Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges The Shattered Tin Man Midst the Shock and Awe in Mid-21st Century Societies I: Shattering and Shock

The Shattered Tin Man Midst the Shock and Awe in Mid-21st Century Societies I: Shattering and Shock

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The third template involves temporal distance. The issue should be examined as it is currently being experienced (the present time) and as it will probably be (or could be) present at some point ahead of us (the future time). The polarity of engagement and tolerance is managed when each of these three templates is applied to the analysis of an important issue. The convening issue can be viewed from multiple perspectives—which allows for both immediate engagement and tolerance of certain immediate circumstances as well as longer term and “bigger picture” engagement and tolerance.


The condition of turbulence exists in our “white water” world (Vaill, 2008). Four patterns of change intermingle in this turbulent environment: rapid change, cyclical change, non-change (stagnation) and chaotic change. MAGA mind melders thrive in this environment. They block up flow by throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the turbulent river. Since the turbulence often comes in the form of information about reality, the “everything” often includes mis-information, conspiracy theories and simply a massive set of lies (Weitz and Bergquist, 2024). The barriers are relieving for many people in that the river is now slowed down—it even may no longer flow at all (leaving everything in a condition of stagnation).

Under these conditions of blockage, the MAGA mind melders are able to easily navigate upstream, traveling back to a world of the past. In doing so, members of the MAGA group take command of narratives concerning this past life. They screen and distort so that American life in the past was somehow “great” and can be “great again” under new authoritarian rule. The river will never again be turbulent. Life will once again be pleasant and calm.

It should be noted that the MAGA group is unable to do all of this alone. It takes considerable funding to block the powerfully flowing river and to deliver a distorted but compelling and calming message “from the past.” Enter the elite power-consumers. They provide support for the MEGA mind melders, assuming (with some justification) that turning to the reconstructed “good old days” will mean a return to days when people in positions of wealth were allowed to remain in power—and were often praised for their wealth rather than being restrained in their acquisition of more wealth through new taxes and restrain on the formation of 21st Century monopolies.

While the MEGA and elite power-consumers wish for and seek to block flow of the turbulent river, the reality is that turbulence (and other contributing conditions of VUCA-Plus) still exist in the 21st Century world. Furthermore, much of this turbulence began to occur following World War II (and was created in part by this war). Specifically, all four turbulent patterns were present in the world after World War II. Some things were changing rapidly (including attitudes about sexuality), while other things pretty much remained the same (such as attitudes in the United States about communism). There were cycles (such as attitudes about specific psychotherapeutic approaches that came in and out of favor).  Finally, there was absolute chaos.

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