Wicked Problems: Gun Violence


Originally published at: https://integrallife.com/wicked-problems-gun-violence/

In this exclusive 8-hour series, Ken and Corey take an in-depth look at America’s ongoing struggle with gun violence, using the four quadrants to track many of the most critical and commonly-blamed factors, conditions, and causes that seem to be contributing to this terribly wicked problem.


Well, this discussion is lightyears more integrally analytical than most that appear in other media. Kudos to Ken and Corey for being willing to take on the sacred shibboleths of the Boomeritis green left. Corey, in other media I’ve heard you own your left political orientation, an element I believe essential to any integral discussion, and you do a decent job keeping those in check.

As I’ve written about extensively in my AQALBlog, I believe the most critical meta-challenge is, as Ken has said elsewhere, the maturing of orange. All evolution pivots to and from orange, for only the self-actualized free individual can make the authentic choice to create and participate in enlightened community. The American founders were particularly sensitive to the inhibiting role of tyranny and coercion, and strove to promote not just political self-government but more importantly character self-government as the sine qua non of their bold experiment.

But as we can see in our struggles with own individual spiritual growth (addictions, shadow, self-violence, etc.), the earlier stages will not surrender to the higher orders easily. The “retribalization” that Ken so accurately observes is part of what I call the “amber counterrevolution,” in which Boomeritis green is a willing if unwitting participant. Amber and Boomeritis green are ganging up to strangle orange.

Are they succeeding? Let us keep this meta-narrative in mind as we examine how this titanic evolutionary struggle plays out in daily affairs.


This is indeed a wicked problem, and this integral analysis of it, both Parts 1 and 2, the entire 8 hours, would be required study for any political candidate, if I were queen of the world, and would also be posted as a YouTube video for all to see. I learned quite a few interesting facts, statistics-wise, and went in search of more information on certain things. I read an article about a gun that was once registered to an American but “somehow” made its way to Jamaica, where it was unregistered and responsible for 9 (separate) deaths–so yes, tracking guns seems important. I also read a piece that said Mexico has been lobbying the U.S. for a decade to stop the flow of illegal American guns across the border, 200,000 of them in one year. So the problem of U.S. guns is actually also a bit of a global problem, not just a national one.

While the issues are complicated, I appreciated Ken’s simple formula about needing to provide stopgaps between “me—gun—death;” this is so obvious, once you think about it, in terms of how to address gun safety and reform.

So many great, great points made in these conversations. They are so informative, educational, provide so much relevant history, and motivate me at least to look a little further into certain points/subjects. And with all the bang bang shoot 'em up subject matter in this program, I really appreciated the conversational turn towards the Beatles! as examples of healthy green; I for one needed a little light-heartedness about then, and probably most of us benefit from remembering there is a healthy green.

The one thing I still wonder about is the relationship between gun deaths/violence and wars. While I get that, as Corey says, the gun is an American archetype associated with ‘independence, self-reliance, individuality,’ and that it is fetishized; and while I get as Ken says, that it can be seen as related to the cowboy archetype which is a part of American culture, I do wonder about the American propensity for warring in other nations, and how this affects gun violence here. The U.S. has been in Afghanistan since 2001, for instance, and the Iraq War was 2003-2010; and just going back to 1961, the U.S. has invaded, or sent troops, or done air strikes or had “advisors” in 11 other countries. So, just considering Iraq and Afghanistan, there is an entire generation that has grown up witnessing the U.S. in constant “war.” I’m not debating/arguing whether some of these wars were necessary or noble, I’m just pointing out how prevalent they are. I think of how military-style weapons are used in some of the mass shootings, and certainly some homicides. And maybe I’ve listened too much to Marianne, but there isn’t much emphasis in the culture-at-large on peace, while there is a tremendous amount of emphasis/talk about conflicts and war and such.

I do believe that thoughts are things, and images are things, and these things have effects somewhere down the road. So constant war, even if an “undeclared” war, it seems to me, might have an effect in terms of normalizing to some extent, violence and killing, for people who may be mentally unstable anyway, or without meaning/purpose in their lives.

If, as Ken says, it is true that if people know about and study a little the stages of development, they likely will move through stages more quickly, then I suspect that people who know about, hear about, and are encouraged to think about peace, might also move more quickly towards more peaceful behavior. Even as I write this, I can imagine the ridiculing of these thoughts, and that’s a very sad state of affairs. I am not a pacifist, nor am I anti-military, nor am I entirely naive; but I do think we are way out of balance in this area.

So yes, a wicked problem. Thanks so much for covering it so well.


