We first articulated our Theory of Human Collective Systems some three years ago. Since then we have expanded this construct into a more complete model, comprising seven principles, which we now have the pleasure to share with you all. It is, in essence, the theory of the very nature of the construct behind human social structures. A theory that an alien scientist might formulate after studying humanity, much as David Attenborough has presented in his many captivating programmes about the nature of the animal kingdom and its species’ behaviours. The uncomfortable truth is whilst we have come to dominate all the other animals on our planet, our behaviour as of yet remains collective and unconscious, and we are more like them than we would ever wish to admit.
Principle 1: The Human Race Is An Interconnected Collective Organism
1.1 Humans Are A Collective Organism
Whilst individuality sits on a spectrum, every human is part of a collective biological system that is self-organising. We all process information around us collectively, with each person acting as a cell in a bigger organism. Similarly, we share collective emotions that are, at times, superimposed upon our individual feelings. The mechanisms of communication within the collective are complex and stretch from visual to audio and hormonal. In all probability, we are also linked by quantum entanglement in a subtle web of complex interconnectivity.
The product of our human hardwiring is such that collective human behaviour dominates mankind's actions, making us, in essence, a massive collective super-organism replete with overriding multiple sub-collective processes. These are defined by various collective boundaries such as Super Empire, Religion Empire, Nation, Tribe/Clan and Family Unit. These define the boundaries of polarisation and intergroup competition.
1.2 The Characteristics Of Human Groups
Each group is self-organising, acting as a neural network with each person being a single node in a neural network. Notably, different human systems possess the differing collective potential to self-organise. One of the key factors in this regard is the quality of leadership through the various levels of the social hierarchy. This is a function of environmental shaping, genes and the stages of the Five Phase life Cycle. Optimisation of the self-organising process comes with the removal of any and all destructive elements within, details of which are covered in our Anti Entropy in Human Systems.
1. There are varying degrees of groups, from the largest to the smallest: Super Empire, Religion Empire, Nation, Tribe/Clan, and Family Unit.
2. Each group is defined by a unique set of cultural values which, when compared to other groups, create definable differences. They are part of humanity’s diversity, which is one of our core survival strategies.
3. Each group shares common beliefs which act like glue to the system. These ideas are contagious, like a virus, and spread as success grows in a feedback loop, creating surges in collective feelings personified by hormones such as dopamine in good times (bull markets) and cortisol in bad times (bear markets).
4. Each group is led by those that expound/personify its collective values at the point on its five-stage cycle that offer the best chance of survival and success.
5. Every Human and the groups they belong are innately competitive towards other individuals or groups of similar magnitude.
6. Smaller groups can be subsumed into larger groups by common values and purpose, the strongest motivation being a common threat from another group or increased access to resources.
7. Smaller groups can break away from larger groups and develop new common values when resources become increasingly scarce.
Group or national character represents the variability of human organisational structures. This variability is defined by geography, history and values coupled with a systems position of its five-phase cycle. This creates a spectrum of national characteristics that range from constructive to destructive. Some nations, like Argentina, consistently fail to elect good leadership in a collective act of self-destruction. Other nations, like Britain, possess a very constructive national character. Special Forces, in their original form, embody members from the leaders who have been melded into an extremely effective fighting force. Startup companies are similar in composition to Special Forces. In contrast, companies that are mature and tipping into decline can embody the destructive energies of what we term in our theory of the Anti Entropy in Human Systems as the unaffirmed and malevolent, accelerating their demise. These observations are the basis of optimising a nation’s or company's growth and are contained in my Five-Phase Lifecycle (available on request).
Principal 2: Human Herding Is Hard-Wired
2.1 The Evolution Of The Human Brain
The human brain has evolved over millions of years, with the Basel Ganglia first and then the limbic or emotional system evolving next. Together, they control our nervous systems and our emotions and are closely linked to others around us, as we are social creatures that have evolved in tribal groups. This includes unconscious feelings and behaviours that are connected to the tribe and its ongoing acceptance of each of us – upon which our very survival depends. These responses are deeply embedded in our very being and take place throughout our day, governing every thought and action we take to some degree.
Then, only a few tens of thousands of years ago, we developed our neocortex or frontal lobes, which are our centre of rational thought, and maximised utility in our existence. It is this third element to our brains that has allowed us to rise above all living creatures on earth due to our social organisation and consequent technological innovation. However, the neocortex, much as we like to think otherwise, can be overridden by lower collective brain functions. Thus, each person is but a node in a much larger human organism linked to others by the hormone surges of neurobiological and entanglement theory.
