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The Project [Matthew Kalman, 24.09.02]

For the greatest influence with the minimum effort my strong-ish feeling is we need to create a small Integral politics webpage NOW - no procrastinating (we could perhaps shield it for a while as we get it right until we think it's OK to release to the public).

Does anyone have a better idea than this?

We all (should) know the basic theory very well - it crops up in a  number of Wilber texts. It's not wildly difficult to grasp and I think many people are receptive right now.

I'd be interested in criticisms of such a project - though not mere criticism unaccompanied by other - better - suggestions? 

I don't see just carrying on our enjoyable online chats and valuable personal projects as a preferential option. (Sorry if  we've already worked out what we want to do via Sara's questions - which I've not had time to follow).

A website might include:

- the soundbite version of Integral politics
- the elevator pitch version
- and maybe a 2,000 word version
- Ken's outlines of it in ATOE and the World Trade Centre piece.
- some of the documents which have appeared on this list
- FAQs (which we began to put together)
- Links to online or real-world groups involved in Integral politics (eg this group)
- annotated bibliography for further reading (a couple of dozen most important Integeral politics books).
- Contacts around the world who are interested (ie from this list)
- I would also argue for including my interactive 'Know your Integral score' questionnaire too (if finalised) as it could be fun and get people interested (but I know there are plenty of criticisms of such an approach for being too superficial).

Given the profuse output on this list I would have thought that such a site would not be beyond us. We could even simplify it by only using pre-published stuff and not write anything much at all other than links and bibliography (I'll even do these myself if no-one's keen - perhaps Michel will help on bibliography).

Hopefullly it could even be hosted by one of the other Integral sites - so all we'd have to do is provide content. But it needs to be a site where we can have a unique URL at the top that somehow includes the word "integralpolitics" (presumably after a /)

One reason I suggest such a site is that I have come across a number of people ( - sometimes influential - who are fed up with unhealthy Green (ie unhealthy/flatland PC-Left-egalitarian) - but  because they don't realise that there can be something Integral beyond MGM they opt for something beneath it, sometimes a kind of Blue-communitarianism with progressive overtones.

If I could just say to people - 'look at this site to get an idea what Integral Politics is - even if it's very early days and liable to evolve a lot' my life would be much easier and if anyone else is trying to promote Integral politics to others then their life should be easier too, I would guess.

I just don't have time to pull together outlines of Integral Politics over and over again for people who are (or might be) interested (eg Anthony Giddens was suggested to me by one of his professor colleagues - possibly the most influential political theorist in the world right now).

If we're not doing an Integral Politics edited book then the website seems a good second best.

Such a website is different from my 'exiting Greens'-focused website project, but much simpler and more urgent too.

Matthew's Frustration [27.09.02]

I feel a wee bit frustrated that my suggestion for a potentially simple but effective little public project for the group to try to do only received a single (favourable) response (and no suggestions at all of other better initiatives for us to try).

I still feel that we need to have something to show the rest of the world as a group about 'Integral Politics', even if it's not the hard-hitting book Wilber would like to see.

We surely need to make a some first step, an interim project, however limited? (I'm not denying all the fantastic projects that individuals on this list are personally involved with already).

Should I go ahead and ask Tony Arcari or Frank Visser whether we might be able to have a few pages on one of their sites for an initial, basic 'Integral Politics' site? (This was my suggested idea)

Or should I take the lack of response as a firm post-con-pol 'no', and not make this request?

I don't even (greatly) mind trying to put together such a page myself, with help from Alex and whoever else, and feedback from the group if I do it wrong, so I can improve it.

But what I won't do is put effort into some web pages that introduce 'Integral Politics' only to find that they are unwanted and unsupported by our post-con-pol group.

So please respond - if you can find the time - to let me know whether you will:

1. Support the project, and let others get on with it (but perhaps offer feedback at some point to suggest improvements).

2. Support the project and offer to help bring it to fruition (perhaps writing some bits and pieces, or including yourself as one of the I-Pol contacts for your country, or whatever).

3. Not support the project, but allow it to go ahead anyway.

4. Not support the project and block it on a point of principle or suchlike.

5 Suggest a better project that the group might feasibly undertake, and which has some public/productive side to it.

6. Some other response.

Best wishes,


Kris's Answer [27.09.02]

I can offer you all the pages you want on my website (at this moment ca. 200 visits a day...)

That's a very kind offer (presuming you mean some free pages?).

Is there any way that "integralpolitics" could be included somewhere in the URL? (ie or suchlike?)

And what does the .cc ending mean - I've not seen it before.

It seems there are things afoot with the Integral Age site which Sara has just contacted me about - and that might be another option.

Do you think the world actually needs some Integral Politics pages produced by us lot?


Of course these pages are for free. It's my ideal also!

BTW, .cc refers to the Cocos or Keeling Islands, somewhere between Indonesia and Australia, with a kind of autonomy from Australia. As .com ran exhausted in name possibilities, they sold .cc, as all inhabitants (some hundreds...) had already an email address... It was commercialized by VeriSign, but becomes exhausted now as well.

You can, in these pages on my site, change colours, lay-out, font, etc., as you like. I consider Matthew as the intellectual owner of the site, with the Final Decision.

All ideas welcome!

