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 -
"Let them march all they want as long as
they pay their taxes."
- Alexander Haig, U.S. Secretary of State,
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
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."
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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