Notably, when collective impulses take control of us, we have no subsequent awareness or memory after the event that a different part of the brain has been in control. This is why we are both individually and collectively unaware of collective behaviour patterns unless we use techniques that look objectively at the patterns we create as human civilisations. In summary, this non-rational collective is a product of old, deeply ingrained survival traits that are ill-adapted to decision-making in the modern world.
2.2 Why We Forget
Collective behavioural patterns are hard to recognise because we are unaware of them, as there is no part of our brain that stores a record of our behaviours when our actions are overridden by collective impulses. Although throughout history astute observers have commented on the cycles of nations and empires to the majority, such a reality has easily been deniable and replaced with the old defence that it is 'different this time'!
2.3 Understanding Our True Nature
The real breakthrough came with modern financial markets, whose cycles could be quantified by price moves over time. Thus the study of long-, medium- and short-term cycles was and continues to be critical in the journey to understanding how we, as humans, behave and how we could improve our collective behaviours to create more anti-entropic (positive) outcomes.
Principal 3: The Hidden Lateral/Linear Structure Of Human Societies
3.1 Two Sub-Types Of Humans Operating Symbiotically
The evidence is that humans have very different physical appearance and abilities, characteristics and skillsets. But whilst it is easy to perceive differences based on character, physical appearance and performance, it is much harder to determine the differences that are a function of our brain’s hard wiring and functionality. Having studied human thought processes specifically with respect to quantifiable market movements and behaviour, it is our conclusion that the greatest differences lie in the hardwiring of the human brain and has resulted in a bifurcation of the human herd that operates in a symbiotic mechanism into lateral and linear thinking.
3.2 Right- And Left-Brained Thinking
Whilst modern neuroscience has shown that brain function is spread across the whole brain, the old notion of right- and left-brained thinking still has validity in terms of behavioural traits of individuals.
As such, we prefer to describe these two processes as linear (left brain) and lateral (right brain). They are far more differentiated/polarised in males, who seem to favour one side or the other in terms of predominant behavioural traits. However, females, perhaps because they exhibit greater cross-lateralisation between the brain’s hemispheres, seem to be far less polarised in their behavioural traits. Indeed, if we take the ratio of left-handedness, which is one of the clear links via cross-lateralisation to right-brained dominance, we see there are fewer left-handed woman than men.
3.3 Left-handedness As A Right-Brained Marker
According to recent studies, countries exhibit varying degrees of left-handiness that range from roughly 13% to 2%. However, this figure varies depending on geographic location, gender and date of birth amongst other factors. Furthermore, there are an additionally 1% of the world who are ambidextrous and thus have a balanced brain function. This suggests up to 13% of European nations have right-brained dominance by this left-handed measure. However, many more would have been conditioned to use their right hands by the pressure from social normality. Thus, a better measure would be left-eyed dominance which would confirm cross-lateralisation and natural left-handedness. Measurements from optimologists suggest that up to 30% of the population are left eye dominant, but accurate data is still hard to obtain.
Thus, if we use left-handedness as a marker to gauge different nations’ innate national character based on lateral versus linear thinking, we see a fascinating pattern; i.e. that the most democratic European and individualistic nations have the highest ratio of left-handers in the world.
1. The Netherlands (13.2% Left-Handed)
2. United States (13.1% Left-Handed)
3. Belgium (13.1% Left-Handed)
4. Canada (12.8% Left-Handed)
5. United Kingdom (12.24% Left-Handed)
The Asian and most collective countries, including Russia, have the lowest ratios in the world:
1. Korea (2.0%)
2. China (3.5%)
3. Japan (4.7%)
4. Taiwan (5.0%)
5. Russia (6.9%)
Notably, South Korea and Japan have had Western democracy post-WW2 imposed upon them before its became established. Many would argue that this is all about the strength of social conditioning. However, these markers will support our thesis of the evolution of democracy and its relationship to lateral thinking.
Finally, there is an interesting statistic that there are only four women to every five men who are left-handed. This suggests that there is less genetic advantage for women to be left-handed. Could it be that as female brains are already more cross-lateralised than men there is less advantage for them to manifest left-handiness associated with cross-lateralisation?
3.4 The Human Ant Colony
Large societies in the insect world, like ants, divide themselves into various castes with roles that complete certain duties: queens, soldiers, workers (females) and males. They all have roles that allow the colony to effectively in a complex symbiotic relationship.
