Peter Turchin, a Russian-American complexity scientist and emeritus Professor at the University of Connecticut, is one of the leaders in a new scientific field called cliodynamics, which uses big data and statistical methods to predict the future.
His latest book, End Times, looks at the crisis facing US democracy and argues that it isn’t so new; in fact, it’s nothing new at all.
He argues that there are common threads that underpin many of history’s great societal upsets, such as the overproduction of elites and the falling of living standards for the majority.
It goes like this: in most complex societies there’s always a small minority of people who concentrate power in their hands and use this power to draw more resources and influence away from the populace, leaving them impoverished and angry.
Left unchecked, the power structure enters its end times and eventually breaks down.
. . .
Many would disagree with the idea that history can teach lessons for the future, but some have