Duck! and Gather

Occupy Us and the Fourth Turning

Posted on: October 1, 2011

I started this blog in 2003. Short story is that I read two books (one of which was the Fourth Turning), and an idea popped into my head that America was going to collapse, and that the collapse would take the form of a civil war characterized as People vs. Corporations.

From that realization, I made a few “out there” predictions. Some actually came true. I even won a bet over one of them.

But over the past 8 years, I’ve been waiting and wondering. When would this war start? How would it start? Who would start it?

I knew it would be the children. In the essay to which I linked above I wrote:

The last kicker in the theory is youth. After twenty years or so, there’s a whole new crop of kids out there. And in America, it seems to be the youth who serve the function of kicking the lazy, sleeping cow awake. So as we look out to the youth of America today, we ask: Which of that sorry bunch is going to kick us all awake? And awake to what?

(Hey, before you go laughing at the Americans, just look at the rest of the world. At least we Americans go through profound changes every twenty years or so. The rest of the world stays stuck in ruts measured in centuries, not decades. Change and growth is the beauty and genius of America. America is the Grand Human Experiment.) [Note: I wrote the last paragraph in 2003. Long before the Arab Spring. “Ruts measured in centuries” are ending all over the world. Topic for another post.]

Not only did I know it would be the youth, but I guessed that they would “wage war” in a way never before seen in America:

This gives me optimism that the next “war” truly will be the “war to end all wars”. … [T]he reason … is that this “war” will be “fought” by the American People in a way that will be radically different from the way every major war has been fought up until now. History says that it has to be. Specifically, I believe the next “war” will be “fought” with the “weapons” of love and self-reliance.

… [W]hat makes Americans special is that:

  1. among all the People of the world, it is we American People who are most defenseless in the face of the Corporate assault on People; and
  2. among all the People of the world, it is we American People who are most free to make the choice to “buck our own culture”

Spend some time trolling the web about Occupy Us. Whatever you want to say about it, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a movement that is unambiguously anti-corporate. I’ll further offer that the movement is proceeding via love and self-reliance.

Love in the pervasive, all encompassing non-violence. Self-reliance in the tremendous self-organizing of the children in Zuccotti Park (e.g. medical center, library, shipping and receiving, meditation circle, etc. etc.).

And I’ll say that those children in Zuccotti Park are certainly “bucking their culture”. They evoke such a strong scent of the Sixties that the New York Times all but ignored this historical movement for its first two weeks. And the movement started only blocks from the headquarters of the NYT.

The Sixties is my next topic. Here is a passage from my essay about the role of the Sixties in what is happening in Zuccotti Park:

The applicable Awakening for our present time is what Strauss & Howe call the “Consciousness Revolution” (1964-1984). American society knows this period by the name the “Sixties”. …

Once written out, this pattern – “to understand the next Crisis, look to the major prior Awakening attempts that failed” – seems so obvious that one wonders why the authors missed it. Why did everyone else who read the book apparently miss it too?

The only reason I can think of is that these people looked back at the Sixties – recalling the flower children, hippie communes, Transcendental meditation, Timothy Leary, the SLA and Black Panthers – and couldn’t imagine what from that troubled time would be worth risking the nation for. If that’s the case, they weren’t looking close enough.

So yes, to all Fourth Turning acolytes, I’m declaring that the inception of Occupy Wall Street on September 17, 2011 is the Black Tuesday, the Fort Sumter, and the Boston Tea Party of this current saeculum.

“It” wasn’t 9/11. It was 9/17/11. Two weeks ago today.

And I called it eight years ago.

Well, OK, I didn’t exactly “call it”. But I did describe it pretty well, no? Certainly better than the authors themselves, at any rate, don’t you agree? 🙂

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1 Response to "Occupy Us and the Fourth Turning"

[…] was my conclusion way back in 2003. Nine years later, with only a failed Occupy Wall Street movement to show for it, I speculated that maybe the People vs. Corporations civil war was already over, […]

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