Mr. Quinn's Opus

Over the past few days, our pal Jim Quinn has released series of essays that compare our current times with the works of William Strauss and Neil Howe and their generational theory called "The Fourth Turning". With Jim's permission, I've taken all four of his essays and combined them into one for your holiday weekend reading.

There's A LOT to consider here and we all need to read this work and ponder the implications. The American novelist, Mark Twain, is credited with the saying "history doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes". You would be wise to keep this perspective in mind as your read Jim's great work below.

All of Jim's work can be found at his site:



by, Jim Quinn

“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:

  • Economic distress, with public debt in default, entitlement trust funds in bankruptcy, mounting poverty and unemployment, trade wars, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation (or deflation)
  • Social distress, with violence fueled by class, race, nativism, or religion and abetted by armed gangs, underground militias, and mercenaries hired by walled communities
  • Political distress, with institutional collapse, open tax revolts, one-party hegemony, major constitutional change, secessionism, authoritarianism, and altered national borders
  • Military distress, with war against terrorists or foreign regimes equipped with weapons of mass destruction” 

 The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997

When you read pertinent passages from Strauss & Howe’s prophetic assessment of history from a generational perspective, eighteen years after its publication and seven years into the Crisis they forecasted with uncanny accuracy, you find yourself shaking your head and appreciating their visionary generational appraisal of antiquity. Those who scorn The Fourth Turning either haven’t read it, are ignorant of the cyclical nature of history, blindly believe in never ending human progress, or their salary is dependent upon not acknowledging the truth. A year consists of four seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. A long human life of 80 years consists of four phases – childhood, young adulthood, mid-life, and old age. Human beings tend to associate themselves with the cohort born within the roughly 20 year period that makes up one phase of life.

Members of a generation share an age location in history, tend to share some common beliefs and behaviors, including basic attitudes about risk taking, culture and values, civic engagement, family life, and tend to have a sense of common perceived membership in that generation. The generational attitudes, moods, leaders, and events that occur during recurring 80 year cycles drive the pathway of history. Strauss & Howe have been able to document the Turnings of Anglo-American history back to 1435. Like the seasons in a year, there have been cyclical turnings every twenty years or so for centuries. They can be described as High (Spring), Awakening (Summer), Unraveling (Fall), Crisis (Winter). Each turning is a reflection of generational interactions, moods, and attitudes. We are now seven years into a Crisis that will likely not climax until the late 2020’s.

The beginning of the new year has seen the usual avalanche of 2015 forecasts from mainstream media pundits, Wall Street gurus, Ivy League economists, journalists and bloggers. Most are paid to produce forecasts which promote their employer’s agenda; convince readers to buy their investment products, newsletters, or service; propagandize the government storyline; or validate their Ivy League academic theories. Those in the employ of the Deep State always produce forecasts of economic growth, positive developments, and never ending progress. They’ve never seen a recession coming, the stock market declining, or war looming. None of these people saw the 2008 Financial Crisis coming. They all believe 2015 will be a great year. They are narrow minded linear thinkers who are willfully ignorant of history or purposefully peddling propaganda for a paycheck.

Making annual forecasts in the midst of a 20 year Fourth Turning Crisis is rather pointless. Predicting improvement or progress in the midst of a Crisis is nothing but a futile exercise in mental masturbation. Fourth Turnings, like a protracted, brutal, frigid, gloomy, stormy winter of discontent, may have an occasional let up in intensity, but will rapidly revert back to turbulence, danger, and volatility. When I wrote Fourth Turning Accelerating in June of last year, I made the case that core elements of this Crisis – debt, civic decay, and global disorder – were combining to provide an impetus to the next dire phase of this relentless blizzard of pain, suffering, chaos and war.

“Reflect on what happens when a terrible winter blizzard strikes. You hear the weather warning but probably fail to act on it. The sky darkens. Then the storm hits with full fury, and the air is a howling whiteness. One by one, your links to the machine age break down. Electricity flickers out, cutting off the TV. Batteries fade, cutting off the radio. Phones go dead. Roads become impossible, and cars get stuck. Food supplies dwindle. Day to day vestiges of modern civilization – bank machines, mutual funds, mass retailers, computers, satellites, airplanes, governments – all recede into irrelevance.

Picture yourself and your loved ones in the midst of a howling blizzard that lasts several years. Think about what you would need, who could help you, and why your fate might matter to anybody other than yourself. That is how to plan for a saecular winter. Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

Putting forecasting into perspective during Fourth Turnings is easy when you have a grasp on history. Imagine there were pundits pontificating on CNBC or CNN in 1936, the seventh year of the Great Depression Crisis or 1780, the seventh year of the American Revolution Crisis. Most historians refer to the Great Depression as the period from the Great Crash of 1929 until our entry into World War II in 1941. Annual forecasts of improvement would be meaningless to people living through this brutal period in our history.

If Jim Cramer was assessing the period from 1934 through 1936 on his daily radio show, he would have been gushing about GDP growth of 10.8%, 8.9% and 12.9%. He would have been effusive about the 300% surge in the Dow Jones Index from the 1933 low to the 1936 high. CNN would be doing special reports about the tremendous success of New Deal programs, as Federal spending and handouts accounted for the entire surge in GDP. But, in reality the average American continued to struggle to survive, as unemployment ranged between 17% and 22% during this time and only the rich owned stocks. Another 10 years of hardship, war, and death on a grand scale awaited them. Perspective and context are essential when attempting to assess periods in history. You get no context from the entertainers passing for journalists in today’s world.

The beginning of 1780 saw Washington and his troops surviving the harshest winter of the 18th Century in Morristown, NJ as the 5th year of war still left the outcome highly in doubt. CNN would have blamed the polar vortex for the temporary lull in patriot fortunes. Defeats in battles against the British in South Carolina and the uncovering of Benedict Arnold’s plot to surrender West Point to the British would have been spun as minor setbacks. Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown was almost two years away. The Articles of Confederation hadn’t yet been signed and the U.S. Constitution wouldn’t be signed until 1787. The Crisis wouldn’t end for another fourteen years, in 1794.

Fourth Turnings have their own rhythm and pace. The reactions to events and mood changes of generational cohorts interact to provide the dynamic that drives Fourth Turnings. The specific events are not foreseeable but human weaknesses, faults, flaws, failings, strengths, intellect, and emotions are consistent across the ages. Human nature does not change, therefore it is predictable. Those who wish for this Fourth Turning to accelerate and get to the climax sooner may want to rethink their desire. The Civil War Crisis was accelerated because all parties were intransigent and unwilling to compromise or pause. The result was 700,000 Americans killed in four years, representing 5% of the entire male population. This Fourth Turning could be accelerated with the push of a button and millions killed in an instant. I don’t think anyone wants that kind of climax. We are entering a banquet of consequences where our choices will make a difference.

“A Fourth Turning harnesses the seasons of life to bring about a renewal in the seasons of time. In so doing, it provides passage through the great discontinuities of history and closes the full circle of the saeculum. The Fourth Turning is when the Spirit of America reappears, rousing courage and fortitude from the people. History is seasonal, but its outcomes are not foreordained. Much will depend on how tall we stand in the trials to come.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

The Shadow of Crisis

“Don’t think you can escape the Fourth Turning the way you might today distance yourself from news, national politics, or even taxes you don’t feel like paying. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted. The Fourth Turning necessitates the death and rebirth of the social order. It is the ultimate rite of passage for an entire people, requiring a luminal state of sheer chaos whose nature and duration no one can predict in advance.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

Just as you can’t turn the clock back to the glorious warm days of Summer or the delightfully pleasant cool days of Fall, the dark, foreboding, bitter days of Winter will bring forth raging blizzards, dangerous sub-zero temperatures, and vicious gale force winds. And there is no way to avoid, sidestep, or escape the trials and tribulations which will sweep away the existing social order and replace it with something better or possibly far worse. There are no guarantees this Crisis will resolve itself in a positive manner. The spark that catalyzed the Crisis mood in 2008 was the global financial implosion caused by Wall Street bankers committing the greatest control fraud in world history, corrupt captured politicians’ spineless failure to address the nation’s spending and debt problems, and the Federal Reserve creating a housing and stock bubble through their loose monetary policies and complete failure to regulate the Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks.

