Is vs Ought to Be, Hegel->Marx->Neo Marxism->Wokeism Philosophical Development

As I continue trying to unravel how IT has seemingly found itself aligned perfectly with Wokeism, I followed a thread into Hegel (thanks to @Heidi for spurring my studies!) which seems to be foundational for the Dialectical Method based movements such as Marxism, Neo Marxism, Wokeism and others.
One area that I’ve been looking into (as a neophyte blindly stumbling through deep philosophical schools) is the quantum leap IT has made from anthropologic assessment, mapping, and description (AQAL, Quadrants, Spiral Dynamics,…) to predictive extrapolation into and definition of “higher future states” for humanity. While I follow the neutron to atom to galaxies foundational ideas, I have not been able to understand how this provides a rational basis for IT’s warlord to democracy to global collectivism as the ultimate ideal for human development, and the state/level we should be feverishly striving for (perhaps at all costs).

It seems there is a significant amount of work that I think would be considered as parallel view to Hegel -> Marx -> Neo Marxism -> Wokeism that perhaps describes in classic philosophical terms the aperspectival madness the IT community seems to briefly mention.

Question that I have is if there are mature lines of reasoning based on Hegel’s dialectical methods that don’t all culminate in centralized authoritarian collectivist movements?
Does Hegel’s Dialectical Method applied continually to society (the Is) enable creation of a higher order society (the way it Ought to be)?

Here is a synopsis you might find interesting.

Full disclosure, I haven’t watched the video. I’ll likely download it as an audio and listen because it is quite long lol. Point being, my opinion may change once listened. Also I am responding to your stance from other posts you’ve made where your main issue seems to be with the collectivist aspects of Integral Theory. You obviously mentioned that slightly here but my response may touch on other things you’ve said so just making that clear in case my response seems unrelated to what you’ve said here.

Either way, a major criticism of Integral Theory that I’ve heard from several people is that it has taken away the oscillating between Individualism and Collectivism that was a part of the Spiral Dynamics. I’m certainly not knowledgeable enough on Integral Theory to really judge that criticism, but I do know that it acknowledges the cycles of differentiation and integration in development so that does sort of apply here.

To clarify, Spiral Dynamics talks about an oscillation from Purple (Sacrifice-Self) to Red (Express-Self) to Blue (Sacrifice-Self) and so on.

In my eyes this bears a lot of similarity to the balance between security and liberty. By sacrificing ourselves for the collective, we create a more secure society that allows for a greater degree of liberty. We sacrifice our childhood to the educational indoctrination of the state so that we have the greater liberty provided by a more educated populous.

The issue obviously comes when the collective demands too much of the individual which creates an authoritarian regime that must be broken by the emergence of the next stage of individualism. This is then taken to the extreme, for example with Orange Capitalism putting profit over the environment, which results in the emergence of a new stage that privileges the collective with Green Environmentalism.

Just an aside, there are obviously collectivist elements to Orange and there are individualist elements to Green. The distinction is in what they prioritize, not necessarily what they are exclusively preoccupied with.

So coming back to your issue with Collectivism, I don’t necessarily think that Integral Theory would privilege the collective over the individual. Instead, I think what is likely occurring is that we are creating a more secure collective so as to allow a greater degree of liberty for each individual. At every level we must be wary of things being taken to the extremes of either pole and do what we can to mitigate the downsides of either.

Yeah, I think Ken’s model would have benefitted by keeping some kind of “spiral” or cyclical imagery. I see people often see in terms of “levels” that one achieves in sequence, rather than cycles or oscillations or some other cyclical model.

