Monday, July 11, 2022

Values Inegration

 As I’m arguing, in order to overcome hyperpolarization, we need people to expand their own values so they can better recognize the validity of their opponents’ values. This kind of growth in values, however, requires the raising of people’s consciousness. While raising consciousness is the long-term goal of developmental politics, as activists from across the political spectrum have discovered, raising consciousness takes time and can be exceedingly difficult. But by employing the method of values integration, we can begin to craft the new political positions that would be possible if values had already been expanded and the consciousness of the electorate had already been raised. In short, we don’t have to wait for people to raise their consciousness, we can do it for them! Because the integral perspective deeply appreciates the values of each worldview, it already includes the valid concerns of each category in its positions without requiring potential opponents to argue for their side. The method of values integration thus allows us to approach political issues with the best interests of each value category already in mind. In fact, by adopting an integral perspective we might even be able to revere and defend the values of each category better than that category’s own partisans.

McIntosh, Steve. Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow Into a Better Version of Itself (p. 68). Paragon House. Kindle Edition. 

McIntosh writes that the political dynamics could be improved with values integration.

Values integration is the recognition and acknowledgement of the primary values at each stage of consciousness or worldview. What is the good, the true, and the beautiful to people at the pre-traditional, traditional, modern, postmodern, and post postmodern stages? Polling shows that Americans pretty much value the same things, but disagree on how to implement those qualities in society. The conflicts are not so much over the what but the how.

Take abortion for example. Most people are pro life but whose life are we talking about, an unborn embryo or the life of the mother and her family? The conflict hinges on agreement of when life begins. Roe vs. Wade determined that life begins at extra uterine viability at 24 weeks, but the Christian Nationalists argue that life begins at conception and some even argue that it begins at ejaculation. How are these conflicts to be resolved in a society which utilizes a democratic process to make policy? In the case of abortion, the policy is determined by a court of 9 justices who are out of step with the majority of Americans who value the woman’s right to self determination more than the continued development of an embryo.

The discussion could perhaps be better conducted if the subject of the debate was shifted from when life begins to the concept of freedom as self determination of living persons. Freedom and self determination is a value about which most Americans agree.

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