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Political Cycle Model for Saeculum
#21
Quote:But why the start of those issues, and not a few years earlier, with Sputnik and the Cuban missile crisis, which were viewed as equally major events by Silents and older generations but seem to have had minimal to no impact on Boomers?  Or why not a few years later, since the Vietnam War was the real big issue of the 1960s.  Also, a tangent, but do you really remember the Vietnam war ending in the 1960s?  My memory is that it didn't end until the peace treaty of 1973, or maybe the boat lift of 1975.  Of course it ended with a loss, so that was also disempowering, but I wouldn't have thought its course in the 1960s would seem empowering either.  I'm interested in how it could be seen that way.

Where did I say the war ended in the 1960’s?   The empowering aspect of the war was on the part of protestors, who perceived that they had succeed in ending a war, which is empowering.

Generation imprinting occurs most rapidly with those aged late teens through mid-20’s, centered on age 22.  It is what people in that age group are experiencing that forms generations.  Things like the missile crisis and Sputnik are dramatic events, but no social or cultural trends involving youth stemmed from it.  On the other hand, things like the civil rights movement had by the early 1960’s involved idealistic youth in the North (like Bernie Sanders). This movement also succeeded when it delivered major de facto constitutional change: long-delayed enforcement of the 15
th Amendment.  When the black civil rights movement petered out and the war was over, there were new civil rights movements: Women’s, Chicano, Gay, and Environmental movements in which new cohorts of youth were involved and so imprinted into a dominant generation.  Also there were all the new religious groups and communes being formed as part of the on-going Awakening.

All this was forging a dominant, empowered, generation amongst Left-leaning youth. The same thing was happening on the Right: The young gunslingers on Wall Street learning how to profit from stocks with no earnings during the go-go years (1967-68), the sober youth appalled with the sex, drugs and bad behavior, who rallied to Nixon’s law and order ideology, or those who went to Reagan rallies in 1976 (lots of kids in my HS).  The experience of stagflation and the success of Volcker’s interest rate policy forged right-leaning youth of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s into “austerians”, who believe that “the tax cuts worked” as you said above. The 1973 Roe vs Wade decision sparked a pro-life moment amongst Catholics (this was a big thing at my Catholic school), which later moved to Protestants. The phenomenon of mega-churches got their start in the 1970’s and grew from there.  Fundamentalist and conservative Evangelical churches, who had withdrawn from involvement with secular politics during the last 4T re-entered the fray with organizations like the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.  Although these were elder-initiated projects they did have an intent to help shape their youth, and so would initially have an imprinting effect, which would dissipate as the project became routine.

Imprinting would be expected to be somewhat different for conservatives, whose value systems are supposed to NOT embrace novel or radical ideas or practices (i.e. the sorts of things that make a social moment and imprint a dominant gen).   The imprinted effect comes from the reaction to some new cultural element.  Once the reaction is complete, the imprinting stops.  So social moments largely reflect the actions of progressives or leftists, which are why they correspond to the political eras Schlesinger deems liberal.

 
When the 1960’s birth cohorts started forming paradigms in the early 1980’s the battles were won (or lost) and the movements were over.  The energy of the 2T had been dissipated.  There were no new causes to embrace, larger narrative to follow, people accepted the paradigms created in the 2T and focused on their own lives.  In short, they were imprinted into a recessive generation (GenX) that was less idealistic, but more realistic in their expectations (or so they would maintain).

Imprinting requires a continuous or near continuous stream of events (a social moment) that gives rise to youth-involved movements or projects (e.g. fighting in wars) that keep imprinting new cohorts reaching the vicinity of age 22.  When the activity peters out (the social moment ends) imprinted stops., a dominant generation gives way to a recessive one.

Quote:For my theory - that the shift from Adaptive to Idealist is defined at an early age by the fact that Adaptives actually remember the crisis war and Idealists do not - this particular era transition doesn't need to be sharp, and can be caused by, rather than be the cause of, the transition from Adaptives to Idealists.

Well actually John’s theory J
 
Quote:But as I understand it, you reject that theory.

Yes, because of the Idealistic/Reactive split. One cannot invoke the crisis war here.  Instead a fair bit of hand-waving is required. 


Quote:The establishment getting its act together could definitely cause a sharp delineation, since leadership changes tend to be relatively sudden; this would also apply to nondemocratic states, which I consider important to the theory.  This generates a testable hypothesis:  the length of the Awakening period should be highly variable since it's somewhat random when a competent leader comes to power.

No the marker is not competent leadership, it is activity involving that informs ones opinions of the world works (paradigm).  I would hardly think those who managed WW II were incompetent. Yet imprinting continued all through the war and ended shortly after.  Why? Because the project that was imprinting youth ended. Before that it was the experience of the Depression that was on ongoing education that poverty can happen to people through no fault of their own.  Until it happened, it couldn’t teach this lesson, and once it and the war were over there were no more lessons to be taught and the cohorts arriving after 1945 simply adopted the 4T paradigm and became a recessive generation.
So the length of an Awakening/prophet imprinting period should equal the length of a social moment plus a “buffer” zone of a few years.