As a result @FermentedAgave you would naturally see “collectivism” as a kind of single “stage” and compounded by some fears both in yourself and flamed by your choice of media, you have a distorted view of “what is”
“Is vs Ought to be”
The fact IS, that collectivism has ben the bedrock of civilization for it’s entire history. The basic family unit is a collective. We don’t ask babies to contribute equally to what the receive, and mostly in unhealthy families (in my judgement) do children have any kind of obligation to the parents in terms of obedience and fealty after 18, etc.
Also, the fact IS, that there are many collectivisms that work very well in modern society. Churches such as the Mormons or the Amish have a kind of collective nature, and many Nationalities operate as collectives within a Capitalist society. I’m not an expert on this, but I believe the Jewish Kibbutz is a very successful model of collectivism. Or where I live, Samoan, Fijiian, Tongan and other Oceanic communities are often quite collective. I know a few Fijiian men who bought two acres of Agricultural land at a very high price (because it’s Oahu) and in their free time farm Taro on it, then distribute it for free in their community. No trade or purchase - just a gift. These men have achieved some degree of success and just decided greatness for them was not acquiring more and more money and physical possessions, but was instead ensuring every baby, mother and child in their chosen community has access to healthy organic food. In my opinion, these are Great men, with dirt under their fingernails and skin blackened by laboring under the sun - and I’d also say they are “Integral” in a way most people in the west cannot begin to understand. This collectivist thinking is very common in Oceanic cultures.
In the past this collectivist model extended through the whole of Oceania for hundreds of years - until the European Missionaries came in and cut down all the breadfruit trees and forced famine conditions and plantation pseudo-slavery society.

When most people bring in Marx, they are usually talking about enforced collectivism by a government - which is only one “level” or type of collectivism. We might call this “Orange Collectivism” or bureaucratic collectivism - which is a nightmare. Green collectivism, however is a very successful model we can learn from many pre-industrial cultures.

Hi @WillE, I also am a neophyte in all this :slight_smile:
When I listen to KW speak, he does not appear to have completely locked in to “next rung on the ladder” thinking even if most of this time speaking is focused getting the world to the “next rung”. It’s perhaps within the communities that are looking to “rise to the next level”, with for IT’ers would be Teal or better.
Actually making IT work, does seem to require the spiral dynamic’s aspect of continually cycling between quadrants and iteratively cleaning up shadows.

This I think is an excellent discussion point. If we look at the liberty / security balance I think we can easily look at this argument through Hegel’s dialectic methodology. We can identify a security concern, then using the dialectic methodology (operating system of the Left) we now have carte blanche to making sweeping changes/impacts on liberty.
Does this thinking consider the “is” (the world we live in, perhaps US locally) vs “how it ought to be”? One of my basic questions is that in my estimation IT has gone from excellent anthropological mapping and description into extrapolation and prediction.
Are we using Hegel’s dialectic method on the US when we look at security / liberty balance? i.e. We can identify an issue, then make the argument that “reduced liberty” is the solution?
In a very non-Hegelian non-dialective perspective, if we compare the US to anything else in the realm of “is”, what changes would we want to consider? Who would we want to duplicate?
Now I do agree that if we apply the dialective method not to other “is”'s, but to an Integral Noosphere, the argument is clear that we should make massive changes as quickly as possible. But now we’ve slipped into comparing an “is” with all the amazing benefits and some downsides, to essentially a conceptual idea (noosphere)
I think the dialective approach likely had much more room for adoption in Czarist Russia and pre-Communist China.

Just a thought. Should we consider that the US (democratic republic, constitution, congress, senate, administration, judiciary, federal, state, county, city…) might already facilitate this dialectic method through it’s inherent adaptability?

I very much agree that we already live in a highly collective world already. Family, Neighborhood, Community, City, Church, Religion, Nation, IntegralLife :slight_smile:, where we interact, operate and live in “collectives”. And as we already see, collectives require some level of structure and administration. Collectivism itself isn’t the issue. Should we perhaps look at balance between individual liberty and group collectivism?

Interesting historical to current synopsis of Hegelian to Woke to Critical Theory Adherent development timeline line.

Key points in the talk are:

  • Our Constitutional Representative Democracy was crafted/founded by a small minority, so therefore is oppressive
  • Progressives claim to be “protecting democracy” from the current representative democracy in place, since the bourgeoisie minority are oppressing the majority.
  • Critical Theorists will deal with (cancel, lock up, destroy…) the oppressive bourgeoisie to create a true democracy (but only cancel, lock up the bad bourgeoisie)
  • Thought/philosophy is direct lineage from Hegel -> Young Hegelians -> Marx -> Marxists -> Progressives -> Woke -> Critical <Race/etc> Theory adherents
  • Cannot stop the process until every perceived injustice has been eradicated from the planet
  • Only true democracy can be implemented by Wokism/Critical Theory/Communism

Holy Bat Guano. My unfolding enlightenment shocks even myself. Turns out this Dr James A. Lindsey was able to publish 20 Woke / Critical Theory hoax papers to expose as Steven Pinker calls exposing the shallow basis for the philosophy that’s engulfed mainstream culture.

