A provocative and balanced examination of our current social and political situation by a cutting-edge philosopher of our times.
The world is in turmoil. As populist waves roil the Brexit-bound U.K., along with Europe, Turkey, Russia, Asia—and most visibly, the U.S. with the election of Donald Trump—nationalist and extremist political forces threaten the progress made over many decades. Democracies are reeling in the face of nihilism and narcissism. How did we get here? And how, with so much antagonism, cynicism, and discord, can we mend the ruptures in our societies?
In this provocative work, philosopher Ken Wilber applies his Integral approach to explain how we arrived where we are and why there is cause for hope. He lays much of the blame on a failure at the progressive, leading edge of society. This leading edge is characterized by the desire to be as just and inclusive as possible, and to it we owe the thrust toward women’s rights, the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, and the concern for oppression in all its forms. This is all evolutionarily healthy; what is unhealthy is a creeping postmodernism that is elitist, “politically correct,” insistent on an egalitarianism that is itself paradoxically hierarchical, and that looks down on “deplorables.” Combine this with the techno-economic demise of many traditional ways of making a living, and you get an explosive mixture. As Wilber says, for some Trump voters: “Everywhere you are told that you are fully equal and deserve immediate and complete empowerment, yet everywhere are denied the means to actually achieve it. You suffocate, you suffer, and you get very, very mad.”
It is only when members of society’s leading edge can heal themselves that a new, Integral evolutionary force can emerge to move us beyond the social and political turmoil of our current time to offer genuine leadership toward greater wholeness.
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About the Author
Ken Wilber is the founder of Integral Institute and the cofounder of Integral Life. He is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Integral Meditation, A Theory of Everything, Integral Spirituality, No Boundary, Grace and Grit, and Sex, Ecology, Spirituality.
Table of Contents
A Note to the Reader vii
Part 1 An Overview 1
1 Self-Correction at the Leading-Edge 3
2 That Ever-Expanding Stairway 13
3 The Birth of a Post-Truth Culture 25
Part 2 The Territory 39
4 No Truth and No Jobs: "Ressentiment" 41
5 The Reverberating Anti-Green Field 51
6 The Primary Cause-and Cure-of Oppression 59
Part 3 The Immediate Future 83
7 Where Do We Go from Here? 85
8 Dominator Hierarchies and Growth Hierarchies 99
9 The Lessons Green Must Learn 113
10 Another Way Forward: Truly Integral 133
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I have read Ken's books since the first one. They have impacted my life greatly. I could never really put a finger on why Trump won. Now I understand devolution even better. That niggling in the back of my brain when I voted for Trump makes sense now. I voted for Obama both times. Not because I thought he was special, but because the Republicans embraced religious fundamentalism beginning with 43. Trump is religious like Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, TR and FDR. Meaning he is a deist. There was no way I vote for Hillary. I went to a Trump rally here in St. Augustine, Fl expecting to see way to many rusted out pickup trucks and too few teeth and I could not have been more surprised. 60% were female. That is when I knew the press was full of bs and change was on the way. Inherently there is nothing wrong with American acceptionalism. I do not accept cannibalism any more than I accept muslim radicalism or any other flawed fundamentalism. I do embrace meritocracy and the big bang theory needs serious work. All the way up, all the way down is my working mantra. Thank you for that and thank you for this book and your insights. Sincerely, Rand Middleton
As the Trump phenomenon became more persistent to the point of him becoming president, I thought, I would really like to hear what Ken Wilber has to say about this. This book did not disappoint me. This book looks at the Trump phenomenon and the “culture wars” and what are the best ways to deal with them. Mr. Wilber explains why we have these radically different ways of looking at the world and why we are usually not able to understand where the other side is coming from. I highly recommend this book if you want to understand the dynamics of our current cultural crisis in America and want know what you can do about it. Another book of his that I also highly recommend that helps in understanding these cultural differences is “The Theory of Everything”.