Edition Release Notes
These edition release notes describe how the PatternsofPower books have evolved since the first edition was published in January 2013.
Notes on the First Two Editions
As described in the Preface, the first edition of this book was prompted by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was published, in full Kindle and paperback versions, as Patterns of Power: a Rough Guide. It was written in the expectation that it might be read from beginning to end, like any other book.
Edition 2 was essentially a re-formatting, to improve the usefulness of the pattern descriptions by making them easier to quote from. Some other changes were made, notably in response to further material on banking reform, inequality and drones. It was published in August 2014.
● This book can be thought of as comprising two separate books:
● An analysis of how power can be classified and assessed.
A repository of descriptions of all the patterns of power.
It was made easier for readers of the second full edition to bypass the pattern descriptions if they wish to get an understanding of the overall methodology without being overwhelmed by detail. All the pattern descriptions were numbered, to provide easy access to items of interest – and the pattern numbers are hyperlinked in the book’s electronic version.
Edition 2 was accompanied by another, much shorter, Overview edition which provided online access to the pattern descriptions via links to the Patterns of Power website.
Notes on the Third Edition
Periodically, the Patterns of Power books and the associated website material need to be updated to replace website links which no longer work and to refresh reference material where relevant. Edition 3 in 2018 also reflected major changes in the political landscape since the previous edition was. It was published with appropriate Edition Release Notes.
The electronic Edition 3a in 2020 moved some of the endnote text into the main body of the book and included live hyperlinks.
Some sections of the book were expanded and sub-divided to explore the major changes in more depth:
● Voters in wealthy Western countries have become discontented. Economic factors are largely responsible: globalisation has resulted in some jobs going to developing countries; inequality has continued to increase, as the proceeds of economic growth have mostly been taken by people who were already wealthy; and technology has enabled many jobs to be replaced by machines.
● Some politicians have seized on this discontent. There has been a surge of ‘authoritarian populism’: appearing to offer strong leadership, showing disregard for existing conventions and agreements, promising to roll back the impact of economic change, and blaming immigration for people’s problems.
● These populists have been able to take advantage of a major change in the way that news travels. Unaccountable sources, spreading innuendo and lies through social media, now play a major role in forming public opinion.
● Donald Trump‘s election was one example. Authoritarian populists persuaded British voters to choose to leave the EU in a ‘Brexit’, and there are further examples in other European countries. All collective international governance now appears to be more fragile, as these politicians turn their backs on international agreements.
● Progress made by the Paris Accord, to combat climate change, may be lost.
● The 2016 Chilcot Report, on the invasion of Iraq, was taken into account. Chapter 8 of Edition 3 only contains a summary of the Iraq analysis that was published in Edition 2 of this book, with links to the rest of it, but it included a comparison between that and the Chilcot report.
Notes on the Fourth Edition
Edition 4 is being reduced in length to make it more manageable and less susceptible to change. It excludes the contents of Edition 3 sub-sections, which contain a lot of the reference material, offering links to them instead. This approach allows sub-section pages to be updated more frequently, to include recent examples as they arise, or to remain unchanged if appropriate.
Several major political events have also been taken into account, listed here in chronological sequence:
● The impact of ‘Brexit’, Britain finally leaving the EU, is becoming clearer.
● The coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, which started in 2020, had an enormous economic and social impact.
● The incumbent President, Donald Trump, challenged the result of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. This deepened the polarisation in America’s politics and cast doubt on the robustness of its democracy.
● America and Britain made a chaotic exit from Afghanistan. This 20-year attempt to introduce regime change had resulted in abject failure, and it seriously dented the credibility of the West.
● Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. This presented a severe challenge to the entire international political system, causing a major reset to be necessary.
● Prime Minister Liz Truss published an extreme libertarian mini-budget’ statement on 23 September 2022, which created turmoil in UK financial markets. It was the result of a flawed leadership selection process.
Responding to further changes
The Edition Release Notes will be republished if there is another full edition of the book. The pattern descriptions will continue to evolve, though, as major events shed light on aspects of governance.
This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books. An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/Releases-b.htm.