Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 22-Feb-2010
New documentary movie 'Generation Zero' brings generational theory to the public.

Web Log - February, 2010

New documentary movie 'Generation Zero' brings generational theory to the public.

Written and directed by Steve Bannon, it will open nationwide on March 22.

Web site:

Ever since I started this web site in 2002, I've tried to find a way to convince people the country and indeed the world face an existential threat, as shown by generational theory. Although I've written thousands of articles, reports and analyses for this web site, I can't really say that I've succeeded at my major objective of convincing policymakers.

Steve Bannon may have succeeded where I've failed.

I haven't yet seen "Generation Zero - The Inconceivable Truth," but comments by the people who've seen it describe it as brilliant, powerful and frightening.

"Generation Zero" is generally based on the Generational Dynamics theory developed on this web site since 2002, which in turn is based on work by the founding fathers of generational theory, Neil Howe and the late William Strauss. Something I hadn't been aware of until recently is that Strauss and Howe's book Generations was well known to major Democratic and Republican politicians as early as the 1992 presidential election, and it played a part in their campaign strategy.

I got involved in this movie when Steve Bannon called me about a year ago. He said that he'd been spending many hours reading my web site, and that he wanted to take those ideas forward into a movie. He said that he wanted this movie to use some of the same techniques that Al Gore used in "An Inconvenient Truth." He ended up filming me for a total of about six hours in two different sessions, one in Washington and one in New York. Of the six hours, I understand that only a few minutes of what I said are in the 85 minute film.

Here's a snippet from the movie web site:

From Generation Zero movie web site <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source:</font>
From Generation Zero movie web site (Source:

"Generation Zero" is a non-partisan movie, in that, like this web site, it criticizes both Republicans and Democrats. It lays the blame for the financial crisis on Boomers, who are the "generation zero" of the title. I don't yet know whether my description of "the lethal combination of Boomers and Gen-Xers" made it into the final cut of the movie or not.

"Generation Zero" was originally screened at The National Tea Party Convention in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. Steve Bannon tells me that the Tea Party movement plans to make the movie a major unifying theme of their campaign leading up to November elections.

However, those who believe that this is a "pro-Republican" movie are going to be disappointed. It's true that the Republicans will do well in November, but that's not because they're Republicans. Anyone who's not a Democrat has a good shot at doing well in November. This movie makes it clear that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans could have caused or prevented the financial crisis. What this web site has repeatedly made clear is that the country is in the midst of a major political realignment that neither Republicans nor Democrats will like. Whatever form this realignment takes, it seems likely that the "Tea Party" will play an important role.

There are several video trailers that can be viewed on the movie web site. Here's a 75 second video that's much more dramatic than the others, called "The Abyss":

This movie is mainly about the Boomers, Generation Zero. It would be nice, with our knowledge of today, if we could go back in a time machine to study the "generation gap" of the 1960s, and the Boomers' attitudes and behaviors at the time they were occurring. We could learn a lot from that.

Well, in a sense we can. For a few years I've been writing about the "generation gap" today in Iran, and the continuing anti-government student riots and demonstrations that followed the June 12 presidential election. This is not a coincidence. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics theory, Iran is going through exactly the same kind of generational Awakening era today that America and Europe went through in the 1960s. The details are different, but the core generational behaviors are identical.

There are several countries that are in generational Awakening eras today. Iran is one of them, but so are Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Rwanda and Bosnia are just about to enter Awakening eras. A study of today's youth in all of these countries would give us a very deep picture of what makes a Boomer a Boomer.

As for me personally, I have mixed emotions. As long-time readers of this web site are aware, I've lost a lot of sleep over the years, because I could foresee what was coming for America and the world. But I was grateful that I had this web site where I could at least write about all of it. Being as cynical and beaten-down as I am, my gut tells me that the release of this movie is going to fizzle and mean nothing to me personally. However, I have to be realistic, and this movie has the potential to give me my "15 minutes" of fame. What effect that this will have on my life remains to be seen.

What I'm most excited about, though, is that this movie is going to put Generational Dynamics into the national and world spotlight. I've always known that generational theory is going to become a major new subject of scholarly study in universities throughout the world, but I've said that it wouldn't happen in my lifetime. Thanks to the movie "Generation Zero," I may begin to see the first signs of this in 2010.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generation Zero - The Inconceivable Truth thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.) (22-Feb-2010) Permanent Link
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