Keynote speech delivered at The Abolition of War conference
Judith Hand, Vaasa Finland - Spring, 2014 - the text below is shortened and updated in 2023.
I'm inspired by a quote attributed to the great South African leader Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible, until it is done." We're addicted to many forms of violence, and war is arguably our greatest violence against each other. For everyone who would love to see a human future where a few no longer rule the many by force, where we don't destroy the physical works of our labors and the beautiful things we create, where we don't kill our children both physically and spiritually, I'm here because I believe I can convince you that we now have an opportunity to end our addiction to this very bad habit.
I've spent most of my adult life studying animal behavior, including human behavior, and two things are clear about wars, both international and civil. First, the overwhelming majority of people from all cultures prefer to live in peace. At the deepest level of our being, people hate war. Whatever our culture, we share a desire for the good life, which most of us define as having a family, raising children and watching them grow into successful adults, and doing work that we find meaningful. And war grotesquely interferes with those desires.
And second, studies of biology and anthropology increasingly indicate that we can put an end to war….if we choose to do so.
War and "ending war," for the purpose of this talk, refers to wars between nations. Ending civil wars is a separate issue, although clearly related in principle to wars between nations.
An Epiphany in Belfast In 2013, I was invited with 100 or so women from around the world to attend a conference in Belfast Northern Ireland organized by the Nobel Women's Initiative. The focus was to be on "Moving Beyond War" I assembled pieces of a plan for doing so, which time proved to be inadequate. In 2023, ten years later, the world community had changed profoundly in ways more favorable to ending war. I and a fellow peace activist, Anne Hoiberg, initiated a new approach, which is in its infancy, tentatively called Project Enduring Peace.
But in Belfast, I had an epiphany. It didn't occur in my morning shower, where I experience a lot of insights. Rather, I spoke with the great Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and peace activist Mairead Maguire. Along with Betty Williams, Mairead won the Nobel in 1976 for her work in securing the Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland.
She asked me to tell her about my work, and during the entire conversation she asked only one question: How? How do we end war? I believe she was asking, "I've been at this for years. How do we do what I haven't yet been able to do? How do we do what no people before us could do?"
My epiphany was that I'd recently spoken with two other long-time peace activists, and in their own way each had asked the same question: how? These good people have worked to end war for years and years….and they were, and remain, stymied. They've been unable to find a way to break through the enormous barriers that keep us locked in cycles of violence.
So I was delighted when she posed that question, because that's what I'd been pondering for approaching twelve years. What I'm sharing here is what I proposed to her in shorter form, for how we can actually move forward. The points remain relevant years later, in 2023.
First and foremost, I firmly believe that if earth's citizens are given a vision for how a great, cultural transformation that abolishes war can be achieved, the necessary critical mass of people can be moved from their homes into the streets and into halls of government to declare that they will no longer tolerate war. Moreover, they will demand that nonviolent means alone be used to solve our serious conflicts. I'm hoping you'll take away two things from this talk. A feeling and a sense. The feelingthat united, we can succeed! And a sense of HOW we can do it.
The Need to Act is Urgent I'll not spend a lot of words explaining why the need to act is urgent. You're here, so you are likely as aware as I am that our planet is full to the brim with us, that there is nowhere in the foreseeable future to which we could emigrate to escape from each other. And we're faced, right now, with extraordinary threats from global climate changes, threats of nuclear, biological or chemical disasters, or epidemics that could undo civilization as we know it. In 2022, the mistaken belief or feeling of many that, post-WW II, we're no longer in danger of waging international wars has been shattred utterly by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A film starring Matt Damon and was called Elysium. It depicts an Earth where the many live lives of despair on a ruined planet while the very rich live in unimaginable comfort and health on Elysium, a satellite in space. Continuing to devote money and time to war has become a certifiable form of social insanity. A trap from which escape seems impossible. If we continue our business-of-life as usual, the people that inherit the future we leave behind may very well inherit an Elysium-like future, and detest us for it. So if something could be done, it urgently should be done.
Why Our Time in History is Poised to Succeed Let's consider first several reasons why our time is uniquely poised to bring off a huge social transformation on the scale of ending war…if you will, a Great Paradigm Shift. We need to understand why we're now equipped for success when for hundreds of years others could not succeed. Six major social/cultural events have created an opportunity for us to seize. These go back roughly 700 years. A lot of people have done a lot of preparatory work before us.
First, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment - these took off between 700 and 500 years ago. They instigated huge cultural changes. Among these, they led to a recognition of the worth of individuals: a person was no longer considered a possession or tool of a king or necessarily subservient to religious authorities. For example, Christians were told they could approach God without an earthly intermediary. Artists began to paint common folk engaged in their daily lives, not just religious or mythical stories or the royalty or elites. The rise of reason and the flourishing of romanticism during the Enlightenment stressed the critical war-ending values of human rights and of love and empathy. These trends have advanced so far in some places that individuals can become conscientious objectors to war.
Second came the modern scientific method, roughly 300 years ago. This led to the –ologies: zoology, anthropology, archaeology, biology, primatology, psychology. The labors of thousands of people dedicated to the search for knowledge has enabled us to know our nature. What are we like as humans and why? Specifically relevant to this subject, we know why we make war…that it is not our genetic destiny...that it is a product of the cultures we create. And this knowledge is key to our accepting that we can put an end to it.
Then came the return to democracy as a form of government, sadly birthed at the cost of a great deal of blood as exemplified by the English, French, and American Revolutions. As it relates to war, democracy is the best method we've devised thus far to restrain warmongers. It's no guarantee that war will be rejected as a political tool, but it's more difficult for leaders in a democracy to mobilize people for war than for a tyrant or king to simply declare one. Recently, we've also learned that just giving people the vote, a simple democracy, is woefully insufficient to produce significant positive change…we need liberal democracies. Liberal democracy is characterized by the rule of law, free and independent presses, separation of church and state, an educated citizenry, social justice, and a respect for human rights. In a liberal democracy those who govern must secure the consent of the governed to launch a war, something not always easy to do. The emergence of liberal democracy is a very recent experiment.
It was only roughly 100 years ago that the enfranchisement of women began in a significant number of countries. This was, by the way, as truly a slippery slope as many men, and even women, feared it would be. If you'll pardon the pun, this was perhaps the "mother" of all slippery slopes. Because when enfranchisement develops to its full potential, it enables a strong female influence on governance. Increasingly, studies indicate that where women are influential in a society, the rates of not just corruption go down, but also rates of internal and external wars. A recent excellent book by Valorie Hudson et. al., with the titillating title "Sex and World Peace," is actually a very serious work. It presents convincing amounts of data on the positive role of women to reducing violence. I have described in an essay and in a recent book, Shift: The Beginning of War, The Ending of War, why women biologically are more concerned than are men to reduce violence and create stable communities in which to raise their biologically "expensive" children.
Just fifty years ago the development of reliable forms of birth control and family planning was another pivotal ending-war change because these facilitate the empowerment of women. When women can decide when and how many children to have, they can participate more fully in public affairs….like decisions about how to run a government, what to spend money on, and whether or not to go to war. Again, women's preference to avoid the physical violence of war is primed now to influence decisions about war as more and more women take roles of leadership. In 2023, at long last there now exists globally a critical mass of powerful and influential women sufficient to energize and lead a movement to end war.
Finally comes the world-changing development of the Internet. This facilitates instant global communications, for better or worse. The rise of international terrorism is unfortunately facilitated by it. But…activists determined to end international wars permanently can use it in a campaign that must be global in scope.
Undoubtedly there are other things left out, but clearly the point is that our time in history is RADICALLY different from any that preceded us…and different in ways that create this window of opportunity to end war. One of the things an ending-war movement can do is make the world's citizens aware of just how wonderfully poised we are to make a Great and Positive Shift. The ending-war campaign would be in great part an exercise in education and persuasion.
The Next Great Human Revolution Now let's put what we propose to do into an even more sweeping historical context. This lets us see not only that Great Shifts are possible, but also we can begin to envision the next possible positive advance in the human story on earth. Arguably, there have been four previous great cultural revolutions:
First, was the Mastery of Fire – controlling fire allowed us to eat a greater variety of foods and deal much more effectively with adverse weather. Those benefits facilitated an expansion of the range of places we could live. Roughly 60,000 years ago, our species left Africa, and we now have reached virtually every region of the planet.
Then about 10,000 YA came the Agricultural Revolution – the domestication of plants and animals allowed for larger communities, new social niches and work specializations, and the rise of civilizations.
