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Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going
#1
I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This post has been much longer than expected - the ideas started flowing - so I'll stop it there. Helped me flesh out my own thoughts. I've convinced myself again that 9/11 was the Catalyst, and we are now approaching the 1T boundary, but probably not quite there yet. Trump/Pence looks like some analogy of Truman/Eisenhower.
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#2
Conservatives like yourself Mr. Through see 9-11 as the start of the 4T, generally speaking, because you are nationalists. Liberals like me see the Great crash and recession of 2008 as the catalyst, because we see economic injustice and ecological destruction as the central challenges of this 4T.

But there's some truth in both, given that terrorist challenges from the Middle East and Russia could well continue into the 2020s, as well as a sweeping movement to shove the economic elites out of power, restore gun control, and shift our energy system into the future. But there's no doubt that 2028-29 will be the end date of this 4T, since the current stalemate has to lead to a breaking point of some kind, and we will take some years yet to get there.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

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

No, the influence of the Boomer Left peaked about 50 years ago when Nixon's "Silent Majority" made its statement on what sort of America was to be. Young Boomer culture drifted from the profound to the awful (like Disco in music). People with any brains held it in contempt for its emptiness irrespective of their spots in the political spectrum. Then Generation X took over.


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

No two Crisis Eras are alike. The American Revolution is not the Civil War is not the Depression and World War II and is not our contemporary muddle. White 'Identity' groups are typically fascist, and they often dream of making America "white" again while failing to explain what they would do to those that they do not consider white. The only relevance of Marx in American politics today is that we have people who endorse a mirror-image of Marxism -- one in which a Marxist depiction of capitalism is to be endorsed irrespective of the human cost. The difference between those mirror-image Marxists and Marxists is that the mirror-image Marxists endorse the nastiest things that Marx has to say about capitalism instead of seeing such as abominable. They love exploitation, so long as they are the exploiters!

Freedom of speech does not imply exemption from the consequences of such speech. Speak sympathetically of any form of socialism in most for-profit workplaces, and you will be fired. Remember, of course, that as a worker in such a place, your sole reason for existence is to make someone already filthy-rich even filthier rich or to indulge the desire for opulent splendor or exquisite hedonism of those already rich. Use the word that rhymes with the name of Roy Rogers' horse in front of a black person, and expect trouble. Freedom of speech does not mean that one has a right to make changes in the text of a magazine or newspaper.

Arendt and Orwell would both be shocked at the pervasive lying (even if it is merely delusional recklessness) of the President -- and the large number of people gullible to believe such.


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

The 'moldy white supremacism' is as toxic as it was when it came from Hitler, Goebbels, Streicher, et al. The libertarians are not so attractive to the Corporate Right when crony capitalism is more effective at ensuring that the 'right people' get everything and the rest of us have only responsibilities. Libertarian thought offers room for small business as alternatives to bureaucratic corporations that crony capitalists would prefer be impossible.


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

Obama, clearly not a Boomer (his temperament shows such) acts much like the best of the Lost (like Truman and Eisenhower) dd when they were in their 60s -- no free-flowing anger, emotional maturity, and little desire for new big programs. In the scope of things he is pre-seasonal, which creates problems that Howe and Strauss failed to recognize. Trump may have the vulgarity of Truman, but not the maturity or humility. Trump is about as undisciplined, incautious, abrasive, irrational, pecuniary, and flamboyant as Eisenhower wasn't But I see far more in common between Eisenhower and Obama in style of leadership and political result than I see between Eisenhower and  Mr. Bone Spurs.


Quote:As said above, we have continued to see reiterations of Boomer obsessions from their youth. The Iraq War was their replay of Viet Nam. The actions of the Obama Administration in 2016 increasingly look like a replay of Watergate, on steroids. The attempt by the DoJ and other players to interfere with the election, wiretap the opposing party, and then run a campaign of leaks against a sitting president is unprecedented. The complete corruption of the executive branch that occurred under Obama is increasingly impossible to ignore.

Obama didn't see Trump  winning the election, and he acted too late and too ineffectively to thwart the rise of his successor. The difference that history might recognize between Eisenhower and Obama could be that Kennedy (personally flawed, but an above-average President) followed Eisenhower and that Trump (a thoroughly evil man) followed Obama. I see Obamacare as the equivalent of Ike's Interstate Highway system (yes, the Interstate Highway System has had some bad consequences, too) and same-sex rights as Obama's analogue to desegregation under Eisenhower. You try telling me what Obama's equivalents of overthrowing Arbenz and Mossadegh are. Obama is X, and Eisenhower is Lost -- both members of Reactive generations.


Quote:Whether that results in cleaning house and resetting the country on more honest footing, or is merely the political "establishment" warming up, along with Silicon Valley and other institutions, to impose true totalitarianism remains to be seen.

At this point I am more concerned about Donald Trump's despotic and dictatorial tendencies, the sorts that arise when people fall for demagogues who promise everything to everyone and can never deliver because their promises conflict. Even if Trump implodes politically, Americans have shown that they can fall for demagogues. Count on this: there could be a left-wing demagogue like Hugo Chavez biding his time until he can promise to pick up the pieces in return for stripping us of our freedom.


Quote:The agenda of radical social leftism and economic globalization cannot hold, and the US will collapse and disintegrate if it is not turned back permanently. You cannot combine globalization with identity politics without disaster. The jury is still out on whether it continues to its inevitable end. Trump is certainly an attempt to stop it. And they know it, which is why they are trying so hard to destroy him. I am optimistic that people have begun to wake up in time to repair the damage and prevent disaster, but the jury is still out. 

Free trade has its merits, namely that people get cheap stuff. Autarky is the decision that obsolete and overpriced stuff will create enough jobs to offset a lower quality of life. Trump is such a complete muddle that he can solve nothing. The world, including Americans, simply waits him out.


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

Crises can last ten years or more. It took nearly a full sixteen years from the Great Stock Market crash to the surrender of the Japanese leadership on the Battleship Missouri. Maybe the flawed Obama recovery calmed things down a little, only for Donald Trump to muck things up. 

The Crisis did not come to an end when the political climate congealed in the 1930s in America. Maybe the congealing of the political reality will come last. One thing is sure: Donald Trump is not the new FDR, the new Truman, or the new Eisenhower. The Bad Boomer -- the arrogant @$$hole who believes that his exploitation is benevolence and that failure of others to recognize such is a great crime against God and Nature  -- needs to be shoved aside so that we can have a sane and humane social order in which politics and commerce serve Humanity instead of exploiting Humanity.


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

I expect Millennials to be as conformist as society demands, and for such to create habits in young adulthood that mark them for life. They love technology, even if it is miniaturized (cell phones with more computing power and utility than the gigantic mainframe computers that GIs knew in the twenty years or so after the Second World War) instead of displaying awesome gigantism like Hoover Dam. The Boomer Left has practically no remaining influence upon anyone. It is just as well.

