Please be sure to take some time to read this today. Ahead of Tuesday's US elections, our friend Jim Quinn accurately and eloquently summarizes where we are relative to "The Fourth Turning".
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“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
The paragraph above captures everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen during this Fourth Turning. It was written over two decades ago, but no one can deny its accuracy regarding our present situation. The spark was a financial crash. The response to the financial crash by the financial and governmental entities, along with their Deep State co-conspirators who created the financial collapse due to their greed and malfeasance, led to the incomprehensible election of Donald Trump, as the deplorables in flyover country evoked revenge upon the corrupt establishment.
The chain reaction of unyielding responses by the left and the right accelerates at a breakneck pace, with absolutely no possibility of compromise. A new emergency or winner take all battle seems to be occurring on a weekly basis, with the mid-term elections as the likely trigger for the next phase of this Fourth Turning.
There is no positive outcome which will come from these elections. The no holds barred ad campaigns being waged by both sides have sunk to new despicable lows. Winning at all costs is what matters. The Republicans were always going to retain the Senate, but now look like they will gain seats. The overwhelming consensus among the fake news media for months has been for Democrats to retake the House by picking up 20 to 30 seats. The attempted Brett Kavanaugh lynching by left wing extremists and left-wing media, along with the left wing financed third world caravan, has dialed up the intensity and enthusiasm of Trump supporters. The tone of the mainstream media has grown worried and increasingly venomous as they see their lock on the House possibly slipping away.
Either result is likely to deepen the anger, hate, violence and turmoil, which has already been elevated to levels portending civil chaos, if not civil war. If Democrats take control of the House, their agenda will be to impeach Trump, pass legislation designed to make Trump look bad, block everything Trump tries to do, and position themselves to win back the presidency in 2020. The frustration of gridlock will lead to Trump utilizing Executive Orders as his means to accomplish his agenda. Not being able to accomplish his domestic goals will lead a bored Trump into foreign escapades, which could potentially lead to unanticipated military conflict. All previous Fourth Turnings have ended in all out war, with death on a grand scale.
If the Republicans pull a 2016-like upset and retain control of the House, the fury and rage from the left-wing haters will surely violently erupt in their social justice enclaves of loathing. There will be lawsuits and recounts as Soros and his minions fund dissent and violent uprisings. The Democrats will be apoplectic if they do not retake the House. If you think the fake Russia-gate witch hunt, surveillance state attempted coup, screeching pussy hat wearing feminazis perpetrating fake criminal accusations against good men, Soros funded illegal immigrant caravan photo ops, and libelous propaganda media inciting violence, was bad, the coming venom, viciousness, and violent upheaval will make the first two years of Trump’s reign look like a pleasant walk in the park. The linear thinking low IQ press and intellectual yet idiot academics are unable to conceptualize the mood change in this country which will drive events going forward.
The generational alignment of Fourth Turnings is creating the dynamics leading to the increasing intensity, distress and high likelihood of aggression, hostility and war. These crisis periods strike like clockwork on an eighty-year timetable. The 2008 financial crisis struck seventy-nine years after the 1929 stock market crash that catalyzed the Great Depression/World War II Fourth Turning.
In another example of history rhyming, this past week was the anniversary of the nationwide panic initiated by Orson Welles’ radio broadcast of War of the Worlds in 1938 – exactly 80 years ago. A clearly fictional account of evil Martians attacking our country should not have done anything but entertain Americans still suffering through the Great Depression. But, the mood of the country certainly contributed to the terrified overreaction. According to History.com:
Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”
Orson Welles was not purposely trying to terrify the nation, but events during 1938 and the seemingly never-ending hard times had the nation on edge. Germany had invaded and occupied Austria before creating a crisis with threats about invading Czechoslovakia and starting another world war. Neville Chamberlin became notorious as the most famous appeaser in world history by declaring “Peace in our time” after handing Czechoslovakia to Hitler.
War would break out one year later, ultimately engulfing the entire world and resulting in the deaths of 65 million people. The economy and stock market had re-crashed again in 1937, leading to more pain and suffering across the land. The masses were mentally beaten down, frightened by the possibility of war, and susceptible to fear invoking events or narratives. Welles accidently touched a raw nerve and instantly created panic.
