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The Fourth Turning Halftime Update
#1
We're halfway into the Fourth Turning, and I think we're really starting to get a feel for the spirit of the age. The Trump shock has pushed us in certain directions from which there is no return. Even if Trump crashes and burns in the near future, there is no way we will find ourselves in a world as it might have been if Clinton had become POTUS in 2016. What 4T changes are with us for good?

1) The end of the U.S.-led post-WWII international order. We used to be the leaders of the Free World; now we're starting Trade Wars and offending our former allies. It's a new age of every Great Power for itself.

2) The corporation maintains control of the commanding heights. If you don't have a corporate safety net beneath you, too bad for you. You will remain in the underprivleged class because good luck getting a New New Deal going, given that...

3) Democracy remains broken. The will of the majority is stymied by special interests, dark money, and voter suppression. And that's not even counting Russian inteference.

4) The marginalized will continue to suffer. With no way to implement a public safety net, there is no hope for those on the periphery of society - the homeless, the undocumented, and the refugees from global chaos.
Steve Barrera

[A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

Saecular Pages
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#2
Anyone who thinks that the Trump agenda is the wave of the future has a bleak view of America and its people. The question is whether the Trump supporters will entrench power before the People can turn on him.

Should the people associated with Trump entrench themselves as the arbiters of economic, political, and even intellectual 'authority', then America is on the brink of a new era of inequality, hierarchy, and repression. The Great Command will be to suffer for your masters -- but always remember to smile. America will be the sort of country that smart and even entrepreneurial people try to leave if at all possible. Compensation will be so low that being a day laborer in Milan will be better than being an accountant in Milwaukee. But that is an economic nightmare. Bad as poverty is, there can be worse -- like torture chambers and 'disappearances'.

It's hard to predict how long a Crisis Era will last, as they can be relatively short (eight years from the Panic of 1857) or unusually long (think of Russia from the start of World War I to the end of World War II, with several waves of severe events, some nearly inevitable (the Bolshevik Revolution), some chosen by despotic leaders (forced collectivization and the Great Purge) and some chosen by outsiders (the Nazi invasion). Nearly thirty years? Unlikely, but possible with perverse leadership.

The abysmal approval ratings of the President indicate mass discomfort with a dreadful leader who isn't taking us along with him. Let's put it this way -- I prefer political leaders who read the speeches of people well regarded after their wars instead of the speeches of some loser who blows his brains out in a fetid bunker as the world closes in on him.
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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#3
(07-28-2018, 10:34 AM)sbarrera Wrote: We're halfway into the Fourth Turning, and I think we're really starting to get a feel for the spirit of the age. The Trump shock has pushed us in certain directions from which there is no return. Even if Trump crashes and burns in the near future, there is no way we will find ourselves in a world as it might have been if Clinton had become POTUS in 2016. What 4T changes are with us for good?

I agree that permanent change has occurred, but it’s hard to know what that means. We got here by mistrusting government, and chaos seems to the end product of that way of thinking. Things could reverse, and some new ideal emerge ... or not.

‘sbarrera’ Wrote:1) The end of the U.S.-led post-WWII international order. We used to be the leaders of the Free World; now we're starting Trade Wars and offending our former allies. It's a new age of every Great Power for itself.

I think that any sensible European would see that, but how would she respond? Neofascist parties are doing quite well. I’m not seeing the communalists though. I hold the Eurocrats responsible for most of that. If our rule-based structures are a bit murky, the European ones are downright opaque.

‘sbarrera’ Wrote:2) The corporation maintains control of the commanding heights. If you don't have a corporate safety net beneath you, too bad for you. You will remain in the underprivleged class because good luck getting a New New Deal going, given that...

The obvious corollary to the suppression of communal power is a de facto grant to private power. Unlike communal power, private power tends to ignore the demands of the people.

‘sbarrera’ Wrote:3) Democracy remains broken. The will of the majority is stymied by special interests, dark money, and voter suppression. And that's not even counting Russian inteference.

4) The mariginalized will continue to suffer. With no way to implement a public safety net, there is no hope for those on the periphery of society - the homeless, the undocumented, and the refugees from global chaos.

The old adage that the darkest hour is just before dawn may hold here. If an enraged populace finally sees the truth, things can turn around quickly. Note: can and will are not equivalent.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#4
(07-28-2018, 01:48 PM)David Horn Wrote: The old adage that the darkest hour is just before dawn may hold here. If an enraged populace finally sees the truth, things can turn around quickly. Note: can and will are not equivalent.

Ain't that the truth Smile
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#5
(07-28-2018, 05:38 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(07-28-2018, 01:48 PM)David Horn Wrote: The old adage that the darkest hour is just before dawn may hold here. If an enraged populace finally sees the truth,  things can turn around quickly. Note: can and will are not equivalent.

