"Welcome To The Next Awakening" - Author Of Steve Bannon's Worldview Explains The Path Ahead

Tyler Durden's picture

"Where did Steve Bannon get his worldview? From my book..."

* * * by Neil Howe via WaPo,

Neil Howe is the author, along with William Strauss, of “Generations,” “The Fourth Turning” and “Millennials Rising.”

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. In 2010, he released a documentary, “Generation Zero,” that is structured around our theory that history in America (and by extension, most other modern societies) unfolds in a recurring cycle of four-generation-long eras. While this cycle does include a time of civic and political crisis — a Fourth Turning, in our parlance — the reporting on the book has been absurdly apocalyptic.

I don’t know Bannon well. I have worked with him on several film projects, including “Generation Zero,” over the years. I’ve been impressed by his cultural savvy. His politics, while unusual, never struck me as offensive. I was surprised when he took over the leadership of Breitbart and promoted the views espoused on that site. Like many people, I first learned about the alt-right (a far-right movement with links to Breitbart and a loosely defined white-nationalist agenda) from the mainstream media. Strauss, who died in 2007, and I never told Bannon what to say or think. But we did perhaps provide him with an insight — that populism, nationalism and state-run authoritarianism would soon be on the rise, not just in America but around the world.

Because we never attempted to write a political manifesto, we were surprised by the book’s popularity among certain crusaders on both the left and the right. When “The Fourth Turning” came out, our biggest partisan fans were Democrats, who saw in our description of an emerging “Millennial generation” (a term we coined) the sort of community-minded optimists who would pull America toward progressive ideals. Yet we’ve also had conservative fans, who were drawn to another lesson: that the new era would probably see the successful joining of left-wing economics with right-wing social values.

Beyond ideology, I think there’s another reason for the rising interest in our book. We reject the deep premise of modern Western historians that social time is either linear (continuous progress or decline) or chaotic (too complex to reveal any direction). Instead we adopt the insight of nearly all traditional societies: that social time is a recurring cycle in which events become meaningful only to the extent that they are what philosopher Mircea Eliade calls “reenactments.” In cyclical space, once you strip away the extraneous accidents and technology, you are left with only a limited number of social moods, which tend to recur in a fixed order.

Along this cycle, we can identify four “turnings” that each last about 20 years — the length of a generation. Think of these as recurring seasons, starting with spring and ending with winter. In every turning, a new generation is born and each older generation ages into its next phase of life.

The cycle begins with the First Turning, a “High” which comes after a crisis era. In a High, institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, even if many feel stifled by the prevailing conformity. Many Americans alive today can recall the post-World War II American High (historian William O’Neill’s term), coinciding with the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy presidencies. Earlier examples are the post-Civil War Victorian High of industrial growth and stable families, and the post-Constitution High of Democratic Republicanism and Era of Good Feelings.


The Second Turning is an “Awakening,” when institutions are attacked in the name of higher principles and deeper values. Just when society is hitting its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of all the social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity. Salvation by faith, not works, is the youth rallying cry. One such era was the Consciousness Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s. Some historians call this America’s Fourth or Fifth Great Awakening, depending on whether they start the count in the 17th century with John Winthrop or the 18th century with Jonathan Edwards.


The Third Turning is an “Unraveling,” in many ways the opposite of the High. Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. Third Turning decades such as the 1990s, the 1920s and the 1850s are notorious for their cynicism, bad manners and weak civic authority. Government typically shrinks, and speculative manias, when they occur, are delirious.


Finally, the Fourth Turning is a “Crisis” period. This is when our institutional life is reconstructed from the ground up, always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. If history does not produce such an urgent threat, Fourth Turning leaders will invariably find one — and may even fabricate one — to mobilize collective action. Civic authority revives, and people and groups begin to pitch in as participants in a larger community. As these Promethean bursts of civic effort reach their resolution, Fourth Turnings refresh and redefine our national identity. The years 1945, 1865 and 1794 all capped eras constituting new “founding moments” in American history.

