The History of Our Future Generational Archetypes and Historical Cycles Presented by Gregory Wharton   AIA  RIBA  LEED® AP...
Acknowledgements <ul><li>This work is substantially based on the generational theories of: </li></ul><ul><li>William Strau...
What is a  Generation ? <ul><li>A group of people roughly the same  age  sharing a similar cultural and historical  contex...
Generational Context <ul><li>Shared Experience : how different experiential environments skew the  Normal Distribution  of...
Generational Context <ul><li>Experience can  skew  behavior probabilities. For instance, events experienced during childho...
Generational Context <ul><li>Similarly, events experienced during childhood can  increase  adult risk-taking behavior. </l...
Generational Context <ul><li>Differing experience creates measurably different behaviors between population age cohorts, l...
What is an  Archetype ? <ul><li>Common types of events tend to skew behavior in predictable ways.  We can categorize group...
Generational Archetypes <ul><li>In order of appearance… </li></ul><ul><li>(per Strauss & Howe) </li></ul><ul><li>1.   Idea...
Historical Cycles <ul><li>Opposing Forces </li></ul><ul><li>Inward vs. Outward Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Order vs. Disorder ...
1. High <ul><li>Upbeat, Prosperous Era </li></ul><ul><li>Community Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Civic Order & Trust </li>...
2. Awakening <ul><li>Challenges against Civic Order </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual Idealism </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Shift ...
3. Unraveling <ul><li>Corruption and Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Reform & Fundamentalism </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Expansi...
4. Crisis <ul><li>Sudden, Dire Threats </li></ul><ul><li>Simplification </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Survival </li></ul><ul>...
Experiential Context <ul><li>Age-based Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Historic events will be ex-perienced differently by pe...
Idealist <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth  : High </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtured by optimistic adults in a secure e...
Idealists in History <ul><li>Reformation  : b. 1483-1511 </li></ul><ul><li>John Knox, Henry VIII, Martin Luther </li></ul>...
Idealist Characteristics <ul><li>Experimental </li></ul><ul><li>Values-Focused </li></ul><ul><li>Unapologetic </li></ul><u...
Nomad <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth  : Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Underprotected at a time of social convul...
Nomads in History <ul><li>Reprisal  : b. 1512-1540 </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth I, Francis Drake </li></ul><ul><li>Cavalier...
Nomad Characteristics <ul><li>Independent </li></ul><ul><li>Survivalist </li></ul><ul><li>Tribal </li></ul><ul><li>Observa...
Civic <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth  : Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtured with increasing protection by p...
Civics in History <ul><li>Dynastic  : b. 1433-1460 </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Tudor, John Cabot </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabethan...
Civic Characteristics <ul><li>Optimistic </li></ul><ul><li>Team-Oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Orderly </li></ul><ul><li>Ratio...
Adaptive <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth  : Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Over-protected in a time of societal conv...
Adaptives in History <ul><li>Humanist  : b. 1460-1482 </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas More, Michelangelo </li></ul><ul><li>Parlia...
Adaptive Characteristics <ul><li>Nurturing </li></ul><ul><li>Compromising </li></ul><ul><li>Conformist </li></ul><ul><li>E...
The Engine of History <ul><li>Four Turnings </li></ul><ul><li>Four Generations </li></ul><ul><li>in a  feedback  loop. </l...
The Generational Cycle <ul><li>Shifting Life Stages </li></ul>HIGH AWAKEN-ING UNRAVEL-ING CRISIS IDEALIST YOUTH RISING MID...
Cycles Through Time <ul><li>The  Saeculum </li></ul><ul><li>One full turn of the wheel. </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 80...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Late Medieval </li></ul><ul><li>The cycles begin with significant societal convul...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Tudor </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Tudor Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Tudor dynasty...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Stuart  /  Colonial </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Merrie England </li></ul><ul><li>Sh...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Revolutionary Era </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Augustan Age of Empire </li></ul><ul>...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Constitutional Era </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Era of Good Feelings </li></ul><ul><...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Union Era </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Gilded Age </li></ul><ul><li>High with Nomad ...
Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>New Deal Era </li></ul><ul><li>High  : Post-War Boom </li></ul><ul><li>American g...
Historical Perspective <ul><li>What should we expect in the coming years? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we be doing? </li>...
Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Silents </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Post-Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>The giant, fearful ev...
Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Boomers </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Your elder years will be w...
Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Generation X </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Mid-life </li></ul><ul><li>Your prime earning and...
Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Millennials </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Rising </li></ul><ul><li>This crisis will be your ...
Generational Strategies <ul><li>Silents </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Post-Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Disengage and do ...
Generational Strategies <ul><li>Boomers </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Practice restraint & w...
Generational Strategies <ul><li>Generation X </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Mid-life </li></ul><ul><li>Engage and  lead  ...
Generational Strategies <ul><li>Millennials </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage :  Rising </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your strengt...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

The History of Our Future

1,652 views

Published on

An explanation of Strauss & Howe's generational theory of history with easy-to-understand graphics.

Published in: Education
  • Wow, this is a GREAT presentation. I read a lot about generational theory and you made an amazing job distilling it down to its core. The graphics are fantastic, really helps visualize the cycles and how it's all happening at the same time.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here

The History of Our Future

  1. 1. The History of Our Future Generational Archetypes and Historical Cycles Presented by Gregory Wharton AIA RIBA LEED® AP “ History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes a lot .” Mark Twain
  2. 2. Acknowledgements <ul><li>This work is substantially based on the generational theories of: </li></ul><ul><li>William Strauss and Neil Howe </li></ul><ul><li>Auguste Comté </li></ul><ul><li>Karl Mannheim </li></ul><ul><li>(with original work and observations) </li></ul><ul><li>For further reading, please see: </li></ul><ul><li>Strauss & Howe , Generations: The Future History of America from 1584 to 2069 </li></ul><ul><li>Strauss & Howe , The Fourth Turning </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a Generation ? <ul><li>A group of people roughly the same age sharing a similar cultural and historical context , thus sharing similar experiences , attitudes, and perspectives . </li></ul>Hey! That paints with a very broad brush! Is there any actual basis in reality for lumping all those people together by age? Yeah! Don’t label me, man!
  4. 4. Generational Context <ul><li>Shared Experience : how different experiential environments skew the Normal Distribution of behavior (i.e. the importance of Probability ). </li></ul>Normal Distribution of Risk Behavior in a Population
  5. 5. Generational Context <ul><li>Experience can skew behavior probabilities. For instance, events experienced during childhood can reduce adult risk-taking behavior. </li></ul>Skew Left Significant increase in risk- avoidant population Significant decrease in risk- taking population
  6. 6. Generational Context <ul><li>Similarly, events experienced during childhood can increase adult risk-taking behavior. </li></ul>Skew Right Significant decrease in risk- avoidant population Significant increase in risk- taking population
  7. 7. Generational Context <ul><li>Differing experience creates measurably different behaviors between population age cohorts, leading to generational differences. </li></ul>Almost an entire standard deviation difference! This population has a lot of risk-avoidants in comparison This population has a lot of risk-takers in comparison. Both still have people at the extremes.
  8. 8. What is an Archetype ? <ul><li>Common types of events tend to skew behavior in predictable ways. We can categorize groups with common, recurring biases as archetypes . </li></ul><ul><li>An Archetype is… </li></ul><ul><li>… a prototypical, generic category of common characteristics and perspectives. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Generational Archetypes <ul><li>In order of appearance… </li></ul><ul><li>(per Strauss & Howe) </li></ul><ul><li>1. Idealist </li></ul><ul><li>2. Nomad </li></ul><ul><li>3. Civic </li></ul><ul><li>4. Adaptive </li></ul><ul><li>Where do these archetypes come from? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Historical Cycles <ul><li>Opposing Forces </li></ul><ul><li>Inward vs. Outward Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Order vs. Disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Four Turnings </li></ul><ul><li>1. High </li></ul><ul><li>2. Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>3. Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>4. Crisis </li></ul>
  11. 11. 1. High <ul><li>Upbeat, Prosperous Era </li></ul><ul><li>Community Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Civic Order & Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Declining Individualism </li></ul><ul><li>Investment & Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Political Stability </li></ul><ul><li>Conformist Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Stratified </li></ul><ul><li>Doing , not Feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Shame Governs Behavior </li></ul>
  12. 12. 2. Awakening <ul><li>Challenges against Civic Order </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual Idealism </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Shift </li></ul><ul><li>Declining Order </li></ul><ul><li>Youth Activism </li></ul><ul><li>Individualism Grows </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental </li></ul><ul><li>Guilt becomes important </li></ul><ul><li>Iconoclastic </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Equalizing </li></ul>
