Discover more from Free Thinking Through the Fourth Turning with Sasha Stone
My Unfinished Near Future Sci-Fi Novel on Standby
To figure out where it's going I have to figure out where we're going
I never thought I’d be sitting here five years later, my still untouched novel on my computer waiting to be woken up. Why can’t I finish it? I wrote 400 pages of what I thought might happen in 100 years. I wanted to write something kind of funny about how generations always believe what they’re doing is right. We sometimes look back at our past with fondness, a nostalgia for a better time than can never be again. But if you scratch the surface, and dig a little, you’ll see that terrible things were happening.
The worst civilizations believed they were the best. Even in Nazi Germany they believed their path was the right one. I thought I could write about what’s happening now through the lens of people looking back, 100 years from now.
I started in 2015. As you can imagine, so much has changed already in the years since. Trump’s win, for one thing. COVID for another, the cultural revolution on the left and the rise of a citizen army of sorts on the right. There are strange things happening now that people are just going along with, things we can see and things we can’t.
The problem is - I have no idea where to take it because things keep changing and along with them, my predictions of what might happen later.
I liked my idea for the future when I started it. I’d read Stephen King’s book On Writing which inspired me to write a BAD NOVEL. I was not going to worry about whether it was good or not. Otherwise, I never would have written a single word.
Whenever I go back to it now, it’s like the Winchester Mystery House where the woman who lived there kept building different things onto it - staircases that go nowhere, bedrooms no one uses. The construction never stopped and none of it made sense, except to explain the state of mind of its occupant.
I called it Movie One. In 2100, the United States has divided into two separate territories. Part One takes place in the “New US", which would be the Blue States as we know them. Part Two takes place in the “Freedom States,” which would be the Red States. And Part Three solves the entire mystery, moving between the two worlds.
It’s called Movie One because in this imagined future there is only only one movie once a year that satisfies all of the emotional and financial needs of the public and the film industry.
There are many different ways to go with a purely sci-fi concept. I wanted to stick as close to “reality” as possible. What would the population look like? Where is CRISPR and genetic engineering going? Transhumanism and AI. What will food production look like? Will the predictions about the climate come true? What happens after white people are no longer the majority in the United States?
I’d read every book I could find on what might happen written by scientists and sociologists. Predictions ranged from 11 billion, which is unsustainable, to a smaller number with population decline. Sea level rise was a variable number between one and four inches. Climate, by almost every person I read, is an unstoppable force. The damage is done. We can only figure out how best to survive it.
The pandemic I predicted would wipe out billions, though, not a few million, as COVID has. My idea for a virus was something that spread in animals first. An eco-terrorist’s idea of wiping out the human population to punish them for eating pork. I had them frozen in their tracks when the virus hit, as if volcanic lava had caught them by surprise. They had to be collected, compacted, and ejected into outer space. It had also stopped all meat production in first-world countries - that would eventually be moved to a satellite station called “slaughterhouse planet.”
Back in 2015, I already sensed something very strange happening on the Left. And it has only intensified since then. It’s this idea that we can get everything exactly right. We could be our best selves and do what is right and good and best for the world. It wasn’t quite to the level it is now because back then we had not yet begun the era of purges and persecutions. We were headed there, but there had not yet been a catalyst. That catalyst would come in 2016 when Trump won an election and the wrong people took power of the country, disrupting our utopian path to such a degree it caused massive shock and even, I think, ongoing hysteria, aided by the social media/media feedback loop.
I didn’t figure our country, at the hands of the Left, would become full-blown 1984 but it has. Almost exactly. I naively thought I belonged to a political party that was moderate. I also naively thought my side was the non-religious side. Turns out we are just as religious when we find the right cause.
I never thought scientists would stop, you know, doing science. Or that universities would simply give up on the idea of a meritocracy, fire professors when the students signed enough petitions, outraged over a pronoun they used. Or that editors could be fired for saying an offensive word on a field trip. I did not imagine that kind of extremism rising on the Left. I just thought we would be like the frog in the boiling water, not realizing our free will had been taken from us slowly, over time, by robots. Like Pixar’s Wall-E.
We’ve become Indoctrination Nation, only I could not see it back then. My daughter’s generation was raised on brands from birth. I noticed this as a parent but I just thought it would mean raising them to be consumers. Teletubbies, My Little Pony, Marvel, Star Wars - they were raised to identify with a handful of powerful brands which spread to fast food, clothing and eventually, they would become brands themselves online as influencers. One brand selling another brand. But I never figured that activism would become part of those brands.
