It is Integral’s Job to Identify, Expose and Fight the Mean Green Meme

The problem with people who are at Yellow (Integral) is that they have an integral world view! What do I mean?  The hallmark of the Integral Worldview is that you have completely integrated all “1st Tier” vMemes. You  understand GREEN, because you came out of and integrated GREEN and you feel GREEN empathy for GREEN. You want to protect beautiful, kind, soulful Green from the assaults of ORANGE and BLUE and RED.  Because you see the order in the chaos – the emerging patterns that link consciousness, society, culture, art, technology, and more into an intricate and complex meshwork – you know that shifting social consciousness to a GREEN center is a necessary step toward an integral society. You want GREEN politicians in office to make GREEN the leading edge of social change.

I think what a lot of people fail to understand, is that MeanGreen (which consists of less complex vMemes  masquerading as GREEN) is perhaps the greatest danger to civilization today. Much like MeanOrange was our greatest danger in the 1930’s, so it is now with MeanGreen. 

In my two part post on Spiral Dynimics I talked about how the “Mean Memes” develop. I discussed the life cycle of a vMeme, how it is born after the prior vMeme peaks in dominance and influence, and grows to maturity as the prior vMeme very often falls into “meanness.” What I didn’t talk about is why I think vMeme’s often fall in such a way. I don’t think such a decent into meanness is inevitable, yet it still seems to occur fairly consistently.

What happens (inasmuch as I have gathered from my study of SD) is that when a vMeme is at the height of its influence and has become the dominant driver of advances in society, art, technology and social well-being, many of those operating from a less complex vMeme begin to put on the dominant vMeme’s “clothes” so-to-speak. They paint themselves in the color of the dominant vMeme in order to gain social influence. This is what we see has happened to GREEN (F-S).


She may be wearing GREEN but she is RED to the bone.

GREEN is still the dominant vMeme in our social discourse. GREEN drives our art, our science and learning, and our politics. Yet the actual number of people that are genuinely operating from a GREEN wave of consciousness are a minority compared to those that have learned to broadcast GREEN value signals without themselves progressing beyond a prior wave. MeanGreen can thus be understood best as elements (both individual and group) of PURPLE, RED, BLUE, and ORANGE vMeme’s that have washed themselves in GREEN in order to gain the influence in society that GREEN has earned, without having to progress any further up the Spiral themselves.

This is bad both for GREEN (because it subverts the purpose of GREEN and appropriates it to further the purposes of “lower” vMemes) as well as for the holon – individual or group (because it keeps them in an arrested state of development).

ORANGE Scientists that cloak themselves in GREEN to secure large government research grants and further their careers.

ORANGE Corporations that cloak themselves in GREEN to improve their public image and increase their sales.

BLUE Politicians, Bureaucrats, Lawyers and Judges who cloak themselves in GREEN to make and enforce new laws, thereby increasing their authority.

BLUE Religious Groups that reinterpret their scriptures and tenets in GREEN ways to attract more followers for their God.

RED Politicians who use GREEN rhetoric to increase their power, wealth and influence.

RED “social-justice” sub-cultures that adopt GREEN victim roles to play off GREEN empathy and guilt and gain resources, entitlements and social attention.

Integrals need to learn to recognize these manifestations of MeanGreen in our Society, and push back against them. We must strip them of their GREEN clothes and reveal the true vMeme beneath. We must look deeper not only at what people say, but at what they do, and how their actions and words actually conform with the vMeme they cloak themselves in.



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3 Responses to It is Integral’s Job to Identify, Expose and Fight the Mean Green Meme

  1. Jason Gosnell says:

    Good insights… blue-orange reps often use green like this as well.


  2. Jason Gosnell says:

    Do you think Obama’s restrictions on rules of engagement was something some version of mean or unhealthy green?

    Today, I listened to 2 mothers report how their sons died due to not being able to fire upon the enemy until fired upon…even with RPGs.

    They were killed without firing a shot.

    Seems to me that healthy yellow could easily light up strong blue to address the mean red meme! Strong blue doesn’t play that way though…it heads red off at the pass and wipes them out. This whole problem concerns me.


  3. brodoland says:

    I think that Obama is probably genuinely a GREEN vMeme guy. As such he simply doesn’t know what to do with RED’s willingness to burn down the world in order to take power, or BLUE’s willingness to sacrifice themselves and others for their cause. GREEN has a tendency to project it’s own value system onto less complex vMeme’s. They see PURPLE as ideal communities that need protection. They see RED as victims that need to be saved from ORANGE exploitation. They see BLUE as backward, bigoted and authoritarian, and ORANGE as greedy exploiters that must be stopped.

    So GREEN goes into Somalia, or Iraq, or Libya and deposes some (RED) strong man – who happened to be the only thing keeping the PURPLE/RED tribes in check – and tries to implement a new “democratic” government in their image, and it’s too big of a leap. It doesn’t work.

    In war GREEN tries to limit the damage as much as possible and “rules of engagement” are a way in which they do that, but RED and BLUE just sees this as weakness, and they have learned to exploit this weakness, and play on the heart-strings of GREEN in order to win. I believe, if you look at Europe for example, that GREEN is in danger of losing everything to RED/blue. They are on the verge of being over-run. What is needed is a RED response to RED. It’s not about migrants, or refugees, or racism or any of that. Europe is in a war for the survival of the GREEN vMeme there, and if we are not careful, within a few short years we may be in the same situation.


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