Anthropologist Peter Turchin’s ‘Ages of Discord’ provides a crucial decoder ring for Trump-era social strife.
As the 2016 campaign reaches fever pitch the more heat there is and the less light is shed.
Which is why evolutionary anthropologist Peter Turchin’s new book comes as such a breath of fresh air.
‘Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History’ is not about this year’s presidential election per se but it’s a quantum leap forward in illuminating the disintegrative trends that America has experienced over the last several decades that are currently driving our politics.Everything from skyrocketing inequality and political gridlock to white working class angst and the rise of mass shootings and other troubling signs of our times — these are all interconnected reflections of where America is in a cyclic historical process: social integration followed by disintegration – discord and violence.Turchin and others have observed this pattern repeatedly in civilizations from ancient Rome and early Chinese dynasties up to the present day.
Here are two summary snapshots of these long-term cycles from the book – the first from Europe: