Myth of the 20th Century Episode 44: Cycles In History – The Fourth Turning

Social Matter
November 18, 2017

Welcome to the Myth of the 20th Century. The podcast airs on Fridays.

— Brought to you by —

Adam Smith, Hank Oslo, Nick Mason, and Hans Lander


It has been described as “Bannon’s ‘Bible’”. The ‘Fourth Turning’, published in 1997, describes Anglo-American civilization as going through a series of four main generational phases, cycling from ‘Founding’, ‘Awakening’, ‘Unraveling’, and ‘Crisis’. The authors describe a trend going back centuries throughout much of Western civilization, essentially seeing a pattern of birth, rise, decline, and a fiery death whose ashes enrich the soil for a rebirth. It’s an old idea, having much in common with ancient myths mirroring seasonal patterns to life. But what is perhaps new in America is that the Establishment for the first time in a long while feels as if people like Steve Bannon are aware that the United States is in terminal decline, and bringing about that crisis may in fact hold the keys to its rebirth – however in doing so may unravel the very power structure that the Establishment currently dominates.


Late Medieval Saeculum: 1435 – 1487; Ended with the War of the Roses Crisis
Reformaton Saeculum: 1487 – 1594; Ended with the Armada Crisis
New World Saeculum: 1594 – 1704; Ended with the Glorious Revolution Crisis
Revolutionary Saeculum: 1704 – 1794; Ended with the American Revolution Crisis
Civil War Saeculum: 1794 – 1865; Ended with the Civil War Crisis
Great Power Saeculum: 1865 – 1946; Ended with the Great Depression/WWII Dual Crisis
Millennial Saeculum: 1946 – 2026; Ends with combination of the potential ‘Great Devaluation’, potential cultural collapse, potential civil war, potential WWIII.


– The Fourth Turning, Howe & Strauss (1997)
– Jim Goad on The New Church Ladies (2017) –
– Birth of a White Supremacist, Marantz (2017) –
– Myth Of The 20th Century – Episode 5: The Philippines, Crucible of Empire (2017) –
– Myth Of The 20th Century – Episode 19: Malthus And His Discontents – Population And Policy (2017) –
– Myth Of The 20th Century – Episode 31: American Cauldron, Immigration and Its Discontents (2017) –


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