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Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Dr. Joseph Dillard is a psychotherapist with over forty year's clinical experience treating individual, couple, and family issues. Dr. Dillard also has extensive experience with pain management and meditation training. The creator of Integral Deep Listening (IDL), Dr. Dillard is the author of over ten books on IDL, dreaming, nightmares, and meditation. He lives in Berlin, Germany. See: integraldeeplistening.com and his YouTube channel.
Putin's Fiery Denunciation of the West
Its Implications for an Integral Worldview
Try to read Putin's words not from your current worldview, but from that of a historian living in say, 2222, two hundred years in the future.
On September 30, 2022, in St. George's Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, on the occasion of the accession of the Donetsk People's Republic, Lugansk People's Republic, Zaporozhye Region and Kherson Region to the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin gave an amazing and historical speech which has been essentially ignored in the West. This is a huge mistake. While it is perfectly understandable that Putin's momentous address is ignored by those whom it attacks and who will strongly disagree with it, we in the West are not Putin's intended audience. Instead, it is directed both toward fellow Russians and the eighty percent of the world's population that makes up what is commonly called the “global south.” This includes not only Russia, but China, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, leaving out only the US and Canada, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
Putin's denunciation of the West is measured, thorough, and excoriating. As such, it is likely to be viewed as threatening, if not simply ignored as the irrational babbling of an authoritarian. From such a perspective, only “self-hating” Westerners are going to want to examine it in any depth.
Those who desire an objective view of the world and where it is headed are wise to inform themselves regarding Putin's argument, whatever they may think about it. This is not because Putin's perspective is objective, it's not, but because an objective worldview demands a thoughtful consideration of his argument, if for no other reason than the fact that so many non-Westerners are listening and taking notice of Putin's words.
Why is attention to this speech relevant for Integralists and spiritual seekers? The wisdom of informing oneself of the opinions of the major spokesman of a challenging and opposing worldview is particularly important for Integralists, spiritual seekers, and idealists in general, if they do not want to be blindsided by groupthink, the sweep of history, and reduced to irrelevance. Integralists champion a worldview that they contend includes and transcends other worldviews. The integral worldview provides not only a cognitive multi-perspectival map of reality but lays out a broad variety of Integral Life Practices (ILPs) as means of empirically validating and personally accessing an integrated and whole life, including a path that leads to enlightenment These are exceptionalistic claims, and exceptionalism is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, exceptionalism is built into the structures of the universe and is mirrored in the common and natural human respect for meritocracy. To deny exceptionalism by demanding egalitarianism is profoundly unwise because it is not only dishonest - we all value meritocracy- but because it reduces humanity to its lowest common denominators: mediocrity and the “lesser angels” of human nature. Integral theory recognizes and supports healthy exceptionalism in its recognition of developmental structures, hierarchies, and agency. It does an excellent job of delineating the necessity of both structures and processes, hierarchies and heterarchies, agency and communion. Theoretically these considerations, laid out by Wilber in Sex, Ecology, Spirituality as well as in many other works, eliminate toxic exceptionalism. On the other hand, exceptionalism is a fundamentally pernicious disease that easily infects any and all humans via claims of superiority in ways that privilege ourselves and affiliated ingroups over perceived outgroups, whomever and whatever they may be.
Idealisms in general, and Integral in particular, as a particularly well-thought out and inclusive variety of cognitive idealism, provide particularly pernicious examples of exceptionalism, as I have written about on many occasions. This is because Integral defines itself as including and transcending exceptionalism, thereby insulating itself from any claims that it is exceptionalist. This is seen metaphysically in Integral advocacy of claims of absolute truth based on mystical revelation, thereby generating a reality insulated from social, scientific, and ethical accountability. Practically, toxic exceptionalism is found in integral in the discounting of the perspectives of those who point out its exceptionalism. Therefore, anyone who claims that Integral is exceptionalistic, in an elitist or entitled sense, just doesn't understand; they are declaring their lower status in evolutionary development. It is as if the Emperor Who Has No Clothes ignores the little boy pointing out reality and simply keeps marching on in his nudity, surrounded by the validation of his groupthink echo chamber. It is a stance that echoes the words of the pig Napoleon in Orwell's Animal Farm, when he proclaims that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
The basic problem with toxic varieties of Integral exceptionalism is that while it affirms non-dualism, in practice it demands the separation of reality into ingroups and outgroups, which is a performative, or internal, logical contradiction. The practical consequence is hubris and grandiosity associated with denial of reality, the first and strongest of defense mechanisms against cognitive dissonance and in defense of an integral worldview and the core identity it supports, defends, and validates. Denial is also the first of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief. Its presence announces an impending crisis in meaning and identity that must first be addressed if there is ever going to be a reconstruction of meaning on a more realistic footing.
This is not to claim that all Integralists have a priori fallen into the trap of exceptionalism. It is, however, to say that I did, for decades, and that in my experience with innumerable Integralists over the years, the greater majority show signs of having done so. This has led me to the conclusion that the wise default assumption is that you and I are not exceptions to this rule. Instead, we are victims of toxic groupthink, but we are convinced that we are not.
While Putin's speech is a blunt and powerful condemnation of the West, he is not unaware of the strengths of Western society and culture. He says,
…we have many like-minded people in Europe and the United States, and we feel and see their support.
However this is minor counterpoint to the direct and detailed counter-attack on Western values, culture, society, history, economy, media, morality, and spirituality that Putin levels. Is Putin's position balanced? No, of course not. It is highly partisan. But one doesn't read it with the expectation of a balanced perspective. If you want the other side of Putin's arguments, just look at the mainstream narratives that we are deluged with day in and day out. We listen to Putin's perspective not because it is objective, since it is not, but in order to balance the mainstream narrative and groupthink that saturates our media, so as to arrive at some degree of objectivity that includes and then transcends both.
Putin's attack is so powerful and all-inclusive that the impulsive response is to dismiss it outright as irrational hyperbole. This is both unwise and a symptom of the psychological defense of denial. If these psychological defenses do not deflect Putin's arguments we can always rely on a tried-and-true solution: confidence in people's short memories and their willingness to change the subject to whatever issue looms large in current groupthink: Elon Musk, inflation, Trump, celebrity gossip, or simply, “What's for lunch?”
As you read what follows, observe the emotions and thoughts that come up for you. Look out for anger, which is generally a defense against fear. In this instance, watch out for fear that Putin just might be making some legitimate points. Look out for threats to your worldview and identity, for signs of cognitive dissonance, and then look at what thoughts you think that are intended to avoid and resolve your cognitive dissonance. As an option, I would invite you to sit with any cognitive dissonance that arises. Make a meditative exercise of it. What are your rationalizations, cognitive dissonance, or anger saying to you about your need to defend your identity and worldview? What would it mean if Putin had legitimate grievances?
The feared conclusion is that “we” are guilty, to blame, immoral, and deserving of punishment. While such conclusions are common and natural, they are both unnecessary and unhelpful. They are unnecessary because those conclusions are optional, since there are other conclusions that are possible. They are unhelpful because they merely maintain a cycle of persecution of self, leading to self-rescuing, which is easily manifested through the persecution of others, addiction, and various forms of self-induced anesthesia and self-numbing. A much more helpful conclusion is something along the lines of the famous South African “Truth and Reconciliation” process that occurred at the conclusion of decades of apartheid. To that must be added something the South Africans failed to do: the imposition of accountability structures that make regressions to toxic exceptionalism and to the continuance of governmental structures and policies that support it verboten.
These clarifications are important in order to not misconstrue my intent in writing this essay. Close attention to the words of Putin are not designed to conclude “Putin right/good, West wrong/bad.” It is not designed to evoke the perverse pleasure of being labeled a “Putin bot” or a “useful idiot”of Russian propaganda. The purpose is not to tick off fellow Integralists or to get into pissing matches in which I am told how wrong Putin is and how grievously in error I am in publicizing his horrible remarks. Lectures about how I am at best deluded “mean green,” supporting a “red” or at best “red-blue” ideology, masquerading as rational “orange”, are too clever by half. I would hope thoughtful Integralists would be able to see beyond the self-validating elitism of such reductionistic discounts.
