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.


Blogger Oliver Heuler said...

Isn’t the term "integral politics" self-contradictory? Shouldn’t an integral approach be one in which there is no coercion? Is an approach which says "the end justifies violent means" morally sound? I wonder why no one in the integral community has ever considered
voluntaryism as the most developed form of social interaction? Have you, Frank?

11:05 PM  
Blogger dj rekluse said...

Hey Frank - feel free to embed the video right into your blog--it can be found here:

Thanks for helping reflect the somewhat clarifying light this video offers out to the rest of the world....

Corey W. deVos
Managing Editor, Integral Naked
Managing Editor,

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi frank!

this is off topic, but I need to let off steam:

I'm soo sick of Wilber's mega superficial and repetitive online presence that - if he was in my reach - I would kick his a**. Listening to this stuff just makes me stupid, I feel. I know all his written material and I have not seen one video so far coming up to his written elaborations which are far too sketchy anyway.

In case Wilber is in your reach again one day, though, would you please deliver him my kicking his a** and tell him to stop fooling around, get himself a webcam or voicerecorder and start recording himself talking in professional lingo about the details he (apparently) has no place for in his books?! And tell him I dont care about the editing and sound-effects! Tell him just to talk some details about Kant, Husserl, history or politics; pleaaaaase! Tell him there is at least one person wanting to know more. And tell him in case he has nothing more to say than already written down in his books to stop claiming in those same books the he actually could say more, but has no space to do so.

As long as there is someone listening, there will be a space for old Ken to articulate himself. But I for my part am starting to really get annoyed after five years or so wating for old Ken to start talking details.

How come Hubert Dreyfus e.g. has done more in digitally spreading his philosophical ideas in more detailed (!) and discursive (!) and falsifyable (!) fashion (listen to his podcasts on Heidegger or existentialism via iTunes) than brotha Ken with his many helping hands, hi-tec equipment and thousands of subscriptions on iNaked?

I just don't know. All this doesn't make sense.

keep it up Frank

3:25 PM  
Blogger Robert Sandberg said...

to anonymous 3:25 p.m.

i know what you mean. but you can't get blood from a turnip.

i think that Wilber doesn't elaborate or analyze more honestly, accurately, or substantively on or about the fields, subjects, and persons you mention because he is not as well read as he would like us to believe he is. he is simply not as up to date on the scholarship and research in the fields, subjects and persons you mention as he would need to be in order to write the "falsifiable" discussion and analyses you, I, and others would like. Wilber promises much but doesn't (because he can't) deliver.

my essay, Ken Wilber: The Asimov of Consciousness, and Geoffrey Falk's critique of it, Not That There is Anything Wrong with That", together make the case that we should stop being disappointed, misled or enraged by Wilber's inability to deliver the scientific or philosophical goods. to paraphrase Falk, we should not think of Wilber as this or that, we should not think of him at all. my essay was originally written for newbies to the Wilber controversies and posted on my Narrative Oversight blog. Falk's critique of my essay ought to remind seasoned Wilber "experts" of just how bad things really are when you probe deeply into Wilber's work.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, time for the brainwashed cultist again! You know what the difference is between orange and integralwhen they look at integral concempts? Integral sees them as possibielities of information organization modular and instrumental, orange as sth. that is supposed to be given. So in the case that you feel like Wilber says "This is like that", it is your orangeness. That shows if you critizice Wilber for "making a claim". that the I-Theory is what you call claim shows that you cannot interpret the world beyond orange. get it? No ? Why not ? ; )

8:45 AM  

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