We are not through the Crisis Era, so we really have no idea what the First Turning will be like in politics and culture -- except that it will be bland and conformist. We will all be ready for it, whatever our age (from the Homeland Generation still at the oldest in adolescence up to Boomers). 

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


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

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

At least halfway through. The youngest Silent, like the recently-deceased Aretha Franklin, are 76. Boomers are now an old generation, so the Adaptive-Idealist line will be at the same age (76 on January 1, 2019) as it was on January 1, 1936. To be sure, 'septuagenarian' does not mean quite the same thing today as it did in the 1930s because people have gotten into old age differently (fewer people work as long as they can for ungodly hours, only to die of  premature old age because they are poor and overworked, and people are staying active and avoiding such bad habits as cancerweed use -- Boomers may have been the lightest smokers in a long time, perhaps until the Millennial Generation takes over that role). This said, the birth dearth among the Silent limits their influence on public life.


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

The  Hard Right has far more relevance in making America extreme, in coarsening the level of political discourse, and debasing the culture and vocabulary. It has far more power over even such non-profit institutions as colleges and universities. It has its own publishing houses and its favorite means of disseminating its propaganda (FoX News, Breitbart, Newsmax, and talk radio with such luminaries as Rush Limbaugh). It includes Sinclair (as I call it, "Stinking Liar" Broadcasting). It has think tanks to supply the memes of the day.  It has such groups as Freedom Works, Americans for Prosperity, and Club for Growth supplying money to right-wing politicians and guiding them along the official line once elected.

When the people who really rule us act as if no human suffering can ever be in excess so long as it turns, indulges, or enforces a profit, power may have a right-wing bias, but reality on all other things has a left-wing bias. That is a huge contradiction, and it will not resolve itself through some gentle reconciliation. You might want to read or read about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who explains how social contradictions work themselves out in history. To put it in the succinct vernacular -- it ain't pretty.


Quote:Geopolitically, the primary threat to the US and the West is China. In recent decades, and in the extreme in recent years, the US economy has been intertwined with China's.


So long as Donald Trump or someone similar in Weltanschauung is President and he has compliant majorities in Congress, the American political system is the worst threat to Americans. This is the President most similar to a dictator or despot that we have ever known here. China simply sells the cheap consumer goodies that the capitalist class and the executive Nomenklatura have been offering workers as anodynes for exploitation and debasement. Now those elites want to squeeze the worker even more.


Quote:The combination of "globalization" with the Boomer Left's radical, authoritarian, and racist social leftism can only lead to the collapse of the United States, splintering into balkanized enclaves of warring groups.


If anything, what passes as the American Left has been trying to unify America across lines of ethnicity, religion, and even class.


Quote:Russia, while overblown due to its tiny economy and heavy reliance on fossil fuel exports, appears to want revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and would love to see nothing more.


The Russian people would rather have prosperity and freedom than see Russia as the core of some empire extending from Kielce (Poland) and Tornio (Finland) in the west to Juneau (Alaska) in the east.


Quote:Their dabbling in US politics did not elect Donald Trump - what has been shown instead is their involvement in trying to encourage extremists across the spectrum, like Black Lives Matter, white supremacists, and the "Resistance" of the radical left, to heighten divisions and instability in the US. Their most recently discovered attempts involved trying to help organize and promote anti-Trump protests outside the White House. 

Just think of it -- the Soviet Union had its dream of 'world (Marxist) revolution'  encompassing the United States of America, but it could never appeal to American capitalists who knew that in the wake of such a world Marxist revolution they would be dispossessed and murdered. Putin does not have the ideological burden of Marxism to scare off a rich-and-powerful useful idiot like Donald Trump. Putin has no obvious ideology  other than Russian nationalism. He is well versed in the craft of the old KGB -- like exploiting vanity and anger. It doesn't take much of an adaptation to learn how to exploit the greed of American patriots who would sell out the rest of the world to Putin in return for monopoly power in the American economy and the complete obliteration of such Left institutions as labor unions.

Trying to manipulate anti-Trump protests? He can have it both ways.


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

I look at the Millennial generation, and the only way they can have a Radical Left revolution will be a model of the French Revolution of 1789. They won't need Boomers as inspiration; such is the work of a Civic generation that sees a corrupt, cruel, inequitable, and absurd regime that frustrates the normal desires of the common man. Such a revolution would be rational -- perhaps so coldly rational that it would become robotic -- and it would have no need for the psychedelic expressions of the Boom Awakening. A Boomer like I can formulate such a slogan as "Donald Trump is harmful to children and other living things" (yes, it is in a way a plagiary) -- but that is in no way Millennial.


Quote:The other, more positive outcome, which I think is more likely, is that we are at or near the 1T, and the movements across the West generally defined as "conservative populism" are society slamming on the brakes after a period of chaos.

Conservative populism has built-in, ruinous contradictions.


Quote:I think the generational alignments argue for this interpretation. Boomers, despite the persistence of visible leaders like Trump, are almost completely in retirement now in society at large, and the post-Millenial generation is coming of age.


Trump is among the oldest Boomers, and Boomers of the cohort that includes Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump is approaching the end of the line. Late-wave Boomers are not all that old, and won't be in time for the 2020 election (early 60s). Donald Trump is not the last act of the Boom Generation in political life and creative activity, although Boomers are probably through as laborers and clerks. So what? Laborers and clerks rarely make history. Trump is creating much dissent, and mass dissent is not a sign of the end of a Crisis Era.


Quote:The economy is finally reviving after a decade of suffering, which followed a decade of decline.Real median household incomes have just recently returned to where they were in 1998, after two decades below that peak.

Check the stock market, usually a coincident indicator of the economy. Obama got that right. The economy failed to improve for working people while the Right was doing everything possible to squeeze the common man and enrich elites while in control of one or both Houses of Congress. There was some heavy retail activity while tariffs were being suggested. Once the trade war starts in earnest, the only good that will come to Americans will be that they can buy cheaply what America used to export -- while real income plummets.

Did you wver hear of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff" How did that work?


Quote:Trump's actions geopolitically are showing a clear pattern of putting out fires. He effectively ended ISIS within months of taking office, and has engaged with North Korea. He uses leverage to force people to the table, and then makes deals. His goal is not some new major war (he ran on opposition to Iraq, and has been called an isolationist), but rather peace and stability, with the US remaining a superpower, unthreatened. 

The plans for the obliteration of ISIS were those of the Obama Administration. The talks with Emperor Kim Jong-Un are empty words without some means of enforcement.

Everyone is for peace and stability. Even Hitler was for world peace -- after he won everything that he wanted to conquer in war. Whether leaders get it is not a matter of personal will.

