Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Trump, Bannon and the Coming Crisis
#1
David Kaiser, historian and author, posted a column today in Time.com that is highly relevant to Fourth Turning theory, and how Donald Trump and Stephen Bannon fit into the current crisis epoch: "Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon and the Coming Crisis in American National Life"

http://time.com/4575780/stephen-bannon-f...emailshare

Below are select excerpts:

During the  1990s, two amateur historians, Neil Howe and the late William Strauss, developed a new theory of American history in two books...They identified an 80-year cycle in American history, punctuated by great crises that destroyed an old order and created a new one.

Though their theory is not widely taught in colleges or discussed in the media, Strauss and Howe may well play a major role in Donald Trump's administration.  Stephen Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News who has been appointed Trump's chief strategist in the White House, is very familiar with Strauss and Howe's theory of crisis, and has been thinking about how to use it to achieve particular goals for quite a while.  I know this because Bannon interviewed both Neil Howe and myself in 2009 while he was making a documentary film about the ongoing financial crisis.  The film, called Generation Zero, discussed those ideas in some detail...

Strauss and Howe's major prediction has now obviously come true: Few would deny that the U.S. has been in a serious political crisis for some time, marked by intense partisan division, a very severe recession, war abroad and, above all, a breakdown in the ties between the country and its political establishment...

The power of Strauss and Howe's theory of crisis comes from its lack of a specific ideology.  My own interpretation of it is that the death of an old political, economic and social order creates an opportunity for any determined movement or leader to put a new vision in place.  To use the most striking example, both the United States and Germany were in the midst of a terrible economic and political crisis in 1933.  The United States turned to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; Germany turned to Adolf Hitler and National Socialism. 

In 2009, when Bannon and I met, I [had] hoped that Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress would use the economic crisis of our own age to revive the values of the New Deal.  Bannon obviously had other ideas about where the crisis would lead.

As it turned out Obama failed to embark on a New Deal.  He evidently believed that there was nothing fundamentally wrong with our system and that it could be fixed with only marginal adjustments.  Late in his term, he told David Remnick of the New Yorker that presidents could not, in fact, remake American society, and that that was a good thing.  That differentiated him from Lincoln and FDR--and also from today's Republican Party.

Since at least 2000, in my opinion, the Republican Party has managed to seize and generally keep the initiative during our current crisis precisely because it is the revolutionary party of change, while the Democrats are essentially the party of the status quo...

Trump, Bannon and the rest of the Trump campaign have already managed to destroy the old political order...

What will they do?  Their rhetoric and personalities, viewed in the context of Strauss and Howe's theory of crisis, suggest they will not be bound by existing precedents and that they will rely on their own view of the heroes and villains of our time.

Generation Zero slanted the story of the economic crisis rather cleverly.  On the one hand, plenty of contributors pointed out that greed and shoddy banking practices had brought about the economic collapse, but the ultimate blame is placed on liberals, bureaucrats and established politicians.  And just as Republican politicians and commentators have done for the last seven years, many of the contributors--speaking at the dawn of the Obama administration--pictured a horrible fate under Barack Obama, featuring economic catastrophe and attempts to impose socialism.

This, however, is one of the terrible things about crisis periods: many people will believe almost anything.  The United States faces a terrible crisis right now even though our economy is much improved from eight years ago and we are not involved in a large war.  And the Republican Party and Donald Trump are poised to take advantage of it.  In my opinion, Trump, Bannon...and the rest will use their opportunity during the next year or two to undo as much of the Democratic legacy as they can--not only the Obama legacy, but that of FDR and LBJ as well.

Meanwhile, however, two other dangers lurk--one of then embodied in my most vivid memory of my own encounter with Bannon...

Apocalyptic rhetoric and apocalyptic thinking flourish during crisis periods.  This represents perhaps the biggest danger of the Trump presidency, and one that will bear watching from all concerned citizens in the months and years ahead.

An editorial comment of my own: 

I disagree somewhat with Kaiser that the Trump campaign has already "managed to destroy the old political order."  Neoliberalism, the latest and most pernicious mutation of capitalism, is the old political/economic order that still holds sway in America and, indeed, in much of the developed world.  Neoliberalism is broken, of that I have no doubt.  But it still clings desperately to life and could, in fact, enjoy one supercharged last gasp in a Trump administration.

