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Political Cycle Model for Saeculum
#1
One of the reasons S&H do not get serious attention from scientifically-inclined social scientists might be because they gave little for scholars to work with.  S&H never game an explicit cause for their cycle. They outlined some causal concepts and proposed a partial verbal model that goes something like this:

 Basically their generations are like those Mannheim discussed.  They are formed by the experience of like-aged persons to history-shaping times that they call social moments.  The define like-age as occupation of a specific phase of life.  In the appendix of Generations they provide an example of an event, a war, that causes people occupying different phases of life to be imprinted into different generations. 

An example is the GI generation, in which the experience of depression and war over 1929-1946 imprints a certain set of attributes (what they call the Civic peer personality or Hero archetype) on those who were in the rising adulthood phase of life forging them into what is known as the Greatest Generation.  So those in the 22-43 age bracket during the 1929-1946 period become members of the GI generation.  Persons born between 1903 and 1907 inclusive would fully occupy the 22-43 age bracket during the 1929-1946 period, and so would constitute “core” GIs.  People born between 1895 and 1915 would spend at least 10 of the years when they were in the 22-43 age bracket during the 1929-1946 period.  Yet the 1895 to 1900 cohorts are considered as Lost, even those they spend more than half of their rising adult years in a 4T.  Similarly the cohorts born 1916-1924 spent more than half of their rising adult years in a 1T, yet they are considered as GIs. 

This problem emerges with all the generations.  If we narrow the formative period we can get something closer to the S&H dates.  Suppose we only consider the period of mobilization 1941-1946.  Now the 1903-1919 years become the core years.  S&H also assert that the coming of age experience is particularly important so let’s assert that anyone who comes of age during the war (i.e. serves) is automatically a member of the GIs and so we add the 1920-24 cohort (who were 22 over 1942-1946) and get GSs as 1903-1924.  This is close enough.

If we do the same thing for the Boomers, we find that if we use formative years of 1982-84 we can construct a Boomer gen born 1941-1960, which is close enough.  The problem is whereas the idea that WW II “forged” the greatest generation makes sense, the idea that the early 1980’s was when the Boomers were forged does not.  In fact this period falls outside of the 1967-1980 2T social moment S&H proposed in Generations. This makes no sense. One has to conclude that their generation-creating process does not work to produce the generations they found.
 
As far as I know, S&H never explored these ideas any further than the cursory treatment they gave in Generations.

Another way to look at this is to flip it around. Instead of having “generational imprinting” occurring over a long period of time (a phase of life) having it occur over a shorter one, say a single year instead.  If we assume that generations are imprinted at their coming of age (which S&H put at age 22) then we simply subtract 22 from their social moments to get the “core years” for their dominant generations to obtain the table below. The portion of the S&H generations outside the core are considered as cusps.
 
Formative moment     Generation      “Core” generation      S&H generation

1967-1980                       Boomers             1945-1958                   1943-1960

1932-1945                       GIs                       1910-1923                    1901-1924

1913-1922                       Lost                      1891-1900                   1883-1900

This way of construction generations works pretty well, but why? To get answer this I turn the focus to politics, in which the formative events are political moments are the generations are political generations, that function very similarly to the core generation concept as we shall see.  I shift to politics for two reasons.  The first is a discussion I had with marc Lamb, whom some of you remember as a troll.  He was that, but he was more and he and I had productive discussions in his early years over 2001-2003.

I came to this site from the longwaves forum, a discussion group (long gone) about economic long cycles or Kondratieffs.  At that time I thought of the saeculum as primarily an economic cycle because there were strong parallels between the two cycles, which I wrote about in a book.  Marc liked my economic stuff, but argued that politics, not economics was the key to the saeculum because all facets of the social world, economics, politics, religion, morals, in short, culture, are represented in one’s politics.

The second reason is that political sciences/historians have done the most work with generations.  Here’s a paper on how the political environment (measured by presidential approval in a given year) shapes people’s party voting preferences as a function of age.  That is, how the experience of a low or high-rated presidential affects your opinion of their party as a function of age.  This opinion-forming caused by historical experience is generational imprinting or “history creates generations”.  Figure 4 shows a plot of how strongly history impacts your political opinions.  The figure shows that generational imprinting happens mostly between the ages of 14 and 30.  If you calculate the cumulative effect of past experience on people in their fifties (when they occupy positions of power) from that figure you find that 50% of their opinion is formed by the age of 22.

Looking at it another way one can consider that people will at some point choose their side and this will likely happen between the ages of 14 to 30, or on average at age 22 with a standard deviation of 4-5 years or so.  That is, people “come of age” politically sometime between 14 and 30, but mostly in the years around age 22.   If we wish to consider a birth cohort, we are talking about large numbers of people.  For the birth cohort the age at which they collective come of age is 22 with a standard error of the mean equal to the standard deviation of the individual divided by the square root of the number of individuals.  For groups of a 100 or more, the standard error will be less than a tenth of the standard deviation and so the age at which a cohort comes of age will be a constant equal to 22.

These arguments justify the generation-creating mechanism outlined above.
How do generations create history?  Well for politics, history would be created by the “history makers”: statesmen, government officials and legislators.  Neil how has collected age data for congressmen, senators, governors and Supreme Court Justices for each year since 1789.  His site provides average ages for the first three for each Congress.  He has a tool from which it is easy to obtain the average age of the fourth groups as a function of time.  I then average these four means for each year and get a parameter I call leader age AL.  This is the average age at which politicians exercise their mature adult role of leadership.  A generation then creates history over the years at which they are age AL. 
 
Simply take a generation and add AL to it and you get their time of history creation.  Or take a period and subtract AL from it and you get the generation that created that history.  Subtract 22 from it and your get that generation created by that history.  What this means is generations create new generations.  A generation born over the specific span then “begets” a generation born AL- 22 years after that span.  That is, generational “replication time” (length) is AL-22.  So back in medieval times when elite lifespans were shorter than today AL was lower, or about 49 (more later about where this value comes from, but for now just bear with me), generational length was 25 years and the saeculum ran about 100 years.  During early modern times lifespans were a bit longer and AL was able 52 or so, and generational length about 28 years.  With the coming of representative government, legislators became important and AL would have to take into consideration their (generation younger ages than the king’s high ministers) and so AL drops to about 45 or 46 and generation length to 23 or 24 years in the 18th century. The saeculum shortens to around 90 years in the 1700’s.
 
