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Neil Howe: Where did Steve Bannon get his worldview? From my book.
#21
Hey again. I found this forum with Google, after seeing that the old one seems to have been removed. Judging by the names here, someone obviously set this up to replace it. I ran across some of the stuff in the OP, which is what sent me back here. I can also add a new one:

Neil Howe NPR Interview (04/11/17)

Interesting interview with Howe, mostly about Steve Bannon. The rest of the left-leaning panel generally attacks Howe and his theories (reflexively, given that they now associate them with Bannon), but he defends them as usual.

I wasn't aware of this connection until now. I remember being aware of Generation Zero when it was released, but never knew Bannon was involved in it. So now apparently S&H is in the White House. Howe consulted with Bannon on the movie, and seems to know him fairly well. 

It is clear that Trump's campaign was based on the kinds of currents S&H defined for a 4T.  I had previously thought it started on 9/11, but I'm willing now to accept that maybe it didn't. Howe has been consistent in declaring the 2008 crash as the catalyst of the 4T. I'm still a bit skeptical of the accuracy of the book's specifics, but the general idea has always seemed legitimate.  

I know just about everyone here will still be on the left, and the left is losing its mind after realizing the vice grip they thought they had on society was imaginary. Howe seems to be in their crosshairs now, because Bannon has had a high opinion of the book. Anyone who's paid attention over time knows that Howe is probably a moderate Democrat, who loved Obama and is now vaguely critical about Trump. His familiarity with Bannon might temper that to some degree.

I made a post on the old forum before the election, joking that maybe Trump is the "Orange Champion". Who knows? If these cycles exist, they would never happen if they were predictable enough for people to see them coming.

The thing I don't want to see, and no one does, is a major war. But while S&H's predictions about the nature of 4T culture and government seemed far fetched a few years ago, they now seem possible. Social conservatism combined with economic populism, nationalism, or however you want to define it, which S&H predicted, was the opposite of Obama. Trump has sounded those themes loudly, but with a relatively incremental policy agenda underneath. The left has howled about Trump's immigration policies, but they're nothing compared to what FDR and Lincoln did domestically (Japanese internment, suspending habeus corpus, etc.).

I guess all I have to say after running into this S&H stuff again is that Howe has more evidence now than he did a year ago to substantiate his theory.

Now that I think about it, I was saying a lot of the things that Trump ended up campaigning on years before, going back to 2006, on the previous forum. Especially about immigration and trade policy being organized around the corporate demand for cheap labor. I wonder if Bannon ever read any of that. That said, Trump has had the same views on trade for decades, so I'm not saying I personally influenced it. The real question is, if Bannon ever posted on the old forum, what was his user name?
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#22
The consensus is that Bannon did not post here (on the old forum).

Howe has said that Trump's modus operandi and approach is typical 4T, but not that his policies will be the decisive ones of the 4T. I believe that is in the link below about FDR and Lincoln, posted below the second you tube video from 1997 which I posted in the other Neil Howe and Strauss thread in the "Howe and the first turning" forum. Howe has said the 4T will last until 2029, and maybe even beyond. "We're not even half way through," he says. If Trump is the gray champion, he will evolve into one, rather than being one going in; says Howe. His 4T dates now dovetail with what I had predicted on the old forum in circa 2000.

In the 1998 video I also posted here on that thread, which also showed early 4T forum members at a meeting, it seemed there was an inconsistency between what Strauss and Howe said about when the 4T was predicted to begin. Even back then, Howe said it could be 2008, while Strauss always said 2005, which was the date used in the T4T book.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#23
(04-14-2017, 11:00 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: The consensus is that Bannon did not post here (on the old forum).

Howe has said that Trump's modus operandi and approach is typical 4T, but not that his policies will be the decisive ones of the 4T. I believe that is in the link below about FDR and Lincoln, posted below the second you tube video from 1997 which I posted in the other Neil Howe and Strauss thread in the "Howe and the first turning" forum. Howe has said the 4T will last until 2029, and maybe even beyond. "We're not even half way through," he says. If Trump is the gray champion, he will evolve into one, rather than being one going in; says Howe. His 4T dates now dovetail with what I had predicted on the old forum in circa 2000.

In the 1998 video I also posted here on that thread, which also showed early 4T forum members at a meeting, it seemed there was an inconsistency between what Strauss and Howe said about when the 4T was predicted to begin. Even back then, Howe said it could be 2008, while Strauss always said 2005, which was the date used in the T4T book.

I'm thinking of how Donald Trump can lead America in a Crisis era. We can start by ruling out the po0ssibility of him as a monster who precipitates an apocalypse that leads to a catastrophic end. He is definitely not the new Adolf Hitler, an all-or-nothing type. Trump is so far reckless -- but not that reckless.

On the other side I cannot see him as a new Disraeli, Lincoln, Juarez, Churchill, FDR, or Mannerheim. He is far too much a divider. One is 100% for him even in knowledge of his faults or one does not have a role. I cannot see him uniting Americans in the New Feudalism that his economic agenda offers. 'Suffer for my unrestrained greed and take vicarious delight in my ostentatious splendor' is the message of a Pharaoh. He lacks an agenda on which most Americans can concur. Lincoln clearly had majority support for his agenda -- if one counted the slaves that his war liberated from bondage. President Trump has polarized America more than it has been under Obama. This is not the sort of person that I want as the Commander-in-Chief and First Diplomat in a time of consummate danger.  Every-man-for-himself, the Trump ethos, is likely to result in disaster.

