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COVID-19 is the perfect 4T event?
#1
One thing that The Fourth Turning predicted is that in the 4T, private life would slow down while public life would undergo rapid change. The 3T prioritization of the needs of the individual would fall to the wayside as the need to protect the community became paramount.

Well, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly seems to have made this happen very rapidly. Suddenly we all must consume much less, put aside our needs for amusement and material satisfaction, and sacrifice our way of life in order to preserve the lives of our fellow citizens.

I'm thinking there are other things about the pandemic that are making it almost like the perfect event to usher in a 4T.

* The sudden need to respect government authority and for the crisis to be handled with a top-down approach.
* The sudden re-focus on family & domestic life, including the new need for child care at home since schools are closed.
* Celebrity culture (a hallmark of the 3T) is suddenly completely irrelevant.
Steve Barrera

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

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#2
(04-04-2020, 12:32 PM)sbarrera Wrote: One thing that The Fourth Turning predicted is that in the 4T, private life would slow down while public life would undergo rapid change. The 3T prioritization of the needs of the individual would fall to the wayside as the need to protect the community became paramount.

Well, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly seems to have made this happen very rapidly. Suddenly we all must consume much less, put aside our needs for amusement and material satisfaction, and sacrifice our way of life in order to preserve the lives of our fellow citizens.

I'm thinking there are other things about the pandemic that are making it almost like the perfect event to usher in a 4T.

* The sudden need to respect government authority and for the crisis to be handled with a top-down approach.
* The sudden re-focus on family & domestic life, including the new need for child care at home since schools are closed.
* Celebrity culture (a hallmark of the 3T) is suddenly completely irrelevant.
I agree with everything you said here.  Although my takeaway from Generations was that in a 4T, the rate of cultural activity/innovation slows down, while the rate of political activity/innovation speeds up.  And that doesn't start to reverse until the waning days of the 1T (i.e., late-1950s Beat Culture.)

But regardless of which aspects you choose to emphasize, one thing is true: the 4T is when big changes happen to the ways we live our daily lives.  I tend to think that the 4T seige-mentality was just lying there in the tall grass, waiting for the right triggering event to slither out, and strike.  And now it's happened.

One thing I like about Generational Theorists is that they make at least some effort to keep it apolitical (a rare commodity in these tribal days).  After all, this is a discipline that's about discerning the deeper trends that underlie the political animal spirits of the moment.
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#3
I would agree if Covid-19 were a real threat to the lives of many citizens. It's not, though. It's only a threat to the lives of old people, which category happens to include most of the economic and political elites.

It's kind of like when the elites dupe the commoners into supporting war.

It could still be a regeneracy, except that I think a regeneracy has to reverse a concentration of power and wealth, and I don't see how this particular crisis does anything other than cause greater concentration of power and wealth.

But in the general outlines, yes, the Covid-19 crisis is very much the kind of thing you'd expect in a Crisis period.
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#4
I
Quote: would agree if Covid-19 were a real threat to the lives of many citizens.  It's not, though.  It's only a threat to the lives of old people, which category happens to include most of the economic and political elites.
This is the US where it's obese city.  Oklahoma's case fatality rate has lots of young The US also has no public healthcare system at all because austerity and Reaganoid idiocy.  So it is a greater threat for the whole population in the US than say Europe or even Russia which has a public healthcare system.  The lack of access to healthcare also matters.


I
Quote:t's kind of like when the elites dupe the commoners into supporting war.


And how they duped the commoners to accept stupid pull up by the bootstraps stuff. That doesn't work in an oligarchy.  No can compete a gainst stuff like Amazon, Google, General Mills, etc. etc.


Quote:But in the general outlines, yes, the Covid-19 crisis is very much the kind of thing you'd expect in a Crisis period.

Yup, it's the perfect thing to expose all of US's institutional failures for all to see.  Inequality, shitty healthcare, shit jobs that are "essential", but no hazard pay make for a pissed off populous.
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#5
(04-04-2020, 07:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I would agree if Covid-19 were a real threat to the lives of many citizens.  It's not, though.  It's only a threat to the lives of old people, which category happens to include most of the economic and political elites.

How sure are we? The first country to experience a large number of cases, the People's Republic of China (PRC), botched the response when COVID-19 was a local crisis. The government of the PRC is a secretive regime whose official news sources are generally unreliable about events in China. China has only official sources -- state media -- and those are effectively under the thumb of an authoritarian political party. 

It is arguable that the USA is handling the COVID-19 plague worse than about every other country. Some state governments have been far ahead of the President  in their responses. But new cases are still rising at an exponential rate. Such reflects the quality of our top leadership, one that has a despotic style yet proves utterly incompetent and thus unable to force change. (Despotic style and an ability to control everything? That is China... so Americans need be careful about what they wish for. When it comes to economic relationship, power of ownership and management of business, and human rights it is a good thing that the Trump Administration is a gang that can't shoot straight!)  


