Ken Wilber on Violence vs. Nonviolence

violence

#1

From The Deconstruction of the World Trade Center: A Date That Will Live in a Sliding Chain of Signifiers by Ken Wilber

Healthy Green: Now More than Ever

“All right, we are way off the subject!” Lesa Powell intervened. “We are supposed to be discussing the reactions to the attack, not the causes of the attack or who is blame for it.”

“Right, right; sorry, we got a bit of testosterone poisoning.” Jefferson laughed.

“Yup,” Van Cleef nodded. “Look, I am not blaming the extreme postmodernists for this attack, only pointing out the difficulties that it threw into their value system. I am saying that their responses to the attack—and the general green-meme response itself— suffered a transvaluation of values, because the cultural Other—which was supposed to be GOOD—now appeared really totally friggin BAD, and the Western culture of the Enlightenment—which was supposed to be BAD—now appeared a VICTIM. And by the language of boomeritis, all victims are noble, innocent, and good. Suddenly, the West itself had secured the coveted status of victim, and this wrenched the MGM value system so badly that their responses are still dazed, confused, rambling, almost incoherent.

“Well, they generally end up with something like, ‘Yes, the terrorists did a bad thing. But we should not retaliate; instead we should use this occasion to reflect on how we are all terrorists when we are unkind to others; we should use this as a time of healing, and caring, and feeling into our pain. We should reflect on the common brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind, and practice love with each other daily. Turn off the TV every now and then and tell each other how much you care. Send healing light and love to all the victims everywhere, not just here, but around the world.”

“Healthy green is a decent and noble response,” Joan added. “I hope you’re not making fun of that attitude, Derek. Boomeritis, remember, is pathological green, not healthy green. I hope I can find a great deal of healthy green in myself, because now if ever is when we need it.”

“Very true,” Jefferson concurred. “Very true. Healthy green is the last of the first- tier memes because it acts to sensitize the entire Spiral, infecting it with compassion, you might say, and thus preparing the leap into second tier. I’m with Joan; now if ever is when green is needed.”

Jefferson rubbed his eyes. “Still, the one thing that worries me is that when green slips into its more, shall we say, platitudinous side—“

“Like a duck-billed platitude?” Fuentes grinned.

“Oh, I see, humor. No, Carla, the hyper-sensitive, over-the-top caring side, a response that is already circulating Martin Luther King’s statement: ‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

“But, you see,” Jefferson continued, “that statement is wrong on almost every count. As a black man raised outside of Harlem, I don’t have to tell you that the Reverend King was my salvation as a boy. Well, him and Charlie Parker, but that’s another story. Anyway, in this case, I believe his heart was clouding his head. Real violence is almost always ended by stronger violence in saner hands. When you meet a Hitler in this world, the correct, noble, ethical, spiritual response is: get a gun and blow his brains out. We ended Auschwitz, not with love, caring dialogue, sensitivity training, and sweet thoughts, but with superior fire power, period. So it is with real violence in the real world—much of it stems from red, and red can only be forcefully contained until it develops its own internal blue constraints. Civilization, for the most part, does not produce barbarism, but curbs it.

“Green’s basic problem is that the injunction to not have violence in your heart is confused with not using violence in the real world—at which point green begins to contribute to the problem, not the solution. This is yet another variation on the sad fact that green— and without doubt the MGM and boomeritis—have been complicit in the rise of insurrectionist violence around the world. Of course we should not harbor hate in our hearts; and of course, when you meet Nazis—to borrow Van Cleef’s line—you should kill them real hard.” A laugh emerged through the deep concern in Jefferson’s face.

“If green wants a spiritual sanction for this, then try reading the Bhagavad Gita. The warrior Arjuna is about to go into battle; concerned with killing, he invokes the Lord Krishna to help him decide what to do. Krishna, who is so post-green it’s wild, tells him two things: you must do your duty in the real world, and therefore, you must fight and possibly kill, because that is the way of the world at this time; but when doing your duty, keep your mind in Spirit, not as a way to justify the killing, but as a way to rise above it. ‘Remember me, and fight,’ is what Krishna tells Arjuna. He does not tell him to avoid fighting (typical green), NOR does he tell him to fight in the name of the Lord (typical blue). He tells him to fight and remember the Lord, for there alone is your salvation in the real world of unavoidable karma.

