By Michael Patrick, Ph.D.
False prophets are a dime a dozen. Temperamentally, I am a Puddleglum —that is, someone who is prone to believe that we might all end up “knifing one another, I shouldn’t wonder, before all’s done.” Fortunately, I am cared for mostly by optimists.
Meanwhile, when I gaze at the deconstructed mess that has engulfed America in fiery passions these days, I am reminded of a particular book that helps to unpack these troubles in recurring generation cycles throughout American history.
Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe’s historical-sociological theory has been widely published and laid out in their 1997 book, “The Fourth Turning.”
It is worth another glance. As it stands, their theory eerily forecasts much of our current crisis in which America’s memetic tribes are deadlocked in passionate and seemingly irreconcilable conflicts.
Their forecast? One absolute rule of history is that crisis eras such as this one are marked by the rise of large, dictatorial, authoritarian, and intrusive regimes. Based on history, they offer no exceptions.
I stand by my own sense in the ebb and flow of news that we haven’t yet witnessed the catastrophic worst of this 2021 summer. I am open to accept that I am most likely wrong. I hope so. On the other hand, the bald-faced evidence suggests Strauss and Howe outlook is hauntingly correct. Things will not end well.
Here’s a recent article explaining. This is not a sponsored post.