Sunday, October 9, 2016

WAR: Headed for the junkheap, yes . . . but how quickly?

John Lennon would have been delighted to be remembered for provoking people to get serious about moving to a world beyond war -- fast!

Yoko Ono and John Lennon: "War Is Over!"
John Lennon was born on this day in 1940.

When he and Yoko Ono held up a sign saying "War Is Over!" the Vietnam War was raging and theirs was a voice in the wilderness.

Today, more and more people are realizing that war is going away. Society is moving in the direction of rejecting war, just as it has already rejected slavery, just as it has already rejected men-only voting.

There is a growing movement of people focused on the "world beyond war."

To many of these people, the question is not "if" but "when?" They share a conviction that the world will get there, and they see that it makes a difference how quickly (and in what manner) the world gets there.

Think about it: it's easy to imagine a world beyond war a thousand years from now. It even seems likely that a hundred years from now we will look back and say, "People in 2016 sat by while war raged in Syria - can you believe it?"

Would it make a difference if the change happened within 50 years, instead of a hundred?

Could it happen faster?

(What might cause it to happen faster?)

Check out Doing Good Better by William McAskill. He is a leader in the "effective altruism" movement and he stresses exactly this kind of thinking. McAskill urges us to identify some world-changing development that is on track to happening, and make it happen faster.  (More resources at )

So . . . three questions for people who find this approach inspiring vis-a-vis ending war:

What is different when you adopt this new frame -- "war is going away; the question for me is how fast"?  In other words: a lot of people are opposed to war, but what might look different when a group of people approach war as a soon-to-be-obsolete institution?

     ... for more see The Mind of the "World Beyond War" Activist

How might adopting this new frame enable people to see more clearly the strategic points of impact to cause the more rapid disappearance of war? In other words: there are dozens of tremendously important ways to engage in peace work; but which ways might have the greatest impact on the rapidity with which war becomes a no-go?

     ... for more see Where to Put Effort for a World Beyond War

How could we use organizational power in the pursuit of this work? If we had a clear view of what's different about this approach, and we had prioritized strategic points of impact, the question would then become: how could we throw organized money and organized people into the effort?

(To be continued . . . )

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