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The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?

I don’t consider myself superstitious or paranoid, but this past week I’ve had a rare combination of bad omens, sleepless nights (I *never* have sleep issues), and intuitions that have left me convinced we may truly be at the cusp of “The Fourth Turning” – a sort of generational reset – where the coronavirus serves as the catalyst that sparks mass societal changes which were already in motion thanks to federal government dysfunction, never ending global monetary stimulus, and declines in traditional media.

The Fourth Turning in Strauss-Howe’s generational theory, or the “Crisis”, is an “an era of destruction, often involving war or revolution, in which institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s survival. After the crisis, civic authority revives, cultural expression redirects towards community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group.”

I’ll concede there is probably a heavy confirmation bias in paying any attention to Strauss-Howe, given that those who have already gravitated to crypto are much more likely to hold deep personal levels of distrust in our institutions. Still, I find the model a bit eerie in its predictive power given it was proposed 20 years ago. Though it was (is?) derided as pseudo-science by scholars, I find it worth reading up on.

The trillion dollar macro question seems to be whether we are at the “beginning of the end” or the “end of the beginning” of this Fourth Turning, a trite way of considering whether and how big global events like elections, terrorist attacks or wars, massive technological breakthroughs, pandemics, etc. will spark much bigger changes beyond their local peaks.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why the US Is Headed into Its Fourth Turning

Why the US Is Headed into Its Fourth Turning

US fourth turning

International Man: The economic, political, social, and cultural situation seems to have become increasingly volatile in the United States and more broadly in the West. Is this a unique situation or part of a recurring historical cycle?

Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe introduced a popular theory in their book, The Fourth Turning, outlining the recurring generational cycles that have occurred throughout American history.

What are your thoughts?

Doug Casey: I read Strauss and Howe’s first book, Generations, when it came out back in 1992. I thought it was brilliant.

Let me start off by recommending both Generations and The Fourth Turning to everybody. Both books offer quite a scholarly, readable, and prescient view of the cyclicality of history. And offer a very plausible forecast for the 2020s.

History’s best seen as cyclical, rather than a straight-line progress to some preordained end the way both the Marxists and the Abrahamic religions see it. But then, Ecclesiastes has its famous quote that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Plato in the Republic talks about how the younger generation—and we’re talking fourth century BC—can’t stand up to the moral values of their forefathers.

Older people have always thought that the younger generation wouldn’t quite measure up. In recent American history, you’ll recall, the younger generation were the beatniks in the ’50s, the hippies in the ’60s, and the yuppies in the ’80s—so it’s a passing parade. Older people have a tendency to think the world is going downhill. Nothing new there. But there’s always a rebirth.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in his Florentine Histories, said:

Virtue gives birth to tranquility, tranquility to leisure, leisure to disorder, disorder to ruin… and similarly from ruin, order is born, from order virtue, from virtue, glory and good fortune.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

2019 From a Fourth Turning Perspective

2019 FROM A FOURTH TURNING PERSPECTIVE

“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 Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

Image result for budget impasse trump schumer

Strauss and Howe wrote their book in 1996. They were not trying to be prophets of doom, but observers of history able to connect events through human life cycles of 80 or so years. Using critical thinking skills and identifying the most likely triggers for crisis: debt, civic decay, and global disorder, they were able to anticipate scenarios which could drive the next crisis, which they warned would arrive in the mid-2000 decade. The scenario described above is fairly close to the current situation, driven by the showdown between Trump and the Democrats regarding the border wall.

It has not reached the stage where all hell breaks loose, but if it extends until the end of January and food stamp money is not distributed to 40 million people (mostly in urban ghettos) all bets are off. The likelihood of this scenario is small, but there are numerous potential triggers which could still make 2019 go down in history as a year to remember.

As we enter the eleventh year of this Fourth Turning, the fourth Crisis period in U.S. history, the mood of U.S. citizens and citizens around the globe continues to darken. Fourth Turnings are driven by generational configuration and the emotional reaction to events by the Prophet generation leaders, Nomad generation spearheads, and Hero generation cannon fodder.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Keep Going. This Too Shall Pass.

Keep Going. This Too Shall Pass.

Like the weather when a storm approaches, or as the seasons turn, or waves pounding on a shoreline, any deviations are measured and compared by speed and intensity.  The same can be said for headlines:  Omnibus, discouraged Deplorables, rumors of war, prospects of peace, economic bubbles, fluctuating markets, and political intrigue.  Round and round it goes; when it ends, nobody knows. It’s a time of transition; and when traveling over mountaintops, through valleys, and on rough seas, no one has all of the answers.