After the revolution of 2020, and it was a revolution, the biggest corporations cast their lost with the moneyed class, whole populations raised on brands where politicians and their political party were woven into the brand. President Obama, Ruth Bader Ginsburg - the heroes of the left were part of the branding of the left so corporations had no choice with which side they would have to take after 2020. That made it really easy to know whom to purge when things became dicey. Figuring out the undesirables is easy when you have a monolith of power united in ideology.
Now, when I move between worlds - the one of the working class, mostly not-university educated Trump right, the Conservative Right, the progressive Left and Moderate Left I can really see things much more clearly. This is a country where the rich and poor stands on opposite sides. There are very powerful deep pockets on the Right, but there are more on the “Left,” or what stands for it now. There is a price to pay, it turns out, for living the high life. They want equity to relieve them of the guilt of privilege and wealth but only for the “right” people, those who go along with their orthodoxy.
For instance, take this Instagram post by a young woman who is famous only because she is the daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. She is part of the aristocracy in this country and she knows it. All children of celebrities are now. When I was young there was skepticism thrown at people who simply inherited fame and wealth. No more. We see in them something special by their birthright. They are famous without ever having to do anything. Just look at the casting of movies this year - James Gandolfini’s son in The Many Saints of Newark. Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s son in Licorice Pizza. Or last year, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s daughter, and another child of Demi and Bruce in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Cindy Crawford’s daughter, Madonna’s daughter, the Kardashian spawn - and on and on it goes.
In order to speak the right language they have to make sure their orthodoxy is front and center:
Meanwhile, in other parts of the country people are struggling with real problems, not ideological ones. They fight and scrabble for the crumbs left behind. They still love this country, shockingly, even though they’re called “domestic terrorists.” As if. They hang the American flag inside and outside their homes. They believe in the Constitution. They believe in the idea of “freedom.” And yet, they control nothing. Sure, maybe they object here and there to Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools or abortion in their states - but they are fighting a losing battle. There is no defeating the ruling class in this country when it has so much money and power behind it.
Look no further than the ongoing pressure and bullying on Krysten Sinema, the Senator from Arizona, who dared to defy the monolith. The monolith needs to stimulus and reconciliation bills to pass both to boost Biden’s poll numbers freefall, but also to set up the class system in this country to ensure that the rich stay rich but the poor are taken care of just enough that they will have to struggle less. It is a noble effort of an endgame for the American experiment. Biden turned out to be Bernie Sanders in terms of policy. So even if Americans did not vote for “Big Structural Change,” that is exactly what they got.
It doesn’t matter if these same Blue Checks on Twitter would have been opposed to the two bills offered up by Bernie Sanders four years ago. Now they are being ordered to accept them because Biden wants them passed and if Biden wants them passed, the “good soldiers” of the Left will rally the troops - calling all ye late night comedians, Saturday Night Live, the profession formerly known as journalism - all are on board for the FIGHT to pressure Sinema to comply.
And of course the religious orthodoxy is written into all of their programs to ensure that it is spread far and wide and is inseparable from the policy. Therefore, their religion will become policy. Institutions and individuals who are not on board already will be forced to comply, as they are now with the vaccine mandates. They’re even calling on the Biden administration to prevent or try to prevent parents protesting CRT being taught in schools.
What will they do with the rest of the undesirables? How will they force them to comply? They can’t. Does that mean we divide as a country? Do they simply cart them off to a separate territory?
It is looking increasingly like education, not race, is what divides this country. It’s race but only for those who commit to the orthodoxy, or at least don’t join the other side of it. More men are opting out of college, and those who do attend college in this country are getting indoctrinated into the new religion of the Left. They have to be.
Men who don’t, or are cast out, are increasingly seeking out Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson, not to mention Youtube dissenters, for some relief. What will America do with all of the men it suddenly can’t stand?
In my version of the future, will the educated class keep the uneducated males in farms for reproductive purposes only? Do men have to join “the service” but it isn’t the army it’s reproductive service? Like steers on a beef ranch? Does America have no men left at all but just women and non-binary people? Maybe no women either? Maybe no genders?
In my novel women from the New US take secret excursions to the “Freedom States” to go on joy rides with the last remaining alpha males to get pregnant the old fashioned way, and then come back home and have their “natural” babies.
Something will have to give. We have one force rising on one end, and its opposition rising on the other. And you know what that means. Granted, one side has all of the money and the power, but the other side won’t stop any time soon.