[Image: 260px-MunichAgreement.jpg]

Peace in our time, Neville Chamberlain proclaimed. Trump is even more foolish, and more unjustifiably optimistic.


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

This can happen, but we have much to resolve before we get even a taste of a 1T. Culture could be a wasteland, but it will be such because people will want no culture except the sentimental, easily-digested pap of a 1T. Nobody can predict how the 4T will be resolved -- or how quickly.

Donald Trump is a big part of the problem, and none of the solution.

Quote:In the 2T, the Millenials will emerge into leadership, with their trademark hubris and faith in technology at the forefront. They will seek to carry out their programming, but their children will rebel against them.

We will need to get through the Crisis to have any idea of how it turns out.
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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#4
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has.

I would argue that S&H themselves pointed out that their theories do not predict individual events and circumstances but rather large movements of large groups of people in aggregate.  Much like the Psychohistory of Assimov's Foundation series.

Quote:It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General.

Works for me.  I honestly don't come to this forum that much anymore.  Largely it has devolved into the same old faces making the same old arguments repeatedly and ad nauseam.

 
Quote:With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

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

For the Boomer Left I'd agree.  For the Leftists of X (such that exist) and Millenials it remains to be seen.  Generation Z seems to have essentially completely rejected the left.

Quote:2. It's unclear exactly where we sit in the cycle,

I would disagree.  Using my particular take on generational theory (which incorporates a Mega-Saeculum as well as Micro-turnings) I'd say that we are either in the late Micro-Awakening or Early Micro-Unraveling of the 4T of a Unraveling Saeculum itself.


Quote:and there are echoes of many past cycles.

History rhymes but does not repeat.  This should be expected regardless the turning or saeculum.


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

Actually this is not new at all.  Censorship and control of speech have been the tools of dying paradigms since the beginning of time.  Since it is the Boomer Left which had its apogee most recently it is to be expected that the moral panics and calls for censorship would be coming from the left.  

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

The so-called "alt right" is of limited value and mostly composed of right wing whites using the tactics of the boomer left.  They will be left in the dust by the resurgence of Nationalist Populism which should not be confused with "traditional conservatism".

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

Obama is not analogous to FDR.  There are many factors as to why.  First he is a Joneser on the X side of the line--so wrong generation for a GC.  Second, his administration was plagued with corruption and heavily obstructed by Congress (two problems FDR didn't have, and likely wouldn't have tolerated).  These are the two biggest reasons why trying to compare Obama to FDR is comparing an apple to a tomato.  Yes, they are both red (in the socialist sense) and yes they are both fruits (IE Democrats) but they are both fundimentally different.

Likewise, Trump is not analogous to Truman or Eisenhower.  First he is a Early Boomer and not a Core Nomad (Ike an Harry were both core Losts) so wrong generation.  Also his style is not comparable to either.  Truman was a Nomad liberal and Ike a Nomad conservative.  Trump isn't a liberal or a conservative at all.  He is a Nationalist and a Populist.  He calls back to a thread in American history far older than the saeculum--I actually named him the "Jacksonian Grey Champion" in other threads.

Ultimately though, I think that using American models for comparison.  I would actually say that Russian comparisons would be more accurate.  If one thinks of Reagan taking on a Lenin-esque role, George H.W. Bush would be the short transition period to Clinton's Stalin, and George W. Bush would be a Khrushchev-esque buffoon, while Obama would be Brezhnev overseeing the longest stagnation in the US in history.  As I told my mother some time ago, and again recently, my hope was that Trump would be a Gorbachev and lead us to a relatively soft landing with managed collapse rather than Yeltsin like shock treatments.

Then again I also subscribe to the notion that collapse of the US superpower polity is inevitable.  See the works of Dimitri Orlov.


Quote:As said above, we have continued to see reiterations of Boomer obsessions from their youth. The Iraq War was their replay of Viet Nam. The actions of the Obama Administration in 2016 increasingly look like a replay of Watergate, on steroids. The attempt by the DoJ and other players to interfere with the election, wiretap the opposing party, and then run a campaign of leaks against a sitting president is unprecedented.

I would argue that Boomers continuing to be obsessed with the obsessions of their youth is to be expected from Boomers.  I say this in regard to Boomers in particular and not about Prophet Generations in general (though it seems to be present at the end of the life cycle of Prophets more generally).


Quote:The complete corruption of the executive branch that occurred under Obama is increasingly impossible to ignore. Whether that results in cleaning house and resetting the country on more honest footing, or is merely the political "establishment" warming up, along with Silicon Valley and other institutions, to impose true totalitarianism remains to be seen.

Obama's White House was completely corrupt, and corrupt at the core.  As it stands there is a cleaning of house.  The political 'establishment' in both 'parties' is losing to either out right socialists in the case of Democrats, or Nationalist Populists in the case of Republicans.  By the end of Trump's second term, and he will have a second term unless he unexpectedly dies for one reason or an other, both parties will be fundamentally different than they were at 2016 or even most of the Millennial Saeculum.

Quote:The agenda of radical social leftism and economic globalization cannot hold,

One of the reasons why the Democrats are in open civil war with each other at the current time.  The factions fighting in that party are the socialist "Progressives" vs the globalist "Blue Dogs".  The GOP went through a similar civil war and the Nationalist Populists have largely won with the Neo-Con elements being either discredited or migrating to the "Blue Dog" wing of the Democrats (which incidentally they emerged from to begin with).


Quote:and the US will collapse and disintegrate if it is not turned back permanently.

The US is likely to collapse and disintegrate regardless.


Quote:You cannot combine globalization with identity politics without disaster. The jury is still out on whether it continues to its inevitable end. Trump is certainly an attempt to stop it. And they know it, which is why they are trying so hard to destroy him. I am optimistic that people have begun to wake up in time to repair the damage and prevent disaster, but the jury is still out. 

I agree with the first sentence of this passage.  This is why the Democrats have been losing ground since 2008.  I will also say that the Left Establishment (and to a lesser degree the Rino Never-Trump types) know that he, and Nationalist Populism is diametrically opposed to their internationalist (or globalist) tendencies as well as his having little time for the divide and rule tactics of identity politics.

That being said I want to make it understood that all politics essentially boils down to identity.  Identity on the individual level informs culture on the community level (city, state, etc), and culture informs the politics and policies of those individuals and communities.

Quote:3. If we are in the 4T, and 2008 was the main Catalyst, has there been a Climax? The recent elections in the West, from Brexit to Trump and others, while a decided break point in a new direction, don't seem sufficient.

First, I want to point out that I believe that the 4T began around 2005-2006 not 2008.  Second, I would point out that I would say that no the climax hasn't happened.  You will know when it does.  In the last it was V-E and V-J days.  I would say that Brexit, Trump, and other such movements could be compared to Midway or Stalingrad battles.   But the comparison is rather poor.  I don't think that a shooting war will break out so long as the Neo-Con elements of the GOP or Democrats are kept from power.  That is, so long as Trump is President and Trumpism remains the current in the GOP with the wind at its back.

