Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 3-Jul-2018
3-Jul-18 World View -- Mexico elects far left president amid skyrocketing murders, crime and corruption

Web Log - July, 2018

3-Jul-18 World View -- Mexico elects far left president amid skyrocketing murders, crime and corruption

Generational explanation for the violence in Mexico

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Mexico elects far left president amid skyrocketing murders, crime and corruption

Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) In Mexico City on Sunday night (AFP)
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) In Mexico City on Sunday night (AFP)

Far left politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), 64 years old, won a landslide victory in Mexico's presidential election on Sunday, with about 53% of the vote -- more than double the total of his nearest rival.

AMLO's victory is being seen as the latest of large populist victories, comparable to the Brexit referendum, Donald Trump's victory, and the right-wing victory in Italy. As the world goes deeper into a generational Crisis era, and the survivors of World War II continue to disappear, the old orders and institutions are disappearing with them, and younger generations are creating a new world order that ignores the lessons of World War II.

AMLO told his supporters:

"I'm very aware of my historical responsibility. I don't want to go into history as a bad president. Now we are going to transform Mexico."

Well that claim would have to be placed in the category of "major fantasy." Mexico is infested with murders, crime and corruption, and no transformation is possible in the near future.

More than 110 politicians have been murdered since September. Last year, a record 25,000 people were murdered, and 13,000 have been killed so far this year. The 112th political candidate to be killed was Fernando Puron, a congressional candidate in the border city of Piedras Negras, who was taking a selfie with a supporter when a gunman shot him in the head from behind.

Corruption is endemic. Outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government and party were mired in a seemingly bottomless series of scandals. AMLO promises to end corruption quickly.

The wave of murders, kidnappings and gang-related violence began during the administration of former president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), who launched the government’s war against drug cartels in 2006. Instead of defeating the drug cartels, however, organized crime, predominantly drug trafficking, exploded into broader criminal activities including theft, extortion, murder and state-level corruption. Despite billions spent and massive cash injections from the U.S., Mexico has become only more dangerous.

AMLO wants massive spending on multi-billion dollar national infrastructure projects, but has not specified where the money will come from in Mexico's already weak economy. When asked he says that he can pay simply by reducing corruption and waste. That's what every politician says, but there's no chance that he will succeed.

Questions are being asked about how well AMLO and Donald Trump will get along, but they spoke on the phone on Monday, and both say they're in agreement on many things. AMLO had campaigned on Mexico leaving NAFTA, but Mexico really needs NAFTA, and so that campaign promise will be renegotiated with Trump. NBC News and AFP and Washington Examiner

Generational explanation for the violence in Mexico

Mexico's last generational crisis war was the Mexican Revolution of 1910-21. Mexico and Turkey are the only two major countries that have gone more than 90 years without a generational crisis war.

The time since the last generational crisis war has a profound effect on the society of a country. After the London subway bombings of 2005, we were able to show from published data that most Mideast suicide bombers overwhelming came from Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's last crisis war was the Ibn Saud conquest, ending in 1925, and Morocco's was the Rif War, ending in 1927. There appears to be a correlation between the time since the last crisis war and likelihood of suicide bombings and other suicide terrorist acts.

This phenomenon is explained theoretically in yesterday's article "2-Jul-18 World View -- Generational explanation of today's vitriolic divisiveness in America".

As described in the article, a generational crisis war, whether it's World War II or the Mexican Revolution or other, causes a core body of "lessons learned," a set of beliefs that are deeply held by all the survivors of the war. After the war, survivors in different political parties may differ on many policies, but there are deeply held core beliefs that allow them to cooperate on major policies. For example, in America in the 1980s, the Republicans and the Democrats cooperated with each other to change the Social Security system to make it a sounder system. After that, they cooperated again to specify new rules to control the budget deficit. That kind of cooperation became impossible in the 2000s.

Once the survivors of the crisis war die off, then the younger generations take power, but have no common deeply held core beliefs. Previously held core beliefs shatter into fragments. Each group in the population selects from those fragments, and uses them to develop its own set of core beliefs, and makes commitments to those beliefs. When those core beliefs conflict with reality and cause cognitive dissonance -- with a disconfirmation event as described yesterday in Festinger's theory -- each group doubles down on its unrealistic beliefs, and in many cases this means becoming violent.

This theory is still under development, but it does provide a solid theoretical explanation of the increasing violence in Mexico, and why it will continue to grow until the next crisis war, probably a re-fighting of the Mexican Revolution. A generational crisis war unifies a country into a common set of core beliefs. As the decades pass after the crisis war, this body of core beliefs shatters into fragments adopted by different groups, resulting in conflicts that can include violence. The next crisis war unifies the country again.

More on the generational explanation of vitriolic divisiveness in America

In yesterday's article, I described a "regeneracy event" as one that regenerates civic unity in the population for the first time since the end of the previous crisis war. In the American Civil War, it was the Battle of Bull Run. In World War II, it was Pearl Harbor and then the Bataan Death March. When these events occur, people with different political beliefs unite behind the leader to fight to preserve the country and its way of life.

During the days of the Barack Obama administration, I would write that if a regeneracy event occurred, then all the people would drop their political leanings, and become united behind Obama. This was greeted with horror by some commenters, where some people said that he and his friends would never unite behind Obama.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, and I'm hearing from commenters who say that they would never become united behind Trump.

Neither of these claims is realistic. If a nuclear missile landed on California, anyone who refused to defend the country would be branded as a traitor, and would be treated as such.

A regeneracy event is a disconfirmation event in the sense of Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance, as described yesterday. It forces everyone to reevaluate all their deeply held beliefs, and either reject them or double down on them. A few people will double down and become perceived as traitors, but even they will be convinced as the weeks pass. In time, almost everyone will support the president, whether it's Obama or Trump.

Related Articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Jul-18 World View -- Mexico elects far left president amid skyrocketing murders, crime and corruption thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Jul-2018) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2018
Web Log Summary - 2017
Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2018
Web Log - November, 2018
Web Log - October, 2018
Web Log - September, 2018
Web Log - August, 2018
Web Log - July, 2018
Web Log - June, 2018
Web Log - May, 2018
Web Log - April, 2018
Web Log - March, 2018
Web Log - February, 2018
Web Log - January, 2018
Web Log - December, 2017
Web Log - November, 2017
Web Log - October, 2017
Web Log - September, 2017
Web Log - August, 2017
Web Log - July, 2017
Web Log - June, 2017
Web Log - May, 2017
Web Log - April, 2017
Web Log - March, 2017
Web Log - February, 2017
Web Log - January, 2017
Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004

Copyright © 2002-2018 by John J. Xenakis.