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Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going
I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

1. The Boomer Left, which had been on a relentless 50 year march, reached its apotheosis from 2008-2016. It reached its phase of maximum influence, and maximum decadent excess. In 2016, the dam broke. The Left's shock and incredible hysteria at Trump becoming president was based on their cult-like dogma about the inevitability, and linear "progress", of their idiosyncratic obsessions. Their faith was shattered. Cyclical pendulums swung and smacked them for a loop like an anvil landing on Wile E. Coyote.

2. It's unclear exactly where we sit in the cycle, and there are echoes of many past cycles. There is division in the US like the Civil War, with the extremes embracing the discredited and cataclysmic ideologies of WWII. Totalitarianism is back in fashion, especially on the Far Left, which increasingly calls openly for socialism, and has taken up a cause of Nazi-like systematization of "identity" groups, and a Maoist Cultural Revolutionary determination to completely erase and remake society, culture and history by any means necessary. The fact that freedom of speech and other First Amendment protections are now openly opposed by the radical left, not merely a few cranks, but systematically in major institutions (academic, media, internet behemoths) is a relatively new feature of truly dangerous militant extremism. Orwell is rolling in his grave about the ideas increasingly dominating Silicon Valley, which makes them look like they're following 1984 as if it's a textbook.

On the Right, there have been minuscule but amplified outcroppings of moldy white supremacism, and the weird internet trolls of the "alt right", all of which amount to a real phenomenon, but a very limited one, with no real power and influence. As you move towards the center, there has been a clear shift away from the heavily libertarian ideology that dominated Republicans in the 3T towards a more traditional conservatism. 

Donald Trump defies categorization in various ways, but in the broadest sense, I think Obama is analogous to FDR, and Trump is analogous to Truman and/or Eisenhower. 

As said above, we have continued to see reiterations of Boomer obsessions from their youth. The Iraq War was their replay of Viet Nam. The actions of the Obama Administration in 2016 increasingly look like a replay of Watergate, on steroids. The attempt by the DoJ and other players to interfere with the election, wiretap the opposing party, and then run a campaign of leaks against a sitting president is unprecedented. The complete corruption of the executive branch that occurred under Obama is increasingly impossible to ignore. Whether that results in cleaning house and resetting the country on more honest footing, or is merely the political "establishment" warming up, along with Silicon Valley and other institutions, to impose true totalitarianism remains to be seen. The agenda of radical social leftism and economic globalization cannot hold, and the US will collapse and disintegrate if it is not turned back permanently. You cannot combine globalization with identity politics without disaster. The jury is still out on whether it continues to its inevitable end. Trump is certainly an attempt to stop it. And they know it, which is why they are trying so hard to destroy him. I am optimistic that people have begun to wake up in time to repair the damage and prevent disaster, but the jury is still out. 

3. If we are in the 4T, and 2008 was the main Catalyst, has there been a Climax? The recent elections in the West, from Brexit to Trump and others, while a decided break point in a new direction, don't seem sufficient. On the other hand, if the 4T began earlier, say on 9/11/2001 as I have long suspected, the present could be, very simply, the beginning of the 1T. Perhaps 9/11 was the Catalyst, and the 2008 crash the Climax?

4. What should be made of the Millenials, and the following generation which is now coming of age? The Millenials don't seem to fit many of S&H's predictions, but they certainly fit some. Their conformity to hierarchical control is clear, where they have dutifully allowed themselves to be dominated by the Boomer Left. Their obsession with the "wonders of technology" is clear, like Civics before them. They obviously seek some kind of rationalization, stability and regimentation, even if it's subconscious, and they don't know what that is. 

The next generation ("Homelanders" in past 4T forum-speak) are definitely looking more like Xers, who are primarily the parents of the early cohorts now coming of age. How that translates into Artists is an interesting question. Overpowered by Millenials and Boomers at this point, they are probably more self-contained and cautious than other groups, biding their time, waiting to see how things turn out. As Boomers age out (which has begun to happen rapidly), the new Artists and their Xer parents will dominate, while the new Prophets are born. 

While many of S&H's specific predictions about the future remain suspect, these are my guesses at this point, when it comes to where we go from here:

1. The first question that has to be settled is whether we are half way through the 4T, or at the beginning of the 1T. I'm not completely sure one way or the other. If the Climax has yet to come, there are only two possibilities I can foresee. 

