The graduation commencement speaker invariably tells their youthful audience that they are the future. According to Neil Howe in his book the Fourth Turning those individuals born from 1982 through 2004 are the new HERO generation and the future is now. The 80-year life cycle of Howe’s archetypes – HERO, ARTIST, PROPHET, & NOMAD – has begun anew.
The Millennials are a large generation numerically, filling schools and colleges and propelling new technology into the mainstream. If the pattern holds, they will face a great crisis. It will influence the rest of their lives… just as World War II shaped the HEROES of the G.I. Generation 1901-1924.
“It’s not going to be a short period of difficulty. It will be an existential crisis, one in which society’s strongest institutions collapse (or are severely challenged and stressed) and national survival is in serious doubt. The Crisis can be economic, cultural, religious, military, or all the above.”
Using Neil Howe’s timeline, we are currently about halfway through the Fourth Turning. We may have another decade to go but current state of world affairs suggests that it could be any day now.
|Birth Year||Archetype||Generational Name|
My father 13 Sep 1913 and mother 24 Jan 1918 were HEROES along with some more famous public servants, LBJ, Reagan, Ford, Nixon, JFK, George H.W. Bush and Carter. My sister 24 Jul ’46 and I 13 Sep ’43 skipped the ARTIST Silent generation for the Baby Boomer PROPHET archetype.
27 Aug ’08
6 Feb ’11
|Gerald R. Ford||
|Richard M. Nixon||
9 Jan ’13
|George H.W. Bush||
12 Jun ’24
1 Oct ’24
Ageless Bernie 8 Sep 1941 the PUZZLING PURIST, and Dylan 24 May ’41 the MAGNIFIER from the ARTIST Archetype 1925-1942 are making their last call-to-arms for the Silent generation. Maybe my 1943 birth date explains my parental conflicts due to a whole generation between us. Not one of the ARTIST archetypes, including Bernie, has ever made it to the highest office in the land.
The PROPHETS the Baby Boomer generation
|Bill Clinton||19 Aug ’46||STARTLING SURPRISES|
|George W. Bush||6 Jul ’46||MAGNETIC DESIRE|
|Hillary Clinton||26 Oct ’47||ORGANIZATIONAL COHESION|
|Donald Trump||14 Jun ’46||GUTSY CONFRONTATION|
|Steve Jobs||24 Feb ‘55||SACRIFICE|
|Bill Gates||28 Oct ‘55||RESEARCH|
The Baby Boomers, are the PROPHET Archetype 1943 to 1960, which explains why George ‘W,’ Hillary, Bill and Trump have all the answers. Then there are Prophets who actually walk their talk like Jobs and Gates.
The NOMAD Archetype Generation X 1961 to 1981
My three marital-life experiences span three generations from ARTIST to PROPHET to NOMAD. My hope is that my current spouse’s Millennial daughters can save us from the coming crisis.
Obama 4 Aug ’61 the GUIDING LIGHT, and Michelle 17 Jan ’64 the HEAVYWEIGHT are our first and maybe last NOMAD presidential couple. Jeff Bezos 12 Jan ’64 the WILD CARD, better known as Mr. Amazon, is the richest Generation ‘X’er.’ In the Fourth Turning thesis the Nomads are the fourth and final generational archetype. They are the children coming of age during the “Awakening” periods of cultural chaos. Unlike the overly indulged and protected Prophets, Nomads go through childhood with minimal supervision and guidance. They learn early in life not to trust society’s basic institutions. They come of age as individualistic pragmatists. Now you know why Obama, a GUIDING LIGHT LEO, is always preaching to us about how we could do better.
It is clearly evident that we are in an “Awakening” period of cultural, environmental and financial chaos but yesterday’s Heroes are all or almost gone, the Artists are worried that we are going to hell in a fossil-fueled hand basket. The Prophets, us Baby Boomers, are too old to get excited about going to war or working at Wal-Mart, just give us our ‘entitlement’ money and leave us be. We think Michelle is and Barrack is funny-cool but this not to be fiddling around in the Nero sense. It must be a Nomad thing because Bezos buys the Washington Post to make sure we receive all the elite information that’s fit to electronically transmit. Prophet Boomers Hillary and Trump remind me of the old Cleveland joke: 1st prize one week in Cleveland, 2nd prize two weeks in Cleveland. It will be deja vu November 2008 only much bigger when the Crisis goes to the winner of the 2016 election.
The Great Boomer Bust
The three smiling bad boy Boomers, Hank INNOCENCE Paulson 28 Mar ‘47, ‘W’ the MAGNETIC DESIRE Bush 6 Jul ’46 and Ben EXACTING CRAFT Bernanke 13 Dec ‘53 giving ‘X’ generation Barrack the GUIDING LIGHT Obama 4 Aug ‘61 their post Lehman Brothers report. The bad news, the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the good news, it’s your problem.
However, the PROPHET Establishment suggests that in order to maintain FED continuity Janet LONG ODDS Yellen 13 Aug ’46 take over as Chairwoman.
The existential crisis, the one in which society’s strongest institutions collapse (or are severely challenged and stressed) and national survival is in serious doubt is near. The Crisis can be economic, cultural, religious, military, or all the above. I’m Prophesying all the above.