Understanding the True Identity

of the Culture Wars Combatants

Charles Ives - Doctor of Philosophy

Edmunckin Institute for Cultural Development -2017


This paper summarizes the true tribal identities warring for dominance in the “culture wars” of the United States. [1} It begins with the premise that the current view of polarization in the United States is limited to horizontal maps of polar opposites. Left vs. Right, white vs. people of color, Christian vs. Atheist, male vs. female. This perspective can be categorized as “what seems to be happening.”

This assessment of positions in horizontal opposition to each other is partially correct, but ignores the findings of years of research into how humans develop from an infant to a mature adult. It also does not take into account how cultures have advanced in intelligence from tribal governance structures to our current global informational narrative. This perspective is summarized by the statement “We are all NOT the same.”

To fully understand the dynamics in play as different perspectives vie for cultural influence in the United States, the concept of individual and cultural VERTICAL stage development adds a dimension of analysis that incorporates more. This expanded view includes the true intentions of each tribal perspective and their potential impact on a type of UNITY being achieved in a majority of the population. This consideration goes far beyond attempts to bring polar opposite perspectives [2] together through dialogue and compromise.  It offers a more detailed discernment of the perspectives vying for dominance in the United States and what is necessary for each of them to find unity with each other going forward.

Our research looks at each of the current VERTICAL stages of individual and cultural development [3] to identify their beliefs and grievances, their primary opposition to each other’s narrative and what each stage needs to feel comfortable living with the other worldviews. These findings can be summarized as “what is actually happening.”


[1] Wikipedia – Culture Wars



[2] Wikipedia – Political Polarization



[3] Wikipedia – Developmental Psychology


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