February 14, 2020
Today TFF launches “Bootprint – Militarism and Environment” – a curated, free-of-charge online magazine that brings you quality knowledge about the connections between the two most urgent problems that humanity faces.
These two main clusters of problems which, if not solved, threaten to destroy humanity, our Earth and all future potentials are:
Environment – with catchwords such as climate change, global warming, CO2 footprint, non-sustainability, pollution, resource depletion, species extinction, variety and diversity reduction, rain forest destruction, overconsumption, fossil fuels economy, limitless material growth, etc. etc. – and
Militarism – with catchwords such as warfare, nuclear weapons, arms production and trade, militarization of land, air, space and oceans, tension creating, interventionism, base networks, terrorism, cyber and propaganda warfare, other weapons of mass destruction, special forces operations, intelligence agency crimes, imperialism, etc.
The two clusters a fundamentally connected – militarism is enormously destructive of the environment; climate change and other processes in the global environment cause increasing risks to our security. Wars produce refugees, refugee migrations cause social upheaval and xenophobia and immense environmental degradation, etc.
And there are the opportunity cost relations: whenever resources and budgets are spent on militarism, we are reducing the chance to solve the environmental problems because of the perverse proportions between the comparatively tiny budgets for peace and sustainability and welfare, on the one hand, and the seemingly unlimited budgets for everything related to violence, on the other.
You can’t have the cake and blow it up too.
The two clusters are also connected at deeper cultural levels and ways of thinking. They are both fundamentally expressive of the human acceptance of violence as legitimate and effective – violence against Mother Nature in a broad sense and violence against other people, cultures, political systems, religions, or whatever. Violence for a mission civilisatrice.
They both flow from a deep-seated contempt for weakness on the one hand and an – absurd, naive – belief in anthropocentrism, on the other. That is, that Man is the centre of everything and that some men are more central than others.
Wars are fought against those considered lower, (morally) weaker, less powerful, lower in a civilisational ranking system than “we” are. Mother Nature shall be the object of scientific research, exploration and experimentation – in order to be controlled, shaped, manipulated – in order to serve Man.
It was during the process of this male scientific penetration and control of female Nature aiming at finding her secrets in the smallest building block that we stumbled upon the atom which was then, immediately and tragically, put to destructive use on July 16, 1945, and used – unnecessarily – on Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than a month later.
The deep thought patterns embedded in these two global problems are one and the same, carry the same message: Dominate, control, exploit as much as you can! Use your superiority against the weaker and serve yourselves, the egoistic, not the common good – and use violence ad libitum! Might makes right!
Doris Lessing called it Shikasta – a fundamental flaw in our civilisation’s ‘code’ of human and societal thinking that will lead to destruction unless… unless we stop and begin to think of how it is we think. And then change fundamentally the way we act, do politics and define the meaning of the term society.
It goes without saying – but should, therefore, be emphasized: It borders on the bizarre that, today, there is intense world attention only to the environment themes and hardly any to the peace. And that there are very few connectors between the two – in science, politics, activism and media.
But we must ask: What’s the use of fighting to stop climate change – the Whimper – if even one small nuclear weapon goes off or a major war breaks out – the Bang – somewhere tomorrow?
And how can anyone believe that we can save the environment and create a global, sustainable future while the warfare and militarism system is maintained unchanged – perhaps with measures to make it “green” – and the global military continues to consume resources and funds nobody understands anymore?
How can anyone with his head overground believe that MIMAC – Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex – can continue to invent enemies and require more and more resources as the perpetuum mobile it is and serving only itself – while we are trying to make the rest of the civil and civilised world sustainable?
If so, then we are doomed.
The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists recently put its famous world warning Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest to predictable world catastrophe ever. Mind you, it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age.
Is it really to ask too much holistic thinking that we address both issues – before each of them – and their combined effects – bring us beyond the point of no return?
Integral thinking and action will come. It is so self-evident that it must come. The slogan for both areas: Reduce all kinds of violence in thinking, speaking and action. And devise a constructive program for both areas – integral positive future thinking and scenario-development. What you can visualize, people may work for – what you cannot visualize, nobody will work for.
And the world could be such a beautiful, peaceful, sustainable place. We don’t need Utopias. We don’t need Dystopia. We need Eutopia – visions or the future world that is better and really possible and for which it is meaningful to work.
In times of fake and omission, of denial and escapism and of political systems that have proven incapable of turning the ship in time – we have known about these two problems and the necessity to find solutions to them – for a good 70 years and done far too little – we need knowledge (not only information) and holistic thinking more than ever.
Today, TFF launches a curated online magazine on Flipboard to help you find your own way through these issues and how they are interconnected – “Bootprint – Militarism and Environment”. It’s on Flipboard and works particularly well on your phone, just download its app.
It’s just an embryo, a small guide to begin with (about 50 posts). It’s by no means complete – but there is enough to browse for the seriously concerned citizen – in line with TFF’s wish to contribute to public education and constructive action.
More will be added as time goes by.
Bootprint holds more diagnosis and prognosis than treatment and constructive policy proposals in it. At this point. It’s a reflection of the research and debate as it is. But we shall need, ASAP, to integrate constructive solution-thinking and policies for both problem cluster as one.
It contains materials from many perspectives and written by a diversity of people and institution, civil and also military. TFF takes no responsibility for views brought forward in these articles and videos, some of them may be based on values we do not share. But they are part of the knowledge base and the debate.
We hope you will benefit from Bootprint.
We hope you will alert us too quality materials to be included – send them to TFF@transnational.org.
We hope you will press “Follow” and spread whatever message you find important in some of these articles and videos and share them with everyone you know and decision-makers you think must learn.
TFF and its Associates are painfully aware that we can do only very little about these huge problems. But the ocean consists of drops. But we are happy to add our drop to the ocean of knowledge and thinking – and thereby help bring about both peace and sustainability through the only means that will have a real, lasting effect: Knowledge and education on how to reduce all kinds of violence and on how to channel resources to civilian development of both the inner and outer human beings and all human beings.
And now listen…
If you think “Bootprint” is yet another good initiative from TFF for a better world…
TFF’s first online magazine on Flipboard is “Transnational Peace Affairs” and can be browsed and followed here.