#40 About AFWW and Shift Chapt. Synopses: 10-13 (July 2015)
"Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regrettably, as of this writing - 2015 - the organization Martin Luther King, Jr. knew would be necessary to take down the global war machine is not yet in place.
Over several years, a series of forty newsletters has been created as part of an effort to galvanize creation of a global movement with the kind of organization, savvy, and power to which Dr. King was referring. The newsletters are a product of an extensive website and project, A Future Without War.org (AFWW), created by evolutionary biologist, futurist, and peace advocate Dr. Judith Hand.
The newsletters are archived on the AFWW website.
A Future Without War.org is based on and is dedicated to providing knowledge from biology, anthropology, archeology, and history to support four truths fundamental to ending war:
In the essay To Abolish War Dr. Hand explores many facets of why we make war and what kinds of efforts would be required to create a movement with sufficient organization and vision to permanently dismantle the war establishment.
AFWW newsletter readers are teachers, activists, scholars of war, students, and a diverse variety of global citizens with a compelling interest in war, and most especially, the potential for freeing us from it.
Dr. Hand's book Shift: The Beginning of War, The Ending of War has two major divisions. The first half covers the origins of war. The second half explores what would be required to end war permanently, and how a coordinated effort that would have the powerful organization needed to bring down the war system that Dr. King spoke of could come into being. Shift is available at Amazon.com and as a Kindle download.
Two previous newsletters provided synopses of chapters 1-9 of Shift.
Chapters 1-4 are in newsletter # 38.
Chapters 5-9 are in newsletter #39.
The purpose of this series of three newsletters is to offer synopses of the book's content so readers can decide if the material is sufficiently relevant that they may wish to purchase it....for personal use, to give as a gift, to recommend to others interested in ending war, to use as a textbook.
What follows are synopses for the book's final chapters, 10-13
PART I I- How We Can End War
Cornerstones of a Campaign to End War
The principle put forward and explained in Chapter 10 is that to create a just, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful future, ending war is foundational: the rationale is that by ending war, and through the process of doing so, we establish a social/cultural/mental environment that makes it possible to accomplish other desired goals. Many of these other goals address the proximate causes of war. These challenges are grouped into nine ending-war cornerstones: Embrace the Goal, Empower Women, Enlist Young Men, Foster Connectedness, Ensure Essential Resources, Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, Provide Security and Order, Shift our Economies, and Spread Liberal Democracy. How each cornerstone relates to the goal of ending war is briefly described, and examples of organizations already dealing with them are provided. Stressed is that because of our biological nature, once we reach the goal of a global absence of war, we must continue to attend to all cornerstones to avoid backsliding.
Hope: We Can Change and Change Rapidly
In Chapter 11 reasons to believe that ending war is possible are presented. It begins with a consideration of two sophisticated cultures: the Minoans of ancient Crete and the modern Norwegians, cultures that illustrate features that characterize nonviolent and/or nonwarring but sophisticated cultures and illustrate that we do not need to return to a Hunter-Gatherer lifestyle to end war. Reasons are given why our time in history is uniquely poised to end war because of six major historical changes; these go back roughly 700 years to the Enlightenment and include invention of the Internet. Several examples of recent rapid human social transformations make the case that we could accomplish this huge shift in two generations or less from the time we resolve to do it.
Pulling Elements of the Plan Together
All previous chapters lead to Chapter 12, a call to action to embrace a mechanism called F.A.C.E. Elements of a plan are given for a way to unite a critical mass of global citizens with the organizational power Dr. King spoke of, a movement with enough clout to directly take on and dismantle the war machine (however long it takes).
First, we need to bury the "just war" concept. To abolish war, the time must come when our species adopts a new paradigm (worldview) that says that all wars are unjust.
The chapter then explores five major barriers to success; these factors will shape our choices for how to proceed.
Two complimentary approaches to massive social transformation, namely Constructive Program (the work of the cornerstones) and Obstructive Program (direct, nonviolent action against the war machine) are described. An argument is made that Constructive Programs alone, although they are overwhelmingly the most common efforts being used by people seeking to end war, they have insufficient force to dismantle the war machine. The means by which we carry out Obstructive Program - the strategy and tactics of nonviolent social protest/struggle - are reviewed.
A mechanism developed and successfully used by the International Committee to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is described that can unite massive numbers of people and organizations into shared action (called "massively distributed collaboration" or "collective impact"). This provides the structure and operation of the ending-war movement. It is tentatively named F.A.C.E. - For All Children Everywhere - because perhaps the only goal that can unite all people regardless of national boundaries, religion, race, gender, or political philosophy is a biologically based, shared love for and the desire to care for our children.
The campaign strategy of F.A.C.E. is to collectively attack weak points of the war machine and, as the movement gains strength through the years, to steadily take the war machine apart. Very importantly, the campaign also functions as an awareness vehicle...to let the people of the world know that this great change is possible and that it has begun. Weak points of the war machine that could be good places for the movement's initial combined focus are suggested (e.g., actually eliminating all nuclear weapons, establishing treaties to halt the sale of war weapons across national borders, establishing an "ending war" organizing hub within the United Nations that can coordinate the actions of F.A.C.E. partners).
The chapter ends by reviewing key biological factors working for and against us as we take on this exciting and profoundly important challenge, and four critical keys to remember if we are to prevent backsliding.
"No peace can endure if women are not afforded a central role."
John Kerry, United States Secretary of State
Marach 6, 2014
A Good Book
War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views.
Edited by Douglas P. Fry. 2013.
Chapters from a wide range of scholars look at war through the lenses of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, political science and more to understand the causes of war the the potential for peace.
A Good YouTube Video
The Evolution of a Global Peace System.
A video based on historian Kent Shifferd's book From War to Peace and produced by the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation. It outlines over 20 historical events and trends that are part of the progress we have already made toward a global peace system and the emergence of a global spirit that is reaching out for peace.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:
To Abolish War
Shaping the Future
Paradigm Shift: Swift and Enduring
How Long Ending War Would Take
Why Women Are the Key to Security
The Nine Cornerstones
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