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November 22, 2009

Institution Building: Civil Society is Key Ingredient for Nonviolent Paradigm Shifts

People often find this blog when trying to understand what social upheaval is. There are many possible answers, but the definition I use is: nonviolent paradigm shift.

Globally, militarism, patriarchy, and free-trade capitalism are fundamental pillars of human interaction. I believe social upheaval is needed to create a society where the economy is based on human needs, where all people participate equally in the political process, and the use of physical force is severely limited, replaced by diplomacy.

Civil society is the key ingredient to accomplishing these goals. The institutions of civil society, such as Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, provide individuals with a way to participate in the political process with as much legitimacy and weight as any political party or corporation.

While I believe helping individuals and communities succeed within the current global paradigm through development activities is important, development work does not create new systems of social and political equality.

From WILPF's Constitution:

WILPF makes it its duty to further by non-violent means the social transformation that enables the inauguration of systems under which social and political equality and economic justice for all can be attained, without discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, or any other grounds whatsoever.
The League's focus on education and political action helps hold politicians accountable and provides people an opportunity to participate in the social upheaval needed to transform the world.

I fervently believe individuals working collectively through NGOs are the key ingredient to creating a better future.

What are you doing to create peace and justice?

Posted by cj at November 22, 2009 5:13 PM


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