The first is 700 or 1400 year cycle of rise and fall of empires, of whole civilizations.
Secondly is the 45 year cycle of innovation, and of great and minor wars.
Finally there is a 10 year cycle of U. S. economy, for the last two centuries.
SHORT INTRODUCTION SEE ABOVE FOR MORE DETAIL
PATTERNS FOR PREDICTION of FUTURE EVENTS
J. H. L. LAWLER Aug 1990 700 YEAR CYCLES
There is a pattern of the rise an fall of empires, of whole civilizations, which happens with approximately a 700-year repeat cycle. The cycles alternate with monolithic empires* followed by fragmentary empires. There is a complete collapse of civilization each 1400 years, so this could be called a 1400-year cycle. But all major empires rise and collapse every 700 years in synchronism. Thus I prefer to focus on the 700-year cycle as the main repeat element. This has been documented for more than 150 major empires and this pattern has been documented for more smaller cultures which probably should not be called empires, with no major exceptions. The 700-year pattern can also be subdivided into ten phases, or smaller trends. The number ten is arbitrary, and simply one convenient subdivision. With this pattern we can predict trends, which will last for most of one person's lifetime.
In addition there is a 45-year cycle of humanities and science, which is independent of the 700-year cycle. This cycle alternates similar to a pendulum with first with innovation in humanities, then with innovation in the sciences. For approximately 20 years of half the cycle there is much innovation in science while the humanities are conservative with virtually no experimentation in social relationships. The other half the cycle has much innovation in the humanities, while science is static - unchanging.
There is a major war associated with each period of science innovation, and a "brush fire" or minor war associated with each humanities period. Because of these wars which are better recorded in history it is possible to trace this pendulum like alternation has been traced for 108 cycles back to about 3000 BC, with only one minor deviation. This is possible because wars and changes in dynasty, which frequently accompany the science innovation part of the cycle, are better recorded than the innovations themselves. This pattern in association with the main 700-year pattern allows a reasonable prediction of overall events.
The main, perhaps the only, purpose of memory, and the extended memory we call recorded history it to predict the future. History is the data base from which our minds create patterns, and with these patterns we predict what will happen from any given set of circumstances. We then act within the limits of our possible choices to select. Or to try to select, those prediction, which we believe will be most desirable, and to avoid those choices which we predict will be unpleasant.
History generally is very fragmented into perhaps as many as a thousand "periods" into which professional historians specialize for study. Few if any historians are competent in detail in more than two or three cultures, and usually this is restricted to only a very limited time span. This specialization is absolutely necessary to obtain detailed information about any one period. These patterns were abstracted from the works and analysis of too many people to mention and in general I have simply accepted the analysis of others without making any major contribution to the history itself. I am putting together in a synthesis the work of many other people. I have abstracted several patterns, and factors, which follow those patterns so that we can make better predictions.
"Those who refuse to learn from history are forever doomed to repeat history". I have hope that we can perhaps some day in the far future break out of the pattern, particularly the undesirable parts and particularly the collapse part of the pattern by study of the factors and avoiding those choices that will lead to unpleasant results. There are a series of short range (less than 5 year benefit) choices, which appear attractive, which lead to disastrous long range results. Society needs to make the proper choices for long range prosperity. Unfortunately it appears that not enough people will know the consequences of these choices, and for now the present societies all are doomed to a collapse. This is because of seemingly attractive short range decisions made several years ago, which lead to the theft of capital for immediate consumption, now leading to the lower production. Which then leads to shortages leading to demands for more consumption of capital, which is disastrous in the long run.
* Monolithic and Fragmentary are descriptive terms that try to capture the essence for a whole 400-500.year period of a civilization. Monolithic empires occurred at 1500 AD, 100 AD, 1400 BC, 2700 BC, 4200 BC, etc. and fragmentary empires happened at 800 AD. 500 BC, 1900 BC. 3300 BC etc. The monolithic empires usually have clearly established dynasties that change, I at all, only in the middle bureaucratic decline, and clear governmental policies with well established (but expanding) boundaries. Fragmentary empires usually mimic the preceding monolithic empires (example Roman, followed by the Byzantine and "Holy Roman Empire”- which was neither holy, nor Roman nor a true empire), but lack the clear definition, and are plagued by unstable governments, and lack of social cohesion. The monolithic empires usually leave major monuments- example the pyramids of Egypt; Roman roads and amphitheaters; the hanging gardens of Babylon, etc. while the fragmentary empires usually lack the excess wealth needed to undertake such major projects.