3.5 The Role of Linear Thinking
Our hypothesis is that human societies have similar divisions which are filled by those with genetic optimisation for their roles. The biggest differentiation comes in the way our brains are structured. Roughly speaking, 70% are linear thinkers who act out the accepted roles and processes within a society’s normal boundaries with functions related to IQ, EQ, education and family values and history. Their role is to make society function across all levels, acting as the mass behind a human system. Being within such a system is relatively comfortable, as at a deep level everyone knows their place within the system. However, within a purely linear system, progress is only iterative and gradual, and given time the system will coalesce into a very structured and rigid hierarchy that is resistant to growth and evolution. Thus, when such a pure linear human social system encounters an entropic event, it rarely fares well or even survives.
3.6 The Role Of Lateral Thinking
Enter the other 30% of the human population who are lateral thinkers that provide adaptive thinking, ideally suited to entropic adaptation, i.e. overcoming the challenges of war and natural disasters. These humans feel separate in various degrees from the body of the 70% of linear society. That separateness, although often attributed to upbringing, is in fact genetically hard-wired. They are by nature less connected to the group consciousness of the 70% linear herd, and that degree of separation sends them on a path that questions and challenges the precepts of the society around them. As a result they are often individualistic, creative, intuitive and strategic with the ability to solve problems. However, these abilities require IQ processing power to first absorb the linear rules and systems of the mass of society and to then construe their own internal version of the world. For those with lateral genes and low IQs, unless their nation is at war or engulfed by an entropic event, they quickly fall by the wayside and many end up as the drop-outs of society or even in prison. Thus, unlike the linear thinkers, this is a very high-risk pool of human societies. (See Are you Right or Left Brained?)
3.7 The Origins Of the Lateral Linear Mix
The concept of the symbiotic lateral-linear human society is poorly recognised and thus poorly understood. However, having identified its presence and dynamics, the question arises as to how and why such a symbiotic system evolved.
Our theory is that 10,000 years ago, as the climate stabilised post the Ice Age, humanity was 100% lateralised, as a hunter-gathering society both on land and living off the sea in an environment that required lateral survival mechanisms to adapt and hunt prey and other human tribes. Then, as an agrarian way of living became established, as people learned to grow plants and tame animals, they gradually learned to utilise animals for a variety of things other than food. Success depended on new ways of living, which were based on seasonality and the predictable calendar around planting and harvesting crops and birthing of domestic animals.
With vastly more food available, the human population exploded with this first agricultural revolution and started to agglomerate into large communities in which the uncertainty of hunting and gathering in small tribes was replaced by the certainty of farming and living in ever-higher population densities that became known as cities. Thus, not only did the human population expand rapidly as more food became available, but it did so also by rewarding those with linear thought processes on land, whose genes expanded to the modern-day ratio of 70%. As this process unfolded over generations, the lateral hunters migrated into the warrior/leadership cast of society as their ability to meet our violence gave them the upper hand over the more domesticated agrarians.
Today, the ratio of lateral to linear thinkers within a society is shaped by the environment, with nations with a high proportion of coastline to internal volume having the highest ratios, and landlocked nations the lowest. However, the key to unlocking creative potential and enhancing national energy is not just the natural-lateral linear ratio, but where a system resides on its empire curve, with rising systems being prominently lateral and adaptive and falling empires predominantly linear and contractive.
3.8 Dyslexia And Lateral Thinking
Dyslexia is not a ‘disorder’ but an evolutionary advantage that can be harnessed in times of entropic change. Because the dyslexic gene appears to be the personification of the lateral-thinking or adaptive human gene, enabling people to see problems in visual form, dyslexics embody an ability to perceive patterns where others see nothing. The best estimate is that 20% of the UK population is dyslexic. However, dyslexics with a low IQ are unable to interpret the information fed to them by a linear educational system, as before that information can be useful, they have to build an internal mental hologram that they can then populate with the information of conventional education. As that hologram is increasingly populated, they see linkages between information points that linear thinkers could not see and, as a result, see patterns. A few go on to make new quantum advances in thinking that feedback positively into society.
