Monday, September 1, 2014

Towards an Authentic Integral Politics

There will be no authentic integral politics until a critical mass of humanity makes the momentous leap into second tier consciousness.

Until then it might be valuable to strengthen our cognitive hypothesis about the nature and contours of a potential integral politics, because the practice of seeking to take and embrace multiple perspectives could very well contribute to the necessary transcendence.  

Some, including a number in the Boulder orbit, have made the noble attempt to step into a hypothetical integral politics, but never quite develop a perspective that satisfies the demands of the Integral Model.  While we will take note of some of these deficiencies for the purposes of looking more deeply into the matter, we do this collegially and affectionately.

The biggest challenge, illustrated by the various Boulder efforts that miss the mark, is to note the distinction between what will arise politically in the second tier versus what we think that might be from here in the first. Green is not integral regardless of our capacity to think about it.

Ken Wilber illustrates the dynamics of this structural disparity when he noted that the Constitution of the United States offered a “stage 5” method of governance in a “stage 3” society.  By that he meant that the founding principles of the nation set forth in both that document and the Declaration of Independence reflected the possibilities of self-governance developed out of the centuries-old English tradition of limited government as improved by the insights of the Scottish Enlightenment with its commitment to individual liberty and sovereignty.  These were principles for a nation whose citizens had developed to the moral understanding of the stage 5, postconventional worldcentric perspective.

But the United States did not become a stage 5 society on June 21, 1788, the day the Constitution was formally ratified.  Indeed, even after the Civil War and adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments eradicating slavery and guaranteeing the political rights of all citizens, the U. S. continued its evolution toward the orange rational/industrial stage 5 nation it finally became after World War II.  It wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that the majority of the citizenry made it to stage 4, and it was only in the 1960s that the possibility of mass stage 5 consciousness emerged.