Ryan Nakade
Striking Balance

Meta-Ideological Politics can help people with different beliefs understand each other better and work together to solve problems in new ways.

Ryan Nakade
Listen Now
Show Notes

Ryan Nakade works with governments, non-profits, and civic leaders to bridge divides and make communities more resilient to conflict. He received his training in mediation and facilitation from East County Resolutions in Gresham, OR, and currently works as a facilitator for Department of Human Services family decision cases. He is Board Vice President of the Oregon Mediation Association and also on the Beaverton Center for Mediation and Dialogue advisory committee.

Ryan works on the CURE-PDX project, which seeks to counter violent extremism in the Pacific Northwest. He is a regular facilitator for Civic Synergy, which brings college students of diverging political orientations together to formulate bipartisan policy solutions that are proposed to members of congress. In his free time, Ryan enjoys studying politics, philosophy, and complex systems, and is attempting to formulate a new style of politics that transcends polarization and entrenched partisanship (called Meta-Ideological Politics). He lives in Toledo, WA with his wife and nine goats.

“My definition of extremism is I believe that I need to take hostile action or violent action against you in order to preserve my group and enact my vision for the society that I want.” 

– Ryan Nakade

Key Takeaways:

  • Extremism Defined: Extremism is an ideology predicated on taking hostile action or violence towards any group that you don’t like, not just believing in certain ideas.
  • The Spread of Contagious Violence: Contagious violence spreads through cycles of retaliation, with social media amplifying polarization by promoting inflammatory content.
  • Applying Integral Theory to Ideological Perspectives: Integral theory and stage development models provide a framework for understanding different ideological perspectives and fostering more inclusive discussions.
  • The Promise of Meta-Ideological Politics: Meta-Ideological Politics encourages reflection on ideologies from a meta-perspective, integrating diverse viewpoints and transcending limitations of traditional political thinking.
  • Reinterpreting Old Ideas Through New Frameworks: Reinterpreting and rereading old ideas through new frameworks, such as complexity science, can lead to novel insights and solutions to societal challenges.

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[00:00:00] Ryan Nakade: Coming up on the Mark Divine show. So my definition of extremism is a, is a variation of an extremist scholar named J. M. Berger’s definition, which is it’s a ideology that’s predicated on taking hostile action or violence towards any group that you don’t like. So it’s not only I believe in X, Y, and Z, or I believe that your group is bad, but I believe that I need to take hostile action or violent action against you in order to preserve my group and enact my vision for the society that I want.

[00:00:36] Mark Divine: Hi, I’m Mark Divine, and this is the Mark Divine Show. Thank you so much for joining me today. On this show, I explore what it means to be fearless by looking through the lens of the world’s most interesting, compassionate, resilient, and inspirational leaders. I speak to folks from all walks of life.

[00:00:51] Mark Divine: Meditation monks, blockchain wizards, extreme adversity survivors, and philosophers like my guest today, Ryan Nakate. [00:01:00] Ryan Nakate is a mediator, conflict resolver, and get this, a meta ideological politics advocate, which is his philosophy. He works on the Cure slash PDX project, which uses public health approach to prevent politically motivated violence in the Pacific Northwest.

[00:01:18] Mark Divine: Ryan enjoys philosophy, politics, systemic theories. And it’s formulating a new style of politics that transcends polarization and entrenched partisanship, which as I mentioned is called Meta Ideological Politics or MIP. Ryan lives in Toledo, Washington with his wife and nine goats. Before I get into the show, I wanted you to know that I’m opening up slots for our unbeatable coach certification and our unbeatable team for 2024.

[00:01:44] Mark Divine: The unbeatable team is an amazing year of transformational training. It’s where I direct my full attention and time in coaching and training. I don’t do it anywhere else. It’s here in the unbeatable team that I can give my full attention to help. Those deeply committed to transforming to become uncommon in a [00:02:00] world that you know, is rapidly collapsing into fear, moral relativism, and mediocrity.

[00:02:04] Mark Divine: We meet virtually every month as a team come together four times during the year for three days of powerful in person training and practice, and I’m here to help you break through any barriers and to crush all of your goals for 2024. So if you’re ready to go deep with me and willing to do the work, I can guarantee amazing strides will be made.

[00:02:22] Mark Divine: Go to unbeatableteam. com and unbeatablecoaching. com to learn more about these unbeatable events. Now back to the show.

[00:02:35] Mark Divine: Super stoked to have you here, sir. How are things up in Oregon?

[00:02:37] Ryan Nakade: Great. Thanks so much, Mark. It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a beautiful day here, actually, in Toledo, Washington. Happy to have this conversation with you, man.

[00:02:44] Mark Divine: I’m excited you joined me. We just met recently when I reached out to you after reading, I guess, an article in Integral Institute’s kind of newsletter or whatever about your, uh, fascination with ideology and creating kind of like a post liberal, [00:03:00] post conservative framework for a new political discourse and something I really, really share with you.

[00:03:05] Mark Divine: And I, I think it’s important to, you know, have those conversations. And also in terms of this recording to help our listeners Maybe with some tools and new thinking about how do we, how do we engage and not just get sucked right into the battleground of us versus them or my side versus your side, which is where everyone is.

[00:03:22] Mark Divine: It’s such a low level of operating, um, in discourse. But before we get to kind of your philosophy and your, your ideology there or your methodology, I should say. Give us a little idea of like what shaped Ryan like I know you’re from Hawaii What was your childhood like and what were some of the forces that shaped you your parents and education and all that sure Yeah, well, I had a

[00:03:42] Ryan Nakade: very unique upbringing I grew up on the big island of Hawaii on the Kona side, but my mom is a Buddhist minister So I grew up in a Japanese and Buddhist temple called that Fukuji very cool on the sunny sunny side of Kona He actually lived at the temple.

[00:03:57] Ryan Nakade: Our house was like on the side of the temple You Yeah. So it was [00:04:00] all one building and grew up in a, in that community. And so from an early age, it was exposed to meditation and, you know, Eastern philosophy and religion and took an interest in that kind of stuff early on. And for most of my teenage and, um, early adult life, I was, Focused a lot on meditation and spirituality and going to India and doing yoga and didn’t know anything about politics or philosophy or ideology or really anything about how the world worked until I came back to Hawaii.

