Recommended Individual Preparations
- Rectify: Return to classic virtues.
- Converge: Heed emerging comunity norms.
- Bond: Build personal relationships of all kinds.
- Gather: Prepare yourself (and your children) for teamwork.
- Root: Look to your family for support.
- Brace: Gird for the weakening or collapse of public support mechanisms
- Hedge: Diversify everything you do.
How Individuals Prepared
Only you would know whether you are prepared for the Fourth Turning. Can you be counted on by your neighbors? Do you have a reputation as a person of honor and integrity? Are you a good citizen? Lone wolves will not fare well during a Fourth Turning. Team, brand and standard will be new catchwords. Appearances will matter. Society will deal justice in a brutal way. You need to know people who can help you. Personal relationships will be crucial. Face to face interaction with neighbors, fellow workers, the public, and the police will determine whether you are a good guy or bad guy.
People who work well in teams will more successfully navigate the Crisis. Children will need to be taught to excel in groups. They are likely to be indoctrinated by the government when danger rises. Your family members will be essential to your survival. Being a loner will not bode well for you during the Fourth Turning. Young and old will likely occupy the same household as other supports will disappear.
Government benefits are likely to be dramatically cut. Dependence on authority should not be assumed. You will need to protect your wealth. Healthcare services could be limited. Being physically fit will be important. Being a generalist that can do many things well will make you more valuable during the Crisis. Having less debt will allow you more flexibility. The USD is likely to be devalued, so hedging your bets will be important. If the financial markets crash, will you survive?
As a country, we were completely unprepared for the onset of the current Fourth Turning. We were warned in 1997. We had time to prepare. Instead, we did the exact opposite of what needed to be done. We pressed the accelerator to the floor. Our actions have ensured that this Fourth Turning will be more deadly and brutal than it needed to be. Considering the two previous Fourth Turnings were Depression/WWII and the Civil War, the next 15 years will be grim. As Strauss & Howe point out, this test cannot be avoided:
"Don't think you can escape the Fourth Turning the way you might today distance yourself from news, national politics, or even taxes you don't feel like paying. History warns that a Crisis will reshape the basic social and economic environment that you now take for granted. The Fourth Turning necessitates the death and rebirth of the social order. It is the ultimate rite of passage for an entire people, requiring a liminal state of sheer chaos whose nature and duration no one can predict in advance."
The economic news worsens by the day. Worldwide tensions grow. There are fingers of instability throughout the system. All it will take is a grain of sand falling on the wrong part of the pile to initiate an avalanche of pain and suffering. Our Archduke Ferdinand moment awaits.
"Thus might the next Fourth Turning end in apocalypse or glory. The nation could be ruined, its democracy destroyed, and millions of people scattered or killed. Or America could enter a new golden age, triumphantly applying shared values to improve the human condition. The rhythms of history do not reveal the outcome of the coming Crisis; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.
A Fourth Turning harnesses the seasons of life to bring about a renewal in the seasons of time. In so doing, it provides passage through the great discontinuities of history and closes the full circle of the saeculum. The Fourth Turning is when the Spirit of America reappears, rousing courage and fortitude from the people. History is seasonal, but its outcomes are not foreordained. Much will depend on how tall we stand in the trials to come."
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