On Generations and Statesmanship
Beatrice E. Rangel
Books authored by political leaders most often than not are meant to give the public an insider’s view into the decisions taken at the Commanding Heights of government mostly to set the record straight and enter history. Few however have in mind the need to educate the public on how the world operates.
This latter aim has risen in value recently as the world approaches the consolidation of the digital age into what the experts dub the Era of Semantic Networks. Because most human beings feel trapped in a maze of fiber optics transferring information at lightning speed without allowing the recipients to process let alone absorb the content. They thus need digital Sherpas to safely cross the heights of the digital summits.
Henrique Salas Römer decided to take challenge and wrote El futuro tiene su Historia ( The Future has History) a book that resorting to generational theory aims at explaining Latin Americans the nature and content of recent changes that have taken several countries several decades or even a century back as seems to be the case of his home country Venezuela. The book takes the reader through the most significant crossroads of contemporary history explaining conflict and harmony through the analysis of the international system properties; the interests of the parties and the differentiating attributes of each generation that he considers to represent a time hiatus of 15 years. The book thus is a great primer into international affairs with regional focus for the young while for us senior citizens it I a great refresher of historical knowledge and past current events.
The book took me back in time to the work Generations by william Strauss and Neil Howe. In the work they describe a theoretical and recurring generational cycle in American History They surmise the thesis that historical events are associated with recurring generational leaderships. Each generation has an archetypical persona whose leadership template marks an era that can be differentiated from other time segments by its differentiating social, political and economic climate. For Strauss and Howe, the generational cycles represent 20 to 2 years. And they are part of a larger cycle , the saeculum. In every saeculum there is a crisis which is followed by regeneration. During recovery, the American ethos turns to institutional buildup and value adherence.
Henrique Salas Römer’s book adds to generation theory the figure of the Black Swan. This are what could be described as the leaders of counter history. That is to say, the unexpected leaderships that turn the course of history. Blacks Swans announce the end of an era, but they do not build the subsequent structure. Clearly his country Venezuela is living those days that see the Black Swan but not yet the ascent of a new cycle. And while the region awaits this development it can use the book as roadmap.
Published by laht.com on October 14th, 2019
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*
Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O’Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.