The inability of the linear thinking ruling class to acknowledge the seriousness of our current circumstances and the implications of the era of depression and violence the country is about to experience can be witnessed on a daily basis by listening to mainstream media talking heads or politicians of all stripes who bloviate about economic improvement and progress just ahead. Could there be a better example of myopia, delusion and willful ignorance than the theme and opening line of Obama’s State of the Union speech:


Do Obama and his advisors actually believe this Crisis is over? Or is he purposely misleading the American people about the seriousness of our circumstances because he has been instructed to do so by the men who really pull the levers of this country – Wall Street bankers, shadowy billionaires, and the military industrial complex. If the Crisis has passed, why has the 30 year bond yield fallen to an all-time low? Why does the Fed maintain an emergency stance by continuing to keep interest rates at 0% if the economy is really growing at over 4%, unemployment has really fallen from 10% to 5.7%, corporate profits are at all-time highs, and the stock market has risen by 200% to record highs?

{In Part Two of this article I’ll prove the shadow of crisis has not passed, and the core elements of Crisis – debt, civic decay, and global disorder – get worse by the hour.

In Part One of this article I laid the groundwork of the Fourth Turning generational theory. I refuted President Obama’s claim that the shadow of crisis has passed. The shadow grows ever larger and will engulf the world in darkness in the coming years. The Crisis will be fueled by the worsening debt, civic decay and global disorder. I will address these issues in this article.}

Debt, Civic Decay & Global Disorder

The core elements propelling this Crisis – debt, civic decay, and global disorder – were obvious over a decade before the financial meltdown catalyst sparked this ongoing two decade long Crisis. With the following issues unresolved, the shadow of this crisis has only grown larger and more ominous:


  • The national debt has risen by $7 trillion (64%) to $18.1 trillion since 2009 and continues to accelerate by $2.3 billion per day, on track to surpass $20 trillion before Obama leaves office and $25 trillion by 2019.

  • The national debt as a percentage of GDP is currently 103% (it would be 106% if the BEA hadn’t decided to positively “adjust” GDP up by $500 billion last year). It is on course to reach 120% by 2019. Rogoff and Reinhart have documented the fact countries that surpass 90% experience economic turmoil, decline, and ultimately currency collapse and debt default.
  • Despite the housing collapse and hundreds of billions in mortgage, credit card, auto, and corporate debt being written off, dumped on the backs of taxpayers and hidden on the Federal Reserve balance sheet, total credit market debt has reached a new high of $58 trillion.

  • Harvard professor Laurence Kotlikoff has been a lone voice telling the truth about the true level of unfunded promises hidden in the CBO numbers. The unfunded social welfare liabilities in excess of $200 trillion for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare are nothing but a massive future tax increase on younger and unborn generations. Kotlikoff explains what would be required to pay these obligations:

To honor these obligations we could (a) raise all federal taxes, immediately and permanently, by 57%, (b) cut all federal spending, apart from interest on the debt, by 37%, immediately and permanently, or (c) do some combination of (a) and (b).”

The level of taxation and/or Federal Reserve created inflation necessary to honor these politician promises is too large to be considered feasible. Therefore, these promises, made to get corrupt political hacks elected to public office, will be defaulted upon.

  • The level of local and state pension and healthcare unfunded liabilities to government workers exceeds $4 trillion. State and local politicians would have to double real estate, sales, and income taxes in order to fund the gold plated benefits for state and local workers. As government workers in Stockton, San Bernardino, Jefferson County and Detroit have experienced, these promises will be not be honored.
  • Consumer credit outstanding, despite the false media storyline of austerity, currently stands at $3.3 trillion, an all-time high, as the Federal government took monopoly control of the student loan market in 2009 and proceeded to issue $600 billion of subprime loans to University of Phoenix wannabe graduates seeking degrees in Gender Studies. The Feds also used their five year control of Ally Financial (after their taxpayer bailout) to rejuvenate the subprime auto loan market by doling out $35,000 seven year car loans to unemployed SNAP recipients, because everyone deserves to drive a brand new Cadillac Escalade. The $250 billion increase in auto loan debt since 2009 has “created” the auto recovery. Loan delinquencies approaching 2009 levels will surely not cause a problem.
  • Despite the false storyline of corporate America being flush with cash. Corporate debt levels are at all-time highs. The brilliant CEOs of S&P 500 companies decided that adding hundreds of billions in debt to their balance sheets to buy back their stock at or near all-time highs was an outstanding idea. It worked so well in 2007. I wonder if tying their million dollar bonuses to earnings per share had anything to do with it.

  • Every legitimate valuation method used to assess stock market valuations for the last 100 years confirm the stock market being at least 100% overvalued. There could not be a worse time for margin debt to also reach all-time highs. The previous peaks in 2000 and 2007 preceded 50% collapses in stocks. The Yellen Put will surely save the excessive risk takers this time. Right?

Civic Decay

  • The feelings of anger, disillusionment, confusion, angst, bitterness, blame, and helplessness among a large swath of America is rising by the day. They were so pissed off in November, they voted the D team out of office and put the R team back in control. But more people have begun to realize there is one corporate fascist party in control doing the bidding of Wall Street, corporate CEOs, special interests, and shadowy billionaires who call the shots, select the candidates, write the laws, fund the wars of choice around the globe, and keep the citizens under constant surveillance and threat of military rule by police thugs in communities across the land.
  • Despite the false storyline of economic recovery, soaring GDP, plunging unemployment rates, record corporate profits, and stock market highs, the lives of real people living in the real world continue to deteriorate at a rapid clip. The number of people on food stamps in 2009, at the height of the worst recession since the 1930s, was 33 million. Today, five years into the “economic recovery”, the number of people on food stamps is 47 million. This means 19% of all the households in the U.S. depend on the government for food. That figure was 6% in 2000. Does that sound like progress or decay?
  • The Federal government insists the unemployment rate has fallen from 10% in 2009 to a miniscule 5.7% today. The ridiculousness of this claim is borne out by the fact the working age population has grown by 14 million since 2009, while the number of employed has only grown by 7 million. The number of people who have left the workforce since the economic recovery started is an astonishing 12 million. In the previous five years, only 4 million people left the workforce. There are now 102 million working age Americans not working versus the 147 million working. The labor participation rate stands at a 38 year low, back to levels before women entered the workforce in great numbers.

  • If Obama is boasting about the best job growth in decades, why are real median household incomes below 1989 levels? The non-existent inflation, which has reduced the purchasing power of the USD by 96% since the Federal Reserve was mandated in 1913 to keep our currency stable, has somehow outgrown any wage increases received by the average America for the last 25 years. As good paying full-time jobs have been replace by low paying part-time service jobs, wages have stagnated.

  • The entire engineered “recovery” has been a sham, designed to save Wall Street, not Main Street. The little old widowed grandmothers have been given a death sentence of .15% interest on their CDs and money market accounts, while the .1% Wall Street elite was handed trillions of interest free fiat to gamble in the market, buy up foreclosures for their rental scheme, and earn billions in risk free returns by parking their reserves with their sugar daddies at the Fed.
  • The proof this debt induced, Federal Reserve concocted, Keynesian inspired, scheme was designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many can be seen by the level of global wealth accumulated by the richest, as the middle and lower classes sink further into despair. Over 48% of global wealth is in the hands of 1%, with the vast majority in the hands of the .1% ruling elite. The fact the wealthiest .1% have seen a vast increase in their wealth since the 2008 Crisis began, while the rest of the population has seen their net worth decline, is solely due to the policies implemented by central bankers and their puppet politicians around the globe. The larger this gap widens the more likely class warfare turns into a real war.

  • The signs of civil unrest are everywhere. It began with the Tea Party liberty movement and the Occupy Wall Street movement back in 2010 – 2012. Both movements were hijacked and/or crushed by the police state and their media mouthpieces, carrying out the orders of a panicky corporate fascist hierarchy. The full use of mainstream media propaganda was utilized to discredit both resistance movements. The recent civil uprisings in Ferguson and NYC over the failure of civil authorities to prosecute rogue cops are the latest in a myriad of citizens versus police clashes, which grow by the day. The police as heroes’ propaganda emanating from the corporate mainstream media is deafening, but only the non-thinking statists are buying it. The level of advertising and movies glorifying the military as protecting us from ever looming threats, despite the fact no country on earth could possibly invade our country, has been thunderous as the deep state uses propaganda techniques to sway the easily manipulated.
  • The United States has rapidly decayed into a surveillance police state, making Orwell’s 1984 seem like a guide for amateurs. The only true hero to rise during this Fourth Turning thus far, Edward Snowden, has revealed the depth of deception being practiced by a paranoid Big Brother style government operating unconstrained by the shackles of the Constitution as they attempt to retain their power and wealth at all costs. Freedom of speech, freedom from illegal search and seizure, and virtually every other Constitutional right has been disregarded by an all-powerful but fearful ruling party, as they monitor and record every electronic interaction of every citizen on earth. Orwell couldn’t have conceived of the $1.5 billion, 1.5 million square foot NSA Worldwide Surveillance Center in Utah. But, he did understand the mind of authoritarians:

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”

