Monday, February 15, 2021

Cyclical Iterative Evolution

    Spengler gets a lot of acclaim and interest for the manner in which lays out that peoples as a whole and their cultures are essentially their own sort of organism which evolve over time and have different stages in their life. While he was onto something with regards to groups being parts of a whole organism rather than the current western understanding/religion of individualism, he is a bit short-sighted and too linear in his thinking. This is not surprising, as he was German and German’s have a historical and biological tendency towards hyperfocus and autistic linearity in how they construct cause and effect. Even though it is not surprising and I do not really hold it against him as he was quite prescient and made a lot of good points, I must try to adjust his theory if not overhaul it entirely. The linear (as well as separation between people groups) manner in which Spengler approached lifecycles of civilizations is incorrect, the manner in which lifecycles of civilizations operate operates across time in a non-linear and rather stuttered, cyclical manner.

            There are various stages, as the saying “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times” states, in the lifecycle of a group of people or civilization (or even more accurately macro humanity and life itself.) With that acknowledged, the process is more like the raking of a lock than a linear equation. By the raking of a lock, I mean that each stage of a civilization or group of people’s lifecycle is its own organism that is appearing and disappearing and evolving in each iteration. Through each cycle, the particular organism present at that particular point in time is slightly evolved in a manner that is different than it was prior, as the environmental pressures involved (technology, resource distribution and magnitude, methods of resource transfer, structures built and decayed) are different than the last time that particular organism appeared.

The following may better illustrate what I mean:

Iteration 1








Iteration 2








Iteration 3








Iteration 4








Iteration 5








(A-G are different defined times/periods in the cycle, but they are their own independent organism in the cycle of the whole which disappear and reappear in mutated/evolved forms as the cycle loops through iterations.)

As stated/charted above, as each iteration gets looped through, each particular organism (which people think of as times of prosperity, strength, hardship, decadence, etc.) is mutated or changed in its structure. Eventually, one of the organisms A-G (A-G is just a demonstration of the structure, there may be more or less defined organisms) is mutated or evolved enough in its context that it breaks off from the cycle and begins its own cycle with different organisms which have different character traits than the prior cyclical system. This can be best thought of in the biological sense as some membrane being punctured by a breakaway organism.

The aforementioned raking a lock analogy now is clearer, as the process is essentially a lock being jammed with some tool back and forth until one of the tumblers inside the lock is freed from the locked position. The analogy ends there however, as the raking or cyclical process ends there and the lock does not continue to be raked until all the tumblers are in the unlocked position.

This cyclical iterative evolutionary process which I have described is why the parallels between attributes in past eras such as the Weimar Republic and now are not applicable in the manner in which people who bring them up suggest. While it is true that hedonistic and nihilistic excess are now appearing in a very similar manner as they did in the Weimar Era, the environmental pressures and economic forces involved exist in a very different context and thus the results will be quite different. Wealth and resources have been abstracted, the psychic has been severed from its umbilical cord which previously connected from the physical and now the psychic economy has become dominant over the physical economy in a manner which has shifted dominance from masculine/strength to feminine/agility traits. All of these things mean that the manner in which this new period we are entering will be different and have a different outcome than prior iterations of the same organism or period.

The context in which Spengler operates does not properly integrate systems, entropy (or lack thereof) and derivatives of forces involved in systems, as such it is incorrect. Cyclical iterative evolution operates in a context which understands that environmental pressures and resources are also evolving cyclically in tandem with the organisms that appear, disappear, and reappear in a modified and more evolved state over iterations. Because we think of time as a purely linear thing, it is hard to wrap your head around a sort of stuttering, iterative, organism, but this is the correct view of how things function. This can be observed in a very localized context if you research polymorphic organisms and polymorphic ecosystems, and it applies to societies, civilizations, and humanity as a whole.

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