#18 Capstone Essay "To Abolish War", Suffragists & Voting, and Male Biology (October 2010)
AFWW Capstone Essay - "To Abolish War"
Arguably the single biggest barrier to our ability to abolish war is skepticism: the vast majority of us don't believe it's possible.
In this capstone essay, "To Abolish War," Dr. Judith Hand takes the major threads of her work on war and weaves them into a coherent whole. She addresses the fundamental error of such skepticism and explores essentials of a successful campaign to end this barbarity that is a curse on us all.
With the addition of "To Abolish War" to the website's others essays, the AFWW website is basically complete.
Over time, other essays, blog entries, book and movie reviews, links to key organizations, and similar relevant items will be added, but they are ancillary to the website's central goals to explain:
The website's essays, taken as a whole, present the basic strategy for a "warfare transition." They describe a movement in which we take charge of shaping our future in positive directions to create a massive paradigm shift in how we resolve conflicts, including ending war. Actually, tending to all of the elements essential to accomplishing that goal and maintaining it would arguably create a shift as massive in its long-term implications as the Agricultural Revolution. Dr. Hand has called such a vision of a more egalitarian, just, ecologically sustainable, and war-free future the result of an Egalitarian Revolution. The essay introduces two different components of an ending war campaign: Constructive Program and Obstructive Program. It's vital that the role of both types of activities are understood and supported.
AFWW's 9 cornerstones embrace efforts that the great social transformation expert Mohandas Gandhi would have called "Constructive Program." These are "good works" we do to prepare the ground for living in and sustaining a war-free future. If you are a social, environmental, or peace activist, it is likely that your work or the organization you belong to is focused on one or more of these cornerstones.
"To Abolish War" also explains why "Constructive Program" must be accompanied by and backed up with "Obstructive Program" directed specifically to the war machine. Obstructive Program is the kind of nonviolent noncooperation and civil disobedience Gandhi and other nonviolent social transformers have used. The essay explains why good works alone will not only fail to dismantle the war system, they can actually enable the war system to persist in spite of our well-meaning intentions. The essay also explains:
Citation: Hand, J L (2010) "To Abolish War." Jour. Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research 2 (4): 33-56.
Women, Male Biology, and Ending War
To end war, empowering and engaging women is essential to success. It isn't an option or side issue. It lies at the heart of the problem. "To Abolish War" describes three major, sometimes overlooked or not well understood keys to a successful ending war campaign. One of these keys is full female+male partnership in decision making in our lives. Why we need gender partnership is also explored from a biological perspective in the essay "Locked in the Embrace of Male Biology: A Barrier to Positive Paradigm Shift."
Nonviolence: a Realistic Tactic for Waging Peace?
It is perhaps self-evident, or at least should be, that a campaign to end war can't be waged using violence, nor can a campaign to combat terrorism succeed if the chosen tactic is to kill. Violence only feeds hopelessness, futility, and anger that breeds another war, another terrorist. That being our true dilemma, what, if any, tools can we command to bring an end to the war system? "To Abolish War" explores the workings of nonviolence. It provides citations to articles about nonviolence and how it has been successfully used as a tool of social transformation.
But the question can be fairly asked: "If nonviolence can transform our cultures, why hasn't' it already done so?" Jesus preached nonviolence. So did Buddha. So have many other prophets and visionaries. Yet violence, including the ultimate use of violence in war, persists.
An essay, "To Date, Nonviolence Movements Were 'Before Their Time.' Now They Are Poised to Change History," tackles this critical, potentially fatal flaw of nonviolence. It explains why nonviolence works, giving examples. It also explains why the time is right now, in ways it has never been before in our history, for massive, global use of nonviolent struggle to finally succeed and produce results that last.
"Activist women-the suffragists-of the late 1800s and early 1900s and the men who supported them worked to give women the vote. Activist women of the mid-1900s and the men who supported them worked to give women equal legal protections and access to jobs and educational
opportunities. For this generation of activist women and the men who support them, their task, their challenge, could be to abolish war."
- Judith Hand
La Jolla, CA, Rotary,
Hilary Swank as Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels. How women in the U.S. won the vote.
A Good Book
Sharp, G (2005) Waging Nonviolent Struggle. 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential. Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers Inc.