Information Warfare Education, Propaganda, and How to Tell the Difference

community

#101

Nothing is ever confirmed in a broken system where you can’t trust anyone. The destiny of Clown Culture governed by clowns on all sides is not very promising.


#102

Why not just stick with “Trump lawyer offered six-point plan for Pence to overturn election” as titled instead of going with the mighty pungent “coup” dog whistle?

Guess you’re not familiar with “scenario planning” and clamp right own on the answer you want. If I’m not mistaken you’re fundamentally against any kind of election audit, unless perhaps administered by the federal government or perhaps a group of academics.

Most multi-systematic thinkers do in fact consider as many scenarios as possible, BEFORE making their decisions. What you are arguing is that Pence nor the lawyer should have even considered the scenario of overturning the election, regardless of how remote the possibility. Now given that there was much talk (at least talk) most decision makers would consider it prudent to consider.

Is it lost to you that the actions might be important? You failed to mention that Pence did not act on the memo for likely a multitude of considerations. But that of course would take the discussion out of the realm of a fantastical noosphere conspiracy to “what actually happened”. Not much fund without some moral indignation.

Or should we run a little Critical Political Theory on the lawyer, and Trump, and half the nation spinning into moral condemnation burrowing into each person or groups “inner quadrants”.

And for me personally, as with many Muricans (I think that’s your terminology), we went to sleep with President Trump holding a significant lead to wake up in the morning with Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia having turned into decisive Biden wins with almost all driven by no more than one or two counties.

Personally, I’m quite ok with audits by either or both sides, and look forward to tightening our election integrity within each and every state.


#103

Unless I am mistaken, I think you are referring to “voter fraud” (what you call “grassroots election fraud”) versus “election fraud” (top-down manipulation of vote counts, preventing access to voting, etc.)

Typically we see accusations of voter fraud coming from the right, and accusations of election fraud coming from the left. This time around is interesting however, as the right is accusing people of both.

As for voter fraud, there has fortunately been a great deal of research to see how prevalent it actually is, and time and time again we discover that whatever fraud exists, is absolutely negligible when it comes to influencing election outcomes. It turns out the risk/reward ratio for voter fraud is too high for people to risk their reputations and livelihoods just to add another drop in the ocean.

However, accusations of voter fraud are often used to argue for voting IDs – an idea that I am not 100% against, so long as those IDs are available for free (as well as all necessary paperwork) so that they do not become a new form of poll tax. Otherwise, voter IDs can be easily be used to disenfranchise entire blocks of voters, particularly poor voters.

As for election fraud, there’s good news there too – we have an entire court process that allows people to accumulate and present evidence to a judge. If the evidence is legit, the case is heard and a decision is made. If the evidence is BS (e.g. “The Kraken”) the case is thrown out of court, and if appropriate, the attorneys can face consequences for presenting false evidence.

This I fully agree with. Transnational corporations are beyond the ability of nation-states to regulate, and therefore nation-states are falling into total transnational regulatory capture. But while I certainly do not see Republicans and Democrats as “good guys vs. bad guys”, I also do not subscribe to a “both sides are the same” frame. There are greater goods and lesser evils, even if we have to be deliberately partial in order to find them.


#104

Ironically, the documented cases of this were Republicans. Maybe they were just the ones stupid enough to get caught and / or brag about it?

Hmmm … we agree on something.

I wonder how things would have turned out if Trump actually was even minimally competent at even just the simple task of reading a teleprompter, or if he had delegated another Dick Cheney to run operations instead of his inept daughter / son-in-law team.


#105

Because a plan to overturn an election is, by definition, a coup. Why mince words? You certainly don’t.

You are mistaken. You asked me this already, I told you I am open to audits by impartial third-parties, so long as we have a way to confirm that impartiality. Not by partisan hacks. Sydney Powell is a partisan hack (and a Qanon believer! Did you know that?)

That said, hacks like her certainly have a right to present a case to a judge. But again, if the evidence is false, then there may be consequences for the attorney.

