The Positive Disintegration of Robert F. Kennedy, Part II: The Courage to Reintegrate

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Jessie
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The Positive Disintegration of Robert F. Kennedy, Part II: The Courage to Reintegrate

Post by Jessie » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:24 am

So, readers, what do you think? Do you agree that Bobby Kennedy made it to level IV, with some glimmers of V? Why or why not?

Do you know of any other politicians or leaders who you think made it to a high level of development, even if just in the area of one or two functions? Who are they and why?

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Re: The Positive Disintegration of Robert F. Kennedy, Part II: The Courage to Reintegrate

Post by Alex » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:39 pm

I had no idea about Robert Kennedy's history before reading this, but it sounds like Dabrowski's disintegrative process had some involvement here. RFK's existential thoughts and need for moral equality present developmental dynamisms similar to those within the theory of positive disintegration and his maladjustment to the typical role of politician represent a notable internal struggle.

While I'm not politically savvy and this may be a stretch, I'll propose that Barrack Obama dealt with somewhat similar struggles regarding political duty and may represent another politician to experience qualities of TPD. If you haven't watched the David Letterman Netflix episode of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" with Barrack Obama, it portrays some authentic struggles that may have been much deeper than we know.
Just his ability to stay real and grounded was impressive too, here some takeaways from that interview: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news ... ma-202679/

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Re: The Positive Disintegration of Robert F. Kennedy, Part II: The Courage to Reintegrate

Post by Jessie » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:55 pm

Thanks for the comments, Alex! Yes, I figure most people today don't know RFK in detail; even those who remember him may not have known that he was actually a very psychologically complex figure. I think he's really a great example of TPD in the real world, and I hope his story is still relevant enough to potential activists that they'll care enough to read it.

Thanks for that link to the Obama interview, too. I wouldn't have thought of him as someone who went through positive disintegration because he seems so solidly integrated now; in fact, I would not have looked at most presidents for positive disintegration (Lincoln is the immediate exception who comes to mind, and he stands out for precisely this reason), but you know, you may be on to something. I read Obama's books back when he was a candidate (so, ten years ago now) and though I don't remember them in great detail, I do recall his youth having periods that could possibly have been described as Level III, if those vague recollections are accurate.

(Psst, readers: I'd love to read anyone's case studies on presidents or other leaders who you think reached Levels IV-V -- or lower levels and why that mattered. Email me if you want to chat about ideas! jessie@[insert our domain here].)

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