Social Mood Conference | Socionomics Foundation

By Chuck Thompson | Excerpted from the September 2013 Socionomist


[Ed: History is a good teacher.

When mass protests erupted in 2013 in places as diverse as Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria and Russia, many people asked: “Where is all of this coming from?” Socionomists noticed that this recent period of unrest is strikingly similar to the years 1848, 1968, 1989 and 2005.

In this illuminating article, socionomist Chuck Thompson explains that Wave “B” rallies produce protests with similar trajectories.

Here’s an excerpt of the September 2013 report.]

History’s Rhyme
Each of these periods of unrest came during what Elliott Wave International labels an upward “B” wave, i.e. a rally within a larger corrective pattern. B waves trend in the same direction as a recently completed impulse wave. But at the same time, they trend against the current wave of one higher degree, and as such are set-ups for disappointment once the larger downtrend resumes.

In almost every B-wave case, the protests also arose quickly and were unanticipated by sociologists and most other observers. They also spread rapidly, lacked a common theme other than the general demand for change, enlisted people from broad swaths of the involved societies, and lacked recognizable leaders. Perhaps most important of all: the B wave protests accomplish little in the way of true change.

1848: Trains, Tabloids and Tumults
The protests of 1848 began in January in Sicily and later spread to most of Europe.1 Figure 2, adapted from Figure 16-6 in Robert Prechter’s The Wave Principle of Human Social Behavior (1999), highlights the Cycle-degree b wave in which the demonstrations occurred. Estimates of the death toll from the protests range from 25,000 to 77,000.2

US stocks in 1848-2

Figure 2 – Click to enlarge

Economist David L. Smith said the 1848 protests were “essentially leaderless [and] without a coherent statement of purpose.”3 But as with most of the other B-wave protests that we will discuss, news of the events of 1848 “went viral,” according to Joshua Keating in a March 2013 article for Foreign Policy magazine.4 University of Texas political scientist Kurt Weyland wrote, “revolution spread immediately, right after the principal spark,” through the transportation and media of the day …


In the remainder of this nine-page report, Chuck Thompson reviews the origins and aftermaths of the B-wave protests of 1848, 1968, 1989, and 2005.

Continue reading to discover what makes protests during B waves different from others, and why recent protests in 2013 are giving us an eerie sense of déjà vu.

Want more content like this?

The Socionomist is the only monthly publication that offers you practical insights on the relationship between social mood, financial markets and cultural trends. Each issue warns you about big societal changes before they can harm you and reveals breakthrough opportunities emerging from trends in society.

Learn more about The Socionomist now.

(Socionomics Members: Log in for the full article and your complete, exclusive archive.)