, we are a long way off from being ready for revolution. I don't like sounding defeatist, but given the climate situation, I think the real revolution won't happen until after semi apocalyptic climate catastrophe.


My point is that capitalism will collapse at some point, we like it or not, we're ready for revolution or not. So yeah… this doesn't work as a whitepill where socialism is assured, but neither as a blackpill where we're absolutely doomed. It's more of a redpill for exiting capitalist realism, which is very prevalent in our normie population (notice the lack of Marxist jargon in the OP).


something some advisor of Louis XVI said.


Relevant article: http://bostonreview.net/class-inequality-politics/alyssa-battistoni-when-will-capitalism-end

>I may be certain that capitalism will eventually destroy Earth’s biosphere, but I can also recognize the danger of pinning hopes for the preservation of the latter on the end of the former. I am not convinced, however, that those who recognize that capitalism may not end soon must simply accept it. I hope I’m wrong about our prospects: I would love nothing more than for this review to provide the fodder for an intellectual historian living happily in the eco-socialist future to point out the undue pessimism of the pandemic era, the false predictions made by those of little faith. In the meantime, I think it is imperative for those who think capitalism should come to an end to explain as clearly as possible why, and to do what they can to bring that end about. Intellectual adventures may be able to avoid the future, but political ones cannot. There are worse things, after all, than being wrong


>regression, the elite fights back and wins
Personally, I have my doubts about the degree to which this is an option for the capitalists at this point.
The state has been printing counterfeit currency and sucking up excess labor power for 90 years in an attempt to keep capitalism alive. We are just now seeing the failure of this desperate rearguard action on the part of the capitalists. I'm not sure they have anything left to try at this point.
Interest rates are negative - profitable investment is so thin on the ground that capital is becoming entirely unable to reproduce itself. Meanwhile, more than half of the world's GDP is being consumed by governments - a massive, 90 year long bonfire of goods and labor intended to keep material abundance from rendering capitalism extinct.
Even war appears to be a poor option for the capitalists. The last round of world wars were a temporary salve that only made profitability worse in the long run - and all the most efficacious measures used to stave off capitalist collapse last time have already been adopted and exhausted.
A nuclear exchange also seems unlikely - though a very small number of individuals in the top sections of the imperialist powers have demonstrated a momentary will to omnicide, governments have been as yet unable to find and place the massive number of suicidal psychopaths that would be required to actually pull off nuclear armageddon.
Generalised ecological collapse seems to be the last option open for the maintenance of class society - but the completion of that process is a century away at minimum, and it appears that capitalism doesn't have a century left in it. It goes almost without saying that the ecological question will be rendered moot once capitalism does collapse - the amount of productivity freed up by the removal of surplus production will be more than sufficient to cover environmental recovery efforts.

I think that capitalism will end up being exactly the internally contradictory, historically transient phenomenon that Marx proved it was in Capital. The only sad thing about the whole sorry affair will be the fact that the 'left', despite having the whole course of capitalist development laid out for them by Marx from day one, utterly failed to hasten capitalism's collapse into communism by even a single day.


>A nuclear exchange also seems unlikely
could you elaborate on this?






uhm… you might be right. well, as OP I give permission for any vol to move the thread there :^)


I disagree. This stuff is important for leftypol to be aware of. But up for mods to decide I guess.



Interesting book coming out in September, The End of the Megamachine by Fabian Scheidler. Zero Books is publishing.


I'm with you, I just think socialism lost it's best bet here when the unions got crushed, and it's next best chance will be when climate change forces us to make extreme changes. Which will likely be fairly soon.


after your lifetime


>I think the real revolution won't happen until after semi apocalyptic climate catastrophe.
by which point it won't matter anymore.


Has anyone done dimensional analysis on Thurchin's PSI model? I expect Turchin is a smart guy and has probably done his homework properly but it would be good to double check. I can't be bothered to go through the whole thing but looking at MMP the term is defined as:
>inverse wage rate scaled by gdp per capita
&lt($ x $/population) = $^2/population
>urban population ratio
&lt(population/population) = dimensionless
>20-29 age cohort percentage
&lt(population/population) = dimensionless

So the output of MMP is dollars squared per capita. Does that even make sense?


I haven't actually looked at the model, but wouldn't the units of 'inverse wage rate' be $^-1?
Which would make the final units population^-1. That doesn't appear to make any more sense than the original result - maybe one of the other quantities should have units of population?

Note again that I haven't actually read any MMP stuff, I'm just going off your post. Kudos on taking this approach though, the modern left is seriously lacking in mathematical/empirical rigor.


Which I'm not stoked about, but I take solice in the fact that I've been wrong many times before, and will do again.