This of course doesn't preclude a war from happening, just that I don't foresee it and unlike others who make predictions my record is more consistent.  Mind you I'm studying statistics and numbers and realpolitik rather than gazing into crystal balls or consulting star charts based on Iron Age systems of thought.


Quote:On the other hand, if the 4T began earlier, say on 9/11/2001 as I have long suspected, the present could be, very simply, the beginning of the 1T. Perhaps 9/11 was the Catalyst, and the 2008 crash the Climax?

While I will say that the mood of the country is certainly more optimistic than it was say in 2016 or even 2008, I would not say that a new 1T is starting.  Quite frankly there isn't a consensus in the country "this is the way things we want to be, we're going to build it like that" that is necessary for a 1T to start.

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

Many of S&H's predictions as to how Millenials would act was colored by their social conservative biases.  And that is okay.  When they were writing they expected that since the GIs swung left too, that Millies as a consequence must swing right.  Largely they haven't or they haven't yet.  That being said there is a large contingent of Millies which are subscribing to Trumpian Nationalist Populism because they see it working.  That said I fully expect them to stay relatively to the left of both X and Z.

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

As the parent of a late Millie, or Early Z child (he claims he's Z, I'm inclined to believe him too)  (It should be noted he was born in 1999 and was thus 11 in 2008, and 7 in 2006 and generations tend to precede the turning by around five or so years on average.) I can  say that they are much like X in that they seek out their own paths seeing that the paths laid out for them by Boomers and followed by Millies simply aren't working.  For example my son took up a trade rather than going to university and has been able to put aside a good deal of money and as long as there is tile that needs to be set somewhere, getting work and thus money is just a matter of asking around for it.

My niece and nephew are core Z and seem to be substantially more conservative than their parents--so much to the point as identifying more as Americans than as Blacks which leads me to conclude that they will be fodder for Nationalist Populism as opposed to Left-Wing style identity politics.

That being said this evidence is anecdotal and I don't have hard data on a generation which is mostly still composed of actual children.

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

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

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

The Far Left dominance of the Democratic party will either be temporary or the Democratic party will cease to exist outside of blue enclaves.  Should this happen, the Democrats will be at best a regional party concentrated in CommieCalifornia and the North East (less New Hampshire, Maine)  Massachusetts is dominated by Boston, New York by NYC and New Jersey by NYC and Philadelphia.  Pennsylvania is split between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The Far Left will lose the Rust Belt, permanently lose the South (including the Blacks--most blacks are socially conservative and that voting block in the Democratic party is becoming more and more uncomfortable).

As for the Tech Giants....well alt-tech is the answer.  Facebook, and Twitter are both under threat from Minds and Gab respectively (both are outside of Silicon Valley too).  This leaves Google.  As a search engine it is being replaced by those in the know by the likes of Duck Duck go and others.  Bing isn't even competition really.  Youtube is the major media outlet that Google has and it is losing money and once Bit chute and others catch up will lose market share.

After all who uses Yahoo! anymore?  Personally I've not used facebook in ages.  It quite simply isn't fun to be there and the content leaves a lot to be desired and that is before the overt censorship Zuck is implementing at the behest of the EU.

As for the west tearing self apart.  I'm not sure it will.  The EU will collapse from its own internal contradictions certainly, and the disintegration of the US is always on the agenda and has been since 1776.  But ultimately I don't see the West self-destructing.  If the welfare is cut off the migrant crisis will solve itself quickly.

Quote:Geopolitically, the primary threat to the US and the West is China. In recent decades, and in the extreme in recent years, the US economy has been intertwined with China's.

While true, this fact negates China as a threat.  The Chinese economy is largely based on selling shit to Americans to get the dollars to buy the resources and oil that they need to sell more shit to Americans.  This is why the US will win any trade war with the Chinese baring the Chinese going full out convertible RMB and opening up oil accounts with exporters in RMB.  In short when a country's economy is based on selling shit for export, this means that there likely isn't the basis there for selling shit internally.

China is in essence a paper tiger.


Quote:The combination of "globalization" with the Boomer Left's radical, authoritarian, and racist social leftism can only lead to the collapse of the United States, splintering into balkanized enclaves of warring groups.

I agree but will say that there is a caveat involved.  US disintegration will be the result of internal contradictions rather than imposed by others from outside the US.  Be it China, Russia, the EU, whomever.  If the US disintegrates it will do so because it has failed internally rather than because it was destroyed externally.

Abraham Lincoln Wrote:America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Quote:Russia, while overblown due to its tiny economy and heavy reliance on fossil fuel exports, appears to want revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and would love to see nothing more. Their dabbling in US politics did not elect Donald Trump - what has been shown instead is their involvement in trying to encourage extremists across the spectrum, like Black Lives Matter, white supremacists, and the "Resistance" of the radical left, to heighten divisions and instability in the US. Their most recently discovered attempts involved trying to help organize and promote anti-Trump protests outside the White House. 

Largely what the Russians have done is buy ads, which is legal, and give some groups some money which are not directly tied to election campaigns--which is also completely legal.  They are in short if doing anything sowing discord, but are not very effective at it due to a lack of resources and the fact that the US is an open society.  The CIA is much more effective but it largely focuses on closed societies when engaging in election skullduggery and agitprop.

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

True, however, this would require that the forces that will be named as "progressive" in the next 1T aren't currently on the right.  That the Boomer Left establishment some how, some way wins the 4T.  This is akin to claiming that the Confederacy could have won the Civil War (unlikely without both Britain and France stepping in to help the South--which was unlikely due to the European disdain for slave holding at the time), or Germany being able to take on the Largest (US), Second Largest (USSR) and Third Largest (British Empire) economies of the time on their own, in a two front war.

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

This is largely the vision upheld by Nationalist Populists, like Trump.  You seem to call them "conservative populists" but not all of them are conservative.  Trump himself certainly isn't a conservative of the same stripe as Ye Olde Conservative of the Unraveling (or even before then) he is actually and always has been a New York City Business Democrat.  An argument that so far only people completely asleep haven't figured out on their own, or Boomer Leftists with their head so far up their own asses that they are likely suffocating.

