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Articles by: Robert J Burrowes

Human Violence: Pervasive, Multi-dimensional and Extinction-threatening

Human Violence: Pervasive, Multi-dimensional and Extinction-threatening

  Violence is pervasive throughout human society and it has a vast range of manifestations. Moreover, some of these manifestations – particularly the threat of nuclear war (which might start regionally), the climate catastrophe and the ongoing ecological devastation, as well as geoengineering and the deployment of 5G – threaten imminent human extinction if not contained. Separately from these extinction-threatening[Read More…]

The Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan: Is Community Engagement the Key?

The Struggle for Peace in Afghanistan: Is Community Engagement the Key?

I have just read a superb book by Mark Isaacs, an Australian who has documented several years of effort by a group of incredibly committed young people in Afghanistan to build peace in that war-torn country the only way it can be built: by learning, living and sharing peace. The book, titled The Kabul Peace House: How a Group of[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Book Review
Comparative Political Leadership: Gandhi vs. Contemporary Leaders

Comparative Political Leadership: Gandhi vs. Contemporary Leaders

On 2 October 2019, it will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas K. Gandhi in Gujarat, India. I would like to reflect on the visionary leadership that Gandhi offered the world, briefly comparing it with some national leaders of today, and to invite you to emulate Gandhi’s leadership. While Gandhi is best remembered for being the mastermind[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Our Vanishing World: Glaciers

Our Vanishing World: Glaciers

Something is causing the worlds glaciers and mountain ice fields to melt. And, despite your first thought, it is not the ongoing climate catastrophe. It does not matter where on Earth the glaciers and mountain ice fields are located, they are all melting. Moreover, the projected timeframe for some of them to disappear altogether is ‘imminently’; that is, within years.[Read More…]

Our Vanishing World: Rainforests

Our Vanishing World: Rainforests

Rainforests are a crucial feature of Earth’s biosphere. Apart from being critical to Earth’s climate and vital carbon sinks, the major player in Earth’s hydrological (water) cycle, a massive producer of oxygen and home to most of the world’s species, rainforests are the home of a large indigenous human population. They are also the source of many vital resources, including[Read More…]

The Limited Mind: Why Fear is Driving Humanity to Extinction

The Limited Mind: Why Fear is Driving Humanity to Extinction

I have previously written many articles describing one or more aspects of the dysfunctional nature of the typical human mind, together with an explanation of how this came about and what we can do about it. See, for example, many of the articles republished in ‘Key Articles’and the source documents ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Understanding NATO, Ending War

Understanding NATO, Ending War

On 4 April 2019, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, marked the 70th anniversary of its existence with a conference attended by the foreign ministers of member nations in Washington DC. This will be complemented by a meeting of the heads of state of member nations in London next December. Coinciding with the anniversary event on 4[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Imperialism
The Disintegrated Mind: The Greatest Threat to Human Survival on Earth

The Disintegrated Mind: The Greatest Threat to Human Survival on Earth

Like many people who have struggled to understand why human beings are driving the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history, which now threatens imminent human extinction as well, over many decades I have explored the research and efforts of a great many activists and scholars to secure this understanding. However, with many competing ideas from the fields of politics,[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Counter Solutions
Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

Tackling the ‘Impossible’: Ending Violence

Whenever, in ordinary circumstances, the subject of violence comes up, most people throw up their hands in horror and comment along the lines that it is ‘in our genes’, ‘nothing can be done about it’ or other words that reflect the powerlessness that most people feel around violence. It is true that violence is virtually ubiquitous, has a near-infinite variety[Read More…]

Robert J. Burrowes-Defending Julian Assange; Defending the Truth

Robert J. Burrowes-Defending Julian Assange; Defending the Truth

On 11 April 2019, WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by UK police and arrested for breaching a bail condition. See‘Arrest update – SW1’. Upon arrival at a London police station, Julian was ‘further arrested’ on behalf of the United States governmentto satisfy an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the UK Extradition Act.[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Human Rights
Why Activists Fail