Just as a Second Turning reshapes our inner world (of values, culture and religion), a Fourth Turning reshapes our outer world (of politics, economy and empire).

In our paradigm, one can look ahead and suggest that a coming time period — say, a certain decade — will resemble, in its essential human dynamic, a time period in the past. In “The Fourth Turning,” we predicted that, starting around 2005, America would probably experience a “Great Devaluation” in financial markets, a catalyst that would mark America’s entry into an era whose first decade would likely parallel the 1930s.

Reflecting on the decade we’ve just lived through, we can probably agree that the 1930s parallel works well. In the economy, both decades played out in the shadow of a global financial crash, and were characterized by slow and disappointing economic growth and chronic underemployment of labor and capital. Both saw tepid investment, deflation fears, growing inequality and the inability of central bankers to rekindle consumption.

In geopolitics, we’ve witnessed the rise of isolationism, nationalism and right-wing populism across the globe. Geostrategist Ian Bremmer says we now live in a “G-Zero” world, where it’s every nation for itself. This story echoes the 1930s, which witnessed the waning authority of great-power alliances and a new willingness by authoritarian regimes to act with terrifying impunity.

In social trends, the two decades also show parallels: falling rates of fertility and homeownership, the rise of multi-generational households, the spread of localism and community identification, a dramatic decline in youth violence (a fact that apparently has eluded the president), and a blanding of pop youth culture. Above all, we sense a growing desire among voters around the world for leaders to assert greater authority and deliver deeds rather than process, results rather than abstractions.

We live in an increasingly volatile and primal era, in which history is speeding up and liberal democracy is weakening. As Vladimir Lenin wrote, “In some decades, nothing happens; in some weeks, decades happen.” Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age.

If we look at the broader rhythms of history, we have reason to be heartened, not discouraged, by these trends. Anglo-American history over the past several centuries has experienced civic crises in a fairly regular cycle, about every 80 or 90 years, or roughly the length of a long human life. This pattern reveals itself in the intervals separating the colonial Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II. Fast-forward the length of a long human life from the 1930s, and we end up where we are today.

America entered a new Fourth Turning in 2008. It is likely to last until around 2030. Our paradigm suggests that current trends will deepen as we move toward the halfway point.

Further adverse events, possibly another financial crisis or a major armed conflict, will galvanize public opinion and mobilize leaders to take more decisive action. Rising regionalism and nationalism around the world could lead to the fragmentation of major political entities (perhaps the European Union) and the outbreak of hostilities (perhaps in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the Baltic states or the Persian Gulf).

Despite a new tilt toward isolationism, the United States could find itself at war. I certainly do not hope for war. I simply make a sobering observation: Every total war in U.S. history has occurred during a Fourth Turning, and no Fourth Turning has yet unfolded without one. America’s objectives in such a war are likely to be defined very broadly.

At the end of the 2020s, the Fourth Turning crisis era will climax and draw to a close. Settlements will be negotiated, treaties will be signed, new borders will be drawn, and perhaps (as in the late 1940s) a new durable world order will be created. Perhaps as well, by the early 2030s, we will enter a new First Turning: Young families will rejoice, fertility will rebound, economic equality will rise, a new middle class will emerge, public investment will grow into a new 21st-century infrastructure, and ordered prosperity will recommence.

During the next First Turning, potentially the next “American High,” millennials will move into national leadership and showcase their optimism, smarts, credentials and confidence. Sometime in the late 2030s, the first millennial will be voted into the White House, prompting talk of a new Camelot moment. Let a few more years pass, and those organization-minded millennials may face a passionate and utterly unexpected onslaught from a new crop of youth.

Welcome to the next Awakening. The cycle of history keeps turning, inexorably.

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ISEEIT's picture

Thanx for the clarification...

