At last, it’s starting to become OK to talk about immigration. Of course, it’s been a hot topic for the British National Party (BNP), their British National Front predecessors and the far right for years – in fact, decades really, stretching right back to Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech back in April 1968. The GREEN vMEME’s staunch opposition to anything that could possibly be associated with prejudice and discrimination has inhibited rational discussion of these issues. Now, thanks to the emergence of the cross-party Balanced Migration Group (BMG) , led by Frank Field (Labour) and Nicholas Soames (Conservative), the barriers to acknowledging the problems that immigration is creating for the United Kingdom are at least beginning to crack.
Over the past year, from interacting with Jon Freeman and Rachel Castagne at June’s A Regent’s Summit on the Future of the UK to dialogue with staunch BNP supporter Man of the Woods in the comments on Should the BNP appear on the Beeb?, I’ve come to have much more of an appreciation of how a number of people feel really passionately about this kingdom…as Man of the Woods calls it, ‘my ancestral land’. The real eye-opener for me, though, with regard to how attitudes are changing towards immigration, was Matthew Kalman’s contribution to that Blog. Matthew, someone I’ve long thought of as a self-challenging visionary more than capable of 2nd Tier thinking, appeared at first glance to be reflecting BNP concepts. Then I realised Matthew was reflecting the fears, concerns and aspirations of those he deals with and that this was leading him on something of a journey to question the GREEN-sponsored multiculturalism which has led to ethnic minority identities being celebrated more than national identities over the past decade or so.
In terms of what the BNP wants set against the general consensus of the mainstream political establishment, acknowledging some simplification of the issues, this can be reduced basically to a values conflict – between the PURPLE tribalism espoused by the BNP and the GREEN egalitarianism of the political establishment. The earlier half-hearted and cack-handed attempts of the Government to develop policies on citizenship and immigration and now the emergence of the Balanced Migration Group are slowly but surely beginning to move us beyond GREEN’s presupposition that, if you want to restrict people of a different ethnic origin from entering this country, then you are prejudiced. As a kingdom, we are heading (hopefully!) towards being able to debate these issues rationally.
With it being said that that one new immigrant arrives in Britain every minute, a new British passport is issued to an immigrant every 3 minutes and every 6 minutes a new home needs to be built for an immigrant, clearly immigration is exerting substantial pressures on both the physical and sociopsychological infrastructures of the United Kingdom. In that context, it’s hard not to empathise with the BMG’s declaration yesterday urging the parties to make policy statements in their manifestos for the upcoming General Election to prevent the British population reaching the projected level of 70 million-plus by 2029. (The bulk of this anticipated population explosion is anticipated to come directly from new immigrants and indirectly from the children of immigrants being born in this country.)
A population of 70 million-plus and continuing to rise would almost certainly make the UK the most crowded member of the European Union.
So we have 3 pressures of concern regarding these issues:-
- the seemingly-unstoppable rise in immigration
- the increased support for the BNP and the far right emanating from the real fears and concerns about this amongst the ‘indigenous peoples’ of the UK
- the effect of BNP and far right hostility towards ethnic groups stimulating some members of those groups towards anti-social behaviour – eg: the Anti-Nazi League and, far more worryingly, radical Islamic fundamentalism
Is it always wrong to discriminate?
That it is wrong to discriminate – because that means not everyone is treated equally – is one of the GREEN vMEME’s presuppositions.
But, from a 2nd Tier perspective, could it sometimes be in the interests of the whole to discriminate against a part?
And is discrimination inevitable anyway?
Simply to categorise people – eg: into ‘British citizens’ and ‘residential non-British citizens’, ‘black’ and ‘white’, ‘Lancastrians’ and ‘Yorkies’, ‘English’ and ‘Scots’ – invites discrimination, according to Henri Tajfel & John Turner’s Social Identity Theory (1979). Categorisation leads to identification with your own ‘in-group’, absorbing its values and norms, while demonising the out-groups via derogatory stereotypes. In Integrated SocioPsychology terms, this is the PURPLE vMEME’s building of the tribal identity. Then, because RED finds its self-esteem invested in the in-group, it pushes the in-group to be superior to the ‘out-groups’.
As Muzafer Sherif et al (1961) showed in the classic Robber’s Cave study, competition increases in-group/out-group rivalry substantially. Moreover, Marilyn Brewer & Donald Campbell, in their 1976 study of East African tribes, found that competition over basic resources such as land and water, really ramps up the hostility.
As its population threatens to mushroom completely out of control, the UK is faced with an enormous debt problem that means, whichever party wins the election, we shall see the promised ‘swingeing cuts’ in public services. With the UK economy showing few signs of emerging from recession, the cuts are likely to be long and deep. Thus, as standards of living fall in real terms, rivalry – even outright hostility – will grow as in-groups look to target out-groups for the blame. Differences in names, language, colour of skin and ethnic origin make it easier to tell who’s not in your in-group. It’s not racism per se because racism is really just a manifestation of tribalism. And tribalism, by default, is ethnocentric. It’s perhaps no surprise that Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, in his support for the BMG declaration, is talking about ‘Christian heritage’ and that immigration policy should have “a bias towards Christian values”. Obviously as a churchman, it’s Carey’s job to promote Christianity; but he’s also making the point that Christianity traditionally is the religion of the ‘indigenous peoples’ of the UK. It’s a sort of other-side-of-the-coin to the English Defence League’s stance against the perceived ‘Muslimisation’ of England. Unfortunately it all too easily slips into a kind of pastiche of the neo-Christian white ‘indigenous’ Briton vs the Muslim Asian immigrant.
Underneath the rhetoric and bluster, if we use the Gravesian map, we can see RED-driven firebrands like Nick Griffin and some of the more radical imams manipulating the PURPLE anxieties of their communities and using sheens of BLUE nationaliism and religion to do so.
Of course, if we’re to going to follow the BNP down the ‘race route and judge the priority or superiority of one group of people over another group of people by the colour of their skin and their ethnic origin, then the ‘whities’ had better be careful. For 40 years overt racists have used the lower IQ scores of Afro-Americans on Stanford-Binet tests – first brought to prominence by Arthur Jensen (1969) – to justify discrimination by whites (average: 100) against blacks (average: 85). The problem with this is that we now know Asians score higher than whites – especially East Asians (average: 106 – J Philippe Rushton & Arthur Jensen, 2005)!
Heck, not only do they breed faster than us – but they’re smarter too!
There are, of course, huge controversies around both the concept of race and the concept of intelligence – and neither concept may turn out to be as valid as claims make them out to be. Nonetheless, the higher IQ scores of Asians on white-originated IQ tests certainly knock claims by whitey to be superior.
So, on what other basis can there then be discrimination? If you go down Man of the Woods’ route that these are our ‘ancestral lands’; then, while I’ve got a lot of empathy with that concept…if a land really does belong to its ‘indigenous people’, then what the hell were the Europeans doing during the ‘Age of Empires’, invading other peoples’ lands and subjugating them – if not outrightly enslaving them?!?!?
(NB: I’ve put ‘indigenous people’ here in inverted commas because the English are, of course, one of the most bastardised peoples in the world in terms of racial stock, counting Celts, Picts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Jews amongst our distant ancestors. Who exactly were the original ‘indigenous peoples’? Smallish waves of Poles, Slavs and more Jews came to these shores as refugees during World War II – and that’s before the docking of the Windrush in 1948 started the trickle that became a flood of Afro-Caribbean, African and Asian immigarants!)
