On the Front Line of the Culture War — Give Me Some Real Examples, Not Just Theories!

Ken Wilber Cognitive, Editor's Picks, Ethical, Perspectives, Politics, The Ken Show, Values, Video, What is a more hopeful future for civilization?, Worldviews 14 Comments

After a series of episodes that focused on a more comprehensive theory of politics, and several others exploring the rampant polarization and extremism of today’s political culture, we thought it was a good time to drill down a bit more and offer some more concrete policy proposals.

Part 1: Introduction
Watch as Ken and Corey offer their views on some of the most controversial policy debates of our time, each of which has become a battle line in our constantly escalating culture wars.
Part 2: Abortion

As Alan Dershowitz said, “everyone is right when it comes to abortion”. Our job, of course, is to figure out who is more right, and what to do about it. When do rights start, and is there something between “pro-life” and “pro-choice” stances?

The Death Penalty and Assisted Suicide
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How much power over life and death should the state be allowed? How much should the individual be allowed? Watch as Ken and Corey offer an integral consideration of the death penalty and assisted suicide.
Part 4: Universal Health Care and the Profit Motive
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Should some things such as healthcare or prisons be exempt from the profit motive, due to perverse incentives? Should universal health care be afforded to all American citizens?

Part 5: Vaccinations
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We are currently in the midst of a dangerous resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough, largely due to states that allow “personal exemptions” for vaccinating their children, as well as an epidemic of misinformation about vaccines on the internet. Should people be forced to be vaccinated, even if some believe it can cause autism?

Part 6: Drone Warfare
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One of the most controversial military issues of our day, here Ken and Corey discuss the positives and negatives of using robotic drones instead of live soldiers in the battlefield. How do we reconcile the inevitability of the militarization of this technology with the moral considerations around how the technology is actually used?
Part 7: The Draft
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For decades Americans have enjoyed a 100% voluntary military force, even though the laws around military conscription are still on the books and can be re-enacted at any point. Here Ken and Corey discuss the merits of mandatory enlistment, and how some sort of mandatory service might help Americans overcome their collective cynicism, apathy, and polarization.
Part 8: Mandatory Voting
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Some nations like Australia are famous for making voting mandatory for all citizens. Considering how poor the voter turnout tends to be in the U.S., should America do something similar, or find other ways to incentivize civic participation?
Part 9: Hate Speech
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Does hate speech make sense as a classification of speech? Should the government limit certain kinds of speech in order to protect marginalized groups? Is this classification necessary in order to understand the motivation behind violent acts?
Part 10: Cultural Appropriation
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Do marginalized groups have the right to prevent certain cultural memes, practices, or artifacts from being “co-opted” by other subcultures? Can a nation like America truly be a “melting pot” if we enforce this kind of cultural segregation?

Part 11: Prostitution, Drugs, and Sex Robots
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How much freedom should citizens be afforded when it comes to things like sexual autonomy or drug use? Should things like prostitution and drugs be legalized across the board? What about far more ethically dubious ideas, like sex robots designed to look like children, which are presumably designed to give pedophiles an outlet for their sexual drives without inflicting sexual violence on children?

 

Previous Episodes of The Ken Show

In Pursuit of Wholeness: Making Room for Everything

In Pursuit of Wholeness: Making Room for Everything

This notion of holons — the idea that the universe is fundamentally made of whole/parts within whole/parts within whole/parts, turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down — this isn’t just important in a theoretical or philosophical sense. Understanding holons also helps us make better sense of the world that we live in, and our inner worlds as well. And it helps guide our own growing up, waking up, and cleaning up process.
Integral Critical Theory: The 8 Zones of Racism

Integral Critical Theory: The 8 Zones of Racism

Ken and Corey continue their discussion of the 8 critical zones of integral metatheory, and apply them to the ongoing cultural conversation taking place around race, racism, and other kinds of bigotry that we continue to see in the world. This discussion is a great opportunity to not only learn more about these 8 primordial perspectives that are available to us, but also to see how they can be applied to social and cultural challenges and “wicked problems” such as these.
From the Big Bang to the Eight Primordial Perspectives

From the Big Bang to the Eight Primordial Perspectives

Ken Wilber offers a stunning introduction to the major components of Integral theory and practice — a guided tour that takes us from the very first forms to emerge in the universe, all the way to the eight primordial perspectives that all of our knowledge is constructed from.
Integrating Power

Integrating Power

Ken and Corey take an in-depth look at the multiple kinds of power we find in all four quadrants — interior and exterior power, individual and collective power — as they are expressed up and down the spiral of development.
The Science of Subtle Energy

The Science of Subtle Energy

In this episode of The Ken Show we take a look at Ken's "Comprehensive Theory of Subtle Energy”, which offers an elegant summary of how these energies might be accounted for by integral metatheory and integrated with our scientific understanding of the universe.
Ken Wilber Goes to High School: Sex, Ecology, Spirituality

