Generational Theory Forum: The Fourth Turning Forum: A message board discussing generations and the Strauss Howe generational theory

Full Version: Compare this 4T to others
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
I had started a thread earlier about comparing this 4T (in the U.S) to others, but it has mysteriously disappeared. So here is another one.

In the original thread, I kicked off with a comparison to the French Revolution inspired by seeing the play Marie Antoinnette. I realize this is comparing a 4T in France to a 4T in the U.S., but consider that the French Revolution is a kind of gold standard for a Fourth Turning. France was overtly attempting to reformat their society, to pull, or push themselves, as it were, through the gates of history. Here is a list of similarities that pop out based on my knowledge:
  • The political extreme locked out the centrists (left vs. right originated in this time)
  • Political correctness was enforced (with the guillotine then, with the hashtag now)
  • There was an attempt to erase the past culturally, including changing public space (today we take down Confederate statues, then they attempted to eradicate the Church)
  • Fake news was rampant (rumors spread via word of mouth and pamphlets then instead of digital memes, but they had the same effect of inciting people with false information)
Now going back to the Glorious Revolution, there is a compelling comparison.
  • The leader of the country was in the thrall of a foreign power that was an ideological enemy (then, it was James II under the thumb of King Louis XIV of France, now it is President Trump under the thumb of Vladimir Putin)
  • The country had a sense of identity crisis, a need to assert its true identity and rid itself of the contaminating influence (then it was Protestant England attempting to assert itself, now it is Progressive America)
For the Civil War, there is the 1850s redux scenario (Eric the Green likes this one). We have even labelled the current 4T the Cold Civil War in some discussions.
  • The country was, as now, split into two irreconcilable sides.
  • There was a collapse of civility between the two sides.
Finally, the Depression Era (1930s) 4T comparisons. These are often made by Neil Howe in recent interviews.
  • The rise of populism and authoritarianism globally, including in the U.S.
  • The collapse of global alliances and return to nationalism
  • Low fertility rates
  • Falling homeownership rates and return to multigenerational households
  • Economic insecurity and inequality
Possibly some of these really apply to all 4Ts. History as it unfolds rhyming with the past.
The crisis of Spain in the 1930s could have some relevance. Note that Spain was divided between modernists on the leading edge of cultural creativity and people whose minds were in the middle ages except for technology. Fascists like Franco might have a medieval idea of how to structure society and to establish some eternal truth, but they love the technology of war and repression. Spain had a clear divide between Left and Right, with the Left clearly international in outlook and the Right ultra-nationalist. The Left was for reason; the Right saw Faith as the solution for all things except for technology.

The language of the divide got vicious -- to the extent that the Right decided that any modernity contrary to a medieval idea was itself evil and -- when it got the chance -- to be extirpated. The Right believed that it had the keys to Heaven and Hell -- a Heaven based upon unqualified allegiance to a feudal way of life and a rejection of intellectual modernity, and Hell in the form of torture chambers and political prisons followed by eternal judgment of an unforgiving God. In essence under a modern form of Inquisition,

"Believe it or burn."

Spain had huge cultural divides by region. I'm not saying that the Spanish Communists would have been nice people upon taking power, but Franco's goons have shown what a 20th-century Inquisition can be like. Those who would impose a nearly-medieval set of values in America have fundamentalist Protestantism, and not Catholicism, as their basis. But I can imagine some very resentful people doing horrible things to the defeated.
Thanks for posting your comment to this site. Very good comments. I don't know why threads are disappearing now.
(05-01-2019, 10:19 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: [ -> ]The crisis of Spain in the 1930s could have some relevance. Note that Spain was divided between modernists on the leading edge of cultural creativity  and people whose minds were in the middle ages except for technology. Fascists like Franco might have a medieval idea of how to structure society and to establish some eternal truth, but they love the technology of war and repression. Spain had a clear divide between Left and Right, with the Left clearly international in outlook and the Right ultra-nationalist. The Left was for reason; the Right saw Faith as the solution for all things except for technology.

The language of the divide got vicious -- to the extent that the Right decided that any modernity contrary to a medieval idea was itself evil and -- when it got the chance -- to be extirpated. The Right believed that it had the keys to Heaven and Hell -- a Heaven based upon unqualified allegiance to a feudal way of life and a rejection of intellectual modernity, and Hell in the form of torture chambers and political prisons followed by eternal judgment of an unforgiving God. In essence under a modern form of Inquisition,

"Believe it or burn."

