The Circular Diagram
Imagine a circle that has three points on it. We’ll call it the anacyclosis circle.
One point on the northernmost part and the other 2 points spaced in a triangular line from this principal point.
Note that the circle progresses in the clockwise fashion. The northernmost point is tyranny. The second point is capitalism. The third point represents socialism.
Actually, you don’t need to imagine it. Luckily I have Photoshop. You can just look at it here:
This is the cycle of collapse. Or at least, a visual form of it.
Understanding the Anacyclosis Circle
What this visual diagram represents is the progression of political governance.
Starting with monarchy, he noted that the monarchs usually become tyrants. After tyrants, we have aristocracies. Aristocracies fall to oligarchies. They revive oligarchies with democracies, and democracies fall to ochlocracy. Over time, the monarchy returns out of the dust of the ochlocracy.
Then, the cycle repeats.
Individuals like Polybius, Aristotle, and Plato all noted these trends (in different manners).
Luckily, we have their works and also something they didn’t have. Which is the unprecedented ability in the modern era to look back on their time and everything else that has occurred since then.
The above circular diagram helps explain this political governance transition in a more modern light.
Instead of looking at the specific governments, we look at the socio-economic attributes of their governance.
The capitalism point stands for pure free market capitalism [government does not control means of production]. Whereas the socialism point stands for complete market intervention by governments [government controls means of production].
It is unlikely for any government to reside 100% on either of the points. Usually, each government exhibits a “mix”. More free nations lean toward capitalism. less free toward socialism.
As you can tell, I leave tyranny alone. For good reason: tyrannical governments can be somewhat capitalistic or socialistic in nature. They can also change rapidly at the whims of the authoritarian leadership.
For example, China has a tyrannical communist government. But they’ve recently opened up their markets to capitalism. They would now fall between tyranny and capitalism. You would have also seen the USSR on this point toward their end as they opened up their market.
Iran, on the other hand, is an Islamic dictatorship. They have deep hands in their economy. They would reside fairly well in between socialism and tyranny. Just like a country such as modern day Venezuela. We would place China here as well prior to their market opening up (such as with Mao’s Great Market Interventionist Famine).
The Western nations would reside between capitalism and socialism. Switzerland would be closer to the capitalist side than a country such as Sweden, but all of them would bear witness on that section of the circle.
You could place different types of governments on the circle. For example, a liberal democracy or social democracy would reside between capitalism and socialism. Strict communism resides between socialism and tyranny. Oligarchies would be between tyranny and capitalism.
But what’s more important than the government classification is their movement.
Our Fate on the Anacyclosis Circle
Every nation slowly (or rapidly) moves in a clockwise fashion on this circle.
What does this mean? Well it means that each government is working its way back to tyranny. We fall from grace, we become virtuous, and then we repeat the failures that every other ancient civilization has made and will continue to make.
It’s all part of anacyclosis. It’s all part of the cycle of collapse.
Every nation, empire, or civilization has witnessed it. The government slowly declines from capitalistic to socialistic to tyrannical.
It’s the cycle:
The United States is moving closer and closer to socialism every day. We can’t go back, only forward.
I’ve written a few different articles about the trend and ways to delay it. I’m also researching ways to stop it permanently. You can read them here:
- The Cycle of Collapse
- What is Anacyclosis and Kyklos? A Journey From Ancient Greece to Modern Day US
- Justification For The Diversion: Why We Need A New Government
Along with an answer on how to fix (or at least delay) the degradation:
You may lose a bit of hope thinking that we can’t stop the cycle. But realize that even if socialists win, their victory won’t last forever. Tyranny comes next. And how long that lasts is solely up to the citizenry.
Then, we’ll be back to capitalism.
Well, at least until it degrades… yet again.
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