The Industrial Revolution – Things remained relatively unchanged for several thousands of years, until roughly the beginning of the WOW! change of the Industrial Revolution. We harnessed the energy of electricity, sufficient energy to build monumental structures, to create higher standards of living and new forms of transportation, and lay the foundation for the next great shift, which then happened in a relatively eye-blink of time, the
Digital Revolution – this has put us on the moon, given us instant global communication, and allowed us to build the most monumental project we've yet attempted near Geneva, Switzerland, an atom smasher. There international teams of scientists have, for example, established the existence of a tiny cosmic force, the Higgs's Boson, what some people have called the God particle.
We now have what our nomadic-forager ancestors would consider godlike abilities.
There is a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein:
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
It's time for a new Great Revolution, a Nonviolence Revolution. We deserve a worldview shift that facilitates an upgrading—a flourishing—of our moral sensibilities so they better match our astounding technological capacities. A global nonviolence revolution would be a change—a paradigm shift—in how people view conflict.
Conflicts would certainly not cease—if even just two people are living together, say husband and wife, there will be conflicts—but when this revolution takes hold, the idea of using a war to resolve differences would at first be forbidden by law, then by custom, and in time it would become unthinkable.
The engine that can propel such a stunning change in worldview, I argue, is a campaign to end war.
A Campaign to End War as an Engine Driving a Nonviolence Paradigm Shift Why is that so? Here are four reasons.
The first way such a campaign would fuel a nonviolence worldview shift is that it would be above all an education movement, an awareness movement. It tells all the people of the world— using every kind of media available—that contrary to what they believe, scientists as well as philosophers, political leaders and lay workers have discovered that war is NOT an inescapable human burden, not something built into our genes. So right away we would generate a new way for people to think about the use of violence, including the violence of war. They begin to see it as something from which we might actually escape.
Second, an ending-war campaign tells our children that we no longer accept or tolerate killing for any reason, no matter how serious the problem may seem to be. As a campaign to end war works and struggles, we'll instill in children our realistic vision of a very different kind of world and future, one without the violence of war, and with the potential to reduce all kinds of violence.
Third, because our children are our future, they will build on the reality the movement creates. By our example, they'll learn the skills of nonviolence, how to build and maintain a nonviolent society…because a movement to end the violence of war must use only nonviolent tactics. Some people are skeptical of the efficacy of nonviolence to bring about change. I highly recommend a YouTube TED talk by political scientist Erica Chenowith on the power and success of bringing about positive change using nonviolent means vs. force. There really is no contest. Nonviolent movements are significantly more successful and lasting. Again, I strongly recommend anyone desiring to understand a key facet of how an ending-war movement can work should take a few minutes to listen to Dr. Chenowith's talk.
Fourth, increasing successes—small conflicts halted, weapon systems put into mothballs, country after country adopting a nonmilitarized status, and so on—these will free up resources now dedicated to manufacturing and selling weapons, waging wars, and cleaning up after wars—resources freed up for desperately needed better things. With a global peace system established, which brings stability to the global community and assures all nations that they will not be invaded, we can devote attention and resources to reducing other forms of violence, from gang wars to domestic abuse. So a campaign to end war is about much more than ending war. It is action to erect a foundation of stable communities within which we can reap the rewards of peace into our far distant future. Think of a campaign to end war as a team of horses that will pull a wagon full of many positive payoffs.
The Potential for Rapid Change How long will it take to achieve the goal of no ongoing wars? When I began this work, a dear niece said she loved the idea, but that she couldn't get involved because she was, and I quote her, "too busy raising my two boys, and ending war would take hundreds of years." My first thought was that someday her sweet boys might be sent to war or be destroyed by one that might have been prevented…had she joined with thousands of others to end wars.
But my second thought was that she was wrong. It's simply a fact that when conditions favor it, human cultures can transform rapidly. Consider a recent major event, the formation of the European Union. One of the main goals was to stop the cycle of centuries of wars. It is now virtually unthinkable that Germany and France would declare war on each other. It didn't take hundreds of years to reach an agreement that ended hundreds of years of war. Another example of rapid change was the fall of the Berlin Wall.
With the tools now available to us, if we apply financial and human resources and vision, we could harness the mind-blowing power of social media to absolutely change the global community's view about the legitimacy of and use of war within two generations...or less.
