The Phaserl


The Approaching Winter: The Super-Cycle Has Turned

by Charles Hugh Smith, DailyReckoning:

How would you describe the social mood of the nation and world?

Would anti-Establishment, anti-status quo, and anti-globalization be a good start? How about choking on fast-rising debt? Would stagnant growth, stagnant wages be a fair description? Or how about rising wealth/income inequality? Wouldn’t rising disunity and political polarization be accurate?

These are all characteristics of the long-wave social-economic cycle that is entering the disintegrative (winter) phase. Souring social mood, loss of purchasing power, stagnating wages, rising inequality, devaluing currencies, rising debt, political polarization and elite disunity are all manifestations of this phase.

There is a template for global instability, one that has been repeated throughout history…

Historian Peter Turchin explores the historical cycles of social disintegration and integration in his new book Ages of Discord.

Turchin finds 25-year cycles that combine into roughly 50-year cycles. These 50-year cycles are part of longer 150 to 200-year cycles that move from cooperation through an age of discord and disintegration to a new era of cooperation.

That we have entered an era of rising instability and uncertainty is self-evident. There will always be areas of instability in any era, but instability and uncertainty are now the norm globally.

Turchin’s model identifies three primary forces in these cycles:

An over-supply of labor that suppresses real (inflation-adjusted) wages
An overproduction of essentially parasitic Elites
A deterioration in central state finances (over-indebtedness, decline in tax revenues, increase in state dependents, fiscal burdens of war, etc.)

These combine to influence the broader social mood, which is characterized in eras of discord by fragmented loyalty to self-serving special interests (disintegration) and in eras of cooperation by a desire and willingness to cooperate and compromise for the good of the entire society (integration).

Rising discord can be quantified in a Political Stress Index. Do we find evidence of Turchin’s disintegrative forces in the present era?

Stagnating real wages due to oversupply of labor: check.
Overproduction of parasitic Elites: check.
Deterioration in central state finances: check.

Is it any wonder that political stress, however you want to measure it, is rising?

Cycles are the result of the interaction of complex dynamics, and so they are not entirely predictable in terms of pinpointing the exact moment of crisis or the outcome of a systemic crisis.

These long cycles parallel the cyclical analysis of David Hackett Fischer, whose masterwork The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History.

In Fischer’s well-documented view, there is a grand cycle of prices and wages which turn on the simple but profound law of supply and demand; all else is detail.

As a people prosper and multiply, the demand for goods like food and energy outstrips supply, causing eras of rising prices.

Long periods of stable prices (supply increases along with demand) beget rising wages and widespread prosperity. Once population and financial demand outstrip supply of food and energy — a situation often triggered by a series of catastrophically poor harvests — then the stability decays into instability as shortages develop and prices spike.

These junctures of great poverty, insecurity and unrest set the stage for wars, revolutions and pandemics.

It is remarkable that the very conditions so troubling us now were also present in the price rises of the 13th, 16th and 18th centuries.

Unfortunately, those cycles did not have Disney endings: the turmoil of the 13th century brought war and a series of plagues which killed 40% of Europe’s population; the 16th century’s era of rising prices tilled fertile ground for war, and the 18th century’s violent revolutions and resultant wars can be traced directly to the unrest caused by spiking prices.

(The very day that prices for bread reached their peak in Paris, an angry mob tore down the Bastille prison, launching the French Revolution.)

After a gloriously long run of stable prices in the 19th century — prices were essentially unchanged in Britain between 1820 and 1900 —the 20th century was one of steadily increasing prices.

Fischer challenges the notion that all inflation is monetary; the supply of money (gold and silver) rose spectacularly in the 19th century but prices barely budged. In a similar fashion, eras of rising prices have seen stable money supplies.

Monetary inflation can lead to hyper-inflation, of course, but there are always mitigating factors in those circumstances. Fischer argues the long wave is not one of hyper-inflation but of supply and demand imbalances undoing the social order.

Americans are inherently suspicious of anything which seems to threaten constraint of the American Dream; thus it is not surprising that cycles of history are largely unknown in the U.S. As Fischer explains:

This collective amnesia is partly the consequence of an attitude widely shared among decision-makers in America, that history is more or less irrelevant to the urgent problems before them.

Read More @

Help us spread the ANTIDOTE to corporate propaganda.

Please follow SGT Report on Twitter & help share the message.

8 comments to The Approaching Winter: The Super-Cycle Has Turned

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Yes, we have entered the winter stage of the economic downturn-collapse as well as the beginnings of the seasonal winter.

