Sunday, June 28, 2015

And still more

Continuing from the last post:

Stein: Been asked to weigh in here by Lex. Honestly, there is little for me to say thanks to prior comments:

Bruce: indeed, I would not have written a piece like this (with this structure, brevity, and tone) were it not for the demands of the ITC panel. That said, it was a useful (and apparently attention grabbing) exercise.

Fractal: indeed, I find some of this naive and bourgeois, and in fitting with my story about Hegel, i.e., "Capitalism is as it should be; it's developmentally appropriate" is exactly the trap of conservative dialectic that the Young Hegelians dismantled...

Bonnitta: indeed, the developmental thinking is too simplistic. I agree with Bonnie on the complexity of moving from thinking about individual development to thinking about socio-cultural development. But I would also say that the views expressed in the letter on personal development, involving terms like 1st tier / 2nd tier; Orange, Green, etc, are a problem all on their own, even when not applied to social systems. Capitalism and capitalists are not "at" a single given level, exactly because no single person is ever "at" a single level. We have developmental ranges, as well as developmental profiles (psycographs), etc. etc. See any of my papers on development, and especially on the development of reasoning about integral theory itself, where I show these colors and cut and dried rankings are stereotypes and need to be, ironically enough, negated but preserved by higher-order ways of understanding development.

All that said, I lover Bernie Sanders smile emoticon … and were I to write a longer piece on this kind of thing it would lay out a much more complex set of constructs about the global transformation into a post-capisalist sociosphere. I see this as mainly an issues of interiors, which is to say I think that humanity’s inability to understand itself is cascading into a planetary phase shift; a species wide identity crisis is coinciding with the climax of the Anthropocene…. but that is a longer story you can read about in my forthcoming book…

Hope this clarifies and helps… not sure I'll have time in the coming days to engage further. But, thanks for your interest in my work!

Neale: Thanks for your participation, Zak, although your response was somewhat predictable and therefore not disappointing. However, when are Integral "visionaries" such as yourself going to step up to the plate and become Integral iconoclasts? Opportunities like Bernie Saunders are rare and magnificent, like the "big one" for surfers. Bonnie and Tom Clearwater are the only two so far who really grok what I was attempting to communicate. I really think the Integral establishment academia has totally lost the Integral plot and reduced the Integral platform to impotency. My post was not really for personal opportunism, Zak, although I confess to a moment of integrally capitalistic indulgence! Not to underestimate the Integral standard model sucks, and how is Integral progress going to crawl out of flatland without an expanded model? THAT is the real Integral problem imho.
Stein: I'm happy to participate, and sorry for your disappointment in the integral "visionaries" (whoever they are; i've not met any)… perhaps you should put less on us visionaries and step up to the plate yourself? BTW: i'm clearly no "integral visionary" (hell, I don't even believe in or use the ideas of 1st and 2nd tier)… so don't blame me… As Bonnitta, knows, I'm just a failed musician faking it as a philosopher.

Me: I disagree that Sanders needs any 'integral' guidance, meaning from AQAL or any other variety. He's doing just fine for himself (within the broader progressive movement) providing a socio-economic infrastructure to enable everyone to meet their lower needs (per Maslow), which then provides opportunity to grow into a more autonomous, just and equitable individual and social framework.

And the already emerging neo-Commons is well on the way to establishing the new socio-economic paradigm, as documented by the P2P Foundation and Rifkin. No, they didn't create it from a top-down ideological model; it is emerging just fine from the middle out. Which is part of the difference between it and capitalism. Yes, capitalism is here for some time to come, but it will slowly lose its dominance as the neo-Commons gains momentum day by day.

I'd even argue that integral meta-models are part and parcel of the same command and control structure inherent to capitalism and the modern meme.

Balder: This is a sledgehammer kind of statement -- too broad and destructive. Not all integral meta-models amount to this.

Me: Agreed, hyperbole for effect. Although I'd like to hear about those that aren't top-down command and control. One example I can think of, not so-called integral, is Sanders. He is led by a people's populist movement, not by an ideological top-down movement. I'd say that the progressive movement is that in the same way. From the middle (class) out in both directions.

Camosy: saw your article on "Organized Resistance to High-Stakes Testing" and the "deeper structural injustices that result from standardized testing practices." We all participate in these structures and so there is a place for an Integral Resistance. How an Integral Resistance might differ from other kinds of resistance is a largely unexplored area. I hold that an Integral Resistance would be adopting those actions and activities which have the possibility of triggering a bifurcation or emergence. It is not trying to replace a system with what we think is a better system. Instead, it is creating the conditions for the possibility of something new to emerge - it is the art of constellating a pregnant void, which is both a TOMB and a WOMB. In other words, the paradoxical center of it ALL.

Me: Exactly Joseph, and that is how the neo-Commons is emerging. Meta-tinkering is still "trying to replace a system with what we think is a better system."

Neale: You see, this is where I am coming from too. The whole "Integral Anti-Capitalism" concept is an aspect of command and control, whereas I am saying nurture the spiral at ALL Levels - including Newtonian Yellow, where Plutocracy and its wealth monopoly needs to emerge into and be redistributed into the Green Commons. And to do this painlessly we need an Integral consciousness not a draconian reaction which will result in more Plutonian power structures and a rebellious Commons. Most of my peers reading the open letter didn't get that, that INTEGRAL Conscious Capitalism means just that - nurturing the transition from Newtonian Yellow to Green in developing ways to encourage and inspire Plutocrat participation in that redistribution. They are after all human beings who have also the capacity for greater insight. It is not the lack of insight that makes them hold on, but the fear of releasing their power. Nurturing the spiral will defuse that fear. I'm not saying they should avoid 100% taxation, but I am saying they can be inspired to enjoy 100% taxation. Now Bernie, great as he is, does not have that Integral insight of nurturing the spiral, and when will one of our own take this type of Integral manifesto to the political table? We need to encourage that also, as an Integral community.

Camosy: while I agree in principle with much of what you're saying, I also must caution you that what you propose could also be seen as quite naive. How would this be any different from a spiritual version of (the failed policy of) trickle-down economics? It is quite possible that the Integral movement itself has been colonized by neoliberal ideology.

What's really needed right now are examples of non-violent system or regime change and some good analysis on what principles were in play. Probably the best examples right now are those involving the principles of democracy such as what happened in South Africa and now with the crisis in Greece. In both cases we have the case of the collective will of the people going against the will of a plutocratic minority in power. This is the OPPOSITE of "trickle-down."

Me: Then there's healthy and pathological expressions of memes. Plutocracy by nature is pathological, or as Eisler calls it a dominator hierarchy. Such pathology cannot see fair distribution and will not participate in it. So no, we do not need to include pathology in some notion of integral ideology.

And the Commons is not in a conscious rebellion against the plutocracy (although I am). Most therein don't get involved at the level of ideology but just use tech to live in a sharing, P2P organization. Few of them participate in politics at all.

Now I do favor some command and control by way of government legislation. That is, our elected leaders create laws imposed on all of us. However as I noted above, it depends on which leaders are doing the law-making: those doing the will of the people or those doing the bidding of the plutocrats. The former are leader-followers, with the people as follower-leaders. You know, democracy. Plutocracy has no place in that.

Or as Wilber says of transitional structures, transcend and replace! Same can be said for pathology.

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