EPOCH I (LEVEL III)
Dr. Graves called the third loop, “Egocentric Existence.”
At the egocentric level, rugged, naked, and assertive individualism is prominent. This level can be considered somewhat “Machiavellian.” From history, there are accounts of those, “…able to gain their freedom from survival problems (Graves, 1970).” Not only did they surge almost uncontrollably forward into a new way of being, but they also dragged after them, “…tribal members unable to free themselves of the burden of stagnating tribalistic existence (Graves, 1970).”
History suggests few rose to authoritarian status while many became submissive. Dr. Graves believed the many accepted this “might-is-right” axiom because the act of acceptance assured survival… that this Promethean idea was entrenched through prerogatives of the haves and duties of the have-nots. Graves wrote that a MONARCH way of life began historically in the agricultural revolution, and for those living with a MONARCH loop in primacy, “…life is seen as a continuous process with survival dependent on a controlled relationship (Graves, 1970).” Fealty, loyalty, service, and noblesse oblige becoming cornerstone features of the MONARCH way of life, according to Dr. Graves.
Assured of their survival, through fief and vassalage, the ‘haves’ base life on the ‘right’ way to behave as their might dictates. Ultimately a system develops in which each acts out in detail, in the interest of his own survival, how life is to be lived, but only a small number ever achieve any modicum of power and the remainder are left to submit (Graves, 1970).
According to Dr. Graves, both authoritarians and submissives develop standards ensuring them against a threat. Submissives chose to get away with what they can within a range of possibilities. Authoritarians decide to do as they please.
They spawn, as their reason d’etre, the rights of assertive individualism. Actually these rights become, in time, the absolute rights of kings, the unassailable prerogatives of management, the inalienable rights of those who have achieved, through their own intentionality, positions of power, and even the rights of the lowly hustler to all he can hustle (Graves, 1970).
According to Dr. Graves, MONARCH is the aggressive expression of human lusts pursued openly and unabashedly by the haves, more covertly and deviously by the have-nots. However, when MONARCH solidifies into a stable feudal system, a new set of existential problems emerge for both haves and the have-nots. For example, death still faces haves, and the have-nots equally. Each must reconcile their miserable existences. Eventually from this wellspring comes the elixir of humanity’s fourth level… the MONOLITH.
EMERGENCE OF THE LOOPS:
Humans move through these levels, always seeking lasting security and needs fulfillment by way of learned adaptive behavior. The emerging MONOLITH is a way of life based on a growing conviction that there must be a reason for it all, a reason why the haves possess so much in life yet still be faced with death, and a reason why the have-nots live in miserable circumstances. This conviction leads to a belief that, “…the ‘have’ and ‘have not’ condition is a part of a directed design… (Graves, 1970).” Thus, a righteous way of life-based on one of the world’s great religions or great philosophies becomes prominent. Here humans tarry long enough to create what they believe is a way for abiding peace in this existence or eternal life after death. To adherents, this worldview seems to remove the pain of both the have and the have-not condition.
They seek… salvation.
MONARCH is a highly individualistic level, often seasoned with copious helpings of anger. The MONARCH loop can be seen in the “terrible twos” and rebellious teenagers. The MONARCH loop is also evident in street gangs and mafioso. MONARCH core values include power, immediate gratification, independence, respect, and avoiding shame.
MONARCH POINT OF VIEW:
It’s plausible MONARCH loopers see TRIBE as a tool to be “used;” Other MONARCH loopers as threats or potential leaders (if strong enough); MONOLITH as stiflingly authoritarian, and possibly an enemy; MATERIALIST as everywhere, wanting toys, now; GREEN as namby-pamby future roadkill; WIZARD and the FEDERATION are most likely unseen and therefore featureless.
Gravesian Epoch I reached its peak in the closing decades of the 20th century. As we progress into the second decade of the 21st, the first two loops of Epoch II have begun to take shape… they are briefly described below in the WIZARD and FEDERATION loops:
- LEVEL I (SURVIVOR)
- LEVEL II (TRIBE)
- LEVEL III (MONARCH)
- LEVEL IV (MONOLITH)
- LEVEL V (MATERIALIST)
- LEVEL VI (GREEN)