The reality is that Russia has already won the military, economic, and informational wars that the West started and has brought on itself. It already has won the support and respect of about four-fifths of the nations of the world, representing well over half of its economy. To continue to do what the West has typically done, double down, only deepens the hole that the west, including Integralists, idealists, progressives, and liberals are going to have to dig themselves out of. This is nowhere better understood than in the energy crisis that is currently gripping much of the West, gutting its industrial base and transforming the First World “Golden Billion” into Third World status. While as of this date, October, 2022, many Westerners are still in denial of that reality, once one has stepped off a cliff, denial no longer matters. Gravity, not status, morality, wealth, power, virtue signaling, guilt, remorse, or shame, gets the final vote and determines the final outcome. At that point, on the way down, we can at least wake up, recognize what we have created, and learn from our mistakes so that those who come after us do not repeat them.
Putin's attack is on Western values, culture, history, economy, media, morality, and spirituality. Let us take his comments on each of these areas, one at a time, and consider to what extent they are irrational or rational. In the following I link to primary sources, a video of Putin's speech with English subtitles and also to a Kremlin-authorized English transcript of his presentation.[6,7]
In addition, much of what follows is based on the analysis of the speech by Andrey Raevsky, who publishes at The Saker blog. All of Raevsky's quotes below are taken from that essay. Try to read Putin's words not from your current worldview, but from that of a historian living in say, 2222, two hundred years in the future.
Putin on Russian history
There is no Soviet Union anymore; we cannot return to the past. Actually, Russia no longer needs it today; this isn't our ambition.
Many Westerners assume that Russia is the same as it was as the Soviet Union, embodying a similar ideology. This is a mistake. Here Putin bluntly states that it not his intent or that of Russia. Some accuse Putin of wanting to restore the Soviet Union. Conflating the contemporary Russian government with the nature of Czarist or Soviet Russia is a way Integralists can discount it as “red” (a mid-to late prepersonal developmental level) or “red-blue.” As Putin once said, “he who does not deplore the end of the Soviet Union has no heart, and he who wants to recreate it has no brain”.
There were numerous plans to invade Russia. Such attempts were made during the Time of Troubles in the 17th century and in the period of ordeals after the 1917 revolution. All of them failed. The West managed to grab hold of Russia's wealth only in the late 20th century, when the state had been destroyed. They called us friends and partners, but they treated us like a colony, using various schemes to pump trillions of dollars out of the country. We remember. We have not forgotten anything.
We remember the horrible 1990s, hungry, cold and hopeless.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the West decided that the world and all of us would permanently accede to its dictates.
Andrey Raevsky comments,
for at least a decade, Russia did live as a US colony and she was pillaged, raped and even came close to totally breaking up. The West has now chosen to modestly “forget” about how it “advised” and “assisted” the “democratic” government of Russia... but Putin is reminding everybody that he and most Russians remember this horror very well.
Putin on Western culture
…do we want to have here, in our country, in Russia, “parent number one, parent number two and parent number three”… instead of mother and father? Do we want our schools to impose on our children, from their earliest days in school, perversions that lead to degradation and extinction? Do we want to drum into their heads the ideas that certain other genders exist along with women and men and to offer them gender reassignment surgery? Is that what we want for our country and our children? This is all unacceptable to us. We have a different future of our own.
They have already moved on to the radical denial of moral, religious, and family values.
Putin is emphatically denouncing Western “woke” culture. Many in the West view Putin's stance as a rejection of egalitarianism, pluralism, and an embrace of discrimination. Integralists may simply view this as a retreat into “blue” (early personal) traditional values and use that as justification for viewing Russia as a regressive culture. It is important to remember that Putin is echoing, in his view of Western woke culture, the perspective of the majority of his global audience. There are, however, a number of influential Integralists, including Wilber and Robb Smith who would perhaps be inclined to agree with Putin on this score. My reading of Wilber's Trump essay and Smith is that they view “woke” values as a perversion of the late personal “green” developmental level.
