Reactive Nomads

I’m continuing to enjoy reading The Fourth Turning.

According to the theory, each generation has an archetype. Nomad generations are born during Awakening periods of religious and cultural upheaval and are neglected as children. They are cynical, independent minded hell raisers who are used to going it alone, wild youth who age into hard nosed realists and become overprotective parents and who seek to quell social change. They become pragmatists in mid-life and tough post-Crisis elders who guide society when it reaches a new High.

“We remember Nomads best for their rising-adult years of hell raising (Paxton Boys, Missouri Raiders, rumrunners) and for their midlife years of hands-on, get-it-done leadership (Francis Marion, Stonewall Jackson, George Patton). Underprotected as children, they become overprotective parents. Their principal endowments are in the domain of liberty, survival, and honor. Their best-known leaders include Nathaniel Bacon and William Stoughton, George Washington and John Adams, Ulysses Grant and Grover Cleveland, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower. These have been cunning, hard-to-fool realists—taciturn warriors who prefer to meet problems and adversaries one on one. They include the only two presidents who had earlier hanged a man (Washington and ), one governor who hanged witches (Stoughton), and several leaders who had earlier led troops into battle (Bacon, Washington, Grant, Truman, and Eisenhower). …”

Nomads are abandoned and alienated children who later, as adults, strive to slow down, simplify, and brace their social environment. …

When a myth shows the Nomad archetype in midlife, the story tells of an aging adventurer, savvy but going it alone. If older generations are present, they represent an older Prophet and a younger Hero—never the other way around. The Nomad is neither as dutiful (or naive) as the younger Hero nor as transcendently wise (or wicked) as the older Prophet. The best the Nomad can hope to experience is a brush with others’ greatness. In the Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo looks down the age ladder and sees the good Luke Sky-walker and Princess Leia—and looks up and sees the wise Obi-Wan Kenobi and the evil Darth Vader. These are times of Crisis, during which the Nomad does the dirty work with little expectation of public praise or reward. …

A Nomad generation grows up as underprotected children during an Awakening, comes of age as the alienated young adults of a post-Awakening world, mellows into pragmatic midlife leaders during a Crisis, and ages into tough post-Crisis elders.”

Nomad generations enter young adulthood during Unraveling periods:

The Reprisal Generation (Nomad, born 1512-1540) spent childhood amid religious frenzy and a widespread erosion of social authority and came of age in a cynical, post-Awakening era of cutthroat politics and roller-coaster markets. They built a gritty young-adult reputation as swaggering merchants, mercenaries, spies, and sea-dog privateers who pulled off stunning reprisals through luck and pluck. Entering midlife just as their queen (a shrewd orphan herself) squared off with Imperial Spain, these daredevil adventurers knew how to “singe King Philip’s beard” while stealing his gold. Making simple appeals to national honor, they aged into worldly wise elder stewards of English solidarity whose sacrifices made possible a glorious new era. (English: Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Thomas Gresham, Lord Burghley, Francis Walsingham; European: Catherine de’Medici, Michel de Montaigne)

The Cavalier Generation (Nomad, born 1618-1647) grew up in an era of religious upheaval and family collapse. In New England, they were the isolated offspring of spiritual zealots; in the Chesapeake colonies, they were the indentured English youth whose parents’ death or poverty consigned them to disease-ridden ships bound for the tobacco fields. Notoriously violent and uneducated, they came of age taking big risks—many dying young, others becoming the most renowned merchants, trappers, mercenaries, rebels, and pirates of their century. In midlife, they struggled bravely against threats to their communities from Old World tyrants and New World native peoples. As politically tainted elders, they seldom protested the vendettas (such as the Salem witchcraft frenzy) that mainly targeted their own peers. (Colonial: Increase Mather, William Stoughton, Benjamin Church, Metacomet, William Kidd, Nathaniel Bacon; Foreign: King Louis XIV, John Locke)

The Liberty Generation (Nomad, born 1724-1741) struggled for parental comfort in an era of Hogarthian child neglect. Coming of age with an economic bust, land pressure, and rising immigration, they cut a swath of crime and disorder. As young adults, they joined the roughhewn Green Mountain, Paxton, and Liberty Boys and became the unthanked footsoldiers and daring privateers of the French and Indian Wars. Proclaiming “Don’t tread on me” and “Give me liberty or give me death,” they entered midlife supplying the bravest patriots (including most signers of the Declaration of Independence) as well as the worst traitors of the Revolution. As elders, they led with caution, suspicious of grand causes, while their Anti-Federalists restrained the nationalizing energy of younger people. {American: George Washington, John Adams, Francis Marion, Daniel Boone, Ethan Allen, Patrick Henry; Foreign: King George III, Empress Catherine the Great)

