New Book: The Complexity of Connection, Coeditor Linda Hartling
The Complexity of Connection: Writings from the Stone Center’s Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (2004)
Judith V. Jordan, Ph.D., Maureen Walker, Ph.D., and Linda M. Hartling, Ph.D., editors
In this important third volume from the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (jbmti.org) at the Wellesley Centers for Women, founding scholars and new voices expand and deepen the Center’s widely embraced psychological theory of connection as the core of human growth and development. Demonstrating the increasing sophistication of relational-cultural theory, the volume presents an absorbing and practical examination of connection and disconnection at both individual and societal levels. Chapters explore how experiences of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, and gender influence relationships and how people can connect across difference and disagreement.
This book contains the chapter "Shame and Humiliation: From Isolation to Relational Transformation" by Linda Hartling, Wendy Rosen, Maureen Walker, and Judith Jordan
“In a culture toxic with aggression, competition, and ‘power over’ images, this book seeks to heal. Whether discussing race; isolation and loneliness; or raising caring, empathic sons, the authors write with authority and heart about important and deeply relevant issues. I cannot think of a book we need more in our sad, hard times.” —Mary Pipher, PhD,
author of Reviving Ophelia
“To encounter the transformative vision of the Stone Center in a single volume is always a special pleasure. The theoretical and clinical wisdom in this book is stunning in its power to change the reader in some fundamental way, and to move the field of psychotherapy toward a more accurate, compassionate, and multilayered understanding of what hurts and heals in human relationships.”
—Harriet Lerner, PhD,
author of The Dance of Anger
Paperback: ISBN 1-59385-025-5, Cat. #5025
Paperback Price: $18.95
GUILFORD PUBLICATIONS, INC.
72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
Tel.: (212) 431-9800
Toll Free: (800) 365-7006
Fax: (212) 966-6708
Visit our website: www.guilford.com
Linda Hartling at Harvard/JBMTI Learning From Women Conference
Harvard Medical School and the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute invite you to the...
2004 Learning From Women Conference!
Date: May 7-8, 2004
Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston MA
This conference explores the major themes of connection in
women’s lives, the sources of disconnection and violation, and the paths
to reconnection. Through lectures, panels, workshops, and discussions
with the audience, presenters will explore issues of women’s mental health
in relationship to community, society, and culture.
Commitment to Connection in a Culture of Fear - Judith V. Jordan, Ph.D.
Embodying Disconnection: The Trauma of Racism - Maureen Walker, Ph.D.
Embodying Pleasure: The Desire and the Danger - Carol Gilligan, Ph.D.
Telling the Truth About Power - Jean Baker Miller, M.D.
Creating Clarity Through Connection and Community - Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Yvonne Jenkins, Ph.D., Elizabeth Sparks, Ph.D., Janet Surrey, Ph.D., Natalie Eldridge, Ph.D., Wendy Rosen, Ph.D.
Exploring the Relationship Between Relationship and Neurobiology - Amy
Information is available by visiting www.cambridgecme.org
Polarization Between Occupier and Occupied in Post-Saddam Iraq by Victoria Firmo-Fontan
The Center for International Conflict Resolution is pleased to present
POLARIZATION BETWEEN OCCUPIER AND OCCUPIED IN POST-SADDAM IRAQ:
HUMILIATION AND THE FORMATION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Dr. Victoria Firmo-Fontan
Conflict Analysis and Resolution Program
Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey
Wednesday, April 21st
12:00 - 2 pm
Victoria Firmo-Fontan is a post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Sabanci University, in Turkey. She has published various papers on multi-track diplomacy, human trafficking, the public diplomacy of armed groups and the formation of political violence in post-conflict societies. Central to her work has been a conceptualisation of post-conflict processes through the study of social, gendered, cultural, economic and political humiliation.
Dr. Firmo-Fontan has conducted field research in Lebanon with the Hezbollah, in Bosnia-Herzegovina on human trafficking and organised crime, and in Fallujah (post-Saddam Iraq) with emerging armed groups. She is also involved in gender training for peacekeeping operations, and has lectured to various armed forces on the subject.
Ten Years of Freedom
Please find a link below regarding a film series celebrating ten years of freedom in South Africa. Film will be shown in New York.
All the best,
The Human Right to Peace by Douglas Roche
You are welcome to put a copy of the highlights of the Roche book on your
web site. You can get a clean copy from our web site at http://www.peace.ca/humanrighttopeace.htm and it also has a link to a related Book Review done by Dr. Larry Fisk.
ANNUAL PEACE EDUCATION CONFERENCE IN CANADA
Andrei G. Aleinikov and his Work on Creativity
Francisco Gomes de Matos (see our Advisory Board) made me aware of Andrei G. Aleinikov's work on and with creativity.
I agree with Francisco, and others (also Bob Fuller stresses this point, meet also him on our Advisory Board), that creativity in many ways is crucial to our vision of a future world of equal dignity for all.
I remember my time in Egypt as a clinical psychologist, when Western managers came to me with a "nervous breakdown." Their problem was that their Egyptian employees invested their creativity into sabotaging their Western bosses instead of dedicating their creativity to the company's goals. The background was that those Western managers treated their employees in autocratic and humiliating ways and thus, without intending it, in effect shut off their companies from receiving the fruits of their employee's creativity in any form that was acceptable to them.
