May 7·edited May 7

Brad, thanks for the link to this book. The section on the growth of the finance sector since the 1970s to the detriment of everything else was especially valuable. If you haven’t already, please read Giovanni Arrighi’s “The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origin of our Times” about how in the waning days of a hegemon, when competition has increased so that profits from products have shrunk, the powerful in the hegemon turn towards financialization. This has happened before more than once as the culture produces more and more elites.

I think that a type of elite-driven model ties together most of the various perspectives on twentieth century economics and politics. However, the model I have in mind is not just elites vs. the rest. I believe that societies go through both evolutionary stages and cycles. I also believe that individual humans go through developmental stages as they age, and most societies have fallen apart because their elites didn't/couldn't get passed the individualistic stage. I wrote a paper on this in 2013. I was more naïve and less well-read at that time than now, but I still believe the general concepts: https://www.academia.edu/4936623/We_Are_Not_the_Enemy_Thoughts_on_Habits_and_the_Challenge_of_Enlightenment_or_of_being_a_Systems_Thinker

Expand full comment

Arrighi is very quirky and very interesting...

Expand full comment