For an introduction to this expanding meta-thread see Integral Anti-Capitalism pt I. We continue here because we have, hilariously, exceeded this website's capacity...


I agree that holacracy should be singled out for special investigation. The provocative notion that we are dramatically over-emphasizing the need for "conscious leadership" pertains very pertinently to this discussion. Robertson, like ourselves, is pointing to the fact that business (organizations) which integrally improve the interiors and cultural
spirit of their participants are still predisposed to certain outcomes as a result of their actual structural habits of communication and their specific decision-making protocols.
His notion of a constantly self-correcting dynamic organization drawing upon the capacity of individuals to act as tension-sensors relative to the "evolutionary purpose" of the organization is compelling and admirable.

More important is simply that he is making a stand and making an attempt to construct a protocol (constitution). I am not fully versed in the 4.0 version of the holacracy constitution but we should get deeper into some of these proposals.  

Given the level of your current knowledge of their protocols, what would you want to change or add in order to ethically and functionally empower this approach even more?


First some housekeeping in providing links in part I to comments on holacracy: their website, comment 1, comment 2, comment 3 (and 3 more on p. 7), and the first 7 comments on p. 8

I’m not yet familiar enough with holacracy to know it might need. So for now I’ll ask questions.  From p. 8 there was a blog post on ownership and the model might (but not necessarily) include outside capital investors. I asked:

“One question immediately pops up on outside investors. Are there limits on the amount of outside capital investment? What if their investment is such that without it the company could not financially survive? And/or depends on it for start-up? Then such investment would control the company, like it or not. If you don't do what I say I'm taking my ball and going home. No ball, no ballgame. Not the same as a mortgage or loan company.”

Granted why such investors are included on the Board there are other stake-holders to balance their input. But are there rules about which outside individuals or companies can invest? Do they have to have similar values like triple bottom lines instead of just profit for their investors? Can a Goldman Sachs provide start-up capital? Or Romeny’s ex-firm, Bain? Just wondering, so perhaps it’s time for those out there more familiar with the system to engage us?


I appreciate your inquiry about the potential influence of outside investors in holacratic systems. Perhaps they have a good protocol for that. Or perhaps not. In general, all "smart groups" need to comprehend and anticipate the distortion influence that donors and enablers wield. The psychology of human nature shows that we may believe ourselves to be quite sturdy and impartial while we are really bending in the breeze.

One of the concerns I had while perusing the holacracy constitution was about the voting procedure for filling roles. There are many parts of their approach which impress. In particular I would like to make not of the necessity to place constraints upon discussion. When the mention of a concern is met with the mention of counter-concerns then the intelligence and practical efficacy of discussions drops dramatically. A highly suspicious mind might even supposed that the human hive is encouraged to engage in the constant casual usage of dysfunctional conversation. So their use of controlled phases in both operational and hiring decisions is admirable. However, their actual voting protocol seems (to my naive glance) to be based on a model of transparent majority. A sophisticated "show of hands".

So this may be an area in which holacratic principles can be expanded to include a more thorough use of "secret ballot" and "averaged ranking".

The former often seems like a show of bad faith and an invitation to covert dangers... but these are considerably outweighed by the liberation of individual intelligence from any conscious or unconscious concerns about the social consequences of their input.

The latter evades a primitive "first past the post" approach in which our intelligence is functionally limited to a yes/no determination about each candidate relative to other candidates.

Another thing I admire about holacracy is that it represents a functional procedure and culture in which participants would appear to become better participants by participating. Their capacity and ethical commitment to the good of the organization through its evolving protocols should be an increasing trend. Any smart group needs to be arranged so that even people who try to distort the results will find their capacity and will to do this reducing over time. Replaced by the inspirational efficacy of the group.

This brings me to another issue relative to voting, both in political and economic groups. That is the relative absence of specific instructions about how to translated ones feelings into a vote-mark. This is almost completely unaddressed in terms of popular elections. To discuss it even seems insidious to some people who fear coercion (and/or wish to maintain the current material power structures).