Ain't that the truth Smile

History moves fast during a 4T, at least toward the end. That's when armies surge or collapse. Political orders can disintegrate quickly. Three years before V-E day, the Germans were advancing into Russia. A week before V-E day, Mussolini's cadaver was hanging upside down at a filling station, and Hitler had committed suicide.
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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#6
Video 
Should things go really badly for a leader more in touch with the spin that props his ego than with reality, then that leader can see things go this badly:







I'm not saying that this will happen to Donald Trump.
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
...It's time for them to go!

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been quietly making its way through the New York State court system over the last three years, pitting a private equity manager named David Storper against his former boss: Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. The pair worked side by side for more than a decade, eventually at the firm, WL Ross & Co.—where, Storper later alleged, Ross stole his interests in a private equity fund, transferred them to himself, then tried to cover it up with bogus paperwork. Two weeks ago, just before the start of a trial with $4 million on the line, Ross and Storper agreed to a confidential settlement, whose existence has never been reported and whose terms remain secret.



It is difficult to imagine the possibility that a man like Ross, who Forbes estimates is worth some $700 million, might steal a few million from one of his business partners. Unless you have heard enough stories about Ross. Two former WL Ross colleagues remember the commerce secretary taking handfuls of Sweet’N Low packets from a nearby restaurant, so he didn’t have to go out and buy some for himself. One says workers at his house in the Hamptons used to call the office, claiming Ross had not paid them for their work. Another two people said Ross once pledged $1 million to a charity, then never paid. A commerce official called the tales “petty nonsense,” and added that Ross does not put sweetener in his coffee.  

There are bigger allegations. Over several months, in speaking with 21 people who know Ross, Forbes uncovered a pattern: Many of those who worked directly with him claim that Ross wrongly siphoned or outright stole a few million here and a few million there, huge amounts for most but not necessarily for the commerce secretary. At least if you consider them individually. But all told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million. If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.

Not that he sees himself that way. “The SEC has never initiated any enforcement action against me,” Ross said in a statement, failing to mention the $2.3 million fine it levied against his firm in 2016. The commerce secretary also noted that one lawsuit against him got dismissed, without saying it is currently going through the appeals process. Ross confirmed settling two other cases, including the recent one against Storper, but declined to offer additional details.

Those who’ve done business with Ross generally tell a consistent story, of a man obsessed with money and untethered to facts. “He’ll push the edge of truthfulness and use whatever power he has to grab assets,” says New York financier Asher Edelman. One of Ross’ former colleagues is more direct: “He’s a pathological liar.”

Wilbur Ross figured out at some point that money, or the aura of it, translates into power. Forbes has previously documented how Ross seemingly lied to us, over many years, launching himself onto, and then higher on, our billionaire rankings, at one point even lying about an apparent multibillion-dollar transfer to family members to explain why his financial disclosure report showed fewer assets than he claimed. “What I don’t want,” Ross said, “is for people to suddenly think that I’ve lost a lot of money when it’s not true.”

Such machinations now seem pathetic. But his billionaire status was not lost on another person obsessed with his net worth. Donald Trump termed Ross a “legendary Wall Street genius” and named him to his cabinet. “In these particular positions,” Trump explained to a crowd of supporters, “I just don’t want a poor person.”

From Ross’ vantage point, Trump offered the perfect exit. The future cabinet secretary’s private equity funds were underperforming—one on track to lose 26% of its initial value and another two dribbling out mediocre returns—and the accusations were starting to pile up. Roughly two months before the 2016 presidential election, the SEC announced WL Ross was paying a fine and refunding $11.9 million it allegedly skimmed from its investors, including interest. The scheme was complex. Like other private equity firms—including several that coughed up money to the SEC around the same time—WL Ross derived much of its revenue from management fees charged to its investors. With funds as large as $4.1 billion, management fees of 1.5% could alone bring in more than $60 million a year for Ross’ firm—serious money.

But WL Ross promised that it would give its investors something like a rebate. For example, when Ross and his colleagues got certain fees for working on deals, they were supposed to give at least 50% of that money back to investors. But, according to SEC investigators, the firm gave back less than it suggested it would and pocketed the difference, leading the feds to conclude Ross’ firm broke laws that prohibit defrauding and misleading clients. WL Ross paid the big settlement but never admitted guilt.

More at Forbes.

No, this is not coming from the Communist Party web site.
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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#8
(07-28-2018, 10:34 AM)sbarrera Wrote: We're halfway into the Fourth Turning, and I think we're really starting to get a feel for the spirit of the age. The Trump shock has pushed us in certain directions from which there is no return. Even if Trump crashes and burns in the near future, there is no way we will find ourselves in a world as it might have been if Clinton had become POTUS in 2016. What 4T changes are with us for good?
.........>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sept 3, 2018
4T = 2008 thru about 2028

Yes, 2018 is about halfway.
Read "The Fourth Turning" about the role of each generation.
For example:
The McCain funeral eulogies included morals, ethics and ideals.  The role of Baby Boomers as Elders in the 4T is to communicate, to define and give meaning to these morals, ethics and ideals.  Anyone that does not align their behavior and actions with the ideals communicated at the McCain funeral will not have a good outcome during the 4T.