Why Activists Fail

Despite enormous ongoing effort over more than a thousand years, during and since the formation and shaping of the modern world, and as the number of issues being contested has steadily increased, activists of many types have made insufficient progress on key issues, particularly in relation to ending violence and war (and the threat of nuclear war), stopping the exploitation[Read More…]

Elite Banking at Your Expense: How Secretive Tax Havens are Used to Steal Your Money

Elite Banking at Your Expense: How Secretive Tax Havens are Used to Steal Your Money

Tax havens are locations around the world where wealthy individuals, criminals and terrorists, as well as governments and government agencies (such as the CIA), banks, corporations, hedge funds, international organizations (such as the Vatican)and crime syndicates (such as the Mafia), can stash their money so that they can avoid regulation and oversight and, very often, evade tax. According to Nicholas[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat a US Military Invasion of Venezuela

A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat a US Military Invasion of Venezuela

To the People of Venezuela Recently I wrote an article explaining how you could defeat, using nonviolent strategy, the US coup attempt that is taking place in your country. See ‘A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat the US Coup Attempt in Venezuela’. I would like to complement that article by now briefly explaining how you can also defeat a military invasion[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat the US Coup Attempt in Venezuela

A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat the US Coup Attempt in Venezuela

To the People of Venezuela Yet again, the United States elite has decided to attempt to impose its will on the people of another nation, in this case, and not for the first time either, your country Venezuela. On 23 January 2019, following careful secret planning in the preceding weeks and a late night telephone call the previous day from[Read More…]

Learning from Gandhi

Learning from Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869: 150 years ago this year. There will be many tributes to Gandhi published in 2019 so I would like to add one of my own. This reflects not just my belief that he gave the world inspiration, ideas and powerful strategies for tackling violence in a wide range of contexts but[Read More…]

Kaye Moss, director of Greenpeace Rocky Mountains, 1976-1980, at the Rocky Flats rally with her two children, Michael and Erika.
Rocky Flats, Colorado, nuclear trigger factory.

Human Beings are Destroying Life on Earth but Deluding Ourselves that We are Not

It is easy to identify the ongoing and endless violence being inflicted on life on Earth. This ranges from the vast multiplicity of assaults inflicted on our children and the biosphere to the endless wars and other military violence as well as the grotesque exploitation of many peoples living in Africa, Asia and Central/South America. But for a (very incomplete)[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
Reflections on 2018, Forecasting 2019

Reflections on 2018, Forecasting 2019

In many ways it is painful to reflect on the year 2018; a year of vital opportunities lost when so much is at stake. Whether politically, militarily, socially, economically, financially or ecologically, humanity took some giant strides backwards while passing up endless opportunities to make a positive difference in our world. Let me, very briefly, identify some of the more[Read More…]

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According to the Ecological Footprint Network, humans currently consume at a rate 1.7 times what Earth’s generative capacity can sustain—and the gap is growing. (Photo by Lee Scott on Unsplash.)

In Defense of the Human Individual

While it is now very late in the life cycle of homo sapiens, with extinction now due to consign us to Earth’s fossil record – see ‘Will humans be extinct by 2026?’ – I would like to make a belated pitch for the importance of the human individual and why nurturing each individual’s uniqueness is so important even if it[Read More…]

Kaye Moss, director of Greenpeace Rocky Mountains, 1976-1980, at the Rocky Flats rally with her two children, Michael and Erika.
Rocky Flats, Colorado, nuclear trigger factory.

Human Delusion and Our Destruction of the Biosphere: We Aren’t Even Trying!

