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Some ideas on the future
#1
I'm new to this forum, but I wanted to throw some ideas out there.  I remember posting in a similar forum way back in 2006 and people back then thought that we were in a 4th turning.  I disagreed at the time and said it was still the 3rd turning.  Back then the argument was over where we are.  At least that debate is over now.  We are clearly in the Crisis 4th turning.

If you're reading this forum, clearly you understand that the established conventional wisdom is based on post-WW2 institutions/conventions, and we should be throwing that out the window.  By definition, fourth turnings re-make that.  I'm kind of an outside the box thinker and love thinking about where things are going.  For the 2016 presidential election, I was only wrong about 2 states (Wisconsin & New Hampshire) for the record, so I pay a lot of attention to politics but really try not to live in a bubble and stay realistic.  I had it at Trump 300, Clinton 238 going into election day.

For the 2018 midterms, the map is extremely favorable to Republicans because the Senators up for re-election are those who won in 2012 and before that in 2006.  Both 2006 and 2012 were very good Democratic years, so the map has a lot of them running for re-election.  That sets the stage for things we know.  We don't know what the political environment will be like.  Unless it's extremely unfavorable for the Republicans, then the Republicans will hold both the Senate and House. 

Additionally, 3 Supreme Court justices are advanced in age.  Breyer is 78.  Kennedy is 80.  Ginsburg is 84.  The average retirement age over the last 40 years has been 79.  It's quite likely 2 of them will step down and Trump will name their replacements.  Maybe only 1.  Maybe all three.

Currently, there are 4 liberals on the court and 3 conservatives with Kennedy a swing vote and Gorsuch an unknown.  If you look at his record, Kennedy is actually kind of libertarian, so liberals have the majority on social issues and conservatives usually do on economic issues (Roberts is a bit shaky sometimes - really only Alito and Thomas are solid conservatives, too early to tell where Gorsuch lies but most think he'll be a conservative).

But let's run through a scenario.  Say Kennedy steps down this year and Ginsburg does in 2019 when she's 86 due to poor health.  The Court is then a 6-3 majority for conservatives.  Let's say that Trump or maybe Pence wins re-election in 2020 primarily because of all the rage on the Left that middle america is sick of.  Or maybe the Democratic base nominates someone out of touch with the center of the country.  Imagine the reaction on the Left if all this has occurred: Trump has stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives, Republicans win in the 2018 midterms, Trump wins re-election in 2020, etc.

Then, the right will be emboldened to bring cases to the Supreme Court.  Things like right to work are imposed nationwide.  What's the response in California going to be?  You can definitely see a succession movement gaining a lot of steam around 2021.  What if they hold a referendum to secede?  What if Roe v Wade is overturned and riots ensue?  Should California actually secede the nation would take a hard turn to the right.  Absent California, there would be 483 electoral votes with 242 needed to win.  Should Republicans only need 242 then they would win a lot more often, and Democrats would be hopelessly in the minority in the House.  We might be looking at a situation where the Republicans become the dominant political party, which is the norm in American History (for one party to be dominant and the other to win occasionally).  But who knows, it all might backfire and Democrats could surge ahead to be the dominant party going forward.  Too early to say.

On other fronts, the way that university education runs is definitely going to change in this 4th turning/1st turning.  The model of everyone going to college established in the last 1st turning is not working.  The cost of a college education is so high while the value of it is lower and lower since it's becoming more widespread and dumbed down.  The internet is also a big factor.  You can learn more on the Internet for free than at school.  So this model of education might drastically change to something more workable with a lot fewer people going to college and the cost much lower than it is today.

Another wild card is Islamic terrorism.  Islam was a powerful empire for 1300 years until after world war 1 when it was defeated along with Germany.  Historically, Islam has always been a combined religious and political system.  The idea of separation of church and state is foreign to their culture.  Islam is trying to re-assert itself on the world stage, and the cultural depravity of the West is creating an opportunity for them.  Most Westerners apologize for their heritage, culture, and history, which projects weakness, particularly in Europe.  It's highly likely that terrorism will increase in frequency and intensity overs the remainder of this 4th turning, and then the public will demand action.

This might be the external threat that galvanizes the public to unite (65-70% of them anyways - don't expect the Left to go along) to confront this threat.  This crisis period is rapidly waking people up to the reality of the situation.  10 years ago everyone was saying that Islam is a religion of peace.  Today, most people sense that there is a problem.  Probably in another 10 years that idea might be laughable, especially in Europe.  America is more protected due to the oceans surrounding America.

Interesting times that we live in...
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#2
(06-25-2017, 11:31 AM)eb44345 Wrote: I'm new to this forum, but I wanted to throw some ideas out there.  I remember posting in a similar forum way back in 2006 and people back then thought that we were in a 4th turning.  I disagreed at the time and said it was still the 3rd turning.  Back then the argument was over where we are.  At least that debate is over now.  We are clearly in the Crisis 4th turning.

That Forum of course is gone, along with its posts. But the realization that we are going from a decadent time of hedonism and inequality to one of shared danger is nearly individual-by individual or even small clique by small clique. This time there might be no abrupt break from 3T to 4T (and even if people do not recognize the theory of Howe and Strauss they will know that some paterns are changing.  


