Though we live in an era of relative peace and comfort, we have settled into a mood of pessimism about the long-term future, fearful that our superpower nation is somehow rotting from within.

Neither an epic victory over communism, nor an extended upswing of the business cycle can buoy our public spirit. The America of today feels worse, in it's fundamentals, than the one many of us remember from youth, a society presided over by those of supposedly lesser consciousness. Wherever we look, from L.A. to D.C., from Oklahoma City to Sun City, we see paths to a foreboding future. We yearn for civic character, but satsify ourselves with symbolic gestures and celebrity circuses. We perceive no greatness in our leaders, a new meanness in ourselves.

At the core of modern history lies this remarkable pattern : Over the last five centuries, Anglo-American society has entered a new era -- a new turning -- every two decades or so. At the start of each turning, people change how they feel about themselves, the culture, the nation, and the future. Turnings come in cycles of four. Each cycle spans the length of a long human life, roughly eighty to one hundred years, a unit of time the ancients Romans called the saeculum. Together, the four turnings of the saeculum comprise history's seasonal rhythm of growth, maturation, entropy and destruction.

-- the First Turning is a High, and upbeat era of strengthening institutions and weakening individualism, when a new civic order implants and the old values regime decays.

think : post WWII to Kennedy's assassination

-- the Second Turning is an Awakening, a passionate era of spiritual upheaval, when civic order comes under attack from a new values regime.

think : the 60's to Reagan

-- the Third Turning is an Unraveling, a downcast era of strengthening individualism and weakening institutions, when civic order decays, and the new values regime implants.

think : Reagan to Y2K ?

-- the Fourth Turning is a Crisis, a decisive era of secular upheaval, when the new values regime propels the replacement of the civic order with a new one.

think : Y2K ? to the Second Civil War ? (2020 ?)

Each turning comes with its own identifiable mood. Always, these mood shifts catch people by surprise.

1485: War of the Roses one saeculum later:

1588: Armada Crisis one saeculum later:

1689: Glorious Revoltion one saeculum later:

1776: American Revolution one saeculum later :

1860: Civil War one saeculum later:

1944 : World War II one saelculum later:

2020 ???

-- A Crisis event begins with a Catalyst -- a startling event, or sequence of events, that provides a sudden shift in mood.

think : the Great Crash of 1929 / Y2K

-- Once catalyzed, a society achieves a regeneracy, a new counter entropy that reunifies and reenergizes civic life.

think : the Great Depression / the second Great Depression (2000-2010 ?)

-- The regenerated society propels towards a Climax, a crucial moment that confirms the death of the old order and the birth of the new.

think : the bombing of Pearl Harbor / ??? (Confiscation of all personal firearms by Federal Goverment ???)

-- The Climax culminates in a Resolution, a triumphant or tragic conclusion that separates the winners from the losers, resolves the big public questions, and establishes the new order.

think: Truman nuking Japan, VJ Day, VE Day / ???

So ... you of the current unraveling think you are unique, special, that none of this has ever happened in history.

Boy, are you in for a surprise.

The reason that the saeculum is such an ingrained part of our history is that at the end of each, there are no members of the previous cycle alive to recognize the patterns and to say, 'Hey, wait a minute, we did this already.' Its all new, all unique again, and we get the opportunity to make the same mistakes again, just in a different time, and format, using television and email, instead of radio and teletypes.

Read this Book : The Fourth Turning --

Then, and only then, will you understand why it is that our society can encompass Jerry Springer, a President who gets blowjobs from 24 year old interns, the 'Drug War' and other farces, and why these cultural events or their counterparts are inevitable in a time of Unraveling.

Then and only then will you be able to understand the generational forces which will clash during Y2K and the coming ten or twenty years thereafter ...

The Boomers, with their idealism, their entitlement mentality, their fanaticism about everything from furs to nukes to black helicopters to aliens.

Gen X, with their black clothes, nihilism, and independent, survivalistic, nomadic lifestyles.

the Millennials, sheltered, Power Ranger, Barney worshipping group ethos which will provide them the training and the coherence that will be required of them to become the cannon fodder for the next great Conflict.

