Integral thoughts on Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Is this a good move for Afghanistan, the Afghani people, the Taliban, the region, the world, humanity as a whole?
It seems the Taliban take over is mostly peaceful with little resistance from the current Afghani government. Reports are that the President has fled and the last major city - capital city Kabal - will peacefully be taken over by the Taliban.
Also seems the Taliban will face no resistance installing an Islamic governing system.
In a sense, this will be progress for “brown” peoples as they will have control of the entire nation, mostly free from western influences (imperialism).
Conversely women are seemingly being “de-westernized” and required to wear burga, being sent home from their “male” jobs.

On the whole is this a move towards a more Integral World?
Did the US do the Integral thing?

It’s possible that this would allow the people themselves to move into a relatively stable, cohesive Amber society. Rather than having a stretched out population from Purple to Orange with no unifying principle to bring them together other than American might, the population can now find it for themselves. With stability comes the ability, for a select, privileged few, to think the thoughts that lead to an Orange evolution.

Or it could quickly go to shit, time will tell.

The idea of a stable monolithic society in and of itself can be a good thing. I’m not sure that Afghanistan will have this opportunity given their neighborhood. Given geography and neighbors they likely will continue to remain a proxy battle ground for Pakistani Sunni and Iranian Shiite, as well as anyone else that wants to get in on the action ( Russia, China, US, UK, France,…).

I’ve been contemplating that we tend to use western paradigms of success/failure win/lose in Asia and I’m not so sure these concepts are directly applicable.
To carry on a discussion that @excecutive and I were having is that Eastern practices were born out of, not in spite of the millennia of horrific suffering in the East.

Is the Asian/East context more about minimizing suffering as opposed to growth, development, freedom, liberty?

I’m sure the IT community has done deep comparative work on these fundamental core cultural differences.

I’m not sure that minimizing suffering is really taking into account how development works. I think that no matter what, the evolution of a society will always be rocked with turmoil which will create developmental wormholes to the lower, more violent stages. Development is a slow process, and we have to look at net change over long periods rather than absolute metrics of suffering for any given period.

So point being, we might look at all that is happening in the Middle East and say, “oh it’s so violent, it’s so tumultuous, how will they ever get themselves out of that?”

In reality, that might be exactly what development at that stage looks like. We can only say it’s so violent or tumultuous given our own altitude. Europe managed to work itself out of Amber theocracy (for the most part) despite or even because of the many warring states and the suffering therein. That’s not even taking into consideration the fact that they have access to machinery that Europe never had, and so the suffering and turmoil we see is actually what we’d expect given the stage of development and the technology they have.

Obviously intervention from the West is muddying these waters to a severe extent and so that’s why I say interventionism is only going to make things worse. Until we have a sufficiently developmentally-aware political structure we are going to try to make them skip a bunch of steps in the process to get them to our own Orange/Green political structure. We see very clearly how well that worked.

So far I guess what I can say is that they need as much unity (and thus stability) and self-governance as possible. They need to get themselves through this stage of development, or we have to subject them to decades of Western imperialism until all the old ways of being have died out and the only people left alive have been raised and indoctrinated in our own worldview.

In my eyes, that would require a totalitarian police state because we’d need to prevent the obvious “behind closed doors” indoctrination that would take place in which the children are told to distrust the government, the teachers, etc., and to always remember that they are Afghans and the day of reckoning will come. At that point, we’d just see another collapse. Is that a real concern? I’m not sure I want to find out.

It’s like you said though, I’m applying my own worldview on people who have very different worldviews and a cultural background that I don’t fully understand. I can’t really say much more and still have it be anything resembling an educated opinion on the matter.

I just wanted to clarify why I don’t think minimizing suffering is necessarily a good strategy. I think it is just more interventionism that muddies the waters of development.

In other words, if the amount of suffering a society experiences is one of the factors that create the upward momentum of development, then minimizing suffering could backfire and prevent the necessary amount of suffering needed for development.

Again, until we are developmentally-aware enough (we know how much suffering is necessary) we may only be prolonging the suffering because we are retarding development. At that point though, we are now dealing with the ethical issue of managing suffering in order to stimulate development.

