LIVE TUESDAY CALL #20
Well, it’s been a bad week for us Obamapologists I’m afraid. The lead story in the US is the Obamacare debacle, of course. While it has been demoralizing for those of us who feel government can be a force for good, I’m not too worried about it in the long term. It’s a messy beginning, but conflict and chaos are the engines of evolution, right?
I would have preferred a stellar rollout. But then I would have been even happier if instead of this insurance-based health care law, with its Republican origins, we could have worked our way into a “Medicare for all” universal health coverage policy instead. But it’s a step forward!
Rest assured, Obamacare is not going away and will only get better. Obama has three full years to make sure this program runs smoothly, at which point it will become locked in, as government entitlements always do. Let’s remember that Social Security and Medicare both had rocky starts, but are now wildly popular even among Republican voters.
I can’t imagine the scenario where the next President or Congress will take us back to the days when you lost your insurance if you lost your job. No more being turned down for pre-existing conditions. No more fear that your credit could be ruined by medical bills, or a family could be one terminal illness away from total destitution.
So while Obamacare may be in short-term trouble, the larger trajectory of moral development in our culture is right on schedule, as we include more people in an ever expanding safety net. This social movement is the fundamental gift of the green altitude, and we can see it increasingly reflected in many areas, from the debate to provide a living wage to workers to offering a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
In the second half of the call I focus on positive developments in the civil wars that have been raging in the Congo and in Syria. After a decisive battle two weeks ago, the M23 rebel group has given up its struggle and is in the process of being disarmed by the Ugandan military in preparation for peace talks. The Congolese war has resulted in five million dead, endless rape, child soldiers, cannibalism, (yes this conflict has often degenerated into a red/magenta war where you literally eat your enemy’s organs to gain his strength), becoming the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The Syrian government and its rebels are also preparing for peace talks, in Geneva. It seems that in the past several months both President Assad and the rebels fighting him have come to realize that they have a common enemy: the amber-traditionalist Islamists that want to take over and restore Sharia law. Nothing like a common enemy to bring people together!
There have been about 150 civil wars since the end of WWII, most fought before the fall of the Berlin wall. Currently there are about ten, and the global community is focused on finding ways to end these conflicts. We’re actually getting better at it — witness the US and Russia working together to cool down Syria. During the cold war the superpowers were doing the opposite: funding and arming opposing factions in proxy wars throughout the world, including Korea, Vietnam and Nicaragua.
At the end of the call I shared a little bit about what we did and learned at the Integral Living Room, the gathering Diane Hamilton, Terry Patten and I convened at the Integral Center here in Boulder over the Halloween weekend. It was focused on intersubjective enlightenment, which is a hot topic in the integral/evolutionary community (the lower left quadrant is really coming into its own!) We’re seeing a shift where people are not just interested in 1st person meditation practice, but are more and more willing to engage in 2nd person relational meditation in a community container. Because what you can’t see by looking within you can see reflected back to you by other people — that is if you’re brave enough!
I also got to take a stab at some really good questions from a few callers. Have a listen!
Listen to an excerpt here. The full audio is on integrallife.com