The Integral Center
Updated: Feb 29
By Joshua Noyer
Have you ever wondered where your conscience derives? Where your sense of right and wrong originates? Some may attribute it to God, parents, or schools. None of these answers is incorrect; our original impressions of the world are given to us at a young age and continue to influence how we conceive of the world. However, if that were the sole truth then our existence would be composed of uniform ways of thinking and acting, with the only differences existing in the realm of physical appearances. In reality, what we see when looking upon society is a mean, a representative type of individual, something not existing as a real organic being, but an abstract creation which would ideally represent a cross-section of values and ideas that populate the social sphere. None of us can truly be this individual. While most of our thoughts exist around the periphery of the mean, we all have quirks and idiosyncrasies which land us on the extremes. What happens is those original impressions we all experience are then processed mentally where they are connected with other isolated thoughts to produce a unity. The nature of thinking is synthetic, always trending towards unity by making the isolated unified. Being the recipients of similar stimuli by growing up within similar social contexts, there exists similarity in ideas between individuals. But given the different ways in which ideas are synthesized within the mind, that similarity never becomes uniform.
The amazing thing about human diversity is not its biological component, a factor too often accounted for in testimonials regarding diversity, but its unifying force in thought. If diversity were purely a function of biology then that diversity would be very difficult to overcome, as biology is a very static concept, with change happening only over very long periods of time. Diversity in thought, however, by its very nature is a unifying force. Think about it, as in the joy one experiences upon getting married and seeing your kids grow up to be sound individuals. These, like all other emotions, are universal to the extent that they are experienced by everyone regardless of geographic locale or biology. In addition, on a more negative note, all of us at least one time in our lives have been guilty of sinning against God’s commandments. We’ve all stolen, lied, committed adultery and murder, maybe not in the literal sense but most definitely in the realm of thought. Think about it. How do we know stealing is wrong or that cheating is bad? The answer is that we’ve all been a party to it. We know what it feels like to have something stolen and lied to or after committing one of these acts we’ve experienced the guilt that goes along with that association. To actually hate, to abhor something, or to feel that there’s a moral right or wrong involved in any action requires that at least one time in our lives we’ve been on the receiving or giving side of that action. Genuine feelings or concepts cannot originate out of nothing; they can only be grounded in the experience of the individual. The contempt we feel for the criminal and the joy derived from another’s virtuous act is, in essence, a part of us. We are them and they are us to the extent that due to our humanity there are no feelings which are completely unique to any individual.
As in our personal lives, so as well in our political. As distasteful as political parties are in the manner in which they manifest themselves, their true sin lies in their repressive tendencies. When we think of repression almost mechanically we think of government. However, government repression no matter how brutal is no more than physical in nature, hence it usually fails. What kills the body cannot kill the mind. On the other hand, there’s a much more sinister repression at work that doesn’t originate from government, and that is the backbone of democracy, the Political Party. Political Parties are false constructs; they’re outgrowths of a system, which is inorganic in nature and an imposition upon society meant to perpetuate a political system at any cost.
The root cause for anyone to engage in politics is self-expression. Much like the artist and singer those with a natural inclination to engage in politics do so out of a creative urge. Instead of the canvas or the stage, the tool used to express this urge is society as a whole. But in contrast to art, what the potential aspirant to politics finds is an entryway blocked by political parties with pre-conceived ideas and agendas which the aspirant has to pledge fidelity to even get a foot in the door. Typically, the only way to go around the parties is through a mass amount of wealth, which very people have and even at that point once in power those with the experience and technical knowledge to engage in the daily functions of government are almost always derived from one of the established political parties.
The individual looking for an outlet of expression in politics more often than not finds a repressive structure that stifles that expression. It’s not just aspiring politicians who are the victims of this, but average everyday laypersons as well. Even if the political urge isn’t as strong in some as in others it is still there, as politics has an effect on us all. When people attempt to engage this urge they’re encountered with media outlets such as Fox News, MSNBC, or internet outlets such as the Daily Beast or the Huffington Post. The commonality linking all these media instruments is their adherence to one of the two major political parties. The system should be thought of as a self-perpetuating feedback loop. Entrance to the top requires a certain way of thinking, which is required of the media instruments if they wish to gain access, which in turn filters down to the public in the form of the product put out by the media. For politicians, media, and the public maintenance of the system becomes necessary to maintain jobs, income, and a sense of identity. Division becomes ingrained within the populace as the system is built upon keeping people at their throats.