And, finally, why the destiny of the world depends on the struggle for supremacy between the zealotry of the Boomers and the gritty, pragmatism of the Gen Xers.

Y2K is real, it is serious, it is worth preparing for, but I am sorry to say ... it is only the beginning.

read the book, it will change your life.


From csy2k

-- Andy (, February 20, 1999


Reading books is good. But...

A decade ago, someone (I forget who now, it was posted a month ago or so) wrote a book about the coming worldwide depression, 1993-2000. The author was an expert, and backed his prediction with thousands of facts, trends, and historical precedents. It was very convincing. The only problem was, 1993-2000 was about the longest sustained economic boom in US history. Oops.

For every genuine social/economic decline in history, I'm sure you can find someone who predicted it. But for every correct prediction of Bad Times, there are countless wrong ones. Disillusionment seems to be part of the human condition.

I'd have to say that for most in the US, things seem pretty damn good right now, though not perfect. And the perceived imperfections depend on each individual's personality and circumstances -- there is little agreement about which problems are most serious and foreboding. It seems that no matter what you fear, you can find evidence that it's happening wherever you look. Always been the case.

With respect to y2k, indications are all over the map, from temporary and minor problems to worldwide catastrophe. No matter *what* happens, it will be possible to apply hindsight and point out that it could have been predicted accurately if only you'd looked at the right evidence. This is what makes predictions so chancy.

-- Flint (, February 20, 1999.

Have noticed this downward trend for a long time. Is it done on purpose? Just listen to that stuff oozing out of radio. Not one uplifting song over the entire spectrum. Always sad excrement squeezed out of someones lower orofice. There are and have been hundreds of different types of melodies around the world. Some make you cry, other make you fly.

But we are fed incessantly: Audio and visual sewage. Even a highschool kid proved by experiment that rats get confused, stupider finding their way out of a maze under such exposure.

Then about once a year little stories about violence on tele is bad for children. Nothing changes. Next year same. Next year same. Next year same. Next year same. Next year same. Next year same.

-- fly .:. (.@...), February 20, 1999.

But NEXT year ain't gonna be the Same ;-)

-- Leska (, February 20, 1999.

Yes, a great book, Andy. When I first got on the Y2K bandwagon about a year ago, I remembered reading the newly published "Fourth Turning".

Most certainly cycles exist. They exist in nature, they exist in the chronicles of human civilization; instability, growth, stability (aka status quo), change catalyst, instability, growth, stability,...

Thanks for reminding me of the great read and the web site.

"All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown. The moon rolls through the nighttime, 'til the daybreak comes around. All my life's a circle, but I can't tell you why. Just seasons spinning 'round again - the years keep rollin' by." - Harry Chapin

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 20, 1999.

The Fourth Turning is probably the most important non-fiction book I have ever read, followed by 'Generations' which came out about 4 years before T4T. In both books authors William Strauss & Neil Howe chronicle a distinctive pattern of history moving in cycles, rather than random events occuring along a linear time line. I think Matt is correct in thinking Y2K will only be the first of several events ushuring in a new crisis period in our history. History has also shown that when a Fourth Turning arrives early, as was the case with the Civil War, the crisis period can be more intense and bloody. Human nature does not change.


-- sigmet (, February 20, 1999.

I believe it is inarugable that human conditions, economies, internationa relations, etc travel, progress, and evolve in waves. That is, they proceed from lows through accending stages to highs through decending stages back to lows.

Without puting too fine a point on it, if "things" do if fact proceed in waves and "things" are generally high right now as Flint has accurately pointed out then I'm left with the conclusion that sometime in the future they must start on the decent.

Granted that the overall wave form has gotten higher over the ages (the worst amongst us in the western world live like kings compared to the actual kings a 1000 years ago), but nevertheless, there still appears to be that up and down movement in the waves.

-- Greybear, who is just trying to make sure the next wave does not wash completely over him. (I dam sure missed the last up wave)

- Got Dramamene?

-- Greybear (, February 20, 1999.

