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Keith E Rice's Integrated SocioPsychology Blog & Pages

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A growing Spiral Dynamics Influence in the Middle East

As proud as I am of Centre for Human Emergence – UK (CHE-UK) , as grand as our ambitions are – and partially redesigning the United Kingdom is pretty ambitious!! – as committed to them as I am and as daunting as the challenges we face are, it seems at times relatively ‘small beer’ compared to what the Center for Human Emergence Middle East (CHE-ME) is up to. Our members don’t live in a semi-hot war zone, with the ever-present threat of real violence (whether terrorist activities – suicide bombers and rockets – or heavy-handed military responses such as in Gaza at the start of this year). The UK might be bothered about corruption in government, desperate to recover from what is being labelled as the worst recession since the 1930s, very unsure of itself as a multi-cultural society in certain parts of the kingdom and iffy in its relations with the EU whilst at the same time being uncertain as to the changing constitutional relationship between its 4 constituent countries. But CHE-ME is faced with a real and frequently violent conflict between one country (Israel) and the stateless land of a dispossessed people it occupies (Palestine), with that stateless land… Read More

Afghanistan: Sex or starve! What’s the Issue?

If the stories are true – and there does seem to be some confusion in the accounts – then Hamid Karzai’s government sneaked into law on 27 July an amended version of the Personal Status Law for Afghanistan’s minority Shi’ite population. (Around 15% of the country’s 30 million citizens – the vast majority of whom are Sunnis, to whom the new law does not apply.) The coming into law of this measure certainly does seem ‘sneaked’. With the likes of Barrack Obama, Gordon Brown, France’s Human Rights Minister Rama Yade and NATO boss Jaap de Hoop Scheffer joining the international chorus of protest against the original version of the bill in the Spring, Karzai promised to review the measure before implementing it. Now, just days before the increasingly tightly-contested elections, he appears to have sneaked it into law with some different words but the same meanings. Human Rights Watch says it has seen a copy of the final law that requires Shia women to satisfy their husbands’ sexual appetites at least every 4 days, an article which critics have said could be used to justify marital rape. It enshrines a husband’s right to withdraw basic maintenance from his wife, including food, if… Read More

‘Britishness’ at the Regent’s College Summit

Down in a basement meeting room of the Holiday Inn Oxford Circus…that’s where the Centre for Human Emergence – UK (CHE-UK) was born on the afternoon of Friday 26 July 2009. Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck, Jon Freeman (author of ‘God’s Ecology and the Dawkins Challenge’), Rachel Castagne, Lynne Sedgemore CBE,  Ian MacDonald of the Integral Life Centre,  the veteran activist and author Rosemary Wilkie and myself harmonising an intent – creating a spirit, if you will.  That intent is to build MeshWORK alliances to design natural solutions to local problems in the context of a globalised world. The next 2 days, Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th, saw CHE-UK host its first event, ‘A Regent’s Summit on the Future of the UK’ at Regent’s College. Don, Rachel and Jon led the event and old HemsMESH colleague Christopher ‘Cookie’ Cooke flew in from Switzerland to lend his talents to a task-and-feedback session on the Sunday.  About 50 people joined us to get a feel for what the real issues are confronting the UK and what we might do about them. The general consensus was that in the UK a lot of the positive influence of the BLUE vMEME has been diminished by… Read More

The Thatcherite Project is ended. Whither Britain?

As Gordon Brown sits in 10 Downing Street and contemplates the terrible drubbing the small turn-out of disillusioned voters inflicted on Labour in Thursday’s local elections – 273 Labour seats lost – while hoping desperately that yesterday’s emergency reshuffle of his Cabinet will at least temporarily stall the intra-Labour campaign to oust him and that Sunday’s European election results will not be as bad as predicted, there is one crumb of comfort for him in all this…. The Thatcherite project, which, with his roots in traditional Socialism, he must have hated, is at an end. Margaret Thatcher’s philosophy of the pursuit of individual wealth in an unregulated market, with few or no social responsibilities, was an ethos driven by the ORANGE vMEME. And, for quite a time, that philosophy seemed vindicated. After being the ‘sick man of Europe’ in the 1970s, Britain once again become an economic powerhouse and a country of standing on the world stage, with Thatcher seen clearly to exert influence on those ‘leaders of the free world’, Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush. Thatcherism reached its Capitalist zenith in 1989 with the collapse of European Communism and even China starting to crawl towards a sort of… Read More

Yesterday I met Zulfi Hussain MBE

Well, no, I didn’t actually get to meet Zulfi Hussain to say ‘Hello’ – but we were in the same room and we made eye contact and he will know who I am because I was the guy going on about the importance of values in understanding diversity. (“Hey, Zulfi, that was me…Keith Rice!”)   If I sound unusually humble and maybe even a little subservient – fawning, even! – not at all my usual pompous and arrogant self…well, I spent some time yesterday with one of those rare people who just make a difference in the world. Almost just by who they are. You just know, being with them, that you are in the presence of someone special – very special indeed!   I can probably number on one hand the people who have made me feel that way previously: Spiral Dynamics co-developers Don Beck & Chris Cowan, Meta-States developer L Michael Hall, ‘Inner Child’ specialist Penny Parks, maybe former Hidden Resources head honcho John Lavan….   The occasion was a get-together yesterday morning of some of the speakers and committed participants in the ruins of the 6th annual Yorkshire Leadership Conference. The Conference, so successful in previous years, had… Read More

Don Beck’s got Who at His Workshop This Weekend…?!?!?!