14,000 Homicides out of 350 million people is .4% (less than 1%) this fact illuminates the truth, guns are not a wicked problem.
Millions of lives are saved by a gun each year which you do not mention at all.
There are not 40,000 or 50,000 homicides Ken, there are not 20,000 homicides, there are 14,000, and the vast majority, 80% are gang related, and 67% are in Large Cities showing that it is Gangs that are a much larger problem when it comes to gun deaths and not Far Right Extremism.
Thank you Ken for pointing out the fact that there are no White Supremacists in public, and in fact do you know any personally? How about you Corey?
Guns can do nothing all on their own, so they do not kill people. People use guns to kill people.
Some people, (less than 1%) use guns to harm or kill other people.
Thank you for pointing out the 100+ million deaths in the last century committed by Leftist ideology gone wicked.
Violence is wicked, not guns. People who do not recognize right from wrong are wicked, not guns.
Because there are some people who are wicked, I have the Right to protect myself and you do not have the right to take away my right to protect myself by limiting my ability to access a gun, period.
Here are some other 2017 statistics on Death
. . . All causes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2,813,503
1 Diseases of heart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 647,457
2 Malignant neoplasms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 599,108
3 Accidents (unintentional injuries) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169,936
4 Chronic lower respiratory diseases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160,201
5 Cerebrovascular diseases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146,383
6 Alzheimer disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121,404
7 Diabetes mellitus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83,564
8 Influenza and pneumonia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55,672
9 Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis . . . . . . . . . . .50,633
10 Intentional self-harm (suicide) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47,173
11 Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41,743
12 Septicemia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40,922
13 Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease . . 35,316
14 Parkinson disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31,963
15 Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20,108
… All other causes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .561,920 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_09-508.pdf

From https://www.ourcivilisation.com/medicine/usamed/deaths.htm Table Of Iatrogenic Deaths In The United States

(Deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures)
|Adverse Drug Reactions|106,000
|Medical error|98,000
|Unnecessary Procedures|37,136
Total 783,936

2017 Motor vehicle fatality rate 37,133
An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year

Compare that to
All homicide 19,510
Firearm homicides 14,542

Pressure cooker problem, guns? Really? What is complicated Corey is Bias.


Hello @BobandAnne, thank you for the discussion. But I can’t help but to feel like this comment is sort of missing the point. To me it sounds like you are saying, “this isn’t a problem, because there are other problems over there.” (But thank you for pointing out that health care is also a terribly wicked problem, as indicated by the statistics you shared. Another topic that is probably deserving of an 8-hour integral analysis as American society begins to transition to more universal solutions.)

The fact of the matter is, gun violence in America far eclipses gun violence in the vast majority of other modern nations. And it is a “wicked problem” in that there is no single factor or cause behind this violence. The word “wicked” here means “deeply complicated” more than it means “heinous”. That said, I think our gun violence rates can indeed be characterized as “heinous”, especially when comparing to other nations.

Gun violence is, in fact, a deep complicated problem, and one that absolutely requires an integral accounting in order to make any sense of whatsoever. Which is what we try to do in this very long and comprehensive discussion.

“it is Gangs that are a much larger problem when it comes to gun deaths and not Far Right Extremism.”

Yes, and we cover that. We also cover the fact that gun violence as a whole has been trending downward for the last several decades, despite a mild uptick in recent years. But this does not change the fact that, when it comes to domestic terrorism that results in fatalities, far-right extremism is the number one motivation. Because multiple things can be true at the same time.

“There are no White Supremacists in public, and in fact do you know any personally? How about you Corey?”

Yup, sure do. Extended family members. I mean, they probably wouldn’t call themselves “white supremacists” as some group identity they belong to, but they certainly believe that other races/cultures/people are inferior to their own, and often blame other people and cultures for whatever resentment or frustrations they feel in their own lives, whether it’s fellow American citizens or immigrants.

Not to mention the fact that we have had several self-described white supremacists run for political office in recent years. They have not been able to establish a legitimate political foothold, as Ken mentions, but that doesn’t mean they ain’t trying.

And as Ken points out, this type of thinking tends to come naturally to people who hold amber-level views. And that, unfortunately, describes most people. So yeah, some portion of white people at the amber stage probably have some degree of “white supremacy” somewhere in their system, whether conscious or unconscious. The thing is, as Ken and I point out, we used to have a lid on that sort of amber ethnocentrism — a lid called “modern universal values” — which is now being dismantled from both ends, and which makes people who hold racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. views that much more emboldened to express their views publicly.

But yes, you are right. Guns don’t kill people by themselves. People kill people. And when they do, they usually use guns. Because it’s super effective at getting the job done. I’m just not sure how much this distinction helps move the conversation forward. It certainly doesn’t make the problem any less “wicked”.

Thanks again for the conversation!


Interesting definition of “white supremacy”. In a broad brushstroke it covers from killers like Dylan Roof and people going around giving the Nazi salute… to people that are upset that they can’t speak their own language at the corner store anymore, their job was given to someone who doesn’t pay taxes and therefore can do it for 1/4th the wage and they are penalized for not having insurance while some politicians want to give FREE insurance to people from OTHER nations that come here illegally.