Putin on Western history
The West is counting on impunity, on being able to get away with anything. As a matter of fact, this was actually the case until recently.
Andrey Raevsky comments,
(Putin) is right, the West did get away with, quite literally, mass murder and even genocide throughout its history. Folks in the West don't like to hear that, but that dislike does not change the historical record. I would even argue that the manic determination of so many people in the West to whitewash the shameful historical legacy of the European civilization is a key component of the “ideological superstructure” which has supported Western imperialism since at least the Crusades.
It is worth reminding the West that it began its colonial policy back in the Middle Ages, followed by the worldwide slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plunder of India and Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which it was forced to open its ports to the opium trade. What they did was get entire nations hooked on drugs and purposefully exterminated entire ethnic groups for the sake of grabbing land and resources, hunting people like animals. This is contrary to human nature, truth, freedom and justice.
The history I was taught and the groupthink I have been immersed in most of my life as a US citizen and expatriate European, glorified the US and Western civilization. I learned nothing about the worldviews of Africans, Arabs, Hindus, Buddhists, or the Chinese. It was only at university, through the study of comparative religion, that I became acquainted with these alternative worldviews, and it was only through reading people like Howard Zinn and James Loewen sometime after 2010 that I realized I had accepted as true a carefully constructed and curated narrative designed to “manufacture my consent.” The Integral AQAL of Ken Wilber does an outstanding job of generating cognitive multi-perspectival maps of human development that include alternative world views. However, it is perhaps weakest in its exposition of classical and contemporary Chinese and contemporary Russian world views.
Putin on Western intent toward Russia
the West continued and continues looking for another chance to strike a blow at us, to weaken and break up Russia, which they have always dreamed about, to divide our state and set our peoples against each other, and to condemn them to poverty and extinction. They cannot rest easy knowing that there is such a great country with this huge territory in the world, with its natural wealth, resources and people who cannot and will not do someone else's bidding.
It has been a US foreign policy priority since at least the Carter administration to break up Russia.
I want to underscore again that their insatiability and determination to preserve their unfettered dominance are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective West is waging against Russia. They do not want us to be free; they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation; they want to loot. They do not want to see us (as) a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.
They see our thought and our philosophy as a direct threat. That is why they target our philosophers for assassination. Our culture and art present a danger to them, so they are trying to ban them. Our development and prosperity are also a threat to them because competition is growing. They do not want or need Russia, but we do.
Putin is here referring to the attempted assassination of Alexander Dugin, who was on a Ukrainian list of targets for assassination, as was his daughter, who was assassinated. Putin is also referring to the censoring of Russian artists, composers, literature, athletes, cats, and even trees in actions that Russia views as proof of widespread Western Russophobia. We can see how Western sanctions have provided Putin and the general population with rationalizations to demonize the West and to separate itself from Europe, instead embracing a Eurasian identity, in solidarity with the global south.
We have never agreed to and will never agree to such political nationalism and racism. What else, if not racism, is the Russophobia being spread around the world? What, if not racism, is the West's dogmatic conviction that its civilization and neoliberal culture is an indisputable model for the entire world to follow? “You're either with us or against us.”
This quote by Putin is a reference to a statement by George W. Bush, in 2001, at the beginning of his anti-terrorism campaign, following 9/11: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
anti-Russian racism is an absolute reality in Europe, especially Northern Europe. That anti-Russian European racism is not as crude as, say, racism against non-white cultures or ethnicities. Instead, it is a quite internal sense of superiority mixed in with a sense of fear.
To this we can add historical fear of Russia due to its size and resources, combined with a desire to acquire them for themselves, as they have other parts of the world. That Russia has defied these efforts in ways and to an extent that no other nation has, has increased Western hatred of it.