A compromised leader who seems to fall before the Inevitable? Such reflects more the weaknesses of a national reality. A small nation in with Hitler or Stalin as a neighbor is in deep danger.

I see him as the sort who bumbles his way through a dangerous time and entices Americans to make him largely irrelevant before replacing him in the next election. He may show us by example how not to do things so that the next leader has few choices  -- maybe the few right ones.
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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#24
(04-13-2017, 11:23 AM)The Wonkette Wrote:
(04-11-2017, 05:08 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote: Now, if the Democrats want to achieve anything, they need to let go of all of these culture wars issues.

If you want Democrats to win in say , Oklahoma, concentrate on economics like Sanders did. He won Oklahoma, remember. If you want Red States to have Democratic wins, the party needs to defer to local wishes on crap like gun control and unite on economic issues. Here's the thing, Red states can be in the Democratic column is they discard the losing deuce of clubs [gun control] and keep the Ace of economic issues. I know this. A practical economic issue campaign will be the winning formula. I'd also include anything that reduces the costs of jail birds.  IOW, just buy off the gun folks with a common economic agenda and the Democrats will go far.
Just a nit.  Sanders won in the Democratic primary, not in a full general election.  He won among Democratic voters and among independents (assuming it was an open primary).  One would assume that the Christian Right, the conventional conservatives (the John Kasich crowd), and the Trump fans voted in the GOP primary. It is hard to know how well Sanders would have done in the general election against Donald Trump; I'm assuming that he would not get the Christian Right or the Kasich Republicans but he might have peeled off some Trump support and he would have gotten all of the Democrats and progressives.

Wonkette, OK, let's get to brass tacks.  I certainly agree with your argument. As such.

1. Oklahoma has been a historic "prairie populist" state. Here's some points worth a good discussion, rather than today's "partisan stands".
2. Take a look back way back with Bryan's campaign.
3. Democrats can of course win Oklahoma with an Economic populist agenda. I know , since I of course live here.
Oklahoma has always been suspicious of Wall Street.
4. So, what can us Democrats do? Yeah, I'm what can be considered a "Populist Democrat".
5. I'd recommend that the Democratic party focus like a laser beam on economic issues.  You are of course correct on how Oklahoma voted.  Let's run some logic here. I rather doubt Oklahoma , in total would agree with "Wall Street" interests. There's been a historic animosity against Wall Street here. I know. I of course live here. Can Democrats win? I'd say, affirmative. The goal of Oklahoma Democrats, as such should be to highlight Wall Street screwing over the "Average American", just like in the New Deal Era. I'd dare say, getting an extra, albeit a small Electoral College add, is to downplay racial stuff [like you know, a lot of us have American Indian heritage] and focusing on economics is the way to way to a win. 
6. Like I've mentioned, I'm "mixed race", so race issues don't matter much here. I have lots of friends/work mates who ARE mixed on the race card thing. I do believe, that those of us, who are quite a lot, are like me are also, MIXED wrt race, so again, economic issues should peel off some votes. Us Dems should at least give it a shot.
7. So... Let's try a new deal approach at least here, in Oklahoma, OK?
8. Our Congressional delegation, I think would be highly vulnerable to a platform that stresses economic problems. Our Republican delegation hates you if you need SNAP [... because you're just lazy] and not due to how the new economy works.  I managed to "fix" my youngest sister's Republican disease when she needed to get on Obamacare. She didn't qualify and I explained the reason. Oklahoma Republicans denied HER of Medicare Expansion.
9. She could get SNAP, but , hey, guess what? No Medicare 'cause the REPUBLICANS DENIED MEDICARE EXPANSION.
10. I just wrote Sen. Lankford, He's a moron. I'd really agree with  you that anyone who voted for our stupid Senators is voting against their own interests.
---Value Added Cool
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#25
I have no hope for Oklahoma now. Even back in the 1940s, my grandfather Burnham voted Democratic sometimes, I think. But that was in the old days. He became a Goldwater Republican by 1964. And he even denounced W. J. Bryan in his letters to me by then, since he remembered the campaign. He was typical.

The state has one of the most Republican voting records of any state in the last half century. I keep up with these things, you know. It's just too traditional. It's pro-religious right and pro-military too. Some conservative Democrats have won statewide races, but it's been a long time since moderate Sen. Boren held the Senate seat for Democrats. It is unlikely that any politicians with liberal economics views can win in your state for the foreseeable future.

But, it's up to you guys if maybe you can try an anti-Wall St. approach and get a few moderate Democrats elected in your state government. I wouldn't bet on it if I were you.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#26
(04-17-2017, 10:13 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: I have no hope for Oklahoma now. Even back in the 1940s, my grandfather voted Democratic sometimes, I think. But that was in the old days. He became a Goldwater Republican by 1964. And he even denounced W. J. Bryan in his letters to me by then, since he remembered the campaign. He was typical.

The state has one of the most Republican voting records of any state in the last half century. I keep up with these things, you know. It's just too traditional. It's pro-religious right and pro-military too. Some conservative Democrats have won statewide races, but it's been a long time since moderate Sen. Boren held the Senate seat for Democrats. It is unlikely that any politicians with liberal economics views can win in your state for the foreseeable future.

