Propaganda, Money-Printing, & Trump-Tweets Cannot Overcome A Global Pandemic
Spirits In The Material World
There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution
The Police – Spirits in the Material World
As I was driving home from work last week, an almost forty-year-old song began emanating from my radio. I’ve always appreciated the music of The Police, but was never a huge fan. Spirits in the Material World was a relatively minor hit from their 1981 Ghost in the Machine multi-platinum album. I’ve probably heard it hundreds of times over the last four decades, but the lyrics struck me as particularly apropos at the end of a week where lunatic left-wing politicians staged a battle royale of ineptitude, invective, and idiotic solutions, in front of a perplexed public in a Vegas casino. Sting wrote the lyrics to this song in 1981 at the outset of the Reagan presidency. It is less than 3 minutes in length, but says much about humanity and the world we inhabit.
The interpretation of Sting’s (Gordon Sumner) lyrics depends upon your position in the generational kaleidoscope of history. As a boomer, Sting came of age during the 1960s and 70s. He was thirty years old in 1981 as the Second Turning (Awakening) was winding down and Reagan’s Morning in America was about to launch the Third Turning (Unraveling) in 1984.
His passionate idealism and search for spiritual solutions to the problems of the day had not been extinguished. The raging inflation of the 1970s had led to the worst recession since the Great Depression. The Cold War was at its coldest. Politicians had been discredited as criminal (Nixon) or incompetent (Carter). Sting and many others of his generation had lost faith in the political system. His viewpoint fit perfectly into the Strauss and Howe assessment of our last Awakening period (1964 – 1984).
“Young activists and spiritualists look back at the previous High as an era of cultural poverty. America’s most recent Awakening was the “Consciousness Revolution,” which spanned from the campus and inner-city revolts of the mid-1960s to the tax revolts of the early ‘80s. Coming of age during this Awakening was the Prophet archetype Boom Generation (born 1943 to 1960), whose passionate idealism and search for authentic self-expression epitomized the mood of the era.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
Sting’s opening lyrics were accurate in 1981. The spiritual was about to give way to the material. Another turning was in progress. Individualism and self-actualization were about to come into vogue. The “Me” generation was taking control. Society was about to be transformed by a “greed is good” mentality. The term “material world” was about to transform our nation. For the next two decades stock markets boomed, taxes were slashed, crony capitalism flourished, deficit spending became the norm, consumers consumed on credit, globalism was preached by the ruling class, and we devolved into debt serfs.
As the Unraveling unraveled in the early 2000s, with the dot.com debacle, 9/11, Iraq War, Wall Street created housing collapse, and ultimately the financial system crash in 2008, a pervasive distrust of institutions and leaders swept over the country.