  • The use of Executive Orders to bypass the U.S. Constitution regarding vital issues, which according to the U.S. Constitution must be approved by Congress, has pushed the country ever closer towards authoritarian rule. The checks and balances of the three branches have been found superfluous by the ruling party. They have set the stage for a president to declare a national emergency where one person can take complete control over the financial system, the internet, phone communications, road networks, and ability to use the military on domestic soil.
  • The proliferation of red light cameras and surveillance cameras on street corners in most major cities were sold to the public as safety measures designed to make the roads and streets safer. These cameras are nothing more than a means to keep revenue flowing to government bureaucrats, monitor our every movement, and record our personal information. You can be tracked by your car, your phone or your credit card. Big Brother knows your location, thoughts, plans, weaknesses, and fears.
  • The U.S. military has been conducting unannounced “training exercises” in major cities across America for the last few years, even though they have vast training facilities in designated non-populated areas. This is clearly being done as an intimidation tactic to let the public know it would be futile to resist such a high tech powerful force. The government is desensitizing the population to the military operating within our borders, even though the Constitution prohibits use of the military domestically.
  • Did the Department of Homeland Security just think it was a fiscally responsible move to give “excess” military hardware to local police forces, run by a bunch of Barney Fifes? The idiocy of providing military equipment to low IQ, high desire to bully and control, small town cops is incomprehensible. Unless the government just wants to position the assets for when they assume control of the situation on the ground after social unrest spreads across the land.
  • The number of SWAT raids has increased from a few hundred per year in the 1970s to over 80,000 per year today. This outrageous trend has occurred as the violent crime rate per 1,000 people has plunged from 50 in the 1970’s to less than 15 today. SWAT teams are a hammer in search of a citizen nail.

  • The lock down of the entire Boston metropolitan area by government military forces as they conducted illegal house to house searches, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, searching for two teenage kitchen utensil terrorist bombers, who they were warned about by our evil Russian enemy months before their attack, was a trial run. The people of Boston obeyed, cowered, and submitted to the boot. Their colonial ancestors would have been disgusted by their trembling display of cowardice. Once the government declares an imminent or ongoing terrorist threat it is clear the majority will obey, submit, and cringe in fear. They will beg to be saved by their government keepers.

  • The level of contempt for the common man and the arrogance displayed by these “Ivy League men of substance” as they ride roughshod over the U.S. economic system was never more visible than the recent spending bill passed with the support of both parties and signed by Obama. It proved there is truly only one party, controlled by the wealthy interests on Wall Street. The $1.1 trillion spending bill that funded Obamacare and Obama’s executive order granting amnesty to illegal aliens, also included language written by Citicorp allowing Wall Street banks to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, explicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for the nearly certain billions in losses which these reckless, lawless bankers will incur when they crash the financial system again. Congress and Obama proved they are bought and paid for by the Wall Street oligarchs – true bipartisanship.
  • The cultural decay of American society is pervasive, promoted and applauded by the corporate media, hawking Chinese made baubles & trinkets, and proudly displayed by the delusional egocentric iGadget addicted masses. The tattooed, pierced, obese masses glory in their ignorance, apathy, materialism, selfishness and greed. A united nation of self-reliant, freedom loving, hard-working, personally responsible, civic minded citizens has degraded into a fragmented amalgamation of dependent, fearful, lazy, irresponsible, short sighted inhabitants in a kleptocracy of delusion. The vast majority are incapable or uninterested in the critical thinking required to keep evil men from hijacking our economic, financial, political and judicial systems. There will be no groundswell for change until the societal structure implodes.
  • The only way civic decay could be reversed would be through an educated populace capable of critical thinking who questioned and contested the actions of government apparatchiks, politicians, bankers, corporate executives, and the self-declared Ivy League ruling class. Sadly, that is not to be. After forty years of government control of the education system spending per student (in constant dollars) has risen from less than $5,000 per student in 1970 to $12,000 per student, while test scores haven’t gone up by one point over this same time frame. Total enrollment is up 8%, while government employed union teachers and bureaucrats are up 95%. Their job has been to produce functionally illiterate, financially ignorant, indoctrinated consumers, who follow orders, feel rather than think, and believe what they are told by the government and their media mouthpieces. They’ve done a stupendous job of dumbing down the populace.

  • Any children who show individuality or fail to conform to the government indoctrination are immediately diagnosed with A.D.H.D. and pumped full of drugs. This has the added benefit of increasing the profits of the healthcare industrial complex that pay doctors to prescribe their drugs. Nearly one in five high school age boys and 11% of all school-age children have been diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. An estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have received an A.D.H.D. diagnosis at some point in their lives, a 16% increase since 2007 and a 41% rise in the past decade. Keeping uncooperative children sedated is good training for adulthood, where one in ten adults is on anti-depressants and one in five women in their 40s and 50s are on anti-depressants. The prescribing of anti-depressants is up 400% since 1990. A dumbed down drugged population is not likely to revolt, notice the crumbling of their society, loss of freedoms, or declining real incomes. The oligarchs like it that way.

“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” Tacitus – The Annals of Imperial Rome

Global Disorder

  • The one constant since the onset of this Crisis in 2008 has been a never ending onslaught of violent upheavals, wars, revolutions, coups, financial collapses, currency wars, and shifting alliances. Anyone who doesn’t recognize the ratcheting up in the level of global turmoil and mayhem since 2008 are either paid by the vested interests to obscure the truth, are financially benefitting from the global disorder, or have been effectively neutralized and manipulated by the unseen government propaganda campaigns. Edward Bernays would be so proud of his modern day disciples of mind molding.
  • The Middle East has been a flashpoint since the Arab Spring began in Tunisia with the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a mild mannered street merchant pushed too far in 2010. By January 2015, rulers had been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt (twice), Libya, and Yemen (twice); civil uprisings had erupted in Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine/Israel; and major protests had broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan. The common thread in all these uprisings is the United States of America. We propped up the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria until we decided they were expendable. When Egypt elected a government not in our best interests, we supported a military coup and currently prop up a new dictator. This is called spreading democracy in the Middle East. Allies and enemies are interchangeable, depending on the circumstances. The goal of the U.S. is to spread chaos, so no one country or coalition gains significant power.

  • The U.S. provoked the uprising in Syria and armed and supported the forces fighting Assad, as part of a plan to build a gas pipeline from Saudi Arabia, across Syria to Europe. This is being done to reduce Russian influence over Europe with their near monopoly of natural gas supply. It has been a chess match between superpowers since Russia bloodlessly reclaimed Crimea. The chess pieces have been the lives of Syrians, Iraqis, and Ukrainians. The hundreds of thousands of dead, wounded and displaced are nothing but collateral damage to the rulers of empires. The very same rebels armed by the U.S. to fight Assad suddenly became the newest existential threat to our existence as the dreaded ISIS, who is now a threat to take over Iraq. They also happen to be enemies of our other axis of evil enemy Iran and the Kurds, whom our ally Turkey hates. Got it? Chaos and disorder are the U.S. solution and the main beneficiaries are our very own military industrial complex, whose profits were threatened when no military threats were on the horizon. If they don’t exist, just make them up.
  • Meanwhile, in Afghanistan after thirteen years the Taliban are stronger than they were in 2001 and the opium trade is booming. The U.S. needs a strong illegal drug pipeline to keep its War on Drugs funded and enforced by hundreds of thousands of militarized police. Our corporate prison complex needs new meat from petty drug criminals to keep the profits flowing. As boots on the ground leave Afghanistan, they march back into Iraq to train the Iraqi military again. ISIS has been very impressed with the military hardware we left the Iraqi army, as they use it against the Iraqis. Israel continues to warn that Iran is only months away from a nuclear bomb, as they have for the last fourteen years. U.S. economic sanctions are an act of war and have pushed Iran closer to China and Russia.
  • Russia’s support for Assad and Iran prompted the U.S. military empire to first use Cyprus as a way to siphon off some of their Russian oligarch wealth and then conduct the most blatant coup d’état in history by toppling the democratically elected Russian friendly Ukrainian government and inserting their hand-picked lackey. Russia rightfully fears the U.S. military/NATO on their doorstep in the Ukraine. They prefer a buffer state, not in the EU or NATO. The eastern Ukrainians prefer an alliance with Russia, while the U.S. controlled Kiev puppets will do as they are told. They have been told to destroy Donetsk, its citizens, and the resistance fighters supported by Russia. Just as the U.S. created the poison gas false flag attack in Syria, which was proven to be false, the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over the eastern Ukraine by the Kiev government was blamed on Putin and the rebels. The blackout by American media regarding the suppression of radar, black box recordings, and controller transmissions is proof of their complicity in this government conspiracy. The economic sanctions against Russia are another act of war and have pushed Russia closer to China. The incompetence of the Kiev regime and their embrace of Nazis have allowed the rebels to gain traction and fight off repeated attacks. Neither superpower will back down, as their strategic interests in the Ukraine are essential to their power.
  • China, which has been the driving world economic force for the last decade, is in a precarious position. They have been the slave labor manufacturer to the world as the worldwide debt fueled consumption orgy reached its 2008 climax. Their level of Keynesian mal-investment since 2008 makes Obama, Bernanke, and Yellen look like pikers. The level of corruption, deception, wealth inequality, pollution, censorship and phony economic data has been done on a majestic scale. It is now unraveling in a slow motion crash as the global recession has crushed their industrial output and is rapidly deflating their real estate bubble. The 52 million unoccupied housing units in China may not turn out to be great investments after all. The absurdity of Chinese economic reports makes the BLS look highly accurate and upstanding. Their reported GDP of 7.4% was their slowest in 24 years, but the real figure is closer to 4%. The proof of the dramatic slowing in Chinese growth is the collapse in oil prices, copper prices, iron ore prices, and the Baltic Dry Index. The index measures world trade and has crashed to its lowest level ever. The potential for social unrest when their mal-investment debt bubbles implode will be great.

