Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Integral Politics, Integral Political Party, Integral Political Science

In this weeks Integral Naked session, Wilber gives away a free video on the Third Way of Integral Politics. Check it out: The tone of voice is much more modest then earlier treatments. Wilber says it's all very complicated and we need decades of discussion. Now we're talking business.

Concerning the upcoming US Presidential elections, he laments the impossibility of getting an integral candidate elected, in a democracy, because there are so few integral people around to vote for them. (But then again, even atheists have zero chance of getting elected for President in the United States!). So the best we can hope for is a US presidential candidate who is "integrally informed". According to Wilber, things are looking good on that front: Bill Clinton has read him, Gore has, Hillary knows about AQAL, Jebb Bush ("the brother that reads") ditto, even Karl Rove has... Mmmm, not so sure where that will bring us...

Wilber also discusses the two-pary system in the US that, according to him, has now served its purpose. He pleads for a reform of the political system. But hey, we over here in Europe know all about this parliamentary democracy or many-party system, where coalitions between parties determine who rules and who's in the opposition.

The problem with any emerging third party in the US is, I think, that it will always weaken the main party which it resembles most. So a left wing third party will weaking the Democrates, so the Republicans will win. A right wing third party will weaken the Republicans, so the Democrats will win. That is really a losing proposition.

Wilber explains that while a traditionalist vote - to avoid using color meme terminology -- would normally be Republican, and a humanistic vote would be Democrat, a rationalist could vote both (rationalist-freethinker vs. capitalist-conservative). What would that pattern look like for an integralists vote? Would these votes always be "strategic" (what's best for the country, given its meme constellation?) or would they have preferences of their own?

However, before we start thinking about integral politics and integral political parties or presidents, it would in my opinion be good to focus first on integral political science. Integral is first and foremost an attempt to understand a particulare field of thought by including as many perspectives as possible. So if Wilber can include in his model both left and right, both indivdualist and collectivist, both traditional, modernist and humanist, then this analysis should be offered to specialists in the field of politicology, to see if it really makes sense.

Then, and only then, should we consider applying it to the real world, but not before. Parties and Presidents are a premature topic.