Thursday, June 12, 2014

Integral politics

Related to this post, andrew started an IPS thread on integral Republicans. At first glance I found the expression an oxymoron. Ok, on subsequent glances as well. My last response was to Wilpert's Integral World article on integral politics, where andrew highlighted the green/eco movement.

It's been a long time since I read Wilpert's article and after reading the green section I'll give the whole thing another read. I appreciate that he recognizes the greens "take a holistic view that integrates humanity and nature"* and "roughly corresponds with Wilber's centauric or vision-logic stage," not something the Lingam will admit.** And I find that not only I but the Commons as a whole is a mix of the various quadrant aspects he discusses (as well as 'levels').** For example while I detest fascist capitalism I can accept a small business oriented around conscious capitalism triple-bottom lines. I'd prefer though a cooperative business where all the workers own it. While I oppose State socialism I still want the government to be active in creating progressive labor and environmental laws. And I most certainly advocate for green cultural values, but I don't concede that by nature cultural values are 'conservative.' That's something Haidt does too and he's flat out wrong.

Shortly after Wilpert wrote that article in '99 Wilber responded with his own IW article on integral politics. Therein he called liberals flatland because they not only reduced everything to the exterior quadrants but also denied levels. If that ever was the case (debatable) with liberals it certainly isn't any more.

Also of note in that article is the prime directive:

"The prime directive of a genuine Third Way would be, not to try to get everybody to a particular level of consciousness (integral, pluralistic, liberal, or whatever), but to insure the health of the entire spiral of development at all of its levels and waves."

I'd qualify that with Wilber's sentiments from "The war in Iraq" (2003) on integral law:

"A yellow society, in short, would have laws that basically stem from that second-tier level of consciousness. And the basic defining characteristic of yellow is that it accepts all previous values without letting any of them repress or dominate others.

"A second-tier, integral, World Federation—in my Utopian view—would therefore prevent any first-tier memes from dominating, attacking, or exploiting any other populations. If necessary, a World Federation would do so by using police force, just as all democracies today have an internal police force to curtail murder, rape, robbery, extortion, and so on. Somebody whose center of gravity is green will not commit murder, rape, or robbery. However, somebody whose center of gravity is red will do any or all of those, sometimes happily. And because everybody is born at square one, and must progress through purple, red, blue, and so on, some sort of police will always be necessary to protect others from those who do not evolve to a worldcentric level of care and compassion.

"This police force is NOT allowed to tell people what level of consciousness they should be at; it is NOT allowed to govern what individuals do in the privacy of their own homes or dwellings; it is NOT allowed to coerce or intimidate people who are not at the average level of social development. It is, however, allowed to prevent (or punish) those whose public behavior stems from a less-than-worldcentric stance."

Note that Wilber is inconsistent here. Everyone is allowed to have their own individual-interior level but they just can't express it on the social-exterior level. He is proposing a purely social-exterior solution, something he criticizes in the liberals. Granted he says the liberals don't accept higher (or any) levels, whereas Wilber proposes that the yellow level expand on laws to curtail less than yellow behavior.

He's also said before that the exterior socio-economic system is the predominant factor in raising the general interior level of consciousness for most folks. If that is so then creating a better economic system more in line with the yellow consciousness of the elite is the best remedy. And it doesn't just accept people where they stop (blue, orange etc.) but wants to elevate them up to society's center of gravity at yellow. I.e., making people behave like yellows is going to get them to eventually think like yellows. Fake it till you make it.

* I.e. integrates inside with outside and individual with social.

** On second thought, he does list green as early vision-logic if I recall. But his green level does not necessarily, or even accurately, define the entire green/eco or Commons movement. The latter is a mix of green, yellow and turquoise.

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