    I’ve got a bit of silver & a filled up pantry, & now I picked up a bunch of those ‘seed starter flats’ & bags of potting soils.

    I’ll be starting many garden seeds indoors prior to spring planting time.

    If the crash is delayed another 6 months? I’ll be thankful for the extra ‘normal time’. If the crash arrives after the 1st quarter, I want to be ready for it.

    Pruned a peach tree today. Gonna prune the other fruit trees tomorrow.
    get ready, be ready.

    • glitter 1

      When you start your seeds in flats,do you use a grow light and/or a heat mat underneath?

      • Craig Escaped Detroit

        I don’t have any grow lights, etc, but I may consider it.

        Down here in the Fl. Panhandle, I can set up a table next to my glass sliding door (it faces south), and that should be pretty good.

        I like the idea of being able to get them started without using electrical power (as practice for the days when we might not have grid power available.)

        Farmers here, begin to plant some things, as early as middle of January, and all the way into spring.

        My patio-deck in screened-in, and I can attach clear plastic all around it to turn it into a mini-green-house (it’s 10ft X 16ft, with an insulated roof).
        I’ve got a brand new roll of clear-swimming pool “bubble wrap” (solar pool cover) that is 16 mils thick (16ft x 36ft, and should last many years. I’ll cut it down to be 8ft x 36ft to enclose my patio/porch. I’ve read (green house forums) that the bubble wrap plastic works better to hold the heat. Normal clear plastic sheet holds about 10F, the bubble wrap holds about 20F (at night).

        I think that stuff is a great idea for a greenhouse or cold frame system.

        • glitter 1

          My problem is the growing season doesn’t get started until late May,not like down where you are.My MIL’s son(wife’s half Brother)lives in Georgia,he plants about a full acre,really has a green thumb,well as you know his season starts much sooner than up here too.He sows seed right in the ground.
          Last year I attempted to start some seeds in my basement.You know, some Tomatoes,squash,peppers,kale,etc.I did use a painter’s light with a 60w fluorescent w/about 900 lums.The seeds germinated fine,however they got leggy,never really matured.Maybe because my basement stays at about 65deg,so it may be insufficient/even heat.I looked into a low temp/watt grow heat mat to place under the box/tray where the pots are.I set the light on a timer,12hrs on/off,just like outside, right?So, I’m going to try the heat mat this year and see if it makes a difference.Hey,if Bonnie can do it,I can too,I’ll get it.
          I just spread some nice home made compost around the bases of my newly planted fruit trees yesterday.Can’t wait till spring,I love watching the garden and the fruit trees grow.I love picking veggies and fruit more.

          • Craig Escaped Detroit

            Your basement (at about 65F) sounds good enough, but from all the grow-books etc that I’ve read in the past, I’d say your biggest problem is the lack of sufficient & proper lighting.

            Pick up a grow book, magazine or print out some web pages about the subject (hydroponic growing, etc) and the marijuana growers have accomplished about as much technical analysis of the specific needs of plants and seedlings concerning the intensity of lighting and SPECTRUM of lighting.

            When you said your seedlings got “leggy” (long, spindly thin, weak), that is a clear symptom of the lack of sufficient light of the proper “spectrum”.

            You’ll need the proper grow lights (the marijuana growers use one type of light for seedlings, and a differnt one for full growth), but if you obtain and use a FULL SPECTRUM bulbs, and I’m not sure, but 2″ or 3″ distance to the seedlings might be TOO far away?, (so perhaps the lights need to be within 1″) that is what it takes to “feed” them enough light-energy to grow well.

            When I was carefully comparing/researching the pros/cons of the T8 vs the T5 growing lights, and the Lumens output per dollar per years of service life,… the 2 different light bulbs are almost exactly the same. But the indoor growers are in love with the T5’s. Those long skinny tubes have become more widely available in the last few years.

            But for YEARS, the T8’s have done very well… so if you’ve got the double bulb fixtures for the T8’s, you can load the correct full spectrum tubes (or a combination of a full spectrum and a seedling tube) into a double tube fixture, and you’ll have a very good grow-light without having to buy those expensive T5 fixtures.

            Fixtures come in “standard” energy, and also HI OUTPUT types. The bulbs are rated at higher wattage for the Hi-energy types.

            For serious indoor growers, the one benefit of the T5, is that the 4, 6, or 8 tube fixtures are packing more bulbs in a smaller space to give off more intense lighting to the targeted plants.

            The T5 tubes typically have a longer lifespan than the T8’s, but the price of the T5’s is higher. so when you work out how many HOURS of Life per DOLLAR of cost, they get pretty damn close to each other.

