Richard Tarnas, in his groundbreaking Cosmos and Psyche, associates Saturn-Pluto aspects with extreme social polarization and the rise of Right-wing movements. Tarnas, a political liberal, sees such movements as essentially "evil" -- representing separation, intolerance, the breakdown of progress, and terror. These, for him, are man's darkest hours.
My view is different. While certainly these periods are tense and imbued with a sense of Manichean good-versus-evil polarity, it is worth noting that only one of the major wars of the West in the past two centuries coincides with a Saturn-Pluto conjunction (1914). The other Saturn-Pluto conjunctions occur after, before, and also far from major wars. This suggests that there may be no direct relationship between Saturn-Pluto and that greatest of all evils, war. In contrast, cycles of Neptune consistently coincide with major wars.
The last Saturn-Pluto conjunction we had, in the early 1980's, was an extremely tense period during which liberals lamented the rise of the Right, and Cold War rhetoric grew frighteningly aggressive. But while Reagan would talk tough, he was more hesitant to deploy the military than any US President since, and he showed a strong preference, offstage, for diplomacy over force. Contrast this to the soothing presence of Barack Obama, an unrepentant warmonger who has plunged the Middle East and now Europe into turmoil. I'll take a tough-talking peacenik every time.
Mundane astrologers are looking ahead to the upcoming Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 2020, fearing an oncoming period of tense conservatism. What they are missing is this: it has already started. For while in the the longitudinal zodiac we don't have a conjunction for another four years... in declination the parallel between Saturn and Pluto has already started. This parallel aspect, similar in nature to a longitudinal conjunction, lasts for five years. That's basically five years, starting now, of possible Right-wing domination of the Zeitgeist.
There are no guarantees, of course, but conservative backlash against the "progress" of the past seven years may well sweep the Right back into power this year in America. And with the encroaching Sun-Pallas progressed conjunction on the US chart, this new Right-wing resurgence (should it happen) may take on a distinctly libertarian tinge.
Not the most "fun" configuration, but things could be worse.