Protocols should have at least a clear suggestion about how to locate both "gut" and "intellectual" data within ourselves and convert that into a numerical value which can be contributed to a group decision. A lack of clarification at this critical junction may act as an invisible source of drag upon an otherwise very functional group organism.

It might even be possible to define an "integral-level organizational set up" for business or politics by simply compiling a list of areas in which intelligence and capacity are distorted. We might recall that most of Wilber's philosophy has emerged in levels correlated to his discovery of "fallacies" or "basic errors". Integral proposals about business and society could be all over the map unless there is a reasonable set of constraints that make sure they fall in the most lucrative zone.

So other than the potential influence of outside "helpers" and "donors" what other sources of distortion or inhibition do you see going mostly unaddressed in otherwise progressive groups?


My next question of holacracy is who came up with it? It seems to be the pet project of Brian Robertson, his own brainchild. I'm wondering if that is so of if it was a community or P2P project? I mean, the structure of holacracy itself calls for distributed decision-making but was the creation of holacracy itself derived from this process or mostly dictated by Robertson? I've yet to find an answer at the site so I posed this question to them via contact info. I'll provide the response if/when received. I think the answer is pivotal in determining if this thing called holacracy arose from its own medicine.


I look forward that answer if it is forthcoming. The notion of self-arising systems is something which haunts the periphery of these discussions. My fantasy is that we can devise a group protocol which so reliably and simply exceeds the cognitive capacity of the individual participants that it would be foolish to predetermine the purpose and nature of the group. Collectively we could a better job of determining what kind of a collective we should be. "Smartgroups" of this kind could then spread through the world in a very radical social uprising. How possible that is remains uncertain...

As I understand holacracy, the different companies making use of it are assumed to engage in their own mutational modifications of the "constitution". So even if Brian wrote the whole thing out in his bathtub it still retains an open source quality. The answer to whether its current forms are or are not the result of distributed decision-making is almost certainly: sort of.

One of the reasons the holacracy approach is so amenable to business organization is that it seems to depend upon the functional axis of a specified purpose. The aim is somewhat pregiven -- our job is to sell widgets or maximize share-holder profit, etc. His use of the metaphor of the sensors on an airplane derives from a mechanism that is assumed to be designed for a well-known purpose.

My question would be whether or not this "aim" is a necessarily functional element in generating enhanced organizational capacity? Or whether it is simply an artifact of the need to make these systems serve a relatively conventional marketplace task?


Your suggestion of a smart group that arises creatively from a continually evolving set of parameters seems to be the intent and practice of holacracy. As to the organizational purpose of Holacracy One, it seems to have multiple bottom lines including but not limited to profit. For example, see this post in the comments where I noted that the top to bottom pay ratio is 3 to 1, and quoted some of those multiple purposes:

"With Holacracy at play, the game is entirely different: with the decentralization of authoritythe separation of people and role, and the dynamic evolution of those roles, we end up with a situation that looks more like free agents going about their work with no central planning. There might not even be a single person who knows about everything you do."

This sounds much more like the sort of emerging P2P organizational structure discussed throughout this thread. And also of significance in the post following this article where The Integral Center of Boulder has "voluntarily relinquished their rights to control their company as owners. Instead, they have ceded authority to a purpose-centered governance process called Holacracy, a model that distributes authority across the organization and gives primary power to the organization itself."

These are indeed advances over the kind of conscious capitalism promoted and AQALly packaged for sale at I-I.


(comment pending)

This is an interesting moment. Apparently is experimenting with a version of holacracy as well. It clearly represents a theoretical advance over the typical kind of conscious capitalism which combines advanced sentiments with a potentially dangerous and uninspected ideological allegiance to more primitive routines of social organization and wealth production. Yet we cannot know the results of the experiment in advance.

I have tremendous optimism about emergent p2p organizational structures. Experimentation is utterly necessary and should be strongly encouraged. I am also very hopeful that advances can be made in terms of quantification. This is very central in my thinking lately.

It seems that experimental protocols for advances social organization systems suffer from the lack of a quantifiable evaluation of their respective degrees of "collective intelligence". Most people are drawn to such possibilities by ethical and aesthetic criteria which do no necessarily persuade the world. So I would love to see experimentation supplemented by the attempt to devise a metric for estimating the intelligence of a social organization protocol.

