Cultural Phase Changes are Mediated by Preference Cascades

I’ve written for years about the coming Phase Change, such as the one that overtook the Warsaw Pact. Such social phase changes are mediated by preference cascades. According to Kevin Baker writing at Quora:

The concept of the Preference Cascade is credited to Turkish economist Timur Kuran. Glenn Reynolds described the idea in a 2002 op-ed, Patriotism and Preferences. In short, average people behave the way they think they ought to, even though that behavior might not reflect their own personal feelings. Given a sufficient “A-HA!” moment when they discover that their personal feelings are shared by a large portion of the population their behavior may change dramatically.

The boy who cried that the Emperor was naked triggered a preference cascade. The Fall of Late Classical Civilization (in Persia, the Levant, Africa, and Iberia) to Islam might have been due to a preference cascade. Ditto for the Bronze Age Collapse. Many collapses are due to preference cascades, including – obviously – financial panics. When the morale of a great army or of a whole nation suddenly vanishes all at once, it is due to a preference cascade. Great Awakenings and mass conversions are mediated by preference cascades.

The American Revolution happened because of a preference cascade. So did the French, and the Soviet, and the Glorious. All the great epochs began and ended with preference cascades.

Numerous commentators are interpreting the recent Brexit vote, the sudden rise of the European reactionary Right, and the Trump phenomenon as evidence of a radical rightward preference cascade.

In the aforementioned article of 2002, Glenn Reynolds wrote:

This illustrates, in a mild way, the reason why totalitarian regimes collapse so suddenly. (Click here for a more complex analysis of this and related issues). Such regimes have little legitimacy, but they spend a lot of effort making sure that citizens don’t realize the extent to which their fellow citizens dislike the regime. If the secret police and the censors are doing their job, 99% of the populace can hate the regime and be ready to revolt against it – but no revolt will occur because no one realizes that everyone else feels the same way.

This works until something breaks the spell, and the discontented realize that their feelings are widely shared, at which point the collapse of the regime may seem very sudden to outside observers – or even to the citizens themselves. Claims after the fact that many people who seemed like loyal apparatchiks really loathed the regime are often self-serving, of course. But they’re also often true: Even if one loathes the regime, few people have the force of will to stage one-man revolutions, and when preferences are sufficiently falsified, each dissident may feel that he or she is the only one, or at least part of a minority too small to make any difference.

The tactic of Reaction, then, must be simply to break the current pervasive SJW Narrative. It’s all about the Red Pill. And that means samizdat. Fortunately for us, and thanks to DARPA, and at least for a time, we have at our disposal the best medium for samizdat in history: this one. And as has become crystal clear from the shrill Establishment reaction to Brexit and Trump, the cult of Moloch (I refuse to call it the Cathedral) is afraid. They fear that they have lost control of the Narrative.

And so, perhaps, they may very well have.

Onward, Christian bloggers!

6 thoughts on “Cultural Phase Changes are Mediated by Preference Cascades

  1. Pingback: Cultural Phase Changes are Mediated by Preference Cascades | Alt-Right View

  2. Pingback: Cultural Phase Changes are Mediated by Preference Cascades | Reaction Times

  3. Yes.

    I believe this happened with Brexit. More than half the English population, each of whom who believed himself to be an eccentric outlier, now knows he is in a large majority. And the priests of Moloch know that they have failed, despite a monopoly of the clerisy crushing public dissent to near zero.

    But to call it preference cascades is a materialist misrepresentation of a potential spiritual awakening.

    Whether many individuals choose to move on to an actual spiritual awakening is yet unclear – but we can be sure that if it does happen, the nascent spiritual revival will not be reported as such, but as the opposite.

    • But to call it preference cascades is a materialist misrepresentation of a potential spiritual awakening.

      Ware the temptation of Gnosticism and its contempt of corporeality! The spirit of man is materially *embodied* in an integral unity of being.

      Ware the temptation to improper reduction! To say that the motions of the spirit are expressed in human preferences is not to say that they are *nothing but* such preferences.

  4. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2016/07/10) - Social Matter


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