Quote:If you're reading this forum, clearly you understand that the established conventional wisdom is based on post-WW2 institutions/conventions, and we should be throwing that out the window.  By definition, fourth turnings re-make that.  I'm kind of an outside the box thinker and love thinking about where things are going.  For the 2016 presidential election, I was only wrong about 2 states (Wisconsin & New Hampshire) for the record, so I pay a lot of attention to politics but really try not to live in a bubble and stay realistic.  I had it at Trump 300, Clinton 238 going into election day.


Think of all the assumptions immediately after the 4T ended. Germany and Japan, recently under gangster rule, were to be recognized as possible menaces and watched closely. Chiang Kai-Shek had solidified his position in China. Western control of their colonies was not coming to an end. Stalin had lost so many soldiers that he had to get cautious in foreign policy. Most countries that had won the war would have to fend off a return of the Great Depression that made possible the rise of Satan Incarnate in Germany. White supremacy was still beyond challenge.

All this was wrong. At this point I have more faith in democracy in either Germany, Italy, or Japan than in America. Chiang Kai-Shek was kicked out of the mainland to Taiwan. Stalin had his idea of how to get safety in setting up satellite states that remained such until 1989. There would be no new Great Depression for at least seventy years. White supremacy has been shown to be a fraud. (An aside: I have a retort to those who claim that white people are intellectually superior -- the arguments of white superiority are easily trashed when one recognizes that the arguments that place whites above blacks also put peoples of east Asia above white people). Indonesia and India would become independent, opening a great floodgate for colonies to achieve independence from 'mother countries'.


Quote:For the 2018 midterms, the map is extremely favorable to Republicans because the Senators up for re-election are those who won in 2012 and before that in 2006.  Both 2006 and 2012 were very good Democratic years, so the map has a lot of them running for re-election.  That sets the stage for things we know.  We don't know what the political environment will be like.  Unless it's extremely unfavorable for the Republicans, then the Republicans will hold both the Senate and House. 


Every map is obsolete as soon as it is published. It might be useful, but however accurate a map from 1967 may have been, I would use it only as a period piece. "Get your kicks on Route 66"? The longest Route 66 in America is a 267-mile route connecting Charlevoix, Michigan to the Michigan-Indiana state line just south of Sturgis; it feeds into Indiana 9 near the Indiana Toll Road. But a long trip that my family took in 1987 took US 66 from Joliet, Illinois to Flagstaff, Arizona. This Route 66 was never part of US 66.


Quote:Additionally, 3 Supreme Court justices are advanced in age.  Breyer is 78.  Kennedy is 80.  Ginsburg is 84.  The average retirement age over the last 40 years has been 79.  It's quite likely 2 of them will step down and Trump will name their replacements.  Maybe only 1.  Maybe all three.

Currently, there are 4 liberals on the court and 3 conservatives with Kennedy a swing vote and Gorsuch an unknown.  If you look at his record, Kennedy is actually kind of libertarian, so liberals have the majority on social issues and conservatives usually do on economic issues (Roberts is a bit shaky sometimes - really only Alito and Thomas are solid conservatives, too early to tell where Gorsuch lies but most think he'll be a conservative).

They stayed on with the assumption that Hillary Clinton would win the Presidency and Democrats would win the Senate, in which case they would have moderate-to-liberal replacements. In view of how the Republican-dominated Senate handled the Scalia vacancy, such proved much wiser than it seemed at the time. This is the only significant check upon a political party that has nearly-complete power in America, and has an anti-human, anti-democratic ideology which holds that people not in the economic elite exist solely to obey, enrich, and indulge that economic elite no matter how much suffering that may entail. America is becoming much more like its main three enemies of the Second World War except for a freedom from Jew-baiting than like the political order that America was as the Arsenal of Democracy. Democracy is paradoxically safer in Germany, Italy, and Japan today than in America.  

Gorsuch is undeniably a right-winger who believes the anti-human, profits-first, profits-only ideology of Donald Judas Trump.


Quote:But let's run through a scenario.  Say Kennedy steps down this year and Ginsburg does in 2019 when she's 86 due to poor health.  The Court is then a 6-3 majority for conservatives.  Let's say that Trump or maybe Pence wins re-election in 2020 primarily because of all the rage on the Left that middle america is sick of.  Or maybe the Democratic base nominates someone out of touch with the center of the country.  Imagine the reaction on the Left if all this has occurred: Trump has stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives, Republicans win in the 2018 midterms, Trump wins re-election in 2020, etc.

Your wishful thinking is my nightmare. I can easily see America becoming as repressive a society as China -- and much more objectionably so because China has never had a democratic heritage. The current China guts the totalitarianism of Mao, which is an improvement. The current America is gutting the liberal heritage of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt (either one, by the way), which is an unmitigated disgrace.

Donald Trump makes me wish that I were a citizen of one of at least twenty other countries even if such comes with a big reduction in living standards. I distrust this man and his followers with my economic interests, my hopes, and my civil liberties.  I cannot now imagine Donald Trump winning re-election, or Mike Pence winning election, in 2020. Donald Trump is a demagogue, and the record of demagogues meeting the desires of their supporters after an election is very poor. Donald Trump has sold out his white working-class voters in favor of an economic elite that sees workers as livestock at best and vermin at worst.  


