Friday, February 11, 2011

The Human Predicament Cycle

I am fascinated by what is going in Egypt right now. I can hardly take my eyes off the television. It is awesome to know that we are truly watching history being made. But, it begs the question: What's next?

The answer, of course, is anybody's guess.

But I am reminded of what I learned in college- in BYU's American Heritage class. The BYU professors came up with what they call, "The human predicament cycle." It is a cycle that centuries of civilizations have gone through that goes like this:

1. Tyrannical leader/dictator
2. Revolution to get rid of said leader
3. Leader is ousted, anarchy ensues
4. A new tyrannical leader is put into power to establish order

Wash, rinse, repeat.

The United States of America is the country that was able to break from this cycle. Watching Egypt, I am reminded once again of how great our founding fathers really were. After the Revolutionary War, the people wanted to crown George Washington King of America- but he refused, knowing they had just fought a war to be rid of a king. Instead, he worked with other great men to form our Constitution and establish the United States of America. We are certainly blessed to be a part of that legacy!

Now, we wait and see what Egypt will do. Will they fall victim to the Human Predicament Cycle and have anarchy that will lead to yet another dictator? Or, will they break free and establish a government of the people, by the people, and for the people?

Only time will tell, and I am anxious to see how this all plays out!


srbushman said...

I'm curious your thoughts on Wisconsin, Ohio and other state protests/rallys. I'm still trying to read up on all of it. Politics aside, just observing all of the political unrest all over the world makes me very uncomfortable and unsettled. And there seems to be an increase in tensions foreign and domestic.

srbushman said...

I was searching all the countries in the MENA (Middle East N. Africa) region that have "pro-democracy" movements: Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Djibuti, Syria, Morrocco. I am cynically realistic that the majority of these countries, including Egypt, will fall into the Human Predicament Cycle. Watching this cycle play out across the world, makes me SO much more grateful for the US and our Constitution and those early leaders who saw a way out! The possibilities of what can happen in the Middle East is frightening.

On another note, anyone's gas price increase the past few weeks?

Christina said...

I agree with you- all of this has made me incredibly grateful for the Constitution! I am so glad to be an American! And, the more things are playing out, the more concerned I am that it is not going to end well- particularly for America.

As far as WI goes, I am disgusted that the governor is using the economy as an excuse to destroy the Union. I am glad the Dems left to force the issue...HOWEVER- I see this as a prelude to what is going to be happening as the economy continues to get worse (including those gas prices!). Could it lead to civil war? I hope not. But, it could certainly lead to mass riots and protests which halt the government and the economy, making a bad situation worse. I wish the WI gov would give up and COMPROMISE on the collective bargaining. The union has already agreed to every other concession.

What I don't see happening right now is both sides being willing to sacrifice anything- in fact, the opposite is happening. Every budget cut the Reps. want to make is to a Democratic program- and vice versa. Neither side is willing to negotiate. That's what is going to be our downfall, I believe.

srbushman said...

I was interested in getting an in-state perspective, so I spoke with my sis-in-law, who's husband recently lost his job, has 2 severely autistic children, etc. One thing she pointed out is this issue is one of the many Gov. Walker ran on, and why a slim majority (52%) voted him into office. I asked her how these education cuts are going to affect her kids, who receive some of the nationally best in home therapy, provided through state education. And she said that it already has, BUT she would much rather have these cuts than the prospect of a $3.6 billion deficit in 2 yrs. No doubt, a very tough position to be in as a representative (from Gov to congressmen) in Wisconsin, or NJ, or NY, or OH, or CA. To name a few. And it seems that WI is just the beginning.

I would like to point out the Republicans would have been blasted by the media if they high tailed it out of DC when the controversial Health Care bill came to a vote. I could read the headlines now: "Boehner at a resort where tanning beds available 24/7" or "Ron Paul hijacked Kucinich's UFO to avoid vote". It is absolutely ridiculous that the "on the lam" dems aren't being completely roasted. This article by the NY Times I thought was satirical, how he portrayed the AWOL Dems:

Christina said...

It's not the cuts I'm against. It's taking away the right for teachers to bargain. The governor admitted the loss of bargaining rights has nothing to do with saving money and everything to do with destroying the union. The Dems and teachers have already agreed to the cuts. Glad I'm not a teacher in WI!

Christina said...

I will admit, though, that obviously walking out is not going to solve the country's problems. In this one particular instance I am glad they did, because of all the political issues education is the one I am most passionate about. For any other reason, I personally would not be for it- and if this idea spreads, it will be a major problem.

It reminds me of a supposed prophecy that Joseph Smith gave (it was written about 40 years after he supposedly said it, so I don't put a whole lot of stock into it,but it is interesting) where he said that the two leading parties- Dem and Rep- would be at war one with another and a third party would be raised up.

Right now, I think both parties have been taken over by extremists. Nobody in either party is willing to compromise on anything. I mean, to win by 52% is not a mandate- that means almost half of the population didn't want you to win, so to go in and make sweeping changes that effect the core of society is absurd to me. But that is what is happening, on both sides.

Where are the moderates? Do they exist anymore? But, I am willing to bet that most people in America are moderates, not extremists.

I would be willing to look at a third party that was a moderate pary. But, I don't see one out there. Until then, I guess the warfare between the two parties will continue.

srbushman said...

I agree with your observation that the two parties are growing extreme. One comment that stood out to me was "to win by 52% is not a mandate". Exactly. President Obama won by 52%, yet has pushed through an extremely liberal agenda not just in legislation but also through executive orders. His election was not a "mandate" for health care, or a "mandate" to ignore a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, stimulus packages, take over of student loans, list goes on. And his polling suggests that his electoral "mandate" has become a minority of support.

In regards to Wisconsin, I am trying to actually READ the bill (difficult with 3 kids clammoring for my attention! :). Instead of taking more commenting space, I think I will try to write my own analysis on my blog. But just from the first paragraph titled "Collective Bargaining", much of what is in the media is completely overstated, and unfactual. So hopefully I can make my way through it, and give a "moderate" or could we say, honest opinion! (Maybe thats what moderates are, HONEST!)

Lula O said...

I laugh when people call Obama "extremely liberal". A skeptical, snarky laugh because it's soooo not the truth. Barely liberal is more like it. Or a tinsy bit liberal or itty bitty liberal. If he was "extremely liberal" the public option would've stayed. We would've been out of Afganistan by now, and Don't Ask Don't Tell would've happened two years ago. And what about extending the tax cuts for the super rich (you know because the economy has hit them like so hard :/) And it would not have mattered who won that election - the banks still would've been bailed out. So let's quite calling him that. please.

Otherwise. Great discussion. Aren't both the Republicans and Democrats holding our federal government funding hostage right now? Neither side will budge so the shut down will be what, this Friday? Can't wait.