Unfortunately, only the rarest individual has the capacity to see through the elite-promulgated delusion that generated this benign expression and its twin notions that 1.5 degrees celsius (above the preindustrial level) is an acceptable upper limit for an increase in global temperature and that the timeframe for extinction-threatening outcomes of this ‘climate change’ is the ‘end of the century’. If[Read More…]

The War to End War 100 Years On: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War

The War to End War 100 Years On: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War

British author and social commentator H.G. Wells may have coined the expression that originally popularized World War I as The War that Will End War, as his book, based on articles written during that vast military conflict, was titled. In any case, in one version or another, the expression was one of the most common catchphrases of the Great War[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
The Psychology of Fascism

The Psychology of Fascism

  The continuing rise of fascism around the world is drawing increasing attention particularly as it takes firmer grip within national societies long seen to have rejected it. Some recent studies have reminded us of the characteristics of fascist movements and individuals, particularly as they manifest among politically active fascists. For example, in his recent bookHow Fascism Works: The Politics[Read More…]

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

Gandhi’s Despair and the Struggle for Truth and Love

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi As we remember Gandhi Jayanti on 2 October, the Mahatma’s 149th birthday and the[Read More…]

Exposing the Giants: The Global Power Elite

Exposing the Giants: The Global Power Elite

Developing the tradition charted by C. Wright Mills in his 1956 classic The Power Elite, in his latest book, Professor Peter Phillips starts by reviewing the transition from the nation state power elites described by authors such as Mills to a transnational power elite centralized on the control of global capital. Thus, in his just-released study Giants: The Global Power[Read More…]

Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival

Human Extinction by 2026? A Last Ditch Strategy to Fight for Human Survival

There is almost unanimous agreement among climate scientists and organizations – that is, 97% of over 10,000 climate scientists and the various scientific organizations engaged in climate science research – that human beings have caused a dramatic increase in the amount of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide released into Earth’s atmosphere since the pre-industrial era and that this is[Read More…]

Strategy and Conscience: Subverting Elite Power So We End Human Violence

Strategy and Conscience: Subverting Elite Power So We End Human Violence

Given the overwhelming evidence that activist efforts are failing to halt the accelerating rush to extinction precipitated and maintained by dysfunctional human behavior, it is worth reflecting on why this is happening. Of course, you might say that the rush to extinction is being slowed. But is it? Even according to BP’s chief economist: ‘despite the extraordinary growth in renewables[Read More…]

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

Starving and Bombed Children of Yemen Seek Entrapment in Flooded Thai Cave

While the world watched and waited with bated breath for the outcome of the substantial global effort – involving over 100 cave divers from various countries, 1,000 members of the Thai Army and 10,000 others in various roles – to rescue a team of 12 young football players and their coach, who were trapped inside a flooded cave in Thailand[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Humanity’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: Starving, Enslaving, Raping, Torturing and Killing our Children

Humanity’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’: Starving, Enslaving, Raping, Torturing and Killing our Children

In a recent article titled ‘Challenges for Resolving Complex Conflicts’, I pointed out four conflict configurations that are paid little attention by conflict theorists. In this article, I would like to discuss a fifth conflict configuration that is effectively ignored by conflict theorists (and virtually everyone else). This conflict is undoubtedly the most fundamental conflict in human society, because it[Read More…]

Photo by woodleywonderworks

Conflict Theory and Biosphere Annihilation

In a recent article titled ‘Challenges for Resolving Complex Conflicts’, I pointed out that existing conflict theory pays little attention to the extinction-causing conflict being ongoingly generated by human over-consumption in the finite planetary biosphere (and, among other outcomes, currently resulting in 200 species extinctions daily). I also mentioned that this conflict is sometimes inadequately identified as a conflict caused[Read More…]

500 years is long enough! Human Depravity in the Congo

500 years is long enough! Human Depravity in the Congo

I would like to tell you something about human depravity and illustrate just how widespread it is among those we often regard as ‘responsible’. I am going to use the Democratic Republic of the Congo as my eample. As I illustrate and explain what has happened to the Congo and its people during the past 500 years, I invite you[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

