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Integral World: Exploring Therories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber
Brad ReynoldsBrad Reynolds did graduate work at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) before leaving to study under Ken Wilber for a decade, and published two books reviewing Wilber's work: Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber (Tarcher, 2004), Where's Wilber At?: Ken Wilber's Integral Vision in the New Millennium (Paragon House, 2006) and God's Great Tradition of Global Wisdom: Guru Yoga-Satsang in the Integral Age (Bright Alliance, 2021). Visit: http://integralartandstudies.com/Portfolio3.php

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Part 1 | Part 2

Putin's War:
The Battle of Worldviews

Part 1

Brad Reynolds

“We are now living in a totally new era.”—Henry Kissinger, May 2022

I n my recent comments to Joseph Dillard's and Jeff Meyerhoff's essays supporting Vladimir Putin and Russia's war against Ukraine, I keep asking them to look deeper (and beyond) geopolitics to examine Russia's, that is, Putin's real motivations behind the killing machine he has unleased on Eastern Europe (and elsewhere). Yet they have failed to do so. Dillard, in particular, continues to bomb us—pun intended—with false flags, or facts taken out of context, to support what I consider his distorted point of view. Or worse, he presents incomplete and certainly NOT integral perspectives that he wants us to accept as true. He uses flatland professors and critics of past US foreign policy to back his position, not integral thinking.

Both these writers, good men, I believe, but confused, have gone so far as to compare the Allies' bombing of Germany and Japan to end those horrific world wars as somehow being comparable to what Russia is doing to Ukraine. What? So, we're supposed to understand Russia isn't doing anything that bad? They're justified because of fears about NATO, a defensive treaty? Hell no! Obviously, the Allies were bombing cities to STOP those deadly wars because they were attacked by Germany, Italy, and Japan, the Axis powers, whereas today Putin's army has attacked or STARTED a war on Ukraine that was unprovoked and unwelcomed.

Yet, Dillard and Meyerhoff—and some left-wing foreign policy “experts”—want us to believe that Russia was provoked because of NATO and the West. They also believe Putin's (false) assertion that a small minority of neo-Nazis are running Ukraine's government and must be stopped. In addition, they fail to recognize Moscow's long-time provocation in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine by preferring to blame Ukraine for the battles there, not Russian-backed fighters. They whine we are not having sympathy for poor Russia and Putin—whereas I suggest you need to look deeper into Putin's true motivations. Talk about the Green “sympathy” meme of pluralistic postmodernism—and its lack of value judgements—gone mad, this is it!

Let's first look briefly at some of Putin's own statements. In April 2005, just months after the “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine that began the removal of Russian influence spurring Kyiv's pro-democracy leanings, Putin announced to the world in his state-of-the nation address: “Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the major geopolitical tragedy of the [twentieth] century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.” In other words, if the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century was the breakup of the USSR, the greatest geopolitical achievement should be the reformulation of a Russian superstate, said Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow in Russian and Eurasian studies at the Heritage Foundation.[1] Author and analyst Gary Lachman in his book Dark Star Rising (note: written in 2018) pointedly summarizes the current situation:

Tension between pro- and anti-Western Russians continue today, as events in Ukraine make clear. The argument boils down to whether Russia should try to find a place within a European, Western vision of civilization—which so far it has not quite managed to do—or to celebrate and affirm its unique civilizational difference. Eurasianists today, among them Vladimir Putin, opt for door number two.[2]

Putin's main mission, therefore, is to reconstitute these lost territories which is basically why he does not like NATO because free nations have decided on their own to reject dominance by the Kremlin. The era of the Soviet Union and its satellite states is over but Putin is determined to turn the clock back: “make Russia great again!” I do not understand why Dillard and Meyerhoff (and other critics) continue to overlook these important facts as they prefer to criticize the West and capitalistic societies as if though they caused this war. But they didn't. Right before Putin's invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022, he spun a long and detailed narrative of hardline Russian nationalism, as these few quotes show as he tried to justify Russia's “special military operation” (his words)—if you say the word “war” in Russia you will be arrested:

Since time immemorial, the people living in the southwest of what has historically been Russian land have called themselves Russians and Orthodox Christians. So, I will start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia or, to be more precise, by Bolshevik, Communist Russia. This process started practically right after the 1917 revolution, and Lenin and his associates did it in a way that was extremely harsh on Russia — by separating, severing what is historically Russian land.