            A marijuana indoor growing guide will give you exact numbers and specs about the needs of a plant, and how to control the seedling stages, and then the “green growth stage”, and later, the FRUITING stage, and how to force the mature plants back into “non fruiting mode” again, etc.

            Marijuana is just another green plant/weed, and the information about marijuana is not going to be all that different from other green plants.

            also picking up a roll of “reflective mylar” being used to reflect all the light that escapes from the sides, is also a great thing.
            If you’ve got a supply of empty, used potato chip bags, they almost always are made of very good “reflective mylar”, and can be used for the purpose.

            Flat white paint, reflects MORE light than aluminum foil (foil is only about 80-85%).
            Reflective mylar reflects about 90-95% of the light.

            And yes, of course a little bit of warmth at the bottom of the seed tray is a great helper, and “bottom watering” is best too. But “leggy-spindly, tall, weak” plants, is the result of lack of proper spectrum as well as lumens “on the leaf” (close proximity).

          • Craig Escaped Detroit

            @glitter1… PS.
            The indoor grow books (or web pages) will give you the BEST information about LIGHT SPECTRUM (and PHOTO-PERIOD) required by a plant’s growth cycles.

            I cannot remember the details, but the SEEDLING lamps that are best, use ONE type of spectrum, and the “vegetative adolescent growth” uses a different spectrum for optimum growth.

            There are the grow lights that are more RED spectrum, and grow lights that are more BLUE spectrum. I imagine that the “Full spectrum grow lights” are a “reduced compromise” from the other two…but if if if the full spectrums are “sufficient” then they also can be used in the HOUSE as a wonderful light for HUMANS. Healthier for us humans, while the “dedicated” grow bulbs, are useless as “room lights for people”.

            The photo period (how many hours each day) controls the morphing into the FRUITING phase of growth vs the non-fruiting phase. You can force plants back and forth.

            The proper use of light timers, allows you to change the number of hours of light/darkness to control or stimulate a plant’s growth cycle.

            And you can always go to a local “grow shop” for plenty of products to browse. After doing your homework to understand the special light bulbs needed, then you’ll have the right knowledge of what to look for either on the web, or at your local HomeDepot, Lowes, etc. I don’t think the home building stores carry the right kind of tubes. Purchasing them from the web, or a grow shop will be physically easier.

            The benefit of paying the few extra bucks at the local grow shops (besides getting your car’s license plate recorded in some states), is that the local shops employ local people in productive jobs, and those people are almost always excited about the knowledge of growing things indoors and can be very helpful with friendly chit chat.

            The OTHER big benefit of buying your tubes from a grow shop, is that you’ll never end up with a broken or damaged tube! (take each one out of the box- don’t let it slide onto the floor and smash-… and gently wiggle the electrode contacts to see if they are broken or loose.) Look to see that they are not “burned or previously USED” and then “re-sold”. It’s rare, but some people have been known to use new tubes for a single growing season, and then try to re-sell them as NEW, so they can buy the new ones for themselves.

            (there are dis-honest people in every walk of life.)

            They love what they are doing, and their thirst for knowledge about their products and how to use them, will almost always be a delightful experience for the shopper/grower.

            • Craig Escaped Detroit

              PSS= There also are the LED grow lights. Some (or all?) of them, have the ability to give off different spectrums (adjustable).

              LED’s do NOT always survive LONGER than florescent bulbs BECAUSE many manufacturers of LED lights, FORCE FEED extra VOLTAGE to make the LED’s put out MORE LUMENS, but this greatly reduces the LED’s “designed lifespan”.

              LED’s are typically “designed” to live for about 100,000 hours but ONLY when “pushed” by the voltage they were designed at.
              When you research the life span of the finished product, you will typically find that they survive only about 10,000 to 30,000 hours, (which means they are being force-fed TOO much voltage).

              So, when it’s time for you to spend money, try to learn about “how many dollars spent” vs how many “hours-of-life” vs how many “Lumens”, and you’ll not be wasting any of your money. Yes, it does get complicated, but if you’re like me, it means you HATE to “over spend” and you really hate to spend money TWICE.

              • glitter 1

                Appreciate the run down.There are many variables to consider.I did pull that string regarding the Weed Growing sites and they have allot of information.My problem is that I’m not going into a business,don’t need to spend allot of money to just start $2.00 worth of seeds,if you know what I mean.If I have to spend $100 to plant a small hobby garden,it’s just not cost effective and probably just as easy to buy the Bonnie pots at HD/Lowes.But, it’s more fun/satisfying to do it yourself, as you know.
                I’m still going to try a few different things,cause I do want to get it right.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>