James Turner on Integral Naked - The Integral-Political Imperative
December 10, 2007 13:43

James Turner - The Integral-Political Imperative.  Part 1.  The Nader Years.

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A founding pioneer in more Integral forms of law, politics, and federal regulation shares how he got his start applying the concepts of an infamous political activist to all areas of our modern economic society, offers a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century American political history, and suggests how a more Integral Politics can illuminate and enlighten even the realm of bureaucracy….

WhoJim Turner is a principal in the Swankin & Turner law firm, a founding member of Integral Institute, and its Integral Politics and Integral Business branches.  He is also the host of “Of Consuming Interest” on the Progressive Radio Network.

Summary:  Jim Turner began his career as a young law student who realized that Ralph Nader’s pointed critique of the automobile industry circa the 1960’s (e.g., Unsafe at Any Speed) wasn’t merely about cars, but about corporate power and responsibility in nearly every sector of society—and the press simply wasn’t getting it, nor the general population.  Jim felt it was his responsibility to suggest to Mr. Nader how his message might be more broadly and effectively communicated—and so he tracked Mr. Nader down, eventually ending up being invited to dinner at Ralph’s home. 

Nader appreciated what Jim had to say about finding parallel problems in other corporate arenas, and then said, “Well, what would you do?”  Jim said, “Let’s do food.”  It turns out Ralph had been a cook in the Army for six months, so he gave the go-ahead.  Then, in 1970, with the assistance of two-dozen medical, law, and political science students, Jim published The Chemical Feast: The Ralph Nader Study Group Report on Food Protection and the Food and Drug Administration—hailed by Time Magazine as “The most devastating critique of a government agency ever written.”

But, ultimately, it’s not merely about cars or food, or any specific product.  It’s about a more Integral Approach to corporate entities, the government agencies that regulate them, and the citizen-consumers who are affected by the actions of both (and who, as Jim makes clear, usually get the short end of the stick).  Here, Jim and Ken go right back to the dawn of the United States as a country—and as an economic force—and the Hamiltonian (large federal government) and Jeffersonian (small federal government) influences that continue to this day.  Ken comments that only a truly Integral Politics can reconcile the important truths of both perspectives, and then transcend-and-include them in a post-postmodern politics that today’s world demands.  Jim responds by commenting that he and Lawry Chickering (both founding members of I-I) are writing a book called The Transpartisan Imperative, which is clearly an expression of the Integral Imperative in the world at large.

(To learn more about an explicitly Integral-AQAL Politics, click here.)


“Consumers play a role in the economy like voters in the political process… but the alliance between the corporate sector and the government can be so tight, that there can be huge barriers for the individuals’ wellbeing and interests being taking care of….”   


(Click here for full dialogue.)


Previously on Integral Naked:

Sally Kempton - Designer Spirituality, or Discipline Disaster?
Ken Wilber - The Origins of the Integral Perspective
Sally Kempton - From Bohemian Rebel to Integral Swami
Joe Perez - The Power of Integral Reconciliation
Alanis Morissette - Healing the Ruptures
Sally Kempton - Seeing Beyond the Mythic God
Joe Perez: Soulfully Gay - Out of the Closet, Into an Integral Embrace
Dan Millman: The Peaceful Warrior's Way - The Highest Teaching
Alex Grey: Integral Art - Anchoring the Seed of Liberation
Alanis Morissette: From Jagged Little Pill to Flavors of Entanglement
Sharon Stone: Like a Fine Diamond....
Dan Millman: The Peaceful Warrior’s Way - “This Is How to Do It”
Alex Grey: Integral Art - When Psychedelics Reveal the Spirit Within
Deepak Chopra: Buddha - A Story of Enlightenment
Integral Art
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