Quote:It would also mean that Idealists and Reactives aren't differentiated until the beginning of adulthood. 
Correct
 
Quote:I'm not sure whether I'm ready to believe that, since much has been made of alleged differences between Boomer and X childhoods.  I'll have to think about that.

Much has.  But it has the marks of a just so story. 
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#22
Quote:
Quote:But why the start of those issues, and not a few years earlier, with Sputnik and the Cuban missile crisis, which were viewed as equally major events by Silents and older generations but seem to have had minimal to no impact on Boomers?  Or why not a few years later, since the Vietnam War was the real big issue of the 1960s.  Also, a tangent, but do you really remember the Vietnam war ending in the 1960s?  My memory is that it didn't end until the peace treaty of 1973, or maybe the boat lift of 1975.  Of course it ended with a loss, so that was also disempowering, but I wouldn't have thought its course in the 1960s would seem empowering either.  I'm interested in how it could be seen that way.

Where did I say the war ended in the 1960’s?   The empowering aspect of the war was on the part of protestors, who perceived that they had succeed in ending a war, which is empowering.

You said this:

Quote:Early wave Boomers (like Eric and Dave) were imprinted in the sixties.  The events of this time: blacks gaining their long-denied 15th Amendment rights plus the right to live wherever they could afford, the Vietnam war ending, more sex, pollution getting cleaned up were seen as good things.  It was an empowering time.  [emphasis mine]

I interpreted that as saying all those things happened in the 1960s.  Perhaps you intended it differently?  Can you clarify?

Quote:Imprinting requires a continuous or near continuous stream of events (a social moment) that gives rise to youth-involved movements or projects (e.g. fighting in wars) that keep imprinting new cohorts reaching the vicinity of age 22.  When the activity peters out (the social moment ends) imprinted stops., a dominant generation gives way to a recessive one.

That just begs the question of how the social moment gets started and ends.  If it shapes the idealist generation, it can't be determined by the idealist generation, or at least the beginning of it can't.

Quote:
Quote:For my theory - that the shift from Adaptive to Idealist is defined at an early age by the fact that Adaptives actually remember the crisis war and Idealists do not - this particular era transition doesn't need to be sharp, and can be caused by, rather than be the cause of, the transition from Adaptives to Idealists.

Well actually John’s theory J

 I'll let him speak for himself; that particular conclusion I reached long before I heard of his theories.

Quote:
Quote:But as I understand it, you reject that theory.

Yes, because of the Idealistic/Reactive split. One cannot invoke the crisis war here.  Instead a fair bit of hand-waving is required. 

You're rejecting this theory on the Adaptive/Idealist split because one of the people who suggested it doesn't also have a good explanation for the Idealist/Reactive split?  It strikes me that generational transitions don't all have to work the same way, and people can be right about one thing without being right about everything.

Quote:
Quote:The establishment getting its act together could definitely cause a sharp delineation, since leadership changes tend to be relatively sudden; this would also apply to nondemocratic states, which I consider important to the theory.  This generates a testable hypothesis:  the length of the Awakening period should be highly variable since it's somewhat random when a competent leader comes to power.

No the marker is not competent leadership, it is activity involving that informs ones opinions of the world works (paradigm).

Then you lose an otherwise cogent explanation for a clean Idealist/Reactive split either, as far as I can tell.

Quote:I would hardly think those who managed WW II were incompetent.

The GIs were the footsoldiers in WWII, not the managers.  As long as the managers were in charge - Truman, then Eisenhower, from the Lost generation - leadership seemed to keep things under control; it was only when GIs took charge in the 1960s that, as your previous post put it, "momentous events"  such as "domestic turmoil on a scale far larger than anything seen since" started happening.
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#23
I see the issue with the war.  I was thinking of the "war-ending" as a process, in which youth took part, that ran over the late 1960's to early 1970's and ended with the war.  Eric and Dave were born in the late 1940’s and so would be imprinted in the earlier portion of this period, hence the reference to the sixties.  You are right that the war (and the protests continued into the 1970’s).  My bad, I was not clear.
Warren Dew Wrote:That just begs the question of how the social moment gets started and ends.  If it shapes the idealist generation, it can't be determined by the idealist generation, or at least the beginning of it can't.

What I have been speaking of is the mechanism through which history (social moments) creates (imprints) generations.  I haven’t yet discussed the opposite, how generations create history. You have already identified this mechanism:
Quote:The GIs were the foot soldiers in WWII, not the managers. As long as the managers were in charge - Truman, then Eisenhower, from the Lost generation - leadership seemed to keep things under control; it was only when GIs took charge in the 1960s that, as your previous post put it, "momentous events"  such as "domestic turmoil on a scale far larger than anything seen since" started happening.
To wit, history creates generations, which after they come to power, create history. There is a lag between generational imprinting at age 22 and history creation at AL (the average age of leaders).  I define AL as the average of the mean ages of governors, Congressmen, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices, all provided by Neil Howe’s database at this site. Therefore, the spacing between AL and 22 drives the spacing between social moments (or 2T/4Ts). 
 
