About This Issue

One of the articles in Is Militarism Fading? (IC#20)
Originally published in Winter 1989 on page 1
Copyright (c)1989, 1997 by Context Institute

"’Is Militarism Fading?’ When the world is spending almost$1 trillion a year on the military and more than 20 wars are currently raging around the world? Who are you trying to kid?!"

Yes, I know it sounds outrageous – but there are growing signs, both in the short- and long-term view, that the age-old curse of militarism is coming to an end. We’ll explore these in this issue and, even more to the point, look at ways (both personal and social/political) that we can all help hasten its demise.

Several points run like common threads through much of this issue, among them:

  • Current spending on defense is both unsustainable and a drain on more pressing needs.
  • "National security" must be redefined to include not just military threats to our safety, but environmental and economic threats as well.
  • The military structures we have in place could be very potent agents for positive change and planetary rebuilding.
  • Individuals and cultures need to learn how to retract the shadow – to see those who differ from us as human beings, and not as carriers of those qualities we refuse to acknowledge about ourselves.

As an important sub-theme, we’ll hear from the warrior – one of militarism’s "active ingredients," as well as its least understood victim – about the price he or she has had to pay and about how the strengths of the warrior can be used in more constructive, life-affirming ways. In fact, the magnitude of the challenges we face requires us to examine warrior values closely, rethink them, and adopt some of them as our own.

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