I agree with Chris Hedges that we are in an interregnum, which Antonio Gramsci defined in his Prison Notebooks: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” 

Cornel West believes that neoliberalism has already given way to neo-fascism with the triumph of Donald Trump.  I'm not yet ready to concede that point, though, as Kaiser suggests in his conclusion, the Trump presidency bears close watching.
Reply
#2
You know, David was a frequent poster here from the forum's start and for many years.

According to the patterns of history, we were supposed to have already traversed that "interregnum" when fascism was defeated. In fact, I think Europe DID experience something of a renaissance in the last 2 decades, as was supposed to happen after the periodic "interregnum" when "a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." I see this via the TV travel programs, showing streets open to tourists, with art and crafts flourishing and liberation having opened up their societies.

But America has missed the bus. The Renaissance here was demonized, and now the Crisis is magnified. The saeculum is a shorter cycle than the cycle of civilization, so we can pray that the interregum will be short, and that we'll come out the other side after the 2020s. But the outcome of 4Ts is never guaranteed.

Obama became president only months into the Crisis. As I pointed out to David, it had not had enough time to fester and convince people that the old order was to blame for a terrible crisis. So Obama could come in and enact band-aid measures, and the Tea Party could then react to them, still believing in the old order and convincing the rural/libertarian half of the country to agree with them-- thus cutting short any possibility of a "regeneracy" like the New Deal.

So, whatever movement is going to happen to transform our country, it has to get going now first as a resistance to Trump and the GOP. I can't agree with those who say that such talk is too partisan or demonizing. We either get moving, or we surrender our country to those who want a banana republic. Middle America already IS a banana republic; that's what they've chosen to become. The question remains, do the rest of us defeat them, separate from them, or surrender to them. Those are the 3 choices. In a 4T, you have to take sides. That's what some people posting here don't seem to grasp yet.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#3
(11-18-2016, 03:17 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: You know, David was a frequent poster here from the forum's start and for many years.

Yes, and I check in on his History Unfolding blog from time to time: http://historyunfolding.blogspot.com/
Reply
#4
Sometimes nations in a 4T try all sorts of bad solutions before coming up with the right one -- or as in the cases of Germany, Italy, and Japan, having the right solution imposed upon them.

Let us hope that we do not need to have some foreign power or powers imposing some right solution upon us. I can contemplate the worst possible solution very easily, having read The Man in the High Castle.   Even It Can't Happen Here may have had a start in America this time... but the novel has a happy ending.
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.


Reply
#5
Did it? I didn't get around to reading that one, although I read a number of Sinclair Lewis works.

There is still enough democracy for a revival to occur, no doubt after a great deal of damage is done. It will have to start now, and not bear fruit for years to come. But it can come before the end of this 4T, with several years to spare. If not, then yes, I have foreseen before in my writings the possibility of a foreign invasion of the USA, perhaps to divide up the spoils; perhaps to restore sanity. It will all come down in the 2020s.

And I don't just mean a takeover by the Russian agent government (that may have already occurred), or a cyber attack or hacking or something like that. I mean a literal ground invasion.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#6
I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?
Reply
#7
(11-23-2016, 07:09 PM)anandrajan Wrote: I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?

By the Strauss & Howe Generational theory, a crisis is unavoidable, and in fact we are in the beginning or middle stages of it.  Strauss & Howe do not insist that all crises involved major wars, but the three they cover in their seminal book Generations all involved major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

To the extent Bannon believes this theory, and it seems he does, he will not be engineering any kind of war.  The war will happen on its own.  Bannon may try to shape the crisis so the war is less destructive to America.

Note that some related theorists believe that the coming war will necessarily be nuclear, and involve the expenditure of all nuclear weapons on all sides.  Compared to that, a financial world war would be rather less destructive.
Reply
#8
(11-23-2016, 08:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 07:09 PM)anandrajan Wrote: I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?