Trouble is, that cycle (set of 4 cycles actually) is currently showing almost the exact opposite of the state it was in when America entered the Great Depression. In other words, going by the cycles, we should be entering a period in which the economy will do exactly the opposite of what it did during the Depression, and for as long a time. So the economic DOOM predicitons are way out of sync.

-- Paul Davis (, February 20, 1999.

I'm not as versant on the period preceding the Great Depression as I should be, methinks. Paul, how is this period different than then? Seems to me that the boom is similar.

As an aside it also occurs to me to ask if the difference is as a result of the hugely manipulated and artificial spark to the crash of 1929.

Please,...I'd love more information on this.

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 20, 1999.


I think Preckter (Sp?) and / or Elliot would disagree. But I'm in WAY over my head here when we get into the particulars of the discussion of the particular waves and where we are.

My overly simplistic view is to look at the DJA plot. The fisrt gross view of pre 90 and post 90 speaks very loud to me that it is at a high now. Not just a relative high, but a wave high.

-- Greybear, who wishes he had more formal economics education.

- Got Investments?

-- Greybear (, February 20, 1999.

Thanks Andy. AAAAAAAAAAAAAmen!!!

There are times I feel alone in that mode of thinking, then someone with foresight and intelligence posts an affirmation to what I know is the truth.

Thank you.

Got History?

-- INVAR (, February 20, 1999.


Nobody with foresight and intelligence ever disagrees with me either. That's how I know they *have* foresight and intelligence.

Of course, sometimes people who lack those virtues are right when I'm wrong, but anyone can get lucky now and then.

-- Flint (, February 20, 1999.

"The Fourth Turning" is an excellent book to add to one's social theory library. (it's on Ed's recommended list) It overlays a generational view of the cycles of history to events and describes generations of people using easy to relate to archetypes.

I think that starting with several overlays, this being one, Alvin & Heidi Toffler's "Third Wave" (agricultural/industrial/technological societies), "McWorld vs. Jihad" (globalism vs. fundamentalism), adding pinch of Chomsky, a dash of Gurdjieff, several pounds of Ayn Rand and maybe some Vonnegut for flavor, one can create a hearty stew with which to keep one busy figuring out how the world works. One of the nice things about this forum are the many ingredients that people bring here to create the "stone soup" of thought with which to analyze the Y2K problem...

(sorry, I'm doing some cooking today)

-- pshannon (, February 20, 1999.

pshannon,...sounds like gourmet fare to me!

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 20, 1999.

It's been my opinion for quite awhile that a major change in society happened between 1965 and 1975. Up till 1965 there was confidence, an optimism in science and the future, and a certain amount of respect for the government and social institutions.

By 1975, all of these feelings had pretty much died. I don't think there are many people anymore who believe that science and technology will create a greater sense of personal satisfaction down the road. That was still believed, in my opinion, in 1965.

-- Kevin (, February 20, 1999.

"At the Crest of the Tidal Wave" by Robert Prechter .....Elliot Wave Theorist was published in 1995. He predicted massive deflation. After you read this book take a look at what is happening today.


-- Ray (, February 20, 1999.

Flint said "Nobody with foresight and intelligence ever disagrees with me either. That's how I know they *have* foresight and intelligence. Of course, sometimes people who lack those virtues are right when I'm wrong, but anyone can get lucky now and then."

Too Twue, Too Twue. I feel that exact same way.

Your going to have to stop this crap Flint. I enjoy watching a good joust or a hearty dog fight just as much as the next guy. And here you are posting things I have to agree with.

-- Greybear, frustrated

- Got Vision?

-- Greybear (, February 20, 1999.

I'm not sure what you're agreeing with. Mr. Flint's post seems to me peppered with unverifiable and questionable statements, i.e.,

**I'd have to say that for most in the US, things seem pretty damn good right now, though not perfect. And the perceived imperfections depend on each individual's personality and circumstances --**

I think many have bought the "things are great" spin. This smacks of that. I agree that no one has a crystal ball, ...but to discount the reading of historical cycles, and urging people to minimize the cyclic nature of life on planet Earth is a bit like saying: "Don't bother me with this, my mind is made up. Everything is just fine."

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 20, 1999.


I was agreeing with only his statement that I cited in that post. It was so obviouslly said with toungue planted firmly in cheek.

