Sweeping social transformations occur during times of crisis. We are in such a predicament now, and transformative change may be coming to America whether we want it or not. It could define who we are as a nation for the remainder of the 21st Century. Whether America reaffirms itself as a beacon for freedom for the world or whether we become just another plot of ground in the new world order remains to be seen. The consequences for all Americans could be enormous, and especially so for Millennials.
What crisis are we in, you ask? Well, consider the staggering debt and economic collapse that is looming. Confrontation and possible war with China is looming as well. The pandemic has and is still wreaking havoc on our way of life. Big Tech and Big Media are restricting free speech and fixing elections with the compliance of the administrative state in Washington. The border is being overrun. Schools no longer teach our history or what it is to be an American. At the head of it all is Joe Biden and his merry band of race-baiting socialists purposely driving this runaway train off the tracks. And in the end, societal collapse and a great reset into a Marxist world government await our demise.
So yes, we are in a crisis where the future of our way of life hangs in the balance.
In their seminal 1997 book, The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy, William Strauss and Neil Howe surveyed history through a generational prism. Their chronicle forms Anglo-American history into seven recurring sequences over the past 500 years. The authors make a weighty claim that generational characteristics follow a similar series of generational phases, or turnings, that climax in a major crisis every 80 years or so.
In their book, each cycle is characterized by the First Turning or the High (which most recently occurred from 1946 to 1964); followed by the Second Turning or the Awakening (1964-1984); then the Third Turning or the Unraveling (1984-2008); and finally, the Fourth Turning or the Crisis (2008 to late 2020s). Each generation comes of age during a different time and views the world differently. The Greatest Generation viewed the world differently than the Silent Generation, who viewed it differently than the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, etc.
The last historical crisis we faced was the Depression and World War II, where The Greatest Generation was forged. These trials brought about significant changes to the entire world, and especially to the Greatest Generation. We are now 80 years past that crisis, and it now appears the nation has entered into another time of tribulation.
Our nation has experienced existential upheaval during the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Great Depression and World War II together. Since the Fifteenth Century, western civilization has repeated the pattern of four turnings seven times. Hence, the title of a new book, The Seventh Crisis – Why Millennials Must Re-Establish Ordered Liberty, by Bob MacGuffie and Antony Stark. Their book updates and refreshes The Fourth Turning narrative to the crisis we face today.
While the turmoil we face will affect all ages, it will fundamentally impact young people. Like the Greatest Generation, this new crisis will have a defining effect on Millennials and significantly impact the destiny of the United States. But are Millennials up to the task ahead?