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>the modern left is seriously lacking in mathematical/empirical rigor
oh boy, you ain't seen nothing


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(accidentally posted this in the wrong thread)
i honestly think the doomers have it all backwards
the capitalist collapse is progressing orders of magnitude faster than the climate collapse
and the climate collapse is actually pretty easily solved without capitalism's fetters on production
i think a lot of the confusion is due to the whole 'cyberpunk neofeudal dystopia' meme going around
anti-marxist tripe if there ever was
production for exchange can barely survive now with constant massive injections of fiat currency
what makes anyone think the ongoing intensifying of the crisis of profitability will be good for capital is beyond me
i think the root of the problem is that people never accepted marx's argument that capitalism is an inherently contradictory and historically transitory mode of production
probably because they're theorylets who either didn't read or didn't understand capital
i mean, just look at the number of people on the 'left' who think that capitalism doesn't operate on the LTV

in any case, the whole issue of what's gonna win the collapse race could be cleared up with good solid marxist empirical analysis of the current state of the system
but the left gave up doing that shit basically as soon as marx kicked the bucket


I'm very wary of models of recurring events with any specific time frame, especially linear time frames i.e. cycle of constant frequency. And 50 is a nice round number, which might show psychological bias in both the Kondratiev and Turchin cycles.

Granted, the reason for my distrust is itself not exactly empirical evidence, but a observation. Society is an absurdly complex and non-linear system (as Turchin's own graphs show), thus the odds of recurring phenomena having a nice, constant frequency are vanishingly small. Turchin mentions peaks of social upheaval in America in 1870, 1920 and 1970, but that says nothing over the upheaval of the 1929 crash, for example. Not to mention other countries, of course.

What does have merit, however, is his managing to estimate a point of convergence between the numerous bad trends introduced by neoliberalism. Anyone who took a look at the latter could see that it would not end well, but making a good prediction of that point in time, is impressive. I find his observation of the ratio between elite population and their collected wealth to be particularly interesting. It makes sense on its face – fewer resources imply stronger fights for it – but it also fits well with leftist analysis. Given the innate tendency for capital to accumulate, this spread-out is a counter-tendency, and a "corrective shock" is to be expected. Although in this case, it's coinciding (or inciding, I suppose) with several other destabilizing trends which might break everything apart, God willing.

I`d like to extend something which he mentioned there?
>Elite overproduction, the presence of more elites and elite aspirants than the society can provide positions for, is inherently destabilizing.
This reminds me of a theory I heard as to the causes of the alienation and anomie which have become rampant today. Recall the famous behavioral sink experiments? The rat Utopias which turned into rat Rwandas? Forget all the nonsense you read about it online or in normiedom, all of them are narrations of the collapse and, almost inevitably, they draw the most smoothbrain takes in existence, especially when the peson in question is a reactionary vomiting appeals to nature. Virtually none of them look past the cause of the collapse beyond overcrowding, which is like looking at the fall of Rome and blaming invading foreigners (notice the reactionary stupidity at work).

Overcrowding, this theory says, was the event which enabled the morbid phenomenon to happen, whereas the actual cause was lack of social roles. Social animals, it stands to reason, aren't just able to live in society, but need to do so – social behavior isn't an advantage in and of itself, because it entails a new set of needs. These social needs were the scarce resource, as it were, although I suppose social role is one single need. At any rate, smoothbrains love to point out that collapse of rat society followed the abandonment of natural behavior. Even if you don't dismiss the fallacious argument in the first place, it's still a weak one. Rat are characterized by their remarkably simple and undemanding behavior, that's partially why they're a pest in the first place, and lacking any concerns about resources, their social behavior boils down to foraging, defense of territory and harems, reproduction and a pecking order – and this is exactly what reactionaries always fixate upon, violence, sex and power, and they're only too eager to translate that to human society. Nevermind their idiocy, and focus on the social roles. From the outset, basic resources, the most primal need of lifeforms and over which traits like sociability evolve, require no time nor effort to collect. Given that these resources are naturally scarce, a large proportion of the social roles in a wild rat society is dedicated to foraging, and all those roles, which arguably are the large majority of them, aren't available. Since the behavioral sink does not take place since the start, odds are that the remaining social roles are enough to keep every individual provided with some manner of positive function.

As population expands, roles become scarce (the non-linearity again) and individuals become outcasts despite permanently sharing the same physical space. An individual without a social role does not belong in society anymore, ergo he doesn't have his social needs met, and morbid behavior inevitably follows. Among the peculiarities of the "sinking" rat society were "the beautiful ones", individuals which retired themselves from the decaying society (and from the horrible mob which replaced it), each one by itself, and did nothing but eat, sleep, and groom themselves. These were the role-less individuals who added a physical aspect to their social isolation. They were mostly male, and despite awful takes from smoothbrains, this too is related to social roles. It's an inescapable fact that the female role in reproduction is incomparably longer and more intense than the male one and thus the female population has a "reserve pool" of social roles, resulting in fewer of them becoming beautiful ones.