Until recently the latter would have been called being human, not ‘white supremacist’ but such are the times.

Ironically as I’m reading a book about Union soldiers in the Civil War I realize, that by the definition proposed above, these people that went and died on the side of freeing the slaves would most certainly be “white supremacists”.

But let’s step back for a second. For the sake of argument let play devil’s advocate say the above qualifies as a definition of “supremacy”.

This proposes an interesting conundrum: Black and Hispanic supremacy have experienced a far larger growth. It is currently promoted both in Congress and on TV. The current mindset says that being white is inherently flawed, while being anything BUT white is somehow ‘saintly’. White points of view are dismissed not based on logic, facts or arguments, but based on skin color of the messenger. White people are asked to leave campuses and not show up for certain events purely based on their skin color. Being proud of your ethnicity is encouraged for everyone, except white people.

Former TV CEO Says U.S. Should Ban ‘Straight White Males from Voting’

If you want to stop mass shootings in America, consider banning white men

Do white men really deserve to vote?

I mean, just pop open the TV on Msnbc and you’ll see the white people being guilty of everything under the sun. It’s almost hilarious. Did you know that even white robots are ‘racist’? Well, they are according to CNN.

As a member of a multi-racial family who immigrated (legally) to the US, I have to say that I have seen this “supremacy”, as defined above, from all races in forms at least as virulent. I have witnessed an Indian client being discriminated by Hispanic board when trying to create a Hispanic restaurant in their area (just because he’s not Hispanic himself). I’ve also personally seen black people discriminating against other black people based on shade of blackness skin color. Hispanic kids being beat up daily in a predominately black high school.

Recently, we’ve witnessed black people who are called “white supremacists” simply because they do not share certain points of view.

On the issue of guns I have a bit of a tainted view, I must admit, since my family comes from a socialist country where they were tortured.

The 2nd Amendment is there to allow defense from people, but also from government, by making somewhat untenable the idea of government unconstitutional control of people. It is there to provide a safety and counterbalance to a government becoming a tyrannical dictatorship. Venezuela’s gun control didn’t play out that well for them. The idea that you can trust the government without real balances in place is deeply naive from a historical perspective.

Socialism and collectivism SHOULD be demonized. And they are by 99% of anybody that has seen them 1st hand.

It’s rather ironic, because in a socialist state (not the one from books, the ones that play out in reality) you’d be taken out and they’d forcibly take out your earring and beat up a little. At least that’s what happened to my cousin who, being a metal head, was take out, his hair cut, his earrings pulled out, and I don’t mean pulled out as in taken out, but literally ripped from the ears (good thing his jewelry was cheap and it broke off before doing a lot of damage). He was then beat up with an iron bar over the soles of his feet and and hands. Just one example incident. Apparently metal music was deemed not good for the ‘collective’.

You don’t want to be in socialism or collectivism. It never plays out like in the books. Socialism is cancer.

Thank you and Ken for the talk.


Thank you for engaging.

I missed no point. You do not like guns and would like to see them banned except maybe handguns. You align yourself with Government Red Flag laws, enhanced Background Checks.

Have you ever been robbed? Raped? Or Threatened by a stranger in a violent manner? Unfortunately, I have experienced this and did not have a gun because I did not believe in them.

I now believe in owning and knowing how to safely operate a gun and I am grateful for that which I did not believe before and I hope you never experience being robbed raped or threatened without a gun handy.
I am not my beliefs.

I would rather have a gun and not need one than need one and not have one.

We already have background checks. Red Flag Laws are terrible laws that are inherently subject to abuse at a time when there are many examples of growing Government and Police abuse.

You said

To me it sounds like you are saying, “this isn’t a problem, because there are other problems over there.”

I never said there is not a problem.

I said 14,000+ individuals lives are taken through murder with an object called a gun and I pointed out that is less than 1% of our Population.

Less than 1% is specifically, Point Four Percent of the population are murdered by a gun.

The vast majority of those murders done with a gun, 96%, were done with handguns.

I also pointed out the majority of those lives lost are Gang related in 5 Big Cities.

Gangs are created by no father in the home usually a result of Government welfare cutting off welfare if a man is in the home, and a failing Central Federal Education system. Guns do not create gangs.

You also seem to have missed at the very beginning of my comment on the fact that millions of lives are saved by guns in comparison to the 14,000 murders which are mostly caused by Federal Government policies that affect the most vulnerable populations of Large Cities.

The part of the conversation I never hear from you or guests in discussion is how Government devolved from upholding rights and ensuring borders and trade, into the Legal Right To Initiate Violence and Engage in Coercion, becoming more lawless with each passing year.

