What they are saying...

What they are saying...
Back Cover

Friday, February 17, 2017

Peace Chronicle (Peace & Justice Studies Association) Summer 2012

"About the Words Peace and Nonviolence" (pages 8 and 9)
Susan L. Allen


A word about "Activist Media Anthropology" [ update: Media Anthropology-Informing Global Citizens, Greenwood, 1994. Foreword by Mary Catherine Bateson]

In 1994 I published the book, Media Anthropology  - Informing Global Citizens (Bergin & Garvey). Some of the ideas from The Tao of Nonviolence had their origins as I tried to persuade journalists to adopt and share more holistic perspectives with their media audiences

To make a long story short, at some point I realized, yes, we need media anthropology - i.e. we need journalists to help inform global citizens by making holistic perspectives available. However, we also needed actual people, by the millions, to become involved in the massive re-education effort to update our worldview -- from dualistic to holistic.

It was then I realized the nonviolence movement of movements was and is such a critical form of self-education and action.
The link between "media anthropology" and the "people power" of nonviolence is partially recorded in my chapter to Media Anthropology (Sage,2005). That chapter is here:

Activist Media Anthropology - Antidote to Extremist Worldviews
Susan L. Allen
Media Anthropology, Rothenbuhler and Coman, 2005


Monday, February 13, 2017

Someone asked "What ideas are in the Tao book?"

So, I thought I'd list a couple of the main points (ok, three):

The Tao of Nonviolence shows us:
- how a systems-based/holistic worldview is prerequisite to safer problem-solving (thus relationships);
- how -- by coming to see human relationships as living systems -- we can recognize imbalance as violence and understand nonviolence as the only logical, non-moralistic way to correct course before crisis, violence and system failure;
- and,  how -- as seemingly disconnected problem-specific nonviolence groups begin to overlap -- the larger community can rely less on "mopping up the blood" of violence and more on the principles of nonviolence as an  organizing principle that can move us in the direction of health, peace and sustainability.

Another thought.  I went to a talk/film on "permaculture" last night and was struck by how many of the Tao of Nonviolence ideas are relevant.  Permaculture is about creating sustainable living systems, too, but primarily focused on humanity's relationship with the Earth. That said, so much of its promise reflects  WHY I wrote my book. My take on sustainability is more abstract and overarching - because it is an attempt to encourage people with all kinds of interests to take up projects /actions with the intention of creating sustainable systems. As someone in the Permaculture film said, however, all of our current thinking is "on the cutting edge of a thousands year old recognition of interconnectedness."  etc!