So I read this book by Raj Patel, the so-called Matreya. Anyone still remember?

However if he IS the matreya, he has not reached his full potential yet. His book is rather fragmented, deep down in the green pluralist confusion, and IMO he does not give an answer to the title of the book: "How to reshape market society and redefine democracy". He is no Phillip Goodchild, apparently. But he is very passionate, willing to learn from mistakes, and very involved in grass roots movements in Africa and India. Let's see what he can do in a few years.

However I was surprised to learn about Buddhist economy, a subject Patel writes about in a short passage in the last chapter of the book. E.F. Schumacher, a colleaeuge of John Maynard Keanes, apparently wrote the Buddhist Classic "Small is beautiful" after converting to Buddhism in Birma, before he became a christian later on.

Does anybody here know about Schumacher and his Buddhist Economics? I am interested to hear more about this

cheers,

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I have Patel's book on my reading list and will get to it shortly. I'd be careful about labeling him a green plurarlist though, given our recent discussions. See Balder's new thread, and mine on Batchelor, for example.
I understand that your discussion with Bruce is apparently very important for you both. For my part I'm not too much interested in what seems to be minor details.

All I was saying is that I preferred Goodchild's book to Patel's, a totally subjective aesthetic statement. ahaha

^_^

take care, Ed.
It is not a minor detail to label and dismiss someone as "deep down in the green pluralist confusion." But if you have Wilberitis then you have that blindness. C'est la vie.
Yeah whatever. I AM careful with labeling, and I still say Patel hasn't found his way to Integral / 2nd Tier yet. I don't see how this is a problem. If you disagree you can say so and we can enter debate, that's fine too.

However. I already said I liked portions of the book. This excerpt right here made me laugh:

>>"There are two novels that can transform a bookish fourteen-year-old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish daydream that can lead to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood in which large chunks of the day are spent inventing ways to make real life more like a fantasy novel. The other is a book about orcs."

ahahahahaha
Hey guys,

I've been on the road for a bit, but now I'm kicking back deep in the shadow of the Wind River Mountains, boyhood home, central Wyoming USA, taking care of family business and probing for something about which to write.

You cannot believe what I found. If you have a taste for a Pagliacci turn in comedic dolor, follow me. But first a bit of backtrack:

In the thread about the Value of Nothing I came across this line: "I still say Patel hasn't found his way to Integral / 2nd Tier yet." And I figured that with the glaring clarity of Chris's wisdom, that since he knew what Integral Second Tier wasn't, he would of course know what it is. And I awaited his enlightenment on the issue but I waited in vain. Apparently Chris doesn't know anything more than Patel. WTF is this about?

Then I figured I could find a little more of how Integral Puce Level, Top Bunk thinkers had a strangle-hold on the issues that Patel raised, so I scoured all the entries at the Journal of Integral Theory and Practice under the assumption that Ken and the Kennilingists wouldn't have anyone in their trade journal who wasn't burnt sienna and upper bunk. But there wasn't a single article that came anywhere near the analytical intelligence of the first part of Patel's book, so how could they formulate anything better than the second part?

Next I figured that Russ Volckmann might have a lead or two on the topic. Volckmann is The Head Integral Cheerleader In Charge, and editor of Integral Leadership Review, a handy guide on how to get your workers to put out more and work longer hours and still be happy about being on the same old wage scale. (Edward, I know that Russ is a friend and colleague of your friend Sarah whozits Ross, but truth be told she's in the same consulting racket as he, specialty non-profits, and anyone who has served time in a non-profit knows that here there isn't any greater class of exploited wage slaves outside of the child labor sweat shops of Indonesia. These people make me sick.)

And that is where I found THIS, one of the greatest word salad crocks of sour owl shit of all time! It is an interview of KEN HIMSELF by Kenniligist Supreme, Raquel Torrent de Espania, and here straight to the Patel, Christophe point Torrent asks:
"
Raquel
: If you could which would be the advice you would give to President Zapatero in a very simple and short manner regarding the following themes that so much are affecting Spain:

The economic crisis

"Ken: Do everything you can to bring your government and his money policy into alignment with the economy, for example putting money into the economy. On the other hand, it could mean taking it out. It all depends on what the moment requires, because the government role is to balance the monetary supply. Therefore if there is too little you put in some more and if there too much you take it out. There are several schools of economics on how to do that. I think it is a very important subject in order to maintain that balance. The banks needed to receive the money they received. At the same time it’s important to do something as well with the money that people have in their pockets, meaning that they may maintain the balance they need. I would say that being in the economy is such an important matter for the people. It is a must be fixed somehow. What I don’t know is the how. But surely it is important for a president to know how to elevate the morale of the lower left quadrant so the people feel better instead of creating economical paranoia that is at the end worst than the reality itself. So reminding Spaniards that they have a great history and a great country and great strong people is a must."