Integral does not indulge in hate or fear, recognizing the self-sabotaging nature of those emotions. Instead, there is a pervasive tendency to condescend toward and discount Russia by labeling it “red” or “blue,” while seeing itself as “yellow” - “2nd Tier.”
Why the West hates Russia
one of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia, the Western elites' unconcealed animosity toward Russia is precisely the fact that we did not allow them to rob us during the period of colonial conquests and forced the Europeans to trade with us on mutually beneficial terms.
The West clearly did not expect such insubordination. They simply got used to acting according to a template, to grab whatever they please, by blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and convinced themselves that these methods would work forever, as if they had fossilised in the past.
All states that possess or aspire to genuine strategic sovereignty and are capable of challenging Western hegemony, are automatically declared enemies.
These are the principles that underlie US and NATO military doctrines that require total domination.
Here we see the stark differentiation in worldview. The prevailing Western narrative is one of democracy vs. authoritarianism, a formulation which emphasizes a conflict between freedom and rights vs subjugation and repression. The prevailing narrative of Russia and the Global South is one of sovereignty vs. globalization, emphasizing national autonomy vs. a mono-polar, hegemonic world. Putin's position is that, although the West affirms sovereignty, in practice it requires the subordination of nations to its dictates.
Putin on Western values
This is why total de-sovereignization is in their interest. This explains their aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures, their attempts to undermine international and integration processes, new global currencies and technological development centers they cannot control. It is critically important for them to force all countries to surrender their sovereignty to the United States.
In certain countries, the ruling elites voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed or intimidated. And if this does not work, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies. They don't care. All they care about is their own benefit.
It was the so-called West that trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders…
Putin is most probably alluding to the US granting Kosovo statehood without even holding a plebiscite.
and now it is deciding, at its own discretion, who has the right to self-determination and who does not, who is unworthy of it. It is unclear what their decisions are based on or who gave them the right to decide in the first place. They just assumed it.
Such self-confidence is a direct product not only of the notorious concept of exceptionalism…
our united people have seen with their own eyes what the ruling class of the so-called West have prepared for humanity as a whole. They have dropped their masks and shown what they are really made of.
Putin on US attitudes toward Europe
They call the orders and threats they make to their vassals Euro-Atlantic solidarity,
In effect, the American elite is using the tragedy of these people to weaken its rivals, to destroy nation states. This goes for Europe and for the identities of France, Italy, Spain and other countries with centuries-long histories.
Washington demands more and more sanctions against Russia and the majority of European politicians obediently go along with it. They clearly understand that by pressuring the EU to completely give up Russian energy and other resources, the United States is practically pushing Europe toward deindustrialisation in a bid to get its hands on the entire European market. These European elites understand everything—they do, but they prefer to serve the interests of others. This is no longer servility but direct betrayal of their own peoples.
by causing explosions on Nord Stream's international gas pipelines passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, (Anglo-Saxons) have actually embarked on the destruction of Europe's entire energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who stands to gain. Those who benefit are responsible, of course.
That is why politicians in Europe have to convince their fellow citizens to eat less, take a shower less often and dress warmer at home. And those who start asking fair questions like “Why is that, in fact?” are immediately declared enemies, extremists and radicals. They point back at Russia and say: that is the source of all your troubles.
In these remarks, Putin is clearly driving a wedge between Europe and the United States in an attempt to unravel the Atlantic Alliance that has existed since the late 1940's and has become codified collective policy as the European Union and NATO. He is saying to Europe, “You are vassal states that have no sovereignty, and we know it.” It remains to be seen whether this perspective will be heard by Westerners, including Integralists, and if so, what they will make of it.
Putin on Western economy
The West is ready to cross every line to preserve the neo-colonial system which allows it to live off the world, to plunder it thanks to the domination of the dollar and technology, to collect an actual tribute from humanity, to extract its primary source of unearned prosperity, the rent paid to the hegemon. The preservation of this annuity is their main, real and absolutely self-serving motivation.