“Of course, there are a few situations—a very few situations—in which nonviolence will work: namely, in any culture that has Western Enlightenment values (such as America or Britain—the only two cultures where nonviolence has actually worked as a strategy). In any other culture, possessed of pre-orange, premodern, pre-Enlightenment values, if you lie down in the front of the approaching troops, why thank you! Much easier to stomp your ass and it saves us a ton of bullets. Try nonviolence with the Nazis, the KKK, the Sargons and Ramses and Pol Pots of this world, and see where it gets you. Dead, of course, is where it gets you. And in letting a greater evil thereby flourish, your death doesn’t even buy you good karma, but the karma of the coward: listen instead to Krishna and do your duty, which takes much more courage than fleeing your duty in a green-meme self-congratulatory stance.

“You see, with pre-orange memes, violence (or the threat of violence) is almost the only way you can end violence. At orange, physical war shifts to economic war, and the battle field switches to the board room—same war, different means. But only at green do people stop wanting to fight, and only at yellow do they begin to use violence to strategically end violence. But the pre-orange memes only use violence, and that’s the problem. Turning the other cheek is exactly what you don’t want to do with pre-orange memes. Again, in your heart, no violence; in the world, do your duty.”

“True, Mark, true,” Joan interjected, “but I want to add again: the healthy green stance is an imperative part of any second-tier response. Transcend and include!”

“Agreed. We want to include green. But also transcend it. So don’t confuse having no violence in your heart with having no violence in the real world, if required. Your duty may or may not include violence, but let us not forget that there are indeed occasions where violence ends violence—or, I should say, reflecting the messiness and microscopically incremental nature of Eros: there are occasions where violence replaces a grosser violence with a subtler violence, a lesser devil on the way to a vaguely greater good.

“The Zen-inspired code of the Samurai warrior is still as good a guide as any: the best fight is not to fight; the real sword is no sword—but if you think that means a Samurai warrior never used his sword, you are tad naive, I fear.”

https://integrallife.com/the-deconstruction-of-the-world-trade-center/


#2

So much deliciousness in this passage. And so many important lessons for today.

We ended Auschwitz, not with love, caring dialogue, sensitivity training, and sweet thoughts, but with superior fire power, period. So it is with real violence in the real world—much of it stems from red, and red can only be forcefully contained until it develops its own internal blue constraints. Civilization, for the most part, does not produce barbarism, but curbs it.

Some valuable advice as we watch a new wave of self-described white nationalists brazenly seeking political power on the political Right. You can’t reason with this group, you just need to do whatever it takes to stomp their ideology completely.

You see, with pre-orange memes, violence (or the threat of violence) is almost the only way you can end violence. At orange, physical war shifts to economic war, and the battle field switches to the board room—same war, different means. But only at green do people stop wanting to fight, and only at yellow do they begin to use violence to strategically end violence.

This describes one the many traps that the political Left currently finds themselves in via their contempt of the Orange altitude, modern institutions, Neoliberalism, globalization, etc. Which is not to say there aren’t some terrible problems with the Mean Orange Meme (MOM) in today’s world — most notably wealth inequality, which has recently reached pre-Depression levels, and how that wealth inequality is in many ways responsible for our culture wars, and for framing the entire problem as a conflict between Green and Amber. And by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, these sorts of pro-Bernie, anti-capitalist, anti-modernist impulses are going to destroy the very conveyor belt that makes Green views and values possible in the first place. (I say that as a Bernie supporter.)

A paragraph immediately before this excerpt reads:

There is no question but that these scholars are complicit in supporting a philosophical atmosphere that was hesitant to judge any Others negatively and equally hesitant to say anything positive about Western culture.

This to me describes many of the reactions coming from some parts of the Integral community around the latest cyber attacks by Russia in support of Trump. The very first impulse is to criticize the West (media, intelligence agencies, deep state, etc) who are clearly the real perpetrators here, and certainly not the victims of the attack. It’s a total green transvaluation — “Well, we do it too, so we clearly had it coming.” Trump did the same thing when he was confronted with Putin’s brutal treatment of journalists and other dissenters in Russia: “You think our country’s so great?” This sort of transvaluation is not integral, it is pure green rhetoric wrapped around some strong orange/green allergies (or, in Trump’s case, pure deflection), all coming from either a pre-modern or a post-modern rejection of modernity (often both simultaneously).


