a (values/politics) mashup

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Let’s begin this week with a couple of passages from the Everhard manuscript:

Congress and the Senate were empty pretenses, farces. Public questions were gravely debated and passed upon according to the old forms, while in reality all that was done was to give the stamp of constitutional procedure to the mandates of the Oligarchy. ~ from Avis Everhard’s narration 

“You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy. You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel.” ~ Ernest Everhard


The Iron Heel sized
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With the supreme court justice confirmation this week, you may have noticed the U.S. political stage has been awash in the display of raw, naked power-over—naïve  expressions of Red [CP] (ego)powervalues.

See that? Hot topic introduced without bias. The “naïve expression of Red [CP] (ego) ‘power‘ values” comes in some form of tyranny; in Christian terms, that’s ‘sin‘ in the form of a demon: control spirit.

Power-over” invokes localization of Everhard’s, “Iron Heel”—e.g., systems of oppression—here in the Patriarchy without blaming or using divisive, hot-button descriptors. A Spiral Dynamic’s [SD] framing allows a descriptive, yet neutral approach to raising explosive topics. In this instance, Dr. Ford’s sexual assault charge triggered Judge Kavanaugh’s angry denials, #MeToo mobilization, DJT’s ‘HeToo’ offensive, and many other extremely polarized, emotional (Red) expressions from both political parties.  SD allows naming unhealthy expression without the necessity of blaming/shaming any particular person or group. In, “Empathy Window Opens” (see here), I’ve written about the deeper animating energy driving naïve Red expressions and why both sides are extremely emotional, (e.g., radical downshift to Beige [AN] ‘survival values; Stockholm Syndrome).

Importing tyranny

I’ve eluded in earlier posts in this series: tyranny [willful (or blind), imposed control] is a naïve expression of Red [CP] (ego) ‘power‘ values. Further, this naïve Red animating energy may be imported by higher levels; e.g., channeled through naïve Blue [DQ], naïve Orange [ER], or naïve Green [FS] values systems. Common here is the “naïve” expression of any particular values set. Mature, healthy expressions of RedBlue, Orange, and/or Green values systems are not tyrannical. Anyway, this makes an apropos time for a word about my agenda in creating this site and my process in writing each week.


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Process: motive and muse… 

While the blog page did not launch till June 30, 2018, the origin story of this blog goes back to November 8, 2016. The phenomenon of Donald J. Trump being elected as president of the United States was so overwhelmingly confounding that it demanded my immediate, faithful attention. My response was study, conversation, and much reflection—[re-]reading the modern dystopian novels was an early orienting step. Initially, my need to understand was driven by my relationships with people I care about who voted for (and support) DJT. At first I wore very dark blinders. I had no idea whatsoever what the possible appeal might be. I needed to understand Trump’s appeal to my relatives, friends, and neighbors because all I perceived was his over-the-top human indecency.

Integral insight…

Eventually, I realized DJT had figured out a practical way to overcome the chief political problem of our time, namely: a highly polarized, nearly 50/50 split electorate—an ungovernable situation. If that were not enough, we live in a zero sum game, winner take all environment—again, unsustainable. Ironically, our social/political polarization has also been gravely aggravated by naïve Orange‘s (greedy) commercial exploitation. The destructive polarization dynamic has been monetized through cable news network enterprises [FoxNews and MSNBC equally destructive]. All this helped create Trump’s electorate.

With the help of integral philosopher Ken Wilber’s insights, I slowly came to realize that DJT had figured out that he could coalesce a very unlikely plurality of voters along a very particular fault line: Green [FS] ‘pluralist/justice‘ values. In other words, DJT figured out how to run against the complexity and inclusivity of the contemporary zeitgeist [Volatility Uncertainty Complexity Ambiguity (VUCA)]. Trump rallied a coalition of voters expressing a values ‘center-of-gravity’ in either Beige [AN], Purple [BO], Red [CP], Blue [DQ], or Orange [ER]; that is, (binary) values systems, versus those who express a center of gravity in the Green [FS] (pluralist) values set.




To express the dynamics I saw unfolding required that I employ a developmental anthropology to frame the description. However, a big-picture idea is not terribly amenable to the blog format. Additionally, I didn’t want it to take longer than five minutes to read the weekly post.

So, to fit my five-minute-read limit each week, I’ve taken a serial approach to my outline of the SD developmental anthropology. Now, this does not mean that in the beginning I had the entire big-picture narrative all written out in my own voice, all ready to be snipped into twelve-hundred-fifty word, five-minute installments. Rather, each week I seek to incorporate a piece of the SD outline into my blog narrative. I try to bring the ideas to life by reflecting them through the current events we’re presently experiencing as a nation—and couching the narrative in terms of human decency. The hope I rely upon is that each week’s piece can stand somewhat independently from the SD jargon and yet over time the regular reader will be able to pick up the basics of the SD developmental stage model.

Orange tyranny

Lately I’ve written about naïve Red [CP] fueled dysfunctions channeled through naïve Orange [ER] ‘meritvalues—e.g., greed, corruption, environmental depletion/destruction, etc. This week a story broke disclosing a serious vulnerability of Orange [ER] ‘meritvalues in relation to international economic interdependence. The veracity of the Bloomberg News story (here) seems to be in question, but the vulnerability of the ER values stage that it reveals is significant and real. 

Blue tyranny

This week’s topical influence lines up more on confronting dysfunctional, naïve Blue. In her quote above, Avis Everhard writes of the power of the Oligarchy. For our purposes let’s substitute the word Patriarchy—the system men have historically employed to dominate and control women; a dominator hierarchy. Patriarchy is a pathological, naïve expression of Blue [DQ] ‘order‘ values [a naïve Red power‘ values fueled overreach of Blue].


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The Iron Heel [Blue systems of oppression]

As I write on Saturday afternoon an interesting illustration of the developmental nature of decency is playing out in the U.S. Senate. The vote is being taken on the Kavanaugh confirmation. Concurrently, civil disobedience is regularly erupting in the senate gallery in the form of women loudly protesting the possible installation of a man on the highest court in the land who has been credibly accused of sexual assault. The Vice President is repeatedly requesting: “the Sargent at Arms will restore order in the gallery.” The thing is, the civil disobedience displayed in the gallery represents one form of “order” within our constitutional democracy [Orange, individual rights, e.g., civil disobedience, is one (re-ordered) expression of Blue, constitutional order]. Vice President Pence’s gavel and words were patriarchal proxy representing pathological expression of naïve Blue order values—the devaluing/domination of women—unwilling to accept truthful expressions of women under the weight of sexual assault and oppression male privilege prefers to ignore. 

I’m very grateful that our system still allows, and has provision for, such protest as we have experienced during this process, and will experience going forward.

Your thoughts?

I never know what I’ve said till I hear the response. What did you hear me say?

Note: I know it’s ambitious trying to introduce a big picture idea in a blog format, so I’m using a serial approach. Introductory post (here). First in series (here).


SD Worldview Color Key



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