  • The 25 year Japanese recession has entered its final death throes of complete currency collapse. In 1990 the Japanese had a choice. Their debt fueled boom was going bust. They could have taken their lumps, experienced a brutal depression, wrote off the bad debt, liquidated the reckless banks, and learned an important lesson. Their economy would have recovered and their manufacturing based economy would have flourished. Instead they have attempted to extend and pretend for a quarter of a century. After trillions of waste on Keynesian stimulus projects, 0% interest rates, and increasing their debt to GDP ratio from 75% to 250%, the psychopaths in charge have pushed their money printing to hyper-speed levels. Next stop total catastrophe.

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” Ludwig von Mises

  • The poster child for global disorder has been Greece. They were the catalyst for the EU debt crisis in 2009/2010. And they are currently the channel through which the molten ingredients of EU disintegration are flowing. The “solutions” implemented by the ECB and EU politicians to solve an insolvency crisis created by too much debt have been to introduce austerity on the average person, while issuing trillions in debt, and protecting bankers and billionaires at all costs. Europe does not have a liquidity problem. It has a solvency problem due to unpayable social promises, government corruption, mass unemployment in Southern Europe, and overleveraged sleazy bankers. Why anyone with an ounce of mathematical ability would think that driving your national debt to GDP ratio from 113% to 175% in the space of five years would solve a debt solvency dilemma, is beyond my comprehension. But if your true purpose was to keep your insolvent banks from going bankrupt, protecting the rich and powerful vested interests, and refusing to accept the consequences of your reckless lending, than the “solutions” make perfect sense.

The dominoes are beginning to fall. The initial spark in 2008 has triggered a series of unyielding responses by those in power, but further emergencies and unintended consequences juxtapose, connect and accelerate a chain reaction that will become uncontainable once a tipping point is reached. The fabric of society is tearing at points of extreme vulnerability, with depression, violence and war on the foreseeable horizon. Mr. President, the shadow of crisis has not passed. The looming shadow of crisis grows ever larger and darker by the day as this Crisis enters the most dangerous phase, where the existing social order will be swept away in a torrent of carnage and ferocious struggle. We are not a chosen people. We are not immune from dire outcomes. There are evil men wielding power and influence over our nation and their actions could lead to tragic consequences. The future course of our country hangs in the balance, as Strauss & Howe so forebodingly warned in 1997:

“History offers no guarantees. Obviously, things could go horribly wrong – the possibilities ranging from a nuclear exchange to incurable plagues, from terrorist anarchy to high-tech dictatorship. We should not assume that Providence will always exempt our nation from the irreversible tragedies that have overtaken so many others: not just temporary hardship, but debasement and total ruin. Losing in the next Fourth Turning could mean something incomparably worse. It could mean a lasting defeat from which our national innocence – perhaps even our nation – might never recover.” –  The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe

{In Part Three of this article I’ll examine how the seeds of this Crisis were planted during the resolution of the previous Crisis.

In Part One of this article I attempted to illuminate the concept of generational theory as articulated by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning.  In Part Two I provided proof this Crisis is far from over, with ever increasing debt, civic decay and global disorder propelling the world towards war.}

Seeds of Crisis & War

“The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference.”  – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

When you accept the fact history is cyclical and continuous linear progress is not what transpires in the real world, you free yourself from the mental debilitation of normalcy bias and cognitive dissonance. Things do get worse. There are dark periods of history and they recur on a regular cycle. And we are in the midst of one of those dark periods. This Crisis will not be resolved without much pain, sacrifice, bloodshed, and ultimately war. Catastrophe is a strong possibility. The core elements of this Crisis – debt, civic decay, global disorder – are coalescing into a perfect storm which will rage for the next ten to fifteen years. The rhythms of history only provide a guidepost of timing, while the specific events and outcomes are unknowable in advance. The regeneracy of society into a cohesive, unified community, supporting the government in a collective effort to solve society’s most fundamental problems seems to have been delayed. Or has it?

Maybe the answer can be found in the resolution of the last Fourth Turning. The seeds of the next crisis are always planted during the climax of the previous crisis, when the new social order is established. The American Revolution Crisis created a new nation, but left unresolved the issue of slavery. This seed grew to become the catalyst for the Civil War Crisis. The resolution of the Civil War Crisis greatly enhanced the power of the central government, while reducing the influence of the States. The rise of central authority led to the creation of the Federal Reserve, the implementation of income taxes to fund a vastly larger Federal government and the belief among the political class that America should intervene militarily in the affairs of other countries. The Great Depression was created by the monetary policies of the Federal Reserve; the New Deal programs were a further expansion of Federal government; FDR outlawed the ownership of gold; and America’s subsequent involvement in World War II created a military and economic superpower.

After sixty-two years of ever increasing debt; ever increasing taxes to support an ever growing governmental bureaucracy; ever expanding laws, regulations, and rules; currency debasement by the Federal Reserve; complete abandonment of the gold standard; and never ending wars of choice around the world, the next Crisis grew and blossomed from the seeds planted during the previous Crisis. The New Deal social programs, along with the extension of the welfare state by LBJ and subsequent administrations, have swelled to unprecedented unsustainable levels with unfunded liabilities exceeding $200 trillion. The promises cannot be fulfilled. The $18 trillion national debt increases by $2.3 billion per day; $96 million per hour; $1.6 million per minute; $27,000 per second. Does that sound sustainable? The legacy media sycophants cheer when consumer debt outstanding surges past $3.3 trillion, as their warped worldview applauds spending versus saving, consuming versus investing, and living for today rather than striving for a sustainable future.

The American people have lost their ability to think, reason, question, do math, control their urges, defer gratification, or realize when they are being lied to by the people they elected to public office. A culture of ignorance, celebration of the absurd, salutation of stupidity, honoring of the inane, being mesmerized by electronic gadgets, and satiating their egocentric shallow impulses on social media, is a sure recipe for societal collapse. Victory in World War II and becoming a modern day empire created the dynamic Eisenhower warned about. An immense military industrial complex has created enemies around the globe in order to keep the profits flowing in this welfare/warfare empire of debt. War is a racket for the rich. The peasants who buy into the incessant patriotic propaganda and volunteer are nothing but cannon fodder for the .1%. Keeping the masses fearful of phantom enemies and portraying foreign leaders as evil, is essential for the oligarchs to retain their wealth, power and control. Truth, facts, and long-term consequences are of no interest to the sociopaths running the show and pulling the levers. The dissent into darkness has been gradual and unnoticed by a purposefully distracted populace.

“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

What I’ve begun to realize about Fourth Turnings is how slow and methodical they are in reality. They will play out over twenty years at a pace dictated by events and the actions of the major players. I had been looking for a regeneracy event that would unify the country behind one leader. It is not to be. Since Fourth Turnings are driven by mood changes amongst the generational cohorts, the changes are subtle, incremental and not visible as identifiable events. Looking back in history, the election of FDR and the rollout of his New Deal policies began the regeneracy of the nation, but did not create unity or solve the economic problems of the country. There was an actual plot by prominent businessmen to conduct a coup and overthrow the government. A large contingent of the population did not support the New Deal or our entry into World War II.

The first battle of Bull Run and the subsequent mobilization of a half million more men by Lincoln marked the beginning of the regeneracy during the Civil War Crisis. It certainly did not unify the nation or even the North. It just marked the point where there would be no turning back or compromise. There were draft riots in New York City in 1863 and Lincoln thought he would lose the 1864 election. The Declaration of Independence and mobilization of an army in 1776 marked the regeneracy during the Revolutionary Crisis period, but did not unify the colonies or colonists into a cohesive unit. The Revolution was piloted by a minority of freedom minded colonists, while the majority remained neutral or obedient to the Crown.

