Major Turnings and Communication Mediums

BobT writes in the comments:

“Instead, their gripe is deracination, the degeneration and erosion of their culture, the absence of restraint, the loss of its identity, cohesion and vitality and their demographic replacement by immigrants.”

Dissidents like this aren’t going to gain any traction for one simple reason: Everyone is hopelessly addicted to their phones 24-7, desperate for their next hit of social media dopamine. It’s like you woke up in a world where everyone had a parasitic octopus glued to their face. Or a world where everyone was a rat, incessantly pressing a button hooked up to electrically jolt the brain’s pleasure centers. Talking about a “revolt” or “social transformation” by those people is comical. All political debates are driven and controlled to feed the global octopus parasite system. We are controlled for its purposes, not the other way around. The real revolution is when people put down the phone. But that’s never going to happen in a million years. It’s just nostalgia to think there’ll be some new development outside the constraints of the global media addiction regime. There’s no going back. Even the “rebels” are focused on things like nationalizing social media which would just intensify the addiction cycle. If the octopi are not at the very core of your thinking about what people are going to become, you’re thinking about the past, not the future.”

I think you are wrong.

Each major turning is actually closely associated with a new communications technology that disseminates a new cultural ideal that spills over into the real world.

Reformation – This is an easy one. Printing.

Enlightenment – This is also an easy one. The “Republic of Letters” was the Enlightenment vanguard. Enlightenment ideas spread through the development of newspapers, regular mail service, novels and its own signature medium, the encyclopedia, which was new at the time.

Romanticism – This another easy one. The 19th century novel.

Modernism – The easiest one of them all. Film, radio and television.

Are people too transfixed by their smartphones to engage in revolutions? Obviously not. The same was said about radio, film and television which were even mesmerizing mediums.

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
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  1. I think you both missed the obvious, which is that smartphones plus social media is the new communication medium. Trump won because of twitter.

    Interesting to note that each new medium is marked by lower barriers-to-entry. Does this necessarily degrade the quality of every new paradigm? Our latest era seems to suggest so, but its early days yet.

    • In certain point quantity trumps quality. Overrunning enemy with mass is easiest way to win a war and every street fighter knows that best martial art is go with the gang…..:D
      Last 100 years, Jews and communists never cared quality and before Donald, they were winning.

  2. BobT is correct, and you are simply not seeing things clearly but conflating them under the “cycle” theory. Never before in history have people especially youth, been so overstimulated and occupied by distractions.

    Books were not plentiful, they ended, either through reaching the conclusion or running out of light.

    Television did not run 24 hours a day on a 1000 channels. Instead it was 3 to 5 channels with only a few hours of programming on each.
    Films only recently came into the home in the past few decades, although compared to the streaming serivices, internet and cable, there is more TV than any million people can watch. There is no doubt a large part of this phenomenon is the internet, phones and overall escapism they provide us and allow us to avoid reality

    • @Captain Schill…

      “Never before in history have people especially youth, been so overstimulated and occupied by distractions.”

      How very right you are to point this out. The level of impatience that was already existing when I was a youth, when compared with that of our grandparents’s generation, was already glaring.

      One thing I notice in the youth of today is how they seem to need to flip to a new subject, seemingly every 7 seconds.

      Hell, I even see this habit in those of my age whose cell-phones I have to confiscate when they come over to our house for dinner parties – so that we can have a nice get-together, WITHOUT them constantly checking for notifications or making online searches to share with others.

      I won’t have a cell-phone, and this kind of addicted obssessionistic state of mind getting control over you is one very big reason why.

      • It’s nice to know I’m not the only person who refuses to have a cellphone. But these damn bastards are trying their best to make it a necessity. I have Doctors, Dentists, pharmacies, things having to do with travel, things at work, and many other places, doing stuff with phones that make your life more difficult if you don’t have one. I see zombies driving on the highway, and they’re all looking down at their phone. People at work don’t talk anymore. They’re always looking at their phones, sending pictures and jokes back and and forth like a bunch of children.

        • @Powell…

          You and me, too, brother – LOL!

          for that matter, I only pay in cash – not checks and not credit cards.

          Must drive the government crazy, for they rarely know where I am, who I’ve been with, and what I’ve done – this in an era when, if they could wire a camera and microphone into your butt, at birth, they would!

          Yes, I regret how masturbatory folks are with their devices, but, as I wrote – when they are dealing with me, they damn sure will come into the real analog world!