As a result, most dyslexics will initially present as slow learners with poor reading and writing skills. As they build what we call their ‘learn to learn’ programme, they start to catch up with linear thinkers by the time they are at university, where they can excel as their unique thinking power becomes noticed. Interestingly, one of the hallmarks of this learn to learn programme is that those that have it never stop questioning for the rest of their lives and would be categorised by others as ‘always questioning’. Linear thinkers seem to stop questioning from their forties onwards. However, conversely for those with dyslexia and a low IQ, life within a modern human society at peace is extremely challenging as many will have failed in the education system, and they will naturally feel separate from the society in which they live. These factors, combined with a lack of respect for the rules and economic desperation, mean that dyslexics represent 50% of the UK’s prison population.
On the positive side, a society that recognises the potential of lateral thinkers (and especially dyslexics) across the whole IQ spectrum and is also prepared to invest in and optimise their educational process, with early dyslexic detection and new ways of teaching that connect with right-brained hard-wiring, will reap the significant benefits of maximising the other 30% of society’s potential. Not only would this lift the pressure on law enforcement, but also would turn potential dyslexic offenders into positive forces within society. The evidence is clear that 40% of UK entrepreneurs, who are one of the main drivers of new growth within an economy, are dyslexic. So imagine what would happen if that creative index could be increased!
The considerable number of dyslexic high-achievers in Western society is notable, despite its phase of decline which creates environments that always contain such thought processes. However, as Britain is now in a phase of expansion, we could well see a new value placed on lateral thought processes and problem solving (e.g. GCHQ) in a time when linear thought processes are rapidly being replaced by AI.
Notably, LinkedIn has just added ‘dyslexic thinking’ as an official skill, and Dictionary.com has included it in the dictionary, a term that accurately describes the thought process at Global Forecaster rather well! We call it Strategic Dyslexic Thinking which is our USP, and which explains our success in consistently predicting future events
3.9 Leadership And Lateral Thinking
There is clear historical evidence that the lateral gene is the leadership gene within human societies. Lateral thinking is associated with highly developed strategic thought processes and empathy that allows a leader to relate to and build connections with those they lead, helping them facilitate leadership at times of great risk. Most importantly, lateral leadership allows the society to overcome entropic challenges such as wars. Thus, the greatest anti-entropy optimisation (growth and advancement) in human systems is achieved at stages where lateral leadership is not only at the top of the structure but cascades down through to the lower echelons and works symbiotically with the more iterative thought processes of the linear body of the society. Interestingly, lateral thinkers tend to prefer flatter empowered command structures than linear thinkers, who are hierarchical by nature. Wealth creation aspirations, which are common to the creative energy of lateral entrepreneurs, and wealth creation focused political values are closely linked. Conversely, linear thinking has a close association with wealth distribution, as they tend to have a lesser ability to create wealth themselves. Furthermore, even the small government model is something more natural to lateral thinkers, whilst big government and linear thinkers have strong associations as they feel comfortable in large hierarchies.
3.10 Leadership And Linear Thinking
In contrast to the lateral style of leadership, when a linear leadership rises to power it is usually in a period of relative stability, when problem solving is not required and where political interconnectivity can appear for a time to be acceptable leadership. However, linear leaders will almost inevitably be intolerant of lateral-thinking subordinates as they are subconsciously threatening. In so removing this element of their leadership cascade, they weaken the system’s resilience to entropic shocks, such as a looming conflict. This process explains why democracies over the past century have been unprepared for the outbreak of two world wars. In essence, linear thinkers prefer hierarchy and control rather than empowerment as their main hallmark of leadership. But also because right-brained thinking is, in essence, threatening to a centralised hierarchical structure, as it risks overturning the established order of society, of which they are embedded and which they perceive themselves as the guardian.
Notably, of the nine most recent US presidents, five were left-handed, this is 56% as compared to a national average of 13% and does not include presidents who were right-handed and left-eyed for which there are no statistics, of which Trump and possibly George Bush (Jnr) would definitely have been lateral-thinking candidates, which would make this a left-hander 78% statistic.
Joe Biden (R), Donald Trump (R), Barack Obama (L), George W. Bush (R), Bill Clinton (L), George H. W. Bush (L), Ronald Reagan (L), Jimmy Carter (R), Gerald Ford (L). Ronald Reagan was left-handed but was forced to write right-handed. Gerald Ford was left-handed, but switched back and forth. The two presidents whose behaviours definitely conforms to linear thinking are Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter.
3.11 Leadership And Human Herding
Many believe that government policy is independent and shapes market behaviour. However, the evidence is that governments and central banks are actually part of ‘the human herd’ even if they are a very large component. Only when a nation is in a state of expansion are its instructions dominated by independent lateral-thinking leaders, who thus can shape policy. Sadly, only Britain within the Western Christian Super Empire is entering that phase of empire, whilst America is at the opposite end of the spectrum being led by the liner-thinking Biden.
