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  Fantasy, and ISIS as cosplay caliphate
Posted by: Odin - 05-05-2016, 07:57 PM - Forum: Beyond America - No Replies

The Return of The King: The ‘cosplay Caliphate’ of ISIS is a deadly fantasy, but a familiar one in the West. It feeds the same urges as Tolkien

Quote:What accounts for the persistent appeal of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (or ISIS) to recruits from Chicago, Bradford or Melbourne? This year, the question became urgent to commentators and policymakers in Europe and the United States. The group’s battlefield successes, its territorial ambitions and viral spectacles of cruelty were made only more ominous by the small but steady stream of recruits it attracted from wealthy democracies.

Some of the proposed explanations have been familiar: the marginalisation and alienation of Muslim minorities in the West; a religious zeal that transcends the smallness of secular life; even the group’s thrillingly extreme apocalyptic vision. It’s not hard to see ISIS as another gruesome camp-follower to modern democratic capitalism, one in a series of terrorist movements and guerrilla insurgencies that feed upon the discontents of the age and the psychoses of their members.

But the story of the arrival and lingering global charisma of ISIS features something that sets it apart: the idea of the Caliphate. Last June, the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself caliph. The grandiosity of the claim was likely lost even on many educated non-Muslim observers. A position that has been gone from Islam in anything but name for 1,000 years, the caliph has to meet certain requirements: he must control territory, must enforce sharia law within it, and he must descend from the Quraysh tribe, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad (the Ottoman emperors claimed the title into the 20th century, but their claim is widely rejected because they did not descend from the Quraysh). Pledging allegiance to a valid caliph, when one is available, is an obligation that ISIS supporters view as binding on all Muslims. And while Baghdadi’s claim has been divisive even in the world of violent jihadism, groups in Nigeria and Libya have apparently made this vow of allegiance.

In English-language accounts, the idea of the caliphate and its evident appeal seems by turns exotic and ridiculous. ‘[T]his kind of transnational Islam seems to hold special appeal to young Europeans caught between competing identities,’ wrote Malise Ruthven in The New York Review of Books this February. For all the violence of ISIS, the idea of the Caliphate encodes ‘a moral order that transcends not just the boundaries of the national state, but the moral logic underpinning it’. Or, in the words of Nick Danforth writing in Foreign Affairs last year, it is ‘a political fantasy – a blank slate’ for the demands and ambitions of local politics.

Whether its central claim is an inscrutable dream of religiously legitimated sovereignty or a malleable delusion, the appeal of ISIS is easily abstracted from motives available to outsiders. It is, in the incisive words of the New York artist Molly Crabapple, a ‘cosplay Caliphate’, a dress-up festival of blood-soaked nostalgia whose very pretensions to antiquity mark it as the rankest kind of modern innovation.

ISIS and its ideology are violent, reactionary, wholly at odds with the ethos of democracy and progress cherished by modern secular societies. But the myth on which its appeal hinges – and the historical dress-up it seems to engage in – is not as foreign as it seems. A lot of people like cosplay. ‘One of the Islamic State’s less bloody videos shows a group of jihadists burning their French, British and Australian passports,’ Graeme Wood reported in his lengthy study of ISIS ideology in The Atlantic this March. ‘This would be an eccentric act for someone intending to return to blow himself up in line at the Louvre.’ Apparently, these people actually want to live under a caliph.

Far from being a parochially Islamic impulse or a nerd’s fantasy – something you can get involved in from ‘your mama’s basement’, as one counter-terrorism expert has said – the myth of the Caliphate echoes dreams of transcendent legitimacy that are deeply embedded in European culture and literature. To find a story of a sovereign authority long lapsed in kingship but still entitled to the allegiance of all the just, and fated to reappear at an auspicious moment, we need look no further than The Lord of the Rings (1954-55).