Quote:Then, the right will be emboldened to bring cases to the Supreme Court.  Things like right to work are imposed nationwide.  What's the response in California going to be?  You can definitely see a succession movement gaining a lot of steam around 2021.  What if they hold a referendum to secede?  What if Roe v Wade is overturned and riots ensue?  Should California actually secede the nation would take a hard turn to the right.  Absent California, there would be 483 electoral votes with 242 needed to win.  Should Republicans only need 242 then they would win a lot more often, and Democrats would be hopelessly in the minority in the House.  We might be looking at a situation where the Republicans become the dominant political party, which is the norm in American History (for one party to be dominant and the other to win occasionally).  But who knows, it all might backfire and Democrats could surge ahead to be the dominant party going forward.  Too early to say.

We have yet to see how the 2018 midterm election will go, let alone that of 2020. Midterm elections usually go poorly for the Party of the incumbent President. So it was in 2006. 2010, and 2014. The President is highly unpopular with approval ratings hovering around 40%, so Republicans could be in deep trouble if people want to get the authority of a president that they dislike. Approval ratings for Barack Obama were much higher in 2010, and that did not save the House majority for President Obama.

Yes, the States elect the President and the People don't. But here is a map of how the states support or reject the President based largely on approval ratings: 


Quote:The letter F shall signify a favorability poll, as the only polls that I have for Arizona,  Massachusetts and Oklahoma  

[Image: genusmap.php?year=2012&ev_c=1&pv_p=1&ev_...NE3=0;99;6]

Even -- white



Blue, positive and 40-43%  20% saturation
............................ 44-47%  40%
............................ 48-50%  50%
............................ 51-55%  70%
............................ 56%+     90%

Red, negative and  48-50%  20% (raw approval or favorability)
..........................  44-47%  30%
..........................  40-43%  50%
..........................  35-39%  70%
.......................under  35%  90%

White - tie.
 
Colors chosen for partisan affiliation  

Because the source uses red for Republicans and blue for Democrats in accordance to a long-standing practice from over a century ago you might find the map slightly confusing. But get accustomed to it; you will see it often. Approval in the three states that Trump most barely lost in 2016 (Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire) show him far below where he needs to win either of those those states in 2020. He already is deeply behind in the three states that he most barely won (Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin).   I could say more about states in red -- but he has an approval rating of 43% in Texas, a state that no Democratic nominee  for President has won since Jimmy Carter so did in 1976. One can typically add 6% to get a likely share of the binary vote in a state for an elected incumbent Governor or Senator... if he has a hard time convincing Texas to vote for him in 2020. then he will be losing in a landslide at least as severe as the wins of Bill Clinton and the 2008 election of Barack Obama.

Can he win in 2020? Sure, at least if his Party can rig the election, which I almost expect it to try to do in view of its extremism and amoral ruthlessness. But when an incumbent President has an approval rating around 40% even with the economy humming along and with no international disasters, he is deep in water with an extreme stench. Based on what I see now I project him losing as badly as Hoover in 1932 or Carter in 1980.


Quote:On other fronts, the way that university education runs is definitely going to change in this 4th turning/1st turning.  The model of everyone going to college established in the last 1st turning is not working.  The cost of a college education is so high while the value of it is lower and lower since it's becoming more widespread and dumbed down.  The internet is also a big factor.  You can learn more on the Internet for free than at school.  So this model of education might drastically change to something more workable with a lot fewer people going to college and the cost much lower than it is today.

You seem to be going in a different direction, and I might suggest that you bring this topic to an education forum. The degradation of education reflects the 3T tendency to subordinate service to profit. In most times, institutions private and public alike try to keep quality high and cost modest to the benefit of consumers. Most of us can concur that a truly good liberal arts education is not for everyone, and that people unsuited for post-secondary education that might lead to a bachelor's degree might as well be disabused of their ability to compete at really good schools. Note well that getting a degree from a second-rate or worse college has no value to a career. We have too many four-year colleges and universities as it is, and the bad ones might as well be shuttered. If one is not suited for a modest teacher-training school (probably the minimum level for four-year college) then one might as well be encouraged to learn a vocation that requires less than a college education. 

Obama at the least got the worst-of-the-worst, the dubious vocational schools that took money  (Uncle Sucker guaranteed a loan, but the person getting the loan for attending a for-profit, bad vocational school still had to pay if the degree proved worthless. But I have a thread on those horrible 'schools'. It's telling that President Trump seeks to resuscitate them.


Quote:Another wild card is Islamic terrorism.  Islam was a powerful empire for 1300 years until after world war 1 when it was defeated along with Germany.  Historically, Islam has always been a combined religious and political system.  The idea of separation of church and state is foreign to their culture.  Islam is trying to re-assert itself on the world stage, and the cultural depravity of the West is creating an opportunity for them.  Most Westerners apologize for their heritage, culture, and history, which projects weakness, particularly in Europe.  It's highly likely that terrorism will increase in frequency and intensity overs the remainder of this 4th turning, and then the public will demand action.

This might be the external threat that galvanizes the public to unite (65-70% of them anyways - don't expect the Left to go along) to confront this threat.  This crisis period is rapidly waking people up to the reality of the situation.  10 years ago everyone was saying that Islam is a religion of peace.  Today, most people sense that there is a problem.  Probably in another 10 years that idea might be laughable, especially in Europe.  America is more protected due to the oceans surrounding America.

Most acts of terrorism in America come from the racist, soi-disant Christian Right. Your last two paragraphs are pure bosh.

Quote:Interesting times that we live in...

