RN: more on our most pressing priorities (peace)


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,       Feb. 15

One of our RN list subscribers, Bob Stewart, of Alberta, Canada, sent me
e-mail versions of papers he has on the web about how we might work towards
a peaceful world. These papers, especially the one I will sent you excerpts
from below, sum up a lot of valuable research; I recommend that you visit
the Centres for Peace web site. (http://www.peace.ca/)

I am sending Bob Stewart's paper today because I feel it furthers the
comment of Frank Scott (below) on what our priorities ought to be. 

I'm also including a comment from Bill Ellis of TRANET, who is obviously
doing important work on creating positive alternative to our overly violent
and comsuming culture. And, last but not least, I include information on the
civilian peace service being developed by the German government. This
initiative is the result of much dedicated work by peace activists,
including a long time freind from the peace movement, Hans Sinn. Hans has
been trying to find ways to fund the development of this alternative to
military defence for years now and the Tobin tax idea is of particular
interest to him as a way to generate the necessary funding.

all the best, Jan
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 13:56:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Frank Scott <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Letter: Our most pressing priorities

There may be some truths to the various stories told about experiments in
mind control and atrocious treatment of human subjects...but are they, at
best, anything other than further examples of mass experiments-quite
successful-at mind control which lead to value systems that cheapen human
life, hysterically over-consume, etc? And which one need not be "special"
to experience, but merely mortal?

I think it is dangerous to be sidetracked to investigations of occult,
satanic baby torture - one of the areas listed on the web page included in
a recent message - if people are seriously thinking and working for
material changes in the political economic system of corporate capital. It
is especially serious given the atrocious treatment of tens of thousands
of babies and children by a system that often worships the fetus but
treats the living human being as no more than shit, if that human is a
member of the wrong class, race or identity group.

In short, while one or another experience of horror at the hands of
systemic abusers can make for a frightening, even thrilling story, perhaps
worthy of an X-Files episode, such treatment and interest is likely to
wind up in the same place as an X-Files story: a consumption station in
the market place, with more products to consume, and less knowledge of why
the consumption itself is a manifestation of what is wrong with material

I mean no disrespect to any person who has suffered in a government or
military program, such as those which subjected unknowing people to being
lab specimens in studies of syphilis, LSD and countless other weapons.<snip>

 Such concerns can also reduce our ability to communicate with the great
majority with which we share everyday experience, and rather drive us
towards fairly small numbers of people who insist that their unique,
almost one of a kind experience, warrants more consideration. Whether that
experience was in a government lab or an alien spaceship, most people
haven't had it-including many who say they have.Who are we trying to

frank scott
From: "Robert Stewart" <•••@••.•••>
To: "Jan Slakov" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: formula (http://www.peace.ca/formula.htm)
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 07:37:57 -0700

Jan, here is my report to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  Bob Stewart

Table of Contents:

  The Experts Report on Peace - The Seville Statement on Violence (1986)
  The Peace Formula 
  The Problem Is Motivation 
  Civil Society
   National Culture of Peace Program 
   Transforming the World
   Individuals and Communities Transforming Together 

In 1996, when I started my journey to peace, a major question on my mind
was: "Is peace achievable?". Have any experts reported one way or another on
this key issue? I asked this because it could affect my motivation, and
others. A second important question was: "What is the formula for peace?" I
wished to do something to help advance the cause of peace and hence I had to
know where to start. 

It is not easy for an average citizen to find the answers, the writings and
opinions on peace are very diverse and complex.  However I am very happy to
report that the answer is positive.  Much expert research has been done
(referenced throughout this document).  Peace is achievable.  Further, while
there is no magic 'bullet' or formula, the intelligence exists in the world
that we (the world) know what needs to be done.  We currently have the
knowledge, technology and infrastructure to achieve peace.  The problem is
motivation (and time).  This I will explain.