J R R Tolkien’s sprawling, leisurely epic – itself a bit of literary cosplay – has managed only to grow in commercial and critical stature since was first published. It has at its heart the revelation of Aragorn as the king of men and his return to his long-vacant ancestral throne. As the story begins, Aragorn is preternaturally competent yet rustic. Over time, he proves himself both a biological heir and a worthy mirror of his kingly ancestors. His transcendent authority occasionally flashes forth, like ‘a king returning from exile to his own land’. Haloes of light gather around his head at particularly kingly moments, such as extracting aid from potential allies at sword-point.

Halo or no, however, the problem of legitimacy and allegiance endures throughout the story. The royal line has been extinguished in the kingdom for 1,000 years, during which a line of non-royal stewards has ruled. But ‘10,000 years would not suffice’ to make the best of a bad situation and simply round up the stewards to the rank of kings. The ancient signs of royalty – most notably a 3,000-year-old sword – are critical for Aragorn to persuade a long-kingless people to accept him. He has a tendency to cry out the name of his most illustrious ancestor when crashing into battle, and attracts dream-like expressions of allegiance. A ‘light of knowledge and love was kindled’ in the eyes of a man restored by Aragorn’s particular – and uniquely kingly – gift for healing. ‘My Lord, you called me. I come. What does the king command?’

Such moments, which savour somewhat of kitsch, do not adequately convey the tug of this myth of inherent legitimacy. Tolkien was not difficult to surpass as a writer of action scenes or characterisation. His exceptional accomplishment was very different. He created a history nearly as long and broad as Europe’s. Then he put at its centre an idea of transcendent, divine-right power that – unlike its balderdash real-world inspiration – actually makes the engine move. Tolkien’s history is an automaton with a beating heart.

The parallel between Tolkien’s version of restoration and Baghdadi’s is limited. Aragorn displays magnanimity in victory rather than mass beheadings. Tolkien’s mythology, unlike that of ISIS, is steadfastly un-apocalyptic. But many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.

Legitimate authority vouchsafed by blood and virtue, by descent from, and imitation of, the heroic past, can slice through the pragmatic reciprocity of government based on social contract. The novel even makes a sidelong allusion to this facet of its own appeal via the character of Arwen, Aragorn’s half-elven, half-human betrothed. Forced to choose between elven immortality and a mortal life with the restored king, she chooses the latter. Her competing identities resolve in this heroic gesture. She sacrifices the higher attainments and comforts of elvish civilisation and burns her passport.

In his tale of a lost line of kings emerging from ancient obscurity, Tolkien adapts a fairytale pattern identified by the 19th-century English scholar E S Hartland as the Sleeping Hero. The sleeping hero, or the king in the mountain, is a great personage who exists, so to say, in suspended animation until a moment of historical crisis. Neither Aragorn nor any of his fathers, it should be noted, attempted to reclaim the throne of Gondor during a national debate on road construction. At a signal – often the sound of a trumpet – the sleeping hero awakes and sets things to rights in the land.

The most famous English example is King Arthur, ‘the once and future king’, shrouded in the mists of Avalon until a time of dire need. Arthur is paralleled by King Wenceslaus of Bohemia, who by some accounts goes out with his riders each night, and whose return will be heralded by the unseasonable blossoming of a certain tree. (Not to be outdone on this score, Tolkien gives Aragorn a sacred tree of his own to restore to Gondor.) Germany has Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor dead since the First Crusade but waiting to be revealed again.

Hartland claimed that every sleeping hero was a lightly historicised version of a pagan god vanquished by Christianity. But Jesus himself combines the figures of the lost scion and the sleeping hero. According to the Gospels, the crowds in Jerusalem greeted the Galilean prophet and healer as ‘the Son of David’, heir to a divinely instituted royal line lost for half a millennium, come back to redeem the people from their bondage to the Roman Empire. At the same time, Christians confess that He ‘will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead’, echoing many such promises recorded in the New Testament. Christian Europe never successfully housed a myth of universal earthly rule analogous to the Caliphate. But Christian Europe did look for the return of Jesus at times of famine, plague and particularly unjust government.