The current neocolonial model is ultimately doomed; this much is obvious. But I repeat that its real masters will cling to it to the end. They simply have nothing to offer the world except to maintain the same system of plundering and racketeering.
…there is every reason to believe that the Western elites are not going to look for constructive ways out of the global food and energy crisis that they and they alone are to blame for, as a result of their long-term policy, dating back long before our special military operation in Ukraine, in Donbass. They have no intention of solving the problems of injustice and inequality.
They are exporting grain from Ukraine now. Where are they taking it under the guise of ensuring the food security of the poorest countries? Where is it going? They are taking it to the self-same European countries. Only five percent has been delivered to the poorest countries. More cheating and naked deception again.
But people cannot be fed with printed dollars and euros. You can't feed them with those pieces of paper, and the virtual, inflated capitalization of western social media companies can't heat their homes. Everything I am saying is important. And what I just said is no less so: you can't feed anyone with paper—you need food; and you can't heat anyone's home with these inflated capitalizations—you need energy.
Now, in order to free itself from the latest web of challenges, they need to dismantle Russia as well as other states that choose a sovereign path of development, at all costs, to be able to further plunder other nations' wealth and use it to patch their own holes. If this does not happen, I cannot rule out that they will try to trigger a collapse of the entire system, and blame everything on that, or, God forbid, decide to use the old formula of economic growth through war.
Here Putin appears to be echoing a distinction made by economist Michael Hudson between “financial” capitalism, grounded in an unearned rentier, grifting “service” economy, typified by bankers, Wall St. gamblers, and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sectors, and “industrial” capitalism, grounded in commodities and the production of concrete goods: food, energy, and consumables.
Putin on Western media
Such self-confidence is a direct product … of the real ”information hunger“ in the West. The truth has been drowned in an ocean of myths, illusions and fakes, using extremely aggressive propaganda, lying like Goebbels. The more unbelievable the lie, the quicker people will believe it—that is how they operate, according to this principle.
Putin views propaganda, financial capitalism, and virtue signaling as signature characteristics of the West. Clearly, all nations indulge in propaganda, that is, slanting information and portraying reality in ways that support the national interest, as perceived by the government. An independent media is supposed to be the “Fourth Estate” and governmental watchdog. Currently, there is considerable debate within Russian media regarding the wisdom of the strategies employed in Ukraine by Putin and the military, debate that is not allowed in authoritarian societies. They angrily ask, “Why did our military stand back and allow Ukraine to retake territory in Kherson and Kharkiv?” This debate implies that freedom of the press exists in Russia to a greater extent than many Westerners want to admit. In contrast, control, repression, and censoring of the media and journalists in the West is much more common and destructive than most Westerners care to admit. Grievous examples are obvious: Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, the co-opting of Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Twitter for government censorship provide proof that the freedom of speech and press that are cornerstones of both the US Constitution and democracy are being replaced by creeping totalitarianism. The silence in the Western press regarding the sabotage of critical German energy pipelines in the Baltic speaks volumes. Where is the outrage of the environmental community at the release of millions of tons of methane, a highly destructive greenhouse gas? Integralists, idealists, progressives, and liberals of all stripes in the West might be expected to be actively protesting, but instead they mostly manifest the boiling frog syndrome, adapting to the status quo as they are stripped of their fundamental rights.
Putin on Western morality
Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of bringing democracy they suppressed and exploited, and instead of giving freedom they enslaved and oppressed. The unipolar world is inherently anti-democratic and unfree; it is false and hypocritical through and through.
Putin is here rejecting the worldview upon which Western civilization is grounded, based on its undeniable history of colonization and exploitation.
…all we hear is, the West is insisting on a rules-based order. Where did that come from anyway? Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed or approved them? Listen, this is just a lot of nonsense, utter deceit, double standards, or even triple standards! They must think we're stupid.
Putin is here making a differentiation between international law, as enshrined in the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, and other international agreements, on the one hand, and the “rules-based order” declared by the US as a higher standard that transcends the accountability of international law. Putin is having none of it.