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

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

I would say that this is probable if a muted end, or triumphant end to the 4T occurs.  Again the jury is still out and there is a remote chance that the Boomer Left will make a come back--but quite frankly they simply don't have the wind at their backs and haven't for much of the turning.  I will point out an ancedote though.  I've noticed that with some older Z generation people (I usually call them Zeds after the British pronunciation of the name of the letter Z) that they are making a conscious effort to use older technologies.  My son for example took up traditional wet shaving as opposed to using those multi-bladed monstrosities as he finds the results more appealing and comfortable.  I've noticed some of the more artsy types at work that are younger Millies and older Z are taking to fountain pens.  There is even word that there is a renaissance in journal/diary writing (bullet journal writing being very popular at the moment--but if this is a real movement or just a fad remains to be seen).  Indeed sharing everything on social media seems to not be in the interests of younger Millies and older Zeds

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

I expect a resurgence of religion in the 2T but I doubt it will be traditional Catholicism, or Protestantism.  I expect that if the pattern of "back to nature" occurs, as it is likely to, paganism and neo-paganism will emerge as major trends.  Mormonism will likely have a major influence too.  The older branches of Christianity though are going to have a rough rest of the 4T and 1T.

I do not think that a quest for the singularity will happen.  This is a Boomer idea, and in general following Prophets tend to reject the ideologies of preceding Prophets.

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

The expectation of a new cold war is silly.  Unlike Russia at the end of WW2, China's economy largely rests on an export driven market.  If anything I expect China to liberalize and become more capitalist and integrated into the world order than playing a foil for the US or any other power for that matter.  But then again I expect the next saeculum to be a series of crises leading to the end of the current modern order that has been in play since the Enlightenment.

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

You may have convinced yourself of that, but the evidence simply doesn't bear it out unless we have a sudden climax to the 4T before 2022-ish.  Quite frankly my timeline using 2006 as the starting point that gives 2022 as the 16 year mark of the turning and right where one would expect the climax to happen with a remaining four or so years for "declining action" before the start of an exposition.

I've also in the past expressed generational theory in terms of the standard story timeline in literature:  Exposition (1T--usually late 1T), rising action (2T thru 4T Climax), Climax (4T climax), Declining action (late 4T, early 1T).
It really is all mathematics.

Turn on to Daddy, Tune in to Nationalism, Drop out of UN/NATO/WTO/TPP/NAFTA/CAFTA Globalism.
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#5
(08-19-2018, 12:12 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: Donald Trump defies categorization in various ways, but in the broadest sense, I think Obama is analogous to FDR, and Trump is analogous to Truman and/or Eisenhower. 

Obama, clearly not a Boomer (his temperament shows such) acts much like the best of the Lost (like Truman and Eisenhower) dd when they were in their 60s -- no free-flowing anger, emotional maturity, and little desire for new big programs. In the scope of things he is pre-seasonal, which creates problems that Howe and Strauss failed to recognize. Trump may have the vulgarity of Truman, but not the maturity or humility. Trump is about as undisciplined, incautious, abrasive, irrational, pecuniary, and flamboyant as Eisenhower wasn't But I see far more in common between Eisenhower and Obama in style of leadership and political result than I see between Eisenhower and  Mr. Bone Spurs.

Obozo is nothing like the Lost were because they would have never passed something as insane as ObozoCare.  If anything they would have looked at the price tag and the debt the US already had and decided it was a bad idea.  One thing the Lost understood was how debt can snowball into an insurmountable problem which is something that Boomers have never managed.  In fact responsibility is something that Boomers in general seem to have trouble with.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#6
(08-19-2018, 03:31 AM)Galen Wrote:
(08-19-2018, 12:12 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: Donald Trump defies categorization in various ways, but in the broadest sense, I think Obama is analogous to FDR, and Trump is analogous to Truman and/or Eisenhower. 

Obama, clearly not a Boomer (his temperament shows such) acts much like the best of the Lost (like Truman and Eisenhower) dd when they were in their 60s -- no free-flowing anger, emotional maturity, and little desire for new big programs. In the scope of things he is pre-seasonal, which creates problems that Howe and Strauss failed to recognize. Trump may have the vulgarity of Truman, but not the maturity or humility. Trump is about as undisciplined, incautious, abrasive, irrational, pecuniary, and flamboyant as Eisenhower wasn't But I see far more in common between Eisenhower and Obama in style of leadership and political result than I see between Eisenhower and  Mr. Bone Spurs.

(Obama) is nothing like the Lost

The Howe and Strauss description of "Reactive" very well. He is in no way rooted in Boomer culture, and he has certainly shown no indication of being involved in the cultural debates of Boomers; he was 'below' that as a child and he is now 'above' it. Unlike his narcissistic predecessors (I suggest that you read the book A$$holes) in the generational cycle  He is more careful about how others decide what he is instead of thinking himself special before achieving anything big or noteworthy. He is far more humane in his treatment of people not in the elite (in fact the author notes that Barack Obama hardly fits the title of his book, but Dubya does to an inordinate degree, and Donald Trump is practically the one to fit the word whenever he is even barely awake). His parents were not rooted in any place and neither was he as a child (of course, some Boomers were like that -- the so-called 'military brats' who saw location as interchangeable).

Is it possible to be a Boomer and not be an a$$hole? Sure -- if one is not in the Boomer elite. To be in the Boomer elite one must have been in it all one's life, and not simply have held promise for such. Boomer elites consistently broke all others not in the elite and who did not already have a network of support, including any Boomer not among them. So the Boomer elite has created plenty of cast-offs, people who fell short of elite status at some point in their lives and that that elite sees as dirt.

Maybe the next Boomer leader arises from among the cast-offs somehow.  Americans of all generations are getting sick of the a$$holes reminding them that their sole reason for existence is to make them even more filthy-rich, indulge the primitive and destructive desires for indulgence at the cost of whatever self-esteem those peons have, and serve as vicious enforcers of the most imperious demands of the 'betters' as the elite sees itself. People getting whatever they want because society deems them special for being what they are and not for their legitimate achievements? That is how the elites of classical civilizations, feudal nightmares, and early-modern aristocrats saw themselves -- know your place, o peon -- suffering for me because I am wonderful and you are dirt!

I have a suspicion that when things get really bad, elite indulgence will be a necessary sacrifice for those elites, and that the loss of that burden will be a great boon to the rest of us -- including the Boomers that our generational elite has hurt badly.

Quote:were because they would have never passed something as insane as (ObamaCare).

Obamacare might have worked better had it come with some cost controls and some taxes to fund it. So -- do tort reform as a part of any welfare-based medical care. Raise the payroll taxes to pay for it. Use sin taxes on cancerweed products, sugar, and alcohol content to defray the costs that certain bad habits have upon medical cost. It was up to Republicans to press for improvements, and they chose to resist everything. 

Quote:If anything they would have looked at the price tag and the debt the US already had and decided it was a bad idea.  One thing the Lost understood was how debt can snowball into an insurmountable problem which is something that Boomers have never managed.  In fact responsibility is something that Boomers in general seem to have trouble with.

