Since I'm reading some of her work now, and consider her worthy of her own thread in this category, I'll copy and paste some previous posts on her to start.

Me:

From Riane Eisler's The Chalice and the Blade:

"In that classic Marxist work, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Friedrich Engels was one of the first to link the emergence of hierarchies and social stratification based on private property with male domination over women" (45).

Thus the partnership societies of old Europe (chalice) were invaded and conquered by the warriors from the north and south (blade), and with it hierarchical relationships that led to slavery, private property and domination. Capitalism is a direct outgrowth of this dominator culture, which unconsciously infects to this day the sorts of hierarchical models we continue to use in the name of evolution. Wilber even has a term for it: dominator hierarchy. Unfortunately he doesn't seem aware how his own hierarchical model is unconsciously affected by this inherent cultural bias via capitalism and private property.

DavidM58:

I'm pretty sure Wilber borrowed the term "dominator hierarchy" from Eisler.  I don't know that there is much disagreement between them conceptually, as even Eisler is careful to point out that she is critiquing dominator hierarchies, and not the concept of hierarchy in general.*

I think the difference is, as you point out, that Wilber seems to consistently display a cultural bias favoring capitalism and private property, and feels that we can overcome dominator hierarchy while retaining these frameworks.

* From Eisler and Montouri's The Partnership Way.org: "However, and this is a critical point about the partnership model that we have repeatedly emphasized in consulting for business and government, the change towards flatter organizations should not lead us to believe that hierarchy itself is outdated or only found in dominator systems, and that we should now completely abolish hierarchies of any kind. We have to be careful not to engage in oppositional thinking, and immediately reject any concept or practice associated with the dominator system in favor of its exact opposite. As noted earlier, Eisler specifically differentiates between hierarchies of domination, which are driven by the desire to control and oppress, and hierarchies of actualization, which support a greater unfolding of potential."

If you look at the prominent writers who have promoted "web of life" and other more networked structures that have come to the fore via systems thinking, I haven't found any of them who deny that hierarchies exist in nature as well.  PatternDynamics includes Hierarchy, Network, and Holarchy all as natural dynamic patterns that exist in all systems.  The issue then becomes how to express these patterns in a healthy way, and how to balance and integrate them depending on the situation and context. 

I am of the opinion that regardless of value judgments, a) an emphasis on hierarchies was to be expected during the period of energy abundance that we've had the last two hundred years, as an expression of Howard Odum's Maximum Power Principle; and b) as we enter the age of declining available energy, the best way to maximize power is to share it in mutually supportive networks. Mutual support and reciprocity with no waste and no greed is the new mechanism to survive and thrive. 

Me:

As you may or not know, I do not reject hierarchy per se, just a certain kind. I went into this in detail in a few threads, like real/false reason and the fold. Dominator hierarchies are based in the same metaphysical premises as capitalism, both arising from what Lakoff calls false reason, or Gebser calls deficient rationality.

Eisler's partnership model expresses healthy hierarchy/heterarchy with real reason. Note that her partnership societies are gender equitable, as well as in/out, one/many balanced. Male-dominated societies are not gender equitable and arise from the unbalanced sort of metaphysical dominator hierarchies. What you call "mutually supportive networks" is that sort of partnership balance. As is the emerging new Commons beyond capitalism and private property.

To the extent kennilingus holds on to capitalism, even conscious capitalism, is the extent to which it participates in a dominator hierarchy. And quite a few in the broader integral movement have noticed this.

I'd mentioned somewhere that I was reading Eisler's The Real Wealth of Nations. I've attached this document that summarizes the chapters.

From chapter two:

Opposing Economic Societal Structures

The domination system allows only for dominating or being dominated. Hierarchies of domination result in scarce trust, high tension, and system cohesiveness based on fear and force. Leaders control and disempower. To succeed, a domination system suppresses caring and empathy.

In contrast, a partnership system supports mutually respectful and caring relations. Hierarchies of actualization allow for accountability, bi-directional respect, and input from all levels. Leaders facilitate, inspire, and empower. Economic policies and practices support needs: basic survival, community, creativity, meaning and caring – the realization of highest human potentials.

No society is pure partnership or domination system – it’s always a matter of degree. The top-down domination system is a holdover from earlier feudal and monarchic times.

