If you become involved in the political process,
you can help to determine the shape of the world you live in,
both locally and globally.
If you don’t, someone else will do it – and
you may not like the result.
Ten Ways to End War
First published in Corporate Knights, April 2003.
KNOW THAT WAR WILL BE ENDED. A hundred million people died in warfare during the 20th century. Only music can speak to the awfulness of the pain, death, loss, suffering, and destruction. As a planet, we are finally waking up to the age of global awareness. Ending all war forever is within our reach, if we commit to it. Join the peace movement. Make it your gift to your children and grandchildren.
SUPPORT PEACE-MAKING. Peacemaking is a skill that requires training, and courage. At the frontline of every simmering conflict, there are always people who would rather use dialogue and non-violence to resolve the conflict, than pick up a gun. By supporting them, and by working for pre-emptive intervention and conflict-transformation, we can tip the balance in favour of reconciliation and peace. Imagine a world where every potential conflict received this kind of attention.
CHANGE CANADA’S FOREIGN POLICY Non-violent pre-emptive intervention works – but it needs effort, and resources. If Canada made peace-making the centre-piece of its foreign policy, we could achieve wonders. The British government has committed $113 million a year to conflict resolution; so should we. Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bill Graham, is asking us to help shape his department’s priorities and choices.
SUPPORT KUCINICH FOR PRESIDENT With the White House pursuing some very un-American dreams of empire, it’s good to know there is a presidential candidate who wants to establish a Department of Peace, abolish America’s weapons of mass destruction, make nonviolence an organizing principle in American society, and make war archaic.
SUPPORT THE WORLD PEACE PLAN, 2010 Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the UN, has drawn up a 25-point World Peace Plan to end international conflicts and war forever, including a new Marshall Plan for poor countries, the creation of nuclear-free and demilitarized zones, and total nuclear disarmament by 2010. The UN was established in 1945 for exactly this purpose. Far from being irrelevant, it is more relevant than ever.
STOP THE ARMS TRADE In a world that is committed to peace, democratic governments will no longer allow the export of weapons, the proliferation of small arms, or the activities of mercenaries, which fuel new conflicts and encourage war.
MAKE PEACE WITHIN YOURSELF The instinct to control, dominate and resort to violence is as ancient as our evolutionary origins on the plains of Africa – and it keeps re-emerging in families, school playing yards, and workplaces, large and small. It is up to each of us to make peace with the hatred and anger in our hearts that causes us to project our fears and insecurities onto others.
END FAITHISM We accept that racism is no longer an acceptable ways of behaving towards others, but we still demur to "faithism" – the belief that one religion is better than another. This runs very deep, but it is time to confront it, and to question any fundamentalism that proclaims its God-given rightness. So often, and painfully, this has led to war. Start a Christian-Muslim-Jewish dialogue among your friends.
WORK FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE At the root of today’s terrorism lies a deep desire for vengeance against the world’s injustices and human rights abuses. Beneath so many conflicts, there lies poverty and hopelessness. We Canadians travel first-class in the world’s Pullman, observing the suffering and cruelties at a distance through the media-glass of our windows. Step down from the Pullman, and give a hand to those who are working for a better world.
WORK FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY If we don’t turn our planet around and steer toward ecological sustainability, the growing scarcity of clean water, good topsoil and safe forest cover will create more instabilities and conflicts. Peace on the Earth must include peace with Nature.