WILL 2012 BE AS CRITICAL AS 1860? (Featured Article)

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”  – Abraham Lincoln

We are approximately five years into The Fourth Turning Crisis. Every previous Fourth Turning had an economic dimension that eventually led to a do or die all out war. The mainstream linear thinkers see a recovery and a return to their concept of normality. They will be shocked and flabbergasted when they realize that this is only the beginning of a 20 year period of turmoil, chaos and war. It seems that some study of history would benefit the mainstream talking media heads pretending to know what is happening and political hacks in Washington D.C. who pretend to administer the affairs of state. The cycles of history are not identical, but the alignment of generations is always the same. The cycles are consistent because a long human life is always between 80 and 100 years. The previous Fourth Turnings in U.S. history were the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Great Depression/World War II. The descriptions are as follows:

American Revolution (Fourth Turning, 1773-1794) began when Parliament’s response to the Boston Tea Party ignited a colonial tinderbox—leading directly to the first Continental Congress, the battle of Concord, and the Declaration of Independence.  The war climaxed with the colonial triumph at Yorktown (in 1781).  Seven years later, the new “states” ratified a nation-forging Constitution.  The crisis mood eased once President Washington weathered the Jacobins, put down the Whiskey Rebels, and settled on a final treaty with England.

The Civil War (Fourth Turning, 1860-1865) began with a presidential election that many southerners interpreted as an invitation to secede. The attack on Fort Sumter triggered the most violent conflict ever fought on New World soil. The war reached its climax in the Emancipation Proclamation and Battle of Gettysburg (in 1863). Two years later, the Confederacy was beaten into bloody submission and Lincoln was assassinated–a grim end to a crusade many had hoped would “trample out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.”

The Great Depression & World War II (Fourth Turning, 1929-1946) began suddenly with the Black Tuesday stock-market crash.  After a three-year economic free fall, the Great Depression triggered the New Deal revolution, a vast expansion of government, and hopes for a renewal of national community.  After Pearl Harbor, America planned, mobilized, and produced for war on a scale that made possible the massive D-Day invasion (in 1944).  Two years later, the crisis mood eased with America’s surprisingly trouble-free demobilization.

There is a consistent tempo to all Fourth Turnings. An event or series of events leads to the initial Crisis. As the Fourth Turning progresses it becomes more intense, chaotic, dire and bloody. It eventually exhausts itself as a victor is left in control of the battlefield. Picture George Washington at Yorktown, Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, and Douglass McArthur on the Battleship Missouri. The events during a Fourth Turning will always be different. The consistent aspect of all Fourth Turnings is the mood of the country, the same generational dynamics, and the reactions of the generations to events. Strauss & Howe describe this Crisis period as follows:

“The spirit of America comes once a saeculum, only through what the ancients called ekpyrosis, nature’s fiery moment of death and discontinuity. History’s periodic eras of Crisis combust the old social order and give birth to a new. A Fourth Turning is a solstice era of maximum darkness, in which the supply of social order is still falling but the demand for order is now rising.”

The turnings of history are like the seasons. It is impossible to go directly from Fall to Spring. You must withstand the bitter harshness of Winter in order to get to the revitalizing warmth of Spring. The intensity and depth of Winters will vary. Those who prepare for a potentially harsh Winter in advance will be more likely to survive.  The morphology of Fourth Turnings as described by Strauss & Howe is:

  • A Crisis era begins with a catalyst – a startling event (or sequence of events) that produces a sudden shift in mood.
  • Once catalyzed, a society achieves regeneracy – a new counterentropy that reunifies and reenergizes civic life.
  • The regenerated society propels toward a climax – a crucial moment that confirms the death of the old order and birth of the new.
  • The climax culminates in a resolution – a triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from losers, resolves the big public questions, and establishes the new order.

An honest assessment of where we sit in this cycle shows that we are still in stage one. The housing collapse brought about the near destruction of the worldwide financial system. The sudden shift in mood has been borne out by the angry rise of the Tea Party and the startling result from the recent election. Society is on the verge of stage two. There has yet to be the reunification and reenergizing of society. It still feels like things are falling apart. The sun is slowly setting on this stage and a dark brutal Winter night beckons. 

1860 Election – Spark that Ignited an Epic Conflagration


Turnings throughout history have consistently lasted between 15 and 25 years, except one. The Civil War Crisis Turning lasted only 5 years and seems to not fit the standard definition of a Turning. Strauss & Howe reflected that:

“By the usual pattern of history, the Civil War Crisis catalyst occurred four or five years ahead of schedule and its resolution nearly a generation too soon.”

The truth is that instead of a drawn out Crisis over 15 to 20 years that would have had undulations of pain and suffering, the U.S. experienced the most savage 5 years in our history, with 620,000 Americans killed and 400,000 wounded. Ten percent of all Northern males 20–45 years of age died, as did 30 percent of all Southern white males aged 18–40. Strauss and Howe conclude that there are two lessons from the Civil War Crisis:

  1. The Fourth Turning morphology admits to acceleration.
  2. That acceleration can add to the tragedy of the outcome.

The catalyst for the Crisis was the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States. After the Compromise of 1850, who would have envisioned the election of an unknown Congressman from an abolitionist party that didn’t even exist in 1850. Beyond that, could anyone have predicted the carnage from the bloodiest war in the history of mankind being the result of that election? Many people do not know that there were four candidates for President in 1860 and that Lincoln won the election with only 39.8% of the popular vote. Lincoln won the Presidency and he wasn’t even on the ballot in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas.

The Republican Party realized they had a tremendous opportunity to win the Presidency as the Democrats were in disarray. Since it was essential to carry the West, and because Lincoln had a national reputation from his debates and speeches as the most articulate moderate, he won the party’s nomination on the third ballot on May 18, 1860. The Republican platform stated that slavery would not be allowed to spread any further, and it also promised that tariffs protecting industry would be imposed, a Homestead Act granting free farmland in the West to settlers, and the funding of a transcontinental railroad.  All of these provisions were highly unpopular in the South.

The Democratic Party split into two factions due to the issue of slavery. Stephen A. Douglass became the Northern Democrat candidate. He was a moderate on the slavery issue. John C. Breckinridge was selected by the Fireaters from the Deep South. Breckinridge supported extending slavery into territories whose voters did not want it. A fourth party called the Constitutional Union Party made up of die-hard former Southern Whigs and Know Nothings who felt they could support neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party was formed. They nominated John Bell of Tennessee for President. The party platform advocated compromise to save the Union, with the slogan “the Union as it is, and the Constitution as it is.”

The voter turnout rate in 1860 was the second-highest on record (81.2%, second only to 1876, with 81.8%). The voter turnout in 2008 of 56.8% was the highest for a Presidential election since 1968.

File:Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Helser, 1860-crop.jpg  File:John C Breckinridge-04775-restored.jpg

Nominee: Abraham Lincoln                        Nominee: John C. Breckinridge

Party: Republican                                          Party: Southern Democrat

% of Vote: 39.8%                                              % of Vote: 18.1%

Electoral Votes: 180                                      Electoral Votes: 72


Nominee: John Bell                                        Nominee: Stephen A. Douglass

Party: Constitutional Union                          Party: Northern Democrat

% of Vote: 12.6%                                                % of Vote: 29.5%

Electoral Votes: 39                                         Electoral Votes: 12

As the 1850s progressed the firebrands in the North and South became more entrenched in their dogmatic positions. The Transcendental Generation Prophets came to power and compromise was no longer an option. Both Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were from this Prophet generation. Aging Prophets are always the moralistic drivers of Fourth Turnings. Strauss & Howe stress the importance of the Prophet Generation during a Fourth Turning:

A Crisis catalyst occurs shortly after the old Prophet archetype reaches its apex of societal leadership, when its inclinations are least checked by others. A regeneracy comes as the Prophet abandons any idea of deferral or retreat and binds the society to a Crisis course. A climax occurs when the Prophet expends its last burst of passion, just before descending rapidly from power.

The election of Abraham Lincoln proved to be the catalyst for the Crisis. Seven southern states seceded from the Union before Lincoln took office. The attack on Fort Sumter started a spiral of carnage and butchery that could not be reversed. The Crisis reached regeneracy after the Union debacle during the First Battle of Bull Run. Lincoln realized winning this war would require full mobilization and all out war. He ordered the enlistment of 500,000 soldiers, suspension of habeas corpus, taxation, and expansion of government power. The next four years were a swirl of savagery and unprecedented tragedy. It convulsed to a chaotic conclusion with the surrender at Appomattox and assassination of Lincoln in the same week. The Crisis exhausted itself with the climax seeming more like a defeat than a victory.