Spiral dynamics is an interesting field for consideration.

Pinto Currency's picture

The current 'turning' is the collapse of a central planning / central banking debt bubble.

This cycles stuff is interesting but our crisis issue is discrete and not a natural cycle.

Clint Liquor's picture

People resist accepting the concept of cycles because they believe they control everything. Even the Climate. It's why after explaining his work to Stalin, Kondratieff was taken out and shot.

max2205's picture

LOL. Every war?  We've been at war 90% since 1776 

mkkby's picture

Fuck the author of this bullshit. This is a second turning (awakening period), not a 4th turning. Most people are still asleep and stuck worshiping the status quo.

We are a long, long way from the point where ordinary people see ending the status quo as acceptable. They still think the cops will protect them, the politicians have their interests at heart and the media reports news.

With Trump we have ONE BRANCH OF GOV that is not TOTALLY OWNED by lobbyists. Congress is owned and they will obstruct any change he wants to make. Expect 2 steps forward and 1 back. Don't expect miracles until the alt right becomes the main stream of regular people.

Clint Liquor's picture

The 'status quo' has been unsustainable for a long time. People accepting the end of it, is not an option.

Pinto Currency's picture

Blaming everything on cycles means that humanity will never advance.

Hoh hum just another cycle. Stuff happens. Nothing to see here folks.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Pinto Currency Feb 26, 2017 2:58 PM

This 4th turning is total horseshit.

We are in this place because in 2009 Pluto went into Capricorn to destroy governments, institutions as it did in 1776.

Pluto will destroy all that is NOT timeless.

All the screaming protest is Uranus in Aries square to Pluto.

What a bunch of losers those who ignore this ancient art.

Eclipse today...water, water everywhere.

Leaks, Leaks and leakers.

Getting to the truth, the deep truth.

Republican Town Hall leftist snakes screaming, when the congressman said "Jesus" they went insane.

Pluto will destroy all that is not timeless.

Democrats burning themselves alive.

Pinto Currency's picture

Democrats burning themselves alive is just another repeating cycle.

TeamDepends's picture

We're on an express elevator to hell, goin' down!

RIP Bill Paxton

bamawatson's picture

sketchy cause of death; sounds like serious medical malfeasnce; or worse

Manthong's picture

Past performance is not indicative of future results….

I heard that somewhere before.

stizazz's picture

"Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable”

Beware the destroyers of the world!


beemasters's picture

Awakening??? Are you kidding me??? Try posting anything about Rotchild, US war crimes, Fed, etc outside ZH. I got clobbered!!! :)

MaxThrust's picture

RIP Bill Paxton

I had to look that up and yep your right he died two days ago. I guess not having a TV, I missed this.

He is one year older than me. Life's too short, enjoy it while you can.

Billy the Poet's picture

I like you personally but putting astrology over rational analysis is BS. Hobbies are fine but the first priority is to operate effectively in the real, physical world.


"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Billy the Poet Feb 26, 2017 3:39 PM

Astrology has been around for 5000 yrs because it works.

I told you early on it's 1933 all over again with this election.

How would I know they would call Trump Hitler and Putin a Soviet spy.

They started mocking it and the leftists took it up and wrapped it with a bunch of new age crap

In the 1930s most astrologers were conservatives.

If it didn't work it would not have lasted.

That phoenix coin from Economist magazine said "look for it in 2018" That is because Uranus goes into Taurus (MONEY) change of currency, end of cash.

Or end the FED, because a big change is coming, Trump needs to start talking about it and not let them steal the moment.

Billy the Poet's picture

Lots of things have been around for 5,000 years -- some good, some bad.

