Bernie Sanders started his campaign to be the Democratic nominee for president back in April, “as a 74-year old rumpled, grumpy, self-described old school democratic socialist,” says Jeff. “Today he has included and transcended those qualities to transform himself into a sleek political populist taking on a system that he sees as rigged against the people.”
Jeff puts Bernie’s extraordinary rise into a larger evolutionary context that includes culture, politics and economics. He draws on the work of integral economist Said Dawlabani to describe the way value systems of different developmental stages oscillate between a focus on the individual and a focus on the collective. “The polarity is indestructible,” says Jeff, “but as the clock moves forward, these values are expressed in newly emerging ways.”
Sanders is an authentic, committed expression of the green, postmodern value system. With its emphasis on the collective, green is a proponent for a strong safety net, highly subsidized or even centralized health care, and education. “It’s just generally a move to a social contract that distributes more of the pie to more people,” Jeff says.
Whether he wins or not, Sanders has already served a purpose. He has succeeded at moving the ball in installing a green, progressive worldview into the American political scene. ~Jeff Salzman
Is it our destiny in the U.S. to move toward democratic socialism á la Northern Europe? Should we get behind the true believer and take our chances on Bernie’s crusade? Or ought we opt for Hillary Clinton’s incremental approach, which she describes as “sensible and achievable”? And how about the perennial Republican model of private enterprise, smaller government and lower taxes? Is there an integral approach that might honor the best of what each of these worldviews has to offer?
Also in the podcast: A viral video of a wedding in Auckland, New Zealand, where a newlywed husband and wife watch their family members perform the Haka, a dance from the Maori tradition. “This is an example of the power of integrating developmental levels in a healthy way, as a work of creative expression and performance art,” says Jeff.
Plus, Jeff recommends a new series on PBS called “First Peoples”, which hits two bullseyes for integralists. First, it unfolds a beautiful narrative of the evolution of early humanity, showing how we arose out of Africa 200,000 years ago to take over the world. Second, it reveals how contemporary scientists are incorporating non-rational ways of knowing, featuring Arturo Gonzales, the celebrated Mexican paleontologist, who discovered Eva de Navarone, the oldest skeleton ever found in the Americas, with the aid of a shaman and a psychedelic drug made from the glands of a Mexican toad.
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