Is humanity forming en-masse? for lo, tyrants tremble, crowns grow dim,
The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a general divine war,
No one knows what will happen next, such portents fill the days and

Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vainly try to
pierce it, is full of phantoms,

Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes around me,
This incredible rush and heat, this strange ecstatic fever of dreams
O years! – Years of the Modern
– Walt Whitman

The great American poet Walt Whitman wrote these words in 1859. Whitman was trying to peer into a future of uncertainty. He was sure the future would be bleak. He had visions of phantoms. Maybe he saw the 600,000 souls who would lose their lives in the next six years. Whitman had captured the mood of a country entering the Fourth Turning. He didn’t know what would happen, but he felt the beat of war drums in the distance. Whitman did not have the benefit of historical perspective that we have today.

There have been three Fourth Turnings in American History. The American Revolution Fourth Turning ended in 1794 with the Crisis mood easing with the presidency of George Washington. Whitman didn’t realize that, 64 years after the previous Fourth Turning, the mood of the country was ripe for revolution and the sweeping away of the old order. When the stock market crashed in 1929, 64 years after the exhausting conclusion to the Civil War Fourth Turning, Americans didn’t realize the generational constellation was propelling them toward a new social order and a horrific world war. It is now 66 years since the conclusion of the Depression/WWII Fourth Turning. All indications are that the current Fourth Turning began in the 2007 – 2009, with the collapse of the housing market and the ensuing financial system implosion.

I find myself vainly trying to pierce the veil of events yet to be. The future is filled with haunting phantoms of unborn deeds which could lead to renewed glory, untold death and destruction, or the possibly the end of the great American experiment. Walt Whitman captured the change of mood in the country with his poem. History books are filled with dates and descriptions of events, battles, speeches and assassinations. What most people don’t understand is Fourth Turnings aren’t about events, but about the citizens’ reaction to the events.

The Boston Massacre did not start the American Revolution Fourth Turning, but the Boston Tea Party did. John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry did not start the Civil War Fourth Turning, but the election of Abraham Lincoln did. World War I did not start the Great Depression/World War II Fourth Turning, but the 1929 Stock Market Crash did. The 9/11 terrorist attack did not start latest Fourth Turning, but the Wall Street induced housing/financial system collapse did. In each instance, the generations were aligned in a manner that would lead to a sweeping away of the old civic order and a regeneracy with the institution of a new order.   Old Artists disappear, Prophets enter elder hood, Nomads enter midlife, Heroes enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Artists is born.  


One hundred and fifty years ago this week Fort Sumter was bombarded by upstart revolutionaries attempting to break away from an overbearing Federal government based in Washington D.C. Exactly four years later the butchery and death concluded dramatically with Robert E. Lee surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre. For the next four years we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of various battles that marked the Civil War. What people will not consider are the similarities between that tumultuous period in our history and the period we are in today. Fourth Turnings are marked by different events but the same mood of upheaval, anger and fury.

As Strauss & Howe note in their book, the morphology of a Fourth Turning follows a predictable pattern:

  • A Crisis era begins with a catalyst – a starting event (or sequence of events) that produces a sudden shift in mood.
  • Once catalyzed, a society achieves a regeneracy – a new counter entropy 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. 

Strauss & Howe describe the normal sequence:

This Crisis morphology occurs over the span of one turning, which (except for the U.S. Civil War) means that around fifteen to twenty-five years elapse between the catalyst and the resolution. The regeneracy usually occurs one to five years after the era begins, the climax one to five years before it ends. 

The catalysts are relatively easy to identify, but the point of regeneracy is more subtle and harder to grasp.

Fiery Moment of Death & Discontinuity

“Like nature, history is full of processes that cannot happen in reverse. Just as the laws of entropy do not allow a bird to fly backward, or droplets to regroup at the top of a waterfall, history has no rewind button. Like the seasons of nature, it moves only forward. Saecular entropy cannot be reversed. An Unraveling cannot lead back to an Awakening, or forward to a High, without a Crisis in between. 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.”Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning



The catalyst for the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party. The catalyst for the Civil War was the election of Abraham Lincoln. The catalyst for the Great Depression was the 1929 Stock market crash. The catalyst for the current Crisis was the housing/financial system collapse. The catalyst is an event that terminates the brooding mood of the Unraveling and unleashes the fury of a Crisis. The three previous Crisis periods in American history were driven by different events, but similar generational dynamics. By closely examining the dynamics and threats that were facing the country during these previous Crisis periods, we may be able to peer into the murky fog of the future and make out the phantoms of events to come. What we know for sure is every previous Crisis had an economic and fairness dimension that provided the initial spark, triggering a series of events that eventually led to an all encompassing war for survival.

American Revolution – The economic dimension that led to the onset of the American Revolution can be summed up in the rallying cry of the colonists, “No Taxation, Without Representation.”  The British felt that the colonies were created to be used in the way that best suited the crown and parliament. The French & Indian War left the British Empire deeply in debt. They responded by demanding more revenue from the colonies. The British Parliament continued to pass taxation Acts which became increasingly onerous to the independent minded American colonists:

  • Sugar Act – 1764
  • Currency Act – 1765
  • Stamp Act – 1765
  • Townshend Acts – 1767
  • Tea Act – 1773

The increasing levels of taxation and control resulted in the formation of Committees of Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty. Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine and the other firebrands led the movement for independence. The colonists grew increasingly angry with the heavy handedness and harshness of the British Monarchy. These incidents and actions solidified the mood for independence: 

  • Quartering Act – 1765
  • Boston Massacre – 1770
  • Intolerable Acts – 1774 

As you can see there were years of economic and political turmoil before the Boston Tea Party catalyst event ignited the revolution. The mood of enough citizens had shifted as the generational alignment no longer allowed for compromise. In the end, the increase of economic restrictions and limiting of freedom led to the revolution. As a side note, a Fourth Turning does not need a majority to be initiated. Only one-third of the colonists actively supported the rebellion.

American Civil War – The economic dimension that drove the dynamics of the Civil War related to the Southern agrarian society based upon growing cotton and the rapidly industrializing North with its cities and manufacturing prowess. The invention of the cotton gin led to many more plantations in the South depending solely on cotton to support their way of life. Cotton farming required vast amounts of cheap human labor, and slaves fit the bill. Abolitionists in the North had the moral high ground as Southern plantation owners treated human beings as property. Attitudes became more intense after the publication of  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Dred Scott Decision, and the John Brown raid on Harper’s Ferry. The issue of slavery had been boiling beneath the surface since the adoption of the US Constitution. Various compromises had been struck over the years to keep the issue at bay:  

  • Missouri Compromise
  • Compromise of 1850
  • Kansas – Nebraska Act

These economic and human rights issues became wrapped in the mantle of states’ rights and the struggle between the Federal government and State governments. The battle reached back to the earliest days of the Republic between Jefferson and Hamilton.  Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. They felt the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. This resulted in the idea of nullification, whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. The federal government denied states this right. With the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Southern states saw a man who was against slavery, believed in a strong Federal government, and supporter of the industrial North. The years of compromise were over. The firebrand prophet generation took control in Washington DC and Richmond Virginia. A fight to the finish was unavoidable.

Great Depression/World War II – The economic dimension that drove the onset of this Crisis was the unbridled greed and speculation of Wall Street banks. The easy money policies of the Federal Reserve, formed in secret and voted into existence on Christmas Eve with many members of Congress not present created the Roaring 20’s. While farmers struggled to survive on the drought stricken plains and the average person lived a hard scrabble existence, the banking elite reaped obscene profits, with the top 1% sucking 23.9% of all the national income – the highest level in U.S. history.