One is the collapse of the United States and the West in general, due to internal division. The Radical Left inside the US has become genuinely extreme, and they exert heavy influence over many societal institutions. They are now unopposed within the Democratic Party, which has been purged of moderates, or whose moderates have been cowed into subservience to the Far Left. They completely control much of academia, and the media. And they have an influence on big business which no one would have predicted, thanks in no small part to the economic dominance of Silicon Valley, which is right outside San Francisco, the most far left place in the US. 

Geopolitically, the primary threat to the US and the West is China. In recent decades, and in the extreme in recent years, the US economy has been intertwined with China's. The combination of "globalization" with the Boomer Left's radical, authoritarian, and racist social leftism can only lead to the collapse of the United States, splintering into balkanized enclaves of warring groups. Russia, while overblown due to its tiny economy and heavy reliance on fossil fuel exports, appears to want revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and would love to see nothing more. Their dabbling in US politics did not elect Donald Trump - what has been shown instead is their involvement in trying to encourage extremists across the spectrum, like Black Lives Matter, white supremacists, and the "Resistance" of the radical left, to heighten divisions and instability in the US. Their most recently discovered attempts involved trying to help organize and promote anti-Trump protests outside the White House. 

So the bad outcome involves the Radical Left in the US seizing power, and pushing the doomed combination of globalization and identity politics even farther forward to its logical conclusion, which would result in the effective dissolving of the US, and the domination of the world by Communist China for the coming "saeculum".

The other, more positive outcome, which I think is more likely, is that we are at or near the 1T, and the movements across the West generally defined as "conservative populism" are society slamming on the brakes after a period of chaos. I think the generational alignments argue for this interpretation. Boomers, despite the persistence of visible leaders like Trump, are almost completely in retirement now in society at large, and the post-Millenial generation is coming of age. The economy is finally reviving after a decade of suffering, which followed a decade of decline. Real median household incomes have just recently returned to where they were in 1998, after two decades below that peak. Trump's actions geopolitically are showing a clear pattern of putting out fires. He effectively ended ISIS within months of taking office, and has engaged with North Korea. He uses leverage to force people to the table, and then makes deals. His goal is not some new major war (he ran on opposition to Iraq, and has been called an isolationist), but rather peace and stability, with the US remaining a superpower, unthreatened. 

2. Provided the second outcome, and the beginning of the 1T, I can see a few trends emerging. The new Artists will seek some sort of stable, negotiated settling of the Boomer divides, which will be provided by their Xer parents in Midlife. The recurring eruptions of leftist outrage will be receding aftershocks, increasingly rejected by society at large. Millenials will quiet down, settle down, and build their careers, homes and families, being shaped more by Xer leadership than Boomer, which will have a moderating impact on them. Xers will finally catch a break, and will enjoy peace and prosperity in leadership, then retire into the 2T, which they will simply ignore. The culture, robbed of all meaning by the groupthink control of discredited leftist extremism, will be a relatively exhausted wasteland. The new Artists (if their S&H name has any meaning) will want to fill the void, and grow up with enough protection and prosperity to pursue it.

In the 2T, the Millenials will emerge into leadership, with their trademark hubris and faith in technology at the forefront. They will seek to carry out their programming, but their children will rebel against them. One trend that seems certain is a rebellion against technology, and a "return to nature" as typical of S&H traits. The internet will no longer be new and exciting, but rather stifling old news, and Millenials won't be able to see it any other way. Spending time in nature, and focusing on the things that separate humans from machines, will be one likely Prophet rejection of their parents' values. 

Given the extreme and hostile suppression and persecution of Christianity by the Radical Left during the 4T, I wouldn't be surprised to see a resurgence among the next Prophets. One can imagine the horror Millenial parents would react with if their kids suddenly became outspoken Evangelicals. Since the Prophets usually have divided camps and competing visions, I could see some other alternative being a "singularity"-like quest for "transhumanism" on the part of the next Prophet Left, impatient to push even farther into insanity as the Boomer Left did. 

It's impossible to say what the major geopolitical issues of the next saeculum will be, but the general outline of a world where the West has to contend with major issues with China, with Russia playing the spoiler, looks like where things are headed. With China being the new Soviet Union of the last saeculum's Cold War. 

This post has been much longer than expected - the ideas started flowing - so I'll stop it there. Helped me flesh out my own thoughts. I've convinced myself again that 9/11 was the Catalyst, and we are now approaching the 1T boundary, but probably not quite there yet. Trump/Pence looks like some analogy of Truman/Eisenhower.

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Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going - by justpassingthrough - 08-18-2018, 08:01 PM

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