This is a follow-up to my entry from earlier today. In a revision of that entry, I added a link to this hour-plus video of Chris Hedges speaking in Vancouver BC just over a week ago. About 20 minutes into the speech, Hedges connects our alleged president's puppeteer Steve Bannon with the generational theory of William Strauss and Neil Howe, co-authors of The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy.
Hedges paints Strauss and Howe as guilty by association with Bannon's alt-right ideology. He refers to them as "pseudo-intellectuals" playing the same role as propagandists and apologists for the Third Reich. Having read The Fourth Turning twice, I must say that I find this depiction terribly unfair. And, I am happy to report, I am not alone in thinking so.
The power of Strauss and Howe’s theory of crises comes from its lack of a specific ideology. My own interpretation of it is that the death of an old political, economic and social order creates an opportunity for any determined movement or leader to put a new vision in place. To use the most striking example, both the United States and Germany were in the midst of a terrible economic and political crisis in 1933. The United States turned to Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal; Germany turned to Adolf Hitler and National Socialism.
In his Time article, Dr. David Kaiser states (or at least implies) that Bannon and his ilk have grossly misinterpreted Strauss and Howe. Bannon operates as if the authors have prescribed extreme and reactionary responses to perceived socio-economic crises, when they have merely described such responses. It's a bit like how Adolf Hitler grossly misinterpreted the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose reputation has suffered in the post-Nazi era despite harboring anti-Semitic views similar to most other intellectuals of his time.
In my interpretation, the Hero generation of Millennials will still play a huge role in resolving a crisis. This crisis may have begun with what happened on 11 September 2001, but it is ongoing—and I am not referring to the War on Terror, but the way in which the US corporatist state has used terrorism as a pretext to redistribute wealth upward. The current White House may or may not be the culmination of that process, and it may or may not lead directly to a Millennial-led resistance that does or does not overturn the corporatist state.
You see, I don't flatter myself that I have the gift of prophecy. I can, however, make some good educated guesses.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.