Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Life? The Prospect of a World Beyond War (and the questions we have to ask)

What if we died to the idea that we solve problems with force? Can we see new life on the other side of that kind of dying? It seems like a worthwhile question this Easter.

A growing body of people has been asking: is it time for a "World Beyond War (WBW)"? Specifically, they have been asking 4 questions:

* What do you think causes war?
* What do you think will be required to end war?
* Why do you think this is the right time for this initiative?
* What value could the WBW initiative add?

Below are my thoughts on four questions. But more important than my opinions, I think, is the simple fact of many people -- millions of people -- entering into conversations about these four questions. This, in essence, is the path to a World Beyond War.

What do you think causes war?

I've thought about this question quite a bit, especially in light of the fact that the United States seems to be involved not just in wars, but in permawar.

While there are many factors and contributors to the state of permawar in which we find ourselves, I have concluded that the driver at the pinnacle of the whole situation is the drive for total power on the part of the people we call our "leaders." The very best way to get more and more power is through the conduct of war, in all its forms. And the temptation to do so appears nearly irresistible.

See ( J'ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar )

What do you think will be required to end war?

The World Beyond War initiative has provoked me to think in a pointed way about this question.

Based on my answer to the question above, I would have to say that in order to end war we must reverse the way in which powerholders are currently successful in using war to get greater power.

Somehow, we humans are inclined to give attention to, and surrender authority to, people who operate from a standpoint of force . . . up to and including leading us into war.  What if we were able not just to stop doing so, but to actually reverse the pattern.  What if we were able to make it the case that people who operate from a standpoint of force are rendered inaudible, invisible, and lose all authority?

I don't know exactly how to do this, but I suspect one approach may have something with the way we set priorities about information we receive and pay attention to. For instance, what if Facebook not only had "privacy settings" but also "belligerency settings."

What if we were able to channel our attention to people who are forces for peace?

What if warmongers faded into the background . . . until all that was left of them was their smile?

Why do you think this is the right time for this initiative?

More than ever before, people everywhere are sure they don't trust politicians. They just haven't figure out yet how to act on that surety.


What value could the World Beyond War (WBW) initiative add?

There exist diverse mechanisms for people everywhere to "turn up the volume" on people who are leading without force, and "turn down the volume" on people who lead from a position of fear mongering and warmongering.

The opportunity exists for WBW to network these mechanisms together, and encourage a situation in which everyone is involved in the process of leading us away from war-making.

With the help of WBW, people can find the forces for peace all around them -- and not just "like them on Facebook," but actually "like them in life."

To learn what other are saying about these four questions, visit

Related posts

More than anyone else, the beneficiaries of permawar are the politicians who thrive on the power to make and control wars. The number one prime beneficiary is the President, as well as presidential aspirants. But it doesn't end there . . . .

(See J'ACCUSE: The Beneficiaries of Permawar )

We have had a window of opportunity -- nearly 70 years in which the constitution of Japan has explicitly renounced war, pointing the way for the rest of us. What have we imagined we were supposed to do?

(See Renouncing War: An Opportunity Not To Be Missed )

Because the forces of militarism control the vast majority of the tools of violence -- guns, jets, missiles, bombs, etc. etc. etc. -- on their side, we need to confront them with other means -- ones where we hold the advantage. In order to conduct an effective resistance, we need to ask, "What are our strengths?"

(See NETWORK the Resistance to NATO!)