Monday, March 17, 2008

Some Convenient Truths

Al Gore's documentary about global warming "An Inconvenient Truth" had a clear message to the world: our continued use of fossil fuels will spell disaster for our immediate future. So we have a responsibility to restrain ourselves, cut back on our systematic waste of energy, and turn the tide if at all possible. Some have pointed to exaggerations or factual errors in Gore's presentation. Wilber has devoted an Integral Naked session with best seller author Michael Crichton (of Jurassic Park) on the topic framing this anti-warming crusade as a green-religious effort, that is supposed to make us feel guilty about how we degrade Mother Earth. Now, isn't this a very convenient truth? So we can go on burning up our resources?

Take the Middle East. The received view is that the Israeli people settled in a land largely empty of inhabitants, upon which they were attacked by all their neighbours, and are justified in claiming more and more fruitful land, for their growing population, to this very day. Backed up by huge financial and military US support. Again, a very convenient truth. Don't mention the fact that in a period of sixty years three million refugees have been put in refugee camps, whose future fate even today is barely a topic of negotiation. And in the meantime, Israel is taking more and more land, keeping Palestinians into some kind of reservation area in Gaza and the West Bank. Where one casualty on the side of Israel justifies killing 150 Palestinians in revenge. And only Libya, of all countries, had the nerve to point this out in a recent Security Council meeting.

Take Iraq, again. Yesterday on Dutch television there was a documentary about how the US has "sold" the Iraq war to the world, and how many (though not as many as they wanted) "bought" it. How Colin Powell, whose credibility was only slightly less then Mother Teresa at that time, had to tell a pack of lies to the UN, even to the point of waving a tube of Antrax before the audience (which contains talk powder). Or a major press conference, in which a Dutch and Danish army officer were standing right behind the US speaker, signalling to the audience the large "coalitionof the willing", while none of these countries were involved in the war efforts at that time. Isn't it ironic that the country which has the largest number of weapons of mass destriuction invades a country which is supposed to have these weapons, which turns out not to be true, but then it invades it anyway, because of connections with Al-Qaeda, which turn out to be non-existent.... Is there any reality check here other then: we have to grab the oil before it's too late? Wilber's take on the Iraq war has more or less been: even if one doesn't agree fully with Bush, it takes a Blue Bush to smash a Red dictator like Saddam in the face. Not to mention other dictators in the word, past or present, who have been left alone or have even been actively supported by the US, when it served their interests.

Or take the vexed topic of Wilber criticism. The received view in the Integral scene is that most critics misrepresent or misunderstand (or both) Wilber, so they can be safely ignored. Or they are "bad critics" because they don't have the right "altitude" to understand his lofty visions. Or,... well you get the picture. Enough to stifle a debate from the start. Another very convenient truth. So let's just promote Wilber's next, next views, and ignore any of his critics. What's their problem? It's echoes the feeling many in the US had after the 9/11 attacks: "why does the world hate us?". Integral Ideology is it's proper name. Criticism is well... inconvenient.

I personally would like to hear more about Integral views on these topics which really take a look at these convenient truths.

6 Comments:

Blogger cees de groot said...

well frank, let me be frank with you ...

in a previous mailing you states (in a - cynical? - context) : "Marketing has won over arguments. Advertising has won over assessment."

But then - Has it won or is it the False Meme Filling the On-Space and Neglecting the Off-Space which so often ssems to Connect ...

Let me bring in here a saying i read by reading a piece of writing a friend of me passed over because of the sudden pass-away of the dutch enterpreneur Eckart Wintzen ... :

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." Oscar Wilde

which was a motto in an article on :
4.7 Re-engineering the Planet
Three Steps to a Sustainable Free Market Economy - Eckart Wintzen

(well - it can be distributed - when asked for)

Death is That a Convenient Truth?

Y our S'ace

4:59 PM  
Blogger Stuart said...

Many of my liberal friends in Berkeley have, for decades, advocated and worked for increased wealth and power for the federal government (through "taxing the rich," and through judicial and political activism to increase the power of Washington D.C. authorities over the states and individuals).

As best as I can speculate, the intention behind this is: my friends believe they have a superior morality, and that the country and the world is benefited when they have the power to impose their morality on the masses. A strong, rich U.S. government supplies the means through which they can at least hope to control the lives of others.

The Lefties are furious at Bush, partly because they'd worked towards amassing this government power in the hopes that they could be the ones using it to control the world. And now Bush has hijacked it all, so it's his morality being imposed, not theirs.

When someone crusades for years to shovel money to the U.S. govt, and then that govt ends up doing horrible things... there ought to be at least a little reflection: "Hey, all this time we've been concentrating wealth and power in D.C. Now we see that it's being used to bomb people and stuff, so maybe it wasn't such a great idea." But I never hear anything like that.

If you give a bottle of vodka and your car keys to a teenager, and it ends in a terrible accident, of course you can rant against the teenager. But the people who gave him the means to do the damage... ought to be ready to accept some responsibility too.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank,

I've appreciated much of your work for a long time. But since the 'incident' with Ken, you seem to have dedicated yourself to being a cynic rather than a critic. Isn't growth about getting past your ego? Ken biatch slapped you, that is for sure, so is it now your calling to get revenge?

Stuart,

Again more cynicism. You seem to be echoing 'neo-con' idealogy: "Government Bad, Government the problem, get rid of goverment and utopia comes!" I was hoping for something better on this board than cable TV punditry. I believe that many on the 'left', the 'right' and elsewhere are outraged by GWB's use of power... he violated so many rules of ethics, law, morality, etc. By your comments, you infer that if taxes were lower that Bush wouldn't have invaded Iraq. Do you really believe that?

Marq in Ohio

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I share your view on Wilbers views on topics like the war in Irak. But is that of ANY importance? NO. Do we REALLY need clarity about that? NO. We need to be in peace and joy and find a way of expression through that state. That is what we really need. So why doing something else... For my part, the more I'm in peace the less I'm interested in arguing. Because it doesn't add anything to it. Maybe we could turn arguing in kind of a new olympic discipline? A game? Who plays best with opinions?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Don H said...

anonymous said:

"Hello! I share your view on Wilbers views on topics like the war in Irak. But is that of ANY importance?"

Yes, it's of great importance to the millions of lives that have been lost of severely damaged, including the residents of the U.S. whose economy has tanked partly because of the near trillion dollars of war spending and borrowing from China.

It is quite narcissistic and self-absorbed to value inner peace and denigrate outer peace and well-being for our brothers and sisters on this planet. One without the other is narcissistic and self-absorbed.

9:22 AM  
Blogger DGA said...

Thank you for attempting to moderate a reasonable discussion on this subject.

You may wish to add the following work to the "criticism" section linked to this post:

http://integral-review.org/documents/Anderson,%20Such%20a%20Body.%20Micropolitics,%20Vol.%204%20No.%202.pdf

Warmly,
Anderson

2:55 PM  

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