The Experts Report on Peace - The Seville Statement on Violence (1986) 

Based on rigorous scientific evidence, the Seville Statement (Note 1)
refutes the myth that human beings are predisposed to violence through five
key propositions. "It is scientifically incorrect to say: 

    a.. that we have inherited a tendency to make war from our animal
    b.. that war or any other violent behaviour is genetically programmed
into our nature; 
    c.. that in the course of human evolution there has been a selection for
aggressive behaviour more than for other kinds of behaviour; 
    d.. that humans have a violent brain. How we act is shaped by how we
have been conditioned and socialized. There is nothing in our
neurophysiology that compels us to react violently; 
    e.. that war is caused by instinct or any single motivation." 
I am satisfied, particularly from all the evidence reported by UNESCO's
Culture of Peace Program (Note 2) and also from extensive research of the
large volume of resource material (Note 3), that peace is achievable. 

The Peace Formula 

What, then, is the formula for peace? The following variables must be in place: 

1. A credible government(s) code of ethics, with a basis in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (Note 4). In simple terms, of the things they
think, say or do, government(s) must be able to be relied upon to be
truthful, fair, build good will and better relationships, and strive for the
benefit of all concerned. The same ethics should be expected of governments,
corporations and other organizations as are expected of individuals. Do as
you would have done to you. At the same time, a Universal Declaration of
Human Responsibilities should also provide suitable guidance (Note 5). 

2. An international system of justice. Without justice there can be no
peace. Every nation has instituted a criminal and civil court system to get
the brawls off the street and into the courtroom, to be resolved in what
should be perceived as a fair and reasonable manner. It is not hard to
imagine that an international system of justice is necessary for crimes
against humanity, world environment and other international matters. At the
same time, there must be a reliable, and I should add proactive, Conflict
and Dispute Resolution System for parties who are willing to voluntarily
work together to a solution, to avoid the necessity of going to court and
most importantly to avoid conflict. These are sensitive roles, reliant on
moral suasion (among other things), so as not to usurp national
jurisdictions. (Note 6) 

3. A global sustainable economy. There must be a proper economy to provide
reasonable employment and eradicate poverty and hunger. Nobel Prize winner
Amartya Sen has shown us how systematic public action can eradicate the
terrible and resilient problems of starvation and hunger in the world in
which we live (Note 7). However, the economy must also be in balance with
this small planet's ecology. This is probably the most difficult challenge -
all other elements of the peace formula are relatively straight forward. The
Union of Concerned Scientists (amongst others) has issued a Warning to All
of Humanity to change habits lest our planet Earth be irreversibly
mutilated. "A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on
it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home
on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated." The Warning is signed
by thousands of senior Scientists around the world, among them more than 100
Nobel Laureates. (Notes 8 and 9). It will take only co-ordinated action at
the world level to achieve this 'mission critical goal'. As "no man is an
island", in this respect, no individual nation can remain disconnected from
the rest of the world. 

4. Universal access to competent education systems. This principle is basic
and simple to understand. It is included in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights for good reason. Particularly, the education of women is key to
both economic and peace developments. <snip> Further, "in the past education
was designed to make people (men) strong, rich and intelligent, 'in order to
dominate and progress at the expense of others'. Today, the very basis of
the educational system must change. The principle of strength must be
replaced by the principle of mutual help. Everyone must be educated for
peace. All must be taught that it is essential to go beyond selfish
behaviour and commit ourselves to the development of others, to justice and
to establish amicable relations between human beings." As Albert Einstein
said "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by
understanding." (Note 10) 

5. A compassionate health and welfare system. This principle is also basic
and simple to understand. It is also included in the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. Within a framework of universal human rights and
responsibilities, the more privileged have a humanitarian responsibility to
help the under-privileged. 

These (measurable and hence manageable) factors are in place to varying
degrees in every Nation. Every nation's level of internal (and often
external) peacefulness is a result of the strength of these factors. By
extension, the world's level of peacefulness is a result of the strength of
these factors. Strengthen these factors and the world becomes more peaceful.
Peace, and the formula for peace, is measurable and manageable. What we
have, therefore, is a management or leadership challenge. 


>From the top down, all the research is overwhelmingly in support of a new
world order. This planet, in the past century, has become too small and its
limitations too apparent to not realize that the world's populace must act
together. Never before have we been so dependant on each other. It is
inescapable. We have a global problem that will require a global solution.
This will take leadership at a global level that we all will follow. The
United Nations is well placed to provide this leadership. However, the
United Nations would have to be reformed to undertake this honorous
responsibility (Note 11). 