This “critical” attack on the world that “is”, in order to try and manifest a noosphere based on a foundation of cynical self righteousness critique might not have the intellectual depth to be worthy of serious consideration.

IT as a product of CT might not have much more credibility of extrapolating “higher levels of human development” than Marx, Lenin and Mao. Just who would IT community recommend we put in charge of this new world order?

I vote for you @FermentedAgave :slight_smile:

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Wokeism / Critical Theory as religion…

Cult initiates see it as a kind of ritual hazing and demand to prove the faith, very much like an abused child or spouse always trying to do better to live up to the unmet demands of their abuser.

The concept of “white fragility” in the antiracist Woke cult is exactly this sort of emotional shakedown. White fragility separates white people and their “adjacencies” into exactly two types: racists (who admit it) and racists (who are too emotionally fragile to admit it). It is obvious which side the cult doctrine favors. In fact, the cult doctrine in this case is that every white (and white adjacent) person is a racist by default , and there are only those with the moral and emotional fortitude to face that (which is good, according to doctrine) and those who lack the necessary moral fiber.

Making the Is history and the Ought to Be reality one mostly peaceful attack at a time.

Guess we need to include a Naziesque branch to out Progressive revolution.

I don’t support Antifa. Just to make that clear.

But I was watching that video and at :50 seconds a guy on the mike said “All Cops are Bastards in the name of Jesus, Amen.” And the crowd of “Christians” cheered (not Antifa). Then one guy in all black (Antifa) sprayed pepper spray and another knocked down a piece of equipment. And yes, the police did not take action, though it isn’t clear if the guys with riot shields are actually police or if there were any police present.

Also to be clear, “Reputed Proud Boys members reportedly were tasked with providing security, but if the right-wing group was in charge of security they did a poor job”

So essentially we have two extremist groups clashing.
Yes, Police should take action when crimes are committed.
But let’s not confuse this as some kind of “innocent” group of people with reasonable points of view.

I honestly find it despicable when children are brought to events where the parents then provoke traumatic events. What kind of person brings their children to protests?
It’s clear that this was not “just” a “worship” event. It was a choreographed protest with children used as unwitting pawns.

Fairly straight forward “how to guide” for folks that have had the Critical Theory tsunami catch them by surprise. This will be fun to play with as it really is as simple as a search and replace, on literally anything you want to denigrate and disempower.

Taylor uses a seemingly funny Critical Car Theory example, but much is already in-flight.

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Excerpt from @raybennett s latest Trump post. Thanks for posting as i dont spend much tume with Slate.

" This is not to say that Trump country on the whole is in decline. The former president only received about 19 percent of his 74 million votes from counties with shrinking populations, according to Muro and his team’s analysis. Overall, the counties where he won added 7.8 million people during the previous decade. But Biden counties nearly doubled that total, expanding by 14.9 million individuals. Blue America is driving America’s population growth."

I finally got around to listening to the podcast. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it stimulated a lot of thinking. Just a caveat, I did listen to it while I was delivering food on a bike so I apologize in advance if I misrepresent James or misremember something.

I think a big thing we need to remember is that going into the past to find the origin of something can be a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand, going to it’s origin can help us track it’s development and figure out what went wrong, when it went wrong, and what we need to focus on to fix the problem. However, it can also backfire because once we’ve located the origin we tend to assume that this origin always leads to the same conclusion, or that if we’ve arrived at the same conclusion it must have come from the same origin. With the Hegelian dialectic we shouldn’t assume it always ends up in Wokeism nor should we assume that all forms of Wokeism emerge from the Hegelian dialectic. Reality is far more complex than that.

