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The Fourth Turning

user profile picture Chris Martenson Feb 10, 2021
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I care a lot about the future.  I wish it to be as abundant, hospitable, & prosperous for as many people as possible.

Of course, how it actually turns out is not up to me.  It’s up to us.

Where we need unity to accomplish some really huge, if not heroic, things over the coming years and decades, we’re as fractured as we’ve every been culturally and politically.  That there are certain parties actively driving wedges and seeking disunity bothers me greatly.  I believe history will once again be very unkind in how it remembers such people, but that’s another story for another day.

The good news is that more and more people are waking up to the realities of uncaring and defective institutions that favor the rich over the poor, the powerful over the weak, and profits over individual health and wellness. All of that has been laid bare by Covid, by the GameStop fiasco, and by the whiplash inducing narrative changes that have accompanied things like masks (None! They don’t work.  Wait, wear one! No two!  Three!).

In the Fourth Turning model of Strauss and Howe the fourth cyclical turning refers to a time of crisis.  Chief among the losses that mark such an era is a loss of faith in the main institutions.

From a 2020 interview with Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning:

Chris Martenson: Well, let’s get right into it. The Fourth Turning, what is it?

Neil Howe: Well, it was a book that Bill Strauss and I wrote back in 1997. It was actually…there was a prior book that was sort of the foundation or the basis for our whole paradigm was a book we wrote in 1991 called, Generations of the history of America’s future. That was a big book. That was a long project. That took us several years actually. We basically rewrote all of American history as a sequence of generational biographies. Collective biographies of generations.

What we showed is not only is them every generation in American history distinctly different in its pure personality, it’s habits, it’s attitude toward family risk, civic service, and so forth. But that people were always aware of these differences even going back to the 17th century.

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Top Comment

Excellent post, Chris. I agree with all of this. Personally, I have completely lost faith in all authority. That’s something, considering that I was a...
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