This has been published in the book PEACE OR BUST. For ordering information, please click here.
As Irene surveyed this troubled world,
she wept for the suffering of humanity.
Looking closer into the hearts of the people
she could see germinating seeds of new life.
Now she will describe for us how these seeds grow
by being nurtured well with loving thoughts and actions,
and how poisonous disease is removed from the body politic.
Her prophecy of divine wisdom and hope
is our guide to healing this planet.
The being of the living Earth called Gaia hungers for unity
and the blessed harmony of peace and justice.
Let us listen to Irene's voice of peace:
People are meeting together
to share their deep concerns about the future.
We are learning how to listen to each other,
becoming aware of the issues that face us.
As we express our inmost feelings,
we realize how many people agree with us.
Some people are meeting in churches or spiritual groups;
others gather in political associations of all kinds;
most people find out from friends or family.
Millions of people every day ask themselves,
"What can we do to stop the madness
and help the world move toward peace?"
Some are learning how to make decisions by consensus,
where every person's voice is heard and considered,
and everyone works to find a way so that all agree.
Many people are writing letters to politicians,
signing petitions, and marching in demonstrations.
Millions of people are raising their voices.
Hand in hand we surround military bases
and hold peaceful vigils at defense plants.
Bolder and braver souls stand or sit in the roadway
or on the railroad tracks before the white train
that carries nuclear bombs across the land.
Prayerfully, protesters enter the military bastions,
corporate offices, nuclear plants, and political halls,
and are carried away singing to jails.
In law courts we plead Nuremberg Principles,
international law, and the necessity to prevent genocide.
Peace camps are springing up like scouts on vacation.
Women are mobilizing their power to save the Earth.
A new breed of heroines and heroes is arising
and going forth to slay the nuclear dragons,
armed only with love in our hearts and a hunger for justice.
Nonviolence training prepares individuals
to work in groups without harming anyone.
Generous supporters facilitate the actions.
Many hearts are touched by the selfless sacrifices.
Peace brigades are organized and travel
to intervene nonviolently in war-torn countries
to stop the crimes perpetrated by governments.
These grassroots movements are growing and connecting
as millions of messages pass through the mail each day.
Every aggressive act is met with protest
from a groundswell of opinion opposed to military methods.
More people are becoming sensitive to the oppression
of poor people in countries around the world.
Reports of atrocities, torture, wars, and starvation
move many to insist on humane governmental policies.
The wise learn by observing the mistakes of others,
but the foolish must burn their hands to feel the pain.
Repression of rights and basic needs causes revolution.
Intelligent leaders are modifying their policies
so that they can retain their positions of power.
In the United States the belligerent, greedy,
and short-sighted policies of Reagan Republicans
will become unpopular with voters as problems multiply.
The Democrats are likely to regain control
of the Senate in 1986 and the Presidency in 1988.
The demand for arms control by the USA and USSR
may lead to a bilateral nuclear weapons freeze in 1989.
U. S. withdrawal of military commitments in trouble spots
will be more difficult for the Democrats to achieve.
Yet the worldwide peace movement will have grown,
and the lessons of Vietnam and other wars
will be sinking into people's hearts and minds.
Green politics will grow in Europe and the Pacific,
calling for demilitarization, social and economic justice,
and environmental planning through nonviolent reform.
In America, Green policies will add to the growing influence
of the rainbow coalition within the Democratic Party.
The viability of the Republican Party will largely depend
on how much conditions deteriorate in the late eighties
as a result of their fiscal and military policies;
if the recession or wars are severe,
the party could plummet the way it did in the 1930s.
Then the Democrats could divide into the traditional core
and the forward-looking Green and rainbow caucuses,
which may emerge in the late nineties as a new party
aligned with the worldwide movement for peace and justice.
As conditions worsen materially,
more people will turn toward spiritual attitudes.
Accelerated consciousness evolution in the information age
is enabling millions of people to awaken to spiritual ideas
from various traditions and contemporary teachers.
Fundamentalism and "born-again" Christians are part of this,
though preachers use patriotism and materialism
to manipulate people into supporting American capitalism
and its militaristic neo-imperialism,
which is grossly hypocritical to what the Christ teaches.
Much human progress will depend on the enlightenment
of such people and others toward authentic spiritual values.
Jesus, more than any other spiritual leader, teaches us
to help the poor, renounce riches, abandon weapons of war,
and love our enemies as well as all others.
Many people are putting these teachings into practice.
The Catholic bishops are moving in this direction with
their pastoral messages on nuclear weapons and capitalism.
People are concerned about the poor and starving people
throughout the world as well as in their own countries.
Radical new abolitionists are demanding the elimination
of all nuclear weapons in the world
and an end to war everywhere.
This world peace movement began growing in the early 1980s,
and it will continue to expand until it wins over the world.
The following describes how it could happen:
In the 1990s the bilateral nuclear weapons freeze
leads to step-by-step reductions of the nuclear arsenals
with certain verification that everyone can trust.
Europe removes all its nuclear weapons and becomes
a nuclear-weapon-free zone from Scandinavia to the Balkans.