Ken Wilber Goes to High School: Sex, Ecology, Spirituality

In this very special episode of The Ken Show we are joined by Aissatou Diallo, Zoe Tray, and Noah Delorme, students at Choate Rosemary Hall who have been studying Ken Wilber’s seminal book, Sex, Ecology, Spirituality for their senior year project. Watch as Ken, Aissatou, Zoe, and Noah unpack many of the core insights of SES and discuss the unique value Integral work holds for a new generation of thinkers, leaders, artists, and scholars.
Practice the Wound of Love

Practice the Wound of Love

Watch as Ken and Corey explore the ongoing unfoldment of love along the paths of Waking Up, Growing Up, Opening Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up. What follows is one of the most powerful, transformative, and touching conversations that Ken Wilber has ever recorded.
Marx, Mysticism, and Mathematics: Navigating Our Epistemic Collapse

Marx, Mysticism, and Mathematics: Navigating Our Epistemic Collapse

In this episode we continue our fascinating discussion about Integral epistemology, taking a look at the important but partial truths of Marxism, how we go about verifying and confirming spiritual experiences, and the involutionary/evolutionary nature of mathematics.
Integral Epistemology

Integral Epistemology

How do we know stuff? Like all of the great philosophical quandaries, it’s a fundamentally straightforward question that can lead us into an endlessly branching series of chicken-and-egg meditations on the nature of existence (ontology) versus the nature of knowledge (epistemology). In this fascinating episode of The Ken Show, we take a look at a dozen of the most popular schools of epistemological thought — idealism, pragmatism, empiricism, constructivism, etc. — noting their respective contributions and limitations, and how they can all be pulled together into a more Integral epistemology.
Awaken the Eye of Spirit

Awaken the Eye of Spirit

All of us possess three primary modes of perception that we use to disclose reality – the "Eye of Flesh", the "Eye of Mind", and the "Eye of Spirit". Watch as Ken and Corey explore these ideas and the many ways we perceive and interpret spiritual realities.
Integrating Shadow

Integrating Shadow

Ken and Corey offer a stunning overview of the psychological shadow. Ken describes several different kinds of shadow, how shadow can show up differently in all four quadrants, and the relationship between shadow, violence, and social transformation.
Coronavirus and a Course in Anti-Fragility

Coronavirus and a Course in Anti-Fragility

Ken and Corey respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by suggesting a far more comprehensive approach to health and healing. Watch as we take a tour through all four quadrants of healthy living — a much-needed guide to integral anti-fragility in the 21st century.
The Four Quadrants: A Guided Tour

The Four Quadrants: A Guided Tour

Ken and Corey take a in-depth tour through one of Ken’s most well-known contributions to integral philosophy: the Four Quadrants. Watch as Ken shares his personal story about the origins of the Four Quadrant model — the day everything came together — as he weaves 3rd-person theoretical descriptions of the model with his own 1st-person experience and creative process.
Big Time: Integral Historiography and You

Big Time: Integral Historiography and You

Ken unpacks his own approach to integral historiography, helping us to better understand our own place in history — and history's place in us.
Integral Social Justice

Integral Social Justice

In this stunning 3 hour discussion, Ken Wilber offers his own views around healthy and unhealthy forms of social justice, praising the healthy and legitimate efforts to enact social justice over the generations while noting how much of today’s broken discourse around social justice is helping to perpetuate multiple forms of injustice.
Wicked Problems: Gun Violence

Wicked Problems: Gun Violence

In this exclusive series, Ken and Corey take an in-depth look at America’s ongoing struggle with gun violence, using the four quadrants to track many of the most critical and commonly-blamed factors, conditions, and causes that seem to be contributing to this terribly wicked problem.
Kosmos: An Integral Voyage

Kosmos: An Integral Voyage

Ken Wilber and Corey deVos ponder the evolutionary mysteries of the universe, speculating on how abundant life might be in the kosmos, why we haven’t met any of our galactic neighbors yet, and what might happen if a UFO landed on the White House lawn. It’s a fun conversation — and one that takes its subject matter more seriously than you might expect. Whether you are a true believer of UFO phenomena or an iron-clad skeptic, you don’t want to miss this fascinating and far-reaching exploration.
The Varieties of Integral Spiritual Experience

The Varieties of Integral Spiritual Experience

Watch as Ken and Corey explore the path of Waking Up — a guided tour through temporary states of consciousness that include everything from emotional states to chemically-induced states to the direct, immediate experience of timeless reality, revealing an infinitely renewable source of energy, resilience, and creative inspiration that rests at the very center of you.
The Many Ways We Grow

The Many Ways We Grow

Human development is uneven, which means that we are better at some things than we are at others. Some skills come more naturally to us, and others are more difficult to acquire. Watch as Ken and Corey explore each of these developmental capacities in detail, offering a powerful summary of human potentials, talents, and intelligences — a comprehensive map of the territory of “you” that will help guide your own ongoing growth and development.
Growing Up: A Guided Tour

Growing Up: A Guided Tour

In this episode of The Ken Show we explore one of the most central elements of integral metatheory: growing up through multiple stages of developmental maturity. Watch as Ken and Corey offer a guided tour through each of the major stages on the Path of Growing Up — an exploration of your own greatest, deepest potentials — and offer some simple practices to help you actualize those potentials.
Ken Wilber

About Ken Wilber

Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of KenWilber.com. He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.

