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  The Deconstruction of the WTC

Social Justice Posted by <Xnoubis> on Friday November 16, @04:54PM
from the city-zen-caning dept.

Author Ken Wilber has written a commentary on the 9/11 tragedy in the form of a dialogue to be included in his upcoming novel, Boomeritis. It's verbose, of course, and sets new heights in top-heaviness (Giordano Bruno reads like Raymond Chandler in comparison), but it does include many interesting ideas.

The outstanding idea to me is his praise of the founding fathers and founding documents of the U.S.A., in that they established a framework encouraging a transition to a more complex culture that was welcomed by the existing, relatively less complex, populace. What we need now, he says, is a similar framework encouraging our culture to the next step without alienating it. He might call that step the Second Tier, we might call it the Aeon of Horus, but does the fundamental idea still apply? (via the SD mailing list)


Ferdinand the Bull in the Underworld | Is it true?  >

 

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.


**Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC**
by Fra THA;M on Saturday November 17, @08:13PM

Lauding the Founding Fathers? Founding documents? Bile is burning in my mouth as I choke and gag over that propagandaist drivel. With the exception of Franklin, Washington and Jefferson the libertarian, the men who orchestrated the political machine we now see were vile villains.

Those men, far from seeking liberty for all individuals, were concerned with emasculating centralized government only for the benefit of titled landowners…a very tiny fraction of the population. They wanted to keep the average citizen out of affairs of state. They were petty bourgeoisie tyrants. For Christ sake Madison and Hamiliton expressed scorn and contempt for the common man.

All they succeeded in doing was implementing a political system that has checks and measures against the consolidation of power in a centralized government by the autonomy of the states. That power to this day is wielded by the rich and elite and the common man STILL has no real imput into the political process. It's repressive state-capitalism…laisez-faire economics masquerading as open democracy. But its not.


Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Saturday November 17, @11:04PM
>It's repressive state-capitalism…laisez-faire\\
>economics masquerading as open democracy.\\
\\
You can be “state-capitalism” or you can be “laissez-faire”, but not both; the former is (in theory) the state running capitalism (think Bukharin, Mussolini, Peron or Deng Xiaoping), while the latter is (in theory) capitalists running the state (think good ol' US of A).\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by Fra THA;M on Monday November 19, @10:41AM
“You can be “state-capitalism” or you can be “laissez-faire”\\
\\
wrong. Read your Adam Smith.\\
\\
Laissez-faire economics are governed by what Smith saw as the 'invisible hand'. The point of a laissez-faire system is that no one checks the system…the markets are supposed to govern themselves. Its not a political system per se.\\
\\
When this type of free market is advocated by the state at the expense of individuals, you have state-capitalism.\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Monday November 19, @01:43PM
Your definition of “state-capitalism” doesn't conform to any I've ever seen. In political science the term refers very specifically to 20th century ideas of (in theory) highly state controlled capitalist systems (of either the left or the right). Can you give any references that display your usage? or is it another idiosyncratic usage that you expect your interlocutors to adopt by ESP?\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by Fra THA;M on Monday November 19, @03:07PM
“Your definition of “state-capitalism” doesn't conform to any I've ever seen.”\\
\\
So because you've never seen it, it can't be applicable? Yeah right, just like your flawed analysis of Laissez-faire philosophy.\\
\\
“Can you give any references that display your usage?”\\
\\
Forgiving your underhanded and puerile attempt at a witty insult, here are some off the top of my head. Noam Chomsky, following the logical thread that in a state-capitalist system the state owns the means of production and distribution, beleives this is analagous to the current state of America. Corporations own the means of production, and essentially run the government…they are the ones who finance campaigns, who can afford to lobby, from whom politicians accept kickbacks, and to whom political officials owe favours. They are the real decision makers.\\
\\
Seymour Melman, Professor at Columbia, sees the war-based economy of the US as necessarily producing a state-capitalist system. Look at the precedents of history. What do you think the crux of the New Deal was about? FDR and the implementation of state-capitalism.\\
\\
“or is it another idiosyncratic usage that you\\
expect your interlocutors to adopt by ESP?”\\
\\
Take a vacation from the Right, and take a tour through the Left. Read some anarchist literature before you get dismissive, then you can know whereof you speak. You'll see there are thousands just like me….Whoahahahah(scary laugh).\\
\\
P.S. Arnold Shwarzenegger's adversary says it best in Raw Deal, “Smart I like, smart-ass I don't.”\\
\\

