According to a TIME magazine profile on Donald Trump’s right-hand man, Steve Bannon has an obsession with the book “The Fourth Turning: What Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny.”
Business Insider called the fascination concerning. It outlines that every 80 to 100 years, the world cycles through a cataclysmic event that upsets the “old ways” of doing things and brings in a new one “in a trial of fire.”
The book claims that the last two Americans experienced were during the Civil War and the Reconstruction, and then the Great Depression and World War II. It could easily be argued that 9/11 upset the “old way” the United States did things, not merely in government but in travel and the way Americans live their daily lives. However, Bannon, like authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, believe we’re in another “Fourth Turning” currently.
Each major event was marred by famine, poverty and death and forced the country to rebuild a new country. It’s sparked by a destabilizing event and the rebuilding only comes after a war.
Senior finance correspondent Linette Lopez argues that is the source of the concern. Bannon believes the only way to usher in a new world order with a “massive reckoning” that results in conflict. He’s already shown he’s willing and eager to enact policies that disrupt the existing laws of the land. Lopez fears he’s attempting to bring about his own “Fourth Turning” using Trump’s White House to do it.
According to a Vanity Fair interview, Bannon described Trump as a “blunt instrument for us … I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.”
Bannon has reportedly attempted to bring other historians to declare that there will be a battle between the western world and the east, Business Insider explained.
The TIME profile cites historian David Kaiser pushing his ideology.
“I remember him saying, ‘Well, look, you have the American revolution, and then you have the Civil War, which was bigger than the revolution. And you have the Second World War, which was bigger than the Civil War,'” Kaiser recalled. “He even wanted me to say that on camera, and I was not willing.”
TIME claims that Howe was also struck by Bannon’s “rather severe” look toward America’s future.
“Bannon noted repeatedly on his radio show that ‘we’re at war’ with radical jihadis in places around the world,” Kaiser cites. “This is ‘a global existential war’ that likely will become ‘a major shooting war in the Middle East again.’ War with China may also be looming, he has said. This conviction is central to the Breitbart mission, he explained in November 2015: ‘Our big belief, one of our central organizing principles at the site, is that we’re at war.'”