The 1920’s were a time of cultural decay, decadence and disillusionment. This mood was reflected in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. As we know too well, every boom eventually goes bust. The bust came in October 1929, with a stock market crash. Stockholders lost $40 billion. The market dropped 89% over a two year period. By 1933, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in the US had failed. These were mostly small regional banks. The major NY banks such as JP Morgan and Mellon became more powerful. The artificial interference in the economy by the Federal government and Federal Reserve was a disaster prior to the Depression, and government efforts to prop up the economy after the crash of 1929 only made things worse. Passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs spread the depression around the world. The economic hardship in Germany led to the election of Adolf Hitler and set the stage for a future war that would kill 65 million people. FDR’s New Deal programs crowded out private industry and resulted in unemployment staying at levels exceeding 15% for an entire decade. Keynesian government spending prolonged the depression and put into place social programs that set in motion the debt bomb that threatens the country today.   

Force Advancing with Irresistible Power 

I see not America only, not only Liberty’s nation but other nations

I see tremendous entrances and exits, new combinations, the solidarity
of races,

I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the world’s stage,
(Have the old forces, the old wars, played their parts? are the acts
suitable to them closed?)

I see Freedom, completely arm’d and victorious and very haughty,
with Law on one side and Peace on the other,

A stupendous trio all issuing forth against the idea of caste;
What historic denouements are these we so rapidly approach?
I see men marching and countermarching by swift millions,
I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies broken,
I see the landmarks of European kings removed,
I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all others give

Never were such sharp questions ask’d as this day,
Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more like a God,

Years of the Modern– Walt Whitman



Walt Whitman foresaw vast armies on the march and old orders being swept away by the historic denouements that were rapidly approaching. But even he couldn’t have foreseen the butchery and tragic deaths of over 600,000 men in the next four bloody years. The economic dimensions of the current Crisis were foreseeable at least a decade before the Crisis arrived. The Federal Reserve, under the “wise” supervision of former Ayn Rand disciple Alan Greenspan, progressively blew one bubble after another through its easy money policies. The Greenspan Put allowed the Wall Street vampire squids to suck the life out of the American economic system without fear of being harpooned for taking financial system endangering leveraged bets. The financial oligarchs used their influence, power and vast wealth to repeal Glass-Steagall, capture and buy off the rating agencies, neuter the SEC and other regulatory agencies and place their executives in high level government positions. The ruling wealthy elite again matched their peak take of the national income, just as they did in 1928.


The debt, fraud and lack of financial regulation that catalyzed the near collapse of the worldwide financial system in 2008, 63 years after the end of the last Fourth Turning, have not been purged from the system. In fact, those in power have decided more debt, accounting fraud and financial ignorance is the path to recovery for America. The issues which will be the driving forces during this Crisis are clear to anyone with their eyes open:

  • A National Debt the will approach $20 trillion by 2015 and has already surpassed 90% of GDP, the point of no return.
  • Annual deficits exceeding $1.5 trillion and equal to over 10% of GDP.
  • The unfunded promises made by slimy politicians over decades for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security exceeds $100 trillion and can never be paid. 
  • A military industrial complex that controls Congress, is fighting three wars, occupies hundreds of bases throughout the world and spends $1 trillion per year, seven times more than any other country in the world.
  • A financial industry debt peddling complex that has gained control over the government and media to such an extent they have been able to rape and pillage the American people for three decades, convincing regulatory agencies to allow them 40 to 1 leverage, crashing the financial system through a massive mortgage/derivatives fraudulent ponzi scheme, threatening the American people into giving them $4 trillion of taxpayer money, paying themselves hundreds of billions in bonuses for a job well done, and then insisting on lower taxes for their corporations and the rich oligarchs who inhabit these towers of evil in downtown Manhattan.
  • Wealthy elite who use their existing wealth to control Congress, the media and the financial debt peddling industry, abscond with 25% of the national income and control 42% of the financial wealth in the country. At the same time real wages of middle class Americans have been stagnant for 4 decades, real unemployment exceeds 20%, 45 million people need food stamps to make ends meet, and real inflation on the things middle class Americans need hovers around 10%. The gap between the Haves and Have Nots has never been greater.


  • The Federal Reserve has boxed itself into a corner and will be unable to extricate itself with its only weapon – the printing press. It has tripled the size of its balance sheet to $2.7 trillion, with at least half of the “assets” consisting of toxic worthless mortgages bought from their Wall Street masters. 0% interest rates for two and a half years, QE1 and QE2, and allowing banks to fraudulently report the value of their loans have failed to jumpstart the economy. Come June of 2011 they will be faced with a dilemma – PRINT or DIE. If they stop buying U.S. Treasury debt, interest rates will go up dramatically. If they keep printing to buy U.S. Treasury debt, the dollar will continue to fall and inflation will accelerate from its already high level.
  • The biggest wildcard among the Fourth Turning catalysts is Peak Oil. The modern industrial world is completely dependent upon cheap accessible oil. Globalization, consumerism, suburban sprawl, food production and distribution, and all means of transportation are dependent upon cheap abundant oil. Peak world oil production has occurred. Demand will outstrip supply going forward at an ever increasing rate. Various levels of chaos will ensue as the realization of this fact becomes evident to everyone.
  • The peak oil scenario will mix with the toxic brew of religion. The centuries old war between Christianity and Islam has been gaining strength over the last three decades. The revolutions spreading across the Middle East will not die down. They will intensify and create havoc for the existing despotic regimes. The new regimes will not be friendly towards the U.S. The combination of peak oil, with the fact that 56% of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by Muslim countries in the Middle East provides an unsettling backdrop for the U.S., which controls less than 2% of the world’s oil reserves. 


  • The technological complexity and interconnectedness of people across the world is a danger and a possible boon to civilization. Our entire world is dependent upon computers and networks to run our infrastructure, defense, commerce, and everyday lives. Armies, naval ships, and massed confrontation will be made obsolete by cyber warfare. Computer hackers will be able to do more damage to a country in minutes than armies could do in years of traditional warfare. The trillions the US spends on aircraft carriers, fighter jets and tanks will be wasted. The positive side of technology has been realized in its ability to organize people to fight oppression and government propaganda. Likeminded people have been able to use technology to seek and reveal the truth.

The initial stage of this Fourth Turning has run its course. The catalyst was easy to recognize. The issues that confront the nation over the next twenty years are clear. What is completely unclear to me is how our fractured society achieves a regeneracy – a new counterentropy that reunifies and reenergizes civic life. The regeneracy usually occurs one to five years after the Crisis era begins. This means that the country would need to reunify and begin to confront our challenges by 2013. Regeneracy began with the Declaration of Independence during the American Revolution. Regeneracy began with Abraham Lincoln demanding the enlistment of 500,000 men after the Battle of Bull Run. Regeneracy began with FDR’s New Deal programs in 1933 during the Great Depression. What will begin the Regeneracy this time? 

Something Wicked This Way Comes 

“Decisive events will occur – events so vast, powerful, and unique that they lie beyond today’s wildest hypothesis. These events will inspire great documents and speeches, visions of a new political order being framed. People will discover a hitherto unimagined capacity to fight and die, and to let their children fight and die, for a communal cause. The Spirit of America will return, because there will be no other choice. Thus will Americans reenact the great ancient myth of the ekpyrosis. Thus will we achieve our next rendezvous with destiny.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning


The storyline promulgated by the mainstream linear thinking opinion leaders is the economy is recovering, the banking system is sound, the stock market is booming, buying a house is a great investment, inflation is below 2%,  jobs are being created, and consumers have regained their confidence and spending power. This message is hammered home on a daily basis by the corporate run mainstream media. It is patently false and the thinking members of the American public know it. The economic condition of the country is rapidly deteriorating. While politicians posture and lie to the citizens, the fissures in our financial system grow wider. As of today, regeneracy and unification behind one common national purpose seems light years away. Strauss & Howe speculated in 1997 about potential events that could spur events during the next Fourth Turning. One of their possible scenarios looms in the near future:

  • An impasse over the federal budget reaches a stalemate. The president and Congress both refuse to back down, triggering a near-total government shutdown. The president declares emergency powers. Congress rescinds his authority. Dollar and bond prices plummet. The president threatens to stop Social Security checks. Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling. Default looms. Wall Street panics. 

