Monday, November 14, 2011
Silvio & JoePa
One of the core themes of this blog is that humans herd and subsequently create cycles of "mass" behavior through history. This can be observed in financial markets, war cycles, politics, fashion, pop culture, and many other categories.
We all know that the recent events at Penn State are a tragedy. What's significant to me is how quickly legendary coach Joe Paterno was terminated. He is guilty in part, but lets face it, he didn't perform the hideous crimes. The conclusion is, during contracting cycles where mass social mood dominates in "fearful and angry", icons fall quickly. The mob moves quickly and topples the ones that once stood on a pedestal. In contrast, during expansion cycles, icons survive great controversies. Bill Clinton's sexual encounter with a young intern might be the best example of all time. Many still believe that he was one of the greatest presidents of all time. Well timed bad behavior.
Jumping across "the pond", Italy's Prime Minister is sacked after serving 17 years in office. Do the people of Italy really believe that putting a new person in office immediately solves the debt crisis? No, they are just angry and "lynching" feels good. Many more leaders and icons will tumble. Libya might be a great microcosm where one asks the question "ok, now what?".
"Silvio Berlusconi dominated Italy for 17 years with a unique mix of political talent and brazen behavior but in the end the born showman was humiliatingly jeered from office, brought down by pressure from abroad. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi formally resigned on Saturday, ending one of the most scandal-plagued eras in recent Italian history amid the jeers of hundreds of protestors gathered in central Rome to celebrate his departure."
"The “mob” has emerged and they’re seeking someone to lynch."
Random Roving, June 30, 2008