The Seventh Crisis and the Millennials
Over the course of recent decades our country has endured an assault on its institutions, its traditions, and its good and decent people. This relentless assault has driven the country into a grave crisis, causing it to pass through a great gate of history. This crisis will be momentous, consequential, and we will be profoundly changed by it.
Our nation has experienced similar existential crises before in the American Revolution, the Civil War and the Great Depression/World War II. Each of these crucibles brought about wide-ranging transformations. As events have accelerated in the past several years, there appears to be little doubt the nation has entered another such crisis.
Why do we term this the seventh crisis? In their 1997 book, The Fourth Turning, demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe viewed history through a generational lens. Their compelling account organizes Anglo-American history into seven repeating cycles starting in the fifteenth century.
The authors make a compelling case that man’s nature, as forged by generation, drives history through amazingly similar cycles by distinguishing four generations by the phase into which each was born.
They use a Roman term (“saeculum”) that basically covers a long human lifetime. As the generations are born, mature, age, and pass, they give each saeculum a seasonal and cyclical quality. Noting many recurring patterns over the ages, their study and organization of history along these recurring cycles has informed the names they have applied to identify each of the phases: The High, The Awakening, The Unraveling, The Crisis.
As each saeculum proceeds, the dominant characteristics of each generation are formed by the forces at play during the saeculum phase within which they move. The authors illustrate that these generational roles drive history through markedly similar cyclical patterns.
They chronicle the current saeculum’s “High” starting in the post-war era and followed by the “Awakening” of the ‘60s and ‘70s. An “Unraveling” begins circa the mid-1980s and slides into Crisis beginning in the early 2000s.
History is not linear and we believe an inflection point was reached following the turn of the twenty-first century. The current generational configuration consists of Baby Boomers born during the post-war High; Gen-X born in the Awakening, 1965 to 1983; Millennials born in the Unraveling, 1984 to 1996; and Gen-Z born from 1997 onward. We have now entered into a new crisis, a Seventh Crisis, which will set the stage for the future by forcing Millennials to make the consequential choices affecting the fate of the American Republic for good or ill.
With the 9/11 terror attacks, the ’08 financial meltdown and COVID-19, America shifted into Crisis mode. Whatever one thinks of the authors’ generational analysis, they were indeed prescient in seeing that the Unraveling of the ‘80s and ‘90s would lead to a Crisis period.
Millennials would do well to take inspiration from our nation’s Founders to form an “animating spirit” to guide them as they engage the Crisis. That spirit, Ordered Liberty, was strongly advocated by Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, Adam Smith and Edmund Burke and was put into full practice by our Founders.
But what is Ordered Liberty? Ordered Liberty is the primacy of the Individual over the Collective and the embrace of values including Capitalism, Judeo-Christian Morality, decentralized as opposed to centralized power, a democratic republic under constitutional law rather than a majoritarian democracy at the mercy of mob rule. All these elements work together to create a society constituted on a national rather than an international basis that protects its own history, its own ethical and religious values, its own myths, its own heroes, its own holidays and its own national heritage.
The main thing one needs to understand regarding Ordered Liberty is the difference between freedom, which is the absence of responsibility, and liberty, which is the shouldering of it.
Of all the “tools” mankind uses to order and stabilize society, government is the most dangerous tool of all. By creating an ever more powerful government, Americans jeopardize their ability to control its excesses and consequently endangers the maintenance of Freedom.
Only Ordered Liberty can reign in government. In the hands of wealthy, powerful and influential individuals or corporate entities, government can act improperly… or even criminally… in the name of addressing some “emergency” or “crisis.” For the past decade, the American people have been subjected to nothing but a continual series of crises, all being used to justify increased government power to deal with them.
Ordered Liberty is peaceful, but it is not peace. It is not a utopia of unrestricted freedom, but a system of self-control that makes freedom possible. It is the spirit which gives each generation the strength and ability to fight whatever enemy of freedom history puts in its path. It is that which will save the Millennials and Gen-Zs from the catastrophic consequences of the Seventh Crisis. Should there remain any doubt of what has descended upon us, its coalescing political contours and defining elements are already manifest.
What were once dark conjectures about the future are now facts about the present.
Where American society once had pride in being part of the Western Enlightenment, its younger members have been taught to seek “emancipation” from its influence.
Where truth was once immutable it is now ephemeral.
Where privacy was once sacred, it is now nearly extinct.
Where the Deep State used to lurk in the shadows, it now brazenly justifies its repression in congressional hearings.
Where the two-party system once debated how government should be run, the Uni-party government now agrees on the necessity of making itself ever more powerful.
Where academia once taught, it now indoctrinates; where it once sought to educate the mind it now seeks to radicalize the soul.
Where Big Tech promised to liberate information, it now censors, controls, and manipulates it.
Where entertainment once provided cultural edification and popular amusement, it now glorifies despair, degeneracy and cultural rot.
Where Religion was once about glorifying GOD, it is now about sacrificing to Gaia.
Borders are obsolete, national culture gives way to multiculture, capitalism steps aside for socialism and individual responsibility is abandoned for the deadly embrace of the government Leviathan. All these and more are the components of the Seventh Crisis.
At the center of the Crisis stands a Transnational Progressive elite that denies the will of the majority of the American people and foments racial division and social discord. It has created a systemic economic crisis that threatens to destroy the Middle and Working Classes and pursues a “globalist” foreign policy that has pushed the country into endless, no-win wars where no American interest is at stake.
It is the failure of the elites in all their manifestations in government, big corporations, Big Tech, and Big Media that has brought us to the precipice of an economic and social disaster… and worse, they seek to exploit the crisis they created in order to expand their already fearsome levels of repressive control over society.
Only the very American concept of Ordered Liberty can overcome their efforts.
Only Ordered Liberty can square the circle between the conflicting dynamics of Freedom and Repression. Only Ordered Liberty can protect the divine, creative engine of Freedom by preventing it from turning into license and chaos. Only Ordered Liberty can accomplish this without being repressively coercive, which is the very essence of the Transnational Progressive alternative.
The former institutions that we have depended on for years to hold back the tides of oppressive Big Government are reeling under attack from a Transnational Progressive movement that openly admits it desires to fundamentally transform not only our Constitutional Republic but also our culture, our economic system, our national sovereignty, our history, our religious values, our families and our national heritage based on civil rights and liberties.
The Millennial and Gen-Z generations will suffer most from the Seventh Crisis. They need to resist it on a political, economic, and social level, but also on a philosophical and spiritual plane. To overcome it, they must do so by transforming the struggle into a personal heroic experience designed to ensure one’s personal liberty through the establishment and maintenance of Ordered Liberty.
Or they will go into the Long Dark.
Messrs. MacGuffie and Stark are authors of the new book The Seventh Crisis -- Why Millennials Must Re-Establish Ordered Liberty, www.seventhcrisis.com which seeks to offer the Millennial generation a way out of the dangerous crisis it currently faces.