Do you agree that our Lawful Constitutional Representative Democratic Republic Federal Government has devolved into an Oligarchy of Career Politicians, their Deep State Handlers in a Grossly Inflated Bureaucracy, specifically the Intelligence; and a Judicial which has become corrupted by Executive and Legislative appointments, along with their Propagandists in MainStream Media and Hollywood? I would also lump in that list Tax Exempt Religion.

The real Supremacists are the Oligarchy in Government and they empower themselves through division with the conspiracy theory of White Supremacy beliefs.

Racism is not a white issue only.

Racism as a belief that exists everywhere in all races and cultures.

Like any belief, it becomes a problem when violence and coercion are engaged in.

In your discussion with Ken, you spoke of your belief that guns are a problem and you linked that problem to white racism ignoring the vast majority of gun crime being brown on brown gang related a problem created by Government Policies and not guns or White Supremacists.

I also mentioned preventable Death in the medical system a far greater problem that affects far more individuals than gun deaths, not to dismiss or demean gun deaths, but to point out the reality of preventable deaths and that guns do not kill as many people in comparison to other objects and systems.

Ultimately, the problem is not white or brown lawful gun owners with AR 15s.

Have you ever fired a gun? Have you ever fired an AR 15? There are videos of women on youtube shooting the 2 types of guns and the difference. It is that difference that answers why lawful gun owners will never allow an infringement to their lawful right to protect themselves with an AR 15.

Violence is what we should be talking about. Protecting myself from violence with a gun is not violence.

All Violence is wrong, whether a gun is used, a bat, a knife or Government.

All violence is wrong.

As a lawful woman, an AR15 or handgun allows me to protect myself from a criminal who desires to do me violence, and historically, the criminal over the last century that has killed the most unarmed people has been government, who passes laws that make it harder for those people to owna gun lawfull.

You discriminate against guns used in violence from other objects used in violence and you equate that gun violence is somehow more wrong and affects more people.

It is true that small tiny western nations with homogenous populations have less murder by guns, but it is not a true apples to apples comparison in my humble opinion.
If you take out the 5 cities that have the most murders, the US murder rate is the lowest in the world.

When you look at all violence and murder in foreign countries, like murder by knife, bat, etc then you will see that the US is by far one of the most safest places to live.

What is wicked is ignorance of natural law, simply put, I am free to do all that I agree to do and to not encroach on others nor her / his property.


I don’t have time to respond right now in depth, but this is completely off the mark. In fact I mention several times in this talk that it would be futile to ban all guns instead of handguns, since they are the most commonly used weapon in gun violence. If you are going to criticize my views, it’s important to have an accurate understanding of what those views actually are. I feel like you aren’t talking to me, but to some caricature that you have in your head.

I think gun violence is a problem, yes. I am also very pro-2A. These are not mutually exclusive views. My overall suggested solution is for both better regulations (especially around background checks and waiting periods) AND for the left to get over their allergies around firearms. In fact I want to create a mandatory national-guard like service so all young American citizens are taught to both handle and respect firearms, and so we can simultaneously reinforce healthy nationalism while also giving people the multiperspectival exposure they need to begin growing into more world centric global views and values.

And yes, I have used guns before. Handguns, shotguns, and semi-automatics. Here in Colorado you can legally discharge in our national parks, which my buddy and I used to do every now and again.


I mean, it is the literal definition, right? Top hit on google:

“ 1. the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society.”

And yes, many who fought to free the slaves were also white supremacists. Hell, I believe Lincoln himself continued to believe in the racial superiority of the whites. Because the world is never black and white, and our moral compass and our relationship with race and racism are both constantly evolving.

And quickly, when it comes to “socialism”, i think that is one of those words that needs to be defined every time it’s used, because it means very different things to different people. For some it means Soviet gulags, for others it means a robust social safety net and having things like fire departments. It seems to me that individualism and collectivism both exist as a polarity that needs to be integrated, in both individual AND social holons — the Nordic model of democratic socialism being a common example. And any time one of these gets enacted in a way that is completely dissociated from the other, bad things happen — especially when they are enacted at the amber altitude.

As for people on the left going way overboard and overreaching with their holy wokeness, I completely agree. Still, it’s good not to throw the baby out with the bath water, I think.

“I have seen this “supremacy”, as defined above, from all races in forms at least as virulent.”

No doubt. No one is saying that ethnocentrism/racism are a whites-only phenomenon. But there are some other important considerations to keep in mind too. For one, there tends to be far less “systemic racism” coming from members of minority populations, because they are not in control of the levers of power. Two, the standards of what is and isn’t “white” have themselves changed over the decades and centuries — hell, even Irish and Italian people used to be discriminated against as “non-white” in the early days of the Republic. And three, there tends to be a lot more pressure upon minority populations to assimilate and adopt white culture and values, than there is pressure upon white populations to assimilate the culture and values of minority populations (which isn’t itself an interiorist critique, it’s just a numbers game — but still, it adds its own flavor to the punch bowl of American multiculturalism and the challenges of a unique melting pot culture such as this one.)