[00:04:28] Ryan Nakade: I lived in Oregon for a little while in California and went back to Hawaii in 2014 and realized one day I was completely ignorant about politics. You and most people, right? Yeah, there was a local election and I asked my dad, Dad, what’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican and which one should I vote for?

[00:04:44] Ryan Nakade: I was 22 years old. when I asked for that. Now I’m 31. That felt like an eternity ago. I really started trying to catch up, kind of from a blank slate, and, and I, I remember it was really funny. I binge watched the 2012 Republican debates, uh, with like Mitt Romney [00:05:00] and Rick Santorum and Ron Paul and Pete Gingrich, and then I started getting into libertarianism and libertarian ideology and theory, and then did a 180, became a huge Bernie bro in 2015.

[00:05:10] Ryan Nakade: And then when Trump won in 2016, I think there were different reactions, right? The whole country was inflamed. The polarization was out of control. I had just moved to Portland, Oregon with my wife and was like, Oh my God, what are we finding ourselves in? And I think there were different instincts that came up around the election.

[00:05:26] Ryan Nakade: Some people, I would say a lot of people just kind of polarized harder to their respective sides, right? So the left got really mad. I went hard left, anti Trump. The Trump side was kind of worked up and the right was kind of galvanized in a new way. And I kind of like stepped back. I was like, what is going on here?

[00:05:40] Ryan Nakade: You know, I need to figure this out. So I got very interested in polarization, mediation, conflict resolution skills, started studying political theory and philosophy to try to get a deeper look, not just on the more superficial fights. This is fascinating.

[00:05:52] Mark Divine: Can I slow you down here for just a second? Yeah, totally.

[00:05:54] Mark Divine: There’s a lot of things I wanted to ask you along the way here. So I’m just like, I got to pin a [00:06:00] few things here. First off, was there any push to for you to become a Zen monk or minister like your mom?

[00:06:06] Ryan Nakade: There was some encouragement

[00:06:08] Mark Divine: from my mom and from the community. Were you active in the community, like meditating as part of, you know, doing the rituals every day or were you kind of on the outside of it?

[00:06:15] Ryan Nakade: Kind of a little bit of both in the sense that I was kind of going through the motions being raised in there, but as I got older, building my own personal relationship with some of the Buddhist philosophy and teachings. I see.

[00:06:25] Mark Divine: So that monastic life didn’t appeal to you. You were probably too young anyways, you wanted to get out and see the world, I mean that’s pretty, pretty normal.

[00:06:31] Mark Divine: I was really into it from about 18 to 21 years old. So then the second question is, so here you go, you grew up in this Zen monastery, you don’t really get much exposure to the world, but then all of a sudden you find politics and you’re like fascinated by it. Where did that come from? Is that a karma thing?

[00:06:47] Mark Divine: Or like, where did, that’s fascinating to me.

[00:06:49] Ryan Nakade: I was telling my wife the other night, I’m like, I have no idea where that 180 came from. I still remember decisively though, that pivot. I was driving in the car in 2014 and [00:07:00] feeling a shift from being more inwardly focused, more contemplatively focused, to being more externally focused.

[00:07:06] Ryan Nakade: I’m thinking, how can I make a change in impacting the world? And politics became very interesting to me, so I kind of went

[00:07:11] Mark Divine: all in on that. It’s interesting, I think 2016 and beyond has really done that for a lot of people, right? It’s like, a lot of people who are kind of in a spiritual path, they think it’s, oh yeah, it’s really about finding peace in myself, which it is, and you know, creating my world to be a better world, which it is.

[00:07:27] Mark Divine: But to do that divorced from the realities of the world and not, you know, if you’re willing and able, or if you’re able, you should be willing to get out in the world and bring your gifts to the world. I think that’s where you find the most growth spiritually, not by hiding from it, not becoming a mendicant or a monk.

[00:07:43] Mark Divine: And this is the time and place to do that, right? This stage of humanity’s development, I don’t know about your orientation, but mine is like in a transition stage. I mean, one way to look is we’re transitioning from the Pisces to the Aquarius age, right? And anytime you go through those transitions, right, there’s a lot of tumult.

[00:07:58] Mark Divine: And we’re also transitioning through the [00:08:00] fourth turning, right? Based on Neil Howe’s work, generational turning. Fourth turning is always the most divisive crisis, economic collapse, war. We have to be warriors, right? We can’t hide from the world. Anyone who’s on a spiritual or journey or journey of awakening, like we have to get out there and do some work, right?

[00:08:16] Mark Divine: Yeah. Back to your story. Sorry. Interrupted you, but

[00:08:20] Ryan Nakade: if you can remember where you were, I mean, basically I, I then, um, after having a hard time finding a job when I moved to Oregon, I did a basic mediation conflict resolution course. And then from there got sucked into various kind of like a bridging or depolarization efforts and initiatives, and then got drawn into this political violence de escalation project called Cure PDX, which is most of my day job now as a program, uh, coordinator and manager.

[00:08:45] Ryan Nakade: Were you involved in the Occupy Portland

[00:08:47] Mark Divine: stuff and trying to de escalate that? That was before my time. So I was not. Yeah, that was pretty wild, huh? So tell us a little bit about your work with, uh, You just told us a Cure PDX project. [00:09:00] What is the project and how do you bring people together and resolve conflicts in that project or through that project?

[00:09:06] Ryan Nakade: Sure. Yeah. So Cure PDX is the name of a project. It’s a federally funded and partly locally funded project that uses a method from the lead nonprofit organization on the project called Cure Violence Global. And Cure Violence Global Uses what they call a public health approach to combating and preventing the spread of contagious violence throughout different communities

[00:09:27] Mark Divine: and high conflict zones.