But, it's up to you guys if maybe you can try an anti-Wall St. approach and get a few moderate Democrats elected in your state government. I wouldn't bet on it if I were you.
1. Eric,  Remember and never forget, a lot of us "Okies" settled in California in the 1930's.  We are y'all and y'all are us. Cool  All , I ask is consider y'alls ancestors. We picked y'alls fruits and vegs, Oklahoma and California are linked by history, the New Deal, and Labor.
2. Hope:  Oklahoma does have a history of "Prairie Populisim".  OK?
3. Yeah, I admit, we , "Okies" have to reconnect to our past. Does Big Pharma have any interest in us? No! It will of course take an "Awakening" to what Big Pharma offers of course.  Addiction to opiods, no Medicaid Expansion ? No. Here's the deal Eric, OK. Let's all consecrate ourselves as Progressives to the destruction of "Big Pharma", "Big Insurance", Big Pollution [Coal], etc.   As, I think, Churchill mentioned, "Never, ever, ever give up!". Yeah I know Sir Winston was of the Prophet Archtype, I can't agree more, Eric.. my man, never, ever, give up, I can only state as a "cusper", Sir Winston is of a Kindred spirit!  Actually, we should not settle for "moderates", but go for the goal, and only the goal, never, ever compromise with evil. Big Pharma is of course one manifestation of evil.
4. Eric, Eric, what can I say? 
a. Oklahoma has lots of "semi whites".   Oklahoma doesn't promote "Native America" for nothin'.
b. Look at your own history.  Take a genetic test. See if ya are part "Native America".  You never know what that genetic box of chocolates will have in store.
5. I do think OK, Millies are gonna fuck up the usual meme, you know. My Millie nephews are pretty much all in the D camp.
6. The future of course belongs to the youth. Qod knows I've instilled "proper values" wrt my Millie nephews. MIC Sux, Medicare for all rulz, infrastructure investments rulz. and all that stuff. 
7. --- Begin letter to Stupid Lankford"
1. You need to support the Hon. Senator Sanders in reigning in the pillaging of the USA by big Pharma.
Look, Big Pharma doesn't give a shit about me.  You and your other Oklahoma collegues need to fix all of these
drug price hikes and stop the Big Pharma Oligarcy.  They are to blame for rising health insurance costs, they arf
to  blame of out of control Medicare costs, they are to blame for the death of poor Americans like me, they
are one the foci of evil in this universe.  If you take campaign contributions [bribes], then you sir,are
the spawn of Satan, like those fat fuck Big Pharma CEO's.  May all CEO's rot in hell.  I hate , hate them. Rats
and roaches are far more worthy of the earth's biomass than CEO's.  I want them all to just fucking die!
To hell with "health insurance". I want HEALTH CARE access without those greedy mother fucking health insurance companies.
I want all of them to go bankrupt since they're nothing but a but of worthless paper shufflers.   I'm watching
my entire congressional/state delegations like a hawk, and I'll vote against anyone who's bought off.
Briefly explain the problem and attach copies of any relevant documentation. ( Use additional paper if more space is needed.)
Has another Congressional or Senate office been contacted regarding this issue? Yes _____ No ___X_
If yes, please list the office: ____________________________________________________________________________

References:   https://berniesanders.com/bernie-sanders...g-imports/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cory...480e0c2b52
--- End letter.

Whatcha think, Eric?   I laid the law down with Lankford.  If it takes going to the local DNC meet up, then so be it.
I've just declared war on the GOP's stupid whore out to Big Pharma.  I'll do pretty much what is legal to destroy the GOP stranglehold in Oklahoma. Got It? Angry  If I have my way [ Mars/Aries], the fires will com-bust the local GOP into ashes. Remember Eric, I'm a cusper and may the eggs break into omelets. Cool
---Value Added Cool
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#27
(04-12-2017, 11:31 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: If the Left do not want to face the NRA every election, the Left should stop giving the NRA "ammo" (pun intended) that will be used to shoot the Left.

Gun control in its least offensive form is mandatory background checks.  Eventually, that will win.  Slightly less likely is mandatory collection of gun use data.  Let's assume that wins too.  Since neither affects the ability of 99.9% of the people obtaining firearms, the effect will only be on how ownership affects urban v. rural areas.  Until the rural areas agree that urban gun ownership and use are vastly different and need different solutions, this will percolate below the surface as an irritant in most urban areas. 

The pro-gun crowd is still a minority, albeit a very determined one. If the level of determination shifts toward control, the level of pent up anger may push this much further than the gun crowd can tolerate.  Be careful what you wish for.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#28
(04-17-2017, 11:03 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 10:13 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: I have no hope for Oklahoma now. Even back in the 1940s, my grandfather voted Democratic sometimes, I think. But that was in the old days. He became a Goldwater Republican by 1964. And he even denounced W. J. Bryan in his letters to me by then, since he remembered the campaign. He was typical.

The state has one of the most Republican voting records of any state in the last half century. I keep up with these things, you know. It's just too traditional. It's pro-religious right and pro-military too. Some conservative Democrats have won statewide races, but it's been a long time since moderate Sen. Boren held the Senate seat for Democrats. It is unlikely that any politicians with liberal economics views can win in your state for the foreseeable future.

But, it's up to you guys if maybe you can try an anti-Wall St. approach and get a few moderate Democrats elected in your state government. I wouldn't bet on it if I were you.
1. Eric,  Remember and never forget, a lot of us "Okies" settled in California in the 1930's.  We are y'all and y'all are us. Cool  All , I ask is consider y'alls ancestors. We picked y'alls fruits and vegs, Oklahoma and California are linked by history, the New Deal, and Labor.

My Mom is an Okie, but she only got here in 1948. Lots of folks from around the world have settled in CA; Okies among them.