Russia is a great thousand-year-old power, a whole civilization, and it is not going to live by such makeshift, false rules.
…that is a direct reference to the attempts by the ruling classes of the West to replace international law by a so-called “rules based order” whose rules would be defined by, of course, the Western ruling classes and which will be entirely situational: if they do it it is bad, if we do it is is good. Basically, this entire “rules based order” is yet another attempt at declaring the West infallible,…
Putin states that the
…West…trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders, and now it is deciding, at its own discretion, who has the right to self-determination and who does not…
Putin is referring to the insistence of the West that it gets to determine who has sovereignty and who does not.
That is why the choice of the people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson makes them so furiously angry. The West does not have any moral right to weigh in, or even utter a word about freedom of democracy. It does not and it never did.
Western elites not only deny national sovereignty and international law. Their hegemony has pronounced features of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid. They brazenly divide the world into their vassals—the so-called civilized countries—and all the rest, who, according to the designs of today's Western racists, should be added to the list of barbarians and savages. False labels like “rogue country” or “authoritarian regime” are already available, and are used to stigmatize entire nations and states, which is nothing new. There is nothing new in this: deep down, the Western elites have remained the same colonizers. They discriminate and divide peoples into the top tier and the rest.
The United States is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons twice, destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. And they created a precedent.
Recall that during WWII the United States and Britain reduced Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities to rubble, without the least military necessity. It was done ostentatiously and, to repeat, without any military necessity. They had only one goal, as with the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities: to intimidate our country and the rest of the world.
The United States left a deep scar in the memory of the people of Korea and Vietnam with their carpet bombings and use of napalm and chemical weapons. It actually continues to occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries, which they cynically refer to as equals and allies. Look now, what kind of alliance is that? The whole world knows that the top officials in these countries are being spied on and that their offices and homes are bugged. It is a disgrace, a disgrace for those who do this and for those who, like slaves, silently and meekly swallow this arrogant behavior.
Putin on Western spirituality
Let me repeat that the dictatorship of the Western elites targets all societies, including the citizens of Western countries themselves. This is a challenge to all. This complete renunciation of what it means to be human, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, and the suppression of freedom are coming to a “religion in reverse”—pure Satanism.
…here Putin is not addressing the western audience, but the Russian one and in the Russian civilizational realm to speak of “pure Satanism” is a very shocking and compelling argument. It brings this entire war into the realm of a “just war” fought for profound spiritual reasons, not just money or power.
Putin's view of the future
The world has entered a period of a fundamental, revolutionary transformation. New centers of power are emerging. They represent the majority—the majority!—of the international community. They are ready not only to declare their interests but also to protect them. They see in multipolarity an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty, which means gaining genuine freedom, historical prospects, and the right to their own independent, creative and distinctive forms of development, to a harmonious process.
As I have already said, we have many like-minded people in Europe and the United States, and we feel and see their support. An essentially emancipatory, anti-colonial movement against unipolar hegemony is taking shape in the most diverse countries and societies. Its power will only grow with time. It is this force that will determine our future geopolitical reality.
This final quote may well summarize Putin's overall position:
I am convinced that countries and peoples understand that a policy based on the exceptionalism of whoever it may be and the suppression of other cultures and peoples is inherently criminal, and that we must close this shameful chapter. The ongoing collapse of Western hegemony is irreversible. And I repeat: things will never be the same.
As of this date, Westerners do not seem to comprehend that the living standards that have been negatively impacted by the decisions of Western governments will not be those of some far off and easily ignored outgroup, but their own, and massively so.
Is this catastrophization? I hope so, but I fear not. Certainly a broad-based assessment of our current circumstances is a characteristic of waking up, growing up, cleaning up, and showing up, practices advocated by Integral. It is wise for Westerners and Integralists to carefully consider Putin's words, for two reasons. First, the majority of the world's population is doing so. Secondly, what the West is doing - pursuing its own agenda while ignoring that laid out by Putin - is backfiring, bringing self-sabotage and sociocide to the West.