rom Iran and the United States close to a world war at the start of the year to a global pandemic that completely and utterly halted life as we know it, to an act of severe injustice which ignited riots throughout the Western Hemisphere, the sequence of events that we have seen unfold is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
And the year is not even halfway yet.
What is even more fascinating is that 2020 is a year that has been talked about many times in the past, but this article will take a closer look at a more recent prediction made by a scientist only 8 short years ago.
The 2012 Prediction of the Major Social Upheaval Approaching
Russian-American Scientist Peter Turchin spoke to Vice in 2012 and his analysis about what is to come in the next 8 years raised some eyebrows, to say the least.
Especially when you consider the times we live in now.
His analysis stems from a theory known as the “cliodynamic theory of violence“, which concludes that over time, violence goes through cycles that range from high to low. These cycles are often grouped as different generations reacting to situations differently than their predecessors.
Turchin explains this theory as a pattern where build-up to a violent environment is a long one, followed by a decade or so of violence, which then follows a period of peace. After this is established, Turchin explains:
“IT’S THEN THE GRANDCHILDREN OF THAT GENERATION – WHO NEVER EXPERIENCED THE SEVERITY OF THE UPHEAVAL FIRSTHAND – WHO ARE LIKELY TO START CAUSING PROBLEMS AGAIN.” Peter Turchin, Vice Interview from 2012
The First Two Defined Categories of Violence
In Turchin’s in-depth analysis, he categorizes violence and upheaval into 3 different sections. All three sections are very applicable to the events that have unfolded not just in this year alone, but in the last 8 years since Turchin’s prediction.
Two of the sections of violence are when a specific group targets an individual, and the other category being massive attacks against innocent people by a sole perpetrator. We don’t even have to look far to find examples of these two distinct categories of violence.
In the case of Ahmad Arbery, an African American man who was gunned down by overzealous radical vigilantes for simply jogging through a neighborhood because he was suspected of robbing houses, this was a modern-day lynching which falls under a specific group targeting an individual.
There are a plethora of examples of massive killings against innocent people by a sole perpetrator. What’s sickening is that there are too many to count, the most recent one that I can remember being just over a year ago when a lunatic killed over 50 people at a mosque in New Zealand.
Predicting the 2020 Upheaval
The last and final category directly applies to our current situation. Turchin describes this category as the following:
“THERE IS ‘GROUPS ON GROUPS’, WHICH, IN THE CASE OF MODERN-DAY AMERICA, WOULD BE RIOTS”.Peter Turchin, Vice Interview from 2012
The shocking and brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis was the catalyst that created a massive and needed voice for change.
When you incorporate the COVID-19 pandemic into the equation, it made the situation even worse. With everything shut down and people warned to stay indoors, coupled with the financial loss due to jobs being cut, small businesses being forced to stay closed permanently, anxiety, loneliness, not to mention the mental and psychological impact, it is no surprise that riots were the end result.
Now there are calls to “defund” police departments throughout the United States and to allocate that money to other areas such as health care, education, infrastructure, etc. The term “defund” is being confused by some as abolishing police entirely, when it actually means reducing the police budgets throughout the country.
This is resulting in strong pushback from various Conservative groups, particularly President Trump, and this is resulting in more divide and tension:
Turchin summed up his entire prediction perfectly in one sentence:
“MY THEORY SUGGESTS THAT IT WILL BE 2020 WHEN THE US HITS A NEW PEAK OF VIOLENCE”.Peter Turchin, from a Vice Interview in 2012
While the violence might be a bit of an exaggeration since the violence doesn’t seem to have hit a “new peak”, the fact that riots have erupted throughout the Western Hemisphere because people are “sick and tired of being sick and tired” is definitely alarming; coupled with riots being specifically mentioned in Turchin’s analysis.
As previously mentioned, we aren’t even at the halfway point of the year yet.
Hopefully, the worst of these unfortunate sequences of events are over. Who knows what else 2020 has in store for the world.