Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Socialism in its various 20th century forms has been the most deadly evil ever foisted on humanity by it’s own hands. Only disease is a deadlier threat to humanity. Socialism in the wrong hands is weaponized economics. It’s economic WMD. Socialism in the hands of RED or BLUE is every bit as dangerous as Nukes in the hands of RED or BLUE.
Now, I have said in the past that I am OK with socialism so long as it is voluntary within a community and not a coercive (mandatory) political order. I hold to that. If people want to get together to do socialism, by starting a commune or something – perfectly fine. They may still have to interact with the “market” of the outside world unless they are completely self sufficient.
Definitions are important.
Many people, and especially socialists, love to hold up our current fucked up system and call it “Capitalism” and then proceed to beat free market advocates over the head with their straw man. So I’ve decided they can keep it. I will cede the term “capitalism” (itself the invention of Marx) to reference the current system of mixed socialist, fascist, corporate kleptocracy. We have the system we have because we live in a representative democracy and it represents an amalgam of the current competing 1st Tier vMemes of Post-Modernists (GREEN), Traditionalists (BLUE), and Modernists (ORANGE) respectively. I fully agree that what we have now sucks (though it could be far far worse). I do not advocate for the “capitalist” system we have today, I advocate for freedom, for Integral Panarchy, and for the Agora.
Socialists see the problem with our system as one of “greed,” and seek to bring about equality of outcomes through forced redistribution or communalization of wealth, property, capital, means of production, etc.. It’s a view that holds that no one person or group is more deserving of wealth and means than anyone else, and therefore those means must be shared equally among all (although in practice we find that this never actually happens in socialist societies). It is the noble post-modern egalitarian ethic of absolute fairness, translated into politics. A beautiful idea, but partial, flat, reductive.
At Second Tier the problem is no longer seen as one of greed, it is one of development. It is really not so much of a problem at all insofar as “rational self interest” is a healthy manifestation of our Modernist ORANGE consciousness. “Greed”/self interest is, after all, a virtue at ORANGE – see Ayn Rand – The Virtue of Selfishness. Conversely, Socialism is the political manifestation of Postmodernism. It is GREEN’s politics, and as such it can work fairly well in a homogeneous GREEN society where nearly everyone is operating at GREEN. In fact the closer you get to that ideal, the better it functions. Thus you saw in the 20th century that Socialism failed in red/BLUE Soviet Russia and in Asia and in Latin America and in purple/RED Africa, but has more success in orange/GREEN Scandinavia and other parts of western Europe, because they have far higher populations at GREEN. Take a group of people at GREEN, and stick them in community with each other, and some form of socialism is very likely how they will organize.
Similarly with ORANGE Corporatism, and BLUE Fascism (Nationalism), and RED Feudalism. They work just fine for a population where nearly everyone is at the appropriate level of consciousness. What does NOT work well is having a RED or BLUE or ORANGE population in a Socialist framework (or any other mismatch really). America (and increasingly Canada, the UK, and the rest of Europe) have a heavily mixed population all at different stages, and in my view this will eventually result in one of two scenarios: Civil Strife, violence and eventual balkanization, or a peaceful transition to Integral Panarchy.
Socialism is not Integral. It’s NOT. It can form a part of an integral framework, but stop trying to drag a First Tier political paradigm into Second Tier because you became wedded to it in your postmodern youth. Please for the love of humanity, let it go.
Okay, Let’s start with first principles.
“When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called “the People’s Stick.””
Ask yourself what is the Job of Integral. What is it supposed to bring to society. Spiral Dynamics (Beck/Cowan) tells us that the transition from GREEN to YELLOW is not of the same order as that from ORANGE to GREEN. It is a momentous leap. As Beck and Cowen put it; “This is not just another another step along the developmental staircase. The GREEN problems in LC6 include those of all the previous worlds, LC1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 and often resonate with them.” (1)
The Life Conditions at YELLOW (LC7) are those of an increasingly small, crowded, chaotic world. A world where all 1st Tier vMemes from PURPLE through GREEN are mashed together in constant contact and in constant conflict. People move around the globe creating vMeme mixed populations. Communication is global and instantaneous. Information is ultra-abundant and easily accessible. Everyone is connected to everyone and it is all too much to process. It is very literally a global social consciousness Tower of Babel. GREEN tries to include and harmonize all into the fold but becomes overwhelmed with the various wants, the competing needs and desires. GREEN does not understand that all people are not equal. Equal in rights yes, equal in dignity, but not equal developmentally, not equal in ability, or capacity. This is the wall that GREEN runs into. One “equal” size does not fit all.
The purpose of YELLOW is to harmonize the chaos by integrating and organizing our global society for maximum health of the whole spiral of development; and that cannot be done with 1st Tier tools. YELLOW must arrange new social paradigms. These cannot be merely amalgams of, nor iterations on 1st Tier political orders (Tribalism, Dictatorships, Fascism, Democracy, Socialism). We must find new ways entirely to organize a 2nd Tier world.
If the purpose of YELLOW is to achieve the maximum health of the spiral of development and all the people in it, then a natural first principle is Primum non nocere:
“First, do no harm.”
This is not a new principle. Indeed it is ancient wisdom probably handed down to us from those through the ages who came to YELLOW and even beyond, well ahead of their time. This principle is the basis of the “Golden Rule,” the Hippocratic Oath, and the Non-aggression principle. It is a principle that is especially salient for YELLOW, the SD “doctors” who have the consciousness-tools to examine and diagnose the health or illnesses of the 1st Tier. But the purpose of YELLOW, much like that of a doctor, is as much to heal the illnesses of 1st Tier as it is to not to fix those things that aren’t broken.
YELLOW does not take healthy 1st Tier vMEMEs and try to force them to fit to a YELLOW mold like other 1st Tier vMEME’s do. No, indeed a YELLOW political paradigm would allow for the existence of healthy PURPLE tribes, RED chiefdoms, BLUE Theocracies, ORANGE Republics, and GREEN Communes. All within an Integral Framework that holds to the principle; First, do no harm, but that has systems and methods in place and ready to surgically remove a cancerous pathology when the need arises. My hope is that such a system is nearly inevitable and that it will form organically within this century (and perhaps as soon as mid century). I believe our trajectory, helped by an increasing number of people at GREEN taking the momentous leap to YELLOW consciousness, and the Integral technological revolutions of Genetics, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence, will take us there.
The only thing that could possibly stop that trajectory is a metastasization of GREEN pathology, which could cause us to be arrested at a mean GREEN stage. We are seeing the potentials of this in our societies now as the lower stages increasingly cloak themselves in the GREEN vMEME; RED gains power and status through “oppression olympics” and fights on the front lines as warriors for social justice. BLUE leads the inquisition against non-believers, rooting out climate change heresy, “hate speech,” and “fascism” where ever they find it. ORANGE is subdued and covert, towing the party line and finding ways to maximize and perpetuate their personal success within the boundaries defined by GREEN whether in the corporate world, the media, or in politics. All of them will happily use the political paradigm of GREEN; Socialism, to further their own competing ends, and we will find ourselves arrested there in a Mean GREEN socialist world.
I for one am not prepared to let that happen.