From a 2nd Tier perspective, we have to say that, if there is to be discrimination – which seems to natural to all the 1st Tier vMEMES until the emergence of GREEN – it should be primarily in the interests of the majority and the health of the kingdom as a whole. Therefore, if imposing a cap on immigration – as the BMG is urging – is discriminatory, then so be it. There are far more people in this kingdom who primarily espouse PURPLE values than espouse GREEN values. So keeping the kingdom safe for the majority of its people and ensuring they have the resources to feel safe and secure is important. Allowing our population to grow beyond the 70-plus million will inhibit those vital measures. So a cap or other similar restriction is necessary.
The opportunities an immigration restriction measure will create
In a sense we have the BNP to thank for forcing this debate upon a reluctant, GREEN-led political establishment. The BNP has acted like a lightning rod for all the seething discontentment amongst the PURPLE-dominated traditional white working classes; and the party has channelled that discontentment into a significant electoral force.
However, from a 2nd Tier perspective, we know that all life has value – that all humans have value and that GREEN is basically right in its drive to create equal opportunities for all. What GREEN doesn’t get is that, while everyone might be ‘equal in the eyes of God’, not everybody is equal in practicality; therefore, there need to be multiple opportunities tailored to different needs. What GREEN also doesn’t get is that the lower vMEMES don’t see the world its way. Which is why we need 2nd Tier thinking to create and manage precarious and shifting balances between the competing needs and values of different vMEMES.
An immigration cap and/or other restrictions might be said to discriminate against those who want to come to this kingdom; it might also be said to discriminate against those who are already settled in this kingdom and wish to see other people from their country of ethnic origin settle here. Interestingly, however, it should be noted that increasingly pollsters are claiming support for restrictions on immigration amongst the ethnic minorities.
A substantial reduction in immigration would give us the breathing space to deal with the effects of 50-plus years of large-scale immigration. In 2004, in the wake of reports on race riots in Oldham, Bradford, Leeds and Burnley during 2001, Trevor Phillips, then head of the Commission for Racial Equality, declared multiculturalism dead. “We need to assert there is a core of Britishness,” he stated.
If the vision of multiculturalism – distinct plural cultures living side by side in harmony – is indeed dead, then what kind of Britain should we aim for in our multi-ethnic land…and what role would the assertion of ‘a core of Britishness’ play in it?
It was to address these sorts of issues that the Centre for Human Emergence UK was set up last June. However, time is not on our side. As the BMG acknowledge, it will take several years to get immigration back down to manageable levels. In the meantime PURPLE’s need for stability and security is being ravaged by the recession, with the rate of job losses and house repossessions only decreasing very slowly. These ingredients mixed together have the potential to create a social powder keg – which could be ignited by some pretty short fuses!
Sunday, February 7th 2010 at 07:58
yes, I am following the thread.. Will come back later to the theme complex from my German background. As the massive amount of realities which ned integration here is gigantic too.
Even the interiors of such a process are only superficially understood in mainstream and migration in toto in the last decades.
Its not only OK to start talking about ir all. Its necessary. Thanks for initiating this. You do a great favor even to those integral folks who are still not aware about this challenge:):)
Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 19:20
Hi Keith, I read this story from Michael Neill a few days and I thought I’d share it as it seems appropriate for your theme:
Once upon a time, there was a baby lion who was born into the world alone and afraid. A family of sheep found him in their home in the green grassy valley at the bottom of the mountains one day, and because he was so beautiful and because they were so kind, they decided to raise him as one of their own. It was his sister, who had a highly developed sense of irony, who suggested they name him ‘Leo’.
So they taught Leo the baby lion how to walk as a sheep, and talk as a sheep, and taught him all the ways of sheep, and they loved him with all of their hearts. They taught him to fear what all sheep fear, and that whatever he did he must stay away from the mountains, for lions lived up there, and no sheep who had ever gone up the mountain had ever returned.
Eventually, Leo became so good at acting like a sheep that even his own family forgot that he was really a lion. Sure, occasionally some of the other sheep teased him for his unusual size and his bushy haircut. But Leo did what he could to fit in, and he made good friends, and eventually he became a good, productive member of the sheep community.
The years passed uneventfully until one day an old lion from the mountains came down into the green, grassy valley in search of food. Leo was the first to sense his presence, and as soon as he yelled “Lion!” all the sheep began to run in panicked circles. In the midst of the chaos, the old lion noticed Leo.
“Hey, you!”, roared the hungry lion.
“M…m…me?” whimpered Leo, terrified but at the same time fascinated by this magnificent old creature.
“What are you doing here with all these sheep?” the old lion demanded.
“They’re my family,” said Leo proudly.
At this, the old lion laughed. “Then who are you, young one?”
“I’m Leo, and I’m a sheep”, Leo bleeted.
Suddenly, the old lion’s face turned fierce. “Come with me!” he roared.
Leo didn’t want to go with the old lion but he thought that by doing so, he might save his fellow sheep. So with a last look back at his herd, he followed the old lion off into the mountains.
They walked for many miles until at last, high up in the mountains, they came upon a beautiful crystal clear lake filled with smooth, blue water. The old lion beckoned for Leo to come to the edge of the lake. By this time, Leo was exhausted – not so much from the climb, which he found surprisingly easy, but from the constant fear that at any moment, the old lion would eat him. So with a final reluctant ‘baaa’, Leo made his way to the edge of the lake and looked where the old lion’s paw was pointing.
To his amazement, he saw not a sheep, but the reflection of a strong young lion. In that moment, he knew who he really was and let out a mighty roar that shook the mountains all the way down to the green, grassy valley…
After the shock of discovering his true identity, Leo realized that he was hungry – really hungry. And grass just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. Fortunately, Leo knew where he could get food, and plenty of it.
But when he got back to the valley to where his old herd was still grazing, he stopped in shock. For what he saw was not a herd of sheep, but a pride of lions, each one grazing and bleating and acting for all the world like sheep. It was his own mother who saw him first, and though Leo could see that she herself was a beautiful lioness, she cowered in fear, not recognizing him and bleating “Lion!” at the top of her lungs.
“Mother!”, he roared, but the sound just made the sheep/lioness run even faster amongst the increasingly agitated herd.
Finally, Leo noticed that his sister was looking at him with a faint hint of recognition, and he knew what he must do. He put on his fiercest face, and he roared at her “Come with me!”. And though she was afraid, she followed him on the long journey up to the clear blue lake in the mountains…
Thursday, January 14th 2010 at 22:17
How interesting, considering several of the comments in this fascinating and vital discussion, that British Communities Secretary John Denham has today released a 50-page Statement on Race.
In tnis statement, Denham says that being black or Asian in the UK no longer means you will be automatically disadvantaged – and that the needs of white working class communities must also be addressed.
Denham, who is charged with steering the new Equality Bill through Parliament before the General Election gets under way, goes on to say: “If the cause of disadvantage is social class, we will promote opportunity. And if the cause is a combination of racism and social class we will tackle both together.” The Bill, which will force local authorities and government departments to make narrowing the gap between rich and poor a policy objective, in addition to ensuring racial and gender equality, is seen by him as being key to this.
Political commentators are having sport with the idea that Labour has at last woken up to the challenge of the BNP’s electoral gains – at its expense! – amongst the traditional white working classes and is attempting to woo its old core voters back. One BNP respresentative is reported as having told the BBC: “They are bribing the electorate into voting Labour instead of us – it is buying votes.”
Denham’s response was that this was not “about government combating the BNP. That is for political parties, not the state….We would be doing what I am doing today if the BNP didn’t exist. But… the rise of the BNP – propagating the idea that minorities get special treatment, that white working class people are being neglected – is something we have to respond to.”