The event necessary to cause a regeneracy in this country will need to be on an epic scale. Based upon a review of the foreseeable issues confronting our society it is clear to me that a worse financial implosion will strike before the 2012 presidential election. It may be triggered by a debt ceiling confrontation, the ending of QE2, a panic out of the USD, hyperinflation, a surge in oil prices, or some combination of these possibilities. The ensuing collapse of the stock and bond markets will remove the last vestiges of trust in the existing financial system and the government bureaucrats who have taken taxpayer dollars and funneled them to these Wall Street oligarchs.

The economic chaos will likely lead to a Republican landslide in the 2012 election. A Boomer Prophet with a reputation for fixing financial disasters (aka Mitt Romney) would be given a mandate to fix the economic system. All generations will realize that generational promises made cannot be fulfilled. People of a libertarian mindset, like me, will not be happy with the turn of events. In a chaotic scenario, the Federal government is likely to assume even more power than they have today. The American people will be fearful and angry. If the financial criminals on Wall Street are brought to justice, the chances of a unified populace will increase. A drop in everyone’s standard of living would be acceptable, as long as the rich shared equally in the burden. If the super wealthy oligarchs retain their power, a fracturing along class lines would become a distinct possibility. Social unrest, riots, and violent protests along the lines of the current situation in the Middle East could develop. Then a question of military use against the civilian population becomes paramount to what would happen next.

Amidst the financial chaos will be the ever present peak oil issue. The increasingly high prices and imminent shortages of supply will exacerbate the pain for the American people. The current War on Terror is really a cover for keeping American troops in the Middle East as a forward vanguard to keep the oil flowing. The U.S. consumes 7 billion barrels of oil per year and will use all means necessary to keep it flowing. With a Boomer Prophet leader invoking American manifest destiny, it is likely we will intervene to protect Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait in the name of democracy. A terrorist incident in the U.S. would provide convenient cover for further intervention in the Middle East. As with most wars the unintended consequences will overwhelm the best laid plans of politicians and generals. Further U.S. intervention into an already exploding Middle East will likely spur a larger conflict between Islam and Christianity. Ground zero could shift to Europe as millions of Muslims have settled there and will not react positively to western powers siphoning oil from Islamic countries in the name of Christianity. History has taught us that Fourth Turnings end in all out war. The outcome of wars is always in doubt. 

“History offers more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead to war. This could be any kind of war – class war, sectional war, war against global anarchists or terrorists, or superpower war. If there is war, it is likely to culminate in total war, fought until the losing side has been rendered nil – its will broken, territory taken, and leaders captured. And if there is total war, it is likely that the most destructive weapons available will be deployed.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning

“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 reagrded 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.” – Strauss and Howe – The Fourth Turning

It may be 150 years since Walt Whitman foresaw the imminent march of armies, visions of unborn deeds, and a sweeping away of the old order, but history has brought us right back to where we started. Immense challenges and threats await our nation. Will we face them with the courage and fortitude of our forefathers? Or will we shrink from our responsibility to future unborn generations? The drumbeat of history grows louder. Our rendezvous with destiny beckons.


130 thoughts on “YEARS OF THE MODERN”

  1. Bring it!! The sooner the better.There is nothing worth saving. Nothing.

    In the book of Revelation, even God cannot rebuild, reconstruct, or reform the system. The system is so corrupt even God can’t change it.

    God’s only solution is to utterly destroy the old system …. to make way for the new.

    America has reached the same point. Rest in Peace.


  2. great article!

    I think we will see the end of the US as we know it, we will see the rise of World Government.

  3. You said Romney, I think you meant Trump. We’re not giving up, I have a big gate that my Paul 2012 sign will go on facing the highway!

  4. Great article Jim, and to be listed on the front page of Zero Hedge tonight, even better. Many of us appreciate your hard work , time and energy that it takes to present such a fine blog. John

    1. bluestem

      Thanks. I think this blog has allowed us all to learn new ideas and see opposing points of view. It is tiring but worthwhile.

  5. For the life of me, I haven’t the slightest idea as to why I’m takin’ a bite at something so ridiculous..

    But a world government, bigargon? I hope that you are just playing the troll. If not, cease and desist. Seriously. Or, if that turns out to be too damn difficult, wait for the comment string to go on for quite some time before spouting unfeasible bullshit so that it catches the attention of fewer people. Lots of new traffic hits this site once the new articles are posted. Lets keep up appearances and play down the lunatic cards, eh?

  6. Diggin’ the second graph, RE.

    Where did you pull if from? And why is 2012 marked with ‘blackouts?’ Does that have something to do with a transition into a steeper production decline? Or the alleged polar shifting, gravitational alignment, Mayan voodoo etc etc etc?

  7. EXCELLENT very thoughtful work sir for which we thank you.

    Important to mention the crucial issue of the replacement of the DEBT BASED fiat currency system.
    THAT consciousness is upwelling for the first time since the original crime syndicate was formed in 1913. The ultimete enabiler of most of the evil now in place is the FED. Sending $13 Trillion around the world to foreign banksters is way beyond the pale of anything imaginable. Kept in the country effect is unimabinable. Two Hundred million to the wives of JPM execs for what back?
    “Those whom the Gods would destroy they first bfling with arrogance and greed.”

    LEAP 2020 analysts have a excellent analysis saying the dollar drops by 30% fairly quickly. 25 pgs of quite serious analysis in this vein. They suggest $30 Trillion of phantom mythical phony assets evaporates.

  8. Sir, I hate to admit that I read this article on zero hedge instead of here first. But I couldn’t bring myself to really comment because of the wild west environment over there.

    I can point to the beginning of my own awakening in 1997 after reading The Fourth Turning. It is hard to believe that it has been fourteen years. Wow! Nothing that has transpired since has really changed the validity of Stauss and Howe’s message. I have always considered it unfortunate that they had a blind spot when it came to peak oil. However, I must admit that it was some years later that I was enlightened by the knowledge that when peak production passes for the world we are in deep trouble.

    This article is a lucid and timely summery of their work. I am still amazed at how many I run into who pass arrogant judgment on the book and then tell me that they haven’t read it. I have a couple of nits of my own. One is that I have come to the conclusion that a libertarian mind set is an incomplete political evolution. When one finally arrives at Anarchist then one can say that they are completely evolved. =} The other is that in my opinion this fourth turning will be the last. Stauss and Howe went back some 500 years to begin this series of turnings. Cycles may continue after this crisis but I think we will begin a new series.

    At any rate, I think that I will pay closer attention to your work in the future. Thanks for bringing me back.

  9. Fabulous commentary. Very well written. Sometimes I wonder if our country could survive another depression or an episode of hyperinflation. When I go out to eat or go to a movie, I just contemplate if our country could handle it. I feel like a majority of Americans are clueless and ignorant to the situation our country is facing. This is very frightening. We can do everything we can to financially prepare us for a economic hurricane but if the majority aren’t prepared, we sort of all lose in the end.

  10. CNN interviews Geithner:

    CNN: TBP Admin say Fourth Turning is coming to the U.S.A.

    Geithner: I know. I read TBP all the time. Which is why I am doing my part to reverse this Fourth Turning.

    CNN: By restoring fiscal balance?

    Geithner: Yes. Congress must increase the national debt ceiling to $17 trillion dollars before this month is out. Otherwise we will default on our sovereign debt. This debt ceiling measure will remove the risk of default and restore fiscal balance.

    CNN: The American people should be relieved to hear this. But what happens when the $17 trillion ceiling is reached by the end of 2012? Default?

    Geithner: America never defaults.

    CNN: Oh? Are you sure?

    Geithner: I am absolutely sure. There are 2 reasons. First, I am still in office. Second, much of the world’s oil will return to being traded exclusively in US dollar again. And that includes Libya, Iran & Iraq, Caspian Sea, Venezuela, Canada oil sands, new oil out of S China Sea, Norway, and even Russian Arctic. This renewed petro-dollar status will restore virtually all its lost value, and allow us to put our fiscal into long-term balance.

