Integral World: Exploring Theories of Everything
An independent forum for a critical discussion of the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber

Response to: Dutch "no" vote on European Constitution, Peter Merry

Dear Peter,

Let me start by saying that I truly appreciate your e-mail and analysis of the outcome of the referendum. And second, by admitting that I have voted "no" in this referendum. Thus, your message is a clear invitation to explain, as a Dutchy, how I see a couple of other (political) perspectives on the arisen situation as well.

I believe a distinction needs to be made between three types of "no" - voters.

Firstly, there are the ones who we could have expected to vote against by definition, i.e. those people in The Netherlands who are members or supporters of SP, LPF, ChristenUnie/SGP and Wilders. Looking at their political agenda's these political parties: SP (anti-globalists, (unhealthy) Green), LPF (nationalists/populists, Red), ChristenUnie/SGP (Christian extremists, Blue) and Wilders (extreme nationalists/populists, Red) were almost supposed to vote "no" in order to support their values and policies accordingly. For them, this has been an ultimate opportunity to do so, this is I guess the sensed passion that you describe, as well as a reflection of their purpose as a political party. But, these parties and their followers only constitute 15% of the Dutch population!! So, clearly not the centre of gravity!

Secondly, an enormous amount of members or supporters of PVDA (social-democrats, Green), VVD (liberals, Orange), D66 (liberal-democrats, Green) and CDA (Christian-democrats, Green) have chosen to detach themselves from the standpoint of their political party. For this I see two very deviant reasons. There are those who have clearly voted from a fear-driven point of view. Coming from a nation state that has its centre of gravity still so clearly in Green, these people have argued that they prefer (or have a need) to strengthen the Dutch sense of (comm)unity first before stepping into any new adventure of transnational state (a different kind of community, integration!!). There exists a fear that in the European bureaucratic structures (LR) and the European identity and relationships (LL), not enough opportunity will exist to express the Dutch collective identity (a different kind of Self), hence to sacrifice this identity for a new (higher) one/purpose, might have come too soon for them. This translates as well to their personal being and actions as a citizen (UL) and the unability of the brain to reconnect itself to new levels of understanding (UR).

Thirdly, there are some who come from the aforementioned parties who have voted against as well for another reason...They recognised the state of mind and (collective) being, which I have just described, of their fellow party members/supporters. They were not driven by fear, but by anticipation of the changes ahead. You speak about the Beta/Gamma change state, which implies that we do need to consider the required conditions for change (Potential, Solutions, Dissonance, Insight, Barriers and Consolidation) as well. In order for the centre of gravity (i.e. the majority) to shift from Green to Yellow, they need to be resolved. My best guess is that with the proposed EU constitution there are at least three conditions that have not been met yet: 1) Too many unresolved problems and threats still exist at present state, 2) Too many historical and current barriers have not yet been overcome (e.g. Euro, Turkey) and 3) A greater insight into the advantages of the new system is lacking.

In the case of the latter one could argue that these people/leaders could have opted to take the risk and Consolidate later. Don Beck writes about this: "Those who change [...] may be punished by those who do not understand what is happening and now find themselves left out, misaligned and threatened. Old barriers may rebuilt in the form of punitive rules, turf battles and power tests." My best guess is that their judgement call has been that all of that came too soon and too many other conditions were not met properly by the proposed constitutional agreement.

I count myself part of the third group that I have outlined. As someone in a (Yellow) leadership position I wholeheartedly agree when you say: I feel very frustrated with the current obsession with representative and participative democracy. This all reinforces my feeling that our current governance systems are inadequate to the current transnational challenges that we are facing. We will not get a majority of people in favour of transnational governance quickly enough to deal with the life-threatening transnational issues we are facing. The only way this could happen is if we get political leaders who are able to explain (because it is really true) that the addition of a transnational layer of governance will actually clarify, enhance and strengthen other layers of governance such as nation states and local regions and cities.

But, the reality is that we don't (have this type of political leaders in place). So what's healthier at the moment? To transcend and include into a new state with the 'wrong' people leading us into it, or to continue down the U-curve for a little bit longer, in order to download more 'patterns from the past' before we step into the embodiment of new performance, practice and structures?

I'd say: there is more (political) work ahead of us, buddy!

With love,

Arjen Reply by Anders Erkéus

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