[00:09:28] Mark Divine: Can we just define some of these things too? Like what’s contagious violence? It sounds like a disease. When

[00:09:32] Ryan Nakade: we talk about the contagious nature of violence, the founder of True Violence Global named Gary Slutkin, Dr. Gary Slutkin, he was actually originally an epidemiologist and became interested in violence in like a lot of major U.

[00:09:44] Ryan Nakade: S. cities. And actually tracked socially how violence spreads in a pattern that’s identical to viruses and, uh, biological diseases. And so he tried to repurpose some of the ways of stopping the [00:10:00] spread of physical diseases like AIDS and using those same approaches to stopping the spread of social contagions like violence.

[00:10:08] Ryan Nakade: And so our project is based on trying to copy and paste that method to stopping political and extremist, ideologically motivated violence in the Pacific Northwest. And they do this through what’s called the credible messenger or violence interrupter approach. And these are people who are in different communities.

[00:10:25] Ryan Nakade: So it could be, you know, far right, far left, you know, Antifa, rural militia gun groups, it could be, um, anyone from any sector of society who has some kind of credible relationships or trusted connections with their community members. Who are on board with our mission. And so then we reach out to them. We hire them, train them and equip them with different skills, tools, resources, you know, like deescalation skills.

[00:10:50] Ryan Nakade: And then they use these skills and their credibility to deescalate violence or polarizing narratives or behaviors that can escalate to violence when it comes up in their community. [00:11:00] So the day job, you just go and hang out with your friends. If you’re friends with the proud boys, cool. Go and get a beer and.

[00:11:04] Ryan Nakade: Go shoot at the range and talk story for friends with Antifa, go and do your mutual aid service work in downtown Portland, whatever it is. And if something’s about to blow up, you’re positioned to calm things down and stop people from acting or escalating the violence.

[00:11:17] Mark Divine: That’s fascinating. So I imagine those individuals that you’re describing, of which you are one, They’re acting like a immune response cell in the body to use the the example of um, violence, um, spreading like a pandemic.

[00:11:30] Mark Divine: It’s the immune response. So you’re inserting like messenger RNA individuals who can then go target where maybe the source of the violence is and try to interrupt it. That’s exactly the idea. Okay, so explain to us how extreme violence spreads kind of like the flu or like COVID. Like how does it happen?

[00:11:47] Mark Divine: I get that like fear can be contagious. I’ve heard that before. And like mass formation is another way of looking at people just kind of like following blindly the party narrative or whatever that they’re aligned with. Right. And so we see a lot [00:12:00] of that going on during COVID and especially during the violence of George Floyd.

[00:12:03] Mark Divine: But just explain to us the mechanisms a little bit more.

[00:12:06] Ryan Nakade: The contagious nature of political and ideological violence is a little different, a little trickier than community violence because it’s much more diffuse. Right. Much more spread out and much more decentralized. So in community violence, let’s say that in a neighborhood in, um, like the worst part of Chicago, a lot of the guys who are in that neighborhood, they kind of all know each other, right?

[00:12:25] Ryan Nakade: So if you find one key individual in those neighborhoods, that person has a huge influence over everyone that they’re connected with. Very different when it comes to protest, counter protest related violence, like we saw in the wake of the George Floyd incident, where our data scientists tracked that people were coming to rallies in Portland to fight on the streets, driving from like five hours out of town.

[00:12:46] Ryan Nakade: They would drive from like Spokane, Washington and Southern Oregon to come fight people in the streets of Portland. There was even some talk I’ve heard of people joining far left groups from like internationally like flying from Europe just because they knew that Portland was where to get your far [00:13:00] left fix, right?

[00:13:01] Ryan Nakade: But the contagion is driven basically through cycles of retaliation. The academic word for this is called cumulative extremism or symbiotic radicalization. The other side attacks us. We get mad, people radicalize to my side, we’re going to attack them back, they get mad, more people radicalize to their side, they attack us back, and now we’re in a vicious downward spiral.

[00:13:20] Mark Divine: We’ve seen that in a big way over in the Middle East right now. Wow. Exactly. It’s a prime example of that. Let’s just back up a little bit and make sure we cover some definitions. Let’s talk about What is ideology and what is extremism? So we make sure that we’re on the same page.

[00:13:36] Ryan Nakade: My definition of extremism, and it’s really important to nail down these definitions so we don’t use a label abusively or misuse a label, right?

[00:13:43] Ryan Nakade: So my definition of extremism is a, is a variation of an extremist scholar named J. M. Berger’s definition, which is, it’s a ideology that’s predicated on taking hostile action or violence towards any group that you don’t like. So it’s not only I believe in X, Y, and Z, or I [00:14:00] believe that your group is bad, but I believe that I need to take hostile action or violent action against you in order to preserve my group and enact my vision for the society that I want.

[00:14:10] Mark Divine: It’s not enough just to believe in an extreme view, but you believe that you have to act to protect that view and sometimes, you know, act against someone who might be a threat to it. Exactly.

[00:14:20] Ryan Nakade: Yeah. My definition of ideology, and there’s a lot of different definitions, so after perusing a lot of synthesized this definition.

[00:14:27] Ryan Nakade: So ideology is a system of abstractions, like ideas, ideals, concepts, etc., about the socio political world that are A, normative, in that they inform what you’re for and what you’re against, so it informs what you think ought to be the case. And B, are contested by people of opposing ideologies, meaning that any ideology, even though the word has a kind of a charge to it, it’s because there’s social conflict around the meaning or validity of these ideas, right?

[00:14:56] Ryan Nakade: So if you’re coming from like a Marxist, leftist, socialist [00:15:00] perspective, people on the right, like libertarians and conservatives, will disagree with the meaning of those ideas or with those concepts, and will disagree with the vision or blueprint you have of society and how you want things to be. So, it’s conflict at the level of ideas, at the level of systems or patterns of ideas.

[00:15:18] Ryan Nakade: A lot of us have a tendency to crystallize an ideology because of this human brain’s tendency to form an abstraction, right? The social world is so messy, so big, so complex, you can’t observe society and institutions in the same way I can observe that the sun is rising or that the sky is blue. So we need representations, and so these abstractions are the ways that we can represent or grok all of the complexity of society that we can’t fully see or understand.

