Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
I referenced this site, Kick if Over, in my last post in the Rifkin thread. Like Rifkin it's a different way of looking at economics and a way that might well be considered an advance in developmental terms. Here's the introductory blurb. There are quite a few articles and lots of references, links. etc. And certainly food for thought and discussion here.
"Adbusters invites economics students around the world – especially PhD students – to join the fight to revamp Econ 101 curriculums and challenge the endemic myopia of their tenured neoclassical profs. Read some of the introductory articles, check out the latest dispatches on our blog, then download the Kick it Over Manifesto (and other posters) and keep pinning them up in the corridors of your department. Get a small group together and start jamming! Put your university at the forefront of the monumental mindshift now underway in the 'science' of economics."
imo, your really on the right track on this one edward! what's happened economically in recent history in the west is a form of fascism! and i don't say that in the usually political polemic but as a statement of fact...my hope is that the average american gets out there tomorrow!!!
BTW, obama, although doing some good is clearly in the pocket of these elite money changers........that's the obvious reason why no real change has happened even though there was a peaceful change of gov. a few years back.....
spiritual claims that don't promote economic compassion and empathy for fellow humans is null and void!
also, kenny needs to learn to call an economic spade by it's proper suit:)
From Mindful Economics (Seven Stories Press, 2008):
"In a mindful economy people value democracy and take it seriously. They are full-fledged members of their community and play an active [enactive] four-dimensional role in the economy: as employees, consumers, owners and citizens. As employees people in a mindful community earn incomes by working for community-based, non-capitalist businesses. As consumers there incomes are also spent in these same community-based businesses whose operations are guided by core values-based principles. What makes these businesses community-based is the fact that they are owned by the people in the community. By becoming owners people have the constitutionally-given right to sovereignty over their businesses, that is, their govern the actions of the businesses democratically. To govern means to actively participate in the decision-making processes as mindful economic citizens. Unlike capitalism where people are separated from ownership, in a mindful economy people are empowered with ownership as well as the rights and responsibilities that go with it" (405).
I'm glad there are people with vision out there for alter-integral (intergraal), since trademarked integral won't go there.
From Ray Harris’ 2004 Integral World essay “Left, right or just plain wrong?”:
Will an integral political economy be capitalist in character or be a totally new configuration that transcends any previous political economy? Is the integral movement really challenging the cultural norms of society or is there a bias that accepts individualism and capitalism as a given?
Isn’t it still true that the capitalist class profits by exploiting labour? What is Wilber’s position on the minimum wage in the US? Does an integral politics think that this is ethically acceptable? Will integral politics admit, as research seems to suggest, that worker owned and controlled enterprises are more efficient and naturally more integral places to work?
Will Don Beck and other integral consultants advise their corporate clients to buy back shares and distribute them to workers and then set up a management system based on direct worker input? Will they advise their corporate clients to raise wages and to drop executive remuneration and share packages? Will they advise clients that the share market is simply an elaborate casino that extracts wealth from productive investment? Or will they simply hold a series of workshops that really don’t challenge a thing? Are the workshops designed to shift everyone in the organization up the spiral or do they merely tell managers how to better manage each vMeme to better maintain profits and therefore share price? To better exploit the working class?
I agree with the prime directive. It states that the health of each level is vital to the health of the whole spectrum or spiral. It’s worth really contemplating because it forms the absolute foundation for integral ethics. It says that anyone who espouses integral theory is bound by the logic of that theory to act in such a way that the greatest good is accomplished for the greatest number across the greatest depth and span possible – a kind of expanded integral utilitarianism. Note that the prime directive does not say – the greatest good for the greatest span except where it affects my own country, lifestyle or personal ambitions and desires. You see that is what first tier is supposed to do. It mitigates the prime directive by putting in selfish exceptions.