Quote:It's kind of like when the elites dupe the commoners into supporting war.

We at least have competing elites, but beware when the elites end up on the same side in any society unless to save the system from a foreign enemy such as Nazi Germany.  Corporate America and the southern racist agrarian elite coalesced in the Republican Party about forty years ago. Now dominant, they have made America about as pure a plutocracy as it could be. 

This Crisis could have had as its focus a War for Profits as American elites try to impose American plutocracy somewhere in which it is unwelcome. Such requires that news media be servile to the elites, and it is our good fortune that the media are anything but servile. 


Quote:It could still be a regeneracy, except that I think a regeneracy has to reverse a concentration of power and wealth, and I don't see how this particular crisis does anything other than cause greater concentration of power and wealth.

A Regeneracy reshapes attitudes while ensuring that people are compelled to think of community instead of their worst intentions, reason instead of impulse, service instead of indulgence, culture instead of vacuous entertainment, and long-term and low-yield instead of the quick buck.  

I am old enough to remember people who lived through the 1920's. I have never known any of them to wax nostalgic about those days except to recover their youth -- and they seem to have wished that they had done things differently. Even the Great Depression, harsh as it was, solved some problems and reshaped American life in positive ways. Such is the difference between the degenerate 1920's and the Regeneracy of the 1930's. 

Quote:But in the general outlines, yes, the Covid-19 crisis is very much the kind of thing you'd expect in a Crisis period.

We are treating it as a Crisis. We will have to quit doing many things on the cheap -- and we know it.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#6
(04-05-2020, 12:32 AM)Ragnarök_62 (you in blue) Wrote:  (Warren Dew, to whom I have responded, in green)
Quote: would agree if Covid-19 were a real threat to the lives of many citizens.  It's not, though.  It's only a threat to the lives of old people, which category happens to include most of the economic and political elites.

This
 (Oklahoma City? Tulsa? Muskogee? Bartlesville? Lawton?) is the US where it's obese city.  Oklahoma's case fatality rate has lots of young The US also has no public healthcare system at all because austerity and Reaganoid idiocy.  So it is a greater threat for the whole population in the US than say Europe or even Russia which has a public healthcare system.  The lack of access to healthcare also matters.

As I see it, the first people to get COVID-19 in America seemed to fit the profile of "frequent flyer", or people who travel heavily due to their work (academics, entertainers, creative people, business executives, educated professionals, and traveling salesmen) who travel through airports (cosmopolitan places) and especially on jetliners. As I have often heard, no place is so capable of spreading a contagious respiratory infection as a jetliner, typically a crowded place recirculating the same infected air everywhere. People going from one jetliner to another in a week or so may already be contagious from the last trip. (In Iran it seemed to be connected to religious pilgrimages, very often the last treks that people who know that The End is approaching, take). 

But in general these people are in good shape for their age because they have good incentives to take care of themselves. This will certainly not be so with people with horrible habits such as alcoholism and drug use. Poor people who already must live lives of compromise will also get hurt.



Quote:
Quote:It's kind of like when the elites dupe the commoners into supporting war.


And how they duped the commoners to accept stupid pull up by the bootstraps stuff. That doesn't work in an oligarchy.  No can compete against stuff like Amazon, Google, General Mills, etc. etc.

The oligarchs will keep duping people until they fail catastrophically, as in a breakdown of food supply, a war that floods America with body bags, or horrific failure to meet a natural disaster. An entity such as Amazon seems to sell books without judging the content, so it can sell both the iconic works of Rush Limbaugh and Karl Marx at the same time. Google can get me to porn just as easily as it can get me to Liberty Baptist Church (associated with the late Jerry Falwell).

One political theory, the Skowronek Cycle, suggests that the inhuman individualism that Ronald Reagan offered in 1980 has run its course. The idea that the common man must compete in a race to the bottom (low wages, high rents, brutal management, and gross insecurity even if overworked and underpaid) while elites get to monopolize at will might have been good for lowering expectations about forty years ago -- but that is over. Political polarization develops as economic inequality intensifies, underinvestment in basic industry leads to job losses, speculative bubbles lead to panics, and demagogues flourish. We are headed to something else that will likely be a rejection of the Reagan-Trump era.

Let us remember that Amazon.com would not work if such entities as Blockbuster Video, Tower Records, and Borders Books did not fail. As Sears dies, you can expect Amazon.com to sell what Sears used to offer uniquely, including Craftsman tools and even Kenmore appliances.   

Quote:
Quote:But in the general outlines, yes, the Covid-19 crisis is very much the kind of thing you'd expect in a Crisis period.

