Peter Turchin’s ‘End Times,’ A Review

Thaddeus C. Meadows, Michael D. Ryall American Institute for Economic Research September 10, 2023 Link


Do you feel like we’re living in the end times? We do, sometimes. With each hit of unprecedented bad news, the country feels more and more as if it’s careening toward apocalypse. Over the last few years our society witnessed race riots, lockdowns, reckless fiscal and monetary policies, citizens expressing skepticism on election integrity and, to top it off, a return of bloody war in Europe. Underlying all of this is a growing awareness of a dangerous rift opening up between the elites and their non-elite counterparts. Thus, we were attracted to Peter Turchin’s new book, End Times. Turchin is a scholar whose aspiration is to build a new scientific approach (what he calls “cliodynamics”) to understand the forces that cause the rise and fall of societies. The book is a compelling read, and we like Turchin’s modeling, but we think some of his theories fall short.
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