A forerunner of this new approach was Denham’s department committing £12M to 130 deprived white working class communities to fight far right extremism.
To me, this still looks like the Government telling people what they should value, rather than dealing with people’s real concerns as they experience them. Labour – whether as a government or a political party – is right to be highly concerned about the far right stealing significant portions of the white working class vote. But the BNP can only do this because they address people’s concerns as they experience thmem. Meanwhile the Government still fumbles around in a confused manner as to what to do about immigration.
To me, it looks like the Government’s attemtping to apply BLUE/GREEN values to what is essentially a PURPLE problem.
Until we actually get down to the fact that PURPLE’s not-of-our-tribe motif can manifest itself as ‘racism’ and deal with that as being natural to PURPLE thinking, we’re not really going to be able to deal with easily-aroused antagonisms towards those who are different.
The problem GREEN has created is that it has made discrimination so politcally uncorrect that no mainstream politician will dare to acknowledge discrimination is natural in those contexts to that way of thinking. And Labour’s GREEN-led intellectual elite daren’t say that a significant portion of their core vote are racist in their views. They have to present any manifestations of what we call ‘racism’ as people being duped and deceived by the likes of the BNP. In face of a large-scale survey by Shammit Sagger & Joanne Drean (2001) which claimed that 64% of Britons have negative feelings towards those of different ethnicity.
This PURPLE problem won’t go away and will just be exaccerbated by continuing large-scale immigration. It’s only partly about lifting people out of poverty; it’s as much, if not more about getting the tribe to feel safe and secure on their own tribal grounds.
Still, at least, from Denham’s Statement, it looks like the end of positive discrimination just on the basis of the colour of your skin!
Thursday, January 14th 2010 at 06:56
I’m tempted to write “this is such an interesting discussion – so much I’m learning about MENA and the application of Islam”. And then I remember we’re talking about wrecked lives and human misery and very real threats to the West’s over-comfortable existence.
Post-1992 Gulf War, I knew enough about Saddam’s Iraq to quote that as a modern example of a RED Mediaeval kingdom where the King (Saddam) ruled the Lords (the Generals) through a mixture of favouritism and culling; the Lords/Generals rule the people (peasants) on King Saddam’s behalf as possessions they can do with as they will. Thus, 100,000 men die in 3 days on the retreat from Kuwait – a slaughter rate equivalent to the Somme or Passendale – and it matters not because they are merely possessions for the King and the Generals to do with as they will.
I guess there’s much more Mediaevalism in MENA than I thought – but equipped with the money the West pays for its oil and the surveillance and repression tools of ORANGE technology.
And Islam?…I’ve tended to equate the Sunni-Shia split to the Catholic-Protestant split in Christianity but tended to see whichever version of Islam as supplying the embryonic BLUE in the situation as the Catholic Church supplied BLUE in Mediaeval Europe – right and wrong, duty, literature, etc – while tapping into the PURPLE peasant’s need for ritual. Am I wrong in this assumption about the role of Islam…?
As far as I’ve explored Islam, I’ve found much to admire in the BLUE discipline it offers – while tending to put the things I don’t like, such as the subjugation of women, down to local cultural interpretions of Quranic scriptures. After the first set of Bradford riots (1995), I remember a friend of mine relating a conversation with one of the Muslim rioters who told him they had burnt the pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers out of their area. He concluded with: “Our women can walk the street alone safely after nine o’clock now. Yours can’t.” I read that as a (temporary) subversion to RED (when the BLUE English Law failed them) to achieve a purple/BLUE harmonic of discipline and safety.
Your comment, Said, about the ‘bright’ ones getting visas and escaping is perhaps the North American experience…but it’s not so much the British one. In the 1950s and 1960s Britain actively encouraged Commonwealth citizens from India, Pakistan and what became Bangladesh to come to Britain to work in the textile mills as cheap labour. Then, as now, Pakistan was a desparately poor country and nearly all the young men from from some rural villages came to escape the poverty. They would then use the lax immigration laws to bring over their families, brides and brides’ families. These were not particularly bright but were the rurals dominated by PURPLE and RED as you said in one of your earlier posts and Don also described – thus ripe and ready for the simplified fire & brimstone version of Islam. They also did not integrate at all well in the UK but tended to become ghetto-ised.
The layer of affluent, intelligent and professional Muslims the UK now enjoys has come partly from the children of these first generation of rural poor immigrants but more from more selective pulls into the Commonwealth in the 70s, 80s and beyond. I don’t know for sure but I reckon these Muslims are probably torn between empathising with their fellow (poor and ghetto-ised) Muslims and enjoying the hedonic Western lifestyle their success entitles them to. As for the ‘not brights’ – to use a totally inadequate and inappropriate term – they perceive themselves as excluded from the Western lifestyle, retreat into fundamentalism and empathise with their ‘oppressed’ brother Muslims on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Britain’s relationship with the Commonwealth, though it has waned somewhat in the past couple of decades as we’ve struggled to get our heads around the EU, is very complex – a mixture of pride in fast tracking the ‘savages’ from mud huts to concrete cities – well, some of them, anyway! – and guilt about the exploitation and brutality of empire.
If Albert’s still following this, I’d be interested in his take on the Turkish (Muslim) ‘guest workers’ Germany pulled in during the same period.
Thursday, January 14th 2010 at 01:33
Lots to think about there.
In particular, several years ago it was popular to say “You can’t force
democracy on anybody.” What do you suppose our country might do to help change
the Life Conditions you describe? I’ve heard that some change has
occurred in Kurdistan.
On a related note, I’ve learned of several “modernist” translations of the
Quran. Have you heard about any of them? For example, would any of them be
useful for westerners to get a better understanding of the Prophet’s
Thursday, January 14th 2010 at 00:20
Thank you Keith and Humera. My response is rather lengthy, as it is essential for us to have this debate if the value-systems approach of Spiral Dynamics is going to make a difference where other approaches have failed. I, inadvertently overlooked the fact that the use of the word profiling is often associated with racial profiling than any other words, and I apologize for that. With a name like Said, I have been subject to many long stops at airports and was denied the renewal of a professional license in the aftermath of 9/11 preventing me from earning a living for 5 months. So, yes Humera, I have experienced the erosion of my civil rights under Bush like many people you know. In value-systems terms relevant to this discussion, I compare my ordeal (in a BLUE-ORANGE culture needing to downshift to selective BLUE to address existential issues) to that of my first cousin Joseph who was a judge in the Lebanese judiciary, (Lebanon at the time was RED/blue ruled by ruthless external RED) and while voicing his Patriotic duty against the presence of the Syrian army in Lebanon, was hauled away by the Syrians to the Mazzi prison, a place of unimaginable torture and was never heard from again. The fury that these firebrand Imams have is directed at the powers that created the Life Conditions that prevent people like my cousin from emerging. Let’s not kid ourselves; there is no representative government of any significance in the Mideast. The whole MENA region is divided into RED fiefdoms and the leaders focus is not on how to develop their people and make them emerge, it is dedicated 100% to preserving their rule. Manipulating the Quran (or in this case condoning the fury of an Imam who projects his people’s repression on the far enemy) is part and parcel of their ruthless RED strategy. Most Muslim immigrants are coming from these LIFE CONDITIONS and these are facts that cannot be overlooked.
