This dude also deserves a thread, a postmetaphysical visionary of an integral paradigm different from the trademarked variety. And quite "spiritual" to boot, if by that we mean creating a more equitable and humane lifeworld in which all can thrive and aspire to their highest potentials. From the integral capitalism thread:


Have you discussed Jeremy Rifkin's notion of "distributed capitalism," based on emergent peer-to-peer technological models, which he discussed in his book, The Empathic Civilization?  I skimmed the thread and didn't see mention of it, so I thought I'd add it to the mix.  Here's a brief article on it.

(An interesting notion of his, which is not directly relevant to this thread but possibly relevant to this forum, is Rifkin's notion of an emergent "dramaturgical self" as a stage of self-making beyond the "existential postmodern self."  I haven't explored it in depth -- I've just been reviewing his book for a class -- but I'll look into it more and will comment further if it's relevant.)


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.

One can also view him speak on his new book at YouTube. Just watching the first couple minutes it seems to be the same info in the text linked above.


I also had posted this video on his work here on IPS awhile back.


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."

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Jeremy Leggett was a member of the UK Government's Renewables Advisory Board from 2002-6, and also chaired (if I remember correctly) a joint government/industry task force on energy depletion (IPTOES if I remember correctly). He is chairman of SolarCentury, a large renewable energy company in the UK.

Greer and Ahmed - thank God, no. Which means they are free to talk realistically and to focus as much as bottom-up grassroots action, which I think is very important as I don't hold much faith in the top-down approach.
theurj said:

One question for now. Do any of these other sources have the ears and hands of the EU (or any government) and are getting them to enact this sort of agenda?

Regarding the Smart Grid, I have a lot of reservations personally, but am trying to keep an open mind.  For those interested, you might want to delve into the 2013 Annual Report (16 pages) of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, managed by the GridWise Alliance.

One article that raises questions about the Smart Grid concept: The Problems with Smart Grids

 by Blake Levitt and Chelis Glendinning. Comes across as a little paranoid, but I'm not discounting these concerns.   

This video on open source energy features Rifkin, Leggett and some local success stories. Leggett on the battle between fossil fuel and alternative energies: "It often feels like civil war" (7:30). It is indeed.

Free Google preview of Rifkin's book here. See the section on the IoT on p. 11 and following. Mentioned on that page is the Internet of Things European Research Cluster, which can be found here.

On. p. 73, chapter 5, he notes that in the US there are currently 37 million smart meters for electricity use and references footnote 9 for that chapter. Worldwide in 2013, 3.5 billion smart censors (note 10).

Yup, the Donella  Meadows paper was very good, David! I've been fortunate in my life to be able to hold a high degree of uncertainty and openness within my psyche. 

I've been frustrated for some time now because intuitively i've thought that fibre optics were the way to go. I watched a doc 15 years ago on it and have been disappointed not to see any advancement in that direction. There is one hell of a lot that we might not know about EMF fields and to go full bore ahead with a global infrastructure like that seems a little bit myopic to me. The part of me which is wired into a spiritual 'matrix' thinks that these fields are more damaging to life systems then we are presently aware of. I hope am wrong. 

Hey Darrell, you have many good points and i especially appreciate the ones that point out the unnecessary interpretation within american christianity. I suspect that the churches were infiltrated by petrochemical agents and government moles during the 50's to 70's so as to manipulate large groups within that demographic to buy into the worst interpretations of these religious writings.The churches were progressive through the first half of the century. I've been arguing that that is something that could be remedied because there are sounder was of reading those scriptures. You seem to see that, too. The Century of The Self doc talked about most of your other points as far as how we got to here.

David Suzulki has been recently talking about a war on cars. Once again, i find myself not fond of the framing. The car would be fine if it ran on hydrogen. It's the fuel. Way back when i first started writing on the net i mentioned that each country could choose one day a week to make it law that everyone except emergency services has to keep their vehicles parked. A family day or something. Driving a vehicle shouldn't be classified as a human right. Kilo caps, too, until we get the ppm carbon back down. Myself, i've pretty well given up travel, i stay close to home now. At least once a week if not more i leave it parked. No more than 7000k a year to run my business. I pay through the nose to have the newest vehicle so am not slopping oil all over the roads, and have better emissions.  

There are a few people in Vancouver who are getting the vibe:

Dealing with both toxins at once!

a link on a fiber optic infrastructure:

All i am suggesting here is that the cure should not be worse than the decease . There are ways to cut back on carbon without creating another major form of pollution.

It seems a lot of people have heard of the IoT, which is a reality right now. The Economist Intelligence Unit has a study here. Business Insider has an article on it, noting that today 1.9 billion devices are connected to it. Unlike Trivendi's pseudo-science this stuff has a lot of actual science behind it and everybody that's anybody in tech has not only heard about it but are working on it, like Cisco, Intel, Microsoft.

Hanacek's review of The Zero Marginal Cost Society here. He lauds Rifkin's agenda but warns that the current internet is structured by central players who want to dominate it. Rifkin acknowledges as much. And yes, there are hazards to the IoT like government and private spying and hacking, also addressed by Rifkin. Hanacek is optimistic though that the IoT can be structured in a P2P way to override the powerful centralizers, giving a couple of current examples. Like Rifkin he says we can go forward into the collaborative commons or slide back into regressive feudalism. We've already done the latter with oligarchy ruling the day, so let's hope we can again move forward into a better world for all via enacting visions like Rifkin's.

I agree the !oT is reality today. But how the bones of it are wired/hooked up and who is hooked up now are still points of contention, in my mind anyway.

You can lead a horse to water...

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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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