Here we are eighty years later and the mood of the country is similarly on edge. We are ten years into an “economic recovery” for Wall Street, while Main Street still struggles to make ends meet. Real wages have barely budged in two decades, while energy, healthcare, food, rent, and education costs have soared for the common people. The initial phase of the financial crisis devastated the retirement savings of millions and resulted in millions more getting kicked out of their houses by Wall Street bankers, who committed fraud and were rewarded by a taxpayer funded bailout and free money provided by their puppets at the Federal Reserve.
The billionaire bailouts provoked the populist revolution, resulting in the elevation of Trump to the presidency. Phase two of the financial crisis will erase two-thirds from the stock market and once again wipe out the life savings of millions.
With left and right already at each other’s throats, the devastation of another stock market crash will undermine what little trust remains in the debt ponzi financial system and the Ivy League educated MBA psychopaths in suits running Wall Street banks. The curtain will be pulled back and the feckless academics running the Federal Reserve will be revealed as nothing but doddering fool money printers who devalued our currency into oblivion.
Americans should be fearful about the bursting of the everything bubble, but they continue to be paralyzed by normalcy bias, cognitive dissonance, and propaganda from those in power, foolishly believing all is well. Instead, the mainstream media functions as Orson Welles, convincing large swaths of the public to fear phantom Russians, mad bombers sending fake bombs to leftists from his Trump decorated van, compensated marching Hondurans 1,000 miles from our borders, evil Syrian dictators, non-existent Iranian nuclear bombs, global warming, and worst of all – plastic straws.
The core elements of this crisis, as predicted by Strauss & Howe, continue to propel this Fourth Turning like the molten ingredients of an ongoing volcanic eruption engulfing everything in its path, leading to a global conflagration. The core elements of debt, civic decay, and global disorder continue to juxtapose and interact in unknowable ways, but the stormy passage towards death and destruction is undeniable. Our civic fabric has been torn asunder, while our financial house of cards teeters under the unbearable weight of trillions in unpayable debt, and proxy and trade wars morph into all out military conflict.
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My assessment of where we stand regarding the core elements of this crisis is as follows:
- Total credit market debt in the U.S. when the debt created financial crisis struck in 2008 was $51 trillion. Our “brilliant” leaders have “solved” our debt crisis by adding another $17 trillion of debt, bringing the total to $68 trillion. Total credit market debt as a percentage of GDP at 344% is exactly where it was in 2007 before the crisis. What is even more staggeringly stupid is tens of trillions (student loans, subprime auto, corporate junk bonds, government bonds) cannot and will not be repaid.
- The national debt in 2007 stood at $9 trillion (up from $5.7 trillion in 2000) and presently sits at $21.7 trillion, while accelerating at a $1.3 trillion annual rate. It will close in on the $23 trillion level by the end of this fiscal year. As a percentage of GDP it has risen from 62% in 2007 to 108% in 2019. Rogoff and Reinhart proved that once countries surpass 90%, eventual collapse is certainty. Taleb has declared our financial system to be far more fragile today than in 2007.
- Interest on the national debt reached a record level of $523 billion in fiscal 2018, up $64 billion over fiscal 2017. It is poised to blow that number away in fiscal 2019, tracking to reach $600 billion, as interest rates continue to rise. With the current out of control government spending, interest on the debt will account for 13% of the budget and will account for an increasing slice of the pie going forward.
- With over $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities staring the country in the face in the foreseeable future, Social Security ($1 trillion), Medicare ($600 billion), and Medicaid ($400 billion) outflows growing rapidly, interest on the debt ($600 billion) growing at 17% per year and corrupt politicians funding thousands of worthless pork projects, ramping up military spending while slashing corporate taxes is a recipe for disaster. Who will buy this debt without requiring better than a 0% real return?
- Consumer debt outstanding now stands at a record high of $3.94 trillion, up from $2.65 trillion in 2008 when the Wall Street created debt crisis hit. Real wages (even using the fake BLS inflation data) for real people haven’t budged one iota since 2008, but the amount of debt carried by average people is up 49%. The average auto loan exceeds $30,000 (all-time high) and the length exceeds 70 months (all-time high). Millions of Americans are surviving month to month on their credit cards. With rates rising and Americans up to their eyeballs in debt (again), the auto and housing markets have stalled and will fall. The amount of debt to be written off this time will be staggering. Are you ready to bail out Wall Street again?
