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America, the fragile empire

This is a brief comment on Niall Ferguson’s essay:

America, the fragile empire”

Here today, gone tomorrow — could the United States fall that fast?

“The Los Angeles Times”, February 28, 2010

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ferguson28-2010feb28,0,7706980.story

and full version

“Complexity and Collapse”

Empires on the Edge of Chaos, “Foreign Affairs”, March/April 2010

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/65987/niall-ferguson/complexity-and-collapse

Mix of science and speculation

Society is an evolving and rational system. It has its natural laws, which should be studied carefully instead ignored. “Debating the stages of decline may be a waste of time—it is a precipitous and unexpected fall that should most concern policymakers and citizens.” The precipitous and unexpected fall has history and reason to happen.

The complex systems “go critical” when decision-making mechanism become inadequate to the level of already achieved complexity. This is a dramatic clash between objective and subjective factor – objective laws of social evolution or self-organisation of society and decisions made by ruling elite to keep its privileged position intact. As a result system is closed; negative feedbacks are cut-off and replaced with positive feedbacks, which generate chaos. Society become less adaptive, and system “go critical”. At this point collapse is inevitable. All empires including communism, fall apart due to this reason alone although decisions, which triggered even leading to domino effect are very different. Nowadays, deterioration of democracy to plutocracy and free market economy – to corporatocracy are examples of diminishing self-regulation and replacement with subjective decisions, which become increasingly inadequate to complexity of modern society. Collapse of Wall Street (redistributive) capitalism is inevitable and a matter of time. Eventually new adequate decision-making mechanism will be established. This is mechanism, which will separate power of money from decision-making process. However democracy is not possible to be restored, revitalised or unlock.

As a rule of thumb complex systems “go critical”, when “critical mass” of population are disillusioned about sustainability of society and reliability of ruling elite. At some point some insignificant event trigger chain reaction, which lead to collapse of politico-economic system and replacement of the ruling elite.

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Democracy, Society | | Leave a comment