When I write about politics, which has sometimes been my job, I use a long-term strategy of thinking that is best expressed in a book by William Strauss and Neil Howe called The Fourth Turning. The Fourth Turning looks at how ideas and trends travel generationally. It is almost as if an entire generation is encoded with the same formula. One generation celebrates Eisenhower, the next, Bob Dylan. There is a kind of charality to this. It forms a time engine of alternating currents.
What I write about in politics today is that we are at the turning of the fourth and final generation of our historical period, and the generation which rises next will complete our historical passage. That is as far as we can see. The entire post-war period can be seen as an 80-year period which began at the conclusion of warfare in Europe and
For a long time my innate feeling is that this historical period will somehow end with
Far more important in the understanding of the passages of time and public events is their inner dynamics. In this
In his early public appearance as a strong man on the beaches of Southern California in the early 1970s,
Celtic, Druid and Earth Mother themes which had long been forgotten, flourished and pervaded every level of society almost overnight. Although it was called the Age of Aquarius, the Sixties was in fact still well within the Age of Pisces and could more accurately be seen as the last days of that era.
The Sixties in fact reminded many of the first days of the Christian and the perceptive observer Kris Kristofferson made the good comparison in one of his popular songs: “Jesus was a Capricorn/ He ate organic food. He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes. Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends/ Reckon they’d just nail him up if he came down again.” George Harrison’s final word on behalf of the Beatles and on behalf of the age was, “Here comes the Sun King.” It is a harbinger of Aquarius and the coming of the new incarnation of the Sun King. But the Aquarian Age didn’t actually – technically - begin until the year 2001.
This Earth Mother manifestation in the Sixties was a very intense and creative period, but destabilizing to the mainstream psychological trajectory we in the West and throughout the world were on. The strong man beach culture of Southern California presented a conspicuous charicature of masuline life force, a symbolic and archetypal compensation to weak man of the 70s, but it was primarily a countervailing force in compensation for the return of the Earth Mother culture of the Sixties. And it followed directly on its heels.
Almost 40 years later saw a new transition: The critical first months of the war on