Why the World Needs Peaceful Revolution and How This Can Unfold Over a Decade

peace dove

A revolution involves extensive and systemic changes, a significant break with the past. It is needed when the present system, its dominant thinking and ways of functioning, become incompatible with the welfare of people. It is most urgently needed when the present system is not just incompatible with the welfare of people, but rather it is seen to be becoming more and more incompatible with the basic safety and indeed the very survival of people as well as other forms of life.

In history most of the earlier situations requiring revolution have been of the first kind — these arose out of conditions in which the existing system had become incompatible with human welfare. The second type of conditions requiring revolution have been created for the first time in human history (speaking only about human-made changes and aspects within the realm of humanity’s actions) now in the 21st century. Hence the need for revolution now is more than ever before in human history because, as stated earlier, the existing systems have become incompatible with the safety and survival of humanity, particularly the coming generations, as well as those other forms of life whom we should regard to be under our care (although humanity has never really lived up to this role, particularly in recent centuries).

While this is the predominant need for revolution today, there are other reasons as well which relate to the continuing deprivation, poverty and forced indignity of a very large section of humanity, in turn rooted in inequality and injustice at various levels. Yet another reason is the increasing failure of governance systems to respond to real needs, and the rollback or decline of democracy in many, perhaps most parts of world.

What will the world revolution involve? This revolution in order to be called successful should be able to achieve five important results. Firstly, as the survival crisis has been created partially by about a dozen serious environmental problems led by climate change and these are threatening to spiral out of control if not checked in the near future, a revolution should be able to secure adequate steps for resolving these environmental problems including climate change.

Secondly, as the survival crisis is also caused to a significant extent by the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction, the revolution should be able to quickly move towards the conditions for achieving the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.

Thirdly, these two action plans needed for resolving the survival crisis should be achieved within a framework of peace, justice and democracy in such a way that the overall objectives of peace, equality, justice and democracy are also advanced, providing much relief to people, and bringing future pathways of the journey of humanity much closer to justice, peace, democracy and environment protection. Fourthly, important changes in governance systems, including at world level, should be achieved so that these can be brought closer to real needs. Last but not the least, important changes in prevailing value systems need to be achieved so that people’s thinking in general is most often in tune with peace, justice, environment protection and justice.

If world revolution achieves these changes to a significant extent, then the world can shift from a path of many-sided threats, stresses and distress to a new path of safety, significantly reduced distress, more happiness based on highly creative social pursuits for now and for future generations, as well as better well-being of other forms of life.

How can such a world revolution be brought? One important step forward is to spread more and more awareness of the need for such systemic change which necessarily has to bring together several different concerns and integrate them. In the process we also need to get rid of several old concepts which are too narrow for present needs. In particular there should be wide realization that revolutionary work should be peaceful, non-violent and transparent, should be very open in terms of the involvement of a very large number of concerned people, giving them the space to be able to contribute within their limits, although at the same time those who want to be involved full-time should be encouraged ad facilitated in various ways.

The existing movements of peace, justice, environment protection, democracy and other related concerns, movements of youth and women should come closer to each other and should come together for various tasks, they should integrate their concerns in such a way that the objectives of revolutionary change are best achieved, overcoming narrow differences. In this way a comprehensive program of changes needed at local, national and international levels can emerge. There should be thoughtful efforts to integrate personal, local, national and world level changes so that these can become a source of strength for each other. New value systems in tune with the objectives of such a peaceful revolution should be evolved and spread, in educational and community institutions and elsewhere.

Such efforts, involving millions of people in very creative social pursuits all over the world, with people in powerful decision making positions being also brought in as sympathizers and even active supporters, will keep taking the world closer to revolution. People of several important political parties will hopefully be influenced, governments too will be influenced. Elections can be occasions for advancing the revolutionary agenda further with various political parties. Wherever possible such revolutionary people can also seek their own election, or the election of their own political parties, at local, provincial and national levels. In this way the revolutionaries will keep moving towards their objectives. Revolution will not come with a bang heard on any single day. It will be achieved over a period of time with sustained, coordinated, large-scale efforts. Keeping in view the urgency an attempt should be made to largely achieve the basic objectives over the period of a decade, although sustained efforts will of course have to continue beyond this, to advance further and to strengthen the revolution.

Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, Protecting Earth for Children, Earth without Borders and A Day in 2071.


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