Eisler from "Beyond capitalism and socialism":

"The ultimate goal of economic policy should not be the level of monetary income per person, but developing the human capabilities of each person."

DavidM58:

Nice. And here is Eisler from chapter 12 of The Chalice and the Blade (p. 173):

"Thus, although a rigidly hierarchical social structure like androcracy [man rule], which imprisons both halves of humanity in inflexible and circumscribed roles, is quite appropriate for species of very limited capacity like social insects, it is truly inappropriate for humans. And at this juncture in our technological evolution, it may also be fatal."

Me:

Excellent comparison, androcracy being evolutionarily equivalent to insects. I thought I was being harsh comparing it to feudalism or calling it regressive.

I'm just starting to explore her work. It is consistent though with P2P and the Commons. An org she participates in is at this link. I'm looking forward to reading the articles on partnership spirituality on this page. She is referenced quite a bit at the P2P Foundation.

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Some excerpts from the 2015 article. This from pp. 9-10 is particularly relevant to the Trump phenomenon:

"Many people who have only experienced relations of domination and submission in their early years believe there is only one alternative: you either dominate or you are dominated. Such people are extremely uncomfortable with anything that threatens this 'natural order,' and can be easily manipulated by demagogic leaders who promise to 'get things back under control.' [...] Since they learned to equate difference—beginning with the fundamental difference between male and female—with either superiority or inferiority and with dominating or being dominated, they have a mental template they apply to different races, religions, ethnicities, and so forth."

Further distinctions from pp. 11-12:

"Another point that merits repetition is that the difference between the partnership model and the domination model is not that one has a completely flat structure and the other has hierarchies. There are hierarchies in partnership systems. There have to be: every society needs parents, teachers, managers, leaders. But rather than hierarchies of domination we find hierarchies of actualization, in which power is used to empower rather than disempower others. That we today read about the effective leader and manager no longer being a cop or controller but a man or woman who inspires and empowers others is a partnership trend.

"Also, contrary to the popular notion that all will be well if people cooperate rather than compete, this is not the difference between the partnership and domination models. People cooperate all the time in domination systems: monopolies cooperate, terrorists cooperate, invading armies cooperate. Nor are partnership systems free of competition. But it is not the 'dog-eat-dog' kind of competition of domination systems. It is competition primarily driven by a striving for excellence. Again, that business books are beginning to distinguish between these two kinds of competition is another sign of movement toward the partnership side of the continuum."

The linked article (by Riane Eisler) looks very interesting, and based on what I see on page 3, seems to be very "integral" (with a lower case 'i'): 

"The study of relational dynamics draws from a much wider database than earlier studies. Unlike conventional studies (often aptly called “the study of man”), this method includes the whole of humanity—both its female and male halves.3 Rather than focusing on one period at a time, it looks at the whole span of history—including the long period before written records called prehistory. In contrast to conventional studies, which have focused on politics and economics, the study of relational dynamics looks at the whole of our lives—including our family and other intimate relations.

Using this more complete database makes it possible to see connections between key parts of social systems: social configurations that transcend familiar categories such as religious vs. secular, Eastern vs. Western, rightist vs. leftist, industrial vs. pre- or postindustrial, and so forth.

Religious/secular, Eastern/Western, and ancient/modern are shorthand for ideological, geographic, and time differences. Right/left and liberal/conservative describe political orientations. Industrial, pre-industrial, and postindustrial describe levels of technological development. Capitalism and communism are labels for different economic systems. Democratic/authoritarian describes political systems in which there are, or are not, elections.

None of these categories takes into account the totality of the institutions, assumptions, beliefs, relationships, and activities that constitute a culture. Most critically, conventional categories fail to take into account the cultural construction of the primary human relations: the formative childhood relations and the relations between the male and female halves of humanity—even though these relations are basic to our species’ survival as well as to what children learn to view as normal or abnormal, moral or immoral, possible or impossible.

A basic principle of systems science is that if we do not look at the whole of a system, we cannot see the connections between its various components—just as if we look at only part of a picture, we cannot see the relationship between its different parts.

What becomes evident looking at a larger picture that includes the cultural construction of parent-child and gender relations are social configurations that repeat themselves cross-culturally and historically. There were no names for these social configurations. So I called one the domination system and the other the partnership system."

theurj said:

Human possibilities: the interaction of biology and culture. Abstract:

This article briefly describes the two main strands of a new unified theory about human nature and human possibilities...