Challenges For Resolving Complex Conflicts

While conflict theories and resolution processes advanced dramatically during the second half of the 20th century, particularly thanks to the important work of several key scholars such as Professor Johan Galtung – see ‘Conflict Transformation by Peaceful Means (the Transcend Method)’ – significant gaps remain in the conflict literature on how to deal with particular conflict configurations. Notably, these include[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Nonviolence or Nonexistence? The Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Fifty years ago, on 4 April 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The night before he died, King gave another of his many evocative speeches; this one at the packed Mason Temple in Memphis. The speech included these words: ‘Men for years now have been talking about war and peace. Now no longer can they just talk[Read More…]

The Global Elite Is Insane Revisited

The Global Elite Is Insane Revisited

  In 2014 I wrote an article titled ‘The Global Elite is Insane’. I want to elaborate what I explained in the earlier article so that people have a clearer sense of what we are up against in our struggle to create a world of peace, justice and ecological sustainability. Of course, as I explained previously, it is not just[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
On Track for Extinction: Can Humanity Survive?

On Track for Extinction: Can Humanity Survive?

  Anyone reading the scientific literature (or the progressive news outlets that truthfully report this literature) knows that homo sapiens sapiens is on the fast track to extinction, most likely some time between 2025 and 2040. For a taste of the evidence in this regard focusing on the climate, see ‘Climate Collapse and Near Term Human Extinction’,‘What They Won’t Tell[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?

Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?

Is Earth the largest garbage dump in the Universe? I don’t know. But it’s a safe bet that Earth would be a contender were such a competition to be held. Let me explain why. To start, just listing the types of rubbish generated by humans or the locations into which each of these is dumped is a staggering task beyond[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Environmental Protection
The Fear Driving US Nuclear Strategy

The Fear Driving US Nuclear Strategy

The United States Department of Defense released its latest ‘Nuclear Posture Review 2018’ (NPR) on 2 February, updating the last one issued in 2010 during the previous administration. See ‘Nuclear Posture Review 2018’. The Executive Summary of the NPR is also available, if you prefer. See ‘Nuclear Posture Review 2018 Executive Summary’. Several authors have already thoughtfully exposed a phenomenal[Read More…]

Photo by Kelly Sue

Why Fear And Self-Hatred Destroy Human Sharing And Solidarity

As our world spirals deeper into an abyss from which it is becoming increasingly difficult to extricate ourselves, some very prominent activists have lamented the lack of human solidarity in the face of the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya. See ‘The Rohingya tragedy shows human solidarity is a lie’ and ‘Wrongs of rights activism around Rohingyas’. While I share the[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
To Liberate Cambodia

To Liberate Cambodia

  A long-standing French protectorate briefly occupied by Japan during World War II, Cambodia became independent in 1953 as the French finally withdrew from Indochina. Under the leadership of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia remained officially neutral, including during the subsequent US war on Indochina. However, by the mid-1960s, parts of the eastern provinces of Cambodia were bases for North Vietnamese[Read More…]

Violence Against Women: Why The UN Secretary-General Got It Wrong

Violence Against Women: Why The UN Secretary-General Got It Wrong

In his remarks on the recent International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – see‘Violence Against Women is Fundamentally About Power’– United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres inadvertantly demonstrated why well-meaning efforts being undertaken globally to reduce violence against women fail to make any progress in addressing this pervasive crisis. Hence, while the UN might be ‘committed to addressing[Read More…]

Killing The Biosphere To Fast-Track Human Extinction

Killing The Biosphere To Fast-Track Human Extinction

  Several years ago in Cameroon, a country in West Africa, a Western Black Rhinoceros was killed. It was the last of its kind on Earth. Hence, the Western Black Rhinoceros, the largest subspecies of rhinoceros which had lived for millions of years and was the second largest land mammal on Earth, no longer exists. But while you have probably[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Climate Change
Why Are Police In The USA So Terrified?

Why Are Police In The USA So Terrified?

