Fourth Turning: On relieving the Culture Wars pressure between growing authoritarianism and declining individual liberty
I Should Know: Dems' Intel Abuse Is Reminiscent of My Work for Ceausescu
"Seen from my vantage point, the four-page FISA abuse memo authored by Rep. Devin Nunes is proof that former president Barack Obama and Democratic Party leaders wanted to transform the U.S. into a Russian-style intelligence dictatorship -- and the FBI into a KGB-style instrument for rewriting American history by smearing its capitalist politicians.
They say that history repeats itself. If you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing a re-enactment with your own eyes.
Forty years ago, I paid with two death sentences from my native Romania. I had publicly revealed that Ceausescu's highly praised independence from Moscow was in fact an undercover intelligence dictatorship, designed to transform Romania into a monument to him by annihilating his critics and enemies. "I'll give you a name, and you'll build a criminal record for him," Ceausescu used to tell the head of the Securitate -- his Marxist version of the FBI. For him, lying was the first step toward stealing and killing."
The American progressive left is a creature of authoritarianism. Progressivism is socialism but with a lower more American acceptable level of authoritarianism. The progressive left wants to create a top-down authoritarian state through which the political leaders and the academics can perfect the human race via social tinkering, regulation, even pogroms of non-believers when necessary.
Every Fourth Turning, the political tension between government authoritarianism and individual liberty grows to unbearable proportions in the American body politic. The reason is that the Boomer generation of Prophets brings an extroverted, explosive spiritual awakening which at its core is profoundly anti-human, and authoritarian. In the last, these impulses were seen in the later communist hippie culture (not the original libertarian hippie community culture) and the reification of myriad secular religions from environmentalism, to race, to sex, to gender. The result was anti-humanist subsumption of the self into the group. The Boomers from the beginning sought to tell others how to live and tried to enforce those diktats.
This continues today with forced recycling, forced CAFE automobile standards, and pretty much the forced conformance of Americans generally to all of the Boomers splintered and exploded spiritual awakening ideas. So, we have rules and regulations for all things environment, gender, and race right down to which plastic can go in which recycle bin. Failing to follow the rules can, and often does result in men with guns paying a visit.
Although the Boomer awakening ideas had curdled by the time of the Culture Wars, the rules and laws are still enforced. Today we find the splintered ideas from the Boomers awakening still fighting a postmodern war of power over which will be considered the highest on the victim status pole. These ideas long ago lost any merit, but the force and animosity with which the adherents fight for their postmodern scraps are surprising. And these SJW culture warriors demand that everyone behave as they require. You will use the pronoun the SJW demands or be subject to legal repercussions.
These insanities are the final expression of the Boomer spiritual awakening after being thoroughly curdled by the cynical nihilism of the Culture Wars. The SJWs demands are delivered with the intent to create and enforce an utterly authoritarian world which will force all to accept and adhere to the addled view of the SJWs.
So, how does this end?
This same spasm of excessive fascist authoritarianism has occurred during the past three Third Turnings, and each was, in turn, was resolved during the Fourth Turning.
In 1929, the last Fourth Turning started. The stock market crash, the Great Depression laid the groundwork for what was to come: a European spasm of national authoritarianism which was unexpected and shocking. In Europe, the Soviet Union was authoritarian. Spain was in the midst of a civil war which resulted in authoritarian Franco coming to power. Italy elected Mousilini, the leader of the Italian Fascist Party. And Hitler came to power in German as leader of the National Socialist Party. All were based on socialist or collectivist root political theories, each had slightly different theories and ideas, but all were socialist authoritarians.
For quite a while all were aligned, Germany sent troops, and material to help Franco fight his civil war, and learn much of modern tactics and strategy in the process. The Germans and Italians were outright allies. The Germans and the Soviets were also outright allies through the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a peace/non-aggression agreement and which decided that the parties would divide Poland after invading that country. Outside of Europe, Japan was also an authoritarian state which was an ally of Germany and Italy.
From the American perspective, WWII was a war between liberty and authoritarianism. We fought that battle under the precepts of Total War and battled to an outright conclusion. In the end, the war reduced German, Italian, and Japanese authoritarianism and replaced them with governments based on republican liberty.
The same dynamic occurred in the Fourth Turning prior - the American Civil War 1860-1865. In that case, the secessionist American South was the authoritarian element seeking to maintain the authoritarian institution of slavery. The American North championed individual liberty.
In the Fourth Turning before the Civil War, the American Revolution, the same dynamic again occurred with the American rebels standing for individual liberty and the British Crown standing for authoritarianism.
In each case, the Third Turning had allowed the forces for authoritarianism to go too far while the forces for individual liberty were trampled, and, so, the Fourth Turning becomes the rectification of that imbalance.
In our current Fourth Turning, we should expect the forces of authoritarianism to be vanquished, but only after a cataclysmic but cathartic Total War.
One additional thing I should point out. We believe politics is a multi-faceted process, and we often wonder why we have only two parties. But the reality is politics is only, and always, a slider allowing either the expansion of state authoritarianism or the expansion of individual liberty. That's it. The issue is where on the continuum should we place the slider? Should we allow more individual liberty or more state authoritarianism?
This tension is so tricky to get right we spend our saecula fighting over this issue. The reason is socialism is the earliest political mode used by humans. This goes back to at least the hunter-gatherer tribe which used socialism as its base form of organization. Humans were organized in tribes of under about 200. Once more than 200, the tribe would split. The basic idea was for every individual to work as hard as possible, take what you needed and offer everything to the group since your life depended upon it. There was no life outside the group which is why excommunication was the only and most draconian penalty.
After hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions of years in this necessary social arrangement, we cannot leave it behind so quickly. It no longer works in our leviathan communities, but we cannot shake it. The result is instead of realizing that we must reconstitute our communities on an individual liberty rubric, we shift back to socialism as soon as individual liberty has made our lives sufficiently stable and prosperous to allow this shift.
The outcome is destructive.
The only thing which could be worse than a Fourth Turning Total War is a Fourth Turning which fails to vanquish the forces of authoritarianism.
When the war comes, choose wisely.