In my latest posts regarding the Mean Green Meme I have been focusing primarily on the way in which less complex vMemes wash themselves in GREEN in order to gain access the to political and social power of the dominant vMeme. This is what is known in Spiral Dynamics as Stretching down and it usually happens once a vMeme has passed its peak and is on its way to being transcended by the next wave. In other words GREEN stretches down to cover ORANGE, BLUE, RED, and PURPLE and by incorporating them and cloaking them in GREEN value signals it thereby maintains dominance. Conversely the less complex vMemes can enjoy the clout they gain by broadcasting GREEN virtues in order to further their own agendas. A win-win situation you might think, but its also a double edged sword. The less complex vMemes become stuck, having no incentive to actually go through the internal work required to genuinely shift their world view, hey instead enter an “arrested” state. Meanwhile the dominant vMeme becomes polluted with the agendas of the lower vMemes. Their purpose becomes confused and “mean.”
What I did not mention is that SD tells us that a vMeme can and does stretch up as well. The Mean Green Meme can color those in YELLOW (most particularly those who still have one foot in GREEN, i.e. GREEN/yellow or green/YELLOW). Why is this? Because recall that the dominant social Memes are incredibly influential on the individuals in a given group. A vMeme is like a virus, literally. It is transmitted from person to person, and infects the mind with the basic ideas that form the foundation of our view of the world.
Almost all of the dominant social Memes of the current day, regardless of their actual vMeme core values, have donned the GREEN mantle of the 60’s and 70’s – they are riding the coat tails of GREEN – and it is difficult for GREEN to really discern their true motives for what they are. This is a survival mechanism for the less complex vMemes. When a new vMeme becomes dominant the “lower” vMemes begin to spin off sub-Memes that mimic those dominant vMeme value signals so they too can gain social influence.
Even if one operates cognitively at an integral level, if that same person belongs to a social group that adopts Green Memes as its core values there will be a strong pressure to “virtue signal” those Memes. Because YELLOW is the first vMeme that does not reject the true nature of the “lower” vMemes, it is easy for YELLOW to simply re-inhabit GREEN again which can potentially result in a regression. GREEN is the most complex and developed of the 1st tier vMemes, and so to YELLOW it can be the most “comfortable” social space to inhabit. This is one reason I believe many who study Integral concepts such as SD are still so susceptible to the Mean Green Meme. Either they are still GREEN and projecting their vMeme onto YELLOW, or they have left one foot back in GREEN, and have not fully transcended it.
It is this complete transcendence from GREEN, yet simultaneous love of GREEN’s healthy manifestations that I look for when I try to determine whether someone (political figure, writer, blogger etc) is truly YELLOW (Integral) and not GREEN, GREEN/yellow, green/YELLOW etc.. There are many people who claim to have an Integral World View, while still keeping one foot in GREEN. There is nothing wrong with that of course. Each person walks their own path, and all paths are valid (so long as they are healthy)
Spotting the Integral Mind
Someone who has truly come into an Integral worldview will find themselves capable of discerning the true vMeme through the thickest veil of GREEN vMeme virtue signalling. Whether we’re talking about Third Wave Feminism (RED), or Zealous Environmentalism (BLUE), or “green-sector” Industries (ORANGE), it is easy for YELLOW but nearly impossible for GREEN to discern the true vMeme origin for what it really is. When YELLOW encounters Third Wave Feminism for example it immediately recognizes the contradiction between the laudable progressive goals of 1st and 2nd Wave Feminism and the crass bullying, shrieking, and strong arm tactics that (RED) 3rd Wave uses to kowtow society (particularly in academia) to their ideology.
Similarly when YELLOW encounters Zealous Environmentalism it instantly recognizes the contradiction between, on the one hand; the extraordinarily positive and beneficial impact of environmentalism which vastly reduced pollution in the later half of the 20th century and created a better world for us all; and the current (BLUE) absolutist quasi-religious anti-human Gaia worship that passes for environmental science.
And when YELLOW encounters Green Industry it instantly recognizes the contradiction between the stated goals of these industries to create jobs in a new “green sector” and produce environmentally friendly products; and the actual result of publicly subsidized (ORANGE) boondoggles that consumed countless resources and then promptly failed, or worse, caused their own industrial scale environmental problems as is the case with Solar, Wind and Bio-fuels.
Those at YELLOW in the political-social-media-circus are often quite adept at pulling these Mean Green tropes apart, while giving praise and credit where credit is due to healthy manifestations of GREEN. This can most commonly be seen among the so called “Alt-Right” and “Alt-Left” which includes a wide range from Bernie Sanders Leftist-Libertarians, to Anarcho-Capitalists, Back-to-the-land-Preppers, to Tea-Party protesters, to 99 per-centers. Pretty much the only thing they all have in common is that they are generally Anti-Establishment and not easily fooled by 1st tier propaganda. Exactly what you’d expect from an Integral mind.