But what if the integral community is actually dodging the full political implications of the prime directive? What if it is excitedly looking into the integral future and ignoring some rather obvious and large ethical boulders in its path? For example, the class system inherent in capitalism where certain people benefit by exploiting the labour of others, like Indonesian clothing machinists or illegal Mexican farm labourers. Or do we just conveniently ignore this problem? Or do we create an integral rationalization or even argue that there is such a thing as integral capitalism? This is the argument that the best way to help poor people is to get rich and employ them. This is the trickle down effect. It’s a cornerstone of Republican tax theory. Remove tax to stimulate the economy to increase employment. Except it doesn’t answer the problem that the extra income is usually invested in the speculative stock market and that there has been a net flow from productive investment to speculative investment in the last five years. In other words it doesn’t go to jobs it goes to share portfolios. Or should we buy the neo-liberal economic propaganda lock, stock and barrel without critical examination and ignore the fact that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer in relative terms?
Is it okay to be somewhat complacent with the clear evidence that the current political economy of the planet directly contradicts the prime directive?
His follow-up essay, "Thoughts toward an integral political economy," was even better, as it focused on his positive vision. A vision much like we've seen above, but informed with an integral perspective. For these views he was ostracized from trademarked integral and branded a mean green meme. I'd say he was more like a healthy turquoise that wasn't recognized through a capitalistic lens. The whole "mean green meme" meme is itself an unconscious pathological denial of all the implications Ray points out projected onto the messenger. Talk about the need for some serious shadow work.
Here's one teaser from this fine essay. These 2 essays really should be the intergraal economic manifesto:
"It may be that a true Second Tier society will have far more in common with the deep and radical democracy of Marxism's ideal state of communism than some in the Integral community will find it comfortable to admit."
More from Harris' 2nd essay:
An integral political economy therefore supports sustainable development.
An integral political economy would promote ethical investment, and further help define what is ethical.
An integral political economy would ensure the maintenance of the commons in order to support the evolutionary flow of all sections of society.
An integral political economy will emphasize an ethical imperative that challenges the excessive accumulation of wealth for non-productive indulgence.
An integral political economy would argue for the proper governance of the world financial system to ensure that prime directive is followed.
An integral political economy recognizes that fair trade is an essential component of a just economic system.
The aim of an integral political economy is to ensure that the political and economic system acts in a way to maximize the evolutionary impulse for the largest group feasible.
An integral political economy must recognize the reality of power and the ruthless determination of those who wield it.
An integral political economy joins all of those critics of the current way of measuring wealth. The method of measuring the GNP should be changed. I like the...GNH – gross national happiness.
andrew said: BTW, obama, although doing some good is clearly in the pocket of these elite money changers........that's the obvious reason why no real change has happened even though there was a peaceful change of gov. a few years back.....spiritual claims that don't promote economic compassion and empathy for fellow humans is null and void!
What choice did he have Andrew? If he does not bail out the banking industry the whole system collapses. And even now the market is being propped up by the fed to help folks 401K’s and pensions and to put money into the system without calling it a stimulus package. I just got flush on an investment from 2008 I had with an adviser who was a customer. I went to cash and called it a lesson learned. Here is a chart from John Persons from April of 09.
He is a commodities trader with a very good reputation. The chart shows how money flows into various sectors over long term business cycles. If the chart is accurate, then Obama via the fed is only trying to move the economy along at the early expansion point by putting money into the financials, etc. If that is the case then he is “using” the banksters (again what choice does he have, I doubt there is any political capital for another stimulus package) to help create jobs for the middle class by kick starting an expansion, etc. I hope it works.
BTW Any Lower Right system is “uncaring” by definition whether it is an ecosystem or financial or judicial system, etc. If the system functions properly then care can work unimpeded thru it.
The Mind and Life Institute hosted a symposium on Altruism and Compassion in Economic Systems in April of 2010. Their Spring 2010 newsletter reports on it. Some excerpts:
"Classic economic theory is based on the assumption that humans are self-interested and rational actors, and casts doubt on the very existence of altruism. New research in both economics and neuroscience reveals a much richer and more complex picture of humanity where altruism and compassion are not only part of the equation, but can be encouraged and learned. These findings have profound implications for public policy and the shaping of future institutions, even as the current global financial crisis shows how vulnerable economic systems are to negative human behaviors like corruption and greed.