Good quotes.  One of the thinkers who was looking at these kinds of dynamics earlier than most was Bernard Loomer, in the process-relational and radical empiricist traditions.  He wrote a fascinating essay on Two Conceptions of Power in 1975, where he articulated "relational power" in a way that correlates with Eisler's conception of "hierarchies of actualization."  

The essay was recently available for free on line at http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=2359 , but since that site is down I've attached the essay below. 

theurj said:

Some excerpts from the 2015 article. This from pp. 9-10 is particularly relevant to the Trump phenomenon:

"Many people who have only experienced relations of domination and submission in their early years believe there is only one alternative: you either dominate or you are dominated. Such people are extremely uncomfortable with anything that threatens this 'natural order,' and can be easily manipulated by demagogic leaders who promise to 'get things back under control.' [...] Since they learned to equate difference—beginning with the fundamental difference between male and female—with either superiority or inferiority and with dominating or being dominated, they have a mental template they apply to different races, religions, ethnicities, and so forth."

Further distinctions from pp. 11-12:

"Another point that merits repetition is that the difference between the partnership model and the domination model is not that one has a completely flat structure and the other has hierarchies. There are hierarchies in partnership systems. There have to be: every society needs parents, teachers, managers, leaders. But rather than hierarchies of domination we find hierarchies of actualization, in which power is used to empower rather than disempower others. That we today read about the effective leader and manager no longer being a cop or controller but a man or woman who inspires and empowers others is a partnership trend.

"Also, contrary to the popular notion that all will be well if people cooperate rather than compete, this is not the difference between the partnership and domination models. People cooperate all the time in domination systems: monopolies cooperate, terrorists cooperate, invading armies cooperate. Nor are partnership systems free of competition. But it is not the 'dog-eat-dog' kind of competition of domination systems. It is competition primarily driven by a striving for excellence. Again, that business books are beginning to distinguish between these two kinds of competition is another sign of movement toward the partnership side of the continuum."

Attachments:

Footnote 10 of her 2015 article clarifies what I said in this post using Wilber, contrary to the notion that it is merely the technological base that governs most of our individual consciousness and social organization:

"In contrast to the view that technological modes of production determine social organization, cultural transformation theory takes into account evidence that cultures with the same technological base can have different structures and beliefs depending on the degree they orient to either end of the partnership-domination continuum. For example, instead of the dehumanizing assembly lines of industrialization in times that oriented more to the domination side of the continuum, in the 1960s more partnership-oriented Sweden and Norway introduced what became known as industrial democracy where workers controlled their manufacturing work" (34).

And here's one of her statements on spirituality.

This is good, t - what a clear, let's say developed, voice.

She makes a moving and persuasive presentation for making our daily life and greater world health and relations the primary venue for spirituality. In her clarity, placing partnership as a philosophical, spiritual, actionable basis for all relations, as contrasted with traditional versions of dominator hierarchies, seems especially potent. It is potent in its relative simplicity.

I like her clear logic. She seems to be saying that in order to recognize the ongoing truth of these bases, that are of such important concern, perhaps a spiritual "ultimate concern", we need to morally elevate and bring foreground "awareness" and more particularly, "sensitivity". This is something that Krishnamurti emphasized. She relates sensitivity to other capacities and values like empathy, compassion, the knowing of what is morally important, which can then strengthen courage to stand up and speak out.

Here below are some of the quotes form Riane Eisler's article that stood out at the moment of my reading:


I also became aware that I was now, so to speak, spiritually self-educating myself.
[I feel similarly for myself.]


Many of us are today troubled by the overmaterialism of our culture. We find much in institutionalized religions that we can no longer accept. Yet we want to infuse our lives, and our work, with deeper meaning. We want to be of service, to feel connected to one another and to our Mother Earth. We want deeper relationships and a sense of greater purpose. This, I believe, is one of the major motivations behind the various strands of what is sometimes called the new spirituality.


I believe that at at the core of all the major religious traditions — be they Hindu, Muslim, Hebrew, Christian, or Confucian — are the partnership values of sensitivity, empathy, caring, and nonviolence. But overlaying this partnership core is what we may call the dominator encrustment: teachings appropriate for the kinds of societies that already prevailed during the time when what are today considered our holy books or scriptures were committed to writing.
[I like this phrase, visualized image, and description of possible process - "dominator encrustment."]


