Thursday, March 17, 2016

New Riane Eilser stuff

Here's a new Eisler interview. Also see her recent article for The Next Systems Project.

I've commented on this before. Given her definition of a dominator hierarchy, where one pole dominates the other--like man over woman, heaven over earth, etc.--it is a regression. A healthy hierarchy always balances those poles. Granted that balance is dynamic based on contingencies, so it's not a static, completely symmetrical and foundational metaphysical state.

In terms of spiral dynamics, which posits an alteration between individual and communal levels, I interpret Eisler's work to see the so-called strictly individual levels as regressions, when the spiral takes a downturn before moving back up to the next level. That is, individual and communal are always in dynamic balance in each level in the healthy hierarchy. Note the word 'hierarchy', as she accepts that aforesaid balanced societies indeed progressively evolve.

Now it may be that temporary regressions back into unbalanced individual-centered societies are needed to provide the impetus for the next progression. I'm not sure about that but that seems to have been the trend up to now. In any event we see this exact dynamic playing out in the current political economy of the US. Capitalism is one of those regressions, focusing on 'enlightened' self interest which results in all the usual dominator-hierarchical imbalances readily evident. We also see the burgeoning neo-Commons, which is a progressive advancement on the balanced predecessor commons-based societies.

I might add that Adam Smith's version of capitalism based on incipient enlightened self-interest was indeed balanced with the communal and an example of a healthy hierarchy. But it regressed when that balance shifted to an unbalanced individualism that dominated over community and fell into greed and complete lack of regard for the other. Hence the emerging neo-Commons integrates the inside/outside, self/other yet again on the next level of hierarchical development.

PS: This is also congruent with Lakoff's work here.

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