Integral theory gives us a powerful way to interpret world events. We see that tribalism gives rise to traditionalism, which gives rise to modernity, which gives rise to postmodernity. In all four quadrants! This week Jeff focuses on the emergence of postmodern culture in some of the most rapidly modernizing parts of the world.

Marauding Buddhists in Burma (1:00)

We start with a story that challenges one of the tenets of  Western liberal thinking: that Buddhism is a religion of peace. But altitude trumps doctrine, and indigenous amber Buddhism sometimes exhibits qualities abhorrent to Western green Buddhism.

The Worldwide Emergence of The Green Altitude (7:35)

  • Animal rights in China (11:50)
  • Special report from from Brazil; live with Marcelo Cardoso (30:15)
  • Special report from Turkey; live with Emine Kiray (42:50)

The big story in global development over the last 20 years has been the movement of over 1 billion people out of abject poverty (defined as less than $1.25 a day, so we still have a ways to go here). Most of this growth has happened in countries that are modernizing, such as China, India, Turkey and Brazil.

One of the great gifts of modernity is the ability to efficiently create material wealth, and this is true not only for the poorest of the poor but also for a growing middle class, which we are seeing in all of these countries. The middle class is the modern class, the people who are drawn to be part of the greater world. They move into cities (for the first time in history over half of the world’s population now lives in cities) and work in commerce, manufacturing and service. They are more educated, traveled and plugged in to the global information grid.

But emergence doesn’t stop there; the stabilizing of a middle class in the developing world sets the stage for a new story that is now being told, the arising of international postmodernity (Green Altitude). From a nascent animal rights movement in China, to mass public demonstrations in Turkey and Brazil, this week has seen postmodern expression bubble up in some unlikely places. Let’s take a look…

Listen below to an excerpt. The full audio is here on