On the one hand, the world may be heading toward the Trumpian dream of profit and the planet be damned. On the other hand, as the planet is reeling from myriad violent assaults upon it already, we might consider the abolition of war as an idea whose time has come.
We are certainly at a transformative moment in history. The earth is under siege from destructive global warming, militarism and industrialization. As Alice Slater with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has said, "It is essential that we mobilize to save our planet. War is a cruel and untenable distraction, draining trillions of dollars and incalculable losses of intellectual firepower away from the essential work that needs to be done to create a livable future for humanity."
As millions pause and take a deep breath as the world turns toward 2017, there is a little window opened in which we can ask the question why on earth the world spends $1.7 trillion every year on war, according to globalissues.org. The U.S. war machine fattens itself on the wars it conducts, while the social fabric of the U.S. and many countries becomes painfully frayed, countless children and adults worldwide suffer, catastrophic climate change increases, hunger and poverty rise, and the toxic mess of the nuclear/industrial age creeps deeper into our whole ecosystem.
Would you take a vow if you thought that you could help shift the course of history from the trajectory we're on now to one that affirms life and ends wars?
Here is the vow: "I understand that wars and militarism make us less safe rather than protect us — they kill, injure and traumatize adults, children and infants; severely damage the natural environment; erode civil liberties; and drain our economies, siphoning resources from life-affirming activities. I commit to engage in and support nonviolent efforts to end all war and preparations for war and to create a sustainable and just peace."
A worldwide effort has been planned and launched by the "World Beyond War" organization. Individuals and groups all over the world are being invited to take the vow and join in. After all, "Blessed are the peacemakers." This isn't a vow to make as much profit as possible, but with such a vow, the world will survive.
The Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center's "Peace Train" runs every Friday in the Colorado Daily.