Are the actions of politicians 150 years ago worth understanding in order to determine how our current Crisis will develop? Since every Crisis period has the exact same generational configuration and generations react to events in similar manner, I believe it is worthwhile to examine the Civil War dynamics. Historian Gordon Leidner’s conclusions about the Civil War period are revealing:

  • Although the majority of the American people– including many moderate politicians like Abraham Lincoln–wanted to avoid Civil War and were content to allow slavery to die a slow, inevitable death, the most influential political leaders of the day were not.
  • On the southern side, “fire-eaters” like Robert Rhett and William Yancey were willing to make war to guarantee the propagation of their “right” to own slaves.
  • On the northern side, abolitionists like John Brown and Henry Ward Beecher of Connecticut were willing to make war in order to put an immediate end to the institution of slavery.
  • Southern politicians convinced their majority that the North was threatening their way of life and their culture. Northern politicians convinced their majority that the South, if allowed to secede, was really striking a serious blow at democratic government. In these arguments, both southern and northern politicians were speaking the truth–but not “the whole truth.”
  • It was also about the constitutional argument over whether or not a state had a right to leave the Union, and–of primary concern to most southern soldiers–the continuation of antebellum southern culture. Although the majority of Southerners had little interest in slaves, slavery was a primary interest of Southern politicians–and consequently the underlying cause of the South’s desire to seek independence and state rights.

The insights gained from the Civil War Crisis are that compromise and moderation are discarded. The firebrands control the field. The Prophets push for an all out war to settle the pressing issues of the day. They are willing to sacrifice the young in their moralistic fervor to satisfy their vision of the future. The final verdict will depend on the strength, judgment, and wisdom of the Prophet leaders during a Crisis.

2012 Election – Crisis Leader Sets Stage for Dark Days Ahead 


     Nomad (Gen X)                         Prophet (Boomer)              Prophet (Boomer)


  Prophet (Boomer)                        Nomad (Gen X)                         Prophet (Boomer)

        Artist (Silent)

By 2012 we will have reached the 7th year of this Crisis. The linear thinking media and supposed “thought leaders” are convinced that the worst days of this Crisis have passed. They believe that the Federal Reserve and Government leaders have taken the proper actions to avert a Great Depression. They will be shocked when the Crisis deepens and gets far worse than today. Every action taken by our leaders since 2005 has  worsened the Crisis. Rather than letting the culprits of the financial crisis fail, they have propped up these criminal institutions with taxpayer funds. By not accepting the pain early in this Crisis, these leaders have ensured that this Crisis will be more tragic, brutal and wrenching. The mood of the country continues to darken, even as the mainstream media and government cheerleaders falsely insist that things are getting better.

By year 7 of the American Revolution Crisis, George Washington was on the verge of defeating the British at Yorktown and bringing that Crisis to a positive conclusion. The Civil War Crisis had concluded with Union victory by year 5. The Great Depression/WWII Crisis was in a lull period, with GDP growing by 13% in 1936 as government spending and personal consumption surged. The economy gave the appearance of recovery because FDR’s New Deal programs created make work schemes using government funds. Americans know the 1930s as the Great Depression. As proof of how meaningless GDP calculations are versus how real Americans are affected, the GDP increased by 63% in the four year period between 1934 and 1937. Despite this phenomenal growth, the unemployment rate remained at 17%. In comparison, GDP has advanced by only 5.1% from the bottom in the 2nd quarter of 2009 until today and the unemployment rate on a comparable basis is 23%. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the 1936 election over Alfred Landon in one of the greatest landslides in history, with 523 electoral votes to Landon’s 8.   

The current Crisis appears to be in a lull similar to the 1930s. Government actions can mask deeper problems for awhile, but pressure continue to build. The problems did not go away. The bad debts did not disappear. The Wall Street criminals are still free to loot the American middle class. No one has been prosecuted for the greatest financial fraud in history. The National Debt continues to balloon by $4 billion per day. The USD is slowly being replaced as the worldwide reserve currency. Political ideologues have taken control of both parties. Worldwide trade tensions and social contract broken promises are leading to riots and chaos across the Europe. The onset of peak cheap oil is raising prices for fuel and food and setting the stage for coming resource wars. Fundamentalist religious leaders are pushing for a religious war between Christianity and Islam. The extremists are gaining control of the agenda.

The sudden shift in mood has occurred. The hard working middle class of this country are frustrated, angry and feel betrayed by their leaders. The American people are fed up with all politicians. The liberal ideologues and conservative ideologues have staked out immovable positions on social, financial, and foreign trade issues. Compromise is as likely as it was in 1860. The Tea Party will not compromise. Their agenda is to change politics in Washington DC. They will be a thorn in both party’s side. The possibility of the Tea Party becoming a 3rd party is quite possible. This brings us to the 2012 Presidential election. The current configuration of Congress guarantees that absolutely nothing will get done in the next two years. Both parties will ignore the looming disaster of debt, devaluation, and depression as they position themselves for the 2012 election. The Crisis has not yet entered the regeneracy stage. This is the stage where the country unifies behind a leader and deals with the sudden threats that previously have been ignored or deferred, but which are now perceived as dire. The likely threats are the National Debt, a currency collapse, the Christian/Muslim conflict, Peak Oil, the rise of China, or more likely a combination of some of these issues.

Strauss & Howe‘s words regarding the approaching Crisis, written in 1997, are eerie and haunting:

“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability –  problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.”

As I try to assess the next phase of this Crisis, I have been seeking guidance from previous Fourth Turnings. At this juncture, the Crisis seems to have aspects of the Great Depression/World War II and Civil War Fourth Turnings. A financial crisis morphed into recession, much like the 1929 Crash and subsequent recession. Like the Great Depression, government borrowing and spending has given the false hope of recovery. The difference is that  government actions have failed to generate a strong rebound in GDP and unemployment continues to ratchet higher. A landslide election victory by Barack Obama in 2012 is not only impossible; he may not even be the Democratic nominee. The 2012 Presidential election is already destined to be a defining moment in our country’s history. The future path, intensity and pain of this Crisis will be greatly impacted by the outcome of this election. The darkening skies of Crisis are likely to become more threatening by 2012.

A recent Gallup poll gives an early indication of the likely Republican nominee in 2012. The front runners (Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin) have remained static, while the firebrands (Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee) have gained ground. The move towards a moralistic Prophet summoner of human sacrifice is not a surprise. The financial and world events that lead up to the 2012 election will determine which candidate is selected from the Republican field. The firebrands are likely to push to resolve ever-deepening moral choices through military force.

November 2010: Which of These Candidates Would You Be Most Likely to Support for the Republican Nomination for President in 2012? Based on Republicans and Republican-Leaning Independents

Usually an incumbent President can be sure of re-nomination as the Democratic candidate, but Obama’s popularity is so low and his effectiveness as President has been so wanting that a challenge from Hillary Clinton is a distinct possibility. Clinton has the Prophet persona and would command the respect of Americans looking for foreign relations expertise. A failed challenge to Obama’s nomination would likely weaken Obama and allow the Republican candidate an easy victory. A potential wildcard would be an insurgent independent campaign by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. His financial background and moderate positions on social issues could attract moderate Republican and Democratic voters. Another possibility is that the Tea Party is unable to assimilate within the Republican Party and decides to nominate its own candidate. This could lead to an 1860 like situation, with four candidates vying for the Presidency. The victor in this scenario might need to be selected by the Electoral College. The next President could be elected with less than 40% of the popular vote. Could this election result lead to secession movement? Will large segments of the population not accept the election verdict?

Will America Survive this Fourth Turning?  



We are poised on the brink of the regeneracy phase of this Fourth Turning. The open question is what incident or events will lead to Americans rallying around a Prophet leader. Regeneracy during the American Revolution occurred in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence. It occurred during the Civil War when Lincoln demanded full mobilization and total war after the Battle of Bull Run. The election of FDR in 1932 produced a regeneracy based upon his New Deal policies. The issues confronting our nation appear intractable. The government “solutions” to the initial phase of this Crisis have been to paper over bad debts, prop up insolvent financial institutions, defer hard entitlement choices, debase the currency in an effort to alleviate overwhelming levels of government debt, ignore the imminent implications of cheap peak oil, and waging never ending lifeblood draining wars on terror. Ben Bernanke, a self described “expert” on the Great Depression, and his Federal Reserve, which has inflated away 96% of the USD purchasing power since 1913, will be the likely culprit in the next phase of this Crisis. Countries around the world are scrambling to reduce their exposure to the USD. Ben Bernanke has proven unable to comprehend the most basic economic signals (housing collapse, derivatives, Wall Street fraud). He will be blindsided by the sudden collapse of the US currency.