This raises the fascinating topic of the balance of the optimum human system. Under our Five Stages of Empire cycle, the most constructive phase of a system is when it is in expansion and thus manifesting the greatest collective anti-entropy. In that state, lateral-thinking leadership dominates the system and provides a counter to the collective herd behaviour of the linear-thinking 70% of the population. However, in decline, the leadership has become dominated by linear thinking, which only reinforces the herd behaviour, increasing the amplitude of the collective’s extreme moods producing higher levels of destructive entropy that ultimately collapse the empire from within, e.g. America today.
3.12 The Reality Of Great Leadership
The hallmarks that we have identified as lateral and linear are highly polarised in this thesis, but the reality is that they will exist in a spectrum within everyone. Some of our greatest thinkers, like Einstein, exhibited both characteristics, with the intuition to think laterally and the linear abilities to then quantify using mathematics theories. So great leaders need to integrate both qualities of lateral and linear thinking, and to consciously understand when each process is best applied to solving the challenges ahead. Imagine the potential of an educational system that recognised and maximised both thought processes within its pupils’ development, maximising cross-lateralisation of the brain’s development. Then imagine how it might change the way we unconsciously lead and organise our social systems in the future …
3.13 Lateral And Linear Styles Of Investment
Our models on lateral and linear thought first originated with a study of master eye tests on 99% of all the trades on JP Morgan’s trading floor back in 1990. Of some 100 traders studied, only 5 were left-eyed and thus lateral. What was interesting is that they comprised the very best of the ability on the floor to make directional investments successfully. The rest were just extracting the spread associated with their seats and the flow of business.
Since then, over the past 30 years, I have confirmed my theory that genuine alpha generators are all lateral thinkers, whilst trend followers or Beta Traders are linear thinkers. Thus, after one of the longest bull markets in history that has been driven by the Fed’s printing of money (that we have named the Doomsday Bubble) financial market managers today are predominantly beta traders, whilst the alpha traders have all been expelled from the marketplace.
This is a very dangerous imbalance that portends of a soon-to-unfold massive market dislocation as the equity markets crash, driven by the majority of investors who could not see the Fed failing to be their backstop. Of course, as we have explained, a debt-driven bubble is part of the final stage of decline of an empire where the whole system is predominantly run by linear thinkers. Talking of which, private equity (PE) firms deserve a special mention as they rarely create value but rather dismember it whilst riding the wave of money printing. Indeed, PE really only came into being in a massive way as America went into decline in 2001, so it should be viewed as one of the linear organisations/structures of decline.
Principal 4: The Cycle Of Empires Linked To Lateral And Linear Leadership
During the steady-state low-entropy environments that have endured for many years, there will always be a tendency to move to linear leadership, which maintains the status quo. However, in periods of rapid growth and high-entropy environments, systems that cannot shift to lateral leadership swiftly and effectively risk total failure. This pattern can clearly be seen in the leadership of an empire cycle.
4.1 The Expansive Phase
The early stages of this phase are very rigid, as the initial stages of regionalisation are dominated by liner leadership, which at the end of regionalisation is also highly enfranchised and incumbent in nature. However, by the end of the regionalisation phase, new ideas and beliefs rise to the fore that represent better adaptations, as the social system driven by demographic expansion needs to increase its resource base to survive. Those new concepts will then be manifest in a revolutionary group that engages in a civil war and overturns the old, rigid structure. The regional civil war is led by lateral thinkers who then overcome the linear leadership and release the expansionary forces within society that embark on a raid and expansion through conflict. The entropy of civil war breaks up the old establishment and allows new ideas to be adopted swiftly.
The ensuing anti-entropic nature of expansion means that all of the empires’ structures become lateral in nature. The creative expansion then continues throughout the second phase of expansion. Leadership across society becomes dominated by right-brained thinkers who then further expand the system's knowledge horizon by leaps and bounds, which in turn increases the system’s competitive edge and ability to keep expanding. A perfect example was Nelson’s navy which, when they won Trafalgar and gave Britain total control of the world’s oceans, was the most right lateral fighting machine the world had ever seen.