Along similar lines, my "tetrabucks" type notions represent the possibility/necessity to structure our currency at a level that correlates to advanced P2P organizational structures and post-pluralistic consciousness.

The potential of an evil holacracy has hardly been broached. If it works -- it works. Other than simply the tendency of less complex people not to use more complex systems, and the tendency of more complex systems to complexify their participants, there needs to be some inter-organizational structures which incline all organizations int he direction of broad human well-being. It is my assertion that as long as primary areas of value remain outside monetization the actions of groups trying to utilize official social credits will constantly become unstable.

So I am imagining a line leading from pathological capitalism to standard capitalism to conscious capitalism to trans-capitalist network organizations to such organizations bound together by a integrated set of metrics for determining the intelligence of groups and splicing together (at least) four broad domains of human value.

Along these lines -- how will we decide whether holacratic integral business is working better?


As to how we determine whether alternative economic paradigms are 'working,' I'd suggest that even by the standards of typical business democratic workplaces like co-ops are successful. If by that we mean the organization runs smoothly, has low employee turnover, high employee satisfaction, makes a profit or surplus over operating costs, and other such typical measures. Plus they fulfill their stated purposes as expressed in theRochdale principles, like community education, cooperation, democratic control, etc.

I'd say the same applies to holacracy. They also have to accomplish the usual business parameters like above but also meet stated principles like in their constitution. Given Robertson's business acumen I'm sure at the site he has precise and measurable indices to track such progress, though I didn't try to find them as yet.


(comment pending)

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To me, this points out our systemic need for the people's press or Consensual Truth News (CTN) in which we the people take our best shot at determining and clearly presenting the single best approximation to truth and facts that a collective can determine at this time. It would be like a fact check service but providing the information in the form of a newscast. This would not replace other independent news sources, it would just be a clearinghouse for information related to how to define and solve social, economic, and environmental, etc. issues. Segments for deliberation and point and counterpoint discussions, but mostly presenting the consentual truth, with plenty of qualifications as to how that truth was determined, the process by which the consensual truth was reached. Such as you did in the comment above. You gave the scientific organizations which concluded that climate change is real, etc. And pointed out why these sources carried more weight than privately-funded scientific organizations, etc. The People's Consentual Truth News would constantly remind its viewers that this is our best shot at the "truth" at this particular time, subject to change if more information comes in and if deliberation results in changed minds. It is only about a bracketed truth, {truth}. 

There currently is no central clearinghouse of such information which clearly presents the information to the participants in our (trying to be) democracy. News is fragmented, patchworked, only. Not consolidated or integrated or vetted by the collective. The current sorry state of news gives the impression that they are all of the same truth value. Climate deniers on one channel appear to be equivilant to more sound climate scientists on another channel. "You have your truth. I have mine." sort of thing. Instead of we have this {truth}. Democracy cannot work without consentual truths. There would be no way to get on the same page. That doesn't mean that debate or even desent is not also good for a democracy. It is. But it means that we cannot become a viable democracy without a truth consensus function which is used by the collective to make informed choices. Relying on representatives to gather the {truth} only adds to the fragmented, non-integrated, {truth} because of corruption and individual bias. These leaders need to be subjected constantly to a clearinghouse of {truth}. Of course care would have to be taken, similar to jury selection processes, to protect the People's Consentual Truth News from corruption and bias. The deliberation and debate segments would help. 

Something like Roger Rothenberg's (author of online-published Beyond Plutocracy) computerized "Demos" as suppliment to current government structures could, and should, be established as part of the People's Consentual Truth Organization, under which the People's Consentual Truth News operates. 

What we have now is a decision to not be able to make informed group decisions. News as it is now is little more than "pick your fancy." And yet reality is not just different flavors of ice cream, each version chosen for the person's taste or liking. There is some real in the UR and LR quads. We need one place where we the people can count on for being at least our best shot at the truth. The best {truth} possible. From there we can debate and desent and modify. We can vary the theme. But without a theme there is no way to head in the same general direction. The herd scatters and dies. 


theurj said:

Also see this report by the California Office of Planning and Research, which provides scientific evidence debunking many climate denier claims. Yes, they use the IPCC but also the US National Academy of Sciences, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the UK's Royal Society. I guess the latter three are part of the climate change hoax too? It's all a giant green conspiracy made up of those greedy scientists? Listen to Alex Jones much?

