By: James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

Watching the news each day has become a tortuous ordeal, with most of the news about the presidential race.  By Tuesday the eighth, most Americans were so sick and tired of the whole mess, it defied words to described their feelings.  Strife, strife, strife . . . nothing but discord and animosity with nether side seemingly able to do anything towards the problems of the average American.  Just one group seemingly pulling against the other for no real reason, but to bicker and argue endlessly.  And people continuity asking, so why can't any of them every work together to get something done?  Something that helps me, my family, my friends and co-workers.

No one seems to appreciate just what they have actually been witnessing, which is the process of social mitosis, a process where social groups begin pulling apart as people strive to go in different directions, resulting in a pulling force against each other.  This is illustrated by the figure, with the start shown in (a) where you have the   (alpha) people, as a fairly homogeneous uniform society living in harmony.  But the people begin to want different things in life, wanting to go in different directions to achieve their wants, as seen in (b), where this trying to go in different directions causes a tension as the   people pull against each other.  Sub-societies begin to form, as illustrated by the (alpha-gamma) and (alpha-omega) people.  This pulling apart process puts stress between them which often starts to aggravate and polarize the people.

The environment is often the source of the forces which cause this desire of the sub-cultures wanting to go in different directions, and when left unattended, this pulling away or polarizing continues with the sub-cultures becoming more distinct resulting in further separation until the subcultures are very distinct entities as seen in (c).  Here we now see the (gamma-alpha) and (omega-alpha) people, the alpha subscript indicating there is still much commonality between the people, but still they are now becoming very distinct cultures with different believes, wants and desires in life.  They continue trying to go in different directions resulting in building stresses between the two cultures over what the shared environment will look like, what it will be like.

As the pulling apart continues, the commonality decreases to the point where there are now two separate cultures as represented by (d) there now being the   (gamma) and the   (omega) people with distinct cultures wanting to shed the other people and be on their own, charting their own course in the world without having to consider the other people. 


The frustration and anger over having the ball and chain' of the other people can cause insurmountable stress that eventually causes a complete break of the two people as illustrated in (e), where now you have two separate and competing people, the   (gamma) and the   (omega) societies that have broken away from each other. Now each people is actively accentuating differences in their culture, how they are different and separate from the other people.  Unfortunately, this break-off isn't . . .  often as not, a passive peaceful benign process.  The break comes as war . . . insurrection . . . civil war, where fighting and terrorism erupts as one people strives to gain their independence from the other, usually the dominate people.

Social mitosis occurs over many years, decades, over many generations.  The slowness of the process disguises this process so people are unaware what is happening.  People come to think of this social  state as natural and always having been that way.  Consequently, as with any problem left unattended, no effort is made to arrest the splitting before mitosis has progressed to the point of being irreversible.

So now you may ask, just what does all of this have to do with economics and finance?', and the answer is very simple.  Strife and conflict always has a profound detrimental  effect on economies, because it causes instabilities and thus uncertainty.Investments tend to shy away from environments that are unpredictable, therefore there is less investment and consequently less economic activity and growth. We see that repeatedly with any country that is rife with instability with monies fleeing that country.

And that means fewer jobs!

For many decades now, the presidential elections have highlighted the divisions and separation of the American people, but in the past, the highlighting has faded somewhat after the election.  With the election of Donald Trump, the divisions of the American people continue to be illuminated as people continue to pull apart trying to go in opposite directions . . . in other words, as social mitosis progresses.  Several decades has shown a deepening divide in America from social mitosis.  One people wanting to be rid of the other to go about their way building a world of their own.

For the youth of American, the millenniums, with their diminishing economic opportunities, the process of social mitosis represents another impediment to building the life which their parents and grandparents have had.  The economic challenges of the millenniums, the problems of obsolete people and technology displacement remain ignored by the political process, the strife of social mitosis obscuring real problems.  But the big question is what happens to the millenniums if stage (e) occurs?  Will they continue to be passive observers, or will they become active participants in the rupture?  Student unrest and dissatisfaction is growing in American universities and colleges.

As social mitosis continues, what will the future hold for the millenniums.

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