Much of the Christian US does so today. The visions of His return were not necessarily peaceful and conciliatory. The role of Jesus in ISIS eschatology – He will return to kill the armies of ‘Rome’ in the last battle – is not so terribly different from the role assigned to Him in Christian apocalyptic writing.

With the closing of Europe’s folklore frontier in the 19th and 20th centuries, the sleeping heroes were forced to migrate, along with many other fairy-world figures, from communal myth to modern literary culture. Even the wild and dangerous Jesus awaited by the peasant rebels and mad monks of the Middle Ages was largely domesticated by political theology.

But something strange happened: this world of mass-market publishing, parliamentary coalitions and industrial towns loved the old heroes as much as the oral culture that cultivated them ever had. An Arthurian revival stretched from Romantic verse to animated film to serial comic strip to Broadway. Civic groups formed to imitate the virtues of Arthurian legends. And Arthur’s shade was hardly the only one summoned by countrymen in crisis. Hitler named his invasion of the Soviet Union after Frederic Barbarossa.

As European political and religious institutions teetered, frayed or fell altogether, a desire for irrefutable alternatives was perhaps to be expected. Stories that could collapse past and present across the fallow years in between, stories in which the lost heroism and inherent legitimacy of the past overwhelm the compromises and half-measures of the present, had a new urgency. From Aslan to Captain America, sleeping heroes and lost scions arose to fulfil that desire. Ancient and undefiled kingship – even the consciously anachronistic echo of such kingship – could perhaps claim the loyalties of people riven by class struggle and pauperised by failed leaders. Modern echoes, in the Muslim world and beyond, are not hard to hear.

The desire to see the sleeping hero wake and return in a blaze of undeniable authority is not simply a childish reverie. It is no mere reactionary filigree in 20th-century literary fantasies. The ghost of transcendent personal legitimacy still stalks the modern world. It lingers in the background of every democratic attempt at a political dynasty. It can even attach to impersonal forces. A movement of scholars and advocates in the US characterises the Constitution itself as being ‘in exile’, awaiting restoration through devoted judicial activism.

This ghost can haunt the highest of high culture. In his longest poem, ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’ (written in 1875-6), Gerard Manley Hopkins imagines a renewal of Catholic England. It’s a vision that reflects his own process of conversion, his plea to God to ‘Wring thy rebel, dogged in den/Man’s malice, with wrecking and storm.’ He prays that Christ would return to England – ‘Kind, but royally reclaiming his own’:

Quote:Remember us in the roads, the heaven-haven of the Reward:
Our King back, oh, upon English souls!
Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east,
ore brightening her, rare-dear Britain, as his reign rolls,
Pride, rose, prince, hero of us, high-priest,
Our hearts’ charity’s hearth’s fire, our thoughts’ chivalry’s throng’s Lord.

This prayer is, of course, very different from the sadistic ambitions of ISIS. There is no wave of purifying violence envisioned here. Even judged as verse, the poem is not reactionary; when Hopkins wrote it, it was too innovative in its rhythm and rhetoric for the editor of Britain’s Jesuit magazine. It wouldn’t see publication until 1918, decades after the poet’s death.

But then, as ever, the hypermodern form and the ancient fantasy combine with a persuasive force no mere nostalgia can attain. The king, the hero, the long-absent lord summons, personally and authoritatively, the louche, riotous knights of English minds to chivalry and greatness. The land has suffered the absence of Christ’s true Church for three centuries. It has endured pretenders – stewards, emirs – who have lacked pedigree, rectitude, or both. It has been subject to what Wood, explaining the appeal of ISIS in The Atlantic, calls ‘life’s hypocrisies and inconsistencies’, its slow drift toward shallow belief and low stakes. I’m neither English nor Catholic, but every time I read that stanza I share in its shudder of expectation.