By the Strauss & Howe Generational theory, a crisis is unavoidable, and in fact we are in the beginning or middle stages of it.  Strauss & Howe do not insist that all crises involved major wars, but the three they cover in their seminal book Generations all involved major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

To the extent Bannon believes this theory, and it seems he does, he will not be engineering any kind of war.  The war will happen on its own.  Bannon may try to shape the crisis so the war is less destructive to America.

Note that some related theorists believe that the coming war will necessarily be nuclear, and involve the expenditure of all nuclear weapons on all sides.  Compared to that, a financial world war would be rather less destructive.

Depending on where one places the start of the Crisis of 2020... it may have begun as early as 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and perhaps as late as 2008 with the financial meltdown beginning to look like a replay of the Great Depression. I consider the Obama years analogous to the first two terms of FDR with a slow and steady (if not widely appreciated) improvement in economic conditions and comparative peace in politics.

The election of Donald Trump and the consolidation of Republican power in almost all state legislatures (Illinois and Minnesota are exceptions) between the Rockies and the Atlantic Seaboard mark a clear tendency to the dominance of the  Republican Party as it becomes increasingly authoritarian and reactionary. If the Trump Revolution is the final stage, then America can become a Christian and Corporate State with an Apartheid order with the sort of economic inequality characteristic of a feudal order, plantation society, or fascist regime for a very long time in part because the Republicans could change the Constitution practically at will (even to the extent of enshrining the Republican party as the 'leading force of American political life' (Article 6 of the last Soviet Constitution) and establishing something like Article 58 of the Soviet Criminal Code (which defines everybody for all practical purposes as a criminal if showing any sign of dissent). Yes, the Free World could swiftly lose about 300 million people very quickly... and those 300 million people could quickly find themselves subjects of an upstart Evil Empire.

It is also possible that the next four years will show much more polarization between opposing sides, especially if the Right  chooses to render irrelevant, let alone criminalize, a near majority. At the worst I can imagine an America that has all the usual features of a brutal police state in the service of a plutocratic elite. We can expect, at least for a time, much of the political activity that got roundly defeated in the 2016 election taking to the streets in (one hopes) peaceful protests, rallies, and demonstrations. But should rhe ruling elites have their flunkies resort to violence, then we have the most unstable  situation in America since the Civil War.  Beware any new or expanded federal police force or the appearance of private militias that the government or GOP subsidizes for enforcing the will of the economic elites.

Expect minority-rights, feminist, labor, and environmentalist groups to challenge the validity of a political elite that effectively says "We won -- you're done!"  I also dread a dominant-party reality in its inchoate stage to attempt to legislate its permanent, and more complete dominance of political life in elections by regulating, marginalizing, or even outlawing the opposition  -- and imposing a rigid censorship and ensuring that most opportunity goes solely to those who are 'politically trustworthy'.

The bleak scenario is that the Right gets its way permanently, implodes in some aggressive war that goes badly, or falls to an equally-intolerant Leftist (Marxist-Leninist) regime as the result of a Socialist insurrection. The brighter one is "one and done" with Donald Trump as Americans choose to be rid of authoritarians who have nothing to offer but toil and fear. A 240-year history of democracy will not go down easily, especially when many Americans know how to contest irresponsible rule (the Civil Rights struggle of Southern blacks). This time there will be more people, more places, and more issues -- and a government likely as clueless as the likes of Bull Connor in an earlier time. The Hard Right cannot expect the military and police to obey orders to fire into peaceful protesters; not even Ceausescu or Marcos could pull that off.

I know that I can make some witty placards. I know of one slogan that I can offer on reproductive rights:

KEEP YOUR PAWS OFF MY PUSSY AND YOUR LAWS OFF MY UTERUS
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.


Reply
#9
(11-24-2016, 08:01 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 08:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 07:09 PM)anandrajan Wrote: I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?

By the Strauss & Howe Generational theory, a crisis is unavoidable, and in fact we are in the beginning or middle stages of it.  Strauss & Howe do not insist that all crises involved major wars, but the three they cover in their seminal book Generations all involved major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

To the extent Bannon believes this theory, and it seems he does, he will not be engineering any kind of war.  The war will happen on its own.  Bannon may try to shape the crisis so the war is less destructive to America.