How is that a controversial take? Yes, I believe that deliberately overturning a democratic election is a fundamentally anti-American thing to do. No rational President should ever even consider something like this. Once again, I absolutely cannot imagine what right wing media would say if something like this came out of Obama’s office :wink:

Huh?


#106

You might definitionally be using coup correctly, but in common parlance coup is usually used in reference to an unlawful takeover attempt (ah, the Jan 6th “Insurrection” ties it together for you). Use the term is it gets your juices flowing.

Noted that you’re not interested in the actual actions taken, just the optics on the memo.

Would you consider these “attempted coups” as well?
2000 - Al Gore challenges the Presidential election results
2016 - Hillary Clinton questions legitimacy of election results


#107

coup: a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.

violent and illegal being key words here.
No, Hillary and Gore did not use violence. The Dec 6 coup did. It was also an attempt to illegally seize a Government building - again something neither Hillary nor Al did.

Again, again, again - you can’t just ignore the actual literal definitions of words and just use them however you want and expect that to be any kind of legitimate point.


#108

Yay, the best kind of “correct”! :slight_smile:

And yes, this would in fact be an “unlawful takeover attempt”.

Nice for you to pick up on the role of January 6th! Sort of like “manufacturing consent”. “Look at all these people who know I really won!”

One little wrinkle though – the Q folks were screaming “Hang Mike Pence” and creating gallows in front of the Capitol because he refused to go along with this illegal plan. So it could be argued that the insurrection was staged to pressure Pence to go along with this plan. Who knows! Can’t wait til those subpoenas are answered.

Actual events taken:

  • Before the election, Trump says if he loses, it’s because Democrats cheated.
  • Trump loses election.
  • Trump and Giuliani know that Trump lost fairly, but decide to push the Big Lie anyway (I posted that article already.)
  • Trump knowingly lies to his supporters and tells them he really won.
  • Trump’s lawyer says “Hey, enough people now think you won, so let’s just pretend like you won, and invent a bogus legal argument to dismiss the election results we don’t like. Pence can do it!”

No, because neither Clinton nor Gore were scheming up illegal bureaucratic shenanigans to overturn an election. That’s a pretty huge false equivalence right there :slight_smile:


#109

What pains me about this interaction is, because of the nature of the disagreements here, the discussion is getting completely locked at the conventional level. And because we cannot agree on what is pre-conventional and what is conventional, we cannot have a truly post-conventional conversation. And we are failing the intent of this thread, which is to discern the important differences between “educating about information wars” vs. “propaganda”.

So let’s see if we can back up a bit.

My overall claim is, essentially, we have a great and growing epistemic crisis in this country. People can no longer agree on what is real and what is not real. And that epistemic crisis is itself creating a mental illness crisis, and a great many people are falling into that darkness.

I am saying that Qanon is the quintessential example of propaganda and pre-rational epistemology of our time. I’ve used tons of different words and analogies to describe it, such as the “ant mill”, which I still think is the best explanation for how these things happen.

I am also saying that Qanon has taken on a truly massive following. It’s become routine to talk about that one family member who has fallen into the Qanon rabbit hole. My wife has a couple in her family. I’ve seen many in the integral community fall down that hole, and still remain there today.

And yes, I am staying that following is 100% pro-Trump. Because Q is itself designed to be a pro-Trump disinformation campaign. I think this is fairly easy to recognize.

Now, this is the point where we tend to get disconnected, because you seem to think my point in mentioning Qanon in the first place is to use it to paint all Republicans as some crazy pre-rational cult. But that is explicitly not what I am doing, and it is not why I am bringing it up. I am bringing it up as a way to educate about the shape of our information warfare. And maybe it’s doing some good, because apparently you came into this discussion with very little knowledge or context for what Qanon is and what they believe, so I at least hope the conversation has been helpful there.

So, we disagree on how big a percentage of Republicans believe in Q. All we know is that it is somewhere between 5-15% of the country. And we know that all of them are pro-Trump, because again, it is explicitly a pre-rational pro-Trump conspiracy mill.

