The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy The Fourth Turning discussion


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What will be the Fourth Turning Crisis?

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message 1: by Brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brian Massey The book predicts a crisis that will galvanize our shift to a new Civic Society. Now that we've begun the Fourth Turning, what will the crisis be?

I don't think it's the War on Terror. That's already a Boomer failure to "follow through."

How about Social Security and Medicare (about which the book predicts Boomers "will" talk a lot, but actually do very little)?

Global Warming? Nuclear Terrorism?

What do you think?


Kevin I would say that the 4th Turning definitely began on 9/11. The paranoia and unconstitutionality of the Bush years, culminating in another Great Republican Depression in '08 kept it going thru the present moment. Now, if some extremist right winger gets into office in 2012, I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. descends into a Pinochet-style martial law. Unfortunately, I see the decade of the '10s as a bad one, as a lot more economic turmoil will unfold. I think things will totally crash during this decade, but finally rise up out of the ashes in the '20s.


Keith Akers My guess is that the Fourth Turning is peak oil and resource depletion, and that it began in 2008 with the bank failures.

9/11 was just the last gasp of the Third Turning, an international culture war taken to its logical conclusion. When the reality of oil depletion and climate change hit, it will be a much more fundamental threat to the integrity of the planet than any number of terrorist incidents.

In 2008 the financial system nearly collapsed in response to a spike of oil prices that sent the worldwide economy into the Great Recession. We haven't really come out of that recession and we never will. We will simply need to adjust to the new economic and environmental reality of the end of economic growth.

We will probably only be able to date the start of the crisis in retrospect. After the start of the Great Depression in 1929 it was not clear that we really were in a depression for some time -- the stock market rallied in 1930 and it looked like things were returning to "normal." It will probably only be in retrospect that we will know when the "crisis period" started and how it ended.

I would add that the phrase "the new normal" -- which comes from the Strauss and Howe books -- is one commonly used in the peak oil and resource depletion communities.


Kevin Keith, I normally don't discuss politics on Goodreads, but it wasn't a spike in oil prices in 2008 that caused the financial crisis. The financial crisis, and current mess was caused primarily by the crash in the housing market. In 1999 Phil Gramm (R) wrote up legislation that Clinton signed into law, that repealed the Glass-Steagle Act. This used to separate investment banking from commercial banking.
So as a result, the housing market went unregulated for 9 years until prices became so inflated that the bubble popped. By that time the banks had sold and gambled our mortgages away to God knows where overseas. Thus the banks began to fail, and you know the rest.

The spike in oil prices in 2008 was just speculation by Wall Street reacting to the crisis, not the cause of the crisis.


Keith Akers Hi Mr.Pilsener,

Oil prices are clearly the key culprit in the financial crisis. The global recession was already underway before the housing crisis in the U. S. hit. Had oil prices stayed low (says economist James Hamilton), you would not have seen a global recession in 2008 and consequent financial crisis. Jeff Rubin has also written a good book on this subject.

The bankers are to blame, but not in the way that you suggest. Their share of the blame is in promoting a perpetual growth economy through debt in the first place. An unregulated housing market just pushed the banks over the edge; we need to figure out how they got to the brink in the first place.


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