"In many ways, the presenters from Session Four: 'Prosociality in Economic Systems' stole the show. Although none offered comprehensive solutions for transforming our economic systems, each presented a passionately inspiring story of projects that aremaking a real impact on suffering in the world, and where leadership has set transformative examples.Antoinette Hunziker-Ebneter, CEO of Forma Futura Invest Inc., discussed her company’s work in promoting sustainable and socially responsible investment.Arthur Vayloyan of Credit Suisse talked about the powerful effects ofmicrofinance on the lives of the poor, and howmicrofinance is now entering the repertoire of established mainstream financial businesses like Credit Suisse. Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy told the inspirational story of his founding of the Barefoot College in a village in Rajasthan, India, where illiterate women are trained as engineers to provide solar energy and other essential services in rural India, Afghanistan, and Africa. This education in environmentally sustainable technologies raises the standards of living while transforming the role of women in their society."
I offer the following for review, Integral Political Economy by Kevin Bowman. An excerpt discussing less and more mature versions of conservative, liberal and radical political ideologies:
"A less mature conservative or...what I call a fundamentalist conservative makes blanket statements such as “the government takes away our freedom.” They seem to always advocate deregulation and privatization without much regard to a particular industry and without being open to economic theory that might support government regulation. They tend to wish for less spending on social programs, but tend to favor defense spending. An immature conservative tendency is to argue vehemently for the virtue of free markets and the vice of government intervention, while the immature liberal will argue just the opposite. Yet, we have clearly shown government involvement depends on economic theory and a balanced investigation of the issue at hand. In addition to a theoretical justification for government involvement, practical considerations of whether or not sound, rather than beggar-thy-neighbor policies will actually be implemented.
Now a more mature conservative, or what I will call a sophisticated conservative when referring to more specific tendencies he or she has, tends to emphasize the value of private markets while still acknowledging their failures. Sophisticated conservatives tend to view economic history as supporting the notion that government intervention tends to make matters worse because of government failures. A sophisticated conservative is open to hearing, and even willing to suggest, public regulations or programs that will improve market outcomes for society even though they are skeptical that there will be political will to enact them instead of more distorting policies.
Less mature liberals, or what I call a naïve liberals (again, the latter is to denote a more specific level or degree of health of the liberal agent) tends to make generalizations from the other side of the street. They tend to want government redistribution policies that benefit themselves or the poor immediately and more or less indefinitely, rather than asking for temporary government assistance that will include help for the poor or those in transition between jobs to invest more for their future to meet the demands of the economy. Naïve liberals are uncomfortable with the private profit motive as they wish for significantly greater government engineering to solve most problems. They disregard any government-created distortions of valuable private-market incentives so their solutions are plagued by unintended consequences.
A more mature or sophisticated liberal tends to see economic history as making the case for the necessary, active involvement of government even though government must not suppress the otherwise useful power of free-market forces. Smart regulation and theoretically and empirically justified public investments that take into account the whole of society rather than special interests are an essential part of the sophisticated liberal agenda. They acknowledge failed liberal policies when private incentives are ignored and instead favor fiscally-responsible corrective action by the government that must overcome government failures in order to implement sound policy.
A less mature radical, or in the specific cases I mention, what I call a militant or utopian radical, may, like the naïve liberal, also argue that the profit incentive is the root of societal ills, but goes further by seeing large corporations and their partners-in-crime, powerful military and political leaders, as inherently and intentionally imperialistic and oppressive. They tend to advocate either the abolition of hierarchies, state ownership of all physical capital and land, or some other single panacea. The abolition of the fractional reserve system is another example of a proposed radical panacea, but one that does not make a distinction between sound investment versus speculative, short-term opportunistic investment and the underlying issues that encourage one or the other besides artificially cheap credit or the need to pay back interest.
More mature or sophisticated radicals recognize the unhealthy side of industrial democracies, and they see that market and government failures are interrelated. They are skeptical of the motives of private and public leaders with immature values, but they acknowledge the role played by all groups in our society. Rather than completely throwing off the present system, they want to include what works while envisioning a new stage of economic development that properly balances rights and responsibilities of all major stakeholders. They recognize that this involves a more mature society so that higher motives are encouraged and pursued.
I argue that government failures and the persistence of market failures are more likely when policy is driven by interactions of the less mature liberal and conservative types, while radical views are essentially ignored in the public discourse."
