The Fourth Turning's Neil Howe Warns: We Are In The 1930s, "Winter Is Coming"

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mauldin Economics,

From the Balkans to the US, walls are going up, not down, according to demographer and The Fourth Turning author Neil Howe.

Speaking to a packed crowd at Mauldin Economics’ Strategic Investment Conference in Orlando, Howe said we are reliving many of the same trends and changes of the 1930s.

Faith in Democracy Is Fading

“Worldwide, people are losing trust in institutions,” he said. “Trust in the military, small business, and police is still there. But trust in democracies, media, and politicians is dropping.”


“When was the last time we saw these changes and the rise of right-wing populism?” he asked. “The 1930s.”

Howe’s statement is borne out of a June 2016 Gallup poll. When poll takers were asked how much confidence they had in institutions in American society, the results were troubling.

Just 15% said they had a “great deal” of confidence in the US Supreme Court. Banks trailed behind at 11%, followed by the criminal justice system (9%), newspapers (8%), and big business (6%).

Meanwhile, just 16% expressed a “great deal” of confidence in the presidency, with that number plummeting to 3% for Congress.

What Does This Mean for the Future of the West?

In his keynote, Howe shared his forecasting logic:

“My method is to step back and realize one thing: There is something we know about the world in 20 years’ time. The people who live there will be all of us, 20 years older and playing a different role. I call this ‘looking along the generational diagonal.’”

The critical thing to remember about the current crisis period is that what comes next will be an era in which there is a new order.

According to the Strauss-Howe generational theory, as this new order takes root, individualism declines and institutions are strengthened.

“History is seasonal, and winter is coming,” Howe has said. But after winter, comes spring.

As the American Revolution was followed by calm, as the Civil War was followed by reconstruction and a gilded age, and as the Great Depression and World War II were followed by an age of peace and prosperity, so too will this crisis period be followed by a calm, stable era.

It’s simply a matter of time.

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Insurrexion's picture


Anyone who can read a history book, or do research can 'cherry pick' dates and events and turn an apparent repetition of those events into a 'wave' theory.

Calling them 'seasons' is just as phony.

Adding multiple event variables to the wave, or season theory kills the theory faster than Bill Clinton losing an erection looking at Hillary naked.

Arnold's picture

The red wing swing was at the turn of the previous century.
The monarchical swing was the longest, nearly 3000 years, start to finish.

Insurrexion's picture

That makes no fucking sense Arnold.

Have another cocktail.

Arnold's picture

Megalomaniacs and their psychopathic syncopates really don't care about political or economic labels, they just win by any means available.

Insurrexion's picture


How do we know you really aren't the pig on the 60' TV show:                "Green Acres?"


His name was Arnold.

Arnold's picture

Nazi was the National Socialist Party, hardly right wing, just nationalistic and broke.

Insurrexion's picture

That makes no fucking sense Arnold.

Have another cocktail.


knukles's picture

So playing Trivial Pursuit with Bill Clinton one late evening after all the kiddies had gone to bed, his question was "If you were in a vacuum and someone called your name, could you hear it?"
He grinned, slowly turned a thumb up and asked; "Is it on or off?"

The Problem, kiddies, is we're overseen by Evil.

Insurrexion's picture

That makes fucking sense knuck.

Have another cocktail.

Shift For Brains's picture

I would have thought it obvious by now. He's playing The Drinking Game and the magic word is "cocktail."

BandGap's picture

Read the book, asshole. You can read, right?



Insurrexion's picture

I have read the book.


Cherry picking historical events to sell to people like you.



Antifaschistische's picture

I'm one of those guys...that says, "this time it's different".

Throughout 99% of human history...when we had an SHTF event, there was some place to go.  You don't like Egypt?  Well, that's how Libya came around.  You don't like Europe, go to England.  You don't like England?  There's Scotland.  You don't like Kentucky?  Head West young man.

Today...there's 7.FOUR BILLION people who've claimed every square inch of the planet.  TPTB are unionizing.  All the serfs with their pitchforks had a chance in the past.  Today's 99%'ers have no chance against todays military.  Even if we've got our 'guns and lead'.  Add to that our communications which are completely compromized and listened to in every form possible (perhaps with the exception of a hand written letter)  Any resistance would be squashed.

I do not think we're just going to punch through this little wormhole and then return to peace and quiet.  The worlds going to be very different when this system collapses.  It may be better for some...I don't think Americans's will be on that list.

CC Lemon's picture

I agree. This is going to one monstrous fourth turing. Rome's last fourth turning ended in 1000 years of dark ages. This will be similar, but different. A slow grinding collpase where the elites hang onto their wealth for dear life while the rest of us poor fuckers are slowly squeezed out over several generations. Global debt serfdom for most and a kushy life for a privaleged few.

fbazzrea's picture

i agree only if the 99% prove to be spineless sponges.

it seems to me, the military consists of mostly 99-percenters. can't see a world where 99% allow the 1% to continue living a life of leisure while suppressing everyone else. if so, it would be the first time in human history. ultimately, the 1% exercise their privilege excessively and are revealed to be the greedy, selfish bastards they are and meet a day of reckoning.

envision the future as desired. we manifest what we conceive.

rise up, people. we hold the power to our destiny.

runswithscissors's picture

Incorrect...the military will do exactly as they are told as always  

fbazzrea's picture

many a Roman emperor thought the same.

