Thursday, July 9, 2015

Zimmerman reviews the Encyclical

See Zimmerman's integral review of the Encyclical. One of his complaints is that it is not integral because it doesn't delineate phases of cultural evolution. True if by that we mean in the way that developmental psychology does. But the latter is not necessary to exemplify the phases, i.e., it doesn't have to be framed in developmental language to be integral. E.g., Zimmerman admits that “although the Encyclical includes certain elements of this view of cultural development, those elements are not woven into a coherent thread, nor are they foregrounded.” This is such a red herring and straw argument that I find it hard to believe anyone still accepts it in the integral community. The actual elements of such development are even quoted by Zimmerman in plain sight and meaning. Just invoking a developmental paradigm is not in the least necessary for anything, including the Encyclical, to exemplify such levels. Integralists really need to get off this kick and realize it's partly motivated by their own need to control debate, elevate their own status, and sell their integral modeling products. All manifestations, by the way, of the sort of modern capitalism the Pope criticizes, and which many integralists unconsciously accept.

As to the last statement, Zimmerman notes that the Pope's presentation displays postmodern values but we must also find a way to include the “values that are central to contemporary modernity, including individual liberty, democratic politics, market economics with a social safety net, and desire for ever-expanding knowledge, power, wealth, and comfort.” The Pope certainly includes some of those things. Democratic politics is indeed included with reference to how to do markets, i.e. democratically with safety nets. The Pope is only against markets done from a dysfunctional capitalism that is not in the least democratic and could give a shit about the health, wealth or safety of its citizens. But Zimmerman reveals in this statement some of the aforementioned modern and dysfunctional capitalistic assumptions like ever-expanding power and wealth. These are not only not necessary to postmodern and integral levels of development but actually prevent its emergence, being on the dissociation side of Wilber's 'transcend and dissociate' metaphor.

The problem arises because Zimmerman confuses basic with transitional structures (e.g. see this Ning IPS thread). Yes, we include the healthy elements of previous structures, but the worldviews are themselves transcended and replaced. We discussed this in the FB IPS thread on anti-capitalism discussing Stein's anti-capitalist manifesto. As noted above the Pope certainly provides examples of how to incorporate said elements of pre-modernity, modernity and post-modernity into an ecologically spiritual framework that nonetheless transcends and replaces those previous worldviews. This is indeed a developmentally integral ecological view that has no need of kennilingus hubris, since the Pope isn't selling it for profit. This is a P2P gift shared in true Commons style indicative of the actual emerging next phase in our cultural development.

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