Today Jeff and Corey take a close look at an fantastic new article by Valerie Tarico, published to Alternet with the title “Here’s Why Some Progressives Are Tearing Each Other Apart”. In the article Tarico argues that today’s left is largely split into two major conflicting factions, each of whom are operating with two very different narratives around social progress and our collective wellbeing.
The first of these narratives she calls the “social liberal story”, which tends to prioritize universal values and wants to create new forward-thinking systems and ideals that reach beyond the miserable conditions that reality often serves to us. And she contrasts this narrative against that of “structural oppression”, which views history as the endless ongoing struggle of one group being actively oppressed by another — and if you aren’t being oppressed, it can only mean that you are one of the oppressors, whether you are consciously perpetuating this oppression or not.
Both of these narratives are alive and well among liberals — and predictably, we believe both contain some true-but-partial wisdom that needs to be woven into a more mature framework for the political left (which, by the way, the author completely agrees with, and even offers her own integrative insight to this end). And to go a step further, both of these need to be integrated with the various wisdoms found on the political right in order to achieve a more healthy and functional body politic.
Watch as Jeff and Corey try to navigate the inherent truths and limitations of each of these views, and enfold them into a bigger and bolder vision of our ongoing political self-organization.
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.
About Corey deVos
Corey W. deVos is the proverbial "man behind the curtain". He 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.