It is one of the great ironies of life that each generation believes its experiences are unique. The reality is that we have seen this movie before—with different actors, plot twists, and technological advancements.
The basic plot seems to push along a hauntingly familiar path.
In 1997, Neil Howe and William Strauss introduced the concept of Fourth Turning. They divided the population into four generational archetypes: Hero, Artist, Prophet, and Nomad. (read more about the archetypes and their characteristics here)
Each generation consists of people who were born and came of age at the same period in history. They had similar experiences and thus gravitated toward similar attitudes.
The change of control from one generation to the next is called a “turning” in the Strauss/Howe scheme. On a Fourth Turning, the cycle repeats, sparking a generational crisis.
When Howe uses that word, he doesn’t mean a short period of difficulty. He means an existential crisis—one in which society’s strongest institutions collapse (or are severely challenged and stressed) and national survival is in serious doubt.
By Neil Howe’s timeline, we are today about halfway through the Fourth Turning’s Crisis phase. If this Fourth Turning is like previous ones, here is what we should see.
See how the following Fourth Turning characteristics match today’s landscape…
Years ago, when I was tech writer for weird magazines such as Signal and for other more-normal techish pubs, Jews littered the intellectual landscape. They were all over high-end research, such as Bell Labs. The big names were often Jewish, Einstein, von Neumann, Feynman, Gell-Mann, Minsky. The staff list for the Manhattan Project read like a Yeshiva yearbook. The same happened in the arts. Bernstein, Landowska, Rubinstein, Stoppard (“Maidens in search of Godhead…and vice versa.”)
Jews were smart, most people figured, not necessarily liking it. I wondered why without great interest. Genetic determinists of course cooked up evolutionary explanations involving undiscovered genes acted upon by unquantifiable selective pressures to produce assumed results not correlatable with the pressures. Business as usual.
Later I began to notice without thinking about it that the Jewish names were growing thin on the ground. These were not systematic observations. But Asian names were becoming prominent almost everywhere. The Feinsteins seemed to be in recession, if only anecdotally.
Something odd was happening, I barely noticed.
Guest Post by Karl Denninger
Are they arming themselves against terrorists or you?
A new report by a taxpayer watchdog group reveals that the growing militarization in the United States goes beyond police departments by showing how nonmilitary federal agencies are arming themselves like military units.
The report “The Militarization of America” examines government expenditures by 67 federal agencies between 2006 and 2014 and found that they spent US$1.48 billion stockpiling guns, ammunition and other military-style equipment.
“The recent growth of the federal arsenal begs the questions: Just who are the feds planning to battle?” American Tranparency’s Adam Andrzejewski, the author of the report, recently wrote in Forbes.
The report states that “administrative agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Small Business Administration, Smithsonian Institution, Social Security Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Mint, Department of Education, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and many other agencies purchased guns, ammo, and military-style equipment.”
For example, the Internal Revenue Service spent nearly US$11 million arming itself, while the Environmental Protection Agency spent US$3.1 million.
The report also states: “The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service spent US$4.77 million purchasing shotguns, .308 caliber rifles, night vision goggles, propane cannons, liquid explosives, pyro supplies, buckshot, LP gas cannons, drones, remote controlled helicopters, thermal cameras, military waterproof thermal infrared scopes, and more.”
“As the Obama administration and its allies are pushing hard for an assault weapons ban on private citizens, taxpayers are asking why IRS agents need AR-15s,” wrote report author Andrzejewski. “After grabbing legal power, federal bureaucrats are amassing firepower. It’s time to scale back the federal arsenal.”
In the end, the elites will be overthrown and a power vacuum will form. The transition period will be extremely difficult as the elites will fight their demise to the end. For you see, they care nothing for you they care about their power and control. Nevertheless, rulers have always only ruled by the will (or apathy) of the people and when the people become overly taxed and abused they always rebel. The main thing to think about is what kind of society do we want to rebuild from the ashes. I am of the view that it must be a return to the Constitution and an elimination of central banking power and secrecy. Let’s not fall for a demagogue or be pushed into a war when things are at their worst.
– From my 2010 post: The Elites Have Lost The Right to Rule
While the Trump and Brexit movements are indisputably fascinating merely as public indictments against the greedy and criminal status quo, they are equally meaningful from another perspective.
“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Barack H. Obama, San Francisco Fundraiser, April 11, 2008
“The problem of the last three decades is not the ‘vicissitudes of the marketplace,’ but rather deliberate actions by the government to redistribute income from the rest of us to the one percent. This pattern of government action shows up in all areas of government policy.”
“If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”
Simon Johnson, The Quiet Coup
Guest Post by Karl Denninger
Guest Post by Paul Craig Roberts
Democracy no longer exists in the West. In the US powerful private interest groups, such as the military-security complex, Wall Street, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness and the extractive industries of energy, timber and mining, have long exercised more control over government than the people. But now even the semblance of democracy has been abandoned.
In the US Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential nomination. However, Republican convention delegates are plotting to deny Trump the nomination that the people have voted him. The Republican political establishment is showing an unwillingness to accept democratic outcomes.
Guest Post by Eric Peters
On Tuesday, Uncle announced the most draconian punishment ever meted out to a car company over the TDI “cheating” scandal: $15 billion in forced buyback/loan forgiveness offers and funding for “environmental programs” and the promotion of electric/hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
On top of this, VW has agreed – been forced – to pay out another $600 million in separate settlements with 44 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.