-- GBear

-- Greybear (, February 20, 1999.

Three books in the last 15 or so years by James Dale Davidson and Sir William Rees-Mogg. "Blood in the Streets", "The Great Reckoning", and "The Sovereign Individual".

These compare and contrast the present with the past. While their timing is frequently off, they have a pretty good track record of things happening eventually as they say.

-- A (, February 20, 1999.

Sorry, GBear. It's a measure of the tiredness of my brain that I did not catch your sarcasm. Mea culpa!

-- Donna Barthuley (, February 20, 1999.

i'm a gi and believe 3to1 that something will happen withnb y2k. someone mentioned AYN RAND;she has been the biggest influence on my thinking since i read "CAPITALISM:THE UNKNOWN IDEAL". WE ARE SINKING DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO STATISMas time goes on.that is, the govt. is getting more intrusive than everand only amounts to which gang is in power. i dont see why we have to votefor the lesser of two this why our fathers fought and died for? a plumber once said "you either vote for cat shit or dog shit". surely this is un acceptable! anyway i think the founding fathers based our economic and political freedom on the concept of private property rights. all rights fall under this umbreella and is in my mind the only way that hnmanebeings can live together. as she said'this is moral and rational. we most definitely know that socialism is not the answer even thoughh your president and his team keep trying to shove it down our throats. don't you think so? and whatn better way than to destroy the concept of prinate property rights tyhan +to indoctrinate our school kids to sacrifice for the group.( i'm sure i'm not saying this right).wether its cyclical or not, why is the american people settling for this hogwash? dont worry about a national sales tax, the govtis already confiscating more money by taxing certain items that they think is bad for us! how arrogant can they get!!!! perhaps the revolution hasnt started yet because most of us do ok and we havent had to put it on the line yet because we stand to lose to much. ive often wondered if the BEAST of REVELATIONS might not be worldwide socialism and if you dont want to play youll be cut out of the herd. no free thinkers allowed.

-- heyU (heyU@cant foolme. com), February 20, 1999.


That word "saeculum" I found not in my Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. I had to look it up in my humble paperback Latin dictionary. Hope I don't forget it for a GENERATION, LIFETIME; CENTURY; SPIRIT OF THE AGE, FASHION. :)

Got verbosity?

-- dinosaur (, February 20, 1999.

Hi everyone, I just found this sight and I know that I'm a GI and believe 3 to 1 that something will happen within y2k. Someone mentioned Ayn Rand, she has been the biggest influence on my thinking since I read "CAPITALISM:THE UNKNOWN IDEAL". Since we are talking about the unraveling of America, I believe WE ARE SINKING DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO STATISM as time goes on. That is, the government is getting more intrusive than ever into everyone's business, and only amounts to which gang is in power. A plumber once said "you either vote for cat shit or dog shit," (plumbers know jack shit!). Is this what our fathers fought and died for? I don't see why we have to vote for the lesser of two evils in the present political two party system. Surely this is unacceptable! Anyway I think the founding fathers based our economic and political FREEDOM on the concept of private property rights. All rights fall under this umbrella and is in my mind the only way that human beings can live together on this earth. (Living off other people is not a right). As Ayn Rand said "this is moral and rational". We most definitely know that socialism is not the answer even though your president and his team keep trying to shove it down our throats. Don't you think so? IT TOOK RUSSIA ONLY 70 YRS TO DESTROY ITSELF BUT THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANY UNEMPLOYMENT (joke,joke), and what better way than to destroy the concept of private property rights than to indoctrinate our school kids to sacrifice for the group. (I'm sure I'm not saying this right). Whether its cyclical or not, why is the American people settling for this hogwash? Don't worry about a national sales tax, the govt. is already confiscating more money by taxing certain items that they think is bad for us (tobacco, alcohol, ammo, guns, etc, and maybe we should have a 14-day waiting period to purchase snow skis because more people die from snow skiing than from guns, just ask Sonny Bono)! How arrogant can they get!!!! Seriously, perhaps the revolution hasn't started yet because most of us do ok and we haven't had to put it on the line yet because we stand to lose too much. I've often wondered if the BEAST of REVELATIONS might not be *worldwide socialism* and if you don't want to play you'll be cut out of the herd. No free thinkers allowed! Anyway, can I blame the American people, including myself, for the continuing spiral into statism as defined by Ms. Rand? Hell, I didn't learn anything till I was 40. How ironic by the time it's figured out its too late. I don't think we can stop it now, too many people living off of the public teat and would create a depression worse than the 20's. Guess I'll carry on to keep my comfort zone going. By the way, since socialism is nothing but SLAVERY, why isnt the religious right SCREAMING their lungs out about how UNGODLY it is. WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!! THANKS FOR LISTENING. If I ever feel upbeat again and decide to vote, it would have to be libertarian party for me.