“There isn’t a scientific consensus on climate change. Lots of scientists have signed a petition against it.”

In fact, there is a very strong scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and is caused by humans. Recent studies have shown that about 97% of active climate researchers agree that climate change is human-caused. And the few who disagree have substantially less climate expertise than the 97%. Some years ago, a petition rejecting a consensus on climate change garnered press attention, with its proponents claiming they had collected thousands of signatures from scientists. In truth, the signatories largely had training irrelevant to climate science such as veterinary medicine or no scientific expertise at all.
(Anderegg et al. (2010). Doran and Zimmerman (2009).)

“Scientists are out for personal gain, publishing alarmist studies to capture research grants.”

There is no evidence to support this argument. Scientists who participate in the IPCC climate assessments are not paid, nor are those who participate in panels for the National Academy of Sciences. Career advancement in the sciences is not based on holding popular views, but on publishing original research. By contrast, many deniers have received funding from entities with a financial stake in fossil fuel-based energy system.

“The Climategate scandal showed that scientists have manipulated data to invent the climate problem.”

“Climategate” was coined to refer to a series of hacked emails from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia in 2009. No evidence of scientific wrongdoing was ever found. No fewer than seven committees, including bodies from the U.S. and British governments, looked into the emails and all reached the conclusion that the scientists committed no research misconduct, their results were accurate, and nothing in the emails refuted the overwhelming evidence of climate change.

(House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, March 24, 2010; University of East Anglia, April 12, 2010; Pennsylvania State University, June 4, 2010; The Independent Climate Change Emails Review, July 2010; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 29, 2010; U.S. Department of Commerce, February 24, 2011; National Science Foundation, August 15, 2011)

Max, What do you think about the notion that it may not matter about climate change, since we need a new economic engine anyway? The number of new, good paying jobs, is way bigger for a shift to renewable energy than it is if we stay stuck on oil and current supportive infrastructures related to that main energy source, than if we reinvent ourselves with a "third industrial revolution" (Rifkin). Even if the apparent scientific consensus is wrong, the myth-driven impetus to create the TIR would do us a world of good. Even if the natural "world" (the environment) doesn't need the TIR, the un-natural, man-made "world" does. If a myth works, use it. That is perhaps a functional view of reality. What sustainably works and works for the most people is quite "true," like being "true" to one's lover. 



i also read the "news". but unlike you i can discern empty propaganda when i see it.

this is just so much hog wash , there was a investigative journalist , a woman, who looked into the last report of this panel of the is it ICCP or what , she looked into the details, with quite a few helper s, it was tedious because there are over a 1000 scientist who contributed (appearantly) to that last report. nobody else ever made that effort ,i forgot

what she was called ( since i am not as prepared as you theurj since i am not fighting a war as you seem to be doing here , and therefore fore me its enough to educate myself and then i forget the details ,but if i find  a bit of time, i will try to find her and her report so that you can have the benefit too ) anyway she proved that most of these "1000 leading scientist" where just students or very much beginners and many had strange äh fundings or corrupting influences and certainly ery little experience and/or authority in their fields. on the other hand serious researcher who are not playing along, or lets say their results of their research is not backing the clima hysterics of the iccp , well they were systematic ignored .: )) she found that

so the iccp is essentially just like a big lobby group, for the green industry and green projects and green organizations etc . its all just like a religion , its a belief, and a huge business model of course too. BUT


the world is getting colder since 15 years or at least not hotter , in any case it has been a lot hotter about a 1000 years ago for a period of 200 years and THAT is a fact and THAT was not caused by co2 , and so on , if one starts to seriously look into this iccp stuff , it has about as many holes as swiss cheese and its clear THOSE WHO ARE ON THE RIGHT SIDE HERE  make tons of money !!!! and the others are just ..well ...äh being used . :) all are being had by the green lobby. thats all ! wake up. or keep sleeping makes no difference to me

because what a bunch od americans think on this issue is any just not important.

