Reply to John Bunzl: On the Uselessness of Third Parties in the USA


John Bunzl wrote:

New political parties are just more ‘horizontal translation’ – more re-arranging of the Titanic’s deckchairs. What’s needed is ‘vertical transformation’ towards a form of worldcentric politics that doesn’t need to be a political party but still dramatically affects electoral outcomes. Sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it isn’t.

I completely agree with this in spirit in terms of how Spiral Dynamics and orthodox integral theory have usually defined “vertical transformation”; however, I’m now on record as advancing the notion that 2nd tier begins at green/teal and that the big vertical leap occurs between orange and green (Achiever –> Pluralist), with teal (Strategist) correcting for green’s allergies and other problems. So for what it’s worth I want to add that the problem I see with the Green Party and independent new party bids (like Schultz’s possible bid) is that they suck all the exciting vertical growth potential out of the existing parties and funnel it into potentially worse-than-useless, dead-end, cannibalistic phenomena.

What’s needed are vertically oriented political movements that happen within each Eros (e.g., Democrat) / Agape (e.g., Republican) flexion point in the first-tier system, leveraging all the healthy Eros and Agape that they can find towards second-tier transformation. In short, we don’t need green or integral parties (in the USA) but green or integral movements within each party. Obviously the notion of a green movement within the GOP sounds ridiculous, but that’s just because the green meme is still rife with allergies and not fully healthy.

When green is purified of those allergies, it basically is well underway in its evolution towards teal. Thereafter, it is not nearly so frightening to conservative politics. I suspect that all the younger generation of Republicans could very well re-imagine green/teal politics in a way that will basically get the Agape wing of politics healthy. (This begins simply by asking, “What is worth protecting and defending?” and answering with democratic process, ethics and truth-telling in public life, environmental sustainability, personal accountability and discipline through dignified work, etc., rather than putting on regressive MAGA hats.)

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