Note that some related theorists believe that the coming war will necessarily be nuclear, and involve the expenditure of all nuclear weapons on all sides.  Compared to that, a financial world war would be rather less destructive.


The bleak scenario is that the Right gets its way permanently, implodes in some aggressive war that goes badly, or falls to an equally-intolerant Leftist (Marxist-Leninist) regime as the result of a Socialist insurrection. The brighter one is "one and done" with Donald Trump as Americans choose to be rid of authoritarians who have nothing to offer but toil and fear. A 240-year history of democracy will not go down easily, especially when many Americans know how to contest irresponsible rule (the Civil Rights struggle of Southern blacks). This time there will be more people, more places, and more issues -- and a government likely as clueless as the likes of Bull Connor in an earlier time. The Hard Right cannot expect the military and police to obey orders to fire into peaceful protesters; not even Ceausescu or Marcos could pull that off.
My concern is that we take the cyclic aspect of Strauss and Howe too literally and act as enablers during the crisis period. After all, awareness of 4T can help forestall or diminish its impact if we collectively act to inform people of Bannon's crackpot apocalyptic views. After looking at a lot of posts here, it's easy to see that this forum is unique in that (i) it has a dark view of the next decade or so but (ii) sees a light at the end of the tunnel by 2030. Given this predictive vision, we could collectively be a composite Hari Seldon (from Asimov's Foundation series) and diminish the crisis and its length. All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).
Reply
#10
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: After all, awareness of 4T can help forestall or diminish its impact

Can you cite any empirical evidence of that?  My experience with quantitative psychohistorical predictions is that knowledge of them helps not a whit in changing them.  Individuals cannot stem the tide of history.

Quote:(iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

A Trump presidency is no more likely to go off the rails than a Clinton presidency would have.  Many of us considered Clinton the greater threat in that she increased the odds of the crisis being resolved in a U.S. versus Russia nuclear war.  And if you are correct that knowledge of the theory makes it possible to forestall the worst consequences - which I doubt - then you should think Bannon is the best person possible to have in charge, since he's likely the one member of the elites who best understands the theory.  I'm sure he doesn't want to be incinerated in a nuclear war any more than you or I do.
Reply
#11
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: ... All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

Even if your assumption is true, and I don't think it is, I still think informing isn't enough.  Convincing would be required.  And as you can see there are so many diverse viewpoints around that I'm pretty sure that's not achievable at any kind of mass scale.

Ultimately I believe that the reason the 4T happens is due to an increasing sense of urgency; that things are so bad that we must do something, anything ... but the status quo is not an option. And that seems to be where we are.  Awareness of the cycles wouldn't change that.
"But there's a difference between error and dishonesty, and it's not a trivial difference." - Ben Greenman
"Relax, it'll be all right, and by that I mean it will first get worse."
"How was I supposed to know that there'd be consequences for my actions?" - Gina Linetti
Reply
#12
The problem with "Clinton meant war while Trump did not," is that Trump's foreign policy is far more dangerous. It is just as dangerous to leave the door open for a tyrant to invade; that's called appeasement. What makes it worse in Trump's case is that he is quick to turn on erstwhile allies. Any betrayal, and he attacks. That would happen if Putin perceives that it is allowed by Trump to attack a NATO country like Estonia, which harbors a large Russian population. If Putin did attack, Trump would cry betrayal and declare war. Trump's statements that more countries should have nuclear weapons, his advocacy of war crimes and his appointment of a war criminal as his advisor, and his promise to provide himself with more and bigger war toys, are just more of the dangers of the Trump presidency. Whereas Hillary was an experienced and talented diplomat who knows when to back off from a confrontation, without allowing tyrants' ambitions to run wild.

All I can do is hope the astrological cycle I discovered holds true, and the USA is not going out on another adventure until Jupiter returns to its place in our American horoscope again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAoeW5fXJYU

It's not due until 2025-26.

If the cycle holds, then it didn't matter which one was elected. We are not going to war.