You didn’t cite any evidence here, so I looked it up. And it is far from true, especially when talking about developed nations.

Here is a list of total intentional homicide rates around the world, regardless of weapon used:

If you sort by “rate” you will see that America is about a third of the way down the list, 89th out of 230, with 5.3 homicides per 100,000 people.

Which means, yes, there are 88 countries with higher murder rates than the U.S. But look at those countries. They are all impoverished or developing nations.

About 2/3 of nations are safer than our own, and almost every single modern developed nation — other than Greenland, interestingly — has fewer intentional homicides per capita than we do. Most of them only have a fraction of homicides than the U.S. Most European nations have only about 1/5 of the homicides per capita as we do.

But for real though, what’s up with Greenland?

So in fact we do have a higher total homicide rate than the majority of other developed nations, which means we are not “by far one of the most safest places to live”. I think it is important for us to be as accurate as we can when discussing these sorts of massively complex issues, and to always cite our references and double-check our assumptions, because there is so much bad information floating around out there.


I am not sure you heard that right. I said that it is a fact that the majority of domestic terrorism incidents are being committed by the right wing, which is 100% verifiably true. But I also said the total number of deaths caused by these incidents is vanishingly small compared to the rest of gun-related violence, the majority of which involve handguns, and which disproportionately affects the African American community in particular.

We can’t have a productive conversation if our impulse is to immediately oversimplify or reject the other person’s view, which I think is what you are doing to me. I never said “guns are a problem”. I said we have a problem with gun violence. Which, objectively speaking, we do.

The entire purpose of this discussion is to take a look at all of the factors that are commonly discussed when it comes to this issue, and to suss out what is true and what is partial with each of these factors, so we don’t do what everyone apparently wants to do — oversimplify the problem by reducing it to only one or two of these factors. Which I think is exactly what you did in your point about gang violence:

You blame fatherless families and public education, and that’s about it. Nothing about lack of generational wealth due to the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws, nothing about the for profit prison industry, nothing about the war on drugs which disproportionately affects black communities despite overall drug use being more or less identical across different races. No concern about how a legacy of racial oppression could possibly result in creating a culture of resentment, and how little work is being done to relieve that accumulated resentment. Nothing about economic conditions, nothing about the cumulative effects of generations of systemic racism.

Because you’re right — guns don’t create gangs. Neither do minorities.

Poverty creates gangs.

And when those gangs have easy unfettered access to guns, they tend to inflict a lot more damage.

Which, again, is why I wanted to have this conversation with Ken. Because if we are only reducing the problem to one or two of these factors, we are missing something important, and chances are we are only acknowledging the factors that reinforce our own extant political beliefs and biases.


So “white supremacy” = person who doesn’t like things like having to be penalized for insurance while government wants to provide same insurance free to illegals. Also, soldiers that fought in the civil war on against slavery. Got it.

So it’s not a stretch to say these guys got it spot on:

Even black people are white supremacists. Who knew.

Moving on.

Interesting. So using this logic, we can redefine Fascism or Nazims and have the bad Nazism and Fascism ala Hitler or Mussolini and the good one ala today’s Hitler youth, aka Antifa.

I mean… Top hit on Google:

I guess one could make the point that the Nazis killed literally millions of people… were it not for the pesky fact that Marxist Socialism killed hundreds of millions of people, some members of my family included.

This leads to rather embarrassing things such as “anti-fascists” applauding Hitler speech because ideas resonate so closely with them.

All tragico-comedy aside, it’s amazing how the left has mind-wiped the population here of the horrors of socialism. This rebranding is as hillarious as saying that it’s not the old Nazism, it’s a “a new caring Nazism”.

Socialism is cancer. What you see in Venezuela is its full metastisized version. The argument then becomes how much cancer is good to have. I say none.

Let us lastly tackle the great unicorn: Ahhh, but all that socialism was wrong, it’s not ‘real’ socialism. Look at the nordic countries.


They can’t protect themselves. They can’t (don’t?) want to pay US for protection. They have not contributed anything that significant to the world.

I mean even medically they are inconsequential. Most of the great discoveries and breakthroughs were created in the US.

It is NOT an exaggeration to say that a good chunk of their population would literally be DEAD without the breakthroughs in the capitalist US. What would it matter that the health care was free IF you don’t have the discoveries made by a capitalist USA?

My family came from a socialist country with a ‘robust’ health care system. It was so “great” that everybody wanted to leave the country… and the secret police would beat you up if they caught you trying to leave.