It is likely that phase two of this financial Crisis will lead to the election of a dogmatic Republican Prophet Boomer in 2012. This person will take office in January, 2013, eight years into this Fourth Turning. They will be faced with the realization that peak cheap oil is a fact, as even the linearist thinkers realize that technology and green energy will not provide the bumper sticker solution for our oil dependent society. The devastating combination of a currency collapse, oil supply shortages, and the draining war on terror will either unify the country behind the Prophet leader in their effort to save the country or it could result in the country’s fabric tearing apart with the Federal government losing control of sections of the country. A World War over dwindling natural resources is easily foreseeable. The actual denouement of events remain a mystery. Much will depend on the leader we choose. Much will depend on the strength, fortitude, and sacrifice of the American people.

Strauss & Howe provide four possible outcomes to our current Crisis:

  1. This Fourth Turning could mark the end of man. It could be an omnicidal Armageddon, destroying everything, leaving nothing. If mankind ever extinguishes itself, this will probably happen when its dominant civilization triggers a Fourth Turning that ends horribly. For this Fourth Turning to put an end to all this would require an extremely unlikely blend of social disaster, human malevolence, technological perfection and bad luck.
  2. The Fourth Turning could mark the end of modernity. The Western saecular rythm – which began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Renaissance – could come to an abrupt terminus. The seventh modern saeculum would be the last. This too could come from total war, terrible but not final. There could be a complete collapse of science, culture, politics, and society. Such a dire result would probably happen only when a dominant nation (like today’s America) lets a Fourth Turning ekpyrosis engulf the planet. But this outcome is well within the reach of foreseeable technology and malevolence.
  3. The Fourth Turning could spare modernity but mark the end of our nation. It could close the book on the political constitution, popular culture, and moral standing that the word America has come to signify. The nation has endured for three saecula; Rome lasted twelve, the Soviet Union only one. Fourth Turnings are critical thresholds for national survival. Each of the last three American Crises produced moments of extreme danger: In the Revolution, the very birth of the republic hung by a thread in more than one battle. In the Civil War, the union barely survived a four-year slaughter that in its own time was regarded as the most lethal war in history. In World War II, the nation destroyed an enemy of democracy that for a time was winning; had the enemy won, America might have itself been destroyed. In all likelihood, the next Crisis will present the nation with a threat and a consequence on a similar scale.
  4. Or the Fourth Turning could simply mark the end of the Millennial Saeculum. Mankind, modernity, and America would all persevere. Afterward, there would be a new mood, a new High, and a new saeculum. America would be reborn. But, reborn, it would not be the same.

The Fourth Turning is not a prophecy of doom. It is not some sort of Nostradamus like prediction of what will happen on a certain date. The Fourth Turning is part of a cycle of history tied to a long human life that has happened before and hopefully will happen again. Our trials await. Will America respond with strength of character, wise choices, and a willingness to sacrifice for future unborn generations? It is time to find out.


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
                                                              Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8




146 thoughts on “WILL 2012 BE AS CRITICAL AS 1860? (Featured Article)”

  1. “This approach eased financial conditions in the past and, so far, looks to be effective again. Stock prices rose and long-term interest rates fell when investors began to anticipate the most recent action. Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.” – Ben Bernanke – Nov 4 – Washington Post

  2. There are three things today that are quite different from previous 4thTurnings in the USofA.

    1) A Massively bloated government with literally tens of thousands of laws that makes criminals of us all. If the Feds want to shut you up they can and will … even if means making sit up on the spot.

    2) A tremendously stupid (and deliriously happy) population. They are happy if you give them a flat screen, inane stupid “entertainment”, and Free Shit out the wazoo. Where are the Minutemen or soldiers likened in The Red Badge of Courage today?

    3) Leadership. Each previous 4th Turning produced substantial Leaders — whether good or bad. Where is such leadership today?

    This is by no means a criticism of th 4th Turning and your fine article, Jim.

    I’m just wondering if these things make any difference, or if I have it all wrong.

  3. ~~ It seems that some study of history would benefit the mainstream talking media heads pretending to know what is happening ~~

    Its my opinion that pundits intentionally blind themselves to reality in hopes people accept the perception management they spin.

  4. Stuck

    Your assessment is dead on. The Fourth Turning is here. The outcome is in doubt. The outcome could be positive or negative. It will depend on our leadership and ourselves.

    Your assessment shows that the outcome is likely to be negative based on what we see today.

  5. Smokey

    Don’t make me throttle you like a ragdoll again. -=JQ=-


    I dunno, maybe he likes it. =[)

    As for the Islam vs Christianity thing (img above)

    I dont see that happening. Sure the media pushes that idea and many of thee evangelical fundmaentalists buy into it because of the rapture belief, but after our debate on middle east oil and cablegate its clear that our political class has set muslims against muslims what with Saudi actively working to defeat Iraq, Afghanistan and now Iran and actively work to dupe Christians to garner backing for their plans that are in no way religious.

  6. None of those turds whose pictures are posted can be considered anything but the scumbags they all are, compromised currupted to the absolute extremes. If these are America’s prophets we are in big big trouble. The answer is going to have to come from outside of politics and outside of the rat infested main stream media, who make shit heads like these people powerful to line their own pockets and prop up the banks and big global corporate business. You know the ones who would like to see you and your family reduced to serf status. We need true prophets with American’s best interests at heart to step forward. This is going to be very difficult because we as americans are so atomized and cut off from each other and reality that if Jesus was to come back with Thomas Jefferson and Ben franklin all holding hands saying, “Americans its time we all unify step forward and take back our country” no one would even know about it, unless they were really paying attention and going out of their way to partake in reality (reading sites such as these). The best thing all of us can do for the time being is to simply quit using the banks. That simple if only 20 million affluent middle class people (the very people who bear the brunt of taxes and line the bankers pockets) were to simply say screw these banker pigs, no more loans or checking accounts or credit cards until we at least have some say and respite in the gallows presently being built for our freedoms. We would start to see change you can believe in. Intellectual and moral Complacency ain’t going to cut it anymore. Just sitting idly on the sidelines picking and voting for the weak lame black mailed and compromised candidates they the powers that be select for you is not going to get us through what is right ahead.

  7. “The mainstream linear thinkers see a recovery and a return to their concept of normality. They will be shocked and flabbergasted when they realize that this is only the beginning of a 20 year period of turmoil, chaos and war.” JimQ

    Only 20 years and we have 5 of them done already? You are joking, right? 20 DECADES is more likely necessary to knock down this population.

    On the S&H Choices for Fourth Turning Outcomes, I’ll go with Door Number 2, Monty. However, we won’t get down there in 20 years. It will take a good deal longer than that.

    Finally, as I will point out in all your Fourth Turning threads, this cycle is directly related to the lenght of time it takes for a monetary system based on debt to swamp out. The resulting economic dislocation is what drives the wars that follow. The difference between this one and all the rest was they all came on the upward trajectory of the transition from Ag to Industrialization and dependence on Fossil Fuels. This is the first conflict where we begin to REVERSE ENGINEER our way back down the slope.

    We should hit a Resistance level at 1750s era technology. However, if we break through that level, go Short on Metallurgy and Long on Obsidian. Get ahead of the game with your Grandkids now and teach them how to press flake out a knife and spear point just in case.

    Welcome to the Neo-Stone Age.



  8. As I re-read portions of The Fourth Turning writing this article, I was again dumbfounded by how accurate and prescient these two men were when they wrote this book in 1997. Their examples of what might happen were uncanny in their accuracy.

    I urge anyone who has not read this book to get a copy. It will open your eyes and will provide you the impetus to prepare for the harsh winter ahead.

    Or you can ignore this warning and stumble into an uncertain future.

  9. RE, the population of anything can go from to numerous to count to extinct within a few years, Google Passenger Pigeon. The use of genetically engineered bio weapons (my money is on Super Smallpox and or the 1918 Influenza virus Redux) will leave the overall biosphere intact for the fortunate few. We could do this tomorrow, and probably ALREADY have. Nukes, MEH old school. After all influenza can be carried by most mammals and birds WITH NO symptoms (until Humans start dying). Small pox is more constrained by carrier limitation (insects in general, fleas and bedbugs were the primary carriers last time round) but again…
    “Captain Trips” anyone?. Cough, Cough…

    As for 2012, I believe next year will be the tipping point, as the euro implodes, the United States will face a currency crisis. The United States government is incapable of any “solution” that does not involve spending, printing and looting. Spending and printing will be restricted so LOOTING it will be.
    When the balloon goes up get your assets out of the United States IMMEDIATELY. Pretend you are a Jew in Nazi Germany around 1939. Capital controls and confiscation of the remains of your 401k will be the FIRST thing your Congress does when the SHTF for the Second time. That is the Hope and Change you will be getting. Have your passport ready…

  10. RE, I disagree. We’ll hit a resistance level at 1900’s technology, pre-Industrial age and before penicillin, which will be able to support anywhere from 25 – 50% of today’s population.