I now believe the focus of this Fourth Turning will be the conflict between the government and its supporters, and those who oppose the welfare/warfare surveillance state controlled by Wall Street vested interests. The overbearing, militarized, captured Federal government has treated citizens like suspects since 2001. Those in the highest echelons of wealth and power have captured the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) and are ruthlessly ransacking the remaining wealth of the nation. Their unquenchable desire for more wealth and power has never been more blatantly obvious than in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse created by their derivative orgy of debt which blew up in their faces.

All the “solutions” implemented since 2008 (TARP, ZIRP, QE1, QE2, QE3, $800 billion stimulus plan, government takeover of student loans, subprime auto loan bonanza, waging wars of choice, doubling of food stamp households, and the Wall Street foreclosure/buy/rent scheme) have been designed to benefit the vested interests in this corporate fascist authoritarian regime. The average person has been left nearly destitute, unemployed or underemployed, bereft of savings, stuck with declining real household income, and left with political candidates hand-picked and bought off by the men running the show behind the curtain. The mood of the country has darkened significantly since 2008 and will darken further when the bubbles in stocks, bonds and real estate, created by the “solutions”, pop simultaneous in the near future.

The wave of dismay, disillusionment and blinding rage that will sweep across the land will mark the next phase of this Fourth Turning. The mistrust and cynicism toward government and politicians has already reached historic highs. Congressional approval levels reached 56% in 2001 and have been in a downward spiral since, with a plunge to single digits since the 2008 Crisis began. The number of people classifying themselves as independents reached an all-time high of 47% in 2014, up from 27% in 2006. An awakening minority now realize Democrats and Republicans are nothing but brands appealing to liberals or conservatives, but representing the ruling Party and beholden to Wall Street, the military industrial complex, mega-corporations, and not the American people.

As trust in the political, economic and financial systems implodes, the existing social order will crumble and be swept away in a torrent of chaos and upheaval. Severe misery will settle on our land and tear the fabric of our society. Internal strife will be compounded by external threats, with citizens fighting each other and nations going to war on a large scale. It has happened before and it will happen again. The realization this Crisis would be driven by the conflict between government and the people occurred to me in 2013 when Edward Snowden revealed the depth and depravity of a government which believes it to not be bound by the constraints of the Constitution, laws, regulations, or human decency.

The political class, along with the government apparatchiks, protected by their propaganda mouthpieces in the media, used the 9/11 attack as the basis to implement command, control and surveillance measures which make Orwell’s Big Brother seem like amateur hour. The hyperbolic level of propaganda in support of the vested interests is actually a sign of weakness, as their grip on the masses is weakening rapidly. Chris Hedges explains Washington as it functions today:

“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.

The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism.

They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses.

It plays an essential role in the dissemination of official propaganda. But to effectively disseminate state propaganda the press must maintain the fiction of independence and integrity. It must hide its true intentions.”

It isn’t hard to connect the dots if you choose to open your eyes and not be blinded by normalcy bias or the nationalist propaganda spewed by the mass media. Snowden’s revelations of an NSA global surveillance network spying on U.S. and foreign citizens and approved by the highest levels of government should have caused outrage and mass protests.  Instead, the media propaganda arm portrayed Snowden as a traitor and spy. Snowden revealed that the NSA was harvesting millions of email and instant messaging contact lists, searching email content, tracking and mapping the location of cell phones, undermining attempts at encryption via Bullrun,  and the agency was using cookies to “piggyback” on the same tools used by internet advertisers to pinpoint targets for government hacking and to bolster surveillance.

The NSA was shown to be “secretly” tapping into Yahoo and Google data centers to collect information from hundreds of millions of account holders worldwide by tapping undersea cables using the MUSCULAR surveillance program.  The NSA’s top-secret “black budget,” obtained from Snowden by The Washington Post, exposed the “successes and failures” of the 16 spy agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community, and revealed that the NSA was paying U.S. tech companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Verizon, and AT&T for “clandestine access” to their communications networks. Every electronic communication of every American is being collected by the government to be used at their discretion. It will be used against you when the time is right.

What kind of government clandestinely spies on its citizens; militarizes local police forces; conducts military training operations in major cities; wires its streets and highways with surveillance cameras; disperses peaceful protestors with water cannons, tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets; and treats the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper? An authoritarian regime treats its people like this. Authoritarian regimes treat everyone like a potential enemy. They trust no one. Those in power care only for themselves and their lackeys.

The extreme wealth inequality created by dishonest means is leading towards strife and a systematic breakdown. Our entire system is built on lies, monetary machinations, propaganda and strict obedience to a vast array of laws, regulations and mandates. The ruling elite are desperate to keep their despotic bacchanal empire of debt from disintegrating in a catastrophic apocalypse of derivative time bombs, bank failures, corporate bankruptcies, and denial of their guilt. They recognize the consequences they face when the music stops. When people realize their money system is a fraud they’ll lose faith in all the institutions that make up a civilized society. Trust in politicians, corporate leaders, bankers, institutions, the media, parents, neighbors, and ourselves will evaporate in an instant. The anger and pursuit of those responsible will result in governmental collapse and domestic anarchy. The guilty and innocent alike will die.

Those in power are preparing for war – against you. Executive orders already in place, when executed, give the executive branch the ability to lockdown the country the same way they locked down Boston while bumbling about trying to capture two teenage kitchen utensil bombers. There are two things the ruling class fear the most – the internet and the approximately 300 million guns owned by citizens in 50 million households. The State, through the FCC, wants to “regulate” the internet to “protect” people from being told something other than what the State wants them to hear.

That First Amendment, with its free speech and freedom of assembly, is dreadfully inconvenient for the oligarchs. Truth and dissent will not be tolerated. Every mass shooting incident, caused by the shooters being pumped full of anti-psychotic prescription drugs, is used as an excuse to disarm the public. The Second Amendment right to bear arms makes it more difficult for government thugs to ignore the Fourth Amendment when they kick your door down during an illegal search and seizure operation. An armed populace is our only defense against the tyranny of a draconian government bent on retaining its stranglehold on the country.

After the 2008 financial collapse the guilty were not punished, prosecuted nor reproached for their criminally destructive schemes to loot the American people and the world. Instead they were bailed out, allowed to retain their wealth and power, and rewarded for their misdeeds with further riches provided by their politician puppets in Washington D.C. Evil won. The masses were frightened into keeping silent and believing bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats had saved their world of bread (debt based consumption) and circuses (iGadgets & HDTVs). Ultimately, this Fourth Turning Crisis will come down to a battle between good and evil. It would be easy if the evil people revealed themselves and the good people could destroy them, but evil and good exist within all human beings.

As witnessed in previous Fourth Turnings, the majority will sit idly by paralyzed by fear or apathy. Most people wait to be led. But, as Samuel Adams profoundly noted:

“It does not take a majority to prevail … but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

The Federal and State government directly employs over 20 million Americans and millions more indirectly through their largess to arms dealers and other crony capitalist corporate entities. Over 145 million Americans receive a check of some sort from the Federal government every month, with over 100 million enrolled in a government welfare program. It is unlikely that many of these people will rise up against the government, unless their checks stop flowing (a distinct possibility). Every instance of governmental overreach, corruption, malfeasance, un-Constitutional act or ineptitude tips the scale further towards more people waking up and resisting. I believe the good in most people’s hearts outweighs the evil. Once a tipping point is reached and enough people defy the government, an avalanche of consequences will sweep away the existing social order. Justice for unborn generations will be sought. Keeping silent only allows the evil to grow ever more formidable and entrenched.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

{In Part Four of this article I will focus on the drumbeats of war getting louder on a daily basis. Fourth Turnings always climax with war on a grand scale. There will be no escape.

In Part One of this article I explained the model of generational theory as conveyed by Strauss and Howe in The Fourth Turning. In Part Two I provided an overwhelming avalanche of evidence this Crisis has only yet begun, with debt, civic decay and global disorder propelling the world towards the next more violent phase of this Crisis. In Part Three I addressed how the most likely clash on the horizon is between the government and the people. War on multiple fronts will thrust the world through the great gate of history towards an uncertain future.}

War on Multiple Fronts

“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning

The drumbeats of war are pounding. Sanctions are implemented against any country that dares question American imperialism (Russia, Iran). Overthrow and ignominious imprisonment or death awaits any foreign leader questioning the petrodollar or standing in the way of America spreading democracy (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Egypt). The mega-media complex of six corporations peddle the government issued pabulum about ISIS being an existential threat to our freedoms; Russia being led by the new Hitler and poised to take over Europe; Syria gassing innocent women and children; and Iran only six months away from a nuclear bomb (they’ve been six months away for the last fourteen years). Hollywood does their part with patriotic drivel like American Sniper, designed to compel low IQ unemployed American youths to swell with pride and march down to enlistment centers, located in our plentiful urban ghettos.

