‘Readings in Nonviolence’ features extracts from our favourite books, pamphlets, articles or other material on nonviolence, or reviews of important works in the field (suggestions and contributions welcome)n bringing together different sectors.
Introduced by Rob Fairmichael –
The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World
It is sometimes necessary to state the obvious because what seems obvious to me or to you is far from obvious to others. Sometimes we can be so caught up in the minutiae of issues and campaigns we are working on, and our own daily existence, that a broad sweep, and sweeping statements, can be liberating and set our thinking free to consider the bigger questions.
The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World emanating from Australia is a case in point. It is neither the first nor will it be the last attempt at such a broad ranging document. There are all sorts of problems in getting such a document together. How can it be both short and inclusive? How can it be universally applicable in terms of cultures when it comes from, most likely, one culture?
As it is, the document begins with an analysis of the axes of evil (my terminology – it is talking about warring and occupying countries). It then moves on to humankind’s effect on the Earth, the global economic system, and sources of violence. This is before setting out its stall in terms of What Needs to Be Done (again, my heading) before, very shortly, giving the methods which are summarised briefly in two points; listen deeply and engage in acts of nonviolent resistance and creation. Those who wish can sign the Charter.
In our discussion in INNATE, perhaps the most controversial point to date has been point 20 in the initial analysis of violence which states that “All of the violent behaviours described above have their origin in adult violence against children: this violence generates the warped emotional and behavioural patterns that later manifest as adult violence in its many forms.” The reasons for this analysis are developed in another, linked, document.
See the Charter for yourself and whether you agree or disagree with this effort at analysing violence and the way to create a nonviolent world.