Moving on from that, the first thing I want to point out is that I think James Lindsay’s understanding of mysticism and the perennial philosophy is different than Integral’s. At least as far as I understand the perennial philosophy is pointing to enlightenment experiences, that all religions are founded on the process of awakening to one’s True Self, that God realizing itself as God is the Universe realizing itself as the Universe is you realizing you are one with a Universe in a constant state of becoming. I’ve experienced something like this before and I can say that knowing about this and experiencing it firsthand are two very different things. I have experienced myself as the Universe and it is the strangest thing I have ever experienced, and yet I can’t even begin to experience it in the same way I did then.

So when Lindsay talks about mysticism he is conflating that experience of awakening with magical thinking, he is making a pre/trans fallacy confusing transrational experience with pre-rational mythic literalism (or lower). He is operating in the world of the relative, where all that exists are our rational understandings of the world. I think this is also true of the people he is criticizing. The idea of Woke Utopia, of the final society/philosophy or Critical Social Justice, is the conflation of transrational experience with some sort of idea or politics that is supposed to make the relative world perfect.

Funny enough, I believe that in “Sex, Ecology, Spirituality,” Wilber criticizes Hegelian idealism for lacking a specific injunction to realize in his direct experience the philosophy that his vision-logic had allowed him to create. He couldn’t bridge that gap between vision-logic and transrationality. That’s why the Hegelian system was ultimately refuted, because the truths it pointed to couldn’t be realized in absence of transrational experience.

This is also why this kind of thinking is so dangerous. These truths can’t be understood in language because language is ultimately rational and we’re talking about that which transcends rationality, “The Dao that can be told of is not the eternal Dao.” This points us to Freinacht’s criticism of spiritual communities that rely purely on internal transformation, on the unfalsifiable claim that you are more developed than I am and so are privy to truths I have yet to realize in my direct experience. Such experiences are real, but we can’t easily prove that one has had it. At least not with our current technology.

Point being, when we talk about the Woke idea of the Absolute Utopia they are not simply acting as if the Eternal Dao can be named. They are completely unaware that the Eternal Dao is not really an “idea” or a “politics,” but is instead an experience. They are talking about spiritual enlightenment as if it’s a political system. They are saying a subjective state is a political system, which is like saying happy is a republic. That makes no sense at all because again, neither Lindsay nor the Woke have a fucking clue what transrational/egoic/etc. even mean. That’s just woowoo spirituality to them that has no bearing on what they’re talking about, which is absolutely right: mysticism, the Absolute, the Dao, are not systems they are an experience that is ultimately ineffable.

Another thing is that they are talking about the dialectic as thesis plus antithesis equals higher order synthesis. This is a metasystematic (Model of Hierarchical Complexity) way of thinking to me because it’s about creating a higher order system out of two seemingly disparate systems. Metamodernism is all about Both/And thinking, about taking two things that seem like opposites at one level of cognition and realizing that they’re aren’t mutually exclusive when you view them from a higher level of cognition. We see the ways in which they can be coordinated and consolidated into that new metasystem. The issue here is that 2% of people are operating at metasystematic. That means that if dialectical thinking is metasystematic, then only 2% of people have the ability to use dialectical thinking.

In “Integral Psychology,” Wilber criticizes Postmodernism for having failed it’s original reconstructive purpose and devolving into a solely deconstructive enterprise. Thesis + Antithesis = Higher Synthesis simply became Antithesis, Negation is Positive. They could only operate at the level of systematic cognition. All they could do was deconstruct the system and then called that synthesis. Down with Capitalism, down with Patriarchy, down with Phallogocentricism, and yet now we have nowhere to go. This is why it seems like they’re just chasing their own tail in circles.

The bigger issue comes with the fact that systematic level cognition only appears in 20% of the population and 40% of the population is at formal operations (these numbers are coming from Hanzi Freinacht’s books, which are based on research with the Model of Hierarchical Complexity). That means that only 20% of people have the cognition to even think about Postmodern ideas, which according to Freinacht takes systematic, in the way they were intended. That means that the majority of people that Postmodernism and by extension Critical Theory is being taught to aren’t thinking with sufficient complexity to actually understand it.