The most disconcerting aspect of Fourth Turnings is they have always climaxed with total destructive all-out war. Not wars to enrich arms dealers like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, but incomprehensibly violent, brutal, wars of annihilation. There are clear winners and losers at the conclusion of Fourth Turning wars. Leaders mobilize all forces, refuse to compromise, define their enemies in moral terms, demand sacrifice on the battlefield and home front, build the most destructive weapons imaginable, and employ those weapons to obtain victory at any cost.

It may seem inconceivable that war on such a scale will happen within the next ten years, but it was equally inconceivable in 1936 that 65 million people would die in the next ten years during World War II. We valued all the wrong things and made all the wrong choices leading up to this Crisis and during the early stages of this Crisis. The accumulation of unmet obligations, unpaid bills, un-kept promises and unresolved issues will provide the fuel for an upheaval that will shake our society to its core and transforms the country’s direction for the next sixty years. The outcome of the conflict could be tragedy or triumph. Our choices will make a difference.

There will be war on many fronts, and they have already begun. The culmination will likely be World War III, with the outcome highly uncertain and potentially disastrous.

Currency war

With the world awash in sovereign debt, as governments have over-promised welfare benefits, every country is attempting to debase their currency in order to make their debt load bearable. There is one problem with this approach. If every country is implementing the same strategy, it becomes a race to the bottom. Japan is leading the race and is the most likely candidate to cause a catastrophic collapse in the global financial system. The EU and their negative interest rate strategy is crushing the Euro, but not addressing the solvency issue at the heart of the bank-centric European mad experiment.

The depression engulfing Japan, the recession overwhelming Europe, and the rapidly deflating Chinese mal-investment bubbles have dramatically reduced demand for oil, copper, and iron ore. The collapse in demand for oil has caused the currencies of Russia, Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil to plunge. Argentina, Turkey and the Ukraine risk hyperinflation, as their economies are basket cases. The result of rapidly declining currencies is more pain and suffering for the middle and lower classes. As prices rise for food, energy and essentials, the peasants get restless. This leads to anger, extremist parties gaining traction, and ultimately revolution.

Since the end of World War II, the U.S. dollar has been the currency in which all world trade has been conducted. The global oil trade has been settled in dollars. American economic warfare aggression against Russia, China, Iran, and other developing countries has pushed them into closer economic cooperation. The dollar’s domination days are numbered. The current strength of the dollar is only a reflection of the U.S. being the best looking horse in the glue factory. The U.S. economy is the least worst, but will not be de-coupling from the global downturn. The movement of physical gold from West to East is a reflection of a shift in power. U.S. mega-corporations, who get half their profits overseas, face the double whammy of slowing demand and a stronger dollar. The combination will crush their profits and contribute to the coming stock market crash. When Greece exits the EU, the currency wars may lead to real war in Europe.

Class war

As Warren Buffett admitted in an oligarch momentary lapse into truthiness:

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett

The meme driving the OWS protests was the 1% versus the 99%. The comparison is misleading. The 1% includes many small business owners, productive professionals, successful physicians, and hard-working entrepreneurs. The true class war is between the .1% and the 99.9%. There is a small clique of bankers, billionaires, corporate CEOs, media moguls, politicians, and their acolytes who represent the Deep State, or invisible government, and control the mechanisms of financial markets through their capture of the system. There is absolutely no question they are winning. It’s hard not to win when the game is rigged in your favor by your fellow .1% cronies. The markets are no longer free. They are manipulated and rigged to benefit the .1% at everyone else’s expense. The wealth of the richest has skyrocketed while the wealth of the rest has fallen since 2009. Real median household income languishing at 1989 levels proves they have been the losers. The next financial collapse initiated by the policies designed to benefit the .1% will push class warfare into the streets. Gated communities and doormen will not save the .1% from the wrath of their victims.

Generational war

A particular dicey war is the war between the older generations and younger generations. In past Fourth Turnings the prophet generation (Boomers) has provided leadership for the hero generation (Millennials). The tension between older and younger generations is palpable. Older generations have accumulated wealth during the good times. The Boomers who didn’t save for their retirement refuse to yield the field and allow Millennials into the workforce. Millions of delusional Boomers utilized the easy debt provided by the bankers to live for today and never save for tomorrow. Well tomorrow is here. The older generations are still going to receive all the social benefits they were promised, while younger generations will get stiffed. They know they are going to get screwed and are unlikely to take the screwing lying down.

It’s the older generations who control the levers of society. The aged ruling class has doled out the hundreds of billions in student loan debt and convinced Millennials College was a sure path to success and good jobs. Working as a french fry jockey at McDonalds doesn’t make the grade as a good job. Young people without jobs and without hope are a particularly combustible concoction. If there is revolution in the streets it won’t be led by obese Boomers on their motorized scooters. The barricades will be manned by the young. Confrontation with the police state may be initiated by Gen Xers and Boomers, but the fighting and dying will be done by the Millennials.

Terrorism/Religious war

The war on terrorism, like the wars on drugs and poverty, is unwinnable. They aren’t meant to be won. They are meant to enrich the vested interests, expand their control over our lives, erode our liberties and freedoms, and provoke fear and dependency among the masses. The terrorist plots concocted by the government, using clueless dupes, and then foiled by the DHS agencies that created them are nothing but a ruse to rile up the easily manipulated hoi polloi. The neo-cons want to leave the Middle East a smoking crater in their thirst for blood. The war on terrorism is a cover for hijacking the oil under the ground in the Middle East. ISIS is now Satan, Hitler, and Attila the Hun rolled into one, even though they didn’t exist a year ago. They are the existential threat of the day – the excuse for U.S. troops and armaments to flow back into Iraq. The military industrial complex profits will surge. Despite the fact these terrorists are no threat to our American way of life, the level of fear mongering amongst the chattering classes in Versailles on the Potomac and on the entertainment news networks is at hyperbolic volumes.

Chris Hedges explains the current propaganda storyline as espoused by the Deep State:

“This sentimentality, as Baldwin wrote, masks a terrifying numbness. [The War Culture] fosters an unchecked narcissism. Facts and historical truths, when they do not fit into the mythic vision of the nation and the tribe, are discarded. Dissent becomes treason. All opponents are godless and subhuman… It holds up the dangerous belief that we can recover our equilibrium and our lost glory by embracing an American fascism.” – Chris Hedges

Somebody needs to inform the neo-cons they don’t hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for occupying their lands, reigning terror on their people from unmanned killer drones, invading their countries, interfering in their political processes, and stealing their oil. Islam is most certainly a religion of hate and there will be no reconciliation between Christians, Muslims and Jews. The Middle East will remain a quagmire of hatred, centuries old animosities, religious extremism, despotic leaders, and oil. Terrorism does not pose an existential threat to the United States. It’s laughable to conclude that a country of 320 million, protected by vast oceans, with a trillion dollar military and 300 million guns distributed amongst its population, is actually threatened by a few thousand illiterate religious zealots in the Middle East.

Terrorism is a tactic used by militant groups unable to wage an insurgency or fight a conventional war. The purpose is to lure a larger enemy into an outsized response, resulting in bleeding and bankrupting the larger foe. Osama bin Laden succeeded beyond his wildest expectations, as the U.S. has wasted $6 trillion thus far, along with the lives of 7,000 Americans and 50,000 wounded. The terrorists have already won. They have put our country on the path to bankruptcy, while convincing our leaders to strip the citizens of their liberties, freedoms, and rights. And there are now more militants and terrorists than existed in 2001, in countries that didn’t have terrorists in 2001. The Middle East is a powder-keg which could be the catalyst for the start of World War III.

Cyber war

A cyber war has been being waged against the American people and foreign allies by the NSA for the last decade. The technology addicted masses are completely oblivious to their loss of privacy and freedom. They don’t know or don’t care their rights under the Fourth Amendment are being abridged. You are being tracked and monitored through your electronic devices. Your TV is recording your conversations. The U.S. has been waging cyber war against enemies and allies alike. The U.S. unleashed the Stuxnet computer virus into the Iranian nuclear program computers to set back their efforts by years. That was an act of war. It is now comical to see the governmental outrage when foreign nations and hacker organizations break into government computers and wreak havoc. In cyber war, the playing field is fairly even. Even North Korea can create problems for a superpower. Obama and his acolytes should duly note that Wall Street hired hundreds of Russian computer programmers because they seem to have a penchant for writing code. I’m sure Putin realizes that too.