Spain had huge cultural divides by region. I'm not saying that the Spanish Communists would have been nice people upon taking power, but Franco's goons have shown what a 20th-century Inquisition can be like. Those who would impose a nearly-medieval set of values in America have fundamentalist Protestantism, and not Catholicism, as their basis. But I can imagine some very resentful people doing horrible things to the defeated.

 That's another good comparison in line with the 1850s redux. I'm learning that a 4T is really invariably some version of a civil conflict between factions. It's the factions that were formed throughout the saeculum as the culture was shaken up finally figuring out who is dominant. Hopefully more in the political sphere than in the military sphere. If there is war with a foreign power in the 4T it is a backdrop to what is happening within the society.
(05-01-2019, 06:44 AM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]Now going back to the Glorious Revolution, there is a compelling comparison.
  • The leader of the country was in the thrall of a foreign power that was an ideological enemy (then, it was James II under the thumb of King Louis XIV of France, now it is President Trump under the thumb of Vladimir Putin)
  • The country had a sense of identity crisis, a need to assert its true identity and rid itself of the contaminating influence (then it was Protestant England attempting to assert itself, now it is Progressive America)
Interesting comparison!
It seems that America has now fully come of age culturally. Early American culture was about imitating European forms, to a lesser extent also ancient Greeko-Roman and Israelite culture. The 60s/70s cultural transformation was an American innovation, it later became widespread in Europe but it has almost no European origins. It drew from Hindu and Native American sources, as well as from the ethos of the American Revolution ("don't thread on me"). In the 1770s the emphasis was on revolt against political "threading", but in 1960s it was more about culture-related aspects of "threading". The Millennial PC movement, which I nicknamed Inclusivism, seems to be building an institutional framework for cultural innovations of the Boomer left, like the GIs gave institutional framework to the (European-derived) Missionary humanism.

It also might be that the sense of identity crisis stems from the inevitable Chinese takeover of global leadership. In such condition, America can resort to being a moral superpower, like Germany already has done.
(05-01-2019, 01:26 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for posting your comment to this site. Very good comments. I don't know why threads are disappearing now.

Thank you.
(05-02-2019, 06:41 AM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-01-2019, 10:19 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: [ -> ]The crisis of Spain in the 1930s could have some relevance. Note that Spain was divided between modernists on the leading edge of cultural creativity  and people whose minds were in the middle ages except for technology. Fascists like Franco might have a medieval idea of how to structure society and to establish some eternal truth, but they love the technology of war and repression. Spain had a clear divide between Left and Right, with the Left clearly international in outlook and the Right ultra-nationalist. The Left was for reason; the Right saw Faith as the solution for all things except for technology.

The language of the divide got vicious -- to the extent that the Right decided that any modernity contrary to a medieval idea was itself evil and -- when it got the chance -- to be extirpated. The Right believed that it had the keys to Heaven and Hell -- a Heaven based upon unqualified allegiance to a feudal way of life and a rejection of intellectual modernity, and Hell in the form of torture chambers and political prisons followed by eternal judgment of an unforgiving God. In essence under a modern form of Inquisition,

"Believe it or burn."

Spain had huge cultural divides by region. I'm not saying that the Spanish Communists would have been nice people upon taking power, but Franco's goons have shown what a 20th-century Inquisition can be like. Those who would impose a nearly-medieval set of values in America have fundamentalist Protestantism, and not Catholicism, as their basis. But I can imagine some very resentful people doing horrible things to the defeated.

 That's another good comparison in line with the 1850s redux. I'm learning that a 4T is really invariably some version of a civil conflict between factions. It's the factions that were formed throughout the saeculum as the culture was shaken up finally figuring out who is dominant. Hopefully more in the political sphere than in the military sphere. If there is war with a foreign power in the 4T it is a backdrop to what is happening within the society.

The primitive mind with the most modern technology is far more dangerous than the pure primitive. The denizen of North Sentinel Island will never develop an atom bomb, but the primitive mind with a magical belief in technology will, given the opportunity. The technology for making an atom bomb is now about seventy years old, but the idea that other people exist solely to obey hierarchies not of their choosing because those hierarchies derive their authority form Almighty God and thus have no other responsibility is a far more ancient principle.

