"The people have always some champion whom
they set over them and nurse into greatness
... This and no other is the root from which
a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is
a protector." - Plato, The Republic, Bk.
A Future Without War
One of the world’s most delightful new ideas
comes from the Himalayan country of Bhutan.
Research into happiness, or subjective
well-being, shows that beyond the
surprisingly low level of about $15,000/year,
there is no causal link between economic
growth and happiness. Yet most “developed”
countries continue to measure their Gross
Domestic Product, assuming incorrectly it
turns out, that increasing growth will
reflect increasing well-being. In Bhutan they
measure as well a new metric: Gross National
Happiness. They encourage growth, but not
growth for growth’s sake. They are committed
to sane and sustainable growth and decisions
are, therefore, sometimes made that
facilitate GNH instead of GDP.
(Los Angeles Times, 13 November 2006, Eric
Weiner, “Be Like Bhutan”)
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
Democracy in Action - An "Immediate-Action Alert" and a Long-term Goal.
If you live in California, here’s something
extraordinarily easy you can do to advance
the campaign to end war: lend your support to
the establishment of a U.S. Department of
Peace and Nonviolence. For maximum effect,
you need to act within the next few days. If
you live outside California, don’t feel left
out. You can contact your own Congressperson
and Senators, now and frequently.
To urge California Senator Barbara Boxer to
sponsor or co-sponsor a bill in the Senate to
authorize the establishment of a
cabinet-level Department of Peace and
Nonviolence by having at least 1000 postcards
and hundreds of phone calls reach the
This movement is well under way. In San Diego
and across the country there are growing
numbers of local chapters of the DOP
movement. And perhaps most exciting, young
people are getting involved. Danielle Gram, a
San Diego high school student recently took
postcards for Senator Boxer with her to
school. If you want to read something
exciting and encouraging, read Danielle’s
e-mail to her fellow DoP supporters
describing her experience with sharing her
enthusiasm with her fellow students. Feel
free to forward her letter to friends who
could use encouragement.
What would a Department of Peace do?
Congressman Dennis Kucinich is an early
supporter and just recently re-introduced the
bill. The chief powerhouse behind the
movement is The Peace Alliance. You can
check out specifically what the Peace
Department would do, including facilitating
nonviolent means of conflict resolution both
nationally and internationally and
establishing an Academy of Peace and
Your action makes a difference!
Here is a statement shared recently by a
with his constituents from the Department of
Peace movement: “The Congress and Senate are
reactive bodies. They hear what the people
they represent want, and then they act.” This
fact of political life cannot be overstated.
When constituents lobby and persist and make
their wishes clear, our elected
representatives are not only encouraged to
act as we want, they become empowered to do
so: the voices of their people are behind
them, supporting them. By adding your voice
to the voices of many others, Senator Boxer
will be more aware of the need for a
Department of Peace and this just might be
the final push that secures her support.
Our culture of violence will not be changed
nor will we end the practice of war by
accident or by wishing it to be so. AFWW
supports this national effort because
establishing a cabinet level Department
tasked to coordinate the effort to end war -
and establishing such a coordinating body in
the most powerful and richest nation in the
world - is essential to our campaign. Such a
Department is required to provide
coordination of all nine of the AFWW
cornerstones. Establishing an Academy of
Nonviolence will also give the effort to end
war a firm academic grounding and train
necessary experts and leaders.
Moreover, immediate benefits will be felt in
our communities and homes when we facilitate
and coordinate the efforts of the many
organizations in the U.S. working to create a
less violent culture.
Within the next few days, find a postcard.
Address it to:
Senator Barbara Boxer
501 I Street, Suite 7-600
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tell her you believe our country and the
global community can be less prone to
violence and that we can even end war if we
choose, but we require leadership at the
national level to make such change happen. Or
write what violent situation you are
concerned about and that the Dept of Peace
can help and ask her to introduce or
co-sponsor a bill in the Senate to establish
a Department of Peace and Nonviolence. Be
sure to write your return address on the card.
If you can’t hustle up a postcard, a call,
placed during the next few days, expressing
your same wish for her to support the bill
can also be effective. Call: (916)
If you live outside of California, you can
contact your representatives with the same
message. Also check the The Peace
Alliance website to see if there is a local
DoP group you can join ... or start one yourself.