I agree here. People are messy. Lots of people are lots of messy. Perhaps we look at human development timescales in generations as opposed to years, election cycles, or decades?

Amen. And yes, comparatively the Western secular governments are the least theocratic on the planet. Perhaps least theocratic the planet has ever seen? I can’t think of any less religious countries in the world than the western ones.

My question on core fundamental beliefs between east and west was also aimed at us in the west. Do we hold ourselves to the very Success/Failure Good/Bad paradigms yet don’t do this with say the Pakistani, Chinese, Iranians that share borders with Afghanistan?
Compared to Afghanistan’s bordering neighbors, do you really think that the US is “making things worse” by being involved than if Pakistan, Iran, and China are left to their own devices?

Do you think the US is at a “higher altitude” than Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, China, Russia? If so, would it not be our duty to help lift 38M people out of whatever conditions they are in?

Sure, we’re sitting here in the luxurious West on our high speed broadband connections, postulating and judging others and ourselves :slight_smile: . We can also educate ourselves as best as possible holistically since we are in a position to “help” and “do the right thing”.

I think all of these statements are pointing toward interventionism. My point overall, is that, maybe, interventionism is far too dangerous until we have a political structure that is operating with a sufficiently developmentally-aware perspective. As far as I can tell the current bleeding edge of politically active thought is the cultural relativism of Green.

Are there Teal elements in our political structure? I would say that’s likely the case, but whether or not they’re politically active is the more important question.

With that being said, we can’t intervene in a way that could definitely help uplift 38M people. I mean the whole point of Postmodern Green coming into being was in hostile retaliation to Modern Orange’s failure time and time again to effectively intervene. However much we may say that our interventions have made the world a better place in certain circumstances (which I think it definitely has), I think we have come to the point in Integral space where we realize how deficient those attempts have been (despite the successes) and how much better it would be if done from an Integral perspective.

I’m not necessarily against interventionism, but I don’t think it can happen until we are far more into Teal. At this point, no nation in the world is. The best we can currently do is just say that no one culture is better than any other and that obviously leaves us with no path forward. I mean the whole point of Metamodern Teal coming into being was in compassionate response to Postmodern Green’s failure time and time again to honour cultural differences and allow everyone to just get along in a beautiful mosaic of diversity. Yes, we need to honour cultural differences, but some differences are simply too different and so some sort of unifying meta-narrative is necessary for that beautiful mosaic of diversity to truly come into being.

In my eyes, we simply aren’t there yet, and so it’s simply better to keep intervention to an absolute minimum unless conditions become so severe that we must step in. Unfortunately, that’s a catch-22 because we can’t really know when to step in until we’re Teal enough to know when to step in.

If you do believe that the US and Western nations are the vanguard of Integral Altitude development, don’t we have a moral obligation to help those suffering on the planet?

We are not the only Actors on the planet. And whilst not perfect would you really want to let to let the billions of humans in the entirety of the African continent (decades long efforts), Afghanistan (going down in real time), Venezuela (gone), Taiwan (under threat of nuclear attack), Vietnam, India, Cuba (going down in real time), Haiti (again, real time, real humans) from being “acted upon” by China, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia with no counter balance?
Is that any different than telling the children in our poverty stricken inner cities they need to “develop yourself out of it your Amber/Red hell”?

Is me donating to the food trucks that roll into the inner city considered interventionism? Helping at the homeless shelter is technically intervening in someone’s life, right?

At some point, we need to have compassion for the real live humans, living in the real world, with real children, with real hunger, with real threats. The vast majority of humans do not have the luxury to concern themselves with what the discussions we have over our second french press.

Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to Grow Up, Wake Up?

@WillE And I do appreciate our dialogs :slight_smile:. THANK YOU!

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I think you make a really good distinction between interventionism and infrastructure.

Infrastructure would be helping Haiti after an earthquake or building wells in Afghan villages. By curing disease in an African village or creating shelters for orphans where they can be given good food and clean water we are not necessarily imposing any worldview on them, we are merely giving them the tools to help their own. It’s about helping in order to create stable conditions in the environment so that more people have time to think developmental thoughts, which in this sense means those thoughts that get them moving to higher altitudes.