It's entirely possible that the demise of war could come swiftly. We're all familiar with the principles of "critical mass" and "tipping point." In sociology, tipping point is defined as "a point in time when a group —or a large number of group members— rapidly and dramatically changes behavior by widely adopting a previously rare practice"….in this case, the all too rare practice of total nonviolence, supported by an enforceable peace treaty for resolving serious conflicts between groups. A point where "the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable."
Examples of tipping points are bank runs, strikes, migrations, riots, and revolutions. In retrospect, such events are explainable. But in prospect, their timing and nature are impossible to predict. Such events seem to come closer and closer but don't occur, even when conditions seem ripe for them to happen—until suddenly they do.
Arguably, conditions around the globe are "ripe" for abolishing war. In which case, as the 1970 movie "Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came" suggested, the global community could quickly arrive at a moment when warmongers somewhere announce a war, and nobody comes. Or more relevantly, a united global community, as required by treaty, immmedidately imposes harsh sanctions against any entity that breaks the agreement. This is the means, the nonviolent means, of treaty enforcement.
Five Necessary Prerequisites for Ending War So now we're prepared to consider that "how" question Mairead Maguire asked me, the "how" of abolishing war. We begin by listing five prerequisites that must be in place before a campaign is able to take flight:
First and foremost, all who join the movement must hold in their minds and especially in their hearts the deeply held conviction that the goal is achievable. Without genuine belief in the possibility of ending war, no movement will likely begin, and it certainly won't be sustained against inevitable disappointments, setbacks, and pushback—major pushback— from the war industry.
Second, there must be a plan: strategy and tactics for how the campaign proposes to challenge the war machine. History shows that war won't stop just because we want it to, but neither will it be defeated by relying on indirect actions, like doing "good works" as described below. Using a military analogy, at some point a direct attack on the machine of war would be required.
Third, there must be leaders who become unreservedly committed to execute the plan. In the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, they must pledge to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to make this shift a reality.
There must be a critical mass of global citizens who want the shift and are willing to do the work required. But as the talk on nonviolence by Dr. Chenowith makes clear, the actual percent of members of the global community required to cause the change could be 3% or less. The movement does not have to convince everyone!
And finally, at the outset of a campaign, a core of workers must be dedicated solely to facilitating the plan's execution.
At some level these prerequisites are, or nearly are, in place. This includes the potential I see in the recently initiated effort, Project Enduring Peace.
The Two Major Components of Successful Action Actions that have to be part of a successful ending-war movement are of two kinds. Mohandas Gandhi, the great theorist and strategist of nonviolent social transformation, saw his efforts as composed of two complimentary approaches that can be called Constructive Programs and Obstructive Programs.
For Gandhi, Constructive Programs were things like teaching villagers to be independent by spinning their own cloth, and working to end the worst excesses of the Indian caste system. If you will, think of Constructive Programs as good works that support and maintain the foundation on which the transformed war-free society is to be built.
Obstructive Programs, on the other hand, depend on the power of nonviolent direct action. They have teeth. They rely on the "soul force" of people power to achieve a shared goal. For example, to achieve the shared goal of securing a global, binding-peace-treaty.
The kinds of Constructive Programs being pursued around the globe right now that are vital to securing enduring peace, assuming a treaty is secured, are legion. They deal with multiple causes of wars and are things like:
post-conflict reconciliation programs,
programs to end poverty,
programs that provide essential resources such as adequate health care and education to all global citizens,
efforts to spread systems of governance like liberal democracies that respect human rights and dignity,
efforts to spread knowledge and practice of sustainable living so adequate essential resources are available for everyone,
programs that foster connectedness among all people by stressing the oneness of our humanity.
For convenience and to help clarify what issues are key to ending war permanently, these Constructive Programs can be grouped into nine categories. They can be thought of as cornerstones for ending war, and most criticallly, for maintaining peace. They are aspects of human day-to-day life that must be attended to so conditions that foster war dont arise.
History suggests strongly that when it comes to taking down the war machine, good works are "necessary but not sufficient." Certainly none of them alone can abolish war. Even in combination—were they perfectly coordinated, which they are not—none of the good works listed above have sufficient clout to eradicate the war machine.
