In integral circles people are convinced that the Western world has its center of gravity in the traditional worldview “blue”, in the modern worldview “orange” and in the postmodern worldview “green” (Colors from “Spiral Dynamics” which stand for the respective levels of development).Other countries are “red” and “purple”, “not developed” and somehow primitive. We consider tribal countries like those in Africa or South America as far behind in comparison to what our standards are and we believe that we need to help them to become like us, to save them from their primitive ways of being ,and to bring them into higher” stages. We are completely convinced that that would be good for them and that we are kind and gracious to help them develop. We are still living the mindset of Christian missionaries, with the only difference that now it is not about religion to be exported, but economy and life style.
In our generalizing arrogance we overlook that the different levels don’t only exist in other countries, but in our own Western countries as well. We have forgotten that people with different mindsets exist among us . The “red” fighters might still be seen, as they often loud and cause upheaval and damage. So we become aware that those people exist, most of them considered criminals in one way or other. But do we see “purple” among us? People who care for their family and tribe, who are happy with what they have, who don’t want to step out of their limits, who are loyal and community building, caring for everyone in need, not letting others be alone with their problems.
Yes, people with a purple mindset exist, probably far more than we would think. And they exist right among us. Here in Italy, where I live, and in the US where they don’t feel seen and cared for by the ruling class, where they and their loyalty are getting exploited by a president with a “red” egocentric mindset. They have voted him because they felt addressed,and seen, finally. But as always, the politicians lie when they hunt for votes. Purple people don’t find any party in their country who speaks for them, who they could gift their loyalty. They can chose only between the bad and the worse. And they did, from their perspective.
I spoke with Heather McDowell , whom I met at the Integral African Conference, about her upbringing in a purple family, about the beauty and the challenges which “purple” lives and faces in the US. About politics and leadership, about the spiral and the conviction, that only leaders in second tier consciousness would be able to do justice to the whole country and to the situation in the world. I have learned a lot about America which I didn’t know before and I would love to visit Montana where these purple communities are widespread.