The Eight-fold Struggle Squared

The Eightfold Struggle Squared

What do I mean by the eightfold struggle?

My vision of social struggle and transformation focuses on eight types of social movement development: peace-making, power-sharing, gender equality, sexual liberation, racial justice, community, economic equality, and ecological harmony.

I find that most of the big and small issues of the day fall into one of these movement types.

I also think that these domains point to a comprehensive vision of all of life, not just activism. To build that vision, I need to "square" the eight lines in terms of eight interrelated levels of reality.

These eight levels are:

Institutional (IN)
Social movement (SM)
Cultural/Societal (CS)
Interpersonal (IP)
Personal (PR)
mind-body (MB)
organism (OR)
environment (EN)

These levels are tightly connected, embedded within each other. The usefulness in teasing them apart is to keep some persons, such as myself, from neglecting the personal by overdoing the political. I created this listing after studying similar philosophical breakdowns, such as Ken Wilber’s four quadrants. I felt his version needed to be expanded to explicitly include mind-body, interpersonal, social movement, and environmental domains. Wilber had actually written quite a bit about the environment and mind-body, but his four quadrants didn’t feature them.

By elaborating each of the social struggles in terms of the domains of reality, the result is a broad vision of the human search for wholeness. Here is a brief inventory of this vision:

(EN) – Racially-differing ecosystem conditions
(OR)– physical characteristics that identify one with a racial group
(MB) – Biopsychological consequences of racial discrimination (eg blood pressure)
(PR) – Feelings of belonging to or alienation from a racial group
(IP) – Felt inhibitions towards forming healthy relationships across racial barriers
(CS) – cultural practices and traditions of one’s racial group
(SM) – coordinated activism to alter social and institutional conditions of racial domination
(IN) – institutions and power-relations bearing on racial identity and power

(EN) – Geographic/Climate influences on religious traditions and communities
(OR) – Racial origins of religious traditions
(MB) – yoga, private rituals, biopsychological
(PR) – ultimate convictions; intentions to improve thoughts & feelings
(IP) – Relational virtues cultivated by a tradition
(CS) – shared convictions, traditions about ultimate matters
(SM) – Internal movements to change a religious tradition/religiously-based movements to change social conditions
(IN) – Structures and institutions perpetuating shared orientations on ultimate matters

(EN) – Impact of economic practices on environment
(OR) – physical activity of labor
(MB) – Biopsychological impact of workplace conditions
(PR) – sense of compentence, work experience, skill-sets
(IP) – attitudes towards others fostered by economic setting
(CS) – workplace culture, status hierarchies
(SM) – labor unions, industry response to labor activism
(IN) – wealth distribution, managerial systems

(EN) – Objective conditions of ecosystems
(OR) – Organismic conditions arising from ecosystem 
(MB) – Neurological ecology, consumption habits, reproduction practices
(PR) – felt connection to nature, ethical assessment of natural value
(IP) – Relation to embodiment of others
(CS) – traditions and shared attitudes toward nature
(SM) – Activism to conserve and alter damaging uses of ecosystem
(IN) – systems of resource acquisition and consumption, habitat integrity

(EN) – Ecosystem support for reproduction
(OR) – physical gender
(MB) – male/female psychobiology
(PR) – gender psychology
(IP) – Attitudes and valuation of gender
(CS) – gender role traditions
(SM) – activism to alter or reinforce gender roles and institutions
(IN) – institutionalized gender role conditions

(EN) – ecological factors affecting sexual conditions
(OR) – sexual health, body practices (nudity)
(MB) – sexual neurology
(PR) – orientation, feelings about sex
(IP) – feelings about sexual relationships
(CS) – shared sexual attitudes
(SM) – activism to alter, enhance, or repress sexual activity
(IN) – institutionalized sexual contracts

(EN) – Evolutionary development of power relationships
(OR) – Organic components of power, eg, communication, strength
(MB) – evolutionary tendencies to cooperation vs dominance hierarchies
(PR) – attitudes toward authority and dissent
(IP) – Political systemic effects on relationships
(CS) – Traditions of political valuation – statism vs. anti-statism
(SM) – Movements for governmental change
(IN) – concrete governmental institutions 

(EN) – Ecosystem influences on aggression and cooperation
(OR) – Evolved capacities for aggression and cooperation
(MB) – Biopsychological components of violence or violence-inhibition
(PR) – Personal attitudes and convictions towards violence & revenge
(IP) – Face-to-face Modes of conflict resolution
(SC) – Social/Cultural norms of violence, revenge, and defense
(SM) – Movements to decrease or increase violent action
(IN) – institutional violence management – police/military

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