    CNN: Wow! This is, like, amazing!

    Geithner: You bet. This is new projects for our DoD. Starting with Libya, as we are now seeing. Soon, Libya oil will be traded in US dollar again. Isn’t that cool? Which is why, while we cut the federal budget in social spending big time, we actually increase DoD budget. Because the DoD is henceforth a profit center. They makes money; they bring strength to the dollar. My job is to direct the reversal of the Fourth Turning with this strategy.

    CNN: Does, you know, Obama know about this?

    Geithner: He should. He said he is ‘not stupid’.

    CNN: Thank you Mr Geithner. You are a genius.

  11. Really good post, Admin. As much as I enjoy other stuff on TBP, it is your 4th Turning insight that brought me here and captivates me. Ironically, this post gives me hope-your discussion of potential for regeneracy is a relatively upbeat conclusion, compared to my usual doomer outlook. The pain to get through it is OK-unpleasant, but if there is a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t a train…. As Jerry Garcia sang (not too long before buying the farm) “We will survive”. At least some of us have a shot.

  12. If I understand the premise correctly, there have been many Fourth Turning events since the beginning of modern civilization. A little arrogant to think this one will be an extinction level event don’t you think there RE? I am with Stuck and just want this Ponzi economy to implode so everyone can rely on their intrinsic worth to become apparant, rather than their paper worth. A Global reset is in order. Those that work hard, have intelligence and strong values will be fine regardless of the details of their situation. It is those who have survived as parasites and who can’t take care of their own needs that should be fearful.

  13. Buzz – you have alot to learn about this site. We take no prisoners if you think this will be a kinder, gentler experience you are in store for a major surprise.

  14. Admin – very nice. Too bad RlE weighs in straight away with his crap, but it is to be expected.

    Thanks for your efforts.

  15. Jim Q: Your “Wish You Were Here” post inspired me to raise my voice against the charlatans. Keep up the outstanding work!

    That we are headed for a great Inflection Point there is no doubt. The problem is our ‘representative’ leadership is consumed in a frenzy of greed, selling the rest of us and the last vestige of an ‘American Ideal’ down the road. When the next down draft occurs there may be little left to defend. The final stages progress yet we must point to the root cause and personalize it. We must yell from the roof tops the power to bring about real change lies in the hands of the people; always has!


    “The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasites concern is the congest of men… The parasite seeks power. He wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery… Look at history… Every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a heard of brainless soulless robots… Without will, hope or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name. The individual against the collective… We are approaching a world in which I can not permit myself to live… I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life… My terms are; a mans right to exist for his own sake!”

    Kucinich: Obama Presides Over A Moral Deficit – Must See Video

    “The deficit underscores the transfer of wealth that’s occurring in this country from the Great mass of people into the hands of the few. And the Obama administration is actually presiding over that. That’s like their job. Why doesn’t the President lead? Why doesn’t the President challenge these corporations…” It’s official, Kucinich and Paul; our only un-neutered ‘representatives’.

    “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt


    When Government Is Complicit In Crime It’s Our Duty To Amend, Dismember, Or Overthrow It


    Don’t Tread On Me –

    Those ideals we hold most dear are being down-trod by the very forces charged with their care. So, all thinking Americans must ask themselves. Is this the Country the great Americans of Antiquity wished for us? Secondly, and much more important, each of us must honestly ask ourselves if these Charlatans represent the America We Want and Deserve? If your conclusion is NO, then it is time to take action.

    All Americans – conservatives and liberals alike – can agree that it is not capitalism, and it is not American. – Washington’s Blog

    This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. – Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. – Teddy Roosevelt

    I have two great enemies, the Southern army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one on my rear is my greatest foe. – Abraham Lincoln

    You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. – Andrew Jackson

    Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people. – Thomas Jefferson


    “This game is rigged man. We like them little bitches on a chess board.” – The Wire

  16. “The storyline promulgated by the mainstream linear thinking opinion leaders is the economy is recovering………. jobs are being created…”

    So, today, jobs AREN’T being created? Right? Is it, or is it not, a “crock of shit” that there are no jobs?

    Jim Q “Well, as I can hold two opposing views in my head at the same time, and I am not a one trick pony who sticks rigidly to one thought or idea

    …… the answer to that question is most definitely Noo…eesss!


    Why don’t you write your own book Jim? You could call it “The Fourth U-Turning” 😉

    PS I’m English Rose and I’m the product of two first cousins reproducing. I worship at the altar of RE and his one trick pony illuminati bullshit. I can’t wait for the inbred wedding of the century.

  17. I’d say we have two contenders for “light at the end of the tunnel”:

    One being a major solar flare per the Mayan warning that folks here like to make fun of. Of course, the fact that the length of the cycle ending just happens to be one fifth of a precession cycle, and their calendar predicted the occultations of Venus at a time that the West mostly believed in flat earth gets them no respect. A major solar storm could take out the electric grid and give us a few more critical power plants to worry about. It could also reduce our defences against….

    Two being nuclear flashes as WWIII gets up to speed. If solar storm happens it may limit the number of nukes deployable, but not prevent the inevitable.

    Unlikely USA, China, EU, survive this in anything like their current form. Megadeaths from famine, disease, and warfare might reduce the impact of Peak Oil some. A “New World Order” will likely develop, but not the one world government that is the wet dream of the current oligarchs.

  18. Civilization relies on our oil dependent industrial markets of scale and distribution, these are the only things that make the current human population over a billion even possible. Take away any of the props under modern life (or simply degrade some of them, AKA crumbling infrastructure combined with natural disaster and scarcity of oil) and it all collapses, we then have total reversion to subsistance rural agrarian and probably feudal or tribal social structures which have at most a carrying capacity of a fraction of we now have.

    Meaning that while we may not talking about an extinction event we are discussing the deaths of 6 billion people at least, probably more. And many or most of those will be through disease and starvation simply because these happen so quickly without access to massive stocks of nutrition and adequate sanitation, clean water.

    The problem is that while it does not have to be an extinction event for every last human, it could be, because we possess the tools to make sure of that. In the face of what is coming I predict at least one and probably more will rise to use such tools in order to attempt to be at least a regional power if not global, and when one uses such means others will till nobody can survive it.

    Worse than that, would be the possibility that we would only survive in few numbers because the Mormons are prepared with caves filled with survival rations. Ugh! A Mormon world growing ever outward from Utah. The horror.

  19. Wow. Great read. The turning is indeed upon us (and probably has beenn for a couple of years). I saw it coming in my business. Indeed, in my more ignorant times, I aided and abetted. My daughter is of the Hero generation. I am teaching her as best I can. Keep ’em rollin Q.

  20. I loved Bradbury’s “Something Wicked” as a kid. The only thing now is Mr. Dark is not even plausible as a villain. Some inspector or regulator would have shut the carnival down for regulatory violations!!!!

  21. This is an interesting essay. There is – or was in my grad school days – little debate anymore about the old meta-histories. Some of us still found them interesting but this was academic terra incognita so we kept the discussions out of official channels. That would be a sure way to joepardize one’s assistantship and lose any credibility as a serious scholar. Anyway, a few did read and debate this stuff.

    Spengler, Toynbee, etc were the source material for the discussions. As a student of late Imperial Russia, I was aware of similar movements there – mysticism tinged with portents of doom – like “Sophiology” and the revival of Orthodox traditionalism (Rasputin was in some ways an exemplar). They sensed the impending end of Tsarist rule, and many accepted it as a necessity, but instead of the Narodniki they ended up with the Bolsheviki, which few could have imagined. It wasn’t long before many pined for a return to the stifling comforts of the Tsar.