Quote:2. Hope:  Oklahoma does have a history of "Prairie Populisim".  OK?
3. Yeah, I admit, we , "Okies" have to reconnect to our past. Does Big Pharma have any interest in us? No! It will of course take an "Awakening" to what Big Pharma offers of course.  Addiction to opiods, no Medicaid Expansion ? No. Here's the deal Eric, OK. Let's all consecrate ourselves as Progressives to the destruction of "Big Pharma", "Big Insurance", Big Pollution [Coal], etc.   As, I think, Churchill mentioned, "Never, ever, ever give up!". Yeah I know Sir Winston was of the Prophet Archtype, I can't agree more, Eric.. my man, never, ever, give up, I can only state as a "cusper", Sir Winston is of a Kindred spirit!  Actually, we should not settle for "moderates", but go for the goal, and only the goal, never, ever compromise with evil. Big Pharma is of course one manifestation of evil.
4. Eric, Eric, what can I say? 

Best wishes with your very up-hill battle! lol

Quote:a. Oklahoma has lots of "semi whites".   Oklahoma doesn't promote "Native America" for nothin'.
b. Look at your own history.  Take a genetic test. See if ya are part "Native America".  You never know what that genetic box of chocolates will have in store.

We know our ancestry pretty well, with thanks among others to my maternal Grandmother Cooper-Burnham from Oklahoma! No nuthin in me but that pesky Euro blood. Unless, maybe my great great great grandmother "Mrs. A. Lincoln" (all other info unknown) on my Dad's side had some unknown ancestry. You never know for sure. They were from Kentucky and Indiana. I could take a test, but it would likely say the same. I know almost all my other ancestors that far back, and usually much further, and where they came from.

Quote:5. I do think OK, Millies are gonna fuck up the usual meme, you know. My Millie nephews are pretty much all in the D camp.
6. The future of course belongs to the youth. Qod knows I've instilled "proper values" wrt my Millie nephews. MIC Sux, Medicare for all rulz, infrastructure investments rulz. and all that stuff. 

We can always have hope for the youth. Of course, you know what happened to that idealistic younger generation called The Boomers. Ughhh

Quote:Whatcha think, Eric?   I laid the law down with Lankford.  If it takes going to the local DNC meet up, then so be it.
I've just declared war on the GOP's stupid whore out to Big Pharma.  I'll do pretty much what is legal to destroy the GOP stranglehold in Oklahoma. Got It? Angry  If I have my way [ Mars/Aries], the fires will com-bust the local GOP into ashes. Remember Eric, I'm a cusper and may the eggs break into omelets. Cool

Good work. I don't know how your red and black Mars/Aries approach will work; did you send along a tape of some Airborne music too? But, maybe your letter will get some attention!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#29
(04-18-2017, 11:47 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 09:40 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(04-12-2017, 11:31 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: If the Left do not want to face the NRA every election, the Left should stop giving the NRA "ammo" (pun intended) that will be used to shoot the Left.

Gun control in its least offensive form is mandatory background checks.  Eventually, that will win.  Slightly less likely is mandatory collection of gun use data.  Let's assume that wins too.  Since neither affects the ability of 99.9% of the people obtaining firearms, the effect will only be on how ownership affects urban v. rural areas.  Until the rural areas agree that urban gun ownership and use are vastly different and need different solutions, this will percolate below the surface as an irritant in most urban areas. 

The pro-gun crowd is still a minority, albeit a very determined one. If the level of determination shifts toward control, the level of pent up anger may push this much further than the gun crowd can tolerate.  Be careful what you wish for.

"The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment." H.R. Clinton

Poke, poke, poke ....

Angry

Considering the lengths the originalists will go to be 18th century pristine, expect a lot more of this.  You do know that Gorsuch thinks that the Schechter Poultry case should still be binding, making regulations not specifically written by Congress null and void.  That should work well. Rolleyes Tongue
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#30
Here's a Gen X writer critical of the theory who seems to have a decent understanding of the theory compared to others have have criticized it as religious prophecy or whatever.


Quote:The Crackpot Theories of Steve Bannon's Favorite Authors 

Ethel Kennedy opened the door in her bathrobe, welcoming us in from the blizzard. The snowstorm had made it impossible to reach Harpers Ferry, where a retreat had been planned for a gaggle of Washington-based Generation Xers, as we were called then. So one participant, Doug Kennedy, asked his mother to let us relocate to their Hickory Hill estate. Over the next hour that Saturday morning in March 1993, twentysomethings of diverse stripes including Jon Karl, now of ABC News, Jon Cowan, now of Third Way, and Eric Liu, now of Citizen University, streamed in for a weekend of debate.


The confab was hatched by a man much older than we were—William Strauss, a charming, gray-haired congressional staffer known in Washington for founding the Capitol Steps, a troupe of Hill aides who performed mildly funny political satire in a small Georgetown theater. One typical parody featured a George Bush Sr. impressionist lamenting his lack of the common touch with a song called “If I Weren’t a Rich Man.”


Strauss (who died in 2007) and his collaborator, Neil Howe, another onetime Hill aide, have vaulted back into the news lately as intellectual influences on Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist. Their 1997 historical manifesto The Fourth Turning, an iteration of their generational theories, posits that the tides of history have placed America on the cusp of a world-historical crisis—akin to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II—that could plunge the nation into disaster. And Trump’s self-styled intellectual guru reportedly is so taken with the book that, according to the New York Times, he has read it three times and shelves a marked-up copy alongside his most admired volumes at his father’s Virginia home. Bannon has described the book’s arguments as central to his worldview, and his 2010 documentary, “Generation Zero,” rested on its claims. As a result of his reported regard for it, The Fourth Turning is now a No. 1 Amazon best-seller—in the category of “divination.”