Learn about the roles of the other generations.
The behaviors and actions of each generation are visibly aligning with their role as outlined in the 4T book.

People who do not align their behaviors and actions with the McCain eulogies' ideals, like Trump, will end up in jail.
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#9
If they find people who still believe them.
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#10
(09-03-2018, 05:38 PM)igranderojo Wrote:
(07-28-2018, 10:34 AM)sbarrera Wrote: We're halfway into the Fourth Turning, and I think we're really starting to get a feel for the spirit of the age. The Trump shock has pushed us in certain directions from which there is no return. Even if Trump crashes and burns in the near future, there is no way we will find ourselves in a world as it might have been if Clinton had become POTUS in 2016. What 4T changes are with us for good?
.........>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sept 3, 2018
4T = 2008 thru about 2028

Yes, 2018 is about halfway.
Read "The Fourth Turning" about the role of each generation.
For example:
The McCain funeral eulogies included morals, ethics and ideals.  The role of Baby Boomers as Elders in the 4T is to communicate, to define and give meaning to these morals, ethics and ideals.  Anyone that does not align their behavior and actions with the ideals communicated at the McCain funeral will not have a good outcome during the 4T.

Learn about the roles of the other generations.
The behaviors and actions of each generation are visibly aligning with their role as outlined in the 4T book.

How strange. McCain stood for the US empire and it's ongoing destruction at home and abroad.

Abroad:  The wars of choice in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan. There is nothing moral about destroying those countries and killing folks for oil.

At home. The greed of the elites which caused the financial crash and the ruined lived of Americans. The people at that funeral are a bunch of corrupt elites who are running our banana republic with nukes.  I hope the empire crashes and burns and dies with McCain, the avatar of the empire.


Quote:People who do not align their behaviors and actions with the McCain eulogies' ideals, like Trump, will end up in jail.

I didn't pay any attention to that crap. The MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece for the empire. Just like the old time Pravda. I'm guessing what you said above must be good words. Too bad the empire does the opposite. Corruption and hubris everytime, crash every empire. The US will be no different. Trump is a symptom, not a cause of chaos.  Just one more brick on the path of destruction.
---Value Added Cool
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#11
(09-03-2018, 09:33 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 05:38 PM)igranderojo Wrote:
(07-28-2018, 10:34 AM)sbarrera Wrote: We're halfway into the Fourth Turning, and I think we're really starting to get a feel for the spirit of the age. The Trump shock has pushed us in certain directions from which there is no return. Even if Trump crashes and burns in the near future, there is no way we will find ourselves in a world as it might have been if Clinton had become POTUS in 2016. What 4T changes are with us for good?
.........>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sept 3, 2018
4T = 2008 thru about 2028

Yes, 2018 is about halfway.
Read "The Fourth Turning" about the role of each generation.
For example:
The McCain funeral eulogies included morals, ethics and ideals.  The role of Baby Boomers as Elders in the 4T is to communicate, to define and give meaning to these morals, ethics and ideals.  Anyone that does not align their behavior and actions with the ideals communicated at the McCain funeral will not have a good outcome during the 4T.

Learn about the roles of the other generations.
The behaviors and actions of each generation are visibly aligning with their role as outlined in the 4T book.

How strange. McCain stood for the US empire and it's ongoing destruction at home and abroad.

Abroad:  The wars of choice in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan. There is nothing moral about destroying those countries and killing folks for oil.

At home. The greed of the elites which caused the financial crash and the ruined lived of Americans. The people at that funeral are a bunch of corrupt elites who are running our banana republic with nukes.  I hope the empire crashes and burns and dies with McCain, the avatar of the empire.


Quote:People who do not align their behaviors and actions with the McCain eulogies' ideals, like Trump, will end up in jail.

I didn't pay any attention to that crap. The MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece for the empire. Just like the old time Pravda. I'm guessing what you said above must be good words. Too bad the empire does the opposite. Corruption and hubris everytime, crash every empire. The US will be no different. Trump is a symptom, not a cause of chaos.  Just one more brick on the path of destruction.

The US did not invade Syria for oil. It lobbed a few bombs against Assad (well-justified), and sent troops to the Islamic State to help the people there drive out those horrible hoodlums (well-justified). Also, the US did not invade Libya, but did some early bombing to help the rebels within Libya who rose up and "chose" the war. But the fact that Libya has more oil than Syria probably helped explain why we the USA helped the Arab Spring uprising in Libya, but not the one in Syria.

Don't underestimate the role of the people themselves in rising up against their own tyrants. That happens every time Uranus and Pluto make a major aspect. Otherwise, agreed Smile
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#12
John McCain was more a political myth than a reality. We have the reality of a majority of politicians as corporate stooges who recognize as the only one valid constituency those who supply their campaign funds.