<snip> of three very telling quotes (about how the US "needs" to work
towards global governance by and for itself given that it has a small
proportion of the world's people who consume a huge proportion of its
wealth) by George F. Kennan, U.S. senator Jesse Helms and Henry Kissinger. 


In 1996, when I started my journey to peace, I simply wanted to do something
to build peace in our communities and world. I was particularly concerned
about the levels of violence in our communities and the potential impacts
upon my family, and a fear that government at its current rate was
insufficient in dealing with it. For me, and many like me, peace starts at
home and in my own country - 'think globally, act locally' is the current
maxim. That journey has led me all over the world. 

I have learned that peace at the individual, family, community and world
levels are inter-related, and a natural progression. I have learned about
the power of one person, with a conviction, to make a difference in our
communities and world. I have developed a web site in my constant challenge
to simplify and focus the complex problem of peace. I have learned that
peace is complex because of convergence with many other factors of which I
have read: human rights and responsibilities, racism and tolerance, religion
and spirituality, social justice and democracy, education for employment and
peaceful life skills, the links between masculinity and violence, the links
between women and peace, a culture of peace vs. a culture of violence,
sustainable economy vs. rampant capitalism, poverty and hunger, world order,
disarmament, nuclear proliferation, national foreign policies, the ecology
of our small planet Earth. 

I do not consider myself an expert on Peace. I am not an academic. I am not
a political leader or skilled in foreign policy. I am a simple person who
wants to do something to build peace in our communities and world. I am
certain that, if we polled the world's populace, an overwhelming majority
would support building peace in our communities and world, and much more
strongly than what our political leaders currently are. I believe, in this
respect, I am representative of the world's populace, which makes my message
important. So here is my simple prescription, as recommended by the UNESCO
Culture of Peace Program: 

Initiate a National Culture of Peace Program in as many countries as
possible, as soon as possible. 

National Culture of Peace Program 

The essence of a Culture of Peace Program is to address the roots of the
problem as a common cause, to the benefit of everyone without diminishing
any other. Education is the principal means to build a Culture of Peace.
Details of what is involved in setting up a Culture of Peace Program are
contained in the Consolidated Report to the UN contained in the note
reference, and the Evaluation Report, and summarized in Appendix 1. The
start would be for the appropriate agency (I understand in this case it
would be the Canadian Commission for UNESCO) to initiate a Federal
Government Cabinet Submission for a declaration by the Government of Canada
to make a Culture of Peace a priority for the entire country, backed up with
a proposed Action Plan tailored from the UNESCO materials (and hopefully
with input from major stakeholders such as the Department of Foreign
Affairs, Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, NGOs, etc.) If this
were timed to coincide with the the U.N. International Year of a Culture of
Peace in 2000 it would be a perfect and fitting event. 

Canada currently has a culture of violence - not as bad as many countries,
but a culture of violence nonetheless. Canada needs a National Culture of
Peace Program. Think globally and act locally. This is not something for
other people - this is US: you and me. How can we promote this to others if
we do not adopt it ourselves? This is in Canada's best interests. This is in
your, my and, most importantly, our children's best interest. Is this not
the direction we should give our political leaders, and hold them accountable? 

Currently, the majority of Canadians have no idea what is going on in this
country with respect to peace and non-violence. As an individual, it was
very difficult for me to find out. A National Culture of Peace Program would
raise the profile, mobilizing resources, organizations and public opinion.
It will put our work on a fast track, and focus it on a common objective or
worthwhile cause. <snip>

Transforming the World 

For the UNESCO Culture of Peace Program to really succeed, a major Western
government and G7 member is needed to promote it at the UN. To date it
appears that these major governments feel that a Culture of Peace is for
other countries - conflict torn countries - not us. The difficulty of our
task is evident by the fact that virtually no one in Canada and the United
States has any awareness of this program, including most peace activists;
and that the responsible government agencies seem to be under-resourced. 