Now, my thinking was basically “hmm, @FermentedAgave seems to me to be a rational right-leaning conservative. I bet he would be very concerned about the idea of a batshit pre-rational death spiral exerting x amount of influence in his preferred political party!”

I mean, I myself am incredibly concerned about toxic woke culture and it’s influence on the Left, AND I’m concerned about toxic conspiracy culture’s influence on the right. Because I want a healthy society, and as long as we have a two party system, I’d prefer for us to be rowing on both sides of the boat.

But honestly, I am tired of having to try to repeatedly make the case that there is a problem in the first place. Every point of data I put up seems to get deflected or dismissed or misconstrued as a totalizing generalization about conservatism as a whole. So it becomes a conventional partisan discussion that gains no real traction. Though I suppose this phase is worthwhile in order to put the data and perspectives on the table.

So I get back to my original thesis: we are experiencing a massive epistemic crisis in this country, and people have a hard time agreeing on what is real and what is not real. This directly results in open information warfare such as Qanon. What are the underlying causes? What can be done to help our society self-organize in a better, more healthy way? What can be done to stop the eruption of propaganda and misinformation that is being used to shred our shared reality and social fabric? What can be done to prevent the next Qanon from creating so much disruption in the next major political cycle?


#110

I completely agree and implore you to cease this unproductive discourse there is nothing integral here.


#111

Well, it’s the reason for my last comment. I’m trying to make the case again in as broad terms as possible, note where the breakdowns are occurring, and see if we can find some fundamental buy-in for the points I raised, so the discussion can move forward. And again, it’s entirely possible the case had to be thoroughly made first, just to find some shared epistemic reality together, in which case the dissonance is worthwhile.

I am hoping that everyone can acknowledge that we have a very real problem with conspiracy culture in this country, and that it is exerting a seemingly unprecedented influence on our politics. And it seems like we should be able to have a frank discussion about that, without having to “both sides” every statement we make as we go. There are some problems that uniquely affect the right wing of this country, and some problems that uniquely affect the left wing, and it would be awesome if we could talk about one without having to immediately reference the other in order to maintain an appearance of “balance”. It’s a tough line to walk, I get it, but I’d like to think we are all evolved enough (and anti-fragile enough) to try :slight_smile:


#112

Let’s Get Meta on this then!! :slight_smile:

I would suggest we take, at least this thread, with an epistemological approach looking at the information itself with the Lens of “Education” or “Propagana” as well as “How to Tell the Difference” (why, how).
With some self rigor we can stop ourselves from moral judgements “they’re all delusional”, authoritarian “its well know, as we all know”, and look to understand what the other is trying to communicate.
Additionally if we look at information and as to what domain is valid in - political discourse, policy, legislative, administrative, religious, anti-religious, Integral, etc… This is somewhat critical in order to at least recognize when shifting between perhaps “soft” (political, religious, Integral…) domains and “hard” (legal, policy, administrative,…) domains.

Just a few thoughts on who we can get up above the common fray! Thoughts?


#113

Before this conversation takes off in some new direction, I’ll share some views.
We’re all aware we’re living in the Information Age, with an explosion of data through the Internet. To nail down “truth” in this relative world of the manifest can be difficult, and yet there are “approximations” that are closer to the truth and to facts than others, and not kind of close, but much closer. Qanon is far, far away from facts and truth, in my opinion. And while what percentage of the population might subscribe to Qanon beliefs has some importance, also important is how loud that voice is and what positions of power those individuals and voices hold in society. It’s kind of like fundamentalist or evangelical Christianity–while a minority among the Christian population, they seem to be the loudest, seem to have pretty good access to mega airwaves.

If one looks at the conspiracy theories affecting the country, Qanon is certainly one, but there are also the conspiracists around COVID and vaccines, with some of this group not being a part of Qanon or being Trump supporters either. There are also the conspiracists around election fraud. Certainly there is overlap in all these groups, but they can also be separated out a bit, and one can ask: what do they have in common? I want to look at that through an Integral lens in a moment, but first I would just point out the obvious: they all have Trump in common. And I am back to my post about matrika shakti, how the power of speech plays a role in the creation of the world/culture, in supporting the world/culture as it is, and in changing or transforming (for better or worse) the world/culture.