Back in 1993, though, Strauss and Howe didn’t yet have a cult following. They were just getting to be known for their first book, Generations, a best-seller that analyzed all of American history as the experience of successive generations, to whom the authors assigned distinct, coherent and predictable personality types. More recently, they’d published 13th-GEN, which sought to capitalize on the baby boomer-dominated news media’s sudden and faddish interest in my generation. Strauss, a fiscally conservative centrist, believed that his generation, for all their change-the-world idealism, had screwed things up royally by saddling their children with insurmountable debt, environmental disaster and other long-term headaches. By gathering our group, he thought he could orchestrate a Port Huron Statement for the Gen-X era, one that would, in line with his book’s picture of our cohort, preach solutions that were pragmatic, middle-of-the-road and “post-partisan” (a buzzword at the time)—ideas of the sort Ross Perot might have espoused in the previous year’s presidential campaign.

Of course, Perot had finished third in the 1992 election while waltzing to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” and, despite the best efforts of a few Strauss disciples at Hickory Hill, the weekend’s project also collapsed in incoherence. Most of the policies that the conservatives proposed were anathema to the liberals, and vice versa. (I remember one of the ideological conservatives present being demolished in an impromptu debate by a young Andrew Cuomo, who had dropped in out of curiosity; he was visiting with his then-wife, Kerry Kennedy.) At one point, Cowan and Rob Nelson, of a deficit-reduction group called Lead or Leave, proposed that we all accept their idiosyncratic mix of proposals, but that didn’t satisfy anyone. By the end, I had become convinced that the members our supposedly “post-partisan” generation had no more in common with one another than did the members of Congress. Although some participants in the end crafted a document, not everyone was happy with it and not everyone signed. It got a little attention and was then forgotten.

One lesson of the failed post-partisan manifesto was that political differences matter a lot more than generational differences. And as I went off to study history in graduate school, I came to see even more clearly just how superficial Strauss and Howe’s ideas were. Their books argue that major political or social events will provide shared foundational experiences for people of a certain age—think of the G.I. Generation of World War II, or the baby boomers coming of age in the turbulent 1960s. That’s true enough. But what they didn’t appreciate is that the resulting sensibilities are always far from universal, and don’t always align with the prevailing popular-culture images. The young 1960s radicals of Students for a Democratic Society, after all, may have turned out to be less important than those of Young Americans for Freedom, and Generation X turned out to be much more diverse—politically, and in every other way—than Strauss and Howe’s typology allowed.

In the wake of reports about Steve Bannon’s esteem for The Fourth Turning and Strauss and Howe’s generational theories, some alarmist pieces have warned that his interest in its prophecy of a bloody cataclysm bespeaks a dangerous eagerness to court some kind of catastrophic sequence of events that will remake the global order. (“Steve Bannon Wants to Start World War III,” blared a Nation headline.) Others discern a dark religious apocalypticism. I don’t think either worry is very credible. But Bannon’s interest in the book still matters—because its hyper-confident yet shoddy amateur history speaks to the fly-by-night thought process of the brash autodidact who, for all the recent reports of Trump-palace intrigue, still has a West Wing office and the president’s ear.

***

The Fourth Turning is not just a disaster prophecy, like the 1970s best-seller The Late, Great Planet Earth. Couched in learned language, it argues that not only American history but all history proceeds in predictable cycles of about 80 years or the duration of a human life—a “saeculum,” in the authors’ pseudo-scholarly nomenclature. Each saeculum, in turn, moves through four stages of roughly 20 years as inexorably as the seasons of a year: a spring-like “high” of civic optimism (think postwar America); a summery “awakening” of spiritual enthusiasm (ie., the 1960s); an autumnal “unraveling” of retrenchment and alienation (the Reagan era); and finally, a wintery “crisis” in which the old order is swept aside amid total war or some other transformational event. Written in 1997, The Fourth Turning prophesied an unspecified crisis around 2004. Bannon reportedly considers the 2008 crash to have begun this “fourth turning,” which will continue to play out over these next 10 to 15 years—until the last stage of the cycle is complete.

And there’s more to the theory: In each stage, a generation is born with identifiable collective traits. The children born during crises, in Strauss and Howe’s idiosyncratic and imprecise terminology, are “artists,” unassuming and upstanding technicians who work within the system. Then, during the highs, “prophets” are born: passionate and moralistic doers, like the baby boomers. The third generation, which is born during the “awakening” and comes of age during the “unraveling,” comprises “nomads,” who are alienated, pragmatic and suspicious of high ideals (Gen X). Finally come the “heroes”—today’s millennials, if you can believe it—who in their young adulthood use their propensity for teamwork and optimism to help the country to triumph amid major crises.

At first blush, The Fourth Turning—or any book you might pick up from the Strauss-Howe oeuvre/cottage industry—is beguiling in its cleverness. There’s something nifty in the tidy way it bundles into tidy boxes not only all four “saecula” of American history, dating to 1704, but all of Euro-American history since the Late Medieval period. In short order, however, most readers will find the book maddening in its strict schematization and its hopscotching across history in search of convenient examples.