The myth may be more useful than the reality.
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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#13
(09-04-2018, 12:16 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 09:33 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 05:38 PM)igranderojo Wrote: <snip>
I didn't pay any attention to that crap. The MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece for the empire. Just like the old time Pravda. I'm guessing what you said above must be good words. Too bad the empire does the opposite. Corruption and hubris everytime, crash every empire. The US will be no different. Trump is a symptom, not a cause of chaos.  Just one more brick on the path of destruction.

The US did not invade Syria for oil. It lobbed a few bombs against Assad (well-justified), and sent troops to the Islamic State to help the people there drive out those horrible hoodlums (well-justified). Also, the US did not invade Libya, but did some early bombing to help the rebels within Libya who rose up and "chose" the war. But the fact that Libya has more oil than Syria probably helped explain why we the USA helped the Arab Spring uprising in Libya, but not the one in Syria.

Don't underestimate the role of the people themselves in rising up against their own tyrants. That happens every time Uranus and Pluto make a major aspect. Otherwise, agreed Smile

1. On second thought, you are sorta correct wrt Syria. I left out some stuff. The US invaded/bombed Syria because pipelines.   from our mates down under of all places. Wrt Assad, I don't think he's any worse than Shrub. Let's just let Russia/Assad take care of IS, because, guess what. The Neocons, ever clueless as ever forgot something. Turkey hates Kurds, so yeah, that's why Turkey's doing stuff in Syira and now Turkey hates us.  That's the way you do it, messes on the MSM, got to move those terror groups, IS for nothing...   Heheheheheheeh..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~P Tongue





Look at those Neocons, that's the way you do it, bomb, bomb, bomb away, we got make terror cells, install proxies... Oh yeah,

2, People should do stuff themselves, bombs and proxies don't work, ever. The same goes for false flag thingies. That's so old, the CIA should really know better. They've been at that nonsense since Gulf of Tonkin. 


Don't get fooled again. 






That's sage advice, as it always has been, man. Remember Kissinger is still rigging things , even with Trump.
---Value Added Cool
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#14
Right now, we are in the middle of the winter of the Saeculum, however in the middle of winter we know that spring will come eventually.

Throughout history different societies celebrated the midwinter solstice, which they had myths of gods either being born or dying and being reborn. In Northern hemisphere at this time of year in times past, the people slaughtered animals which they couldn’t feed during the winter, so it was the only time of year a plentiful supply of fresh meat was available. Also, much of the wine and beer made during the year was finally and ready for drinking of this time. Therefore; these holidays which celebrated the death and rebirth of life were also times for feasting and revelling.

Also they built structures in order to celebrate this time of year. For example; there has been a theory recently which argues that Stonehenge was built to celebrate the setting sun at the midwinter’s solstice. I hope one day I will visit Stonehenge on mid winter's day to experience what those people 4000 years ago experienced every midwinter's solstice.

In conclusion; we should see this moment in history, how matter as dark it can be as the moment which the old order will die and new one is born. I personally a new order has not come yet, however are experiencing the death of the old one.
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#15
Well the past few days sure feel like lines are being drawn and nobody is backing down. I've read some pretty alarming things lately ... like this; if I didn't know better I would have thought that this is a post from this forum ...

The Tipping Point


Quote:... Republicans have every right to their anger. It is legitimate, ...  Democrats, too, are justified in their outrage. ... The degradation of American governing institutions is real. So, too, is the breakdown of the public’s faith in the legitimacy of their government. That is an extraordinarily dangerous condition. We are not a tinderbox just yet, but we may be soon. And it will only take a spark. ...
"But there's a difference between error and dishonesty, and it's not a trivial difference." - Ben Greenman
"Relax, it'll be all right, and by that I mean it will first get worse."
"How was I supposed to know that there'd be consequences for my actions?" - Gina Linetti
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#16
It seems so. That's what this 4T is about.

And yet it seems to me that, although Republicans are angry, and determined to get their way, even more than Democrats are, they really have nothing to be angry about. It just a matter of their belief system. They are indoctrinated, as far as I can see. It's all about their prejudices. I don't think they have a right to their anger. They are in the wrong. The bright side to that is, there's always hope that truth and right will dawn on people and win out.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#17
(09-04-2018, 08:23 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(09-04-2018, 12:16 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 09:33 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(09-03-2018, 05:38 PM)igranderojo Wrote: <snip>
I didn't pay any attention to that crap. The MSM is nothing but a mouthpiece for the empire. Just like the old time Pravda. I'm guessing what you said above must be good words. Too bad the empire does the opposite. Corruption and hubris everytime, crash every empire. The US will be no different. Trump is a symptom, not a cause of chaos.  Just one more brick on the path of destruction.

The US did not invade Syria for oil. It lobbed a few bombs against Assad (well-justified), and sent troops to the Islamic State to help the people there drive out those horrible hoodlums (well-justified). Also, the US did not invade Libya, but did some early bombing to help the rebels within Libya who rose up and "chose" the war. But the fact that Libya has more oil than Syria probably helped explain why we the USA helped the Arab Spring uprising in Libya, but not the one in Syria.