  In a recent incident in the United States, yet another unarmed man was shot dead by police after opening his front door in response to their knock. The police were going to serve an arrest warrant on a domestic violence suspect – the man’s neighbour – but went to the wrong address. See ‘Police kill innocent man while serving[Read More…]

A Nonviolent Strategy To End Violence And Avert Human Extinction

A Nonviolent Strategy To End Violence And Avert Human Extinction

  Around the world activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge to effectively tackle the multitude of violent conflicts, including the threat of human extinction, confronting human society in the early 21st century. I wrote that ‘activists who are strategic thinkers face a daunting challenge’ because there is no point deluding ourselves that the insane global elite –[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
The Psychology Of Mass Killers: What Causes It? How Can You Prevent It?

The Psychology Of Mass Killers: What Causes It? How Can You Prevent It?

  In Las Vegas on 1 October 2017, it appears that one man (although it might have been more) killed 59 people and shot and injured another 241 (with almost 300 more injured while fleeing). The incident got a lot of publicity, partly because the man managed to kill more people than most mass killers. However, because the killer was[Read More…]

Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment At A Time

Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment At A Time

  Gandhi Jayanti – 2 October, the date of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birth in 1869 and the International Day of Nonviolence – offers an opportunity to reflect on human violence and to ponder ways to end it. There may be a fast way to end human violence but, if there is, Gandhi did not know it. Nor do I. Nor[Read More…]

Profit Maximization Is Easy: Invest in Violence

Profit Maximization Is Easy: Invest in Violence

  For those of us committed to systematically reducing and, one day, ending human violence, it is vital to understand what is causing and driving it so that effective strategies can be developed for dealing with violence in its myriad contexts. For an understanding of the fundamental cause of violence, see ‘Why Violence?’ However, while we can tackle violence at[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
Why Are All Those Racists So Terrified?

Why Are All Those Racists So Terrified?

  Racism is not a new phenomenon and while it is an ongoing daily reality for vast numbers of people, it also often bursts from the shadows to remind us that just because we can keep ignoring the endless sequence of ‘minor’ racist incidents, racism has not gone away despite supposedly significant efforts to eliminate it. I say ‘supposedly’ because[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
You Cannot Trap The ‘Magic Rat’: Trump, Congress And Geopolitics

You Cannot Trap The ‘Magic Rat’: Trump, Congress And Geopolitics

  A wonderful thing about observing and analyzing the human mind is that there is a seemingly infinite variety of phenomena to observe and analyze. I sometimes wonder if it is even remotely possible to master this subject but, even if it is not, at least it provides an unending source of ‘entertainment’. The phenomenon that I want to discuss[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled World
Biological Annihilation On Earth Accelerating

Biological Annihilation On Earth Accelerating

  Human beings are now waging war against life itself as we continue to destroy not just individual lives, local populations and entire species in vast numbers but also destroy the ecological systems that make life on Earth possible. By doing this we are now accelerating the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history and virtually eliminating any prospect of[Read More…]

Why War? Building On The Legacy of Einstein, Freud And Gandhi

Why War? Building On The Legacy of Einstein, Freud And Gandhi

  In 1932, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein conducted a correspondence subsequently published under the title ‘Why War?’ See ‘Why War: Einstein and Freud’s Little-Known Correspondence on Violence, Peace, and Human Nature’. In many ways, this dialogue between two giants of the 20th century is symbolic of the effort made by many humans to understand that perplexing and incredibly damaging[Read More…]

A Nonviolent Strategy To Defeat Genocide

A Nonviolent Strategy To Defeat Genocide

  It is a tragic measure of the depravity of human existence that genocide is a continuing and prevalent manifestation of violence in the international system, despite the effort following World War II to abolish it through negotiation, and then adoption and ratification of the 1948 Genocide Convention. According to the Genocide Convention, genocide is any act committed with the intent[Read More…]

An Open Letter To People With ‘Mental Health’ Issues

An Open Letter To People With ‘Mental Health’ Issues

  As ‘mental health’ issues gain more attention, sympathetic and otherwise, in a wide variety of contexts and countries around the world, the opportunity for inaccurate perceptions of what causes these issues, and how to treat them, are likewise expanded. So if you or someone you know is supposed to have a ‘mental illness’ such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive[Read More…]

Truth or Delusion?