Yup, it's the perfect thing to expose all of US's institutional failures for all to see.  Inequality, shitty healthcare, shit jobs that are "essential", but no hazard pay make for a pissed off populace.

When grocery-store workers start getting very sick and very dead, then things could get very bad very fast. I can imagine stores starting to charge admissions for timed appointments, and the alternative will be to pay for delivery. That will make things very expensive. 

But such happens in a culture of greed that sees workers as livestock at best and vermin at worst so that elites can live like sultans. All paradigms eventually fail due to staleness, but the ones with the weakest connection to rational thought and to moral decency fail fastest and worst.  

Late in a 4T, events overtake plans and dreams. As the Christmas carol from the time of the American Civil War puts it. "The wrong shall fail, the right prevail"...
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
(04-05-2020, 12:32 AM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: This is the US where it's obese city.

True.  Do you have a link to figures on how that changes fatalities by age group?

Quote:The US also has no public healthcare system at all

The evidence is that places which do have public health care systems tend to have have a lot more fatalities than the US does, though - Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe in general.

Quote:That doesn't work in an oligarchy.  No can compete a gainst stuff like Amazon, Google, General Mills, etc. etc. 

True.  That's why I think this is most likely a false regeneracy.  Wars break up oligopolies on the losing side.  I can't see this pandemic breaking up any oligopolies, not even health care oligopolies.
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#8
(04-05-2020, 01:19 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: The evidence is that places which do have public health care systems tend to have have a lot more fatalities than the US does, though - Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe in general.

Give it a week.
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#9
(04-05-2020, 05:58 PM)freivolk Wrote:
(04-05-2020, 01:19 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: The evidence is that places which do have public health care systems tend to have have a lot more fatalities than the US does, though - Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe in general.

Give it a week.

People have been saying that for a month now.  We show no signs of catching up.

Well, maybe NYC does.
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#10
(04-05-2020, 01:19 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-05-2020, 12:32 AM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: This is the US where it's obese city.

True.  Do you have a link to figures on how that changes fatalities by age group?

Quote:The US also has no public healthcare system at all

The evidence is that places which do have public health care systems tend to have have a lot more fatalities than the US does, though - Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe in general.

Quote:That doesn't work in an oligarchy.  No can compete a gainst stuff like Amazon, Google, General Mills, etc. etc. 

True.  That's why I think this is most likely a false regeneracy.  Wars break up oligopolies on the losing side.  I can't see this pandemic breaking up any oligopolies, not even health care oligopolies.

1. Link here. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-healt...SKBN21K1B0

2. Europe is ahead of us on the transmission curve. I know in Oklahoma where we should be called the Fatter State instead of Sooner State, the case fatality rate is about 4% in most counties right now. When the ERs saturate, the case fatality rate will of course increase. Perhaps using "metabolic syndrome" instead of "type 1/2 diabetes"  would be better for the US.  Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of problems of high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and with maybe?  diabetes as an end state with high blood sugar. Insulin resistance is the state before overt diabetes.  As for public private healthcare, I'd suggest  Japan, S. Korea, Germany, and later on the Scandinavian States. I using the metric of current case fatality in the US and since we're having problems worse than those further down the curve, well, that's another thing to think about when locking down yourself even though not mandated here in stupid state. The performance of the US so far means a nice bear market fundamental indicator of continued bear market conditions.
---Value Added Cool
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#11
(04-04-2020, 07:44 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I would agree if Covid-19 were a real threat to the lives of many citizens.  It's not, though.  It's only a threat to the lives of old people, which category happens to include most of the economic and political elites.

It's kind of like when the elites dupe the commoners into supporting war.

It could still be a regeneracy, except that I think a regeneracy has to reverse a concentration of power and wealth, and I don't see how this particular crisis does anything other than cause greater concentration of power and wealth.

But in the general outlines, yes, the Covid-19 crisis is very much the kind of thing you'd expect in a Crisis period.

But it's the response that counts, right? Not the actual threat level. That we would be willing as a society to basically shutdown the economy in order to mitigate loss of life (even if just for a certain demographic) is the indicator.

As for reversing the concentration of wealth - that obviously requires significant structural change. But we haven't seen the full political fallout of Covid-19 since it's only been a couple of months.
Steve Barrera

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

Saecular Pages
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#12
(04-06-2020, 08:12 AM)sbarrera Wrote: But it's the response that counts, right? Not the actual threat level. That we would be willing as a society to basically shutdown the economy in order to mitigate loss of life (even if just for a certain demographic) is the indicator.

It's an indicator of our being in the fourth turning, if there were any doubt.  It's an indicator that we're ready for a regeneracy.