Don't underestimate the role of the people themselves in rising up against their own tyrants. That happens every time Uranus and Pluto make a major aspect. Otherwise, agreed Smile

1. On second thought, you are sorta correct wrt Syria. I left out some stuff. The US invaded/bombed Syria because pipelines.   from our mates down under of all places. Wrt Assad, I don't think he's any worse than Shrub. Let's just let Russia/Assad take care of IS, because, guess what. The Neocons, ever clueless as ever forgot something. Turkey hates Kurds, so yeah, that's why Turkey's doing stuff in Syira and now Turkey hates us.  That's the way you do it, messes on the MSM, got to move those terror groups, IS for nothing...   Heheheheheheeh..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~P Tongue

I don't know why you and so many others get it so wrong about Syria. It was not a US invasion for a pipeline. It was a people's revolt, spurred by climate change, against their tyrant, and the tyrant was the worst of our time. Just for peacefully protesting, Assad gassed, barrel-bombed, tortured and exiled over half his people. The US did not invade Syria. It lobbed a few bombs at their chemical weapons; that's it.

It did help the Kurds and Iraqis get rid of the Islamic State, although that work is not entirely done. The IS effectively was no longer part of Syria and Iraq; it was a new state, and the USA sent some special forces and made some air strikes to help the people there rid themselves of this horrific scourge. I support this, although Trump speeded it up at the expense of many more civilian casualties in places like Mosel and Raqqa.

Quote:Look at those Neocons, that's the way you do it, bomb, bomb, bomb away, we got make terror cells, install proxies... Oh yeah,

2, People should do stuff themselves, bombs and proxies don't work, ever. The same goes for false flag thingies. That's so old, the CIA should really know better. They've been at that nonsense since Gulf of Tonkin. 

It works sometimes, but maybe in the long run, not very well. But, after all, the French waged proxy war on behalf of the USA, and that worked out pretty well. The USA helped chase the Soviets out of Afghanistan. That didn't make much difference; we're still embroiled in that one. Will Libya ever get it together, after getting NATO help overthrowing Qaddafi? Remains to be seen. NATO did help restore peace and freedom in the old Yugoslavia eventually. Reagan got his way in Nicaragua, but rather ironically, now his old "communist" enemy is the conservative president there.

In many cases, the proxies were crucial in putting down a revolution by the people. Reagan did that; the USA has done it often, sometimes successfully, and sometimes (as in Vietnam) spectacularly unsuccessfully. That's what has happened in Syria too, thanks to Russia and Iran winning Assad's war on his people. What exactly will happen there is still not completely decided though. Turkey and Russia have agreed to restrain Assad from murdering the rest of his rebels in a small northwestern province, but Turkey still hates and fears the Kurds. As I see it, we owe them, and must help defend and support them against Assad and Turkey. I must admit, I agree with Trump so far in what he said about these things this week; we'll see. That is, about his warning not to wipe out the last Syrian rebels, and to support the Kurds.

Help from the Fascist powers were crucial in Franco's victory in Spain over the liberal revolution there in 1936.

The initiative for a revolution has to come from the people themselves; outsiders can't do it for them. But sometimes, proxy aid can push the result one way or another.

Quote:Don't get fooled again. 







That's sage advice, as it always has been, man. Remember Kissinger is still rigging things , even with Trump.

The best rock song ever; always good advice. The question is, who is being fooled. Don't be fooled by conspiracy theories about Syria. Know the facts. Will you ever?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#18
Eric the Green Wrote:Help from the Fascist powers were crucial in Franco's victory in Spain over the liberal revolution there in 1936.

That wasn't a liberal revolution like 1776 but a communist revolution. Both sides were rotten.

There is a lot of similarities between the Spanish and Syrian civil war:
Communists = Assad (both were "lawful governments" before the war)
Franco = ISIS, al-Qaeda (reactionary pseudo-rebels)
Nazi intervention = Russian intervention
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#19
(09-29-2018, 05:42 AM)Bill the Piper Wrote:
Eric the Green Wrote:Help from the Fascist powers were crucial in Franco's victory in Spain over the liberal revolution there in 1936.

That wasn't a liberal revolution like 1776 but a communist revolution. Both sides were rotten.

There is a lot of similarities between the Spanish and Syrian civil war:
Communists = Assad (both were "lawful governments" before the war)
Franco = ISIS, al-Qaeda (reactionary pseudo-rebels)
Nazi intervention = Russian intervention

Well, not exactly. They were republicans who wanted to establish one. They were democratic. They got Soviet support also, that's very true. It was a rehearsal for world war two. Same alliances. Different outcome.