  13. 13. 3. Unraveling <ul><li>Corruption and Complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Reform & Fundamentalism </li></ul><ul><li>Credit Expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Surging Immigration </li></ul><ul><li>Belligerent Complacency </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling , not Doing </li></ul><ul><li>Guilt governs behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Equalized </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepeneurial Dynamism </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional Paralysis & Decay </li></ul>
  14. 14. 4. Crisis <ul><li>Sudden, Dire Threats </li></ul><ul><li>Simplification </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Survival </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Resurgent Civic Order </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive Institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Customs Change </li></ul><ul><li>Obstacles Swept Away </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-Taking Abates </li></ul><ul><li>Catharsis & Renewal </li></ul><ul><li>Total War </li></ul>
  15. 15. Experiential Context <ul><li>Age-based Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Historic events will be ex-perienced differently by people at different stages of life. </li></ul><ul><li>Generational archetypes are defined by the course of life stages through the historic cycle. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Idealist <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth : High </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtured by optimistic adults in a secure environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Rising : Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge the moral failings of elder- built institutions and start a spiritual awakening through the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-Life : Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>Preach values-fixated moral rectitude. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder : Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Push to resolve deepening moral conflicts. </li></ul>INDULGED RIGHTEOUS REBELLIOUS ORACULAR
  17. 17. Idealists in History <ul><li>Reformation : b. 1483-1511 </li></ul><ul><li>John Knox, Henry VIII, Martin Luther </li></ul><ul><li>Puritan : b. 1588-1617 </li></ul><ul><li>Oliver Cromwell, John Harvard </li></ul><ul><li>Awakener : b. 1701-1723 </li></ul><ul><li>Ben Franklin, Sam Adams </li></ul><ul><li>Transcendental : b. 1792-1821 </li></ul><ul><li>Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Susan B. Anthony </li></ul><ul><li>Missionary : b. 1860-1882 </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, Upton Sinclair, W.E.B. DuBois </li></ul><ul><li>Boom : b. 1943-1961 </li></ul>INDULGED RIGHTEOUS REBELLIOUS ORACULAR
  18. 18. Idealist Characteristics <ul><li>Experimental </li></ul><ul><li>Values-Focused </li></ul><ul><li>Unapologetic </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual </li></ul><ul><li>Moralistic </li></ul><ul><li>Introspective </li></ul><ul><li>Manichean </li></ul><ul><li>Principled </li></ul><ul><li>Uncompromising </li></ul><ul><li>Apocalyptic </li></ul><ul><li>Righteous </li></ul><ul><li>Wise </li></ul>Change the World! Crusaders Verbose Autonomous Rash Visionary Idealistic Inspiring Narcissistic Religious Irresponsible whether they like it OR NOT .
  19. 19. Nomad <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth : Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Underprotected at a time of social convulsion and adult self-discovery. </li></ul><ul><li>Rising : Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>Free agents and risk-takers in an era of social turmoil. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-Life : Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Apply toughness and pragmatism to defend society and safeguard the interests of the young. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder : High </li></ul><ul><li>Exhausted survivalists seek simplicity and resist rapid change. </li></ul>TOUGH ALIENATED IGNORED PRAGMATIC
  20. 20. Nomads in History <ul><li>Reprisal : b. 1512-1540 </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabeth I, Francis Drake </li></ul><ul><li>Cavalier : b. 1618-1647 </li></ul><ul><li>John Locke, Louis XIV, William Kidd </li></ul><ul><li>Liberty : b. 1724-1741 </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington, John Adams, Francis Marion, Daniel Boone, Patrick Henry </li></ul><ul><li>Gilded : b. 1822-1842 </li></ul><ul><li>Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie </li></ul><ul><li>Lost : b. 1883-1900 </li></ul><ul><li>George Patton, Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman, F. Scott Fitzgerald </li></ul><ul><li>Generation X : b. 1962-1982 </li></ul>TOUGH ALIENATED IGNORED PRAGMATIC
  21. 21. Nomad Characteristics <ul><li>Independent </li></ul><ul><li>Survivalist </li></ul><ul><li>Tribal </li></ul><ul><li>Observant </li></ul><ul><li>Protective </li></ul><ul><li>Cynical </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepeneurial </li></ul><ul><li>Adventurous </li></ul><ul><li>Productive </li></ul><ul><li>Risk-Takers </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic </li></ul><ul><li>Taciturn </li></ul><ul><li>Amoral </li></ul>Shrewd Iconoclastic Macchiavellian Pragmatic Tough Generous Skeptical Creative Self-Reliant Wounded Romantic Ironic Cool Save the World! … or screw ‘em… whatever .
