The past, present, and future of humanity
Truth about the afterlife
copyright © Mark Macy
All rights reserved
Copyright © 1987 by Mark Macy
PART ONE: CLEARER COMMUNICATION 1
1. The Way of Meditation 3
Jan van der Linden
Sidebar: The Physiological Side of Meditation
2. Communication Education — A Key to Peace 19
3. On the Road Toward Worldwide Communication 27
Keith E. Clarke and Jon Chidley
Sidebar: Fiberoptics and Standards
Sidebar: Some Issues Yet to be Resolved
PART TWO: WHO SHOULD REGULATE WHAT? 39
4. Personal Peace — The Need for Self-Control 41
Archie J. Bahm
5. Wise Management for a More Humane World 47
Sidebar: The Basis of Regulation
Sidebar: Minimal Regulation Can Work
6. Using Space to Help Regulate Earth 61
Sidebar: The Cosmic Challenge
7. The Next Step Toward World Order 71
John E. Fobes
8. Five Changes for the United Nations 77
9. Revamping the UN Voting Structure 95
PART THREE: TRANSFORMATION 105
10. Men/Women, War/Peace: A Systems Approach 107
Chellis Glendinning and Ofer Zur
Sidebar: Men and Women — Poles Apart?
Sidebar: Opposites Attract
11. Peace, Beliefs, and Legitimacy 123
Sidebar: Changing Our View of Reality
12. Peace Values for a Better World 143
13. Redefining Sovereignty in an Interdependent World 159
14. Europe, the Link Between East and West, North 165 and South —
A New Age of World Socialism
15. Global Spirituality 173
PART FOUR: INEQUITIES — NO EASY SOLUTIONS 185
16. Bad Neighbors 187
17. Strengthening the Foundation — 191 Steps to a Stable World Economy
18. New Values for Equitable Growth 201
19. World Values for Economic Justice 211
20. Science Transfer to the Third World 223
PART FIVE: DEALING WITH CONFLICT 237
21. Three Qualities of a Secure Nation 239
22. Alternative Conflict Resolution 249 in an Adversarial Age
Tobi P. Dress
Sidebar: Superpower Compatibility or Conflict
23. Notes of a Social Theorist 260
24. A New Approach to Prisons 271
Richard D. Lamm
25. Dampening the Mideast Fuse — 277 Resolving Conflicts
From Afghanistan to Libya
Rene V.L. Wadlow
THE FINAL CHAPTER: CONSENSUS 284
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHORS 295
BIBLIOGRAPHY (see individual chapters)
WORLD MODEL 313
Peace is possible if we can all get in the habit of fostering such basic ingredients of peace as clear communication, equity and sensible regulation ... in our personal lives, our social groups and our world.
Clearer communication. If people in the same household or nations in the same world don't share ideas and information regularly, they gradually grow apart, and eventually become incompatible. So among the first things we need to do as individuals is learn to express our ideas and feelings clearly and get in the habit of talking to people. Meanwhile, technology is making the world seem smaller, as we can call someone up or send a flood of computer information next door or halfway around the world in a matter of seconds. Clear communication within us is also important to peace. For centuries people in the Far East have been practicing meditation — an important means of opening communication paths between the conscious and unconscious mind. Now meditation is readily available and useful to people in the West as well.
Bridging the gap between our conscious and unconscious mind, between the many diversified nations of our world, and between ourselves and the people around us, all lead to clearer communication . . . and that means greater peace.
Equity. But communication is only one basic peace issue. Another is equity, or fairness. Being equitable is important, whether we're talking about children in the same family, families in the same community, communities in the same nation, or nations in the same world. Rampant poverty and starvation must not be allowed to exist while some people indulge in conspicuous consumption. Solving this problem may require different efforts in different pans of the world. People in the Third World may need to more fully understand and appreciate the benefits of education, development and technology. We in the West certainly need to rethink our consumer lifestyle. Many of us have been brought up to believe in the ethic of "buy this, buy that . . . keep the economy growing. Buy-buy-buy." That ethic lent itself to an era fifty or a hundred years ago when there were a lot of resources and not too many people. It's not like that anymore. Things have turned completely around, so now we need to turn our attitudes and our behavior completely around . . . and that doesn't mean sell-sell-sell. Rather, today we have many more people in the world and not as many resources, and so we need to learn self-restraint and moderation.
Perhaps Gandhi summed it up best: "There is enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed." If we want equity in the world around us we must learn to control the desires within us. That is a basic ingredient of peace.
Sensible regulation. A third basic peace issue is regulation or management. Sensible regulation is initiated at the lowest or most local levels of society, but high enough to account for everyone affected. Imagine a large office space filled with a hundred partitioned cubicles. The general neatness of each desk is managed at the personal level because only the person who works at the desk is affected by how neat or how cluttered the desk is.
Cigarette smoking is another matter. Smoke from one cube wafts into other cubes. If twenty smokers are scattered throughout the area, everyone is probably affected by their smoke ... so that situation needs to be managed at a higher level, by an authority that can account for all 100 workers.
So again, regulation needs to take place at the lowest levels of society, but high enough to account for everyone affected.
Let's apply that to our nations and our world. How about toxic wastes in one country? Who should regulate that? Certainly not somebody from another country halfway around the world. Nor the United Nations. As long as the waste affects only that country, (as long as it is not sent down the river or shipped by truck across borders), then that country needs to regulate it. But what about acid rain? The poisons from industrial smokestacks waft across the borders of many nations, and so acid rain must be managed at a higher level — an international level.