Now, with the social role framework laid down, I think we can draw comparisons with human society without falling for evopsych hot takes. The beautiful ones are an obvious counterpart for the urban hermit/hikikomori, but it would be a mistake to draw a direct parallel. The outcast is not necessarily an all-or-nothing status, and in fact, it's a growing trend within normie society, with the hermits themselves being just the extreme cases. Most cases are mild, and it supposedly is the alienation epidemic. This makes even more sense when you add things about human society without any possible counterpart in rat society, the key one being, no doubt, industrialization. For all its material benefits, it's undeniable that it necessarily decreases the available "amount" of social roles, those related with the most basic aspects of maintaining society. And this is a global phenomenon despite the very lopsided industrialization rates of countries because international trade tends to level that aspect out amongst everyone. People keep retreating more into homebound activities, or rather, "passivities", as it's almost always consumption rather than creation, compounding the alienation. Capitalism only makes things worse, as it fosters endless consumerism while subsuming creative activities under the market.

Another key factor is urbanism. Some lessons about it were drawn from the behavioral sink experiments, yet I fear it's nowhere near enough. For all the overcrowding concerns, the experiments remain woefully, inexplicably unxpanded-upon. There is an infinity of variations on the physical space for the rat Utopia which can modify results, and this could have immense use for us, as it would be a way of modelling the human capacity of altering our environment and ourselves. But capitalist society has no interest in a project for mankind, and thus no interest is modelling it. Urban growth is as haphazard as the free market itself, islands of order in a sea of chaos, or, as third world metropolises show, islands of wealth in a sea of misery. And all of this before we even cover the psychological effect that makeshift urbanism has on us, which is, I think, one of the main shapers of the alienation epidemic. Put simply, our cities are built by us but not for us. They're hostile environments to ourselves. And the massive urbanization of the 20th century has huddled together so many people whereas social roles keep decreasing. Much has been said about the seeming extinction of "organic" social behavior of small cities of the past, replaced by an "artificial" behavior to be enforced, so I guess I'll cut this topic short here.

So then I guess I got a bit carried away here, but still, I think this social role framework might be an X factor which we have so far been ignoring in the so-called cliodynamics. After all, consider that the immense unemployment rate is, besides a central material issue, also an immense loss of already-dwindling social roles, and this current crisis just might get deeper than we exp


Very good insights for the current alienation wrought by capitalism and how it manifests. The fact that there exist "beautiful ones" in the developed capitalist countries is further evidence that we do live in post scarcity but the economic system holds us back and introduces pathologies. You rightly point out there are hostile forces discouraging socialization and encouraging alienation. Rents, fees, poverty, all caused by private property and the profit motive of capitalism. The pandemic has made the situation worse, contributing to unemployment and creating another barrier to social interaction. We will see more violence and also not see the equally damaging increase in isolation, these are the two contradictory phenomena of a collapsing society.

The question remains is how to bring about a better society out of the sad state of affairs we find ourselves in? Perhaps simple group activity is enough? A social role can be found in making another person laugh which brings satisfaction to both parties. If so, then there is hope that we can fulfill the need for social roles absent of any material consumption (beyond normal intake of food and drink) and even though industrialization has reduced the necessary social roles for survival to a minimum we can still meet this need without having to consume more.

>And the massive urbanization of the 20th century has huddled together so many people whereas social roles keep decreasing. Much has been said about the seeming extinction of "organic" social behavior of small cities of the past, replaced by an "artificial" behavior to be enforced, so I guess I'll cut this topic short here.

I don't agree with this assessment. This is nostalgia for a past you've never experienced (assuming you are not actually 70 years old). Social behavior is simultaneously organic and artificial. Organic because we socialize to fulfill a need, artificial because the socially acceptable socialization behaviors are manipulated to serve the economic system.

I also am unclear why you find urban environments to be hostile. I agree with your opinion but my reasons are more mundane: vehicle traffic, noise pollution, actual pollution, lack of space for gatherings.


Well put comrade, have you read Hinterland, by Phil Neel?


>I also am unclear why you find urban environments to be hostile. I agree with your opinion but my reasons are more mundane: vehicle traffic, noise pollution, actual pollution, lack of space for gatherings.

None of these are inherent to the city-form. An advanced socialist city of the future could avoid or minimize these issues. I do not share the contempt for cities, but I admit that there is a large untapped potential to them. We could create clean, green, efficient, humane and beautiful cities - capitalism stands in the way.


>None of these are inherent to the city-form
Not that anon, but the entire history of cities is that of people being forced into them out of brute desperation in search of opportunities for sustenance, falling to ruin both as individuals and generationally all their time there, and fleeing as far from the city center as they can manage the moment they claw together enough resources to afford it.

It's pretty obvious that people just really, really hate living in cities.


Honestly, I'm against trying to predict the future, but I think it's hard not to let some of the "kill me now" nihilistic millennial humor creep into my thought process. Not least because I've been guilty of perpetuating that nonsense myself.


>It's pretty obvious that people just really, really hate living in cities
I disagree. People hate living in shitty cities.

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