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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Fourth Turning
Gramps49
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The Fourth Turning is a book that Steve Bannon and Donald Trump follow almost religiously.

Essentially, the book argues that history goes in 80 year cycles. It traces sessional like changes in American History that follows generational changes. For instance, After WWII, America went through a Spring of sorts during the 50's and 60's with great prosperity, then the 70's and 80's was like a summer when we were at the top of the cycle. Then came the fall starting in the 90's and into the 00's. Now we are in a winter cycle when there should be an upheaval of norms.

Now the book can be read one of two ways. Some take the book positively saying we are on the cusp of a new spring that will be quite bright. Others see it darkly

Consequently, when Trump says he inherited a mess and it is up to him to change everything, he is following the script he sees outlined in the book. He is the new savior for America. The deal of it is, he wants to go back to the 50's.

Sorry, Mr Trump, I do not see the world running in a 80 year cycle, nor do I see you as a savior

Posts: 1857 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Ideological nutbars whose command of history starts and ends on American shores. Unfortunately their thalassocracy doesn't. They look like other ignoramus presidents and henchmen from the last 100 years.

Never a woman, who are reduced to pornography like their ideas about international relations and human lives.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 10573 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
The Fourth Turning is a book that Steve Bannon and Donald Trump follow almost religiously.

I'm not convinced of this. Donald Trump doesn't read books. I can, however, believe Donald Trump follows what might be termed "The Fourth Turning for Idiots, as Summarized in Soundbites by Steve Bannon". I can see the appeal. Being a revolutionary figure who changes everything would appeal to Trump's sense of grandiosity.

quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Essentially, the book argues that history goes in 80 year cycles.

This is true as far as it goes, at least for American history and the Constitutional order. The timespan from the adoption of the U.S. Constitution to the adoption of the Civil War amendments ("a new birth of freedom") was approximately 80 years. From the Civil War amendments to the New Deal (which once again re-defined the American Constitutional order) was 65-70 years, depending on how you date "the New Deal". From the New Deal to the present day is 79-84 years (again, depending on how you date "the New Deal"). So far, so good.

However, claiming that this is some kind of inevitable cycle with a fixed period doesn't follow, unless you can explain the mechanisms involved. At that point you're not engaged in history or sociology, but numerology.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10225 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rocinante
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The money quote from the linked article:

"Two amateur historians... developed a new theory of American history"

'Nuff said really. You might as well base policy on the proceedings of the local antiquarian society.

Are they following this book because it's the one they've both read? Actually I'd be surprised if Trump has finished it.

Posts: 324 | From: UK | Registered: Jan 2016  |  IP: Logged
Gramps49
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Of course, history begins and ends on American shores, after all, we are exceptional. You should know that. [Biased]

I listened to a short interview with the author of the book. While he is using American history as an illustration, he would argue that this cyclical pattern could be traced throughout world history. He claimed it is very much accepted in Eastern thought, (China, Japan, etc).

Posts: 1857 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Prester John
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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Of course, history begins and ends on American shores, after all, we are exceptional. You should know that. [Biased]

I listened to a short interview with the author of the book. While he is using American history as an illustration, he would argue that this cyclical pattern could be traced throughout world history. He claimed it is very much accepted in Eastern thought, (China, Japan, etc).

Not just Eastern thought. The cyclical nature of history and government, called anacyclosis, is a major theme of the Greek historian Polybius' work.
Posts: 851 | From: SF Bay Area | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
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George Orwell on W.B. Yeats as Occult Fascist

Simple read, only the directly relevant quotes excerpted.

Of course, you could probably find a lot of non-fascists with a cyclical interpretation of history. As well, people like the Christian Right have a certain degree of overlap with classical fascism, but their view of history is usually not cyclical. (They do have a definite tendency toward occultic eschatology, as anyone who has examined pre-mil eschatology can tell you.)

[ 13. April 2017, 18:28: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
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Sorry, that last part should read...

quote:
(They do have a definite tendency toward occultic speculation, as anyone who has examined pre-mil eschatology can tell you.)


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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6209 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
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The Fourth Turning is almost certainly a load of bollocks, but that doesn't mean there are idiots, even powerful idiots, who go for its barmy thesis. I doubt, however, that it explains what motivates Trump: he's probably ignorant of its contents and not that stupid to act by its principles were he aware. As far as I can detect coherence in his policies, apart from self-enrichment, it's his irrational hatred of Obama: he seeks to undo what Obama did and do what Obama didn't do. All the rest is propaganda.
Posts: 1427 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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Well, just because a book is bollocks doesn't mean that it can't be influential. Consider another amateur historian, Oswald Spengler. (BTW, being an amateur doesn't necessarily mean that you can't be good - just not paid.)

I've noticed that the conservative bent of mind, historiographically, is often attracted to a cyclical view of history, which is necessarily pessimistic, in that a period of decline is inevitable. What worries me is that those who adhere to this sometimes seek to accelerate the cycle. "Make America great again" could be interpreted as America's greatness being the engine of the cycle. This might seem to accord with Bannon's thought (based on the linked article, my not having read The Fourth Turning).

At least Spengler took various civilisations as his models, not one. Cultural myopia wins again.

Posts: 490 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
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Pangolin Guerre
quote:
Well, just because a book is bollocks doesn't mean that it can't be influential.
Wasn't that a point I was trying to make?
Posts: 1427 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
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Kwesi:

Yes. The problem lies in my phrasing ("well" rather than "indeed"), which I now read as contradictory rather than in agreement. I intended the latter. The day spent in a different language. Apologies.

[ 13. April 2017, 22:43: Message edited by: Pangolin Guerre ]

Posts: 490 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
wabale
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I got about a third of the way through 'The Fourth Turning'. It's interesting and entertaining, rather like the idea of The Four Humours (which of course the book mentions.) Meanwhile Trump's idiosyncratic performance as President, such as carrying through on his beliefs about climate change, and rattling sabres at nuclear-armed enemies, makes any search for a rational philosophy in all this seem almost as stupid as some of Trump's actions. I now just try to keep up with what Trump does from day to day, and pray about it.
Posts: 48 | From: Essex, United Kingdom | Registered: Jan 2017  |  IP: Logged


 
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