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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And I less and less. She's has legitimate complaints but all she does it bitch about them. What are the solutions? How do we redress the problems? Rifkin is well aware of the problems of, and forces against, what he is proposing. But at least he is suggesting and implementing solutions. And of course, his solutions will need tweaking. And of course, he missed some problems that Taylor highlights. So why then doesn't she get off her pity potty and work with him to make things better? It's too easy to just bitch.

IPS, btw, never has been just a Wilber bitch session. From the beginning we've not just criticized him but also appreciated him. And we've worked on myriad and sundry alternatives that enhance the overall integral project. That is what I'm talking about.

I don't know that males can ever really comprehend what it has been like for women ( and children) who have always suffered the most from regressive stains of male agency throughout history, It's probably not the best move to dismiss that too quickly Edward. Nevertheless, i do agree the best move for improvement is forward; within the parameters of an emerging global integral culture.

On Kenny: you guys have deconstructed his theories as well as anyone. You've been respectful yet irreverent; something that my personality appreciates. However, since day one, i've been one of the few voices that has always pointed out that Kenny underestimates the adversarial spiritual protocols in place on this planet. Having said that, this notion is unprovable and falls within a faith matrix. I get that Kenny is stuck between the rock of modern academia and the absurdity(hard ground of the tares) and atrocities of tradition religious interpretation. 

This looks interesting:  Ethereum.

Krugman on growth.

"There are some people on the left who keep insisting that economic growth is incompatible with reduced emissions, and that therefore we have to turn our backs on growth. [...] It’s worth pointing out that they have a much too narrow notion of what it means to have a growing economy. It doesn’t necessarily mean more stuff! It could be better stuff, or more services — and there are also choices to be made in how we produce and distribute stuff. There is absolutely no reason to believe in a one-for-one link between real GDP and greenhouse gases."

Great quote from Krugman. Yes, Rifkin's TIR vision is just as much about economic growth as it is about saving the environment (and us!). This is what makes his vision both "integral" and effective (to business ears). 


I'm watching the Rifkin doc that was posted on Integral Options and at the 14 minute mark he says that there are millions and millions of people in Europe right now plugged into an internet of things co-created green energy grid. I was wondering if someone in Europe who is doing this ( and has access to the integral community) would come online here and share with us how they did this to their home or business. 

In Canada, B.C. and Vancouver all i see happening is massive promotion of petro -chemical infrastructure.

This is creating some cognitive dissonance in me upper left quad. Can someone help out with this?

Here's one link that i found:

I checked youtube and google and couldn't find any individuals explaining how they are hooked up into a smart grid.

Being that it's usually a good idea (in my view) to look at things from different perspectives, I want to share the work of a couple of other folks. 

John Michael Greer is a well educated Archdruid (Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America) who writes and blogs regularly on nature, culture, and the future of industrial society. He tends to see world history operating in cycles rather than a linear progression. Book titles include: The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age; The Ecotechnic Future: Envisioning a Post-Peak World; The Wealth of Nature: Economics as if Survival Mattered; Not the Future We Ordered: Peak Oil, Psychology, and the Myth of Progress; Decline and Fall: The End of Empire and the Future of Democracy in 21st Century America.

His latest essay is entitled The Four Industrial Revolutions, which he considers to be Bacon's scientific revolution, Watt's steam engine revolution, Otto's 4 cycle internal combustion engine revolution, and Fermi's nuclear physics revolution. A very interesting read to put beside Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution. Greer is interesting because he is neither a techno-optimist nor an Apocalyptic (in the popular sense of the word) doomsayer. He instead foresees a slow decline into a low-tech/appropriate tech future (another of his books is Green Wizardry: Conservation, Solar Power, Organic Gardening and other Hands On Skills for the Appropriate Tech Toolkit.  Greer is not perfect, but a very worthwhile perspective I think to continue to follow.

The there's Jeremy Leggett, a former petroleum geologist who is a little closer parallel to Rifkin's thinking. Five Pathways to Post-Capitalist ‘Renaissance’ by a Former Oil Man, is a review by Nafeez Ahmed, about Jeremy Leggett’s new book, The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance.

Nafeez Ahmed himself is also worth following. I read his book A Users Guide to the Crisis of Civilization alongside Rifkin's Third Industrial Revolution and Richard Heinberg's The End Of Growth.  One interesting aspect was  his critique of neo-liberal capitalism, and of Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man), and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations). 

There was also a documentary movie made based on Ahmed's book, which you can watch in its entirety online. He also writes a column for The Guardian.