In contrast, those Western managers who adopted a different managerial style, one of respect for equal dignity for all, were absolutely delighted with their Egyptian employees.
Thus, respect for equal dignity seemed to free creativity for company interests. Consequently, the company's own "self-interest" indicated that treating people with respect and in dignified ways was preferable to straightjacketing them into humiliating systems.
I asked Andrei G. Aleinikov whether I had the permission to place the article that got him the biggest Award of the Academies -- the 2003 Outstanding Educator Award for Innovative and Creative Teaching from the Academy of Educational Leadership -- on our News Section.
He kindly replied as follows:
"The copyright belongs to me, so I can use the article (with the C symbol). We have to mention that it is FORECOMING. It has been published by the Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, Allied Academies, NC. And you can give their link as www.alliedacademies.org. And certainly you can put a link to my web site www.mega-creator.com. The hard copy of the Journal will be out in summer.
The article entails a graph that is not visible on this page. Please contact us to receive the text including the graph.
Please see Andrei Aleinikov's biographical background on the web sites of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation, Princeton, NJ, www.woodrow.org/visiting-fellows/fellows_biography.html, scroll the first on the list of fellows.
My warmest wishes!
GENIUS EDUCATION METHODOLOGY HELPS CREATING A NATION OF GENIUSES: NEW HORIZONS, AWARDS, AND REWARDS IN CREATIVE & INNOVATIVE EDUCATION
Andrei G. Aleinikov, Ph.D. © 2003
Troy State University Montgomery
Mega-Innovative Mind International Institute & School of Geniuses
Actually, when we selected students we thought they were those who “cannot be helped.”
And we were waiting for a miracle. We wanted to see how YOU can perform a miracle.
And when they were reading their works, we’ve seen that it happened. They ARE unique.
Mrs Ong-Chew Lu See, Head of Department, Discipline,
Pastoral Care and Guidance, Jiemin Primary School, Singapore
What seemed a "miracle" to Singapore, as well as to American, Russian, Indian, and South African educators, was actually the Genius* Education Methodology (GEM) in action, and this article discusses the "anatomy” of this "miracle.” This article reports the results of over 20 years of research and practice behind the GEM--the system of education that leaves no one indifferent, performs "miracles" on all evaluated audiences from 8 to 76 years of age, and has an unequalled rate of success: 99.8% with children and 99.6% with adults. GEM is the methodology of discovering a genius ("peculiar bent of genius," Plato -- see Wong, 2001) and boosting this genius to stardom. Genius Education Methodology leads to genius learning and genius thinking. Therefore, it can be viewed as a new horizon or, even better, as a peak of creative and innovative education from which many new horizons are seen, and from which other types of education can get the never ending fresh mountain water of new methods and techniques.
Since 1983, when the idea of creating an IDEAL SYSTEM of education appeared, all theoretical and practical development has been directed at verifying it and checking the applicability of the theory to various levels of education, subjects, and audiences. Vigorous testing of the ideas and continuous improvement of the system on the basis of qualitative and quantitative feedback led the author to the conclusion of its theoretical and practical universality (Aleinikov & Aleinikova, 1991). Now it is time to share with the educational community the strategic master plan of the theoretical research behind the extensive educational and publishing practice, which otherwise would seem sporadic and non-directed. With over 100 books and articles published in 11 countries and on two languages, even the most dedicated reader will have difficulty putting it all together. Therefore, this article is a concentrated report to the scientific and educational community (especially needed because of latest developments in Singapore).
The basic results of our research and educational practices are fundamentally different from the prevailing point of view because of the innovative approach to education (Aleinikov, 1995a) and a series of scientific breakthroughs. Novology, the science of newness (English version: Aleinikov, 2002b), is one of them. When Novology was applied to creativity and innovation, it led to new scientific vision of these phenomena as well as to MegaCreativity and MegaInnovation (Aleinikov, 1994, 1999c, 2002b). When Novology was applied to research, it led to discovery of new sciences, models, and concepts including three new educational sciences (Aleinikov 1988, 1992, 1998b). When Novology was applied to education, it led to Genius Education Methodology (Aleinikov, 1996 and later), to Super Effective Communication (Aleinikov, 1996a), and to Hyper Efficient Language Programs (Aleinikov, 1995b), as well as to Creative MetaPedagogy (1992). When Novology was applied to publishing, it led to a Guinness World Record for the fastest written, printed and published book (Neethling & Aleinikov, 2001). When Novology was applied to the arts, it led to founding new styles of art (Aleinikov, 2003).
Thus the applications of Novology to all basic domains (sciences and arts, business and education) have been proven extremely successful. Having changed the lives of over 200 future geniuses, 800 new authors, 3,000 traditional students, 20,000 school students (through teachers), 700 CEO's, managers, engineers, and over 10 million people through books and media, Genius Education Methodology is proven to be ready to transform ANY country into the nation of geniuses.