In a preceding section (4.3) Bowman talks about economic levels. I'd say an accurate generalization is that conservative tends to range in what he calls levels 3 and 4 (aka blue and orange), liberal 4 and 5 (aka orange and green) and radical 5 and 6 (aka) green and teal+. His more and less mature aspects could be the lower end of the range versus the higher, as well as the healthy and unhealthy aspects within a level. He says of level 5:
"The values of the pluralistic stage 5 can be summarized as, 'express self for all to get now.' The correlative cognitive stage has the emergent capacity to take many perspectives, but, unlike stage 6, is not yet able to integrate them. This value system is consistent with intelligent radical deconstruction of capitalism because this stage is sensitive to the perspective of the marginalized. It fights dominator hierarchies without acknowledging growth hierarchies" (24).
It is questionable whether 5 is all that focused on getting it now, doesn't acknowledge healthy hierarchy or cannot integrate perspectives. He seems to have bought into kennilingus memotyping. He doesn't here include what he said above about mature 5's capacity of "envisioning a new stage of economic development," which obviously includes hierarchy. We can explore that later. For the moment his integral (level 6) strategy is to take what is good from all the 1st tier memes and integrate them, as if 6 isn't its own values level that replaces all others via transitional structures (see ladder, climber, view). As in that thread I discussed how the notion that transitional structures (including values like Bowman is here exploring), which transcend and replace predecessors, is not applied to level 6 itself, where 2nd tier now doesn't replace but includes predecessors. At least those "healthy" parts of its predecessors, while somehow standing outside of taking its own perspective, i.e., aperspectival. There is more to explore on this account which I did in that thread, but for now here is Bowman's recommendation for integrating the healthy 3:
"A centauric culture would better include stage 3 values of 'sacrifice self now to receive reward later' and cognition that allows for taking the role of other and following rules. Those values and cognition can be harnessed by making environmental stewardship and personal and federal financial responsibility moral codes that should be followed consistent with moral codes already acknowledged at stage 3, but often hijacked by ethnocentric tendencies that prevent needed progress towards stronger international law. The centauric culture that could begin to overcome our culture wars would help re-enact those somewhat repressed stage 3 drives within stage 4 and stage 5 agents. Currently, there is no clear moral code in the U.S. that would suggest that we as a country should be willing to sacrifice some of our sovereignty for greater international law if other countries cooperate. But this is a natural kosmoscentric moral evolution of the rule of law and checks and balances of power that America has stood for domestically. In order to solve problems such as the depletion of natural resources, environmental destruction, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, etc.; working towards and abiding by a just international law that promotes the good of the world would need to be part of Second-Tier American culture; a new moral imperative (see Steve McIntosh, 2007, for more on an Integrally-informed world federation). We can begin to imagine a culture that invests broadly and responsibly for the good of the whole when we work towards a healthier political-economic discourse capable of reconciling more mature versions of conservative, liberal, and radical – a point we will return to in the concluding Section 7" (25).
In section 5.2 he recognizes that one can have a COG at say 5 but not be consistent in supporting various issues from that perspective, even in some cases antithetical to that perspective. I think Fischer's and Lakoff's ideas (in ladder, climber, view) that one's "levels" vary not only in different domains but in different contexts and even on specific issues is a more tenable way to handle these phenomena.
As to integral being its own perspective with its own vision of an evolving economic model, I find that interestingly lacking in Bowman's article. His level 6 response seems one of merely coordinating and "integrating" the lower levels, or at least the mature aspects of those levels, since he claims that the immature aspects are irreconcilable. Hence there is no mention of anything resembling the P2P economics of Rifkin, arguably a level 6 model. Even our mature radicals are envisioning the next level, so we might assume that is part of what is carried forward in a 6 economic vision. It seems to me that the kennlingus-centric brand of integral has an inherent blind spot in this regard which also seems to play out in this work, in that it's good at analyzing everyone else's immaturity but cannot see its own limitations on envision anything not already kosmically habituated. Hence also lacking in this article is an evaluation by this economic model of what kennilinguists promote as conscious capitalism. (Maybe forthcoming?)
I also have several other specific criticisms on how the kennilinguist lens skews his interpretation of some of the lower levels, which I briefly alluded to in previous posts.