A morality appropriate for partnership relations can have standards such as the moral imperative of moving through our lives with awareness, with the sensitivity to ourselves and to others that is the prerequisite for empathy and caring. These standards can help us become more aware of our interconnection with others of our kind and with our Mother Earth, fostering that feeling of oneness that is at the core of partnership spirituality.



A morality appropriate for partnership relations can have standards such as the moral imperative of moving through our lives with awareness, with the sensitivity to ourselves and to others that is the prerequisite for empathy and caring. These standards can help us become more aware of our interconnection with others of our kind and with our Mother Earth, fostering that feeling of oneness that is at the core of partnership spirituality.

When we are sensitive, we can feel empathy. When we are insensitive, we can not. Sensitivity is therefore a prerequisite for the basic partnership moral standard of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.


[It almost goes without saying that I can't read someone's ideas without having some, at least, small non-full-agreement with something said.

What it is here from the quote below is that I don't think there is such an idealistic design that says "all of us are born with that voice." I think it happens to be close to true, yet I also think that the caprices, I'll say, of kosmic order, 'design' and 'application' is a bit experimental, I'll again say. Babies, like organic and inorganic processes, systems, units, are probably all slightly individual, like "snowflakes", and sometimes bits, and spins, arcs and strengths, bonds and connections made and those pruned back, are too little or too much for a balance that will lead to the expression of a capacity or function. And maybe this imperfect creative process can even show up as "freaks."

Certain kinds of awareness, sensitivity, and caring about others may be almost divine, sometimes almost absent. And then there is the broad and somewhat diverse "normal."

This detail I am looking at seems picky to me, not so usually important, and perhaps there is compensatory value to generalizing a wee bit in saying "all." Then there is also, wtfdik.]

I believe *all* of us are born with that voice, that it is part of the essence of what makes us human. Babies, newborns, cry when they hear another baby’s cry. They are born with empathy, with the capacity to feel with another.
But unfortunately, much in our culture stifles, and all too often silences, that empathic and caring inner voice. So when I speak of being spiritual, I do not think of it as just a personal matter. It is a cultural and social matter.



theurj said:

And here's one of her statements on spirituality.

I'm glad she speaks to you Ambo, as she does to me too.

The following is from the interview linked above. Republicans are right about one thing: it starts in the family.

"In the United States, Trump and the Kochs are part of the regression to the domination system. The growing gap between haves and have-nots that was the norm just a few centuries ago is part of this regression. So is the global rise of religious fundamentalism, with its push to top-down theocratic rule, holy wars, and a 'traditional' male-dominated, highly punitive family. But that is not the whole story. There is also continuing movement toward the partnership system. [...] The peace movement and, more recently, the movement to end traditions of violence against women and children challenged the use of force to maintain rankings of domination. The movement for economic equity challenged top-down economic control. The environmental movement challenged man’s conquest of nature."

"A major reason for these regressions is that most of the challenges to domination have focused only on the public sphere of politics and economics, leaving the foundations on which domination systems rebuild themselves in place. In recent times, the women’s rights and children’s rights movements have gained momentum worldwide, trying to dislodge these foundations. This is a major step forward, as we know from neuroscience that what children experience and observe in their early years affects nothing less than how our brains develop. This is why an integrated partnership political and economic agenda is so essential. As more people leave behind 'traditional' male-dominated, highly punitive families, they learn that relations of domination and submission are not inevitable."

In the video below, Anthony Hopkins as President John Quincey Adams address the Supreme Court in the movie Amistad. The movie is based on an actual event. The speech highlights recent posts on Eisler and her partnership model, in that it emphasizes that we are a society that relies on each other, including our forebears. And the rampant individualism, as the speech goes, it antithetical to that social contract. When he is rhetorically asking the advice of the former Presidents he said: "We have long resisted asking your for guidance. Perhaps we have feared in doing so we might acknowledge that our individuality, that is so, so revered, is not entirely our own" (8:30).

Along a similar line, see this Maher New Rule on what created Trump. It's the same rampant individualism but within the context of the liberal side of the equation. (Not to be confused with partnership, the balance of individual and society, and which recognizes competitively earned individual excellence.)

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