Fourth Turning

I think I may have to read this book. I’m a sucker for eerily accurate predictions:

What are we in store for in the coming Fourth Turning?  In 1997, the authors predicted:

Around the year 2005 [give or take a few years], a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood.  Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate.  Political and economic trust will implode.  Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation and empire.  Yet this time of trouble will bring seeds of social rebirth.  Americans will share a regret about recent mistakes – and a resolute new consensus about what to do.  The very survival of the nation will feel at stake.  Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.

The risk of catastrophe will be very high.  The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule.  If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, total war…

Yet Americans will also enter the Fourth Turning with a unique opportunity to achieve a new greatness as a people.  Many despair that values that were new in the 1960s are today so entwined with social dysfunction and cultural decay that they can no longer lead anywhere positive.  Through the current Unraveling era, that is probably true.  But in the crucible of Crisis, that will change.  As the old civic order gives way, Americans will have to craft a new one.   This will require a values consensus and, to administer it, the empowerment of a strong new political regime…By the 2020’s, America could become a society that is good, by today’s standards and also one that works.

Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse – or glory.  The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed.  Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition.  The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.

I do NOT like the idea of a “Gray Champion” emerging to lead us into the next iteration, though….

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1 Response to Fourth Turning

  1. Rivrdog says:

    If my youngest (and best-educated) child is any indication, we have much to worry about with the “Fourth Turning”. While displaying outstanding attention to academic effort, she has poorly prepared herself for the real world, and at 30, as an MD in her third and last year of residency in Emergency Medicine, still requires guidance in some cultural matters. She should, in fact, be GIVING that guidance, but the educational system which has conferred all those degrees on her also let her down by never requiring her to demonstrate any sort of concept of human leadership.

    As a result, she has bought her guidance from the Left, which always seems to have a new suit of clothes for any Emperor…

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