Even when looking at maps.

The books, Generations (1992) and The Fourth Turning (1997), were written by the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe. These recent explorers identified recorded cycles of history and categorized them across multiple cultures and eras.  In both books, historical timelines were analyzed and populations were correlated to specific life-cycles labeled as generational types.  Strauss and Howe additionally addressed the concept of time in the context of both circular and linear perspectives and defined what is called a “saeculum” as a “long human life” measuring roughly 80 to 90 years.  Every saeculum is comprised of four turnings, each lasting around 20 years.

Just as there are four seasons consisting of spring, summer, fall and winter, there are also four phases of a human life represented in childhood, young adulthood, middle age and elderhood.  As each phase of human life represents approximately 20 years, so is each generational archetype identified within the historical cycles, or turnings, as follows.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fourth Turning’s Neil Howe Fears “Strong Parallels” Between 1930s And Today: “It’s Going To Be A Rollercoaster Ride”

Fourth Turning’s Neil Howe Fears “Strong Parallels” Between 1930s And Today: “It’s Going To Be A Rollercoaster Ride”

This week on the MacroVoices podcast, host Erik Townsend interviewed Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning, an investing tract that’s found renewed relevance thanks to White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, who’s cited it as an inspiration for his (and by extension, President Donald Trump’s) worldview.

According to the New York Times, which published a story earlier this year explaining the theories encapsulated in the book, the Fourth Turning was “written by two amateur historians, making the case that world events unfold in predictable cycles of roughly 80 years each, and that they can be divided into four chapters, or turnings: growth, maturation, entropy and destruction. Western societies have experienced the same patterns for centuries, the book argues, and they are as natural and necessary as spring, summer, fall and winter.”

Few books have been as central to the worldview of Mr. Bannon, a voracious reader who tends to see politics and policy in terms of their place in the broader arc of history.”

Turner shares Bannon’s enthusiasm, saying in his preamble that he believes the Fourth Turning is “the most important investing book of our time…I am such a big fan of this book personally that I literally named my own investment management company Fourth Turning Capital Management after Neil’s work.”

During the interview, Turner and Howe discussed Howe’s conclusion that America is presently in the middle of a 20-year-long period of social, economic and political upheaval.  

Howe begins by explaining how the first book written by himself and William Strauss, with whom he also collaborated on the Fourth Turning, introduced him to the idea that America’s economy and culture follow distinct patterns.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Civil War II–Fourth Turning Intensifying (Part 1)

CIVIL WAR II – FOURTH TURNING INTENSIFYING (PART I)

“History offers even 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.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1997

As we enter the final stretch of this vitriolic, deplorable, venomous, propaganda saturated, deceitful, rigged presidential election spectacle, it becomes painfully obvious this Fourth Turning is careening toward bloodshed, bedlam, confrontation, and civil war. The linear fixated establishment, who fancy themselves intellectually superior to the irredemables, are too blinded by their sociopathic, increasingly audacious subversion of the Constitution, to grasp the level of rage and disillusionment of a white working class that has been screwed over for decades.

As the Wall Street shysters frantically accelerate their embezzlement of what remains of middle class wealth, with the Fed and the corporate media propagandists as their wing-men, the country devolves into a corporate fascist state. The disposition of the nation grows dark like the sky before an approaching deadly blizzard. As passions boil over and violence portends, this Fourth Turning hastens towards a bloody decade ahead with an uncertain climax.

If you think this is just hyperbole, you either haven’t studied history or your cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias prevent you from seeing the unavoidable societal altering clashes, which occur like clockwork on an eighty year cycle, when the portents are right in front of your eyes. Historian Arnold Toynbee’s great war cycle that arise every 80 years or so, aligns perfectly with the Fourth Turninggenerational theory. Great wars occur when the generation that doesn’t remember the last catastrophic war ascends to leadership of the country.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

14 Signs the World Is on the Verge of Generational Chaos

14 Signs the World Is on the Verge of Generational Chaos

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…

Rising community

Notice in the Orlando shooting coverage how often people use the word community to designate the different groups with which people identify.

Following the tragic nightclub events, Orlando’s communities drew together to support their members and each other. We see the same behavior in other stressful events. “Je suis Charlie,” the motto that emerged from the January 2015 Paris shootings, comes to mind.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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