    Without studying it deeply, this “Fourth Turning” theory strikes me as being in a similar vein. History tends to move in long periods of relative continuity punctuated by brief periods of sharp discontinuity. The more perceptive pick up on this and, tending to be intuitive/imaginative types of thinkers, produce these grand systematic analyses. They are often correct in sensing a change in the wind, but seldom get the right direction because reality is far too complex. For my part, I have moved on, and having left history for the more rewarding environs of the financial markets, prefer to read data and craft my own less ambitious analysis.

    The type of structural change we’re talking about always and everywhere is an attempt to change who the winners and losers are, and these are wrenching transformations – difficult and messy to pull off. The outcome is usually a surprise to pretty much everyone, including many of the new winners – quite a few of whom turn out to be the same as the old winners. As the old rabbi understood, nothing really big ever goes according to plan. God simply won’t put up with that kind of hubris.

  22. Romney? Really? You lost me there. Totally laughable. Collapse before 2012? Again laughable. Do you really think that all of the pigs (elites, banks) that are feeding at the trough will allow the system to collapse that quickly? Hardly. They have enough power and influence to hold this system together for years to come. I’d say as many as 7 or 8 years until the system becomes so imbalanced that there manipulations and band-aids can no longer hold it together. But they will use every ounce of their power to keep it together. Really, seriously… isn’t this obvious.

    And as for a republican landslide. Really? Really? Yeah right. The populace will swing back the other direction this time around and back to the republicans next time. There’s no way they are going to stick with one party through two cycles. Neither party can deliver the medicine that is needed because they’re are both owned by the elites/banks. Just look at the joke of a budget battle we witnessed. The republicans are as full of b#*^&it as the democrats. Defense spending has almost doubled in the last ten years and the republicans won’t touch it. Taxes on the elite have been dropping for decades and the republicans won’t touch it.

    Neither party is capable of doing anything. So the back and forth will continue. The elites will band-aid the system together. Frustration of the people will build due to the non-action of our “leaders”. But we’ve got time. This thing isn’t going to blow tomorrow, by any means. The charade of the democrats and the republicans will continue as the house slowly burns. Just don’t expect any explosions or a four alarm fire to engulf us any time soon. There’s too much money to be made by allowing a controlled burn to slowly bring the structure down.

    1. Brad1122

      You’re attempt at analysis is laughable. I was hoping we could attract some people with brains to the site. Sadly, we are still attracting blithering idiots like yourself.

  23. I have a hard time thinking someone is a prophet by seeing war in the future when we have had nothing but wars for the last five thousand years of written history.

  24. Hey Jim,

    For those of us who haven’t made the time to read Strauss & Howe’s book could you do a summary of the various generational titles used, like artist, prophet, nomad (my generation), and heroes. If you have already done something on this, a link to the article would be great!

    Thanks again for these great articles.

  25. Just a couple of nits to pick. The US had virtually no chance of being destroyed in WWII. That is the propaganda line. “If we hadn’t fought them and won, we might all be speaking German (or Japanese) by now.” That is so much crap. WWII was a war of choice and was fought to make our country the most powerful in the world both militarily and economically. Remember, the Germans could not even get across the English Channel, for gosh sakes. Where would they get the power to cross the Atlantic and kill so many of us that we surrendered? Same for Japan. They couldn’t even put away China after four years of trying, and China had no fleet, no air force, no tanks. Yet somehow Japan would muster up the millions of men, thousands of ships and planes, and the supply train to force their way across the Pacific and not only invade the US, but kill enough of us to make us surrender. Not happening. So, yeah we bombed them into dust (radioactive dust in Japan’s case), but the reverse was just not a real possibility.
    On Lincoln, he was not against slavery, he was for saving the Union. He said he would accept slavery if it saved the Union, or he would abolish slavery if it would save the Union. It didn’t matter much to him as long as the Union remained intact.
    So yeah, we’re in for a big hurting in the next few years, but remember that propaganda is everywhere, and we need to sift through the garbage that comes from the gov’t/msm and make sure we are not just accepting their version without question.

  26. just got the chance to read your new selection admin and it is dynamite.this should required reading for all high school seniors. i hate to say it but i detect a bit of jealousy from re and that is too i have ever read here so far.

  27. I don’t understand how World War 1 gets a pass in the whole 4th turning methodology. In 1919 it stood as the most horrific war of all time. Because it doesn’t fit with the 60 year time frame It gets glossed over. For me it reveals a huge flaw in thie theory

    1. Skinny

      Fourth Turning wars are conclusive and final. The winners and losers are clear cut. World War I finalized nothing. When historians look at it from the distance of 200 years, they will treat it like one war – part one and part two.

  28. @Apollo: I gotta tell you, the conversation you posted sounds exactly the way the two squirrels talk to each other in their discussions. Hilarious…


    1. RE

      Did WWI resolve anything? Was it an unconditional surrender and the leaders were tried and executed? Or did the Treaty of Versailles set the stage for WWII? Mr. Read for Comprehension doesn’t seem to see the world as it is. He sees it as he wants it to be. Your problem. Not mine.

  29. Hey RE why don’t you stick your head back up where it came from. Where it came from is obvious by reading your crap comments

  30. @BD
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ………..\………….. _.·´


  31. You write: “…Fort Sumter was bombarded by upstart revolutionaries…”

    No. By separatists, to be sure; but they were the farthest thing in the world from “revolutionaries.” Their intent was not to effect change, but to preserve an archaic, rotting social and economic order that could not have long survived even if the Confederacy had won.

    1. I love when people read a 4,500 word article and pick out the most trivial of sentences rather trying to understand the big picture. I read some comments and realize we’re doomed.

  32. Dear Administrator:

    I ask you simply to remember the comment you made to me in regard to my “laughable analysis”. I ask you this for one reason only. I will be right and you will be wrong. When the political dog and pony show drags on, when there are drastic upheavals regularly in our national elections, and when the United States endures a Japan style last decade, finally collapsing under the weight of massive distortions engineered by the elite, I want you to scratching your head and say… “Hmmm Brad was right”.

    Your ridiculous assertion that my analysis is flawed calls into question the premise I set forth. That premise, in a nutshell, is this…. Both political parties are a joke. They are pandering to their respective bases. The budget discussion the republicans brought forth was as much a joke as any. Look at some charts. Military spending has doubled in almost ten years. Oh yeah, that’s sustainable. And taxes on the wealthy have been dropping for five decades. Those two items are facts. Plain and simple.

    As for medicare, it is bankrupting the system but it’s not medicare that is bankrupting the system. It is the employer based health care system which disconnects the health care provider from the end user allowing the cost of health care to spiral out of control. On top of that we have a health insurance monopoly protected by the government.

    I appreciate that you have a fancy website and think you make a lot of sense because you attract people that agree with you but the facts I pointed out are facts. And the conclusions I drew are not all that far fetched. So thanks for the put down.

    Good luck with your Romney call and the primary voters begging for the red meat he just can’t deliver.

    As I mention previously, just remember me when my predictions come true.

    I’ve been doing this a long time. When you have no vested interest in republicans or democrats, liberals or conservatives, as I do, it’s easy to think clearly and see thing objectively.

    I don’t care who wins anything. I don’t see that it makes a bit of difference.

    A collapse before 2012? Smart analysis. Yup, all those banks and people controlling tthe entire fractional reserve lending system, the derivatives markets, etc.. are going to just let go and allow the whole thing to collapse.


    1. Brad

      Your ignorance knows no bounds. Just the fact that you think I want Romney to be elected shows that you can’t even read. It is scary that there are so many mental midgets wandering the streets of America. Keep living in your world of illusions. I actually am having a thought now.

      “Hmmm Brad sure is an ignorant douchebag”

  33. Jim Q: With respect to my Fort Sumter comment, it is not that “people read a 4,500 word article and pick out the most trivial of sentences rather (than) trying to understand the big picture.”

    You posit a theory–and I think the Fourth Turning theory is an interesting one–but you can not bolster any theory’s credibility when you distort facts in order to shore it up. When you distort facts, all you do is undermine your argument.

