On last night’s The Big Picture with progressive talk show host Thom Hartmann, author Neil Howe discussed how he and William Strauss came to accurately predict today’s political crisis in their 1997 book “The Fourth Turning,” and offered speculation as to what might happen next.

The two essentially agreed that the United States may be in for a series of events on the magnitude of the revolution, civil war or great depression.

Speaking of the generational differences between today’s new guard and the retiring baby boomers, Howe said that cultural forces have essentially forced this crisis, with “culture warriors” and “values voters” in direct contention with “gen x” for control of the national budget.

“Are we on the verge of another ‘fourth turning’ — another major crash leading to a world war and a world-wide depression?” Hartmann asked.

“No,” Howe said. “I hope it won’t be bad. I hope the destructive will be avoided to the furthest extent possible and the constructive, which always comes out of a fourth turning… will be maximized.”

Despite his hopefulness, Howe added that as society closes the book on its last century, once we are able to look back at this period in time, no matter what happens next, historians will point to the financial crisis of 2008 as the trigger behind it all.

This video is from Russia Today’s The Big Picture, broadcast Thursday, July 28, 2011.