Trump’s top adviser thinks we’re in “the great Fourth Turning in American history.”
Paul Blumenthal Money in Politics Reporter, The Huffington Post
JM Rieger Producer, The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON ― In 2009, the historian David Kaiser, then a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, got a call from a guy named Steve Bannon.
Bannon wanted to interview Kaiser for a documentary he was making based on the work of the generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe. Kaiser, an expert on Strauss and Howe, didn’t know Bannon from Adam, but he agreed to participate. He went to the Washington headquarters of the conservative activist group Citizens United, where Bannon was then based, for a chat.
This sort of existential conflict is central to Strauss and Howe’s predictions. There are four ways a Fourth Turning can end, they argued, and three of them involve some kind of massive collapse. America might “be reborn,” and we’d wait another 80 to 100 years for a new cycle to culminate in a crisis again. The modern world — the era of Western history that Strauss and Howe believe began in the 15th century — might come to an end. We might “spare modernity but mark the end of our nation.” Or we might face “the end of man,” in a global war leading to “omnicidal Armageddon.”
Now, a believer in these vague and unfounded predictions sits in the White House, at the right hand of the president.
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