Book Recommendations for learning more Integral Theory relative to economics, politics


#1

I’m new to this community, but have been interested in integral theory for some years, though I am still merely a beginner in understanding all this. The past 3 years have made this more urgent, as it feels very transitional. I believe all transitions require a shock point (Gurdjieff talks of this. So does AA, though they call it hitting a bottom), and I hope this administration is the bottom we need to hit. I dread a deeper one, though we are certainly not there yet. We haven’t had a critical mass take that sobering move to self-reflection. We had a moment of it after 9/11, but squandered it. BLM is helping, but is still divisive. Still, it tells us what it feels like. However, when I talk to most people about this, they seem to think I should be wearing a tinfoil hat. So I sighed with relief when I watched Robb Smith’s podcast on transition, because there must be people smarter than I who see this. I also found his talk with another member helpful in understanding that not many people can/must get to an integral level to enact change. Since everyone must go through the whole long path, the odds will remain short that it will ever be a large number.

Anyway, I’ve read all I can find Memenomics, many of Ken Wilber’s books of course, Spiral Dynamics, Steve McIntosh’s book on Integral Consciousness. But I think there are many people in the business world who may not be familiar with evolutionary models but are thinking and acting at that level. I’m looking for these writers.

For example, Ross Duthat’s column this week “The Religious Roots of a New Progressive Era” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/07/opinion/protestant-progressive-reformation.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage seem to dovetail with the spiritual and cultural aspects of integral levels. I also followed his link to the American Affairs article on the New Class Wars by Michael Lind, written in 2017, and that was sobering. But, again, it confirms my own thinking that everyone is so distracted by Trump’s antics that they fail to see the continual, unrelenting power shift to corporate powerbrokers, which has been a concerted effort since the Powell Doctrine.

I’m particularly interested in examples of what integral-level corporations or government policies might look like.


#2

I recommend the new book by George Friedman (of Geopolitical Futures) - The Storm Before the Calm - which makes clearcut predictions on the 2020s and beyond. He also sets up a developmental framework which is worth examining since the predictions directly follow from it.

Friedman seems to believe in cycles. He sets up two cycles - an institutional one and a socioeconomic one - and these two dovetail to create American history. In the institutional cycle, the US government is formed around 1780, it’s relationship to the states is established around 1860, it’s management of the economy via unbiased expertise is set up after WWII (1940s) and this institutional era is winding down creating chaos since the next institutional framework is not yet in place. There’s also a socioeconomic cycle beginning in 1780. The first cycle lasts until 1830 or so (Andrew Jackson’s presidency being the transformative one); the second cycle until 1880 or so (Rutherford B. Hayes being the transformer); the third cycle until 1930 (Roosevelt) and the fourth cycle ending in 1980 (with Reagan). According to Friedman, It’s the Reagan supply side economics era that is ending right now and who can argue. The Feds have pumped 3T into the economy and propped up the stock market this year in the process.

The place where Friedman meets Wilber is the cool part. First, the US Fed is established by Hamilton, next the relationship to the states is clarified (1860 onward), globalist technocratic expertise takes over (after WW II) which leads us to what? Here Friedman makes a very interesting prediction which is bound to be of interest to consciousness wonks like ourselves. He claims that the era of complex, information processing systems and technocratic expertise will give way to a new era in which the ability of humans to interrogate such systems will become the focus. Human-computer interaction in which both are co-created is therefore the focus of this new era. Unfortunately, Friedman doesn’t understand consciousness at all but I think his intuition is spot on. It would be interesting to map the stages of socioeconomic and institutional development (outlined above) using SD/Integral tools which should allow us to make clear cut predictions on both fronts.


#3

Thanks. That book had caught my eye amongst many. I’ll definitely get it.