INTEGRAL WORLD: EXPLORING THEORIES OF EVERYTHING
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber



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Publication dates of essays (month/year) can be found under "Essays".

Wilber's Writings on
the Current World Crisis

Since there is as of yet no single integral statement on the current world crisis, I have gathered some key texts written by Wilber in between 2000/2003 that can provide pieces of the puzzle. The color terminology is taken from Spiral Dynamics. I have added a simple table with colors and the dominant response mode. Click here for some further background essays on Spiral Dynamics and its application to complex social issues by Don Beck and others(FV).

v-MEME RESPONSE MODE
YELLOW To Balance the Whole
GREEN Dialogue and Consensus
ORANGE In Defence of Civilization
BLUE Good versus Evil
RED Rage and Revenge
PURPLE Safety and Security
  • WILBER ON "THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS"
    (A Theory of Everything, 2000)

    Wilber comments on the classic on world politics: Samual Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations" and adds the integral point of view.

    "Samuel Huntington's analysis [is] extremely useful. For "underneath" the worldcentric, postconventional, ORANGE and GREEN memes, there lie the roots and foundations of the various ethnocentric civilizations (including our own). Although many of these ethnocentric civilizations contain worldcentric ideals, nonetheless the masses of people in each civilization remain heavily in the PURPLE, RED, BLUE (and more rarely, ORANGE) waves of consciousness unfolding."

  • WILBER ON THE WTC ATTACK
    (Boomeritis Endnote, November 2001, wilber.shambala.com)

    Analyses how each meme responds to the attack, and how each meme provides a different analysis, with the YELLOW/TURQUOISE meme trying to give a balanced view of the situation.

    "In short, it seems reasonable to assume that the terrorists were pathological RED inflamed by distorted BLUE ideology--an explosive combination, to be sure. No healthy value system in any culture that we are aware of condones these acts. However, the question then arises, to what extent can these pathologies in the four quadrants be ascribed to others, such as global western capitalism?"

  • WILBER ON MEAN MEMES IN GENERAL
    (February 2002, worldofkenwilber.com)

    Suggests why GREEN is powerless in the face of RED attacks, for which strong BLUE can find a remedy, even though the BLUE meme (as do all other memes) has its "mean" version:

    "GREEN is generally helpless and hapless in the face of RED: all of GREEN's tools and values are clueless in the face of joyous brutality and intentional aggression. Talking, sharing, caring, and dialoging do not impress RED. It takes a BLUE meme to smash RED in the face and not blink."

  • WILBER ON THE WORLD SITUATION
    (German interview, Summer 2002, worldofkenwilber.com)

    The current world situation as seen from a developmental perspective. The world consists of different blocks, which represent different stages of consciousness: RED tribalism, BLUE fundamentalism and ORANGE capitalism. All have their downsides:

    "The shadow of ORANGE, in which the Western industrialized nations exist, are the exploitation of the Third World, excessive industrial rationalisation, ecological problems and what we call McCulture. We know the shadows of BLUE with its self-righteous ideologies, fundamentalistic structures of belief, homophobia, patriarchical abuse of power, etcetera. And also the shadow of RED is obvious: it is terroristic, it is tribalistic, it is incapable of building durable nations."

  • WILBER ON THE WAR ON IRAQ
    (email communication, WOKW Newsletter March 23 2003) | (German translation)

    "Obviously a ton can be written, but I am waiting until sane words can be heard at all. Words matter little right now, anyway. My heart goes out to the families of the hundreds of thousands of people whom Saddam has murdered (is anybody speaking for them in all the protests?); to the many Iraqis who will be senselessly killed in this war; to the people who can only see their own values threatened; and the terrible fractures in the world political situation that this war will leave us with. It is indeed unfortunate that it has come to this."

    "The problem with this discussion at large is that it is entirely first-tier. BLUE says bomb the hell out of the evil ones; ORANGE says, okay, but hurry, cuz it's hurting the stock market; GREEN says, no way, let's be loving. First tier has such a hard time seeing big pictures, so it moves around within the partial value structures that define it. This is a discussion that i have stayed out of since doing WTC essay. It's just a big first-tier food fight."

  • WILBER ON IRAQ (AND TONY BLAIR)
    (Letters, 14, 15 and 16 April 2003

    "Blair, almost single-handedly, is sitting between America and Europe and screaming at both of them: you cannot start competing and fighting with each other-that road leads to more nightmares than you can imagine. Like the colossus at Rhodes, Blair has one foot in America and one foot in Europe, and heroically seems the only world leader attempting to keep that integration in existence. Further, he alone is keeping Bush oriented to the UN (which the American blue meme despises). Nor can he be charged with "trying to protect his oil interests," because Britain is a net exporter of oil. His own vision has been consistent, disciplined, passionate but even-handed. In my opinion, he is the only person of a world-leader stature; one can only imagine the dimensions of the disaster Bush's campaign would be without Blair to hold the world together."

    "In my opinion, the major item missing in the stance of Blair, not to mention the other major political leaders, is some sort of sophisticated developmental perspective, which, to put it briefly, is one of five major dimensions in an integral approach; i.e., it is the "levels" aspect of "quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types." One of the saddest of the non-integral effects of the present world leadership is the continuing turmoil caused by Western democracies imagining that they can drop an orange-meme democracy with green-meme sensitivity smack in the middle of a red-meme desert and somehow it will grow. This is not world policy; this is Jack and the Bean Stalk."
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