Fall of America: Founder Of Largest Hedge Fund Says Full-Blown Civil War, Revolution May Be Coming
The U.S. is at a tipping point that could swing from “manageable” internal tension to revolution and civil war, says Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of investment management firm Bridgewater Associates.
Dalio examines class and power struggles in the latest installment of his ongoing series, “The Changing World Order,” encouraging his readers to think about class issues that can become inflamed during stressful periods.
Based on his research, Dalio said he has learned that the struggle over wealth and power tends to be the “biggest thing affecting most people in most countries through time.”
“We are now seeing growing disorder in a number of leading countries around the world, most importantly in the United States,” Dalio said in a LinkedIn post. “I wanted to put that disorder into context so I did the research … how the U.S. handles its disorder will have profound implications for Americans, others around the world, and most economies and markets.”
Dalio founded his investment management firm in 1975. It serves institutional clients including pension funds, endowments, foundations, foreign governments, and central banks.
He said his approach to learning is “to learn like a doctor learns—by encountering many cases as a global macro investor over my roughly 50-year career and by studying many historical cases.”
He said he studies cases qualitatively and quantitatively through his experiences, by speaking with pre-eminent experts, reading great books, and digging into stats and archives.
“From that learning comes a visualization of an archetypical sequence of how things happen,” Dalio wrote. “With that, I study deviations from that archetypical cycle to try to explain them. Then I put these mental models into algorithms both to monitor conditions relative to my archetypes and to help me make decisions based on them. I do this continuously and will continue to do it until I die.”
Dalio wrote that he studied back before Confucius to around 500 BC, and learned one timeless and universal truth.
“Those societies that draw on the widest range of people and give them responsibilities based on their merits rather than privileges are the most sustainably successful because they find the best talent to do their jobs well,” Dalio wrote. “They have diversity of perspectives, and they are perceived as the most fair, which fosters social stability.”
Fast forward to the Donald Trump administration, which reflected a preference for building a team “based on personal loyalty rather than suitability for the job at hand, leading naturally to a structure of interlocking fiefdoms rather than a coherent, competent team,” Matthew Yglesias wrote for Vox.
Dalio is hardly alone in predicting conflict or war ahead for the U.S. through the study of history.
In an interview with Graeme Wood for The Atlantic, historian Peter Turchin predicted the fall of America and an “almost guaranteed” hellish five years coming. Turchin founded a journal, Cliodynamics, dedicated to “the search for general principles explaining the functioning and dynamics of historical societies.”
Based on records mined from 414 societies spanning the past 10,000 years, Turchin concluded that complex societies arise through war. Democratic societies rise because they remember being almost wiped out by war with an external enemy. They avoid extinction only through collective action, and the memory of that collective action makes democratic politics easier to conduct in the present, Turchin said. “There is a very close correlation between adopting democratic institutions and having to fight a war for survival.”
America’s true nature has come into clear focus with the May 25, 2020 killing of George Floyd while in police custody, according to educator and activist Dr. Cornel West.
“George Floyd’s public lynching connected with the pandemic, connected with the neo-fascist gangster in the White House, and pulled the cover off who we really are and what our system really is,” West said in an interview with The Guardian published on Oct. 19.
West was in Charlottesville, Virginia on the day in August 2017 when a man drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters and killed a woman.
These are some key quotes from Dalio’s work, “The Archetypical Cycle of Internal Order and Disorder,” as identified by Bloomberg:
- “How people are with each other is the primary driver of the outcomes they get.”
- “The United States is at a tipping point in which it could go from manageable internal tension to revolution and/or civil war.”
- “To be clear, I am not saying that the United States or other countries are inevitably headed that way; however, I am saying that now is an especially important time to know and watch the markers in order to understand the full range of possibilities for the period ahead.”
- “The lessons and warnings of history are clear if one looks for them. Most people don’t look for them because most people learn from their experiences and a single lifetime is too short to give them those lessons and warnings that they need.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
- “I cannot overstate the importance of class struggles relative to individual struggles. We, especially those in the United States, which is a ‘melting pot,’ tend to think more of individual struggles and not give adequate attention to class struggles. I didn’t fully realize its importance until I did my extensive study of history.”
- “While I love that the United States is the country where these class distinctions matter least, people’s classes still matter in the U.S. and they matter a lot more during stressful times when class conflicts intensify.”
- “When wars—civil or external—happen you will have to decide whether you want to be in them or get out of them. When in doubt get out. You can always get back in, but you might not be able to get out.”
- “You individually, and those who are leading, need to have a realistic understanding of the circumstances you are in, the range of possibilities that exist given these circumstances, and how to make decisions to produce the best possible outcomes given these circumstances.”
- “You also need to be very adaptable in order to do the things you might need to do that are outside your current range of possibilities.”
- “You can have a better future if you put deferred gratification ahead of immediate gratification”