What would an Integral Political Platform (3rd party?) look like?

This thread was inspired by the Integral tipping point thread as well as the Integral Activism thread. In my opinion, one of the potentially fastest ways of mainstreaming 2nd tier consciousness is through politics - and to instantiate integral values in a political party. If we could learn to harness the extreme polarization to birth something completely new, I think it could be the way forward, as both parties may be “too far gone,” so why not just start over completely with a brand new party? The party’s color could be purple (red and blue) or teal :smile:

Politics is unique in that its influence can penetrate into every sphere of society - economic, cultural, civil, private - very quickly, thanks to both the media and its increasing ubiquity in the age of Trump. It could also be a way of promoting a new culture infused with Integral consciousness that could start a movement, complete with hashtags, rallies, Youtube videos etc… Im visualizing Integral candidates getting into publicized debates, grassroots community organizing through knocking on doors, hosting events and gatherings, and creating a 2nd tier political institution to train people on how to run an Integrally informed campaign (something like Paul Wellstone’s “Wellstone Action” or the Justice Democrats). Many people are craving something new that transcends tribal partisan differences, but simply don’t have any options to go to, and thus have to resort to either side of the hardline binary. This would give them a third option. Someone famous like Jonathan Haidt could endorse the effort to give it a boost.

The question is, what would this platform look like? I haven’t thought about it too much, and there are probably a wide range of opinions on what would constitute an Integral platform. Some of them are inspired by “Change the Rules” and democratic candidate Andrew Yang, who I am voting for in 2020. Here is a start - feel free to disagree and post your own ideas.

Get money out of politics/candidates take no corporate pack money (honoring progressives)

Class based rather than raced based affirmative action (little bit of everyone)

Universal Basic Income and cut other government programs (honor libertarians and progressives)

Universal investment accounts to replace social security once the robots take over jobs, or “shareholder socialism” (honoring conservative supply side economics by increasing investment in the economy, and honors socialists/marxists as everyone would benefit from increased revenue from the few monopoly corporations – trickle down to meet the UBI trickle up)

Creative ways to reduce bloated government - tax shifting, “modernize” military spending, and reduce other inefficient bureaucracy in federal workforce, as well as policies creating perverse incentives (honor libertarians)

Raise taxes on unproductive gambling and lower taxes on productive investment (honors progressives and libertarian conservatives)

Create government department for Integrally informed community development

Free community college and control price of higher education

Promote culture of personal responsibility through holistic activism – informed from a place of empowerment and reclaimed projections, “stoic leftism,” and mature feminism

Identity politics anchored in our common, universal humanity – highlighting our common humanity first before moving to the experiences of specific groups - MLK style (honors Orange universals and Green particulars)

A philosophy of post-postmodernism, or “constructive postmodernism” - in effect, Integral, with a spiritual/religious undertone depending on the audience.

Abolish electoral college, gerrymandering and corporate personhood, while promoting rank choice voting and abolishing the 15% rule for third party candidates to enter national debates.

Change metrics for measuring growth and success of Nation - need more than GDP

Climate action now

World class infrastructure initiative which includes building a big, beautiful wall, lined with solar panels and vertical farming that will be shared with neighbor Mexico

Online voting via blockchain technology



Great post Hawaiian Ryan, particularly considering the November Ken Show is supposed to be on Integral politics, so I heard. So we can see how far off-base some of our ideas here might be when the ‘wizards’ address the topic :slightly_smiling_face:.

I saw Tom Curran of Change the Rules on the Daily Evolver a few weeks/months back; that’s great stuff, most of which you have captured with the “Abolish electoral college…” item. I don’t know who Andrew Yang is, so will check him out!

Although I don’t know what they would be, I would like to see changes in foreign policy, given the Integral view is a globalist one, and given that there are just too many suspicious incidents of children/civilians being killed in airstrikes that the U.S. supports and/or participates in, Yemen being a good example.
Maybe U.S.-backed changes at the UN, which seems to be sluggish in investigating and not much usually comes of their investigations into “war crimes” anyway.