However, in reality, internal Soviet borders have reflected centuries-old cultural and political divides, as well as what Moscow's own census takers found to be an ethnic Ukrainian majority throughout that territory, including in what is now eastern Ukraine.[3] Yet Putin denies and distorts these realities. For example, Kyiv was the original city of the Rus Vikings from the north, the ancestors to modern Russians, so Putin wants it back regardless of what the Bolsheviks did. Putin used the same excuse to annex Crimea in 2014, whereas more accurately Russia desired sea ports since it's a mostly a land-locked nation (unlike most of the major powers in Europe who have free access to the seas). Yes, it is true, in many instances geopolitical realities are dominant and an important motivator, this is realpolitik. But it's not all that is happening either, ideological principles factor in too.

Putin has narcissistically compared himself to Peter the Great, as he did recently (June 9, 2022, on the 350th anniversary of the Tsar's birthday). Putin's hometown is St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad during Soviet rule), where he told the world: “What was [Peter] doing? Taking back and reinforcing. That's what he did. And it looks like it fell on us to take back and reinforce as well.” Putin is calling on the Russian people to embrace their imperial past to shape a modern national identity. In 2012, for example, Putin implored Russians to connect with their past and realize they have “a common, continuous history spanning over one thousand years.” The problem of course, is that unlike Peter the Great who reached out to Western Europe and its Enlightenment ideals—which is why he moved the capital from Moscow to St. Peterburg, closer to Europe—Putin wants to destroy the Western world (though he will soak it economically as long as that is to his advantage). The original Tsar—a word derived from “caesar” meaning “emperor”—has been the model autocrat that Putin has long aspired to become. Putin told Britain's Financial Times in a 2019 interview: “[The Tsar] will live as long as his cause is alive.” Putin, in other words, has made clear his intentions to recreate the Russian imperial empire.

In a conversation with Denys Bakirov, a lecturer at the University in Charkiw in Ukraine who writes about metamodern theories of society (his particular focus is on the meaning of Putin's regime for world affairs) affirms the thesis I am presenting in this essay, as he explained to interviewer Thomas Steininger of Radio evolve (just released on June 16, 2022):

Russia has always had its own history, different from the rest of Europe. The Age of Enlightenment, which transformed many countries in Europe into modern and mostly democratic states, never happened in the same way in the vast Russian empire. Yes, the tsar “Peter the Great” introduced some early modern principles to his country, but Russia stayed a repressive autocratic empire. Also, the Soviet regime copied and radicalized many of the tsaristic structures. What does this suggest for today and the war in Ukraine?

The other history of Russia becomes a tale of humiliation and hubris. During the short democratic experiment in the 1990s, centralized money was under the control of the “old and new” secret service. Humiliated by US-American dominance and demoralized by power games of the KGB and the new oligarchs, Russian society looked for security and identity under president Putin. That started an experiment that in itself became more and more repressive and more and more felt like a hybrid version of the Soviet Union and Tsarist Russia. That is the nation that Ukraine is up against.

It has become abundantly obvious, therefore, that the President of Russia and his deadly military is on a “holy mission,” one even backed by the Russian Orthodox Church, as I will explain further below. I am simply amazed that smart people like Dillard and Meyerhoff have glossed over these critical elements in understanding the Ukraine War of 2022. Heck, even Hillary Clinton when she was Obama's secretary of state warned the world what Russia was up to (but who listens to her, right?). She told reporters at a news conference in 2012 that in Russia there is “a move to re-Sovietize the region.” They are not going to call it the USSR but a “customs union,” or a “Eurasian Union,” she said, “but let's make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow it down or prevent it.”[4] Small wonder, therefore, that Putin would prefer Trump in the White House in 2016, thus taking steps to ensure that outcome (the Mueller Report contends this is exactly what Russia did). Putin continues his rant by overlooking—and revising—decades of recent modern history in his pre-invasion narrative:

It is now that radicals and nationalists, including and primarily those in Ukraine, who are taking credit for having gained independence. As we can see, this is absolutely wrong. The disintegration of our united country was brought about by the historic, strategic mistakes on the part of the Bolshevik leaders and the C.P.S.U. leadership, mistakes committed at different times in state-building and in economic and ethnic policies. The collapse of the historical Russia known as the U.S.S.R. is on their conscience.

