Broad social change must first be an inside job

Broad social change must first be an inside job

As we look at the world, it’s very easy to give up hope. We see a lack of integrity in politicians and obscene wages for business leaders, and we fear for the future of our planet.

Some try to tell us that the path to progress is to change the system. If we can overthrow the corrupt establishment, they tell us, we can form a new regime that’s just and equitable. The problems are caused by “those other people.” If we replace them, all will be read more

A question we need to ask ourselves

“I am a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living”

By observing history without judgment, we can learn from our mistakes. By examining primary documents – artifacts from a particular era – we can begin to understand the thinking of the people of that time.

In an effort to create a more objective perspective, I tell my students to imagine that they’re living in the future looking at our current society. How will history judge us?

By asking this question, we become aware of the significance read more

Billboards Opposing Drone Wars Are Going Up All Over Syracuse, NY

World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We’ve run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way.

First we put this message up here in Charlottesville, Va., and then in Baltimore, Md. (see explanation of the 3% calculation here):

Now we’re putting these two images up on billboards in Syracuse, NY, where drone pilots participate in U.S. wars from Hancock Air Base:

For 8 hours a day for 16 read more

Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, America’s Wars, A Generational Struggle (in the Classroom)

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

It’s been a long time since I stood in a classroom and taught anyone anything, but each June for years I’ve appeared before classes of college seniors to give a graduation address ushering them into our grim world. True, those speeches didn’t take place before flesh-and-blood audiences but on what I’ve come to call read more

Yes, the United States Used Biowarfare on North Korea

It’s sort of silly that it matters. The United States bombed North Korea flat with ordinary, non-bioweapons bombs. It ran out of standing structures to bomb. People lived in caves, if they lived. Millions died, most of them from regular old non-scandalous but mass-murderous bombs (including, of course, Napalm which melts people but doesn’t give them exotic diseases). North Koreans to this day live in such terror of a repetition of history that their behavior is sometimes inexplicable and bewildering read more

Does Peace Need a Business Plan?

If you had just asked me if peace needed a “business plan,” I’d have replied, “Sure! Just like it needs a toupeed golfing fascist reality-TV creep in the White House! That’ll just about fix everything! War is over! Thanks!”

But after reading Scilla Elworthy’s book The Business Plan for Peace, I say, “Yeah, OK, that sounds pretty good, actually. Here, let me tweak it some!” In fact, I’ve added this book, despite some quibbles, to my bookshelf of war abolition advocacy. read more

The Trump Administration’s War on Workers

When Donald Trump was running for the presidency, he promised that, if he was elected, “American worker[s] will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.”  Today, though, safely ensconced in the White House, President Trump is waging a fierce campaign against American workers.

His appointments to federal positions created to defend workers’ rights provide an indication of his priorities.  For Secretary of Labor, Trump read more

A Reply to the Taliban

Dear Taliban,

Thank you for your letter to the American people.

As one person in the United States I cannot offer you a representative reply on behalf of all of us. Nor can I use polls to tell you what my fellow Americans think, because, as far as I know, polling companies haven’t asked the U.S. public about the war on your country in years. Possible explanations for this include:

  1. We have several other wars going on, and the blowback includes a lot of self-inflicted mass-shootings.
  2. Too many wars at a time doesn’t make the most desired packaging for advertisements.
  3. Our previous president announced that your war was over.
  4. Many here actually think it is over, which makes them useless for polling on the topic of ending it.

I do want to let you know that some of us saw your letter, that some news outlets reported on it, that people have read more