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).
Thanks for these links. I've heard of Rifkin but have yet to read him. I agree with most of what he's saying but he is stretching the definition of the term capitalism beyond its intended meaning. Recall its meaning from the beginning of the thread. Private ownership of the means of production with profit flowing to the top is antithetical to shared, open and distributed ownership of resources and information and P2P relationships, much like selfish concern and cosmocentric morality are so in a moral hierarchy. Rifkin is right to make the connection between the worldview and economic-communication systems, and that the internet correlates with an empathatic, biospheric view necessary for such shared resources and environmental consciousness. But again, capitalism was all about the exploitation of natural resources as if they were infinite with little to no regard for the environmental consequences. Rifkin laments this destruction and rightly analyzes the consciousness and systems that created it, capitalism, yet by keeping that name in his new view of P2P distribution is a functional misfit.
Now I understand hybrid systems during transition phases. For example we have hybrid gas-electric cars which are better than just gas-driven. But we know that it is a transition to a full electric car when we develop the technology and infrastructure to make it feasible. That is, we know we must completely leave behind using a limited resource like petrol for a more sustainable energy source. So with economic systems. There are hybrids of capitalism with open source and of course it is a step in the right direction. But like with petrol we know that at some point we will leave capitalism behind in a more equitable, humane and environmental consciousness with correlative political economy.
So for me it says something about our consciousness to which economic system we attach. Given the I-I agenda of a kinder, gentler capitalism it appears to be on the transition of rational-pluralistic and it calls that integral. Hence you get no language or values about open source, distributed networks or P2P. Whereas I think what Rifkin is describing, that ecologic empathy that is growing out of the informational-pluralistic into the internet P2P network, is what we might call integral. And it is open source, not private property. But again, it is currently a hybrid in transition but we know where it is going and what must be left behind.*
*As to worldview and moral level replacement, see the previous thread on ladder-climber-view. Like I said, I don't think it's a strict or clean dividing line between one level and the next, with transitions containing mixes and hybrids. But we see the trajectory of where it's going and what it will eventually leave behind.
You can find Rifkin's website here. Following is an excerpt from the synopsis on his lecture "The age of access":
"The new information and telecommunications technologies, e-commerce and globalization are making possible a new economic era as different from market capitalism as the latter is dissimilar from mercantilism. In the new century, markets are slowly giving way to network ways of conducting business, with far-reaching implications for the future of society....The notion of exchanging and holding on to fixed property becomes an anachronism in a society where everything is continually evolving."
Here's a list of countries by GDP, again the top 10 largely in the socialist category, Norway #2 (Denmark #5). Also note that many of them are parliamentary systems granting representation to more than just 2 parties. This link says while the US is 4th in GDP* it is 92nd in distribution of wealth.
It is difficult to compare countries because of varying demographics. I'd say the low distribution of wealth in the US is attributed to 2 things. Our ethnic diversity, if you look at the countries that have a high distribution of wealth, I would bet they don't have a diverse culture. That is, it is harder and takes longer (how old are the countries in the top 10 relative to the US) for wealth to distribute within a country from one ethnicity to another (you are less likely to take care of others you see as other). Second, because we have a lot of very rich people and always had new waves of poor ethnic immigrants in our history, we will always have this disparity as long as this is a land of opportunity relative to others. Hopefully the economies in the 3rd world catch up and everyone can stay home where they would rather be anyway.
Saw the first Zeitgeist, thought the first part on Jesus was well done but lost interest and could not finish watching when it veered hard towards conspiracy theory-dom.
Žižek seems to approve the application of force, or 'terror,' in support of a policy of egalitarian justice,...
Is he suggesting slaughtering people for a political ideology? That is the “new and improved way” forward?
I said above: "I might be naive in still hoping for a semi-peaceful reform movement through democratic socialism. He [Zizek] certainly thinks so." Just because I present him as an alternative doesn't mean I agree with him in toto. I'm not a kennilinguist that way but can pick and choose elements I like from different sources and think for myself. I was however commenting on the brute fact that political revolutions, like democracy in both France and America, are bathed in blood. And democracy was certainly a way forward as a result. See, distinction, get used to it. I am however much more amenable to Rifkin.
And quite frankly your "reasons" for US capitalism seem more and more like rationalized apologies. We have more opportunity relative to others? Amsterdam is not diverse ethnically? "With over 170 different nationalities and a 45% ethnic minority, the population of Amsterdam is one of the most diverse in Europe." I guess it's lack of opportunity causing all that migration?
Here's an interesting article called "Was Adam Smith anti-capitalist?" It explores several historians that dispute how Smith has been used to support the type of corporate global capitalism being espoused today. Recall that Chomsky calls is state capitalism and that it has no relation to Smith's ideological capitalism. For example:
"One study summarizing the findings of those who have read The Wealth of Nations concludes that Adam was actually opposed to official Smithian dogma in at least seven ways:
1. Adam was pro-labor and had a negative view of labor-masters
2. Adam distrusted and denounced the capitalist class
3. Adam argued against special corporate privilege and called for the dissolution of corporations
4. Adam argued for investment at the local or domestic level and decried globalization
5. Adam advocated taxing the rich to give to the poor
6. Adam observed that state power could be used to protect human rights
7. Adam looked to government-supported education to mitigate the effects of the division of labor
And Chomsky, as always, is enlightening on the subject:
"He’s [Smith] a person who was from the Enlightenment. His driving motives were the assumption that people were guided by sympathy and feelings of solidarity and the need for control of their own work, much like other Enlightenment and early Romantic thinkers.
"This is true of classical liberalism in general. The founders of classical liberalism, people like Adam Smith and Wilhelm von Humboldt, who is one of the great exponents of classical liberalism, and who inspired John Stuart Mill — they were what we would call libertarian socialists."
And quite frankly your "reasons" for US capitalism seem more and more like rationalized apologies.
I have always said, capitalism may suck but lack of capitalism sucks more. Taking a walk around the West Bank or the west side of Chicago shows this plain as day.
Amsterdam is not diverse ethnically? "With over 170 different nationalities and a 45% ethnic minority, the population of Amsterdam is one of the most diverse in Europe." I guess it's lack of opportunity causing all that migration?
The Netherlands are 79.71% ethnic Dutch.
The US is 74.8% White. White alone (of which 30.4 million are White Hispanic and Latino Americans.
Excluding these, this category comprises 65.0% or 199.3 million)
So the point I am making is our “white” population was made by ethnic waves of poor immigrants (If you were somewhat wealthy and not being persecuted because of your religious beliefs or ethnicity, why would you leave your country?). When each new ethnicity came to the US they became the low man on the totem pole and settled into their low income ethnic part of town (this is well chronicled). So it takes longer for the newest poor immigrants to gain an economic foothold in the US economy and meld into the pot and accumulate wealth. Also many immigrants distribute what wealth they accumulate in the US to family back in the motherland. Because other countries have a more pure ethnicity, ethnicity or language, etc. is not a barrier to the distribution of wealth like it has been here in the US. Cappice?
I apologize e for being acrimonious.
People become loud and bitter when they feel they are not being heard or their position is weak (as if emotion will shore up their argument). Either way, I accept your apology comrade. :-)