Knowledge of human biology and history indicates that a behavior like war, that has tentacles in so many aspects of our histories, cultures, lives, entertainment, and economics, won't be defeated using good works alone. The war-business machine is perfectly capable, generation after generation, of letting us teach peace, and strive to end poverty, and advance human rights while it grinds on…sucking up resources.
Obstructive Programs, on the other hand, have power. They depend on the power of nonviolent direct action. They rely on the "soul force" of people power as described in the Chenowith TED Talk. Gandhi called his Obstructive Program satyagraha. It's also called nonviolent civil disobedience, or nonviolent struggle. It's the united application of Obstructive Programs in synergy with Constructive Programs that can end war permanently.
If united—all of us using Constructive and Obstructive Programs-- have the potential to succeed. The reality right now is that efforts are splintered and are consequently not up to this monumental task. They're not focused on a single, uniting goal, an objective toward which, no matter what other good works they are doing, they support. "Divide and Conquer" has been working for the war machine for a very long time. This is why activists like Mairead Maguire are stymied.
So is there a way to unite them and give them—give us!—a powerful, unignorable voice? For example, the singular goal of Project Enduring Peace is to secure a global binding-peace-treaty. How might working to reach that single goal be a uniting factor? We have an excellent model to consider. In 1997, Jody Williams won the Peace Prize for her work with the International Committee to Ban Landmines. The ICBL pioneered a way to unite many organizations which had, initially, no concern with landmines. It united them into a coalition with sufficient leverage to secure a treaty to eliminate landmine use. I poured over her book, written with Steve Goose and Mary Wareham, Banning Landmines: Disarmament, Citizen Diplomacy and Human Security. In it I found a successful model that could be scaled up for the people's campaign to end war. Ms. WIlliams called the mechanism "massively distributed collaboration." For me, that was an Ah-Ha moment. That's how an ending-war movement could be put together and function. The details are found in their book.
The Importance of Shared Motivation - Children How do you persuade people all over the world to overlook their many differences, viewpoints, and opinions to unite behind this one great effort? To succeed, global citizens would need to be attracted to the cause. See it as worthy of their attention. Their financial contributions. Their participation. Liberals and conservatives, Jews and Muslims, religious believers and atheists, communists and capitalists, rich and poor. All would be invited to join in a great, history-changing common cause from which all would benefit.
Consider that all great social movements have factions. Not all women agreed on how to win the vote for women in the United States. Not all African Americans in the United States agreed on how to end segregation in public services and housing. When one reads about Gandhi's work, it's clear that his struggle included efforts to keep many different groups with different agendas united behind a shared vision to achieve Indian independence.
So what is something that all people have in common? Something that doesn't need to be taught, because it's part of our human nature. What is something that could be a global movement's common touchstone?
That "innate thing" is love for children. Humans not only love their own children, we have this wonderful, built-in tendency to love and want to care for even children who are not our own. When asked what the mission is for, the answer could be "our mission is to give our children safe, secure communities in which to grow up and reach their full life potential."
Social change movements achieved their greatest persuasive power when they found ways to put differences aside and unite in common purpose behind wise leadership that enabled them to "keep their eyes on the prize," not on differences that might divide them. The simple beauty of this concept is that the world senses, and sees at work, a mighty entity that has rejected war and is acting to abolish it.
Cornerstones of Enduring Peace Let's assume that in the not too distant future we succeed in securing an enforceable peace treaty. There are, in fact, no ongoing wars. The world community is not without its conflicts, but it has embraced a peace system that allows for resolution of conflicts through law and courts and the known nonviolent means, not bullets and bombs.
The challenge will then be to prevent backsliding. How do we ensure that the peace system doesn't unravel because of some new pressures? How do we ensure that the world's peace system, or systems, works well enough to catch incipient warmongers in the act, and prevent war from breaking out?
Now we return to Constructive Programs. They are foundations of enduring peace because they address fundamental problems of living in large social groups. They address human biology and needs. They recognize why we're susceptible to making war, even when most people hate war. They address biological tendencies that make us susceptible to the wiles of warmongers. They provide life essentials that, when lacking, cause people to take up weapons. Working on these Constructive Program cornerstones is necessary to create a future without war. But attending to them in perpetuity will be key to maintaining enduring peace. To simply describe how cornerstones fit into the campaign would require at minimum a weekend workshop. Each embraces hundreds of programs and efforts. When I write or talk about them, I list them in alphabetical order to help me remember all nine categories. I want to quickly list them for you. Thumbnail descriptions with a bit more detail are given elsewhere and each is discussed in detail in the book Shift: The Beginning of War, The Ending of War. You'll probably find it easy to imagine the kinds of programs or efforts they include. Maybe you'll even see right away where your own major concern (or concerns) is directed.
