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The next 40 years, the high tide of Progessive politics?

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:42 PM
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The next 40 years, the high tide of Progessive politics?
Here is a fascinating discussion I ran into at a history & current events message board I frequent:

Political Archetypes

The OP takes this ideological chart:





...and plots the current American ideological alignment on it:

Since political attitudes will shift over time, and generally in reaction to previous generations, the relative weighting of the various political archetypes should change over time. The question is, in what way? (We already know the answer to the question of how long these shifts take -- this is after all the Fourth Turning website.)

It is my contention that, in order to maintain cohesion, a society will only conflict along a single axis at a time. Along a different axis, 90 degrees to that of the conflict, there will be a strong bias toward one side. For example, if the main conflicts are lower left versus upper right, then there will be a bias toward either the upper left or lower right with the remaining position being relegated to the political fringe. Sometimes the conflict axis could be orthogonal to the chart and sometimes diagonal.

Thus, at any given moment there is an "arc of respectability" among political opinions that stretches from one end of the chart to the other with a bend that curves toward the bias (and that bias defines the political center). This arc also has recently corresponded to what people generally mean when they talk about "left" versus "right."

Below is the chart as I think it has been oriented from the end of the last awakening <60s and 70s> to the present:



The arc of respectability stretches from the "radical" types that Mitchell identified to "theoconservatives" on the true right with a "communitarian" center. Libertarian types of various sorts are either eccentric liberals, curmudgeony conservatives or just plain fringe.

It is my contention that the arc rotates 45 degrees clockwise every social moment. (This would hard to prove, but I'll throw it out there nonetheless.) If so, here is the chart from the end of the Depression Crisis until the start of the last Awakening:



This certainly explains the left-right axis of the political compass. It corresponds to the main conflict axis at the resolution of the last crisis.

And here is the chart as it will be at the end of the present Crisis:



You'll note that I also consider this Crisis politically similar to the Glorious Revolution Crisis, a not uncommon assertion of various "grand cycle" theories that have cropped up here from time to time.


Basically, according to the poster's hypothesis the political center takes a 45-degree clockwise shift every 40 years. The last shift occurred during the 60s and 70s, and a new shift is starting now that will make our side the political center over the next 20 years with DLCers and Neocons to one side of us and the Naderites, Left-Libertarians, and Anarchists on the other, the Paleo-conservatives like ol' Pat Buchanan will be marginalized as "fringe" while the Religious Right will be relegated to the status of curmudgeony relics.

My historical analysis:

The Puritans were not unlike the Boomers in many ways. They were fierce critics of the legitimacy of "authority", with the authority being that of the Monarchy and the Church of England. The Glorious Generation brought this to completion with the Glorious Revolution and the supremacy of Parliament.

with the legitimacy of Authority vanquished the Great Awakening Generation (Ben Franklin's and Sam Adam's generation) brought the necessity of the Old Rules and the "stogy" elders defending them into question (Ben Franklin famously called Cotton Mather a "bore"). Many, inspired by Newtonian physics, religious motivations, or both declared that society operated too by "natural laws", that people could rule themselves without complex rules. The Republican Generation (Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison) brought this to completion in the American Revolution.

The Transcendentals (Lincoln's, Emerson's, and Thoreau's Generation), disoriented by the lack of rules to guide them, searched for some authority or principle to guide them. For many it was a Personal God (in contrast to the Deist God of the Enlightenment), for others it was The Nation as expressed in the deification of the Founders. For a growing number of secular urban elites and middle class it was the novel faith of Science, Technology, and Progress. The Gilded Generation (Grant, McKinley, Twain) brought this to completion during the Civil War and the Gilded Age.

The Missionary Generation (of William Jennings Bryan and FDR) faith in these Authorities and Principles lead them to create a complex system of rules around these Authorities and Principles to channel society towards Utopia. The contrast to the Awakeners is stark. The GIs brought this to completion during the Depression and WW2 as the generation that thought one could build one's way to Utopia.

The Boomers, like the Puritans before them, attacked the legitimacy of Authority, in this case it was Science, Technology, Progress, Organized Religion, and Nationalism. The Millennials will bring this to completion


If this hypothesis is correct then the GOP may die over the next 20 years and the Democratic party will split into 2 parties.
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PM Martin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. K/R
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
2. *KICK*
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. Some more charts by the same poster:
American Colonies circa 1750 (and US circa 2050):


US circa 1790:


US circa 1830:


US circa 1870:


US circa 1910:


US circa 1945 (and England circa 1610):


US circa 1985 (and Britain circa 1660):


US circa 2025 (and British Empire circa 1710):
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I agree with the smiley faces on the graphs - atleast for the next 8 years
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interesting!
Not sure I understand the representations or their causes, but I'm bookmarking this for later.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. I love these posts but let us not get too cocky. There are alot of independants.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. IMO the biggest threat in the future are the right-libertarians.
The Religious Right will die an inglorious death over the next 20 years. When the center moves again starting around 2040 the DLC and Neoconservatives will suffer the same fate. At the same time there will be a revival in the popularity of Right-Libertarians.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I think the GOP is rallying right now. They'll stay away from neoconservatives for now. They may
get some indies back. You are right that the libertarians are an important group that has just left the GOP. They could easily go back.
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TheBigotBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. The Right Libertarians were a very unhappy bunch during the Bush years.
Especially over the growth of what they will see as a Police State. In that they share many of the concerns of the left, hence the support of Sullivan for Obama. The GOP however has shut them out, people like Barr now detest the Republican Party. While the Religious right have hold of the GOP there is no place for them and the religious mob are not going to cede control easily.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Which is why I think the GOP has a good chance of dying in the next 20 years.
The next 100 years will be a libertarian-left-oriented period reminiscent of the Enlightenment. The socio-political movements spawned in the last 40 years will take root and starting around 2120 a new socio-political order and authority based on the progressive ideas of the last 40 years will emerge to replace the decaying and de-legitimized Nation-State system.
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. You do realize that that is exactly what the charts are predicting.
It puts, in the theoretically dawning age of next week, the progressives at the "center", it puts the libertarians on the "left" and it puts the organized state folks (the current "center", which is essentially the bureaucratic regulators who are too loyal to the way things have always been to be called progressive, I think) on the right.

It's an interesting chart, and I'll be watching to see if Ron Paul does indeed come to be seen the way the "left" is seen now.
I wouldn't be shocked.

When the 2040 ish projected re-alignment comes though, the right-libertarians won't be a threat... by definition, they'll be the center... and hence they also won't be "right-" libertarians... just the individual freedom party... or whatever. (Republicans?)
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
11. Chaotic good.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. :)
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LooseWilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. You do realize.
That would make authoritarians Lawful Good?
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. *KICK*
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 04:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. Some more charts by the poster in the thread I linked
These show the evolution of American politics since 1929 up to the 2020s

First the original ideological chart for orientation purposes:


The Great Depression and WW2, the shift from Market Fundamentalist Conservatism to Big Government Liberalism.


The McCarthyist backlash and Eisenhower Paleoconservatism.


The 60s and 70s, The Great Society and The New Left.


The Culture Wars and the Religious Right.

(explains our electoral disaster in 1994 very well)

The current crisis:
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-05-09 04:40 PM
Response to Original message
17. Not unless you can replace about 8 Democrats in the Senate
With Progressives
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