-- heyU (heyU@cant, February 20, 1999.

It sounds to me that you all may be looking for theCommittee OF 300. Maybe this will help explain whats happenning to the world.Committee of 300

GODS Will Be Done


-- flierdude (, February 20, 1999.


Alvin & Heidi Toffler finished The Future Shock, Third Wave trilogy with Powershift (I'm reading it now, in fact) if you haven't read it I highly recommend it. The first printing was in 1990, and it reads like todays headlines. You can see the things he has written which have already come to pass & the direction they are heading. Fascinating. It starts out slow though, but then you can't put it down.

-- Deborah (, February 20, 1999.

Hi everyone,

I have to respond to this one. I don't think it's a cycle, though it can apear to be. I think it's constitutional. The congress simply does not apply "Is this constitutional" when they pass a law. We are trained in the educational system to think we are a democracy, when our constitution states we are a republic.

If we are "Free" in our republic, then why do I have to abide(criminal justice), and support(taxes), laws that go directly against my beliefs?

We have a voting system that simply is not effective for the free thinker. Voters either have a personal agenda,(my candidate will get that law passed for me), or they are ignorant to what really happens in our government and vote for propoganda speak.

For what their worth social theory books are just that. Theory is not reality. Reality is congress operates unconstitutionaly (allowing laws to be made by sitting judges past and present, executive orders, IRS laws, etc..), and will not change until the SHEEPLE wake the F*&% UP!

I feel better now, I think...

-- Rick Pa. (, February 21, 1999.

""At the Crest of the Tidal Wave" by Robert Prechter .....Elliot Wave Theorist was published in 1995. He predicted massive deflation. After you read this book take a look at what is happening today."

Ray - not sure what you mean by this. Can you expand a little?

Thanks, Andy

-- Andy (, February 21, 1999.

Mike - thanks very much for the 300 link - John Coleman is a very interesting fellow - you can hear him on realaudio on the Jeff Rense show at Sightings on the radio at

Jeff Rense

-- Andy (, February 21, 1999.

From csy2k - an interesting reply (s) ---

Matt - I read the book a couple of years ago and it didn't alter my thinking all that much. The authors build upon the work of Morris Massey who lectured upon the same subject in the 70's. > > He basically called my father's generation *traditionalists* and my > generation *rejectionists*. I think his description of these two > generational types fits closer with reality. > > I don't think the destiny of the world rests on the struggle between the > zealotry of the *Boomers* and the gritty, pragmatism of the Gen Xers. > > I have a son that is 27 years old (gen-x) and a 7 year old. They are very > different. The older boy is like many in his age-group. Very intelligent, > independent, and poor. He does not struggle against my values so much. He > just struggles. My generation has made life a complicated affair. And, > sadly, we (the boomers) are politically the force to be reckoned with. Yes, > we are, I am ashamed to say, the generation that produced Clinton. But, > there is a core of us that are highly principled individuals who do > understand the fundamental struggle between the materialism of our fathers - > that we hated even as teenagers - and the need and struggle for individual > human equality. And, there can be no human equality without financial > equality. Xers don't for the most part understand this. Somehow, the world > must change. People everywhere, not just in the United States, must have > equal access to the earth's resources. And, that is what my generation is > really about and as time goes on more of them will throw off the shackles of > materialism and seek the fundamental right of everyone to share the earth's > resources. > > We (the Boomers) are the generation that has basically caused Y2k (we were > the programmers and managers - the Bill Gates') and we are the generation > that will lead civilization back from the ruins (I.e. Gary North, etc.). > Count on it. > > Teague