We just had the latest return as we went off to help in Syria, almost bombing it, and then to fight the IS in Iraq and Syria.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#13
(11-25-2016, 04:24 PM)tg63 Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: ... All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

Even if your assumption is true, and I don't think it is, I still think informing isn't enough.  Convincing would be required.  And as you can see there are so many diverse viewpoints around that I'm pretty sure that's not achievable at any kind of mass scale.

Ultimately I believe that the reason the 4T happens is due to an increasing sense of urgency; that things are so bad that we must do something, anything ... but the status quo is not an option. And that seems to be where we are.  Awareness of the cycles wouldn't change that.

It's too early to say if awareness of the saeculum might lessen the danger of a 4T. First, of course, though the public is aware of Strauss and Howe's generation of "millennials," for which they coined the name, the public is not so much aware of the saeculum and the turnings, except for a few folks-- apparently including Al Gore and Steve Bannon.

But I notice awareness of a cycle can sometimes bring it to an end in astrology, if that means anything. The best example is the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn assassination/death in office cycle. After JFK, presidents have been more careful and better protected. The cycle itself became quite famous. Nancy Reagan even used astrology to advise her husband, who was next on the list of victims if the cycle had held. And she knew all about it. He did just miss getting assassinated "by inches" in 1981.

I think the "Saturn Return" has some notoriety too, which may explain why candidates are now more reluctant to run for president when they are between 55 and 59 years old. We haven't had as many presidents run when their Saturn Return was due. George W. Bush braved it, and suffered through its tribulations; but Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo and others begged off at the right time. The last major party nominees who were defeated when a Saturn Return was due were the series of Democrats who lost in the 1980s. But that's just when astrology became more famous. Although Howard Dean ran when his was due, and then he screamed.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#14
(11-25-2016, 04:47 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 04:24 PM)tg63 Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: ... All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

Even if your assumption is true, and I don't think it is, I still think informing isn't enough.  Convincing would be required.  And as you can see there are so many diverse viewpoints around that I'm pretty sure that's not achievable at any kind of mass scale.

Ultimately I believe that the reason the 4T happens is due to an increasing sense of urgency; that things are so bad that we must do something, anything ... but the status quo is not an option. And that seems to be where we are.  Awareness of the cycles wouldn't change that.

It's too early to say if awareness of the saeculum might lessen the danger of a 4T. First, of course, though the public is aware of Strauss and Howe's generation of "millennials," for which they coined the name, the public is not so much aware of the saeculum and the turnings, except for a few folks-- apparently including Al Gore and Steve Bannon.

But I notice awareness of a cycle can sometimes bring it to an end in astrology, if that means anything. The best example is the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn assassination/death in office cycle. After JFK, presidents have been more careful and better protected. The cycle itself became quite famous. Nancy Reagan even used astrology to advise her husband, who was next on the list of victims if the cycle had held. And she knew all about it. He did just miss getting assassinated "by inches" in 1981.

My interest really is in harnessing the power of a community that has a shared vision of the future and mobilizing it in service of solving problems. This forum (and by extension, community) has a very interesting shared vision: that we are in a 4T crisis which will probably be resolved by 202X. This shared vision is quite unique and different and can be harnessed. Further, the available technologies for mass reach are exponentially better in this cycle than previous ones which means this community (if it can be unified) is capable of reaching a LOT of people and changing minds. That may be quite important going forward if things descend (as expected) into chaos over the next decade.
Reply
#15
I just read the Time article and I am finding it very disturbing.   

I have thought in the past about how it might impact the turnings (and specifically a fourth turning)  if Strauss and Howe's theories were more widely known   I have thought about the possibility of people altering their behavior in anticipation of the turnings and saecula of history.  On a the individual level, some people who are familiar with Strauss/Howe theory ('S/HT') could believe they can anticipate coming events and adjust their individual behavior to try to gain an advantage in deciding where to live, what career to pursue, what investments to make, or even whether to build a survival bunker or flee their country. If such anticipatory changes in behavior happen on a broad enough scale, they could even impact the path and outcome of the turnings and saeculum themselves.  Perhaps even the behavioral adjustments of even a small number of individuals could have a significant impact on the outcome of a turning.