    The US government will be the most feared organization in a post black swan environ, essentially making enemy combatants out of anyone standing in the way, domestic and foreign.

    Bank, Telecommunications, Energy and Government institutions will continue to function. These institutions aren’t prepared for a holocaust, so restoring order will be the preeminent concern. These institutions are also run by people, who need to eat, sleep, and commute. So expect distribution centers to be set up that will be heavily guarded, as well as military patrols to maintain order in metro areas. In the worst case, DC will become an Iraq style green zone.

  11. When I see pictures of Dis-Honest Abe I’m comforted to know that in the end he got what he deserved…a bullet. To bad JWB couldn’t have shot him between the eyes.

    The unprepared will pay dearly,the prepared will pay too but in the end they will prevail.

  12. The use of genetically engineered bio weapons (my money is on Super Smallpox and or the 1918 Influenza virus Redux) will leave the overall biosphere intact for the fortunate few ~OB~

    Reminds me of the ‘chemtrails’ conspiracy. =]

  13. @ OB

    Don’t forget the Deer on St Matthew’s Island!


    Despite the distinct possibility of such a rapid crash, I don’t think it plays out that way for Homo Sapiens. There are enough redundant systems in place to string out the die off for a long time. However, the initial period will be pretty intense, no doubt. If you are looking for a Growing Profession to pursue in the years to come, consider Grave Digger.


  14. Economist and economic historian Ravi Batra has a similar historical model and prediction that is worth considering. it is based on the work of P. K. Sarkar. Check out The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) for a fifth possible outcome to the four listed above.

  15. Smokey

    Nice DP takedown on ZH. I’m crushing two other morons. I used your throat yogurt line. I hope you don’t mind.

  16. Just had a look at ZH. DP is half a pint short of a cup of brains, that is for sure, but he wasn’t alone in that. There are some real winners over there.

    I haven’t read The Fourth Turning. I believe there are patterns to history, but am not sure how well the can be predicted forward (the whole idea that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it is just common sense). It doesn’t take a genius to know we are headed in a bad direction, and desperately need leadership that doesn’t seem to exist.

  17. It’s difficult for me to imagine we’ll have an election in 2012. Seven years beyond the world oil peak, I doubt the lights will still be on. Good thing, too. Otherwise, our extinction comes by 2030 or so, at the hand of climate chaos.

  18. Guy McPherson – don’t be such a fucking moron. Not even the most insane climate change propagandist is predicting 2030 as a doomsday event. And your limited imagination is a disgrace – no election in 2 years time? Get a fucking clue. Are you related to RE?

  19. llpoh, I spent the latter half of my academic career studying climate change. Don’t think it can take us out? Think again. A global average temperature increase of 2 C sets into motion of series of positive feedbacks that leads to human extinction. The latest climate-change projections — which are far too conservative, because they do not take into account any positive feedbacks — indicate an increase in global average temperature of 3.5 C by 2035.

    In addition, hyperinflation or massive deflation could reduce American Empire to dust within two years. Read this, and get back to me: http://guymcpherson.com/2010/12/were-toast/

    And, no, you spineless, mindless fuck who will not even reveal your name, I’m not related to RE. At least, not to my knowledge. But he, like you, doesn’t reveal his name, so it’s difficult to tell for sure.

  20. Guy, I hate to break it to you, but fucking asinine, deluded, crazy, ignorant comments are not received well on this blog. Climate chaos? Are you fucking shitting me? GD, LLPOH is right. You could give RE a run for the money for the title of the fucking stupidest imbecile ever to post on this site. Tell me you were just fucking with us, you weren’t serious, just trying to get a rise.

  21. Guy—You are an ignorant, know-nothing, pompous douchebag who has pissed away the latter half of his academic career. You believe climate change could get us by 2030, you might as well believe in leprechauns. GD, where do all of these ignorant assholes come from?

    1. Nice to see that Smokey & LLPOH have given Guy the usual TBP newcomer welcome.

      I’d actually like to hear some of Guy’s arguments. We don’t want links, but I’d like to see him make his case.

  22. Guy M – you are just another fuckwit academic. Stick your climate change bullshit up your ass. I agree with you re we are broke. But when you put absurd dates on things – like no elections in 2012 – you destroy any credibility you have. And as I said, 2030 is not remotely when the majority of climate change propagandists are calling for major dramas to be seen. Seems you are simply trying to be the most extreme propagandist and thus draw attention to your own bullshit theories.

    One of the great things about the net – anonymity. So that people can say what they think without fear of actual retribution. Dickhead. You are happy to put your name out there because you want publicity. Good for you.

  23. Actually, members here like Smokey are not simply in Denial of Global Climate Change that threatens the survival of Homo Sapiens, not to mention most other organisms above the level of the Tardigrades, they will actively napalm anyone who even SUGGESTS such a thing is possible.

    As for me, I am pretty open minded on the subject. I think its possible that we are at the beginning of an unstoppable cascade failure which will drive an extinction level event, but I don;t see enough evidence to support such a collapse by 2012, at least at this point. What evidence can you cite that the collapse will occur this rapidly?


  24. Guy McPherson – you say “hyperinflation or massive deflation could reduce American Empire to dust within two years.” Make up your fucking mind, why don’t you? And an asteroid could hit us. Or a damn giant sunspot. Or the Triffids could take over. Or avian influenza, or the damn Martians could attack, or the particle accelerator could create enough ant-matter and blow us into nothingness, or a hundred thousand Godzillas could awaken and gobble us all up.

    Why do all the nut-jobs find their way here?

    I did visit you website. Beautiful job of self-promotion.

  25. RE – for fuck sake, please don’t encourage him. You have the role of paranoid delusional for this site, and you do not need any competition.

  26. Thanks Admin – I will try to get to it ASAP.

    Right now I am still too pre-occupied with the latest fuckwit. I am looking at his site – the most shameless bit of self-promotion I have ever seen. He must be RE’s brother or doppelganger. Except he doesn’t live in Alaska.

  27. LLPOH—–Did it really surprise you that RE swallowed that Guy’s jism whole? Two fucking space cadets, each fervently believing that their thoughts on anything make a fucking shit to anyone.

  28. I’m only about 1/4 through 4th Turning, and am not yet convinced the rhythm is as defined as the authors suggest. Regardless, I do see society as being at an inflection point with two sides hardened and intractable. In my view those sides are not the two political parties against one another but the political class against citizens, with the latter roughly represented by the tea party. There is no trust among the general populace that our elected officials place society’s good above their own personal gain. What is illegal for us they’ve exempted themselves. Political compromise to them means all their pet projects get funded, paid for by us taxpayer citizens. Election fraud is both more common and blatant, see ACORN, WFP, Florida, Seattle, Bridgeport, Minneapolis. We have a very short fuse for this new congressional class to demonstrate they’re different.
    Correct or not on the political class v citizen thing, however things play out the dollar is dead so plan your contingencies with that in mind.

  29. Oh come on LLPOH, ths site needs as many different points of view as possble to keep it interesting. Its just plain dull when a bunch of Neocons Blow each other 🙂 While you queer boys might be enjoying each other’s throat yogurt, the rest of us would like to hear a few other opinions. So just relax and keep bobbing your pin head up and down while the rest of us have a decent debate, OK?


  30. Admin – I am really sorry I was so hard on that mush-for -brains. It is just that I do not have much self-control when it comes to egotistical, self-promoting, doomsday-forecasting academics (I bet you have much experience with the type!). I will do better next time.

  31. RE – no problemo. Throat yogurt – that’s real funny. Funny when Smokey thought it up, that is.

    I am happy to debate. Problem with this fellow is he throws out ridiculous dates. The only way he can make himself noticed in a sea of climate changers/economic forecasting academics is by pulling the dates so far forward as to enter the realm of the ridiculous. It is simply self-promotion, and there is no way he can make a cogent argument for his asinine dates.

    Funny, it seems to me that you have the same propensity for ridiculous forecasts. How has that forecast of a major Dow change worked out for you, anyhow?

  32. Duke—–Terrific comment. I hope you visit this site often. We need people with brains and common sense, like you, to offset the many fucking ignorant douchebag assholes including, but not limited to, RE and Guy McPherson above.