The reason why much of the Muslim world has not transcended RED is not because of a shortage of qualified Ulamaa’ and scholars of the holy Quran. Much in the Quran calls for GREEN values, but when LIFE CONDITIONS are RED, all higher manifestations on the Spiral are prevented until such time as when the all important LIFE CONDITIONS parallel the higher aspirations called for in the (adaptive intelligences of) the Quran. Image the very ORANGE, very popular American televangelist, Joel Osteen preaching in Jerusalem during the days of Jesus. The Christ would have stoned him to death himself. ORANGE intelligences meet PURPLE-RED life conditions that have little capacities to understand ORANGE or any higher value system and clash is inevitable.
In order for the West to understand how to deal with Muslim immigrants from a Second Tier perspective it must understand the LIFE CONDITIONS these immigrants left behind in order to design effectively for their emergence. This is where GREEN fails to understand the magnitude of capacity building needed just for immigrant to become healthy within their own value system. For the exception of Malaysia and Indonesia it’s safe to assume the majority comes from repressive (RED) LIFE CONDITIONS where Muslims repress other Muslims and non-Muslims alike and here’s a taste of how they do it.
1. If they’re bright like my cousin, they’re killed, imprisoned and tortured, or they’re allowed to immigrate. The ones who can, get visas to places where their cognitive capacities are congruent with Life Conditions and they integrate well into their adoptive cultures. These are the ones who have the highest potential for being good responsible Muslims living in harmony with their non-Muslim neighbors.
2. RED Muslim dictators take all measures necessary to keep their subjects illiterate, preferably at the 82% rate reported by the UN or higher. The intent is to keep them at their leader’s full mercy with very little capacity to function (CLOSED PURPLE).
3. Should the one’s in CLOSED PURPLE break the barrier, they’re met by a ruthless RED henchmen of the regime who manipulate their emerging thinking by blaming all their miseries on the far enemy. This presents itself today in the Shia communities of Iran and Lebanon, where women are paid $100 a month to wear the Hijab and are on call to carry signs (held upside down because they can’t read), denouncing the West and calling for the death of their own countrymen who oppose the repressive regime.
The examples and the data are endless. They are rich with facts dying to be put to good use by Natural Design Engineers who rarely believe this is about religion. It is about human emergence, but until the West starts looking at how to meet people where they are, and building capacities COMENSURATE with the immigrants’ value systems instead of super-imposing a model confined to their own value system/vMeme stack I’m afraid not much will be accomplished.
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 18:07
Well, actually, I think all kinds of dialogue are great. The problem is that there’s (at least in my experience) a distinction between those religious academics who want to explore comparative religion in a living way and the lay folks and their leaders who believe. Integrated community discussion and action would tend to have a bigger audience and be better suited to addressing these alienation issues up and down the meme-stack. I would think.
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 10:37
To pick up on a couple of points….
Humera, I take your point entirely about whether American and British Muslims feel they can trust their governments. Bush’s use of ‘crusader’ language after 9/11 was most unfortunate – and very much played into Al-Qaeda’s hands – as indeed has the whole Iraq debacle! I don’t really think the whole West vs Islam perception has really recovered from that ‘crusader’ gaffe.
While Blair doubtless has been seen by British Muslims as a persecutor, he did invite Muslim leaders to condemn 7/7 and other Al-Qaeda attrocities. The response was not encouraging; and one domestic UK poll of the time reckoned that 30% of young British Muslims thought the 7/7 bombers had a point. Which makes the kind of self-regulation you’ve quoted from your DC mosque highly-desirable but difficult to envisage here. It undoubtedly should be the way it happens but much more trust needs to be built up between Western governments and their domestic Muslims. And both sides have to move.
Re: mapping Quranic verses to RED, I quoted the verses but did not map them to a vMEME as such. However, Said talked a lot in his first post about Arab governments meeting RED with RED. Perhaps you’ve run those 2 things together…? I don’t know enough about the Qur’an and Muslim scriptures to be that confident I’ve quoted them in context; but they are verses which seem to crop up quite frequently when jihadists attempt to justify their actions. Personally, I’ve tended to see it more as a PURPLE-BLUE thing of doing your duty to free brother Muslims from oppression. Undoubtedly delivered from an imam’s RED mindset in many instances!
But thank yuou for your description of the DC mosque, Humera. There’s possibly value in modelling how they do it….
Nick, thank you for your 6-point post late last night. I pretty much agree with it all – and would encourage all readers interested in these issues to read it thoroghly. But I would particularly single out points 3 and 4 – and especially from 4: “If we put off vigorous debate now due to appeasement and political correctness then we will pay later by having to fight for our freedom at home and we may well lose. The longer we wait, the weaker we’ll be.”
Time is of the essence, both in dealing with multiple external threats and in calming the homeland.
Nick, you’ve used the phrase “a British Global Identity” several times. How do you see this being formed? What should a post-multicultural but multi-ethnic Britain look like and how it should it relate to the rest of the world? How can we create values that all the many cultural facets of our society can buy into? Where the kingdom is run for the benefit of the whole and with minority interests respected and catered for but without disadvantaging the whole….?
Clearly the structural vision has to come from 2nd Tier…but how do we do it? This was a task I had hoped CHE-UK might grow to assume. But I guess all of us who are interested need to put forward into this.
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 09:17
Yes I agree with this. The key is that we need both dialogue and action. But the point is well made as a lot of inter faith dialogue has not been about action at all. People got together because they wanted to explore and dialogue with other faiths not because they wanted to take action. Now others have got together because they want action but have no base in dialogue (in the UK tended to be called multi faith forums and not interfaith dialogue). Slowly in the UK these strands are coming together.
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 06:21
I agree John that accomplishment is critical. My gut feeling though is that
accomplishment and dialogue are each incomplete without the other. I have trouble
seeing one as more important than the other.
If you read through the documents “Toward a Global Ethic” and “A Call to Our Guiding
Institutions” you will find that these initiatives are very much about working
together across religious lines to solve all kinds of problems.
“Creative Engagement” “When reflecting on the future of the human community, one
must consider the world’s most powerful institutions—institutions, whose policies,
for better and for worse, influence every aspect of life on the planet. Clearly, the
critical issues facing the world today present an acute ethical challenge to these
institutions. What is urgently needed is a new opening to creative engagement among
the guiding institutions—an active, attentive, and inventive collaboration, rooted
in shared moral principles and expressed in mutually sustained programs on behalf of
the peoples of the twenty-first century.”
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 05:13
I fully agree. But maybe you aren’t aware of what we are already doing
here in the UK. Much of the work I mentioned is already very much about
acting together as teams of human beings tackling mutual issues from
across the faith sectors. Human beings first, religious members next or
after. Maybe not yet in the phsyical terms you decribe but, just as
important, in our relations with the public agencies and all other
agencies which affect us. I think we are much further on than you may
be imagining, though as I said an initimidating amount of hard work to
help it realise its potential. Yes a lot still to do also to get the
civic education for new citizens anywhere near what it really needs to
Wednesday, January 13th 2010 at 00:07
In reply to Don’s point on Dutch “blue” (not the audio-visual type, I take it)….In 2005 I was at an off the record conference on the subject of immigration into the EU attended by politicians, diplomats, civil servants, academics and others. It was remarkable just how the Dutch stood out positively. The British were still locked into the pretending to believe the PC/multicultural groupthink, whilst privately being a little more honest. Without exception, the Dutch contingent, who would not so long before have been the most uber-PC and “tolerant,” were very confident in asserting their national identity, their belief in the values they intended to vigorously defend and had robust views on what they were going to do about it. I was impressed just how fast events can blow away a false consensus. It is taking much longer here.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 23:43
I don’t want to be negative, but realistic. There are some challenges to evolving a strong integral, global culture.
