Japanese lanterns by David Paneven via Flickr with Creative Commons License
Is this spirit of America close at hand? Generation X braces for War, Revolutions, Natural Disasters, Economic Collapse, Nuclear Accidents, Secession and Pandemic.
Who knows what tomorrow brings
— From Cocker and Warnes and the 1982 Up Where We Belong
The writer of the blog, The Burning Platform, has dissected the work of historians and generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe against current events including the revolution in Tunisia and the tsunami that struck Japan on March 11.
The post he’s written is a long read for the Twitter culture, but short compared to his inspirations, Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning and Winston’s Churchill’s The Gathering Storm. It’s written and researched exceptionally well, and is more than a cautionary tale for Generation X.
In fact, it’s an absolute hammer to the head of every dream you’ve ever had for yourself or your kids. That is, if you agree with him and the philosophy (not prophecy) of Strauss and Howe that “large groups of human beings of a similar age and having common experiences react in similar predictable ways.”
At any rate, it is grim and apocalyptic, and even if you think the work of generational theorists is pure fantasy who will deny the cataclysmic quakes, waves, meltdowns, crashes and spills of the last couple years, all inferred in The Fourth Turning? Oh, and revolutions and whispers of secessions, coastal civil war?
Below is an excerpt from The Burning Platform.
The Spirit of America Will Return
From The Burning Platform:
“Strauss and Howe clearly state how important the next 10 to 15 years will be:
‘Decisive events will occur – events so vast, powerful, and unique that they lie beyond today’s wildest hypotheses. These events will inspire great documents and speeches, visions of a new political order being framed. People will discover a hitherto unimagined capacity to fight and die, and to let their children fight and die, for a communal cause. The Spirit of America will return, because there will be no other choice. Thus will Americans reenact the great ancient myth of the ekpyrosis. Thus will we achieve our next rendezvous with destiny.’
“I’m convinced that decisive events will transpire over the next decade that will push our country to the brink. The country is on an unsustainable path and we will either crash and burn or take the actions needed to avert catastrophe. Vast powerful events on an incomprehensible scale await. Events as farfetched as a Weimar like hyperinflationary economic collapse, the detonation of a nuclear bomb in a major American city, the secession of one or more States from the Union, the collapse of our oil based economy due to peak oil and/or revolution and turmoil in the Middle East, or a worldwide pandemic, will become not only realistic, but probable. Are these events any more improbable than a 9.0 earthquake, leading to a 33 foot high tsunami wave, which triggers nuclear meltdowns at two separate nuclear power plants? If you had outlined that scenario a week ago, you would have been classified as a crazy prophet of doom.”
What does the spirit of America mean to you?