2002-11-21 (2 of 3) Non-violent resistance versus killing war – Checkpoint Charlie – Compliance – 250 year memory of Acadians – 150 year memory of U.S. Civil War – Women Who Run With Wolves
- (1 of 3) Find Alternatives to the Killing Ways
- This is (2 of 3) Non-violent resistance versus killing war – Checkpoint Charlie – Compliance
- (3rd of 3) Gandhi and the wearing of white. Crash course in non-violent resistance.
Epigenetics was an unknown term in 2002, at the time of this writing. The idea of the recording of trauma in inter-generational memory is present, nonetheless.
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Interesting how, by eliminating the box, you change the understanding and hence the available options. … War heroes are great generals like Napoleon, IF you use DESTRUCTIVE weapons to classify the war or fight. If you use a more inclusive phrase, I don’t know, maybe “effective weapons” to classify battle, the war heroes can include the Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s in our history.
If you put non-violent resistance into a separate box from war, if you put the “peace-makers” into a separate box from “war heroes”, it allows you to limit the options to the methods of traditional killing war. The ability to find creative solutions to the problem confronting us is confined to one small box.
Non-violent resistance is a war to remove oppressors. It’s goal is justice, it cares and protects against the destruction of the individual (any individual) and the Earth.
“War” as normally understood is about the power and control of one group over another, or the removal of evil; individuals and the environment are expendable. Traditional war sees only weapons of destruction as effective weaponry.
Non-violent resistance teaches us that there are ALTERNATIVES, it gives us new ways. The weaponry of war changes as we change ourselves, as we grow in understanding.
Traditional warfare considers the short term, immediate self-interest; but its effects are long lasting. Non-violent war is benevolent in both the short and long-term, it is for future generations and requires patience. Non-violent war was likely not an option by the time World War 2 started; it wasn’t well-enough understood and it was too late.
It is extremely important for everyone to be reminded of the legacy of killing wars. What is true for the individual is true of the society.
Think of the adults you know whose lives are in chaos: alcoholics, drug addicts, those in jail, all the sad, sad people. Explore their early life. In most cases you find abuse of the child, INJUSTICE WITHOUT RECONCILIATION. A child injected with the poison of anger and resentment (the consequence of injustice) most often transforms from naive, innocent, beautiful and delightful into manipulation (power and control), violence to the self or others, maybe hate, blackness. Over a lifetime the poison seeps insidiously, a powerful force of self-destruction.
When an injustice is inflicted upon a people, the story of the injustice is handed down from generation to generation. It is a cancer that grows in the psyche of those who have been oppressed, festering, always oozing. Not different from what happens to the individual, the poison seeps down and down, a force of destruction. As with individuals, the choices of fate are two:
– destruction/self-destruction OR
– reconciliation which leads to salvation.
Any woman in any culture knows she has suffered an injustice if her child is taken from her. She will always have “an oppressor”.
To understand the power of inherited injustice, a couple of examples:
I went on a tour of the historical homes in Savannah, Georgia in 1984. The volunteer guide was a lady of about 62 years, a wonderful ambassador for her city, well-read, generous, and informative. But, by the end of the tour I could have sworn that the American Civil War happened in 1961 instead of 1861; I shook my head to clear the cobwebs – did the war happen 100 years ago, or yesterday? This woman carried an incredibly real sense of a great offence done to her people, that of sons taken and homes destroyed, of a wrong done that was independent of time. It did not matter that the end, to free Afro-Americans from slavery, was just. The killing of people will always be an injustice TO THOSE PEOPLE. It is their sons, their homes, their dreams that have been destroyed. That was my first encounter with the phenomenon, the power of inherited injustice.
I lived for many years in Nova Scotia in Canada; a favorite place is the little white church museum in the pastoral village of Grand Pre – the site from which French Acadian settlers were deported by the British, the story recorded in poem by the American, H.W. Longfellow, in “Evangeline“. In Grand Pre I sense tragedy, my heart is heavy, “how terrible that must have been for those people”. The museum is the work of a largely Anglo (English) population. The expulsion (forfeiture of land, homes, belongings, dreams) took place in 1755, more than 200 years ago; some of the deportees ended up in the French territory of Louisiana, the basis for the “Cajun” (a-KAY-d-JUN) culture of today.
In 1999 I visited a small town museum in the heart of Cajun/Acadian country in Louisiana. The Museum is the work of the Franco or French descendants. (I have a lot of Norwegian blood, some trickles of English, but in Canada I am identified as “English” – or “not French”.)
We insulate or protect ourselves from criticisms and barbs by living in our “own” society, oblivious to the manner in which we are perceived by another culture. I tell you, it was a shock that rocked me to my boots, to read in that little Cajun museum about the “ethnic cleansing” perpetrated by the English. That’s ME! I felt nervous and uncomfortable. I had better run and hide, these people hate me for something that happened 200 years ago!!
It was good for me to experience the shock, to come to a better understanding of how our history has us by the “short-hairs”; we can’t wiggle free. Except through acknowledgement and reconciliation. The discontent will never leave us otherwise. Museums like the one I visited have been recently constructed. The inherited injustice, after 200 years, is a potent force. In this case it has found its expression in energy and resources being committed to communication of the injustice and to the seeking of re-dress, acknowledgement from Queen Elizabeth (as I see in a quick internet survey of Acadian web-sites). It could as easily have found its expression in violence.
To native Americans, French, … anyone who has suffered an injustice by “our” hands, these hands that have come to us through our genes … to them we are now and always “oppressors”. The memory is in the genes in the same way that the memory of barking as a defense, is in the genes of my dog, passed down from her wolf or fox ancestors. Genetic engineering cannot remove the memory that is in the very being, “in the bones”. The lobotomies administered by our society can disable, but not remove it.
It is a blessing for us all when we (the oppressors and the oppressed) follow the “truth and reconciliation” process espoused by Nelson Mandela and
used in South Africa. It is a blessing for us all when the Acadian community pursues reconciliation, or when the Japanese Canadians who were given the same treatment during World War 2, as the Acadians in 1755, bring their plight to our attention; we would otherwise remain blind and oblivious.
Can we not see that a “killing” war necessarily inflicts injustices on an identifiable group of people? Can we not look around the world today and see the tragic consequences: generation after generation that cannot escape the hatred, the killing that never stops but leads to more killing? Knowing all that, why in the name of the God(s) will we allow ignorance to lead us into a killing war, the legacy of which can only be more of this seeping poison?
There is a FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND THAT, TODAY, ALTERNATIVES EXIST, that non-violent resistance is an effective means to stop injustice. It can be taught to oppressed people so they can help to free themselves. Education, the prevention of abuse/injustice to the child – that is the road out of this hell.
Which leads to NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE:
I love this line from the CHECKPOINT CHARLIE museum in Berlin! – “Through the multiplicity of nonviolent resistance, SO RICH IN IDEAS, it can be demonstrated that the most powerful effective opposing forces can be mobilized against every form of violence.”
1999: The impact of this trip to Germany lies in CHECKPOINT CHARLIE which spy movies and books have made famous, the point through which travel between East and West Germany was controlled. Today it is a museum. A museum that makes a loud statement. While NATO bombed Kosovo, I viewed the history of non-violent resistance, the legacy and effectiveness of Gandhi. It was very provocative and moving.
“… nonviolent resistance as a political force is still young, its possibilities not yet well enough known, and is thus seldom an incitement to the masses and is seldom encouraged by the media. For all that, those striving for human rights are dependent on our solidarity and the feeling is growing of an ever increasing threat through the power of dictatorships, the armaments race and the immobility of bureaucrats.
Gandhi presented the principles of nonviolent resistance to the world, but the methods – corresponding to the various hierarchies – have to be very different, should they lead to success. Through the multiplicity of nonviolent resistance, so rich in ideas, it can be demonstrated that the most
powerful effective opposing forces can be mobilized against every form of violence …”
The Berlin Wall and the Communist regime in East Germany came down. The non-violent resistance that brought it down are graphically recorded in this homey, old, cramped museum. This poem was penned by an unknown East German. It spoke to me then and always will:
“The red-painted tyranny was not
The worst about our tyrants
The worst thereby were we ourselves
All our cowardice and servility
And that we also were the evil ourselves
Just that is the chance and our luck
You see: It works! We also take back
The everlasting human right ourselves
Now we breathe again, we cry and we laugh
the stale sadness out of the breast
man, we are stronger than rats and dragons
– and had forgotten it and always knew.”
Wise but denigrated wolves know, because their mothers have taught them, that survival depends on identifying and dispelling the predators. Our survival is threatened by the forces of destruction on this planet. If we do not turn our naivete into wisdom the predator overpowers us. Those who benefit from war are predators, whether they be simply “evil” people, or those who have a self-interest.
From “Women who Run with the Wolves”, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
(The “young woman” is the naive in all of us, men and women. Read this as “gender-inclusive”!)
“.. though the young woman attempts to follow the orders of the predator, and agrees to be ignorant about the secret in the cellar, she can only comply for so long. Finally she puts the key, the question, to the door and finds the shocking carnage … And that key, that tiny symbol of her life,
suddenly will not cease its bleeding, will not cease to give the cry that something is wrong. A woman may try to hide from the devastations of her life, but the bleeding, the loss of life’s energy, will continue UNTIL SHE RECOGNIZES THE PREDATOR FOR WHAT IT IS and CONTAINS IT.
When women open the doors of their own lives and survey the carnage there, in those out-of-the way places, they most often find they have BEEN ALLOWING SUMMARY ASSASSINATIONS of their most crucial dreams, goals, and hopes. …
… when such a gruesome discovery is made… we can be sure the natural predator … has been at work methodically destroying a woman’s most cherished desires, concerns, and aspirations.
In fairy tales, the animal groom character is a common motif that can be understood to represent a MALEVOLENT THING DISGUISED AS A BENEVOLENT THING. This or some proximate characterization is always present when a woman carries naive presentiments about something or
someone. When a woman is attempting to avoid the facts of her own devastation, her night dreams are likely to shout warnings to her, warnings and exhortations to wake up! or get help! or flee! or go for the kill!”
I am ready to go for the kill and it can be done, through net-working, as explained in the previous (posting #1). We will don our white-shirt uniforms, join hands and conquer together.
Cripes! I can’t believe how thoroughly our society trains us in compliancy, to be “nice”. “Being nice” means that if there’s a problem we talk about it, we reach compromise solutions. I am uncomfortable that I have even uttered the word “kill”.
“Fight”? I’m a middle-aged Mother! I’m not supposed to be plotting, saying and encouraging others to “fight” ANYthing! Governments send sons off to war against a “foreign threat”, as in the Viet Nam War. They collaborate with the Monsanto’s and Lockheed Martin’s of the world, the entities that will BENEFIT from war.
Terrorist groups thrive in fertile ground created by us. … Yes, I have a responsibility to remove the predators. Survival is the issue. My instinct is right and it guides me. But I still get that niggle that says, “What in hell are you doing?! Who do you think you are?!”
SONGS: “We shall overcome / We shall live in peace (today)”. Also, John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
- FIND ALTERNATIVES TO THE KILLING WAYS
- I support war: NON-VIOLENT WAR
- My war hero is Gandhi
- My war hero is Martin Luther King
UNIFORM: WEAR WHITE, THE COLOR OF PEACE
– to bring down the Berlin Wall, the people in East Germany gathered on Sunday mornings in village squares, all wearing a white shirt, adopting the symbolism of Gandhi. They formed a circle and held hands. The movement spread quickly from town-to-town and bamboozled the guns of the East German military establishment, who understood it was an act of defiance, but were powerless: how would they be able to explain the gunning down of people for standing in a circle and holding hands?!
We are seldom reminded that the “Iron Curtain”, the Berlin Wall came down through non-violent resistance. That was a feat as great as Gandhi’s.
There was no massive loss of life, no devastation of the Earth.
There is lots going on, many “templates” that we can share, many strategies that, if a little more organized and focussed, will be very powerful. Every day I add more organizations and people to my distribution list. Today, that is the main focus. Build the army. Every person I have known in my life is a potential for my distribution list. When my distribution list feeds into yours, and vice-versa – – WOW! We have way more power than we’ll ever need!