Hackers have already caused billions in damage to retailers like Target, Home Depot, Staples, Sears, and Neiman Marcus. Over 1,000 merchants have had their computer networks breached. Hackers could potentially bring the financial system to its knees with a few keystrokes. Foreign governments have their smartest tech geeks probing U.S. computer networks for weaknesses and will act on these weaknesses when they feel it is beneficial to their interests. Technology will not save the world, but it might play a part in ending it. All the military firepower at the American Empire’s disposal may be nothing more than our Maginot Line during the next worldwide conflict. If satellites and computer systems can be disabled through computer code, leaders will be blind, deaf and dumb to threats. This would ratchet up the odds of someone panicking and pushing the wrong button at the wrong time. The future of the world may hang in the balance.

Civil war

It appears this Fourth Turning’s primary driving force will be the internal conflict between government and the people. To linear thinkers, self-proclaimed progressives, corrupt politicians, obedient government workers, and those dependent upon the government for their sustenance, the thought of civil war in the United States is inconceivable. Civil uprisings generally occur after currency collapse when mass hunger and poverty overtake the land. A breakdown in the electronic based economic system in which store shelves go empty, fuel becomes scarce, and the electronic transfer of welfare benefits ceases would create mass chaos in the streets. With our just in time supply chain, a grid failure or breakdown of electronic ordering, payment and communication would bring the nation to its knees within one week. Millions would perish within a few weeks. The government would attempt to utilize the military and national guard to maintain order. With their families also starving and no means of getting paid, will they be obeying the orders of a government that caused the collapse?

The other possibility is secession. It’s been tried before and the conflict was bloody and earth shattering. There really are two Americas. The east and west coasts are dominated by the liberal elite who look down upon the rest of the country. The .1% mostly resides in their gated enclaves, penthouse suites, and luxury beachfront mansions. They have nothing but contempt and disdain for the average American, living in Middle America or the South. The feeling is mutual amongst the working class towards the liberal elites. Most of the 300 million guns are concentrated in the Midwest and South. As trust in government and institutions wanes, the issue of states’ rights is likely to gain traction amongst a large swath of the critical thinking citizenry. The animosity between factions in this country is at historic levels. Again, civil war, secession, and the nation breaking into sectional regions of common interests are unlikely to occur until the existing social order collapses under the weight of un-payable obligations. That time is coming.

Total war

Every previous Fourth Turning climax coincided with total war on a grand scale. Each Fourth Turning war has seen a leap in the technological means of killing human beings. We put a lot of effort and resources into finding better ways to annihilate humanity. The Civil War saw 5% of the male population killed. World War II saw 65 million people killed. How many will die during this Fourth Turning total war of survival? Fourth Turning wars are decisive, final and fought with all necessary means until final victory or defeat, not like Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan. World War I was savage and brutal, but it was not decisive. It left issues unresolved and its Treaty of Versailles created the basis for World War II. The technological means to put an end to mankind is at the disposal of leaders in a number of nation-states. It would only take one psychopathic despot or elected president of immense ego and self-importance to initiate the doomsday clock. It appears these qualities are now essential to governing a modern day nation. Someone will do something stupid, and then all hell will break loose.

Anyone who doesn’t comprehend the implications of alliances being formed and broken by countries around the globe is either choosing the ostrich strategy or is ignorant of history and the events leading to wars. A thorough reading of The Guns of August may be helpful. The world is like a room full of gunpowder and the sociopaths running the show keep lighting matches. Someone is going to miscalculate and the place is going to blow sky high. The insolvent EU is splintering. The northern countries despise the southern countries. Greece, Spain and Italy are all economic basket cases and their exits will mark the end of this grand experiment in debt delusion. Once the bad debts crash down upon the European banks and governments, the anger, bitterness, accusations and violence will reach epic proportions. This could trigger war, as extremist political parties gain traction. The economic suffering in the 1920’s led to the rise of Mussolini and Hitler. Hunger leads the peasants to rally behind any strong leader.

The Ukrainian civil war, crafted by the U.S. and its weak kneed NATO allies, has been the facilitator of a shift in world alliances. The U.S. has made a blundering attempt to teach Putin a lesson for interfering in their Syrian pipeline uprising against Assad and encouraging the Crimea to rejoin Russia. By attempting to position NATO armaments on Russia’s border they have triggered centuries old fears of being invaded by European powers. Russia will stop the U.S. plan at all costs, and the Russian supported rebels have soundly defeated the Kiev Nazi forces in eastern Ukraine. The U.S. backed forces have slaughtered women and children randomly as they blunder about in eastern Ukraine. The latest cease fire will not hold. Germany and France are coming to their senses and starting to look out for their best interests, rather than the interests of the American Empire. A shattering of the NATO alliance would be an earth moving event and would set the stage for further conflict in Europe. Enemies are interchangeable when you are an imperial power.

The world has begun to devolve into two distinct factions. The imperialist actions of the American Empire in the Middle East and Ukraine have pushed Russia, China, India, Brazil, and Iran closer together regarding trade deals; transacting commerce without using the USD; oil and gas pipelines; and military cooperation. If there is going to be total war in the next dozen or so years, it most surely would be the United States versus an alliance of Russia and China. Japan is experiencing Chinese saber rattling over disputed islands. Russia continuously probes NATO defenses with aggressive actions. It is clear the U.S. has decided Vladimir Putin and Russia is world enemy #1 and are using all their economic and propaganda tools to de-claw the bear. Failure to make Putin bow to American pressure will raise his stature at home and abroad.

China’s domestic, economic and social issues continue to worsen. They are in the midst of experiencing an epic bust after a debt fueled explosion of government manufactured growth. Their fraudulent economic boom is coming to a messy end. Totalitarian regimes are known for using foreign threats to distract the populace from domestic suffering. As a matter of fact, all regimes use this tactic. When the global economy rips apart at the seams due to the debt saturation, world leaders will attempt to blame other countries for their dire circumstances. Foreign enemies are good for business. Ask our Nobel Peace Prize winning President. War is inevitable.

Strauss & Howe pose four potential culminations to our current Crisis, only one of which offers hope. There may be other possibilities, but probably not. The outcome which will not happen is just a continuation of the status quo, with the same corrupt leadership using the same debt based solutions, as they enrich themselves and their cronies. The existing social order will be replaced by something new, but not necessarily better, if there is anything left after a war that could end in Armageddon:

  1. This Fourth Turning could mark the end of man. It could be an omnicidal Armageddon, destroying everything, leaving nothing. If mankind ever extinguishes itself, this will probably happen when its dominant civilization triggers a Fourth Turning that ends horribly. For this Fourth Turning to put an end to all this would require an extremely unlikely blend of social disaster, human malevolence, technological perfection and bad luck.
  2. The Fourth Turning could mark the end of modernity. The Western saecular rhythm – which began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Renaissance – could come to an abrupt terminus. The seventh modern saeculum would be the last. This too could come from total war, terrible but not final. There could be a complete collapse of science, culture, politics, and society. Such a dire result would probably happen only when a dominant nation (like today’s America) lets a Fourth Turning ekpyrosis engulf the planet. But this outcome is well within the reach of foreseeable technology and malevolence.
  3. The Fourth Turning could spare modernity but mark the end of our nation. It could close the book on the political constitution, popular culture, and moral standing that the word America has come to signify. The nation has endured for three saecula; Rome lasted twelve, the Soviet Union only one. Fourth Turnings are critical thresholds for national survival. Each of the last three American Crises produced moments of extreme danger: In the Revolution, the very birth of the republic hung by a thread in more than one battle. In the Civil War, the union barely survived a four-year slaughter that in its own time was regarded as the most lethal war in history. In World War II, the nation destroyed an enemy of democracy that for a time was winning; had the enemy won, America might have itself been destroyed. In all likelihood, the next Crisis will present the nation with a threat and a consequence on a similar scale.
  4. Or the Fourth Turning could simply mark the end of the Millennial Saeculum. Mankind, modernity, and America would all persevere. Afterward, there would be a new mood, a new High, and a new saeculum. America would be reborn. But, reborn, it would not be the same.

I would love to just be an impartial observer during this Fourth Turning, like a sports announcer in a booth far above the field, broadcasting the events as they unfold. But, it is not to be. I’m living in the midst of this Crisis with all the other participants. I’m not happy about the prospect of financial collapse, societal collapse, and war. I have three young sons and refuse to allow them to be used as cannon fodder by the State, in their quest to retain dominion over the American people. I understand the younger generations must do the heavy lifting during this Crisis, but I do not relish the prospect of putting them in harm’s way. It’s not fair they are left with the burdens created by decades of bad choices and cowardly acts of their elders. But no one said life is fair. This generation was born at a particular time in history when much will be required. They have a rendezvous with destiny. None of us has a choice. We can’t sit this one out. The bad times ahead will require courage, fortitude, sacrifice and intelligence, if we are to be triumphant. This Fourth Turning could end in apocalypse or glory. Our decisions and choices will matter. Prepare now.

“Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse – or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe


waxybilldupp's picture

Everybody out shoveling snow?

Having read the first 3 installments, I have been really looking forward to the last one.  Thanks Turd!  Jim is amazing.  Saving this one to pass on to marginally awakened friends.  Unfortunately, wife included.  She kinda, sorta knows things aren't right, but can't seem to make the time to dig into the details.  Maybe this will help my cause.

wax off

edit:  Everyone snoozed long enough from me to grab a first.  Been a long time coming.

Pseudozero's picture

no snow, but COLD!!

also read the first three over the week, very apt title turd used: opus, this thing is bang-on, and i'm also looking forward to the last one.

hey turd: quinn would make a great A2A!

Teach's picture

Great Minds.

I just posted links to all 4 of these on Facebook. Naturally I am pleased to see the Master of TurdVille has done the same here. I first became aware of "The Fourth Turning" through Jim Quinn's work,  I think through TFMetals Report, and have referred many people to the essay in the last couple years. (I doubt if any of them followed through unfortunately). This is important work and doubly important in my mind for all of us to try and WAKE THE PEOPLE UP as to what is happening. Well done Turd! You just sealed another vault renewal.  Keep doing what you do. Gracias.

P.S.: we are all in very deep shit. PREP!

Turd Ferguson's picture

Here's his most recent appearance


And you're right, I need to have him back on soon.

Response to: no snow, but COLD!!
pm_newbie's picture


Great post, looking forward to a relaxing evening read after I get my snow shoveling all done.

G-Rod's picture

To Quote Eisenhowers warnings

Victory in World War II and becoming a modern day empire created the dynamic Eisenhower warned about. An immense military industrial complex has created enemies around the globe in order to keep the profits flowing in this welfare/warfare empire of debt.

Eisenhower made a 2nd less well known warning of the Government (hence what may now be called the Corporate State/ Deep State) domination of the Academies, from that domination flows (amongst other thought hegemonies) the Keynesian doctrines and the staff of the FED.

Interlocking, mutually supporting structures and effects, the Military Industrial Complex, and the Academic Media Complex.



4 oz's picture

Silver @ $26??

SilveryBlue's picture

We chose to be here for this TF

Just a reminder.

We chose because we can make a difference. If you are here in the here & now, you are here because you think you can make a difference.

Mitigate this. A kind word here. A helpful hand there. A hug. A slap upside on occasion.

Aaand a little silver stacked up could make a difference wink

Love you all heart

But we chose already. So be it.

SteveW's picture

JIm Quinn

does a really nice job putting flesh on the thesis of Strauss and Howe showing how well their insights fit our present predicament.

Dr. P. Metals's picture


RE: "showing how well their insights fit our present predicament."

so does the Bible, with 100% accuracy.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Jim Cramer gushing about GDP growth

GDP was created by Roosevelt as a propaganda tool to reassure the US that the economy was improving:

GDP: a brief history

Out of the carnage of the Great Depression and World War II rose the idea of gross domestic product, or GDP: the ultimate measure of a country’s overall welfare, a window into an economy’s soul, the statistic to end all statistics. Its use spread rapidly, becoming the defining indicator of the last century. But in today’s globalized world, it’s increasingly apparent that this Nobel-winning metric is too narrow for these troubled economic times. 

1937: Simon Kuznets, an economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research, presents the original formulation of gross domestic product in his report to the U.S. Congress, “National Income, 1929-35.” His idea is to capture all economic production by individuals, companies, and the government in a single measure, which should rise in good times and fall in bad. GDP is born.

1944: Following the Bretton Woods conference that established international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, GDP becomes the standard tool for sizing up a country’s economy.

Keg's picture

How did Quinn miss this?

"No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change," said Obama in his State of the Union speech.  Not wars, not debt that can never be repaid, not unfunded promises that can never be met.

Actually Quinn did hit on about every threat we face.  From the beginning of the global warming scam I saw it was nothing but another way to divert attention from real problems and, most importantly, transfer wealth.  Even if you buy into AGW, the situation as laid out by Quinn will come to fruition long before the coasts are flooded by rising sea levels.  And if you are starving will you really care about polar bears?

TF Metals fan's picture

Prepare now......(last sentence in Jim's nicely written article)

But how? I can buy a few kilos of gold but when the modern huns are knocking on my door I probably will become another statistic adding to the next 5% or 65 million.  Those gold bars will not save me. In theory I could become a survivalist, fortifying my house and surround it with explosives and guns. In my country this is not an option but even it was then what? Walking watch rounds in turns with my wife until the hounds of IS or another new group will go away? Not a chance.

So what is the alternative? Maybe live happy and keep a few suicidepills handy? Yes an A2A would be very nice!

I found this on youtube:

Maybe we should try to reach out to go back again to what we really want from life. In my case a group of people with whom I can laugh or cry. Some that feels like home.

Marchas45's picture


I've always said $25.50 is the resistance but first is $22.00 Lol Keep Stacking

waxybilldupp's picture

And - Dr. P. .....

>> "RE: "showing how well their insights fit our present predicament."

so does the Bible, with 100% accuracy." << 

Seriously, Dr. P.?  100%?  Sounds like a .gov statistic to me.  Just sayin'.

wax off

wildstylechef's picture

Wonderful post Turd!

Nothing like getting all the BullShit out in the open and the truth in black and white all put together to paint the vastness of the US demise. At least the Brits lost their empire and world domination fighting the good fight and won. At least were smart enough to not have the EU currency and rallied to keep the Scotts.

These coming times will be interesting

infometron's picture

@ wildstylechef

Scotts? Why just that one clan? ;^)

infometron's picture

Spirits in the Material World

"Spirits In The Material World"

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world)

Our socalled leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
They subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world)

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
(Are spirits in the material world)

(Are spirits in the material world...)

Bohemian's picture

Road To Hell...

Road To Hell...

Stood still on a highway
I saw a woman
By the side of the road
With a face that I knew like my own
Reflected in my window
Well she walked up to my quarterlight
And she bent down real slow
A fearful pressure paralysed me
In my shadow

She said "Son, what are you doing here?
My fear for you has turned me in my grave"
I said "Mama, I come to the valley of the rich
Myself to sell"
She said "Son, this is the road to Hell"

On your journey 'cross the wilderness
From the desert to the well
You have strayed upon the motorway to Hell

Well I'm standing by a river
But the water doesn't flow
It boils with every poison you can think of
And I'm underneath the streetlights
But the light of joy I know
Scared beyond belief way down in the shadows
And the perverted fear of violence
Chokes a smile on every face
And common sense is ringing out the bells
This ain't no technological breakdown
Oh no, this is the road to Hell

And all the roads jam up with credit
And there's nothing you can do
It's all just bits of paper
Flying away from you
Look out world take a good look
What comes down here
You must learn this lesson fast
And learn it well
This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway
Oh no, this is the road to Hell

Safety Dan's picture

R U Paying Attention? AAA Countries...

Austria Loses AAA Badge as Slow Bank Repair Inflates Debt

​This next older article lists AAA countries as defined by all 3 main rating agencies:

Only nine countries in world are AAA rated by all main agencies

While the three main ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch – are divided on the credit worthiness of numerous countries, they are unanimous that the following are AAA rated:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. Denmark
  4. Germany
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Norway
  7. Singapore
  8. Sweden
  9. Switzerland

I remember when the US, England and other countries had AAA ratings... Wondering why they are losing their standing? Read some of the above posts and main thread.. 

Safety Dan's picture



Safety Dan's picture


Computer problems.

Whitecastle123's picture

good post Bohemian

Gotta dig out my old C.R. CDs, haven't heard that song in years.  Now could you post something a little more upbeat like Chumbawumbas tubthumpins I get knocked down ? 

Turd Ferguson's picture

It is this kind of hatred that will make The 4th Turning...


It is this kind of hatred that will make The 4th Turning even worse. 

Hatred of slaves/blacks 160 years ago.

Hatred of Jews and other ethnicities 80 years ago.

And so it has returned. Right on schedule, according to Strauss and Howe.


1MercuryPerGallon's picture

TURD - You made it, watch this!!

nzallblack's picture

First 45 vinyl record I bought back in Bout '81..


Syndicate contentComments for "Mr. Quinn's Opus"