Totally untrue. The Soviet Union's collapse was a result of oppressive governance. No one liked living under such an authoritarian Iron Hand. Ask the people living in those countries, many who escaped to the West, since as soon as they had a chance to break away from Russia's grip they turned to the West (and its freedoms): asking to join NATO (for protection against Russia), to become members of the European Union understanding the advantage of cooperatively working together for economic stability, and so on. Now Putin wants to reverse this progress. He's actively trying to undermine the EU (even influencing Brexit), and to regain territory that no longer belongs to Russia, regardless of their revisionist claims. He needs a “reality check,” as if it was only that simple (but it isn't), for his reality is currently murdering thousands of human beings and flattening cities and neighborhoods. It's a tragedy not seen in Europe since WWII.

Putin's mission is to correct past “mistakes” and make Russia proud again, as we'll continue to see. He is arguing that Ukraine and other former Soviet republics were manipulated into declaring independence from Moscow by self-interested opportunists thus distorting decades of recent history. In reality, an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians—including in the Donbas (which Putin falsely maintains were ripped from Russia against their residents' will)—voted to establish an independent nation. Putin denies that the people living on these lands, whether they speak Russian or not, have the right to choose their own form of government. This is the reality of what is happening, even in the Donbas, unlike Dillard proposes. Putin continues to distort history—a distortion Dillard seems willing to accept (which is why I label him a “Putin propagandist”)—as the modern-day Tsar continues to moan by twisting history to favor his view:

The Ukrainian authorities—I would like to emphasize this—began by building their statehood on the negation of everything that united us, trying to distort the mentality and historical memory of millions of people, of entire generations living in Ukraine. It is not surprising that Ukrainian society was faced with the rise of far-right nationalism, which rapidly developed into aggressive Russophobia and neo-Nazism.

Makes one wonder why such a duped population would fight so hard to defend themselves, doesn't it? The modern nation of Ukraine, the Russian President argues, is an attack on Russia because it divides Ukrainian and Russian peoples who should be united and because it cultivates anti-Russian extremism to justify this division. In reality, Ukraine's ethnic and linguistic groups have coexisted far more peacefully than Putin claims. While the country's Russian-speaking populations have sometimes favored political ties with Moscow over those with the West, and the country's politics have reflected this, those groups have grown sharply distrustful of Russia, especially since the Crimea annexation of 2014. But Putin uses these distortions to suit his own needs, and worse, to justify invading and attacking millions of people in Ukraine. Such propaganda must be resisted and clarified, not accepted and promoted as Dillard has done. As I maintain: it is important to dig deeper. Let's allow Lachman to again pointedly summarize:

Clawing back ex-Soviet satellites in order to make Russia great again, though important, is not the limit of the Eurasian dream [as we'll continue to see]. This is only the prelude to the main event. For Dugin [“Putin's brain” or principal inspiration] this is the inevitable absolutely necessary showdown between the awakening Eurasian giant [Russia] and its Atlanticist foes [the West]…. Like his antecedents, Dugin has the genuine Russian millenarian spirit, and topping the list on his political agenda is nothing less than bringing on the end of the world.[5]

Such apocalyptic visions seem even more dire when backed by one the world's great nuclear powers. These intellectuals also implicitly assert Russia's right to dominate what Putin calls the “Russian world” also known as “Eurasia” [see below]—the vast range of territory containing large numbers of Russian speakers or ethnic Russians but also other groups, which, not surprisingly, is roughly the same map as the old Soviet borders. And, as I will review below, Putin fervently believes this because his inspirations come from numerous writers who claim Russia is the inheritor of a “Eurasian Empire” meant to destroy Modernity and the decadence of the West. As Michael McFaul, the Obama administration's ambassador to Russia put it: “[Putin's] ambitions are bigger than just his own neighborhood. Putin thinks of himself as a leader of a kind of nationalist Orthodox conservative movement fighting the decadent, liberal multilateral West. This [view] has grown over time without question.”[6] This is what I mean when I suggest Dillard and Meyerhoff need to run better background checks before promoting Putin's propaganda as being “more true” than the “Western mainstream narrative”—their way to insult the Western free press (a trick of the far-right as well).

