AFWW Newsletter #6 October 2007 12 October 2007

The Shift Movie
A longing for a shift in our way of living rises across the globe, a longing for a means to escape the violence of war and the destruction of natural habitats that sustain us. A longing for "paradigm shift" from dominator models of living to partnership models. Perhaps the source of this longing is a spiritual awakening. Perhaps it is survival instinct bubbling up. Whatever the cause, to see that the idea of SHIFT has arrived globally and big time, treat yourself to this inspiring video.
The Shift Movie

A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Envision it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.

Economic Change
This newsletter comes with a theme - Economic Change. "Shifting our Economies" is one of AFWW's nine cornerstones of a campaign to abolish war because a huge portion of the global economy is based on the war industry. In full knowledge of what we want to accomplish and as swiftly as is practical consistent with maintaining defense requirements, we must consciously and steadily shift resources from the staggeringly vast sums of money now used to dream up, build, sell, deploy, and use weapons to kill each other to investment in tasks required to bring an end to the killing.

Creating those better conditions is the work of the eight other AFWW cornerstones. Accomplishing those necessary tasks and other desirable goals, for example, those related to global environmental challenges, takes money.

Food for Thought
"Endless money forms the sinews of war."
- Cicero, Philippics
Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC - 43 BC)

"Let them march all they want as long as they pay their taxes."
- Alexander Haig, U.S. Secretary of State, 1982
in response to Washington marchers.

"If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be as violent and bloody a measure as it would to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood."
- Henry David Thoreau

"We seem always ready to pay the price for war. Almost gladly we give our time and our treasure - our limbs and even our lives - for war. But yet we expect to get peace for nothing."
Peace Pilgrim

There is across the globe a growing sense of concern, even of panic, that we humans need to make a major shift in our way of living. Any great change must involve economics, for "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Student Peace Alliance
Students and the Shift
On October 19th and 20th, The Student Peace Alliance will hold its first Student Peace Alliance National Conference, hosted by Brandeis University. Their theme is: Our Generation Calls for Peace. Note below that the students will include looking at the Economics of Peace.

Featured speakers are Betty Williams Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1977 for organizing work through Community for Peace People, to promote peaceful solutions to the violent conflict in Northern Ireland. Arun Gandhi - Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. Trish Jones - A leader in the field of peace and conflict resolution education and President of the Conflict Resolution Association (CRA). Will Spencer - Coordinated the National Peace Academy Campaign that lead to the establishment of the United States Institute of Peace.

There will be experts in diverse fields from the Arts and Peace, School and Gang Violence, and the Economics of Peace.

The hippies of the 1960's wanted world peace but thought that all you needed was love. This generation knows that hard work will be required and they are rolling up their sleeves to do it. (EW, EYM, FC, PNCR, SOE).

Riane Eisler's Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics
If we are to shift our economies, we immediately are led to ask, shift them to what? The 2007 book by social historian Dr. Riane Eisler is, to our delight, the answer to that question. She reviews the essentials of socialism, communism, and capitalism, all of which result in and emerge from a dominator model of living. She urges us to set our sights on a shift to an economic system she calls partnerism. As Eisler herself notes, it will take time and intense effort by many experts to fully shape the actual economics of partnerism-a caring economics that includes financial value for the work of care-giving. It will, she further notes, take an equal or greater effort to implement the changes. But her view provides of vision of what a new economics can look like.

Skeptics will say that humans are too selfish to ever make the paradigm shift she describes. An ever growing weight of research on human nature indicates that, to the contrary, humans have evolved to be cooperative when their environment favors cooperation (for examples and references supporting this cooperative view of human nature see the essay on Essential Human Goodness).

Our economic and social task is to change the rules by which we live, and The Real Wealth of Nations limns the direction we should go in the next major human cultural shift, a return to social and political partnership between women and men-a change that is spreading rapidly and that AFWW calls the Egalitarian Revolution.

Women, Power, and Peace
Women Active in the Shift
AFWW was represented at this year's "Women, Power, and Peace" conference at the Omega Institute in upstate New York in mid-October. Organized by the institute's co-founder Elizabeth Lesser and writer and activist Eve Ensler, the meeting gathered over 700 creative and powerful women and roughly 50 men ready to respond to the growing need for peace and the revolutionary work of women in the peace process. Carla Goldstein, director of the Women's Institute at Omega describes this as "a historic gathering for peace that included three of the six living women Nobel Peace Prize winners and many other courageous women from conflict zones around the world."