#3

Is there empirical research on how the use of violence evolves in the UL and LL?


#4

It would be interesting if there was evidence that people evolve into ways of thinking that reduce the expected amount of violence for an expanding collection of sentient beings. For instance, they at first may reflexively respond to feeling threatened with outbursts of violence. In later stages they might act more strategically to reduce the average amount of violence for themselves, then for their “tribe”, then for all humans, and finally for all sentient beings. This would parallel egocentric, ethnocentric, worldcentric, and kosmocentric.

They might also combine elements from Kohlberg’s stages of moral development to determine what type of violence is permissible even if they can not prove that it reduces the expected amount of overall violence for the group of their concern.


#5

Good thoughts. Very glad to see the Bhagavad Gita invoked here. That lesson, fight and remain Conscious, is very relevant for this time. As a side note, the Apache Scouts (and no doubt the Scouts of other nations) also had a code that held that if they had to fight physically, you had already lost a more important battle – and they were very capable fighters, among other skills that kept the militaries of the US and Mexico helpless to conquer them.


#6

And current-day Apache “warriors” are still following the same codes, at least on the San Carlos reservation where they rely on prayer and ceremony, and legal avenues, to try to fight the installation of a copper-mining operation that would desecrate not only a sacred site, but destroy a pristine piece of land that archaeologists and anthropologists say is one of the richest ruins in the U.S. The “sacred site” is both an old burial site for Apache warriors who jumped off a cliff en masse rather than surrender to the military, and a place where ceremonies have traditionally and are still being held. People can’t seem to “get” or accept or care that land is church for native people, and the arguments–primarily economic and job development–don’t hold water in many cases, as in the Standing Rock situation, in which there was a glut of oil on the market already (and now the U.S. is going to export oil and gas to Germany so Germany is less reliant on Russian oil). The Sioux were also so well aware of the major oil spills that were still not cleaned up in North Dakota. I digress; these issues can get me riled, so I better sign off…


#7

Thank you Corey, for bringing us back to this. I remember reading the “Deconstruction…” piece online when it first came out years ago; I’ve never read the entire book, but it’s on its way, so I will.

Re: the green transvaluation and the statement “We do it too…” and Trump’s “You think our country’s so great?” You have to admit these statements can pull you up short for a moment as they do have some truth in them; that’s what makes them tricky, and makes it hard for them to be confronted and shot down by the average well-intentioned Integralist wiho may not have at his/her immediate fingertips the clear analysis of the broader stage issues, i.e.in this case, pre- or post-modern rejection of modernity. (That’s why we need the on-going clarity being offered here and through the talks online.) “We do it too…” points to a basic principle of morality–fairness–and the “so we clearly had it coming” points to the karmic consequences of action, neither of which we want to throw out. Even Trump’s statement, if one had not seen it live and recognized it immediately as the deflection and self-serving mechanism it was, and even then, points to the nation’s shadow, and we don’t want to throw that out either.

So these are complicated matters when they come up in a conversation if one is not really clear on a thorough Integral stage analysis, and the ins and outs of such as applied to this or that situation. All the finer and finer distinctions.

Lest you be unclear, I do agree with what you’re saying. For me personally, it’s important to be able to break it down so that I understand where I might get “sucked in” and derailed by green-speak that points to important principles (morality, fairness, karma, shadow) but in the end is lacking in a fundamental intelligence.

Some things are clicking in a way they haven’t before through reading and reflecting on material here. For instance, in the Tipping Point topic, I questioned the “heavy-handed” etc. Integral approach to post-modernism. What has “clicked” is an intellectual understanding become full-bodied–that for each stage to come online, it necessarily has to philosophically/intellectually “revolt” against the prior stage (and in the case of Integralism, all prior stages to some extent), and fully differentiate itself, and this revolt has to be in no uncertain terms. Where I think I’ve been getting hung up is when I think of conversations that I have with post-moderns, usually one-on-one or in small groups, I can’t imagine myself doing the “tough-speak.”