The foreign fighters of ISIS ‘believe that they are personally involved in struggles beyond their own lives’, says Wood, ‘and that merely to be swept up in the drama, on the side of righteousness, is a privilege’. We might view such motivations as a pathology, or as a revulsion against modernity fuelled by poverty and oppression. But we can do this only if we overlook their prominence in stories that root much closer to home.

The horrific violence of ISIS raises questions that literary parallels can’t answer. Not everyone is so fortunate to have orcs (or, in the case of Hopkins, Anglicans) as a world-historical foe. Yet the allure of a ruler who promises to transcend the dreary give-and-take of democratic politics and the deeply compromised, deeply qualified goods it aims to secure, should be familiar. Its danger is not obviously confined to an insurgency in the Middle East.

Perhaps relatively few people, in the Islamic world or outside of it, actually believe they will see the vanquishing of mere politics by transcendent, legitimate authority. But a lot of us enjoy dreaming about it in one form or another, and unlike King Wenceslaus’ riders, such dreams do not always fade at dawn.
I am reminded here of what Spengler wrote about Caesarism.

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  New Categories
Posted by: MillsT_98 - 05-05-2016, 07:46 PM - Forum: About the Forums and Website - Replies (5)

I really like these new categories! Especially how all the generations are put together into one forum titled "Generations"! How do you like the new categories? Should any of them be changed?

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  Grey Champions and the Election of 2016
Posted by: Kinser79 - 05-05-2016, 06:57 AM - Forum: Theory Related Political Discussions - Replies (165)

As some of you may know some time ago on the old forum I said tat I believed that this 4T there would emerge two GC's.  It should be noted that by and large I view the GC itself as a title bestowed after the fact.  In any event it seems that we do indeed have two, and one will likely be the nominee for the GOP this go round.

I am speaking of His Imperial Highness, His Glorious Majesty Donald J. Trump (AKA Daddy).  What have we seen so far from him?

1.  An unexpected groundswell of support not only from likely GOP voters but from new voters.

2.  An inablity to be pinned down by the Establishment politicians or the MSM at all.  And not for a lack of trying either.

3.  Implementation of new strategies and tactics politically that disrupt the Establishment.

4.  Most importantly a clear and consistent message coming from the Jacksonian tradition.

As such I'm creating this poll (and hopefully it will work).

The question is:  Is Donald Trump the GC we've been looking for?  If so would you vote for him?


As the first vote, I not only think that Trump is the GC, but I will also be voting for him. Granted since Shillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee I'd vote for a potted plant if the GOP rant that too.

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  Request for feedback
Posted by: Dan '82 - 05-05-2016, 12:49 AM - Forum: Forum feedback - Replies (67)

What do you guys think about the forums so far?  Do you have any suggestions for forums that we don’t already have?

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  Kurt Horner's Political Archetypes thread in the old forum
Posted by: Odin - 05-04-2016, 03:35 PM - Forum: Special Topics/G-T Lounge - No Replies

Could somebody repost all the stuff in that thread here?

Link

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  Taramarie's question "Why are Boomers moralistic"
Posted by: Mikebert - 05-04-2016, 02:51 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (25)

[Eric]Taramarie's limited viewpoint and way of speaking might be a bit confusing. "Morals" is such a charged and generalized term that it doesn't mean much. But clearly, there is a cycle of spiritual awakenings that are polarized with the cycle of political crisis and transformation, and they happen when prophets and civics respectively come of age.
[Mike]This is the assumption I am working on

[Eric]To seek an explanation about "why" such a cycle exists, the authors looked at how the generations were raised and the kind of culture they grew up in. But the implication is that generations bring into society what they feel is lacking in that time. So that is almost the reverse of conventional cause and effect. Generations do not bring into the culture what WAS given to them in childhood, but what was NOT given them.
[Mike]I am alos thinking along these lines as far the 1T to 2T transition.  A new generation sought to be more than "Organization Men" as the film The Graduate illustrates:



[Eric]This fact, as I call it, is directly related to your question, because it's people who have had some kind of spiritual awakening who can see beyond the conventional paradigm, and CAN thus explain why such spiritual awakenings occur. There are many people today who have had this awakening, as you tacitly admit by saying that the "fervor didn't get extinguished." I may be one of the only ones who have posted here on this forum who have experienced this awakening, but many others are still out there, especially among boomers.
[Mike]OK. Please explain it

[Eric]The explanation has to be along the lines that peoples' soul or consciousness fills the needs of the time that they perceive....At times, people seek to return to and increase awareness of this source of our consciousness, our creativity, and our moral ideals, because the lack in the culture propels them to. The return may be toward limited traditional or evangelical kinds of religion, or to more open and expansive kinds, or both (as was the case in the sixties and 70s), and so it may have both a more conservative or liberal expression...this is called a second turning or spiritual awakening, responding to the conditions of a first turning.
[Mike]OK with you here.

[Eric]At other times society seems politically dysfunctional, and people seek to respond to this condition. This is called the fourth turning or crisis transformation, responding to 3T conditions. That's where we are now.

[Mike]Do young people today feel no need "to return to and increase awareness of this source of our consciousness, our creativity, and our moral ideals"?  Today's society with its rampant inequality, its unending wars, its shallow culture and politics seems to me to be contrary to most people's moral ideals.  (Millennials please weigh in).  If this is so, then why isn't the spirit-dead and outright toxic culture of the late 3T/early 4T fodder for another awakening?

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  Economic Inequality
Posted by: Mikebert - 05-04-2016, 02:48 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (25)

For change having to do with reversing economic inequality trends there is a specific answer to the problem: State collapse and reformation that serves as a secular cycle boundary.

Secular cycles are a recurrent feature in pre-industrial, agrarian societies that have recently been extended to America (in press). They show a rising (integrative) and falling (disintegrative) trend. Embedded within them are cycles of high and low unrest called fathers and sons cycles (FSC). These seem to be generational in nature like turnings.

During the disintegrative trend the high unrest periods feature state collapse (i.e. deposition and typically the death of the monarch). The down phase ends when one of this period of unrest solves the problem that causes the disinegrative trend (too many elites hoarding too much of total output, i.e. inequality). In fact secular cycles can be thought of as inequality cycles.

One way inequality has been solved in the past was wholesale slaughter of elites (e.g. Norman Invasion results in essentially no extant Saxon elites by the time of the Domesday survey or the Wars of the Roses that slaughtered a huge fraction of the nobility). Another task was diversion of elite energies into other roles. For example the onset of the disintegrative trend was delayed during the Plantagenet cycle (1080-1485) by the diversion of large numbers of elites into monasticism during the 12th century. As a result the secular cycle lasted 400 years instead of the typical 2-3 century length. Another example of non-lethal solution was the resolution provided by the Glorious Revolution. The political quarrel between the king and Parliament was resolved in favor of Parliament and the inequality problem was resolved by enlarged the pie. Up until the mid 17th century, real per capital GDP was flat. Then it started to grow, allowing elites to skim off additional wealth without driving wages of the rest of the population to starvation levels as had happened earlier in the century.

In America the most recent example of FSC periodic unrest was during the 1907-1941 secular cycle disintegrative phase. Here I quote a paper I am working on:

Quote:The progressive era contains one of the periodic episodes of high levels of social unrest in American history (Turchin 2012). These episodes define a cycle which corresponds to the “fathers and sons” cycles embedded in pre-industrial secular cycles (Turchin and Nefedov 2009:79). Pre-industrial English fathers and sons outbursts in instability that occurred during the disintegrative trend of a secular cycle typically involved internal conflict leading to the monarch being deposed and often, killed (Alexander 2016). This did not happen during the period around 1920. Rather, a pair of realigning elections over 1918-1920 replaced a Democratic-controlled government with a Republican one, which went on to rule for twelve years. The replacement of the President and Congress by an opposing party with strongly opposing ideas might be considered as equivalent to the premature end of a monarch’s reign. The incoming Republicans appeared to have resolved the crisis by restricting immigration and suppressing militant labor unions, but this was not the case

 I then quote an author who described how the Republicans set themselves up for financial crisis. I point out that the Republican solution to the FSC violence around 1920:
[Image: cycles-violence.png?1344015330]
did not solve the underlying problem (the inequality) and so the disintegrative trend continued. Until the "elite problem" is addressed this trend will continue on and on (170 years in the case of the Plantagenet cycle).