Here is another point to counter what Dillard keeps posting as being true. It is true that since 2004 Ukraine has moved, often slowly, to elevate the status of the Ukrainian language. However, as Dillard likes to emphasize, Russian officials and state media have portrayed this as part of a galling campaign to marginalize or even outright exterminate Ukraine's Russian-speaking populations. Putin says: “They prefer not to acknowledge this, there is no genocide perpetrated against 14 million people.” Such exaggerated claims, which are largely fictitious, serve to justify Russian military interventions as protecting populations that Moscow has both a right and a duty to defend. Yet this betrays the facts that a deeper dive reveals.

Joseph Biden and Vladimir Putin
Joseph Biden and Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin is showing an outright disrespect for international borders and a “rules-based” international order, one that has essentially kept peace for most of the world since World War II. He is threatening global stability with such nationalistic attitudes and aggressive military operations. Thus, it is irresponsible to overlook these motivations of Putin's and place the blame on the West. The West realizes the threat facing us all. Therefore, in my opinion, there is real justification in President Biden's recent op-ed in The New York Times (May 31, 2022):

As the war goes on, I want to be clear about the aims of the United States in these efforts. America's goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression… We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow…. Standing by Ukraine in its hour of need is not just the right thing to do. It is in our vital national interests to ensure a peaceful and stable Europe and to make it clear that might does not make right.

If Russia does not pay a heavy price for its actions, it will send a message to other would-be aggressors that they too can seize territory and subjugate other countries. It will put the survival of other peaceful democracies at risk. And it could mark the end of the rules-based international order and open the door to aggression elsewhere, with catastrophic consequences the world over.

Biden is not wrong, I believe, and most experts tend to agree (even if Dillard does not nor his sources). Fareed Zakaria, for example, noted on a recent GPS show (June 12, 2022): “America's dominant priority must be to ensure Russia does not prevail in its aggression against Ukraine.” But how do we get there from here? No one knows, really, certainly not me (an armchair observer), not even NATO or the US military, for everyone is responding to Putin's actions. Short of a palace coup, any positive solution seems almost impossible. But what we do know: this damn war is PUTIN'S FAULT, no one else's. He gave the orders to attack, to invade, kill civilians, women and children (anyone in his army's way), to destroy infrastructure, hospitals and homes, murder men and soldiers fighting to defend their homeland, rain hell from the skies, and threaten the world with nuclear weapons and a possible global holocaust. Can it not be more obvious who is wrong and who is right? (Apparently not to Dillard and Meyerhoff.) Slava Ukraini! God bless President Zelensky!

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride [out of here].”

The Integral Perspective: The War of the Worldviews

I feel that countering Russia's aggression and re-establishing stability and peace in Europe is vitally necessary. It was NOT the fault of the West or NATO—they just want peace and economic prosperity (which most people want too). This war is ONLY the fault of Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, not the West or NATO or the EU. Dillard, however, seems to be on his own mission since he has cemented himself into a position. He seems intent to prove that reasoned counter-arguments, such as those offered by Frank Visser on this site, are wrong or muddle-headed. He acts as if we—those who don't buy into his “version” of the “facts” —are not being “multi-perspectival” (an attribute of integral). And let me remind you, this comes from someone who has lately been dismissive of integral thinking over the past few years and the “memes” or spectrum of worldviews that integral theory (via Ken Wilber and Spiral Dynamics) proposes as being a more accurate reading of world events and the actions of nations.

From what I have seen by reading his previous essays, it seems Joseph has been going through some kind of existential crisis where the theories he has used to construct his view of reality for decades—that is, Integral Theory—have failed him so now he's on a mission to show us what fools we are to continue to see the world that way. Therefore, absurdly, in my humble opinion, he has decided to prove this by elevating Russia as being on some noble mission to protect itself from the dirty Western world. I, for one, am putting up resistance to his insistence. I hope to better explain why in this quickly-constructed essay. Please excuse me but I am not going to take the time to address all Dillard's points in some tit-for-tat debate (since I must work for a living and maintain my sadhana). I am going to address some of the larger perspectives that I believe genuine integral thinkers need to take into account.