          And, yes, as a pedestrian, I was dang near run over by some fool looking down at her phone, she, as I began to walk into the intersection, deciding to give it the gas from a full stop – without bothering to look up.

          Good thing I trust no one on the road, and watch people constantly, as I was watching her!

          I know too many of them are not really paying attention.

          Funny, because I know I have eternal life through The Lord Jesus Chryst, yet, I watch out for my life, and that of others, meanwhile, other folks, who do not have Chryst, act like they, and, indeed, everyone else, is immortal!

          Nothing drives me crazier than going down the road and seeing a nut, driving, with their head pointed down!

          Be well!

        • I feel the same way about the phones.
          Mine stays in the glovebox turned off most of the time.
          Its for emergencies or convenience to save making a second trip to the store or what have you.
          On a related note:
          If they cut the wifi from the areas where BLM and Antifa are destroying and terrorizing, they’d all leave within an hr.

          • @Jude…

            Good to hear that you are not chained to a dang device all the time!

            To be clear, I love the cyber world for it’s capacity for dialogue, correspond, and share, but, it is definitely important to have times of each day where you just gotta leave it behind.

            Very good thought about cutting communications, for not only is it applicable to irregular NGO forces, but, those of any other entity, as well.

            God bless you and yours!

  3. Some don’t want to take responsibility for what was contributed to this Major Turning.

    Amnat vs Wignat wars.

    Optics Wars.

    MAGA vs. Alt-Right wars.

    Alt-Right and the Proud Boys fleeing from the public arena.

    Dissident internecine conflict.

    GOP denouncing/deplatforming Nationalists.

    Fednats working with J-Lawfare.

    All broadcast online for all of the world to see.

    Before all of this, the Left actually was probably intimidated by what the Right could possibly do. It wasn’t sure. It helped to keep them slightly in check.

    No longer.

    It’s just one element of a much broader panorama of what led to this but it’s part of the chemistry…….


    • Spot on, sir! Again, the Republican Party and “Conservatives” did this to us, not the left. Had justice been upheld in Charlottesville things would have been much differet today. But as they have done for at least 50 years, and just did again by automatically jumping on the George Floyd “tragedy”, they surrendered the moral highground the Left. This is not because they are stupid, it’s by design.

  4. Yes, Sir – technology destabilizes society. I am glad you mention it, because it has played a large role in current problems.

    Yet, what has played a larger role in the destabilization of our society is the attitude that where technology leads, we must follow.

    That’s ass backwards – for you construct an economy and a technology to serve a society, not the other way around.

    But, you cannot tell this to the Chamber of Commerce Democrats & Republicans, because wherever the most money is going, so are they – and they’ll drag your ass there with them, whether you like it or not … so help them God!

  5. An astute prophetic figure on this topic was Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), of ‘The Medium is the Message’ fame, a Christian who not only showed how the 20th century was shaped by its media, but also forecast the internet future as ‘instant television on demand’

    McLuhan’s famous line – “We become what we behold”, we are shaped by what we look at, once upon a time the churches and cathedrals, now the offerings of video and screens

    Modernity began Christmas Eve 1906 with the first voice radio broadcast by Canadian Reggie Fessenden

    We find too, there is a big difference between the ‘cold’ media era of printing – involving delay and pause and time for deliberation – and the ‘hot’, live, mentally-jarring mass media era that began with radio and then television

    We likely still have not entirely digested the impact of what has been done. It is perhaps human psychology to somewhat experience the ‘seen’ – murders on television, pornography etc – as if it is ‘real’

    • @Brabantian…

      A very cogent observation, Sir.

      Radio began the downhill tumble and then TV put nails in the coffin.

      The smart-phone is the barbed wired around the distraction graveyard.

      Why, already when I was a child, in the 1960s, more and more Southerners were abandoning their nightly tradition of sitting out on the porch, and or strolling around the neigbbourhood to visit with friends.

      Moreover, teenage girls, in that period, lived on the telephone.

      Even as a youth, I was shocked by the already prominent technological disturbances in life.

      And that era was nothing compared to this one.

    • I would point out, however, barbantian, that Marshall McLuhan considered television to be a “cool” medium in contrast to the hot “media” of radio. No accident that Churchill, FDR, and Hitler were all products of the radio and that the likes of liberal politicians from Kennedy through Obama have all been products of television.

  6. It’s depressing that you keep deferring to the nonscientific pseudo-astrological mumbo-jumbo of “The Fourth Turning.” It’s super-dummy stuff.

