No Despair After Trump: A Way Forward For Breakthrough

After we have recovered from the initial shock and any sense of loss, I believe we can choose to see a massive invitation in this series of events, probably the most important of our lives as it involves politics, sustainability and the future of capitalism and liberal democracy... just as Civil Rights / Vietnam / the Cold War was for our parents.

First we must move out of horror and blame and understand the logic of what happened, which is where my lifetime's work developing breakthrough biodynamics as a theory and methodology of human transformation is helpful. We must seek to understand how our neighbors across rural and post-industrial belts have been feeling in their hearts as capitalism (as Marx accurately predicted) eats itself... and their perceived economic and psychological loss from globalization, immigration, regulation and being left behind by smart and arrogant urban elites (where what little growth that has occurred has been enjoyed). There is no point in judging people for craving the "Great" American Dream which is what has been sold to them over centuries. Blame and shame only ever locks the system in place, which keeps the nation a battle-ground and prevents breakthrough.

People, when threatened, will naturally seek to return to an idealized and apparently safer "Great" past if nobody gives them a more compelling vision of how technology, sustainability and globalization might work for them in everyday life rather than just offering a future of more wage stagnation, multiple low-paying and insecure jobs, lower quality of life / healthcare etc. People under stress and threat always default back to old defense patterns that seemed to work in the past to preserve pride, status and income -- like racism, nationalism, xenophobia, science-denial and economic protectionism. We can accept this logic as neuropsychological fact without approving of any of it; nor wishing to see it continue. We need this for any hope of genuine truth and reconciliation, just as we must equally accept the long-term neuropsychological impacts of historic and modern-day slavery within African-American (and more recently hispanic) communities if we want a united community.

As a typically rationalist progressive, Clinton did not connect with those suffering hearts very well; nor did she paint a compelling picture of what is possible and work to locate older, whiter, rural-er people in this future. This is always the job of transformative leadership; and she failed. This is a common issue amongst materialist-atheist-skeptic leaders. Hearts trump minds when it comes to driving forward change in people (if its not too early for that pun). Trump succeeded to connect with those hearts (if not minds), much better than we wanted to think, but his vision is of a return to a mythic past that is on the wrong side of history. Automation, resource conflict, global travel and networked flows of ideas, data and products are all epochal changes that cant be fought by walls. Even Bernie, who connected into some hearts and minds much deeper, was blinkered in many of his policies by old leftist ideologies which were born in a previous iteration of society and so are no longer a guaranteed fit for the future.

The added, and perhaps exciting, challenge in all this is that somebody, at some point soon, has to step up and say that given our resources, economies, population growth and climate change, we are all going to have to wean ourselves off the teats of advanced capitalism and consume / produce / acquire / extract less if we want to be planet-ready. Healing our addictions to Amazon Prime and Virgin America etc. is going to be tough (as breaking through all addictions are). We need to be nurtured / nurture ourselves through this. We need to find a way to find meaning and connection in community and spirit if we are going to recalibrate capitalism in time. So the old political levers and growth games have to change and change soon anyway.

Therefore Trump as POTUS and Brexit as reality is a wake up call for how life is for many many people out there (perhaps us too if we are honest, with our long workdays just to pay for childcare and exorbitant rents etc etc)... and an invitation to innovate together a way forward. Both will likely propel our predominantly Anglo-Saxon and smug societies towards the edge of chaos, helping the old structures fall apart. The choice will then be whether we allow new breakthroughs to form and cultivate them to grow... or retreat to old comfort zones. During this process there will be unprecedented amounts of uncertainty and so moments of fear and freak out for us all.

Never before have we had a need for mass conscious leadership at all levels of our society... leadership that understands the dynamics of transformative processes and can hold ourselves and others as we all transition from an oil-fueled industrial nation state O.S. to....

I don't believe the Democrat or Republican establishments (nor the Tory and Labour Parties in the UK) get this in ANY way, shape or form. Yet we are stuck, for now, with an entrenched two party system that is hard if not impossible to change anytime soon. So for me the breakthrough I have had is that perhaps we can help nurture this new system through a Tea Party like movement that transcends ideological boundaries with a deeply connective and creative politics... whilst also helping existing leaders across our countries go on a journey into their hearts and emerge as connected and conscious leaders....

Nobody said getting to the Age of Aquarius should or would be easy. I think it was naive of us as a whole to think dropping out and tuning in, and dancing in a park in Haight-Ashbury, was enough. Instead we do the real work of breakthrough leadership: switch on, rewire our brains and remix our world over many years ahead.

Join this nascent movement at

More insight in this essay, that is forthcoming in the RSA Journal