If one needs something, whether housing or automobiles, one looks at the ways in which to get it. Yes, debt is trouble, but it is also profitable to creditors. The Right now finds Big Government a wonderful means of getting contracts and enforcing its ways in business and industry. It loves to burden the common man with personal debt because that makes them more willing to suffer for the elites. Debt is not bad if there is some asset that either generates income or reduces costs. Remember: every big corporation is loaded with debt just to permit expansion of the business. Anyone who can borrow at 4% and get a rate of return of 7% will float as many bonds or bank loans as possible to get the 4% that makes the 7% possible. If you need an auto loan to have a car that gets you to work -- then by all means buy the car on credit (unless at loan-shark terms). Note also that the currency in your wallet, the account in your bank balance, and any life insurance policy that you pay into is debt that someone else owes you -- perhaps in a contingency, but it is still something owed to you). Your pension is debt.

Debt can be troublesome. Should the government of the United States be overthrown by a foreign power as was Nazi Germany in 1945 or the Confederacy, then its debts typically become worthless. Or should government repudiate debt, such is effectively an expropriation.  That's what Commies did with currency 'reforms' in central and Balkan Europe in the late 1940s to destroy the wealth of the middle-class and the bourgeoisie.
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 interesting to see JPT back for another go at it, but having a go and having hallucinations two entirely different things. In his opening screed, JPT argued so many points directly contrary to easily established fact, it's hard to understand the intent. People who might believe this nonsense probably already do -- no additional convincing required. For those who don't believe or simply know the facts, arguing that red is blue, or vice versa, is totally unconvincing.

But welcome back, nonetheless.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#8
(08-20-2018, 01:03 PM)David Horn Wrote: It's interesting to see JPT back for another go at it, but having a go and having hallucinations two entirely different things.  In his opening screed, JPT argued so many points directly contrary to easily established fact, it's hard to understand the intent.  People who might believe this nonsense probably already do -- no additional convincing required.  For those who don't believe or simply know the facts, arguing that red is blue, or vice versa, is totally unconvincing.

But welcome back, nonetheless.

Good observation. I have typically seen him as a hit-and-run poster incapable of meeting a sustained argument that criticizes his view on factual reality.

Something else: what he writes looks like plagiarism because not only is it too good to be true (I have been accused of that!) but also that he cannot defend it effectively.
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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#9
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

As an Australian I can provide my own perspective on what has been happening in the United States and put it into a global context. What has been happening in the United States has been happening through the Western World especially in Europe. To me it was obvious that the GFC in 2008 triggered the Fourth Turning and we are about half away through it now.

I have read a fair bit of European history during the Last Fourth Turning, America right now reminds me of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930's. Complete with left and right wing extremists fighting each other on the streets. Victor Davis Hanson terms it "Weimar America", if the United States now is like Weimar Germany before the Great Depression. The prospect what will happen once the next economic downturn comes scares me quite a lot.

Donald Trump's rhetoric reminds me a lot of Hitler, Mussolini or Franco in the 1930's, Victor Davis Hanson made this comparsion as well.
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#10
(09-02-2018, 06:36 AM)Teejay Wrote: America right now reminds me of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930's. Complete with left and right wing extremists fighting each other on the streets.

These extremists are jokes - on both sides. If they weren't, we'd have thousands of victims.

Quote:I think Obama is analogous to FDR

Hell no. If he had defeated Muslim extremists all over the world, that'd be different.
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#11
(08-19-2018, 03:31 AM)Galen Wrote: Obozo is nothing like the Lost were because they would have never passed something as insane as ObozoCare.  If anything they would have looked at the price tag and the debt the US already had and decided it was a bad idea.  One thing the Lost understood was how debt can snowball into an insurmountable problem which is something that Boomers have never managed.  In fact responsibility is something that Boomers in general seem to have trouble with.

Hell yes! Agree 100%.


Maybe he's suffering from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. He might have become a good Nomad, but he identified so much with the "values" of the Boomers...
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#12
(08-19-2018, 01:31 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I expect that if the pattern of "back to nature" occurs, as it is likely to, paganism and neo-paganism will emerge as major trends.

Can't really see that - unless civilization breaks down completely.
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#13
(08-19-2018, 12:12 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: To be sure, 'septuagenarian' does not mean quite the same thing today as it did in the 1930s because people have gotten into old age differently

That's the problem. Nancy Pelosi is still around, and unless the Dems get trounced in a few months, she won't leave.

How can we say we are in a 4T if old Artists are still in leadership positions and talking about values, like in a 3T? That's why it feels like an overly long Unraveling.
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#14
I can't see that Pelosi makes much difference one way or another. She is an effective leader, but it's mostly the party make-up of the House that determines what is done there.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#15
(09-03-2018, 08:24 PM)Hintergrund Wrote:
(08-19-2018, 01:31 AM)Kinser79 Wrote: I expect that if the pattern of "back to nature" occurs, as it is likely to, paganism and neo-paganism will emerge as major trends.

Can't really see that - unless civilization breaks down completely.

The back to nature trends are typical of 2Ts, and I fully expect that again in the next 2T.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#16
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

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

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

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

I see the height of the left being from the New Deal through the Great Society.  As noted, that period ended probably some with the Southern Strategy, but definitely with Reagan's unraveling, taken to an extreme by Trump.  I see the extended unraveling, a alternation of power by the two parties, as the classic 3T compromise approach, but this time the people believe in a divided government while the parties are growing ever more extreme.  Neither set of values are acceptable to the country as a whole.  The best one can do is to flip the see saw regularly, to limit the amount of 'damage' that the extreme in power would cause.

I am starting to see the see saw as an extended unraveling, that the crisis is being blocked by the threat of nuclear weapons internationally and the promise of an inevitable change of power domestically.  The spiral of violence is very limited.  The see saw and the unravelling split in the country will continue until an awakening like movement shifts values to clear blue going on green.  This won't happen until the red see global warming hurting in their lifetimes, and it is not at that level yet.  Cultures are extremely stubborn.  Even then, it might be possible for the red to alter their stance on ecological issues, but drag their heels on economic issues.  A true awakening, with the emotion of the religious awakenings or the 1960s awakening, might be avoided.

But I doubt it.  The currently active generations have sold the planet.  I anticipate the immediate future generations are going to be very angry as the bill comes due.  It will be an angry time, unlike the love and rock n roll 1960s awakening of the blue boomers youth.  At least, I would be angry.  I am already angry.

Values?  Ideally they would be more ecological, less economic.  In the Industrial Age, much of the discussion was division of wealth.  Some people wanted to maximize competition, few if any rules, to maximize the division of wealth.  Others wanted heavier regulation, to cap the division.  Either way, the point of view was that God had given Man dominion of the Earth, that wealth came with exploiting resources, which man did fairly freely.

Ecological values would put the limited number of resources first.  There is only so much.  You only exploit them in a given way.  You worry about division of wealth after.  You look at things in a top down manner.