As Western Integralists, we tend to focus on U.S. political situations/events, and well we should, and yet, for me personally, some of the most atrocious and heartbreaking events are happening in other parts of the world. How could an Integral (global) politics affect the kind of events like the Rohingya being exiled from Myanmar, an entire people not just homeless in the typical sense of no shelter, but no country. This applies more and more to people leaving war-torn or impoverished or violent countries, and no one wanting them. Heartbreaking. While the Kavanaugh situation was spell-binding and troubling, in comparison to mass homelessness, it was, imo, light-weight stuff (which doesn’t mean unimportant or irrelevant, but comparatively speaking…)

Speaking of Kavanaugh, an idea I’ve heard numerous times now that seems like a good one is term limits for Supreme Court justices. And also, maybe a Dept. of Ethics, instead of just an ethics “watchdog” in the GAO. And maybe an idea whose time would come with an Integral 3rd party or politics, is an old Barbara Marx Hubbard suggestion for a U.S. Dept. of Peace. And maybe instead of the ubiquitous screaming matches called “town halls,” Integral politics would hold something like “circles of trust” (mentioned by Russ in the Integral Activism–Healing the Divide topic)

But back to foreign affairs–after Brazil recently elected a far-right populist leader, and considering this happening more and more throughout the world, and also thinking of the mass migrations of people, many unwanted in more and more countries, I put aside my integral knowledge for a moment (or tried to) to contemplate anew the “why” of the situation, and the image that came was of Kali, the Hindu goddess, holding a Slinky toy, which she extended to its full height, then quickly collapsed.

I thought of my own associations with Kali, who for me, despite connotations of fierceness and death and destruction, is ultimately and essentially a goddess of love (and we all know, love drives evolution), I thought the Slinky was a good symbol for the spiraling holarchy of stage development and understood the image in whole as an evolutionary regression (or quick collapse… time will tell) of civilization, not a new thought for Integralists of course. I also thought about this being the Kali Yuga in Hindu thought, an age in which it is said that “3/4s of the people are wicked.”

But unsatisfied, I persisted and then, a lizard appeared in my vision, which I understood as representing the reptilian brain (it was my vision, after all) with all its fears and survival instincts and automatic unconscious habit-behaviors, and its absolutist thinking, and its emphasis on territoriality. If we agree there is cultural regression, would there not be some regression in the other quadrants?

So maybe, (just playing with my images here), an Integral political platform could consider that there are perhaps more “primitive” energies at work in the world than we might like to think, and build into its politics effective ways to assuage, soothe, or otherwise address the fears etc. of the reptilian brain in people (maybe a Dept. of “Don’t worry, be happy.” :slightly_smiling_face:) and give consideration to its correlates in the other three quadrants: impulse (UL), uroboric energies (LL), and groups and families (LR)–how do these relate to current times? And just in general, I think an integral politics would think of politics as not just a way to govern, but as a way to educate, grow and evolve people at the same time.

I loved your “world class infrastructure initiative…” That’s a wall I could get behind, or climb, or get down on my hands and knees and dig in the dirt on… Thanks for your post!

1 Like

Hello @HawaiianRyan, great questions. I don’t have a whole lot to add right now, but I thought I would share this short eBook I’ve been preparing for Ken Wilber, which I plan to publish to Integral Life in the next week or so, but will make it available a bit early here in case it helps the discussion.

It is excerpted from a series that Ken was working on in the mid-00’s called “The Many Faces of Terrorism”, which I am not sure if he is still working on, but is an awesome compilation of the major ingredients (the four “major scales” and five “minor scales”, as Ken refers to them) that are required for any integral approach to politics.

I plan on devoting the next episode of the Ken Show to exploring these major and minor scales in November, and I will be sure to keep an eye on this thread for any questions that may come up. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy!

1 Like

I love some of these suggestions. I think an interesting terrain that we might want to explore is a kind of synthesis of several radical traditions. Let-Libertarianism combines elements of Anarchy, Communism, and Liberal markets. It’s still a research area that is waiting to be fleshed out with tools and techniques. Noam Chomsky is a noted proponent of this political position and some speculate that people like the Dalai Lama would also fall into this camp.