in germany the green madness rules supreme and i mean by "rule" they run the government !! and all media and academia as well , its unbelievable but then the germans have proved already severla times that they have genetic defect : you can tell them any crap if you do it appearantly sincere enough , loud and long enough and mix the words "sacrifice for the good of humanity " "noble cause" "we are the leading edge" into the mix they are even able to kill 6 millon jews and think they do the world a favour,

figure sitting in the dark and cold without electricity , thats really nothing compared to the shit they have been talked into before.  in any case they dont notice how their life quality is steadily sinking since since they are so busy

installing the fucking 4th reich, this time in green!

and  there bloody fanatism is ruining mine and everybody else´s life  .

bloody jerks

and you theurj should know better then belief such bullshit .

psychology , ever heard of that? these green organizations have lost their innocence A LONG TIME AGO

now they are into careers and money and they bend all the rules necessary to get the comfy life .

its like any other corporation : green peace , amnesty international , the many ngo´s etc they are just interested in perpetuating their little life´s like any other institution and no public "man made" clima change hysterics  means :  lot s of monies and jobs wont come their way anymore , its that simple !

these are just a career plans for most these days, just have no idea

in germany IF you are not green you can not make a career in almost any field especially not in

academia, journalism and politics, tendency getting so bad ,young free well educated and especially intelligent people leave germany in drones because they are sick and tired to have some green dumb head telling them what to think ! and what to eat or generally how to live their lives

if you write as a journalist something negative but scientifically true about the new clima change religion,

you will have no job the next day. clear ?

so the fucking öko fascists need not any more pampering . and they wont get from me .

so stop repeating this propaganda and re search a bit better for the underlying facts !


Some media outlets already get it right more of the time than others. E.g., see this report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, rating climate change accuracy in cable tv networks: MSNBC 92%, CNN 70%, Fox News 28%.

Your last comment reminded me of this cartoon:

Not sure the Fox viewers are interested in consentual truths. What is in their head is the only truth they care about. Most of this is due to the collapse of their world and the attempt to desperately hold on. Once I dropped some weights on my hand in a public place. I noticed how quickly and intensely I drew within myself, like going into a cave to lick my wounds or re-consolidate. It was a phenomenon of what the human mind does when wounded or defensive. We put blinders on and hunker down. Fox News is a psychological equivilant to my invisible cave after the wieghts fell on my hand. The world as the Fox viewers know it is falling down all around them and collapsing on them. It hurts. It scares the hell out of them. A little "truth" that reasures them that the old ways will keep right on working as long as we stick to them or get back to them is a great temporary pain killer to deal with the wieght of their world collapsing. It is a collective cave where many viewers go to lick their wounds. It is the UL and LL conflated with or contaminating the right side quadrants. Re the LR, none of the thinking in the old order was ever very good at understanding systems in the first place. It is a more static way of thinking which gets trees but not forests. It is amber's either/or mode of thought. Short on both/and or inclusive thought needed for understanding the dynamics of systems, including the ecosystem. The Tree of Life wouldn't be recognized by Traditionals or Ambers if it was right in front of them, because they would be looking for a single, tangible, tree instead of the nonlocal treeness which allows for dynamic understanding. 


theurj said:

Some media outlets already get it right more of the time than others. E.g., see this report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, rating climate change accuracy in cable tv networks: MSNBC 92%, CNN 70%, Fox News 28%.



theurj said:

Your last comment reminded me of this cartoon:

A lot of very good points Darrel! Very true about religions non- relationship to systems. I might add though, that even integralist's won't concede panpsychism and primacy to the right quads. Not in anyway that does honour to the idea of god, anyway. I think we need an Integral God faith, one that doesn't necessarily fetishize evolution.

Julian in this post argues that Wilber does indeed concede panpsychism and God. Granted it does fetishize evolution. As you already know, I'm more on Julian's side in this one. Though I do entertain a form of panpsychism (pancorrelationism), but it is atheist and materialist (but not eliminativist) all the way.