I don't see much similarity to Syria. Many people believe nonsense about Syria. You make the same mistake, forgetting that the civil war in Syria started as a HUGE movement of the people rising up for freedom against a dictator; an Arab Spring uprising, part of a worldwide uprising that also included Occupy Wall Street. Franco was in power originally iirc. He had just seized it, whereas Assad family has been in power for decades. So Franco was Assad. The liberal republicans in Spain = the freedom rebels in Syria. The jihadist groups came in later to support the rebels. They were NOT ISIS. But that would be analogous to the communists. You got the last one right: Nazi intervention = Russian intervention, holding up the dictator Assad = Franco, who won the war.

Same abdication of responsibility and appeasment by The Western powers, who didn't support the freedom rebels in Syria, just as they failed to support them in Spain. Result: Nazi/Russian advance against The West. World war two. War in Dec./Jan. 2020-21 looms! The Spanish did get volunteer help from The West, unlike the Syrians. But the Syrians got some help from the Gulf Arab states and Turkey, and some too little, too late financial help and training from The West.

The Islamic State (I don't usually call it ISIS because they extend beyond Iraq and Syria) had no analogy in the Spanish civil war. They swooped in like vultures 3 years after the uprising began to seize territory in the east of Syria while Assad was too busy putting down the rebels to oppose them.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#20
I am a software engineer by profession, and the digital revolution currently dominates my Crisis ideas. In fact, I believe that the digital revolution is shaping this Crisis in the same way that prior waves of industrialization shaped the prior 3 ones.

1. We are moving into the post-paper age. Like many new trends, this is one in which "the future is already here, just not yet evenly distributed" since there is currently no consensus that we are already there. Since paper and coin money makes up less than 15% of financial transactions (with most people using debit/credit and getting paid using direct deposit), we have crossed the line into the cashless society. At last, we can say we are there. That doesn't mean that there isn't paper money, of course, but it is a minor and declining method of payment. Job applications and housing applications have moved online. Motor vehicle registration has moved online. Books are increasingly read on a computer in the same way we use MP3s.

In the 1990s (as a kid), I remember office desks containing stacks of paper. Today, the usage of paper is decreasing to the point that the office printer gets unused in many cases. Electronic communications has largely replaced the usage of paper, except for cases in which paper is still required by law or industry convention. Documents get emailed or stored on some cloud. People use Skype and Slack for office communications. The same thing is increasingly true for schooling. Heavy textbooks are being replaced by laptops and tablets which offer a lot of advantages, such as interactive and remote education. The classroom is becoming an institution dominated by computers rather than paper. Kids do their lessons on their computers and often turn their work online. It is my prediction that the upcoming Idealist generation will see paper in the same way Boomers viewed the icebox as a technology.

2. Fossil fuels will continue to slowly decline, while new ones such as solar and nuclear will continue to rise. This will involve a fundamental shift that will veer more towards how things are organized in the digital world. The rise of electric vehicles is a result of the Recovery Act of 2009. Not only will this solve the environmental problem caused by fossil fuel cars, the rise of EVs will usher in a more tightly integrated infrastructure. And here is why. An EV is powered by a battery. However you charge the battery is largely up to you, as long as you provide the correct input to the correct interface. So if you have a generator running petroleum, then you can use that. You can also use solar, wind, geothermal. You can charge at a charge station like a gas station, but also at the parking lot of many places, and even your own house. Batteries will become more energy dense and EVs more efficient. Also, Peak Oil now seems like a thing of the past. Elon Musk saved the say.

3. Autonomous cars will be the wave of the future. Cars today already have a significant amount of automation, with Tesla and Cadillac currently leading the pack. By the next High, we will have achieved Level 5 automation. What that means for the future of driving, I cannot say. This will make radical changes in society. A 10 year old might in the future be able to own a car, for instance. This technology, combined with drone technology, will finally give us flying cars. Automation will make flying cars into a rather safe technology.

4. The digital revolution itself provides the setting with which the Crisis is taking place. This is causing a revolution in the workplace and in the entire industrial sector. I never got to experience the Taylorist regime, but that idea that has been the basis of organization for about a century seems to be coming to an end. Whether you were capitalist, fascist, communist, anarchist, technocrat, or any other government or movement at the time, it was taken for granted for most of the 20th century that you adhered to the organizing principles of Taylorism and Fordism. Now, all of that is changing. Agile, which was created as a way to organize software development work, has taken over most organizations. Even if you are only using a part of Agile, it has changed the organization. The modern organization looks like a software development shop. In today's office, you are stationed at a computer and are using some custom internally developed application to do your work. The organization is pretty much built around the computer network to such an extent that the organization of the IT sector and infrastructure becomes indistinguishable from the form of the organization itself. The fact that workers are using software developed internally greatly contributes to the reduction of paper usage in the office, replacing them with electronic forms, databases, and automation. New technologies such as blockchain, AR, and Internet of Things are accelerating this digital trend. The same technologies and concepts that make the smart home will make the smart office.

