Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"We can choose to abolish war" (The rest is just details)

A Global Security System: An Alternative to War from World Beyond War

On March 8, World Beyond War published A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.

This document is important to World Beyond War because it helps us speak more clearly about what we are trying to do together.

Specifically, if lifts up two distinct aspects of our effort:

* On the one hand: we recognize, together with activists working on diverse issues around the world, that we confront massive intertwined systems of oppression, and that it will not be possible to achieve a solution to the problem of violent conflict without also achieving a solution to problems of economic injustice and environmental destruction.

* And yet: we recognize the enormous power of a simple idea, the starting place that enables us to take all the necessary steps that follow: "We can choose to abolish war"

A Global Security System: An Alternative to War appears in about 60 short-to-medium length sections on the World Beyond War website. A lot of people start with the very first section -- the Executive Summary -- and then plow forward from there -- and you can do that, too, if you want.

But I think that there's a different way to read A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.

I think "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War" becomes an effective tool when people ask themselves the question, "If I really believed that it's true that 'we can choose to abolish war,' what would I do differently?"



Speech Acts

Opening your mouth to say "we can choose to abolish war"
inevitably means becoming a war myth buster.
I believe an enormous number of people will conclude that, if they really believe "we can choose to abolish war," then what's required is to speak it.

I believe large numbers of people saying out loud that "total abolition of war is possible and necessary" will have large consequences, and I think many others believe this, too.

(The only way to discover if it is true is to encourage it to happen and then observe the consequences.)

For anyone who is preparing to speak, the best part of "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War" (in my opinion) is "Debunking Old Myths about War." That's because, the minute you open your mouth and say "we can choose to abolish war," you become a magnet for pushback.

"Debunking Old Myths about War" is the gateway to all the tools available within A Global Security System: An Alternative to War for people who are unleashing the power of their voice.



Think there's no
way for you
to help? Think again.
Work

I also believe an enormous number of people will conclude that, if they really believe "we can choose to abolish war," then what's required is to do work.

I believe large numbers of people swelling the ranks of diverse peace-related initiatives will have large consequences.

(As state above with respect to the power of speech, the only way to discover if this is true is to encourage it to happen and then observe the consequences.)

For anyone who is determined to roll up his or her sleeves and really work, the best part of "A Global Security System: An Alternative to War" (in my opinion) is the Table of Contents. Scroll through the Table of Contents and within a minute you'll spot one or more section dealing with a center of effort for war abolition that fits your skills and interests, and all those sections have links to groups to get involved with.



Withholding Consent

I also believe an enormous number of people will conclude that, if they really believe "we can choose to abolish war," then they will need to put their bodies on the line.

"Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigns" compel the political
decision makers and those who make money from the killing
machine to come to the table for talks on ending war and
replacing it with a more effective alternative security system.
I believe large numbers of people withdrawing consent from the war system will have large consequences.

It is for these people, I believe, that it will sooner or later make sense to read A Global Security System: An Alternative to War front to back, absorbing it like a novel, and, when they're done, reading it all over again, slowly.

Each time, they'll end up on the final section: "Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigns."





You may not necessarily believe the same things I do. Maybe you think it will take something else to abolish war. Maybe you think there's yet another way to delve into A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. 

What's urgent is that all of us try something.

Comments welcome.


Related posts


Yesterday was the UN International Day of Peace. The day nudged me to think about what -- if anything -- I feel I really know about peace and the movement for peace. Here are 10 things that are true for me . . . .

(See #PeaceDay 2015 - Ten Thoughts on Peace)







What I'm feeling particularly energized about is the potential for the thousands of people who have already signed on as supporters of World Beyond War -- as well as millions more who are expected to do so soon -- to become active participants in spreading this good news.

(See News Worth Spreading: "There IS An Alternative to War!" )




Violence or nonviolence? If you're interested in radical change, look at the hard facts on what's worked worldwide.

(See Chenoweth on Why Nonviolence Gets Results (The "Cliff's Notes" Version))