I feel it is only partially accurate to say that Trump is “not the cause but the symptom” of a post-truth world. This is an either-or frame that should be a both-and; the either-or dismisses his own agency, and as we’ve come to see, the power he has with a certain segment of the population. Speech is important; and Trump lied continuously throughout his term, and is still lying. It took the mainstream media 3 years, until the final year of his term, to even use the word “lie” instead of a euphemism in regard to his utterances, and that only happened because his utterances were contributing to the spread of Covid (and deaths). “It will just disappear, like a miracle,” by Easter 2020, he said. He continued to downplay it in his speeches even after being hospitalized for it himself. And yes, he did rush vaccine creation; there’s a dichotomy for you.

I will get to how I see this figuring in to the conspiracies we’re confronted with in a moment. But I do believe if Trump would speak out about Qanon, COVID/vaccines, and stop promoting the Big Lie of election fraud, much of all of this information warfare would calm down. But he won’t do that, and my sense is that we will be living with and working our way through these issues until 2024. I don’t think Trump stands a chance of being re-elected in 2024; I doubt he will even run. I read a blurb just today that he’s saying ‘unless he gets a health recommendation from his doctor not to, he will.’ (paraphrased) That could be his truth, or, it could be his setting up an excuse or an “out” in advance, much as he did around the 2020 election, saying the only way he could lose is if the election is rigged. Trump now has numerous civil and criminal suits against him or his organization; subpoenas are going out to many people in his circle around the Jan. 6 insurrection, and there is that matter of his health–all of which is to say, from where I sit, things do not look real rosy for him as a candidate down the road.

As for the conspiracies, I view them all as a social contagion to which certain people are susceptible, a contagion transmitted through speech, or oral and written words. And I do gain understanding via both the Integral quadrants and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For instance, in my readings/research over the past months and couple of years, I have come across numerous psychologists/psychiatrists who say that conspiracists generally have a common trait in that they “mistrust authoritative sources of information.” This seems to be a personality tendency, a personality bent towards that mistrust, although an underlying psychological disorder in some people might be present (but we have no way of knowing that). This is UL quadrant, individual interiors, subjective experience. We see that with the current conspiracies: there is mistrust of the media, the medical establishment, institutions, election officials, for instance (LR quadrant). (This all may seem so simple and obvious, and yet we sometimes dismiss the simple and obvious, because, well, it’s just that…) And yes, those establishments may have earned some mistrust through their own behaviors, but certainly not to the degree that we’re seeing.

One writer I read pointed out that ‘conspiracy theorist’ is an inappropriate term because no one is really “theorizing,” rather, they are searching for and finding information that is “out there” that supports their mistrust. (Confirmation bias, as we know it–UR quadrant, behavior). And that information they’re finding out there comes along with some pretty peculiar thoughts and beliefs, but hey, “they, like me, do not trust…” so they adopt to one extent or another some of those idiosyncratic beliefs they have “heard” from someone else or “read” about (the power of speech again). (I could get into delusions here, but this is going to be quite long anyway.)

But think about this for a moment, imagine how uncomfortable, how insecure, how unsafe, how stressful! it would feel if a part of your personality or psychological make-up was such that you truly did not trust authoritative sources of information. Not your doctor, your mechanic, your lawyer, your teacher, your government, the media, etc. Trust is the foundation of all relationship, so that’s pretty hampered in some ways. Plus, we all want a congruency between what we sense/feel/think/believe/experience inside ourselves, and the exteriors–so seeking out information and others who confirm our mistrust makes some sense in a roundabout way if one is trying to reduce inner stress. This all hooks up for me with Maslow’s second level of needs: “safety and security”.

A second trait shared by conspiracists according to what I’ve read is a LL quadrant issue–people feeling socially disconnected. Anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation. So Maslow’s “belongingness” is the need here not being met. Imagine the thrill (we’ve all hopefully felt) of finding your “us.” Where you fit, belong. Not an ‘all of us,’ but an (amber) us that has that similar inner experience as do we, a similar basic mistrust of authoritative information.