Boring times are safer.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
I hope no one got the impression that I'm cheering for these things to happen. Personally, I'm very individualistic and libertarian-leaning. It doesn't make me happy that a 4th turning is a time of growing collectivism, both on the Left and on the Right. I spend a lot of time arguing against both leftwing collectivists with their social justice agendas and rightwing collectivists with their white nationalism.

I just brought up the education issue because it's an issue I'm very familiar with having worked at a college for over 10 years. I see the dumbed down curriculum and students unable to find work after college. I see how student's tuition is 3 times what is was for me when I went to the same school 15 years ago. The entire system is unsustainable.

In short, I don't really like the way things are going. I don't want to see a more powerful government, but that's what always happens in a 4th turning. Love this forum though. Lots of deep thinkers here.
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#4
(06-25-2017, 10:06 PM)eb44345 Wrote: I hope no one got the impression that I'm cheering for these things to happen.  Personally, I'm very individualistic and libertarian-leaning.  It doesn't make me happy that a 4th turning is a time of growing collectivism, both on the Left and on the Right.  I spend a lot of time arguing against both leftwing collectivists with their social justice agendas and rightwing collectivists with their white nationalism.

I just brought up the education issue because it's an issue I'm very familiar with having worked at a college for over 10 years.  I see the dumbed down curriculum and students unable to find work after college.  I see how student's tuition is 3 times what is was for me when I went to the same school 15 years ago.  The entire system is unsustainable.

In short, I don't really like the way things are going.  I don't want to see a more powerful government, but that's what always happens in a 4th turning.  Love this forum though.  Lots of deep thinkers here.

I think too many people are hooked on libertarianism. I understand the appeal. Government is "coercive." It seems like lots of people forget just how coercive big business is, and how extremely collectivist it is. You are no more strongly tied to a collective herd than when you work for a boss in a corporation. That is much more collectivist than having social programs paid for by taxes.

We need social justice. Too many people today are unfairly fired, poorly paid, and left without health insurance under the libertarian rule we have had for 40 years now. Too many people are still discriminated against, and even gunned down on the streets by cops for no reason. Our environment is being ravaged in the name of deregulation.

I sympathize with your views on education. I haven't been on campus for a while, and I don't know how dumbed down education is. I know it's too expensive for what you get today, and how hard it is for many millennials to get a job. 

This is in my opinion mostly due to economic libertarians. They turned our society in a direction of privatization, defeating all Democratic Party attempts to make college more affordable. They give all breaks to the upper classes, using self-reliance, small government and "taxes are theft" memes to convince poor whites to blame other poor folks for their declining fortunes, and to vote for Republicans in the hope that giving all the breaks to the "job creaters" will trickle down. It doesn't work. Pain trickles up instead.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#5
Welcome. Back in 2006 we were in the period of time called by one poster (Sean Love) the "Phoney Fourth". Many of us thought the 4T had begun in 2001, some still do. More think it began in 2008, which is when Neil Howe decided to date it, so I will go with that date.

I first came to the old site in 2000. My focus has always been on finding ways to empirically validate the cycle or to test its validity in some way. I have finally come up with some crude tests that are in the form of predictions.

The approach I have taken assumes that the S&H cycle is a theory in the scientific sense and not simply an ideological belief, and as such it can be falsified. The S&H cycle is one of a class of first order cycles (often called generational cycles).  Other examples of such cycles are Easterlin's population cycle, the Kondratieff cycle, Schlesinger's political cycle, Key's critical election cycle, Simon Kuznet's real estate cycle, Modelski and Thompson's Leadership cycle, Wright's War Cycle, Namenwirth's social mood cycle etc.

By comparing these different cycles one can identify commonalities between them.  I am preparing a paper on the analysis of American history in terms of generational cycles using a composite of Schlesinger and Key political cycles. Kuznets and Kondratieff economic cycles, and the S&H cycle. I find a near-significant (p < 0.052) correlation with high and low levels of sociopolitical instability as defined by Turchin 2012. This is moderately encouraging.  If there really is a generational cycle along the lines of what S&H and these other workers propose, then their consensus allows for certain predictions to be made.  If such a cycle does exist, then the period corresponding to a 4T began around 2008 and the election in that year must be a critical election like 1968 was. What made 1968 a critical election was that 5 of the next 6 presidential elections were won by one party. which reflected a significant departure from the pattern of alternating 2 Democratic and 2 Republican terms that has been in place since 1952, except for the 1976-1992 period when it failed. It is this failure in the 65+ year post-1952 pattern that makes 1968 a critical election.  Something like this will happen again if we are in a 4T. The only way this can happen is if Republicans lose the 2020 election, which would be a violation post-1952 pattern indicative of a critical election. But presidents usually win re-election so this is unlikely, which makes a Trump defeat more convincing (after all successful prediction of an event likely to occur by chance is not very meaningful) and a Trump victory more disqualifying for the S&H theory.

The second prediction has to do with sociopolitical instability, which today mostly amounts to the incidence of mass shootings.  The list shows the average number of these instability events (mostly mass shootings) in three year intervals since 1991. It looks like an uptick occurred after 2008. Now, I have applied a model proposed by Turchin to several centuries of this data and found a good fit using two approaches.  One assumes there is an S&H generational influence and one does not.  Assuming S&H influence gives a prediction that these instability levels will get worse into the next decade and peak then. Leaving out S&H influence gives a prediction that we have already seen the worst and it won't get any worse.

