Saw the above graph recently on wechat with a question: where would you locate China? I couldn't help but storming my brain and arrived at the conclusion that a society changing at warp speed must also change in this aspect dramatically from a very traditional, probably even more traditional Confucian society than Japan to something that at least in my humble opinion comes very close to today's America. The GFC could be considered as an important tipping point from non confrontational to confrontational because hiterto supressed aggression started rougly then to be openly shown due to increased collective self confidence.
China's Booming City Bike Industry as a Forbode of What Competition Without Regulation Does Look Like
Philosopher Ken Wilber explains Trump’s rise to power in Trump and a Posttruth World essentially by describing two dynamics: the increasing aperspectival madness of green, which is stuck in nihilism and narcissism; and the ethnocentric force of amber which feels itself ignored by green. There is though a third dynamic, which I am surprised that Wilber does not even mention with one word: the rise of China, which explains to a large extent both 1. the disenfranchisement of the American middle class being ditched more and more into a growing lower and lower middle class by the merciless breakers of the liberal US labor market and the indifference of America’s elite; 2. the resurgence of ethnocentric amber as an answer to the threats of globalization most clearly identified in the loss of America's leading hegemonic role.
Henry Kissinger did a marvelous job to describe in World Order exactly the latter dynamic using the sleek terminology of a seasoned diplomat. He draws striking parallels between the rise of Germany before WWI and the resulting change in the balance of powers and the rise of China as a new player in the competition for global hegemony. I genuinely believe that one can not fully comprehend the course of evolution without understanding China's history, present conditions and envisioned scenarios for its own future; and although it amounts to heresy to criticize Wilber's broad thinking, I blame him of a US-centric POV.
The leading edge of evolution has in my opinion left the US and will not return, neither through a healing green - a completely irrational thought, because green can not heal on its own terms in a political multi-party system which is poised to create a we vs. them attitude, a fight for resources and voters with the consequence that an integral view can never be attained for reasons of political system failure - nor by evolving into turquoise for the same reasons, in particular though, because the US would have to leapfrog evolution from having regressed to amber-orange to a far away turquoise. A recent talk titled Calexit showed another scenario for the US: California’s pull out from the United States of America; an ethnocentric split of progressive and wealthy Californians from the mainly conservative rest of America (ok, apart from the Northern East Coast). California in the foot steps of Cataluña, which wants to split from the less progressive and less wealthy rest of Spain since eons ago.
Quite on the contrary there is a genuine chance that the political one party system of the PRC must evolve from its current amber-orange state of ethnocentric excellence and profit seeking into an orange world-centric outlook, which would - lucky China - at the present moment - coincide with the Chinese elite's self understanding of China being - again as most of the last two and a half millennia - the gravitational center of humanity; and from there in could continue its fast track evolution (serious China watchers won’t be surprised) to a non ideological integral turquoise, which truly embraces more than only it's own truth, simply because the Chinese mind never believed in absolute truths and could therefore not fall victim to postmodernity’s nihilism; and most importantly because the Chinese one party system provides a political arena, which is trained since 1949 to accommodate different fractions within one decisive power aggregate, and thus is because of its system's structure poised to move towards the next stage, the leading edge of evolution.
But even if China will not manage to take over the leading edge I would bet my money rather on Germany than the US. Germany per se, and Europe in general has already a larger fraction of its population on the integral consciousness level than the US and would therefore and because it did yet not suffer from a collective regression to amber-orange, find it easier to reach the magical threshold of 10%, which is according to Wilber required to tip the consciousness of a society at large.
It is also in the case of Germany important to note the systemic frame conditions. Contrary to China and the US, Germany is not a superpower with no real rival in its vicinity. Germany is surrounded by similar sized nations, itself threatened by the rise of a powerful Turkey and a KGB led Russia, and recalls from two bitterly lost WWs that it can not take the route of ethnocentric amber once again. Germany is therefore on track to take over a responsible leadership role not only for Europe, but probably for the world at large.
The Brits have unconsciously felt that the center of gravity has shifted from Western Europe to Central Eastern Europe, from Brussels-London-Paris (let’s be frank here: Bonn was never a serious contender) to Brussels-Berlin-Warsaw and have therefore, hurt in their imperialistic self understanding, decided to leave a holarchical, to date only commercial empire, which is now steered from the geographical continental center of Europe, not from the periphery of a group of islands. With triggering Art 50 of the EU constitution Great Britain has vaulted itself off evolution's leading edge. It showed preference for exclusion over inclusion and this behavior violated the basic rule of growth holarchies (another of Wilber’s ingenious neologisms): accept and integrate earlier stages of evolution; don't cling on to ethnocentric amber-orange if the general tendency points already towards integrative turquoise.