This weekend Spiral Dynamics co-developer Don Beck has got Lt Colonel Fred Krawchuk attending and presenting at his workshop programme at the Integral Centre in Boulder, Colorado. WHAT?!?!? This man is a killer! He’s been heavily involved in the ‘surge’ in Baghdad. There will be more than a few innocent men, women and children killed by his troops. And suspected insurgents summarily executed without a shred of evidence. What the fuck is Don doing having this man presenting at his workshop?!?!? And, fercrisakes, what were all those supposedly-TURQUOISE Buddhist types at the Integral Center doing letting this mass murderer through their doors?!?!?!? Have they all gone mad? We’re supposed to be about building a better world, not endorsing the work of ruthless killers! I tell you, my GREEN vMEME really went off on one!! I was going to e-mail Don and tell him he was a disgrace! I was going to cancel my ticket to Don’s London workshop on 14 March. I was gonna…! I was gonna…!   And then, while seething, I caught sight of the Key Update notification on my home page of the Global feature, Killing the Terrorists. In that article I had advocated the ruthless extermination of terrorists… Read More

The Dynamics of Change in an Emerging Values System

by Alan Tonkin I am honoured once more to publish AlanTonkin’s work as a ‘guest blog’. Alan wrote this piece for the Global Values Network web site he runs but also thought it would be appropriate to publish it here. GVN is one of the most advanced projects in the world at using Spiral Dynamics to monitor shifts in societies and assess impacts at national, international and even global levels. Unsurprisingly, with South Africa and Zimbabwe sharing a border, Alan takes a close interest in his country’s troubled neighbour. This highly-perceptive piece considers the flawed values mismatch in the agreement signed this week between ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change and looks at what the MDC needs to do to make the agreement work Why Zimbabwe needs a system of shared power in transition Following the signature of the Power Sharing Agreement between the two factions of the MDC and ZANU-PF in Harare yesterday, it is worth considering the implications of this in more detail. There was little or no chance of ZANU-PF and the security chiefs agreeing to Robert Mugabe stepping aside.  At the same time the strength of the MDC position was that the economy was declining ever faster into the… Read More

The Sons of Iraq – a Step towards Stratified Democracy?

The level of violence in Iraq has decreased to the point where troop withdrawals by both the British and the Americans are once again being discussed seriously. Iraq and the United States have reportedly set a preliminary timetable to start withdrawing American forces from Iraqi cities from next June, according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari last week after his meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. The Zebari-Rice agreement would link troop reductions to the achievement of certain security milestones. But, given how cautious President George W Bush has been to committing to a timetable for American withdrawal, for his Secretary of State to agree to one at all is an indicator of how much better things have become. And, of course, a few weeks before, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement to Parliament announcing the intention to further reduce British troops in 2009. Who would have thought it a year ago? So, what’s changed the battleground so much in the past 14 months? Partly the much vaunted ‘surge’ of American troops in Baghdad, while merely displacing many insurgents to other parts of the country, did create short-term some of the essentials for peace at least in parts… Read More

The Critical Link between Failed States and Values

by Alan Tonkin I am honoured once again to publish AlanTonkin’s work as a ‘guest blog’. Alan wrote this piece for the Global Values Network web site he runs but also thought it would be appropriate to publish it here. GVN is one of the most advanced projects in the world at using Spiral Dynamics to monitor shifts in societies and assess impacts at national, international and even global levels. As the world seems to become an ever-more dangerous place, Alan offers this consideration as to why so many ‘Third World’ states fail to develop in positive and healthy ways for the benefit of their own peoples and the international community. The latest edition of Foreign Policy magazine for July/August 2008, in conjunction with The Fund for Peace, has just published their latest rankings of Failed States with Africa occupying 7 of the top 10 positions. These include Somalia (1), Sudan (2), Zimbabwe (3), Chad (4), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (6), the Ivory Coast – no 8 – and the Central African Republic (10). The non–African countries are Iraq (5), Afghanistan (7) and Pakistan (9) which are in the Middle Eastern region (see map below – copyright © 2008 The Fund for… Read More

Iran: Jaw, Jaw or War, War?

Early in June the Israeli airforce carried out an exercise – sending 100 F15s and F16s out over the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece – supported by aerial tankers for in-flight refuelling. It was an impressive logistical feat and is being portrayed in the media as a dry run for bombing the Iranians’ principal nuclear facility at Bushehr. Interestingly it was not the Israelis or any of the other Middle Eastern states which ‘leaked’ the story but the Americans – with the spin that the Israelis were demonstrating to Tehran that they do have the capability of getting as far as Bushehr. As the news leaked (June 20), the Israeli government stepped up the war of words with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (struggling to regain domestic credibility after more corruption allegations) saying: “Iran will not be nuclear.” Even more ominously Deputy Prime Minster Shaul Mofaz told journalists a strike on Iran was now “unavoidable”. Arch neocon John Bolton, one-time US ambassador to the United Nations, has gone on record as saying he believes Israeli will strike in between the presidential election in November and the inauguration of the new President. A strike before the election might influence it unduly; if Barack Obama… Read More