The broad sweep of history of many societies over thousands of years has revealed some universal essences of Stages.. It seems that societies develop in at least 4 (or 5) successive
Because an understanding of those Stages emerged from the ethical choice approaches, Spiral transformation principles can continue to guide us in anticipating future Stages. These additional Stages and transitions take us into the unknown: many would say into the unknowable.
Children grow in spurts with periods of consolidation in between. Just prior to the growth spurt, their behaviour starts to disintegrate or become more childish. Family life can become quite torrid as parents try to be supportive but firm. Then, just as the parents begin to wonder where they went wrong, the child starts emerging from the turmoil, significantly more mature, balanced and capable.
What is happening here?
The child's «self»—the psychosocial structure used for organizing and handling experience—becomes unsatisfactory due to inner biological changes and outer pressures from schooling, friends, new challenges and so on. This old self-structure must be rejected and not allowed to dominate (i.e. it must «die») before the new self can be born and grow.
As that old self fades away, for a time there is no proper structure—hence the turmoil and bursts of childishness. As the new self-structure emerges, problematic situations start to be handled in a far better way than before. An urge to have new experiences and tackle new things follows. This period of establishment and maturation now runs its own course, until the next growth spurt.
Something similar probably happens in societies, but the time-scale is much longer and the turmoil more disturbing. The identity is the culture; and reflective awareness and determination by each and all must replace watchful caring parents.
We must understand why further formulations and propositions represent such a big step in our inquiry.
To complete the postulated Spiral trajectory of , we have to entertain conjectures about what might characterize politically advanced societies.
Not only is this a challenge to our own minds and sense of self, but also to the cultural status quo. We will be forced to predict crises and political disturbances—which nobody likes to hear. Political classes at the summit of power in society have rather short fuses when their own survival is at stake. They shoot the messenger.
Read this Atlantic Online article by Simon Johnston, a former Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He provides an authoritative account of what has been going on amongst the political-financial elites in the US. His error is to equate the of the USA with the of the oligarchs in Russia. The behaviours may look similar, but there is surely not a shadow of doubt that political consciousness and social maturity in the two countries overall are vastly different.
Like most economists and financial commentators, SJ also fails to discuss any link between the kleptocracy and financial excesses of the elites with power factors. He ignores the militarization of police forces, the explosion of homeland security expenditures, and the legislative assault on personal liberty and long-standing anglo-saxon values enshrined in constitutions and common law.
In proceeding, we will use the same analytic framework that worked well in historical Stages. Because we now have a fix on the way power and wealth are handled by , and the are well-understood, it is possible to envisage both the likely characteristics of the corresponding Modes to come, and the strife or calamities that will provoke maturation.
Precise manifestations of the new modes will be affected by… many factors including: •technological developments, •macro-political events, •personalities, •cultural tendencies and •chance events.
Errors in describing the future will occur, but… this is part of normal intelligent inquiry. Do not expect perfection. We must understand the process and remove errors progressively as events unfold.
The Bank for International Settlements is constituted by the main Central Banks. Prior to the crisis, BIS repeatedly warned of troubles ahead, but the CBs took no action. 18 months into the financial crisis, the BIS 2009 Annual Report reported that governments world-wide had not taken the necessary actions, and it concluded:
“Financial regulators, fiscal authorities and central bankers face enormous risks.
“To avoid deepening and prolonging the crisis, they need to act quickly and guard against policies that hinder adjustment or create additional distortions in financial flows.
“Governments will be tempted to subsidize industries that need to contract—but losers need to be allowed to lose.
“They will be tempted to encourage banks to lend to those who should borrow less—but it is not possible to deleverage by borrowing.
“And they will be tempted to turn a blind eye to insolvent institutions, allowing them to continue operating—but as hard experience teaches, zombie banks must be closed or returned to health as quickly as possible.”
2014: Nothing has been done to fix the banking systems. More scandals have been uncovered e.g. rigging Libor. Behaviour that contributed to the previous crisis, e.g. sub-prime lending, has returned. Derivatives are still out of control. Meanwhile, the top bank executives remain in post.
Our observations and analysis have not revealed to this point any political institution in society that is dedicated to ensuring a firm and credible commitment to the general good and communal needs (i.e. the enlightened goal of government).
Within a, we can confidently predict increases in the present gap between salaries and power of financial-&-political elites and the position of the middle and professional classes. There is no way to prevent that gap growing—all forces are aligned for it to widen.
I therefore feel forced to conclude that economic collapse or financial and monetary disaster… generated wholly by the collusion, interaction and mutual encouragement of the various political-financial-regulatory governing elites.can and must end in just one way:
It will eventually become crystal clear that this unholy alliance at the heart of the State is disconnected from the lives of ordinary people. The elites have enriched and empowered themselves to the detriment of wider society now and in the future.
References to «greed» are incorrect and deeply misleading. Members of the political-financial classes feel absolutely entitled. No-one is greedy in getting what they are entitled to. The disaster for others is simply unfortunate. The elites, now as always, are working hard to rescue the situation, and they only take what they genuinely feel is their due—which just happens to be a great deal.
These are similar sentiments to those felt by privileged elites in the earlier era of Primitive Pluralism.
Because the populace has been encouraged, trained and indoctrinated to depend on the government, there is likely to be much disappointment, feelings of betrayal, and resentment.
Whether we are in that disaster now or not is intrinsically uncertain. It will only be revealed by hindsight. It seems possible that we may be, but the scales have not yet fallen from the eyes of enough people—at the time of writing in early 2010 and the update in 2014.
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 27 Mar 2014