Pendulum theory, patterns from history


pendulum via pixabay – creative commons

The Pendulum theory of change in society has been examined by many thinkers and writers. I referred to it in a post in February 2017 and mentioned the book with that title written by Roy Williams and Michael Drew in this post.

Events on the world stage this week are sharp reminders of an earlier time. A time when personal computers, smart phones, the Internet and email were all in the distant future.

The gesturing by the comical but irrational North Korean leader with that country’s famously unreliable ballistic missiles is a reminder of the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War. A further reminder is the strong response by the new US president. That a reminder of strong presidents standing up to aggression in the twentieth century. A welcome change from a recent president’s appeasement and vanishing red lines.

The barrage of cruise missiles directed at a Syrian air base, another change.

Is the pendulum swinging?

Do these events and responses signal a swing of the pendulum away from globalisation, political correctness and increased government control? Too early to tell, but taken with Brexit, a hardening of attitudes against uncontrolled immigration in many countries and the choice of a non-politician to the American presidency, they do show a major shift.

The rising interest in locally grown foods, organic fruit and vegetables, support for small farmers all support a move back to basics. The disruption in major industries: Retail, music, publishing, transportation and distribution is creating armies of entrepreneurs and artisans, some digital, some craftsmen / women, some independent service providers.

This is eroding the power base and revenue streams of labour unions, forcing them to concentrate on workers in the public service sector.

However it is not easy for the pendulum to swing back. Increasing control of the Internet, erosion of privacy, attempts to impose a cashless society, political correctness, plans for fleets of driver-less cars to replace individual automobile ownership, are all forces of resistance to a swing to the next period of common sense.

The pendulum certainly seems to be moving. How far it will move and how quickly are the unknowns.

Will the swing of the pendulum bring a period of adversity or opportunity? Hope or despair? Peace or conflict? Stability or more disruption?

A chance to win free books

An author who writes about the changing face of employment, surviving in the new era and many other things is James Altucher. Some of his writing makes me uncomfortable, some makes me laugh, but it always makes me think.

In his latest post, he is giving away 20 books from a selection of authors he recommends, here’s the link to his give away offer. Ultimate Book Give Away

What are your thoughts on the pendulum theory? Do you think it is swinging back? Still swinging towards the unknown? Stuck in the middle? Leave a comment.

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