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February 2002

 

The Detonators

By Guy W. Meyer

It's our turn now. The forces of Greed, Fear, and Hate, the traditions and public policies of violence, threat, and coercion have brought humanity to the present brink of extinction, while bringing untold suffering and grief along the way.

If we continue to put our faith in these obsolete and bankrupt beliefs, worship of sovereign, lawless nations, faith in violence to maintain peace and security, we should also be prepared to sacrifice the lives of our children, which will most assuredly be the result. Instead, we must reject these beliefs completely and unconditionally, while turning to faith in the power of caring for all human lives and our life-sustaining environment.

In previous writings I have pointed to the choice between human extinction and an unarmed world community. We shall certainly move in one direction or the other.

The relevant question today is, "How can we bring about a reversal of today's march toward world doom? What steps can we take to speed the establishment of a world community?" In the first place, we must not place our hopes in governmental actions, in elected leaders. They have been elected to preserve the status quo, to support the ongoing traditional course of special privilege and violence. This may not necessarily be their conscious choice, but they dare not take bold, changeful, alternative steps lest they lose the limited power their office provides.

The transformation needed today, the global course of events being imminently terminal as it now is, the change required is of vast dimensions, both as to its basic nature and its global scope. So extreme is the threat of global terrorism and its twin "the war against terrorism", that activists who would replace the world's social climate of Greed, Fear, and Hate with the power of universal caring need have no fear of being called "extremists." Take your choice, the extreme of caring, healing, unifying, forgiving or the currently popular extreme of killing, destruction, deceit, and coercion.

Attempts to be neutral, moderate, gradual will automatically wind up in the current of destruction, whose flow is now so strong. A movement powerful enough to overcome the present destructive value system must of necessity be global. The movement's caring values must be published loudly, clearly, and very firmly.

The energy required for a global outburst and establishment of caring values exists now, although in a latent form. That energy is in the form of caring speech and actions. Millions of people throughout the world, although a minority in our six billion world population, are already expressing caring for their fellow humans and the environment, while opposing acts of killing and destruction. Their combined actions today are, unfortunately, less effective than they could be due to differences in short term goals, addressing symptoms instead of causes, and appealing to politicians, who are without the power to promote basic changes.

If the efforts of all peace-seekers, environmentalists, activists for human rights, filling human needs, healing, educating, artists of all stripes were to become unified and coordinated in a single social change movement, the result would be an invincible wave of new thinking.

Some of militarism's most powerful weapons of destruction are concentrations of potential energy. To be activated they require detonators, small energy bursts that release the larger energy masses.

Similarly, in human society small outbursts trigger large movements. For example, one woman's (Rosa Parks) refusal to give up her bus seat triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which grew into the huge value-changing American Civil Rights Movement.

The human "caring" energy, now latent worldwide, awaits a detonating action, or series of actions to be released into a mighty "caring" movement or revolution.

How could such a social explosion take place and what would be the nature of the group bringing it about? The size of the group is not as important as other qualities.

In the first place the members of the group must each embody concentrations of potential psychic energy. Their joint thinking and planning will then lead to the activity that provokes and inspires intense controversy and discussion.

Conflicts of values and loyalties capture the attention of the media almost as much as physical conflicts. When the media step in, the controversy widens and intensifies. With attention and discussion new ideas are born, new assessments of what is or is not sacred--new values. Looking at previous movements it is clear that in the long run the values that catch hold and lead to social advances are those that benefit people worldwide.

Changes that have taken place, or are in the process of completion, include the end of acceptance of slavery and racial, religious, cultural segregation. Equality of women is well on its way, as well as concern for the equal rights of gay people, the handicapped. Social movements have brought about wider caring for other animal species, for earth's forests, air, water, and soil.

It seems clear that almost all of humankind will rejoice at the complete disappearance of militarism's tyranny, killing and destruction. The prospect of vastly improved health and happiness resulting from the escalation of the environmental movement (now blocked by the few seeking their own wealth, privilege, and power), the formation of a world community that takes serious steps to provide every human being with the essentials for healthy living, while campaigning for population control, the possibility of these improvements in human living conditions empowers the Movement and its ultimate victory.

What is the nature of the "potential energy" of the detonators? What beliefs will powerfully motivate their actions? These are basic:

1. Sense of the urgency of The Movement.

2. Sense of high mission, life-saving goal of their Cause.

3. Belief in the moral superiority of their goal.

4. Full confidence in the effectiveness of their planned strategy.

5. Anticipation of wide enthusiastic support from a critical mass

(influential minority) of humanity.

6. Commitment to "stay the course" whatever obstacles are encountered.

7. Faith in fellow detonators and in the group's firm support.

Such a combination of beliefs makes for an invincible morale, the calm courage that prevails over much greater odds.

We have seen this type of morale attributed to those involved in ruthless violence. Yet the same is true of those who would affirm nonviolent caring for the well-being of their fellow humans, whoever they are and wherever they live. Furthermore, the carers do stand on higher moral ground than those who glorify and pursue goals requiring killing, goals rooted in greed, fear, and hate. Caring revolutionaries stand for saving lives, for healing and uplifting all humans.

The concentration of energy derived from the above beliefs and commitments can empower a small group of five to ten people, possibly fewer, to take actions so provocative and so inspiring as to detonate a global, nonviolent, life-sustaining movement. These will most certainly include acts that de-glorify nations and their symbols, acts that strip militarism and other institutions and agents of killing and destruction, of every trace of glory or honor. They may introduce rituals of new allegiance to the Human Family and to the Chain of Life. Such a movement must be so widespread, so powerful as to overcome centuries of attachments to tribes, clans, nations, and religions. It must overcome centuries of faith in, glorifying, and honoring violence.

The Movement is made up of men, women, and children united in a common cause. It is, in effect, a community, a world community that pulls humanity back from the brink of destruction as it becomes the structured, permanent guardian of world life.

 

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