Individuals and Communities Transforming Together 

Finally, suitably tailored, the Formula For Peace above (i.e. a credible
government code of ethics, a fair system of justice, a sustainable economy,
access to competent education systems, and a compassionate health and
welfare system) applies equally to building peace at the individual, family,
community, national and world levels. Where before, in my relatively
comfortable life, I may have been able to turn a blind eye to the violence
taking place around me in our communities and world, I have now concluded
that it is urgent to implement this Formula. After all, the world is my

It is particularly up to those of us individuals, communities and nations
that are relatively prosperous to take responsibility for change - the poor
and distressed are not able. As the World's Scientists have warned us,
during our children's lifetime "A great change in our stewardship of the
earth and the life on it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided
and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated." We
are the stewards. 

Responses welcome to •••@••.••• 

Robert Stewart, C.A., C.M.C. 
Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace 

<snip> of notes and appendix

Note - This Appendix is a highly summarized version of the "Consolidated
Report to the United Nations on A Culture of Peace" submitted by UNESCO to
the UN September 1998 at the following location (it is an Adobe document for
reading or downloading) 5 Star Must Read Rating.

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 05:48:49 -0700
From: Bill Ellis <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: "formula" for world peace


as an ex UNESCO staff member I'm pleased to see continued interest in
exploring the road to peace.

Your essay hit my hot buttons and I say yes, yes, yes.

The one caveat I might have would be with expecting governments to lead the
way to peace.  Governments are by definition in the power struggle.  Local
leaders compete for power and leadership through some form of election to
office.  Once in power the future tenure is dependent on there success in
competition with other governments to win more power.  This in today's
world demands military power and the use of war.  It leads as you show so
well in "cultures of violence."

But, this is not a result of the nature of humans.  By nature, and through
their natural cosmic evolution, the most basic need of humans is
That is, from birth we naturally yearn to be a member of society, to "belong."
But the dominant and domineering EuroAmerican economic/social/political
system that has been evolving for over 2000 years suppresses the human need
for belonging.  It emphasizes self-interest, competition, and material

In the past decade or two the Domineering Paradigm has started to be
replaced by a Gaian Paradigm that sees us all inherently interconnected
with one another and with nature.  The Gaian Paradigm puts belonging,
mutual aid, cooperation, and love as primary natural human values.  They
are expressed in the rapid rise of grassroots NGOs, Civil Society, (that
you so ably define), and citizen actions.  This new Gaian Paradigm is
putting humanity in a new mode of evolution.  The "culture of peace", that
you so admirable define, is a natural result.

This new mode of social evolution is being expressed in "social innovation
that empower people at the grassroots and promote local community
self-reliance."  Citizen actions in LETS, CSAs, CLTs, ESOPS, food co-ops,
co-housing, EcoVillages, Intentional Communities, homeschooling, and
homesteading are only a few expressions of this new mode of evolution put
in practice. These cooperative community social innovations are not only
expressions of the culture of peace but also embody and teach the culture
of peace.

Your essay is certainly on the right track I hope it leads to more
recognition and more support for the little noticed phenomena that have the
promise of a new social/political/economic order.


If you'd like to see extensions of my related thoughts see:


"Do not wait for leaders, do it alone, person to person. "
                       --Mother Teresa.
Bill Ellis
PO BOX 567
Rangeley ME 04970-0567 USA
URL: http://www.nonviolence.org/tranet/
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 16:46:21 -0500
From: Hans Sinn <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Civilain Peace Service

Hi Jan,

The new German government is in the process of creating the proposed CPS.
The commitment to create the CPS was part of the coalition agreement
between the Social Democrats and the Green Party. The CPS is being
established by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,
headed by Heidemarie Wiczorec-Zeul, the new minister. The ministry is at
this time working out the details of the operation and it will probably take
serveral months before the actual tasks and scope of the CPS will become public.

Best wishes,

PS. I am glad [to] see the Tobin Tax being discussed in the Canadian

Brooke Valley Road 687
Perth, Ontario
Tel: 613 264 8833
Fax: 613 264 8605
Civilian Peace Service <http://www.superaje.com/~marsin/cps.htm>