[00:15:45] Ryan Nakade: And so ideology provides the framework or lens through which we not only understand what’s happening descriptively, And I think this is where things start to get in trouble with ideology, where they inform what we think should be the case. It becomes an agenda.

[00:15:58] Mark Divine: Yeah, this is such an important point. [00:16:00] It’s like, you know, most people don’t even pause long enough to recognize how much of their life is socially constructed.

[00:16:05] Mark Divine: It’s just an abstraction, right? It’s an idea, you know what I mean? Like, uh, I’ve used the example before. If you get in a plane, fly down south from Kansas, and you look down, do you see Texas? No, Texas is an idea. There’s no sign down there you’re going to see that says Texas. It’s just land. Texas is an idea.

[00:16:21] Mark Divine: America is an idea. Money is an idea. You know, ultimately time is an idea, right? You think about how different cultures experience time, how different species experience time. It’s just an idea. It’s a construct. So, same thing with religion and political ideology. They’re just ideas, but we take them to be, you know, once we’ve kind of grabbed onto them and our mind is fixated and that mental model starts to make sense for us, then it starts to calcify, right?

[00:16:46] Mark Divine: It starts to get really, really rigid, and then it doesn’t allow room, there’s no space for any other opposing idea. And it’s like the definition of sanity, right, is being able to hold two opposing ideas in your mind and see that both could be possibly true. If you [00:17:00] can’t do that, then you’re an ideologue, an extremist ideologue, and whew, that’s a dangerous cocktail right there.

[00:17:05] Ryan Nakade: Yeah, the word to describe that calcification process that you mentioned is reification, right? It’s treating an abstraction as if it’s a concrete real thing. And making that mistake, and I think when we have, when someone makes a, you know, when you know someone who’s kind of polarizing and they make all of these ideologically loaded claims and remarks, and you have that reaction of like, Ooh, that’s feeling really ideologically charged.

[00:17:27] Ryan Nakade: I think a lot of times they’re using ideological language and talking about these ideas as if they’re concrete facts. It’s as if the sky is blue. My, I speak about my opinion as if it’s just the way the world is when really it’s an ideological representation or depiction of the world.

[00:17:42] Mark Divine: So I can see how important like systems theory and, um, looking at things from a meta perspective is to move beyond the reification and to be able to get in the middle of, let’s say a couple of reified parties who are about ready to go, go to blows.

[00:17:59] Mark Divine: So [00:18:00] tell us how you, you know, a little bit about. What’s your background with integral theory and systems thinking and how that’s helped frame your, your thinking along these lines?

[00:18:10] Ryan Nakade: Sure. Yeah. Well, I, um, dropped out of high school when I was 14. So one month in Hawaii public school, I couldn’t make it and I, I quit high school and homeschooled myself.

[00:18:21] Ryan Nakade: By homeschool, I mean playing a lot of mad in 2007, but there’s some studying I’ll sensibly try to keep myself. It

[00:18:27] Mark Divine: sounds like you did a pretty good job. I don’t think we’d have had this conversation if you stuck with high school and went the traditional route, you know, and that’s what my wife tells me all the time,

[00:18:36] Ryan Nakade: but I stumbled across, uh, Ken Wilber’s integral theory, uh, through my mom actually being interested in, you know, Eastern spirituality and philosophy and that kind of thing.

[00:18:44] Ryan Nakade: Yeah.

[00:18:44] Mark Divine: I’m a big fan of Ken’s as you know, as we talked about, and I’ve interviewed him on this podcast a few years ago. Yeah. Yeah. Extraordinary philosopher. Yeah.

[00:18:51] Ryan Nakade: As someone who didn’t have a conventional education, I found the, at that time, at that age, the integral framework, these broad orienting generalizations, as Wilbur called them, were [00:19:00] very helpful to organize some sense of the world and reality that I live in, right?

[00:19:04] Ryan Nakade: I didn’t really know where to start. And so that was a great big picture kind of overview that was really helpful in framing my pursuit of more specific lines of study, like science or philosophy or the humanities and so forth. Thanks. Bye. And as I got older, I kind of moved away from the integral framework in that I think I kind of imbibed or downloaded the spirit of it, and then I eventually pivoted to this more meta ideological framework where the object of analysis really is specifically ideological content and ideological kind of patterns of thinking.

[00:19:34] Ryan Nakade: The integral conceptual building blocks, right? Like stages of development and quadrants, I think that’s still back in my head somewhere way back there, but it’s not as salient in the front of my mind and my analysis of things. But I found a general big pictures zoomed out view to be helpful to not get lost within one lane or one silo of thinking.

[00:19:54] Ryan Nakade: That’s kind of the danger of the ideological form of thinking is getting unconsciously caught in that pattern of [00:20:00] thinking where then suddenly become very predictable and instead the meta ideological injunction is to step back and reflect on the frameworks and how they congeal or crystallize together.

[00:20:09] Ryan Nakade: Rather than just trapped in it 24 7 and viewing the world like that all the time.

[00:20:14] Mark Divine: I agree with you. I found the state on a Wilbur didn’t create the stage to development stuff. And he just kind of like linked the eastern and western concepts of stage development. Eastern, you know, came through adult development and even some leadership development theory, vertical development or the western and then the eastern more through buddhists and, and tibetan and uh, yogic kind of philosophies of, you know, the higher stages, you know, self transcendent stages.

[00:20:38] Mark Divine: When we get to your, you know, MIP, Meta Ideological Politics, I want to talk through those, you know, the dominant stages. I think you had like five of them or so. And I have a five stage model in Unbeatable Mind, we call them the five plateaus. So I look at those very useful as a map because when you’re interacting with an individual or organization, you know, it’s generally not that difficult if you understand.

[00:20:59] Mark Divine: the research [00:21:00] and the philosophy to say, Oh, this is interesting. This organization is a, you know, as a pluralistic, you know, stage four green meme organization, like a lot of, you know, a lot of people in these on the left side would be kind of characterized as that. Whereas, you know, maybe the proud boys or, or this other, uh, right wing organization is going to be like a second, we call the second plateau protector.