And even as I write this, I realize that is not true, for less than a week ago, I did just that, and yet, I was also elaborate in my empathy for their blind spots, fixed and lower perspective, and therefore tender with their feelings. I’ve heard Ken say that the onus is on Integralists, by virtue of their higher development/consciousness/perspective, to do the extra work required so that understanding/true relating/meaningful exchange can take place. I believed this before I heard him say it, and I will continue to practice it in those small interactions and I will henceforth not question any “harshness” you all want to throw at any of those contemptuous,complicit scholars you all might have in your cross-hairs.:slightly_smiling_face:

Lots more I could say about victim-ness and violence, but will save it for another time. Oh yes, just one more thing: maybe the rest of the Boomeritis book is poorly-written, but this section certainly is not. A little corny maybe, but it’s top-notch sweet corn.


#8

OK, This is gong to offend some people, but before we start recommending the Gita to people in order to make them more willing to be violent, we should recall how it has been abused in the past.

I know the people in this community have good intentions. I just think it’s important to keep the history of abuse in mind.

"IB TIMES: Is it true that Himmler always kept a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his pocket and read passages from it every night?

MR. & MRS. TRIMONDI: Yes, this is true. In fact, it has been well documented by Felix Kersten, his Finnish masseur, that Himmler liked to indulge in philosophical monologues in his presence. The Reichsführer SS called the Gita a high Aryan Canto.
Kersten also reported that Himmler read the Vedas, especially the Rig-Veda, the speeches of the Buddha, and the Buddhist Visuddhi-magga. Himmler made frequent references to karma, especially when he was talking about providence.

He also believed in reincarnation: With one life life is not finished. What good and bad deeds a man has done has an effect on his next life as his karma."


#9

Interesting thoughts on the militaristic myths motif (esp. in Trungpa’s Shambhala) in Tibetan Buddhism;

http://www.trimondi.de/EN/front.html


#10

There are some wonderful nuance pathways climbing like tendrils out of this passage in every direction. The – often delicate - threshold between Green and the verticalized 2nd tier stages involves a reorientation of values around the principles of healthy growth. Many times this is a subtle reframing. For example, we can look at the notion (explicated in the passage) that Green perceives the Other as GOOD… therefore fumbling the response attacks from the culture Other. An integralesque tweak may be very subtle. It may be that the GOOD was not the Other per se but, rather, the increase of our own complexity and strength that is involved in our capacity to intellectually, socially and emotionally incorporate the depth of the Others. Especially the Others that were formerly minimize and excluded. They represent possibilities of growth and enhancement. This is a significant shift but often it looks almost identical to the mentality that reaches to incorporate the Other, hesitates to demonize the Other, etc.

To answer, for ourselves, the question of the differential between healthy Green and Integral is a great and ongoing task for all Integralites – for we know ourselves, in part, by knowing our edges.

What else stands out to me here?

This is a beautiful nuancing. To affirm “not having violence in one’s heart” while yet teasing it apart from “not using violence in the world” is a necessary distinction if we are to be both strong and sensitive, secure and free, compassionate and protective, progressive and conservative, etc. Much of the pathological Green is actually characterized by the authentic impulse of strong Green. I mean the impulse that overcomes the availability of pluralistic cultures to regressive cynicism and violence – the urge to over that problem by manifesting INTOLERANCE TOWARD THE INTOLERANT. A thorny problem. Tolerance toward the intolerant is very dangerous. Yet the waves of immature (so-called) postmodern frothing in the West exhibit a form of intolerance-of-the-intolerant that borders on a new Jacobin fascism. The sort of anti-authoritarian totalitarianism that many people feel is growing like mold in our universities. Yes, it is a problem. A serious problem. However it is also the see of something wonderful. It is a rising of Green aggression and self-policing. Unless Green cultures are strong enough to defend themselves against the overt and covert aggression of the lower memes then we constantly flounder at the top end of the First Tier.

One is tempted to say that the real problem is actually the apparent virtue: not having violence in one’s heart. The lack of deep emotional integration of natural aggression, the failure to find virtue in the predatory, animalistic and empowering energies that have anciently defended progress as much as regress, is an issue to overcome. The Green sensibility that it is intolerable to hear words of denigration, raised voices, incoherent snarls, dangerous competitive bombast, leaves it weak. The failure of left/right integration at Green (i.e. the marriage of martial arts, libertarians and rugged back-to-the-landers with the culturally abstract socio-technological progressives) leaves it weak. The failure to have, speaking hyperbolically, transgender kids who can kick the shit of bullies – which might simultaneously allow them to hold ground against regressives AND shrug of merely verbal or symbolic denigration – leaves them weak.