  33. That explains why you’re in denial about ongoing global climate change. -=McPherson=-

    Im not in denial about global climate change. The earths orbit about the sun isnt a perfect circle and elongates over periods of time. The there is precession and obliquity to deal with.

    C02 in the early Carboniferous time [30 million years before dinosaurs] were approximately 1500 ppm and by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm [which is close to today] Peak oil will, if that pans out like many say, take care of the carbon dioxide humanity is pumping into the atmosphere in short order when compared to how long Earth has been about.

  34. Thanks for the article, I read 4th and Generations some time ago. Also required reading should be “Sovereign Individual” from ’97 and “Brave New War” by John Robb. All of the linear arguments are framed using the nation-state template but it seems to have outlived it’s usefulness. Regional economies and city-states seem to be a better form of organization going forward, there is no reason or $$ to justify the huge insolvent nation-states that have been growing to the excess since theTreaty of Westphalia. The re-organization of social , political and economic dynamics will change …. Pakistan and Mexico are showing us what to expect

  35. Guy McPherson——Everybody here, even RE, KNOWS an economic collapse is imminent. JFC, tell us something that isn’t common fucking knowledge. We also know that climate change is a reeking crock of shit that is believed by dupes like you.

  36. Now, here is what is really going to happen.

    You have heard of the schumann resonance, right?
    If not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances

    The ELF freaks are in line with our brian wave freeqs. We are, being born on Earth, tuned to our mother nature.

    Thats why they built all those pyramids around the world way back when. The original world order. Alien egyptian mind control. Its how they confused our language. The tower of babel as found in religious texts. These same atlantians, the nommos, from a world circling the star Sirius tilted the earth and flooded it then flew to the land of Chen [Egypt] Thoth was an Atlantian sometimes referred to as Hermes Trimegistus

    But now the battle for the mind is on again and those commies are using the waveguide [Earths ionosphere cavity] that the Alien Atlantians used. See they have figured out zero point energy [non scalar]

    If we dont gain control over the wave guide humanity is doomed!!

  37. Well, Guy, I certainly think we have already experienced a lost decade as well. Our unelected political class is publically in denial about the collapse though the thirteen trillion dollar bailout they know about says otherwise.

    Okay, I admit to making up the humanity is doomed scenario above =)

  38. I have been thinking for a while that Hillary will get the Democratic nomination in 2012. After all the work Obama has done to paint a picture of recovery, it will be hard to pass off a banking meltdown on anyone else. The last crisis woke a bunch of people up, not enough to fix anything, but those people are not being fooled. We know what needed to happen, and didn’t. Not that I think Hillary is going to be any better than anyone else the article mentions, but she is a contender.

    Please please please ANYONE but Sarah Palin.

  39. One more thing – why don’t all you shitdicks come out to play during the day so Admin can pick up his pen. You are a bunch of cowardly asswipes.

  40. This one sure pegs the BS-O-Meter.
    The whole cycle-o-history repeating itself is sooo cliche. I’ve been forced to read up on the various “Gens” and crap in marketing classes and the only polite response I can come up with is “classification is not explanation”.
    Just labeling something and describing similarities doesn’t really get you anywhere.

    The problem is that you can always tell a story, there’s always an explanation and there’s never a testable prediction or proposition. It’s like watching the financial channel on TV, they never have an up or down day that they can’t come up with some story to explain.
    I’m all for logic, but the logic of this crap doesn’t hack it.

    1. Dr Dazed

      That is a great alias for you. Stay ignorant. Don’t think. Critical thinking hurts the brain. Be a sheeple. It’s easy.

  41. This theory is BS, just like so many other “modern” theories. It starts out correctly, as all theories should, with observation. I’m sure the patterns described in the article can be observed in history… but inherently only in modern history, since long ago almost no synchronization of geographically separated regions existed due to crappy communication and trade, or absense thereof.

    The huge error that so many intellectually corrupted scientists and others make is… then elevating their pet pattern to some kind of “fundamental law of reality” (in their minds) that supposedly controls reality. That’s a fatal intellectual flaw.

    This does not mean certain tendencies and phenomenon do not exist. For example, the harsh reality of war and economic collapse tend not to be as fully understood by those who never experienced them… and so they are more willing to take or advocate actions that might lead to those consequences.

    But that’s a huge step from being some kind of fundamental physical law or social, behavioral equivalent.

    And that’s a very important distinction, because it means that any human who is honest, and not captured by the popular agendas and delusions of the current political scene definitely canavoid the disasters these stupid theories consider certain.
    In this case, the one well known presidential politician who would avoid the disasters is Ron Paul. Assuming he was not assassinated on orders of the FederalReserve, he would [certainly try to] disband the cancers that are destroying america, and almost forcing it over the cliff of history.

    Thus, these kinds of theories are “interesting” to those who have firm control of their consciousness, and who can evaluate the causal status of such theories… but to everyone else they are harmful, and act much like self fulfilling prophesies.

    Attention needs to be focused on identifying what are the fundamental problems of modern mankind (for those who have not figured it out yet), and then on fixing those problems. As it turns out, fixing those problems is quite easy — just remove all the fixes imposed by the predators-that-be and predator-class since the late 1700s.

  42. The peak of this Fourth Turning will occur around 2015.

    The character of this Fourth Turning will be the demise of American capitalism and the trigger will be the de facto end of US as dominant currency of international trade, and dethroned as major currency of reserve.

    By 2015, economic and fiscal malaise of the U.S.A. would have reached a point of automatic degeneration, exactly like what happened to U.S.S.R. Remember what triggered the automatic degeneration of the Soviet Union was Poland ability to secede from the Warsaw Pack. That caused a run on the Ruble, which caused a run on banking and food, which caused …

    The actual trigger of collapse of the current US geo-political order is China ascension to a convertible currency and the acceptance by a large part of world’s economy, led by the Euro, on China currency in trade and as reserve. As the dollar is dumped, everything follows automatically. The demise of the dollar dominant role will cause the Fed chairman to resign, and calls for reform of the central banking system.

    US domestic order will breakdown when state governments refused to follow Fed instructions, and began to sell state assets to raise hard money. More liberal states will begin actions to secede the union. Seceding states will declare they want a different kind of politics, different kind of economy, a different kind of banking system. A different kind of society my friends.

    The 21th century Fourth Turning will be defined by the end of the kind of unfettered, winners take all capitalism the U.S. adopted the past 40 years. It will no longer be the dominant global power. It will retrench for the next quarter century, inward looking, trying to figure out how things went so wrong. But the next generation will have no such feeling.

  43. Real estate was the new gold. It backed the credit and debt machine that replaced our fiat currency. Then it imploded. Fortunately, like the brittle worthless vinegar quenched Spartan iron currency, real estate is too heavy and bulky to be carted away by the banksters and be sold overseas.

    What will be the next gold? Pish. Oil? I doubt it as oil must be burned. Silver? Hah, thats way oversold already. Copper? JPMs [Blythe Masters] plan to turn c02 into a commodity has failed. Seems JPM is buying lots of copper since it is about to launch a physically-backed “exchange-traded fund” (ETF) in copper and just bought half the copper on the London market.. Seems JPM London has developed ‘synthetic storage’ to move metalsand other commodities.


    I’m talking about the way you jackwagons (you know who you are) treat newbies. Specifically, I’m talking about your shameful disrespect for Guy McPherson.

    Why can’t you fuckwads just attack the opinion, and leave the personal attacks alone? Why????

    There should be a rule: you can only call a person cocksucker, dumbass, dipshit, motherfucker, etc. etc. after their 10th post. RE is correct …. (jeezus, I can’t believe I’m agreeing with that cocksucker)…. we DO need as many points of view to keep it interesting!

    I’m not kidding. You jerkoffs (you know who you are) should apologize to the newbie, Guy McPherson.

    I have been to his site. He’s a pretty good writer. Some interesting stuff. I like “Grifter Nation” where he talks about 7 Imperial Myths:

    1) We are a nation of laws that apply equally to all citizens.
    2) We can bail out countries by loaning them money.
    3) Consumerism creates happiness.
    4) The Fed is primarily concerned about the citizens of this country.
    5) The two-party system actually presents a choice.
    6) Your home is a good financial investment.
    7) The recession has ended

    That’s some good stuff there. So, give the guy a fucking break.

    PS Note to Guy: I think Global Warming AS CAUSED BY HUMANS is a crock of shit and I am sick and tired of the argument. So are a lot of other people here. It’s a dead issue. Neither side will ever convince the other. So move on to more productive debates.