The Crisis of Civilization: Full Film from thecrisisofcivilization on Vimeo.

Thanks for the links David! 

Good article by Nafeez. He does mention that Germany is indeed doing something green. 

I liked this comment the most though : 


In case people can't be bothered to read this all read Donella Meadows Limits to Growth fame

The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises. 
The shared idea in the minds of society, the great big unstated assumptions — unstated because unnecessary to state; everyone already knows them — constitute that society’s paradigm, or deepest set of beliefs about how the world works... Money measures something real and has real meaning (therefore people who are paid less are literally worth less). Growth is good. Nature is a stock of resources to be converted to human purposes.

Or from this article

70 leading energy companies including Shell and EDF Energy have just called for governments to implement policies that will prevent emissions from over a trillion tonnes of carbon, in order to move away from fossil fuel dependency by end of century.

Renewables without degrowth is still treating nature as a stock of resources to be converted to human purposes.

Maybe it sums up better why I think this article and review is wildly optimistic. (Although I love to see this and an even more radical change.)

I have been reading about Peak Oil for over a decade now. I have based many life changing decisions on this problem - I wish I had not. Do I believe in PO, yes, but seeing how it has played out over the years I've become increasing cynical about some of the prognosticators including Mr Leggett.

To build out all this renewable energy would require massive investment, political will and time (please read Vaclav Smil 30-40 years) – could it be done, possibly, is it likely to be taken up by the masses – this is very unlikely because most people are energy illiterate (and I don’t mean this as a pejorative, it is something even educated people don’t invest time in). How much in the way of FF would be needed to create this renewable retooling and build out?

My guess it would require a significant drawdown on existing FF resources and what this would do to the price of oil is anyone’s guess unless we were in some sort of depression where there was major slack in the market (But history states that resources will not be allocated to this Green Deal.) The data on spare capacity is also a guess and that is what Jeremy Leggett is referring to, the crunch comes when spare capacity goes. (p.s. Brent Crude is running pretty expensive for this time of year which may indicate how tight the market is.) What he is saying is that in times of stress society will act as a rational organism to the perceived threat. Rational!! Recognise the threat!!!.

Okay, for the sake of argument, we do find a way to build out all this renewable capacity installed and even manage to change all the transport system. Nevertheless, we still have a social narrative of consumerism. There is resistance built into nearly every part of the corporate system. We’re are not dealing with individuals we are dealing with corporate governance. Why is consensus going to believe this is geological problem and not a technological problem? You’re asking for people to give up a complete world view that they swim in – the new narrative is contraction, degrowth and move towards a steady state economy.

Since the financial crisis, I would suggest we've had the exact opposite response to renewables. Name me one main stream politician who is calling for this radical change or a narrative that the general public would believe. The vast majority of people do not understand the problem, i.e., the difference between size of resource and size of tap. We live in a technological age of ‘Make it so -’, the world is not Star Trek and new technology will not save the day if old values and beliefs are not addressed.

The world wide decline rate for oil is between 3-5 million barrels (not depletion, that's where confusion comes in). A few years of indecision and we've got problems. Can our economy stand increased prices for the increase investment for oil extraction? Other commentators have posted to this issue.

The last financial crisis was supposed to bring either catastrophe or a brave new world depending on who one read – it brought neither. What it seems to have brought is a faux business as usual with every effort to keep the party going. There’s been no major reform of finance, politics nor energy systems.

While it may be unpalatable to many people reading this article, and a miracle if you've read this comment this far, maybe we've got the long emergency as we grind towards failure of our current economic and political system. And just for heresy here, neither have got anything to do with capitalism or democracy both words used to hide the fact our slave nature to consumerism that requires abundant energy slaves (oil, coal and gas).

As to the stat of millions being connected to the IoT, try Rifkin's books. He seldom if ever makes a claim without numerous cited sources. I'd look it up but I do not own any books, including his. I'd have to go to the library but you can do so just as easily. Or if any of you have his books you can perhaps help out with the sources for this claim.

I did find out about Rifkin through this site and have not read his books. I in no way was saying he was lying; it just seemed a rather odd thing for him to say. As a lay person, i do know enough though, that that kind of interconnectivity is quite complex. Which is why i did the search and asked the question. 

In a way, Rifkin is arguing for what appears to be a return to the Francis Bacon (Saint Germaine) mode of doing things on this planet (epoch 1). Air/solar/geo. 

Maybe Rifkin is alluding to something here?

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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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