Sunday, December 5, 2010

Will 2012 be as critical as 1860?

Jim Quinn’s The Burning Platform has a nice summary with topical speculations on where we’re at in the fourth turning.  Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning is put down by Amazon’s own reviewer as a “pseudo-scholarly tract,” which is a misnomer (it is a tract, and it is scholarly).  Since it was written in the mid-1990s as a professed work of prophesy, the authors have gotten the tone of unfolding events pitch perfect.  They really seem to have their finger on the pulse of American history.

The presidential election of 2012 may or may not elect the leader around which the “regeneracy” phase of the Crisis can proceed.  Of the crop of potential candidates identified in Quinn’s article only Ron Paul has the dedication to the principles of the Constitution that might truly restore the “spirit of America,” in my humble opinion. 

Quinn doesn’t discuss what really brought us out of the Depression, in my view (and implicitly, Robert Reich’s)—the equalization of incomes in World War II that restored balance to domestic aggregate demand (see Saez reference embedded here). 


It remains to be seen if aggregate demand will be rebalanced in this Crisis turning.  Strauss and Howe identify four possible resolutions:

1.  The end of humankind
2.  The end of modernity
3.  The end of “America”
4.  The end of the seventh modern saeculum

Might also be worth reviewing Johansen and Sornette on the end of humankind’s growth era.

Quinn’s article is worth reading.

Have a great week!


  1. 5. Ravi Batra's The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos (Plagrave Macmillan 2007)?

  2. I will take a look at it. Ravi missed the depression by twenty years, but he might be back on track.