[00:21:21] Mark Divine: bureaucratic type, uh, structure. And so they’re going to be thinking completely different. It doesn’t make one right or wrong. They’re just completely different stages, um, or worldviews. So that model acts as a map, right? And so you can then orient yourself. Same thing with the four quadrants, right? You can look at the situation, an individual or an organization, and you can generally, with a little bit of sniffing, See that they’re kind of center of gravity is in one of those four quadrants Like individuals generally when they come to me for work as a client are in this the upper right quadrant of behavioralism Performance you wanting to do better create new habits and all that or they’re kind of in this bottom left quadrant of [00:22:00] relational, and they’re kind of stuck in a relational issue.

[00:22:02] Mark Divine: And my point here is that I find these very useful simply as maps, not as a destination, right? Just as, like you said, an overarching meta perspective that you can orient yourself and then kind of dive in and do your work from that perspective or from that orientation.

[00:22:17] Ryan Nakade: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And the chart that you were referring to, I actually didn’t write that.

[00:22:22] Ryan Nakade: That was an integral interpretation of my, Meta ideological presentation for them.

[00:22:27] Mark Divine: Yeah, so he drew that just from your conversation. Well great Yeah, you know it enough that we’ll be able to talk to you and I’m sure right. Hopefully. Yeah, we don’t have to call Corey Yeah, so that brings me to like I’m curious moving from kind of conflict resolution into politics.

[00:22:41] Mark Divine: You made a statement That you’re hoping to help evolve or even initiate a new way of looking at politics. And I called it using Ken Wilber’s term, post liberal, post conservative. Frame that up for us. What does that mean? And what does it look like?

[00:22:56] Ryan Nakade: Sure. I think this could take. Form in a few different ways, right?

[00:22:59] Ryan Nakade: [00:23:00] So one is, as I always say, to me, the meta ideological disposition towards ideology, right, where you’re reflecting on ideology from a meta perspective that’s outside of the confines of a particular ideology that you’re examining, that doesn’t mean being apolitical, that doesn’t mean being neutral, right, that doesn’t mean being a mediator, You can still lean right or lean left or have your stock of personal convictions from whatever you believe in, but it’s about engaging with those convictions from a meta disposition instead of always being lost in the weeds of them, right?

[00:23:30] Ryan Nakade: So it’s not about checking out of the system, but about taking action in the system and in whatever way you sincerely want, but still available from a meta background or backdrop of everything. The other tool I think is that I really want to promote with this meta ideological thinking is to inject these novel, you know, you’d mention like systems thinking or complexity theory kind of concepts into how we understand political and social issues.

[00:23:54] Ryan Nakade: And my contention for doing that is that I feel like the kind of patterns of thinking, the mental [00:24:00] models we inherit from our mainstream political discourse to understand things, right? Whether it’s like a social justice frame or a morality frame or a traditional conservative frame. Well, I think a lot of these have their value, they’re also very limited in what they can provide for us, yet everyone is stuck only thinking using these kind of patterns and abstractions.

[00:24:18] Ryan Nakade: And I feel like they’re not very precise to really understand the complexity of the challenges that we’re dealing with.

[00:24:25] Mark Divine: What role do you think social media has played in, in kind of cementing those polarizations and, and flatlining the conversation to like just one position is. Or my position is the only right position versus the world.

[00:24:38] Mark Divine: Huge problem. Yeah, I

[00:24:38] Ryan Nakade: can’t stand social media personally. I quit my Facebook a couple of years ago and it’s been one of the best decisions of my life, you know, but part of the problem with social media and contributing to this, right, they call it the race to the bottom of the brainstem. When there’s such a massive proliferation of memes and ideas and information, what sticks, right, what gets clicks, what gets views, what stays in your head, it’s [00:25:00] all of the worst, most inflammatory, you know, most

[00:25:03] Mark Divine: polarizing stuff.

[00:25:04] Mark Divine: It triggers a stress response and puts us in a mini state of fight or flight, which gets us Cranks up the hormones and gets you ready to fight exactly

[00:25:13] Ryan Nakade: and that kind of a fight or flight response Physiologically overpowers a zen calm rational neocortex higher level response. That’s right, right. So it’s a huge problem

[00:25:26] Mark Divine: Okay, we’re gonna take a short break here from the mark divine show to hear a short message from one of our partners And now back to the show.

[00:25:37] Mark Divine: In 2014, like social media was kind of like going along kind of nice. It connected people. There was a lot of good to it until they gamified it through likes and shares. And there’s been some more recent research on just how that literally transformed social media into this divisive Interceder, right?

[00:25:56] Mark Divine: Into our, you know, between us as a nation, right? Or [00:26:00] as a world. It’s like all of a sudden you have everyone magnifying, throwing darts, basically, learning how to game the system to get more likes and shares. And like you said, it’s the most divisive, it’s the most negative, it’s the most controversial. Stuff that gets magnified and I don’t know how we’re gonna get through that.

[00:26:15] Ryan Nakade: Can I just share something that I do personally on social media? Please. I do this with uh, YouTube. So, as you know, there’s a phenomenon, right, called algorithmic radicalization, right, where you get caught in a feedback loop where the things that you search for and click on, you just get more of the same and less of other things.

[00:26:29] Ryan Nakade: And the algorithm will silo you, basically, and you become oblivious to everything else. I made an Instagram account, and when you first make Instagram, there’s all these, like, pictures that pop up. I clicked on one image, I think it was like a cute, like, animal cat video, right? I’m like, oh, this is cute. I logged off, logged back on.

[00:26:47] Ryan Nakade: Everything was just cute animal videos. What I do on YouTube is, I have, like, ten different Google accounts. And I compartmentalize each one, so I have a Google account just for right wing media, a Google account just [00:27:00] for left wing media, one just for business, and if I want to get a different picture on my feed, I just switch the account.

[00:27:06] Mark Divine: I wonder if there’s any way to train it to be balanced. They would probably break the AI behind the whole thing.