Unless intelligent, human-friendly, futurist ecology is defended on this planet with a force similar in intensity to that which protects oil rights or encroaches on racial rivals then there is small hope for establishing the kind of semi-stable global civilization upon which the ceiling-less cathedral of integral spirituality may be firmly established.

Ah! I’ve said too much! Now back to training my death squads… :slight_smile:


#11

REO: “I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough…” I’ll continue for ya. I think we must have been having the same dream the past couple of nights Layman, or drinking the same kool-aid or something, because I’ve found myself considering some of the same thoughts. KW/Integralists speak of the “disasters and dignities” of each stage, and yet, sometimes I think we need to try to find the dignities in those disasters, and the disasters in the dignities. In other words, go deeper. Maybe there is less span at the Integral stage because we aren’t going deep enough, or encouraging others to go deep enough.

And actually, I mean this in a couple of ways: deeper down the ladder of stages to retrieve what’s perhaps been left behind in part or whole, or not fully integrated as you say, and also deeper into our own embodied experience.

While I agree that a hallmark of healthy green-consciousness is that it wants to stop fighting, wants to end violence; and while I agree this reflects a higher consciousness than lower memes, something does seem sacrificed at the green stage that may be crucial, an instinctive self-preservation kind of energy, perhaps–not the red-narcissistic-egocentric energy of boomeritis green, which to me is more tied to the mental-ego complex; and not the “might makes right” aggression of warrioring, which is deeply tied to ideology, but to something even deeper that is as natural to the human being/body as breath itself.

I think the loss of connection to the animal instincts in one’s own body is a bit of a plague for greens, as for others as well. Green consciousness is said to be intuitive, and some people argue that intuition is the human form of animal instincts, or that intuition is a “higher” form of instinct. I don’t totally buy this; to me, in my experience, they are separate, distinct things. Instinct is more of an innate urge. I tie our animal instincts to energy, and intuition to a subtle sense of knowing-ness or consciousness; different things I believe, consciousness and energy (and also intimately intertwined, one).

And just as “not having violence in our hearts” doesn’t preclude the use of violence in the world, being connected to one’s animal instincts doesn’t preclude being a graceful, or grace-filled, human being.

The only other thing I would say here, which has been rambling around in me since first reading the “Violence vs. Non-violence” article here is that the most telling lines in “The Bhagavad Gita” re: Krishna encouraging Arjuna’s fighting/killing in the war against some of his own kin/teachers are: “If any man thinks he slays, and if another thinks he is slain, neither knows the ways of truth. The Eternal in man cannot kill; the Eternal in man cannot die.”

This elevates the conversation to a whole new level, goes beyond just “doing your duty” in the world, fighting without violence in the heart; it takes one straight to the heart of the matter, that of “finding your truth.” Many people might find the passage insensitive or downright cruel, and some might find it a bunch of spiritual woo-woo poppycock, but for some of us, it holds water.


#12

Heya LaWanna. I don’t mind sharing REM states with you.

All socialized people have “lost” touch with their animal instincts. Even tribesmen. The more technology and education we get, the further we move away from the situation of the humanimal. Green is perhaps unique in its sensitivity to this problem. It notices the flaws of human culture, the limits of linear thought, the inadequately of left-brain specialization, the failure to address the body, the forgetfulness of ecosystems, the mystery of the unconscious.

The problem is that it takes these things as pre-given. As if we could “return” to the “pure” original condition. In that condition there is no different between instinct and intuition. But that return is not what we need. It merely suggests what we need.

We require an “intuition” that is up to our current challenges. And that, in turn, requires something more than a return to the instincts – it requires an improvement of the instincts. This is what sets the so-called 2nd Tier apart from Green. It is developmental and integrative.

So an adequate contemporary “intuition” has to mean a developmentally improved, cultivated, educated instinct that is newly capable of handling the contemporary worldspace. It means integrating the conscious and unconscious minds as well as cross-connecting many different intelligence systems (body, mind, heart, etc). Here we begin to approach a new mind, a trans-linear mind, a higher instinct or higher intuition that does not exist “before”… although it is symbolized by the archaic success of our animal instincts in the evolutionary environments for which they were bred.

Aum Krishna.