At the end of the day I am a person that likes freedom.

I have nothing against ‘collectivism’. I know it from first hand experience - not book written by people with special interests. But far be it for me to tell someone how to live their life.

My main issue is that these systems do not allow you to opt-out. Just like the Obamacare, which made me lose my doctor and have insurance that only fresh-off the benches of med school (can’t tell humerus apart from humorous) “doctors” would take.

** I guess I should put in here that I don’t believe anyone should be left to die on the streets or be driven to financial ruin because of the “cost” of an illness… I also think that drug companies and lobbyists should be cut down as they drive up prices to unfair and ludicrous amounts. I just don’t think that “socialism” is the answer. Just like you don’t cut off your foot to deal with that pebble in your shoe that bothers you :slight_smile: **

Anyway, I appreciate the civil tone.

God bless you and Ken.


Yes, a civil tone is absolutely essential. After all, all we are really doing is squabbling over how differently we would answer the question “if you were king of the world, what would you do?” I think it’s silly to allow our political views to define how we see each other as human beings, because no one is actually working with a full deck of cards here.

Now on to your comments :slight_smile:

Not what I said. I said that “white supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society.” That is somewhat different than how you characterized my view :slight_smile:

As for the Civil War, here’s what Lincoln himself had to say:

“I will say then, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters of the negroes, or jurors, or qualifying them to hold office, of having them to marry with white people. I will say in addition, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I suppose, will forever forbid the two races living together upon terms of social and political equality, and inasmuch, as they cannot so live, that while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior, that I as much as any other man am in favor of the superior position being assigned to the white man.” —Abraham Lincoln

So, as I said, this is not a black and white issue. Our relationship with race and racism is always evolving.

Saying the Nazis were socialist because it has the word in the name is like saying the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea is a democracy because it says so in the name.

The point is, when you try to compare something like socialized firefighters, police, libraries, and yes, universal health care to what’s happening in Venezuela, you are the one stripping all meaning from the word “socialism”. It’s like if I was to point to the human trafficking trade and say, “well, there’s free market capitalism for you!”

The policies of democratic socialism are VERY different from the policies of Stalin, and jumping straight into gulags is not an honest way to have this discussion.

So here’s the point — both left wing and right wing ideologies are extremely dangerous whenever they are enacted at the amber stage of development. But that is not what we are talking about there.

I also don’t think that trying to criticize democratic socialism in nordic countries due to a completely unrelated rape statistic is a very honest argument. That’s like me saying “we have many gun deaths in America, clearly capitalism is a failure.”

Also, here’s another perspective on the whole Swedish rape thing.

Me too! Which is why I support a Medicare-For-All like approach to universal health care. Because my daughter, who received a liver transplant when she was 1 year old, deserves to have genuine freedom in her life — freedom from insurance companies denying her coverage due to pre-existing conditions, freedom from being told “no, too expensive” if she needs another liver transplant sometime in her life, freedom from being dependent upon her employer to give her health insurance and therefore forever unable to start her own business. Freedom from plutocratic control over her health and livelihood.

So yeah, I like freedom very much. That’s why I want EVERYONE to have it. Especially my daughter :slight_smile:

Nice chatting with you @firefly, I am sure if we keep pushing through the disagreements, we can find some really good points where we agree!

But I do maintain my overall premise that both individual and social holons need to integrate both sides of the individual/collective polarity. Which is why I am basically a “Maslow Socialist” (or a “Maslow Capitalist” if that is less triggering for you) — socialize the bottom rungs of Maslow’s hierarchy (many of which already are in this society) and capitalize the mid-to-late rungs. Eliminate survival needs across an entire society, and watch that society thrive and its economy explode.


Well, I agree with that statement 100%.

I just think you’re going about it totally wrong.

Do you think any kid suffering would have fared better under socialism? Millions of dead kids of the socialist health care system would suggest the answer is “no”… by far.

On a related note, the actual procedure of liver transplant was not pioneered in Finland, Sweden or any other nordic socialist country. It was pioneered in the US by a US doctor supported by US medicine.

We don’t have to solve a heart attack with cancer. It makes no sense.

Truth be told I don’t think I’m qualified to discuss holons or Ken’s theories. I’m still trying to wrap my head around them.

Socialism though is different. I’ve seen and experienced it first hand. It like I’ve been skiing for a good part of my life. My family has been skiing for almost all their life. To debate skiing with someone that has never hit the slopes and points to works by other people, who themselves never set foot on the slopes doesn’t seem productive.

Mind you, I’m not saying Maslow’s theory is wrong. Just that achieving it through socialism is.

A few lines later…

So it doesn’t work if we put Democratic Republic of North Korea, but IT DOES WORK if we say “democratic” socialism?