The digital revolution also means that you will need entirely different skills in the 21st century. Tech careers are now a critical sector of the economy. There is a new concept called "New Collar" work, meant to replace and consolidate blue and white collar work. These are skills which don't require a college education and can be learned right out of high school. These type of jobs will similar to jobs like carpentry and plumbing in that they will allow most people to live a comfortable lifestyle while not investing a lot of time and money into college. I expect that this concept will be key to the widespread prosperity expected of a High.

The 20th century was dominated by companies like GM and Ford. Today, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google, and other technologies have totally replaced the old industrial era giants. Nearly every aspect of life is dominated by technology companies. Your work life is likely thoroughly dominated by Microsoft products like Outlook, Word, and Excel. Your home life and communications are now thoroughly dominated by technology. People increasingly do all of their shopping online with companies like Amazon. Google dominated search and email. There is virtually no activity left that doesn't heavily involve technology giants. This trend will only increase. It's kinda like churning butter and horseback riding. Once cars came out, the skill of horseback riding quickly disappeared because the world that it existed in no longer exists. We are already at the point at which the industrial, 20th century way of doing things is already becoming forgotten. The Homelanders will be the last generation to have any experience of a pre-digital era. They will only see its destruction and replacement, whereas the Millennials will have experienced the pre-digital existence as kids and Xers coming fully of age before the shift. The neo-Boomers, OTOH, will have no experience of a pre-digital existence.

5. In the book Generations, it is noted how household life gets easier, more predictable, and more stable during Highs. The prior Crisis finished the industrial modernization of the home by implementing plumbing and electricity on a mass societal scale. That period introduced several new home technologies including refridgerators. This time around, we have Smart Home technologies. The smart home is essentially a digital home, and is an IoT sector. Just imagine that your entire house is run like a computer program. Instead of just having printers and scanners as peripherals (such as during the 1990s), now you have things such as your washer/dryer, light sockets, window blinds, and water faucet now become computer peripherals too. This will give people unprecedented convience and control over their environment. Cheap microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, and ubiquitous computers and networks will allow people in the 2030s to live a Jetsons-like existence. People will clean their houses using robots (such a Roomba). People will keep up to date using smart mirrors. Voice user interface (i.e. Alexa or Cortana) will also dominate the home at the time. Each home will produce significant amounts of data. Every change of temperature, for instance, will be logged and stored in some database to be used be some other application (such as an automatic lawn sprinkler that doesn't run in sub-freezing temperatures). This means that your house is increasingly hackable both by yourself and by belligerents. The same concepts and technologies added to the workplace creates the smart office. In your multiscreen enterprise application, imagine someone adding a screen that gave you (or more realistically someone with credentials) the ability to control all of the lights in the office. This will be the future.

6. The smart home concept applied on a municipal level scale creates the smart city, which is just one of the changes that bring to mind the New Deal. Basically, use sensors and networks to capture data (weather data, pollution data, noise pollution data, traffic, etc.) for use by the city (and anyone with access to the API). For instance, Shotspotter is a network of sensors that listen for gunshots (location, time, maybe even type). Once the sensors have picked that up, a message is instantly dispatched to law enforcement and any CCTV cameras around the area turn on and watch the location. The scooter craze is another example of the smart city revolution. Things like this will increasingly dominate city life.

7. Related to smart cities is the concept of egovernment. Estonia, of course, is the poster child for digital government, but the US has made strides on its own. Most city and state governments, as well as the national government now allow you to find information and use services online. One instance is ticket payment for a moving or parking violation. And then there are tools for civic engagement, which have been extensively used during the Obama and Trump presidencies and presidential campaigns. With blockchain voting is likely to move online, and civic software will make society much more governable by giving the citizens a greater voice and more power. Obamacare is a prime example of digital government and digital transformation that will become ordinary the rest of this century.

8. We finally have a national health care system, and there is no turning back. Even if Obamacare is abandoned, there is no way Americans will tolerate not having a national health care system. All attempts to repeal have failed, meaning that the only argument is whether we keep Obamacare (with some possible changes) or we give everyone Medicare.

9. One of the most interesting things to watch has been the blossoming of information age warfare. War is looking more and more like a cyberpunk video game. In fact, I am amazed at how accurately the Call of Duty series captures both the current and future reality of war. Since 9/11, drones have menaced the battlefield. It is gotten to the point at which you can build your own mini-reaper drone in your garage and wage terror or war. Robots have also revolutionized the battlefield. The IoT, and AR are of course entering the battle space, giving soldiers and enhanced view and more information about the battle field. Imagine having a HUD display for your helmet that provides perks that gamers are accustomed to (such as a map with (known) enemy positions and known friendly positions), and sensors that give detailed information about the battle field. Add in AI analysis and add in robots and this is the cutting edge of war today. People with gaming skills now can become drone warriors.

