Sunday, October 15, 2006

Consciousness Shifts and the Middle Class

Historically, there have been three types of government rule: Warlords, Theocracy, and Aristocracy. Although there have been occasional pockets of democracy throughout history, it has not, by any means, been the norm. During the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries, and early into the 21st, we have been engaged in a rather spectacular experiment never seen before on this scale.

We all know what warlords look like: they are the Genghis Khans and the Sadaam Husseins. They may take on the look of a somewhat modern society, and use the tools of modern society, but make no mistake: They are warlords pure and simple, and operate from an egocentric, or a pre-operational consciousness level.

A theocracy, on the other hand, is the church-state of Catholicism, some Islamic-Muslim states, and the Church of England (and the US if we're not careful), just to name a few, and operate from absolutist, conformist (conform or else), mythic, authoritarian, and ethnocentric consciousness.

Aristocracies, such as Kings, corporate states, and ruling classes, operate primarily from strive drive, rational, or concrete operational consciousness, most of the time ruling by controlling who has the money. Egocentric and ethnocentric Wealth rules.

But every so often in history, there arises the phenomenon of democracy....and by democracy, I'm not talking about lassiez-faire capitalism, but the rise of a middle class, and the power that comes with it.

There many things that democracies have in common, but there are a couple you might not have thought about. For instance, do you know what the Renaissance, The Enlightement, and the Age of Aquarius of the 21st century all had in common?

For one thing, they were all preceeded by societies that had developed a strong middle class. Let me explain how.

The Renaissance was preceeded by the Bubonic Plague, the "Black Death," that took one-third of Europe's population. Afterwards, there was an extreme shortage of labor, and to get things done, wages increased dramatically, creating a middle class that had leisure time: Time to think, do art, create...and ask serious questions.

The Enlightenment was preceeded by Spain's forays into the New World, where they brought gold back in droves, creating untold wealth and also creating a middle class across Europe ...again....time to think, time to do, as opposed to having to pay attention to just surviving.

The Age of Aquarius, those quaint 60's some of us older folks had the pleasure of living through, were actually started by the founding fathers of this country, almost 200 years before. The American Revolution wasn't a wealthy class creating an elitist country. For the most part, America was created by middle class people who were throwing off the chains of an oppressive aristocratic form of government. Yes, there were some who wanted to keep a new aristocracy in place, like John Adams, but the middle class won out. A Worldcentric consciousness bloomed.

Now move that some 150 years forward with Roosevelt correcting the faults of a corporate aristcracy that drove America into the Great Depression, coining the term "a living wage", the strenghtening of unions, and the creation of the greatest middle class ever seen, culminating at it's peak in the 1970's. Pow! The Age of Aquarius.... In fact, it was so powerful, that other countries are actually doing it better than we are today, since Reagan began systematically dismantling the middle class in the 1980's.

Today, we're seeing the emergence of another level consciousness: the Integral Movement. The middle class has not yet completely gone away, despite conservative efforts to return us to a ruling aristocracy, and soon we may see the emergence of an integral population large enough to significantly impact the world we live is well on it's way.

Democracy....a middle class....evolving consciousness....Kosmoscentric conciousness...perhaps enough to make a permanent difference in how we all live on this tiny planet.

Coming soon: a plan to have the integral movement and salons move into politics and begin making a difference in local elections.

1 comment:

Tom Mull said...