I then continue:
Quote:the Republican state remained blind to the challenge to its legitimacy posed by the Depression. Their blindness led to a rejection far larger than had occurred to Democrats a dozen years earlier. From 1930 to 1937 the Republicans lost control of the Presidency and its share of Congress fell from about 60% to 20%. Democrats went on to hold the executive branch for the next twenty years after 1932. For the next 62 years, they would hold the Senate 84% of the time and the House 94%. Such an electoral repudiation can be seen as another “fathers and sons” outburst of political instability (of a non-violent type leading to a collapse of the old Republican order. By the time the Republicans recovered a semblance of political control in 1981, they had become a different party than they had been in 1932.The solution to the inequality problem was achieved by the New Dealers over 1933-1945, as I show elsewhere in the paper.

We only began the disintegration phase of this cycle around 2006. Last time there were numerous political responses to the problem which we know as the Progressive Era. None of them solved the problem, inequality continued to rise, leading eventually to economic collapse, as shortly after a second, larger state collapse. I submit that the reason why they did not solve the problem when things got bad around 1920 was because it was a 3T. The recessive/conservative generation in charge was not suited to enact a secular crisis (even though there were triggers galore--hell the period was the closest we have gotten to a revolutionary situation since 1774-1775.) But a little more than a decade later, despite no revolutionary situation, a solution was obtained, because a dominant/liberal generation had come to power. That is I am merging secular cycle theory with S&H theory.

Here's the problem we face. According to my best models, we saw a dominant generation come to power around 2001. That is the 4T started then. But we we were still in the integrative trend of the secular cycle (that is, inequality had not yet become a structural problem). We entered the disintegrative trend around 2006 and in that same year Congress switched parties and two years later we got Democratic control of the government and some major legislation was passed. It now looks like a Democrat will win a third term for the first time since 1940. This implies that 2008 was a critical election which is an indicator of a political moment. So the period from 2008 on qualifies as a fathers and sons cycle "up" phase. Inequality has not been addressed yet. And maybe it wont be. My best estimate is that the next recessive generation comes to power after 2020. So that implies the next four years are critical.

I believe the only way the secular cycle and secular crisis can both be resolved favorably is with an economic collapse like last cycle. As you probably know I am calling for a 10000 point drop in the Dow by 2018. If this happens and if it is accompanied by another financial crisis (I think this is 50:50) then there is a possibility for panic amongst the economic elites like the Koch bros. If the Koch's rein in the Cruz faction (who can Cruz work for after he leaves elective office when everybody hates him? He will have to attach himself to a patron and the Kochs have been friendly to him) then president Clinton would have the ability to prevent collapse. If she is smart enough to realize that unless she restores prosperity in two years she and her party will be destroyed in the next election she will hold out for a truly massive stimulus or go to full-scale crusade war to accomplish the same objective (re-election). Massive stimulus or war will be inflationary until action is taken to raise taxes to the rafters. Even then inflation could crush wealth unless they permit Clinton even more power to regulate the economy "for the duration of the crisis". Note that a war which actually costs the elites something is a war that will be WON as soon as possible and that takes care of re-election.

Something like this is the only way I can see a positive result from this 4T. More likely is Clinton is a one-term president having achieved nothing, after which GenX is in power and no resolution of the disintegrative trend will be possible for another 80 years.