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|Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Wednesday November 21, @09:37PM
|

>“Smart I like, smart-ass I don't.”\\
\\
Then why do you do it? Your response is singularly unresponsive. Let's take it point-by-point.\\
\\
>So because you've never seen it, it can't be applicable?\\
\\
I never said or implied anything of the sort. Your response seems like overdefensive reading-in to me.\\
\\
>Yeah right, just like your flawed analysis of Laissez-faire philosophy.\\
\\
Huh? This is just more unjustified reading-in. I never analyzed this philosophy, only questioned the identification you made (without any analysis at all) between it and state-capitalism.\\
\\
>Forgiving your underhanded and puerile attempt at a witty insult,\\
\\
Forgive me nothing, just point out what statement you have evidently misread as such an attempt.\\
\\
>here are some off the top of my head\\
\\
That's the problem right there. Try finding some actual citations rather than relying on an obviously flawed instrument.\\
\\
>Noam Chomsky, following the logical thread that in a state-capitalist system\\
>the state owns the means of production and distribution, beleives this is\\
>analagous to the current state of America.\\
\\
What is it about the word “analagous” that you don't understand? Clearly, in your paraphrase (it would still be nice to get an actual reference), he's saying that the end result of the two systems is the same. Fine. You think he's right. Also fine. But in no way is he saying, even in your paraphrase, that there are not major differences between the two systems. I doubt he would ever say that laissez-faire is “repressive state-capitalism” (the identification to which I raised an objection), though he might say that these differing ideologies produce similar results (or more correctly that the corporations are hypocritically espousing laissez-faire while practicing state-capitalism).\\
\\
>Seymour Melman, Professor at Columbia, sees the\\
>war-based economy of the US as necessarily\\
>producing a state-capitalist system. Look\\
>at the precedents of history. What do you think\\
>the crux of the New Deal was about? FDR and the\\
>implementation of state-capitalism.\\
\\
What has this got to do with the issue I raised? So what if there are state-capitalist elements to U.S. governance? One could hardly describe the military-industrial complex as upholding laissez-faire principles! “State-capitalism” and “laissez-faire” refer to two different ideological positions whether you recognize it or not.\\
\\

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|Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Tuesday November 27, @03:22PM
|

Thanks for pointing me to Melman. His After Capitalism: from managerialism to workplace democracy is excellent. However, his work provides no support at all for your misplaced identification of “state capitalism” with “laissez-faire”. He clearly calls the former a phenomenon of the 20th century (see pg. 10 of the work mentioned above), while anyone with any knowledge of the subject can tell you that the latter is an ideology developed in the eighteenth/nineteenth centuries. I notice that you haven't responded to my last sally. Cat got your tongue?\\
\\

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**Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC**
by Fra THA;M on Saturday November 17, @08:55PM

“What we need now, he says, is a similar framework encouraging our culture to the next step…“

No what we need is a completely different framework that corrects the inherent ills of the miserable failings of the existant system.


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|Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Xnoubis> on Sunday November 18, @01:29PM\\|

Did you happen to read the article? Just curious.\\


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**Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC**
by <Zarathustra> on Saturday November 24, @02:34AM

I DID read the article, or a huge chunk of it, and I'm not impressed. Wilber makes very interesting points about how different levels of the American consciousness would respond to the attack, and has thoughtful suggestions about more “integrative” levels of being and how to act on those.

