Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
“I will retell Wilber’s ontology…in order to demonstrate the political significance…which coincide with the particular social regime (or in Wilber’s terms, the “telos”) it expresses, integrated global capital (Guattari, 2000). My purpose is not to explicate the flaws in Wilber’s logic or demonstrate his misreadings of particular texts; such exegesis has been taken up elsewhere; it is instead to suggest ways in which Wilber’s holarchy flickers or mechanically reproduces in the field of metaphysics and spiritual aspiration the social and political structures of late capital, which are not integral at all. Further, because Wilber’s holonography reproduces the present political order and forecloses any legitimized means of transforming its problematic terms of exchange, the unevenness of its development (as I will show), one may plausibly claim that it is not a transformative model but a conservative one in the last analysis, where conservatism is understood as an attempt to maintain the status quo for its own sake” (23-4).
I found this recent Huff Post article by Sam Harris on the US political economy and it fits here, so I'll revive this thread for it. Here's an excerpt:
"To make matters more difficult, Americans have made a religious fetish of something called "self-reliance." Most seem to think that while a person may not be responsible for the opportunities he gets in life, each is entirely responsible for what he makes of these opportunities. This is, without question, a false view of the human condition. Consider the biography of any "self-made" American, from Benjamin Franklin on down, and you will find that his success was entirely dependent on background conditions that he did not make, and of which he was a mere beneficiary. There is not a person on earth who chose his genome, or the country of his birth, or the political and economic conditions that prevailed at moments crucial to his progress. Consequently, no one is responsible for his intelligence, range of talents, or ability to do productive work. If you have struggled to make the most of what Nature gave you, you must still admit that Nature also gave you the ability and inclination to struggle. How much credit do I deserve for not having Down syndrome or any other disorder that would make my current work impossible? None whatsoever. And yet devotees of self-reliance rail against those who would receive entitlements of various sorts--health care, education, etc.--while feeling unselfconsciously entitled to their relative good fortune. Yes, we must encourage people to work to the best of their abilities and discourage free riders wherever we can--but it seems only decent at this moment to admit how much luck is required to succeed at anything in this life. Those who have been especially lucky--the smart, well-connected, and rich--should count their blessings, and then share some of these blessings with the rest of society."
Recall this from "the army's spiritual fitness test," quoting Hedges:
"Positive psychology, which claims to be able to engineer happiness and provides the psychological tools for enforcing corporate conformity, is to the corporate state what eugenics was to the Nazis. Positive psychology is a quack science that throws a smoke screen over corporate domination, abuse and greed. Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Academics who preach [the benefits of positive psychology] are awash in corporate grants."
I finally saw Casino Jack last weekend, the story of Jack Abramoff. The movie starts with him brushing his teeth in front of the mirror, giving himself a positive thinking speech, justifying his behavior because he's a good man with good motives doing good things in the world. He does this before meeting with the Congressional committee charging him with fraud etc. This is a fine example of the kind of "positive" rationalizations used for propping up a corrupt system, and quite reminiscent of the kennilinguist excuses to prop us capitalism. Our positive, beneficial, world-changing, second tier consciousness can of itself transform a corrupt, heinously inequitable and no longer useful economic system. Yes, still useful to the rich, capitalist class of course, which it seems kennillinguists have aspirations of joining.
In one scene one of Abramoff's cronies says to a reporter that without capitalism there is no democracy. Again, utter nonsense, as the two are even antithetical, capitalism being rather a hold-over from feudalism. Democratic business is consistent with democracy, not capitalism. And no, per above democratic business is not some pluralistic equalizer of qualitative distinctions where every point of view is valid or every worker gets the same wage independent of skill level or relative responsibility.
Since you didn't frame the stats in that video I'll respond as if they prove capitalism is what raised the standard of living in the world. I'll even operate from the perspective that indeed it was the driving generator for this development. That in no way negates the inherent inequities of capitalism that are now the dominant drivers of its continued existence. Perhaps capitalism was a necessary good in the appropriate time and context. The question is, has that time and context passed and is it time to move into a more beneficial economic model to address the inequities? Marx argued for a developmental economic trajectory in this way, with socialism coming after capitalism. We see this already happening in western Europe with social democracies and more socially-based economies.
Would not a self-professed leader in developmental studies, i.e., Integral Institute, not promote the next development in an economic model? One might argue that is what they're doing with conscious capitalism, but why not conscious democratic business? Good capitalism is much like Loy said above about being a good slave owner. The slave's standard of living was certainly raised but they were still chattel, as is most modern day labor, despite the toys they can buy. Well not so much anymore, since many don't even have a job. And why? Ask the speculative capitalists on Wall Street who devastated our economy, and not adhering to their vaunted principles of capitalism were not allowed to failed but bailed out by what? Socialism.