ImGumbydmmt's picture

Please kindly consider the Praetorian Guard analogy.

The Guard will MAKE the Caesars to THIER bidding and/or they will assassinate the Caesar and place their own

Todays' Praetorian Guard are the Alphabet agencies and the MIC and the banking overlords (hand behind the curtain).

Their first acknowledged strike on an American Caesar was 1963.

His name was JFK. (Secret Societies Speech)

and IKE warned this would happen. (farewell address)


Its all been kabuki theatre at the Federal level since then and it took me 30 years to see it.


The real question is What to do we teach our children in this age?

What did Daddy do about it?

What was American before this happened?

What should our Children do about it?

Go Galt?

Stand up and be the tall blade of grass that gets mowed down?

Become the next Samuel Adams or George Washington or Thomas Jefferson?


Why did it take so long for me to see this coming?





fbazzrea's picture

exactly... i thought the same after posting. (:

Antifaschistische's picture

I'm with you...but I look around...and what I see, are spineless sponges.  People who don't care about much other than spending their average 3 hours a day on their i-thingy.  Just go sit in a mall and watch people walk by and ask yourself, "is that guy one of the guys that will NOT be a spineless sponge"...if your experience is like mine, you won't count too many, and I'm in Tx. 

fbazzrea's picture

i would only suggest not give up hope on your fellow Texans. when the world's exponentially expanding economies begin bumping the limits of our precious planet's resources and food becomes scarce, people will no longer be able to afford complacency. when children go to bed hungry because this corrupt bankster-induced economic calamity is allowed to continue, parents will overnight become fellow patriots.

normalcy bias blinds the masses but when the new reality becomes personal, the world will suddenly realize the folly of our debt-based economy that requires perpetual growth to avoid collapse. we can start making changes now to enable a soft-landing or allow the bankster cabal to continue full throttle over the cliff. which will it be?

President Trump is in a unique position in the history of mankind to lead the way to a better world. yet, he alone, cannot do it. we must each be the change we desire. individual steps across the nation and around the world are required. no one is coming to save us. we must save ourselves. but leaders must arise to inspire the masses to action while leading the charge against the corrupt global bankster cabal.

we are not making the history of bland boring classroom discussions. we live in the most critical time ever facing mankind. never before have 7+ billion people occupied this small sphere in space. we must kick the current elitist-controlled economic paradigm to the curb and rebuild a sustainable economy based upon renewable resources, hard money and real political representation, instead of blundering forward into an environmental and economic maelstrom with ever-shrinking energy/food resources.

sounds corny, but in truth is required. be the change. stop supporting politicians in direct conflict with your interests. we are the majority. we are the world. these scumbags gotta go.

Reichstag Fire Dept.'s picture

Nothing has happened yet because people still (think they) have too much too lose.

When they have nothing left to lose and prison or death becomes a more attractive alternative...something will happen.

FreeNewEnergy's picture

Why do you say, "will be?" From where I sit, we're already there.

From the time I turned 25 (1978), I yelled at my firends for supporting tax increases for new schools, new roads, new this or that, until I just gave up in 1999. Look where we are now. Taxes on top of taxes. Over 45% of most people's money (if you make over 30K a year) goes to taxes. What they don't take right out of your paycheck, they get at the gas pump, or checkout via sales tax. The rest of your money goes for whorthless shit, mostly.

It's one hell of a racket the elites/government have going. Running the plantation has never been easier. And Americans won't fight back. Just think about whenever somebody gets canned from a job for no good reason. All his/her friends say, "I'm with you, etc." But nobody quits in protest. Everybody is scared to lose their position in the status quo. Suck-ola.

My advice: get some land and bug out now. At least you'll be three or four steps ahead of the mob, or the police, or the zoning board, take your pick.

Like I said, we're already at the fourth turning or whatever you want to call it. Trump has caused a bump in the road to perdition. Love the guy, but the uphill battle is pretty fucking steep.

sharonsj's picture

The reason why your taxes--and everyone else's--are going up is because the taxes on big business have been going down.  When will conservatives understand that the money to run the country has to come from somewhere?  (By the way, a country cannot function without roads, bridges, schools, etc.0  So if ExxonMobil isn't paying a federal income tax on $5 billion in profit, you'll be paying it for them.

yvhmer's picture

1000 years of dark ages? If memory serves me well, The western Roman Empire vanished in the 5th century, meaning exactly what it written. The way people in Western Europe went about their business was largely based on the Roman way.  money, business, law. It all remained in place under visigoth and Frank rule. In the 7th and 8 th century there were muslinm invasions. They got the Iberic peninsula, but were stopped at Poitiers in 732. 

After 800 Europe saw a new. Wave of buildingengingeering. And yes, the church has done it's outmost. First to preserve knowledge, and after hiding and prosecuting knowledge. 

