Chapter 3. Substituting The Spiral For The Pendulum

It's true, as everyone says, that history advances in cycles. There have always been short cycles; there have always been long cycles. There have always been cycles of war and peace, business cycles, cycles of ascendancy and decline, cooling and warming climate cycles—the list is almost endless. Some folks may even remember the brief but extensive popularity of the Kondratieff Wave theory. It said that capitalist economies tend to have long cycles of expansion, inflation, and recession, repeated every 54 years. Both the ancient Mayans and the ancient Israelites believed in 50 to 54-year cycles of catastrophe and renewal.

This cyclical motion is usually described as a pendulum. The mental image ...

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