- The U.S. debt situation is bad enough, but the entire world followed our lead in a coordinated attempt to prop up a failed global financial system with more debt. Global debt has soared from under $140 trillion in 2007 to over $240 trillion today, up 70% since before the debt crisis. Governments, corporations and individuals have done the exact opposite of what needed to be done to put the world back on a sustainable financial path. Instead of beginning the process of living within our means, liquidating the criminal banks, jailing those responsible, and addressing our out of control spending, we allowed our Deep State rulers to double down on the debt and accelerate the speed towards the fiscal cliff. This was all done to benefit the few at the expense of the many, as the Deep State looting and pillaging campaign continues unabated. Next stop……
- The social distress we are experiencing in the country is nothing new, despite the outrage proclaimed by linear thinking mainstream media talking heads who have zero understanding of history or the cyclical nature of mankind across the centuries. The incivility among corrupt congress politicians is child’s play when compared to Alexander Hamilton being shot dead by Aaron Burr or Andrew Jackson’s feud with John Quincy Adams. Democrat congressman Preston Brooks almost beat Republican senator Charles Sumner to death with a walking cane in the Senate chambers in 1856. The vitriol being spewed by Democrats and Trump is nothing new in politics, but during Fourth Turnings compromise is not possible. There will be clear winners and losers when all is said and done.
- Violence, aided and abetted by the corporate propaganda media, is being fueled by race, religion, nativism, gender and class. Open warfare is being waged on many fronts. White males have been used as the whipping boy of the left, and the backlash is happening, with the election of Trump as a result. The Democrats have enslaved inner city blacks in their ghetto plantations with their failed welfare policies and victim card tactics. The potential loss of this voting block has Democrats seething with fear and lashing out wildly in all directions.
- The Left and Right had operated with a wink and a nod regarding illegal immigrants pouring into our country for decades as the Democrats expected more votes and the Republicans saw cheap labor for their corporate constituents. Trump upset the apple cart and revealed the hypocrisy of politicians on both sides of the aisle. The 20 million or so illegals in the country are a net drain on our social welfare system, but business owners and the rich benefit from cheap labor and suppressed wages for the plebs. The highly publicized caravan appears to be designed to rile up the masses for voting purposes and to distract the average American from their deteriorating economic plight.
- The most significant cause of civic decay has clearly been the decades of degraded public-school socialization disguised as education. They have created generations of non-critical thinking droids who have been taught that feeling is the same as thinking. The entire social justice warrior/safe space crowd owes its existence to this indoctrination by politically correct government drones in schools across America. It’s a disease without any cure. Average Americans can’t add, subtract, spell, speak, or think for themselves. It’s almost as if the ruling class designed our educational system to create millions of people who would not question what they are told and could be manipulated easily through Bernaysian propaganda techniques.
- Those running the show proclaim technology to be the savior of mankind. Instead it has contributed to the dumbing down of America. Millions are addicted to their iGadgets. They walk into traffic while tweeting, texting, or facebooking. With history and literature at their fingertips, Americans choose to watch cat videos and follow the adventures of the Kardashians. Social media has created a nation of brain-dead zombies wandering the streets, adding no value and living vacuous, shallow, worthless lives. Technology has been a boon for the Deep State and their accomplices Google, Facebook, Twitter and the MSM in controlling and manipulating the pliable weak minds of the masses. Is it a wonder there are so many hopeless mentally damaged individuals committing mass murder on a consistent basis.
- In addition to the massive accumulation of unpayable government debt by the EU, China, Japan and emerging market countries; proxy wars rage in Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan; Muslim hordes are overrunning Europe; NATO pushes Russia towards conflict; and Trump wages trade wars with the whole world. The animosity between countries builds, the fragility of the global order increases and the risk of a politician doing something spectacularly stupid is higher than it has been in decades.
- The billionaire elitists who were implementing their one world order unimpeded through globalization and open border policies, have been thrown for a loop by the ascension of Trump and other populist leaders across the globe. Trump declaring himself a nationalist is met with howls of racism, ridicule and scorn by the globalists who have been in control for decades. The rise of Orban in Hungary, Salvini in Italy, and Bolsonaro in Brazil mark a drastic shift in mood across the globe towards nationalism and away from unfettered immigrant flows into their countries. Macron, Merkel and May are on their way out, as populism rages across Europe.
