Integral “Third Way” Politics

Integral “Third Way” Politics

May 29, 2008 9:39 pm 6 comments

“This new video is showing up everywhere on the internet, but we thought we had to post it after watching it closely ourselves – as Ken Wilber’s passion for major political issues, and the clarity with which he deploys applied integral theory (at least in terms of AQAL) is something to behold.

Whatever your opinion of this integral-type theorizing (and jargon), this 30 minute video demonstrates just how accurate and useful a calibrated integral framework can be when we attempt to understand the broad currents of cultural and development change.”

(via Integral Praxis. For those unfamiliar with Wilber’s Integral Theory, Dedroidify has a good summary)

6 Comments

  • Klintron

    It didn’t take me long to start finding Wilbur and the Integral Institute creepy when I first started reading about them a couple years ago. But when I more recently found out what the term “integral” historically meant in a political context, I became even more creeped out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integralism

    (Short version: it’s synonymous with fascism)

  • There’s a whole website dedicated to critiquing Wilber and his theories.
    http://www.integralworld.net

    Evidently Wilber went off on some of his critics after the site was made.
    http://www.integralworld.net/visser15.html

    Some believe his movement has become a “cult”. But, I’m always interested in theories on consciousness, and try to remain open to exploring as many ideas and viewpoints as I can.

  • Klintron

    “I?m always interested in theories on consciousness, and try to remain open to exploring as many ideas and viewpoints as I can.”

    Absolutely. It’s important to remember that the man and the organization are not the ideas (though it’s become increasingly difficult to read his stuff the more I know about its context).

    Spiral Dynamics was around before Wilbur picked up on it, too. Some interesting stuff there. There’s a buncha Wilbur/Integral/SD stuff in the archives here. Paul Salamone, who used to work for the Institute, was a guest blogger here a few years back.

    George Walford’s work may also be of interest – http://www.gwiep.net/ but it’s more sociological than consciousness orientated.

  • Thanks to Klintron for the link to http://www.gwiep.net/

    Just because Sir Oswald Mosley coined the phrase ‘The War on Want is the War We Want’ does not mean that George Galloway is a fascist for using the phrase ‘The War on Want.’

    Similarly, just because ‘The Third Way’ was originally the name that linked together the fascism of Italy, Germany and elsewhere, that doesn’t mean that Ken Wilbur’s use of ‘The Third Way’ makes him a fascist. Fascism was the third way because it was (supposedly) neither capitalist nor socialist.

    But it’s good to know where such phrases come from in case there is any confusion.

  • Klintron

    Trevor – points well made. “Third Way” has now been used in so many different contexts that it no longer has much connection to its use as a description of fascism. But I think there’s a pretty solid link between the traditional use of “integral” and Wilbur’s use of “integral.” And it’s only amplified by the use of the term “Third Way.” But don’t take my word for it.

    And at the risk of being severely misinterpreted, I also have to say that fascism isn’t necessarily “all bad.” (Nor are socialism and capitalism.)

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