In this, I support and advocate the view of most integral political thinkers, such as Jeff Salzman (of The Daily Evolver), and Steve McIntosh (of The Institute for Cultural Evolution), who see this war as being fundamentally about a “war of worldviews,” or more crudely, a “clash of civilizations.” Gary Lachman concurs and amplifies what is at stake (as we'll continue to review):

Behind the tsars and their downfall and the Soviet Union and its collapse lay larger word-historical necessities which now, in the early twenty-first century, are emerging clearly for what they are. What drove these events and will drive those to come is the looming great confrontation between the Atlanticists [Europe and the Americas], who seek to conquer the world through neoliberalism, individualism, and globalization, and the defenders of religion, order, and tradition, the people of Eurasia. We can call this a “clash of civilizations” on an epic scale.[7]

In integral terms, this means that this war is a further reflection of a great struggle between the lower level or previous era of “ethnocentric”—or, in this case, “nation-centric”—religious traditionalism, an “amber” or “we-oriented” mentality versus the more evolved worldview of the “world-centric” secular culture that essentially dominates the globe politically and economically—that is today's “World Order” (one that allows religious freedoms of all types)—the “orange” or “I-oriented” meme of Modernity. Russia under Putin, who is proposing a return to traditional amber values yet armed with modern weaponry (including nuclear bombs and chemical weapons), is upholding or reviving the mythic-membership mind of the collective “we” while “the West” or the modern world (which actually includes most of the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and much of Asia, Africa, and the Americas) are firmly anchored in the worldcentric rational-mental mind of the sciences and democratic individualism based on human rights or the inviolability of “I” or “me” (i.e., the sanctity of the individual). These “modern values” have been enshrined and legally established through international treaties and institutions, such as the United Nations and the International Declaration of Human Rights, and other binding legal agreements, which need to be further strengthened and improved. The evolution of world history is far from over which is precisely why no one—no generation (or generations)—needs to fall back to previous structures of development that want to erase these hard-earned rights by turning back the clock centuries.

In other words, these “color memes” (or worldviews), in addition to the even earlier “red-warrior” worldview and the later ones of “green pluralism” and the “turquoise-integral” worldviews, are an excellent way to get a grip on this complex situation and how evolution, for both individuals and the collective, may proceed in a healthier manner. THIS is Integral Thinking and it should be promoted on the “Integral World” website, as founder Frank Visser continues to do, whereas Dillard (and to a lesser degree, Meyerhoff) have failed to do (since they slip into dualistic reductionism). [It is not my intention here to instruct the reader on how these memes are defined since this information is readily available on this site, at The Daily Evolver, and in the works of Ken Wilber and Spiral Dynamics, for example]. Dillard, however has turned sour on this approach but offers no reasonable alternative other than to complain (from what I have seen).

Let me reinforce this idea with Gary Lachman's brilliant and well-researched work on “Holy Russia,” author of The Return of Holy Russia: Apocalyptic History, Mystical Awakening, and the Struggle for the Soul of the World (2020) and Dark Star Rising: Magick and Power in the Age of Trump (2018), two of the best books I have come across investigating and summarizing these topics in detail. In Gary's excellent interview with David Fuller of Rebel Wisdom, he summarized this situation:

They [Putin, Dugin, Ilyin, et al] have a mystical vision of Russia; it's not a country, a nation, it's a kind of Unity, an organic entity that stretches across the great continent. And, also, one of the differences between the West and Russia is the West thinks of “me” [or “I”] and Russia thinks of “we.” The West is a “me” economy—and this is what Putin and Dugin, and other critics of the West in Russia, point to and say “you have this economy that's all based on me, me, me: the individual—what can I have?... I can do whatever I want with my money.” But in Russia the whole idea is the “we,” their open arms and its community, and it's not [about] the individual, it's the organic whole. Ilyin—who's called the “Russian fascist” —[had] this theocratic view of the Church and the State coming together, and everyone would find their right place within that organic unity. The elite… on the top would shoulder the burden of shepherding everyone and making sure they're all happy and in a big kind of family.

