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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 10 / 2014 (599)

The turbulence of cycles

„The phenomenology of economic cycles portrays the lucrative background of human existence.”

The economic cycles only carry a rational and instrumental sense as long as they are being reduced to a behavioural problem, formulated in terms of wealth. Due to their essence, the economic cycles cannot be decoupled from the evolution of the human phenomenon within the guidelines of the human condition: work, labour, action.

Any step away from randamental phenomenology alters the understanding of the cycles when their determinism is exclusively being associated to abstract causes, which are then hypostatized by homo economicus in a sort of objectification - or normalization of Platonic reveries, instead of being associated with the things which lend volume and content to the components of the human condition: the subjective reasons of the realistic man, the expectations, the choices and the projections that he has about comfort.

In practice, the phenomenology of economic cycles portrays the lucrative background of human existence. The cycles carry the consistency of behaviours which are motivated by rules, precepts, conventions, fashions and by the historical context which is dependent on nature and culture.

The cycles of the last three centuries followed the manner in which the means of subsistence were used in order to produce abundance. The sinuosity of their materialization reveals the degree to which common-sense has been exceeded, with the median line between ambition and possibility indicating where things were done properly.

The cycle portraying breakthroughs of possibilities is followed by the cycle of recalibrating ambitions, the curve of evolution being alternatively concave and convex in relation to the median. In the cycle of development the concave segment contains the active performance – where the means of wealth conform to randamental expectations, while the convex segment contains the realignments in creativity which herald the innovation of means.

The form is similar to any investment cycles, with the exception of speculative cycles whose evolution translates into a jagged, zigzagging line.

In a complex way the cyclicity is a feature of the human condition, where work, labour and action draw curved lines in the sands of existence. The human nature is the source of the sinuosity, as the propagating reflex of the increase and decrease of the individual elements in its composition.

The cycles are patterns for the evolution of the parts, and not the whole. The evolution follows the super-cycles, which cover time scales beyond the life cycles of several generations. In global terms, the super-cycles show up in the configuration of civilizations, in the radical changes of the contents of work, labour and human action.

When the super-cycle is about to change, as it is happening now with the supercycle of modernity, there occurs a phase of maximum turbulence as a result of the overlapping beginnings and ends of multiple cycles. Somewhat unavoidably, a Gordian knot appears in the arrangements of cohabitation.

The specific weave at the end of the super-cycle of modernity is formed from the fifth cycle of development and the third demographic cycle, which cover the final segments of the super-cycle. The last cycle of development (Kondratieff) did not contribute to the original geographic area of modernity with a technical solution to the final demographic cycle’s closing problem (Straus-Howe): generational imbalance.

The models for the management of values are switching places, in a clash liminary to violent collapse, and the model of vertical dependency is being displaced by the one for horizontal dependency. The caesural movement covers the end of the over-cycle of adversity which acts as the engine of a zero-sum game between man and nature (the exclusive competition), and the birth of the overcycle of win-win competition (cooperation/collaboration/consensualization).

The turbulence is amplified by political cycles which are structured by the eschatological ideologies at the twilight of postmodernism. We are still waiting for the manifestation of a leadership motivated by the ethos of the beginning of the new over-cycle, marking a different level in the complexity of a humanization which would be specific to the entrance into the second modernity when viewed as a sequence in the over-cycle of cooperation.

It is a phase which exacerbates the state of crisis and one which is psychologically perceived as an apocalypse. The tension of the world is at a maximum, leaning towards a violent discharge, especially after the emergence of a crisis of indebtedness. The strategy of war tends to replace the strategy of development. The emblematic term is that of exhaustion, as we are now at the ends of the overcycle of adversity and the super-cycle of the first modernity (of the conquest of nature).

The curtain is drawn over the Pre-Global Era of Adversity and the first rays of the Global Era of Consensuality are starting to shine. The world is caught at once by the pains of unravelling and the pains of creation. It loses and it wins.


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The turbulence of cycles
Marin Dinu

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The Economicity. The Epistemic Landscape, Marin Dinu, 2016

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