2014 and Beyond: Chaos or Community?
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 6 Jan 2014
Nonviolence vs. Nonexistence!
Nearly 50 years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.” That choice is becoming ever more profound as we enter the new year of 2014. For billions of people around the world, and for the earth itself, life is hanging by a thread. The choice is do we foster a world free of war, poverty, and climate crisis through non-violent action, or do we continue on the downward spiral toward nonexistence.
Our present economic system of unfettered markets and financial speculation are destroying the earth, increasing poverty and fueling permanent wars. It’s a system that benefits the 1% while destroying jobs, education, food production, health care, media, civil liberties and the fabric needed to hold our communities and world together. This unjust system pushes the 99% downward into the ranks of the unemployed, homeless, hungry, ill and imprisoned, and blames the victims, not the system, for their plight.
The present system is promoted and managed by leaders who have lost their moral compass. It’s a profit driven system of privatization and economic growth at any and all cost. It has transformed what Pope Francis calls “savage capitalism” into a religion, providing welfare benefits for the super rich as its first commandment.
The choice before us is not violence or passivity. That’s a false choice that only allows the present system of violent domination to flourish. Violence and passivity are no solutions. Endless wars speak loudly. They are part of the problem of 1 % domination. The challenge is to non-violently resist this 1% domination and downward spiral toward extinction and non-existence. Out of this chaos, we need to create decentralized, democratic organizations and communities to meet basic human needs in a way where the dignity of all people, and the earth itself, is respected. The common vision is serving the common good, with a commitment to social justice, respecting diversity, healing the planet, living simply, and building community.
Active nonviolence is a way to make civil resistance work. It’s a powerful force for social transformation available to the masses if we link the issues of militarism, environmental destruction and economic injustice. Martin Luther King, Jr. said creating social change is like creating a musical symphony. It takes many people playing many instruments. The task ahead in 2014 is for us to come together in the symphony of social change. Let us explore the following, be creative, and choose what instruments to play in the symphony for justice, peace, and the earth. Here on Hawaii Island that means shutting down the military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), the largest military training are outside the continental U.S.
Mahalo. [Thank You in Hawaiian]
Ground the Drones! Say No to War!
- Mourn all victims of violence.
- Reject war as a solution.
- Defend civil liberties.
- Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc.
- Seek peace by peaceful means through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Hilo Peace Vigil (January 10, 2014 – 642st week) – Friday 3:30-5 p.m. Downtown Post Office
James Albertini is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and director of Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action – P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i, 96760, USA. Phone 001 808 966 762 email firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.malu-aina.org.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Jan 2014.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: 2014 and Beyond: Chaos or Community?, is included. Thank you.
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