CASE 1. MATTHEW THAT NO ONE KNEW
Matthew S. (Matt) was in tears of joy--and just looking at him made the eyes of adults' standing around fill with tears as well. Holding the NEWLY PUBLISHED book close to his heart and breathing fast, he forced out the words and explained that he had been writing poems for his whole life, but he never showed his poems to anyone--neither to his parents, nor to his friends-- “It is the first time I showed my poetry to people, and…” Matt stopped for a second, raised his hands in exultation, and nearly shouted out, “it is published!” That is how the Author‘s Pride Project discovered a Matt that NO ONE knew. There were over 400 other “Matts” in that Franklin Junior High School in Franklin, Ohio, when the book titled And the World Would be a Better Place was published in 48 hours, and the local newspaper called them "Instant Authors." Franklin Junior High School also became the first school in the world with an entire student body published authors; for me, however, it was discovering Matt for Matt and for his parents that was the goal! Discovering a genius as well as creating the "author's pride" in Matt that would KEEP that genius in positive activities--instead of drugs and crime--was the goal of the project. Only in the year 2000-2001 the Project produced 800 new authors, including 200 new authors in South Africa, were we established a Guinness World Record when the book entitled Making the Impossible Possible was written, printed and published in 15 hours and 46 minutes (Neethling & Aleinikov, 2001).
CASE 2. JUSTIN THAT NO ONE KNEW
In Singapore, where one of the schools selected 13 of the most difficult children for my class, Justin was a notoriously known student (teachers called it the "Justin problem" and said that there are "other Justins in the other classes!"). During three days of workshop, Justin, to the surprise of the teachers, was an example to follow--disciplined, active, and MOST INVENTIVE!!! He managed to generate more ideas and more solutions than anyone else (including teachers), he was making two pictures instead of one and he was answering the questions before they were asked!!! Do you remember a poignant expression from the movie A Beautiful Mind? "Genius is an answer before the question." Justin WAS that genius! The Genius Education Methodology discovered that treasure for Singapore, just as Dr. E. Paul Torrance tests of creative thinking (TTCT) reveal creative kids! There were 12 more in the same class (see epigraph), and I was glad to provide an absolutely different meaning to the phrase "other Justins in the other classes." Moreover, I was particularly happy that the teachers who came to a "totally different understanding of what a teacher really is" decided to "adopt" them all! (See: www.kms-inc.net/kmssite/singapore2002.pdf)
Note: The latest news from Singapore is astounding. I have just received a message that ALL 13 students have successfully passed the Primary School Leaving Exam administered by the state after the 6th grade and consisting of English, Math, Science, and Mother Tongue. Teachers were puzzled. Parents were extremely surprised and happy. Two of the students are now in private schools, ten in traditional schools, and one chose a technical school. This means that our Genius Education Methodology led to 100% success: it woke up a genius learner in every one of them, and it saved children who, otherwise, had been doomed.
LOSING GENIUSES OR WAGING WAR AGAINST THEM
The history of humanity vividly shows that many geniuses of the past, such as Einstein, Picasso, Churchill, and Edison had numerous problems in school. In many cases they barely survived school. Moreover, they often became geniuses DESPITE the school, NOT THANKS TO it! Well, it is not a secret: the task of a normal school is to normalize--so everything that is different from the norm is culled out. It is like a net with certain size of the cell. Small targets squeeze through the cells and disappear, while big targets break the net and disappear, too.
So if little Albert, Pablo, Winston, and Thomas survived, it is logical to ask how many geniuses DID NOT SURVIVE? How many WERE FORCED to drop out? How many of them were BORED and FRUSTRATED TO DEATH, rebelled and ended up on the street where the jackals in gangs were waiting for new prey?
Let's face it! Today, the situation is NO BETTER!
THE PARADOX OF THE RICHEST COUNTRY
Modern history shows that the USA has proven to be the most powerful country politically, economically, and militarily. The Genius of America has proven to outlive communist and socialist regimes, the dictator's regimes and, even today, the terrorist regimes of the world. This seems like a Genius Nation--the nation surviving the turbulence and leading the world. The BIG question though is why this Genius Nation has about a 9% (that is about 23,000,000) illiterate or functionally illiterate population? Why is the number of dropouts so terrible? And NOW ask yourself HOW MANY non-realized geniuses are "buried alive" in the midst of these 23 million? How many of them were cut at their root and eaten by the predators of prostitution, drugs, gangs, and crime? Just imagine, twenty-three million people of the richest country in the world cannot read! 23 million are lost from a highly productive life and are doomed to crime and jails! Think of it, 23 million!!! This could be the population of a middle-sized country--a country of boredom and frustration, a land of dropouts, a swamp of future criminals, a wasteland of NEVER DISCOVERED or KILLED GENIUSES. Actually, this is the war against the future (Aleinikov, 1999a).
We are all against genocide whether it comes from apartheid or Hitlerism. How about GENIUcide--killing geniuses (the organized process of killing future geniuses emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and, sometimes, even physically by violence)? It is this “geniucide” that leads to 9% illiteracy or functional illiteracy only in the USA (imagine the world losses). It is also logical to ask HOW CAN WE PREVENT this “geniucide”?
There are cities in the USA where over 50% of population cannot read (for example, Miami - 67%). How many geniuses are buried in this mass of illiterates? Moreover, even if they survive the school, how many of them, while adapting to school, will lose their vigor, their hopes, and will die emotionally? Why are schools beginning to appear more and more like jails with metal detectors at the doors, police officers, cameras, and checking of personal belongings for illegal drugs? Do they prepare our children for a real jail?
