Report: World Peace Conference - Santa Fe, NM
Keeping up with movers and shakers in the
peace movement! In May, AFWW attended an
inspiring and educational World Peace
Conference in beautiful Santa Fe. The event
uplifted and encouraged five hundred of us
from all parts of the planet (except, sadly,
the Middle East) in the kind of coming
together that's essential for workers in any
campaign. Check here for a brief report.
Virginia Tech and Raising Young Men
The tragedy of the violence at Virginia
Tech.still lingers. All those lovely young
kids, those dedicated teachers....makes the
heart bleed, doesn't it?
Caring people ask, "How could this
happen?" To answer this question, we need
perspective. Entire cultures exist, among
them the Norwegians, where people live for
the most part without violence, often without
war. For other examples, look at the website
www.PeacefulSocieties.org or the books by
anthropologist Douglas Fry,The Human
Potential for Peace and Beyond War.
The key is that these aren't "warrior"
cultures. Their people don't admire violence
or justify it, as we do. So the deep answer
to the question, "Why?" is that until we
trade in our violent culture for a nonviolent
worldview, we'll continue, every now and
then, to create disturbed males (mass killing
is overwhelmingly a male phenomenon). In a
democracy, it can only be within a cultural
context of nonviolence that troubled men are
not created and our worst human impulses for
violence are kept in check or defused. The
fact is, messages of violence reaching our
youth are pervasive, corrosive, and
facilitative of violent action.
There are organizations reaching out to raise
young men to grow up knowing that to be
"macho" is to be a protector of others and of
society, not a destroyer. For us to end war,
we need to help these organizations and many
more like them to flourish. Some are listed here:
The Global Peace Index
This index, a project of 'Vision of Humanity,'
lists 121 nations ranked by peacefulness
using 24 indicators and includes a clear
explanation of their methodology for ranking.
The entire website has many useful links and
Raising Awareness through Fiction and Nonfiction
Raising awareness of the causes of war as
well as the cure is the purpose of Judith's
nonfiction books on war and the AFWW website.
But as Carl Sagan said, we people must
imagine change in our stories before change
can actually take place.
The novel Assassin's Rose, written by
with Peggy Lang, features a charismatic
heroine who seeks to set the United States on
the path to a nonviolent future. A brief
video introduces all three books and the idea
that we don't need to accept that war is
inevitable. (Unfortunately Assassin's Rose
not yet for sale since it's still looking for
a publisher. Contact AFWW by email at
if you are an interested publisher or agent).
A Good Book
Jeffrey Sachs heads the Earth Institute at
University and directs the United Nations
Millennium Project, a
multinational task force of economists,
scientists, and development experts. In his
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities
makes the case that "We can realistically
envision a world without extreme poverty by
2025." His critics argue that Sachs downplays
the problem of misappropriated aid. Like
virtually all economists, he does not
emphasize the critical importance of the
inclusion of women in positions of power in
the countries and processes involved if there
is to be any hope of success, in no small
part because women are less likely to
misappropriate. But his vision of what to do,
and that if we have the will and engage women
in the process we can do it, is dead on.
Don't forget that as much as the media
focuses on all that is bad in the world,
great changes in positive directions are also
happening. Keeping a positive vision of the
world without war that we seek to create and
our progress toward it is a key to success,
so we need to soak ourselves in good news as
often as we can.