So far so good.  But now look at today.  In 2008  AL was 62 giving a replication time of 40 years.  Thus, the youth who went clean for Gene (McCarthy), thrilled to Robert Kennedy and were inspired by MLK and scarred by their deaths of the latter two, begot a generation 40 years later who went in droves for Barrack Obama.  The 2T over 1964-1984 created the Boomer generation (b 1942-1962) who begot the Millennium generation born over ca. 1980- 2002.  This makes sense, but what about this gap between 1962 and 1980.  S&H created a new category of generation.  A less active, recessive generation that we know as GenX.  Similar gaps are found going back, in which sit other recessive generations.
 
The same mechanism that has Boomers begetting Milles, has the Silent begetting GenXers.   Now Boomer and Milles are dominant political generations and COA/create political moments, which roughly correspond to Schlesinger liberal eras.  Recessive political generations, like the Silent and Gen X,  come of age in conservative eras, create the next conservative era and beget a new recessive generation. And so you have two parallel “family trees”.  As you got back AL declines with shorter lifespans, generational replication times shorten and so do the length of political eras and generations.  This shortening is best shown by spacing between critical elections in 1774, 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932, 1968 and 2008.  This spacing rises from 24 to 40 years right in line with rising replication time. (Note 2008 will likely be confirmed by a Dem victory in the fall, which seems likely).
 
If you go back further you find AL dropped to 44 at points in which replication time is 22 years, and you start to have the same generation coming of age (being created) and creating history at the same time.  A generation cannot create itself!  So some time before AL gets this short we have to shift from having a recessive and dominant generations to just having dominant ones.   In other words the modern system (called by saeculum II by Sean Love) that I have been discussing turns into the system I discussed earlier, which Love calls saeculum I.  I place the split at the American Revolution 4T, which has an unusually long liberal era in Schlesinger’s scheme.  He has the 1765-1787 period as one liberal era.  I extend this period to 1765-1789 and split it into two at the 1774 break point: 1765-1774 and the 1775-1789.  The first of these creates the recessive generational line and the latter creates the founders of the dominant line.
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#2
We have been in a crisis era since around 2000, based on the downturn in economic trends, increased political rivalry stemming from the 2000 election, and the "war on terror" triggered by 2001.  A crisis era is not necessarily a 4T.  For example, we entered a crisis era in 1765 with the Stamp Act Congress and foundation of the Sons of Liberty terrorist group.  The 4T proper began eight years late with the Tea Party "direct action" which followed the imposition of the Tea Act necessitated by the Panic of 1772 in London.  Another crisis era was entered in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the start of Bloody Kansas and the effort by the Supreme Court to douse of the fires of partisanship using gasoline in the Dred Scott decision.  The crisis era turned 4T six years later with the formal secession of South Carolina in Dec. 1860 following the election of Abraham Lincoln the month before.

I suggest that the next crisis era may have begun as early as 1907 (this is when capital productivity fell (analogous period is 2002-2006).  Alternate dates could be 1912 Bull Moose campaign (analogs would be 1992-Perot), 1919 (no analogs)  or even 1929 (2008 crisis).  In any case the 4T itself began in 1929, up 22 years after the start of the crisis era.  

To generate a 4T requires three ingredients.  First you need a crisis era, that is, the underlying issues that the coming 4T needs to (eventually) address, are becoming increasingly urgent.  Such things are often associated with what Bob Butler calls a spiral of violence.  Next you need the proper generational constellation.  For me, all this boils down to a dominant generation* coming to power. Once you have both of these all you need is a triggering event, what S&H call the crisis trigger.

*A dominant generation is one that comes of age in one social moment turning and is in power during the next one.
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#3
(09-07-2016, 12:37 PM)Mikebert Wrote: We have been in a crisis era since around 2000, based on the downturn in economic trends, increased political rivalry stemming from the 2000 election, and the "war on terror" triggered by 2001.  A crisis era is not necessarily a 4T.  For example, we entered a crisis era in 1765 with the Stamp Act Congress and foundation of the Sons of Liberty terrorist group.  The 4T proper began eight years late with the Tea Party "direct action" which followed the imposition of the Tea Act necessitated by the Panic of 1772 in London.  Another crisis era was entered in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the start of Bloody Kansas and the effort by the Supreme Court to douse of the fires of partisanship using gasoline in the Dred Scott decision.  The crisis era turned 4T six years later with the formal secession of South Carolina in Dec. 1860 following the election of Abraham Lincoln the month before.

I suggest that the next crisis era may have begun as early as 1907 (this is when capital productivity fell (analogous period is 2002-2006).  Alternate dates could be 1912 Bull Moose campaign (analogs would be 1992-Perot), 1919 (no analogs)  or even 1929 (2008 crisis).  In any case the 4T itself began in 1929, up 22 years after the start of the crisis era.  

To generate a 4T requires three ingredients.  First you need a crisis era, that is, the underlying issues that the coming 4T needs to (eventually) address, are becoming increasingly urgent.  Such things are often associated with what Bob Butler calls a spiral of violence.  Next you need the proper generational constellation.  For me, all this boils down to a dominant generation* coming to power. Once you have both of these all you need is a triggering event, what S&H call the crisis trigger.

*A dominant generation is one that comes of age in one social moment turning and is in power during the next one.

Seems all correct. One thing to note is that Strauss and maybe Howe too compared 1919 to 2001 because the Wall Street bombing paralleled 9-11.

Of course I would extend the civil war 4T back to the early 1850s at least, and thus the preceding "crisis era" you interestingly describe back a bit further. I have never thought that a 5-year turning can be correct.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#4
Eric Wrote:Seems all correct. One thing to note is that Strauss and maybe Howe too compared 1919 to 2001 because the Wall Street bombing paralleled 9-11.

Of course I would extend the civil war 4T back to the early 1850s at least, and thus the preceding "crisis era" you interestingly describe back a bit further. I have never thought that a 5-year turning can be correct.
I had forgotten about the first point until you mentioned it, but you are right.

I know you extend the Civil War 4T back further than I or S&H do. I however, following Dave Krein, I extend the Civil War 4T forward to include Reconstruction. I adopted this before I came up with the political cycle model, as did your old sparring partner Brian Rush, Requiescat in pace.

With the development of the model the issue becomes more urgent. If we move up the start of the Civil War 6-10 years, we move up the 2T start up the same amount from ca. 1894-96 to ca. 1886, which is exactly when S&H have it. But if we have the dominant generation starting to come of age then, then given that national leaders averaged age 55 in the 1910’s, the generation that started to come of age in 1886 came to power in 1919. The problem of the crisis era (inequality) had been first identified by Jacob Riis in 1890, and a crisis trigger was present the revolutionary situation in 1919. So why did no 4T occur? According to the S&H theory, the reason must be that the constellation was not present. But if the Civil War 4T began a decade or more earlier, this constellation would have been present. You see, changing the turning/generational designation of the past has repercussions on the future turnings/generations. The idea that a 4T could have begun before 1860 is inconsistent with what happened afterward, according to the S&H theory.
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#5
It seems to me Strauss & Howe do not delineate the fourth turnings consistently.  The key feature in each is generally a major war, but sometimes they they extend the turning ahead of the war, sometimes behind, sometimes only including the war.