I'm already hosting Michel Bauwens's Integral Politics Bibliography

Sara's Answer [27.09.02]

While I sent you a separate note this morning that touched on some of this, I just now realized - thanks to your plea! - that I did not respond on-list to your posting from, hmmm, last week or so?  I'm truly sorry.  When I am buried in an effort I try to keep a separate to-do list of posts to answer, and I missed some.

All I have time to say right now is YES, and that I think some or much of what you are pushing us on will become do-able, really for the first time, once IntegralAge (IA) site is launched.  Tony had said they hoped that would happen this month.

I agree with you that it would be *ideal* to be "getting our ducks in a row" right now so we have something ready.  On the other hand, because they are designing several different subscription levels that make different features available, we might also need to wait and understand *what* and *how* we can do what seems best.  It sounded to me as though we'll find it like a candy store and have some tasty choices.  I would find it hard, right now, to know what precise questions we could pose to Tony, because the framework in which the site is designed sounds like a non-conventional approach.

Could I lovingly beseech you to rein in those horses of frustrated impatience just a little longer, until we actually have some clue what the IA animal looks like?

In the meantime, I sure would encourage list members to respond to your questions!  And it seems to me that we are finding such point-blank brief questionnaires might be *just* the way to get e-group responses.

My own response is YES I'm in favor of some sort of integral politics presence/project on the web. I also think it might be just the achievement of getting converted to IA's site with some of "our stuff".

Andrew Russell's answer [27.09.02]

Matthew, consider me a #1 -

One way to get a website from thought to reality is to draw up some sort of flowchart-type visualization of it: what is the navigation structure, what will be on each page, how many pages are there, how will the content be organized, etc.  You don't need ANYBODY to let you do this, Frank or Tony or anybody - webspace is freely available from a number of companies - my suggestion is to work up a prototype and then send that url around for feedback, instead of waiting for people to say "yes I will commit" - there seems to be enough integral politics bits and bobs floating around that it wouldn't be too hard to get content; so it's just a matter of throwing together a first draft, let us know, and then be prepared for comments....  I bet Frank/ Tony would be much more willing to give space to a few pages that have already been created and revised instead of to an idea that is struggling to make it out of committee : )

Ray Harris's Answer [28.09.02]

I can understand your frustration, however, you are not the only one who posts stuff and does not get the reply they want. For instance, I asked a question about a policy on abortion - did you reply?

I am however a little surprised by your plea, especially given that there have been several posts of recent times that explain exactly why there is sometimes no reply. I also commented that people expect instant responses. Let me remind everyone that the problem is TIME. Time to read all the posts, time to digest them and time to respond.

I have no problem with setting up a website - but as Sara has mentioned a couple of times Tony Acari is moving in this direction as we speak.

But I do have a note of caution. We have barely defined what Integral politics is and where it stands on several important issues - ISSUES THAT WE WILL BE ASKED ABOUT!!! I'm not sure there is agreement on certain key issues.

Unless what we say is well thought out, internally consistent and ADDS to the debate then Integral politics can very easily be dismissed. Or in our enthusiasm have we forgotten how vicious and uncompromising the world of real world political debate is?

And if we can't get our act together on this site what hope has another web effort got? Isn't another web effort going to face the very same problems this list has?

Kris's Reaction [28.09.02]

I think you're right to some extent. There are, of course, strong material restrictions, as you enumerate. But I think this doesn't explain everything, there are also the questions of maximal responsibility and synergy, as I argued in an earlier text before I was in this list. One of the things I miss in this List --and in many other lists as well-- is the integrative tendency. Most often we are just posting views, very interesting of course, sometimes contested, but nearly never integrated. And by integration I mean an intellectual procedure by which separate contributions, even conslicting ones, are reformulated and put together as a consensus. I think the Yahoo List system --like probably all eLists-- is too cumulative, too parcelling. The posted texts are just stacked, and only result into an archive, not into an integrative corpus of insights. This is, for my feeling, as frustrating as the fact the response percentage is always very low. Sometimes the only reward is the idea to have put something on a global forum and to have been present, during some seconds, in the awareness of a handful of people. But the idea itself probably is buried into the archives some moments later.

I'm still looking for an INTEGRATIVE forum, where no one idea is lost, where questions don't have to return from time to time as if previous posts didn't exist. Of course, I think that at this stage of technological evolution this kind of intellectual procedure is to be performed by humans, although I'm convinced that much more intellectual assistance by software could be available. Just have a look to Google's entirely algorithm generated new News site and you wil, perhaps, as I was, be very impressed.

Well, one of my intentions by offering free pages to Matthew was not just to create the zillionth internet forum, but to try to propose an integrative approach to Integral Politics. Of course, as long as we don't have some better HTML or  SQL or PHP or whatever, this work has to be performed by hand. But one of my proposals should be that some of us take the responsibility to integrate (some) new posts that are presented on this eList, just to build up an integrative IP site.

BTW your and Sara's recent posts are already added (not yet fully integrated, but as the number of comments increases this will be realized, as you can already observe on several pages in my website, and perhaps especially in a number of pages concerning an integrative production of a book on Teilhard and Whitehead by me and a person I never met: 

Sara's Reaction [28.09.02]

 (...) Here's the set of questions I don't know the answer to: 

1.  Why does "integral politics" need to have "positions?" 
2.  What would it do with them, if it had them?
3.  How would integral politics be "integral" if it acted like "business as usual?"  (if it did, in espousing its positions)

Site created 27 Sep 2002