    1. The sentence did not distort shit. It did not undermine anything. Dipshits trying to interpret a sentence because they have a wild hair up there butts about the Civil War lends absolutely nothing to the point of the article. Someone who can comment on such a trivial point has too much time on their hands. Your comment added nothing and has wasted my time.

  34. @JimQ

    I never said it was a permanent resolution. With the arguments you are making, WWII never ended either, it went seemlessly into the Cold War witht he Ruskies and the Chinese, and the Cold War is morphing into the resource War for Oil in the M.E., which was the real cause of WWI to begin with, so the whole thing never ended. Why cherry pick WWII here?


  35. seemlessly?

    two of the top three industrial and military powers vanquished and on their knees. two most powerful allies of the victorious coalition turning upon one another. not a single shot exchanged directly between those two powers.

    not exactly seamless. more like a 180º turn in the power conflict structure of the globe, from early 1945 to whenever you choose to date the opening of the cold war (berlin crisis?). oh, and the bilateral nukes thing.

    admin’s point of ww1 and ww2 being parts one and two of a continuing conflict is one that many historians share. i’ve never heard the cold war described as a continuation of ww2, and i don’t understand how the admin’s argument supports this construct you propose.

  36. The best case you can make for the transition isn’t WWI versus WWII versus the Cold War, but the Bretton Woods Agreement in July of 1944. As I have mintained in all the Fourth Turning threads, the cycles are basically monetarily driven and related fundamentally to interest rates. Bretton Woods reset the monetary system, which wasn’t done after WWI.


  37. RE says: “As I have mintained in all the Fourth Turning threads, the cycles are basically monetarily driven and related fundamentally to interest rates.”

    Maybe so for Austrian Theory, but you’ll have to tie the dates and the monetary “resets”… if you can mingle Strauss and Howe with that thought. I don’t quite get that sense from all of the manifestations listed that the Fourth Turnings are monetary events… economic, perhaps, and if I remember correctly, it wasn’t until after the American Revolution that Webster succesfully lobbied to legalize charging interest in the first place… at the dawn of this GREAT NATION.

    Nonetheless, President Obama may very well preside over a monetary “Reset” and I’m glad he will. With Timothy the G and Hill-Dawg on each hip, like glistening chrome revolvers, Obama will coallesse the rabble of the Millenial Generation and lead us forth to victory in this Turning. The world will not be the same, but with the sensible, down-to-earth instincts of our Great President, the world will be whipped into shape and keep us exceptional Americans fat, entertained and happy at the gas pump.

  38. how does the uk going off the gold standard (start of the war, i think, 1914), around the same time as the establishment of the us fed, fit into your scheme?

    (i think your point of monetary events driving turning points is certainly a worthy one)

  39. with a broad definition of ‘monetary’ factors, clearly they were in play with the american revolution and the american civil war 4th turnings. (can a slave be considered ‘money good’ when there is the threat he/she can run away?)

  40. Howaard – (can a slave be considered ‘money good’ when there is the threat he/she can run away?). When they run away, that is a “stock loss”.

  41. Jim Q said, “The event necessary to cause a regeneracy in this country will need to be on an epic scale.”

    I would add, not only this country but the world. I care not to place any wagers on what might be the event….but a few “ludicrous” scenarios come to mind.

    A Cosmic event (CME/solar storm, celestial body causing gravitational irregularities with our solar system like “Comet Elenin”, magnetic or physical pole shifts)

    A mock Alien Invasion (banding humanity together like Reagan suggested) Us vs them mentality
    Don’t think it can’t happen…The Vatican recently declared that if the existence of extra terrestrials was proven fact that this alone would not conflict with the Bible’s teachings….U.N. just last year created a new position, Ambassador to Space (to be Earth’s spokesperson incase of an alien encounter)

    These “events”, especially the second (like the t.v. show “The Event”) could cause a regeneracy worldwide very quickly.

  42. @Howie

    The changeovers are all clearly defined. Leading into the American Revolution the Crown in England was levying taxes and only accepting payment in Gold and Silver. They then passed laws making Notes issued by Banksters like Sam Adams dad illegal, essentially pulling all currency out of the market. It was havoc. The Civil War was preceeded by Andrew Jackson killing the 2nd Bank of the US, throwingthe monetary system and trade between the North and South into havoc for quite a few years leading up to the War. New Currency got issued in the form of Greenbacks and then Confederate Dollars also when the South seceeded.

    The establishment of Da Fed didn’t really begin a new currency regime. The post-Civil War so called “Free Banking” period was complete havoc, with crashes coming every 10-20 years. The Long Depression of the 1870s was the worst of them, but they kept happening. Da Fed was the solution which the European Banking Houses of Rothschild, Warburg, Kuhn et al wished for to tie Amerikan Banking directly to European Banking, however it wasn’t a reset. The next reset where debts were wiped out was Bretton Woods.


  43. Administrator,

    You know, I suddenly realized that I appreciate your statement. I have heard the same thing many, many times over the years from ideologicaly blinded people. In 2005-6 when I told everyone I know that RE was about to crash and that now was the time to buy gold, they called me an idiot. I didn’t listen and am still adding to my position. In 2007 when I told everyone the financials were teetering, everyone called me an idiot. When I sank a ton of cash into the Proshares SKF and rode the money center banks into the ground, I was the one with the last laugh. When I saw all of the facilities being oppened by the fed I jumped out in the nick of time. So yes, I enjoy your ridiule. It just confirms once again that clarity of sight is possessed by few. Or maybe… just maybe…. My ignorance knows no bounds!!! What a fool I am. Thanks for the education jackass. 🙂

  44. Bradley112:

    Wow! You predicted and invested a clean-sweep in the past few booms and busts?!

    Oh, please, tell us how you fucking did it!

    Obviously you’re so goddam savvy, a real Buffet Jr…. As a reader I am sure glad you came along to straighten us out, knowing now what you knew then.

    I’d wager you’re a doofus and haven’t predicted a winner or a big mover in your life, douchebag.

  45. I like what Davidus Romanus (43) says, a couple of amplifications:
    1) Japanese were goaded into war by the US oil embargo. Their lack of oil (US submarine wolf packs) was their downfall.
    2) Lincoln wanted to preserve the Union so his tariffs would work — essentially forcing the South to pay higher prices, supporting Northern manufactures.

  46. Mike

    It is most certainly a vast conspiracy. My not mentioning Israel is code for “the Jews did it.”

    The stupidity of some people cannot be overestimated.

  47. Thanks Admin, love the way your mind works.

    After spending a few minutes reading at SA, then here, I’ve come to a new (or at least more confirmed) conclusion about the types of people in this country.

    Type 1 thinks they are logical and rational. They look at the “gloomers” as nutjobs that “want” America to collapse. They love to tout, “well, Schiff said this in 2008 and look, nothing happened, so he must be ‘wrong.” I assume this type doesn’t pay insurance unless forced to. Cause if their house hasn’t burned down yet, then by their own logic, it can’t burn down tomorrow.

    Type 2 thinks outside the box, they question everything and don’t just want a pretty 30 second news story that tells us what the PTB want us to know. They see a growing reality of a crushed middle class and problems that are greater than our ability to fix them

    TBP brings both out to duke it out. At least I can still find amusement in life even as the horror continues to loom closer.

    1. Have you people noticed the google add for Generation Zero? The greatest movie ever, with the Administrator in the lead role. If you consider 30 seconds a lead role. All kidding aside. It is a really good movie that should have gotten wider distribution.

  48. Admin: I don’t notice the ads unless they’re to meet “Pretty Asia Woman”, but thanks for the reminder… I haven’t seen G 0 and will do so soon.

  49. I checked my Amazon account and all the articles I’ve written about the Fourth Turning have convinced 233 people to buy the book through my Amazon link.

    Anyone who wants to have a better understanding of what will happen in the next twenty years, should read this book. It is just as important to be mentally prepared as it is to be physically prepared for the winter that has arrived.

