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).
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.