Here are their names:
Embrace the Goal – this is a cornerstone where the work is dedicated to promoting the goal of ending war, including convincing people it's possible. My work fits here.
Empower Women – these projects promote the status of women as leaders, to deploy their innate inclinations to create secure and stable communities for their children.
Enlist Young Men – to make them a part of the solution, because troubled young men are a substantial risk to social stability.
Ensure Essential Resources – food, water, shelter, health care, education – people without these eventually become susceptible to warmongers
Foster Connectedness – to Mother earth, for ecological and sustainability reasons, and to each other – to foster the sense of human oneness which blunts a warmongers ability to convince us to kill other people.
Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution – these teach the practice and techniques— the art—of nonviolence, peace-living, and peace-building.
Provide Security and Order – addresses issues of policing and maintaining social order, locally and globally; promoting human rights, law, and justice. Where there is no security and order in our communities, we can't fully achieve or maintain any of our other goals
Shift Our Economies – they must be made financially and ecologically sustainable and just
Spread Liberal Democracy – free press, independent judiciary, respect for human rights, egalitarian governing.
When these concerns are listed this way it becomes very obvious why one reason ending war is an enormous ambition, not achieved so far, is because all of these must be tackled and achieved at a level sufficient to avoid conditions that foster war. A clearly enormous challenge.
A plus of listing them is that reflection begins to suggest new ways the groups involved in them might function synergistically, not separately, thus facilitating a rapid worldview shift away from war.
The great good news of course is that hundreds of thousands of individuals and organizations—north and south, west and east—hundreds of thousands are already at work….although the vast majority don't see themselves as essential components of a campaign to end war and maintain peace. They don't think of themselves that way. But they need to. They all need to be saying: "Ending war is possible. We're going to make it happen. We have a plan. And united, we're succeeding. Join us!"
Conclusion So in summary, what do we need to foster history's next great revolution?
We need leaders from all aspects of human endeavors who share a vision of a non-warring future founded on nonviolence and the determination to proceed: teachers, students, philosophers, artists, scholars, politicians, futurists, inventors, social transformation activists, media experts, security experts, conflict resolution experts, adventurers.
Three notable such individuals are here with us.
Dr. Douglas Fry, a scholar who has challenged the long-standing, erroneous belief that humans are inherently warlike, and has outlined the features of peace systems.
Krzysztof Wodiczko, who uses his extraordinary art to bring to our awareness the evils of a variety of social ills, including the horrible damages and waste of war.
And John Horgan, a journalist who is an expert in using media to communicate ideas like the possibility that we can end war, and who has given voice to scholars like Dr. Fry.
Which brings us to the rest of us. The most important key players are the world's people. Given the vision of a real possibility of ending war, and united by facilitators who enable them to coordinate their efforts, the world's people will be the force that gives life to an abolition movement. Everyone in this audience has talents and experience that would be invaluable.
To repeat, I hope you take away from this talk a feeling and a sense: the feeling that united, we actually can do this great thing…if we make the choice to do it. And a sense of how we can do it.
There are peace activists—a faction—who believe that there's no need for us to mount a concerted, united effort to dismantle this oppressive war industry. They feel that if we steadfastly continue a path of teaching peace, and doing peace- building, and making people aware that war isn't inevitable, war and other forms of violence can and eventually will be eliminated. They may be right. I'm not all knowing. But I don't agree with them.
Certainly anyone who offers assurance, or even the hope, that we are on some kind of inevitable path of declining violence to a nonviolent future where humans reach their full and glorious potential has no justifiable grounds for making that claim. My understanding of human nature and history convinces me that for our cause to be the one that wins the future, we should act forcefully, courageously, united, directed squarely at the war machine, and NOW!!
To bring this talk to conclusion, I return to that powerful quote attributed to Nelson Mandela, something we can and should tell each other often. I know I often tell it to myself: "It always seems impossible, until it is done.