The Times Call for Radical Action!
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 7 May 2018
1 May 2018 – War and threats of war. Resurgence of fascism. Indicators forewarning a global economic crash. Acceleration of global warming. Wherever you turn, there are signs of dramatic, radical, dangerous change.
What is to be done? Where is the lever that can move history forward? We need radical action, but which action should we put first?
Personally, I’ve been active in all the relevant movements: socialism, ecology, peace, democracy, and each one has its proposals. What should be the priority? Let’s look at the probable sequence, keeping in mind what happened 30 years to the Soviet empire.
Johan Galtung predicted the crash of the Soviet empire within one year, and he predicts the end of the American empire within the next two years. If he is correct, the crash of the global economy is likely to come before the threatened wars, before the full development of fascism, and before the full effects of global warming. And if he is correct, it will provide us with a window of opportunity in the next two years to refound the global political system.
The most effective change would be the refounding of the United Nations to be under the direction of the People, not the State. The State is inextricably bound to the culture of war, while the People are increasingly conscious of the need for a culture of peace.
With that in mind, I return to the proposal that I made two years ago for the establishiment and effective functioning of an Alternative Security Council. At the time, the proposal fell on deaf ears, but perhaps the time was not yet ripe for it. After all, it is often the case that radical proposals require a certain moment of history to be put into motion.
Here is what I proposed:
“I propose the establishment of an “Alternative Security Council” (ASC) composed of mayors or parliamentary representatives from all the regions of the world. This ASC would regularly consider the issues faced by the actual UN Security Council and publicize its “decisions” in order to provide an alternative vision of how the issues of war and peace could be managed at a global level.
One can imagine that their decisions would be radically different concerning, for example, nuclear disarmament, approaches to the disasters in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, etc. This would be a powerful force for consciousness-raising in the general public, and it could provide a model for an eventual radical reform of the UN.”
Along with the proposal two years ago I put forward the need for an institutional host, an agreement for membership, a small secretariat, a means for media dissemination and a small budget.
Have we arrived at a moment of history that is ripe for this action? There are some reasons to think so:
- the consciousness of the people continues to grow that we need to replace the culture of war by a culture of peace;
- it becomes more evident every day that the American Empire is crashing, which will provide a window of opportunity for radical change;
- international organizations of cities are holding high-level meetings devoted to peace.
So far, I have not been able to put the ASC proposal onto the agenda of the meetings of cities, but I will keep trying.
Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace. Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.
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