The common response in opposition to this is that political parties are simply reflective of the ideals of their adherents. The problem inherent in this suggestion is it defies human nature. None of us are ideological from birth. When first developing a love of politics at a young age that love manifests itself in a variety of particulars. It’s very common to be at one and the same time both a social conservative and a fiscal liberal, or vice versa, or to feel strongly about protecting the environment and be opposed to immigration. One may be pro-life yet believe in universally mandated health coverage. However, as we become socialized into our democracy, these combinations of thought become progressively scarcer as the pressure to adapt and to fit into the political structure intensifies. Those who stay true to their ideals find themselves ostracized and considered outcasts from politics. Here’s where the truly repressive elements of our present system come into play. Most people choose to abandon their previous ideals and for the sake of belonging to something they conform to the system. What was previously an opportunistic move to gain my membership into political society becomes a character-defining trait as the individual begins to identify with either the Left or Right and, through the struggles and battles with the opposing side, chooses to embrace the ideals imposed upon them. Unlike the chattel slave, they embrace their chains.
This begs the question, where do we go from here? For those who recognize the inherently repressive tendencies of the system integration with it can only be a surrender. Working inside of it can only lead to its consumption of your soul. Working outside of the system; defining yourself in opposition to it, while producing the negative effects of isolation can be rewarding as a true politics of expression, much like the mind is naturally predisposed towards unity, its outlet into politics, when avoiding the filters of democracy aims towards the unification of the disparate elements which compose society. The only doctrinal construct which ably manifests this unity is fascism.
Too often, people acquire the wrong impression of fascism. They read about the closure of media outlets, the restrictions upon speech, and they infer that these result in the repression of speech and free expression. But as illustrated above, these same outlets by engaging in speech and expression effectively reduce the free scope of speech and expression. The restrictions put upon the media are not meant to restrict but to expand the scope of expression. On the surface, while sounding contradictory, in reality, laws which restrict the rights of a few expand the rights for everybody, even those whose rights are being restricted. These are rights not based upon an abstract philosophy, but upon real-world problems that we all are faced with.
An objection to Left and Right constructs and their manifestations in contemporary political parties is not a suppression of the diversity of thought but its flowering. To bring the argument full circle lets go back to basic human morality and its derivation in our shared experiences; how feelings and experiences are not unique to any one individual but reside in varying amounts within each of us. The same ideal holds for politics. Strong feelings against a particular point of view or opposing doctrine don’t originate out of nothing. We don’t have to experience poverty to construct a possible reality where we are ourselves destitute. Or, there have been times for every one of us where we have acted unjustly towards another individual or been the victims of someone else applying prejudicial thinking towards us. On an issue such as Abortion, we can all imagine the horror that’s experienced upon learning that our child has been aborted or the converse of having a loved one be the victim or rape or abuse and being forced to bear a child which may be looked upon as a reminder of the evil done. To feel strongly one way or another on a political issue is a reflection of our putting our self in the place of the object of thought; we become both subject and object. All aspects of the political spectrum are represented within us, from the most extreme to the mildest. Whatever the issue being discussed, if the feelings produced within us are strong then it’s something we’ve experienced through conceiving it in our mind. On the other hand, the lack of an opinion or strong feeling equates to not experiencing the issue.
The mind being predisposed to unify all experiences, conceptions, and thoughts works to combine the different aspects of these problems to form comprehensive solutions. This is where the problem of democracy raises its head and combats unification with division. The dynamic/synthetic nature of the mind is confronted with the static/utilitarian nature of modern politics. Instead of resolving problems, problems become compartmentalized with each being stripped of context and looked at as a self-contained whole. This is when dogma arises as thought becomes rigid and uncompromising; solutions being at best incomplete, fail to address the root of any problem and in the process produce even more.
So what is the virtue of a one-party State? A single party does what a multiplicity fails at. Whereas the latter solidifies division and produces dogma, the former embraces all the different aspects of thought and unifies them under one umbrella, called the State. The false constructs being eliminated, the unitary nature of the mind is allowed free reign and self-expression multiplies. Legislative chambers being composed of all different points of view would naturally work to synthesize those points of view as the institutional roadblocks created by multi-party systems would no longer exist. Instead, the filter that exists within these institutions would incentivize the coming together of all points of view to produce a new synthesis. As in the mind, where multiple ideas coexist but come together to be unified, so in politics where multiple ideas exist within a single unified State.