Sunday, May 31, 2009

Overcoming Evil

According to James Waller, page xiv (Preface) in his text, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing:

"Throughout human history, social conflict is ubiquitous. Wars erupt naturally everywhere humans are present. As Winston Churchill said, "The story of the human race is war. Except for brief and precarious interludes there has never been peace in the world; and long before history began murderous strife was universal and unending." Since the Napoleonic Wars, we have fought an average of six international wars and six civil wars per decade. On average, three high-fatality struggles have been in action somewhere in the world at any moment since 1900. The four decades after the end of World War II saw 150 wars, involving more than 60 member states of the United Nations, and only 26 days of world peace - and that does not even include the innumerable internal wars and police actions. Buried in the midst of all our progress in the twentieth century are well over 100 million persons who met a violent death at the hands of their fellow human beings in war and conflicts. That is more than five times the number from the nineteenth century and more than ten times the number from the eighteenth century." [Waller's footnote includes numerous sources including: Journal of Peace Research, Bulletin of Peace Proposals, and Natural History.)

In a few short weeks I will have opportunity to dialogue with, learn from, and engage Dr. Waller and others. I am hopeful for the things I can learn to discern better violence - in order to effect more positively our world's need of eupan.

If we had 26 days of world peace in 4 decades, we are more than 99.8% away from seeing world peace transform our world. While sad news, it can also be seen as hopeful for us. If we do even a very little, we have the potential to change much!

Towards World Peace. Towards Eupan.

~ marty alan michelson, ph.d.

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