You can take a test to see about where you fall:


I’m reading through what Corey posted. I may have some other thoughts after reading it.

1 Like

@LaWanna Thanks!

Brilliant, yes! Great point, and kind of embarrassing that I get caught in my little American bubble! I was only thinking about US politics when I made the post lol.

I agree 100% – Presidential Scholar Jon Meecham’s new book The Soul of America contains many wonderful quotes on the power of the president (or any political figure) as a moral leader, able to shape the public discourse as well as the general consciousness of a country. I think campaigning is a huge opportunity to spread Integral consciousness, thanks to all the publicity one receives - and that our elections in the US are so dang long.

@corey-devos Thanks Corey! I look forward to reading the ebook, and seeing what y’all have to say in November.


Yes we think on similar lines- a synthesis of several radical traditions has been on my mind for a while. I am a fan of Chomsky’s anarcho-syndicalism and Richard Wolff’s worker directed enterprises to a point, but seems to be obsolete once the automation revolution is in full effect, since all workers will be replaced by robots. The Shareholder socialism idea was an attempt to merge these traditions, as everyone can become an investor, and thus collective ownership (and the financial rewards it reaps) can be distributed to everyone while still remaining in the private sector, granting all the benefits of supply side investments while boosting our national savings rate. Economist Robert Reich proposed a similar idea in his book Saving Capitalism: For the Many Not the Few as a sort of “Universal nest egg” guaranteed to every citizen.

1 Like

Hi @corey-devos,

I just read the mini book on Integral politics and it was excellent, very informative and holistic. My favorite part was the last section on the role of the regulator, and the potential dangers of government intervention into the economy (or in any sector).

I want to humbly offer a suggestion to you and Ken, maybe even posed as a question: The Integral political map contains several important axes of assessment, and I would suggest adding one more to round it out – the relationship between the political, civil, economic, and cultural spheres, which all contain their own moral autonomy and importance (kind of like the big 3) that is not quite captured (IMO) in any of the aforementioned axes. Let me elaborate.

Rudolf Steiner developed a system called “Social three folding” - the 3 spheres being the political, economic, and cultural domains (so 2 in the LR and 1 LL). I personally add in a fourth sphere - civil society. For Steiner, the spheres need to be independent from each other, and bad things happen when one sphere colonizes another, invades another, and hijacks the moral integrity of another sphere. Totalitarian communism was so bad in the Soviet Union and China because the sphere of government completely devoured the cultural, economic, and civil spheres, and thus stunted the development of all sectors. Corruption in Nigeria is so bad because the big oil economic sector has completely invaded all spheres and thus financialized everything (you have to bid for a police officer in Nigeria). Theocracy in the middle East is so bad because the religious sector (culture) has invaded every other sector, prohibiting money lending and access to financial capital, and with dire consequences in government (ayatollah of Iran). This model explains why we have strong moral feelings when a certain sphere is “contaminated” by the impulses of another - like when a therapist has a sexual relationship with the client (professional sphere ruined by personal) or incest (sexual energy invades sphere of family). A “Cross contamination” of spheres occurs – our impulses are tainted.
Internally, our impulses are “crowded out” by the invading impulses of another sphere, which is what triggers a moral gut reaction when such infringements are committed. Should governments pay people to vote? Well, then our virtuous impulses of civic duty would be crowded out by monetary incentives. How about having schools pay kids to get good grades? Well, then children’s innate love of learning or striving for success would be outsourced to financial incentives (particularly interested in your take on this one, being a parent). Or banning hate speech? Well, then our sense of civic solidarity to stand up for our citizens in public would be outsourced to cops and legal procedures. I remember how mad my family was as a child when a women tried to sell perfume products after our Buddhist service, as economic incentives invaded the sphere of sacred religious worship. These are but a few examples.

