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Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Sunday, 02 December 2007 14:36
Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence

Luis T. Gutierrez, Ph.D., P.E.
- Mission Statement - Violence is the main obstacle to human development. There is an intrinsic link between violence and religion, patriarchal gender violence being the most pervasive expression of religious violence. Mitigating violence therefore requires overcoming the patriarchal mindset, especially in religious institutions. The mission of this independent newsletter is to provide a commented digest on current research and emerging issues related to human solidarity, ecological sustainability, and both religious and secular non-violence. The U.N. "Millennium Development Goals" (MDGs) are used as a point of reference.




The space allocation and layout of this issue has been changed to accommodate a review of a major resource: the 2007 State of the Future Report (SOF2007). Sections 1 and 2 attempt to place the report in context, especially with respect to the MDGs and the WFUNA Millennium Project. Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 contain the review of the 2006-2007 SOF research. Section 7 offers some concluding reflections about this major work. Sections 8 and 9 follow the usual pattern.

The 2007 State of the Future Report compiles the executive summaries of all the 2006-2007 studies done by the Millennium Project. It is like an executive summary of executive summaries, with a high level executive summary of its own. Pointers are provided for the readers who might want to read all the supporting research material, contained in the CD that comes with the printed report. Those who take the plunge should be ready to swim deep.

The SOF reports constitute one of the major resources available for researchers and practitioners of international development and related global issues. They complement the MDG, HDR, and other UN reports by providing comparable information independently assembled from hundreds of experts worldwide. The report on each of the 15 global challenges, as well as other reports, convey a reassuring sense of balance between positive and negative trends. This is honest to goodness research reporting, not propaganda. Only one serious weakness was found: the social and environmental impacts (both positive and negative) of organized religion are not given due consideration. The word "religion" does appear here and there, but it is not differentiated from "organized religion." This is a controversial subject, but one that must be faced in the post-9/11 world. Religion is both indispensable and dangerous for human development. It is indispensable, because the "inner journey" that leads to individuation requires spiritual guidance. It is dangerous, because nothing leads to violence as fast as religious fanatism. The SOF report has now been published for eleven consecutive years. Jerome C. Glenn, director of the Millennium Project, and his associates, are to be congratulated for their major contribution to a better future for humanity and the human habitat.

Updating of the SSNV-MDG knowledge taxonomy and links database continues as time permits. The current version shows the links sorted by mega-disciplines, and within each mega-discipline by MDGs. This is "work in progress" but you are cordially invited to take a look at this resource and download it (free) for your own use (two options: HTML Web Page or EXCEL Spreadsheet).

This month's invited paper is Socioeconomic Democracy and Sustainable Development, by Robley E. George, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies, 25 October, 2007. George's paper is an intriguing proposal for a democratic reformation of current taxing systems to eliminate extreme poverty and temper extravagant wealth.


Last Updated on Sunday, 02 December 2007 14:36

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