by Bernie Quigley - to The Free Market News Network, 9/1/06 (Painting: The Second Coming of Christ by Salvador Dali)
As we approached the end of the millennium there was a reawakening of an old idea historians had not so much abandoned as forgotten, as it was a good idea, but maybe too good. As in the writing of Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee it gave such a comprehensive view of history ascending and yielding that it took all the air out of the room. We prefer Gibbon’s history of the fall of the
But the saeculum theory being revived is based on ancient Roman historians view that no matter how smart, or how kind or how compassionate we are as a culture we will die anyway. Everybody dies. Not a unique idea, but one oddly displaced from human consciousness around the age of 60 when it becomes increasingly apparent that this is the destiny of all, individually or collectively. But as Spengler explained it in his typically oracular style, everybody dies but nobody dies, because like all things in nature, everything is born again in new forms.
Saeculum is Latin for a hundred year period and the saeculum theory of history has it that the big movements of history last 1,000 years and are divided into ten saecula; ten 100 year periods. It is kind of a neat picture, even with cosmic implications, as there are suggestions that the space between 1,000 year periods of advance, like that between the fall of the
The saeculum always consists of four generations, one alternating in opposition to the other, like a cosmic machine, until it completes itself in four generations. Historians William Strauss and Neil Howe, who have written about this recently, make the point that the saecula consistently begin to fail in the 60th to the 70th year, at the end of the third generation (in our period, that would be now). What is cool about this – except for the death part – is that the 1,000 year period as well reaches its height of power in the sixth saeculum and begins to fall apart then and into the seventh saeculum. The
And we are there again, as in the hour of the Christ, approaching the Seventh Hour in our own Seventh Saeculum, a miasma of modest annoyance and depression when there are no outward places of tribal shamans and dream weavers and monkey gods and leopard kings with spears and mandalas which we can go to and easily conquer; no place left to go outside at all for adventure besides the Moon and Mars. It is a time when UFOs and visions of the Yellow Monk appear in the sky; a time when the flying horse Pegasus accompanies the Astrological Twins of Lemuria, Sanat and Sanada, on a new Journey of Creation and the faces of John the Baptist and Jesus are seen in the swirling vortex of twin hurricanes, Kristi and John, swirling across the South Pacific. A time, says Revelation, under the star called Wormwood.
What distinguishes our rise to English/American empire compared to the Romans is perhaps rapid turnaround. Strauss and Howe point out that the saeculum in our history is no longer 100 years as it was in Roman time. It is shorter. It is shrinking. Our post-war historical periods now last only eighty years. Here at the fourth generational turning, we can look back in hindsight and see how fast Our Mother succumbed 100 years ago.
At the top of the energy, Personality Cult dominates and carries the day. The Queen is no longer she who identifies and personifies the strengths and virtues of our tribe; she who holds us together; she who makes us unique and beautiful in the world. Instead, she has become Gargantua. She is the Goddess Incarnate, the Empress of India, Queen of the Whole World. Robert K. Massie’s Dreadnought well monitors the transition. In June, 1897, Queen
But her time in the world was soon up. When
The days of the high Victorians were marked by hubris and fantasies of Invulnerability; there will always be an
I’d begun to think we had reached our own Diamond Jubilee in
Perhaps in the Clinton Era we were at a World Moment as we were in
When historians return and look at our turn around, I think they will see it beginning at the moment we became a debtor nation. But decline will be graphed by character. Thomas E. Ricks’ new book, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, will provide a milestone. Ricks’ book clearly outlines the debacle in
In my reading, Franks, who has been given the nation’s highest award and has been Knighted by Queen Elizabeth, establishes the paradigm in complete. Ricks describes Franks as virtually unable to understand strategy. In the military, strategy is the overall view; what are your objectives and what will the world look like in war’s aftermath? What is the world you are creating with warfare? But Franks was virtually unable to see that the “liberation of
Ricks describes many brilliant, brave and honorable officers, men and women of all ranks, who are as good as any we have seen at any time in our history. Perhaps the most important question we should ask today is how did these excellent men and women become systematically sidelined throughout their careers while incompetents like Franks were promoted to the top of the U.S. Army?
And it is a question which should be asked not only of the Army, but of the State Department, the CIA, and Department of Defense and in particular, the Presidency. And as National Dept grows at $1.71 billion a day to $8,506,731,239,927 today, it is a question we need to ask now of all aspects of government.
The vision of One World in the
It would be good if like
It brings to mind Eisenhower’s sphere of influence starting at
In Revelation, the voice of the Seventh Angel says, “It is done.” Let us hope this Angel does not speak to us.