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Steve Bannon and Fourth Turning

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:43 pm
by vincecate
And Fear No Darkness

A consensus is beginning to form on the left that the key to understanding the Trump Insurgency is to be found in one Mr. Steve Bannon. I doubt that such a simple thesis is really richly accurate, but certainly the notion is getting a lot of attention. In particular, I’ve seen a number of stories floating around attempting to understand Bannon through the lens of the Fourth Turning generational theory of William Strauss and Neil Howe. Howe himself recently wrote an opinion piece on the Washington Post on precisely this topic.

The headlines this month have been alarming. “Steve Bannon’s obsession with a dark theory of history should be worrisome” (Business Insider). “Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable” (the Huffington Post). “Steve Bannon Wants To Start World War III” (the Nation). A common thread in these media reports is that President Trump’s chief strategist is an avid reader and that the book that most inspires his worldview is “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy.”

I wrote that book with William Strauss back in 1997. It is true that Bannon is enthralled by it.

The men who fought on the beaches and hedgerows are largely decades passed. And the men and women who now command our shared destiny know nothing about the reality of crisis war. Instead we, all of us from China to France to Russia to the United States, find ourselves led by people for whom war is a story. Merely a story. ... .z808qyqqv