Truth or Delusion?

One inevitable outcome of the phenomenal violence we all suffer as children is that most of us live in a state of delusion throughout our lives. This makes it extraordinarily difficult for accurate information, including vital information about the endangered state of our world and how to respond appropriately, to penetrate the typical human mind. ‘Phenomenal violence?’ you might ask.[Read More…]

International Collaboration to End Violence

International Collaboration to End Violence

While much of the world is engulfed in violence of one sort or another (whether violence in the home or on the street, exploitation, ecological destruction or war), a global network of individuals and organizations is committed to ending this violence in all of its manifestations. With individual signatories in 100 countries and organizational endorsements in 35 countries, each of[Read More…]

Why Do Some Men Rape?

Why Do Some Men Rape?

A recent report from Equality Now titled ‘The World’s Shame: The Global Rape Epidemic’ http://www.equalitynow.org/campaigns/rape-laws-report offered a series of recommendations for strengthened laws to deter and punish sexual violence against women and girls. However, there is substantial evidence that legal approaches to dealing with violence in any context are ineffective. For example, the empirical evidence on threats of punishment (that[Read More…]

Resisting Donald Trump’s Violence Strategically

Resisting Donald Trump’s Violence Strategically

It is already clearly apparent, as many predicted, that Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States would signal the start of what might be the final monumental assault on much of what is good in our world. Whatever our collective gains to date to create a world in which peace, social justice and environmental sustainability ultimately prevail for[Read More…]

The encampments at Standing Rock worked to keep prayer and nonviolence at the center of their actions. Photo by Joe Zummo.

Nonviolent Action Is Extremely Powerful

Nonviolent action is extremely powerful. Unfortunately, however, activists do not always understand why nonviolence is so powerful and they design ‘direct actions’ that are virtually powerless. I would like to start by posing two questions. Why is nonviolent action so powerful? And why is using it strategically so transformative? When an activist group is working on an issue – such[Read More…]

Global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target, scientists said. (Photo: Jamie McCaffrey/flickr/cc)

Life On Earth Is Dying

On the day that you read this article, 200 species of life on Earth (plants, birds, animals, fish, amphibians, insects, reptiles) will cease to exist. Tomorrow, another 200 species will vanish forever. The human onslaught to destroy life on Earth is unprecedented in Earth’s history. Planet Earth is now experiencing its sixth mass extinction event and Homo sapiens sapiens is[Read More…]

Seeking The True Path

Seeking The True Path

One of the more subtle manifestations of the intimate link between (unconscious) human emotions and behaviour is illustrated by the simple concept of choice and how this is so often reduced to a dichotomy between two bad options. In such circumstances, most people choose whatever they consider to be ‘the lesser evil’. But how often are there only two options,[Read More…]

Punishment Is Violent And Counterproductive

Punishment Is Violent And Counterproductive

Punishment is a popular pastime for humans. Parents punish children. Teachers punish students. Employers punish workers. Courts punish lawbreakers. People punish each other. Governments punish ‘enemies’. And, according to some, God punishes evildoers. What is ‘punishment’? Punishment is the infliction of violence as revenge on a person who is judged to have behaved inappropriately. It is a key word we[Read More…]

A Nonviolent Strategy to End the Climate Catastrophe

A Nonviolent Strategy to End the Climate Catastrophe

As the evidence mounts that we are fast approaching the final point-of-no-return beyond which it will be impossible to take sufficient effective action to prevent climate catastrophe – see ‘The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently’ http://www.climatecentral.org/news/world-passes-400-ppm-threshold-permanently-20738 – the evidence of ineffective official responses climbs too. See, for example, ‘Climate Con: why a new global deal on aviation emissions is[Read More…]

Gandhi And The Message Of Nonviolence

Gandhi And The Message Of Nonviolence

As most of the world ignores or hypocritically celebrates the 147th birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the International Day of Nonviolence on 2 October, some of us will quietly acknowledge his life by continuing to build the world that he envisioned. When asked for his message for the world, Gandhi responded with the now famous line ‘My life is[Read More…]

An Open Letter To The People Of The United States: Election or Revolution?

