Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
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."
And in this entry Olson reveals explicit neuro-marketing strategies based on the research. But they are used to keep us programmed to buy products, not to liberate us into empathetic ways of relating or empathetic economic systems.
"Of course corporations that truly practiced empathy beyond narrow self-serving and tortured definitions would be vanquished by competitors less enamored of the Golden Rule. But the point is moot because carrying off a convincing impersonation of empathetic behavior is all that matters in this situation. We know that the question of meeting people's actual needs never appears in the for-profit marketer's power point presentation on empathy because the concrete, logical and long term interest of the working class is the abolition of capitalism itself."
That is, if the proletariat could ever possibly wake up, which is doubtful, especially when we have our so-called elite turquoise developmentalists falling prey to the same engineered programming.
"The global capitalist culture with its premium on accumulation and profits not only devalues an empathic disposition but produces a stunted character where everything is transformed into a commodity, not only things, but individuals themselves. The very capacity to practice empathy (love) is subordinated to our state religion of the market in which each person seeks advantage in an alienating and endless commodity-greedy competition.
this gets me to thinking about my best friend in '87. he got involved with newskin and at that point approached me as a target of sales! i clearly remember how disturbed i was by this and clearly saw how personal friendships were being turned into modes of exploitation. i've been lamenting ever since about how most all relationships have a commercial aspect to them; i personally still can't see how this is not in some way a regression or step backward. fortunately, i still have a couple of friends where there is little or no commercial aspect to the relationship.........
it also gets me thinking about the long long history of spiritual quackery/hucksterism/exploitation. it may be naive of me, but i've long thought that if one truly believed that they had truly spiritual insights to share then in light of the previously mentioned spiritual gong show that such persons would covet and keep themselves well clear of this kind of controversy and exploitation.....
i've been watching the post-apocalyptic shows 'jeremiah' and 'survivors', and am enjoying the writing as far as they are trying to show what kind of new society will be built...of course, there is the main theme of idealizing the pre-conventional agraian/hunter-gatherer ways of living. the intrusion of the violent red meme seeking it's ego dominated worldview; how religion might be viewed in a post-apocalyptic world; how the surviving power elite still didn't change their worldview even after causing the death of billions.......i kind of see marcus in jeremiah as being somewhat like wilber: the genius who truly wants to build a more empathic and caring world but who clearly sees the threat of opposing memes and doesn't hesitate to meet violence with violence when absolutely necessary......it's probably good that these themes are being brought up and discussed before we got to the point of post=apocalyptic.......
At about 21:50 he says it, that what he proposes is a hybrid of capitalism and socialism, what he calls distributed capitalism. I'm not sure if he intends this hybrid to be the higher "integration" of the two a la Hegelian dialectics, that this hybrid is the higher "level" of socio-economic evolution. Or that it is the transition phase like the gas-electric car is a phase from gas to electric, with gas and in this case capitalism being ultimately left behind in the next stage of fully distributed, P2P networks and economics. Whatever his intention, that's what I think it is, a hybrid of the latter sort, and a hybrid that is a few transition phases beyond trademarked (proprietary property) type of hybrid known as "integral capitalism."
For example, this passage from TEC highlights a further phase in the transition than integral capitalism regarding private property:
"Nowhere is the old classical economic paradigm [market-based capitalism] and the new distributed capitalism model more at odds than when it comes t the notion of holding intellectual property. Patents and copyrights are sacrosanct in the traditional business scheme. In a collaborate economy, however, open-sourcing of critical information becomes essential to collaboration. Possessing and controlling information thwarts collaboration."
In the transition this expresses for example with music companies no longer focusing on selling a product like a CD but rather selling subscriptions to access musical content. The company still possesses the intellectual property however. Other examples though are more open source, like Wikipedia or Firefox, where access is free.
(The free Google preview where I found this did not provide page numbers! This appears to be in chapter 13.)