Personally I think the most consistent delineation of the "mood" of civilization would be at the end of the war.  The end of the civil war ended the crisis and began reconstruction; Victory in Japan day ended the crisis and again introduced a period of rebuilding.  Likewise construction of the new nation of the United States really began in earnest after the Revolutionary War was won, starting with development of the Constitution.

In this view, the fourth turning ought properly be seen as the period leading up to and including the crisis war, when signs of problems become clear but have not yet been resolved.  Throughout the 1930s, it was clear that war was coming; similarly there were clear stresses before the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

If the current fourth turning started with 9/11, we ought to expect the crisis to come to a head by 2020.  If it started with the crash, the crisis might be later.
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#6
(09-08-2016, 12:12 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It seems to me Strauss & Howe do not delineate the fourth turnings consistently.  The key feature in each is generally a major war, but sometimes they they extend the turning ahead of the war, sometimes behind, sometimes only including the war.

Instability? Political breakdown? Social unrest or its imminence? Economic failure?

I can already suggest one possible cause of the next Crisis Era: dramatic, disruptive changes in weather patterns as a consequence of global warming. An open Arctic might pull moisture-bearing winds from the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere , at least during the summer, into the Arctic basin where strong thunderstorms roil under the intense heating of the summer sun of the high latitudes. An icy Arctic Ocean simply absorbs heat into the futile melting of the thin ice sheet above the ocean. An open ocean warms the Arctic waters intensely and forces convection while evaporating surface water. 

Guess where go the summer rains for the midwestern grain crops grow? A hint: it won't be upon Iowa corn fields of wheat fields of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. Winters will also be weaker, and paradoxically it is the harsh winter blizzards that allow excellent grain crops by protecting the soil moisture and supplying more ground moisture. When the unpleasant fire-and-ice climates of the American Midwest give way to the dry-summer, mild-winter climates typical of the Sacramento Valley of California, then the grain crops of the American Midwest could crash. Add to that inundated of some of the heavily-populated farmlands of some poor countries, and just imagine the political instability that comes from people finding exaggerated nationalism as a solution to their distress. In times far less severe than that, Germany went under the rule of a leader with many demonic qualities. Even we Americans might not be safe from such a leader from among ourselves.

But I get ahead of myself here. We are in a Crisis Era, and we have yet to have any indication of how we get through this one. Howe and Strauss tell us how successful emergence from a Crisis Era looks. America in all such successes (all but the Civil War Crisis)  did major reforms that worked well. The Civil War Crisis ended with mixed results (and it could have been far worse had the leaders of the Union and Confederate sides acted with fewer principles. Just imagine how badly the Crisis could have gone had the opposing sides been as vicious as the Reds and Whites in the Russian Civil War following the Bolshevik coup of 1917. Slaves killing their masters and setting up collectives on what had been plantations? Confederates killing slaves to prevent such in the chaos that appears as Union forces advance? (I hope that you haven't been eating when you read this... sorry!)

We could end up, due to the polarization of recent years, an equivalent of the Spanish Civil War, after which the vanquished not fortunate enough to leave the scene due to death or emigration are compelled to suffer for the greed and indulgence of the winners. Just imagine an America with a Franco-like caudillo as the victorious warlord: America becomes a morgue of the mind, a worker's nightmare of poverty for all but the ruling elites. On the surface America seems OK to a foreigner who gets cheap holidays -- after all, someone can ski in Colorado for much less than one can in Switzerland because service labor is so cheap. Americans get good at foreign languages if they want the best chance for improvement in their lives: seducing a foreigner and marrying one's way into a new life in Warsaw. And I don't mean Warsaw, Indiana! (I don't know the place, so I can't judge it). Just think about it, liberals -- a conformist, repressive,  grossly-unequal America. That could be a good reason to learn a Slavic language. No, Slovak and Slovene are not the same language.

Quote:Personally I think the most consistent delineation of the "mood" of civilization would be at the end of the war.  The end of the civil war ended the crisis and began reconstruction; Victory in Japan day ended the crisis and again introduced a period of rebuilding.  Likewise construction of the new nation of the United States really began in earnest after the Revolutionary War was won, starting with development of the Constitution.

Much of that mood was already being set in the late 1930s. America was growing its way out of the Great Depression, and would have done so had it not been for the Second World War which got in the way. America was already solving many of its problems with institutional change. People already had a rosy vision of the future, often brought back from the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940 (or broadcast in the movie theaters, which had far more dominance in cultural life in the late 1930s than television ever had). Television has dominance only if the networks are showing the same thing, as with the Moon landings. It is safe to say that the America of 1939 was already a rejection of the preceding 3T and in many ways a portent of the upcoming American High.

We do not need a great war to define this Crisis. We may end up with significant reforms of our political system. Maybe we can get what Abraham Lincoln called for in his "new birth of Freedom" without Antietam, Shiloh, General Sherman's "march through Georgia", the siege of Petersburg, and the surrender at Appomattox. Will undoing the tendencies to government by lobbyist be easy? Hardly! Ruthless elites do not divest themselves of corrupt power without harsh resistance. America today is no exception.

Quote:In this view, the fourth turning ought properly be seen as the period leading up to and including the crisis war, when signs of problems become clear but have not yet been resolved.  Throughout the 1930s, it was clear that war was coming; similarly there were clear stresses before the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

We can have a Crisis Era without a war. The last complete Crisis Era showed the near-certainty of apocalyptic war with the rise of the political figure  who best fit the description of the Antichrist in Revelation -- a cunning, ruthless, reckless, unprincipled gangster devoid of any ethics. We could have side wars as with ISIS, Boko Haram, and offshoots of al-Qaeda.

Just remember: the rise of Donald Trump indicates the fragility of American democracy today. Unlike those who voted for Barry Goldwater and George McGovern, many Trump  supporters will see outright fraud in the electoral process as the cause of their chosen candidate's inability to achieve election. The temper of 1964 (early Awakening Era) and 1972 (just past the middle of an Awakening Era) could hardly be more different from the temper of this time. Institutions weaken greatly during a 3T and start showing their weaknesses in a 4T. American institutions were strong enough that the counterculture and some minor uprisings of minorities could break nothing important. Today our institutions are much more compromised.