***

The dream of formulating a scientific theory of history, with predictive capacities, was once a common project. In the 19th century, as the field of history, like other intellectual pursuits, professionalized, many practitioners sought to put the discipline on a scientific footing by elucidating laws or grand patterns in the past—laws and patterns that might also foretell the future. From Auguste Comte and Karl Marx up through Arnold Toynbee, historians proposed assorted theories about the development of civilization. Ironically, however, the hard-headed empiricism that became central to reputable history also exposed the philosopher-historians’ sweeping assertions as deficient in many of their specifics and untenable as prophecy. Today, most serious historians shy away from all-encompassing philosophies of history, while the works of Comte, Marx, Toynbee and others are studied as intellectual artifacts, notable for what they said about their own times, not what they predict about ours.

To be sure, there’s nothing controversial about the basic idea that wars and other conflicts may be followed by bouts of calm, or that eras of far-reaching reform may produce backlashes or cooling-off periods. But few historians today take seriously the idea that an inner logic guides the course of history like a gyroscope, whether it’s a Whiggish theory that assumes a mostly linear progress, a dialectical theory like that of Marx or Hegel or a cyclical theory like that of Toynbee—or Strauss and Howe.

170419_mag_bannon_chart
The problems with the predictive schematic history of the sort laid out in The Fourth Turning start with their determinism. One giveaway are the charts, tables, diagrams and bulleted lists that litter the book, which find a way to fit every consequential figure and event into neat patterns. If history unfolds as inevitably as this, then the study of human decision-making in the past—or even in the present—becomes all but irrelevant. This determinism, moreover, introduces all kinds of contradictions for the theory: The Fourth Turning holds out many American presidents as paradigmatic and consequential figures of their eras, for example, but according to its own logic it shouldn’t really matter whether the nation elected Herbert Hoover or Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, Ronald Reagan or Walter Mondale in 1984, or Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump last year, because history was headed in a certain direction regardless.

The Fourth Turning also, like an astrologer or fortune teller, plays fast and loose in shuttling between its big claims and specific evidence. Its contentions are vague enough that it’s easy to justify them with a handful of illustrative examples, with contrary cases simply omitted. It also mistakes symptoms for causes. Consider this paragraph:

Viewed through the prism of generational aging, the mood change between the late 1950s and the late 1970s becomes not just comprehensible, but (in hindsight) predictable: America was moving from a First Turning constellation [a “high”] and into a Second [an “awakening”]. Replace the aging Truman and Ike with LBJ and Nixon. Replace the middle-aged Ed Sullivan and Ann Landers with Norman Lear and Gloria Steinem. Replace the young Organization Man with the Woodstock hippie. Replace Jerry Mathers with Tatum O’Neal. This top-to-bottom alteration of the American life cycle tells much about why and how America shifted from a mood of consensus, complacency, and optimism to one of turbulence, argument, and passion.

But does this idiosyncratic smorgasbord of pop culture references actually explain anything about why American culture changed between the late 1950s and the late 1970s? In circular logic, it posits the “mood change” as the result of a move from one stage to another. And would their story be different if their portrait of the 1950s had included Martin Luther King Jr., Elvis Presley, Jackson Pollock and Jack Kerouac?

Finally, there are errors and inaccuracies committed in the blind search for coherence. In the opening pages of The Fourth Turning, written in 1997, the authors hold up soaring public debts and deepening welfare dependency as signs of the coming crisis—even though the late 1990s were an era of broad-based prosperity, budget surpluses and declining welfare dependency. At the same time, they insist they’re “not reassured” by the official claims at the time about a national drop in crime—even as, a few pages later, they pooh-pooh predictions that “today’s kids will come of age with a huge youth crime wave.” They hedge their bets, too, by shifting their hopes from one generation to the next. After my pragmatic Hickory Hill Gen Xers didn’t deliver the political solutions they sought, they pinned their hopes on the millennials to deliver the country from its impending crisis.

***

Needless to say, no one should believe, based on The Fourth Turning, that, as the authors ominously wrote, “history is seasonal, and winter is coming.” But it’s not unreasonable to worry that ideas like these are gaining traction. Over the years, the book has developed an astonishing following, tapping into some kind of popular hunger to find a tight logic within the vagaries of history or to forecast the future. It’s not too different from the cult followings of writers like Ayn Rand or Gore Vidal, or of futurists like Alvin Toffler or Hal Lindsey. As Eric Hoover of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes, the generations books made Strauss and Howe into “media darlings, best-selling authors, and busy speakers.” Howe went on to found a consulting business called LifeCourse Associates and advise colleges, universities schools, businesses (Ford, Nike, Hewlett-Packard, Kraft Nabisco) and public agencies on demographics, social change and the profile of new generations.

If businesses waste money on bogus futurism and visionary claptrap, it’s not particularly remarkable; enterprising consultants have always found ways to tap into corporate fund streams while their buzz is strong. But when the president’s chief strategist is enamored of half-baked theories of history, that’s another matter.

The problem isn’t that Bannon will want to launch a nuclear war; even someone who takes a clash-of-civilizations view of radical Islamism isn’t necessarily jonesing for mass destruction, and, besides, Bannon doesn’t have the power to initiate that if he did. The problem is that admiration for these kinds of crackpot theories reveal, or confirm, the dangerous amateurism about in the White House.