The Gilded Generation(Nomad, born 1822-1842) lived a hardscrabble childhood around parents distracted by spiritual upheavals. They came of age amid rising national tempers, torrential immigration, commercialism, Know Nothing politics, and declining college enrollments. As young adults, many pursued fortunes in frontier boomtowns or as fledgling “robber barons.” Their Lincoln Shouters and Johnny Rebs rode eagerly into a Civil War that left them decimated, Confederates especially. Having learned to detest moral zealotry, their midlife presidents and industrialists put their stock in Darwinian economics, Boss Tweed politics, Victorian prudery, and Carnegie’s Law of Competition. As elders, they landed on the “industrial scrap heap” of an urbanizing economy that was harsh to most old people. (American: Ulysses Grant, Mark Twain, John D. Rockefeller, Louisa May Alcott, William James, Sitting Bull; Foreign: Lewis Carroll, Maximilian)

The Lost Generation (Nomad, born 1883-1900) grew up amid urban blight, unregulated drug use, child sweat shops, and massive immigration. Their independent, streetwise attitude lent them a bad-kid reputation. After coming of age as flaming youth, doughboys, and flappers, they were alienated by a war whose homecoming turned sour. Their young-adult novelists, barnstormers, gangsters, sports stars, and film celebrities gave the roar to the 1920s. The Great Depression hit them in midlife, at the peak of their careers. The buck stopped with their pugnacious battlefield and home-front managers of a hot war and their frugal and straight-talking leaders of a new cold one. As elders, they paid high tax rates to support their world-conquering juniors, while asking little for themselves. {American: Harry Truman, Irving Berlin, George Patton, Mae West, F Scott Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong: Foreign: Adolf Hitler)

The 13th Generation (Nomad, born 1961-1981) survived a hurried childhood of divorce, latchkeys, open classrooms, devil-child movies, and a shift from G to R ratings. They came of age curtailing the earlier rise in youth crime and fall in test scores—yet heard themselves denounced as so wild and stupid as to put The Nation at Risk. As young adults, maneuvering through a sexual battlescape of AIDS and blighted courtship rituals, they date and marry cautiously. In jobs, they embrace risk and prefer free agency over loyal corporatism. From grunge to hip-hop, their splintery culture reveals a hardened edge. Politically, they lean toward pragmatism and nonaffiliation and would rather volunteer than vote. Widely criticized as Xers or slackers, they inhabit a Reality Bites economy of declining young-adult living standards. (American: Tom Cruise, Jodie Foster, Michael Dell, Deion Sanders, Winona Ryder, Quentin Tarantino; Foreign: Princess Di, Alanis Morissette)

Previous generations of Nomads were tested in mid-life by Crises like the Spanish Armada, the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression and World War II. Generation X has yet to be tested by a crisis anywhere near this scale.

Here is a list of previous Third Turnings or Unraveling eras each of which terminated into a Crisis era:

Intolerance and Martyrdom (Third Turning, 1542-1569) was an era of social fragmentation, civil rebellion, and deadly political intrigue. Through the reigns of Edward VI and Queen Mary, the throne tacked violently over the issue of religion. The economy careened in a boom-bust cycle, with royal debasements fueling unprecedented inflation. When the era closed, early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a disillusioned nation looked anxiously at the future.

Reaction and Restoration (Third Turning, 1649-1675) was an era of drift and fierce controversy over the ideals of the original New World immigrants. Disoriented by fast-shifting events (Cromwell’s Protectorate in the 1650s, the Stuart Restoration in 1660, a war with Holland in which what is now New York was captured in 1664), each colony fended for itself and cut its own deal with England. The era ended with the authority of colonial self-government ebbing and worries about the future rising.

The French and Indian Wars (Third Turning, 1746-1773) was an era of unprecedented economic and geographic mobility. Swept into a final war against New France in the 1750s, the colonists hardly celebrated Britain’s total victory (in 1760) before renewing thunderous debates over how to salvage civic virtue from growing debt, cynicism, and wildness. With colonial leadership at a low ebb, popular fears soon targeted the alleged corruption of the English Parliament and Empire.

The Mexican War and Sectionalism (Third Turning, 1844-1860) was an era of “almighty dollar” commercialism, western gold fever, Whitmanesque self-worship, and nativist slogans against Mexicans and Irish. Beneath trimming national leaders, rising tempers launched competing moral crusades. By the late 1850s—from Kansas to Harpers Ferry, Dred Scott to the Underground Railroad—visions of the nation’s future were separating into two irreconcilable regional loyalties.

