Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Towards the Integrative

In Fritjof Capra’s vision of an emerging ecological paradigm, he calls for a shift in current thinking and values  -- from self-assertion to integration. These two systems, the self-assertive and the integrative, are essential aspects of all living systems. What is healthiest for all is a dynamic balance; an overemphasis of one tendency and neglect of the other is unhealthy. As you might guess, Western industrial culture has overemphasized the self-assertive at the expense of the integrative.
Mr. Capra writes in The Web of Life, “Power, in the sense of domination over others, is excessive self-assertion. The social structure in which it is exerted most effectively is the hierarchy. Indeed, our political, military, and the corporate structures are hierarchically ordered. Most of these men, and a few women, have come to see their position in the hierarchy as part of their identity, and thus the shift to a different system of values generates existential fear in them.
However, there is another kind of power, one that is more appropriate for the new paradigm -- power as influence over others. The ideal structure for exerting this kind of power is not the hierarchy but the network, which is also the central metaphor of ecology. The paradigm shift thus includes a shift in social organization from hierarchies to networks.”

Self Assertive                               Integrative
rational                                         intuitive
analysis                                         synthesis
reductionist                                  holistic
linear                                             nonlinear
Self Assertive                               Integrative
expansion                                     conservation
competition                                 cooperation
quantity                                        quality
domination                                  partnership

Doctor Doom says, "It's time for your year-end review."

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