Good God that has to be Fifth if not Sixth Bunk at least! I have never read such wisdom before in all my life. It staggers the mind to think of the genius he put into that answer...it is soooo Integral!

But wait again. Go back to the top of the interview. She asks about the inspiration he found in Jean Gebser's work. And he replies: "I was one of the first to read Gebser in English and talk about him, so when I wrote Up from Eden I explicitly used his material. I introduced a lot of people to Gebser."

Now I might be wrong on this, and if anyone has better information I will gladly acknowledge my error, but: Up From Eden was published in 1981, however I could not find, after an hour of on-line searches, any evidence that showed Gebser was translated into English before 1985. WTF again?

Never mind that, this is even better and right in M and my back yard:

"Raquel: In which way do you think that would affect your vision of life if you were to have a a brief immersion in the Brazilian favelas, the Bolivian highlands, the Mayan communities, the paisants of Guatemala or the big trash cemeteries of Mexico City?

"Ken: Those situations are essentially mythic in structure so there is nothing necessarily transpersonal about those forms. Therefore, living in any of those situations I would say that there is nothing spiritual per se. You have to look and see what states of consciousness they are, also, and that’s very hard to trap to figure out. Most of them have had shamanic forms of religion and that is a subtle state of experience, little evidence of causal (emptiness) and very little evidence of non-dual (suchness). So, these subtle realms, overworlds and underworlds, were the shamanic realities basically in what they’ve lived in–and those are fine. It is just that they’re not terribly advanced. They’re only advanced in comparison to gross states. Those were the essential structures of most of the early civilizations which were mythic in form and subtle in their states."

This poor s.o.b. doesn't have a clue...I can't go on except to ask the question:

Why would anyone want to waste another word on the thinking of Ken Wilber?
Steven Nickeson said: And I figured that with the glaring clarity of Chris's wisdom, that since he knew what Integral Second Tier wasn't, he would of course know what it is. And I awaited his enlightenment on the issue but I waited in vain.

Eeeeeh you didn't wait very long, did you? ;-) O.K. I'm gonna try to give an example of why I think Goodchild is 2nd tier and then we can discuss.

Good stuff about Wilber btw. It is clear to me now that KW has the "Buddhist prince syndrome" BIG TIME. His cute little rationalization about the Favelas couldn't say it louder.

I wonder, after looking at the first Kennie blurr about economics: what does this say about his political alingment? It seems slightly libertarian to me. Is he not a fan of Ayn Rand's, BTW? As usual, he doesn't want to hurt anyone, so he cares about the banks, the govt, the president, oh yeah, and about the 'people' too. He is such a Posterboy of Mr. Nice. Trying to take all the perspectives into account AT ONCE. Small wonder he seems slightly confused at times.

I guess his answer to Integral Economics would be: so we have the Keynesians over here, the Friedmanites over there, and Integral is going this third way over here. I wonder how this wishy-washy definition would affect the Stock Market. It would probably break down immediately under the intellectual weight of the argument. harr harr
The main reason why I think Goodchild is second tier is that in his book, he avoids all of the typical mistakes of green boomeritis, which I would characterize as permissively libertarian, naively pacifistic, hopelessly romantic, lost in utopian thought-buildings, delved in african grassroots movements, helplessly caught in endless and friutless debate, secretely hopeless about achieveing anything while maintaining an optimistic 'we can do this together' persona. Ha. Fair enough.

This is what second tier is not. Then what is it? Maybe something like the following:

"At the End of modernity, one encoutners a peculiar paradox, for the dream of a secular order based on property, liberty, and money is merely an abstraction. In abstract representation, one accounts all as wholly positive because one counts only the money or ideas that may be substituted for produced realities.One does not count the conditions of production.. One does not count the investment of nutrition, attention, and devotion. One does not count the flesh and blood that is given to make credit, cooperation and production possible. Thus, the cost of a bloodless ideal is paid for immeasurably in uncounted flesh and blood. The dream of liberty ends in tyranny. Furthermore, little is achieved by denouncing the abstractions of the formal economy in the name of values grounded in subsistence, sustainability, and life, because such values remain abstractions that demand the total commitment of flesh and blood. Life itself inescapably involves sacrifice, cruelty, exploitation, incorporation, and consumption. It is not necessary to agree with Nietzsche that all life is will to power. It is, however, possible to agree with the Buddha that all life is suffering while making the opposite, Nietzschean Judgement:

>>You want if possible -- and there is no madder "if possible" -- to abolish suffering; and we? - it really does seem that we would rather increase it and make it worse than it has ever been! Wellbeing as you understand it - that is no goal, that seems to us an end! ... The discipline of suffering, of great suffering - do you not know that it is this discipline alone which has created every elevation of mankind hitherto? That tension of the soul in misfortune which cultivates its strength, its terror at the sight of great destruction, its inventiveness and bravery in undergoing, enduring, interpreting, exploiting misfortune, and whatever of depth, mystery, mask, spirit, cunning and greatness has been bestowed upon it - has it not been bestowed upon it through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?