  22. 22. Civic <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth : Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>Nurtured with increasing protection by pessimistic adults in an insecure world </li></ul><ul><li>Rising : Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge the political failure of elder crusades and act collectively to restore civic order. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-Life : High </li></ul><ul><li>Establish upbeat, constructive ethic of social order and discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder : Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Support hubristic and grandiose projects while entitling their power structure. </li></ul>CONFIDENT CHERISHED ENTITLED HEROIC
  23. 23. Civics in History <ul><li>Dynastic : b. 1433-1460 </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Tudor, John Cabot </li></ul><ul><li>Elizabethan : b. 1541-1565 </li></ul><ul><li>William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon </li></ul><ul><li>Glorious : b. 1648-1673 </li></ul><ul><li>Cotton Mather, William of Orange </li></ul><ul><li>Republican : b. 1742-1766 </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas Jefferson, James Madison </li></ul><ul><li>G.I. : b. 1901-1924 </li></ul><ul><li>John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney </li></ul><ul><li>Millennial : b. 1982-2004 </li></ul>CONFIDENT CHERISHED ENTITLED HEROIC
  24. 24. Civic Characteristics <ul><li>Optimistic </li></ul><ul><li>Team-Oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Orderly </li></ul><ul><li>Rationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Serious </li></ul><ul><li>Materialistic </li></ul><ul><li>Conventional </li></ul><ul><li>Authoritarian </li></ul><ul><li>Purposeful </li></ul><ul><li>Indulgent </li></ul><ul><li>Future-Oriented </li></ul><ul><li>Hubristic </li></ul>Build the World! Whatever it takes. Arrogant Organized Competent Determined Entitled Heroic Confident Ordinary Peaceful Networked
  25. 25. Adaptive <ul><li>Life Course </li></ul><ul><li>Youth : Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Over-protected in a time of societal convulsion & adult sacrifice. </li></ul><ul><li>Rising : High </li></ul><ul><li>Conformists in a time of social calm. </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-Life : Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisive consensus-builders seeking to change from within processes and calm the passions of the young. </li></ul><ul><li>Elder : Unraveling </li></ul><ul><li>Seek complexity, sensitivity, and stability as order disintegrates. Urge tolerance as society fragments and balkanizes. </li></ul>CONFORMIST TOLERANT CONFLICTED CONSTRAINED
  26. 26. Adaptives in History <ul><li>Humanist : b. 1460-1482 </li></ul><ul><li>Thomas More, Michelangelo </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary : b. 1566-1587 </li></ul><ul><li>James I, Inigo Jones, George Villiers </li></ul><ul><li>Enlightenment : b. 1674-1700 </li></ul><ul><li>Samuel Johnson, William Shirley </li></ul><ul><li>Compromise : b. 1767-1791 </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, Washington Irving </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive : b. 1843-1859 </li></ul><ul><li>Woodrow Wilson, Henry James </li></ul><ul><li>Silent : b. 1925-1942 </li></ul><ul><li>Colin Powell, Martin Luther King Jr., Woody Allen, Walter Mondale </li></ul><ul><li>Homeland : b. 2005-2025? </li></ul>CONFORMIST TOLERANT CONFLICTED CONSTRAINED
  27. 27. Adaptive Characteristics <ul><li>Nurturing </li></ul><ul><li>Compromising </li></ul><ul><li>Conformist </li></ul><ul><li>Empathic </li></ul><ul><li>Indecisive </li></ul><ul><li>Subversive </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict-Avoidant </li></ul><ul><li>Credentialed </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicted </li></ul><ul><li>Detached </li></ul><ul><li>Artistic </li></ul>Process-Oriented Expert Moderate Sensitive Reformers Permissive Nuanced Complex Nice Repressed Pluralist Technocratic Heal the World! Can’t we all get along?