The idea that we can get through the current Crisis without major changes to political and educational institutions and without major change in economic practice is pure bosh.

Quote:If the current fourth turning started with 9/11, we ought to expect the crisis to come to a head by 2020.  If it started with the crash, the crisis might be later.

Did you see George W. Bush tell people to cut back on fuel consumption, buy defense bonds, apply for work in defense plants, or sign up for military service? He told people to travel and go shopping, the antithesis of what FDR told people to do just after the Pearl Harbor Attack! Whether such is poor leadership by Dubya or the temper of the time is moot: America was not in a Crisis mood. The Double-Zero Decade has obvious parallels to the 1920s, and not to the 1930s. America would go on a speculative binge as in the 1920s, and that binge would end in much the same way as the one in the 1920s.

The two terms of Barack Obama look like an attempt to emulate the first two terms of FDR... at the end of FDR's second term. America was not yet a participant in World War II. Four years later the American army had just won the Battle of the Bulge and made the swift demise of the Devil's Reich a certainty. Things weren't looking so great for Hitler's Japanese partners in crime, either. This Crisis could end around 2025; it could also end around 2035. That has nothing to do with whether one holds that the Crisis began on 9/11 or began with the collapse of the financial fraud in 2008. We do not know. Crisis eras typically end abruptly with the losing sides thinking that they can hold on indefinitely or even win -- until reality hits them as inevitability, as when General Robert E. Lee realized that the trap was sprung on his Army of Northern Virginia or when Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel found no viable alternative than to surrender what remained of the German Army to the Soviet Union in occupied Berlin.

Crisis Eras do not follow rigid timetables. Even if FDR adopted Lincoln-like rhetoric for World War II, the wars were not the same. The Confederates, with few exceptions, were gentlemen in contrast to the Nazis and the thuggish leaders of Japan in WWII.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#7
(09-08-2016, 12:12 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It seems to me Strauss & Howe do not delineate the fourth turnings consistently.  The key feature in each is generally a major war, but sometimes they they extend the turning ahead of the war, sometimes behind, sometimes only including the war.

Personally I think the most consistent delineation of the "mood" of civilization would be at the end of the war.  The end of the civil war ended the crisis and began reconstruction; Victory in Japan day ended the crisis and again introduced a period of rebuilding.  Likewise construction of the new nation of the United States really began in earnest after the Revolutionary War was won, starting with development of the Constitution.

In this view, the fourth turning ought properly be seen as the period leading up to and including the crisis war, when signs of problems become clear but have not yet been resolved.  Throughout the 1930s, it was clear that war was coming; similarly there were clear stresses before the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

If the current fourth turning started with 9/11, we ought to expect the crisis to come to a head by 2020.  If it started with the crash, the crisis might be later.

Did you read my post?  Starting the Civil War 4T much before 1861 means that the next 4T would have to begin in 1919, if the S&H concept of "generations create history and history creates generations" is valid then an 1850 or 1854 start for the Civil War 4T is inconsistent with a 1929 start for the next 4T. If one insists otherwise one is proposing a fundamentally different cycle than the one S&H proposed.  You cannot escape this.  It is the whole point of a theory--to exclude some results from others so as to provide explanation for why this result and not that.  If every possible outcome is permitted, then it is not theory.

So yes one can change things from what S&H have.  But you must then work through the consequences of the change using their theory. You may find the implications of your proposed change makes a bigger problem "downstream".
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#8
(09-13-2016, 12:42 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(09-08-2016, 12:12 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: It seems to me Strauss & Howe do not delineate the fourth turnings consistently.  The key feature in each is generally a major war, but sometimes they they extend the turning ahead of the war, sometimes behind, sometimes only including the war.

Personally I think the most consistent delineation of the "mood" of civilization would be at the end of the war.  The end of the civil war ended the crisis and began reconstruction; Victory in Japan day ended the crisis and again introduced a period of rebuilding.  Likewise construction of the new nation of the United States really began in earnest after the Revolutionary War was won, starting with development of the Constitution.

In this view, the fourth turning ought properly be seen as the period leading up to and including the crisis war, when signs of problems become clear but have not yet been resolved.  Throughout the 1930s, it was clear that war was coming; similarly there were clear stresses before the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

If the current fourth turning started with 9/11, we ought to expect the crisis to come to a head by 2020.  If it started with the crash, the crisis might be later.

Did you read my post?  Starting the Civil War 4T much before 1861 means that the next 4T would have to begin in 1919, if the S&H concept of "generations create history and history creates generations" is valid then an 1850 or 1854 start for the Civil War 4T is inconsistent with a 1929 start for the next 4T. If one insists otherwise one is proposing a fundamentally different cycle than the one S&H proposed.  You cannot escape this.  It is the whole point of a theory--to exclude some results from others so as to provide explanation for why this result and not that.  If every possible outcome is permitted, then it is not theory.

I did read your post but I don't see how this follows from it.  Perhaps there are differences between our assumptions that need to be made expliciit and addressed?

(09-13-2016, 12:42 PM)Mikebert Wrote: So yes one can change things from what S&H have.  But you must then work through the consequences of the change using their theory. You may find the implications of your proposed change makes a bigger problem "downstream".

The only thing that's needed to get fourth turnings that start with social fragmentation and end in major wars is to discard the excessively optimistic idea that the Civil War cycle is unique, and assume instead that it coincided with a normal four generation cycle rather than from an anomalous three generation cycle.  That also fixes the problem Strauss and Howe have of a decreasing generational interval with increasing life expectancy.
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#9
You are sort of throwing out the generational theory here.  What you are not considering (and which S&H did not carefully think about) was how does the generational cycle work?  Look at my first post at the beginning of this thread.  There I outline a method to derive one generation from the previous one using the concept "history creates generations and generations create history".

An eventful period in history imprints those age 22 during that period into a certain kind of generation.  Later in life, when they occupy a majority of the top positions of societal institutions (i.e. when they become "history makers") they create history.

Thus, history creates a generation out of those coming of age (age 22) and later this generation creates history when it is age AL, and in turn forges a new generation of their same type (i.e. a dominant gen "begets" a new dominant gen and recessive gen a new recessive gen).  This means the spacing between a pair of even-numbered turnings/dominant generations are spaced AL-22 years apart.  The same is true for odd-numbered turnings/recessive gens.

To see how this works I note the value of AL in the early 1960's was 56.  The spacing between the start of the 2T then and the previous 4T would then be 56-22 or 34 years.  If you add 34 to 1929 you get 1963, pretty close.

