Generational perspective on Integral


Recently on the Discord site, a few us were discussing some of the fractions that are in the Integral community. When discussing these differences (mostly political, economic), we brought up the different perspectives that generations might have and how that affects their Integral identity.
I know Ken has the wonderful Boomeritis take (I believe he came up with that term?). I am 42 and fall somewhere in the Gen XYZ group. It will be interesting to see how the voices of this generation distinguish themselves from the Boomers and what this integral perspective will look like.


Been noticing these “factions” appearing fairly heavily on integral Facebook communities.

I’m 32 and fall within the millennial camp, and, generally, associate with most leftist politics. My undergrad degree in sociology introduced me to the rich history of left-leaning intellectuals; we studied Marx, Foucault, the Frankfurt School, etc. etc. Have always carried them with me, even in and through my studies of integral.

For the most part I feel that there are multiple layers at work in the systemic “social fragmentation” happening right now.

Digital platforms have emboldened the cultural wars simply by their design (folks like Rushkoff talk about this frequently). We’re still learning how to build a human-centered internet, and right now, in the era of “Web 2.0” and Goliath platforms like Twitter/Facebook, etc… a human centered internet doesn’t exist. It’s far more profitable to design our apps like slot machines, and sequester like-minded communities into insulated bubbles. Then we can pit them against one another with polemic tweets or clickbait article titles that incite outrage and reaction for views.

The structural and ideological backbone of our economic systems, our ever-more-dire intensification of the ecological crisis, and the gradual ineptitude of our institutions to address economic inequities is a powder keg of problems that only feed the desire to seek out scapegoats. The left is an easy one. Especially the cultural/social left… where identity and representation is a heated and difficult to navigate space (and on college campuses or on Twitter, can at times get out of hand or over-exaggerated, which, as noted, is partly built into those platforms). Wilber has talked about “Mean Green Meme” since the 90s, as Rebel Wisdom also recently pointed out, but I never felt this was very a fair, or well-studied analysis of the left, or “green” values for that matter.

But circling back to your question, that might be a generational gap: I see a the rise of the left and a post-capitalist future as the only one that will likely be sustainable for civilization. I think a lot of young people intuitively know, feel, and cognize this. They may express new values in what we perceive to be an extreme way, with a lot of zeal, but we know as students of cultural evolution and social transformation that whatever has been repressed tends to surge up and be expressed in an overwhelming way.

I think there’s a bifurcation between folks who are growing up in a failing system and the folks who perhaps don’t see that underlying transformation taking place.


Totally agree … one thing I have been wanting to promote is a culture of more face to face online connections, my hope being that it will help humanize some of our online interactions. We have become so used typing on social media txt walls, and my concern is that we are losing the desire or impulse to actually talk live to another human being, especially when we can just resort to trolling/flaming a chat wall. I would love to design an app that promoted this, where you can search topics and then spontaneously jump into a live Zoom like conversation with other people you don’t know (it could be something like “Toronto raptors win NBA finals” or “American wanting to talk to Russians”). So many people are dying for really human connection – I’m grateful to have you guys :slight_smile:


Some years ago BLAB existed and it was right what you are looking for.

Other comments I would like to make to this thread i prefer to do it on video, not text.


I just watched Jonathan Haidt’s talk “The Three Terrible Ideas Weakening Gen Z and Damaging Universities and Democracies”

Very insightful


That was pretty interesting thanks for sharing. I get the concept of antifragility and the increase in polarization. It intuitively makes sense. I’m not sure it explains why there is an increase in polarization in politics. That would be interesting to explore.


Yeah, my sense is that he’s on the right track with the studying parenting trends in the late 90s, which may play into some college conditions, but it’s really only a partial assessment. I think the value shift points to a much larger and systemic emergence, sociologically. Can’t ignore things like the rise of the internet, social media, and economic/class developments (like Seattle 1999, the 2008 stock market crash, 2012’s Occupy and solidarity movements across the globe, neoliberalism, rising awareness of the climate crisis, etc.).