The most crucial decisions facing us today have to be made at the world level. Ear example, oceans and rain forests provide the very basis of life on our planet. They transcend national borders. But the oceans are being poisoned. Rain forests are being stripped out from under us. These deteriorating conditions threaten the future of everyone in the world, and for that reason they must be managed at the world level, along with nuclear weapons, and other issues that can affect all of us. Right now there is a continual dispute among nations over the question of who should regulate what. The fact is that the time has come for all nations to relinquish some small portion of their authority to a world body. Today's world cannot find peace without sensible guidance from a knowledgeable world body. We need sensible guidance at all levels of our lives, from self-control to world governance.
Dealing with conflict. Clear communication, equity, and sensible regulation . .. these and other basic peace issues to be explored in future volumes of this series can bring greater peace to our lives and to our world. Hopefully as we address these basic issues in the coming years, the obstacles to interpersonal and international peace will gradually disappear. Meanwhile we are left to deal with many existing obstacles, painful reminders that we have ignored the basics long enough. Most notable among these is conflict. Grassroots conflicts disrupt our day-to-day lives while international conflicts threaten the future of our planet. It would benefit each of us to learn the skills of conflict resolution — skills that have taken peace professionals decades to piece together yet are easily learned, understood and applied. A general knowledge of how to resolve conflicts effectively would cause a rapid, substantial easing of tensions throughout our species.
Moving toward a world of peace will require some significant changes in our lives and our world. For many, perhaps a few compromises. For some, a few sacrifices. But the needed changes will come. Many are now in the works.
Originally — before any articles were received from the authors — the aim of this book was to present a collection of global standards and values ... a set of social mores, political regulations, economic objectives, technological standards, and other tools of order that could help steer a volatile world to a peaceful state. Such an effort, if successful, would have produced a multi-volume encyclopedia.
•All religions and cultures possess written and unwritten codes of ethics and morals, many of which overlap with those of other religions and cultures on various points that most of us generally consider to be proper or improper behavior.
•There are already comprehensive world laws dealing with international politics and economics, most notably in the legal documents of the United Nations, World Bank and World Court. There are also private efforts moving toward the same end. For example, the World Constitution and Parliamentary Association, a private transnational organization propelled by the boundless energy of professional peace researcher Philip Isely, has written and adopted a complete constitution for world government ... so that if and when the time comes for the world to be steered by a strong government with well thought-out legislation (ranging from the replanting of rain forests to the banning of nuclear weapons), the WCPA constitution may provide a model or framework.
•Meanwhile, many technical organizations are busy writing international standards for science, industry and technology. The most important of these may prove to be the ISDN standard (a subject of Chapter 3) now being developed by a UN organ (the CCITT) which may someday link all telephones and computers into a compatible global telecommunications network.
These and other global standards and values that are now being developed at a dizzying pace will someday soon have to be catalogued in an orderly fashion.
We certainly need such a comprehensive collection of global standards and values. Just consider our priorities: There are 4,000 peace researchers in the world today, but 400,000 military researchers and engineers employed by national governments, according to Jan Oberg, research director at the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research in Lund, Sweden. Apparently we are preoccupied by military dealings because our nations distrust each other. The mistrust seems to exist because our nations are incompatible with each other in many ways. These incompatibilities are at the very root of our conflicts. Global standards and values are starting to erase those incompatibilities, and we can expect the trend to continue. That, in turn, is starting to lessen the need for military endeavors. As that trend accelerates in the coming years we can expect to see our nations expending more energy and resources toward cooperative pursuits. That is the premise on which this project began.
However it has evolved into something substantially more timely and perhaps more important. This book and the Peace Series (of which the book is the first volume) has become a voice of leading thinkers from around the world and a means of deriving a general consensus of their views. What our diversified world seems to need now more than anything else, is consensus . . . agreement on the most sensible means of solving today's troubles. If the Peace Series can help draw that consensus, it will have provided a valuable service.
A Promising Future
One final note: There is reason for optimism. As I was completing this introduction in March (1987) I received a letter from Caesar Voute (author of Chapter 6), who had returned from the Moscow Forum held in February. Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in an address to the international guests had expressed many of the views and reflected the general mood of this book. From Professor Voute's letter:
"Gorbachev in his address made one statement which I found nowhere quoted in the media — that confidence, its creation, consolidation and development come from common endeavor, emphasizing that we all must begin with ourselves ... .He mentioned global relationships between humanity, society and nature and the consequences of material activities, of man trying to dominate forces and processes in nature without due regard to the effects. He referred to the unprecedented diversity and increasing interconnection and integrity of the world . . . the world being a multitude of states, each having its unique history, traditions, customs and way of life. Each people and country having its own truth, its national interests and its own aspirations. He stated that no nation has the ultimate answer to all questions, no government commands the ultimate truth, offers the final solutions."
It would seem that the socialist world is indeed (as predicted by author Jozsef Bognar, Chapter 14) entering a new age. If so it might provide a great opportunity for the USA to join in a series of social, political and economic talks with the USSR. If the two superpowers can become reasonably compatible in these areas, their current preoccupation, nuclear weapons, will dramatically shrink in importance . . . and East and West can begin talking about tools of development rather than weapons of destruction.