[00:27:12] Ryan Nakade: I think there could be. And I was in the, um, conference the other day on how to, some ideas on how to fix social media. And one of the ideas that I have is there’s already some kind of algorithm at work that connects similar content, right?

[00:27:24] Ryan Nakade: There’s some kind of associational mechanism going on. So all we need to do is tinker it a little bit to a provide a little bit of the opposite content, right? So if you’re only looking at left wing stuff, some right wing stuff should pop up every now and then, and then also have enough space for randomness.

[00:27:38] Ryan Nakade: Okay. So even if you’re only searching for certain type of things, 20 percent could be random things still get in. So there’s some kind of buffer against totally going down some kind of

[00:27:46] Mark Divine: reality tunnel. I found, you know, even though Corey put it together from your conversation, I found that discussion or that from that chart about the state difference, how different stages of development deal with Ideology, and could we go through that [00:28:00] from the earliest stage, you know, more toward the integrative stage?

[00:28:04] Mark Divine: You’ve got the chart in front of you. Can we just go through kind of a high level description of, you know, the different ways an ideologue or an ideological conversation could go based upon the stage theory? Sure. So again, I didn’t

[00:28:16] Ryan Nakade: make this, so full credit to Corey DeVos for translating this into an integral framework.

[00:28:20] Ryan Nakade: Corey runs the Integral Institute. Super interesting fellow. So he says, so the red stage is self centric. So it’s ideology revolves around personal power, dominance, and immediate gratification. And there’s a lot of emphasis on assertiveness, dominance, and impulsiveness. So I think this is really kind of like a lot of the extreme groups I work with would be in

[00:28:38] Mark Divine: this red.

[00:28:39] Mark Divine: Yeah. It’s like red is represents kind of lower first chakra survival energy. We call it the survival plateau and the colors are just kind of, um, representative of the energy, right? And these are like energy system type things at an individual level, but also at a collective level, this, the energy of the, of the group is kind of like red and it speaks of like anger and, [00:29:00] Righteousness.

[00:29:00] Mark Divine: There’s like a warrior archetype. There’s a warrior archetype. Yeah. And it’s probably good to point out, there are pros and cons, there are good and bad, right? We tend to like just look at the shadow side, but that warrior archetype and, you know, going and fighting for your family or your tribe, that’s very much that.

[00:29:15] Mark Divine: But the point is that these stages go through, become less and less egocentric as you ascend higher. And so at the higher stages, you’re much more of a world centric or even, you know, like Ken says, cosmos centric individual, whereas the lower stages, it’s like my way or the highway. It’s hard to see beyond your nose, or maybe you used to be able to see beyond your nose, but circumstances are such that you can’t right now because There’s war around you or major crisis.

[00:29:40] Mark Divine: And so you’ve got to collapse your locus of control very, you know, to a very small circle.

[00:29:45] Ryan Nakade: Well said. Well said. All right. So should we move up the ladder? Yeah, let’s go to the second stage. All right. The second stage, he said it’s the Amber or group centric. So this is rooted in ideologies, rooted in tradition, order, and a strict moral code.

[00:29:58] Ryan Nakade: Right. So like the extreme, [00:30:00] uh, religious folks. I think it’s a traditional religious kind of a worldview and also like a law and order impulse. Right. Following rules, respecting authority, adhering to hierarchy, and having everything laid out clearly and plainly and adhering to those strict moral and ethical codes.

[00:30:16] Mark Divine: So ideological discussion from that developmental stage looks like what? Rule bound? Follow the rules. You know, you’re breaking the

[00:30:24] Ryan Nakade: law. I think there’s a lot of emphasis on, like, moral sense of justice, right? So if you break the law, you should get punished proportionately. Eye for an eye. I think the chief value is a kind of social cohesion, right?

[00:30:34] Ryan Nakade: And law and order is the way of maintaining that social cohesion. And I think the ultimate allergy here is a fear of anarchy and disorder. So both legally, like the kind of conservative law and order, um, framework and religiously, right? There’s kind of these, um, biblical or Quranic codes and strictures on a cultural level provide the set of strong regulations to militate against the slipping into chaos and

[00:30:58] Mark Divine: nihilism.

[00:30:59] Mark Divine: Right. And [00:31:00] the chaos nylums is represented in the red. Yeah. Yeah. Survivor extreme mode who’s trying to break that down. And in fact, you could see that probably a preponderance of, of a individual who are engaged in ideological discussions or action are in these two stages, it seems like. There’s a lot of mixing of the two in

[00:31:16] Ryan Nakade: my work.

[00:31:17] Ryan Nakade: Yeah, yeah. So what’s next? What’s next? He says, orange self determining. Okay, so ideology is shaped by science, reason and individual achievement. So this is ideologically tend to be like atheist groups who are very into science, probably very skeptical or condemning of traditional religion and tradition in general.

[00:31:36] Ryan Nakade: And put a huge priority on the value of human reason and the power of reason and science and empirical processes to make decisions and to form society. So not relying on dogmas and past. This is the trust the science class. Trust the science. Facts don’t care about your feelings,

[00:31:53] Mark Divine: as Ben Shapiro would say, right?

[00:31:55] Mark Divine: Facts are primary. So yeah, I can see how now we’re, now, now we’re getting into kind of [00:32:00] like, uh, government experts, you know, even experts involved in, in, in. Crisis management and conflict resolution, right? Need to have kind of this perspective or come from this perspective. This is considerable training involved and certifications and degrees and all that.

[00:32:15] Mark Divine: Exactly.

[00:32:15] Ryan Nakade: I think the ideological school that probably comports best with this chart is like classical liberalism has an ideology, right? Valuing free speech, viewpoint, diversity, and critical thinking and empirical

[00:32:27] Mark Divine: approach. Okay. So beyond this, we have the green meme, right? Is that the fourth stage?

[00:32:32] Ryan Nakade: Yeah.

[00:32:33] Ryan Nakade: So he says green, which is interesting. He says green is self questioning. So it says this values, diversity, equality and environmental sustainability and a strong emphasis on social justice and compassion. Right? So I think it’s, um, you know, what did they come like the cultural creatives are like the group.