  45. StuckInNJ, climate change has become a political rather than a science and evidence based issue. When you also factor in that “climate/weather predicting science” today is at the same level that physics was at in the 19th century before Maxwell and Einstein, and you have a Gordian knot of conflicting agenda’s and Garbage In Garbage Out climate models.
    It is going to take at least 20 more years before we have climate models that have enough accuracy and CORRECT predictive power to be of any use to anyone.

  46. Guy

    If you can withstand the initiation phase of TBP, you will become a life long member. So far, so good. I like your blistering retorts to Smokey & LLPOH.

    I truly do no know whether global warming, global change, or global cooling is true or false. But, honestly I have been in Finance my whole life and I know when I create a model to figure how something will be in 5 years and I have more than 3 variables, the odds of the model being correct are extremely poor.

    The atmosphere of earth must be dependent upon thousands of variables. I’m guessing some correct for others. When you have thousands of variables, it is impossible for a model to predict an outcome with any certainty or timing. Weather forecasters can’t tell me what will happen in 3 days with better than 50% accuracy. The forecasts for the worst hurricane season in history for this past year proved to be BS. I’m not confident that any model can possibly capture the truth or falsehood of global warming.

  47. Newbie 10-post rule modification:

    If a newbie comes here and posts insults right off the bat, for example, “This theory is BS”,then that newbie is not granted Insult Immunity.

    Therefore, it would be perfectly appropriate to tell Dr. Dazed he is a dimwitted asshole. Don’t be shy, Jimbo.

    1. Stuck

      I scorched all of these morons over on Zero Hedge yesterday. I think DP reposted their drivel here. I spammed them all.

      If they want to post something original, I’ll obliterate them, but copy and pasting of posts from another site will go into my spam filter.

  48. LLPOH
    Maybe, the Clinton machine is a powerful force, however. The fourth turning will probably wipe out the existing power structure that has created this political family, but before the next presidential election, I am not sure. I am inclined to agree with Apollo, 2015 sounds about right, although I disagree on the trigger.

    I absolutely believe that there will be a global oil shortage of 10 million barrels a day by 2015, as per the military report released a while ago. I also think that our leaders will do anything and everything they can to avoid recognition of this What that entails, I have no idea, but I think that as a nation we will go from oil laden to oil shortage OVERNIGHT and that this will be the trigger for the avalanche of suck that will be the fourth turning.

    BTW StuckNinja is right, unless you and smokey are endlessly amused with trouncing me every time I spit in your eyes,(OK, I know you never tire of it) holding your fire for a couple of posts, till the newcomers get their bearings, would benefit you both.

    DoodmanGuy Mcpherson, standard issue equipment here on TBP is a hardhat and shit shovel. Some people make like state workers and don’t use em, others can’t seem to stop.

  49. Stuck——Read Guy’s FIRST comment slowly and COMPREHEND it. I have nothing against Guy personally. ANYBODY that shits on the blog that bad with his very first statement is going to get torched. Period.

  50. Kill Bill.

    Do you sleep? -=JimmehQ=-

    I do. But years of working different shifts has wrecked normal sleeping hours. So when I cant sleep Id rather read than do futile mattress gymnastics for hours .=[)

  51. Of course Turnings are not about fun. It’s about the logical and inevitable end of an era, arrival of the next with much different character.

    Does anyone refute that the era of the past 2-3 decades has come to an end?

    We are only debating, with more accuracy as things evolved, how it will end and therefore how the next era will look.

    American foreign and trade policies of the past decade have helped create two huge winners detrimental to empire – China and Iran. Along with domestic political and financial corruption on a grand scale, these forces will ensure a change of geo-political order. Not surprisingly, just about all major players in the world stage, except the USA, have already decided on how they will play the next game. Domestically, the same kind of people who were in-charge the past 2 decades continues to be in charge. Witness how they will crush the Commission to death in the coming months. They will kick the can down, until the last kick around 2015. That last kick will kick up an explosion. Well, the last time I checked, millions of Americans, especially the younger generation, still love to see explosions. They might enjoy a really big one.

  52. Stuck – first, I hear you. I will give it some thought.

    Second, his first post deserved scalding. His statements re 2012/2030 were ill-consedered.

    Third, I visited his site before I really got moving. I acknowledged some of his points. But on the whole a bigger self-promoting piece of garbage I have never seen.

    I have considerable experience with academics. He, so far, fits the mold quite nicely.

    If he stands by some of his ridiculous positions, he is welcome as are most, but it will be on ongoing slugfest.

    Your comments however have been noted.

  53. Wow – another one – Guy McPherson! Guy says, “I spent the latter half of my academic career studying climate change. Don’t think it can take us out? Think again.”

    Jimmy – you need to change “your” website name to Morons.Com or Idiots.Org, or something like it, because your website sure attracts the wackos. No, I’m not included in this group.

    By the way, Guy, Global Warming is a FAIRY TALE, MYTH, LIE, CON JOB.

    1. Titanic

      All morons, nutjobs, wackos, and knuckleheads are welcome. They just need to be prepared for a pummeling.

  54. Punk – disappointing effort for a geek.

    Smokey – do you think Stuck’s post was directed at us? I mean, I re-read our comments to Guy and they seemed perfectly reasonable and measured to me (plus he started it by dropping a shit-bomb as way of introducing himself. If he sticks to economics/oil etc. he seems to make some sense (except the 2012 crapola)). Maybe Stuck was referring to someone else.

  55. Smokey, llpoh — Old Stucky would NEVER insult his long time friends here on TBP. Any perceived insult towards you two is a mere coincidence.

    I just want us all to love one another.


  56. Wow, looks like Guy McPherson got the usual TBP welcome. Please note that he’s a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, my place of residence. Here’s some background on Guy, written by Guy.

    Guy McPherson is an energetic speaker and talented moderator. He has appeared before countless audiences to speak about the two primary consequences of our fossil-fuel addiction: global climate change and energy decline. Because these phenomena impact every aspect of life on Earth, his talks reach a wide variety of audiences such as universities, associations, nonprofits, and numerous educational and scientific symposia and conferences.

    Guy is professor emeritus of natural resources and the environment at the University of Arizona, where he taught and conducted research for 20 years. His scholarly work has produced nine books and more than 100 articles. His scholarly work has for many years focused on conservation of biological diversity. He lives in an off-grid, straw-bale house where he puts into practice his lifelong interest in sustainable living via organic gardening, raising small animals for eggs and milk, and working with members of his rural community.

    Guy developed a comprehensive set of durable living arrangements in response to the ongoing collapse of the industrial economy and global climate change. He shares property in a rural area developed specifically to provide abundant supplies of food and water as well as maintaining comfortable body temperature in the absence of fossil fuels. He is available for consultation if you are serious about doing the same.”

    I join our site Administrator, Jim Quinn, in welcoming you to TBP, Guy. Please continue to visit and post your thoughts and comments. I especially would welcome a “Climate Change” article from you. Oh, would I ever!!! Just ask Admin, and he will grant you contributor status.

    BTW, Guy, I am completing a climate science course at the U of A’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The person teaching the course might be one of your clones regarding positive feedbacks on climate.

    In closing, Guy, you stated that “peak uranium” occurred in 1980. Wrong, professor. That was a early 1970s assessment based on a frenzy of building nuclear power plants. The latest assessment of peak uranium is 2030. Bet that’s out to lunch, too.

    You may be dealing with a bunch of profane posters on TBP, Guy. Doesn’t mean we don’t have our shit straight, though. Welcome aboard!

  57. SSS – That very “background” you posted above, plus several more of the same ilk, is what set me off into orbit. I stand 100% by my stance that he is a shameless self-promoter (he even uses those exact words on his blog somewhere).

    Also, his comment “And, no, you spineless, mindless fuck who will not even reveal your name” got me fired up as well, and showed no sense of or understanding of the benefit and need of anonymity. If he had stopped after the first 6 words, I may well have welcomed him aboard for being a combatant worthy of the site. Instead he just further reinforced the position I had after visiting his site.

    But I am so glad Stuck wasn’t talking about me. Must have been referring to Smokey, who really is lacking in any social grace.

  58. Sooner or later you fucking PUSSIES need to consider Guy’s first statement on this thread. It is easily in the running for the fucking STUPIDEST comment ever to land on this site. I am not about to retract or reconsider SHIT. The narcissistic douchebag should be thankful I didn’t go off on his ass.

  59. I think we lost Guy for good.

    Ya know … I even went to his web site … and posted a reply to one his most recent blogs.

    I told him he was an interesting writer. I asked him to please (yes, I said please) come back and post on TBP.