In her talk, Lesser explained that "women all over the world are stepping out to challenge the old power paradigm. That is, one of patriarchy and limited concern for the planet and human rights." What these women and men are focused on is the SHIFT - our need for fundamental change in how we, the global community, live our lives and how we can speed the process of change.

Government and Budgets
Two weeks after the Omega Conference, AFWW was represented at a national WiLL/WAND conference in Washington, D.C. (WiLL - Women Legislators Lobby and WAND - Women Acting for New Directions). Here the thrust is to encourage women to run for local, state, and national office and among the two-hundred plus registrants were many women legislators. A special session was devoted to issues most pressing to WAND members, a chief concern being to encourage elected representatives to shift budget priorities so a greater portion of the annual U.S. budget is spent on nonviolent means of achieving security for our families, communities, and country. Attendees were armed with information for the senators and congressmen, including a 60 page booklet entitled "Unified Security Budget." Attendees subsequently spent Tuesday lobbying on the hill for those changes.
The Rise of NGOs, the Internet, and Money
The increase globally in the number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is an astounding phenomenon. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton did an interview on Larry King Live 4 Sept. 2007. They were discussing President Clinton's new book for changing the world, Giving, and he said there are over a million NGOs in the U.S. alone, most founded in the last decade. Roughly 400,000 in Russia, 250,000 in China, and 500,000 in India.

People everywhere are organizing and acting. Some focus on ending violence and war. Many want to cure poverty or diseases or extend humans rights to all people, including minorities and women. Many are profoundly concerned about the environment. As noted above and as is self-evident, all of these good causes involve economics. Clinton also referred to a global passion for change and to help others, not harm them, and that the urge is building and growing. He noted that the internet allows the average person to contribute to helping others in ways not imagined before, especially in raising vast sums of money (as one example, he cited the aid to victims of the massive Indian-Ocean Tsunami).

Our problem is not that we lack the will and sufficient resources necessary to create a better, less violent and more fulfilling future for succeeding generations. Our problem is that we are spending our resources unwisely.

If you're skeptical, thinking that people of good will in our past have wanted the same thing but were unable to achieve it so there is no reason to hope that we could succeed where they could not, see the essay "How Far We Have Already Come." You'll find a brief explanation of why our time in history is radically different from all others in the historical past in ways that make achieving this change possible at last

Global Marshall Plans
A quick use of Google brings up at least two organizations that have zeroed in on the pressing need to shift the focus of our spending in order to create a better future and are using the phrase Global Marshall Plan.

The Global Marshall Plan Initiative
Representatives from economic politics, science, media and non-government organizations around the world and across all party lines met in 2003 to begin the Global Marshall Plan Initiative. Included in this group are representatives from the Club of Rome, the Eco-Social Forum, ATTAC, BUND and churches, as well as members of the Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade, UN organizations, the European Parliament, and many other national parliaments.

The Global Marshall Plan
After a century of wars and violence, and five thousand years of societies that thought it was "common sense" to believe that the only way to achieve personal and societal safety was through domination of others, culminating in the world wars of the 20th century, the Vietnam war, and most recently in the Iraq war, the Network of Spiritual Progressives is calling for a fundamentally new approach which emphasizes that generosity and genuine caring for others can be a much more effective and morally coherent approach to human security, peace and development.

First utilized by Former American Vice-President Al Gore in his 1992 book Earth in Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, his Global Marshall Plan gave specific ideas on how to save the global environment. This idea is based on the post-WWI Marshall Plan that saw the United States send billions of dollars to Europe to rebuild their war shattered economies and thereby created allies of former enemies. Among five listed strategic goals of Gore's plan was the requirement to develop "a comprehensive change in the economic 'rules of the road' by which we measure the impact of our decisions on the environment." Again, economics was front and center.

Without radical economic shift and an accompany change in global attitude about the sources of real human security, we cannot hope to create a FUTURE WITHOUT WAR.

The good news is that there is a growing awareness and willingness to make that shift happen.

With warm wishes and hope.
- Judith
Contact Info
A Future Without War
Dr. Judith Hand
P.O. Box 270074, San Diego, CA 92198
Email Marketing by