[00:32:50] Ryan Nakade: And the political ideology is associated with this variance of postmodernism and critical theory, right? Where now we’re seeing a proliferation of DEI and diversity and [00:33:00] inclusion and racial justice and pro LGBTQ, feminist, environmental. And these kind of different movements tend to cluster together in a similar valence that we’re calling pure green or postmodern.

[00:33:12] Mark Divine: Green, postmodern. You know, you see how the movement is to be more inclusive. The shadow side of, of this meme, of this green, or force stage is, is that it can be, um, in a movement to be more exclusive, you become ex uh, inclusive, you become exclusive. Because it becomes, you know, you’re back to the us versus them.

[00:33:28] Mark Divine: My ideology, like critical race theory, that says everyone Who is white is part of the problem suddenly excludes everyone who’s white from the discussion. Yeah. And so it’s problematic, right? From my perspective.

[00:33:42] Ryan Nakade: The way that I’ve been describing my, um, criticism of how some of these ideas have evolved is that there is a nominal value for inclusivity, but the categories That are used to determine who to include are all based on social identities, like race and gender and [00:34:00] sexuality, not based on ideology.

[00:34:02] Ryan Nakade: So we want to be inclusive to, uh, marginalized communities and stuff, which is great, but we don’t want to talk to anyone who disagrees with us. Um, and I think that’s a huge problem. And so actually I’ll just tell you a funny story, Mark, I created a training that, uh, it’s called cultural and ideological humility.

[00:34:19] Ryan Nakade: And I led this workshop for various organizations. The first 45 minutes of the training is very kind of postmodern. Are you aware of your cultural background? And ask people questions. There’s a reflective survey. There were breakout groups. The second half of the survey is the exact same thing, except I swapped out culture with ideology.

[00:34:37] Ryan Nakade: To see how people reacted and I still have a funny memory of someone who took the training and said on the first questionnaire, when it’s the same seven questions, what the last question was, write all of the books you’ve read by people of color and all of the liberals and progressives are like, Oh my, I’m so excited to tell you all of the books I’ve read by black authors.

[00:34:54] Ryan Nakade: 20 minutes later, they get the same questionnaire. I just change one word in the questionnaire, name all of the books you’ve read [00:35:00] by people who you ideologically disagree with. Cricket. But the person said, Hey, I realized I was so excited to list off all the black authors that I’ve read. But I couldn’t think of a single conservative author and I was proud of it and that disturbed me So I’m gonna do more reflection on that.

[00:35:15] Ryan Nakade: So some really good things came out of

[00:35:17] Mark Divine: that. Yeah, it’s important That’s what self reflection is all about It’s like where am I where have I shut myself off from other perspectives and other you know from including other realities essentially exactly So what I love about Wilbur’s work is he said that the you know as a generalization by the way There could be there’s more than just five, you know stages, right?

[00:35:35] Mark Divine: Some models have up to 14 or so Or as little as three, you know, ego, ethnocentric, and world centric. But generally speaking, he says, in this model that Corey wrote up based upon your conversation with him, the fifth stage of the integrator or, you know, the different terms that are probably, he probably uses a different term, that teal stage is where you’ve moved beyond the egoic structures that limit and exclude, and you truly [00:36:00] become really able or capable of Of holding, you know, multiple perspectives as possibly true, right?

[00:36:06] Mark Divine: And that’s that integral kind of perspective. Let’s talk about what does Corey say about that and, and, and let’s kind of like ping on that for a little bit. He says, Teal,

[00:36:13] Ryan Nakade: self actualizing, at this stage, there’s a synthesis of the previous stages, recognizing the value in each while transcending their limitations, emphasizes holistic thinking and integration of diverse viewpoints.

[00:36:25] Ryan Nakade: Basically what I said, but in a lot fewer words. Yeah, and, and I don’t think there’s a, uh, mainstream ideology that represents this. Yet. Yet. Yet. One of the things I’m promoting with meta ideological politics, as you had mentioned, like critical race theory as an example, is to, if there’s a school of thought that we don’t like or we think are problematic, one of my encouragements, and we can experiment in how do we re read some of these ideas, right?

[00:36:49] Ryan Nakade: We can re read some of the books by Derrick Bell or Kimberly Crenshaw and reinterpret some of the ideas that have been interpreted in a kind of toxic or polarizing or divisive way. [00:37:00] And how can we experiment with deriving new value from them when we plug them into a different framework completely? And the philosophical word for this is called creative abduction.

[00:37:09] Ryan Nakade: And that basically means looking at something through a new framework or through a new lens to basically still honor the integrity of those original ideas, but to reframe them in a way that’s just of a higher quality or more accurate in actually depicting the affairs of society. So this is a quick example.

[00:37:26] Ryan Nakade: There’s a concept from, uh, that’s often used in complexity science called parallel distribution or Pareto distribution, 80 20 distribution. It’s scientifically studied how over time, systems tend to accumulate in a trajectory with what’s called path dependence. Path dependence basically means you get more of one thing and less of another thing.

[00:37:43] Ryan Nakade: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And if there isn’t a conscious attempt to kind of intervene to create a more equal playing field, then you will have a large amount of inequality that kind of compounds over time, in which people who got left behind don’t really have a strong chance of getting back into playing the game.

[00:37:58] Ryan Nakade: And so there’s a [00:38:00] mathematical way you can study this. And I’ve been experimenting and some other guys have been experimenting with rereading a lot of critical theory and Marxist literature with a complexity lens and deriving whole new insights that we can operationalize. In a way that’s not a fundamentalist Soviet Union, you know, it’s kind of a way.

[00:38:16] Ryan Nakade: So that to me is kind of the part of meta ideology too, is reinterpreting and rereading old ideas. One of my favorite quotes is, if you want a new idea, read an old book.

[00:38:25] Mark Divine: Yeah, I love that. It’s fascinating the way you’re talking about that. I was thinking taxes weren’t really introduced into this world until 1917, so less than a hundred, just a little over a hundred years old, right?