1. most of the rest of the world is at an ethnocentric or egocentric level of operation and they are rapidly developing the demographics and economies which will arm them with the power to assert those values. Asia is well able to fight with the will of the First World War, the means of the 21st Century and an inexhaustible supply of modern cannon fodder.
2. The West is totally dependent upon technology and a fast shifting economic base to stay secure. This advantage is eroding all the time. Our people have lost touch with the value of what we have to lose and the need, let alone the price required, to defend it. Just as the British Empire quickly vanished, so may the American one and I can’t see anything more attractive filling that vacuum any time soon. It may collapse and be replaced by something much darker and we may revert to having to survive 7th to 19th Century geopolitics from a much weaker position.
3. our own value system is in a vulnerable condition; the old clarity deconstructed; the truths relativised; the old identities made taboo by multiculturalism; non-PC judgement disallowed, self-confidence subdued, human spirits crushed by bloated top-down controlling bureaucracy and materialism. This is hopefully a necessary evolutionary stage on the way to a better emergent integral, global civilisation. But in the mean time, we are very vulnerable to foreign imperialism and imported fundamentalists willing to organise, fight, funded from abroad, maybe soon armed from abroad. While our politicians meddle elsewhere, we need to look very clearly what’s happening in our own cities and schools.
4. our own governments are rapidly eroding our freedom of speech, freedom to demonstrate and freedom from crushing regulation and state intrusion into people’s lives. Here in Britain they ever tighten the restrictions of free debate by both fundamentalists and patriots. If we put off vigorous debate now due to appeasement and political correctness then we will pay later by having to fight for our freedom at home and we may well lose. The longer we wait, the weaker we’ll be.
5. ecological and social unsustainability
6. British and American histories have been written as if there is an underlying inevitability to our dominance, freedom and ever-improving culture. That was done by hard work and sacrifice. There is no rule in nature which says it has to continue going that way.
These are major challenges.
What I’m really saying is that this is actually quite and urgent and dangerous situation and will require much more than well-meaning dialogue.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 23:06
Interfaith dialogue is important, but I think I wanna stress one thing:
while dialog is great, accomplishment is better. Getting people to work
together across these boundaries on problems that all faiths see–poverty is
a good example–would be a great on-the-ground approach.
Imagine something like teams of Muslims, Christians and Jews working
together on Habitat for Humanity houses, sweating, sawing wood, getting
splinters… and at the end of the day, there’s a new house and a grateful
family, and they did it together.
Imagine part of your indoctrination as a new British citizen was an
invitation to come work on such a project.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 22:40
I agree that the interfaith approach has tremendous potential and has for that
matter achieved more to date than is generally realized. The Parliament of the
World’s Religions, with its roots in the legendary meeting in Chicago at the
Colombia Exposition in 1893, has gained considerable momentum in recent years. Their
publication of “Toward a Global Ethic: Initial Declaration” in 1993 represents a
major achievement of leaders from all of the world’s major religions.
Hans Kung has been been active with the Parliament of the World’s Religions and was
the primary author of “Toward a Global Ethic.” His book, with three other authors,
“Christianity and World Religions: Paths of Dialogue With Islam, Hinduism, and
Buddhism” explores the potential common ground in considerable theological depth.
The late Christian monk, Wayne Teasdale, was another interfaith pioneer who was
active with the Parliament of the World’s Religions. In this interview in
EnlightenNext Brother Teasdale suggests interfaith dialogue as a way to deal with
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 21:08
I completely agree with the comment that there are good opportunities for multi faith working. It is crucial we make good use of them. I am acting chair of our part of London’s Multi Faith Forum which brings groups from all faith sectors together to work on common urban issues. We have great potential but as yet mostly unrealised. Not because of faith or cultural issues – just lack of good administration to do the work to support busy volunteers. We will get there though I hope.
Lots of very important infrastructure is now evolving throughout the UK to support this kind of endeavour. There is a growing interfaith network across the country linking and supporting inter faith and multi faith local groups everywhere, and with a small national support organisation which also does excellent work at national level between all the faiths and the public agencies. We have a good network of such local groups across the whole of London that meets regularly and shares and supports. We also have a strong now over 20 years old system of local community group representatives meeting regularly with the local senior police and local government. This has also nurtured strong human relationships across ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic groupings.
All these provide a postive setting for work that repsects people’s differentn traditions. and perspectives, but educates all in the reailties of life in a 21st century western urban context.
But there is still a huge amount of work to do both to strengthen the infrastructure and also to use it.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 20:45
Several years ago Peter Merry and I in the Netherlands designed a series of three summits on
fundamentalism, the last one attracted around 900 leaders. Because of the growing conflict between Islamic and Dutch “Blue,” — well, there wasn’t much Dutch Blue at the time — then several decisions were made by the government to deal with the threats. It was determined that many of the “fire brand” imams were coming out of more rural or so-called “Third World” societies, many the former Dutch colonies. Simply stated, they lacked a significant amount of curiosity and intellectual sophistication. (One can find the identical pattern within Christian-oriented religions and Jewish as well. This is even the case with non-religious social movement leaders. It’s about memetics, of course.)One of the actions taken was to mandate a certification program and academic courses were instituted in several Dutch universities and other academic-like centers with courses taught in Islamic theology. I assume that system remains in force. Further, many Dutch police programs were created around Spiral Dynamics.
Also, each person who sought citizenship had to watch certain videos that depicted the diversity of and controversial elements within Dutch life-styles. We are about to launch a major project in Afghanistan so this will be a concern with the Taliban.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 19:30
From an American perspective, we have that whole ‘separation of church and
state’ thing that would prevent interference with imam certification too.
This may be a Green strategy, and I suppose I tend to advocate Green here,
but what about interfaith groups? Something for folks to work together on
across those boundaries, perhaps to establish a ‘House of Abraham’ identity,
harmonizing Blue and Green memes. With charitable projects, fundraisers,
Habitat-for-Humanity-style opportunities for folks to get together and work
on things… It’s harder to demonize folks who you’ve done good work with.
And it could be a good way to introduce folks to a positive version of
British-ness (or American-ness)… I’m sure there are British cultural
threads you could weave in.
Tuesday, January 12th 2010 at 19:11
So much to comment on…
The issue of imam training by the govt is rather touchy because of who the govt is.
In places like Saudi Arabia the govt COMPLETELY controls who is the imam at
any/every mosque. If they do not like what is being said (politically or too
militaristic religiously) the imam is removed. This has been especially prevalent
after 9/11. Many other muslim-majority countries also control imams at mosques
(egypt, syria etc).
HOWEVER, the diff between govt control in Saudi Arabia vs UK or US is that the Saudi
govt is not assumed to be an “enemy” of Islam. In the US, especially after 8yrs of
Bush, there is a huge distrust of the govt caused by issues like unlawful
detentions, govt harassment, patriot act, FBI spying in mosques, entrapment etc.
Everyone knows someone (or about someone) who has been hurt/harassed/hassled. So
allowing the govt to control who is appointed an imam or what they say is not going
to be considered acceptable. Looking out from the inside, the govt was/is considered
unhealthy RED-BLUE so allowing them to interfere in mostly healthy BLUE communities
with a smattering of unhealthy PURPLE-RED elements is not going to achieve the
On the other hand I can give the example of the Islamic center I attend in the DC
metro area which self-regulates itself. They alone hold ~15 different congregations
around the area on Fridays. The imams for each are trained by the center on what
they can or cannot say and also how to say it. Fire and brimstone sermons
(PURPLE-RED)are not allowed (the style preferred by immigrant imams)- the emphasis
is always on self-improvement & doing the right thing in the face of adversity (how
to respond with healthy BLUE). And themes/topics are coordinated to be relevant and
contextual addressing everything from domestic violence to gangs.