At Systematic - there is a system of variables that tend to be White-biased which means that chains of events tend to lead to white people being privileged over black people.

At Formal-Operations - we live in a White-biased society, therefore all White people are privileged.

At Abstract - all white people are racist.

Perhaps an overly simplistic analysis, but that at least points us toward how this can get as messed up as it has.

The issue that I have with Lindsay is that he is operating with a Modernist Code, or Orange Code. The concept of “Code” is a Freinacht reinterpretation of Spiral Dynamics. Lindsay may be a very complex thinker, but the system of symbols he is using is primarily Stage Orange. That means he reacts against anything that isn’t Orange, but so does Postmodern Green. Both think they are at the top and everything else is just bullshit.

Integral/Metamodernism is different than both of these because they are at the next higher stage, and realize they are not the highest there is. They seek to find the best in all the previous Codes. Lindsay actually recommends this when he says to find the golden mote and prevent the fallacious alchemy of lead into gold. Again though, he is not using Integral/Metamodern/Teal Code. He is using Orange Code and so his thinking is defined by that system of symbols.

Now coming to your worries about Integral being overly influenced by Wokeism, I think this may be largely unfounded for the reason I just stated. Integral seeks to find the best in all stages, whereas Green Wokeism seeks to deconstruct everything and hates Orange. Integral keeps the best of both and rejects the rest, transcends and includes, negates the bad and preserves the good.

Integral is also metaystematic or higher (based on a Future Thinkers interview with Wilber, he and Freinacht seem to disagree here, so Metamodernism says Teal is Metasystematic, whereas Integral says Teal is Paradigmatic, I am more inclined to agree with Freinacht) so it is reconstructive in the sense that it brings things together. It doesn’t necessarily deconstruct everything, but is able to use deconstruction to root out inequalities and other negative elements that we can likely agree to dislike (racism, sexism, gross income inequalities, lack of healthcare).

This is where we get to the final point I want to make, which is the dialectic as an engine for progress. The dialectic is a great engine for progress. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Beyond level of cognition, a major difference between Integral dialectic and Postmodern dialectic however is that Postmodern dialectic seeks revolutionary change. Lindsay talks about this in the Critical Social Justice need for the dialectic to move as fast as possible. The faster we can deconstruct everything the faster we can get to the Utopia.

Integral and Metamodernism, at least as I see it, are not about revolutionary change, but are instead about evolutionary change. A caveat is that we shouldn’t conflate the revolutionary leap into second-tier consciousness with the revolutionary change of the Postmodern dialectic.

Look at what Integral has to say about the lower stages. Yes, we need the world to develop, but we shouldn’t force the lower stages to change if they don’t want to. In fact, Integral even does away with the name “stage” and has replaced it with “altitude” in an attempt to convey that no one altitude deserves more dignity (compassion?) than any other. Each higher altitude is instead merely a higher view of the world. The point of Integral thinking and political action is to create the conditions for societies to evolve on their own, to clear the path so that when someone is ready there is somewhere for them to go. This is very different than the Orange demand for everyone to become a liberal democracy yesterday and the Green demand that liberal democracies are inherently oppressive and must be deconstructed.

As for Metamodernism, Freinacht talks about how Political Metamodernism is more egalitarian than Socialism, more Liberal than Liberalism, and more Conservative than Conservatism. Small, incremental change is necessary. We use the dialectic to create higher order syntheses, but not as fast as possible in a downward spiral of deconstruction come hell or 100 million dead. We must change society for the better, but not at the expense of the good we’ve already attained.

I hope all of that makes sense. I look forward to any disagreement or addition anyone has. Also if I’ve misrepresented any ideas from anyone please let me know so I can correct my knowledge.

And so the dialectic progresses :wink:


Hi Will - Many thanks for the extremely insightful and thoughtful post - sharing of yourself and thoughts.
I agree completely that simply looking at the lineage is insufficient. I am still looking for the “branching from” Hegel->Marx->Marcuse->Woke->Post Woke with my dialogs.

I’ve got some homework to do with all of your writing and references. THANK YOU for giving me something to chew on.