    • Actually, I didn’t say anything about the book.

      I borrowed the concept of a “turning” though to describe a decisive shift in mood and elite values that evolves out of art, religion and philosophy. The Fourth Turning is specifically about the United States, but here I am concerned with the West in general and how it went through each of the phases above and how each ended.

    • Bonsai drop the nathan beford you aint worthy to even clean up after the great generals are the super dummy!!! I read strauss& howes book ” generations” back in the 90’s brilliant work if you had a.brain that worked instead of whining all the time you could possibly discover that yourself .amazon has the book order it up and learn something.while your at it remember your place. You owe hw an apology.

      • @Terry Smith…

        Our blog host, Mr. Griffin (HW) is too intelligent for some readers, and, that so, when they try to process what he is thinking, it seems to them like ‘mumbo-jumbo’ and then they blame him for their lacks!

  7. “Are people too transfixed by their smartphones to engage in revolutions? Obviously not.”

    I agree. Phones and social media have triggered lots of revolts since the Arab Spring. However, there’s one revolution that won’t happen: the one where people revolt against phones and social media. Observe people in daily life, children in particular. It can be frightening. The octopi are glued onto their faces, and they’re not coming off, no matter what. The question then is: are things like stability, identity and cohesion possible in a world of smartphone addicts?

    Madonna (of all people) made an important point: “I made a mistake when I gave my older children phones when they were 13. It ended my relationship with them, really. Not completely, but it became a very, very big part of their lives. They became too inundated with imagery and started to compare themselves to other people, and that’s really bad for self-growth.”

    Even the “reactionary” alt-right is deeply addicted to social media and phones. There’s sporadic posting about doing something real, “building institutions” and so on, but it never really goes anywhere. People just aren’t that interested in real life. It’s boring and tedious (unless of course it can be used in some way for poasting). Shit-posting is *fun*. If you read between the lines, you realize the alt-right isn’t using media as a vehicle to get somewhere (as people sometimes claim). Rather, screwing around on social media is the final destination. That’s where everybody really wants to be.

    These are big problems for any next phase the right might find congenial. My gut feeling is that the next phase (at least in the West) is accelerated hypermodernism, spinning out of control, and atomizing everything into confetti. Smartphones will fuel that, and they aren’t going to go away under any scenario this side of the grid going down.

    My point harks back to Kaczynski: politics and daily life are downstream from technology. Technology is in the driver’s seat, and humans will adapt (or be forced to adapt) to the technology’s imperatives. Any theory of the next civilizational phase (in fact any theory of the future of the alt-right) has to come to grips with cell phone and social media addiction.

    • @Bob…

      “Observe people in daily life, children in particular. It can be frightening. The octopi are glued onto their faces, and they’re not coming off, no matter what. ”

      It is eerie.

      For that reason, I have dubbed this time in history as, ‘The Era of Elsewhere’, this being that most people, most of the time, cannot function where they are, but, instead, have to use some technological device to connect them up with somewhere else – anywhere else, other than where they actually are.

    • The internet and social media was a powerful asset for us and for the average man to hear and be heard. The Alt-Right was able to meet and Trump able to win by use of social media. That’s why the Left (Dems and Repubs) stood aside and let the usual powers de-platform and censor those platforms such that today there is little real, effective resistence to the left–same as it was during the age of T.V. when the left controlled every channel.

      • I am very concerned about the youth of the nation actually being able to handwrite their own names though. Thank god for rhe grafitti artist its not much but they offer some hope.

        • I’ve wondered about that. They don’t teach cursive anymore, so how do these pawns sign their names? They just print them, I guess.

    • “Any theory of the next civilizational phase (in fact any theory of the future of the alt-right) has to come to grips with cell phone and social media addiction.”

      I think most people here support strong regulations for those things, especially for children.

  8. The Founding Fathers saw factionalism (parties) as a threat to liberty and good governance. Their hope was that factions would remain local because of the difficulty in nationwide travel and communication, They did not foresee that this barrier would be undone by the development of the steamboat, the telegraph, and the railroad. All three helped frustrate the design of the “old republic” and encouraged the growth of national factions leading to the Civil War.

    • Yes, Dear William, but, at the same time, The Founding Fathers opened the 10th amendment with this…

      “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States…”

      To wit, I would say this – Modern Liberal Federalism has destroyed the erstwhile great balance of diverse political communities that once existed in this land, and, to that end, those blood & soil factions, that they appropriately intended to exist, have been usurpt by a diabolical coalition of untethered factions and monolithick central government megalomania.

