Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rise and Fall of the States: Secular Cycles

In this book the authors analyze several correlations that lead to rise and fall of the States based on population growth, labor market demands and excesses of upper classes.

I did not find their approach particularly innovative. One thing I remembered from this book is "plateau" stage they called stagflation. This is a stage in state's secular development when population saturation leads to wage decline that coincides with maximum profits for upper classes.

I would say that USA has entered stagflation phase in the beginning of 21st century. Based on the authors evaluations of several historical Empire States that went through secular cycles, it appears that stagflation phase could persist for decades, even for centuries. Though it inevitably leads to a crisis and fall, followed by renewed cycle.   
posted by David


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century

This book an excellent overview of Western Europe during 14th century, though more accurately, it is a history of France as it existed in 14th century.

14th century in France is remembered mostly for 100 Years War fought between France and England and black death, a deadliest pandemic in human history that reduced total human population by 1/3. 

This book is mostly focused on relationships between nobles and Kings and portions are devoted to Church matters and peasant revolts.

It is interesting and easy to read, though I would say it is a little bit boring in the end. 

posted by David