Here is where levels come into play:
Amber tends to favors the cultural sphere in America through religion (bible, religion, prayer in school) and can have an allergy to both government and economic spheres (red scare=government, and economic incentives can ruin pious Christian values of chastity, poverty, etc)
Orange libertarians tend to favor the economic sphere (wall street republicans, ayn rand conservatives, don’t care about price gouging or money in politics, or even legalizing drugs or prostitution) and have an allergy to government (“Government has no right to tell me how to live!”)
Green progressives tend to favor government (hate speech laws, Bernie Sanders’s wall street regulation, raise minimum wage, universal health care) and have an allergy to the economic sectors “perverse incentives” (for-profit prisons, neoliberal privatization, money in politics, school vouchers, capitalism in general)

This is why in principle, I tend to be a free speech absolutist and oppose measures such as Canada’s Bill C-16 (Jordan Peterson’s claim to fame) because that would be an example of the Government invading civil society by hijacking the sine qua non of civil society - free speech. I don’t oppose it because it would be an example of Green attacking Orange, or because I am an individualist rather than a collectivist, or an internalist vs. an externalist, but because I believe it commits a fundamental ethical infraction of one societal sphere colonizing another.

I think it’s important to tease these spheres apart, since civil society, economics, and politics are all crammed into the LR quadrant. This can make it difficult to explain in quadrant terms why something like the public ownership of the means of production or anti-free speech legislation would be a bad idea, since quadratically, it would be the LR colonizing…another aspect of the LR (political hijacking economic or civil), which doesn’t adequately explain the moral weight of that infringement.
Also, introducing the spheres models allows for a more precise analysis of development through specific spheres: Japan resides largely at an Amber culture, but with an Orange Government and Economic sector. China possesses an Amber Government, an Amber, Red, and even Purple culture (ancestor worship, superstitious thinking, and very intense family bonds as was discovered in the new spiral dynamics book), and a booming Orange economy. In the US one could argue that Green has dominated cultural institutions (Hollywood, Universities, media i.e. ESPN) but has regressed to a Red government (Trump) with a predominantly Orange economy. Etc…

Also, each stage sees the relationship between the spheres differently, and there could be an infinite number of spheres or ways of diving up societal zones: Amber could say women belong in the household (private realm) and not in the public realm, or that Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protesting belongs in the streets, and not in a football game. Green hates guns being brought into public areas such as schools (Beto O Rourke, in his debate with Ted Cruz, said “guns belong on the battlefield, not in schools with children”), or that prayer belongs in a Church, and not in a public school. Etc…

I’m very curious as to whether: 1. You understood what I am trying to convey. 2. If you think it is at all important to integrate into an Integral Political model, and if not, why. 3. How the existing model could account for some of the examples I just mentioned.

Thank you so much and can’t wait to see your response, and for the episode next month!

Hi @HawaiianRyan,

My general sense is this won’t be a 3rd party, at least not within the United States. The challenge with our political system is the winner-takes-all framework of our elections. Until we have something like preferential voting, where you rank your candidates in order of desirability, bringing in a 3rd party is going to be pretty impossible. I think this is mainly because the vast majority of stages are still in a fear-based mode of thinking, and the Republican party is truly frightening these days to Green and a lot of Orange; that means people will vote Democrat simply to prevent more Republicans from taking power.

The Tea Party actually showed how we could create an insurgency in both parties, however, by working at the local and intra-party levels to push an Integral agenda from within the existing system. My sense is it has to be an inside job, at least to start off, before we’re able to do some of the things you mentioned in your original post, such as de-monetizing elections, climate action, etc.

My general sense is that regardless of a specific Integral platform or not, the absolute first thing that needs to happen to restore equity is the de-monitization of elections, with an effort to generate power equity at the individual level being a very close second.

For example, rural states, due to having the same number of Senators as populous states, have more power in the Senate; the Electoral College being based on the number of Representatives also means that rural states have more votes since that number is capped; both lead to a tyranny of the minority and a dilution of the voting power of, say, a voter in a large city. Gerrymandering would also need to be done away with in favor of a geographically and statistically sound separation of representative districts. In fact, my general sense is the House should be reworked in a way where our congressional representatives represent a far smaller population per representative. That would vastly increase the number of representatives, but it would also lead to better representation, geographically speaking, of the population.

1 Like