Interventionism would be military conflict to impose our worldviews on another nation. It’s not about creating stable conditions, but about destabilizing the conditions that are already present. The process is basically as follows:

  1. This dictator is bad so let’s kill him
  2. Prop up an obvious puppet so that the people never come to trust him
  3. Wait until a leader they do trust comes in and organizes them into a rebel group
  4. This leader is likely at the same level of development as the last leader the people were under so another dictatorship comes into being
  5. Go back to step one

Obviously this is a false dichotomy and there is actually a very large grey area between these two options, but one trends toward working with the current power to create an allowance for the infrastructure investments, whereas the other is about removing the power by force and creating top-down change that the people will likely reject.

I think this might be the most Teal option because Integral thinking is about working with, about finding the common purposes between, rather than enforcing one’s own worldview over the other.

Orange says my way is the right way so become a liberal democracy or die.

Green says enforcement of liberal democracy causes too many problems and is hardly a perfect solution given the oppression within the liberal democracies.

Teal says let’s work together as best we can by starting at the bottom of the hierarchy of needs, thereby creating an environment in which bottom-up change can create institutions authentic enough to the people that they can effectively create top-down change.

I think this is a false equivalency because these people are part of the same system. Yes, we could say that all people in the world are part of the same highest order economic and environmental system, but these people are (expected to) pay taxes to and vote on the same government.

Like I said, we could say that the decision-making of an Afghan villager influences decision-making of an inner city resident. This is done if the decision-making of an Afghan villager creates a terrorist group that influences the political opinions or even the life of that resident.

This is because this is a problem that only emerges at globalized society and so transcends the nation state. This is why a developmental view is so important in the first place. A global society requires a populace with a global psychology. Such problems are only solved by Teal consciousness because such problems arise out of Green society as information and transportation technology make it far, far easier for actions to have influence across the globe. Green can’t solve these problems and so it requires Teal.


How would you rate the US compared to Iran, Pakistan, China, and Russia in terms of “imposing worldview” on those that they engage with?

I don’t know enough about what they’re doing to say for sure. Either way, just because we can intervene better than others can intervene doesn’t necessarily justify our intervention. If I have steadier hands than you do that doesn’t mean I should try to perform surgery on our friend.

And no, it doesn’t matter if we’re being forced to choose, between the two of us, who will perform the surgery. If neither of us knows how to perform the surgery then our friend will still die.

Fortunately, we aren’t being forced by some higher sadistic power to perform a surgery. We’re talking about global politics in which the options are many, even if some are very difficult. Perhaps rather than spending our time looking for justifications for why we should intervene, we should start looking at solutions to the problem of needing to intervene at all.

If Russia is forcing our hand and we’ve needed to intervene in countless proxy wars, perhaps we should go meta on the problem and direct our actions on fixing our relationship with Russia, or China, or Iran.

I think there are many nuanced situations that what I’ve said so far hasn’t touched on, such as:

  1. Should we intervene when a country attacks an ally?
  2. Should we intervene when a non-ally country invades another non-ally country?
  3. Should we intervene when an ally country invades a non-ally country even if that loses us that ally?
  4. Should we participate when an ally country invades a non-ally country if inaction risks that alliance?
  5. What should we do if an ally country attacks another ally country and inaction risks both alliances?

I’m sure there are many more situations that could arise. All I can really say is that the solutions of yesterday cannot solve these problems. We need to go meta on these problem.

When it comes to Afghanistan specifically, I think our failures have shown us that intervention won’t work and any more intervention will just be viewed as more of the same. That well has been poisoned.

Instead, we need to start focusing on working with people rather than working against them. Obviously this is difficult when there are powers in the world that only want to work against us. This is all the more reason that we need to focus on raising our own developmental stage so that we can create developmental progress in more and more of the people around us, and get our political systems to the point where we can begin to really solve these problems.

All that I’ve said so far about letting Afghanistan develop on it’s own, also applies to the rest of the world and also to us. The entire world is developing, including ourselves, and so we ourselves have to choose between options that lead to the fastest development for the whole world. Like I said, spending our time discussing proxy wars and military intervention doesn’t seem like it’s solving the meta-problems. We can disagree on that, and that’s fine, you do what you believe is going to create the fastest development for the whole world.