BTW, in response to an earlier post, assuming that Quranic verses that deal with
concepts like jihad or martyrdom are by default unhealthy RED condemns such a
vmeme-mapping project to failure before it even starts because it focuses on content
independent of context. There is a need to understand the concept across all
contexts it’s used in before applying the labels- otherwise we end up no better than
the unhealthy PURPLE-RED extremists that we are lamenting about.
Sunday, January 10th 2010 at 19:45
Well done for stimulating this important exchange. Most needed. And good that Albert has also joined in as we do need to share and work, on this widespread European issue, with others in Europe who have an understanding of the spiral dynamics of cultures.
I also found Nicholas Beecroft’s contribution inspiring and look forward to more engagement with him. My heart leapt at his first line *The whole world as a living system…*, as I have called what I do since 1992 Living Systems Research. We need to gather together all those who can see it in these organic dynamic ways if we are to break through so many obstacles to a humane and constructive way forward.
We don’t need to know spiral dynamics to know that too much change in stressful conditions too fast often provokes negative reactions in human beings and other animals. It is the natural condition. So this is why in the days of easy mass travel, unlimited immigration policy is bound to lead to just the kinds of social and cultural issues we are now facing. It is all about speed and quantity. You are quite right – what cultures need is a long enough breathing space to absorb new cultures. Too fast and too many doesn’t give that breathing space for any of them.
Clearly if civilisation as we know it survives (now a real ‘if ‘ because of potential ecological disasters) then humanity is moving into a cultural mix everywhere with the ease of travel and communications. So that can’t be stopped, nor should we want to as it has obvious advantages. But to avoid damaging effects we can try to control and shape the speed of it. The Soames/Field Balanced Migration Group is an example.
I notice that you, like many, slip between two different expressions with a very different meaning but as if they are the same. This is stopping the UK population from reaching 70m and stopping it from going over 70m. Long before mass migration became a global issue, I was in that camp that thought we long since reached ecologically unsustainable total numbers living here when they were under 60m never mind culturally. The UK is now one of the most densely populated places on the planet, and the south east of England may rapidly be becoming the most densely populated of all. Does this make any sense at all? Already the pressure on land and basic facilities in the south east may not be sustainable.
I chuckled, because it was so familiar, when I read your piece about being a one time fundamentalist Christian and how you can understand fundamentalist approaches in other religions. I too have a deep understanding of what it is like from the inside almost exactly as you describe, as I grew up in a Christian fundamentalist group. I can still contact those perspectives quite deeply, and have often compared them for their similarities with the stories reported from young religious Muslims in Western cultures. I find it very strange that some educated Christians in our culture, who never experienced such fundamentalist Christianity, sometimes appear to have as little grasp of its realities as they do of Islam.
On the education of imams in the UK – did you know that the UK Government has already intervened in this? I don’t know the exact details but they already have developed policies for trying to improve the quality of the Imams’ education, though I wonder how effective it is. I am intrigued to hear of the Jordanian approach especially of educating all imams in comparative religion. Oh – can we introduce that not just for all imams but also all priests, and religious leaders in all Christian denominations and in other religions, and even for their congregations?…
Sunday, January 10th 2010 at 18:28
Well put Keith. I think our dysfunction with the undereducated and the unemployable in the US comes in part from the cycle of perpetual poverty and the lack of leadership within many poor minority groups to understand what it takes politically and at a cultural value systems level to break the cycle. Another is similar to what you alluded to with the generational coal miners. In the US it was always fathers with good paying union jobs that chose skill over education for their kids. This was an industrial-era ethic that built the West and with the collapse of that model, we’re at a loss at what will emerge next. Like Don often says “these are yeasty times” indeed.
Albert,I’ve sent you the link to the Tea Party website but in case anyone else wants to visit it, here it is again http://www.teapartypatriots.org/ My early opinion of this group is that it won’t gather enough steam to rise and challenge the current 2-party system, but once a true YELLOW Republican leader emerges who captures their hearts and minds, they’ll come into the fold of the Republicans. I’d love to hear other people’s opinion on this topic.
Sunday, January 10th 2010 at 07:35
Thank you for the quantara.de link, Albert. Very interesting. As a historian by original training, I took to the interview with Michael Borgolte straightaway.
I like his view of the 3 monotheistic religions living side by side harmoniously and trading views. However, it all too easily went wrong all too often!
A key point for me, though, in Borgolte’s portrait of a relgiously pluralistic Europe, is “the Christians remained free to practice their religion” in areas controlled by Muslims. Yes, they did but there were all kinds of restrictions – eg: on land-owning rights. In what were sharply patriarchal societies, Muslim men were allowed to marry Christian women and the children would be brought up as Muslims. Muslim women were not allowed to marry Christian men…period! Though, as Borgolte is at pains to stress, the relationships between the religions varied widely across Europe.
My friend’s daughter, who is pretty much agnostic/lapsed mild Anglican, is marrying a man of Indian Muslim stock. For the marriage to go ahead, she has had to agree to the children being raised as Muslims. There again, in the UK it used to be that, for the priest to consent to a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant, the wedding had to be a Catholic ceremony and an agreement for the children to be raised as Catholics.
What’s the experience of your sister in these respects, Albert?
Re: your question, Said….I can’t speak for other countries, only the UK.
The working classes in Britain have tended to be dominated by PURPLE in their thinking, with obvious individual RED indulgences and occasional RED firebrand leaders/’troublemakers’. Sons tended to go into their father’s unskilled or semi-skilled occupation or trade.
One of the problems we encountered in the HemsMESH project – https://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/career-2/hemsmesh/ – was that education beyond the very basics was not valued amongst males because traditionally sons went down the mines like their fathers and grandfathers and you don’t need much numeracy or literacy to do that. Interestingly, education was more valued amongst females because women tended to make all the decisions about running the household – including, of course, managing the money. The Life Circumstances didn’t predicate needing more than a very simple set of family and job-oriented motivations.
One of the most exciting things for me in Wilber’s work over the past decade is to link cognitive and motivational (vMEME) development. (Where science tells us he’s got it wrong is to state that it’s a one-way influence only – ie: cognitive influences motivational – when there is clear, validated evidence that motivational can influence cognitive.)
When I was in Hull in the early Noughties, the city had the worst performong schools in the UK. Similarly to South-East Wakefield, young men followed in their father’s footsteps and became fishermen or dockers – and again you didn’t need much of an education to do that.
After 20+ years of running down our manufacturing industries and focussing instead on the fool’s gold of financial services – which employed reasonably well-educated mostly middle-class men and women – we have large armies of umemployed white working class young men from families now into their second and occasionally third generation of male unemployment and caught in the kind of ‘benefit trap’ you described in your first post, Said.
These young men are easy cannon fodder for the BNP and the far right and it’s easy to have the blame directed onto those of a different colour because their skin – let alone their religion -marks them out as not being of ‘our tribe’.
I said I couldn’t comment on other countries, Said, but we can remember Lawrence Kohlberg’s 25+-year investigations amongst Americans into stages of moral development which can be seen as outputs of vMEME activity. (Indeed Graves explicitly mapped his systems to Kohlberg in ‘NEQ’.) Kohlberg found that few people made it beyond Stage 4 (BLUE) and not all that many got to Stage 4 anyway.
It’s the changing Life Conditions which, I think, predicate the kind of dysfunctionality you’ve highlighted.
