Monday, March 26, 2007


Back in the late '90's, I read a great book titled "The Fourth Turning", by William Strauss and Neil Howe Basically, the book discussed the cycles of history and how they could be predictive of the future. Written in 1997, the authors declared that we were heading into a cycle of crisis within 10 years.
Strauss and Howe base this vision on a provocative theory of American history as a series of recurring 80- to 100-year cycles. Each cycle has four "turnings"-a High, an
, an Unraveling, and a Crisis. The authors locate today's America as midway through an Unraveling, roughly a decade away from the next Crisis (or Fourth Turning). And they recommend ways Americans can prepare for what's ahead, as a nation and as individuals.

I bring this up because of the many posts on economic, enviormental, and militaristic threats that we face in the near future, and how to get through them.

People support new efforts to wield public authority, whose perceived successes
soon justify more of the same. Government governs, community obstacles are
removed, and laws and customs that resisted change for decades are swiftly
shunted aside. A grim preoccupation with civic peril causes spiritual curiosity to decline. A sense of public urgency contributes to a clampdown on “bad” conduct or “anti-social” lifestyles. People begin feeling shameful about what they earlier did
to absolve guilt. Public order tightens, private risk-taking abates, and crime and substance abuse decline. Families strengthen, gender distinctions widen, and child-rearing reaches a smothering degree of protection and structure. The young focus
their energy on worldly achievements, leaving values in the hands of the old. Wars are fought with fury and for maximum result.
I wish I had a copy of the book with me today, as it has become quite prophetic.

1 comment:

SweaterMan said...

I'll bring ya our copy after work.