1991-93       5
1994-96       7
1997-99       9
2000-02       7
2003-05       4
2006-08       8
2009-11       15
2012-14       17
2015-17       14

This gives two testable predictions.  If Trump loses and violence increases next decade this is strong evidence in favor of the S&H theory.  If neither happens, I would take this as an invalidation of the theory. If it is a mix (50% likely by chance) then the picture remains muddled (Grrrr).
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#6
(06-26-2017, 04:31 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: We're seeing a much longer road to the Regneracy this time around. This is mainly due to the two term rule for Presidents. That changed everything. We are never going to see another FDR or New Deal. We will only see watered down versions, that will hit late in the game. This is why everyone who believes that just because our 21st Version of the America Firsters ousted the Dems, therefore America Firsters will rule the Regeneracy, are highly naive. The US is not a majority tin foil, Isolationist, America Firster country. Blow back is a bitch. The blow back to Trumpists will be "yuuuuuuge."

When the 1T comes, the word conservative and its derivatives will apply to something very different from the economically-elitist, anti-rational, selfish, destructive ideas that many of us associate with the word and its derivatives. Donald Trump will be an example of everything that could go wrong in American political life. The word will apply to respect for precedent and protocol, caution in foreign policy, making sure that people have a stake in the system so that they want to make contributions, having ties to a defined community, thrift, distrust of  public and private debt, and respect for learning. Except for mass thrift (because Obama could not solve the problem of mass poverty through millions being paid far too little to put even small amounts of money aside) that sounds more like Obama than like any other President since Eisenhower.

That also suggests that middle-class members of minority groups will have a big role in shaping American culture, values, and politics. Many have already set the pattern for the 1T, and when middle-class white people start recognizing that they have much more in common with middle-class members of minority groups at least by culture, then politics will follow. Only then will the Regeneracy be underway.

Obama was as pre-seasonal as a President could be. It's hard to see what season Trump fits. I question whether he will live long enough to see the full repertory of derision that he will have as "Dolt 45"... and if he does live long enough he will probably be too deep into dementia to recognize the derision for what it is.

America will have learned a harsh lesson from Trump: Never trust a demagogue. Civics lessons around 2025 and later will show him as a warning to later generations.

I can predict two big changes in American life by 2030: first, that Americans will insist upon solid pay for their toils. The second is that people will be paying cash for what they get and putting a little aside. Small savers are slightly conservative; they don't want inflation to gut their savings, but neither do they want high unemployment to force them to eat their savings or turn to loan sharks. The payday-loan, rent-to-own, and car title loan rip-offs will be as rare around 2030 as they were around 1955.

Quote:BTW - I am actually a Rightist ... but I ain't no America Firster, I hate Trump, and I am the type of Righty who will play ball during the Regeneracy ... because it's the patriotic thing to do!

You are the sort of right-winger that will fit well under the next Eisenhower-style President.
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
So what can possibly go wrong?

1. Incompetent leadership. The leadership is simply insane, demented, stupid, or lazy. This is more competent in an absolute monarchy, few of which remain, than in democracies. Nothing can stop the bad leader from doing stupid things like declaring war on Austria when one really means Australia.

2. Evil leadership. Enough said.

3. Extreme polarization. Think of the prelude to the Spanish Civil War, and how that might apply to America, a country riven with ultra-modern minds and medieval minds wielding cultural, political, and administrative power.

4. Class struggle. By now I would have thought Karl Marx irrelevant in the modern world. Then comes Donald Trump.

5. Miscalculations. Leaders call a bluff and get burned, or "loose the fateful lightning of the terrible, swift ... nuke" and expect no bad consequences for themselves.

6. Fanaticism. People in one country have a missionary zeal to spread an ideal unwelcome in other countries into those countries.

7. Misunderstandings. See the assassination of the Archduke. Or misjudge a meteor strike as a nuclear bomb blast.

8. Secondary consequences -- starvation and pandemics.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#8
(06-26-2017, 06:42 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(06-25-2017, 10:06 PM)eb44345 Wrote: I hope no one got the impression that I'm cheering for these things to happen.  Personally, I'm very individualistic and libertarian-leaning.  It doesn't make me happy that a 4th turning is a time of growing collectivism, both on the Left and on the Right.  I spend a lot of time arguing against both leftwing collectivists with their social justice agendas and rightwing collectivists with their white nationalism.

I just brought up the education issue because it's an issue I'm very familiar with having worked at a college for over 10 years.  I see the dumbed down curriculum and students unable to find work after college.  I see how student's tuition is 3 times what is was for me when I went to the same school 15 years ago.  The entire system is unsustainable.

In short, I don't really like the way things are going.  I don't want to see a more powerful government, but that's what always happens in a 4th turning.  Love this forum though.  Lots of deep thinkers here.

I think too many people are hooked on libertarianism. I understand the appeal. Government is "coercive." It seems like lots of people forget just how coercive big business is, and how extremely collectivist it is. You are no more strongly tied to a collective herd than when you work for a boss in a corporation. That is much more collectivist than having social programs paid for by taxes.

As long as there are a reasonable number of competitors, you can switch to a different corporation.  This threat keeps the corporations in line.

