Friday, January 10, 2014

Jordan Luftig's pre-ITC conference speech

I was reading Luftig's pre-ITC conference speech. You'll find many of his points and recommendations have been addressed in the IPS forum. He'd likely find folks there to aid him in his quest if he'd but look around.

"Vision-logic is itself a choice. It’s our choice. As changemakers we privilege vision-logic, we prefer aperspectival reason to other modes of thinking that we deem less beautiful, good, and true. And when we exercise this choice we exert power. The implications are profound and political. The implications are normative.

"As integral thinkers and practitioners, our preferred attitude is scientific not political. Our preferred methods are descriptive not normative. Instead of negotiating the politics of our integral stance we neglect it. Instead of presencing the will to power our stance entails we pass over it. The question is why. Conflict avoidance. Confronting systemic power takes courage. It’s easier to work out someone else’s emancipation than our own. We orient from the Upper Left Quadrant, which makes us individualists more than collectivists, let alone activists.

"I am calling our attention to something internal: An escape into neutrality. [...] Suffice it to say that AQAL is not neutral, and neither are we. [...] Guess what happens when we self identify with an attitude of neutrality, or take solace in it? We go about our business as integral changemakers with a 'scientific attitude, over relying on the descriptive - explanatory power of integral theories while neglecting the importance of making prescriptive arguments for them. We forsake our stand for an integral future and a planetary culture, or, when we do take a stand it ends up sounding something like this: 'We refuse to choose sides in the fight between science and religion or democrat and republican. Instead we honor the partial truths of each side and we weave them together, into a wider, deeper, more integrative embrace of reality.' In other words, our stand is passive. We end up lacking adequate political consciousness. Rarely do we display normative boldness.

"We still have to get our intellectualizing right. And, boy, did we ever have it wrong back in March of 2008. [...] The AQAL integral brand and those demonstrations are criticized for being – get this: totalizing, colonizing, corporate, hegemonic, imperialist, and ideological. It’s a classic postmodern critique of modern thought and character. Of course, the critique says something about the critics, but we would be foolish to think it reveals nothing about us as AQAL - integral practitioners. With our apolitical mentality and self -professed neutrality, we were not doing justice to our integral name – we were begging to suffer the fate of a false and distorted self -image.

"Here’s a name for you: Gar Alperovitz, historian, professor of political economy, author of America Beyond Capitalism, his work stands out for seriously tackling the question, if you don’t like corporate capitalism on the one hand and you don’t like state socialism on the other, what alternative is there?"

In this IPS thread, and in part I, and in the various references we've provided many alternatives. And it is to those alternatives that I've made a choice and commitment in seeing them implemented via political activism.

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