  28. 28. The Engine of History <ul><li>Four Turnings </li></ul><ul><li>Four Generations </li></ul><ul><li>in a feedback loop. </li></ul><ul><li>“ History makes generations, and generations make history.” Strauss & Howe </li></ul>
  29. 29. The Generational Cycle <ul><li>Shifting Life Stages </li></ul>HIGH AWAKEN-ING UNRAVEL-ING CRISIS IDEALIST YOUTH RISING MID-LIFE ELDER NOMAD ELDER YOUTH RISING MID-LIFE CIVIC MID-LIFE ELDER YOUTH RISING ADAP-TIVE RISING MID-LIFE ELDER YOUTH
  30. 30. Cycles Through Time <ul><li>The Saeculum </li></ul><ul><li>One full turn of the wheel. </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 80 to 100 years duration. </li></ul><ul><li>Length of individual turnings varies. </li></ul><ul><li>Lengthening life spans are creating a new age category: POST-ELDER </li></ul>TIME
  31. 31. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Late Medieval </li></ul><ul><li>The cycles begin with significant societal convulsion, before which the presence of cycles is unclear. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Retreat from France </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of all French territories. End of the Hundred Years War. Weak kings erode civic authority. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : Wars of the Roses </li></ul><ul><li>Dynastic struggle between houses of Lancaster & York. Bloody civil wars punctuated by invasions and rebellions. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Tudor </li></ul><ul><li>High : Tudor Renaissance </li></ul><ul><li>Tudor dynasty consolidated. Birthrate rises. Prosperity & building boom. Cultural sterility. </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : Reformation </li></ul><ul><li>Henry VIII breaks with Rome, founding new church. Religious schisms proliferate. War with Scotland & France. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Intolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Fragmentation, civil rebellion, & intrigue. Inflation wracks economy. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : Armada Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Catholic conspiracy crushed. Anglo-Spanish wars. Crop failiures. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Stuart / Colonial </li></ul><ul><li>High : Merrie England </li></ul><ul><li>Shakespearean / Elizabethan. Optimistic, prosperous, and stable. Exploration and colonization. Trade expands rapidly. </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : Puritan Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Reformers turn radical. John Winthrop leads Separatists to America. Ends with English Civil War & Oliver Cromwell. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Restoration </li></ul><ul><li>Colonial factionalism rife. Cromwell’s Protectorate leads to Stuart restoration. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : Glorious Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Civil upheavals in colonies. 9 Years War & War of Spanish Succession culminates in English dominance. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Revolutionary Era </li></ul><ul><li>High : Augustan Age of Empire </li></ul><ul><li>Booming trade & rising living standards. Scientific rationalism. Empire grows. Colonies fully established. Slave trade. </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : Great Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Faith vs. Works controversy. Religious enthusiasm reaches fever pitch. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : French & Indian Wars </li></ul><ul><li>Economic & geographic mobility. Growing debt, cynicism, & public “wildness.” Rampant fear of government corruption. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : American Revolution </li></ul><ul><li>Boston Tea Party. Continental Congress. War for Independence. Bankruptcy & Constitutional Convention. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Constitutional Era </li></ul><ul><li>High : Era of Good Feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Extended period of social stability & empire building. “Conquest of Canaan”. Spiritual blandness. War of 1812 unites. </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : Transcendental </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelism & slave revolts. Abolitionism & Jacksonian populism. Romantic idealism. Feminism, food fads, & utopianism. Self-help & Manifest Destiny. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Sectionalist Period </li></ul><ul><li>Gold Fever & commercialism. Moral crusades & self-worship. Secessionism. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : Civil War </li></ul><ul><li>Transcendental generation factionalism triggers apocalyptic war early in cycle. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>Union Era </li></ul><ul><li>High : Gilded Age </li></ul><ul><li>High with Nomad flavor. Reconstruction & Wild West. Railroads & Industrial Revolution. Record capital formation. </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : 3 rd Great Awakening </li></ul><ul><li>Labor violence & campus activism. Progressivism, evangelism, & protests. “New Woman” feminism & “Muckraking.” </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Prohibition & WW1 </li></ul><ul><li>Fever-pitch moralism. Egocentric celebrities & widening class divisions. Sex, drugs, and violence. Credit-fueled economic boom. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : Depression & WW2 </li></ul><ul><li>Economic crash triggers vast governmental expansion. World War wrecks old order. </li></ul>
  37. 37. Cycles in Anglo-American History <ul><li>New Deal Era </li></ul><ul><li>High : Post-War Boom </li></ul><ul><li>American global hegemony. Cold War unity. Middle class ascendancy. “End to ideology.” Bland and “spirit-dead.” </li></ul><ul><li>Awakening : Consciousness Rev. </li></ul><ul><li>Youth protest & “counter-culture.” Feminism, environmentalism, & tribalism. Watergate, Vietnam, New Age, & Malaise. </li></ul><ul><li>Unraveling : Culture Wars </li></ul><ul><li>Rampant individualism & moralism. Fragmented consensus. Inequality, incivility, crime, violence, & pervasive civic distrust. </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis : PRESENT </li></ul><ul><li>Economic crisis in 2008 onward precipitates new period of crisis and war. </li></ul>