When corporations consolidate into oligopolies and monopolies, that's when the problems happen.  That's also part of the growing collectivism of the fourth turning,  though.
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#9
(06-27-2017, 01:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: [As long as there are a reasonable number of competitors, you can switch to a different corporation.  This threat keeps the corporations in line.
Assuming that the "you" refers to an employee, this is not generally true. It is only true if competitors are hiring. Hiring is strongest towards the end of business cycle expansions, so one can do this reliably only part of the time.

That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).  When the terrain is favorable (good job prospects) or the worker has allies (a union) then the bargaining can occur on an even field.  Otherwise it is tilted against the employee.

This is simply a manifestation of the basic capitalistic process and "the Mathew Effect".
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#10
(06-27-2017, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 01:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: [As long as there are a reasonable number of competitors, you can switch to a different corporation.  This threat keeps the corporations in line.
Assuming that the "you" refers to an employee, this is not generally true. It is only true if competitors are hiring. Hiring is strongest towards the end of business cycle expansions, so one can do this reliably only part of the time.

The point stands that there's a mechanism to keep corporations in line that doesn't apply to governments.  Governmental levels of coercion didn't develop over a single business cycle.

Quote:That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).

The size disparity was just as true 50 years ago, and back then employees were getting a much larger share of productivity improvements, so that's not what's driving the issue.  What has changed has been high levels of immigration, undermining employees' bargaining position by providing more competition.  That has everything to do with government coercion and little to do with business coercion.
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#11
(06-26-2017, 07:27 PM)Mikebert Wrote: Welcome. Back in 2006 we were in the period of time called by one poster (Sean Love) the "Phoney Fourth". Many of us thought the 4T had begun in 2001, some still do. More think it began in 2008, which is when Neil Howe decided to date it, so I will go with that date.

I first came to the old site in 2000. My focus has always been on finding ways to empirically validate the cycle or to test its validity in some way. I have finally come up with some crude tests that are in the form of predictions.

The approach I have taken assumes that the S&H cycle is a theory in the scientific sense and not simply an ideological belief, and as such it can be falsified. The S&H cycle is one of a class of first order cycles (often called generational cycles).  Other examples of such cycles are Easterlin's population cycle, the Kondratieff cycle, Schlesinger's political cycle, Key's critical election cycle, Simon Kuznet's real estate cycle, Modelski and Thompson's Leadership cycle, Wright's War Cycle, Namenwirth's social mood cycle etc.

By comparing these different cycles one can identify commonalities between them.  I am preparing a paper on the analysis of American history in terms of generational cycles using a composite of Schlesinger and Key political cycles. Kuznets and Kondratieff economic cycles, and the S&H cycle. I find a near-significant (p < 0.052) correlation with high and low levels of sociopolitical instability as defined by Turchin 2012. This is moderately encouraging.  If there really is a generational cycle along the lines of what S&H and these other workers propose, then their consensus allows for certain predictions to be made.  If such a cycle does exist, then the period corresponding to a 4T began around 2008 and the election in that year must be a critical election like 1968 was. What made 1968 a critical election was that 5 of the next 6 presidential elections were won by one party. which reflected a significant departure from the pattern of alternating 2 Democratic and 2 Republican terms that has been in place since 1952, except for the 1976-1992 period when it failed. It is this failure in the 65+ year post-1952 pattern that makes 1968 a critical election.  Something like this will happen again if we are in a 4T. The only way this can happen is if Republicans lose the 2020 election, which would be a violation post-1952 pattern indicative of a critical election. But presidents usually win re-election so this is unlikely, which makes a Trump defeat more convincing (after all successful prediction of an event likely to occur by chance is not very meaningful) and a Trump victory more disqualifying for the S&H theory.

The second prediction has to do with sociopolitical instability, which today mostly amounts to the incidence of mass shootings.  The list shows the average number of these instability events (mostly mass shootings) in three year intervals since 1991. It looks like an uptick occurred after 2008. Now, I have applied a model proposed by Turchin to several centuries of this data and found a good fit using two approaches.  One assumes there is an S&H generational influence and one does not.  Assuming S&H influence gives a prediction that these instability levels will get worse into the next decade and peak then. Leaving out S&H influence gives a prediction that we have already seen the worst and it won't get any worse.

1991-93       5
1994-96       7
1997-99       9
2000-02       7
2003-05       4
2006-08       8
2009-11       15
2012-14       17
2015-17       14

This gives two testable predictions.  If Trump loses and violence increases next decade this is strong evidence in favor of the S&H theory.  If neither happens, I would take this as an invalidation of the theory. If it is a mix (50% likely by chance) then the picture remains muddled (Grrrr).

I think there is a lot of similarity between today's social mood and the 1850s. Trump is basically Buchanan if Buchanan had been an evil narcissist.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#12
"I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People"

Quote:Like many Americans, I’m having politics fatigue. Or, to be more specific, arguing-about-politics fatigue.

I haven’t run out of salient points or evidence for my political perspective, but there is a particular stumbling block I keep running into when trying to reach across the proverbial aisle and have those “difficult conversations” so smugly suggested by think piece after think piece:

I don’t know how to explain to someone why they should care about other people.

Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.

I’m perfectly content to pay taxes that go toward public schools, even though I’m childless and intend to stay that way, because all children deserve a quality, free education. If this seems unfair or unreasonable to you, we are never going to see eye to eye.

If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged.

I don’t know how to convince someone how to experience the basic human emotion of empathy. I cannot have one more conversation with someone who is content to see millions of people suffer needlessly in exchange for a tax cut that statistically they’ll never see (do you make anywhere close to the median American salary? Less? Congrats, this tax break is not for you).