What I had not previously considered, and what I am now aware and fearful of, is the possibility of an individual using their knowledge of S/HT to advance a more nefarious agenda.  It now appears to me that this may be exactly what Steve Bannon is trying to do.

I will freely admit my bias.  I am no fan of Mr. Trump or Mr. Bannon.  I have believed for well over a year and a half that Mr. Trump is an extremely dangerous man and that his election to the Presidency would very likely have disastrous consequences.  My awareness of Mr. Bannon before he became CEO of Trump's campaign in August, was pretty much limited to the fact that the online publication he ran was trash, and not journalism worthy of paying any attention to.

Learning via the Time article that Bannon is both a student of ST/H and also is the founder of Citizens United (of 2010 Supreme Court fame) sets off so many alarms my ears are ringing.  Bannon helped get Trump elected and now has his ear.  Trump is easily manipulated and craves the praise and attention that Bannon and his "former" publication will heap on him.

I used to just worry that Bannon was Goebbels, now I am wondering if he may be the one who will really be running the show.

Is Bannon some sort of supervillian?
Reply
#16
(11-25-2016, 08:24 PM)anandrajan Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 04:47 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 04:24 PM)tg63 Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: ... All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

Even if your assumption is true, and I don't think it is, I still think informing isn't enough.  Convincing would be required.  And as you can see there are so many diverse viewpoints around that I'm pretty sure that's not achievable at any kind of mass scale.

Ultimately I believe that the reason the 4T happens is due to an increasing sense of urgency; that things are so bad that we must do something, anything ... but the status quo is not an option. And that seems to be where we are.  Awareness of the cycles wouldn't change that.

It's too early to say if awareness of the saeculum might lessen the danger of a 4T. First, of course, though the public is aware of Strauss and Howe's generation of "millennials," for which they coined the name, the public is not so much aware of the saeculum and the turnings, except for a few folks-- apparently including Al Gore and Steve Bannon.

But I notice awareness of a cycle can sometimes bring it to an end in astrology, if that means anything. The best example is the 20-year Jupiter-Saturn assassination/death in office cycle. After JFK, presidents have been more careful and better protected. The cycle itself became quite famous. Nancy Reagan even used astrology to advise her husband, who was next on the list of victims if the cycle had held. And she knew all about it. He did just miss getting assassinated "by inches" in 1981.

My interest really is in harnessing the power of a community that has a shared vision of the future and mobilizing it in service of solving problems. This forum (and by extension, community) has a very interesting shared vision: that we are in a 4T crisis which will probably be resolved by 202X. This shared vision is quite unique and different and can be harnessed. Further, the available technologies for mass reach are exponentially better in this cycle than previous ones which means this community (if it can be unified) is capable of reaching a LOT of people and changing minds. That may be quite important going forward if things descend (as expected) into chaos over the next decade.

That is a good point. Perhaps more awareness of the cycle could help the public mind to accomodate itself to the crisis and understand things from a longer view.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#17
(11-18-2016, 08:31 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Sometimes nations in a 4T try all sorts of bad solutions before coming up with the right one ...

I don't see how e can avoid a period of experimentation, since we are totally in the dark about the course we must follow.  Isn't that a huge part of the 4T ethic?  If we knew what to do, there would be no reason for a crisis.

FWIW, I assume the next iteration will involve a full restructuring of the system we have currently locked in place by the Constitution.  Doing that will be hard ... very hard.  It could involve the Constitutional convention that has never happened to date, or some form of social disintegration that leads to who-knows-what.  In any case, it will be dramatic, if it happens.  Stasis is also a possibility, and crisis will simply pass unresolved for now. 
If the solution is the non-solution, then the next 2T will see the last 2T on steroids, and the 4T ... I hate to think.  We're running a post-modern America on an Agricultural Age political model.  At some point, that has to break down.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
Reply
#18
(11-25-2016, 01:59 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: A Trump presidency is no more likely to go off the rails than a Clinton presidency would have.  Many of us considered Clinton the greater threat in that she increased the odds of the crisis being resolved in a U.S. versus Russia nuclear war.  And if you are correct that knowledge of the theory makes it possible to forestall the worst consequences - which I doubt - then you should think Bannon is the best person possible to have in charge, since he's likely the one member of the elites who best understands the theory.  I'm sure he doesn't want to be incinerated in a nuclear war any more than you or I do.

