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Reflection on the podcast: Beyond the Nation-State: Globalism, Plutocracy, and the Integral World Federation by Ken Wilber and Corey deVos

Reflection on the podcast: Beyond the Nation-State: Globalism, Plutocracy, and the Integral World Federation

by Ken Wilber and Corey deVos



In many ways, this is a very typical response that we can expect from Integral Community on the current affairs—a response that is unfortunately deeply confused.


Summarizing Ken Wilber, Corey deVos writes: “According to Ken, it is not to toss out globalism entirely, but rather to create a bigger, better, and far more effective globalism — one that can remain uncontaminated by corporate interests, and one that supersedes the nation state, while also remaining aligned with the interests of its constituent nation-states.”


From my perspective, the problem is not that “the market is now global, the governments are national” as Ken observes but that we are basically living under “fascism” or “corporatism” as defined by Benito Mussolin (“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”).

That is, the crux of the problem is, whatever the scale of government we have or will have, the entity called government seems to be destined to be taken over by corporate interests through what is called “the revolving-door polity of corporatism” where the key positions of the government are taken up by the “former” high-level officers of the major corporations which inevitably result in hijacking of the government institutions—as we have seen over the years in the US and other nations (the nations, according to Integral Theory, which are supposed to be highly developed operating based on world-centric principles).


Despite all the lip-services to world-centric values, we have basically been living under the systems that are powerfully controlled by private interests of corporations—tribes bound by self-interests. So the proposed solution to evolve and expand governments to a global form will not constitute an effective solution as long as we neglect the issue of “Fascism” or “Corporatism” which appear to be increasingly an intractable feature of government.


While there are some truths in the claim, I do not think that plutocracy of today is fundamentally resulting from “governance vacuum at the level of the transnational holon” simply because plutocracy has always been the case even before the arrival of so called “globalization”. It is basically an intrinsic part of the current form of capitalism where the takeover of the public sphere by the private sphere is so wantonly permitted. To characterize it as a new feature of society is highly misleading.


Therefore, without addressing this issue, the further expansion of government to more global scale will not solve the situation at all. It will probably worsen the situation. In that sense, to put it rather harshly, the argument Ken puts forth is essentially Ignoratio Elenchi, which entirely misses the core problem we are facing today.


It seems that the standard solution proposed by many in the Integral Community to the issues in current affairs—namely, “evolution/extension/expansion” of the entity to provincial to global would constitute effective solution—the solution to which we in the Integral Community automatically resort to in addressing any issues and problems, prove fallacious very often in actuality. This is probably because we unconsciously fantasize that the problems we face today would be somehow effectively addressed to once we establish what we believe to be a higher stage of development.


Instead of jumping to such “solution”, we need to clarify how we can really protect government from being corrupted by corporate interests. Whatever the scale of the government, whether it is local or global, unless we protect and immunize it from being corrupted by the influence of corporate interests, the solution will be meaningless or worse because it can now impose the will of the corporation on society globally.

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