Again, it is Kissinger who brilliantly explains in World Order that it was the primary interest of French foreign policy, the main political power on continental Europe, for over 300 years to keep the German speaking territories between Denmark and the North of Italy apart; because since Cardinal Richelieu the French knew all too well that a unification of the strongly split Germanic kingdoms would create a political entity which would surpass all others in economic might and could multiply that might with its geostrategic position. Germany has failed twice to achieve this goal by force; the EU has bestowed upon the German speaking lands though for the first time in history a peaceful unification within the larger unification of up to date 28 European nations, and the EU member states have therefore – unconsciously – put Germany into leadership. It is this time though not a leadership which it takes by force, but by assignment. And this is, what I think, the true self-correction of evolution.
Evolution and Education
In any case, if humanity intends to support evolution’s natural growth, rather than continue to obstruct the creative ground individually or collectively, it must reform its education systems, and Wilber has recognized this fundamental system flaw like nobody else. He writes that as the boomers [generation born between 1946 and 1964] themselves began taking over education in this country, and significantly shifting it so that it emphasized, first and foremost, a movement not of "teaching the truth" - because there is no truth" - but instead promoted "selfesteem". And what they discovered - as a Time Magazine cover story reported - is that promoting selfesteem, without anchoring it on actual accomplishments, simply ends up in increasing narcissism. Deeply egocentric and ethnocentric interior worldviews must be fully understood and addressed - through, among many other things, a deliberately developmental education.
Wilber explains that the role of the leading edge of evolution is to define an effective education and provide, indeed, actual leadership. In particular, in a world of aperspectival madness it can be leadership alone that provides a way forward - real leadership stares into the face of a notruth, nodirection, novalues world and says: it is simply not true that there is no truth; there is most definitely truth, and it lies in this direction; and it is so radiantly genuine and attractive as it provides a believable path into an uncertain future, that it galvanizes vast numbers to follow it forward.
The leadership of genuine growth must then take up this responsibility and start its value based work with education combining in its first action towards growth the two most important tasks of a leading edge leadership at once: firstly, reform education based on the integral metatheory with a full shift from a focus on teaching the notruths of the material world to teaching the truth of mankind’s spiritual community, a shift from the AQAL right side quadrants to the left side quadrants, a shift from forcing information into a child's brain (that is the orange education model of the industrial revolution which wants all children to become diligent engineers and scientist to help build a strong nation) to teach children first and foremost the left quadrants wisdom through increased interpersonal amplified social interaction and integration; and then, secondly, based on that help them discover their unique talents and gifts in order to tap into their fullest potential whether this is as a scientist or engineer to build our Earth into our common home beyond imagination or as an artisan, gardener, craftsman, artist, nurse, teacher or caretaker to increase the Good, the True and the Beautiful - of which we have yet not enough.
Ken Wilber thus answers probably the world's foremost teacher's question about the future of education. Ken Robinson recently said that there is a climate crisis, a crisis of natural resources, but there is also a human resources crisis, a crisis in education. I meet all kinds of people who don't enjoy what they do. They simply go through their lives getting on with it. They get no great pleasure from what they do. They endure it rather than enjoy it, and wait for the weekend. But I also meet people who love what they do and couldn't imagine doing anything else. If you said, "Don't do this anymore," they'd wonder what you're talking about. It isn't what they do, it's who they are. They say, "But this is me, you know. It would be foolish to abandon this, because it speaks to my most authentic self." And it's not true of enough people. In fact, on the contrary, I think it's still true of a minority of people. And I think there are many possible explanations for it. And high among them is education, because education, in a way, dislocates very many people from their natural talents. And human resources are like natural resources; they're often buried deep. You have to go looking for them, they're not just lying around on the surface. You have to create the circumstances where they show themselves. And you might imagine education would be the way that happens, but too often, it's not. Every education system in the world is being reformed at the moment and it's not enough. Reform is no use anymore, because that's simply improving a broken model. What we need -- and the word's been used many times in the past few days -- is not evolution, but a revolution in education. This has to be transformed into something else.
I paraphrase what I have said many times before: the degradation of our physical world reflects the state of our spiritual world. We first have to clean our minds and bodies in order to build an environment which nurtures not only humans but all living things. This cathartic process is reflected by shifting our educational focus from the right side quadrants to the left side quadrants. In teaching kindness and compassion as the first and foremost social skill, in letting children experience that they usually find their calling and joy only by serving the larger good, not by giving in to narcissistic desires, in shifting our education focus in line with developmental psychology at least during primary years from the top left quadrant to the bottom left quadrant and only during secondary years, once a child has developed a personality permeated with kindness, back to the right and the top quadrants, we can build the future which we all hope for.
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