This latter result is actually the more likely. Turchin dates the America secular cycles as 1780-1930 and 1930-ongoing. Since his first cycle spans two saecula, then why wouldn't his second? In this scenario this 4T will be another inconsequential 4T (from an inequality viewpoint) like the Civil War or Armada 4T and the real action will come in the next 4T long after all of us here are dead.

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  Response to Mikebert on Yuku
Posted by: Bob Butler 54 - 05-04-2016, 02:17 PM - Forum: Theories Of History - Replies (1)

The following was written in response to a Mikebert post on the Yuku form.  Hopefully it will stand on its own.

I would add another element to your list.

1.  Many Catalysts, most of which occur during the late part of the unravelling.
2.  One Trigger event, a big one, with Pearl Harbor being the archetype, which clearly leads too a full commitment to new values and transformation.
3.  Regeneracy.  This is the point when the progressive faction seeking transformation gets sufficient momentum to steamroll the conservatives.  This clearly hasn’t happened yet in the current cycle.  The trigger might cause the regeneracy.  Still, the Four Freedoms speech manifesting the World War II regeneracy came almost a year before Pearl Harbor.
4.  The Climax.  This is the moment of Great Danger. The Crucial Moment that confirms the death of the old order and the birth of the new. Total War often happens during the climax.
5.  The Resolution.  A triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from the losers, resolves big public questions, and establishes the new order.

To these I might add possible complications.  One is the false regeneracy.  The example I’d use is Bush 43 deciding to go for a military solution without addressing underlying causes.  His ideas included a return to colonial imperialism and changing cultures at gun point without sufficient boots on the ground to control conquered land.  He had a potential trigger event in September 11th.  He briefly had a united population willing to give him a blank check.  If he had made it work he might have had a values transforming war.  He didn’t make it work.  Thus, we had a false regeneracy, a failed crisis, a return to an unravelling stalemate mood of political bickering.  The new values he attempted to foster faded and failed.

A second point of note is that the current issues, as serious as they are, are not serious when compared to slavery, the Great Depression or the Fascist - Nazi attempt at world domination.  With those issues, emotion and values rang high.  The perceived need for transformation was clear.  Today, not so much.  As I see it, each crisis era will attack the most significant problem of the era, with some smaller issues getting cleared up in the backwash.  Crisis brings transformation, though, not perfection.  The seeds of the next crisis are visible with the benefit of 20 / 20 hindsight.  However the enforced lockstep of the 1T high will suppress further transformation for a time, often until the next crisis.

In part, we haven’t had a regeneracy as there has not been a perceived need for a regeneracy.  None of the catalysts have yet to be perceived as a trigger.  Neither the progressive nor conservative values have been able to sustain a working majority of Congress, thus transformation has not happened.

A technical factor contributing to this is the modern rules of order.  Filibuster has become the norm rather than rare.  A 51% majority is no good, doesn’t get one anywhere.  Thus, if regeneracy happens when a new set of values dominates government, it is harder to achieve regeneracy.

Just as there are multiple catalysts, there can be multiple issues.  You mentioned Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and identity politics.  I might mention September 11th and Katrina.  We could likely find other catalysts and issues.  Most of them resonate along the Red / Blue divide.

I’d suggest that a catalyst can’t become the trigger unless and until the culture is regeneracy ready.  The issues highlighted by the trigger have to be well understood.  The values required to solve the problem illustrated by the trigger should already be felt by a heck of a lot of the people.

I could ramble some more, but I think this will do.

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Thumbs Up Welcome fellow ex-TFT Forumites!
Posted by: X_4AD_84 - 05-04-2016, 01:42 PM - Forum: Special Topics/G-T Lounge - Replies (41)

Hi there. I was XYMOX_4AD_84 on the TFT forum, now shortened up to X_4AD_84.

Water's fine, come on in!

Big Grin

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  test
Posted by: taramarie - 05-04-2016, 12:23 AM - Forum: Generation X - Replies (3)

Testing

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