One way to predict the next 100 years is to follow the theory put forth by Neil Howe and William Strauss in their book The Fourth Turning. According to them, we are in a “Fourth Turning” now. According to this theory, 2023 is when something transformative, and very likely bad, will occur. From 2023 to 2030 is the time where it all settles in, treaties are signed, etc. The next one of these will occur in 2103, exactly at the point of my novel.
This video explains it pretty well:
The Fourth Turnings of the past that shaped the country were things like the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. Each of these tackled big ideas that would have two potential outcomes: Victory or defeat.
One of the interesting interpretations of the Fourth Turning is the book Pendulum: How Generations of the Past Shape the Future by Michael Drew and Roy H. Williams. They have divided the 80-year cycles into two 40 year cycles. One is the “me” cycle, which is all about individualism and the other is the “we” cycle, and that is the one we’re in now. Both of these 40-year cycles “go too far,” which kicks the pendulum back in a different direction. When the “we” cycle goes too far we begin eras of persecution and witch hunts, and that is where we find ourselves today. As they wrote:
“A “We” is about serving through small actions, but it has a dark side as well: we get tired of being good. The actions we once took willingly begin to lose their sparkle, until finally the chains of duty, obligation, and sacrifice bind us. Although we are self-righteous and proud in our service to others, secretly, it dissatisfies us. We begin to long for the freedom and rewards and dizzying heights of “Me.”"
The second half of the Upswing of “We” and the first half of the Downswing from it (2013–2023) bring an ideological “righteousness” that seems to spring from any group gathered around a cause. The inevitable result is judgmental legalism and witch hunts. The origin of the term witch hunt was the Salem witch trials, a series of hearings before county court officials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693, exactly at the beginning of the second half of the Upswing toward the “We” Zenith of 1703. Senator Joseph McCarthy was an American promoter of this witch-hunt attitude at America’s most recent “We” Zenith of 1943 (see the “House Un-American Activities Committee,” 1937–1953); Adolf Hitler was the German promoter (see the Holocaust, 1933–1945); and Joseph Stalin was the Soviet promoter (see the Great Purge, 1936–1938). Our hope is that we might collectively choose to skip this development as we approach the “We” Zenith of 2023. If enough of us are aware of this trend toward judgmental self-righteousness, perhaps we can resist demonizing those who disagree with us and avoid the societal polarization that results from it. A truly great society is one in which being unpopular can be safe.”
In 2021, the Democrats and the Left and the ruling class are using January 6th as a “Reichstag Fire” to both create fear and panic and also to launch a domestic terrorist operation against American citizens. Even if the footage released by the FBI just shows a bunch of confused MAGA people wandering around, the event lives in the minds of the Left as a battle as bad as the Civil War.
Then, when you add in the mask wars and the vax wars you see how the combined threats form one big threat that could really spark any kind of overreach by the government that the people would likely not protest. If you scare people enough you can make them go along with anything. That, my friends, is what you call a witch hunt.
Add to that, the branding of masks and vaccines and you almost guarantee objections from the opposing tribe.
It is surprising how few people know about what happened that day. All they know are the images they’ve been fed and the ongoing hysteria driven by the feedback loop. But they are so certain of it, so certain they know their enemy that they aren’t even bothering with due process, even a little bit. To them it was their greatest fear, the one they’d been imagining for four years, finally coming to pass. And indeed, to have a president question the results of an election and hold a rally in protest is unprecedented and scary to watch. It is especially scary if you don’t know that world even a little bit. If you do, you understand why they were all there that day, why they felt like protesting was their only option.
Joe Biden and the Democrats could have reached out to them when he was elected. They could have not built a fence around the Capitol for months. They could have not decided to call all Trump supporters racists and white supremacists. They could have tried harder to understand where they’re coming from and why Trump resonated with them. But they didn’t.
They aren’t actual human beings to most on the left in this country. They are monsters carrying American flags. They are so afraid of them, so disgusted by them, they would have no problem if the government rounded them up and sent them off to re-education camps. We’re almost there now. The level of dehumanization on a daily basis is off the charts.
So where does this end up? What happens to this country if Trump does run again? What happens if he wins? Already Trump was the greatest existential threat the world had ever known, what if he actually wins voters over? Does that spark a war? How will those who are used to having everything deal with their world being rocked yet again? I personally do not believe that it will happen. But the problem for the Democrats is that they have painted themselves into a corner with Biden, who is failing disasterously and is too old to run anyway, and Harris who is increasingly becoming more disliked that even Trump.
This is why I’m having trouble finishing my book. I do not yet know where we go from here. If I can’t figure that out, figuring out the next 100 years is almost impossible.