Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Polarized Politics, Caiden Cowger, Social Conservatism and the 3 way race for global dominance

In Jeffrey Bell's "The Case for Polarized Politics:  Why America Needs Social Conservatism" (c. 2012, Encounter Books,  New York, London) he depicts the future as consisting of a 3 way race for global dominance between Islam,  the Left (dating back to the Enlightenment)  and the newly formed (circa 1968)  social conservatism.


Bell makes no certain predictions,  but asserts that if social conservatism were to win in the US,  the  European capitulation to the enlightenment's heir,  leftist social progressivism, would cease:   All of Europe might imitate the United States in this trend.


Howe and Strauss had made the same sort of prediction in their epic work,  "The Fourth Turning:  What the Cycles of History tell us about America's Next Renedevous with Destiny" (1997,  Broadway Books,  New York),  albeit in a thinly veiled form.  


As I had stated in my prior post on Caiden Cowger and the rise of a social conservative youth movement,  there is a sort of social conservative awakening of sorts stirring since about 2001- 08.  This is in fact the time period which Howe and Strauss had slated for the "uprising",  termed by them the catalyst of the fourth turning.  


For them,  the constellation of the generations' natural shifting each 80 years (the last one being in the Great Depression WW II era)  inevitably brings about the catalyst and uprising (much as Cowger himself speaks of it) which is to the authors natural,  inevitable,  prophetic, and self-fulfilling.  


It is often said that the youth rebellion of the 1960s (which really had its roots in the bohemian push for individual and civil rights and dated back to the end of the second world war nearly 2 decades earlier) was based on a collective narcissism and delusion of grandeur.  True in its details,  there was yet something in the general scope which was a necessary impetus of the times.  For all  its excesses,  youth has a way of striking a balance by veering off in a direction in which counter balance and compensation arrive automatically.  Saeculum and the end of an era are historical movements,  yet they are also as natural as the cycle of the seasons,  as Howe and Strauss duly note. 


 America's fin de siecle may not be desired but it is needed as a vehicle for change and improvement.

As Howe and Strauss made their list of the ominous and frightening  "signs of the times"  15 years ago -  economic distress,  polarized politics,  uprisings (Tea Party and Occupy movements)  and the breakdown of political discourse  -  it was with a sense of hope that they did so.
It would surely be at our own peril to  deny that in many aspects, things now stand where they indicated.  

3 comments:

Barbara Carter said...

As a distant (Australia) follower of this blog and the super-intelligent writings of Susan Marie Kovalinsky, once again I marvel that we never get this sort of news and social commentary here and I am fascinated by it. As a part of the Ban The Bomb generation who marched against nuclear power in the 60's I fully agree with the writer that strong views (even if perhaps erroneous in this young boy's case) far outweighs the apathy and idleness of the masses, and at least they are THINKING which has always been the cornerstone of any historical movements for change.. WELL DONE ! Why does not a major syndication realise your timely talents?
Barbara

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thanks so much for your generous and very kind words.

I have long been fascinated with the political and cultural future of America, especially as you say in light of our global past.

I read Howe and Strauss with rapt attention in 1997 and am aghast at how uncannily accurate were their prophesies. Time will tell in what manner Cowger will play a part in both the right and left's new uprising, but it is sure to be a bumpy ride.

Best wishes always. xx

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