#13

Thank you for the link. While browsing through the page the part about Bannon caught my attention: a scaring example on how a ethnocentric perspective (the judeo-Christian) can be fueled by an integral. I’ve noticed he has been travelling around in Europe lately fuelling far right communities. The Gita might become the atomic bomb in the wrong hands


#14

I’m really grateful for this thread since the violence topic has been on my mind as well. Particularly around Red, but also Blue/Amber, which I feel is the larger problem. I really appreciate that the Gita was called up into this discussion, too, because I think Arjuna’s interaction with Krishna is one of the best examples of the dilemma presented by “spiritual bypass” that prevents one from taking necessary action. Krishna rightly says that if it’s Arjuna’s dharma to take action–including violence–against a corrupt enemy, then he must do so for the good of Reality itself.

It occurs to me that Blue/Amber, when unhealthy, is particularly susceptible to Red demagoguery, such as Donald Trump, Adolph Hitler, Pinochet, pick a dictator (and let’s be clear, Trump acts like a dictator, even if he lacks many of the powers that a traditional dictator in a country with less checks and balances might have). Given the political divide in the US today, it’s clear that Blue/Amber is in a very unhealthy state, whether it’s Blue/Amber that supports the Republicans OR the Democrats.

We then see Blue/Amber begin to adopt the violent tendencies that come from Red because “our authority figure made it okay.” This is why, I think, we see so much more violence from alt-right groups than we did prior to Trump’s election. He’s the authority, they accept him as their authority because he demonstrated his power by defeating Hillary Clinton (their Satan, or adversary), and his words and actions are now normalizing and encouraging violence for them. This isn’t strictly Blue/Amber’s fault as it’s doing the best it can–no authority was presented to that group that spoke their language other than Trump. Hillary, with her Orange/Green flatland postmodernism, is almost literally speaking a different language than this group, so much so that it presses their fear buttons and energizes them in a way that makes them feel as though they need to defend themselves (likely, a lot comes from the cognitive dissonance created by a higher level on the Spiral talking to a lower level without translating).

So, then, that brings me back to the violence question. At what point is violence toward Red and Blue/Amber acceptable, from an Integralism point of view, if it removes them from power and influence over higher levels of the Spiral? Do we have to wait for these groups, who have already shown their violence in words as well as actions, to get “bad enough” that violence is warranted? If so, what is that threshold? And what would that violence look like (cops arresting people, or the military, with bombs and guns and tanks?)

Moreover, can we separate physical violence from the use of force? I think it’s important to discern between the two, since I can forcefully remove someone from an office of power without necessarily using violence (the aforementioned arrest scenario is a use of force to compel action, but doesn’t necessarily have to be violent depending on the conditions of the arrest).

Having just read Integral Politics, I wonder whether or not the use of force to remove Red and Blue/Amber from power they aren’t evolutionarily developed enough to responsibly wield is an acceptable course of action. While I have a hard time with censoring someone’s right to free speech, I do wonder if it’s okay from an Integral point of view to disallow a group’s less evolved free speech from inadvertently influencing those who aren’t developed enough to effectively discern the level of truth presented. We don’t get to be free when a minority group wants to exert their freedoms at the expense of the larger group’s (case in point: the NRA telling doctors to “stay in their lane,” despite doctors having to clean up the mess caused by lack of sane gun laws in the US… one truth I personally believe is far more valid than what the NRA poses is that our right to life is far more valuable than our right to own a gun).

I guess the short question is, should Trump (or any other demagogue) be allowed a level of power and speech that clearly has influenced Blue/Amber toward more violence, violence and anger that could cause them to devolve down to Red? Do we have a right to, using force–and violence, if necessary–curb the level of power such a demagogue has been given, as well as the power of the movement that follows him? And when that demagogue begins to infect the system itself (our democratic republic, in the case of the US) to retain their power, is use of force now more acceptable? It certainly seems clear cut in the case of the Allies vs. the Axis in WWII, but I would argue that waiting for a genocide-level event like the Holocaust seems too far on that end of the “violence is now okay” spectrum.

What I find most worrying about the current state of the US is how the alt-right Blue/Amber groups have co-opted the worst parts about Orange and Green’s flatland, postmodern “whateverism.” That effectively makes them believe that because “nothing is true (the flatland)”, anything goes. Whateverism + black and white analysis of truth = cognitive dissonance Blue/Amber is not equipped to handle (and, in fact, triggers their fears).

Anyway, just some of my rambling thoughts. Maybe Captain Sheridan in Babylon 5 said it best? “Never start a fight, but always finish it.”