Saturday, 12 March 2011

Cliodynamics- Is Britain on the verge of Revolution?

What is worrying about the ongoing political ferment in the Arab world is not that the Pentagon's 100 million dollar computer model failed to predict it but that a sort of reductionist 'cliodynamic' logic is being used to explain something which is of little fundamental importance and marks no seminal change of significance.
This is a link to an article by Peter Turchin, towards the end of which the mathematical biologist smugly warns of an impending revolution here in Britain caused by Tony Blair's thoughtless attempt to raise the portion of young people in higher education to 50%.
Since a 'credentialing crisis'  (i.e. an unsustainable number of people seeking academic qualifications so as to secure a slice of a diminishing pie) is evidence of a Ricardo-Malthusian crunch, Turchin, with a bland indifference to cause and effect, has pointed the finger at Tony Blair for whatever the horrors the future has in store for us- tumbrils crammed with merchant bankers on their way to guillotines manned by Deleuzian Dance Archaeologists or  Post Colonial Sports Therapy Majors- another reason, surely, to just canonize the guy already without bothering too much about burying him first.

Another point one might make is that since revolutions tend to massively worsen the well being of those they mobilize, and since the cancerous growth in Further Education in this country has created a generation of debt-slaves- it is safe to say that deflationary pressures, or higher real interest rates at any rate, are likely to be the outcome, unless, of course, cliodynamics really is as silly as its name suggests.

No comments: