Things seem bleak, but it’s that very bleakness that history tells us produces movements to overthrow psychopathic oligarchs
The previous three oligarchic events were not turbocharged and entrenched with the power of corporate personhood, which, among other advantages, enables them to defeat virtually any single movement that gets in the way of their greed. As Thom has noted, it will take a united effort to overcome the oligarchs. Since it’s rare to find anyone who knows what our government is actually supposed to do for us, we need to develop and share a common vision of our democracy’s purpose. I submit that if we frame our nation’s purpose as an “us vs. them” dynamic, it will greatly enhance our ability to inspire a critical mass of citizens to protect us from the oligarchs and promote our general welfare with best practice-based solutions. And it can be done with the 3.5% Solution that Professor Chenoweth gave us.
It's been well over 20 years since I read The Fourth Turning, but if my memory is to be trusted (it shouldn't), what distinguishes the fourth turning from the first three, as Thom clearly states, is the arrival of an inflection point; do we continue as we have - or chose a different path.
The book offers no predictions as to how things will turn out, but simply illustrates these historical cycles exist.
Indeed we are arrived, here in this fourth turning. It is my assessment that our fate will not be determined by action within a corrupt system (although we must continue trying), but rather our united response to acute crises created in part from such a system. People tend to come together in times of immediate need. There are no liberals or conservatives coming to the aid of a catastrophic car wreck - only people.
I imagine many "catastrophic car wrecks" in our collective future. And through my observations these situations tend to bring us back to who we truly are.
Our fourth turning will most certainly become evermore brutal, but I am confident in our reaction as the situation becomes more acutely consequential.
There is opportunity in disaster, as Naomi Klein brilliantly illustrates in "The Shock Doctrine". This time, the opportunity is in OUR hands. Will we seize the chance to overcome our differences by turning tragedy into unity?
I believe so.
Having power or being the center of attention is intoxicating. It's time to clear out the substance abusers. Our last election with HUGE voter participation shows we have the will, and now we need to protect the way. I think our desire to save the planet and exposing the abusers and bullies is exactly what this "turning" is all about.
What is different this go-round is the spotlight has been divided into a potential 7 billion beams. A random person on any given day can be trending. It's fabulous, especially when they use it for the common good.