Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation
By Michael Flagg | Excerpted from the June 2010 Socionomist

Originally published under the title “Military and Political Leaders Need a Socionomic Perspective”


[Ed: Michael Flagg blogs about socionomics at He holds degrees in history and nuclear engineering and currently works as a project manager at a nuclear research reactor. 

[In this article, originally posted on May 28, 2010, Flagg asserts that even the best military and political analysts tend to commit a cardinal sin of forecasting: They assume that all current trends will continue. He suggests an alternative basis for mapping future probabilities.]

One of the few news service subscriptions I keep up is Stratfor. The site provides some of the best conventional analysis available, certainly more in-depth than mass market websites and magazines and often sourced very well when it comes to high-level strategic decisions made by military and political leaders throughout the world. This group cuts through the partisan haze and gets down to the mechanics of how power is exercised around the globe.

Having a source that is so well plugged in gives us a fantastic window into the minds of Western power elites. In my opinion, that same connectedness hinders them from catching dramatic turns in mass sentiment such as the one we are living through today.

… Looking over the topics on Stratfor’s [then-current] main page, I am amazed by the lack of ongoing attention to potential fracture points in the conventional framework. Scanning the topics this morning, I see:

  • a review of an attempt by Palestinian supporters to break the Gaza blockade;
  • a discussion of trade tensions between Argentina and Brazil
  • a special report on security for the World Cup matches to be held in South Africa;
  • an in-depth review of efforts by Hungary to extend citizenship to Hungarians outside the current borders of the country.

So what, you ask?

In the late 1700s, conventional analysis would have been discussing the numerical and training superiority of British troops and how it meant almost sure victory over a dispersed rabble in the North American colonies. A few years later, the same analysts would have stated that the enraged peasants of France stood no chance against a monarchical structure in place since the Middle Ages. I won’t even go into how bankrupt conventional economic analysis has become. This is the kind of analysis that today’s elites in politics are reading and understanding to be accepted facts. The decisions that will be made—or not made—in the coming weeks and months will likely lack recognition that we are at a watershed moment in history. They will be divorced of any grand understanding of the big, changing picture. They will reflect conventional thinking, focusing on the minutiae of tactics and political hustle and treating anger and violence as isolated expressions of local unrest. …


In the remainder of this two-page report, Flagg explains how socionomics can enable you to “see around the corner” during historic turning points and important times of change.

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Most economists, historians and sociologists presume that events determine society’s mood. But socionomics hypothesizes the opposite: that social mood regulates the character of social events. The events of history—such as investment booms and busts, political events, macroeconomic trends and even peace and war—are the products of a naturally occurring pattern of social-mood fluctuation. Such events, therefore, are not randomly distributed, as is commonly believed, but are in fact probabilistically predictable. Socionomics also posits that the stock market is the best available meter of a society’s aggregate mood, that news is irrelevant to social mood, and that financial and economic decision-making are fundamentally different in that financial decisions are motivated by the herding impulse while economic choices are guided by supply and demand. For more information about socionomic theory, see (1) the text, The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior © 1999, by Robert Prechter; (2) the introductory documentary History's Hidden Engine; (3) the video Toward a New Science of Social Prediction, Prechter’s 2004 speech before the London School of Economics in which he presents evidence to support his socionomic hypothesis; and (4) the Socionomics Institute’s website, At no time will the Socionomics Institute make specific recommendations about a course of action for any specific person, and at no time may a reader, caller or viewer be justified in inferring that any such advice is intended.

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