The Theory of the Fourth Turning
With escalating geopolitical tensions, economist Peter St Onge weighs in on whether the “Fourth Turning” — the so-called civilizational crisis — is inevitable. This theory comes from the book ‘The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy’ by William Strauss and Neil Howe, which describes generational cycles in American history.
The Fourth Turning posits that history moves in cycles called “saecula,” lasting about 80-100 years. Each cycle is divided into four turnings – High, Awakening, Unraveling, and Crisis (the Fourth Turning).
Understanding the Theory
The popular meme “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times” encapsulates the idea behind the theory. According to St Onge, history happens in cycles, and our civilization is overdue for a crisis.
He warns of several concerning trends, including the dangers of weaponizing the U.S. dollar and the expansion of the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Large portions of the world economy are moving away from the dollar and joining the China-led alternative sphere.
The Risks of De-Dollarization
The politicization of the U.S. dollar has accelerated the de-dollarization trend. St Onge emphasizes that losing its status as the world’s reserve currency would be catastrophic for the U.S. economy. With tens of trillions of U.S. dollars held outside the country, if the U.S. dollar is no longer the reserve currency, all those dollars would come flooding back.
St Onge highlights recent developments, such as Saudi Arabia receiving an invitation to join the BRICS alliance, as potentially pivotal. He suggests that the U.S. dollar is becoming a risky asset to hold, and countries are realizing this.
A BRICS Gold-Backed Currency System
St Onge argues for a BRICS gold-backed currency system as an alternative. The impact of such a system on gold is discussed in the video.
Overall, the world is at a dangerous point, and understanding the Fourth Turning theory gives insight into the potential challenges ahead.