Autodidacts like Strauss and Howe—or Bannon—tend to fall in love uncritically with the seductive insights they stumble upon. They tend to disdain the reasons that more expert students of their subjects may offer for rejecting their overly simplistic claims. The penchant for grand explanatory theories frequently reflects an inflexibility of thought, a resistance to contrary evidence, an eagerness to fit everything into an all-encompassing system. But successful policy making depends on intellectual nimbleness and pragmatism, on being able to revise your ideas based on new events and information, on understanding history as a set of contingent choices. The type of person enchanted by The Fourth Turning’s overly neat diagrams and mechanistic arguments, who isn’t compelled to pick apart its glib generalizations, is not someone whose intellectual instincts encourage confidence.

But then I would argue something practical like that. I’m a Generation X nomad.
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#31
(04-13-2017, 08:40 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: Hey again. I found this forum with Google, after seeing that the old one seems to have been removed. Judging by the names here, someone obviously set this up to replace it. I ran across some of the stuff in the OP, which is what sent me back here. I can also add a new one:

Neil Howe NPR Interview (04/11/17)

Interesting interview with Howe, mostly about Steve Bannon. The rest of the left-leaning panel generally attacks Howe and his theories (reflexively, given that they now associate them with Bannon), but he defends them as usual.

I wasn't aware of this connection until now. I remember being aware of Generation Zero when it was released, but never knew Bannon was involved in it. So now apparently S&H is in the White House. Howe consulted with Bannon on the movie, and seems to know him fairly well. 

It is clear that Trump's campaign was based on the kinds of currents S&H defined for a 4T.  I had previously thought it started on 9/11, but I'm willing now to accept that maybe it didn't. Howe has been consistent in declaring the 2008 crash as the catalyst of the 4T. I'm still a bit skeptical of the accuracy of the book's specifics, but the general idea has always seemed legitimate.  

I know just about everyone here will still be on the left, and the left is losing its mind after realizing the vice grip they thought they had on society was imaginary. Howe seems to be in their crosshairs now, because Bannon has had a high opinion of the book. Anyone who's paid attention over time knows that Howe is probably a moderate Democrat, who loved Obama and is now vaguely critical about Trump. His familiarity with Bannon might temper that to some degree.

I made a post on the old forum before the election, joking that maybe Trump is the "Orange Champion". Who knows? If these cycles exist, they would never happen if they were predictable enough for people to see them coming.

The thing I don't want to see, and no one does, is a major war. But while S&H's predictions about the nature of 4T culture and government seemed far fetched a few years ago, they now seem possible. Social conservatism combined with economic populism, nationalism, or however you want to define it, which S&H predicted, was the opposite of Obama. Trump has sounded those themes loudly, but with a relatively incremental policy agenda underneath. The left has howled about Trump's immigration policies, but they're nothing compared to what FDR and Lincoln did domestically (Japanese internment, suspending habeus corpus, etc.).

I guess all I have to say after running into this S&H stuff again is that Howe has more evidence now than he did a year ago to substantiate his theory.

Now that I think about it, I was saying a lot of the things that Trump ended up campaigning on years before, going back to 2006, on the previous forum. Especially about immigration and trade policy being organized around the corporate demand for cheap labor. I wonder if Bannon ever read any of that. That said, Trump has had the same views on trade for decades, so I'm not saying I personally influenced it. The real question is, if Bannon ever posted on the old forum, what was his user name?

FWIW, David Kaiser was in Bannon's movie, and took serious exception to what it argued.  Essentially, Bannon is (was?) trying to use the leverage of cyclical history to move the country his way. He latched on to Trump, and Trump latched on to us.  So far, that's all that's happened.  In 2 years, we'll know a lot better just how successful either Trump or Bannon manage to be.  My gut: they will manage to institutionalize ideological gridlock, but not much else.  I expect the Trump era to be a nothing-burger.  Bluster only carries you so far.  On the other hand, if he actually manages to do something, it will eliminated quickly though the damage done may be substantial.  In short, nothing positive and short odds on something bad.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#32
(04-18-2017, 11:47 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 09:40 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(04-12-2017, 11:31 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: If the Left do not want to face the NRA every election, the Left should stop giving the NRA "ammo" (pun intended) that will be used to shoot the Left.

Gun control in its least offensive form is mandatory background checks.  Eventually, that will win.  Slightly less likely is mandatory collection of gun use data.  Let's assume that wins too.  Since neither affects the ability of 99.9% of the people obtaining firearms, the effect will only be on how ownership affects urban v. rural areas.  Until the rural areas agree that urban gun ownership and use are vastly different and need different solutions, this will percolate below the surface as an irritant in most urban areas. 

The pro-gun crowd is still a minority, albeit a very determined one. If the level of determination shifts toward control, the level of pent up anger may push this much further than the gun crowd can tolerate.  Be careful what you wish for.

"The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment." H.R. Clinton

Poke, poke, poke ....

Angry

I'm not a Hillary fan, but she's right about this.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
Reply
#33
(04-20-2017, 05:05 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(04-13-2017, 08:40 PM)justpassingthrough Wrote: Hey again. I found this forum with Google, after seeing that the old one seems to have been removed. Judging by the names here, someone obviously set this up to replace it. I ran across some of the stuff in the OP, which is what sent me back here. I can also add a new one:

Neil Howe NPR Interview (04/11/17)

Interesting interview with Howe, mostly about Steve Bannon. The rest of the left-leaning panel generally attacks Howe and his theories (reflexively, given that they now associate them with Bannon), but he defends them as usual.

I wasn't aware of this connection until now. I remember being aware of Generation Zero when it was released, but never knew Bannon was involved in it. So now apparently S&H is in the White House. Howe consulted with Bannon on the movie, and seems to know him fairly well. 