Moving on…

In the 1970’s and 80’s a certain area of NYC, “Greenwich village” to be precise gave rise to numerous bands from the post punk scene. These bands had a certain sound that could easily be identifiable. It was a pop punk type of sound. If you wanted to be part of that particular sound and music scene this was the place to be.

If you were a hard rock or metal band then you probably wanted to be in LA, on the strip, or maybe San Fran.

In the 1910’s a neighborhood in Vienna gave rise to a very specific current that would take over the world. It was based on Marx’s socialist theories. Some of the future leaders that frequented this neighborhood were Lenin, Trotsky, Freud, Tito and Hitler.

So my argument about Hitler being a socialist was not disingenuous in the least. Just because leftist academicians try to rewrite history doesn’t mean we have to swallow it whole. Why is it that today’s anti-fascist left resembles the Hitler youth so much?

On a rather ironic sidenote: most of these “academicians” and now waging war against spirituality and religion trying to erase and suppress both. * well unless it’s Islam, then we know there can be no wrong and everything is cool *

Let me leave you with this thought:

What kind of system designed for the “progress” of society does so at the barrel of a gun both figuratively or literally?

You don’t have to go far (to venezuela) to see the damage socialism has done. Here is an example closer to home and how ‘socialized’ things really work.

British court orders life support removed from 21-month-old Alfie Evans, who has rare brain disorder


@firefly I think you almost got my point, which was that words like “socialism” don’t have a whole lot of meaning until they are actually enacted via policy in a society. Until then, they are poorly defined boogeymen and loaded propaganda tools.

For example, right now this country enjoys a socialized fire department. Which means that, if my house catches on fire, I can call the fire department and they will come and put it out for me, paid by my taxes. I don’t need to sign a contract with my local fire department, and they don’t get to shake me down for more cash before putting my fire out. I take it you are fundamentally against this idea, and think we should move to a privatized profit-driven fire department?

Same with our police forces. Should every neighborhood have to pay for their own private protection? Or are these services okay when they are socialized?

How about public libraries? The post office? How about the fact that our national parks are managed and maintained on the tax payer dollar? What about public utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas? Should all this be privatized in your own utopia?

Because that is all “socialism”. And it works. The best and healthiest economies on the planet are mixed economies, where certain parts of society are given over to the profit motive, and other parts are collectivized. Because it’s not that the profit motive is evil — hell, I want Integral Life to be as profitable as possible. But some things are not compatible with the profit motive. Such as healthcare, I argue, as someone who has done a ton of research on the subject and has a whole lot of skin in the game. The for-profit insurance model is exactly the wrong model for healthcare. It works for car insurance, because not everyone will get into an accident. But everyone gets sick and dies. So all the insurance industry is doing is inserting multiple penny pinchers between you and your doctor. Much better to get everyone into a single risk pool, a la Medicare for all, and therefore have that much more leverage to negotiate costs. Every person needs health care eventually, and every person should have access to that care via a portion of their taxable income. Insurance is the plutocratic model, and plutocracies are themselves created by unfettered free market capitalism with no transnational regulator to keep them in line.


Yes. My daughter did. Because of the ACA, which a) prevents our insurance company from dropping her due to preexisting conditions, and b) expanded Medicaid, a socialized program that allows our family to get her $1000/month medication without going bankrupt.

So there you go. There’s an example of a kid who fared better in a “socialist” program.

This is why we really need to bring more nuance to these conversations, and to do our best to eliminate the charge we feel around these sorts of polarities. Individualism and collectivism are such a polarity, and either pole gets pathological very fast when dissociated from the other. Which is why mixed economies tend to work the best.

“Socialism” isn’t bad. Socialism that squashes individual freedom is.

“Capitalism” isn’t bad. Capitalism that threatens the public welfare is.

“Individualism” isn’t bad. Hyper-individualism that disconnects us from our civic responsibilities to each other is.

“Collectivism” isn’t bad. Collectivism that diminishes the dignity of the individual is.


I’m sorry, but you are confusing what socialism is.

Socialism is a political current designed to put power in the hands of the state at it’s core. This is what every person that has never experienced socialism first hand doesn’t understand.

Again, we go to your previous point: Just because there is a “democratic” in the Democratic People’s Republic Of North Korea, doesn’t mean it’s actually democratic. Same as for the fact that because it contains the word “social” in it, doesn’t mean that socialism is actually “social” or pro “social”.

That is a fatal flaw in that theory.

I could be wrong but I think what you want is less corrupt capitalism. Not socialism.

I agree with revising the health care industry, erasing lobbying in DC etc… All fair points.

Where you lose me is that this is done by socialism. Most doctors in real socialist countries are hardly worth their salt. They rely in kickbacks and other things to provide actual care. Unless you plan on enforcing this health care system at the barrel of a gun it doesn’t work. It has been tried.

