Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 107 July 2020 - Page 16

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Flashmag July 2020 www.flashmag.net

especially that, in addition to the decline linked to the aging of the population, the United States is undermined by its gigantism and the political crises which since 2016 with the election of Donald Trump, verify the theses of theorists, who have worked on the decline of past empires. Also, According to Peter Turchin, evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Connecticut, there are certainly worrisome signs. Turchin was a population biologist who was studying the cycles of expansion and recession in predators and prey when he realized that the equations he used for animals, could also describe the rise and fall of civilizations.

In the late 1990s, he began applying these equations to historical data, looking for patterns that linked social factors such as inequality in wealth and access to health care, and political instability . Indeed, in the past civilizations of ancient Egypt, China and Russia, he spotted two recurring cycles which are linked to regular periods of era troubles.

One, is a "secular cycle", which lasts two or three centuries. It starts with a fairly equal society, then, as the population increases, the supply of labor begins to exceed demand and therefore becomes cheap. Rich elites are forming, while the standard of living of workers is falling. As society becomes more unequal, the cycle enters a more destructive phase, in which the misery of the lowest strata and the internal struggles between elites contribute to social turbulence and, ultimately, to collapse. Then there is a shorter second cycle, lasting 50 years and made up of two generations - a peaceful and turbulent one.

Looking at the history of the United States, Turchin spotted peaks of turmoil in 1870, 1920 and 1970. Worse, in 2010, he predicted that the end of the next 50-year cycle would be around 2020, and would coincide with the turbulent part of the longer cycle, causing a period of political unrest that would be, at least on par with what happened around 1970, at the height of the civil rights movement and protests against the Vietnam War. This theory is confirmed in the coronavirus crisis which showed the shortcomings of the governance system of the United States, coupled with anti-racist demonstrations, following the death of George Floyd. All under the legislature of a president, which is more than ever a divider. Castigating laws aimed at protecting the rights essential to the less fortunate such as public health insurance, while practicing a questionable foreign policy, the risk of implosion in the United States is no longer a pipe dream but a reality which is becoming more and more visible, and it is not the economic war against China, and traditional allies like Canada and the countries of Western Europe which should fix things.

In Africa, despite the growth and the rejuvenation of the population, natural resources are not used for the wellbeing of local populations, because of the pressure of the capitalist system of predation exerted as well by the West as by China which since exploits as well natural resources of Africa. While the education system is struggling to produce human resources which through knowledge would be essential for its development and survival in a world in crisis; in Africa we have been witnessing not only a brain drain, but also arms leakage, with youths venturing to distant lands to find what their countries cannot give them, because of the scabrous management of states wealth, by governments.

In the Middle East, land of incessant wars, just like in Africa, Congo, Sahel, Libya, Cameroon, Nigeria, or in the black diasporas of Brazil or the United States, where gang wars never stop claiming lives , biomimicry offers a theory which tends to conclude that social groups which are waging war in an already hostile and in crisis environment are bound to disappear. In a study published in 2017 in the journal Nature, Indrė Žliobaitė and Mikael Fortelius of the University of Helsinki and Nils Christian Stenseth of the University of Oslo presented a new interpretation of one of the classic theories of the theory of evolution, the Red Queen hypothesis.

Evolutionary biologist and data scientist Indrė Žliobaitė and colleagues believed that if species are constantly fighting to survive in a changing environment with many competitors, including each other out of selfishness or survival instinct, extinction is a constant possibility .

Hubert Marlin Jr.

Journalist