Integral Politics—A Summary of Its Essential Ingredients
April 24, 2007 00:04

The following is the last installment of three of the middle chapters from Book Two of a work-in-progress, The Many Faces of Terrorism, a trilogy referred to as the "terrorism trilogy."  Taken together, these three chapters outline an Integral Political Theory, which is much further detailed in the trilogy itself.  But all the essentials are here, and especially in this particular chapter.  You might have seen this chapter with "part 3" in the subtitle, but we also title this chapter, "Integral Politics: A Summary of Its Essential Ingredients," because that is exactly what it is.  You needn't have read the first two chapters to understand this, as it is a good stand-alone.  In the chapter itself there is a "Handout" with the basic ingredients listed and summarized, and we have included that in its entirety at the end of the chapter, since it is introduced part by part in the narrative.         

       There's nothing you really need to know about the plot, since these chapters don't really deal with that, and it's much too dense to summarize in a short intro anyway.  We have added some intro diagrams not in the original chapters, for those new to Integral (AQAL) Theory, although the last diagram is in the original chapter.  All you need to know is that this narrative is ostensibly being written by a 25-year-old named Ken Wilber (part of Ken's poke at the self-reflexiveness of postmodernism), who has just found out that Kim, seated next to him, has been considering him as a potential father for her children-children that, given their nanobotic future, might have biological immortality (see esp. the previous two installments posted here: Part 1 and Part 2).  Ken is loopy in love, as is the person soon to be sitting on the other side of him, a teacher named Margaret.  Their struggle to carry on a conversation, as they fade in and out from logic to love, is part of the hilarity of the chapter.  The serious part is, of course, what might be the first Integral map of politics ever devised, which, in the book, is discovered/created by Lesa Powell (the object of Margaret's mutual affection). 

       The setting is a press conference being given by Integral Center (a play on Integral Institute, of course), who are reporting the results of a computer futures scenario, a scenario that, using the AQAL Code (or the Integral model, explained below), has found that around 30 years from now ("P+30"; i.e., the "Present + 30 years"), there will occur a tetra-Singularity of staggering proportions.  Think of it like the Singularity described by Ray Kurzweil-except that his Singularity only refers to the Right-Hand quadrants, not the interior or Left-Hand quadrants, where, the AQAL Code predicts, we will finally have over 10% of the population reaching truly Integral (or ‘second-tier') levels-hence, a Singularity-like occurrence in all four quadrants.  This is where these three chapters pick up.  But the overall plot of the trilogy deals with many other items: especially, as the title suggests, the nature of terrorism itself-what it is, why it is, how it is, as well as how to deal with it, from an AQAL or truly Integral fashion.  The first book of the trilogy introduces the Integral model (using an ingenious two-level plot-line, where there is something new and intriguing in the plot whether you know the Integral model or not; the second book focuses on Integral Politics (these excerpted chapters come from that book); and the third book focuses on the role of religion in the modern and postmodern world, which invariably entails a look at terrorism, again.  (These chapters are not much more than first drafts, so please remember that; but Ken tends to conceive books fully formed and then quickly write them down with little editing or changes, so first drafts are often quite close to last drafts.)  So we hope you enjoy this chapter, which is a brief slice from the trilogy itself, but one that has enough to indicate what a truly Integral Politics is, and how to begin to construct one in the real world.  Stay tuned to this site for more on the actual praxis; but for now, the theoria....        All best, the Editors

Integral Politics-A Summary of Its Essential Ingredients*

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