Just imagine Timur Lenk with an atom bomb.
The 4Ts of history teach us how terrible humanity is. The Holocaust happened in the 4T and so did many other human rights abuses. This shows the evil of humans. There are so many agendas that are in the way of freedom, liberty, and rights, during a 4T. The climate change movement is designed to make us be okay with impoverished living conditions for example. It shows that society is a meme in the end. I don't know how you get through a 4T without hating society.
(05-05-2019, 07:08 PM)AspieMillennial Wrote: [ -> ]The 4Ts of history teach us how terrible humanity is. The Holocaust happened in the 4T and so did many other human rights abuses. This shows the evil of humans. There are so many agendas that are in the way of freedom, liberty, and rights, during a 4T. The climate change movement is designed to make us be okay with impoverished living conditions for example. It shows that society is a meme in the end. I don't know how you get through a 4T without hating society.

The classic example from ancient history is the Peloponessian War which ended Greece's Golden Age. As Thucydides described it, the ancient codes of religion and honor were abandoned and the Hellenes went at each other with unrestrained violence. So soon after the glorious defeat of Persia, Greek civilization self-destructed. The same could be said to have happened with the European nations in the World Wars.
(05-05-2019, 09:59 PM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-05-2019, 07:08 PM)AspieMillennial Wrote: [ -> ]The 4Ts of history teach us how terrible humanity is. The Holocaust happened in the 4T and so did many other human rights abuses. This shows the evil of humans. There are so many agendas that are in the way of freedom, liberty, and rights, during a 4T. The climate change movement is designed to make us be okay with impoverished living conditions for example. It shows that society is a meme in the end. I don't know how you get through a 4T without hating society.

The classic example from ancient history is the Peloponessian War which ended Greece's Golden Age. As Thucydides described it, the ancient codes of religion and honor were abandoned and the Hellenes went at each other with unrestrained violence. So soon after the glorious defeat of Persia, Greek civilization self-destructed. The same could be said to have happened with the European nations in the World Wars.

So how does anyone get through the 4T without becoming a misanthrope? It's an era where everything good dies so it makes you hate the world. When the 1T begins you see these are the same evil people who were around in the 4T.
As I suggested elsewhere, when some leader makes human goodness and self-interest coincide, then at that point we have solved most of out serious problems.

If it takes another Great Depression to knock out the swinishness of so many Americans, then so be it.
(05-05-2019, 09:59 PM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]The classic example from ancient history is the Peloponessian War which ended Greece's Golden Age. As Thucydides described it, the ancient codes of religion and honor were abandoned and the Hellenes went at each other with unrestrained violence. So soon after the glorious defeat of Persia, Greek civilization self-destructed. The same could be said to have happened with the European nations in the World Wars.

Good point. Hubris, overreach and exhaustion tend to create more harm than true military defeat.
(05-02-2019, 06:41 AM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]That's another good comparison in line with the 1850s redux. I'm learning that a 4T is really invariably some version of a civil conflict between factions. It's the factions that were formed throughout the saeculum as the culture was shaken up finally figuring out who is dominant. Hopefully more in the political sphere than in the military sphere. If there is war with a foreign power in the 4T it is a backdrop to what is happening within the society.

It has been likened by myself and others on the forum that the current 4T is a cold civil war.  In the US at any rate the current 4T looks like it will be an internal affair, one which we should be approaching the climax too soon whether one places the start in 2001, 2005/6 or 2008.

The question really should be does the cold civil war ever go hot or does it peters out and the 1T whimpers in in a very un-high like manner.
(05-05-2019, 09:59 PM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]The classic example from ancient history is the Peloponessian War which ended Greece's Golden Age. As Thucydides described it, the ancient codes of religion and honor were abandoned and the Hellenes went at each other with unrestrained violence. So soon after the glorious defeat of Persia, Greek civilization self-destructed. The same could be said to have happened with the European nations in the World Wars.

The omen for us? That we have abandoned reason and kindness in exchange for polarizing ideologies that reject reason and kindness.
It has been suggested a number of times that this 4T most closely resembles the Glorious Revolution. Review.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glorious_Revolution
(05-05-2019, 07:08 PM)AspieMillennial Wrote: [ -> ]The 4Ts of history teach us how terrible humanity is. The Holocaust happened in the 4T and so did many other human rights abuses. This shows the evil of humans. There are so many agendas that are in the way of freedom, liberty, and rights, during a 4T. The climate change movement is designed to make us be okay with impoverished living conditions for example. It shows that society is a meme in the end. I don't know how you get through a 4T without hating society.