Notable Replies

  1. Hi everyone, we want to hear your own views about these incredibly complex and controversial issues. Let us know what you think of the discussion here!

  2. @corey-devos, is there a reason climate change wasn’t included in that list? It seems to me that all the other issues in the list should be secondary; after all, if Earth is uninhabitable, none of those issues really matter. If there is any current world-wide problem in need of Integral solutions, it’s climate change. And climate change is absolutely subject to the “culture wars” given the same Amber groups that are anti-abortion are also likely to be climate deniers. It’s the same cognitive dissonance that’s being triggered, psychologically speaking.

  3. Dear Ken and Corey,

    I would love to see a deeper dive into the vaccine issue with an analysis that utilizes the quadrants? Corey offered his summary position which mirrors the conventional meme found in popular media and introduced us to the very dangerous yet popular position of herd immunity as reasoning for everyone being vaccinated. A deeper dive would require a more weighted understanding of the risks and benefits as well as an actual appreciation for the individual as an inviolable holon with respect to the injection of anything into our bodies. Thanks.

  4. Living here in Seattle and being in a “working-class” demographic it seems to me that the “Front Line of the Culture Wars” is more than a perspective it’s realtime tension and sometimes life threatening danger. One of the things that I’ve been noticing in the Integral community is a lot of great ideas but not a lot of examples coming from people in my situation. I don’t have the luxury of working in Academia or a NGO in which I’m surrounded by higher level thinkers I’m dealing with lots of Red and Amber with Orange and Green mixed in every day.

    For years I’ve been shifting my language with people depending on the level they’re at(which is easy for me to see very quickly) and I was relatively comfortable doing that. Today the tension is so high and people are on the verge of snapping it seems like. I admit that my tolerance is being challenged by all different levels when I perceive that they are expressing views that are contributing to this dangerous potential for violence. I’m sure most have seen on the news what’s going on here in the North Western US. There’s a “Mean-green” colliding with “Red-driven Amber & Orange” and it’s scary.

    I’ve found myself regressing to a Mean-green when I encounter Red & Amber Trumpeters. My tolerance for the Trump phenomenon is at an all-time low right now. I think that’s because I have personal history of life threatening violence being thrust upon me and my fight/flight mechanism can be stimulated when I’m seeing things being expressed by people that are dangerous to others or myself.

    I guess what I’m saying here is that I wish there were more examples in the Integral community from people that are on “the actual front lines” and not just the comfortable bubble of philosophical circles or Academia. There must be others out there like myself. Everyday I will deal with everyone from Construction workers to Restaurant workers to general laborers,etc. This is where the “Rubber meets the road” and it’s putting my Integral understanding to a real difficult test. Any suggestions would be truly appreciated!

  5. I’m with you on this one. There is a need for Academia. Whilst we all have our own journey, without Academia clearing some of the path for us, we would all be taking much longer to make our progress. So Academia has real value for me when I, who profess to understand the Integral Path, make use of that knowledge in my day to day life.
    I am a family solicitor/mediator who works in deprived areas with deprived families in the North of England. I meet and deal with the whole 1st Tier of the spectrum. I work with the abused mother who has no self-identity, who is simply the object of abuse of the person who has fathered some of her children, with the parents who believe that “spare the rod and spoil the child” administered on their egoic basis is the safest way to raise a child. I deal with parents at odds with each other, believing that physical, emotional and verbal attacks are the way to show the other parent that their way of parenting is the one true way. (So many parents at green in respect of their understanding of parenting and at red when they try to resolve their differences with each other.)
    So where does Integral help here? I remember that red will laugh at and run right over green where green tries to help red with green tools. I remember that blue will see red behaviour as criminal. An easy example: the power of the state to take a child away from its family is a simple exercise of red. The justification may be blue or above, but the exercise of the power is simply red. So, if a child is at risk of harm, I have no issue with the state behaving at a red level here and removing the child whatever the child or family may think.
    More nuanced is where there are two parents at blue, but with different beliefs. Here the child is not suffering from either style of parenting but is suffering from the conflict between the two parents. Here my work will be first to see whether there is any common understanding at blue which the parents can access - let’s explore the parents’ stage of parenting. These discussions, where successful, can lead to long term solutions as the area within which the parents need to accept change is a comfortable place for them. Sometimes it can be helpful to bring a little orange into the mix (let’s forget what is right and wrong and look at what might work for you…) but for this to be a long term solution - that is, for it to last beyond the parent’s first conversation outside my office - there needs to be a change in the stage that the parents are parenting at. For this to stick outside of the support of my office is not so regular. However we do what we can…

Continue the discussion at community.integrallife.com

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