Don’t Repeat the Past; Can’t Predict the Future
By Ramblin’ Rose

Minnesotans like to talk about weather. One adage advises anyone who is dissatisfied to wait ten minutes, and conditions will change. Others point to the plethora of meteorologists on the news channels and suggest that one of them should get it right—each forecast is different. Pick the one you like.

While current anarchists are trying to eradicate visual symbols of our history and to demean the Founding Fathers as evil and vile, even demanding the elimination of history from the curriculum because it is based upon “white privilege” and racism, William Strauss and Neil Howe in 1997 wrote their second book (The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny) on the seasons of history and the four generations in each saeculum.

Their observations and predictions are eerie. But since they divide the cycles by seasons, let’s consider their hypotheses.

The authors selected the term “saeculum” to denote the span of humans, that is, eighty years. They further declare that major turning points occur every 80 years when the United States goes through a crisis.

Within that framework, they have four generational (a generation represents the span of approximately 20 years) archetypes:

  • Heroes: work to achieve success
  • Prophets: seek wisdom to solve the next crisis
  • Artists: pursue personal fulfillment that helps undo society
  • Nomads: grow up in a crisis and search for the means to hold society together

Similarly, history is divided into four seasons:

  • Spring: the high
  • Summer: the awakening
  • Fall: the unraveling
  • Winter: the crisis, known as the “fourth turning”

Tyler O’Neill, PJMedia writer, summarizes the interaction of the events and the players with these words:

In a “fourth turning,” America faces a crisis, and the hero generation looks to the elderly prophet generation to give orders, while the nomad generation between them holds society together. After victory is achieved, America experiences a high, a period of societal stability, as the nomad generation holds the social order together, rewards the heroes, and inspires a rising generation of artists….”

This schema differs greatly from the standard belief that life occurs linearly.

Strauss and Howe examined the cycles in the timeline of the United States. They observed that some 80 years after the American Revolution (1776-1783) came the American Civil War (1860-1865), followed by the Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945). That leads to the prediction of another crisis…NOW.

They set the onset to start in 2006 (Remember the Great Recession of 2008?) and spiral to 2020 and lead to resolution in 2026. In the generational season of crisis, Americans are capable of tearing society apart. Consider the current hot-button issues related to civil rights addressed by the Supreme Court rather than through the legislative process, the rioters who seek to redistribute wealth and demolish symbols of “white supremacy.” (And they are of voting age.)

Unfortunately, things will presumably get worse before the crisis reaches a point that will cause Americans to again unite to restore national/societal cohesion. One prediction points to a “race war” between BLM and Antifa against patriotic Americans. The pandemic is another; both health and the economy are fractured. On a global scale, Europe and Asia, as US allies in WWII, are on the same cycles now and identify, with the US, that Communist China is a mutual foe. What will bring unity? We do not know.

While there is a sense of foreboding at this point in the generational paradigm, the “fourth turning” also presents opportunities for problem solving, economic growth and societal consensus.

This provides additional evidence that the election on November 3 will determine the direction of this nation. Will the Baby Boomers lead the Generation X and the Millennials to a united national vision, or will America lose? Citizens can aspire to renewed civic spirit to lead to another “high period” of harmony, unity, and victory.

Since we are not to know the future, we need to ground ourselves in God’s Word. Even so, many try to decipher the meaning behind all the symbolism of Revelation. They are unsuccessful. While it is difficult, we are to walk by Faith.

No matter how humans try to explain history and make their forecasts, God is in control. We learn from the past, live in the present, and believe in the future.

Leave a Reply