===================================================================== =====================================================================


i think you just proved my point as your self-description and the one of your elder son is exactly what the authors would predict.

i am not surprised that you would reject the work as what the authors (Boomers themselves) have to say is much too close to the truth for Boomers to handle. as for your idea that you can fix the very problem that you got us into with some wishful thinking with no hard, dirty decision making, this is also a classic Boomer mistake / delusion. you sound like the Polly Fix on Failure guys ... hey we screwed the pooch for 40 years, but we're positive that if we all hold hands and sing songs we'll solve the whole thing in a few days at the turn of the millennium. isn't that what Hillary, Queen of the Boomers, just said ?

your comment about being 'highly principled' also is a classic eample of the continued self-delusion of your entire generation. talk is cheap and your generation never has had the stones to make the really tough decisions. if you had, we wouldn't be where we are today, a nation of individuals so mesmerized by personal greed that they cannot pull themsleves away from salivating at their 401K statements to notice the devastation you have wrought in the society around you by your all consuming greed and selfishness.

pretty sad legacy of the sixties, isn't it. meaner, nastier, greedier, more selfish and discourteous than any generation in oh, say, 80 years ?

i understand, truly, that you are incapable of true honest self-evaluation, from the lowest of you to the political leadership you have foisted on the rest of us as a result of your superior numbers in the voting booth. Bill isn't an aberration, he is the shining example of what your generations self-delusion has wrought.

your reply also illustrates again the total lack of understanding that your generation has of ours, the nomads who have suffered as a result of the flawed lives you have led. you fault us for our cynicism and pessimism, but you refuse to take responsibility for tripling the divorce rate which left most of us responsible for raising ourselves while you were out trying to 'find yourselves'. you can't relate to our ferocious need for self-reliance that we were forced to develop in order to survive as children of parents who never made a decision to take the responsibility necessary to become true adults and parents.

we nomads are the Harry Trumans (a third turning nomad of the last Unraveling, eighty years ago) of our generation, the guys who will be brought in to make the really hard decisions that you will be incapable of making because you will be to busy wringing your hands at the fate of the 'poor oppressed' that you view out of the windows of the houses we nomads will never be able to afford, the windows of the Beemers and MB's that are abject symbols of the consumerism that we would reject even if we had the financial means to acquire them.

here is the future of Y2K :

the frantic need of the Boomers for self-delusion will result in a scenario where Y2K has terrible effects on the society they (the Boomers) now control. if you think otherwise, just remember that with a realistic, pragmatic view of the problem, Y2K would NEVER have been a problem at all. all that would have been necessary would have been for the Boomers to put aside their self-delusion and greed for a few years and rolled up their collective sleeves to do the dirty work and to make the hard decisions that needed to be made. instead they approached the defining, seminal problem of their entire generation by sticking their heads in the sand and their asses in the air. not me, i might have to forgo a few percentage points on my 401K ... not me, jessica and chad might have to forgo the new Nintendo and i might have to wait till next year to get a new SUV .... not me, it requires a token response of self-discipline and sacrifice, which i am incapable of providing ... no, not me ... i'm a Boomer.

so when TSHTF, who do you think is going to pull the collective asses of this civilization out of the fire ? the pampered, spoiled, narcissistic Boomers ??? or the hard-nosed, self-reliant, poor Nomad, with all the survivalistic tendencies that are now coninuously and loudly lauded on this newsgroup ???

you want to know the sad part ? we will get no credit in the future for our willingness to make the difficult decisions, the triage decisions that result in thousands or millions dying so that millions or billions might be saved. we are the Harry Trumans of our generation and we will be vilified for dropping the bomb on Y2K by the next generation of spoiled selfish bastards. my only consolation is that you Boomers will be excoriated to an even greater extent than we Nomads by future generations.

ask your 27 year old son if he agrees with me.

the Boomer creed:

me me me

the Nomad creed:

the needs of the many ... outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.


-- Andy (, February 21, 1999.

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