By 2008 AL had risen to 61.  This gives a spacing of 39 years.  If you add 39 to the last social moment over 1967-1980 you can project a secular crisis social moment (the core of a 4T) for about 2006-2019.  I would say a secular crisis social moment began in 2008.  The actual 4T would be this core plus some cusps.  It would then begin no later than 2008, but it could be earlier, we won't know until its over.

Now the previous secular crisis was 1932-45 and was the core of the 1929-46 4T.  In the early 1930's AL was 58, giving a 36 year spacing. If we subtract 36 from the start of the 4T we get the previous 2T starting in the 1890's, not the 1880's as S&H have it.  AL then was 55 giving a 33 year spacing.  So if we subtract 36 and then 33 from 1929 we can estimate when the previous 4T should have started.  The result in 1860, when S&H have it--and NOT a decade earlier.  The theory works and it places constraints on when you can draw turning boundaries. One may think it makes sense to date the Civil War 4T earlier, but doing that is inconsistent with all the turnings that come after, according to S&H's theory.
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#10
I'm not throwing out the generational theory; I'm just not adopting your take on it, at least not all aspects of it. In particular, I don't see any real evidence for the age of leadership showing any clear trend over time, and I'm also not convinced that political leadership is all that counts.
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#11
(09-25-2016, 01:20 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I'm not throwing out the generational theory; I'm just not adopting your take on it, at least not all aspects of it.  In particular, I don't see any real evidence for the age of leadership showing any clear trend over time, and I'm also not convinced that political leadership is all that counts.

Political leadership is a proxy for leaders in all all areas.  I am unaware of existing databases of leaders in business, religion, the military, media, academia, the arts that would allow a calculation for AL.  Howe has assembled a very complete database on his site and I am using it. 

There is curently a project team of historians working to compile similar data for the House of Commons.  From them I have obtains AL values for Britain before 1829, and by using data from Wiki on privy council members have been able to push it back and relate it to life expenctacy which I got from a paper with data going back to 800.  One must work with the data that are available. 
 
And yes you are throwing out generational theory, if you are using an approach that does not work. The generational model described by S&H does not work the way they described it.  If one actual tries to use it you find this out.  According to S&H what causes a turning is a turning over of generational history-creation as old generations depart their former phases of life and enter another.  A new turning begins a few years after an aligned generational constellation arives.  This is what *causes* a turning to happen.

Now this concept "works" for the currently living generations.  But not more most historical generations.  It saw this most clearly when I looked at the constellation prior to the Glorious 4T.  Here are the ages of the four licing generations in 1661: 

Artists . . 74-95 - 64%
Prophets 44-73 - 100%
Nomads: 14-43 - 100%
Heroes: .. 0-13 - 64%

In that year the corr adult prophet and nomad generations filled 100% of mature and rising adulthood, respectively.  Heroes filled 64% of the youth phase of life and artists filled 64% of the elder phase of life. The average value of these four is 81.8%.

Now if you go to one year later to 1662, the Nomads will continue to fill 100% of the rising adult phase of life.  The heroes will gain 4.5% occupation of the youth phase and the artists and prophets will each lose 4.5% from their occupulation of the phase of life they hold in the aligned constellation.  Thus average occupation will be 79.5%.  Evver year you move forward from 1662 will make the average value snmaller and smaller.  The same is true if you move back from 1661. 

This means that 1661 was the year of the aligned constellation.  It was the year in which the living generations most completely fill their respective phases of life.  The 4T would then start with a few years, except S&H date it 14 years later.  By this time the generations have moved way out of alignment and are actually more than halfway to the NEXT aligned constellation.  The 4T should be nearly halfway way over in 1675.  It was this mismatch Marc Lamb noted in the generational constellation in 2001, when he noted there were too many Silents for their to be a 4T constellation.  And I noted that he was right, and if I had not done my own analysis (see above) I would agree with him. 

But the S&H mechanism with the constellations and phases of life does not work to create history.  Nor does the interaction of phase of liver with social moments create generations (who get large groups of people imprinted into two generations) as I pointed out in my first post.  This does NOT mean that the core hypothesis that history creates generations and generations create history is wrong,  it simply means that it has nothing to do with phases of life and generational constellations.  

You can make this theory work if you use generational imprinting by history to create the generations (this is a ccurent area with active work in political science).  Generations have demonstrated to create history by a study done by our own Dave Krein.  I suspect I am one of the only T4Ters who actually read his paper.  So that is what I do.  It is not my take on the theory.  It's the existing scientific consensus "take".
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#12
(09-26-2016, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote: It is not my take on the theory.  It's the existing scientific consensus "take".

That makes it less useful and perhaps even less credible to me, since it means there's no one here who can answer questions about it or defend it.

I agree with you that S&H dates do not always work out, but I've already said I thought they needed adjustment.
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#13
(09-29-2016, 02:05 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(09-26-2016, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote: It is not my take on the theory.  It's the existing scientific consensus "take".

That makes it less useful and perhaps even less credible to me, since it means there's no one here who can answer questions about it or defend it.

I agree with you that S&H dates do not always work out, but I've already said I thought they needed adjustment.

I can answer questions.  I am applying concepts from the literature to the generational problem.  This particular application is my work. The previous work has been in voting behavior in presidential elections and in voting patterns in the British Parliament.  I am applying to the problem of generating new turnings, given an existing one as input.  So, for example, if you assume that the Civil War and Reconstruction constitute a social moment as defined by S&H, then you can generate all the other American turnings from the Revolution to the present with a pretty good degree of fidelity. If you pick some other set of date for the Civil War 4T its all messed up.
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#14
I will try to clarify what I am trying to say.  S&H introduced two concepts in their thinking about how generations are created.  One is social moments the eventful periods that constitute the history that creates Heroes and Prophets, what they call dominant generations. The other is phases of life.  People are forged into a generation by their experience of life as mediated by their current role on life, which is a function of the phase of life.  On the surface this seems to make sense. But social movements are long periods of time (the last one ran from 1967 to 1980—13 years).  Many people will occupy different phases of life over this period.  For example, a carefree single twenty-something during the Summer of Love would be nearly middle age with a spouse, family and mortgage by 1980, that is they would be in two different phases of life.  Would they respond to the experience of living through an Awakening by becoming a Prophet (emphasizing their youthful experience) or an Artist (emphasizing their experience as a mature adult with family responsibilities).  