Saturday, January 9th 2010 at 18:05
Keith and Albert: Thank you both for setting me straight on the challenges posed from native European RED that threatens Europe as well. I often think that a downshift to RED from a higher level of complexity within an advanced culture doesn’t manifest in violence like the RED from a culture whose center of gravity is
Keith, you say: “The other danger, after the threat of Muslim extremism itself, in my view,is the PURPLE-RED bulge of white disaffected young men, poorly educated and pretty much unemployable – the miners, steelworkers and fishermen of 30 years ago”.
There’s an eerily similar pattern of cultural groupings here in US symbolized by the rise of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party which have been increasing in numbers, but are, to a great extent, still being ignored by the media and both the republican and the democratic parties. I wonder if this is a common symptom of dysfunction within BLUE-ORANGE/GREEN democracies of all variations?
Saturday, January 9th 2010 at 10:21
thanks for your elbaoration. Be assured that enough people in Germany are ready and capable for these conversations too:):)
Grmany has roughly 4,3 MIllion Muslims living here. A share which might be comparable with France. My younger sister is married to a Turkish Muslim businessman. And those constellations are wide spread here.
I am confident we can create some holes inthe language barrier between German and English language sphere this year.
Cultural institutions like
and thousands of others which deal with dialogue. migration, multicultural topics and life conditions are a rich humus in German speaking countries. The media landscape is showing signs for cover new perspectives and views.
So we will see how to collaborate with our UK friends and -having LOTS to integrate within our own cultural identities -it can be a productive
Saturday, January 9th 2010 at 07:43
Thank you for this, Said.
I’ve championed Nick’s post as a manifesto for what we should aim to do/be. I agree with you it largely comes from a GREEN-TURQUOISE perspective. It’s also broad brush strokes, lacking detail – a charter of ideals to aim for. But what a charter! I find it truly inspiring.
On the other hand, Said, you get down and dirty with detail in the here and now. As so often with your work, you provide a powerful and challenging analysis – and one that we would do well to take up and examine closely.
“Asking a closed PURPLE-RED Islamic community living in the West to assimilate into a non-Muslim culture is paramount to sacrilege.”
As a one-time fundamentalist Christian who regarded non-fundamentalist Christians as unbelievers bound for hell and the society I lived in as irredeemably corrupt and sinful, who believed no contact with unbelievers was healthy unless trying to convert them…I think I understand this. Integration with the sinners was not possible. With my fellow fundamentalists, we lived as apart as we could. We were in but not of….
Also my first loyalty was to my god and my religion. The state and my fellow countrymen were way down my list of priorities. So I think I understand the concept of ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ and why war on Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq – especially when civilians get killed – incites radicalised young Muslims in the West to come to the aid of their fellow Muslims in whatever way they can – including becoming suicide bombers. They see themselves as doing their religious duty – god’s warriors – and they will get their heavenly reward of 72 virgins. (Never quite figured what the reward is for female ‘warriors’?!?)
So it’s a conflict and our immigration policy for the past 50 years has facilitated the development of that conflict on our own home ground. The politicians and civil servants who opened the doors to the trickle that became a flood never saw it coming; and I guess their successors in Whitehall don’t understand it much now either.
The thing is, Said, that GREEN so dominates in the thinking of much of our intellectual elite that the idea of controlling Islam in the UK in the way Jordan has done or of using the benefit system to manipulate people in the way you describe is not something the UK could do easily. The Church of England is officially our state religion and we don’t do that very well – government ministers huff and puff if an archbishop says something they don’t like but there’s no attempt and no will to control it. Certifying imams and controlling what they preach…? Makes perfect sense from a 2nd Tier perspective – or possibly even to BLUE – but it would be anathema to GREEN.
As I indicated in the original Blog post, there are some signs of shift. The Balanced Migration Group is a start and Gordon Brown has introduced a supposed ‘back to work’ scheme – though I have annecdotal evidence it’s failing miserably.
The other danger, after the threat of Muslim extremism itself, in my view, is the PURPLE-RED bulge of white disaffected young men, poorly educated and pretty much unemployable – the miners, steelworkers and fishermen of 30 years ago. They are the cannon fodder for the BNP and the far right; they turn up at English Defence League rallies, only too ready to take on the Anti-Nazi League.
We’ve seen it time and time again – at a macro level most recently in the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia – and at a micro level only a few weeks back in the Munir Hussain case I highlighted in my previous Blog – https://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/2009/munir-hussain-and-the-wrong-messages-of-judge-john-reddihough/- when BLUE collapses or people lose faith in BLUE working, RED naturally steps up to the plate.
When the government’s raising taxes and cutting public services and there are no jobs and no discernible end to the recession, immigrants are perceived to be swarming in and benefits being handed out to ‘Muslims’ (anyone with brown skin), it will take little more than a few al-Qaeda attrocities and those armies of disaffected young men – and there are armies of them – will be on the march. The imams will tell their flocks once again how oppressed Muslims are, using TV and internet news of EDL-ANL clashes, and urge them to “slay them [oppressors of Muslims] wherever ye catch them” [Sura 2: 191]
We may be in very big trouble if we don’t control immigration and don’t control Islam in the way you’ve described, Said, but the shift in thinking has to accelerate massively for us to do those things.
Saturday, January 9th 2010 at 02:02
Keith, I just posted my response below to the SDi group.
Keith, this is indeed a brilliant post that attempts to lay out the societal challenges facing the “UK’s search for identity”. I fear that the rest of Europe does not have the courage to hold such conversation yet. You might be indeed pioneering a first of a kind template for Europe to deal with the immigration issue.
Although Nicholas Beecroft’s comment on the post has noble intentions, I’m afraid it’s coming from a Utopian place (GREEN-TURQUISE) that offers little solutions on how to immediately pull the rug out from under the RED bulge of Islamic extremists who threaten Europe and the UK. Let the discussion be honest. This is a conflict between the West and radical Islam and I offer my apologies in advance to the GREEN vMEME, the ACLU card-wielding members and its European equivalence. RED Islamists are laughing at the West’s stupidity in failing to understand WHY they do the things they do. The issue of conflict in value systems isn’t just unique to Muslim immigrants who fail to integrate into the greater whole of society in their adopted homeland; it is very much a fight between a closed PURPLE-RED value system that pre-dominates Islam and a more open expression of Islam itself. (I highly doubt the UK is having extremists’ issues with rich Kuwaitis living in London). We don’t see the manifestation of the conflict as much in the Muslim world, not because it’s acceptable behavior, but essentially because RED is dealt with from RED, (i.e., you assemble to cause social unrest; you are shot or hauled off to jail, never to be heard from again, pure and simple).
Since the West cannot deal with UNHEALTHY RED the way Muslim dictatorships do, then the first step must be changing its expression to a healthy manifestation under Western Life Conditions and as part of immigration policy (Natural Design from YELLOW). This is a monumental task as it calls on us to step away from our own value system to provide a functional solution to the problem. In my opinion, the 2 most important components of this process are:
1. The re-education of the Imams who preach hate: A few years ago, the king of Jordan, who is half British took on this task and turned the process of certifying Imams on its head. Before his intervention, almost every radical Sunni Imam was the product of a Wahabi school that had limitless funding from the Saudis, and in the absence of BLUE accountability, taught enough hate of the West to last several generations. In Jordan, it was common for men graduating in the bottom of their class to become Imams. The king changed that policy 180 degrees so only the most intelligent men can preach about Islam and in addition required them to obtain advanced graduate degrees in comparative religions. The UK and the EU can no doubt implement a similar policy that will put a limit to the level of home grown hatred and in the process open up the healthy emergence of Muslim PURPLE-RED within Europe.
