THE FOURTH TURNING - Are we on the CRISIS ERA?
There’s a growing amount of discontent about the times we’re living through. There’s a changing of the mood from the Aussie easy going attitude of yester year to one of an increasing amount of distrust in the system leaving people feel as if they have a smaller opportunity to make it.
The pandemic drew a line in the sand.
And now three years on from start of it all the penny has dropped for a lot of people.
At first I gave our leaders a lot of leeway. They had some really hard decisions to make at a time when they had no certainty of the facts. I think a lot of the antivax crowd did not give enough credit to the fact that pandemics can be deadly. After all, the Spanish Flu is believed to have wiped out over 50% of people in some areas. I for one am grateful that we had people in place to make a call.
What is clear to me now is that this issue was politicised a long time ago. This issue has been packaged up into a neat little bundle which varies depending on which side of politics you stand on.
Rather than being a leader and saying “Look I had to make tough calls at the time, some of those calls were wrong”, many continue to dig their heels in.
What’s becoming more and more clear to the average Joe is that mass media is just a mouthpiece for whatever propaganda whoever controls them wants to put out. It’s got nothing to do with the truth or delivering important information to the people.
Why is all this important? Because trust is disappearing fast.
As people trust their institutions and politicians less it means they must take more desperate measures to keep their control.
We are going through a Fourth Turning
In this video I’m going to go through what the fourth turning is, how it has happened before and hopefully it will give you context on why I’m so big on taking 100% responsibility for your finances.
I’ve been saying this for while and I will say it again. This decade people will find out how poor they actually are. The perceived wealth that we had will recede, we are starting to see that now.
Strauss–Howe generational theory
The Fourth Turning is a book that was written in 1997 by William Strauss and Neil Howe. They begin by explaining the word Saeculum, it is an old term which is derived from Roman times.
Saeculum represents a full human lifetime and the idea is that every Saeculum represents a long-term cycle in our society.
There are generally four parts to the cycle and the fourth part is called the fourth turning. I’ll explain this more in a little bit but basically everything turns to shit for a while before there is a reset and things gets better.
Within that lifetime there are generally 4 generations. Every full life experiences every turning.
Before we get to the fourth turning we are going to set some context here and go over each cycle then circle back to present day.
Saeculum 1st Cycle: The HIGH
The cycle start at what they explain as a high. This is after all of everything descends and then things becomes good again. The last time this happened was post World War 2. Everyone is on the same team now and it’s a lot easier for the government to get things done.
The fourth turning happened and then after it everyone rallied together, it wasn’t about the individual anymore as opposed to the roaring 20’s. It was about the people as one.
If you look at where we are today. No one is really one the same page I mean you can’t say anything without offending anyone and it’s all about the individual.
Saeculum 2nd Cycle: The AWAKENING
The next part of the Saeculum is the Awakening. The previous generation had to forego their individuality and society had to bond together just to get through. Their children no longer now have the same problems that their parents had – were in the 60’s now. It’s been known as the consciousness revolution.
It’s more about the individual: the spiritual awakening, the cultural upheaval, they don’t like authority because of the raw deal they got being children in uncertain times.
Escapism was a big thing in that generation. I kind of feel like history could repeat here. Escapism in the 60’s was taking lot’s of drugs. In our modern time it might be the same, I tend to think that technology like augmented and virtual reality might fill that gap. To put it more simply, they will escape to the metaverse
Saeculum 3rd Cycle: The UNRAVELLING
The next turning is the unravelling. We’re now in the mid 80’s. The old war time politicians are gone and the new politicians are now reflecting the changing values of the next generations who are now all working families.
In this time trust in politicians is lower than it previously was.
The national narrative is changing to an individual narrative. People don’t care about the wars, they’ve been in a good safe place for a long time and now their interest become more individual. I’m talking talk shows, the fashion and the art. People are worried more about short term gain – look to the Wall Street crash.
It’s important to note here that the authors started writing the book in this part of the saeculum, I believe it first got published in 1997. They predicted that some sort of black swan event would happen – let’s say financial meltdown, terrorist attack or a pandemic.
Basically they explain that whatever happened here would cause a chain of events which would expose the weaknesses in our society and economy.
Saeculum 4th Cycle: The CRISIS
This is the start of the fourth turning which is known as the crisis. They predicted this would happen 2007.
In the fourth turning societal trust implodes – you can turn on your TV if you want proof of that. Older people can’t save. Public promises for example welfare is no longer sustainable or believable.
Middle age people will realise stagnating income. This has been happening for many years, we got deceived by reducing interest rates which helped property prices rise which caused us feel wealthier than what we actually are.
Young people face debt and tax burdens. Young people increasingly have student debts for qualifications that give them no leg up in the jobs market and have to borrow massive to buy property.
They haven’t faced the tax burdens yet although there is a fair argument that inflation is a tax on the young.
The crisis of the fourth turning will reach a climax. We don’t know what that is yet. Maybe war? Covid strain? Or something we cannot simply foresee.
The crisis period we’re in will give rise to leaders of tomorrow. New political visions forged.
The new high will begin with trust reborn.
How do we cope here in Australia?
I often think about the concept of this fourth turning and how we cope here in Australia because we are in some ways insulated to the worst of this.
When you think back on the later half of the last cycle – the tech boom of electricity and production lines, the Spanish flu, the roaring 20’s, the great depression and two world wars. I think two things one we are lucky to be here but secondly, and more foreboding is that things can get worse.
I think that because we have had 30 years of prospering here many of us have no idea how bad things can get. Most people my age and under have just been able to go and get a job any time we want. Just look at interest rates – there were so many people that just got use to 2% interest rates. That has never been normal in the history of debt.
Personally for me this is important. I’m running out of time here so I’ll try and be direct. The place I grew up in was a place where people came together and that provided opportunity for everyone. Right now we are not a place where people come together and that is starving people of opportunity.
Take responsibility for your own finances. Do you want to work till you’re 80? Because super isn’t going to cut it for a large group of Australian’s. Buying investment properties and sitting on your back side and doing nothing won’t work for 90% of investors.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.