It is the forces creating climate change that are ruining our planet and civilization in this 4T, and in this 4T the greed and blatant denial and ignorance of those forces is coming home to roost and roast all of us. This 4T is a literal winter season as a result. The movement to end and reverse climate change is like a gray champion of our 4T.
(05-06-2019, 05:30 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-05-2019, 09:59 PM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]The classic example from ancient history is the Peloponessian War which ended Greece's Golden Age. As Thucydides described it, the ancient codes of religion and honor were abandoned and the Hellenes went at each other with unrestrained violence. So soon after the glorious defeat of Persia, Greek civilization self-destructed. The same could be said to have happened with the European nations in the World Wars.

The omen for us? That we have abandoned reason and kindness in exchange for polarizing ideologies that reject reason and kindness.

I agree.
(05-06-2019, 04:00 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-02-2019, 06:41 AM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]That's another good comparison in line with the 1850s redux. I'm learning that a 4T is really invariably some version of a civil conflict between factions. It's the factions that were formed throughout the saeculum as the culture was shaken up finally figuring out who is dominant. Hopefully more in the political sphere than in the military sphere. If there is war with a foreign power in the 4T it is a backdrop to what is happening within the society.

It has been likened by myself and others on the forum that the current 4T is a cold civil war.  In the US at any rate the current 4T looks like it will be an internal affair, one which we should be approaching the climax too soon whether one places the start in 2001, 2005/6 or 2008.

The question really should be does the cold civil war ever go hot or does it peters out and the 1T whimpers in in a very un-high like manner.

If it peters out, and issues like AGW and wealth inequality are just left there to rot, the final resolution will not be so quiet.  When that occurs is not hard to guess: much sooner than the next 4T.  We can't tolerate that much climate alteration before the lid blows off, and wealth inequality is already starting to generate hate of the rich.  Letting them run will only intensify those feelings.
(05-07-2019, 09:39 AM)David Horn Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-06-2019, 04:00 PM)Kinser79 Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-02-2019, 06:41 AM)sbarrera Wrote: [ -> ]That's another good comparison in line with the 1850s redux. I'm learning that a 4T is really invariably some version of a civil conflict between factions. It's the factions that were formed throughout the saeculum as the culture was shaken up finally figuring out who is dominant. Hopefully more in the political sphere than in the military sphere. If there is war with a foreign power in the 4T it is a backdrop to what is happening within the society.

It has been likened by myself and others on the forum that the current 4T is a cold civil war.  In the US at any rate the current 4T looks like it will be an internal affair, one which we should be approaching the climax too soon whether one places the start in 2001, 2005/6 or 2008.

The question really should be does the cold civil war ever go hot or does it peters out and the 1T whimpers in in a very un-high like manner.

If it peters out, and issues like AGW and wealth inequality are just left there to rot, the final resolution will not be so quiet.  When that occurs is not hard to guess: much sooner than the next 4T.  We can't tolerate that much climate alteration before the lid blows off, and wealth inequality is already starting to generate hate of the rich.  Letting them run will only intensify those feelings.

So why must a Crisis happen? People get slack about their vices, even deciding that those vices are virtues. Institutional corruption has its attractions to economic elites who increasingly entrench themselves and lose the original rationale for their existence (an ancestor saved his country from invasion/invented something important/made a big investment when others wouldn't/made major reforms of the System) while becoming increasingly rapacious while ignoring the toil that underpins all productivity and the intellectual ferment that causes major reforms. If the ancestor shook up the system to save it, the contemporary elite profits from the rot and suffers no attempts to reform the system even when such is possible with little disruption.

Addled in indulgence, the economic elite becomes the economic effete. It brushes off pressures for equity and reform. Life may be hellish for others, but it is wonderful for themselves. At best they simply skim a little off the top, but they cannot justify themselves. Maybe some environmental calamity brings famine, and the elite has no clue even that anything is going wrong.
I was reviewing the old archived Roman thread. Kurt Horner had listed these Roman turnings:

158-137 BC. 3T (fall of Carthage)

137-115 BC. 4T Land Reform and Constitutional Crisis

115-93 BC. 1T (build up to social wars)
Pages: 1 2