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Non-Killing: A dangerous idea?
an article by Tony

BOOK REVIEW

Nonkilling Global Political Science
Glenn D. Paige
Center for Global Non-Violence
Honolulu, Hawaii
267 Pages
Web Source: globalnonviolence

It's a marvel. The same information technology that enables modern warfare to deliver an intercontinental ballistic missile at supersonic speed allowed me to access Glenn Paige's book about non-killing from his website in less than 30 seconds.

Paige believes the same methods now used by political scientists to promote and justify killing could be used to give birth to a world in which non-killing is the norm. Killing, the author points out, is not a biological imperative or a sociological necessity to keep peace and order in society. Rather, it is a political construct so ingrained that it is rarely questioned even in academic circles.

In six chapters and four Appendices he asks: What if tomorrow non-killing were the norm? How would the Hitlers of the world be kept at bay? How would cooperative problem-solving among nations replace war as a conflict resolution mechanism? What kind of educational institutions would be needed for promote non-violence? How could a non-violent world be brought about? What are the philosophical and religious roots of non-violence. What are working examples of non-violence including nations which have outlawed capital punishment? These profound questions raised by Paige have been swimming in my head ever since I've starting reading his book.

Despite the seemingly impossible task of changing laws, institutions, and political power to actively promote nonkilling, the optimism and sense of urgency expressed in Paige's work won me over. Killing has resulted in the deaths of 200 million people killed in the internal and external wars in the 20th century without achieving the goal of making the world safe. On the contrary, wars have impoverished us all ecologically, morally and financially. There are so many ways to pursue peace. If we develop the will, there is certainly a way to a nonkilling world. In his book Nonkilling Global Political Science , Glenn Paige has given us a valuable guide.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Are nonkilling societies possible,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

Promoting Communication Literacy through Principles of Compassion for a Nonviolent Planet

by Vedabhyas Kundu

At a time when there are conflicts at different level around the world, promoting COMMUNICATION LITERACY through principles of compassion is a necessity so as to bring people together and collectively work for global peace.

Compassion and feelings for others are essential ingredients for human unity. Swami Vivekananda had said, “Do you feel for others? If you do, you are growing in oneness. If you do not feel for others, you may be the most intellectual giant ever born, but you will be nothing; you are but dry intellect, and you will remain so.”

Indeed in today’s contemporary society when there are so much of differences and intolerance, if we can’t promote feeling and compassion for others, we cannot promote oneness amongst one another. There seems to be crisis of values and little respect for each other’s ideas and perspective. For a large number of people, the self seems to be the supreme and are agnostic about the feelings of others. Anger and hatred towards each other seems to be found in abundance. All these will lead to greater conflicts and ill feelings amongst fellow beings. Swami Vivekananda pertinently underlines that howsoever one may acquire intellectual power, without compassion for others, one is nothing. . ...more.


This report was posted on September 26, 2003.