More good news. I already mentioned that Picketty's book is #1 on Amazon. #2 is Senator Elizabeth Warren's book, A Fighting Chance. And #5 is Michael Lewis' Flash Boys about high-frequency traders. All are about a rigged system. It's highly unusual for this type of book to be so highly rated, and there are 3 in the top 5. This might be a positive sign that the masses are waking up. And hopefully will get motivated about the upcoming elections.

Andrew and theurj, Many of the issues surrounding pantheism, etc. seem at least temporarily understandable by taking a depth view of reality, in that more and more evidence is mounting that in the substratum of classical, physical, reality are approximations to mind. While the mind may not be literally and/or only just another continuous energy field, it nonetheless seems to reflect the characteristic of operating like a whole field which interconnects the various discrete cognitions within it. That is the mind, as best we can understand it, seems to resemble some sort of energy field. Or, perhaps as we try to come up with theories which might best explain quantum leaps, etc, we project a wholeness of mind onto the realm/dimension where the quantum effects are thought to originate. This realm or dimension (which looks to be within physical reality, or deeper as a substratum) in effect becomes a mirror of the mind which informs (via its theories) the objects (quantum wave functions, field effects, "subtle energies," etc.) in a manner similar to how Kant argued that mind informs the objects of empiricism as much or more-so than empirical observations of objects inform mind. Kant argued that certain a priori patterns of mind filter the observations. For instance, "in" vs. "out" seems an a priori notion which mind brings to all the observations. In Integral terms the left and right sides of the quadrants were divided not by physical (empirically testable, objectively observed) realities, but by the mind itself which starts out with an assumption (or perceptual "filter") of and "in" vs an "out." If the mind did not bring that form-filter onto the scene then the observations might be more like my fanciful notions of pschocosmology in which no assumption of a gap between in and out is made. While I describe psychocosmology as more of a benificial exercise which might help with spiritual growth (rather than insisting that the difference between cosmos and mind is merely an illusion, and that Mind is the only really real stuff), and allow it to be viewed as possibly a case of projective therapy in which the mind gradually reclaims its own content projected outward onto various external realities (which act like movie screens), I do at other times suggest that deeper reality seems more panpsychic or like Mind. I am increasingly thinking that when the regular conscious mind (little "m" mind) can lower its resistance and float closer to the core that it actually taps into actual realms such as Bohm's "implicate order" and deeper yet into the "super-implicate order." By accessing these actual substratum realities the little m mind can be both objective and subjective at the same time. Stated in simpler terms, the Integral quadrants converge deeper into reality. I try to explain this convergence in Your Third Nature. I use a hybrid of Integral's quadrants and basic quantum concepts. The wave-collapsed or "unpacked" view of things actually occurs when we look closer to the surface zones of a reality-with-depth-unfolding. That is, the UR quad (I ended up calling it "quantum quad B") has an actual home closer to the surface of reality. When we view reality from that perspective we see a materialistic reality that acts with fairly predictable laws such as by Newtonian physics, linear or sequential causality (this, then that), etc.

But the UR quad (I ended up simply calling it "quantum quad A") seems to span a greater depth and can tap into some actual quantum or subquantum processes which affect/effect classical objects in previously-termed "supernatural" ways. Both information and actual energetic forces can interact with objective reality from a subjective-like realm (or one that just happens to overlap with subjective mind processes). Integral's UL and UR quads are not horozontally crossed or conflated, but the UL goes into the UR via a "backdoor" which is really a basement door. The UL goes into the basement (deeper into actual reality) and then back up through a door in the UR "room." Our reality "house" has a basement! And some rooms can be affected in strange ways because of this basement. 


andrew said:

A lot of very good points Darrel! Very true about religions non- relationship to systems. I might add though, that even integralist's won't concede panpsychism and primacy to the right quads. Not in anyway that does honour to the idea of god, anyway. I think we need an Integral God faith, one that doesn't necessarily fetishize evolution.

No, we couldn't ever cut back on carbon pollution. No way every country could have a carbon sabbath once a week. No way, no way, no way…..

Michel Bauwens posted this on FB today (on the post-capitalist experiment of Auroville):

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What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

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