Most reporters, politicians, political observers, and businessmen get all they know about change from John Naisbitt’s Megatrends.
Megatrends was a ground-breaking book when it first came out in 1984, but the methodology was simple. Naisbitt and his staff collected a whole bunch of stories from the recent past, then extrapolated those trends into the future.
Naisbitt was fortunate to be working in the center of a political era. Trends were established, and change was incremental. The assumptions of the Nixon era, of conflict, narrow majorities dominating, of established enemies (Communism, Big Government) and established ways of dealing with them, were all at their height.
But something else was true. The method Naisbitt used is about the only reliable way anyone has of telling the short-term future. Stock analysts look for earnings or price momentum, and trade based on it. Technologists look at the long-term plans of chip companies, and do their own product planning based on it. Reporters look at their notes, and write based on it. Hollywood moguls look at the latest box office returns and greenlight based on them. Sportscasters look at who won last year and make predictions for next season based on it.
Reversals are always a surprise.
Many liberal bloggers are currently amazed at the right-wing bias of the media, which flies in the face of an assumption of our time’s political Thesis, namely that the press has a left-wing bias. They should not be. The same observers are amazed at how baked-into Washington the political assumptions of the President’s party remain, despite evidence that the policies don’t work. They should not be. Washington is simply looking at the Megatrends, which are actually microtrends, and ignoring the possibility of real change.
Real change does not happen often. For assumptions to change you
need a crisis. You need a set of problems that the current Thesis
cannot comprehend. You need consequences so massive as to be unquestionable.
Such problems are with us today. The assumptions of the Nixon Thesis
not only make those problems worse, but make each attempt by existing
policymakers or Washington media to understand them more-and-more
Tipping points may be seen as a single event, like the Dred Scott decision, or the 1895 Gold Bond. (JP Morgan, left, thought himself a hero, the savior of the nation, for sponsoring the bond. He never understood how it made him the villain of the succeeding age.)
Tipping points can also be seen as a succession of events, the Depression’s Hoovervilles or the 1960s Drug Scene. Tipping points, simply, are whatever the next age runs away from.
By the time such Tipping Points are seen they are no longer news,
but history. What makes them into Tipping Points are the myths, and
values, that mass movements place on them in order to both understand them and to create power from them.
The mission of this blog is to further these new Myths, and
advocate these new Values, so that we will see what the actual Tipping
Point of our time was, and what to do about it. What I’m building is a story, and tracking its
path across history in real time, in hopes of nudging things forward
just a little bit.
But the trend, of Thesis, AntiThesis, Excess and Crisis, is already
well-established. It has been going on in American politics for
generations. The wheel’s still in spin, but the times they are
a-changin’. They are changing, today, in ways anyone whose analysis is based on Megatrends cannot
begin to comprehend.