Finding the seeds of an Integral Social Wave in the populist alt-right movement
In my last post I made the case that Integral thinkers should find a silver lining in the recent US presidential election. Despite the fact that the election of Trump was in many ways a regression toward BLUE/ORANGE and away from the ORANGE/GREEN in our political leadership, his election was also, I believe, made possible by the growing influence of an intellectual movement centered in YELLOW (G-T). This movement is beginning to rise up and seriously challenge the existing GREEN (F-S) intellectual order represented by Academia and the Main Stream Media for the first time. This relatively small group of upstart Writers, Podcasters and YouTubers dominated social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope, during this election cycle and motivated the bulk of BLUE, ORANGE, and yes even some RED vMemes as well to throw in for Trump.
It should be clear that there has been a shift in the Spiral Dynamic makeup of our societies around the globe since the time that Beck and Cowan published their work on Spiral Dynamics in 1996. I would argue that the center of gravity as one measures political/intellectual influence and/or power has moved from ORANGE/green to orange/GREEN in that time. As a result we’re seeing a concurrent rise in the influence of YELLOW, which was formally more fringe.
Social Media will be the vehicle that will propel the YELLOW (G-T) social wave into prominence. Just as pamphlets and newspaper was to ORANGE (E-R), radio and television was to GREEN (F-S), so will the internet and social media be to YELLOW. I predict that the future will see main stream and traditional media outlets continue to wane and the rise of new, independent, highly decentralized media sources. We’ll continue to see media consumption shift to smaller more niche providers that speak to specific vMemes at their level and in the next decade or two there will be a shift in the dominant “leading edge” of influential intellectuals from GREEN (communal-pluralistic) to YELLOW (agentic-integrative).
Recall that Spiral Dynamics predicts that YELLOW will be an agentic wave. The altitudes along the spiral oscillate from communal to agentic as you build upward and outward. It should surprise no one that YELLOW be born out of the political right. The care we must take is that we encourage a non-authoritarian (i.e. non-pathological) path for the alt-right to grow into something that can actually be properly called “Integral.” We are still far from that.
The major thrust, for now, of the emerging alt-right is to foment a popular rejection of the established pluralistic social order which is driven by a GREEN vMeme Intelligentsia. This will in turn leave a vacuum for a new integrative social order driven by a YELLOW vMeme Intelligentsia. Contrary to what the MSM wants you to believe, the Alt-Right is not driven by racism, bigotry or misogyny. That lazy characterization is convenient for the entrenched intelligentsia that senses its own imminent downfall, but it is little more than fog meant to confuse MSM consumers and delay the inevitable.
The leading edge of a social memetic shift has always been a minority that has had to enlist the help of lower level vMemes to bring about positive social change. I want to take a look at this leading edge and demonstrate why I think the sample of people below are among those that fit the bill (there are certainly many others). I won’t go so far as to make a claim that they are or aren’t “Integral” or are completely centered at YELLOW. I will only submit the opinion that I believe they have exhibited some (though perhaps not all) of the patterns of behavior and thought that I associate with an Integral mind, and I will let you judge for yourself.
For reference those patterns that I looked for are:
- They seem to show understanding and empathy for 1st Tier vMemes as (at a minimum) stages we all go through, or stages humanity goes through.
- They reject the pathologies of GREEN without rejecting the healthy purpose of GREEN.
- They’ve found a functional niche that honors who they are but doesn’t demand approval or validation from others while still being able to collaborate (post-pluralism)
- They accept uncertainty with an “I don’t know everything,” attitude. They Look for context and connections between ideas.
I have followed Stefan off and on since his work started appearing on lewrockwell.com back in the early 2000’s and of all the people on this list, his work is probably the most familiar to me. Although he can be an “acquired taste,” I have found Stefan to be firm and sincere in his principles, yet empathetic and open to the “other.” His impressive body of work includes his theory of universal secular ethics which he calls “UPB,” Universally Preferable Behavior. He has a large and extremely diverse audience that is demonstrated best through his regular call in shows. He is extremely prolific but I highly recommend taking the time to listen to and understand him. One of my favorite videos of his is below:
Milo has an incredible wit and has built himself in the image of an unrelenting internet troll battling the social justice warrior phenomenon on social media and on college campuses across the US through his “Dangerous Faggot Tour.” But beneath the troll exterior is a sincere desire to fight for free speech and free thought and to expose the hypocritical extremes of the pluralistic/relativistic mainstream left.
Mike is a master of social media, playing it like the devil plays the fiddle. He’s become a hero for a generation of men who’ve been raised in a hyper-feminized society. Recently he’s become an activist focused on issues of free speech and exposing media hoaxes. Below is an interview that gives some good insight into who he is and you can also check out his blog here.
Carey is the Senior Editor for Anti Media (one of my favorite alternative media sites). She is a self described former liberal who supported Obama in 2008 but by the 2012 election campaign had become so disappointed in the Obama presidency that it led to her eventually creating (along with several other contributors) the Anti Media website. She might not characterize herself as a part of the alt-right, but none-the-less she represents a large segment of the anti-establishment crowd on both the right and the left.
Blaire is a trans-gendered male to female who focuses on issues of gender identity politics. Unlike many in the trans community Blaire recognizes her gender as just a part of who she is and not a club to beat the world with. Her activism is geared toward speaking out against the trans SJW crowd’s hostility toward… well pretty much everyone else.
That Guy T
That Guy T is a you-tuber, anarcho-capitalist and downright brilliant guy who also supported Trump over Hillary. His videos, focusing on politics, race and social justice, are well researched and nuanced, showing empathy to all sides of an issue. I have really enjoyed his perspectives on a lot of social issues. Below is just a sample:
Cassandra is currently a writer and editor at subverse.net. She is a former Bernie supporter that switched to Trump once Bernie threw in the towel and declared his support for Hillary. She almost immediately suffered a vicious backlash on social media, but continued her staunch stand against Hillary, backing Trump as the anti-war, anti-wall street choice this season. The viciousness with which the left lashed out at her and the open armed reception she found among the alt-right has more than likely reshaped her world view.
This is just a very small sampling of some of those voices which I consider to be a part of the broader alt-right movement that helped to elect Donald Trump. There are many many more like them and it is a demographic that I believe will grow dramatically, especially among millennials, who are really the first generation whose Parents also grew up while the GREEN vMeme was fully established within the educational system and media. In my opinion this is the generation that will write the future of the coming Integral socio-political paradigm.