The Integral approach by Ken Wilber suggests that the “Kosmos” (patterns of existence) is made up of “holons”.Holons are whole entities in their own right as well as being parts of something else. Its wholeness requires “agency”, without which it ceases to exist. It’s being part of something else, suggests “communion”. Therefore, a Holon is a whole and a part, having agency and communication.
Again, if it is not a whole or a part, it ceases to be. A Holon “emerges” over time, and can be part of a series of holons in a hierarchy, called a “holonarchy”.
If a holonarchy or Holon breaks down, it breaks down in reverse to the way it grew. Therefore holons grow through self-transcendence and break down through self-dissolution.
Let us use this approach to assess what has happened in the crisis to date and make predictions as to what will happen. I have chosen to address only the 12 countries who signed the Maastricht treaty in 1992, which laid the groundwork for the European Union, rather than the accession states of recent years. They will also be analysed later though too
The Original Holon
The original Holon was formed by France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. These six countries formed the European Coal and Steel community in 1950 and in 1957, the European Economic Community. This Holon was in fact, designed to prevent any future wars in Europe by promoting free trade and interdependency of existence in this six party bloc.
Agency and Communion
Germany, the aggressor in WW2, had been divided between the allied powers and Russia following surrender in 1945, but as with its fellow defeated fascist axis partner Italy, needed a way forward that did not rely on military expansion
France was invaded and occupied by Germany in 1940.The Germans also occupied Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland, en route to the prize of Paris.
All the countries, shared much, Language being first and foremost. Belgium’s three official languages are Dutch, French and German. Luxembourg counts French and German also as two of it’s three official languages.
Luxembourg was a part of the French empire until 1815,while Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland were part of the Spanish empire’s provinces until the latter 16th Century. Belgium and Luxembourg, in turn, were part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands until the mid 19th Century. Italy was also a part of the Spanish empire, a client state of the French empire, and later the Austrian Empire.
An Enlarged Holon emerges
In 1973, The United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark joined the original six nations to form an enlarged community. Denmark and the UK, sub sequentially kept their own currencies, the Krone and Sterling. Ireland, however, joined the single currency. Ireland and the UK shared a common exchange rate system, language, legal system and an international boundary in the North of Ireland. Ireland had also been part of the British empire until the early 20th Century. Denmark fitted in well with the first Holon, sharing a border with Germany and having been occupied by the Nazis in WW2.
Denmark, however, had also founded a number of Irish towns and cities during its Viking period.
The UK , is an emerged Holon of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland added through conquest, to the original England.
The Club Med Holon
The European project swelled to 12 nations, with the inclusion of Greece in 1979 and the Iberian sister states of Spain and Portugal in 1985.All three countries had historically been leading naval empires, and all three had been led by military dictatorships earlier in the 20th Century. Spain is also made up of a number of disparate holons, namely, Catalonia and the Basque Country.
Self-Dissolution of the Euro zone Holarchy
Although Cyprus, Estonia, Malta, Slovakia, Finland, Austria and Slovenia are also users of the Single European Currency and thus Euro zone members, I have not included them in this integral analysis, and will now explain why. None of these 7 countries signed the original Maastricht treaty in 1992 for a start and let’s look in detail at some other extenuating circumstances
Cyprus, with Greek as it’s official language, is so closely linked to Greece’s fortunes, that this communion itself has lost Cyprus it’s own agency as it now will have to seek a bailout and will lose it’s own sovereignty. Cyprus is also partitioned in the North and shares an international border with Turkey
Estonia is an offshoot of the USSR, with a population of just over 1 million, it shares more with Finland , Russia, and it’s Baltic neighbours in Lithuania and Latvia, than it does with any other members of the Eurozone.
Malta was a former colony of the British Empire and still has English as an official language. It’s population is less than 500,000.
This Slavic country only adopted the Euro in 2009, and like Estonia, has closer ties to Russia than any Eurozone member. It had communion with the Czech republic as part of Czechoslovakia, and has only had agency since 1993.
Finland and Sweden
Formerly part of the Swedish Empire and the Russian Empire, Finland joined the EEC in 1994, with Sweden, although Denmark and Sweden kept their own currencies. Finland joined the Euro in 2002.
German speaking, annexed by Germany in WW2, Austria joined the Euro in 1994.Austria will do whatever Germany does.
From the outside in
Let’s test the theory of whether self-dissolution in a holonarchy happens from the outside in:-
In the outer Holon, we have Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Portugal and Greece have both lost agency thanks to IMF/ECB/EU bailouts, losing their sovereignty, and so from an integral point of view, cease to exist. They are also in real danger of losing communion as a member of the EU as well.
Spain has now too, lost agency, thanks to it’s banking bailout and is also in danger of losing communion with the entire EU.I t would be much better off as the stronger sister of Portugal in an Iberian community. However, there is also a self-dissolution risk within Spain itself.
So that’s the outer Holon obliterated, next up we have Denmark, the UK and Ireland
We will remove Denmark and the UK from the equation, as both kept their own currencies, interest rates and sovereignty, by not joining the Euro, and both kept their agency as a result.
Ireland, however, has lost its agency, no longer a sovereign state; it is funded by foreign powers.
This can only be regained by leaving the Euro and reforming its natural communion with the UK.
So that’s only the inner Holon remaining: that of the original 6 countries.
Italy seems a likely candidate to leave, they are neither culturally, linguistically or geographically a good fit with the other five and have no real communion with any of them
Belgium, is no longer a functioning country, without a government for 18 months, it threatens to split into its holonic parts of Flemish and German speaking populations.
That leaves us with Holland, Luxembourg, Germany and France and maybe, maybe Austria and Finland thrown in from the group we excluded as a possible new emerging Holon. This too however, could self –dissolve into the sum of its parts. Events in these countries are to be watched closely!