I really can’t say much more about this because I’m not educated enough on the intricacies of global politics. So, as I said, I would personally tend toward focusing on increasing my own developmental stage (which isn’t Teal) so that I can create change in those around me toward Teal.

Progress is rarely linear except when viewed from our own preconceived lenses.
Progress is messy. rebirth requires death. Advancement requires discomfort.
In fact everything is advancing towards integration - just perhaps not as we think it “should”.
I know I personally would not want to trade my freedoms for a life under the Taliban.
Over the decades I’ve known expatriates who lived in Afghanistan both before 2001 and also some who worked there after. None of them from either group ever said “Oh, that was such a nice place to live. I think I’d like to live there permanently.”
So, of course, if this is a “good move” completely depends on thinking long term vs short term and which group we are talking about.
I don’t think it is progress for “brown people” at all, lol. That’s kind of an off-the-wall concept. Or are you taking a line from the woke playbook and hating on western “Imperialism”, as something bad for people of color, lol?
Better to be a woman in a country where she has zero freedom and rape is commonly accepted than dress like a wester slut by showing her face, eh?

I think it’s again just a matter of some pockets of humanity will move more quickly towards Integral while some more slowly … and some in retrograde. Afghanistan is going to go in retrograde under the Taliban and only time will tell if they solve those issues at infrared (survival / war / famine), magenta (literal religious tribalism), red (sadistic warrior) and amber (authoritarianism) and are able to move forward into some kind of healthy Orange.
It could be that they are “ahead of” The West. The West may have to plunge back into those lower levels at some point and reconcile some of those shadows. More people in the US are talking about Civil War than there were 5 years ago. Dec 6 2021 might have been just a precursor. Then there is our inability as a culture to effectively address pandemics of increasing frequency despite having the technology to create vaccines in 6 months.

I’m curious which Eastern Philosopher you are referring to?
Which Eastern Philosophy seeks to minimize suffering? Surely you aren’t talking about Buddhism … which states life is suffering and is inevitable in life because it is caused by selfish craving and personal desire and the only way to overcome those are the eightfold path : Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
Sounds very Integral. So in other words - suffering is inevitable until a person is Integral.

To the buddhist (I’m only a layman so I could be wrong here) - desire for (economic) growth, (economic) development and desire for freedom and liberty causes suffering, but also at the same time these urges are inevitable and cannot be eliminated until one is on the eightfold path.

Unless you were talking about another philosophy besides Buddhism but I can’t think of what that would be.

At the end of the day everything is local! :slight_smile:

Could our Meta question be: How does the current situation in Afghanistan relate to Integral concepts of Clean Up, Wake Up, Grow Up, and Show Up?

I don’t really know what to say all of this I miss a proper political discussion at an higher altitude, I’ve been tinkering with courses and sort of skipped the subtle panic making.

I can’t fully perceive what happens there, because of lack of information, I am unsure what is the root cause of the corruption of the goverment and stage red coup d’etat attempts. Instead of a proper integration of obviously, stage amber/red/beige laws. The same goes for ressources as well as UL integration. For instance confusing psychology let alone with religion might be a good distinction.

If they themselves are not willing to change any of it, I presume military intervention is necessary to counter-act potential local to global threats.

A proper plattform for discussion would most likely give them a larger chance to re-cuperate, besides selling guns to stage red drives.

Since, I am not an ambassador I don’t know how far they can pull themselves up from their own bootstraps. As long as the country itself does not find a common goal, I don’t know what can help them besides giving them the plattform they need under the current circumstances that are there and sort of let stage blue organized military take care of “cleaning up”…

The point of opening-up and sharing common commonalities between each intepreation of “islam” that might exist, would definitely facilitate integration. A proper integral understanding of islam also. Meaning how could you apply islam in all four quadrants, since this seems to be appropriate.

The crux most likely would be how to move red to amber. Without causing a massive bloodsheet as well as is the bloodsheet neccessary. I don’t know how willing they are to find a proper voice for their interests so the U.N could help them, instead of the military. As well as what would be an 4 quadrant goal for them in order to grow from red to amber, as well as purple to healthy red. As a more unified thought. As well as what are common examples from history that helped a country go from red to amber. Besides people believing in themselves in LL. What are examples of healthy red without warfare ?