... or he may believe that a first strike is feasible, if handled properly.  Let's be honest here; Bannon is more enigma than seer.   Trump is even worse, having no grounding and no governing philosophy other than personal profit.  In less hectic times, that may have been acceptable, albeit undesirable in the extreme.  Now, its dangerous to a degree we can't even accurately determine..
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
Reply
#19
(11-25-2016, 04:24 PM)tg63 Wrote:
(11-25-2016, 10:20 AM)anandrajan Wrote: ... All it would take is to (i) inform everyone of Bannon's apocalyptic craziness, (ii) talk to white nationalists if possible and explain the clear cut vision of the next 1T and (iii) reach high profile Trump supporters like Scott Adams (Dilbert) via twitter etc. and explain how the Trump presidency is likely to go off the rails (global financial crisis, actual WW III etc.).

Even if your assumption is true, and I don't think it is, I still think informing isn't enough.  Convincing would be required.  And as you can see there are so many diverse viewpoints around that I'm pretty sure that's not achievable at any kind of mass scale.

Ultimately I believe that the reason the 4T happens is due to an increasing sense of urgency; that things are so bad that we must do something, anything ... but the status quo is not an option. And that seems to be where we are.  Awareness of the cycles wouldn't change that.

I agree to a large extent, but the one wrinkle in all this is the willingness of hoi polloi to be convince of anything.  They are immune to argument based on demonstrable facts, and emotional arguments tend to support the thinking you wish to change.  Do you see a third alternative?
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
Reply
#20
(11-27-2016, 12:26 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(11-18-2016, 08:31 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Sometimes nations in a 4T try all sorts of bad solutions before coming up with the right one ...

I don't see how we can avoid a period of experimentation, since we are totally in the dark about the course we must follow.  Isn't that a huge part of the 4T ethic?  If we knew what to do, there would be no reason for a crisis.

FWIW, I assume the next iteration will involve a full restructuring of the system we have currently locked in place by the Constitution.  Doing that will be hard ... very hard.  It could involve the Constitutional convention that has never happened to date, or some form of social disintegration that leads to who-knows-what.  In any case, it will be dramatic, if it happens.  Stasis is also a possibility, and crisis will simply pass unresolved for now. 

If the solution is the non-solution, then the next 2T will see the last 2T on steroids, and the 4T ... I hate to think.  We're running a post-modern America on an Agricultural Age political model.  At some point, that has to break down.


It is the neglectful government of a 3T, the bad business practices, and the perverse mass culture that form the Degeneracy that implodes as a Crisis. The 3T is the time of hidden rot (especially the intensification of economic inequality and the degradation of public service); the 4T usually strikes when a do-nothing leader is in charge and has no clue of how to meet the Crisis.

The problem isn't our Constitution; it is that cunning, ruthless people have found ways to get around its intent for their own gain and power. We will need a new political structure that counteracts those tendencies.

Would proportional representation solve gerrymandering?  Probably. Although there are Representatives who do excellent service for their constituents and get re-elected for that, many seem more attentive to corporate lobbyists. Might we want to fully scrap the Electoral College? It would be well enough if the candidate getting the plurality with at least 45% of the popular vote would win.  The idea that some votes matter more than others is itself undemocratic. But get less than the threshold (which could also be 47.5%), and the provisions of the Electoral College and subsequent rules would follow.

We do not have a representative democracy anymore. Lobbyists really control the House and Senate -- and most state legislatures. We were already one extremist away from the death of American democracy since 2000... and now we have the extremist. The Republican Party seems to be saying to Democrats now, "We won, you're done!"
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.


Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Neil Howe: Where did Steve Bannon get his worldview? From my book. Dan '82 32 12,157 04-21-2017, 12:35 PM
Last Post: Eric the Green
  Steve Bannon is obsessed with The Fourth Turning Dan '82 17 6,049 02-06-2017, 02:27 PM
Last Post: pbrower2a

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)