With the growth of the Greens and the peace movement,
the nations of both western and eastern Europe
gradually demilitarize and with massive demonstrations
manage to free themselves from superpower domination
and join Sweden, Switzerland, Austria,
Yugoslavia, and Albania as non-aligned nations---
Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,
West and East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey,
Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and England.
The West and East Germans provide the initiative
by withdrawing from NATO and the Warsaw Pact respectively,
as they disarm and unify their people into one nation.
This stimulates the Koreas to demilitarize and unify also.
Japan, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand also
withdraw from military alliance with the United States.
Afghanistan gains independence, as the Soviet Union leaves,
because Pakistan ends its military ties to the U. S.
A Pan-African movement arises
and throws off military support from all outside countries.
Capitalist and Communist powers compete with economic aid
to try to win over African people to their way of life
by helping to solve the food, health, and economic problems.
These events do not happen overnight.
They occur gradually, sporadically, and in stages
following the extraordinary stress of revolutions and wars
combined with recessions, depression, and economic collapse
which destabilize and transform power relationships.
The spiritual awakening, which is ecumenical and secular,
uses its growing influence not only to demilitarize the world
but also to make needed economic and ecological reforms
in both capitalist and Communist societies.
The Scandinavian nations are leading the way to
a reasonable compromise between socialism and a free market.
Progressive legislation assures that everyone is provided
with health care, education, food, clothing and shelter,
environmental protection, and unemployment insurance,
all paid for from capitalist profits
by progressive corporate and personal income taxes.
Most nations simplify their welfare systems by offering
education and health services at little or no cost
and by a negative income tax that assures everyone
of a basic minimum standard of living.
Welfare benefits are gradually reduced for part-time workers
so that there is incentive to work to earn more money.
Progressive taxes and reductions in military expenditures
enable governments to provide these benefits,
balance their budgets, and contribute to developing nations.
With fewer people working on useless military projects,
the economy becomes much more productive
and improves the quality of life for all.
With advancing technology rapidly increasing work efficiency,
less human labor is required to accomplish tasks.
As people turn from material to spiritual values,
they desire more free time and fewer material possessions.
Working hours are reduced, while salaries remain stable.
Over several years the average work week shrinks
from 40 hours to 37~ to 35 to 32 to 30 to 28 to 26 to 24
and perhaps eventually to 20 or less,
solving the unemployment problem of the modern age.
Progressive income tax reverses the increased disparity
between the rich and poor in capitalist countries.
As people's values become less material,
they realize that money is not the only motive
for wanting to excel or rise in one's profession.
When the nuclear arms race is stopped and reversed,
many people go back to business as usual.
Yet political ideological rivalry continues an arms race
concentrating on sophisticated conventional weapons.
A worsening energy crisis leads to confrontation
between the industrial superpowers and their clients.
Military pressure to control material resources increases.
Tensions mount, particularly in the Middle East.
However, at the same time, the spiritual awakening has grown,
as people realize oneness with all and social responsibility.
Ecology and future planning are uppermost in public opinion.
Now the world peace movement is demanding total disarmament
and world law under a democratic federal world government.
Skilled peacemakers provide nonviolent conflict resolution.
The people want natural resources to be shared fairly,
as renewable energy technologies are rapidly increased.
At the urging of worldwide demonstrations by millions,
a world constitutional convention is called,
and representatives meet at the United Nations.
Encouraged by the prayers and good wishes of millions
who want a world of health, peace, and justice,
a document is written that protects the rights of all,
and plans are agreed upon for gradual disarmament
and for an international peacekeeping service.
In every nation peace-loving people are able
to win ratification of the new world constitution.
Volunteers for peacekeeping come from every country.
World authorities inspect each stage of disarmament.
Each nation has self-determination and internal sovereignty.
Representatives to the World Assembly are elected
by popular vote, and each nation has at least one voice.
Every ten million people elect one representative,
and any fraction of that from one nation
has one representative voting that fraction.
Thus every person in the world has equal representation.
Nine continental entities each elect a president
to serve on the World Executive Council---
North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa,
North Asia, West Asia, India, China, and East Asia.
Each president appoints one justice to the World Court,
and each justice must be confirmed by the World Assembly.
International disputes and human rights cases
are decided by the World Court of Justice
according to the laws passed by the World Assembly.
Enforcement by the International Peacekeeping Service
is decided by two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.
The World Constitution limits the powers of each branch
and reserves all other rights and powers to the nations.
Compromises are made to satisfy the major powers.
Some eastern European nations vote with Europe,
while others vote with North Asia.
After ratification by national governments,
a census is taken, and the first world elections are held.
A New Age has truly begun; people are relieved
and watching closely the progress of the new government.
When disarmament down to local police is achieved,
great ceremonies of spiritual joy are celebrated.
Many problems and conflicts still exist in the world,
but finally humanity has found ways to work on them
without resorting to the brutality of violence.
The fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of millions
has become a reality, proving to many people that
peace and justice can be attained by human effort
when love for all expands our awareness.
This has been published in the book PEACE OR BUST. For ordering information, please click here.
Introduction and VISION