I've made predictions that have come true and some that have not. You've likely had the same experience. Feel free to examine the world according to your own viewpoint but as one who attempts to observe objectively and act rationally I can't stand by when the proposition that astrology is the driver of all human endeavor is floated at the expense of reasoned analysis. 

goober's picture

I do not completely disagree. But astrology is just one piece of many pieces of information. It is a guideline not an absolute. I do prefer the Dendera and much of todays info is utter garbage, along with much of the supposed "New Age" crap. And I can assure you astology has been around much longer than 5000 years. It is in fact the only true science and alwasy has been. But we have lost track of it and no longer actually understand its purpose or importance. It is a guideline along with other guidelines.  We are so increcibly focused on what we call the physical world we are destroying ourselves. Simply because we do not understand that the physical world is the lowest level of human consciouness and that is where we make all of our decisons, in that lowest level of thinking. In fact we have devolved so seriously, that there is very little thinking going on even at that lowest level of consciousness. That is not a good sign. But there is a far better way to live and think and avoid most of the nonsense and insanity.

Is-Be's picture

The "real physical world" was destroyed in 1923 in Copenhagen.

Objective Materialism is dead. The Quantum erasure experiment was the last nail in the coffin.

Seeing Red's picture

That statement is a bit of a stretch even presuming the Copenhagen interpretation of QM.  Me, I'm a pilot-wave guy, so from that POV your statement makes even less sense.

RichardParker's picture

Could be worse; at least CD isn't using MMT or keynesian economics to justifiy their views.

Not Too Important's picture

Chris, what do your charts say about Fukushima and all the nuclear disasters to come?

Anything special about 3/11/11 besides the hard occult association?

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Not Too Important Feb 26, 2017 3:51 PM

Neptune was in the final degree of Aquarius, so it was an event for all of humanity.

When it flopped into Pisces you were hearing reports that radiation was gushing into the Pacific Ocean.

I think it was a lesson in materialism. Saw they one Japanese kid say "If we want to keep our lifestyle we must keep going with nuclear power"

I always find the answers often in the news, who is this guy? A nobody but it was pure truth.

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Chris Dakota Feb 26, 2017 3:36 PM

When Nibiru smashes into Uranus all that will remain will be dingleberries floating around the solar system.


Oh wait! That's already the case.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Logan 5 Feb 26, 2017 3:48 PM

I suppose you think you are clever, but you are not.

Same old thing from those who say "I don't believe in Astrology" yet know nothing about it...lol

Al Tinfoil's picture

As a True Ascended Druid Master, I find your key to enlightenment through Astrology to be unidimensional and hence deficient.  In looking only to Astrology for enlightenment and a predictive model of Life, The Universe, and Everything, you overlook the essential contributions of divining the entrails of a freshly slaughtered chicken, the tossing of bones, and the messages sent to humanity by Ouija Boards.

  Not to forget Magic Spells, Fortune Tellers, UFOlogists, Big Foot investigators, Timothy Leary Acid Head trippers, and Psychedelic Mushroom eaters.  Native Shahmen also contribute vital elements to the Great Mystical Puzzle that is Ascended Consciousness.  And an assembled coven of Witches has cast a spell upon President Trump, so the predictive ability of Astrologers must now cope with a new wobble in the Planetary Orbits.  And we must wonder where the Readers of Tea Leaves fit in the 5th Dimension of Ascension of Consciousness.

  And now that North Korea has staked a claim to Mars, one must wonder whether the orbit of Mars and its influence on the orbits of other planets will be deteriorating. 

  The low Sun Spot activity we are now experiencing evidences a lull in Cosmic Consciousness, or perhaps a New Age of Sol, in which Sol has finally passed its teenage years and no longer suffers from Acne.

  Some have detected a new Vibrational Frequency in the Universe, one reflected in the popularity of vibrators in the Feminist community.


amadeus39's picture

I know genius when I read it, but what about the ruminations of Scientology

Al Tinfoil's picture

Sorry, I forgot about the contributions of Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and Tom Cruise.  Oh, and Oprah and Sarah Silverman.  I will try to do better on my next Ascension trip.

