Pre-Truth, Post-Truth, and Beyond

Jeff Salzman Audio, Conversations, Perspectives, The Daily Evolver, What Now, World Affairs 1 Comment

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Inaugurated with bogus crowd claims and tales of voter fraud, the post-truth presidency of Donald Trump is upon us.

Trump lives in a Red “warrior” worldspace alive with apparitions, rumors, conspiracies, and above all, scheming enemies. Placed in the context of cultural evolution Trump’s view actually represent a pre-truth mentality, typical of the world prior to modernity where warlords and monarchs ruled unconstrained by the divisions of power. This is a world where “might is right”, a world of plunder where the goal not just to defeat the enemy but to take their oil. A world where we don’t just build a wall, we make the Mexicans pay for it.

(Take heart though; in an actual Red world Trump would not just make the Mexicans pay for it, he would make them build it, as slaves. So there is that.)

Modernity is fighting back against pre-truth thinking with objective facts, evidence and a plea for regular order, but it has been hobbled by the post-truth worldview of postmodernity, where all truth claims are suspect and feelings are privileged over facts. For a brilliant analysis of this phenomenon, check out Ken Wilber’s new essay Trump and a Post-Truth World, here on Integral Life. Also, look for my interview with Ken on the topic which will be posted in the coming days.

The Trump presidency begs a crucial question: can a government that has evolved beyond Red consciousness contain a leader who hasn’t? If so, Trump may be the disruptive force we need to break up some calcified habits and thinking. If not … well, there are only 206 weeks left in his first term!

In this podcast I look at how integralists can understand and relate to the fight over pre-modern, modern and postmodern conceptions of truth, and how a new integration of the three can help us build a more authentically inclusive world.

The What NOW Conference
December 29 - January 1

Welcome to the era of disruption.

It seems clear we are heading into one of the most disruptive periods of human history the world has ever known. And even now, what we currently see is just a hint of the incredibly disruptive forces that are waiting just behind the curtain — automation, genetics, artificial intelligence, etc. — ready to descend upon our civilization and force us to discover new strategies of coexistence.

But of course, in these times of rampant disruption there is also newfound opportunity for fresh ideas to emerge, to replace outmoded ideas that are generating an enormous amount of evolutionary friction, and to begin reshaping our notions of the world, our work, and our shared future.

This is why we are holding our What Now conference this New Year — to help you navigate and explore the era of massive worldwide disruption that we now find ourselves in, and to discover the inner resiliency and adaptability we need — not only to survive this breakneck era of transformation, but to thrive and actively participate in its unfolding.

Jeff Salzman

About Jeff Salzman

Jeff Salzman worked with Ken Wilber for several years in building the Integral Institute. He is a co-founder of Boulder Integral, the first bricks-and-mortar venue dedicated to the development of integral consciousness. These days Jeff provides integrally-inspired commentary on politics and culture on Integral Life and The Daily Evolver.


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