If you aren’t familiar with the Fourth Turning, here is how the authors describe it (bold mine).
The Fourth Turning is a Crisis. Old Artists die, Prophets enter elderhood, Nomads enter midlife, Heroes enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Artists is born. This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. Civic authority revives, cultural expression finds a community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group. In every instance, Fourth Turnings have eventually become new “founding moments” in America’s history, refreshing and redefining the national identity.
At this point, it seems fairly obvious to most people that we face multiple threats to our nation’s very survival. Have you ever felt it more keenly that our country’s fabric is rapidly fraying and our very existence as a nation is under attack from so many different entities – both within and without?
The reality is our American institutional life is being transformed every single day as we enter the final years of the current Fourth Turning. We’ve already looked briefly at the fact that public education has no working narrative. The mess of government institutions such as Congress needs no elaboration from me at this point. The same is true of other institutions we’ll look at in the days ahead. They have all been torn down in recent years. Some of the damage was self-inflicted. Some was due to infiltration that was not challenged by weak leaders. Whatever the cause, institutions are broken and those who depended on them are disillusioned.
The next step is to turn our national institutions into something valuable.
A new national identity is being built. It’s very clear that different groups of people envision national identities that are not compatible. These groups include Americans who have a God-given right to have a say in what happens, but also people who are not Americans but greatly desire to change our national identity to serve their own purposes.
Who will win?
What kind of nation do you wish to live in? The decisions you make today will impact that. If you think your individual choices don’t matter, then is it possible you have been lulled into complacency?
If your goal is to keep your head down, pretend nothing is happening, and hope for the best in the coming months and years, then you are missing the entire point of what is happening during the Fourth Turning.
Think of all we learned in 2021. What are you doing to act on what you learned? What have you done today to make sure the founding moments ahead of us are worthwhile?