Al Armed's picture

OK, enlighten us. When you say "astrology works", what do you mean by "works"? That it has predictive attributes?  Can the "science" of astrology predict the future with any specificity beyond "In 2018, greed will be running rampant"? Or do you mean something else by "astrology works"?

DeplorableDave's picture

I am dying to learn more about your astrological association to these events.   I can tell by this writing, that you are incredibly learned in the craft and it fascinates me.


Do you have a blog or a website?  Do you do personal charts?  Not sure if you can reply back via this site with websites, but I would love to hear back from you Chris.


Thanks,  David 


Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) DeplorableDave Feb 26, 2017 6:57 PM

Thanks but I don't do charts or have a website.

I just post here thoughts and get bashed by assholes...lol

DeplorableDave's picture

Chris--- Trump got bashed too.


Keep speaking your astrilogical findings...Especially when they are the truth!   Thank you.

curbjob's picture

"Trump got bashed too..."


.. you know they refused Jesus too ... 

beemasters's picture

Sorry that you feel bashed. I know it's really hard to predict the future and it's difficult for all astronomically clueless 'assholes' to understand posts about planetary movements (including yours truly).
It's probably best, for example, to just give us the exact or approximate date Hillary will be in jail. Let's prove them all wrong about astrology once and for all...would you? It's always fun to listen to any prediction. ZH has been wrong many times with theirs, but it's never stopped us from coming back for more.

You seem passionate about what you do. Don't be disheartened.

OverTheHedge's picture

Astrology doesnt work for me,but that is my problem, not yours. In my callow youth I spent a lot of time with the I Ching, until I realised that in order to live life you have to be responsible for your choices, not delegate to a higher power. For this reason Christianity also ruled itself out. My mistakes are all mine, and I take full ownership of them. Divination is a hugely subjective thing, and can become a crutch to avoid responsibility, or leave you as a Cassandra. In the end, I decided to live in the present, rather than worry endlessly about the future.

And yet, seven plus years with zerohedge would suggest otherwise....full of inconsistencies (and other stuff), I am.

amadeus39's picture

To worry about the future is not necessary. I know, I know...planning involves the future, but we have to try to make the gods laugh. And sometimes planning does work or, at least, I think it does. And if I think, therefore I can...sometimes.


DeplorableDave's picture

astrology is a time-tested truism!   All fools have contempt prior to investigation!


Koba the Dread's picture

As I read the astrological charts, Pluto is in Uranus. Bow-wow!

bigkahuna's picture

banksters take over monetary affairs of country, real money turns to fiat money, war drums beat - country begins destroying itself - people get angry at each other because they are played off agaist each other and are too dense to figure it out - fit hits the shan - rinse/repeat

score one more for the rothchild luciferian alliance

NoDebt's picture

OK, fine, let's parse this out.  I'm going to use the author's own definitions here, just to keep this linear.... Of all the "Truning Points", read the third.  Does that NOT describe things more accurately than the 2nd or the 4th right now?  

I've watched geniuses try to predict things for my few years on this planet and there is always at least ONE thing they always get wrong:  the timing.  

Almost universally they think we're further along their timeline than we actually are.  Almost universally they believe NOW must be some critical point in history because they are so important it must happen in their lifetime.  

I still don't have my flying car yet.  Guam hasn't capsized from over-population yet.  We still have to pass it to find out what's in it.  COMEX hasn't run out of gold yet.  The United States still hasn't admitted they've lost a war yet (not even the social wars like against drugs or poverty).  And almost nobody in power is willing to admit the "system" is corrupt to the core- they're only arguing about who gets to have control over it.

Exactly how close to this mythical "4th turning" are we again?  I suspect much further than this author believes.


dark_matter's picture

You forgot human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Clinteastwood's picture

This article and discussion thread is a nothingburger.