Then add Trump to this story. I’ve always thought that his rallies were like rock concerts for attendees, a great source of excitement and entertainment. Seeking excitement is one way people try to self-treat depression. But not only this, this group that mistrusts the usual informational authorities now have an authority they totally trust. They can feel safer, more secure, because he speaks their language: “the media is the enemy of the people” “Covid will just disappear” (while denigrating medical professionals and state officials who try to tamp the pandemic down) “The only way I will lose this election is if it is rigged.” And he’s not just any authority, but was the most powerful man in the country. So people are not only getting their belongingness needs met, or their needs for safety and security, but they are having fun doing it, and riding on the coattails of power.

Which brings us to Maslow’s next level of needs: self-esteem, or a positive regard for oneself, often acquired for many people through external validations. By not invalidating Qanon beliefs, covid vaccine conspiracies, or beliefs in election fraud or voter fraud (which he’s the primary proponent of), he is validating and empowering them, and the people who hold these beliefs. He has done this with white supremacy (“fine people on both sides,” “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by”–speech matters). And some of those people, with their safety and security concerns (around “white replacement” theory, for instance), acted pretty red-level stage of development on Jan. 6. Some of it under the name of Jesus.

Some people are getting not just self-esteem, but a lot of (orange-rational stage) “bank” from this conspiracy culture. Money and careers are being made, name-recognition and social and political status advanced, in the name of “rights” and “freedom” often. Some people are even self-actualizing, including no doubt some green-stage alternative health/medical people promoting one natural cure or preventative for Covid after another.

I have emphasized the power of speech/words throughout here as instrumental in causation of the current problems, and I think that’s also a large part of the solution. And I think those solutions are beginning to happen already. The social media outlets limiting conspiratorial and mis-or disinformation is a part of it. The House investigations, the testimony from those, the documents, that’s all a part of it. The judicial proceedings for the participants in Jan. 6, that’s a part of it. The media (and all of us) not drawing false equivalencies or doing the both-sides thing, and calling it out when it is happening, that’s a part of it. (For the record: I acknowledge that the Democratic Party and the left have definite things to work on–but I in no way see their “sins” (original meaning: to miss the mark) as equal to those of the majority of the Republican Party–and more and more Republicans are in agreement with that, as some of them leave the party and/or speak up, speak out). The medical establishment needs to do a better job in messaging (some of it is confusing, and while the knowledge grows/evolves resulting in new recommendations, I do think they could do a better job of explaining that to the public). In other words, lots of LR quadrant solutions, all involving speech (and actions).

I think the goal now is to simply continue to refute the conspiracies and Big Lie, whittling them down with sharpened pencils and tongues, while remaining conscious of our own use of words. Perseverance. I have no unrealistic expectations that individuals who are given to a basic mistrust or peculiar, outrageous beliefs or who are socially disconnected are going to en masse be suddenly “healed.” And I have no expectations these particular conspiracies will change as long as Trump is still stirring the pot. He simply fulfills too many needs for a particular group of people. A charismatic “never-trumper” type of Republican leader, who is courageous and ethical and clearly values democracy and country over the “cult” of personality would be a real boon right about now.


#114

You @corey-devos walk and talk the Left and @FermentedAgave walks and talks the right. Neither of you seem credible with integral kudos when entrenched in defending your own point of view. That’s real easy for you intellectuals to do, try flipping polarities as the ancient wisdom of the Kybalion teaches.

I suggested to showcase your integral life skills by flipping sides. Rather than your personal default perspectives why not try strong manning each other instead? You will both carry greater influence with credibility and you’ll both grow through the experience.

It’s about the connection with these concepts that matter not the politics. By pointing the finger at yourself and critiquing your own side; this discussion would flourish with integral perceptions for everyone.


#115

Using the terms “Left” and “Right” necessarily polarises the discussion. They are a 1st Tier tool that works well with identity politics. 2nd Tier discussions are too nuanced for “Left” and “Right” to have any value, save by way of referencing 1st Tier approaches.
It may be helpful to describe our understanding of the issues we wish to discuss in 2nd Tier terms so as to set up a 2nd Tier discussion.
I freely admit it is hard for me to access 2nd Tier thinking. It is even harder for me to then to convert those thoughts into posts onto this forum. It is much easier to post my ingrained 1st tier default position.
The political system is manifestly failing in the UK. Identify politics since 2016 has given us a string of incompetent, lying, self-serving politicians. A direct consequence of that is that we have failing energy, health and transport infrastructure with a govt. flapping around like headless chickens.
I value Corey’s contributions as being of significant value to me as to contributing to my creating my own understanding of how to have a 2nd Tier political system.


#116

At some point we have our ideologies or philosophies or noospheres, and then how they manifest or not in the real world with real people. Is Integral Theory 2nd Tier an agreed upon construct being adopted in sufficient numbers by non-intellectuals to impact significantly the world? How do we take the concept/philosophy into the real world if not down into the structures and hierarchies of the real world? Or is Integral Theory more a mapping to describe the world, but perhaps not influence or guide?
Engaging with the world is a scary thing. It’s a really messy affair with Millions or Billions of agendas, desires, needs, wants. Has IT captured accurately in it’s 2nd Tier noosphere definition the desires of enough of the population to create the adoption, influence, health, happiness Integral Theorist idealize?

If the engagement not through the worlds legislative, administrative, religious, media, academic, community structures, how will the 2nd Tier Noosphere instantiate?


#117

I agree and I would suggest 2nd tier views will assimilate both to incorporate these into a higher understanding. Since the majority of us here default to one side or the other we miss the integral connections that tier two rationality reveals. That’s why this string has become boring and non productive.


#118

I feel that the entire Occidental system is unravelling, and there won’t be any putting it back together. It was destined to go this way, given its foundations in its anthropocentric, humans-r-speshul, God vs not-God duality. The question is, what’s going to replace it? The eastern religions (Hinduism and Buddhism) more accurately reflect how life works… but do they have the mindset to resist authoritarian totalitarianism (India’s cast system and China’s filial piety come to mind)?


#119

I think IT provides a map that covers as much of reality as it is possible to do at our current level of evolution. It then goes a little further to set out the structures we can expect to see in that reality. We can then look at all the research that falls within that structure, so the structure has content.
The way I see it, is that IT helps us see that there is a richness in reality which excludes us from being restricted to “one truth” or indeed two truths from which to choose as the “one truth”.
There are many ways for individuals, groups, societies to live out there realities. IT helps us have an awareness of where we are as a person, a group, a society. It is up to us then to live our lives as we see fit. One part of that life may be to help/guide others to live their lives as they would like them to be lived. IT can help us on a day to day basis when we ask ourselves: how do I deal with this issue that has come up in my life? And the decision I make will be my creative act. And in making that creative act I will have left IT behind personally yet created another piece of reality that IT can map and model.


#120

Hey Excecutive, I am trying to internalize your criticism here, but I find myself getting stuck on this part, because I feel like I have done exactly this. Even just in this thread, I have criticized things like wokism, antifa, and violent protest. I have stated that my own worldcentric conservative views have no representation in our current political maelstrom. I have come out as strongly pro-2A, and have mentioned my belief that all Americans should be trained to use firearms, and how much we need to restore healthy amber nationalism and national identity in this country. I have even shared my own “three point plan to save democracy”, which itself bypasses many/most of the left vs. right frameworks your are criticizing here, and which was created in order to generate more buy-in from either affiliation, as well as independents and the politically non-affiliated.

There is an odd dynamic I’ve noticed in integral circles over the years, where people have full permission to openly criticize the left, liberalism, progressivism, wokism, etc. In fact, I think this has become a bit of a rite of passage for up and coming integralists :wink: So people feel free to criticize the various social holons associated with the left, without ever mentioning those that are associated with the right. As it should be! As I said, there are some issues that uniquely affect the left, and others that uniquely affect the right, and we should be able to talk about one without constantly referencing the other.