  9. Social media are indeed an opiate that numbs us to reality. But the society we live in us unsustainable. Sooner or later, reality is going to force itself on us whether we like it not. Maybe then, through a great deal of pain, we can become human again.

  10. Slightly off-topic but still about a “turning”:

    Doctor Martenson (Peak Prosperity) has made an about-face on the pandemic. I never liked his unscientific promotion of the malaria drug, zinc, erythromycin and elderberry “cures”, nor his capitalist financial investment-advice schtick, but I do agree that the discovery of prior T cell immunity in much of the world’s population is a game-changer indicating, along with recent statistics, that “herd immunity” is not only possible but may actually be happening, and that the final death toll in the U.S. will not be as much as one or two million, but “only” a few hundred thousand even without a successful vaccine.

  11. Yeah, I’ve been banging on about the 20th century being dominated by the new technology of mass electronic media, radio, cinema, television, for a decade now.

    We’re at the end of that era and the beginning of the new era of the Internet. Which brings its own challenges and opportunities.

    This particular video will hopefully kill off the “White Nationalist Militia Survival” culture nonsense once and for all:

    Remember when Kievsky warned everyone against “hot lead and cold steel” fantasies we all learned from the TV shows?

  12. I found BobT’s response boomerish and out of touch as well. We had a clown in the comments section a week or 2 ago who claimed that Boomer and older White Nationalists failed Whites. What he didn’t realize was, according to the research I did on the subject of the pre-2000s White Nationalist movement, people were really stifled by media.

    There was no internet or forums. People needed to do things to get their message spread through mainstream media and were often times forced to hold irl conventions in the handful of places they could or resort to mailing newsletters and articles to one another.

    This idea of “going back to better days” in regards to communications technology is a cope by older people who cannot keep up with the technology. Are there problems? of course, and we often see it a lot with women or teens. Are things better? Yes and the peer to peer aspect of the internet compared to the top down aspect of previous forms of media is infinitely superior.

    So unless BobT want’s to go back to playing costumes and mailing lists, he needs to accept the new paradigm and figure out how to use it to his advantage or rely on those who can.

    • Exactly. Genies can’t be put back into their bottles. You either adapt to your circumstances, or you get left behind. Being left behind means you’re made irrelevant. Besides, the most efficient way to communicate viewpoints is through our new tech. Use the tools at your disposal.

    • “This idea of “going back to better days” in regards to communications technology is a cope by older people who cannot keep up with the technology.”

      That’s precisely my point: that smart phones and social media aren’t going away. It’s also my criticism of Hunter’s view of change. He isn’t factoring in technology. Can you have a 19th-century style social reaction in favor of stability and tradition in a society where everyone is a smartphone addict?

      The current peer-to-peer media is better in some ways, as you say, but it’s also worse in some ways, like financial deplatforming. It’s not improving the situation for right-wingers. They’re getting mauled on every front. The idea that “the new technology” is helping is primarily a cope for social media junkies who are just as addicted to Twitter as Trump, Cher, and teens doing duck-lip selfies on Instagram. Shit-posting, edgy memes, and pushing people’s buttons on the Internet for lols is 99% of the alt-right, and if that part went away, the whole thing would evaporate.

      • BobT,

        Hunter would probably respond to you with something along the lines of “The new spiritual period will be different from the last.” to which I would somewhat agree with him. I’m also in somewhat agreement with you when you state that smartphone addiction can be dangerous to society.

        The problem is not only do we not have the luxury of setting social norms at the moment, but that smartphones are a media weapon that can be used to our advantage that we shouldn’t ignore.

        If you want to go into this further and see we should do away with it and focus in other areas, I’d argue that aside from media engagement and financial wizardry, the dissident right, far right, alt-right, etc. Has done all it can. There is no free speech or free expression to organize safely in ways that people aren’t already using. It’s been a constant innovation struggle for years trying to evade feds and their machinations while still getting the message out without someone losing their livelihood.

        All those involved should keep in mind that hundreds of innocent men’s lives are at stake in prisons that hinge on our success and there is no need to add to that problem by risking hundreds more doing pointless public demonstrations.

  13. My own view is that people spend too much of their time trying to explain the past we are where we are, regardless of how we got here what can we do now? if anything, should be the question I believe.

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