One solution is to narrow the generation-creating episode.  John Xenakis does this with his concept of a
crisis war that plays a critical role as a 4T in his conception of the generational mechanism.  WW II is an example of such a war.  The period from Pearl Harbor to D-day spans only 2.5 years. During this time most people occupied a single phase of life. Those who were in the rising adult phase of life played the role of war-fighter (GI) or support staff (Rosie the Riveter). They were forged into what S&H call the GI generation. Those who managed the war effort whether on the front (Eisenhower, Bradley) or at home (the middle-aged managers at OPA, WPB or NWLB) were forged into the Lost generation.  Those too young to get into the action (think of the teens in A Separate Peace) became the Silent generation. For John, as long as those generations forged by the last crisis war are still in charge another crisis war is unlikely.  Once they are gone a new crisis war will occur as soon as the opportunity arises. This means once every saeculum, a new crisis war arrives (4T) starting a new cycle.
 
Another approach is to narrow the phase of life during which generational imprinted can happen. For example, we can assume that the only period that matters for becoming a generation is “coming of age” which happens over a narrow span of years centered at age 22.  In this case, a generation is forged by coming of age over a the “core years” of a turning.  Those who come of age near the edges--what we call “cuspers”--sometimes imprint into the adjacent generation.  So, the generation who comes of age during the core years of a 2T or 4T (that is, a social moment) are forged into a dominant generation. For example, the Prophet generation created by the 1967-1980 spiritual awakening was born 22 years earlier in 1945-1958.  On both sides of this “core” are cuspers, some of who will end up Prophets and some as Silent or Gen X. S&H add two years of cuspers up from and two years at the end to obtain the Boom generation born 1943-60.

S&H invoke both of these approaches in their descriptions of how the cycle works.  In the Appendix to Generations they describe a mechanism along the lines of John’s.  Yet in the main text they invoke concepts like social moments and dominant/recessive generations and emphasize coming of age as particularly important to forming generations, which shows they had read Mannheim and so are also using the second kind of mechanism in their thinking.

These two approaches are mutually incompatible mechanistically, but on superficial reading seem to make sense.  In their books after
Generations, S&H never expanding on their thinking about how the cycle works—so it was sort of left up to the T4Ters to do it.  And that is where we are a quarter-century after the publication of Generations.
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#15
(09-07-2016, 03:31 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
Eric Wrote:Seems all correct. One thing to note is that Strauss and maybe Howe too compared 1919 to 2001 because the Wall Street bombing paralleled 9-11.

Of course I would extend the civil war 4T back to the early 1850s at least, and thus the preceding "crisis era" you interestingly describe back a bit further. I have never thought that a 5-year turning can be correct.
I had forgotten about the first point until you mentioned it, but you are right.

I know you extend the Civil War 4T back further than I or S&H do. I however, following Dave Krein, I extend the Civil War 4T forward to include Reconstruction. I adopted this before I came up with the political cycle model, as did your old sparring partner Brian Rush, Requiescat in pace.

With the development of the model the issue becomes more urgent. If we move up the start of the Civil War 6-10 years, we move up the 2T start up the same amount from ca. 1894-96 to ca. 1886, which is exactly when S&H have it. But if we have the dominant generation starting to come of age then, then given that national leaders averaged age 55 in the 1910’s, the generation that started to come of age in 1886 came to power in 1919. The problem of the crisis era (inequality) had been first identified by Jacob Riis in 1890, and a crisis trigger was present the revolutionary situation in 1919. So why did no 4T occur? According to the S&H theory, the reason must be that the constellation was not present. But if the Civil War 4T began a decade or more earlier, this constellation would have been present. You see, changing the turning/generational designation of the past has repercussions on the future turnings/generations. The idea that a 4T could have begun before 1860 is inconsistent with what happened afterward, according to the S&H theory.

It takes longer for the prophet generation to fully come to power as elders, and for the full crisis constellation to form. Obviously there are many middle-aged prophets in power in a 3T.

A full prophet generation starting in 1860 and going to 1882 jells fine with them becoming middle-aged in the 1910s and 1920s 3T and elders in the 1930s and 40s. Pushing the civil war crisis back only affects the starting dates of those generations who were gone or dissappearing in the 1930s 4T, with progressives born in the civil war's run-up (4T) still the elders in the 1910s 3T.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#16
(09-30-2016, 01:57 PM)Mikebert Wrote: I will try to clarify what I am trying to say.  S&H introduced two concepts in their thinking about how generations are created.  One is social moments the eventful periods that constitute the history that creates Heroes and Prophets, what they call dominant generations. The other is phases of life.  People are forged into a generation by their experience of life as mediated by their current role on life, which is a function of the phase of life.  On the surface this seems to make sense. But social movements are long periods of time (the last one ran from 1967 to 1980—13 years).  Many people will occupy different phases of life over this period.  For example, a carefree single twenty-something during the Summer of Love would be nearly middle age with a spouse, family and mortgage by 1980, that is they would be in two different phases of life.  Would they respond to the experience of living through an Awakening by becoming a Prophet (emphasizing their youthful experience) or an Artist (emphasizing their experience as a mature adult with family responsibilities).  

One solution is to narrow the generation-creating episode.  John Xenakis does this with his concept of a
crisis war that plays a critical role as a 4T in his conception of the generational mechanism.  WW II is an example of such a war.  The period from Pearl Harbor to D-day spans only 2.5 years. During this time most people occupied a single phase of life. Those who were in the rising adult phase of life played the role of war-fighter (GI) or support staff (Rosie the Riveter). They were forged into what S&H call the GI generation. Those who managed the war effort whether on the front (Eisenhower, Bradley) or at home (the middle-aged managers at OPA, WPB or NWLB) were forged into the Lost generation.  Those too young to get into the action (think of the teens in A Separate Peace) became the Silent generation. For John, as long as those generations forged by the last crisis war are still in charge another crisis war is unlikely.  Once they are gone a new crisis war will occur as soon as the opportunity arises. This means once every saeculum, a new crisis war arrives (4T) starting a new cycle.
 
Another approach is to narrow the phase of life during which generational imprinted can happen. For example, we can assume that the only period that matters for becoming a generation is “coming of age” which happens over a narrow span of years centered at age 22.  In this case, a generation is forged by coming of age over a the “core years” of a turning.  Those who come of age near the edges--what we call “cuspers”--sometimes imprint into the adjacent generation.  So, the generation who comes of age during the core years of a 2T or 4T (that is, a social moment) are forged into a dominant generation. For example, the Prophet generation created by the 1967-1980 spiritual awakening was born 22 years earlier in 1945-1958.  On both sides of this “core” are cuspers, some of who will end up Prophets and some as Silent or Gen X. S&H add two years of cuspers up from and two years at the end to obtain the Boom generation born 1943-60.

