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Getting Clues About Peaceful Societies

un article par Tony Dominski

Over the past few days, I spent blissful hours reviewing the Peaceful Societies website. Launched last month on January 20, 2005, Inauguration Day, it showcases two dozen societies that profess and practice non-violence as a cultural value. These societies represent a broad geographic range from Tahiti to the Arctic, from Nepal to Central Africa, and include the Amish and Hutterites in the United States.

The website is organized as an encyclopedia with basis facts of each culture: population, economy, beliefs, gender relations, child rearing, cooperation and competition, social control, and ways to avoid conflict and warfare. It was fascinating and encouraging to see how many different cultural routes lead to non-violence.

The experience of peaceful cultures provides a stark contrast to U.S. conditions. The website recounts an amazing cultural exchange of the Ifaluk of Micronesia with United States Navy vessels who visited their island after WWII. The sailors showed American films to the Ifaluk. Unfortunately, the violence displayed in those films--people being beaten and shot--panicked the islanders, terrifying some into illnesses that lasted for days.

The Peaceful Societies website does not claim that any of the cultures are models for others to follow. Rather it intends that the study of peaceful cultures could provide tantalizing clues to how a culture of peace might be created. To me, the website is an inspiring demonstration of how the science of anthropology could be used to advance the Culture of Peace.


Question(s) liée(s) à cet article:

Are nonkilling societies possible?,

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Commentaire le plus récent:

Of course, they are made of people.  Non-killing people are possible(of humans) so I think it's important to understand how these people communicate to themselves and how they interpret the words and actions of others.  Franz DeWaal is biologist who is explaining us as social animals with innate capacities of morality.  Any organization or person that kills really needs to listen to how peaceful people do the right thing.  Once they see how its possible, their innate capacities will take over as it has done for us.  It's a matter of belief... peace must seem like a really positive thing to do, instinctually... it's just how are human family is.  We don't fight each other like children, etc.... our self-fulfilling prophesies will always win.

Cet article a été mis en ligne le March 8, 2005.

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