  38. 38. Historical Perspective <ul><li>What should we expect in the coming years? </li></ul><ul><li>What should we be doing? </li></ul>YOU ARE HERE
  39. 39. Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Silents </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Post-Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>The giant, fearful events and anxieties that marred your childhood are going to return in earnest, and no amount of compromise or smoothing over will make them go away (actually, if tried, it will make them worse). </li></ul><ul><li>The institutions, processes, and procedures you worked so hard to nurture and grow will all be torn down and replaced with something new. </li></ul><ul><li>You probably won’t get to see how it turns out. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Boomers </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Your elder years will be wracked by societal upheavals. You will have little peace. </li></ul><ul><li>You must finally surrender your dreams of youth and society’s central stage, or they will be taken from you in anger. </li></ul><ul><li>How you respond to this Crisis, more than anything you have done in your life, will define your legacy. </li></ul><ul><li>All else, highs and lows, crusades and indulgences of your youth, will be forgotten by history if you can set aside your moralism and self-righteousness to preach wisdom . </li></ul>
  41. 41. Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Generation X </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Mid-life </li></ul><ul><li>Your prime earning and leadership years will be marred by economic depression and violence. </li></ul><ul><li>You will be forced to resolve all the problems that previous generations have been kicking downfield for decades. </li></ul><ul><li>The society which has ignored, insulted, and preyed on you all your life is going to depend on you for its survival, and give you no thanks or reward when (if) you save it. </li></ul><ul><li>You will not be able to avoid taking a primary leadership role. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s up to you to win the future for the young. </li></ul>(but they won’t thank you for it)
  42. 42. Crisis Expectations <ul><li>Millennials </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Rising </li></ul><ul><li>This crisis will be your defining moment in history. </li></ul><ul><li>You will have to do the grunt work necessary to resolve the crisis, usually at the direction of elders less virtuous than you. Listen to them, follow them, and give them your loyalty (but only so long as they deserve it). </li></ul><ul><li>If the crisis is successfully resolved, you will move into your prime earning and leadership years in a time of peace, prosperity, and stability and become the focus of society for many decades. Don’t forget others when this happens. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Generational Strategies <ul><li>Silents </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Post-Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Disengage and do not interfere </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that the next generation which will value the things important to you and share your perspective is being born right now , to younger Gen-X and older Millennial parents…society will not forget your legacy or values. </li></ul><ul><li>Help younger generations remember to be kind in an unkind world. </li></ul><ul><li>Help deflect Boomer anger, challenge Gen-X apathy, nurture Millennial ambition, and soothe Homelander fears. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Generational Strategies <ul><li>Boomers </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Elderhood </li></ul><ul><li>Practice restraint & wisdom, and seek consensus. </li></ul><ul><li>Set aside your anger, old crusades, and moralistic divisions </li></ul><ul><li>Be pro-active about mentoring and handing over power. </li></ul><ul><li>Guide your juniors, but do not interfere with them. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a conscience for Gen-X as they make tough decisions and demand hard sacrifices. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct the civic energy of the Millennials to positive ends. </li></ul><ul><li>Remind us all of our shared values. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Generational Strategies <ul><li>Generation X </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Mid-life </li></ul><ul><li>Engage and lead your community. You can’t avoid it now. </li></ul><ul><li>Help us all face hard truths and make difficult choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Use your skills, shrewdness, and pragmatism to focus society on collective survival. </li></ul><ul><li>Contain and defuse Boomer zealotry & judgmentalism. </li></ul><ul><li>Earn the loyalty of the Millennials . Direct them away from the blind crusades of Boomers toward constructive action. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid your own impulses to tyrannical authoritarianism. </li></ul>
  46. 46. Generational Strategies <ul><li>Millennials </li></ul><ul><li>Life stage : Rising </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your strengths: teamwork, competence, work ethic, and courage. </li></ul><ul><li>Remain upbeat and reject the prevailing cynicism & fear. </li></ul><ul><li>Ignore the hypocrisy and failings of your elders and learn from their strengths and wisdom. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an example of virtue to the rest of society. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply peer pressure and collective action to constructive purposes. Leave breathing room for social creativity. </li></ul>

×