  50. Admin, I haven’t seen that ad, I wish I would.

    I’m sick of the other ones!

    I will look it up, thanks for the heads up.

  51. Quinny was the one predicting the RE crash back before 2005-06. He predicted it so well he got himself canned at Ikea. It wasn’t funny at the time (well maybe a little) but now I can’t stop laughing whenever I think of it. At least they paid him to leave.

    WWII may have been the second act of WWI but I still don’t see how it fits the time frame narrative. 1914 was every bit a turning as 1860.

    1. Skinny

      Dominica joined the site today. He’s Peakmaster. He stumbled across my IKEA story while he was cruising the internet in Germany this weekend, saving Ingvar $100 with a Saturday stayover. We’ll need to get him over to Britinghams. Nils is in town.

  52. Brad122 makes sense, but I think this charade will continue for at least 10 more years. The real question is: how much and how long can you squeeze middle class America. The answer is: very long time, more then 10 years, probably 3 more presidential cycles. The reason is that most Americans are family people and they will not fight establishment and jeopardize their children. There were instances in history where people were squeezed to death, and they did not fight back. They had knowledge of what is their destiny, but their hands were tied, not that they were cowards, but just family people hoping they will make it somehow.

    As far as presidential cycles, there will be three one term presidents that will do nothing, ala Obama, and then, finally, flood gates will open and re-adjustment of society will take place, for better or worse.

    1. jazz36

      You are just like everyone else in America thinking the charade can continue indefinitely because you can’t accept the consequences of a collapse in the next two years. Good luck with your hope.

  53. Hitler was not elected. He was installed. He was installed by monopolist oligarchs and bankers plus the military leftovers.
    When Hitler was installed his party was already on a downward slope again.
    The Nazis did not have an electorate majority and they probably would have never had one, either.
    Even those that did vote for Hitler were doing so mostly out of protest and frustration.
    Hitler was installed by Hindenburg, who had never had it. Hindenburg was one of the WWI military idiots.
    Hindenburg was, along with Hitler, one of the dumbest human beings that ever walked the planet. Hitler was a genius as a criminal, but a really very dumb person overall.
    That is, if integrity, empathy, honesty and good-will are the hallmarks of intelligence.
    But again, Hitler was not elected by the Germans to lead the country.
    He grabbed the power and he knew who to exploit to this end.

  54. Finally got a chance to read this, Admin. Great job.

    Scrolling through the comments is an interesting experiment in just how many people “get it” and how many want to assume this crap will continue just because they can’t conceive how drastic the changes will be, when the old order is swept away. Have to feel sorry for the latter group.

    Oh, and on wars. The summary I use most often to help people understand the differences between wars fought by Turning is this:

    1T/High: Restorative
    2T/Awakening: Controversial
    3T/Unravelling: Inconclusive
    4T/Crisis: Total

    Some examples:

    1T wars: War of 1812, Korean War
    2T wars: King George’s War, Spanish-American War, Vietnam
    3T wars: French & Indian War, WWI, Iraq, Afghanistan
    4T wars: American Revolution, American Civil War, WWII

    There are others, but I don’t have time to go into them.

  55. Admin,

    10,000 hits and 233 bought the book? I guess everyone else already had their copy?

    It’s nice to see the positive impact you can have. Now if you can figure out how to get a buck a hit……..

    1. Efarmer

      At least 233 more people are prepared for what is happening.

      I find that the Fourth Turning articles get much lower ratings on Zero Hedge. Many people see it as a theory that doesn’t allow for freedom of will. That is where they are wrong. We can dramatically influence the 4th Turning through preparation and trying to lead people to safety.

  56. Admin: Having been glued to kitco like a deer in headlights (I want to sell but can’t do it), I was wondering why they don’t post your commentary. It’s really A+ reading, and I first found you (the old TBP) there…. I clicked, read, and have been lurking and recently commenting ever since.

    I love that you declined Beck, but a link on Kitco these days should snare some readers… ad clicking readers… and even spice the board up with some morons and truthers to napalm.

    That being said, I’ve been thinking about the Silents/Artisits. Often overlooked but I’m doing work for a lot of them lately and being amazed. It fills me with hope that kids these days have tis generation a as grandparents…. their experience is golden

    1. rd

      Thanks for the heads up. I love when other sites post my articles, but it sure looks like he is trying to make people think he wrote it. I left a comment, but it didn’t show up.

  57. I thought the phrase :

    “…upstart revolutionaries attempting to break away from an overbearing Federal government …”

    was ironic .. The civil war was really about slavery yet the elite slave owners framed it to be the imposing gov’t so that the working class would fight the battle for them. History is rhyming as we now have the elite tea bagers ( eg Koch ,Palin, Trump..) have the working class fighting the imposing gov’t ..

  58. your predictions on timing are more likely to be wrong than right. look at japan…
    they are ‘ surviving ‘ because collapses do not havppen overnight. if it takes ten years for japan to fully realize the financial destruction wrought by the tsunami nuclear disaster, than those ten years will define the next fifty years to come.

    if you ask me, it is a natural disaster that is more likely to derail the world economy than a war, why? because we still got most of the nukes. keep your eye on the ball , nuclear deterrance still works, proliferation is still under control but the big problem out there is food scarcity and exploding population in the third world…that is where natural disasters could set things off.

    consider this possilibty. a major drought and swarm of locusts hits east afria and the saudi peninsular. food shortages in ethiopia, sudan, and yemen set off major famine and THIS accelerates riots accross the region which are taken advantage by elements like iran to set off an unmanageable-unsupressable set of riots in saudi arabia which leads to saudi arabia going to war with iran to generate stability within its own society. ………………

    drought, earthquakes, a meteor, a series of very hot summers in russia, or a VERY cold winter. these are the biggies.

  59. Zen:

    The major, major caveat in the Fourth Turning isn’t the fickle art of prediction. It is the reaction of the people, due to generalized collective moods and the lack of collective recollection of the moods of the past.

    It is the results of major events, not the event themselves, that drive the cyclical pendulum of history according to this perplexing theory.

  60. Absolutely wonderful article.

    At the risk of being branded unable to “read for comprehension,” it seems that having a collapse happen over a number of years gives the TPTB more time to cook the fat out of the goose. People still have their 401Ks; there is money to be made. Is it really that foolish to thin that they will keep this Ponzi stood up as long as they can in order to complete the Bankster’s Coup?

    The disagreement appears to be less whether than when.

    Then we don’t always get what we want, and it can’t really take too many more Black Swans like Fukushima to push us into full bore crisis.

  61. In a vastly manipulated market sentiment as an indicator is completely ineffective. The ZIRP policies and the endless liquidity change the game so much that we witness market impassiveness in the face of shocking disasters and unrest. However what i find completely incomprehensible is why people prefer to keep their money locked in treasuries or other equally devoid of yield investments when there are numerous alternatives such as that offer so much better and faster returns.

  62. @ Mandan

    Are you a shill? What happened to a court of law and jury of your peers….we shouldn’t change that dynamic of our judicial system…we should just make sure it is going to be a legitimate trial and not some dog and pony show! If you want a military tribunal you can move to another country or sign up to be a United Nations spokesperson since military tribunals are discussed at length in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights…CRAPPOLA! Fascist crap where you are guilty until proven innocent and the burden of proving your innocence is placed squarely on your shoulders! If you are a CEO that shouldn’t be a problem but for individuals like little ol’ me that would be an uphill battle to say the least!

  63. Ecologists speak of succession in terms of how a particular plant community evolves over time toward a climax system. All ecosystems grow under this process and I expect the same is true for economics and for civilization in general…read more

  64. @RE

    We are getting close to “Spanish Inquisition” in theory,. Just substitute “nonviolent domestic terrorist” for heretic. All the emergency declarations and executive orders are in place so unbelievers in the corporate state “religion” can be put to the question.