    Nothing. Nada. Nichts. Zippo. Zilch.

    Crybaby and pussy … if you were to ask me.

  60. Smokey – it still fires me up whenever I look back at it, especially in conjunction with what is on his blog. SSS has put up a good sample of what is there. I bet Guy’s house is chock full of mirrors.

  61. Guy
    If you have any interest in joining this bizarre flame fest of a clubhouse of a blog, you should know that having SSS on your side is a pretty big deal. LLPOH is actually a pretty nice guy once you get into a conversation with him and Smokey is at times, somewhat civil. You should come back, with your sixguns loaded.

  62. Punk – “you should know that having SSS on your side is a pretty big deal.” You really need to read SSS’s post closer. He is calling Guy out for a slugfest royale. It will make our little welcome mat look like Christmas at grandma’s.

  63. So many people think that because they went to college or grad school and got an advanced degree that makes them smarter than others. That is such bullshit. —Shit, I have a master’s degree and I meet people smarter than me every fucking day on the internet. It is rare that I even acknowledge going to grad school because I KNOW it doesn’t mean shit.

  64. LLPOH
    You logged in, you do care. I knew it:)
    Maybe he was, but he is at least interested in a good debate. I can’t imagine SSS would be taking a course simply to have ammo for this place, he must have better things to do than that. I would think that the subject interests him to some degree.

    Or I just misunderstood his welcome. At any rate, he was nice.

  65. Smokey – I gots me one uh them thar gradjit degrees too.

    In the process, I came to generally loathe the long term academicians, as a more egotistical and stuck up lot you cannot find anywhere. Their world is ruled by the hypothetical and not the real. They use the real world to test out their idiot theories, and retreat to their hidey-holes to find out what the fuck went wrong. There are of course a great many exceptions to this, and many simply love learning and teaching. It becomes dangerous when these asshole try to implement their theories in the real world. They have no grounding for such a task, as they have universally led very sheltered lives, and have been influenced only by their fellow intellectuals. It makes for a very dangerous situation.

    The investment bankers of the world come from similar backgrounds – they are almost universally extremely high performing scholars, who are recruited from the finest school directly into an elitist atmosphere, and are rewarded beyond all reason, for both success and failure, while having no contact with the common man, and so they gradually and steadily become convinced of their entitlement to vast riches, and of their divine place in society. And we know how that has worked out for the world.

  66. LLPOH/Punk/Stuckey/Smokey et al

    LLPOH, you are correct. That’s exactly what I was doing……..calling the Professor Emeritus out. I see these “Emeritus” types writing letters to the editors constantly to Tucson’s daily newspaper, and my usual reaction is styfling a heave of my breakfast.

    Punk – “have your sixguns loaded.” Good advice for the professor.

    Stuckey – I fear you are correct, despite your polite invitation. The professor will likely not return.

    Smokey – although I strongly believe in post-graduate studies in the hard sciences, your comment (“So many people think that because they went to college or grad school and got an advanced degree, that makes them smarter than others”) on college/graduate degrees should be posted on the portal of every university in this country. Just ask Bill Gates.

  67. SSS – seems your reaction to academicians is similar to mine. They cannot help themselves.

    Generally, my take from graduate school was that it teaches you to work hard, and provides a basic skill set. It certainly doesn’t make you smart. There are plenty of smart folks out there. And many do not like to advertise the fact, as it is to their advantage to play dumb.

  68. LLPOH

    You said, “The investment bankers of the world come from similar backgrounds – they are almost universally extremely high performing scholars, who are recruited from the finest school directly into an elitist atmosphere, and are rewarded beyond all reason, for both success and failure, while having no contact with the common man, and so they gradually and steadily become convinced of their entitlement to vast riches, and of their divine place in society. And we know how that has worked out for the world.”

    Bravo. Standing O.

  69. Admin – i will be sure to use that moniker anytime I suspect I am about to say anything really stupid. I always liked Flounder. He was a trusting soul.

  70. Guy’s experience on TBP

    Charming guy with guitar: I gave my love a cherry / That had no stone / I gave my love a chicken / That had no bones / I gave my love a story / That had no end / I gave my…
    Bluto: [grabs the guitar and smashes it against the wall] Sorry.


  71. Seems to me this fourth turning could revolve around a tug of war between complexity and simplicity; with simplicity winning the day. The length of the transition from one state to the other may vary for each, but some notions below:

    1) Complicated financial system devolving rapidly to a simpler one (restored metal standard?)
    2) Hightech integrated world spiraling downward (perhaps unevenly) to some new lower static state (which might overshoot to the downside first, before a modest rebound). Anyone ever heard of the games Shadowrun or Gammaworld? Unequal yet coexisting states of being (probably differentiated by haves vs have nots in formerly developed nations).
    3) Hyper-regulated nations ultimately deteriorating into near chaotic/freedom loving (libertarian-like) states- much as the early U.S. once was.
    4) Overpopulated world spiraling toward a sparsely populated one (again perhaps unevenly at first and maybe overshooting to the downside before a rebound to a sustainable new level)
    5) Energy intensive world, ending in an energy depleted world.
    6) Agriculturally stable world reverting to an inherently unstable, highly weather dependant one.

    An epic battle between artificial/unsustainable techno complexity and natural & often chaotic simplicity (J. Tainter)- Playing out for the first time on a truly world scale, as a result of global population overshoot (Wm. Catton) and encroaching resource depletion (Campbell, Simmons and all).

    Often throughout history a warlike state of affairs has generated fabulous new technologies (radar, anesthesia, penicillin, etc.). This turning for perhaps only the second recorded time (Rome), could actually terminate more advances than it creates?!

    Thoughts? Be gentle, the vaseline is running low…

    1. Dalriada

      Hopefully, the pack of wolves won’t run you off the site. I think your analysis has a strong possibility of happening. Your thoughts are similar to Jim Kunstler’s. We will forced to become local. There will be no other choice.

  72. Jim, you should also do a profile of the presidents who preceded Lincoln and Roosevelt. Buchanan and Hoover did much to set the stage for their 4Ts… it’s fascinating to compare their actions with what’s happening today. Just a thought.

  73. Comparing today to any previous time in history is useless, the problems of today , of exporting of jobs, the technology, the trade laws, the deficits, the money and stock market manipulations, the lowest tax rates of the century, the corruption, of politicians and the rich and the law enforcement, the decimation of the middle class, the long lifespan, the unreal expenses of the health care and the education needed to survive, and not to speak of the moral and educational decline of the citizens combined with too much, and baseless self confidence along with lack of motivation and knowledge of the world around us, we are in uncharted territory , blind folded and on our knees, any one claiming to know what the hell they are doing and how to resolve it is a liar or an ignorant jerk, Bernanke, the president and Rush Limbaugh etall included

  74. Mohammed,

    I agree, trying to compare today with yesterday to predict whats going to happen tomorrow doesn’t work. Maybe a little, but not much. In any case, you may also want to get your vaseline ready.

  75. One other Fourth Turning comes to mind in reading this fine article – that of 5th Century, BC Athens. One of my old profs, Finley Hooper, even wrote about it (though w/o using the term) in his book, “Greek Realities.” After their Greatest Generation twice defeated persia 9the first time almost alone), they set up a NATO-like Delian league, where each member could contribute money or ships. All but two chose to send money, and Athens ended up moving the treasury from Delos to their city, eventually using it to finance their Boomer era of the Acropolis, etc. The Golden Age, of Pericles, the playwrights, philosophers, sculptors, etc, was upon them. Then they developed a triumphalist sense of exceptionalism, and, as a democracy, ended up voting to go to war, eventually, with nearly all of the Hellenic world. Even then, as Thucydides makes clear, they nearly pulled it off. When faced with one last chance to fight or make peace, their Prophet leaders chose war, and the women of Athens even consented to be shorn of their hair for it to be used in making ropes to rig one final fleet. it, too, was destroyed.
    The result of defeat was loss of empire, demilitarization at the hands of Sparta’s coalition, and the loss of democracy to the oligarchy of the Thirty Tyrants. (Athens was spared destruction because of their pleas for remembrance of the Marathon Generation, some of whom, like our Pearl harbor survivors from our Greatest Generation, were still among the living. One can imagine an America, in defeat, bringing up D-Day and the defeat of fascism in defense of the excesses of our imperium.) Socrates was tried and executed at this time, and people lost faith in ‘the polis’ as the organizing principle of life and culture. As an American, I certainly hope for a better resolution, but as Jim Q. points out, there is no guarantee of a successful resolution to a Fourth Turning, and looking back at how Athens squandered, time and again, chances to end her wars of decent terms may prove worth remembering as we face the unknown path before us.