Clint Liquor's picture

The lesson learned through History; People never learn the lessons of History.*

It has taken four generations for the last 'Great Depression' to be removed from the American psyche. Do you think the second generation believed is was possible again? I know they did. They were my parents. So, why doesn't the fourth generation believe it is possible?

*Paraphrased from a quote by Jim Rogers.


Creative_Destruct's picture

"Get ready for the creative destruction of public institutions, something every society periodically requires to clear out what is obsolete, ossified and dysfunctional — and to tilt the playing field of wealth and power away from the old and back to the young. Forests need periodic fires; rivers need periodic floods. Societies, too. That’s the price we must pay for a new golden age."

OK, so are we to believe that the young entitled free shitters will get their free shit and utopia will be achieved? The power may or may not be tilted toward the young, but the wealth will be nowhere near enough to give the "young" all the freebies they "feel" they "deserve". Result: a shit-storm of whining and probably much worse.

And the lessons of history have indeed gone unlearned by the current spoiled generation, and even by most of mine, the boomers. Those lessons indicate that the "wealth and power" that the author imagines to be available for transfer to the young are illusory and largely non-existent. 

It's worth remembering that the "creative destruction" that the author describes is indeed destruction, and the "new golden age", IF it gets here, will be born of that destruction and chaos and suffering. There ain't no easy way through that I can see.

Lore's picture

I'm inclined to agree that wealth has been debased to such an incredible extent, without precedent, and there is so much acculturated entitlement, that the near future must necessarily be absolutely horrible, with many, many millions dead, if we are realistically to anticipate some kind of new age afterward that will eventually be regarded as 'golden.'  Psychopaths do serious damage on their way down, and they've never had so much power in ages past. Whatever this choreographed war looks like in retrospect, it will be called the Big One.

Additional thoughts:

1) The author's suggestion that America 'might' be at war in the near future is puzzling. The psychopaths in charge of American foreign policy have been choreographing wars and occupying foreign nations for many, many years, with millions dead just in the last decade.  WTF do you call everything from Vietnam to Georgia to Syria to Iraq to Libya to Afghanistan, et cetera?  Recognizing that All Wars Are Bankers Wars and the real common enemy of humanity right now is the megalithic Big Banking / Narco-Trafficking / Military Industrial Complex, an end to that MIC albatross and its internationalist bankster umbrella (including the final stamping-out of the petrodollar cartel) might be regarded in retrospect as indicative of the end of the present Fourth Turning, in which case, 2030 might be a reasonable goalpost.

2) As a Canadian I find this article exciting, because Canadian politics at present seems dangerously insular, backward and progressive-liberal. It must be so, else Justin Trudeau, a very shallow, insubstantial, pandering and politically-correct figure, would never have been accepted by the broad electorate. He seems to embody a national desire to resist change, a kind of human security blanket to avoid acknowledging and coming to grips with countervailing trends and world affairs.  We see a similar dynamic in places like Sweden, to the immediate and lasting detriment of the Swedish people, and in many other western countries, where governments are apparently dominated by spineless poofters when there is desperate need for men and women of principle and action to halt the advance of toxic globalist forces like those instigated by George Soros and his ilk.  Organizations like NATO and the UN are totally corrupted by psychopaths and need to be destroyed.

3) With respect to "fabrication of enemies -- to mobilize collective action," we should also look forward with great anticipation to the final end of the globalist-collectivist Big Lie known as "Global Warming" that was originally fabricated by the Club of Rome.

exi1ed0ne's picture

There are free shit army members in every demographic, although I have to say it is more concentrated on either end of the spectrum.  You can't decry free college without also decrying social security.  They are both the same thing - what is most important to that demographic paid for by others.  (SS is pay as you go, so fuck off with "paid my share" bullshit.  That money was spent on the then current recipients.  At what point do you stop the cycle of fraud and theft?  Its always after "I get mine" unfortunately.)

Every idea that takes from one and gives to another by force is a bad idea, and snowflakes aren't limited to one age group.