We Are in a Violent Cycle, Can We Bring in New, Enlightened Voices?

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, one headline said: “We have now seen one mass shooting a day for 2017.” I have not confirmed that this is accurate, but it is certain that the world and the USA have a lot of unhappy people. Division, conflict and violence is evident from race relations, labor relations, political relationships of parties and even governments, religion, and business.  A political observer, visiting Washington, D.C. said, “Tweets and fiery speeches from the U.S. president have divided the nation, divided even his own political party.”

But it is not only Trump who has fostered division and violence. From ISIS to Russia, to the Ukraine, North Korea, Venezuela and African nations, we see division and war. We wrote an article a few months ago about more than 600 wars around the world. Most of these conflicts were religious, or political in the name of religion.

It seems that you can almost feel the anger and conflict in the air. Watch any TV news broadcast or listen to the radio, and you can hear the sounds of violence. There are students of history, culture and sociology who believe that we are in a predictable cycle of violence. 

Look at this computer-generated study of cycles of violence in the USA. 

History and violent cycles. 

We read an excellent article by Laura Spinney of Switzerland who studied and quoted Peter Turchin at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

We give credit to her and the others hereafter named, for quotes and source material.  Turchin observed violence peaking in 50-year intervals in the USA. This study of mathematics, calendars, history and probabilities is called Cliodynamics. Lead practitioners include Daniel Szechi, a historian at the University of Manchester, UK; Joseph Bulbulia at Victoria University of Welllington, New Zealand; Valentin Turchin, a computer scientist in Russia; Sergey Nefedove of the Institute of History and Archaeology in Yekaterinburg, Russia; Andrey Korotayev of the Russian State University of Humanities in Moscow and Jack Goldstone, director of the Center of Global Policy at George Mason University who helps the CIA forecast events outside of the USA. We give credit to all of these brilliant people who have observed trends that dominate violent periods in history.

The secular cycle indicates repeated trends over several centuries. When egalitarian societies develop a demand for labor, then experience population and economic growth, labor tends to have a lower income as the economy and population expands, while elite wealth emerges among those who control the companies, labor and banking. Elite wealth grows enormously, while living standards for the poor and workers decline. This brings on social instability and conflicts occur. The have-not people and the wanna-be-wealthy people take measures of social violence to try to take the power away from those of concentrated wealth. The cycle goes around and around again and again, and there is some evidence that show this happening in 50-year cycles.  Or 50 year coincidences. Who knows? But the cycles seem to be identifiable by factual studies. 

Some students of history who study social behavior cite cycles of violence in the USA, oddly happening in 50-year intervals.

Each of these cycles had several things in common:

1.  Racial or religious conflict

2. Economic or class conflict due to disparity of incomes

3. Political conflict

4. Each of these cycles followed a war. (Is it latent hostility or violence that emerges? Does war teach people to gain things by brute force?) 


 1870: For example, in 1870 there was racial and class conflict relating to economic and political differences in America. This happened after the Civil War.



1920s: Racial conflict, unrest among workers (because of wage differences and income gaps) and anti-communist violence after WWI.



1970: Racial tensions, social changes and conflicts after the Vietnam War.


We need to encourage and gather around us voices of wisdom. Voices from our Global Generation who are wise and who often are hesitant to speak out. We need to have people of peace and reconciliation write, speak and remind us by their teachings the ways of peace and love. It has been said that “violence begets violence,” and those of us who admired Ghandi of India or Jesus of Nazareth need to not be silent. Voices of peace, wisdom, respect and love need to speak out. We have had leaders in the USA who lived lives and encouraged peace. We have generally had presidents who did not foster conflict and violence. We need to teach, encourage, inspire and develop future leaders who can inspire and take us through and out of these cycles of violence.   

These people are our "global family," the "connected generation" or the "global generation." 

I urge you to join in this global family and help us to contribute wisdom and sanity to our world. Never have been wise voices needed more than now.   

Ben B. Boothe, Pubisher, www.bootheglobalperspectives.com