I look forward to anything you want to share :pray:

@WillE - Thanks for the dialog! Incomplete, but I wanted to drop a few thoughts for the morning.

Ok, I’ve been working on unpacking. :slight_smile:
Yes I absolutely agree that Lindsay is along the Woke / AntiWoke spectrum. I don’t see him synthesizing new theories but more decomposing Woke, CT, and the “Revolutionary” underpinnings of the “culture wars” going on.
I would say that while the IT community might claim to be “Meta” with respect to the Culture Wars but at some point in order to implement the theories, something needs to manifest on the lower level.

The Pre / Trans fallacy is quite easy to make for observers of all stripes. Are all Shamans experiencing Pre/Magical whilst all those with graduate degrees operating at Trans Mystical level? Are they having different or more/less impactful incremental/transformative journeys than each other? And if we’re really “Trans” does it matter? Is one perhaps a religious zealot, the other a a Nihilist? (The Shaman example is one I’ve used for years.)
Perhaps conflation comes from perhaps Magical/Pre Mythic and unhealthy claims of supposed Trans Mythic. This leads perhaps into…

I think the dynamics of the ability splits (from metamoderna - linked) is really worth spending some time on:

  • Formal Stage - 40% - logical, basic rationality, if-this-then-that
  • Systematic - 20% - discuss legal, social, ecosystems, economics
  • Metasystematic - 1.5% - Compare multiple systems, Synthesize across systems
  • Paradigmatic - unknown

Perhaps we can look at the Pre/Trans conflation in this Metamodern Hierarchy. Does proficiency/mastery of the Formal stage better indicate possible ability to master say Systematic? Is Formal necessary for Systematic? Can we even get to Metasystematic if we don’t have facility with Systematic?

What percentage of the population even has the ability to understand Metasystematic concepts, much less ability to “synthesize” Metasystems (systems of systems, new systems of systems)?

I’ll leave with Metamoderna’s %'s track very closely with our classic bell shaped curves. Does one person’s “of course that makes sense” look like “completely arbitrary” to another?

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For myself and when I look at others, there’s a significant reason to distinguish tansmythic vs literalmythic. It has to do with imposing those views on the world around us.
This is possibly more easy to see with psychedelics - where people have spiritual experiences that subjectively are very real. One common one is encountering entities that drop some knowledge. Let’s say some aliens that look like Mike Wazowski drop a knowledge bomb. This kind of thing is normal with people who take enough psychedelics.
It’s all great if the person understands that yes, the experience was just as real for them as anything else that is so-called “real” in the physical world - but if they try to push those ideas onto others because it’s “facts” - that’s when I see it as crossing over into an unhealthy dynamic.
So with religion - it’s fine if people have religion and spiritual beliefs, but when they try to impose that moral code on others even passively because they think it is real for everyone - that’s when things start to break down. At the extreme of this we have countries where a specific religion’s rules are the actual law. I don’t know how Saudi is now, but I remember when people could be publicly beaten with sticks by religious police for minor religious infractions. This is an extreme just to show to show a point, but less extreme we have just minor inconveniences like people just bothering random strangers to share their truth. Yes, it’s a minor inconvenience but I feel it’s pretty rude and inconsiderate.
Shamans are an interesting example because at least in the USA you need to have some surplus of resources to take time out from work and either attend a $5,000 course or fly to the Amazon for a two week retreat. I think if you did a survey you’d find self-proclaimed Shamans in the USA quite often also have Maters degrees. The most infamous Shaman from the Jan 6 news in my opinion has lived a very entitled life that is very different from a curandero in the Amazon or a Shaman living in the Siberian wilderness (where the word comes from).

I’m curious in what meaning you use the term “war”.
I think having respect for other cultures is important, and recognizing their right to express themselves. I don’t see any ideas or “meta” in IT that suggest “war” on any culture. This is often used by the both the left and the right as a kind of made up “oh they are attacking me so now I can attack them”. Militant feminism and defenders of so-called “American Culture” both use the same meta - but I don’t see that Meta in Integral Theory nor in any of the official content creators. In talking about any kind of culture “wars” it’s first necessary to identify and strip out any spin, hyperbole and rhetoric from the discussion.