What we found very early on was that the values that predict well do not depend on personal psychology, but rather that they differ by three subcultures: Traditional, Modern and Trans-Modern. The latter are the Cultural Creative population, and this was the first research to show that ecology values and spiritual-psychological values made a difference to people’s lifestyles, and to their stance as voters. Because they are cultural, the values we measured are slow to change, unlike attitudes and opinions, and the business cycle has very little effect on them (though it affects people’s ability to pay for what they want).
It’s the way cultures construe reality that matters. Thus, a financial materialism measure is part of what identifies the Modernist subculture, and an ecological measure is part of what identifies the emerging culture of the planet, and the Cultural Creatives. When we put them into a context of politics, they are at the opposite ends of a larger dimension, the tense opposition between a powerful, but recently wounded, business conservatism, versus a large and growing group of new ecological and planetary concerns, which grew out of all the new social movement values and beliefs. The surprise that then emerges across all cultural creatives studies is that this takes on the flavor of something very consequential.
Graphic Below the Fold
These are the values behind the opposition of the very exclusive meetings of the global financial elite in Davos, versus the huge World Social Forum in Brazil. The media framing of these opposed meetings as rich vs. poor is a weak reflection of the actual values concerns of an emerging planet. In fact, contrary to the interpretation of the Modernist-culture media, this is not only about socialism vs. capitalism, or big money vs. social justice, though that is certainly present. It’s about the future of the planet.