Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gandalf, Ron Paul, and the Fourth (Beast?) Turning

I have been a Ron Paul supporter since early 2007 while generally subscribing to the Austrian school of economics. I also have a keen interest in the history of the American empire and biblical eschatology. That’s why an article like this one by Donald W. Miller strikes my fancy. Using The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy by William Strauss and Neil Howe as a frame of reference, Miller argues that Ron Paul is the Elder Prophet to the Millenial (Y) Generation of young, soon-to-be heroes:
[Strauss and Howe] note that a “Young Hero and Elder Prophet” pairing occurs repeatedly in history, myth, and art, as with Joshua and Moses in the Old Testament, the Gray Champion in Colonial America, King Arthur and Merlin in Celtic myth, Tolkien’s Frodo and Gandalf, and Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars...
After the housing boom peaked in 2006 and foreclosures began to mount, the so-named “Millennial Crisis” began in February, 2007 when the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) announced that it would no longer buy subprime mortgages or mortgage-related securities (collateralized debt obligations). The Y Generation facing this crisis today bears some likeness to the GI Generation, born at the beginning of the last century (1901-1924), who became young adults during the last big crisis in U.S. history, the Great Depression and World War II. Strauss and Howe see the GI and Y generations as both manifesting a "Hero" archetype – can-do heroes and competent pragmatic managers who possess confidence and optimism.
Strauss and Howe wrote in 1997,
“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. 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 [the one we are experiencing now]; all they suggest is the timing and dimension.”
If postmillennialists like Austrian economic historian Gary North and our friend Joel Martin at A Living Text are right, America could possibly be on the cusp of a new, decentralized epoch.

Judging from voting trends and candidates whose ideas (entitlements, preemptive wars) resonate with the majority, my money is on expanded authoritarianism and apocalypse.

Then Shiloh comes.

After all, we have before us the fate of the most expansive economic and military empire in the history of the world. An empire the sage Antifederalists and Old Republicans never wanted.

Regardless, have fun with Miller’s article.

1 comment:

Joel Wilhelm said...

*If*? Of course we're right! Just kidding.