The monolithic periods accumulate excess wealth, and when they collapse, the anarchy at the minimum is not nearly as severe as the dark ages that follow the collapse of a fragmentary empire where there is much less accumulated wealth and thus less reserve to mitigate the collapse of the fragmentary cycle- it goes to total anarchy.
FACTORS FROM THE PATTERN OF 700 YEAR CYCLES
1) Quality of life: Gross National Product population
2) Area within empire: note this splits into independent administrative areas such as the E and W Roman Empires, 2 augustii and 2 caesari
3) Laws: Number of laws, and respect for legislation; note respect is inversely proportional to numbers.
4) Economics: Gross national product measured in fixed units,
NOTE: measure not in currency, but gold or silver (iron etc.)
5) Morals/Customs: The social values, evaluation of worth, personal and religious basis for value systems, devoutness/cynicism.
6) Sex dominance: male domination phases 1,2,3,4,5, and 8 female influence is found in phases 6,7,9, and 10 with reigning queens 7 and 9.10
7) Trade: The ability to ship goods safely anywhere within empire and even between empires. safety of personal travel.
8) Responsibility: Individual self responsibility (and reward), progresses to collectivism without individual responsibility and a link between behavior and result,. INCENTIVEI reward for behavior.
9) Collectivism versus individualism: The introduction of welfare, or other forms of. governmental charity supported. from public taxation displaces individual charity, and destroys the self respect system.,
10) Generalist versus specialization: The cycle starts with generalists, who become more and more specialized until overspecialization with failing communications lea to collapse of production.
11).Quality and Quantity: a)Art, b)Music, c)Crafts,. d) Production; the quantity...available increases while the quality first increases and then falls.
12) Religion: Formation of new religions phase 3,-devoutness and number of followers varies in pattern.
13) Civil Construction: Size and number of projects maximal phase 8, follows general curve.
14) Luxury: The free time for leisure class, increases with wealth of whole empire, allowing innovation, creativity.
15) Fraction near poverty: the distribution curve of wealth follows a pattern with extreme poverty in phase 1.
16) Philosophical motivation: a)Military, b)Religious, c)Economic d)Social, and repeat
17) Empire loyalty versus Nationalism, "The logic of empire" versus regional fragmentation.
18) Security/safety of individuals: Urban/suburban/rural: mobile population versus fixed population (movement of tribes such as Vandals, Goths, etc.)
19) Law enforcement: respect and efficiency, fraction of population involved, (police / military / court I jail system)
20) Privacy versus public intrusion:
21) Taxes: As a fraction of production, status, wealth, and how spent.
22) Civil Service: the fraction of population on public payroll, (6% phase 6 to 15% phase 7; ditto mid phase 9)
23) Currency: Starts out 1)Gold, 2)gold/silver; 3)silver; 4)silver/base metal (copper or tin); 5)base metal alone; 6)base + script credit; 7)script alone then 8)collapse of currency system; return to gold basis.
24) Judicial System: 1)swift/ citizen/ local; 2)slow/ impartial/ for everyone but elite assumes control; 3 ponderous/ corrupt/ dis-respected/ priest - elite exclusion of people; 4) excessively slow usually unjust/ farcical/ parasitic on people.
25) Migration: from fixed because of insecurity of travel to individual migration to mass migrations of groups
26) Exploration/Adventure peaks from phase 4 to ending in phase 9
27) Form of government (NOTE actual form not title assigned formm): amateur; republic; professional; democracy/ mob , elite imperial oligarchy nominal oligarchy without real control, uncontrolled government by inertia (decline / anarchy and overthrow of nominal but ineffective head of government.
Plot of Rise and Fall of 700 Year cycles 2000 AD to 7000 BC Pottery and Historic Period
TABLE 2 EMPIRES, CULTURES, and CIVILIZATIONS
END OF PAGE
Send mail to
questions or comments about this web site.