Point being something as simple as a temple they can worship and follow would most likely do more good as an LR construction, instead of introducing a higher technoeconomic baseline, as well as a few pioneers who are working in the background, to produce more systemic order at the appropriate level. The point is stage red interpreation of seizing power via violence and calling that justice. Aborts this process entirely when they are no higher yellow values present.

The point being I have no idea, why legit people go crazy over the interpretations of the Islam, or why they are interested in a coup d’etat.

Is it as simple as introducing from Green more purple notions of society so people are working peacefully together in their tribes ? As well as how important is it for them to have surrounding countries that can support them economically on a blue basline of trade for instance for their most basic needs. As well as even drive for novelity in the sense of tourism.

I don’t know if this is also a question for higher altitude science when considering theories such as the kardeshev scale as well as a dyson sphere.

I don’t know why a more healthy and alive vibrant purple culture could not help them, as a factor for becoming more peaceful within themselves. Having a proper ritual in a sense for them to come to peace instead of waging war amongst their own people.

A more stable amber without bloodshed will most likely not work, having sort of one ultimate gangster who cares about their people in an authorative way, could also be the neccessary evil, for them to unite and find new common ground. For me the root cause again seems to be LL mainly steming from UL. As well as LL steming from UL. What the underlying bias is would be great to know of how neccessary it seems to be why they need to bombard themselves and tear down their cities.

Giving proper access to ressources that are non-violent as we as non-interventonistic could produce a more stable society on their own terms, the point being they might have to fight among themselves, for proper translation to occure. Leaving them alone then might just be right action.

    1. Clean Up: - Own cultural history that involves islam ? How deep does this need to go considering Africa and tribes, having a larger “plurality” of perspectives about their tribes and ancesteory. Might give them more glimpses to a more Green reality. Sort of like peak state structure stages in a more collective form. (Insights)
    1. Wake Up: - Might more be an escape in the case of their harsh living realities, yet considering how this might be an option for them as a “global” reminder of how suffering can be alleivate through non-violent meanse even in lower stages might give them a better shot at understanding. Their own local issues.(Purple insights). Point being if rurual areas are not interested in living sort of like modern tribes with a higher value basis in LL. Then there is no common understanding of a “holoarchical deal”.
    1. Grow Up: - Is most likley needed in some form of “hidden red” expansion of their perceived influence, point being what do they desire ?
    1. Show Up: - Making this effort publically individually and collectively as a bond accepting a caleidoscope of experience. Locally as well as globally.

The point is then scaling this to the 4 quadrants changing the individual. I gave my best attempt at giving ideas, because I am still not deeply entrenched in integral theor yet.

The point being I don’t know what structural approach could work here, I get lost looking for ideas on Wikipedia for this.

How would an teal approach look like and what is sort of the yellow deal in order to accept the harsh living realites of all being including their worldview ?

Considering life conditions, flash points, hot spots, alpha, beta and gamma traps causing a delta surge. I did not study spiral dynamics in that level of depth.

A simple question would be how could their society prosper with keeping violence to a minimum.

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Sadly, this is perhaps the easiest question you pose @once3800 :slight_smile:
We send in our warriors to combat their warriors, giving protection to the population while they advance out of whatever altitude we want to say they’re in.

They were receiving help. This help stopped with a seemingly poor transition.
Don’t underestimate the many splintered factions as they seemingly hold their personal group identities over a national Afghani identity. At least here in the US, we paint a “vs West” narrative which absolutely is true, to at least some degree. But the Islamic and tribal factions are possibly at even higher levels of conflict - Shia backed by Iran, Sunni backed by Pakistan/others, Russia backed factions (likely several), China backed groups. Over all it’s a “tough neighborhood” with it unlikely the US/West style of “success” coming to fruition in our lifetime.

One question I’ve always pondered about polygamous societies is what it must be like for the less competitive males. Assuming a rough 50/50 split in male/female, what happens when all the better-off-than-average men have 5 wives. Go to war? Invade another country for their women?
Maybe it’s simply about the Taliban (Pashtuns for the most part?) simply needing wives.