[00:38:34] Mark Divine: And I think the initial taxes were like 3 percent or some ridiculously low amount. And there was quite a bit of income inequality at the time, but now you fast forward to a hundred years and taxes are like, you know, 40, 50%. You know, if you’re in a state like me in California and at the top of the income tax bracket, both federally here with all the sales and income property taxes, holy schmoly, you know, it’s like 60 or could be close to 70 percent of your income and all that is meant to [00:39:00] support a government and social programs to reduce income inequality and create more justice and what do we have in the world?

[00:39:06] Mark Divine: We have even more income inequality and less social justice. So where, where does all the money go? Maybe the whole model is broken, right?

[00:39:14] Ryan Nakade: Yeah. Well, I think what you’ve, you’ve hit on that there are different kind of accumulations, right? I think what you’re alluding to is kind of a bureaucratic creeping effect.

[00:39:22] Ryan Nakade: Right. Where initially it’s like, Oh, we just need to borrow 3 percent taxes to fund the civil war or whatever. And then years and years later, that just keeps on snowballing and snowballing. So I think we need different analytic tools to be able to critique how these things tend to snowball and creep and expand from their original goal.

[00:39:38] Ryan Nakade: And then being able to really intelligently cut it back and reduce it, right? And, and being mindful of different unintended consequences. So it’s just more, it’s just more complex from a systemic thinking. I’m trying to promote with this model than just purely dogmatic ideological thinking. So when are you going to write the book, Ryan?

[00:39:54] Ryan Nakade: I think, I think when I get more sleep and when I’m not working 50 hours a week.

[00:39:58] Mark Divine: I’m going to hold you to that. [00:40:00] Right on. You need, you need to write this book. And then you need to, the theories to test by running for at least, you know, some local office and cutting your teeth, you know, get, get involved in the politics where the, where the game is being played.

[00:40:12] Ryan Nakade: You know, it’s funny cause I, I used to always have a dream of wanting to take these ideas into a campaign. And really test them by running for office. And the more involved I got in politics, the more I’m like, heck no.

[00:40:24] Mark Divine: Even I should. I’ve had so many people say, hey, Mark, you need to run for office. I’m like, no, it’s such a toxic environment.

[00:40:29] Mark Divine: It would probably, it’d probably explode. Yeah.

[00:40:32] Ryan Nakade: I always think, you know, if I ran a campaign that was really based on these principles, you’d probably meet some pretty cool allies along the way. But other than that, It’s hard to have them stick in

[00:40:40] Mark Divine: the mainstream climate that we live in. Well, then you need to be a teacher, right?

[00:40:44] Mark Divine: So you need to get this into book form and course form and help, help teach, uh, next generation of politicians so they can become post, you know, post conflict. Let’s have open dialogue and let’s share ideas and let’s find out what’s, let the best idea survive. Survival of the best [00:41:00] idea, not the best person.

[00:41:01] Mark Divine: That’s what we need. We need an America to get, get to this place where we can start talking again and, and thinking long term. We don’t have conversations like you would in a, in a, even in a corporation where we’re like, well, what do we want to look like in 20 years? So, you know, we’re just like swing wildly back and forth depending upon who’s in the office and then we’re just playing whack a mole with all of our crises going on.

[00:41:21] Mark Divine: So we need to get serious about where we’re going.

[00:41:23] Ryan Nakade: There was a comedian that my wife likes named, uh, Dustin Nickerson. And he was, he has a few jokes about. Going from Trump to Biden and back to Trump. He said, going from Biden to Trump is like going from Trump to Biden is like going from cocaine to Ambien.

[00:41:35] Ryan Nakade: It’s like choosing, you know, both of them are like in their eighties, right? Oldest guys ever running for president. He’s like, it’s like choosing between your, your old grandpa, hanging out with your old grandpa, either who the grandpa that gaslights you or the grandpa that leaves the gas stove on. That’s exactly right.

[00:41:50] Mark Divine: Oh God. And it looks like we might have to deal with it all again. Let’s hope not. All right, Ryan. Well, man, thanks so much for this conversation. I really appreciate it. I appreciate you and the work you’re doing, especially on the [00:42:00] ground up in Oregon, but I really can’t wait for you to get this, uh, get these ideas kind of like packaged and to read your book and let me know how I can help with that.

[00:42:08] Mark Divine: I hold you accountable. I’ll do it.

[00:42:10] Ryan Nakade: Please do. Yeah. Thank you so much, Mark, for the opportunity platform. Wonderful to talk to you, man. Likewise. Take care, brother.

[00:42:19] Mark Divine: That was a fascinating discussion with Ryan Nakate. Man, very, very interesting. I love talking about metasystems and integral theory, systems theory, and applying it to ideology and politics is just brilliant, and I hope, um, Ryan puts out some more work and, and people start to, uh, really take him up on his offer of moving beyond divisiveness.

[00:42:40] Mark Divine: Show notes are up on my website, mark dev divine.com. YouTube is on the YouTube channel. You can find me on Twitter or X at Mark Divine and on Instagram and Facebook at Real, mark Divine. If you’re not on my newsletter disco list, go to mark Divine.com to subscribe and share with your friends. Divine inspiration is called, it comes out every Tuesday.

[00:42:56] Mark Divine: And it has show notes from the podcast, it’s got my blog, [00:43:00] it’s got a book I’m reading, it’s got a practice, another interesting thing that comes across my desk that I think you might find useful or amusing. Shout out to my incredible team, Catherine Divine, Jeff Haskell, and Jason Sanderson who helped produce the show and the newsletter, bringing guests like Ryan to you every week.

[00:43:15] Mark Divine: Ratings and reviews are incredibly useful, so if you haven’t done so, please consider rating and reviewing the show wherever you listen. My goal is to get to 5, 000 five star reviews as soon as possible on Apple, at least. Thanks so much for being part of the change you want to see in your world. By doing that together, we can change the world.

[00:43:35] Mark Divine: So why not do that? Let’s move beyond the divisiveness and the violence and the conflict, but we’ve got to do it ourselves first and then pass it forward. Until next time, this is your host, Mark Divine. Booyah!



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