Putin's Religious Mission, Gary Lachman (Rebel Wisdom)

Obviously, to many people this view of everybody being embraced in a huge “Collective We” is attractive since individual freedoms demand responsibility and maturity. Thus, people often want to slip back to being taken care of, like a child, or they demand freedom from all constraints, like an adolescent. This is, I believe, the crux of matter behind the great “war of the worldviews” going on today. Neither the West nor Russia, nor the mystical East alone, have the right answers for global unity. We need to take an evolutionary step to a greater maturity in spiritual development. That means the evolution into true human maturity where democratic individualism is only one step in that direction, but it is not enough. Real spiritual development based on integral vision-logic needs to take place, which is what I have emphasized in one of my recent essays: “Adi Da's Peace Law: Cooperation + Tolerance = Peace”. But this advanced vision far exceeds the limits of this essay.

However, let me be clear: regression back to mythic-membership thinking or some type of Collective We is not where we want to go. We need to move forward to a worldcentric “All of Us” worldview (integral “turquoise” or higher). This is because when the individual's rights are subverted into the collective, people are kept in their place by a hierarchy of order usually controlled by an authoritarian system (like the Church) or a totalitarian one (like the State). This means even reviving the castes systems, which is part of what the twentieth-century philosophy of Traditionalism has promoted (such as promoted by Rene Guénon and Julius Evola, for example, a corruption of the “Perennial Philosophy,” as Aldous Huxley presents it).

Yet this collective-membership mode, while having some positive attributes (as all levels or stages do), is exactly what the past several centuries of the Western Enlightenment have been rallying against. “Remember the cruelties” as the Enlightenment philosophes chanted in pointing to traditional religions, or as Voltaire put it: “Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Human rights are real, and individual rights need to be protected by “We the People,” under the rule of law (not an autocrat's whims), as the US Constitution showed the world. To suggest a regressive backslide betrays our evolutionary advance, therefore, integral thinkers need to avoid such promotions.

Dillard and Meyerhoff insist we are not integrating or taking into account Putin's perspective and why he was justified to attack Ukraine—mostly over fear of NATO expansion and threats to Russia's border and security concerns. Putin also promotes the fear of neo-Nazis taking over Ukraine to potentially invade Russia, which is an absurd notion if you look into the facts (as Visser has done). But Dillard blindly defends these positions in essay after essay. But, as my comments to their essays have indicated, they seem to misunderstand Putin's actual motivations and what he is up to. Instead, they buy into Putin's promoted excuses for the invasion. You think they would question Putin's premise, like President Obama did after meeting with then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009 [Putin was Prime Minister at that time]. After being told about Moscow's intended “sphere of influence” and their future goals, Obama bluntly said to Medvedev: “I don't get this privileged spheres of influence stuff.”[8] No kidding, since by living in the past Putin was erasing thirty years of recent history (since the USSR breakup) to justify Russian aggression on its neighbors. Now, with the war in Ukraine (and elsewhere), we see they are deadly serious about this mission. No wonder Poland, Finland, Sweden, Romina, Kazakhstan, and others are worried about Russia's intentions so now some other nations want to join NATO, not out of Western manipulation (like Putin claims) but from fear of Putin's Russia.

Amazingly, both Dillard and Meyerhoff suggest that because of the bombing runs of Operation Deliberate Force during the breakup of Yugoslavia by NATO to establish a peace settlement after tens of thousands had been killed in genocide or ethnic cleansing led by Serbian President Milosevic against Bosnian Muslims—and then they point to the Allied forces during WWII—that the Western world is being hypocritical over Russia's killing and murdering of thousands of civilians in Ukraine today. To me this view borders on madness, or aperspectival madness (as Wilber defines it), because they are unable to make decent value judgments and thus fail to distinguish between the foreign policies of the West and Putin's. They reduce everything down to numbers and statistics, thus totally overlooking the higher values involved in these decisions. They seem to overlook entirely WHY World War II had happened in the first place: the West was ATTACKED by the Axis powers, not the other way around. This is why I call it an absurd defense; a slip into aperspectival madness, as Wilber explains:

The fact that all perspectives are relative does not mean that no perspective has any advantage at all. That all perspectives are relative does not prevent some from still being relatively better than others all the time! Worldcentric is better than ethnocentric is better than egocentric, because each has more depth than its shallower predecessors.