LOGIC BEHIND SAVING GENIUSES
So my logic is the following:
First. Geniuses (and especially potential geniuses) are abundant--the majority of them stay undiscovered, unseen. Too often beaten, battered, and unappreciated, they still exist! So the potential for this country or any country is enormous! So much of the human potential is wasted.
Second. If we can find a way to recognize these geniuses or help them surface, the World Would Be a Better Place (as my Franklin Jr School geniuses stated by the title of their "instant" book).
Third. Creation of the education that will better recognize geniuses, better nurture them, better reward them is a need and a NEED of NATIONAL IMPORTANCE.
Fourth. A system of education that would be IDEAL (all geniuses are recognized and nurtured) is preferred.
Fifth. IDEAL means the BEST! So if schools try to make education better, WHY NOT THE BEST? If schools try to make education faster, WHY NOT THE FASTEST? If schools try to make education more efficient, WHY NOT THE MOST EFFICIENT? Ideal is the goal!
Our 20-year search for the most efficient educational methodologies and constant design of the new systems has paid off. Mega-Innovative Mind International Institute has created what we call a model of IDEAL teaching/learning that showed 99.6% rate of success for adults and 99.8% rate of success for children. This model has been implemented into numerous programs proven successful around the world. Genius Education Methodology, and Genius Impact Effect as a part of it, provides so much for teachers and educators that even most experienced principals at the end of the workshop write:
What has happened? Tons of information, countless techniques, endless laughter, memorable friendship, lifetime of support, boundless hope for our children, fantastic future for our country, when every genius is discovered, developed & will bloom & blossom in our land. Thank you!
Lo Sheu Ming, Principal, Mayflower Secondary School, Singapore
SINGAPORE EXAMPLE (ELABORATED)
At the present, the Singapore Ministry of Education is trying to inject a business spirit and entrepreneur terminology into the education of teachers calling for educators to be "edupreneurs." Genius orientation may be the next step and the key to the future. The first application of GEM ("Genius in Every Child") to the school environment proved the methodology to be successful and showed that even most problematic pupils are capable of learning, are eager to learn, and ready to work hard (just as geniuses are). At the level of Ministry of Education--a seminar titled "Genius in Every Teacher" for educators from a Master Teacher (only three in Singapore) to cluster superintendent, school principals, and teachers--was extremely positively evaluated by 100% educators (see above). As a next step, the largest Teachers Conference (1700 participants) will have a chance to see the value of the methodology in the plenary speech and to discuss its applications in the subsequent round table discussion.
By the way, preliminary calculations show that such a well-organized country (with enough resources and determined leadership), by refocusing education, can make a huge leap within 2-3 years. Then, in 10-20 years (when newly educated geniuses become scientists, inventors, writers, etc.), this country will have incomparable potential of creative and intellectual power for breakthroughs in economy, science, and social life. That is the way to global leadership!
GENIUS EDUCATION METHODOLOGY
GEM became possible because of several scientific breakthroughs. The most important of them was founding a new science--Novology, the science of newness. By defining the main concept lying in the foundation of creativity and innovation--newness--this science led to the new scientific vision of creativity and innovation. When science comes to ANY field, growth and acceleration are inevitable (like aerodynamics in the field of aviation or nuclear physics in the field of generating electricity). New scientific vision of creativity and innovation led to the discovery of MegaCreativity and MegaInnovation that in turn led to MegaCreative Mind (mind capable of MegaCreativity) and MegaInnovative Mind (mind producing millions of innovations). The combination of both is a genius. So if we can teach MegaCreativity and MegaInnovation--this would be MegaInnovative Mind Education, or Genius Education Methodology. Theory and practice follows from that (see Graph below).
As a result of a different view (paradigm shift), education as a whole received a clear explanation, clear vision, clear model, and clear description. Three new educational sciences were offered (Aleinikov, 1998ab, 1999a). A new model of ideal human activity (creating geniuses!) led to the model of ideal education, ideal learner, ideal teacher, and ideal teaching/learning process. The other concepts followed. New methods and techniques formed a new methodology (a system of methods). And what is most important, the educational practice corroborated theory on all the levels, on all the subjects, in all the audiences.
Creative education and innovative education** are no longer understood as appendices for traditional education. They became the full right members of the educational family. Creativity is no longer limited to the arts (see Model of Creagogy in Aleinikov, 1999c), but embraces all domains of creativity, including the most complex and the most honorable--the creativity of teaching! Innovative education is no longer understood as technologically based education. Technologies come and go. Just as books, tape-recorders, and TV did not make education innovative, computers and the Internet do not make it innovative either. True innovative education studies innovation, teaches innovation, makes innovation understood and, therefore, less dangerous, more acceptable, more efficient. It also makes innovative education an accepted PART of the curriculum, required for teachers if they want to be creative and innovative = successful teachers. That is why Troy State University Montgomery in the year 2002 pioneered a course of "Creative and Innovative Education" at the graduate level of university education (EDU 6625).
AWARDS & REWARDS
It is now becoming obvious that the work we started 20 years ago is bringing enormous benefits to the society. Simple calculations show that one child (of average--not even genius orientation) when saved from the destructive mill and turned into a positive citizen is worth about $10,000,000 benefit to the society. A talented, gifted, or genius individual is worth 10, 20 or 100 times more. So, one genius discovered in the midst of the culled out students and saved from destruction or self-destruction will easily pay for all the work we are doing. This is the economic impact of the Genius Education Methodology.