But while these are interesting discussions, Wilber goes way too far with them. He appears to suggest: “If a person or entity acts according to their fullest integrative wisdom, then this person will act correctly (ethically and/or practically).”

This sounds nice, but it is horribly flawed because it DOES NOT DEMAND ANY REFERENTS FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD. No factual analysis of the situation, no consideration of events, just an intent study of the contents of one's psyche. This is just not enough, and in the current situation it is disastrous. America already thinks the rest of the world doesn't really exist; Wilber seems to suggest that we continue to manipulate our dream-state of the world, instead of studying the world AND our impact upon it.

Wilber suggests that Ameria can study its navel and come up with foreign policy. God help us, because that's what we do anyway.


**Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC**
by <Zarathustra> on Saturday November 24, @03:55AM

I also want to take Wilber to task for his rather incredibly misleading and nasty statements about the peace movement and its response to 9-11. In going through the “chakras”(?) of responses, Wilber notes that all of these would argue for a counterattack on Afghanistan – except the “green” chakra (Anahata?), which would oppose it. Wilber then links this chakra with lefist politics, and totally castigates this for several pages. Wilber suggests that any response to 9-11 that talks about US responsibility is a sign of “postmodernism,” moral relativism, and an inability to do anything but kick the US.

It seems odd, and really imbalanced, of Wilber to reserve all of his invective for the one “chakra” that has any critique of US policy.

Wilber's mean swipe at Susan Sontag is particularly galling. Sontag wrote an article in the New Yorker saying that she felt the US media were dumbing everything down after the attacks, and she wished there were more info for the US public about the legitimate grievances many Arabs and Muslims have with us. Her article is quite a moving plea for expanded information and a mature national discussion, and is not even remotely “poststructuralist.”

Here is Wilber's comment on Sontag: ”[She was] trying desperately to reanimate the poststructuralist ploys: she was busily inverting hierarchies as instructed by Derrida… That old creaky language is as gray as her hair, the entire enterprise a wrinkled agenda on aging, disillusioned Boomer faces.”

(Wilber, you asshole! The Nazis in 1933 would have told us the same thing - that liberal values were old and out of date.)

Obviously Wilber has spent too much time in academic circles, because he has a huge bone up his ass about postmodernism. Wilber's critique completely smears together postmodernism, Marxism, and critiques of colonialism – often bedfellows to be sure, but really distinct as thought systems.

Wilber is wrong to imply that the peace movement relies on postmodernism for its ideology or its critique of US policy in the Middle East. For example, Noam Chomsky, probably the most leading leftists on the planet and an ardent critic of US policy in the Middle East, has no use for postmodernism. Probably most of the peace marchers around the world have only a dim understanding of it either.

Wilber doesn't seem to understand the difference between saying:

“All people have the same human rights and should be treated equally and fairly” (an Enlightenment-era statement - Condorcet) – and:

“All thought systems of different cultures are equally valid, therefore there is no ultimate truth” (a postmodernist-ish statement).


You really don't need statement #2 to criticize the war. You just have to adopt a consistent moral stance that says:

Punish only the guilty.

The Afghans are not guilty.

Don't punish them.


This is straight-up Kant (categorical imperative) - no need for Derrida here.

Bizarrely enough, Wilber calls his novel a “postmodern novel”, noting with delight that it critiques postmodermism – and isn't THAT contrast EVER so postmodernist!! Oohhh, Ken, you're so CUTE!!!

The overall impression I get of Wilber is an extremely arrogant intellectual, versed in Eastern religion, who wants to expand his verbal territory into politics - a field he doesn't really want to bother to become well versed in.


Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Xnoubis> on Sunday November 25, @01:50PM
I DID read the article\\
\\
I'm glad someone finally did. Thanks, Z. Like it or dislike it, it's worth reading.\\
\\
it is horribly flawed because it DOES NOT DEMAND ANY REFERENTS FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD.\\
\\
I wouldn't be surprised if aspects of his argument fall apart on closer inspection, even though I agree with his conclusions – Wilber's more of a “big picture” guy, and as such is probably vulnerable in the details. But I disagree with your observation here; it's probably a difference of language. I think that what Wilber refers to as “fullest integrative wisdom” fully demands referents from the outside world in addition to the contents of one's psyche. What are the components to be integrated anyway? Internal and external, individual and collective.\\
\\
“chakras”(?)\\
\\
The Spiral Dynamics sequence of value-systems that Wilber uses can't be mapped to the chakras with much accuracy. They're not intended to be, at any rate.\\
\\
It seems odd, and really imbalanced, of Wilber to reserve all of his invective for the one “chakra” that has any critique of US policy.\\
\\
Two points:
- Wilber's approach to the Green (sociocentric) value-system is generating a lot of controversy. I think the rationale is: the world needs to go beyond Green to the Yellow (integral) level in order to solve its problems, and the most likely candidates for that jump are the approximately 10% of the populace already centered in Green. Wilber's diagnosis is that “Boomeritis,” or the combination of arrested moral relativism and obsessive narcissism, is the chief obstacle preventing the movement from Green to Yellow. Therefore, attack it without mercy.\\
Some people are questioning Wilber's approach, wondering what good is supposed to come of these attacks. But a worse problem to me is that much of the criticism being directed at Wilber's perspective is being dismissed as the natural narrow-mindedness of Green. (Certainly, your approach here would be characterized as more of the “Mean Green Meme” in some Wilber circles.) I think this is something that the Integral movement is going to have to come to terms with, and soon. At least half the time, complaints about Green sound like they're coming from unresolved Orange (achievement/competition) issues – but some of these folks act as if they're not supposed to have “first tier” issues at all.
- Let's keep it precise: all of the value-systems have critiques of US policy. Wilber asserts that Green is the only value-system to have a critique, specifically, of the exercise of US military force in Afghanistan as a response to the 9/11 tragedy.

I think you're right to point out that Wilber's definition of postmodernism (which can only really be understood in the context of Spiral Dynamics) varies widely from the accepted norm. He wants it defined into an absurdity. More than likely, he'll have to come up with a different set of terms to express what he means. Or he and his people just might wind up writing the history books on this era, as he'd like.\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Sunday November 25, @05:56PM
Will this turn into something like those Enneagramisms, “How Orange of you”, “That's really Green!”, “Can't we all be a little more Yellow here?”\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <jcat> on Sunday November 25, @10:18PM
mellow yellow and yellow submerine\\
just surfaced on a green sea\\
rather choppy waters churnin the soup\\
no blue meanies around\\
church lady got her orange powder in the mail\\
\\
DNA intelligence spiraling through the indigo go\\
\\
meanwhile back at the Homeland ranch, red white and blue is analyzing how to make terror\\
and dissent one and the same; green with envy\\
\\
purple passion just got more violet, check out the\\
lower left angle of the Enneagraming vector\\
spectrum of truths and meme poop shoot…\\
\\
jelly beans….and colored balls on the game board\\
go…black and white…\\
are intergal…\\
parts o\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Xnoubis> on Monday November 26, @09:21AM
Not only can it be used that way, it's intended to be, unlike the enneagram, which was never supposed to be separated from the context of work within an esoteric school. I've found the SD vocabulary very helpful on those rare occasions when I've met someone else who's conversant in it. I can make the same points without it, but it takes a lot longer.\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <jcat> on Wednesday November 28, @05:35PM
…i find this sort of amusing, or more to the point; it is illustrative of something that i\\
am tring to think about, and can't quite articualte at this moment; but here goes anyway:\\
\\
“unlike the enneagram, which was never supposed\\
to be seperated from the context of work within\\
an esoteric school”\\
\\
…ok, what i am wondering is; you know about,\\
so-called esoteric contexts; is not said context\\
an arbitrary imaginary boundry, in that the very notion of keeping something secret, and yet that very 'secret' is the highly coveted bit of information that is going to what?…give some\\
person power; simply because it is a hidden thing!because of that very secret; it has power;\\
or if it is so percious and others could not comprehend it anyway; that is the reason that is\\
exclusive…!\\
\\
…just some thoughts on a complex context issue\\
\\
…as it seems to me that 'secret' and or esoteric\\
knowledge is just as vulnerable as some bit of info that would be considered subversive ect.\\
\\

Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Mordecai> on Wednesday November 28, @05:54PM
I agree with your analysis as applied to most “esoteric” schools, where ordinary exoteric knowledge is hedged about with prohibitions and secrets mainly as a way of (at best) piquing people's curiosity or (most often) buttressing some egotist's authority. Real esoteric knowledge is something that can't be “taught”, but can be “caught” (to paraphrase Joe Miller, the late leader of Thepsophy in SF). In other words, it's not something you can learn by hearing about it; you have to actually have the experience. An “enlightened” teacher can describe it to people until she's blue in the face, but they won't really get it until they actually experience it. Talking about it serves a purpose though. It can clue people into paying proper attention to their experiences.\\
\\

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|Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <jcat> on Wednesday November 28, @07:19PM
|

…as i agree;\\
\\
therefore it is my experiance that those whom\\
covet secret arcane knowledge; are in fact\\
the wrong people to have it, in yet they\\
usualy are the one's whom are indeed the\\
repositories of 'It'…and herein lays a\\
mystery; and or a 'seething contradiction'\\
\\
and so it follows; who am i to say this?\\
\\
my answer to this is; I am not sure!\\
\\

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Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <Xnoubis> on Thursday November 29, @11:40AM
The situation with enneagram studies is analogous to the phenomenon of the cargo cult. There was a tribe in Africa, for instance, whose members caught sight of an airplane. They responded to that startling experience by building an airplane-shaped idol and performing rituals around it. The idea that the airplane is a tool that people use to fly never occurred to them.\\
\\
Similarly, the enneagram as it has been popularized was originally just a part of a much larger, sophisticated system of inner work. But that part was isolated from its context, and became a subject for cocktail conversation like a newspaper horoscope. That context wasn't esoteric in the sense of someone trying to keep secrets (at least not before the theft), but esoteric in the sense of requiring harder preparatory work than most people are willing to go through.\\
\\
There are other kinds of secrets that have power only because they are kept secret, I agree. But I don't that that's the case with the enneagram.\\
\\

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|Re: The Deconstruction of the WTC\\
by <jcat> on Friday November 30, @04:19AM
|

…i have no reason particularly to question the\\
meaning of the esoteric enneagram, in the context that it was; is a tool for self descovery, a type\\
of psycological key to higher consciousness; as it were, however i do slightly question the manner\\
that this “esoteric tool” became exoteric as some\\
vulger cheapened version of itself; is this not the fate of all outward manifestations; as they appear of the level that people can begin to\\
utilize them in “schools of thought”.\\
\\
is not all perfect mirrors of the ineffible\\
the beginning of the long road to hell?\\
\\
and as soon as we ascribe perfection to some\\
complex mirror is it not so many reflections\\
to our most degraded condition?\\
\\
to even emagine that there is some perfect\\
thing in an imperfect world; that will remain\\
in the hands of the exalted masters; that use such\\
a 'mirror key'…to emagine that there is some\\
moment when some betrayal took place, and the “secret” was let out of the bag…and now the\\
montibanks have arrived to suddenly place the tool in the hands of fools; and exploit it for fun and profit is somehow so absurd; and at the same\\
time cause for grave concern….is; well to my\\
mind totaly ludicris…\\
\\

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