Is America in a Fourth Turning?

America is in a topsy-turvy state.  Anyone who doesn't know that outright at least senses it.  A just taken CNN poll finds that 70 percent of Americans are pessimistic about the country. 

The conditions that have brought us to this state have been brewing for years.  But things accelerated in 2016 with the election of Donald Trump.  That was a repudiation of our decadent elite, which the high and mighty did not take lightly.  This brought about an ongoing illegal coup against President Trump by Deep State government bureaucrats, which was aided and abetted by the corporate media and Democrat party.  It all accumulated in the stolen election of 2020.  This sordid event saddled the United States with the senile Joe Biden as president.  And now America is being traumatized with the Wuhan virus, the hype of which is being used as a pretext for draconian government curtailment of our rights and freedom.  Staggering as it may sound, on Thursday, this fraudulently installed president all but declared war on the 80-plus million unvaccinated Americans.

The country is discombobulated.  The old rules and norms don't seem to apply.  All this turmoil brought to mind The Fourth Turning (1997).  Without going into detail, authors William Strauss and Neil Howe see history as unfolding in repeatable eighty- to one-hundred-year cycles, each of which they call a saeculum.  The saeculum mirrors the seasons of life, expressed as generations move through society.  The culmination of a cycle is a crisis, a turning point, or a "fourth turning."  More specifically: "The Fourth Turning is a Crisis, a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one."  This means that the old is swept away, preparing society for something new.  From a fourth turning, there is no going back to the pre-crisis normal.  A fourth turning puts society on a knife's edge.  It could literally destroy us as a nation and a people.  Or it could lead to something better. 

As for timing, Strauss and Howe wrote: "The saecular rhythm foretells another American Crisis in the first quarter of the twenty-first century."  Continuing: "The next Crisis era will most likely extend roughly from the middle of the Oh-Ohs to the mid-2020s.  Its climax is not likely to occur before 2005 or later than 2025."

We're in that timeframe right now.  Remember, The Fourth Turning was written in 1997.

Here are some of the things Strauss and Howe predict in the time of our fourth turning.  There will be a tearing of civic fabric and an implosion in social trust.  As the crisis mood congeals, people will come to the realization that they have grown helplessly dependent on a teetering edifice of anonymous transactions and paper guarantees.  Much of the Boomer population will see the thinness of their savings and the unsustainability of government promises such as pensions, Medicare, and Social Security. 

"Before long, America's old civic order will seem ruined beyond repair.  People will feel like a magnet has passed over society's disk drive, blanking out the social contract, wiping out old deals, clearing the books of vast unpayable promises to which people had once felt entitled."  Law and order will be back in vogue.  "Criminal justice will become swift and rough.  Vagrants will be rounded up, the mentally ill recommitted, criminal appeals short-circuited, executions hastened."  There will also be the real danger of foreign wars fought on the do-or-die terms of WWII and not the recent military engagement with all their politically correct niceties and aversion to casualties and collateral damage.

The fourth turning is a gut-wrenching time.  One would have to read the book to grasp all of what Strauss and Howe see for our time of crisis.  It suffices here to sum up their prospects for the future: the crisis will lead to either a disintegration of the nation or to great civic achievement.  It will be a time of ruin or glory.  Out of this mess, each of us has a responsibility to do what we can in the here and now to make sure it's the latter.  It's a tall mountain to climb, but that's the task before us.  To paraphrase something Leon Trotsky supposedly said: You may not be interested in the fourth turning, but the fourth turning is interested in you.

Image via Pixabay.

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