Continued from Part 2: Happiness, Hedonism, Horror - Repeat
Lobaczewski was exiled to America in the late 70s by the Polish Communist authorities after being denounced by a correspondent for Radio Free Europe. Based on his observations of American culture in New York, he thought the U.S. reached a peak of hysteria in the 80s. Maybe he was right about that, but if he were still alive I would be curious to know his thoughts on American society in the past few years. It seems the hysteria has only gotten worse. Here's what he had to say about the U.S. in 1984:
America is stifling progress in all areas of life, from culture to technology and economics, not excluding political incompetence. When linked to other deficiencies, an egotist's incapability of understanding other people and nations leads to political error and the scapegoating of outsiders. Slamming the brakes on the evolution of political structures and social institutions increases both administrative inertia and discontent on the part of its victims. (PP, p. 64)Sounds like he could've been writing about today.
He also wrote that the U.S. seems to lag around 80 years behind the European cycle. The last European crisis was a bloody nightmare that saw one world war and the emergence of two major totalitarian pathocracies: the Soviets in 1922, and the Nazis in 1933 - then another world war. If Lobaczewski is right, that suggests that it can take at least two full 80-year cycles before a country risks falling into totalitarian barbarism that consumes its own people, which means Europe might get off relatively easy this time around. But maybe not.
Even in the 80s, Lobaczewski saw the potential of mass communications to "synchronize" distant countries' cycles. The Internet has exploded since then, helping to tie many nations' cycles even closer together. Mass communications give humans the chance to break the cycle, if enough truth can be shared widely enough, but they're a double-edged sword. Propaganda can travel just as far and just as quickly. Just look at the scope of anti-Russian hysteria today in North America and Europe. At the time he wrote, Lobaczewski was optimistic about Western Europe's future. But Europe's post-War ties with the U.S. have linked their cycles to a large degree. And according to Howe, Europe and America follow the same generational cycle, which means they've both entered the crisis phase. Things don't look good for the Western world.
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