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Joe CorbettJoe Corbett has spent the last ten years living in Shanghai and Beijing, China. He has taught at American and Chinese universities using the AQAL model as an analytical tool in Western Literature, Sociology and Anthropology, Environmental Science, and Communications. He has a BA in Philosophy and Religion as well as an MA in Interdisciplinary Social Science, and did his PhD work on modern and postmodern discourses of self-development, all at public universities in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at


Banned From AQAL
Integral Scholars
on Facebook

Joe Corbett

Let us challenge the censorship and suppression of ideas by power and authority wherever it occurs.

In at least one known case, a member of the 'AQAL Integral Scholars' group on Facebook was recently banned from the group, erasing not only the 'offending' post but the entire history of that members posts to the groups wall. Anytime censorship occurs within any group claiming affiliation with the AQAL model there should be reason and accountability for such actions. None were given in this case, not even a warning if the posts were deemed 'inappropriate' for whatever reason. So what were the offending posts?

The second law of developmental dynamics

The header for this meme was, 'The second law of developmental dynamics, transcend and include', implying (in jest or not) that to be a socialist is a sign of developmental advancement, perhaps on the basis of the moral quality of compassion and fellow-feeling for humanity. So does the ban of this post and its contributor mean that the gatekeeper(s) over at AQAL integral scholars are intolerant of socialists or humanists, or even to any playful reference to how a socialist humanist might be more advanced than a mere science fiction buff?

I think there is a lot here to be found in this meme that is relevant and directly related to things integral, themes for open and lively debate at the least. The gatekeepers at AQAL integral scholars felt otherwise, and chose banishment and exile of the offender and the expression of their ideas.

SD: shitty dynamics (trademark)

The second meme that appears to have offended enough to deserve banishment from AQAL integral scholars was the following, with the title header, 'SD: shitty dynamics (trademark)', an obviously playful if not irreverent reference to spiral dynamics (also a trademarked brand of integral circles).

Again, what is a worthy and certainly relevant topical theme for integral scholars, even if done with humor and irreverence, especially at this time of global capitalist crisis in large part brought-on by the hierarchical relations of economic production and political-ideological reproduction, instead gets censored and consequently put out of its expressive potentiality for community consideration. Talk about social Darwinian selection!

If the integral community is to be an open and evolutionarily reflexive movement, indeed if it is to be integral at all, it must be vigilant, critical, and actively condemn such acts of censorship. For those of us who still take seriously the promise and hope of integral theory and practice, let us challenge the censorship and suppression of ideas by power and authority wherever it occurs, and especially when it occurs under the guise of that which is truly integral.

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