World War I and Prohibition (Third Turning, 1908-1929) was an era of rapid technological change, egocentric celebrities, widening class divisions, crumbling trusts and unions, and expert—but weak—political leadership. Following World War I, the public immersed itself in moral crusades (League of Nations, Prohibition, women’s suffrage). By the 1920s, a fun-filled financial boom was framed by pessimistic debates over drugs, sex, money, cynicism, violence, immigration, and the family.

The Culture Wars (Third Turning, 1984-2005?), which opened with triumphant Morning in America individualism, has thus far drifted toward pessimism. Personal confidence remains high, and few national problems demand immediate action. But the public reflects darkly on growing violence and incivility, widening inequality, pervasive distrust of institutions and leaders, and a debased popular culture. People fear that the national consensus is splitting into competing values camps.”

These are some interesting historical parallels.

If the Boomers end up pushing us into some type of massive conflagration like their historical predecessors, I will just say that I will take the theory a lot more seriously. Also, if the theory is true, then sober and practical minded Gen X realists will take over America as elders during its next High.

If you go back to any previous point in history, you will find that the status quo never persisted indefinitely. Eventually, the social mood always changes. It is obvious that generational turnover is a key driver of the process. Also, it is worth noting that every previous “postwar” era is a “prewar” era.

This is why I am a happy warrior. I do not despair. Times are dark and we face enormous challenges. We have been pushed to the brink of collapse. It is always this dark though at the end of an era. How did it feel in the depths of crises as massive as the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression or World War II? If you think you have it bad now, what was it like to fight in the trenches of the Great War? Darkness is what gives meaning to light. Despair is what gives meaning to euphoria.

Decadence and death are part of the natural world. Death is what makes a well lived life meaningful and gives the young room to grow. Every civilization in the history of the world has gone through decadent periods. Everything organic decays and dies including human societies. Degeneration is the loss of order. The collapse of order clears away the rubbish of dying social orders. It stimulates demand for a new order which leads to regeneration. Regeneration leads back to a new cycle of growth.

We’ve been living through an age of antiracism. The Zeitgeist of the entire post-World War II era is self hatred. It has been futile for generations to push back against the Spirit of the Age. After the Thirty Years War of World War I and World War II, the last generation of pragmatists who emerged from that conflict defined “racism” and “nationalism” as the problem facing the West. These conditions no longer prevail in the 21st century. Now, the great challenge of our times is the liquefaction of our social order by liberalism and a toxic culture of self hatred which has overwhelmed and poisoned the roots of our civilization.

The West is now suffering from exactly the opposite problem it had during World War II when it was too fierce. The pendulum must swing back to a healthy balance and away from the extremes of antiracism. We must regenerate our identity, our will and spirit and reconnect with our roots.

Note: Sir Oswald Mosley was part of the Lost Generation which was a Nomad archetype.

About Hunter Wallace 12380 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. The elites are gambling that this time they have enough control technology to stop the cycle, and hold on to power for good

    They have perhaps focused on making sure their own security agents are unable to knock them down and overthrow them – the classic risk of monarchs and tyrants

    China would also be due for 4th turning revolution around 2029 – repeating the USA pattern of a century earlier, a big crash before they ascend to long-term top hegemony

    The Chinese have had a strong Jewish-Zionist alliance ever since Jews heavily participated in Mao’s revolution

    Today, China likely cultivates political mafia Jews as their useful partners to control and tamp down the whites and the West

    Despite the dozen Chabad centres in China, the kosher cabal I think will never be able to dominate Chinese in the same way

    Congratulations again Hunter, on being re-posted on mega-popular Unz, have a good time with the commenters there

  2. President Grover Cleveland to future President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a boy:

    “Franklin, I hope you never become President.”

    War is a contest, and you finally get to a point where you are talking merely about RACE suicide, and nothing else.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die.

    President Herbert Hoover

  3. Holy @#$%! What naval battle was that in the lead pic? You show great pics related to the headline all the time, have a picture editor knack for choosing them, but can you provide a caption if not obvious?

  4. Is there already a bright light somewhere out there? We can only pray that one day our grandchildren will be able to support their very own Furher.

    • An aging crow praying for an unrealistic fantasy that will never happen because your fellow citizens disagree with you? Smh. Even in the slim chance that a dictator does take power, he’ll likely be a military one and not a neo-Nazi and you’ll be long gone by that time lol

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