S&H invoke both of these approaches in their descriptions of how the cycle works.  In the Appendix to Generations they describe a mechanism along the lines of John’s.  Yet in the main text they invoke concepts like social moments and dominant/recessive generations and emphasize coming of age as particularly important to forming generations, which shows they had read Mannheim and so are also using the second kind of mechanism in their thinking.

These two approaches are mutually incompatible mechanistically, but on superficial reading seem to make sense.  In their books after
Generations, S&H never expanding on their thinking about how the cycle works—so it was sort of left up to the T4Ters to do it.  And that is where we are a quarter-century after the publication of Generations.

Thanks for the clarification.  With regard to the problem, if I understand your argument correctly, the issue is that Strauss & Howe's limited statements on generational propagation would imply that the temporal "pulses" represented by generations would broaden and become less distinct over the course of time without some mechanism to reinforce the boundaries between generations.  Is that accurate?  If so, I agree that's an unresolved issue in Generations.

Narrowing of either the historically formative periods or of the ages of imprinting could ameliorate the issue, I agree.  However, they aren't necessarily the only possible mechanism for generational sharpening.  For example, solitons in optics retain their sharpness because of nonlinear effects that balance the tendency toward dispersion of the wave.  Some similar effect could be occurring with generational cohorts.

To me, a narrow duration of the imprinting phase of life seems implausible:  people get married at widely differing ages; people have their first children at widely differing ages; people shift from education to work over a broad band of ages.  Why would generational imprinting happen in a narrow band of ages, in contrast to all of those?  That is, unless the imprinting happens very early, say as a toddler, perhaps at the same time as actual biological imprinting, but then it's hard to understand why the children would react to the broad societal situation rather than just their own family.

Temporally narrow social moments seem more plausible.  Certainly the crisis wars don't tend to last more than a few years.  The whole hippie period lasted a while, but if the midcycle moment was the Reagan Revolution, that was a pretty rapid shift.

I guess I should look more into Xenakis' writing.  Based on a brief investigation, the main issue I think I have with his approach is the idea that generational cycles can so easily remain distinct in different geographic areas.  I would think that crisis wars would tend to synchronize generational cycles.
Reply
#17
Warren Dew Wrote:Thanks for the clarification.  With regard to the problem, if I understand your argument correctly, the issue is that Strauss & Howe's limited statements on generational propagation would imply that the temporal "pulses" represented by generations would broaden and become less distinct over the course of time without some mechanism to reinforce the boundaries between generations.  Is that accurate?  If so, I agree that's an unresolved issue in Generations

Yep.


Quote:To me, a narrow duration of the imprinting phase of life seems implausible:  people get married at widely differing ages; people have their first children at widely differing ages; people shift from education to work over a broad band of ages.  Why would generational imprinting happen in a narrow band of ages, in contrast to all of those?


The concept I am using comes from political science and deals with the acquisition of a political paradigm (worldview) that guides how one sees the political and socioeconomic issues.  An assumption is history is largely made by politically active people (minimally those that vote).  People generally start to think about voting as they reach the age of suffrage.  Unlike the things you mentioned, developing a political opinion is pretty effortless, and should happen pretty quickly after one first starts voting.  So you would expect political paradigms to form over a fairly short time.  A lot of research shows that political ideas, once formed, are quite resistant to the later additional information.  In fact, contrary information often strengthens the prior belief.  So one formed, these paradigms would be durable and held long after they may no longer be applicable.

Quote:Temporally narrow social moments seem more plausible.  Certainly the crisis wars don't tend to last more than a few years.

The problem with narrow social moments that I see is the phase of life.  People do not, as a rule, go through life roles in lockstep.  You are a perfect example.  You have children around the age of my grandchildren. I started in my field 35 years ago, and am nearing retirement.  You began in your current field much more recently.   In many ways you are a phase of life behind me and so would be a late wave Gen Xer* with the narrow social moment.  But with the narrow political-paradigm imprinting period we would be in the same generation, late-wave Boomers.

*If we have a crisis war in the next few years that sets us in our generations, the role I will play is an elder one—making me a Boomer, while you will play a mature adult role and so become a GenXer.
Reply
#18
(10-03-2016, 06:52 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
Warren Dew Wrote:To me, a narrow duration of the imprinting phase of life seems implausible:  people get married at widely differing ages; people have their first children at widely differing ages; people shift from education to work over a broad band of ages.  Why would generational imprinting happen in a narrow band of ages, in contrast to all of those?

The concept I am using comes from political science and deals with the acquisition of a political paradigm (worldview) that guides how one sees the political and socioeconomic issues.  An assumption is history is largely made by politically active people (minimally those that vote).  People generally start to think about voting as they reach the age of suffrage.  Unlike the things you mentioned, developing a political opinion is pretty effortless, and should happen pretty quickly after one first starts voting.  So you would expect political paradigms to form over a fairly short time.  A lot of research shows that political ideas, once formed, are quite resistant to the later additional information.  In fact, contrary information often strengthens the prior belief.  So one formed, these paradigms would be durable and held long after they may no longer be applicable.

That concept probably has some validity for politics, at least for party loyalty, though I still think it takes a few years:  how easy it was to get a first job and how good the job was seems to form a big part of the opinion of the Presidential party in power.  Of course, having an opinion on a party based on one president is a pretty shallow form of politics given how far presidents can diverge from their party mainstream.

I'm not sure how well this works for generations.  The idea that the Silent/Boomer boundary is based on whether WWII is remembered or just history seems very strong to me.  Similarly the GI/Silent boundary being based on stage of life during the war seems much stronger than anything else that could bind the Silents together.  One of my mother's earliest memories is of being told to hide under a bed during a bombing at age 4; then she spent the rest of her childhood as a refugee.  That has to be very different from someone who was in an earlier generation and played a part in determining the war's outcome, or in a later generation who doesn't have a personal feel for the war being a big deal.

The war can't by itself account for the Boomer/X or X/Millenial transitions, of course.

(10-03-2016, 06:52 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
Warren Dew Wrote:Temporally narrow social moments seem more plausible.  Certainly the crisis wars don't tend to last more than a few years.

The problem with narrow social moments that I see is the phase of life.  People do not, as a rule, go through life roles in lockstep.  You are a perfect example.  You have children around the age of my grandchildren. I started in my field 35 years ago, and am nearing retirement.  You began in your current field much more recently.   In many ways you are a phase of life behind me and so would be a late wave Gen Xer* with the narrow social moment.  But with the narrow political-paradigm imprinting period we would be in the same generation, late-wave Boomers.

*If we have a crisis war in the next few years that sets us in our generations, the role I will play is an elder one—making me a Boomer, while you will play a mature adult role and so become a GenXer.

