Cycical Theory of History

Yesterday I was reading about the novel Finnegans Wake, which is based around the cyclical theory of history as developed by philosopher Giambattista Vico in 1725. Vico saw that history passes through four phases – the divine or theocratic; the aristocractic or heroic; the democratic or individualistic; and then the final stage of chaos. The fall into confusion starts the process again as humanity is jolted into a supernatural reverence.

I’ve been unaware of this cyclical view but think that it is basically accurate. There’s no doubt we have moved into the chaotic phase, but how far along are we? How much more chaotic will things get? How much chaos can we handle? Has the shift back to the supernatural started? It is going to be a fun ride!

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