There are also other aspects, besides economical, that genius brings. As A. Aleandr once said, and I used it to start my book on MegaCreativity, "Genius is a strategic advantage (like Einstein). Genius is the savior (like Archimedes). Genius is the future (like Edison). Genius is the glory for the country (like Alexander of Macedonia—Alexander the Great). Genius is the resource bigger than oil and gas resources because genius can discover that gas and oil are not needed (like Roentgen). Genius is forever (like Socrates)" (Aleinikov, 2002a).
So if we save just one genius of the magnitude of Einstein, Freud, Madam Curie, Beethoven, Bell, Franklin, Marconi, etc., this work is justified forever, but we are aiming at saving hundreds and thousands of future geniuses because we also teach teachers to see a genius in every child.
That is why, in Russia, this unique research brought me the first three-year (normally only two years) Doctor of Science fellowship (Postdoctoral, in American system). After becoming an official founder of Creative Linguistics/Creative Education, I was offered an opportunity to teach classes for the Academy of Science, and after finishing this dissertation, as a best educator, I was selected to be the first Russian officer to attend the USAF Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. After several years of teaching in the USA, and especially after becoming a US citizen in 2002, recognition of the unique approach was growing as follows:
the 1999 President's Excellence Award at Troy State University Montgomery, AL.
the 2001 Dr. E. Paul Torrance Lecturer at the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.
a 2001 nominee for the Robert Foster Cherry Great Teaching Award at Baylor University, TX.
a Guinness World Record Certificate for the book entitled Making the Impossible Possible written, printed and published in 15 hours and 46 minutes at the 7th International Conference in Klein Kariba, South Africa, 2001.
a 2002 nominee for the Robert Foster Cherry Great Teaching Award at Baylor University, TX.
the 2003 Outstanding Educator Award for Innovative and Creative Teaching from the Academy of Educational Leadership, Allied Academies, NC.
a 2003 nominee for the EDSF (Electronic Document Systems Foundation) Educator of the Year, Torrance, CA.
a 2003 nominee for the United States Professor of the Year Award, CASE (The Council for Advancement and Support of Education), Washington, DC.
a 2003-2006 nominee for the nation's highest scientific honor--The President's National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
the 2003 President's Excellence Award, Troy State University Montgomery, AL
a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Princeton, NJ.
a 2004 nominee for the Excellence in Research Award, MENSA Education and Research Foundation
a 2004 nominee for the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching in Psychology Award, American Psychological Foundation
the 21st Century Award for Achievement, Cambridge Biographical Centre, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Frankly speaking, I am quite humble. I may never receive the awards I was nominated for, but it is an honor to be nominated. Moreover, I think it is not me--it is the Genius Education Methodology that gets the recognition. Most importantly, I think we are only at the beginning of the long road. We have just stumbled over the top of the unlimited reservoir with intellectual, creative, and emotional treasures. I see the world of the future as the world of Renaissance minds, the world of colossal intellectual and artistic endeavors, the world of emotionally deep and compassionately limitless humans extremely positive in their integrity and their deeds for the humanity. I see education striving to detect and develop a genius in every child and a genius in every teacher all working together to make this world a much better place.
Besides, more than any award in the world, I value a call from my former student joyfully telling me that now, despite all troubles of her youth, she speaks 11 languages, enjoys unique scholarships, writes and publishes poetry, and participates in the art and dance shows. I have tears in my eyes when she says she is grateful to the School of Geniuses for that.
I feel encouraged when a mother of my former student, who was on the brink of dropout, tells me in four years that he is graduating, and he is the President of the Senior Class.
I am inspired when a mother of a former nay-sayer, whose negativity terrorized the whole family, calls to tell me that he made it to the top 1% in SAT scores and received several scholarship invitations from the famous universities. Moreover, he once participated in the 58 activities out of 200 offered in school, and won 29 blue ribbons. When asked why he is doing it, he said, "It's Dr. Andy's second law of MegaCreativity: Why not?"
I certainly know I will continue to do my job, when a mother of two adult sisters falls on my chest in the foyer of our Temple and with tears in her eyes thanks me for saving both of her daughters who wanted to drop out from the university, but now they both want to study further.
I will patiently wait for my little Chinese, Malay, or Indian looking student in the Singapore school to fulfill his promise that he scribbles in English as his second language: "When I grow and become rich, I will go out to the world and find you..." and then he cries in my hands at the good-bye ceremony.
I will happily watch the wakeup of a genius when Dametriss, a tall and strong girl, suspended from her elementary school for fighting, slowly reads from her handmade colorful card early in the morning before the second day of classes,
I am a Genius!
Look at me.
What do you see?
If you see a Genius,
Mr. Andy helped me though a lot.
I could hardly sleep at night
For thinking about tomorrow.
If you want to be a Genius,
Just like me,
Talk to Mr. Andy.
I will joyfully smile when teachers who drop by at the class for youth on chemical dependencies in the drug-infested area of Kansas City, MO, say in surprise after only two hours of classes, "What did you do to Jeremy? He looks so different."