It is clear that Trump's campaign was based on the kinds of currents S&H defined for a 4T.  I had previously thought it started on 9/11, but I'm willing now to accept that maybe it didn't. Howe has been consistent in declaring the 2008 crash as the catalyst of the 4T. I'm still a bit skeptical of the accuracy of the book's specifics, but the general idea has always seemed legitimate.  

I know just about everyone here will still be on the left, and the left is losing its mind after realizing the vice grip they thought they had on society was imaginary. Howe seems to be in their crosshairs now, because Bannon has had a high opinion of the book. Anyone who's paid attention over time knows that Howe is probably a moderate Democrat, who loved Obama and is now vaguely critical about Trump. His familiarity with Bannon might temper that to some degree.

I made a post on the old forum before the election, joking that maybe Trump is the "Orange Champion". Who knows? If these cycles exist, they would never happen if they were predictable enough for people to see them coming.

The thing I don't want to see, and no one does, is a major war. But while S&H's predictions about the nature of 4T culture and government seemed far fetched a few years ago, they now seem possible. Social conservatism combined with economic populism, nationalism, or however you want to define it, which S&H predicted, was the opposite of Obama. Trump has sounded those themes loudly, but with a relatively incremental policy agenda underneath. The left has howled about Trump's immigration policies, but they're nothing compared to what FDR and Lincoln did domestically (Japanese internment, suspending habeus corpus, etc.).

I guess all I have to say after running into this S&H stuff again is that Howe has more evidence now than he did a year ago to substantiate his theory.

Now that I think about it, I was saying a lot of the things that Trump ended up campaigning on years before, going back to 2006, on the previous forum. Especially about immigration and trade policy being organized around the corporate demand for cheap labor. I wonder if Bannon ever read any of that. That said, Trump has had the same views on trade for decades, so I'm not saying I personally influenced it. The real question is, if Bannon ever posted on the old forum, what was his user name?

FWIW, David Kaiser was in Bannon's movie, and took serious exception to what it argued.  Essentially, Bannon is (was?) trying to use the leverage of cyclical history to move the country his way. He latched on to Trump, and Trump latched on to us.  So far, that's all that's happened.  In 2 years, we'll know a lot better just how successful either Trump or Bannon manage to be.  My gut: they will manage to institutionalize ideological gridlock, but not much else.  I expect the Trump era to be a nothing-burger.  Bluster only carries you so far.  On the other hand, if he actually manages to do something, it will eliminated quickly though the damage done may be substantial.  In short, nothing positive and short odds on something bad.

That's right.

Lots of people mis-interpret theories and philosophies of various kinds, and contrary to what that Gen X author (whoever he is) says, it does not matter how scientific or religious or philosophical it is. Just remember what people have done with Darwin, Einstein, Freud; whatever it is, people will mis-interpret it.

I applaud Strauss and Howe for bringing cycle ideas back into a study of history. Of course, I also think astrology, as the premier study of cycles, is worth studying too, and Strauss at least did not. But their theory has made better predictions than any pundit ever did, and helped us understand people and history better than anyone which that Gen X author would define as more-scientific ever has. It is remarkable how often people fit with the S&H archetypes, and how history has repeated or at least rhymed in cycles. Skeptics of cyclic history schemes of course say that they choose "convenient examples." That's what they always say, but if there are enough examples, then it's hard to honestly ignore them. When we can all see how the cycles and generations theory works in real life, it's hard to deny. The fact that we are in an era now that, as they predicted, resembles past crises, and that the younger generation whose traits they predicted in 1991 have turned out to be just as they predicted, is evidence that pundits and skeptics can't match who think events and people are just random.

I think we were better served when authors like Toynbee and Spengler, Hegel and Marx, and Northrup Frye, were more-respected. Today's academic tendency to limit "knowledge" to specific random facts verifiable by empirical investigation, is as limited and dangerous as overly-speculative ideas based on no empirical evidence. Mere random facts give us no compass for understanding life or reality. There's a place for noticing patterns, and for recognizing cycles. You don't need an empirical investigation to tell you that the Sun rises every day, that the seasons change, that life moves through phases, that women menstruate in time with the Moon; and from that to conclude that life moves through cycles. Jung and Plato may not have theories you can put in a test-tube, but the idea that there are archetypes works for many people, and a full understanding of reality is impossible without understanding types of various kinds. As Kant showed, you need concepts as well as percepts to know anything.

The remarkable thing about astrology is how well it jives with the Strauss and Howe theory, even though these authors of The Fourth Turning clearly deny any belief or interest in astrology. So, just by coincidence, is it, that the definition of a saeculum in T4T is exactly the same, to the year, as the meaning of a cycle of Uranus around the Sun given by astrology's leading theorist, Dane Rudhyar, as "the length of a typical human life?" Or that astrologers knew about the 80-plus year return of great crises in American history and its dates long before Strauss and Howe were even born? And yet no Steve Bannon character used this astrological cycle to predict and justify a coming war or the dismantling of the administrative state. Actually, as they admit, Strauss and Howe were not the first to notice this cycle, even though they put it together well for the first time. And perhaps the earlier advocates of this cycle may have known about the astrological cycle, which might have gotten more coverage in earlier times like the 1930s.

Bernie Sanders could use these theories to predict his version of the future, just as easily as Steve Bannon and Donald Trump can use it to predict theirs, if he so chose. And we know that Al Gore was interested in the theory too, and so it's part of the background of his vision of a coming crisis too, which unlike Bannon's, is all too real according to science.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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