- It is a fact China and Asia have been utilized by globalist corporate entities to maximize their profits through wage arbitrage. It is a fact China and many other countries erect trade barriers to protect their markets will pretending to embrace free trade. Trump’s aggressive stance on trade pacts is warranted for the most part. But world trade is a complex mechanism dependent upon thousands of variables and companies making decisions based upon known factors. With a trade war in progress and no certainty of what will happen, companies delay making investments and signing deals. The result will be decreased trade and increased possibility of global recession.
- With Trump supplying an increasingly hostile and volatile world with arms as his primary economic jobs program, is it any wonder the Middle East is a tinderbox of religious hatred, slaughter, and chaos. The U.S. militarily supports a country that bombs innocent civilians in Yemen, treats women like cattle, murders journalists, funds jihadists, and has lots and lots of oil. We prop up a dictators in Egypt and Turkey, but have done everything in our power to overthrow the dictator in Syria. We economically support Israel as they work against our interests around the globe. A showdown with Iran, in the works for over a decade, inches ever closer as we intimidate other countries into shunning Iran economically.
- There are no good guys when it comes to world leaders. They all lie, cheat and steal. They all have huge egos and believe they are the smartest person in the room. They are arrogant and their hubris is ultimately their downfall. Putin and Xi can play the long game. They don’t have an opposition party contesting everything they do or say. They are leaders for life, or until they are overthrown. They are as nationalist as Trump. They have nuclear arms. They have large militaries. They have major economic problems. These leaders will do whatever they feel is in the best interest of their countries. Threats and bluster from a reality TV NYC real estate mogul does not make them quiver with fear. When economic pain sweeps across the world during the coming financial collapse, trade wars will morph into real wars.
Anyone who doesn’t perceive the darkening clouds portending the most dangerous portion of this Fourth Turning crisis is either willfully ignorant, an Ivy League educated “Intellectual Yet Idiot”, an MSM talking head, or a Deep State apparatchik. Ten years into the last Fourth Turning was 1939, the outset of the bloodiest global conflict in world history. Any doubt there really is a Deep State, controlling our lives, surveilling our electronic interactions, manipulating our minds through propaganda techniques, and keeping us distracted with technology, sports, and social media, has been obliterated by Trump drawing these evil characters out of the shadows and into the spotlight as they have attempted a blatant coup against a sitting president.
The current paradigm had been very profitable for the ruling elite, as their propaganda laden production convinced the masses they were making economic progress as they feel deeper in debt and were free as the surveillance state grew ever larger. The curtain will soon be pulled back to reveal it all as an illusion.
“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa
No one can predict the exact events which will propel the remainder of this Fourth Turning. But one thing is sure, things will not return to normal until we withstand and conquer the grim challenges ahead. Those who think the stock market can continue to ascend after being elevated by the Fed for nine years are delusional. Those who don’t think debt matters are ignorant of history and how societal mood changes drive greed and panic. Those who discount the possibility of global war because we are too civilized evidently do not understand human nature and our warring nature.
This Fourth Turning will intensify no matter the outcome of the mid-term elections. It will not end until the existing social order is swept away and there are clear winners and losers. I don’t pretend to know what will happen, but I won’t be surprised when things take a turn for the worse. You can’t sit this out. You should prepare as your resources and life situation allow. Courage, strength, wisdom and adaptability will be required to survive the coming challenges. Approaching the coming storms with eyes wide open, large doses of common sense, teamwork and self sufficiency offer you the best possibility of coming out the other side.
Strauss and Howe did not make predictions, but they put forth an educated guess of potential outcomes. Millions of factors and humans will interact in an unknowing way to produce the ultimate outcome. We all may have to make individual decisions which will impact the outcome. Shirking our responsibilities out of fear is not an option when the potential outcomes could end civilization as we know it. We should all do everything in our power to produce outcome #4.
- 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.
- The Fourth Turning could mark the end of modernity. The Western saecular rythm – 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is grey is yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion
Breath Deep the Gathering Gloom – Moody Blues