“A Fourth Turning lends people of all ages what is literally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to heal (or destroy) the very heart of the republic.”
Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this episode, Nat and Neil are joined by Adil Majid to discuss their key takeaways from The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe. The authors uncover how history moves in cycles, or “turnings”, and how our past could very well predict our future. This episode will challenge the way you have traditionally thought of time as linear, and open your eyes to cycles that are much bigger than ourselves.
We cover a wide range of topics including:
0:19 Adil Majid joins the podcast today to help Nat and Neil break down The Fourth Turning by and William Strauss Neil Howe. You may remember him from some of our previous episodes (#7, #33, #34, #35, #71), so go check those out if you haven’t already!
4:39 The Fourth Turning was written around the same time as Sovereign Individual, and shares some connections as both books discuss adapting to the next phase or cycle in civilization.
9:18 The four turnings: “The High”, “The Awakening”, “The Unraveling” and “The Crisis”. The current cycle, also known as “The Crisis”, would have started around 2005, and may go on until around 2026. These turnings are such a zoomed out way of looking at periods of time, and most people that are living have not been around long enough to experience each turning.
“Over the millennia, man has developed three ways of thinking about time: chaotic, cyclical, and linear. The first was the dominant view of primitive man, the second of ancient and traditional civilizations, and the third of the modern West, especially America.”
14:51 Neil talks about some of the bigger, zoomed out cycles such as the ice age cycles and climate cycles. We only see the micro-cycles because that’s our perspective on time.
15:40 In some religions such as Christianity, time is thought of as linear. Rather than accepting the cycles and seasons of the year and time, we try to fight them to create this linear constancy, because that’s what we are familiar with and what we can see.
17:50 Trends in substance abuse and alcohol. The way that our parents’ and grandparents’ generations treated alcohol is much different than how the younger generation treats it.
This brings us to the four archetypes discussed in the book: Prophets, Nomads, Heroes, and Artists. Prophets give birth to Heroes, and vice versa while Nomads give birth to Artists, and vice versa. In theory, this will determine your archetypal behavior.
24:17 The turnings tie into the generations. As one comes of age, they influence the next turning. Based on the timeline from the book, we’ve all been in a Crisis era for most of our adult lives (if you’re around 30). What does it mean now that we’re within a few years of coming out of this period of crisis?
26:06 The “High” occurred post World War 2, between 1946-1964. This period of time was big on collectivism and community. It was not a High for everyone, however, as this was before the civil rights movement and the women’s suffrage movement. After WW2, people began creating a better life and enjoying the high after surviving the war. Their children grew up in a time of abundance, but the abundance wasn’t experienced by everyone, and this led to different civil movements as they entered the period of Awakening.
30:55 Between the Awakening and the Unraveling is a long period of decline. The Awakening is a period of challenging the morals of the previous generation, and the Unraveling is putting those things into practice. From there, it then leads to the period of Crisis.
34:36 We see this conflict today where older Gen Z and Millennials are growing up with student loan debt. The previous generation grew up in a period of abundance off the High of post WW2, which paved the way for that generation to live a comfortable life.
38:28 Where did the Crisis start? Nat, Neil, and Adil discuss several events such as 9/11, the Iraq war, and the 2007 financial crisis that may be marked as the start of the Crisis.
45:26 Not every Fourth Turning has to end in war, but every previous one has ended in a war, thus why the conflict in Russia/Ukraine is so notable, as well as conflict between China and Taiwan.
50:33 Gold, Bitcoin, and inflation. Which country could tip the scale?
55:03 Preparing for the Fourth Turning. Neil makes a connection to The Mandibles, where if the Government ever decides to cease wealth or shut down the stock market, the value that we currently hold in the market will decrease significantly, although we may have thought it was safe.
“Really know where your money is.”
1:00:28 Adil describes the technological arms race that’s happening. Ideas shifting in political parties even within the past decade.
1:09:55 Woke capital, communist capital, and crypto capital. Is there a possibility for parallel systems where one area of the country/world may align with one ideology and another area aligns with another approach? The Internet, as an example.
1:16:59 Another symptom of the crisis mentality is mistrust of organizations that were typically trusted by previous generations.
1:21:09 The storming of the Capital on January 6th. This had the potential to be a climax moment, but didn’t end up turning into something massive.
1:25:29 This year’s Oscars brought a shared moment between everyone. Most things you see in the media will produce two total opposite reactions, whereas in this particular moment, the experience and reaction was very much the same across the board. These shared moments create a sense of unity.
1:35:16 This book is controversial, partly because the concepts in this book are hard to prove as factual. It’s comfortable to think we have everything figured out, without challenging anything or institutions.
1:38:41 Thanks for listening! Make sure to grab a copy of the next book we will be covering, Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung. Stay tuned, as Adil will be back for another future episode where we discuss Seeing Like A State.
If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! You can say hi to us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason and share your thoughts on this episode.
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