I cannot have political debates with these people. Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society, how to be a good person, and why any of that matters.

There are all kinds of practical, self-serving reasons to raise the minimum wage (fairly compensated workers typically do better work), fund public schools (everyone’s safer when the general public can read and use critical thinking), and make sure every American can access health care (outbreaks of preventable diseases being generally undesirable).

But if making sure your fellow citizens can afford to eat, get an education, and go to the doctor isn’t enough of a reason to fund those things, I have nothing left to say to you.

I can’t debate someone into caring about what happens to their fellow human beings. The fact that such detached cruelty is so normalized in a certain party’s political discourse is at once infuriating and terrifying.

The “I’ve got mine, so screw you,” attitude has been oozing from the American right wing for decades, but this gleeful exuberance in pushing legislation that will immediately hurt the most vulnerable among us is chilling.

Perhaps it was always like this. I’m (relatively) young, so maybe I’m just waking up to this unimaginable callousness. Maybe the emergence of social media has just made this heinous tendency more visible; seeing hundreds of accounts spring to the defense of policies that will almost certainly make their lives more difficult is incredible to behold.

I don’t know if what’s changed ― or indeed, if anything has ― and I don’t have any easy answers. But I do know I’m done trying to convince these hoards of selfish, cruel people to look beyond themselves.

Futility can’t be good for my blood pressure, and the way things are going, I won’t have health insurance for long.

This opinion piece I ran into this morning I think perfectly sums up this 4T. There can be no compromise with evil. And yes, I have no resistance to calling the modern Republican Party pure, unadulterated evil.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#13
(06-27-2017, 05:49 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(06-26-2017, 10:22 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(06-26-2017, 04:31 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: We're seeing a much longer road to the Regneracy this time around. This is mainly due to the two term rule for Presidents. That changed everything. We are never going to see another FDR or New Deal. We will only see watered down versions, that will hit late in the game. This is why everyone who believes that just because our 21st Version of the America Firsters ousted the Dems, therefore America Firsters will rule the Regeneracy, are highly naive. The US is not a majority tin foil, Isolationist, America Firster country. Blow back is a bitch. The blow back to Trumpists will be "yuuuuuuge."

When the 1T comes, the word conservative and its derivatives will apply to something very different from the economically-elitist, anti-rational, selfish, destructive ideas that many of us associate with the word and its derivatives. Donald Trump will be an example of everything that could go wrong in American political life. The word will apply to respect for precedent and protocol, caution in foreign policy, making sure that people have a stake in the system so that they want to make contributions, having ties to a defined community, thrift, distrust of  public and private debt, and respect for learning. Except for mass thrift (because Obama could not solve the problem of mass poverty through millions being paid far too little to put even small amounts of money aside) that sounds more like Obama than like any other President since Eisenhower.

That also suggests that middle-class members of minority groups will have a big role in shaping American culture, values, and politics. Many have already set the pattern for the 1T, and when middle-class white people start recognizing that they have much more in common with middle-class members of minority groups at least by culture, then politics will follow. Only then will the Regeneracy be underway.

Obama was as pre-seasonal as a President could be. It's hard to see what season Trump fits. I question whether he will live long enough to see the full repertory of derision that he will have as "Dolt 45"... and if he does live long enough he will probably be too deep into dementia to recognize the derision for what it is.

America will have learned a harsh lesson from Trump: Never trust a demagogue. Civics lessons around 2025 and later will show him as a warning to later generations.

I can predict two big changes in American life by 2030: first, that Americans will insist upon solid pay for their toils. The second is that people will be paying cash for what they get and putting a little aside. Small savers are slightly conservative; they don't want inflation to gut their savings, but neither do they want high unemployment to force them to eat their savings or turn to loan sharks. The payday-loan, rent-to-own, and car title loan rip-offs will be as rare around 2030 as they were around 1955.

Quote:BTW - I am actually a Rightist ... but I ain't no America Firster, I hate Trump, and I am the type of Righty who will play ball during the Regeneracy ... because it's the patriotic thing to do!

You are the sort of right-winger that will fit well under the next Eisenhower-style President.

Excellent post, thank you very much!

I do agree with Brower's analysis of the "sort of right-winger" that "you are."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#14
(06-28-2017, 06:06 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote: That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).

The size disparity was just as true 50 years ago, and back then employees were getting a much larger share of productivity improvements, so that's not what's driving the issue.  What has changed has been high levels of immigration, undermining employees' bargaining position by providing more competition.  That has everything to do with government coercion and little to do with business coercion.

You are also leaving out the massive increase in crony capitalism and the exponential increase in the size of the Federal Register.  Then there is that huge debt sucking capital out of the private sector along with the rounds of QE which were explicitly done to push up asset prices.  Care to take a guess at who that helps out?  It sure isn't small business.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. -- H.L. Mencken

If one rejects laissez faire on account of man's fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action.   -- Ludwig von Mises
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#15
(06-29-2017, 03:20 AM)Galen Wrote:
(06-28-2017, 06:06 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote: That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).

The size disparity was just as true 50 years ago, and back then employees were getting a much larger share of productivity improvements, so that's not what's driving the issue.  What has changed has been high levels of immigration, undermining employees' bargaining position by providing more competition.  That has everything to do with government coercion and little to do with business coercion.

