Place Your Bets, Hedge Your Bets, Winner Takes All
In the eight days following Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential Election win, I wrote a series of three (3) articles based upon Charles Dicken’s literary classic, “A Tale of Two Cities”. The first piece entitled “Best of Times Worst of Times” was a play-by-play of my own election night experience. The second installment, entitled “A Tale of Two Cities” drew some comparisons between our modern times with Dickens’ major themes of “duality, revolution, and resurrection” against the backdrop of the burgeoning warfare between the aristocratic class and those of the peasants during the French Revolution. And the third and final article concluded with these words:
I am not linking these articles here because they are beside the point right now; other than, perhaps, my comparison of Trump in the third article to the biblical Samson tearing down the twin pillars of left and right in today’s American political system. Beyond that, however, I want to discuss specific Fourth Turning revolutions in relation to their cataclysmic dynamics of power.
Written by the historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, “The Fourth Turning”, was published in 1997 and was, at that time, boldly proclaimed by the authors to be an “American Prophecy”. The book is fascinating in that it very thoroughly documents recorded cycles of history across multiple cultures and eras in order to predict the timing of “America’s next rendezvous with destiny”.
The book identifies the timelines of historical events and matches them to specific life cycles of people in the form of generational archetypes. What is also interesting is how Strauss and Howe quantify and compare the recordings of history by multiple authors throughout the millennia to find uncanny comparisons in both historical and generational cycles. Ironically, the comparisons stand up not only to the test of time regarding recorded events in history, but the generational turnings and archetypes also translate to ancient literature and other writings as well, ranging from Homer’s Iliad to the Holy Bible.
According to Strauss and Howe, the generations roll forward like waves in sets of four societal cycles, or turnings, each lasting approximately twenty years. This means it takes approximately eighty years, or the length of one long human life, to cycle through four complete turnings. In America, the authors identified three specific Fourth Turning climaxeswhich occurred at an average of 85 years apart:
After the death of William Strauss in 2007, his co-author, Neil Howe, has said our current Fourth Turning crisis began with the global financial meltdown of 2008 and will reach its climax somewhere around 2025. Just like in previous Fourth Turnings, our current era will be defined by widespread destruction, war, and overall breakdowns of trust in what were once considered to be unassailable societal institutions.
In viewing the recent daily headlines of alleged Russian election hacking, special counsel investigations, Republican “Obamagate” memos, FBI texting, the politicized U.S. Department of Justice, government budget deadlines and shutdowns, Twitter wars, nuclear-powered North Korean midgets, et al, do you have any doubt we are in the throes of a Fourth Turning crisis?
Which brings me back to the concept of power.
There many definitions for power according to Merriam-Webster, but, for now, I want to focus on the (2nd) set of meanings as follows:
In every revolution there is established power and challenging power. In every instance of American Fourth Turning crisis periods, there were offenses committed by the establishmentthat, in turn, forced the challenging power to rise up and fight.
During the Revolutionary War it was King George’s taxation without representation that raised the ire of the patriots in the colonies. In the example of the American Civil War, some believe it was the established Southern states violating human rights that forced Lincoln to correct the wrongs. Others, however, believed it was President Lincoln’s federal infringement on State’s Rights that caused the South to stand up against that aggression. And during World War II it was the benevolent, liberty-loving democratic Allies battling back against the aggressive expansionism of nationalist dictators leading the Axis nations.
In the current U.S. revolution, what established entity is not playing by its own rules? Where is the entrenched power? Who holds most, if not all, of the cards?
Like historical tsunamis rising from seismic ocean quakes of increasing magnitudes, every American Fourth Turning was larger and more violent than the last. This does not bode well for the future.
There are those who claim power comes from the people. In the case of the French Revolution, that was true and it did not work out very well for the aristocratic establishment of that day. Later, it was the Bolshevik’s in Russia that, similar to the French Revolution, introduced the people to a new boss who was worse than the old boss.
Others today, agree that money is power; or stated another way: “Who has the gold makes the rules”. If that is true, then who possesses that power today? Trump and his Deplorables? Or the financial establishment’s central bankers and global power brokers?
There are others who believe, as did Mao Zedong, that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. By this definition, then, who has the largest arsenal of elaborate weaponry? The Second Amendment enthusiasts and concealed carry individuals with their semi-automatics, shotguns, switch-blades, and slingshots? Or the military industrial complex’s surveillance state backed by tanks, planes, drones, helicopters, Hum-vees, machine guns, and bombs?
How should one process the obvious answers to these questions in order to predict the future?
Well, if I had any marketable attribute, I would say it is my strategic ability to find the best and most efficient ways to get from Point A to Point B. Even without thinking outside of the box. Because, in most strategic-planning endeavors, I have discovered that simple common sense is usually sufficient. Take, for example, any organized group. Like a chain gang, it is only as fast and strong as its slowest and weakest links in the chain. Additionally, if these links, or obstacles, are successfully resolved, then any remaining problems beyond strength and speed for the most part, in most organizations, fix themselves.
In the early years after Y2K, I had a company that required more business but we did not have a sufficient sales staff to chase it down. I knew customers had to find my company instead of vice versa. But how? “What about Google?”, I thought. According to my research, they were responsible for 80% of all internet searches at the time. So, here’s what I did: I simply Googled search terms like ‘search engine optimization’, ‘SEO rankings’, ‘website rankings’, ‘internet rankings’, and others. One company placed either first, second, or third for all of those very competitive queries and that was the company I chose to optimize my company’s website. They were a newly launched Silicon Valley tech firm based out of India and they helped my business to remain at the very tip-top of the internet for multiple search terms and a number of years.
It was around fourteen years ago, when the founder of that tech company told me to buy Google’s IPO at $85.00/share.
What do you think I did?
By 2008 I came to realize exactly how corrupt Google was and I divested from them entirely. To this day, I have documented, time-stamped, evidence of their fraud.
But how does one fight back when the corruption is so well entrenched, so broad, so powerful?
Clean the swamp. Release the memo. Clinton Cash, Fast & Furious, the IRS scandal, Benghazi, there are so many, too many, examples of corruption to delineate them all here. In any of these, has justice ever been served? Will it be served? Will Obama, the Clintons, Susan Rice, Eric Holder, James Comey, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew McCabe, and all of the other blue ribbon winners of the Corruption Clown Brigade ever be prosecuted because of Trump?
Even if more and more successes are realized by the guys in white hats, all the establishment power has to do is crash the stock market at any time. Or start a war. When the misery starts, the people will blame what they think they saw. They’ll blame Trump’s tax reform, nationalism, foreign policy relations with North Korea, Russia, China, building the wall, tweets, and economic protectionism. In every case the corporate media will describe in great detail how Trump screwed up Obama’s big beautiful country. Day in, day out, Trump will be blamed and in ways that will make Herbert Hoover blush in his grave.
Expect that to happen soon.
Then, the Dems will win the mid-term elections this fall. Trump will face impeachment proceedings and the ever-elusive GOP Memo will be long-forgotten by 2020 when Oprah wins the Hat Trick Trifecta by becoming the first black, female president. BernieClaus will be her vice president, with Eric Holder as Secretary of State and Hillary as our shiny new ambassador to the United Nations in charge of global gun confiscation.
Wall Street will go long on FEMA internment facilities.
Which reminds me of another true story:
Just before starting my own corporate venture around twenty years ago, I once worked for a smaller, family-owned company that did business at the national level. They started around the same time as one of their competitors, in the early 1980s. Twenty-five years later, the family-owned company where I worked was doing around $60 million a year in revenues and the corporate competitor (that was founded around the same time) was doing over $500 million annually.
The family wanted a piece of the larger pie, so they elected to bring in a new corporate team, and it was great. The new management conducted bottom-up surveys with the employees and, as a result, some of the family managers were moved into positions where they could mess things up no more. I was promoted and had the world by the tail. Business really took off. Everything was gangbusters, until the family members decided to end the experiment for their own reasons; namely, envy and pride.
Eventually, on a Friday, the entire new executive management team was fired. I was doomed. On that day, I knew it was just a matter of time before I’d be gone too. My fate was sealed because I had thrown in with the new leadership. I bought into the dream. Of the five or so other managers who also threw in enthusiastically with the new management team, I was the last one to be fired a few years later.
History will likely repeat in my case, but on a grander scale. There are those now predicting the midterm elections are not looking good for Trump.
Either Team Trump cleans the swamp soon, or I expect to be doomed once again; and in short order. There also remains the possibility Trump is a swamp creature himself. Even so, he didn’t fool me. I just had no other viable choice at the time.
So, when the stormtroopers crash through my door in the middle of some future night, I will remember my nation. It was a country that preferred form over substance, words over deeds, and contrived orthodoxies that celebrated faux tolerance over discernment, common sense, morality, and law. It was a nation that didn’t deserve to last anyway.
Send this article to a friend: