In this 12 page article, “Why Centrism Fails and How We Can Better Achieve Political Cooperation,” ICE president Steve McIntosh argues for a higher form of ‘integral centrism.’ Unlike mainstream centrism, integral political centrism provides a cultural container that can integrate and harmonize the full spectrum of positive American values. Moreover, integral centrism advances the new political practice of ‘values integration,’ which can help overcome hyper-partisan polarization by increasing the scope of what people are able to value.
Contemporary centrism has lost persuasive power because its underpinning ideology of patriotism—compromising for the good of the country—has been eroded by the rise of progressive postmodernism as a political force. While moderate centrism has always relied more on pragmatic reason than ideological passion, the old mainstream center is now being increasingly pulled apart on both sides by strongly ideological competing moral systems.
However, as McIntosh explains, as the progressive postmodern worldview gains political ground (evidenced by the strength of Bernie Sander’s candidacy), this actually points to the potential for the rise of a ‘post-postmodern’ political perspective that can provide the higher form of centrism America now needs.