Reintegrating DEI: Beyond the Culture Wars

What does DEI look like if we remove the politically loaded terms and ideas and focus on a developmental understanding instead? What might we see if we ourselves can take a broader and deeper view into this divisive and important cultural moment that is reshaping our world?

A postmodern view, one that has moved beyond the strict confines of rationality, is what has brought awareness of many of DEI’s principles and claims to the foreground of our culture. This developmental perspective can see things that pervious perspectives were blind to, and at its best, DEI shows us a world in which cultural assumptions, the social construction of the self, and the limitations of rationality and science can create powerfully unseen bias against certain groups.

What does this look like, from the mature DEI viewpoint? What can it really see, what are its own hidden assumptions, and why is it causing so much societal friction that is overheating everything from school board meetings to national politics?

In Europe, we are seeing the rise of the far right. In America, we see Trumpism fighting to turn back the clock on many of DEI’s policies. And many in the middle have seen even the best-meaning DEI initiatives produce frustrating unintended and hypocritical consequences, such as illiberalism, exclusivity in their demands for inclusivity, homogeneity in their call for heterogeneity, and intolerance in their desire for tolerance.

A robust and thorough understanding of the primary worldviews at play can help us to better appreciate what’s really being seen, how each stage is showing us important truths even as they create their own problems that need solving.

In this talk, Keith Martin-Smith explains the developmental levels in detail that allowed DEI to form in the first place, as well as the levels from which DEI is often expressed (and resisted) from, allowing us to more clearly see and understand the cultural wars we are all experiencing.

The goal of this talk is to bring greater understanding and empathy for those advocating the DEI view, as well as for those fighting against it, all framed by a broader and deeper understanding of the evolution of our personal and cultural worldviews and how they interact with each other.

  1. Empathy is multidimensional. Embracing the complexity of empathy across different developmental stages enriches our understanding and connections with others.
  2. Reality itself is infinite and empty; meaning is a human construct. This recognition shifts us from seeing the world as fixed and absolute, to understanding it as a vast realm of interpretation shaped by our subjective and intersubjective lenses.
  3. Positive doubt is better than rigid certainty. Embracing doubt and uncertainty as tools for growth leads to more open-minded and innovative thinking.
  4. Identity is fluid, not static. Adopting a fluid, evolving sense of self encourages personal adaptability and resilience in the face of change.

These 4 ideas are an excellent summary of an Integral interpretation of reality from the human perspective. Reflecting upon my journey of development I can recognize that these ideas began to arise organically over time within my mind and began informing my perspectives and beliefs. I really enjoyed Keith’s take on this and appreciate when he drops the F bombs. :joy: