REPORT #431 September 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

The Fourth Turn cycle

This is a book called "The Fourth Turn" Apparently we have had 1,2 & 3 turns and are now entering the fourth turn.

For people who study longer term cycles in economics and social outlooks and affairs, the beginning of these four turns occured at the last 1929 Depression. Since then, turns 1,2 & 3 have occured and we are now entering the Fourth Turn.

These cycles outline in rather broad general historical outlines, the course of the USA particularly, but also the rest of the world. Such broad cycles are not much good for forecasting intermediate events over the next 20 years. But in general terms, the current crisis and developments will last about 20 years. After that will be something new, as the world will have re-adjusted itself to a new way of doing things. By around 2025 to 2032.

We start to guess here, but again generally speaking the current world recession will probably be about 5 years in this cycle. The adjustments with the terrorism wars and the effect these things will be having on economies, poverty, population explosion and such are not known, or predictable in detail. But it takes no imagination to see that Islamic dictatorial states will not come out of this portion of the 20 year cycle very good. At least over the next five years. The idea you can carry Islam around the world by fire and sword is sort of romantic, but unlikely to duplicate the happenings of the original spread of Islam, or of Saladin's day.

Economically speaking, while we may come out of recession around 5 years from now, the economy of the world after that for another 10 years will be better, but stagnant. Or not going anywhere. Sort of a repeat in modern terms of the period from 1935 to 1942 in the USA the cycles indicate. If the Fourth Turn cyclical theory holds up, something dramatic will happen around 2022. Somewhere around there, should happen a violent change to the world and this most probably will be a nucleur war. As at the moment, the ones who could do that are not in a position to do so. A crisis was forecast by using the Fourth Turn and turning cycle of USA history since the 1700's. It more or less, parallels human terms, population and baby boom explosions and that sort of thing. Anyway, it successfully predicted a violent crisis that would change the USA society around 2001 to 2002 from four years ago. Of course human psychology and stuff, in cycle theory can only identify events and turning points, but not the type of event itself. Except in terms of an up or down cycle rythm.

When it comes to economics, it takes a world war to speed up technological change and thus greater changes to society as a whole. At the moment, there are many technological changes in the pipeline, but little impetus to make them go at any accelerated speed. There is nanotechnology and 20 years from now would fit that technology coming to fruition. Fusion power was predicted to have occured some 20 years ago by now, but they are now projecting another 30 years. So I guess we can forget fusion power? The quantum computer is also around 20 years down the pipeline, if it is ever licked? Oil of course will start to change things to in about 20 years.

What does this mean for Belizeans and the GOB? Well, it means a reduced world economy. It probably means Belize should tighten the belt and start living within it's means. Grandoise schemes of politicians on foreign loans, should probably be postponed. Nothing is going to happen much for us in Belize over the next 20 years. Circumstances are pretty much out of our hands. After that, the ball game should change. Will it be technological advances that change things coming to the marketplace? Partially, I suspect. But I rather think a nucleur war will be the catalyst for the next cycle of four turns.

Anyway, as far as Belize is concerned, if we live modestly, are conservative and husband our human resources and utilize them to the fullest to catch up to the rest of the world, we will get by. There is not likely to be any big dramatic changes in Belize though, over the next 20 years. At least economically and in the annual revenue for the GOB. We are at the mercy of the world economy and if as predicted that is stagnant, then so will be Belize. We can catch up in many ways over the next 20 years though. Political reform to get in a framework constitution which gives better control of our Belizean destiny to the local governments and not to political party hacks of the port town controlled parties, should see us educating our next generation to be responsible and knowledgeable. They would thus be able to make us something like Switzerland and more self sufficient and able to shift with changing world economics in an independent manner and make everybody in Belize a good living and provide social safety nets for those not so capable.

Twenty years! Time for Belize to change it's ways. A depression followed by a flat world economy is the cycle forecast. What will we Belizeans do, to turn this to our advantage? What new changes and policies and ways of doing things, will give us this breathing space to re-adjust ourselves to compete with the world better and on OUR terms?

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