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Answering the Fourth Turning

Answering the Fourth Turning

This section of the analysis proposes an answer to a question posed at the end of a book. That question is: "[The history of the next 20 years in America] is not yet written. What will it be?"

The answer proposed by this section is: People vs. Corporations. Furthermore, this section argues that this answer falls directly out of the theory described in that book. In other words, the book answers its own question -- even though the authors themselves don't seem to have realized that.

The book I'm referring to is An American Prophecy: The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny, by William Strauss and Neil Howe (1997).

Why might this topic interest you? Reasons this topic interests me include:

  1. The authors predict the next 20 years (or so) of American history will involve a crisis every bit as terrifying and transformative as was the Great Depression and Word War II (1929-1946), the Civil War (1860-1865), and the American Revolution (1773-1794).
  2. Writing in 1997, the authors more or less "called" September 11, 2001. In other words, this event seems to have corroborated the authors' claim to have issued a "prophecy".
  3. The book is considered to be politically "conservative" by some. Indeed, the Conservative Bookstore seems to like it. Moreover, judging by the comments on Strauss & Howe's message boards for the book, it seems that a number of "conservatives" see Mr. Bush's "pre-emptive war without end against terrorism" as the crisis in question.
  4. I disagree. As noted above, I believe the crisis will be about People vs. Corporations. I derive that belief from a simple pattern I think I've spotted in Strauss & Howe's book. Moreover, my belief seems to be corroborated by current happenings (circa December 2003).

In part, based on this belief of mine, my wife and I recently decided to work toward drilling a well, and powering it via solar energy. We are also learning the ancient practice of growing our own food. Don't misunderstand me. We'd be doing this no matter what the future holds. This sort of life is a shared dream of ours. The belief I mention above simply gives the two of us a bit of a kick in the pants.

So it's a win-win for us. If the sh** hits the fan, perhaps, with some luck, we'll be in decent shape. If the sh** misses, then fate willing, we'll be in great shape.

So why am I starting this blog? I am starting it because recent events seem to corroborate my theory. In fact, these events suggest that Strauss & Howe's prediction of 2005 as the starting year for the crisis may prove, well, prophetic. And hey, if my analysis is right, I figure at least some of you might want to know about it. Perhaps some among us might even think of ways to lessen the severity of the impending crisis. I mean if we can see the train coming, perhaps some of us can get off the track in time.

Of course, if my analysis is wrong, I'll be happy to be disabused.

So stay tuned

[posted: 12/10/03]

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