Chapter 8: The Archetypical Cycle of Internal Order and Disorder
Comment of the Day

December 02 2020

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Chapter 8: The Archetypical Cycle of Internal Order and Disorder

This latest instalment of Ray Dalio’s evolving book may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

One timeless and universal truth that I saw went back as far as I studied history, since before Confucius around 500 BC, is that those societies that draw on the widest range of people and give them responsibilities based on their merits rather than privileges are the most sustainably successful because they find the best talent to do their jobs well, they have diversity of perspectives, and they are perceived as the most fair, which fosters social stability.  

I presume that the current internal orders of countries, like those of the past, will continue to evolve to become something different through the struggles of different classes with each other over how to divide wealth and political power. Because this wealth and power dynamic is very important, it is worth watching closely to discern which classes are gaining and which ones are losing wealth and power (e.g., AI and information technology developers are now evolving to gain it at the expense of those who are being replaced by such technologies) and also to discern the reactions to these shifts that lead the cycles to change.

So, as I see it, everything is changing in classic ways driven by a tried-and-true perpetual-motion machine. This machine has produced, and is producing, different systems, such as communism, fascism, autocracies, democracies, and evolutionary descendants and hybrids of these such as “state capitalism” in China. It will produce new forms of internal orders to divide wealth and allocate political power that will affect our lives greatly, all based on how people choose to be with each other and how human nature enters into how they make their choices. 

Eoin Treacy's view

Quoting Aristotle in this chapter suggests Dalio is more than familiar with Plato’s sequence of political regimes. There has been a tendency among pundits to think of Donald Trump as a tyrant. The conclusion was that his ascendency would lead a transition away from democracy and into disorderly tyranny. Persistent talk of an imminent descent in civil war in various online blogs perpetuates that misreading.

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