Here is arguably the quintessential paradigm shift quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
"The U.S. vs. John Lennon." He didn't just sing songs. John Lennon was an Activist, Visionary, and Revolutionary. He frightened the U.S. government. Watch and appreciate Lennon's work to lay a foundation for a future without war.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
|The theme of this AFWW newsletter is paradigm shift. A less fancy phrase for a cultural "paradigm" is "world view."
|Paradigm shift - what and why
On Christmas Eve in 1968 the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission beamed a message to earth, including this photo, Earthrise. This image of our tiny blue and white planet against the vast darkness of space is a powerful envisionment of something critical about the human journey. We evolved in Africa, we have spread throughout the globe, and now, in the words of the ecological economist Herman Daly, our globe is full.
And what many of us sense is that the ways of living that worked during our long journey out of Africa...they aren't working so well any more.
In a blog entitled Paradigm Shift for a Human Future of Peace, Dr. Judith Hand explores our dilemma. She
- defines "paradigm,"
- explains the nature of a cultural paradigm that underlies the rationale for war and that has become maladaptive, and
- suggests a paradigm on which those who love peace can focus shared efforts in order to replace this maladaptive world view. Read Paradigm Shift and a Future of Peace.
Paradigm Shift - Making it Swift and Enduring
Putting an end to war would be a transformation of enormous magnitude, easily as profound as the Agricultural, Industrial, and Digital revolutions. For that change to endure, the cultural paradigm that fosters war would have to change (see Paradigm Shift and a Future of Peace.
Furthermore, the greater the evil, the greater will be the difficulty in shifting the supporting paradigm. Nevertheless, long-held cultural world views can be altered, and from a historical perspective, altered relatively quickly when we decide to do it.
For example, a decision was made to end foot-binding in China. For nearly a thousand years, the essence of Chinese feminine beauty was having tiny feet...ideally no more than three inches in length. In 1911 the New Republic of China outlawed binding, and then work began to change the Chinese conception of what makes a woman beautiful. The practice is now defunct. A paradigm of 1,000 years changed in less than 100.
The recent history of major social transformation efforts, such as those of the U.S. suffragists, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr., illustrate how massive change is brought about using two different but complimentary processes: Constructive Program (good works) and Obstructive Program (nonviolent persuasion).
The essay "A Cultural Paradigm Shift- Swift and Enduring" outlines these two approaches, and explains why both are necessary to achieve a rapid shift that also endures. It also explains why neither one alone is sufficient. Learn more .
Shaping the Future
Groups Seeking to Create or Facilitate a Critical Mass for Positive Change
In unity there is power
Listed below, with links, are a selection of organizations, alliances, and projects for which paradigm shift is their main purpose. They think globally and are working, in their own ways, to bring about a historical cultural shift. A shift so delightful that it will astound us. A shift that will make this a time of epic historical change that our descendants will remember with profound gratitude. This shift will place our human journey on the path to a more egalitarian, just, less violent, and ecologically sustainable future.
Dr. Hand's essay Shaping the Future: A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Wellbeing of All Children Everywhere outlines a mechanism to unite these efforts and more like them. A great number of partners like these united into a grand, common, cultural shift campaign will achieve visibility and power impossible to ignore and able to energize millions.
- This list is not an exhaustive-merely a sampling. It has a bias toward U.S. based organizations because these are most familiar to AFWW. Its purpose is to provide readers with a sense of what is happening "out there," projects that might catch the readers' interest.
- These alliances characteristically have a focus that reflects the expertise and interests of current members. Their concerns are not all the same.
- What they share in common is that they all have already arrived at a global vision, at the conviction that to have sufficient clout to shape the course of history we must unite, and they are committed to growing a global people's movement for change.
If this is also where your thoughts are, you may check them out and then decide to join one or more as a partner.
Note: AFWW finds each one of interest and valuable in its own area of pursuit, but listing them does not constitute an endorsement.
The site wiserearth.org provides a directory of: Organizations, People, Groups, Resources, Events, and Jobs.
The following are listed alphabetically:
Alliance for a New Humanity
Alliance for Peace Building
Better World Links
Earth Charter Initiative
Foundation for Global Collaboration and Peace
Four Years Go
Great Transition Initiative
Peace and Collaborative Development Network
Positive Futures Network
World Shift Network
|The Need for Change is Great and World Citizens are Responding
Nonviolence: Poised to Change History at Last
Cultural change activists seeking to forge a better future for coming generations are aware that this can't be achieved using force. Using force elicits blowback that is the opposite of what is desired. We will need to use the power of nonviolence.
The kind of nonviolence practiced by Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and most recently the protestors in Egypt's Tahrir Square is a people's force, and it is a powerful force.
BUT: it is fair and reasonable to ask, If Nonviolence is so Powerful, Why Hasn't it Already Succeeded in Transforming our Dominator Cultures into Peaceful and Egalitarian Ones? Why has it not already given us the cultural paradigm shift so many long for?
In Dr. Judith Hand's essay "Until now, Nonviolence Movements Were 'Before Their Time," the works of suffragist Alice Paul, of Mohandas K. Gandhi, and of Abdul Gaffar Khan are set into historical context.
Two barriers are then suggested as the primary reasons why those movements, and many others which made astonishing forward progress, have not yet resulted in an enduring transformation of our violent, dominator systems of government:
Finally, six historical factors going back rough 700 years are introduced that make our time, the early 21st century, extraordinarily different from all preceding historical moments ... a time that is RIGHT, at last, for nonviolent movements to achieve the next great social transformation in the human story. Read the full essay.
| About A Future Without War|
We want to provide newsletter readers with a reminder about our extensive website, www.afww.org.
The materials can be a reference for personal use, something to share with friends or colleagues who doubt that it would ever be possible to abolish war, and as thought pieces to stimulate discussions, for example, by your students, a book group, or peace activist organizations. You will find on the site:
- A Mission Statement
- Capstone Essay: "To Abolish War"
- "Overview" Essays - 7 essays explaining the core rationale for why it is reasonable to believe we could abolish war if we make it a priority.
- "Cornerstone" Essays - 9 essays explaining each of the broad categories of "good works" that we need to attend to simultaneously in any campaign to abolish war and maintain that state into the future.
- "The Books" - a Table of Contents, reviews, and FREE download of Women, Power, and the Biology of Peace, links to purchase that book and also A Future Without War: the Strategy of a Warfare Transition"
- A Link to the AFWW Blog
- A Map of Nonviolent Cultures
- A Video of Dr. Hand
- Several Movie and Book Reviews
- Archives of AFWW Newsletters
- Links to over 150 Organizations involved in some aspect of the campaign to abolish war
- Miscellaneous AFWW Essays
A Reminder About AFWW Links
AFWW has completed an initial listing of over 100 links to a selection of organizations in the vanguard of efforts to create a better future. If you belong to or head up an organization, you may find your organization listed. Check under the Nav Bar "Good News and More" and click on " Links ."
A Future Without War