Shambhala: But green often claims that what it is doing is "integral."
KW: Yes, as Don Beck puts it, "Green looks at itself and always thinks that it is turquoise. Green always calls itself 'integral.'"
Shambhala: As with Paul Ray's work.
KW: Yes, I think so. Ray claims that some 25% of the American population is at an integral level. He calls this "the integral culture" composed of "cultural creatives." But all he's really measuring is the green meme. Now of course Ray is careful to point out that the cultural creatives actually contain many disparate subgroups. But he constantly calls all of them THE cultural creatives, because most of them do indeed share some common elements--such as the general green-meme value orientation. But if you look at any sophisticated measure of psychological development--from Jane Loevinger to Clare Graves to Susann Cook-Greuter to Robert Kegan to Don Beck--you find that the percentage of people at yellow is about 1.5%, and at turquoise, about 0.5%. The idea that 25% of Americans deserve to be put in a general group called "the integral culture" is, forgive me, simply ludicrous. This seems to be just another example of boomers claiming that they are so much more incredibly wonderful than anybody else. This is the essence of boomeritis, in my opinion [see chapter 2 in A Theory of Everything ].
Shambhala: But you do have many good things to say about Ray's research.
KW: Yes, what Paul Ray has done is identify the green meme, the cultural creatives, with their many variations and subgroups. But the cultural creatives are not an integral culture--in fact, as we have seen, the green meme or the cultural creatives are what are actually preventing an integral culture--they will destroy or deconstruct anything second tier that they happen to run into.
But the cultural creatives can become a truly integral culture , IF they vertically transform to yellow or second-tier consciousness. Now the boomers have been at the green meme for almost three decades. The extremely positive benefits of this green-meme consciousness are numerous and profound: the green meme brought us much of the civil rights movement, feminism, environmental protection, and health care freedom.
But the downsides have been equally far-reaching: extreme or deconstructive postmodernism (as opposed to constructive postmodernism, of which I am a strong advocate--see MSS); politically correct thought police; the complete dumbing down of the educational system in order to avoid those nasty grades and ranking; the pervasive erosion of first amendment rights (when green-meme individuals are asked which is more important, freedom of speech or preventing freedom of speech so as to not hurt somebody's feelings, a majority alarmingly choose the latter--in other words, the right to free speech would be replaced by the right to not have your sensitive ego bruised--and this abrogation of first-amendment freedoms is now standard policy at many centers of higher education--an example of the mean green meme in action).
One of the real problems with green is that, as Don Beck says, "Green has to have victims." And so it has to see everybody as either an innocent victim or a wicked oppressing force. Thus, where the blue meme blames the victim, the green meme creates victims, by the droves, and then trumps up charges for those it imagines are the great oppressors. At West Point, for example, if a man looks at a woman for longer than seven seconds, he is guilty of sexual harassment and the woman has been victimized. I mean people, please, get a grip. This is behind so much of the "victim chic" that has become so fashionable in cultural studies, which erodes self responsibility, demonizes so much of life's unavoidable messiness, and, saddest of all, trivializes the real victims of real oppression.