Friday, August 18, 2017

Integral impotence

In this FB IPS thread I asked: So are we supposed to be tolerant of neo-Nazis, give them a fair shake in dialogue? I got a few responses from 'integral' practitioners that said we must accept their voices, otherwise we are censoring free speech and denying them the right to their views. One quoted Wilber as saying "everyone is right" at least partially to justify this. It's sad to see this sort of rationalization of integral theory enabling fascism.  

Speaking of Wilber, I'm reminded of what he said in One Taste about communism and fascism, the extremes of liberalism and conservatism. As to the latter: "Extreme conservatism, ending in fascism, [is] also enforced with terror. [...] Fascism [...] kills the bottom to feed the top. And as it works hard for a growth toward the superman, the gas chambers await those who are rightly or wrongly (always wrongly) perceived to be subhuman" (310).

I'm also reminded of Mark Edwards' comment on climate change here, equally applicable to this topic:
"Should metatheorising try to include all views even when those views may be endangering human sustainability? Is the task [of] integration endangering the responsibility to advocate particualr visions? And what does that mean for the goals and methods of doing metatheory? Are our ideals of being 'integral' rendering us impotent to present a particular way forward? Is the maxim of 'true but partial' reducing integral visions to 'balanced and irrelevant?' "

Interestingly, I see Thomas Frank's criticism of liberals also applicable to some 'integral' analysis of fascism and how to address it.  

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