Monday, October 24, 2005

Democracy in Iraq Will Fail

I've tried to talk about this issue before on Raven's View, but it's hard to use the language of Spiral Dynamics with those who are not familiar with it. Here, some of you are already on board, and the others have at least a passing interest or curiosity.

Today Don Beck talked about how the higher vMemes have a tendency to impose their own values on the lower vMemes and expect a positive outcome. For example, many early efforts in South Africa to end apartheid failed due to the types of solutions being offered. When he began working with the various factions, his first priority was to assess which vMemes were being represented. The solutions were tailored to the Memes.

In essence, you cannot end Red Meme power quests with Green Meme communal respect.

This is the situation we face in having destroyed the power balance in Iraq through our invasion. The dominant vMemes in Iraq are Purple (tribalistic, kin centered), Red (egocentric, power driven), and Blue (absolutist, order driven). The center of gravity is Red.

We come in with our Orange Meme multi-party democratic ideals, with a strong dose of Green Meme egalitarianism (women's rights), and expect to be able to impose that system on a tribal people who are most concerned with power and religious control of power (RED-blue). It won't work. The minute we leave, the whole thing will collapse into tribal warfare.

If we really wanted to create order in Iraq, the goal would be to create a healthy version of Blue, especially a strong Islamic Blue, that can tame the "will to power" inherent in the Red tribal worldview. The result would likely be an Islamic government, but if the Blue Meme were healthy, it could rule peacefully and provide the boundaries necessary to bring Red into the Blue worldview -- which is the only way to tame Red.

As it stands now, we will either be in Iraq as peacekeepers for the foreseeable future, or we will leave and the whole thing will collapse.
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