A Post-Progressive Look at Politics and Culture

Category: Favorites

“DUNKIRK” Rescues Heroism From Postmodernity

In this episode I review the movie “Dunkirk”, a wonderful new film by Christopher Nolan which I offer for consideration as a work of lntegral art.

As I say in the podcast (and accompanying transcript), “Dunkirk” expresses traditional values in a postmodern voice. The resulting integration is both cool and drenched with meaning. The effect is that we lower our guard to become directly vulnerable to the predicament of the soldiers fighting the battle onscreen.

I was thrilled by the movie and left feeling enlarged, as if I had experienced not just the suffering and heroism of the characters, but the suffering and heroism of humanity. Thus inspired, I offer this review to propose that “Dunkirk” achieves and transmits an emergent, post postmodern aesthetic. And to encourage you to see it!

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Donald Trump Has A Very Small Amygdala

In this episode I attempt once again to plumb the shallows of Donald Trump’s mind.

I was spurred by an article in The Atlantic magazine about children who have been diagnosed with “callous and unempathetic traits.” In many ways Trump fits the profile of these children, who to a surprising degree do not respond to disapproval or punishments, but do respond to praise and rewards. The article reports on interesting new treatments that are helping these kids grow into better adults.

Unfortunately, at age 71 Trump may be a lost cause. In the last part of the podcast I look at some of the ramifications of his psychological profile, specifically as it relates to North Korea.

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Transforming Trauma Into Power – A two-part conversation with Dr. Keith Witt

Life is wounding. For some of us our wounds are inflicted in the form of major traumas such as a serious injury, painful divorce, career failure or act of abuse or violence. More often, however, we are merely called on to suffer the slings and arrows of everyday life, which can also leave their mark.

Contemporary psychology has revealed two major insights into trauma. One is that trauma is pervasive: two-thirds of Americans report experiencing a major trauma in their lives. The other is that trauma is toxic, often kicking off lifetime patterns of depression, anxiety and addiction. One study showed that people who suffer six or more of ten different categories of adverse events lived on average twenty years less that people who had had experienced none of those categories of adverse events.

Whether large or little, some trauma is inevitable and necessary for healthy development. Shocks and setbacks shape who we are and can provide the opportunity to develop resilience and a larger perspective.

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Can Globalists Be Nationalists? An interview with Steve McIntosh…

In this podcast I ask Integral philosopher Steve McIntosh a question on the mind of many integral practitioners: how do we relate to the nationalist passions that are arising in many developed countries around the globe?

Nationalism is often expressed as “love it or leave it” nativism, or in the case of the election of Donald Trump as a promise to take America back to an era of perceived past greatness.

On the other hand many Green-stage postmodernists reject patriotism entirely. As Steve says, “it is like nails on a chalkboard for people of postmodern consciousness to contemplate the good that America has done in its history.”

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Trump: the Anti-Green Backlash Begins

The Trump Presidency is an evolutionary correction for a culture whose leading edge “is in a 50-car pileup.” This is the thesis of Ken Wilber’s excellent new eBook, Trump and a Post-Truth World, and the kickoff point of a wide ranging conversation I had with Ken last week. Here’s Ken’s argument:

Every now and then, evolution itself has to adjust course, in light of new information on how its path is unfolding, and it starts (apparently spontaneously but with this deeper morphic field actually operating) by making various moves that are, in effect, self-correcting evolutionary realignments. The leading-edge of cultural evolution is today—and has been for four or five decades—the green wave (“green” meaning the basic stage of human development known to various developmental models as pluralistic, postmodern, relativistic, individualistic, beginning self-actualization, human-bond, multicultural, etc.—and generically referred to as “postmodern”).

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Is the System Rigged? Yes, and it’s coming along nicely …

If there’s one thing that people on both ends of the political spectrum can agree on, it’s this: the system is rigged. But an integral view asks, “which system?” A historical survey reveals that over time humanity has created a series of political/economic systems, each designed to right the wrongs of the previous system. Essentially, the workings of any system is seen as corruption by people at the next stage of development. This bigger “System” of cultural evolution continues to create “systems” that are ever more equitable and humane. In this podcast Jeff explores what corruption looks like now, and how it relates to the US presidential election.

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