End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites, and the Path of Political Disintegration – by Turchin, Peter

From the pioneering co-founder of cliodynamics, the ground-breaking new interdisciplinary science of history, a big-picture explanation for America’s civil strife and its possible endgames

Peter Turchin, one of the most interesting social scientists of our age, has infused the study of history with approaches and insights from other fields for over a quarter century. End Times is the culmination of his work to understand what causes political communities to cohere and what causes them to fall apart, as applied to the current turmoil within the United States.

Back in 2010, when Nature magazine asked leading scientists to provide a ten-year forecast, Turchin used his models to predict that America was in a spiral of social disintegration that would lead to a breakdown in the political order ca 2020. The years since have proved his prediction more and more accurate, and End Times reveals why.

The lessons of world history are clear, Turchin argues: when the equilibrium between ruling elites and the majority tips too far in favor of elites, political instability is all but inevitable. Since the start of the industrial era, this imbalance has been caused not by excessive population growth but by phase shifts of technological innovation and globalization.

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