Archive for November 26th, 2013


History never repeats itself, but it rhymes, runs the suggestive aphorism (falsely?) attributed to Mark Twain.

James Delingpole writes in the Daily Telegraph:

… have you ever tried reading private journals or newspapers from the 1930s? What will surprise you is that right to the very last minute – up to the moment indeed when war actually broke – even the most insightful and informed commentators and writers clung on to the delusion that things would somehow turn out all right. I do hope that history is not about to repeat itself. Unfortunately, the lesson from history is that all too often it does. 

There’s quite a lot of this about.

For one theoretical account of how history might rhyme, on an ominous 80-year cycle, there’s a generational model that sets the beat. “Strauss & Howe have established that history can be broken down into 80 to 100 year Saeculums that consist of four turnings: The High, The Awakening, The Unraveling, and the Crisis.” From a philosophical point of view, it seems a little under-powered, but its empirical plausibility rises by the month.

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November 26, 2013admin 31 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Political economy , Templexity , World

An Enduring Faith

Nathaniel Hawthorne knew his Puritans (from The House of the Seven Gables):

“It appears to me,” said the daguerreotypist, smiling, “that Uncle Venner has the principles of Fourier at the bottom of his wisdom; only they have not quite so much distinctness, in his mind, as in that of the systematizing Frenchman.”

November 26, 2013admin 6 Comments »