Monday, November 06, 2006

An Integral Look at First-Tier Politics

Normally, I wouldn't pick on first tier perspectives precisely because they are first tier, but I'm going to make an exception here because a very good friend of mine claims to be an Integral Conservative.

I don't even know what that means, and he hasn't done a good job of defining it. Is an integral conservative an integrally informed person with conservative leanings? Hell, I'm that! I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal. "Let's see...where are those weapons of mass destruction? Not under here...."...
he can't be a conservative about Integral. That would mean he's trying to conserve an integral approach that is still emerging, so there's nothing to conserve, yet.

The very term, Integral Conservative, is an integral oxymoron. The very idea of being "conservative," or liberal, for that matter, stems from a particular quadrant and a developmental level (IMHO). A self view of being a conservative stems from an interior view of the upper left quadrant (I could go on about this, and mercifully won't), and indicates a typology stemming from that quadrant, and cannot, therefore, be integral by itself.

But enough about setting the stage. In a post by my friend called Get Real, America, he claims that the failures, or inaction, of Republicans over last 6 years can de solved by electing more Republicans. The problem here is obvious: never accept responsibility for anything. Let's see....you literally control all three of the branches of government, and still can't get anything done?

In another post, called The March of Educational Folly, he says, "This year the liberals have done a masterful job building a narrative about the Bush folly in Iraq. Maybe it will get them control of Congress on Tuesday." Again, this is all about shifting blame and responsibility. "It's not my fault," is the getting-old-real-quick-ploy this adminstration uses over and over again. The problem with this statement is that liberals aren't much better than conservatives, and certainly cannot lay claim to doing anything "masterfully." Quite the contrary, they have bungled everything, including their own message.

Again, most conservatives, and my friend, accept no responsibility for any of this. An exception is Richard Perle, famed neo-con and co-author of the Iraq War plan, who just said, "this administration is a dysfunctional disaster." Add to that the new issue of The American Conservative, that asks, "Who killed Conservatism?" This is not a rant against conservatives. Quite the contrary, it is a plea for the return of conservatism in all its glory.

Conservatives (and liberals for their complicity) have only themselves to blame for the failed and tragic actions of this administration. The Plan For New American Century is a monumental failure....it just doesn't work!
My friend goes on to say, "But it is liberal follies, not Bush follies, that really threaten us."

I'm not going to argue this point, because the response is clear enough to anyone who is interested in reading this blog. What I will add, is that, according to my friend, everything is the fault of liberals, so I suggest that his worldview doesn't allow him to see any further than his developmental ideologies and altitude, and that is not an integral perspective.

So what is an Integral Conservative? Well, I posit it will take at least 50 years before any aspect of integral could be considered conservative, and then only by those would oppose new integral concepts in favor of existing concepts, and who would wish to preserve the status quo....whatever that might eventually be, and by that act alone, would cease to be integral.

What I'm left with is that, today, an Integral Conservative is a person who cognitively gets some of this stuff, but cannot possibly embody it. From my friends writings, I can't even accuse him of using integral concepts to forward his own first tier causes. It just isn't there. He sees the only thing he can see.

For more reading on the concept of Integral Conservatism:
Integral Options
Integral Visioning
Integral Multiplex

3 comments:

Tom Mull said...

Gary: I very much agree with the Integral Visioning post "Sacred America series, #18 By Stephen Dinan" about respecting conservative values (transcend and include basic structures). The Integral Multiplex post "Conservative and Liberal at many levels" very much makes the case that I tried to make with you sometime back re that expressing "liberal" or Conservative" ideas or values is not necessarily indicative of level of development. =)

Gary Stamper said...

"Not necessarily"....but likely. It begins with a level (the ability to see aperspective) and then, I think, becomes a typology...something I also think we don't see happen in many other areas. :)

Tom Mull said...

Gary: To the degree that "Liberal" (freeing)is developmental methinks it is mostly the interface between amber and orange. From there it becomes a translative tussle between Jenny Wade's "Affiliatives" (communal left) and "Achievers" (agentic right) both of them trying to co-opt the amber & reds into their programs with whatever apeal seems to work (whatever the market may bear). I see Integral (Wade's "Authentic") as "Integrating" this cacophony (becoming polyphonic)--negating counterproductive surface structures, transcending, and including basic structures and still productive surface structures. =)