As the essay below will explain, the unconscious and universally accepted worldview, the paradigm, that underlies war is: Domination of others using force and violence is inevitable and hence to be endured/accommodated/worked around. The vast majority of us believe we have always made war and always will. To end war, that paradigm must be eliminated and replaced by another. The essay introduces that replacement paradigm, and then explains how the global community can take action to bring about that replacement.
At this time, however, late 2019, as I update the AFWW website, I find that not everything in the essay will seem useful or relevant. This is particularly the case with specific ideas for how to go about weaning human societies from war. In some respects, the essay should be considered a historical piece. It was written over eight years ago, in 2011, and needs to be understood in the writer’s historical context. In my historical context as a peace advocate.
That was the backdrop against which I wrote the essay below: "A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Well-being of All Children Everywhere."
Time moved on, and the backdrop changed. For example:
The confidence in 2011 that I felt about the forward and upward progress of the global community toward embracing a global peace has taken a hit. The confidence with which I described in this essay the means by which the global community could undertake the serious work of dismantling the war machine has taken a hit. Although the material on paradigm shift is as germane as ever, I considered whether I ought to delete the essay entirely as having too many components that seem wildly undoable in today’s political and social circumstances.
But times do change. There will be a U.S. presidential election in 2020. That may set things right again in that great democracy. America may then reach out once more to move history forward and upward, seeking to unite the global community in common cause to deal with climate change for example, a cause that would surely benefit by simultaneous action to construct an enforceable global peace treaty.
Arguably the need for global unity to solve the massive problems that confront all nations at this time may also lead us to decide collectively that we must stop spending human and financial resources on war and spend them instead on building a future where our way of life does not include war. If we decide to change the course of history in that positive direction, the information in the essay, outlining some ways to proceed, will once again become relevant. For that reason I have chosen to keep the essay fundamentally in its original form.
A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift
for the Security and Well-being of All Children Everywhere
Copyright © 2011 by Judith Hand
Adapt or die! This Darwinian imperative is arguably truer now than at any time in our brief history on earth.
Many of us look into the years ahead with dread, aware of monumental, self-inflicted problems that seem to be spinning us out of control: poverty that triggers revolution and war, the cruelty of slave and sex trades, the waste of lives due to drug addictions, violence in our homes and communities, the unsustainable consumption of life-sustaining resources. Then there are the potential horrors of newfangled weapons of mass destruction. Global climate change could result in—or trigger—a global pandemic, mass starvation, massive refugee problems, or global economic collapse. Can we adapt? Can we change?
Our problems are super-sized, many are global in scope. Our disagreements are numerous and severe. A belief that virtually all of us can agree on, however, it is that if we could shape a culture that allowed our children to grow up in safe, healthy, and nurturing communities, we should use our collective wisdom and resources to create that reality. What is meant by security and wellbeing is that we build and sustain communities where children grow up with healthy food and clean water, have access to education to the level they choose, medical care essential to a healthy body, freedom to think and speak freely, and they do not live in fear of outsiders or members of their own community.
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About the Author
Dr. Judith L. Hand. Dr. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she is the author of several books and scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.