An Open Letter To The People Of The United States: Election or Revolution?

As citizens of the USA with a presidential election approaching you have a wonderful opportunity to ponder whether to participate in this election or to participate in the ongoing American Revolution. Your first revolution might have overthrown the authority of the British monarchy and aristocracy but the one in progress must remove the US elite which has executed a political[Read More…]

An Open Letter To The People Of Brazil

An Open Letter To The People Of Brazil

As I read of the latest coup in Brazil, once again removing a democratically elected leader from power, my anger surged. Not again! However, as I see and read about the ongoing massive protests, as well as calls by prominent community leaders to mobilize in defense of your country’s democracy, I feel great hope for Brazil. Having been a nonviolent[Read More…]

Nonviolent Revolt In The Twenty-First Century

Nonviolent Revolt In The Twenty-First Century

I sometimes wonder whether one of the ways in which ‘Amercian exceptionalism’ manifests is that many US scholars and others are unable to consider the contributions of those who are not from the USA. For example, I routinely read about studies of Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates (such as strategist James Lawson) in relation to nonviolence while the[Read More…]

A Nonviolent Strategy To End War

A Nonviolent Strategy To End War

There is a long history of anti-war and peace activism. Much of this activism has focused on ending a particular war. Some of this activism has been directed at ending a particular aspect of war, such as the use of a type of weapon. Some of it has aimed to prevent a type of war, such as ‘aggressive war’ or[Read More…]

The Psychology Of Ideology And Religion

The Psychology Of Ideology And Religion

Two of the drivers of world affairs that manifest in the daily decisions that affect our lives are ideology and religion. Ideology is the term widely used to describe the underlying set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that shape the behavioral approach to political, economic, social, cultural and/or ecological activities of an individual or organization. This organization[Read More…]

Hiding head in sand

The Delusion ‘I Am Not Responsible’

One of the many interesting details to be learned by understanding human psychology is how a person’s unconscious fear works in a myriad of ways to make them believe that they bear no responsibility for a particular problem. This psychological dysfunctionality cripples a substantial portion of the human population in ways that work against the possibility of achieving worthwhile outcomes[Read More…]

Beryl & James Burrowes 1942 & 2016

Lament For Humanity: A 50 Year Reflection

Deeply affected by the death of my two uncles in World War II, on 1 July 1966, the 24th anniversary of the ‘USS Sturgeon’ sinking of the Japanese prisoner-of-war ship ‘Montevideo Maru’ which killed the man after whom I am named, I decided that I would devote my life to working out why human beings are violent and then developing[Read More…]

Islamophobia: Why Are So Many People So Frightened?

Islamophobia: Why Are So Many People So Frightened?

Islamophobia has become a significant factor driving politics in many western countries. Islamophobia – fear of Muslims – is now highly visible among European populations concerned about terrorist responses from Islamic groups claiming Jihadi links. However, it is also evident among those same populations in relation to the refugee flow from the Middle East. In addition, Islamophobia is highly evident[Read More…]

by Comments are Disabled Life/Philosophy
A Critique of Human Society Since The Neolithic Revolution

A Critique of Human Society Since The Neolithic Revolution

There is a long history of social critics and progressive thinkers offering critiques of human society. Among those who are better known, Karl Marx offered a critique of capitalism, anarchists have critiqued the state, Mohandas K. Gandhi offered a critique of industrial society, Sigmund Freud and Herbert Marcuse offered critiques of civilization, and feminists have critiqued patriarchy. In addition, critiques[Read More…]