  76. ssgconway, an excellent example. History is full of fourth turnings — they repeat with incredibly regularity. The real shame is that humans never learn from the past, or refuse to admit that it does, indeed, repeat. The issues and problems are somewhat different each time, but the repetition of behavior is still there.

  77. Interesting article and theory. However, I don’t quite follow your reasoning from the statement that, “this is only the beginning of a 20 year period of turmoil, chaos and war” and your four hypothetical outcomes. “America” could easily end by turmoil from within without firing a single shot, and if number 4 is as good as it reads then I fail to see how that evolves out of chaos and war.

    Also, I don’t think that the “economic dimension” that we have today will “eventually led to a do or die all out war.” Not only do I think Americans today are beyond fed up with wars, I don’t think we’ll be able to afford one. I think the financial crisis will precede the energy crisis so by the time a resource grab seems necessary we’ll be ham-strung economically. The old “print money” method of financing war will have been used up in fighting deflation.

    1. Bruce

      65 million people died in WWII and the US came out of it on a new High. Remember the 1950’s?

      20% of all the men in America died in the Civil War. Did we come out the other side?

  78. Lots of talk on this thread of vaseline. If any of you run low, I think it is safe to say that RE keeps on hand 55 gallon drums of it for when Goldorack and Novista drop by his place for some hot action.

  79. Dalriada – welcome. You look reasonably sane, so shouldn’t need the vaseline too often. We will see how you go when the Admin puts up a middle east article, and a 9/11 conspiracy thread. It is then that all will be revealed.

  80. The National Popular Vote bill could guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    Now 2/3rds of the states and voters are ignored — 19 of the 22 smallest and medium-small states, and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX. The current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states, and not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution, ensure that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to visit, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO– 68%, IA –75%, MI– 73%, MO– 70%, NH– 69%, NV– 72%, NM– 76%, NC– 74%, OH– 70%, PA — 78%, VA — 74%, and WI — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE –75%, ME — 77%, NE — 74%, NH –69%, NV — 72%, NM — 76%, RI — 74%, and VT — 75%; in Southern and border states: AR –80%, KY — 80%, MS –77%, MO — 70%, NC — 74%, and VA — 74%; and in other states polled: CA — 70%, CT — 74% , MA — 73%, MN – 75%, NY — 79%, WA — 77%, and WV- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR (6), CT (7), DE (3), DC (3), ME (4), MI (17), NV (5), NM (5), NY (31), NC (15), and OR (7), and both houses in CA (55), CO (9), HI (4), IL (21), NJ (15), MD (10), MA(12), RI (4), VT (3), and WA (11). The bill has been enacted by DC, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states possess 76 electoral votes — 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


  81. Doppelganger LLPOH above, please identify yourself.

    Personally, I prefer the proposal where if 2/3rds of the states vote to kill a federal law, it is killed. I think the Obamacare law would be dead as a dodo if that one were enacted.

  82. Administrator,

    Thanks for your response.

    I realized after I wrote that comment that one could interpret it in the way you did. I agree that humans are resilient and lessons can be learned and advances or improvements result. However, (and maybe I’m reading too much into this 4th Turning theory ) it seems to me that this pattern of periodic crises that always involve major war has reached its limit. I don’t believe that history can or does or must simply repeat itself adnauseum, even if people don’t learn from it. If there is a next major/world/total war then I think its game over for the species. But even if I’m wrong about that, that a “super” W.W.II can be wrought (I’m assuming each 4th Turning war is worse than the one before it) and somehow enough people survive I would think that they would be so mentally and emotionally fried that it would be practically impossible to rebuild a new and improved world. Remember, it is the beliefs of the people living today who have created the current situation and that will dictate how it plays out. If those beliefs don’t change – and surviving a nihilistic war is a hell of a way to do it – then the basis of the new world that evolves will be based upon some horrendous ideas. By all accounts the 50s were great, but out of the loins of those folks came the Boomers, a bunch of spoiled, cynical, anti-intellectual and anti-industrial brats. They became all that they criticized “the Establishment” for: “Greedy corporatists,” “lying politicians,” “military bullies,” “wasteful polluters,” “war mongers,” etc.

    I think that pattern has run its course. Personally, I think most people know that, and the species will stop itself from self destruction.

    1. I hope we experience a new High. It’s not a given. Much depends on our leaders and the youth. The 4th Turning doesn’t have to result in war. Maybe this time it will be Currency collapse, or Peak Oil, or terrorists setting off a nuclear bomb, or some sort of worldwide SARS virus.

  83. Bruce C.—-I am inclined to agree with you regarding the war aspect. I share the opinion that if war plays any important role in upcoming world events–as in war for oil–then it is game fucking over. If China or Iran or Kuwait or Saudi Arabia is attacked for oil, then nukes will end up in the mix. I don’t see a small scale nuclear war, that shit is for keeps, and the radioactive fallout wipes out ALL of civilization.

  84. Agree with you, Jim. Two of our previous 4Ts have been followed by a High, but the Civil War 4T was followed by an Austerity. It all depends on whether the issues that lead us into the Crisis are resolved, and how they’re resolved. I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

  85. The missing ingredient I fear in all of this is personal honesty. Ask yourself of the people you know, how many can you deal with on a handshake? What one generation tolerates, the next embraces. We as a people admire a skilled liar today. The harder all of this gets, the more people are truly put to the test, their character( an outdated concept) will be the key to our survival. I shake my head when I see a person crying over a homeless puppy but driving over someone in traffic while flipping the bird. I cant imagine how they will act when they are hungry. And what magical prophet will they rally to in desperation?
    I see Rome. I see a beautiful wonderful country Im blessed to be a part of imploding. I barely pay my mortgage. I have enough silver to fill one hand. I am a skilled, detail driven carpenter who NEVER believed the fraud life Ive watched for 15 yrs. It was pride in your work, not volume. My beliefs are out of style. Now, with nothing, my mindset is at 44 yrs old there is a storm so massive, so devistating on the horizon I can’t find words for. A fevered scramble is happening for the last worth of America much like an estate sale, and its blamed on capitalism…publicly.
    What kind of man or woman we are, what we do when no ones looking, I believe determines our suvival. In the end it is truly all you have.

  86. JimQ,

    Great article as always – but you seem to be enamored with butchers like Lincoln (an icon in Illinois I guess). He was responsible for the murder of 600,000 men to satisfy his holier than thou attitude supposedly against slavery – when he was really like most American Presidents (like the current fool Obama) taking kickbacks from Northerrn bankers to pay for his war and of course his election campaign!!

    The Fourth Turning is an intersting tale – but as most American literature a little myopic – maybe the defining moment maybe somewhere other than the USA!

    I’m Back – Look North. I cannot wait for the TBP welcome back. BRING IT ON!!

  87. CrazyCanuck – Stuck has sworn us all to civility until a newbie has posted at least twice. We will count you as a newbie given your return status. Smokey abides by no such agreement, as you surely know. However, be warned that attacks against the Fourth Turning are generally met as though you are tearing pages out of the Bible. Your Obama comments will be well received by most. I read something not too flattering about Lincoln recently, so you may have a point about him.

    Welcome back – but you seem destined for some flame wars, if I am any guess. Good hunting.

  88. llpoh — The Stucky Rule of Kindness to Newbies does NOT extend to Canadians or other foreigners. Feel free to flame away immediately.

  89. Another great essay, Administrator! Where do you get the time to research and write. I’m envious.

    Mostly I agree with you. However, I have a somewhat different view of the turning points in American history. Here goes…

    The Civil War was the second American Revolution. The Civil War changed a union of the states into an American state that began to be controlled by the central government.

    Our next American Revolution was the McKinley American Empire Revolution. What Spain and the European powers had been and were, we became.

    America’s fourth Revolution was the State Power grab. That occurred in 1913 with the income tax amendment, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and the popular election of senators.

    Our fifth Revolution was the New Deal which spread the spores of statism throughout the land.

    The sixth Revolution in American was the post WW2 establishment of the national security state. A standing army, the secretive and powerful CIA, and overseas dipolmatic and military pressure have been its characteristics.

    As for the next Revolution – your Fourth Turning – I’m undecided. My first thought is for more oppressive government control in the years to come. However, internet blabbermeisters, a threatened middle class, and the prospect of a declining America may lead to less oppression and… oh, it’s too Pollyannish, so I’ll leave it at that.

    1. Jackson

      I wrote this article in December 2010. I’ve run out of time to write articles like this one.

      The outcome of this Fourth Turning is up to the American people.

      I’m not optimistic.


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