The fundamental theological problem we face at the end of modernity is neither that of abolishing suffering nor that of increasing and profiting from it. To ask who will suffer for us so we don't have to is the implicit theology of the pursuit of money. [...] The aim is not to make a judgement for or against life, or for or against suffering, but to respond to it in such a way as to create true health and wealth. Such creation only occurs when life itself is committed. [...] The fundamental problem is this: what is worth the sacrifice of flesh and blood, of time, attention, and devotion? [...] We have to ask: is money worth the sacrifice of flesh and blood?"

Quote from "Theology of Money", Chapter Seven, The Price of Credit. The above passage appears under the headline: 'Posing the Problem'. So far as an example of what I mean by Second tier.

He then goes on to suggest a solution how to really transform market society: he proposes to create new financial institutions, Second Tier Banks so to speak, whose only purpose is to create meaningful evaluations of what and who is worth of receiving credit. These institutions would be under the lead of social insitutions like universities for example, independent from governments and public spending, maybe being financed from taxes, or through speculation on the market like every other bank.

Its a pretty wild shot, admitted, but this proposal is far more visionary than anything Patel has to offer up to date.
Steven: "Edward, I know that Russ is a friend and colleague of your friend Sarah whozits Ross, but truth be told she's in the same consulting racket as he, specialty non-profits, and anyone who has served time in a non-profit knows that here there isn't any greater class of exploited wage slaves outside of the child labor sweat shops of Indonesia. These people make me sick."

Friendship notwithstanding, as you know I've also recently criticized heavily Sara's (Common's) MHC and how it is used to bolster slave labor. And btw, in Mark Edwards gazillion part interview in ILR he also challenges a number of Russ' "integral" assumptions about leadership.
It might also be instructive to see what Chris Cowen (the "other" Spiral Dynamics guy) says about this 2nd-tier business. After all, it was Graves who coined the term, and Beck& Wilber (when they were together) who absconded and inflated it into its current bastardized usage. See this SD FAQ.
Edward,

Right you are on the Sara/Commons approaches. I had forgotten that we had already discussed those issues. As far as Edwards goes, I never could get more than a couple of paragraphs into those interviews before my eyes glazed over and my head began to hurt; glad though he took some shots at Russ.
theurj said:
It might also be instructive to see what Chris Cowen (the "other" Spiral Dynamics guy) says about this 2nd-tier business. After all, it was Graves who coined the term, and Beck& Wilber (when they were together) who absconded and inflated it into its current bastardized usage. See this SD FAQ.

Edward,

Thanks for posting Cowen's extensive FAQ pages. I've been surfing them for several hours (quite a sophisticated update on what they had up several years ago). They demonstrate and redemonstrate far better than I can write how talk about 2nd tier is only coherent for those playing the subjective Kennilingist, Integral® language games. From my point of view I can see how Goodchild could be viewed as just another mythical Christian believer elaborating on JC's comment in passing that the poor are always with us and who is making a proposal on how to shift the burden of tyranny onto the shoulders of just a different set of monetary technicians.
I understand that you prefer to be skeptic about the above proposal. But let me remind you that the notion of second tier does not stand and fall with the integrity of Ken WIlber, but has been proposed in slightly different terms by Maslow, Graves, Gebser, Habermas, etc. etc.

We could also call it post-post-modern but this really does sound silly. The foundation of such a perspective which outgrows liberal pluralism has also been put forward by writers like Zizek, Badiou, Agamben and others. All of which also happen to be christians (of some sorts). Somehow they seem to believe that Jesus Christ and Universalism cannot be seperated and maintain a quantum entanglement regardless of circumstances. (Dont quote me with this)

Goodchild himself is a Christian Theology and Philosophy Prof, and a follower of Gilles Deleuze, another writer whom I consider beyond the reach of green discworld dwellers. I know no other author who writes so directly with and about the causal with no sanctification whatsoever. It's refreshing, really.

So, please, if it be your will, then overcome your leftist paranoia of a New World Order and give the idea of second tier financial institutions a chance. Of course this could be manipulated and perverted. There should never be just one institution, but several, at least one on each continent, no more than, let's say three or four on each, and they should compete with each other in finding the best future investments that they can find.

Give Justice a chance.

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