Historically, though, it requires 5-10 years of war - Civil War, WWII, Chinese Civil War - to cement the regeneracy.  I don't see how Covid-19 can be drawn out that long.
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#13
(04-06-2020, 09:52 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-06-2020, 08:12 AM)sbarrera Wrote: But it's the response that counts, right? Not the actual threat level. That we would be willing as a society to basically shutdown the economy in order to mitigate loss of life (even if just for a certain demographic) is the indicator.

It's an indicator of our being in the fourth turning, if there were any doubt.  It's an indicator that we're ready for a regeneracy.

Historically, though, it requires 5-10 years of war - Civil War, WWII, Chinese Civil War - to cement the regeneracy.  I don't see how Covid-19 can be drawn out that long.

Coronavirus says "hold my beer..."  Tongue

Seriously, Covid-19 + economic fallout could drag on for well over a year. I do think it will have everything to do with political responses.
Steve Barrera

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

Saecular Pages
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#14
(04-06-2020, 10:52 AM)sbarrera Wrote: Seriously, Covid-19 + economic fallout could drag on for well over a year. I do think it will have everything to do with political responses.

I agree it will drag out at least a year.  A year is not 5-10 years.
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#15
Is the furor over the virus one part of the perfect storm. What other component parts?
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#16
(04-06-2020, 10:52 AM)sbarrera Wrote:
(04-06-2020, 09:52 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-06-2020, 08:12 AM)sbarrera Wrote: But it's the response that counts, right? Not the actual threat level. That we would be willing as a society to basically shutdown the economy in order to mitigate loss of life (even if just for a certain demographic) is the indicator.

It's an indicator of our being in the fourth turning, if there were any doubt.  It's an indicator that we're ready for a regeneracy.

Historically, though, it requires 5-10 years of war - Civil War, WWII, Chinese Civil War - to cement the regeneracy.  I don't see how Covid-19 can be drawn out that long.

Coronavirus says "hold my beer..."  Tongue

Seriously, Covid-19 + economic fallout could drag on for well over a year. I do think it will have everything to do with political responses.

I also think that Warren discounts the ongoing messes we've had, starting with the Katrina non-response.  Strife is strife, and we've had a few serious bouts of it during this 4T.  Then again, I've never been in the must-have-a-war camp (that's a Xenakis position).  Anything that stresses society to the breaking point gets the nod in my book, and COVID-19 is certainly applying plenty of stress.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#17
I recall old threads which identified a few 4Ts that had relatively little violence. Or if there was a war, it never quite got big enough to be a true Crisis war. But, yes, most 4Ts have had full blown Crisis Wars.

The 4Ts with low levels of violence tended to be relatively mild by 4T standards.
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#18
(04-07-2020, 01:35 PM)Tim Randal Walker Wrote: I recall old threads which identified a few 4Ts that had relatively little violence.  Or if there was a war, it never quite got big enough to be a true Crisis war.  But, yes, most 4Ts have had full blown Crisis Wars.

The 4Ts with low levels of violence tended to be relatively mild by 4T standards.

The American 4T was out of phase with the Napoleonic Crisis in Europe. The American Civil War was by any standard the most bloody in American history -- in contrast to less-bloody wars of the general timeframe (Crimean War, wars involving German and Italian unification, Romanian independence, the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune, the Meiji Restoration in Japan, and the Sepoy Rebellion in British India.  I would compare the T'aiping Rebellion in China and the largely-obscure Lopez war involving Paraguay comparable to the American Civil War in destructiveness. Mexican Revolution against French overlordship? 

American political life was remarkably docile during WWII, but America was fighting the demonic Axis Powers that put a low value on human life. 

The four worst wars for killing a percentage of American life were since 1775 -- 

1. the American Civil War
2. the Revolutionary War
3. World War II
4. the War of 1812

Although the Korean and Vietnam wars involved larger numbers of American military deaths than did the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, both involved much-larger American populations than those of the times of the 1770's and 1810's.
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
I'll be honest:  COVID-19 was the first thing that had me thinking about "4T" style generational theory in a LONG time!  And it's the first moment that really felt like a "crisis" from where I stand.  Before that, things may have appeared to be very ready to come to a head - but for the most part, it was very easy to pretend (if you wanted) that things hadn't really changed.  2020 'feels' too late to start the 4T, but it does feel very clearly "Crisis" mode in a way that 2001-2004 was not!

(And this is the name I posted under the old forums:  I don't plan on being drawn into generational boundary debates again Wink)
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#20
(04-05-2020, 07:05 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-05-2020, 05:58 PM)freivolk Wrote:
(04-05-2020, 01:19 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: The evidence is that places which do have public health care systems tend to have have a lot more fatalities than the US does, though - Italy, Spain, France, basically Europe in general.

Give it a week.

People have been saying that for a month now.  We show no signs of catching up.

Well, maybe NYC does.

It's been a week. The USA now has more deaths from covid19 than any other nation. Not per capita though, yet.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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