You are also leaving out the massive increase in crony capitalism and the exponential increase in the size of the Federal Register.  Then there is that huge debt sucking capital out of the private sector along with the rounds of QE which were explicitly done to push up asset prices.  Care to take a guess at who that helps out?  It sure isn't small business.

Other contributing factors:

1. Population growth. First, workers face more competition for any jobs, especially for those well-paying jobs whose growth does not increase with the population. Of course, accountants in Chicago are competing with accountants in Atlanta for accounting opportunities in Houston; fast-food workers in Lansing are not competing with fast-food workers in Grand Rapids for similar jobs in Kalamazoo. Second, workers are competing for real estate, and landlords like Donald Trump can exploit that competition to the fullest. Contrast the situation in places with declining population, like (at the extreme) a dying city like Youngstown, Ohio.

2. The disappearance of manufacturing jobs. These jobs paid well for people of limited education but who were physically fit, willing to get their hands dirty, and willing to do hard work under rigid discipline. Contrast the work of a convenience-store cashier. Limited education is still a reality, but the work isn't strenuous... and the only dirty work might be sweeping a floor or cleaning a toilet.

3. The rise of an ideology that holds that no human suffering is in excess so long as economic elites (including the executive elite which resembles a Soviet-style nomenklatura) get what they want. That ideology largely defines the values shaping American politics. That's the plantation ideology of the South with the Gilded-Age ideology of the North. This also fits the extreme narcissism that the elites exult in themselves but do not tolerate among the masses who are expected to humble themselves before their economic masters and pretend to love doing so. Workers get the shaft.

4. Degradation of American democracy. Lobbyists really control the federal legislative branch and most state legislatures. The paymasters of the lobbyists want high costs and low wages to workers... and high profits but low taxes for themselves. The paymasters of the lobbyists are the economic elites. Those elites like the illusion of democracy more than the reality.

The United States of America is no longer a democracy. It is simply a pure plutocracy.

5. The loss of democracy means the loss of responsibility of the economic elites to any other than themselves. But we are all responsible to those elites.

6. The tax laws are designed to favor giant enterprises but make compliance difficult for small-scale businesses.
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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#16
The disparity between pay received by management and that received by employees has gone up astronomically in recent years, especially since 1990:

http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-h...ince-1978/

The right-wing plutocrat apologists like Galen say that CEOs deserve higher pay because they earn it and are that valuable. Even in Forbes there's an article that disproves this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/...tudy-says/
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#17
(06-28-2017, 06:06 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 01:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: [As long as there are a reasonable number of competitors, you can switch to a different corporation.  This threat keeps the corporations in line.

Assuming that the "you" refers to an employee, this is not generally true. It is only true if competitors are hiring. Hiring is strongest towards the end of business cycle expansions, so one can do this reliably only part of the time.

The point stands that there's a mechanism to keep corporations in line that doesn't apply to governments.  Governmental levels of coercion didn't develop over a single business cycle.

Can I assume that you disregard elections as a method of keeping government in line?  How about the courts?  

Warren Dew Wrote:
Mikebert Wrote:That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).

The size disparity was just as true 50 years ago, and back then employees were getting a much larger share of productivity improvements, so that's not what's driving the issue.  What has changed has been high levels of immigration, undermining employees' bargaining position by providing more competition.  That has everything to do with government coercion and little to do with business coercion.

This is disingenuous.  We still had the remnants of activist government, liberal courts and real labor unions 50 years ago.  It took Ronald Reagan to destroy that paradigm, and its been downhill ever since.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#18
(06-28-2017, 07:04 AM)Odin Wrote: I think there is a lot of similarity between today's social mood and the 1850s. Trump is basically Buchanan if Buchanan had been an evil narcissist.

If that's true, and I truly hope its not, then the corrective maybe just as excessive as the ACW.  Let's hope that we avoid massively killing one another, but some form of violence seems baked into that scenario.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#19
(06-29-2017, 03:20 AM)Galen Wrote:
(06-28-2017, 06:06 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(06-27-2017, 06:27 AM)Mikebert Wrote: That this mechanism can "keep corporations in line" is disputed by the trend in fraction of output that goes to worker, which has steadily declined over the past 30 years showing that bosses have had the upper hand over the employees.  In general management typically has the upper hand as they are many (they represent shareholders and management who are thousands of people controlling billions of dollars) against one (the employee, who if he controlled significant wealth would not need the job).

The size disparity was just as true 50 years ago, and back then employees were getting a much larger share of productivity improvements, so that's not what's driving the issue.  What has changed has been high levels of immigration, undermining employees' bargaining position by providing more competition.  That has everything to do with government coercion and little to do with business coercion.

You are also leaving out the massive increase in crony capitalism and the exponential increase in the size of the Federal Register.  Then there is that huge debt sucking capital out of the private sector along with the rounds of QE which were explicitly done to push up asset prices.  Care to take a guess at who that helps out?  It sure isn't small business.

So to recap: buzz words followed by unfounded conclusions.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#20
(06-29-2017, 11:35 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: The disparity between pay received by management and that received by employees has gone up astronomically in recent years, especially since 1990:

http://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-pay-h...ince-1978/

The right-wing plutocrat apologists like Galen say that CEOs deserve higher pay because they earn it and are that valuable. Even in Forbes there's an article that disproves this.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/...tudy-says/

If they are worth it, why not in other countries too?  Only in America.  Huh
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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