Today’s announcement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee that it has awarded its Peace Prize to President Barack Obama is just the cherry on the Boomeritis sundae.
What characterizes the Boomeritis variant of Green, according to Wilber, is the significant and stubborn persistence of a Red narcissism.
Boomeritis is that strange mixture of very high cognitive capacity (the green meme and noble pluralism) infected with rather low emotional narcissism—exactly the mixture that has been noted by so many social critics. In other words, the very high developmental meme of pluralism becomes a shelter and a haven for a reactivation of some of the lower and intensely egocentric memes (e.g., purple and red). In green’s noble attempt to move beyond conformist rules (many of which are indeed unfair and marginalizing), and in its genuine desire to deconstruct a rigid rationality (much of which can be repressive and stultifying)—in short, in green’s admirable attempt to go postconventional—it has often inadvertently embraced anything nonconventional, and this includes much that is frankly preconventional, regressive, and narcissistic.Barack Obama personifies the Green Boomeritis variant in his intense subjectivism, his eagerness to adhere to his Boomeritis anti-American cousins in Europe, his devotion to extreme egalitarianism, his belief in the magical properties of his rhetoric, and his unconscious social divisiveness. Campaigning on a promise to promote bipartisan approaches to national problem-solving, for instance, he has governed with a thinly-disguised disdain for the beliefs and concerns of the opposition—a classical First Tier characteristic.
Obama of course also represents a significant tendency among the American citizenry that also identifies with these character traits. The irrational “change you can believe in” theme of Obama’s campaign last year exemplified the Boomeritis assumptions that it has all the correct answers and that they can be applied without any particular consequences.