Is America on the verge of a ‘Black Swan?’

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Peter Daniel Haworth applies (via The Dish) Nassim Taleb’s theory of black swan events in history to some hypotheses about the immediate future of the U.S.:

Could the United States radically change via another constitutional convention, experience a new civil war, split into multiple confederacies, and/or engage in a massive foreign war in order to preserve its cohesion? ….When considering Americans’ apparent skepticism about the legitimacy of their government, it is appropriate to question whether a “black swan” political-event (like one of the above) is in the making.

Deriving its name from the surprising discovery of the first black version of a swan in Australia (after millenniums of the Old World believing all swans to be white), a black swan event is one that most people consider highly improbable, that is often associated with and catalytic for major paradigm shifts in the course of history, and that people tend to make retrospective explanations for so as to hide (often for the sake of maintaining peace of mind) its outlier status…Ignoring the possibility of outlier events (like the ones discussed in this essay) is unwise, for they are frequent within and largely mold human history.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.