At the same time that we have robots and drones, we also have cyber networks that can be hacked. In the 1990s, cyberwar was still almost entirely science fiction, and the dominant view was that of a (Millennial) teenager using digital technologies to smash the oppressing corporation (which was modeled off of Microsoft) or some militaristic entity. 20 years later, cyberwar is a reality, but instead of anarchist teenagers fighting against Microsoft, now it is the national governments hacking and attacking each other. Cyberwar has been compared to nukes because the potential destruction can be very vast. We had a close call with the Wannacry event which shut down the British hospital system a couple of years back. Russian malware has been found on the computers of critical national infrastructure such as power plants. This has caused kind of an emergency drive to build critical cybersecurity, and has forced the nation to learn the basics of cybersecurity. I suspect that by the end of this Crisis, we will have robust cybersecurity protection. All products will likely have to follow basic security standards for it to be usable in many contexts, likely bordering on unreasonable paranoia early into the High.

With that said, national governments and blocs will have differences in digital policy, just like they had major differences in industrial policy in the previous Crisis in which nations tried out many ideas to build and fix a maturing industrial age society. Of course, many believed that fascism or communism would be the best way to organize an industrial power. In the 21st century, differences in digital policy have the potential to break apart the global internet. The Chinese internet is already on its way to becoming a separate internet. The EU has just recently implemented GDPR, which is a far reaching digital privacy law. The fact that the US doesn't have a law like this (yet) could also make large parts of the internet inaccessible to large groups. Just like the bipolar world of the 20th century caused technology and infrastructure to develop along separate and parallel lines, this separation will likely cause lasting cultural, social, economic, and political differences for the rest of the 21st century. China might have the totalitarian internet, while America has the free internet, for instance.

Since the 1970s, it has been widely remarked that the information age is giving to small groups and even individuals the same power traditionally reserved for large corporations and governments. This even becoming true for the military. Digital tools have given ISIS the ability to wage a serious and frightening insurgency. These same tools are also helping Ukraine resist Russian invasion and occupation. These tools include the ability to build war robots and drones in order to fight the enemy.

At this moment, it really feels that we are no longer living the post-WWII era, but now the post 9/11 era. 9/11 defines geopolitics now, not WWII (although it still has a heavy influence). The rest of the 21st century will largely be defined by the 9/11 wars (which include the Afghan, Syrian, Iraqi, ISIS, Yemem, and Ukraine wars, and likely the Second Cold War as well as digital warfare).

10. In the 1990s and 2000s decades, there was much talk of old versus new media. By the 2010s, everyone forgot about this argument because old media no longer really exists. Old media is now indistinguishable from new media. What we call "traditional television" can now be watched on Youtube. Books are increasingly downloaded, and the music industry today would be fully unrecognizable if not for familiar names like The Beatles. We live in an age in which internet trolls hold considerable power in politics, and are the driving force behind today's campaigns. Not only that, but propaganda has moved fully online. We live in an age of Twitter bots designed to spread propaganda. Even the arch-conservatives (Al Queda, ISIS, etc.) are fully online, having built their terror and war machine around the internet, using it for recruitment, propaganda, and surveillance purposes. This is an age of crazy Twitter demagoguery. Instead of the 1990s period of celebrities saying crazy shit in magazines and on television, now we live in a period of politicians saying crazy shit on the internet. Of course, as the Crisis passes, the demagoguery will come to a close, but the infrastructure that supported it will remain.

11. So the period from 1991 to 2013 (or 2001) was the modern day interregnum. The Cold War is back with us, and many of the things that defined that age have returned. The way things are moving now, we might be right back in the same place with them that we were in the year 1950. Everything geopolitics today reflects this reality, from the trade wars, to the Syrian War, to the ISIS war, to the new digital reality. So I'm guessing that we have another "century" of Cold War.

12. Elon Musk is revolutionizing space. I believe that people like Musk and Bezos will finally bring in the space faring future by the end of this Crisis. The next High will likely see a massive expansion into space. I'm betting that by the next Awakening, humans will have built bases on the moon and Mars, will have space based manufacturing, and will likely see the first true attempts at permanent space settlement (driven by expansion-minded Millenniials and culturally driven neo-Boomers). If history is a guide, this will match the previous ages of exploration during their Highs, as well as the westward expansion of the US after the nation's founding and the Civil War.

13. Playing video games is no longer a waste of time since it can lead to a lucrative career. Video games are now a full blown member of the cultural landscape, and we live in an age in which a majority of people from all demographics play video games. Video games are now a primary medium to transmit cultural information. There is also esports which is exploding in popularity. Video games are now a professional sport. Now, people who are the best at games can make money off of it. Popular musicians now write songs and music videos for video games today.

14. Racial integration is finally increasing again. The Crisis is foring us to confront issues raised during the Civil Rights Era. The whole migration crisis is emblematic of this. Most nations will have to grapple with whether integration or segregation is ideal, and to what degree. It is my prediction that the integrationists will ultimately win. We are also forced to confront gender issues. It is my prediction that most ideals of gender equality will be celebrated.

15. Laissez-Faire is now long dead (for now, at least). Compared to the 1990s, it looks substantially more like a centrally planned and controlled economy, especially since the crash of 2008.
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