I will shyly shrug my shoulders when my 76-year old student comes up to say, "I don't know what you are doing with us, Dr. Andy, but we all want to learn, and I decided to enroll to the Master's degree program."
I will live my life for them. I will open my heart up to them. I will help the genius in every one of them to open up and to blossom. This is my true reward.
Thus, Genius Education Methodology has proven to work successfully in any educational reality from elementary school to graduate levels of a university, in any classroom and subject, in the business environment as well as in education. This methodology saves geniuses, wakes up hidden talents, challenges both average and advanced students, and changes the lives of thousands by its positive social orientation, as we speak. This Methodology complements the IQ and TTCT as diagnostic tools by an active system of development with highly positive orientation because neither high IQ nor high TTCT scores guarantee that the person will not turn into an anti-social direction (smart crooks, hackers, quasi genius, or anti genius). This Methodology, as a new horizon or, better, the peak of Creative and Innovative Education from which many new horizons are seen, gives us hope that the Genius Nation will one day become a country of fantastic educational future--the Nation of Geniuses.
* Notes in blue have been added after the article was accepted for publication
** Dr. Aleinikov's bio can be seen at the web sites of the
- The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships Foundation, Princeton, NJ: www.woodrow.org/visiting-fellows/fellows_biography.html, scroll the first on the list of fellows
- Marquis Who's Who in America: www.marquiswhoswho.net/andreigrigoryevichaleinikov
- Mega-Innovative Mind International Institute: www.mega-creator.com
- South African Creativity Conference: www.sacreativity.com/presenters1.asp#aleinikov
*The concept of genius, basically understood as superior intellectual power often related to high IQ (as in The Mensa genius A-B-C quiz book by Alan Stillson, or The Mensa genius quiz-a-day book by Dr. Abbie F. Salny) or superior creative power, as shown in the works of Howard Gardner, Michael Gelb, James Gleick, Michael Michalko, Marc Seifer, Dean Keith Simonton, Dava Sobel, Scott Thorpe, etc. (see below). Still the concept of genius is mystified, misunderstood, misused, and is certainly far from having a scientific definition (See details retrieved July 25, 2003 from www.sciencenet.emory.edu/mismeasure/genius/conclusion.html).
** For the most comprehensive list of publications on creativity, innovation, creative and innovative education collected for over fifty years by Creative Education Foundation and the Center for Studies in Creativity, Buffalo State College, see http://www.buffalostate.edu/orgs/cbir/ (Retrieved July 25, 2003), as well as works of Alex Osborn, Sid Parnes, E. Paul Torrance, Edward De Bono, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, etc. Also available a historically significant work of the Encyclopedia of Creativity, edited by Mark A. Runco and Steven R. Pritzker. Finally, see a list of web sites and literature on creativity in Aleinikov, Fornbrock & Marable, 2002 (see below).
Aleinikov, Andrei G. & Aleinikova, Elena N. (1991). Stages of creativity formation: Possibility of techniques universalizing. In L. Shmakova, V.Malovichko, & A. Aleinikov (Eds.), Creative Management (vol. 1, pp. 269-296). Moscow: Creator, USSR Academy of Sciences.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (1995a). An approach to innovative education. Editorial. International Journal of Innovative Higher Education, 11, 5-7.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (1988). Creative linguistics: Foundations, problems, and perspectives. Language Consciousness: Stereotypes and Creativity (pp. 77-89). Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, Institute of Linguistics.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (1992). Creative metapedagogy: D-day. Alma-Mater. Higher Education Bulletin, 1, 34-39.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (July, 1997). Creative pedagogy and creative metapedagogy on three continents. Presented to the Alden B. Dow Creativity Center VIII National Conference on Creativity in Colleges and Universities, Midland, Michigan.
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Aleinikov, Andrei G. (June, 1999a). How to stop the war against the future: New educational sciences for the third Millennium. Presented to the 45th Creative Problem Solving Institute, Buffalo, New York.
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Aleinikov, Andrei G. (October, 1995b). Hyper efficient language program—‘First HELP + 2,000.’ Presented to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region VII Conference, Memphis, Tennessee.
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Aleinikov, Andrei G. (1999c). Mega-Creator: From Creativity to Mega-, Giga-, and Infi-Creativity. Montgomery, AL: MIMII, 1999.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (2002b). Novology, the science of newness, for creativity and innovation research. In A. Aleinikov (Ed.) The Future of Creativity, (pp.114-141). Dr. E. Paul Torrance Lecture Series, Athens, Georgia, Bensenville, IL: Scholastic Testing Services.
Aleinikov, Andrei G. (1994). Sozidolinguistics for creative behavior. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 28(2), 104-123.
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Herbert Kelman on the Middle East
Negotiation Is the Road to Mideast Peace
By Herbert C. Kelman
Boston Globe, 4/8/2004
PRIME MINISTER Ariel Sharon of Israel is seeking US support for his
government's planned unilateral steps to address the current
Israeli-Palestinian crisis, including the construction of a barrier around
and within the West Bank and the removal of Israeli settlements and troops
from the Gaza Strip. Such unilateral steps would have disastrous
They would divide the West Bank into disconnected, fenced-off enclaves and
further erode the Palestinian economy and quality of life. They would make
Gaza ungovernable and probably put it under the control of Islamic
extremists. They would make it impossible to form a viable Palestinian
state and to resolve the deadly conflict between the two peoples.
