By Johan Galtung
Johan Galtung turns 85 on UN Day 2015
The global nation-state based system is in deep crisis. The West’s relative decline is obvious, except to the West itself. This multi-dimensional crisis will, of course, give way to something new – but what?
Lack of vision – sometimes even of knowledge and empathy – among those in power seems a defining characteristics of our times.
Individually as well as nationally, we are living in iTimes, not weTimes. Add to that blowbacks from history and Western knee-jerk militarist responses – and the next few years will be tough.
The creativity and innovation we find in commercial and social entrepreneurship and in the arts, seem frighteningly absent in the world of politics.
Who would get elected anywhere on having an exciting vision for the the world the next 25 or 40 years? No, you must know about national affairs and economy – while, by the way, national economy doesn’t exist anymore.
Few young people, including students or young scholars, find it attractive to join party politics.
But can humanity survive with only criticism, negative energy, bad news and no vision?
Will we work for a better world if we can’t see it?
Dr. Johan Galtung has devoted his life to the vision of a less violent, more peaceful world – from the local to the civilisational level – implementing the norm of the Charter of the UN – turning 70 on October 24, 2015 – that peace shall be established by peaceful means.
Galtung – one of a handful of peace visionaries with a macro perspective – himself turns 85 on UN Day. He has mediated in more than 100 conflicts since 1957 and published 164 books. And he still travels the world speaking and writing. More about him here by Antonio. C. S. Rosa.
He is one of the youngest and most innovative minds in world affairs, always asking the essential, healing question: What can be done?
That’s what the good doctor does – helps conflicting parties address their problems, reduce their violence and develop a vision of a better future – together or side-by-side with respect.
Making the seemingly incompatible more compatible through creativity, dialogue, vision.
Here is his latest column – which TFF publishes every week. It synthesizes where we stand and ought to go.
And with humanity.
– Jan Oberg
And now Galtung himself…
Keynote, 13th Session World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” – Rhodes, Greece, 9 Oct 2015
The strength of this forum is its civilization focus; let us use it for analysis and remedies. Major forms of disorder use violence; war is state organized violence. The most belligerent states are the United States of America and Israel, both with civilization roots.
National Evangelism, the US Protestant Christian civilization – more national than evangelical – justifies US warfare as exceptionalism of a people chosen by God, with a manifest destiny to run the world. Orthodox Judaism justifies Israeli warfare to conquer and expand from Nile to Euphrates as a religious right and duty to the Eternal One.
The third most belligerent country, the UK, no longer believes it is God-chosen but chosen by the USA; not quite the same but something.
The root causes – and soften the ideas
But the root cause of global disorder lies in the Occident – with Islam – seeing itself as the single, universal civilization valid for all at all times, all others being mistakes. Missionary activity, slavery, colonialism, exploitative trade, robbery capitalism, follow.
The USA got from Judaism the idea of Chosen People-Promised Land. Yet Israel is Read More »