Piereson describes the endgame this way: “The problems will mount to a point of crisis where either they will be addressed through a ‘fourth revolution’ or the polity will begin to disintegrate for lack of fundamental agreement.”"May involve???"
He identifies two previous eras where a general consensus prevailed, and collapsed. Each lasted about as long as an individual’s lifetime, was dominated by a single political party and ended dramatically.
First came the era that stretched from 1800 until slavery and sectionalism led to the Civil War. The second consensus, which he calls the capitalist-industrial era, lasted from the end of the Civil War until the Great Depression.
It is the third consensus, which grew out of the Depression and World War II, which is now shattering. Because the nation is unable to solve economic stagnation, political dysfunction and the resulting public discontent, Piereson thinks the consensus “cannot be resurrected.”
That’s not to say he’s pessimistic — he thinks a new era could usher in dynamic growth, as happened after the previous eras finally reached general agreement on national norms. But first we must weather a crisis that may involve an economic and stock-market collapse, a terror attack, or simply a prolonged and bitter stalemate.
It's not until deep into the saecular crisis, which may have unfolded only half-way, that the outlines of a new consensus emerge. "The resolution will come once the various pushbacks coalesce on one or a few major objectives, such as ridding the world of fascism in 1944."