Interestingly, check the sources of humanism. You'll find catholic spirituality at the root. 

So, no, middle ages perhaps, but not dark ages. 

August's picture

It's good to remind oneself that the "Dark Ages" of the West received that designation when later historians looked back and found that there were virtually no written records from that period.  For a typical laborer life in the year 700 was indeed difficult... but it had been difficult 500 years earlier, and would be difficut 500 years laters, too.

Only with the advent of Central Banking did mankind at last obtain universal prosperity.   /s

Reichstag Fire Dept.'s picture

Grotesque exaggggggeration!!! 

The "Dark Ages" were only a brief period of inconvenience lasting just 400 short years.

Insurrexion's picture

I second the notion Antifaschistische.

Sam.Spade's picture

You are spot on.  like it or not, we are in this struggel because there are no longer any geographic places for us to escape to.

But now there is the dark web.  Perfect false IDs, anonymous communications and commerce.  A base where we can organize and strike back from, one that exists everywhere tyranny tries to hide.

Think Everyman Hacker vs The Deep State.

So now the struggle for freedom goes into cyberspace. And like all revolutions, you are also right about the middle ground.  There will be none.  The cosy world of Leave It To Beaver and Fresh Prince is gone forever. We will all shortly have to choose:  Become new-age data serfs, living our lives in under the heals of the uberwealthy, or break all of the coming deluge of digital identity and security laws to live in a society of free cybercriminals.

Thieves Emporium is a primer on the subject.  Fast-paced, technically accurate, and prescient as hell.

The Daily Anarchist called it 'Barely fiction', while the editors of The Daily Bell thought it was so good they ran it as a serial which you can still read for free at

Or you can just buy a copy at Amazon (rated 4.6 in 120 reviews), Nook (same rating, but fewer reviews), Smashwords (ditto), or iBooks.

Hope you check it out.

I need Another Beer's picture

Thanks ! I am hooked now on finishing this novel

Sam.Spade's picture

Thank you for your kind comments.

canisdirus's picture

The people that say, "You can't stand up, because you'll get mowed down", are completely wrong; they don't understand the world we live in to fight the wars we will fight. The catalyst of change will be when a group starts using robotics, drones, etc, that are controlled through onion routing (or a homegrown variant), start assassinating oligarchs. The people with the skills exist and with a tiny bit of financial backing, they'll be able to anonymously execute anyone at any time nearly anywhere. After a few very prominent examples of this, people will realize that there will be no repercussions if they rise up or support the revolutionaries.

In the modern world, this is how you start a revolution *and* win it.

Cloud9.5's picture

I suspect that is why keeps dropping their U.S. population projection for 2025.

Twox2's picture

Re:  "Pitchforks".  It's all the thermal imaging and night vision technologies that have changed the game...and not to our benefit.  No place to hide..

froze25's picture

One Carrington event and everyone is on a equal playing field. 

TheReplacement's picture

Please demonstrate how it is completely inaccurate more than half the time.  As long as the theory is more accurate than anything else then, while it may not make sense to you, it is the best indicator we have.  At the same time I am confident that if we survive the coming tribulations that this knowledge will be built upon and used to improve life on this planet for at least couple of generations.

Like counting cards, analyzing the past to understand the future is not an exact science.  You are playing the odds, over and over, until you die.

Bumpo's picture

The premiss of this article states a nationalist "right-wing" revolution. Uhm, if "right-wing" means intelligent people who are sick of corruption, who are ready to do everything in their power to overturn Fascism, then Okay, sure, I guess.  (The real definition of fascisim here: Government and Big Business colluding together for their own benefit).

TheReplacement's picture

I agree on that point.  However I was simply arguing that the generational theory itself seems to be somewhat promising even if incorrect labels are being used.  Like I said, it can be improved upon and hopefully will be.

Tortfeasor's picture

Please apply the 4th Turning to the following countries' histories, going back to the time of the American revolution wave, and labeling each turning. Show your work.

Korea (united, then North-South)
Vatican City

Insurrexion's picture


Tortfeasor is a winner.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

If you were not on the upper layers, the Gilded Age was not too calm or too golden. It consisted of a series of booms and busts. Many (most) people were dirt poor, albeit they were probably less constrained by bureaucracy than people today--free to farm their small plot of land, hoping for a good crop (or else). In the South, Reconstruction can hardly be described as a placid, lovely time of harmony and good cheer.

BeansMcGreens's picture

And how about those Native Americans?

Just how many of them were killed?

Evil always marches on.

Bubba Rum Das's picture

"Nazi was the National Socialist Party, hardly right wing, just nationalistic and broke."

Hardly broke, I do say; as they 'were' funded by the Rothschilds...

Tallest Skil's picture

Not according to any actual source from anywhere.

TheReplacement's picture

The Rothschilds by proxy.  Even Granpappy Bush was in on that game.  Happy now?

Bumpo's picture

Actually, Hitler was fine until he started printing his own money, and becoming successful. We all know what happens to those people.

TheReplacement's picture

Someone was giving him credit to purchase war materials.

Ajax-1's picture

Very true. Hitler was a National Socialist which is left of the political spectrum.