We have all heard the saying “If you fail to learn from history you are doomed to repeat it.” As a matter of fact, we have probably heard this so many times that it doesn’t hold the weight that it should. History is seasonal, and I believe we are heading into winter, if we are not already there.
Nations have risen and fallen throughout the years and, until we (the human race) learn to understand why this happens, we are at some point or another, heading towards the same fate.
You don’t have to be a clairvoyant with a crystal ball or be a psychic to see into the future, all you need to do is pick up a history book and put the pieces together and you soon find out that not only does history repeat itself, you begin to understand why.
Generation Zero and the Turnings
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
In a documentary I recently watched called Generation Zero they made a very compelling argument about why we are in what they call the fourth turning. Before I get into what lead us to this “fourth turning” I guess I should explain what exactly the 4 turnings are.
The First Turning – Stability: A High, an upbeat era focused on family, building infrastructure, strengthening institutions and weakening individualism.
The Second Turning – The Awakening: A passionate era of spiritual upheaval, children come of age, moral agenda changes, emotions break out.
The Third Turning – The Unraveling: A downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions. Values are questioned and restraints are broken down.
The Fourth Turning – The Crisis: A decisive era of secular upheaval, when the values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one. A leader usually precipitates the crisis…examples include Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II.
September 18th 2008
I’m not sure how many of us realize how close we were to the complete financial meltdown in 2008, and I’m not so sure that it would have been such a bad idea to let it happen.
Paul Kanjorski states in the video above that on Thursday (Sept 18), at 11am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the U.S., to the tune of $550 billion was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two.
The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped a $105 billion in the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn’t be further panic out there.
If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed.
It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it, and my question is, would that have been an entirely bad thing? And did we just rob Peter to pay Paul?
How did we get to that point?
In this documentary they explain how history can be broken down into turnings. These turnings are usually about 20 years in length and it takes roughly a generation, about 80 to 100 years to complete the cycle.
Turnings are like the seasons, every turning is necessary. As you begin to see the picture unfold, you begin to see how cyclical history really is, and how because of human nature, we are doomed to repeat it. The one thing we do have a choice in is how extreme these turnings will be.
Stability Era 1945 – 1965
The 1950 was an era where people lived through the depression and World War II, they were surrounded by homelessness, starvation and death. They had seen how horrible things in life can be, they vow that no one should ever have to live like that again.
They considered a small home with a white picket fence to be the dream of a lifetime, they knew why family values and community were so important.
People in the stability era unwittingly start the chain of events that lead to the crisis because they give their children everything, they never want their children to have to live through what they had to.
These children grew up basically getting their own way, and leading us into the era of awakening.
The awakening 1966 – 1986
In the 60’s and 70’s you had two separate visions of America, you had the people who grew up in the depression and just come out of World War II and had the sense that America could do almost anything.
You also had the Woodstock Generation, The self-indulgent society that decided to rewrite all the rules. The children of plenty chose to live by a different set of standards than their parents accepted.
These very people that knew the value of a dollar, knew what it was like to have nothing actually cause this ball to start rolling because they wanted their children have a better life, and they gave their children everything they could.
In the short history of our country you can see this play out in times following the Revolutionary War, the Civil War as well as World War II.
Times following a great upheaval or struggle lead to times where those people breathe a sigh of relief, and feel confident about the future. While their children begin to take for granted what they have because everything was given to them.
The Unraveling 1987 -2007
Eras of unraveling throughout history have a lot of similarities, such as economic speculation and skepticism. You can see the similarities when you look at the 1990’s and compare them to the 1920’s, the 1850’s or even the 1760’s which would become the foundation for the birth of our nation in the 1770’s
In the 1990’s there was a feeling of cynicism, self-interest and bad morals. As you look at the different eras prior to a crisis, you begin to see similarities between them.
This was an era of living beyond your means and keeping up with the Joneses. Success was defined by the size of your house and the car you drove, regardless of the debt you were in.
This created an economic bubble that almost popped in 2008, until it was patched with some duct tape and super glue leading us where we are today.
History teaches that a third turning usually issues into a fourth turning. History also shows that if an event doesn’t trigger a fourth turning that a fourth turning leader will actually encourage one to happen.
The Crisis 2008 – Undetermined
The fourth turning, or crisis begins because of all the deferred decisions that weren’t made during the unraveling stage, or third turning.
Everything that has happened in the past 80 years had lead up to this point. The irresponsible lending by banks, bailing out “too big to fail” institutions and the ideals of the 60’s and 70’s have led us to this point in history where we are a passive, politically correct society that is too dependent to see the forest through the trees.
These fourth turnings become new founding moments in our nation’s history. Tough decisions that weren’t made in the past will now be forced upon us and need to be made whether we like it or not.
We have mortgaged our future and our country, and the time to pay up will come very soon. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
We have a duty to the future to give them something to fight for, and to give them the tools to fight with. We owe it to our children to show them how to think critically and teach them that they can make a difference.
Just like the people who lived through the depression unwittingly gave birth the future generations that started this freight train rolling downhill, we do the same thing when we give in to our children or give ourselves anything we want.
If a child knows they can get away with something with little or no consequences they will do so every time. If a bank knows it can make risky investments and continue to get “bailed out” by the tax payers, they will continue to pad their pockets until there is nothing left.
Unfortunately the only thing we can do now is distance ourselves as much as possible from this imaginary money system, be thankful that we see this unfolding before our eyes and have time to prepare ourselves for this crisis while we can.