4.2 The Peak: Maturity
In the early stages of maturity, the momentum in the expansion of the knowledge horizon continues with greater resources that then facilitate a golden age. As an all-powerful empire, there are very few entropic challenges to the now-dominant system. As the empire builds out institutions of power in a stable environment, they increasingly become occupied by linear thinkers who, as they gain increasing power, seek to throw out the maverick lateral thinkers. Until, at the top of the cycle, there is a civil war/event that represents a shift in power to the leadership with linear thinking.
4.3 The Contraction Phase: Overextension And Decline
By the time overextension commences, society has developed numerous complex social organisations based on ideas and constructs that if challenged by new knowledge will resist strongly (encumbrance and entitlement). From that point onwards, the system is in a stage of rigidity and increasing morbidity that then prevents adaptation to new information, which in turn accelerates decline into collapse. This is the result of lateral thinking and creativity having been gradually weakened within the system. Consequently, its absolute and relative productivity declines and debt is used as a substitute to maintain apparent growth and to perpetuate the status quo of the empire.
This is a period of destructive incumbency, where incompetency across government seems to survive. Then as the empire accelerates its decline, lateral leadership outside the government/political system attempts to gain control to save the system. This is why a fracture of the political system is common in the later stages of decline as the few remaining lateral leaders try to wrestle for control of the liner incumbency. As new empires rise to challenge the hegemony, the linear thinkers fail to see the threat and finally the system collapses when conflict breaks out and the lateral thinkers of the hegemonic challengers easily overcome the linear thinkers of the old hegemony.
Principal 5: The Cascade Of Change
5.1 The Horizon Of Awareness
The total collective knowledge of any human society at any time represents a horizon of awareness. These constructs are adopted almost in entirety by the 70% linear body of the human system as the current reality. Within that accepted reality, those that expound it are then free to live out their daily lives and to focus on maximising their productivity and outcomes within the collective construct.
5.2 The Cascade Of Change
Lateral thinkers are programmed to optimise anti-entropy by questioning and harnessing the opportunities provided by fluid situations, seeking discrepancies in the accepted reality. The process whereby the realisation of the one cascades down to the many to modify and expand the collective horizon is often overlooked and poorly understood.
1. The lateral thinker sees a discrepancy in the horizon of awareness and then, by intuition, creates a new theory or concept that he/she later rationalises, such that it is explainable to others.
2. When the new idea is shared with individuals from the linear body of the human system, they will usually reject it out of hand, as a dire threat to the current well-understood order with the current knowledge horizon. This response is epitomised by hostility as the new construct potentially destroys the certainty of the old one it replaces and any associated human social structure.
3. However, other members of the lateral thinkers in a human social system will be the first to recognise and adopt the new reality, one by one.
4. That new reality then builds momentum as more and more people adopt the new reality in a cascade that then starts to penetrate individuals within the 70% linear body of the system.
5. When a critical number of approximately 5% of the total population adopt the new paradigm there is a quantum shift, in which the new construct almost instantaneously becomes part of the new collective horizon. This enhances collective coherence, which in turn optimises collective anti-entropy.
6. The speed with which new ideas are adopted is dependent on the phase of the nation within which the new construct is postulated. During late regionalisation and expansion to empire, there is fertile ground for change. But in the phase of overextension and decline, where iterative leadership dominates the system's leadership, the receptiveness to new constructs is low. This is the reason why decline then accelerates and new, more creative anti-entropic systems rise up to fill the vacuum and then take their place.
5.3 The Forces Of Denial
There is an old saying that the only constant in the universe is change. However, the linear body of a human system will, by its very nature, seek to go against the universe by maintaining the continuity of its familiar knowledge horizon, especially if any change potentially challenges a mature, hierarchical and complex social structure based on a precept that risks are being substituted for a new concept. Thus, human systems contain dynamic tension and the ongoing struggle between new ideas and old-established ideas. The position of a society on the five-phase lifecycle dictates the speed of assimilation of a new idea, as the dynamic tension around the forces of lateral and liner thinking are played out.
5.4 The Impact Of High-Entropy Events
These are wars, natural disasters and pandemics. All threaten survival, which catalyses change and forces rigid institutions and precepts to be challenged and thus to change. This is the entropy of the universe smashing up against the rigidity of human anti-entropy in mature and hierarchical systems. And the universe always wins. If there is no natural event that forces change, another rising empire will provide the entropic impulse to the old hegemony. The old hegemony either adapts or is overwhelmed.
5.5 The Level Of Collective Fear
Because fear and denial are of course closely linked and, as such, are very much part of the process by which denial is acted out and flat-earth thinking is reinforced, the greater the levels of fear in a society, the more resistant to change it will be in a low-entropy environment. However, in a high-entropy environment, fear to survive drives the need for change.