Quote:You're rejecting this theory on the Adaptive/Idealist split because one of the people who suggested it doesn't also have a good explanation for the Idealist/Reactive split?  It strikes me that generational transitions don't all have to work the same way, and people can be right about one thing without being right about everything.

The concept of a crisis war is not part of the S&H theory.  It is an alternate model.  S&H used the constellation model, which I already explained does not work because with it social moments map into more than one generation, resulting in spreading that quickly damps out the cycle.  John developed the crisis war concept to provide a mechanism that works.  It involves a special kind of intense war that has the property of imprinting all living  person into generations based on the phase of life they occupy, as described by S&H.  John added a "ratchet effect," in which the propensity to fight a crisis war is inhibited by the presence of those who remember the last one.  When they leave the scene (i.e. their last cohort retires (enters elderhood), a new crisis war becomes possible. It won't necessarily happen right away,  but when the necessary spark appears it happens.  Hence the spacing between the end of a crisis war and the next is around three generations, or longer, so saecula are not necessarily fixed in length:

Crisis Wars   Spacing between midpoints

1066                    

1135-1154      79            

1204-1215      65              

1264-1282      64              

1337-1347      69              

1386-1409      56              

1455-1485      73              

1559-1588      104            

1638-1660      76              

1701-1714      59              

1789-1815      95              

1860-1871      64
1937-1945      76
              
           
These data are from 2003-4, John may have refined his dating since then. This is is my recording and interpretation of his crisis eras.  Any errors are mine.


Remember each generation comes from previous one and inherits all of its genetic, cultural, and material attributes.  A priori, there should be no discernable difference between generations. This, of course, is the null hypothesis, which is what most scholars believe (just as most economists do not believe there are economic long cycles).  The pro-generation argument to counter this is that the environment affects people’s worldviews, which affects how they will behave in the future.  People shaped by different historical experiences will behave differently (create different history).  For this idea, it seems to me that for history to create generations, it must make a powerful impression for generation idea to work.  The crisis war concept (a war that so intense, so all-encompassing, that John uses the term “genocidal energy" to characterize it) is such a strongly impressionistic form of history. 

The generations that take an active role in this war (Nomads and Heroes) get strongly imprinted into their roles. The Artists are simply those who missed out on the action (that creates a sharp divide between them and the Heroes) but who are, more the most part, too young to have their belief systems as adults forged.
  Prophets are just weaker Artists (i.e. increasingly less impacted by the crisis war and the stories from it).  There In John’s theory, the Crisis War does the heavy lifting.  2Ts can happen more or less as S&H describe in their Appendix, but they are not needed to play a role in causing history to repeat (i.e. a cycle), the CW does that.

S&H hold that both kinds of social moments play important roles in creating repeating history (cycles).
  I think that is right, they just don’t have the right mechanism for it.  Dave Krein showed that British generations played significant roles in British policies during the 19th century using a statistical analysis of voting patterns in the House of Commons.  This generational influence on government policy is explicitly “generations creating history”.  Combine this with the now-established concept of generational imprinting in political science and you have a mechanism for the S&H process.

Quote:Then you lose an otherwise cogent explanation for a clean Idealist/Reactive split either, as far as I can tell.

No I use the explanation you provided: it was only when GIs took charge in the 1960s that, as your previous post put it, momentous events started happening.  And what happened when they left power?  The momentous events stopped happening, and young people stopped getting imprinted into a dominant generation (Idealists) and started being imprinted into recessives (Reactives). GI’s stopped getting imprinted around 1945-6, when the 4T social moment was winding down.  In the early 1980’s AL was 56.  So the spacing between the end of social moment in 1945 and the end of the next social moment should be 34 years (=56-22).  Add this to 1945-6 and you get 1979-80.  So we should expect things to calm down around 1979-80 give a take a year or two--and it did.

What about the start of the 2T?
  Well the Great Depression became "great" in 1931 (before that is was not different than previous recessions, it had been less severe than 1920-21, for example).  AL was also 56 in the early 1960’s.  So adding 34 to 1931 gives 1965. So we would predict a 2T social moment over 1965-1980, which more or less corresponds to the 2T as observed. In the early 2000’s AL had risen to age 59 or 60, it varies from year to year.  This gives a spacing of 37-38 years which projects the start of the next social moment (the current 4T) in 2002-3.  There is no consensus about exactly which year this 4T began, but most would agree it is in the 2001-8 period.  We can “backcast” the start of the last 2T implied by a 2001-2008 start of this 4T by noting AL = 59 in 2001 and 61 in 2008, so we subtract 37 from 2001 and 39 from 2008 to get 1964-69.  Most would agree that the momentous events started happening sometime in this period. 
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