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

Stratified Democracy
in Iraq

Alan Tonkin

A New Integral Democratic Model for Iraq: Stratified Democracy

In considering all the debate around the future shape of a new democratic Iraq there is little or no mention of the various stages of development of the “Iraqi People” by overseas observers. In order to be able to more fully understand the underlying values within Iraq it is necessary to consider the use of new technologies which have not been used extensively at the national level in the past.

The progress of the war so far has shown that the use of new technologies allows for a strategic campaign which is more flexible while at the same time being capable of targeting weaknesses in the more static defences set up by the Regime. This is a new type of war that is not only being fought for the “Hearts & Minds” of the broader population but is also going to significantly influence broader global events well into the 21st Century.

Equally, the setting up of a new Iraqi administration and government is going to require the ability to introduce a solid infrastructure, a strong economy and at the same time a human rights culture. Particularly in the transitional phase it will be critical to start rebuilding the institutions of Iraqi democracy at the appropriate levels for those being governed.

How Should the New Iraq be Reconstructed?

In considering various scenarios for reconstruction there is little doubt that the process is going to be both time consuming and costly. This is a country that has had no real democracy for over 30 years and with a population of over 55% who are under the age of 19 and have never experienced a democratic system.

In considering the options available it now appears almost certain that a US based administration will be put in place following the fall of the Saddam Regime. The US officials will work closely with Iraqis who have lived outside the country for considerable time as well as with officials selected from within the existing administration structures in order to set up a new interim administration.

There will of necessity be a period of stabilization following the war and it is during this period that the future values of the new Iraq will be consolidated. There is much debate of the possible future role of the UN in the process of reconstruction. Given the problems experienced prior to the war it is likely that the US will resist multilateral involvement outside of the coalition forces during the interim stage.

In addition the new Iraq does not require a Green humanitarian administration, but rather one that is focused on rebuilding the country and economy for the benefit of all the citizens. In addition any new Iraqi Constitution needs to be able to incorporate the real needs of those who are still entering the modern economy as well as those who are well educated and technologically competent.

The Introduction of Flexibility and Hi-Tech

It is a known fact that developing economies adapt relatively easily to the introduction of new technologies. This is an opportunity to introduce some of these new technologies into the socio-political arena with particular reference to the use of “stratified democracy” at the various levels and in the different regions of the country. This is a concept developed and proven in South Africa during the period of political transition in that country. Dr Don Beck who developed the concept of SDi Values Technology around the world has developed this idea of stratified democracy depending on the level of development. He was involved in South Africa during the 80’s and 90’s and his strategic input to leaders of all political persuasions over this period assisted in making the transition as smooth as it was.

Iraq is not a homogeneous country such as Germany or Japan and any future administration will need to be very aware of the multi-level approaches required. The US Military planners are very aware of this but many in the global green movement cannot understand that different approaches are required for those who occupy the different values systems, particularly in a country such as Iraq.

The use of SDi values technology using three dimensional GPS mapping techniques will allow the identification of the underlying values present in the various regions and cities/towns/villages of Iraq. It will also provide a clearer understanding of the predominant values systems in the society. At some stage it will be necessary for the representatives of the various groups to come together in order to map out the future of a “New Iraq.” Given the past disagreements on how to proceed it is suggested that it should be possible to identify the various values systems present in the New Iraq and to plan for their incorporation in a new constitutional framework. This approach is similar to the approach used on the battlefield by the coalition forces where specific targets are carefully selected and identified prior to action.

This will allow for a multi-tiered approach to issues of reconstruction and development. However, at the same time the initial “scan” should be as broad and wide as possible rather than being too detailed, as an overall scan will allow the appropriate planning to proceed relatively quickly. Over time the level of sophistication of the scanning can be increased to cover even wider and deeper areas of values and culture requiring further attention.

Priority Areas

In order to move swiftly and surely on the above route it will be necessary to identify “development nodes” for initial attention. Iraq is a country which governed correctly should be capable of managing to provide for the needs of the wider population as a whole. This will however, require significant assistance from the coalition forces/UN in the first instance, particularly in the area of humanitarian aid.

There has been much debate of the need to preserve as much of the basic infrastructure for the Iraqi people, including the oil reserves and wealth of the country. Although the war is still under way there has been significant progress made in this regard with the bulk of the casualties coming from the Iraqi military. However, this may not last depending of the possible levels of resistance in Baghdad and other cities coming from entrenched supporters of the regime.

Possible Approach

In considering how to proceed it is suggested that the direct involvement of the unique GVM WorldSCAN technology plus the input from Dr Don Beck could assist in the initial planning stages. This will also require significant understanding of the need to employ 2nd Tier approaches to questions on development in a country such as Iraq. However, at the same time this could provide an overall model for later use by other developing countries/regions. This will assist in moving these areas forward on the values curve towards levels of sustainable development required for a more stable and safer world for all as we move into the 21st Century. The suggested approach complements the other levels of planning already being spoken about in the media. One of the problems with a purely Green humanitarian approach is that often key development issues are excluded. At the same time the need for speed and efficiency in many of the areas in Iraq requires a more business oriented approach but from a Yellow 2nd Tier perspective.

At a similar level it is important to note that following the South African elections in 1994 the country was over-run by international consultants, many of who were suggesting 1st World solutions for 2nd World issues. In many cases these solutions failed and it has been left to South African consultants and business people to solve the many of these problems. This we also believe is why South African companies are being so successful in Africa, as they understand the required approaches for many of these countries and the values involved.

A 2nd Tier approach will involve the introduction of overall stability in the political, infrastructural and administrative systems, a healthy dose of rebuilding of the economy and at the same time a guarantee of human rights built in to a new constitution. However, it is critical that these should be in balance while at the same time introducing appropriate levels of the above into the “New Iraq.”

The Future Role of the UN in Iraq and Globally

There is a key role to be played by the UN and its agencies such as the World Food Program and UNICEF in Iraq. However, at the same time the UN also needs to look carefully at its own structures and operating procedures, many of which require significant transformation, particularly in the light of the failure of the Security Council to obtain agreement on Iraq prior to the war. What is required in any serious transformation by the UN is the type of 2nd Tier flexibility being shown by the Coalition Forces on the battlefield.

The question needs to be asked of the UN how it is going to reform itself to meet the new challenges of the 21st Century? The UN has had its share of both successes and failures since its formation and what is now requires is an honest attempt to reform the body to meet the ever increasing and hazardous challenges of the new age in which we live. There is a real danger that unless the UN is serious in recreating itself it will risk the possibility of becoming irrelevant in the new global environment. On the other hand a new, vibrant and truly transformed UN can play a significant role in global affairs in the future. This will involve restructuring itself “top down” and “bottom up” in order to be able to fully meet these new challenges.


Although there is still much to be completed in securing the peace in Iraq much has already been achieved in the last three weeks. We will be revisiting this topic over the coming weeks as part of an on-going effort to assist in a practical way in the rebuilding of an appropriate democratic process and nation in Iraq.

As part of this process we have opened a new topic under the Discussion Forum on the Home Page of the GVN website on to facilitate this. Your ideas and contributions will be much appreciated.

Alan Tonkin
Chairman: Global Values Group
© 2003 - All rights reserved

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