While I agree that there's likely more dispersion in age at first child than in age at first vote, at least for men, I think I'm very unusual in being 48 when my first child was born.

Are you arguing that there's very little dispersion in when the political paradigm "flips"?  What do you see as the defining moments of change since WWII?
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#19
(10-04-2016, 12:04 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Are you arguing that there's very little dispersion in when the political paradigm "flips"?  What do you see as the defining moments of change since WWII?

Pretty much.  The 2T is roughly around 1963-80. In 1960 the election was seemingly about almost nothing, sort of like 2000. Kennedy essentially ran to the right of "Kitchen debate" Nixon on foreign policy.  How on Earth do you do that? By going for the nutty by embracing tax cuts and a war of choice like the guy who won in 2000.

Short after that history was filled with momentous events, civil rights, the women's movement, the Vietnam war, the sexual revolution, domestic turmoil on a scale far larger than anything seen since, pollution, gay rights, guns n butter, end of Bretton Woods, first oil crisis, stagflation, second oil crisis, Hostage crisis, and then the Reagan revolution. After that things calmed down, the social moment was over. 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. Late-wavers were imprinted by stagflation, oil crises, the US seeming to lose on every front were imprinted during a disempowering time. Both were imprinted with an anti-establishment bias.  Those who tend progressive would see the establishment as the corporate Right, while those who are conservative would see the establishment as the Cultural elite and so vote for different parties.

After 1980 it seemed like the establishment had gotten their act together.  Inflation came down and there was no more talk of stagflation.  Gas that had been $1.30 in 1980-1 was down to 70 cents in 86.  The US then fought a war which we won in four days.  Booyah!  And after that we had a decade of prosperity, fiscal balance, AND America once again bestrode the world as a colossus, like back in the Fifties when my dad was in the CIA.   It's not really a party thing. During the 1963-80 period, both Republicans (Nixon) and Democrats (Johnson, Carter) looked by hapless losers who couldn't find their ass with both hands.  After 1980, both Republicans (Reagan, Bush I) and Democrats (Clinton) looked like they knew what they were doing.  So the folks imprinted over 1980-2000, the GenXers, were less anti-establishment, more willing to let things in Washington be while they pursued their private lives.

And then after 2000 things start to fall apart its the social moment CF all over again. Folks getting imprinted in the early 2000's and after (those born in the 1980's and 1990's) are Millennials. And so it goes, the GIs are those imprinted by the Depression and WW II, and the Missionaries by the Jim Crow/Progressive era.  Contrary to S&H there was a Civil War generation created by the experience of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The Abolitionist/Confederate generation who split the nation in 1861 was forged in the 1830's by the Aboltionist and Jackson movements. 

Jefferson's generation was imprinted by their experience of the Revolution, the Constitution and the period in between, and stood on both sides of the "Revolution of 1800", our first critical election.  It was the aftermath of this that birthed the "old Republicans" (those who claimed to represent the true inheritance of Jefferson) and the "new Republicans" like John Q. Adams. The conflict between these drove the critical election of 1828 that started a new social moment (2T) that created the Jacksonians (Democrats) and what would eventually come to be called Whigs (many of whom would end up reflecting Abolitionist sentiments).  The political heirs of these were the Abolitionist/Confederate generation.
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#20
(10-04-2016, 01:50 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(10-04-2016, 12:04 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Are you arguing that there's very little dispersion in when the political paradigm "flips"?  What do you see as the defining moments of change since WWII?

Pretty much.  The 2T is roughly around 1963-80. In 1960 the election was seemingly about almost nothing, sort of like 2000. Kennedy essentially ran to the right of "Kitchen debate" Nixon on foreign policy.  How on Earth do you do that? By going for the nutty by embracing tax cuts and a war of choice like the guy who won in 2000.

Tax cuts that worked, and W didn't campaign on starting a war - that came later - but I agree that the 1960 and 2000 elections weren't about major differences or major issues.

(10-04-2016, 01:50 PM)Mikebert Wrote: Short after that history was filled with momentous events, civil rights, the women's movement, the Vietnam war, the sexual revolution, domestic turmoil on a scale far larger than anything seen since, pollution, gay rights, guns n butter, end of Bretton Woods, first oil crisis, stagflation, second oil crisis, Hostage crisis, and then the Reagan revolution. After that things calmed down, the social moment was over. 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. Late-wavers were imprinted by stagflation, oil crises, the US seeming to lose on every front were imprinted during a disempowering time. Both were imprinted with an anti-establishment bias.  Those who tend progressive would see the establishment as the corporate Right, while those who are conservative would see the establishment as the Cultural elite and so vote for different parties.

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, with the Silent generation birth cohort extending until the late 1940s, when those were born who would come of age after the Vietnam war became a big deal in 1966-1968?

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.

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.  But as I understand it, you reject that theory.  I suppose at least in the case of the 1960s you could argue it's caused by a leadership shift from Reactives to Civics, especially if one thinks Civics know how to follow but not - or or at least not yet - how to lead.

(10-04-2016, 01:50 PM)Mikebert Wrote: After 1980 it seemed like the establishment had gotten their act together.  Inflation came down and there was no more talk of stagflation.  Gas that had been $1.30 in 1980-1 was down to 70 cents in 86.  The US then fought a war which we won in four days.  Booyah!  And after that we had a decade of prosperity, fiscal balance, AND America once again bestrode the world as a colossus, like back in the Fifties when my dad was in the CIA.   It's not really a party thing. During the 1963-80 period, both Republicans (Nixon) and Democrats (Johnson, Carter) looked by hapless losers who couldn't find their ass with both hands.  After 1980, both Republicans (Reagan, Bush I) and Democrats (Clinton) looked like they knew what they were doing.  So the folks imprinted over 1980-2000, the GenXers, were less anti-establishment, more willing to let things in Washington be while they pursued their private lives.

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.

It would also mean that Idealists and Reactives aren't differentiated until the beginning of adulthood.  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.

By the "constellation" hypothesis, the change would probably come at a more regular time, since it would occur when a leader, probably a Civic, decided to coopt the new Idealist generation rather than ignore or patronize them.  Or maybe that's a hybrid hypothesis since it would also require a leadership change.

I could believe that once a competent leadership team came to power, subsequent leaders would try to emulate their successful policies for a while, as Clinton - or Clinton/Gingrich - did.  Bush I actually started reversing Reagan's economic policies, but he lost power because of it, quickly enough not to cause much disruption.

Incidentally, the gasoline price reduction was very much a supply side policy, driving an alliance with the Saudis.

That still leaves the transition to the crisis era to be examined. Do you think we're in a crisis era yet, and if so, when do you think the transition was, and how was it sharp?
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