  65. i suguest you watch lindsey williams video on non energy crissis i have suspected this for 10 years and im sure it’s worse we have been going broke since 68 the gov needs high oil price because ther running a kick back schem off of it they also stole our 401k retirement s.s. medicare for there progressive agenda all of these will no longer keep it going so they must come up with orthers such as cap and tax you must read and understand agenda 21 if you want your country to remain free.

  66. “If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? . . . This you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages, do you not think that this will be again? Aye. And again. With other people, with other sons.” Cormac McCarthy

    We already have the tribes of savages, on a global basis. The ruins of a strip mall will not be very interesting, however.

  67. This is a great article but it makes some really off-base observations and conclusions.

    Keynesian programs did NOT lengthen the Great Depression

    Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security most certainly can be funded permanently unless something changes drastically….. other than peak oil unless we ignore it, the same with climate change, however the solution to both issues is exactly the same, alternative energy.

    Social programs can be fixed via higher taxes on the rich… coming to any other conclusion is simply ridiculous, especially since the evidence is right there in the charts. SS can be fixed simply by raising the 105K cap on contributions, the others by raising taxes on the wealthy to levels similar to the LAST TIME we fixed this same problem after WWII.

    After WWII, and in a similar situation as we have today, Debt to GDP was over 120%, now it’s at 74%. that means we’re in a better position now than after the Depression and WWII except for out manufacturing base decline which has lead to most of the problem.

    That means import tariffs in a way that avoids Smoot-Hawley, and Smoot-Hawley doesn’t have nearly the relevance you might think as our manufacturing base is nothing like it was then, nor is our world dominance in manufacturing. One of the main reasons we’re in this shape is we’ve allowed the rich corporations to lower income taxes and get away with off-shoring.

    The cure for that is the same as it was for Smoot-Hawley… reciprocal trade agreements, NOT like the ones we have now that allows outrageous disparities in tariffs with out trading partners such as a 30% Chinese import tariff with our tariff on Chinese imports at only 3%. The reason we have the imbalance we have now is because we have let the rich have their way, and the evidence of the effects of that is in the charts in this article.

    We still need to adjust tariffs to account for different labor costs as it’s ridiculous to force American workers to compete with slave wages and the same goes for American companies having to compete with looser environmental laws and working conditions…. if trading partners don’t bring their conditions up to our standards then they pay more tariff to make up for it.

    We still have the largest consumer economy in the world and we need to exert that power.

    1. Some dumbass Texan tells us that Keynesian programs did NOT lengthen the great depression, without giving one iota of supporting evidence. FAIL.

      Here’s your homework assignment dumbass. Read David Stockman’s Great Deformation and learn something about the Great Depression and Keynesianism. You tax and spend liberal delusionists think you can pull levers and push buttons to create your vision of a Great Society.

      You’re either a fool or a knave.

  68. Admin…vacation, remember ? Get back on the porch Leave the drooling Texan to the STMs.

    So the blubber buffoon of a goat roper thinks the return of prosperity is only one more tax the rich scheme away.All needed now is a way to get the uber rich back into the US and hold them here whilst we milk their money goats dry. Due to Bubba Texan childish blubbering one can confidently presume he or she have never heard of Newton’s third law, which states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Harrass and oppress any class of people long enough and they will creatively contrive to make it less so, much as the Soviet Union learned when they forcibly instilled farmer in co-opts and where surprised when in return productivity was sabotaged leaving the Commie Union to survive on a starvation diet.
    I wonder if it ever occurred to Bubba Texan that if taxation were indeed a necessary evil -and I’m not sayin’ it is- then why not portion the evil fairly and equitably amongst all people , rich and poor alike..say 10% flat tax for all. BTW, those dastardly oppressive commie Russians have a 13% flat tax and that’s most certainly due to the fact that they hate our freedom.

    Anyways, welcome aboard Bubba Texan.Our village idiot needs a rest.
    And,thank you for your idiot service in supporting the psychopaths leading this delusional nation.

    One cannot assert authority by accepting one’s own fallibility. Simply, people need to be blinded by knowledge – we are made to follow leaders who can gather people together because the advantages of being in groups trump the disadvantages of being alone. It has been more profitable for us to bind together in the wrong direction than to be alone in the right one. Those who have followed the assertive idiot rather than the introspective wise person have passed us some of their genes. This is apparent from a social pathology: psychopaths rally followers.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  69. You expected a professorial post at 3 AM? … and, oh yeah, where’s all you’re supporting evidence in refuting what I said?

    Well, you morons can believe whatever BS you want as you obviously do. The critical parts of my post used the charts from the article as supporting evidence and typically, right-wing dumbasses will continue to misunderstand/misinterpret the data and believe typical right-wing hogwash.

    i.e. you guys (right-wingers in general) tend to have a lot of problems with cause and effect…. serious problems.

    Those charts speak for themselves and any thinking person can only reach one conclusion which is that the rich have manipulated the system to increase their wealth at the expense of everyone else.

    Most of what I wrote is self evident in and of itself IF you have even a light knowledge of history or the current economic numbers. If you want charts and such you can do a search on the history of US public debt to GDP, which even Paul Ryan recognizes as the operative metric one reason being accounts for fluctuations such as inflation as you’re dealing with a ratio. Issues such as Smoot-Hawley and the factors that caused the Depression and the US economic situation after WWII you can research for yourself.

    ONE reason I posted what is obviously based on common knowledge is so morons like you can’t claim I somehow “cooked the books” as the numbers and history are readily available for all to see.
    Don’t blame ME for YOUR laziness and lack of knowledge. Obviously you have the internet so at least do some searches and educate yourself and then if you reach different conclusions then you should at least be able to explain EXACTLY why rather than just jumping up and down like a spoiled child and hollering about no supporting evidence when you’ve not provided any yourself while ignoring the context.

    In case it escaped you somehow I compared the situation after WWII and the Great Depression to the current situation because we’ve been in the two longest wars in US history and the Great Recession.

    If you don’t see that as relevant then we’re likely not going to have much of a conversation.

    What I said was based on the context of the article and on historical facts. You focused on Keynesian economics which is a typical right-wing buzz issue rather than on what I wrote about import tariffs, the Debt to GDP ratio, Smoot-Hawley and our current share of world manufacturing compared to the share we enjoyed during that time as well as noting that we still (for the time being) have the largest consumer economy in the world which has an economic effect if as we open or close access to our markets.

    What exactly do you disagree with in my post other than the part about Keynesianism? If you want to argue about that then my position (and most economists with more than half a brain) is that not only did Keynesian principles not only got us out of the Depression and the WWII debt, it got us out quicker than if we hadn’t used them and created the boom after WWII.

    Do you dispute somehow that military spending on the levels leading up to and during/after the war are classic Keynesianism?

    Do you dispute that the Eisenhower interstate highways system, which began as a military project and all the infrastructure spending after the war were Keynesian?

    What about the GI Bill that created college-educated workers and increased housing, etc? Was that not Keynesian?

    Do you dispute that Debt to GDP is the relevant metric? Do you disagree with the number I stated? Too lazy to look it up?

    What exactly about what I stated about Smoot-Hawley, it’s effect and how we dealt with that do you dispute?

    Is it your contention that we enjoy the same status in world manufacturing as we did during that issue?

    Do you think that workers can continue to compete with workers than make substantially less or that companies can continue to compete with regulations that are substantially below US standards? Is your solution to bring everyone down to world standards and do you not realize the result of that thinking?

    I don’t know what you do for a living and I don’t care but I guarantee you that no matter what that is I can find someone to do it for less and if your post/response is any indicator of you operational level they’ll do it better as well.

    Think about that.

  70. Uh, excuse me “your” supporting evidence… typos happen, deal with it.

    Now if you’ll kindly read what I wrote and address that without spouting typical right-wing platitudes and nonsense so we can go on to discuss that in context. I’d love to move on to a discussion of the velocity of money and how that fits in…


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