Marx and Malthus are currently unpopular.  Their worst case predictions never came true.  This is in part because their warnings were taken seriously enough by the elites that their predictions were never allowed to come true.  But, they have not gone away.  At bottom, give or take the Marxist habit of creating a new elite ruling class, Marx and Malthus got the basics right.  Resources will be limited, and the poor will create violence if the limited resources are not distributed reasonably.  You might wish it different, but at bottom the limits are there.  I see things made more clear at the next awakening.
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#17
(09-03-2018, 08:15 PM)Hintergrund Wrote:
(09-02-2018, 06:36 AM)Teejay Wrote: America right now reminds me of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930's. Complete with left and right wing extremists fighting each other on the streets.

These extremists are jokes - on both sides. If they weren't, we'd have thousands of victims.

Quote:I think Obama is analogous to FDR

Hell no. If he had defeated Muslim extremists all over the world, that'd be different.

Obama did nothing to feed anti-American sentiments worldwide; if anything he calmed them. He did whack Osama bin Laden in revenge that the rest of the world seemed to think appropriate. The usual critics of American military strikes (China and Russia)  were scrupulously silent. They would have done much the same against someone who plotted to do 9/11-style attacks on Shanghai or Saint Petersburg (Russia -- not Florida!). Osama bin Laden is little admired, liked, or tolerated in the Islamic world.

But the anti-American sentiments that had been a raging fire had become warm embers that some stupid person could re-ignite if someone did something incredibly stupid, like casting linseed oil upon those embers. Extremists like Donald Trump symbolically do something to aggravate the situation.
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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#18
(09-04-2018, 06:48 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(08-18-2018, 08:01 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: I haven't thought about S&H much for a while, but had a few random thoughts after some time away from it. I've had doubts about various aspects of their theories, especially the more specific details, but I think the more you zoom out, the more credibility it has. It doesn't fit exactly under any category, so I chose General. With that in mind, this is how I see things right now:

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

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

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

I see the height of the left being from the New Deal through the Great Society.  As noted, that period ended probably some with the Southern Strategy, but definitely with Reagan's unraveling, taken to an extreme by Trump.  I see the extended unraveling, a alternation of power by the two parties, as the classic 3T compromise approach, but this time the people believe in a divided government while the parties are growing ever more extreme.  Neither set of values are acceptable to the country as a whole.  The best one can do is to flip the see saw regularly, to limit the amount of 'damage' that the extreme in power would cause.

Indeed, the Boom Awakening is dashed completely, discredited except for music whose demographic (folk and R&B) are decidedly old. Styles reflecting tastes of the Boom Awakening are retro in the sense that styles of the Gay Nineties (and one has to be a Boomer or older to have connections to people who knew that 'Gay Nineties' had nothing to do with male homosexuality) are clearly from an older era. The 1960s are now approaching the distance in time from the current world that the Gay Nineties were from the 1960s. As you say, it is the Reagan Revolution that remains relevant to this day, and it Donald Trump has intensified it to a full-blown assault on every liberal and humanistic tradition in the American heritage in favor of an economic order nearly feudal in its cruel inequity.

If you want a mass-culture analogy to Donald Trump, just think of the semi-fascist setting of the Planet Mongo from Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s that reflected the widespread belief of the time that fascism was the wave of the future because its politics seemed so much more efficient than the messy checks and balances of countries that remained democratic.

Quote:I am starting to see the see saw as an extended unraveling, that the crisis is being blocked by the threat of nuclear weapons internationally and the promise of an inevitable change of power domestically.  The spiral of violence is very limited.  The see saw and the unravelling split in the country will continue until an awakening like movement shifts values to clear blue going on green.  This won't happen until the red see global warming hurting in their lifetimes, and it is not at that level yet.  Cultures are extremely stubborn.  Even then, it might be possible for the red to alter their stance on ecological issues, but drag their heels on economic issues.  A true awakening, with the emotion of the religious awakenings or the 1960s awakening, might be avoided.

I look at the violent rhetoric of Donald Trump and the measured responses of his opponents (we will stick to electoral politics, however inconvenient, and to protests and marches) and I see Americans believing that the Trump phenomenon will itself implode of its own incompetence and cruelty. We Americans are better than that, we think. I can predict domestic violence, but it will take Trump (Pence if something happens to Trump) to instigate it. But -- it will take law enforcement and the military to repress an efforts by the Hard Right to start suppressing dissent.

Should Trump or Pence start calling for the arrest of political opponents or dissidents, we could have something unprecedented in American history: a military coup. How the junta would deal with the situation would define this Crisis Era. How does it win over the support or at least acquiescence of liberals and secular humanists? Or does it establish a Pinochet-style regime that holds that nothing matters except the enrichment and indulgence of economic elites?


Quote:But I doubt it.  The currently active generations have sold the planet.  I anticipate the immediate future generations are going to be very angry as the bill comes due.  It will be an angry time, unlike the love and rock n roll 1960s awakening of the blue boomers youth.  At least, I would be angry.  I am already angry.

Let us remember -- Donald Trump has the classic vices, in accordance with Howe and Strauss' description of idealist generations in the past (he is ruthless, arrogant, and selfish in the extreme) and none of the virtues (he is not at all visionary or principled), and even his one virtue of decisiveness is that he is decisive. Yes -- but he is decisively wrong.

This will not be a cultural struggle. This is not a cultural war between Boomers who turned away from the mass culture of the 1970s when it soured; it is not between those who listen to classical music and those who listen to country music. (Hey, give credit to Boomers for making a cultural icon out of Gustav Mahler!) This is an internal struggle between fascism and basic human decency. This is a struggle between right-wing populism against everything else. At this point we are beginning to see a conservative and right-libertarian opposition to Trump as conservatives begin to recognize the dangers of populism even if such fits some of their political values and as Right libertarians recognize Trump economics as little more than crony capitalism (socialism for the economic elites). What remains of Trump support is now largely one faction of people whose values formed at the end of the Awakening Era, the Religious Right that offered a secular Calvinism as an economic norm while offering a smug self-righteousness.

It may be ironic that the last surviving relic of the Boom Awakening that has any real influence is the fundamentalist and evangelical Christianity that claims Jesus but has Ayn Rand as its political and economic messiah.


Quote:Values?  Ideally they would be more ecological, less economic.  In the Industrial Age, much of the discussion was division of wealth.  Some people wanted to maximize competition, few if any rules, to maximize the division of wealth.  Others wanted heavier regulation, to cap the division.  Either way, the point of view was that God had given Man dominion of the Earth, that wealth came with exploiting resources, which man did fairly freely.


Ecological values would put the limited number of resources first.  There is only so much.  You only exploit them in a given way.  You worry about division of wealth after.  You look at things in a top down manner.

