Prepare for a New World Order


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

(Note: The following is adapted from my remarks to the National Congress of Mouvement de la Paix.)

1 Dec 2022 – This month’s CPNN is dedicated to the developments of peace movements in Europe and North America. This reflects a growing consciousness around the world that we must move from the culture of war to a culture of peace. We see this growing peace consciousness each year with the celebration of the International Day of Peace, and we saw it during the International Year for the Culture of Peace when 75 million people signed the Manifesto 2000 promising to work for a culture of peace.

But consciousness is not enough by itself. The culture of war is so firmly established, especially in the modern state, that it will take a revolutionary change in global governance if we are to move towards a culture of peace.

To understand the nature of revolutionary change, I turn to that old expert, Karl Marx.

In his brief analysis of the dynamics of history, Marx says that social revolution doesn’t begin until contradictions in the economic relations of production become so great that the entire economic foundation is transformed. It is at this point that consciousness becomes key. To quote Marx, at this point the people become conscious of the conflict and fight it out to establish a new order.

We saw how this works at the end of the 1980’s when the Soviet economy collapsed. As a result, then the entire political structure collapsed as well. At UNESCO we took advantage of this to launch programs for a culture of peace and to draft the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace with its eight action areas that provides us with a framework for the actions to be done.

At that point in the 1990’s, NATO should have been abolished, but the military-industrial complex of the United States continued to support it and Europe agreed. At UNESCO, the United States and Europe failed to support the culture of peace programs. The UN Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted despite their opposition. The world was not yet ready for a culture of peace.

Why did the Soviet economy collapse? The reason is simple. While the West put half of its resources into the military, the Soviet Union put 80 or 90% of its economy into the military in order to match the West. That left almost nothing for the needs of the people. Marx could have been talking about military spending when he said “The impact of war is self-evident, since economically it is exactly the same as if the nation were to drop a part of its capital into the ocean.”

i believe that we are approaching another such economic collapse, providing us with another window of opportunity for radical change (See blogs on Collapse of the US dollar and on Bad News for 2021. The United States government is putting most of its resources into the military, leaving little for the needs of its people. Now half of America has no medical insurance and the government does not support education, leaving the burden on cities and towns that are going bankrupt. Half of the United States is ready to launch a civil war.

Will we be prepared to establish a new world order when the American empire collapses?

Can the anti-war consciousness that has been developing over the years be harnessed into effective action? Can this be accomplished before the historic window of opportunity closes and new culture of war empires arise?

Can we reform the United Nations to become an effective agency for peace?

For example, we will need a United Nations Security Council that is no longer run by the nuclear powers. We should begin now to plan for this? Why not plan for a Security Council run by the mayors of the world who have no interest in the culture of war? Already Mayors for Peace includes thousands of cities around the world that demand nuclear disarmament. I have asked them to establish a group of mayors to issue regular press releases saying what they would be doing if they were in charge.

Consciousness is important, but it needs to be prepared for concrete actions when the window of opportunity arrives. We need specific goals to achieve when the time is ripe.


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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