Frustrated by long waits, some Canadians are heading to the U.S. for medical treatment.



I’m really not, I am highlighting the important differences between “socialism” as you are enacting the term (which is really social totalitarianism), and the sorts of mixed-economy policies that come with democratic socialism. That’s why I said we really need to define our terms from the very beginning when it comes to conversations like these. Bernie Sanders is not trying to create a Soviet-style socialist dystopia :slight_smile: (Not that he is my preferred candidate this election cycle.)

Here’s a great quote from George Orwell highlighting the difference:

“The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it”. —George Orwell

I want both! I want a healthy and vibrant and uncorrupted capitalism where it works, and socialized programs where those work, such as the examples I listed. All of those are “democratic socialist” policies, as was FDR’s New Deal. Pure capitalism does not provide a robust social safety net, which we very much need, and which is being actively dismantled by the GOP. Safety nets come from the socialized aspects of our society, and they are incredibly important, and incredibly diminished in the Trump era.

And here’s another perspective on the Canadian health care thing:

And remember, “some Americans” also go to Canada for health care. Rand Paul did just recently. Many people try to get their prescription drugs from Canada because the prices here in the U.S. are so insanely unaffordable.

And I have to say, I think we might be inching closer and closer to some mutual agreement and understanding here :slight_smile: Thank you for engaging in the discussion, it’s an important one.


Let’s see:

30yr in Congress with no significant record
Made his fortunes ‘coincidentaly’ while riding public office purse (millionaire with 3 houses)
Promotes minimum wage while finding it difficult same minimum wage to his campaign employees
Says 90% tax is not too high because, hey, why not?

Yep, he’s a socialist alright.

Seems all my arguments are deflected using the fact that ‘socialism’ contains the word ‘social’ in it.

Yes, it’s true, Rand went to Canada. They do have cheaper drugs. But why is the solution “socialism”?

And how come that is acceptable?

If the US were to be deficient in sciences and tech, how many people would say: You know, what the US needs now is a bit of Nazi-Capitalism. Without a doubt Nazis pushed tech way ahead of the curve bu it would not be socially acceptable to propose such an option because everyone knows what insane baggage that come with that… even if you were to call it “democrat” Nazism.

So why does socialism get a pass? It has killed more people that Nazism.

Years of whitewashing by heavily liberal educational system have tried to erase socialism’s crimes. Compound that by selective quoting by liberal media and Tech like Google which are themselves super left leaning and you get an amnesia where people point to Google or Wikipedia as if those are undisputed facts :slight_smile:

Google is so left that it finds no problem working with Communist Chinese to suppress Chinese population.

I want lower prices in drugs… not pronouns laws or laws that dictate I MUST take my child off life support. Why does a better health care system must come at the price of police that investigate online non-pc memes more than murders or rapes? Where there are laws about the pronouns you use? Does this sound remotely sane to you?

I find the argument that we must adopt policies that historically led to millions of people murdered in order to drop drug prices bonkers.

Sure not everything is to the same degree as Venezuela, but why does socialism get a pass? Nobody is taken seriously if they propose “democratic” Nazi-lite strategies.

And all this because somehow, magically, the word “social” in “socialism” erases their century of genocide.

Using that logic we can conclude that

Skill = Murder because ‘kill’ is in it.

Electricity = Clearly refers to urban politics since “elect” and “city” are part of it

Insane = Reasonable arguments or persons since “sane” is part of it.

By George, I think I FINALLY understand how Progressivism works :slight_smile:

** to end I’d like to say that I love you as a fellow brother and seeker of knowledge. This ribbing is meant to be fun, argumentative and humorous… Or as a socialized medicine doctor might say: meant to be fun, argumentative and a bone that connects the thigh to the knee. **


Sure, except for those damn internment camps on the border, which feels pretty “Nazi-lite” to many folks!

But I have an idea, let’s throw out the word socialism, and use “socialized programs” instead, like we do for fire departments, police, and the post office. It means the same thing in my head — universally accessible services that are publicly owned and paid for via taxes — but if it makes enfoldment easier, then I am all for it!

Well sure, Nazism was a phenomenon that was specific to Germany, a particular type of fascism. “Socialism” is much more broadly defined. But I agree — both socialism and nationalism took us to some dark places in the 20th century.

Curious — would you consider something like people dying of preventable illnesses due to lack of access to healthcare to be an example of capitalism killing people? There are many who say that global neoliberal capitalism has killed and displaced more people than any other ideology. Not sure I buy it, but I haven’t done the math. I wonder if someone has.

And yeah, I love you too, and I greatly enjoy conversations like these! Not only does it allow me to display my own clearly superior political views (ha!) it also allows me to get to know members like you that much better :slight_smile: Any time you want to chat, I’m game!