Principal 6: The Battle Between Democracy and Autocracy
6.1. The Evolution of Democracy from Autocracy
The traditional tribal human hunting unit was probably not that different from a pack of lions, with an alpha male that dominated the tribe. Over time, this tradition evolved into a leader who became known as a king or emperor in a hierarchical organisational structure. So where did the concept of democracy come from?
Our hypothesis is that hierarchical structures worked well on land, but when mankind took to the oceans, the operation of increasingly sophisticated vessels commanded by captains and sailed by crews, each within a defined hierarchy, begat a new form of social structure. One in which everyone depended on each other to survive, with a new level of co-dependence. In addition, the oceans are a highly entropic environment compared to land, which is a more linear environment. Consequently, natural selection would have favoured lateral-thinking sailors who could read the ever-changing environment and look ahead to anticipate the weather and tides. As they became successful and adapted their genes, this would have, through natural selection, created an increase in the lateral-thinking population. These increasingly lateral-thinking societies would have contained the greater levels of individuality and independence required to assume self-responsibility, and thus ultimately demanded a voice in their society that evolved into democracy.
Thus, it was no coincidence that Athens, which is often regarded as the birthplace of democracy and remains an important reference point, was Ancient Greece’s greatest sea power. Similarly, it was no coincidence that democracy in Europe developed its early foundation in Britain, an island nation where most of the population lived by and depended on the sea. The maritime relationship would have increased the number of lateral thinkers in the population, who, over time, demanded a greater say and increased individual rights, which over the centuries transposed into the birth of British democracy. This then spread around the globe under the rule of the world’s greatest ever empire. British democracy was so successful that other European nations were forced to follow Britain’s model in an attempt to keep up with its achievements.
6.2 The Continuation of Hierarchies into Autocracies
Despite the world being governed by the British Empire, with its democratic processes that spread to the majority of nations it occupied, there are some notable exceptions. These remain firmly in the grip of hierarchical structures that have evolved into what we know today as autocracies, or even dictatorships. Interestingly, such nations have traditionally been land powers, which we conjecture have consequently not generated a sufficient ratio of lateral genes to adopt self-responsibility and democratic systems. The two most notable examples are Russia and China. Both comprise some of the world’s largest land masses, hence their relatively large populations, with associated large armies and land power status. This creates an absence of the genetic lateral evolution associated with the oceans and their entropic environment. Consequently, their nations have not seen the necessary increase in ratio of lateral thinkers to self-sustain a democratic process. Indeed, the CCP’s intolerance (and even removal) of individuality to ensure compliance would have the very opposite effect. This would certainly explain why Russia and Iraq failed to embrace democracy when it was offered to them, as they are collectively associated with linear thinking, which keeps them imprisoned in the old paradigm of abdication of personal responsibility.
6.3 The Distribution of Power
Democratic societies seek to distribute power, whilst autocratic societies concentrate power increasingly into the hands of one person; Stalin, Mao and now Xi are the personification of that process. In the concentration process, power kills – and absolute power kills en masse, as it acts arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite. Indeed, nations with absolute power often turn on their own citizens. It is estimated that Stalin and Mao killed up to 350 million of their subjects. Then, when conditions in an autocratic system become so extreme that the population has nothing to lose, they inevitably attempt to turn on their leaders.
6.4 Creativity in Autocratic and Democratic Societies
Autocratic systems seek to focus creativity into very specific corridors, within which it can flourish and beyond which it will be mercilessly crushed as a threat. China is just such a case in point today. It is highly creative within the boundaries defined by the CCP, whilst new ideas outside accepted (and often dictated) thought invite Draconian repercussions. Relatively open societies have much wider boundaries and hence are more fertile across their lifespan, meaning that, even in decline, new ideas can be voiced, although their general acceptance is far less probable than when the system was in expansion. To exemplify this, the contrast today between America in decline and Britain in expansion should be apparent to any observer, and will only increase in the decade ahead.
6.5 The Basis of Conflict
In our theories of empire, we argue that all empires in a state of expansion go to war to attain a greater resource base. This applies to both democratic and autocratic systems. However, whilst a democracy can exist alongside an autocratic nation if it is not aggressive, the same is not true the other way around, as the spark of freedom that powered democracy can start a revolution and overturn an autocratic state. This is the greatest cause of the CCPs fear of democracy.
6.6 The Relative Strengths of Democracy Versus Autocracies in Peace
While democracy essentially seeks to maximise the productive potential of each member of its populations, each population member of the autocracies of China and Russia effectively has a lower productive potential, averaged across society. Instead, they rely on numbers to compensate. In peacetime, the determinant of success and economic productivity is;
The Human Systems total energy= sum of (Population size X (Social cohesion=F national energy on the empire cycle) X (Productivity per capita= F(Average age /education/individuality index))
Furthermore, the hegemonic challenge from China comes as it is expanding, giving its system massive social cohesion. In contrast, America is in decline and at a point where it is showing the least social coherence since its inception, making this an uneven battle in favour of the autocratic CCP. As such, this decade ahead will be democracy’s greatest challenge since Sparta sacked Athens in the Peloponnesian War and secured an unrivalled hegemony over southern Greece.
6.7 The Relative Strengths of Democracy Versus Autocracies in War
In times past, numbers created the mass of an army and were a key determinant to victory. Napoleon's army was derived from a massively powerful French demographic, which allowed him to fight his way across Europe for over a decade. However, at sea, the size of warship crews was much smaller, and skill was the key determinant of victory, given ships of similar fighting design. This favoured smaller nations such as Holland and England when it came to building naval dominance on the world's oceans.
Since then, as the weapons available to the infantryman have become more destructive, each one has become more significant. Similarly, as the complexity of modern warfare has increased, decision processes have become more intricate, favouring a devolution in the command structure down the chain.
Western armies today operate a mission-command structure, where NCOs are given operational freedom to react very quickly to a changing situation, as there is no time for senior commanders in the rear to evaluate the rapidly changing situation and give timely orders. In contrast, as exposed in Ukraine, The Russians’ greatest weakness is their centralised decision making intrinsic to which is low sense of personnel responsibility. In which no one wants to make decisions because no one wants to take the blame. So instead the have to send decisions back up the command chain which takes time This means that, in military jargon, Kyiv’s forces could get inside Russia’s “decision-action cycle”, so that any troops trying to defend in the face of rapid Ukrainian assaults would be operating on out-of-date and irrelevant information.
In a human world where warfare has been used to sweep aside old and weak empires, and at a time when the world's democracies face off against the world's autocracies, the huge advantage of mission commands is very clear. This is a natural product of the individuality that comprises democratic populations, and one that is not available to any autocratic system. It may not as yet be fully appreciated by either side of the human systems divide, but favours the victory of democracy over autocracy in human evolution.
6.8 The Evolution of SWCE Democratic Empires
Democracies have an intrinsic emphasis on personal freedoms of action and thought, which have evolved over the life of the Super Western Christian Empire (SWCE), and especially over the past century. That evolution has been matched by the changing control mechanisms employed by empires. From the direct empire control by the Spanish and French, to the more subtle mechanisms of dominance and control employed by the British Empire, which had to empower locals to largely govern themselves. The American Empire was so subtle in the control it exerted that it was never even referred to as an empire until recently. Whether it was taking control of the Philippines in the late 19th century from the Spanish or in its moulding of Germany and Japan post WW2 into its own image, its control was widespread via democratic values and dollar denominated trade. It created strong alliances under its all-powerful military umbrella, but without the cost of the burden of occupation.
6.8 The Potential Genetic Limitations of Democracy
Democracies based on the above evolution seem to be on the potentially optimum path for human collective evolution. However, they might have one limitation, which is socially challenging to articulate. With the right of everyone to procreate, and without natural selection removing the weak from the gene pool, there is a risk that the total gene pool is weakened, or that society bifurcates into the weak and the strong. This is a social challenge that we will inevitably have to face in the future.
Principal 7: The Future Of Human Society
There seems to be two options looking forward.
The first is that the democracies of the world are overrun by the CCP, and individuality and lateral thinking are eradicated from the human gene pool in an attempt to control a global population.
The second is that the CCP’s attempt to control the world fails and that, assuming the current trend in technology continues apace, it will catalyse a fundamental shift in the structure of human societies. The body of human society which has been provided by those with linear thinking,that sustains the collective and provides iterative advances, risks being increasingly replaced by AI and robotics. Then, the question will arise as to how they can survive in such a new economy. Meanwhile there will be a huge premium placed upon creative and lateral-thinking skills. This inevitable shift will create the biggest social shift and upheaval, and ultimately transformation, over the generations ahead as human societies become increasingly lateral in their thought processes.