2. The West must understand that the Quran is a full guide for living for Muslims: Asking a closed PURPLE-RED Islamic community living in the West to assimilate into a non-Muslim culture is paramount to sacrilege. What has been more dangerous in my opinion, is GREEN’s involvement in that argument whereby their support further closes up the system by providing it with the creature comforts it needs via social welfare programs. To Islamic closed PURPLE-RED, this support is essentially interpreted as help sent by God for them to continue fighting the infidels wanting them to assimilate. We’ve has similar experiences with GREEN in the CHE Mideast in our work with Palestinians who have gotten used to UN and NGO handouts for 50 years and as a result have developed very little capacities to be on their own. At the end of the day, the aid they receive is put to feed the 10-15 children each family has, so they in turn can become receivers of more aid while these GREEN organizations ignore the huge RED bulge they’re creating in the process as it builds to dangerous levels.
As has been the case with Christianity, the further its followers evolve through objective observation of life conditions the further they move away from its strict interpretation and this is where most the hard work lies for the West. We simply have got to help Islam move along a HEALTHY evolutionary path. To this end, I challenge the Europeans to perform a detailed Memetic profile of the Quran, a thorough analysis of its content for the purpose of dividing it into parts that speak to different vMEMES. For example: Verses that contain words like Jihad, infidel, martyrdom, eye for an eye, etc will be contained under an UNHEALTHY RED section. Verses containing passages that call for respect of other religions, peaceful co-existence with others and the acknowledgment that other prophets before Muhammad have contributed to the advancement of Islam, would be placed in a HEALTHY BLUE section and so on. A new breed of Western Imams can be taught to preach from the Quran’s newly defined HEALTHY sections that don’t incite the passions of a closed/UNHEALTHY PURPLE-RED system and in the process make it evolve. This can easily become the West’s Imam Certification process itself. However, the Imams can’t do it alone, they would have to have partners within the culture itself that meet these now HEALTHY PURPLE-RED Muslims where they are and offer them a new purpose, a job, even a new identity that is commensurate with their capacities. Once this path towards self-reliance is established, a chastening of the social welfare system should be introduced similar to Clinton’s Welfare to Work program, which got millions of American out of poverty and into careers that gave them pride and a sense of purpose.
There are no simple answers to the problems created by a closed system’s presence in any culture, and our job as Spiral Wizards is to find the blockages that caused the system to close and unblock them; a job that I’m certain is a lot easier said than done.
Friday, January 8th 2010 at 21:28
Great stuff, Keith!
Friday, January 8th 2010 at 13:05
Well done for contributing to the debate on this vital issue. I welcome your very structured, balanced and measured contribution and certainly agree that the Spiral Dynamics, Integral second tier model is an excellent way to integrate all the complex phenomena here and points towards a promising evolutionary, emergent solution.
In my view, the desirable long term end point is:
1. The whole world as a living system, a whole consciosuness of which all of us as individuals, families, groups, nations are an interconnected part, at once time all conncected but still respecting the individual and sub-group identities
2. each hub or node in the whole- which may be like current countries, current cities or some emergent form of organisation will have it’s own identity, culture and values about which it can healthily be proud, whilst still being truly global and respectful of other individuals, groups and other nodes/hubs within the whole
3. race will be completely irrelevant as everyone will have long since mixed up though migration and sex and it will have lost its historical associations with particular geographical regions and partuclar religions, nations and culture.
4. people free to travel wherever they like according to their own choice and needs
Of course, that is a long way off from happening and there are both barriers to that and many alternative darker scenarios which may occur. The barriers/challenges to transition are:
1. there is huge inequality in wealth, power, access to resources
2. there are many different cultures with different values about what is right & wrong, true & false, good & bad
3. there are many different levels of personal, group and national development in many dimensions including science, culture, values, organisation, economy, truth, identity
4. the level of development in the liberal, educated classes of the West is ready to evolve from post-modern to global/integral but most of the rest of the world is very firmly still ethnocentric or egocentric and that’s where the population growth and economic growth is happening. Those cultures are evolving fast, but there is potential for a lot of derailing into unpleasant sidetracks like Chinese Imperialsm, Islamic Imperialsm, corporate oligarchy, gangsterism as well as our own creeping domestic authoritarianism. We in the West still tend to speak as if we control the world, and others often scapegoat us in the mirror image of that, but the truth is that we don’t control the world and we may well be observers in much of what happens.
5. there is the presence and legacy of conflict, prejudice, racism (not just white, everyone), religious fanaticism, imperialism, exploitation and abuse (everyone, not just Western) all over the world. This is not, as the PC mantras have it just a legacy of the West, it is a fact of humanity all over, everywhere and needs a lot of healing of the past and the emergence of new, more attractive futures.
6. for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be a statistical association between race and belief, values, identity and culture simply because people have only been migrating on a large and fast scale for a relatively short period of time. Navigating the difference between the two is vital.
So, coming back to the reality now in Britain, I think we have to do the following:
1. most vital is to evolve a really healthy, British-Global identity which honestly celebrates us as a team, fully inclusive of all the parts, fully aware of all the strengths & weaknesses, embracing the glories of the past, healing the wounds and abuses of the past, including all the paradoxes of the many individuals and groups, totally open to the world, interconnected with it, as has been our strength as the first truly global and globalising country. We need a new exciting vision of who we are, where we’re going, why we care and how we’re going to do it.
2. we have to evolve beyond anti-white anti-racism to a PRO-human, post-racial, simply human attitude to race
3. we have to evolve beyond anti-western multiculturalism to a true global culture which is honestly multicultural in that it honours all the variety of human belief, religion, values etc AND respects that in any particular place, people have the right to decide how they choose to live, what they choose to believe and value. This applies here in Britain, just as much to any indigenous tribe in the Amazon or any post-colonial society. We need to learn to live with the paradox, that we can honour and respect the way others choose to live and be whilst being free to assert our own in our own home in a way which keeps us fluidly open and interconnected with the rest of humanity.
4. before we can healthily relate to others, we need to be clear about who we are, what we believe, what is true, false, right, wrong, good, bad and what’s simply a matter of choice or preference. Confident in our own values and identity, we can then securely relate to others as equals. We should stand very firm and confident in the face of the ethnocentric, egocentric chauvenism of others (and ourselves) both here and abroad.
5. we need to work with the rest of the world to evolve together towards the desirable end state outlined above. If we genuinely have this as an attractive goal, then everything else sits in that context, so we’ll be less likely to get bogged down in the weeds.
6. we need to be really clear to distinguish race from belief, politics, nationality, identity, culture, values and religion. Racism is totally unacceptable and should be challenged in all its forms (I mean ALL, not just the policially correct fashionable forms of anti-racism). However, belief, politics, nationality, identity, culture, values and religion are all choices and should be totally available for freedom of speech, democracy and Paxman-Humphries levels of scrutiny. The distinction is vital to our freedom.
7. we need to continue to work to help other countries develop themselves as they choose. We can choose to help or not help them but we should not be manipulating or controlling. This applies as much to liberal NGO’s as it does to businesses and governments. We need to treat them as people, not objects at a distance.
8. our main focus should be upon making our own place, Britain, a fantastic place to live with a vibrant culture, true democracy, real freedom, dynamic sustainable economy and be a beacon for others to follow and join IF they choose.
9.we need to healthily evolve community structures and shared values to be the foundation of our civilisation.
Those are my first thoughts. Looking forward to a debate.