The US administration should strongly discourage these unilateral steps
and promote a return to serious negotiation of a comprehensive, final
agreement between the parties. Negotiations are the only way to develop a
formula for ending the conflict that meets the basic needs of both
parties, that engenders their commitment, and that is conducive to stable
peace, mutually enhancing cooperation, and ultimate reconciliation between
the two societies.
Sharon's argument in favor of unilateral steps is that there is no partner
for peace on the other side. This view has been widely shared within the
Israeli public since the breakdown of the Camp David talks in 2000 and the
onset of the second intifada. Indeed, this view is mirrored on the
Palestinian side, where there is an equally strong belief that there is no
Israeli partner for a solution that would establish an independent, viable
These mirror images are dangerous because they justify acts of violence
and unilateral steps that create self-fulfilling prophecies: The belief or
claim that there is no negotiating partner on the other side -- that the
only language "they" understand is force -- leads to actions that destroy
the possibility of negotiations. There is ample evidence that these images
are not only dangerous, but unwarranted.
Public opinion data on both sides continue to show majorities in favor of
negotiations and of a compromise based on a two-state solution (while
believing that the other side is not ready for such a compromise).
Furthermore, in recent months, politically influential Israelis and
Palestinians have issued joint proposals for resolving the conflict on the
basis of a mutually acceptable two-state formula.
The most elaborate of these proposals is the Geneva accord, developed
under the leadership of Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, Cabinet
members and leading negotiators of the Israeli and Palestinian
governments, respectively. The Geneva initiative represents a particularly
significant contribution to the peace process.
Given the character, background, and experience of the prime movers of
this initiative and of the people who joined them in the effort, it
suggests very strongly that there is a credible negotiating partner on
each side. Given the specific and detailed agreements it achieved on many
of the most contentious issues in the conflict, it suggests very strongly
that there is a mutually acceptable formula for a two-state solution that
can be successfully negotiated.
The Geneva accord itself is not a negotiated agreement in any formal sense
of the term, but it is a first-class simulation of such an agreement. As
such, it offers a powerful demonstration that a mutually acceptable
agreement can be negotiated. It does not substitute for official
negotiations, but it provides an impetus for renewed negotiations, by
highlighting the principles on which an agreement must and can be based.
Moreover, it should help speed up the negotiation process because it
offers concrete ideas for dealing with many of the difficult practical and
political issues that a final agreement would have to encompass. Above
all, it breaks through the pervasive pessimism, mistrust, and despair that
have hampered return to the negotiating table.
The Geneva initiative has already gained considerable support around the
world, including the United States. The possibilities for successful
negotiations that it demonstrates can serve as an effective counterweight
to Sharon's argument that he has no partner for peace and hence no
alternative to the unilateral use of force.
But gaining American and international support is only part of the problem
faced by the architects and promoters of the Geneva initiative. The
critical challenge they confront is to garner public support for the
principles and terms of the accord within their own societies. The
compromises envisaged by the Geneva accord entail high costs for the two
In particular, there is strong resistance to provisions requiring them to
relinquish claims heavily laden with emotion and symbolic meaning and
central to their national identities and associated narratives -- such as
those touching on the right of return of Palestinian refugees or
sovereignty over the holy sites in Jerusalem. Even among the majorities in
each public who support compromise to achieve a two-state solution, there
is great reluctance to bear these costs in the face of profound distrust
in the other side's willingness or ability to reciprocate and to conclude
a genuine, acceptable agreement.
These concerns are exacerbated by a structural problem in the way
proponents of the Geneva accord present it to their respective publics.
For understandable reasons, they may emphasize to their own constituencies
how favorable the accord is to their own interests and how much the other
side has conceded.
What may encourage their own public, however, may well discourage the
public on the other side -- who inevitably also hear these messages -- and
may reinforce the prevailing distrust. For example, when Palestinians hear
Israelis stress that Palestinians have in effect given up the right of
return, and Israelis hear Palestinians deny that this is the case, both
may come to feel that the accord is a bad deal or that it is sufficiently
ambiguous to allow the other side to exploit it to their own side's
There is a need, therefore, for common messages, jointly constructed by
thoughtful and credible representatives of both sides, and brought to both
populations. Joint construction is essential to ensure that proponents of
the Geneva initiative avoid working at cross-purposes as they seek to
mobilize their own constituencies -- to ensure that their messages are
responsive to the concerns and sensitivities of each side without unduly
threatening the other side.
Furthermore, to build on the enormous achievement represented by the
Geneva accord, its provisions must be communicated in a way that captures
the publics' imagination and generates trust and hope. The two publics
must be persuaded that a solution along the lines envisioned in the Geneva
accord is not only necessary, but that it is possible, that it is safe,
that it is fair, and that it promises a better future.
To this end, the Geneva initiative -- as inserted into the public debate
-- should be framed in terms of a principled peace that represents, not
just the best available deal, but a historic compromise, which meets the
basic needs of both societies, validates the national identity of each
people, and conforms to the requirements of attainable justice.