Man could get dominion over the Earth only when there were few people and the technology was that of hunter-gatherers. Today we have technologies that an deplete resources (especially fossil fuels) and unleash dangerous chemicals. We have more people competing for such critical assets as real estate. We are clearly at the point in which economic rents that make the cost of living balloon are outpacing technological innovation that give us more and better technological goodies. With enough population pressure we Americans will come to envy people who thought radio, phonographs, automobiles, and refrigerators the wonders of technological progress for not having to work so many hours just to pay off landlords and tax collectors. (Indeed, much of the cost of technical improvements result from increasing cost of real estate to build new public buildings and expand existing highways are reflected in higher taxes). 

The more crowded our cities and suburbs get, the more some of us find ourselves in a lust to enjoy nature at its most pristine -- where it survives.

Quote:Marx and Malthus are currently unpopular.  Their worst case predictions never came true.  This is in part because their warnings were taken seriously enough by the elites that their predictions were never allowed to come true.  But, they have not gone away.  At bottom, give or take the Marxist habit of creating a new elite ruling class, Marx and Malthus got the basics right.  Resources will be limited, and the poor will create violence if the limited resources are not distributed reasonably.  You might wish it different, but at bottom the limits are there.  I see things made more clear at the next awakening.

We don't want to believe them; we do everything possible to make them irrelevant. We have old-age benefit programs that have the effect of ensuring that people do not render large numbers of children destitute out of the hope that the children will keep their parents or grandparents from running out of food. It is telling that where real estate prices are so high that middle-class families cannot afford the two-bedroom apartments necessary for raising children up to middle-class standards, most of the children are themselves offspring of people who moved into those areas after having children. The "children" that many in New York City and Silicon Valley dote upon are... dogs and cats. Marx warns of us of the danger of a proletarian revolution, but he neglected to recognize that the political hacks and business executives that would become the ruling elite in Socialist states or that would arise in capitalist plutocracies would become a privileged elite in its own right would become just as corrupt and pecuniary as slave-owners of classical antiquity, feudal lords of medieval Europe and China, and the early capitalists of Marx' early capitalist order of an agrarian world giving way to an industrial world. Selfish greed  and unrestrained indulgence seem to go with economic power that elites invariably define as the social optimum.

Marx, meet George Orwell and Milovan Djilas, the people who recognize that even socialism (let alone the pure plutocracy that Ayn Rand and Donald Trump exemplify) can exist without social justice. The most common command in history, essentially "Suffer for my gain, indulgence, and power, ye slaves or peons" is as alive in contemporary America as it was in the Egypt of the Pharaohs.
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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#19
Pbrower

You see the blue side as right, the red side is wrong, and everything you write if from that perspective.  Part of me wants to join you.  I see the progressive side as much closer to the future and what I anticipate we will need.  When we finally get sick of the stalemate and start solving problems again, it will likely be the progressives that come out on top.  I do lean blue.

But there are some who lean red, and some who lean extreme red, with equal intensity and sincerity.

But I do recognize that neither party, culture or way of looking at things fits the whole country.  When you look at things from the theoretical point of view, you have to accept that or you end up with projections that don’t fit, with prophecies that don’t come true.  I acknowledge your point of view, but I also acknowledge the red and say with conviction that you don’t get it, don’t understand.  I think your prophecies are way off, the product of a extremist mind.
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#20
(09-04-2018, 01:47 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Pbrower

You see the blue side as right, the red side is wrong, and everything you write if from that perspective.  Part of me wants to join you.  I see the progressive side as much closer to the future and what I anticipate we will need.  When we finally get sick of the stalemate and start solving problems again, it will likely be the progressives that come out on top.  I do lean blue.

Absolutely. Once progressives start solving some of the problems that we have, they will surely create some problems that the Right will seek to exploit or at least rectify. Not long ago the Left attributed criminal behavior largely to economic deprivation and social marginalization while the Right saw criminality as a consequence of bad character. The truth was that many very poor people still remained poor, yet did not become criminal predators despite experiencing much the same economic deprivation and social marginalization. Besides, serial killers like Gary Ridgway and John Gacy were anything but deprived and marginalized. Were the cause of crime deprivation and marginalization, then practically everyone who endured severe hardship would be a criminal. The evidence that the nastiest ghettos have some very good people is a paradoxical  case that character is not the result of having good breaks.

Quote:But there are some who lean red, and some who lean extreme red, with equal intensity and sincerity.

I am satisfied that many Nazis and Stalinists believed  sincerely what led them to do horrible things. I am also satisfied that plenty of American believed that the only good Indian was a dead Indian, and that slavery was beneficence toward the slaves. Sincere belief in an evil cause is tragic and pitiable, but it is still evil.

Quote:But I do recognize that neither party, culture or way of looking at things fits the whole country.  When you look at things from the theoretical point of view, you have to accept that or you end up with projections that don’t fit, with prophecies that don’t come true.  I acknowledge your point of view, but I also acknowledge the red and say with conviction that you don’t get it, don’t understand.  I think your prophecies are way off, the product of a extremist mind.

Liberty must be the objective over social equity, economic gain, and support for my cultural values. This is a Crisis Era, and all sorts of things can happen, many of them consummately evil. We need only contemplate the last Crisis Era.

It is possible that we will end up with a new feudalism in which the masses have great responsibilities to elites and the common man is expendable if he falters. Maybe we will end up a happy people after society somehow culls out those who do not fit in through flight or death. Such is a possible result of Darwinian selection. Sadists as rulers and masochists as their subjects? That might work for a while, but that is a world in which I would be killed. To put it in the bluntest terms possible, nobody can be more free than the person who believes that death can solve all his problems. Consider those early Christian martyrs who heard the roars of Big Cats or the growls of bears... many believed that those monstrous predators would be their deliverance from a sordid world and a doomed body.


My prophecies are predictions based on what has happened elsewhere. This Crisis does not have the American Revolution as a model, as we are not under the thumb of a despotic king who has decided to micromanage things from his distant throne. This is not the American Civil War redux, as we do not have a debate on slavery.  This is not the Great Depression as a replay; even if the Crash of 2008 started much like the Crash of 1929 after a year and a half, the political system backed the banks and started a recovery. World War II? Does anyone see a Hitler or a Tojo?  I see Trump having much in common with Mussolini, but that is a Mussolini in the 1920s and not in the 1940s. The United States is not yet totalitarian -- just authoritarian -- and this authoritarian trend can be reversed with the New Birth of Freedom as Lincoln called for.

Spain in the 1920s or Yugoslavia in the 1990s? Either looks more relevant than any Crisis that I know in American history.Until this Crisis is largely decided at the least in style, such looks possible. But so is what Orwell saw as a possibility:

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/george_orwell_159438

Still possible here. Trump must go if America is to have any "new birth of freedom". January 20, 2021 might still be the optimum after his authority is gutted.
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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