However, the minute someone wants to criticize the right, the GOP, conservatism, etc., there is the expectation that they also spend an equivalent amount of time criticizing the left, in order to maintain an appearance of “integral balance”.

Why is that? My sense is that, because integral is in many ways “pushing off” from green, some folks are still trying to transcend it while others are trying to transclude it. And I think this creates its own Zone 4 pressure, which exerts itself on our Zone 3 relating: there is more of a common allergy when it comes to how we relate with that particular stage (green), especially when that stage expresses itself politically. So there is a subtle internal pressure to find a way to “prove our integral bonafides” by showing everyone just how critical we are of the green stage (particularly the forms of leftism that have emerged at that stage, because there simply have not been very many forms of the right that have constellated at green, due to a number of selection pressures that I have discussed above).

So again, if we are talking about abstract political philosophy, yes it’s a good idea to make sure we are integrating the right polarities, and keeping a careful eye on any imbalances or biases we may have toward one pole or another. Having a political philosophy that tries to find a 50/50 integration of these ideas and polarities is an honorable goal, even if our execution of this philosophy depends on the needs, conditions, and inertias of the time.

However, when it comes to social holons, this sort of “50/50” mentality simply does not work. An integral politics is not definitionally obligated to be “50% GOP, 50% Democratic” at all times. This is the Golden Mean fallacy, which assumes the truth is always exactly halfway between any two parties, regardless of who those parties are.

Which is why for me, the real litmus test is not one’s political alignment, but one’s development. We need more worldcentric leadership, and that worldcentrism can be expressed through either “left” or “right” typologies. In theory, we can have pre-conventional expressions of left and right, conventional expressions of left and right, and post-conventional expressions of left and right. But in practice, reality rarely presents itself in this way. Which means that more integrated minds often need to be “deliberately partial” when it comes to engaging with and enacting our current political machine, and finding ways to take incremental steps that take us closer to whatever holistic vision of political idealism we may be carrying around in our heads and hearts.

All of which is to say, we should be able to say things like:

“We are witnessing severe regression in both of our major political social holons. For the left, it looks like ‘wokism’. For the right, it looks like ‘Qanon’.”

And we should then be able to talk about either one of these, without feeling a need to constantly reference the other. And from where I am sitting, it feels like there is far more Zone 4 permission within integral circles to criticize the left without constant equivocations, than there is to criticize the right. If you do the former, you are rewarded for your capacity to transcend. If you do the latter, you are penalized for your failure to include.

And of course, we can also talk about the common factors and qualities that its giving rise to this regression (namely social media platforms in Zone 8 and how information moves in Zone 7 [both LR quadrant], as well asa delegitimization of our institutions in Zone 3 and the common belief in Zone 4 that “someone somewhere is oppressing me” [both LL quadrant].) But we can’t actually have that wider conversation until we do some basic table setting, so we can recognize how these problems are expressing themselves developmentally, the different sorts of influence they are having on our political social holons, and different interventions that may be more effective in some contexts than others (developmental, right/left typologies, etc.)

All of which is to say, the rise of “conspiracy culture” on the political right is something that we should be able to talk about in this space, ESPECIALLY on a thread like this, without feeling the need to constantly reference equivalent pathologies on the left. And vice versa, we should be able to talk about the many dysfunctions of the left without constantly referencing the dysfunctions on the right. Otherwise, I fear that we are committing some fairly severe moral, cognitive, and spiritual bypassing in the name of “integral balance”, and that bypassing tastes all the sweeter because it confirms our own superior political stances that would keep us “above the fray” :slight_smile:

My sense is that we can no longer stay above the fray. We have to get down into the fray, meet reality where it is, and make a series of deliberately-partial decisions in order to nudge this thing in the direction we want to see it move. If we see a mass regression to red power-myths in one party, we should feel free to call that out. If we see another regression to amber totalitarianism in another party, we should feel free to call that out as well. And we should be able to discuss either in their own unique terms and contexts, while also trying to identify the various top-down and bottom-up currents that are producing so much regression in the first place.