But forgetting that, and focusing merely on the relativity of perspectives, throws you into aperspectival madness, a dizzifying paralysis of will and judgment. “It's all relative, so there is no better and worse, and no stance is better than another.” Overlooking the fact that that stance itself claims to be better than the alternatives—the standard performative contradiction. The [multi-culturists] occasionally rise to this level of vision-logic, usually to succumb instantly to aperspectival madness, which they sell to nice unsuspecting students.[9]

Plus, to be realistic, Ukraine in 2022 is not the first time that Putin has attacked and killed civilians and razed cities, such as in Georgia (2008), Chechnya (1999-2009), Crimea (2014), Syria (2015-present), and so on. Thus, if Putin gains eastern Ukraine or the Donbas (in some sort of “peace” settlement) you can bet he will line his troops along the new borders and attack again in the next several years (no doubt, after another US President has been elected). Putin, after all, is slated to be President of Russia until 2036. Biden, as the above quote notes, seems to be absolutely correct: the West simply cannot allow Putin's Russia to get away with this war in choosing their own borders. You must listen to Putin's stated intentions or otherwise you miss what is really happening, which I believe Dillard and Meyerhoff are doing. I've tried to fill in some of the blanks here [yet, this is an incomplete and hastily constructed essay].

In my strong opinion, it is disgusting to support tyrants who want to topple Modernity—and I am a strong critic of flatland modernity.

In my strong opinion, it is disgusting to support tyrants who want to topple Modernity—and I am a strong critic of flatland modernity (as is Wilber) and its gross consumerism and loss of genuine spiritual values—but I do believe in its hard-earned Freedoms and human Rights which I enjoy and have used to engage in the further evolution of consciousness. Modernity is NOT the “end of history” as some have claimed (e.g., Hegel and Fukuyama) but it IS an important stepping stone to World Peace and Enlightened Self-Realization for all human beings now and long into the future. This too, by the way, has been a major thesis of Integral Theory: we are still evolving up from Eden not to a Golden Age but to a mature human society where the further potentials of the human race may thrive and unfold.

Putin (and in the United States with Trump and Bannon, et al), on the other hand, want to take us backward, not forward; they are traditionalist conservatives, not progressives; authoritarians, not liberals. We must take a stand. We must resist this attack on Modernity as the brave soldiers of Ukraine lay down their lives for freedom and independence, as millions have done before them. Led by their freely-elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, a real hero, they are sacrificing blood and limb to this very day. Truly, after examining the evidence, I believe it is fully appropriate and right for the West to be supplying Ukraine with the armaments and humanitarian supplies to continue this noble fight defending their nation and thwarting Vladimir Putin's twisted plans for regional (and possibly global) domination. As Henry Kissinger stated in an interview in May of this year: ““We are now living in a totally new era” because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine—so the stakes are extremely high for future world peace. Let alone the fact I haven't even began to include China in the equation.

Therefore, I have asked Dillard and Meyerhoff to look deeper into the real motivations behind Putin's aggressions yet they have failed to do so. They seem to have no insight into what Putin's overall goals are and why he wants to “Make Russia Great Again” (MRGA?). Thus, I will review some of Putin's overall goals [in Part 2] but I encourage people to look into these matters themselves and stop criticizing the West as if it is the culprit here. The culprit is Vladimir Putin and his twisted Eurasia philosophy promoting an apocalyptic vision of the future. We must stop him NOW for the safety of the world and future generations! May Spirit-in-action intervene and provide a positive outcome, somehow, so help us God.

NOTES

  1. See: Vladimir Putin once said, “The breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century” on PolitiFact.com.
  2. Gary Lachman, Dark Star Rising (2018), p. 160.
  3. See: “Word by Word and Between the Lines: A Close Look at Putin's Speech” in New York Times by Max Fisher, Feb. 23, 2022.
  4. Hillary Clinton as recounted in Gary Lachman, Dark Star Rising (2018), p. 173.
  5. Gary Lachman, Dark Star Rising (2018), p. 175.
  6. Michael McFaul quoted in “Putin dreams of a Russian 'sphere of influence.” Kazakhstan's protestors are the latest to push back.” The Washington Post, January 8, 2022.
  7. Gary Lachman, Dark Star Rising (2018), p. 169.
  8. See: “Putin's dreams of a Russian “sphere of influence.” Kazakhstan's protestors are the latest to push back,” by Isabelle Khurshudyan in The Washington Post, January 8, 2022.
  9. Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything (1996), p. 193.





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