Center for Theory & Research

Volume III: Political Polarization

Political Polarization and Dysfunction in Washington

Jay Ogilvy

January 2015
Welcome to our third eZine! To read our previous eZine issues, please click on: Vol. 1: Conscious Business, or Vol. II Esalen in Jerusalem.

This issue covers a recent CTR conference on the subject of political polarization and dysfunction in Washington. CTR conferences are by invitation only, and often attract thought leaders from different fields and different persuasions. The magic of Esalen helps forge friendships across lines that are seldom crossed, and this conference was special in that regard.

The first three essays—by Carter Phipps, myself, and Steve McIntosh—offer overviews of the entire conference. The last three essays drill down into specific subjects: the fourth is Sam Yau’s commentary on Steven Hayward’s take on conservatism; in the fifth, I take a pass at interpreting Independents as relating to politics the way the spiritual-but-not-religious relate to the Church; and the concluding essay by Sam Yau portrays the current political scene as choiceless and mindless.

And yet, there’s hope. Sam points out in the last essay that key structural reforms can lessen partisan tribalism and, in the second essay, I argue that just as Esalen made a great contribution to ending the Cold War by coming up with second track diplomacy, the fellowship created between Left and Right right here at Esalen may well be initiating a second track politics.

Please click here to explore videos and recommended readings by the very prolific group of thought leaders that assembled at our recent CTR Political Polarization conclave.

Jay Ogilvy
eZine Editor-in-Chief and Esalen Board Member