I envisage three central elements to a jointly constructed framework for a
* Acknowledgment of the other's nationhood and humanity, through explicit
recognition of each people's right to national self-determination in a
state of its own, acceptance of each other's authentic links to the land,
and rejection of language that denies the other people's political
legitimacy and historical authenticity; and through words and actions
demonstrating that the other side's lives, welfare, and dignity are
considered to be as valuable as one's own.
* Affirmation of the meaning and logic of a historic compromise, by
framing the agreement as a commitment to end the conflict and share the
land both sides claim through the establishment and peaceful coexistence
of two states, in which the two peoples can fulfill their respective
rights to national self-determination, give political expression to their
national identities, and pursue independent, secure, and prosperous
national lives; and by clearly spelling out the implications of such a
commitment in terms of both the costs that the logic of the historic
compromise imposes on each side, and the benefits provided by a principled
* Creating a positive vision of a common future, by framing the agreement
as an opportunity for the two peoples to build a common life in the land
they share and to which they both have emotional attachments, rather than
as an arrangement being forced on them by outside pressure and the
unending cycle of violence.
Consistent with the high degree of interdependence between the two
societies, the agreement should be presented to both publics as the
foundation of a future relationship based on mutually beneficial
cooperation in many spheres, conducive to stable peace, sustainable
development, and ultimate reconciliation.
Herbert C. Kelman is Richard Clarke Cabot Research Professor of Social
Ethics and co-chair of the Middle East Seminar at Harvard University.
This story ran on page A15 of the Boston Globe on 4/8/2004.
Surviving the Trauma of Life, Boris Cyrulnik
Surviving the Trauma of Life
Interview with Boris Cyrulnik by Sophie Boukhari
UNESCO Courier journalist
in The Unesco Courier
please see http://www.unesco.org/courier/
The unclassifiable Cyrulnik
Boris Cyulnik is, beyond a doubt, resilient. Despite a war-wracked
childhood and the deportation of his parents, he still managed to become a
distinguished scholar and well-balanced individual: happy with his family,
respected by his peers and famous for his many books.
Born in Bordeaux, France, in 1937, Cyrulnik only refers to his personal
wounds in "third person," while writing about children. Clearly, this is a
man who has learned to transform weakness into strength. "I was never put
on the 'conveyor belt' of life-I've always made my own path," he says. "I
do only what is absolutely required to be considered 'normal.'"
Instead of distancing himself from people, his personal trauma drove him to
try to understand what it means to be human. After studying medicine, he
followed diverse branches of psychology, such as neuropsychiatry and
psychoanalysis, before breaking the sacrosanct barriers between academic
disciplines. Yet by moving into fields like ethology (which focuses on
animal behaviour), the maverick scholar made considerable enemies in the
This anti-specialist, globetrotter and incurably curious academic has
never hesitated to question some of the dogma of psychoanalysis. While
Freud holds guilt responsible for neurosis and social discontent, Cyrulnik
feels that there is a "good" kind of guilt, through which "we try to avoid
causing harm because we can empathize with others. This is probably the
basis of morality."
Trauma and anxiety are the lot of a growing number of young people, as
violence holds sway and traditional notions of the family disintegrate. But
there are roads to recovery, says French globetrotting psychologist, Boris
You must have been quite intrigued by the descriptions of the September 11
terrorists in the media. These young men had fairly balanced childhoods and
were quite educated. Yet they turned into violent fanatics. How do you
By their total lack of empathy. Germans became Nazis in exactly the same
way, by not being able to imagine someone else's world. For them, you had
to be blonde, dolichocephalic (having a long head) and not Jewish. All
other people were inferior beings. The terrorists in the U.S. attacks had
good upbringing and education but they never learned to accept forms of
human existence other than their own.
In some Muslim countries, fanaticism is manufactured. Just like in France,
where people were taught to hate Germans after the 1870 Franco-German war.
Teachers were actually paid to tell children they would be glorified if one
day they went off to "smash" the Germans. I've seen the same thing in the
Middle East. I've seen books that told little boys that if they died for
religion, they'd go straight to heaven to live with Allah. These schools
that teach there is only one truth, are schools of hatred.
But some of the terrorists were children of immigrants who adjusted well in
These individuals never made it through adolescence into adulthood. There
are more and more young people in Europe who fail on that score, about a
third of the total, because we don't know how to help and support them
properly. They drift and become perfect targets for sects and extremist
movements. When you don't know who you are, you love it when a dictatorship
takes charge of you. The moment you submit to a master, to a single
message, you become a fanatic. Many people are also suffering from a
growing sense of anxiety over globalization. They feel depersonalized and
disconnected from their feelings. Disturbed people feel secure obeying
someone who tells them what to do. Submission is a good way for them to get
rid of their anxiety.
So you don't think economic globalization induces a kind of "collective
global sub-conscious" that helps us to come to grips with all the ideas and
information coming at us from all sides?
No. On the contrary, if I want to see the world, I have to accept that I
won't understand everything. Identity is like speech. When a baby is born,
it has the capacity to make several thousand different sounds. But to
speak, it has to whittle them down to between 100 and 300, according to the
language. The same principle applies to forging an identity. I must give up
a thousand elements or dimensions which cannot be integrated into the
person I want to be. Today, with globalization, a lot of people are looking
to their roots to "whittle themselves down" in order to forge an identity.
So people return to their roots because the Western "model" is spreading
Some people are fanatically seeking refuge in their roots. But this
approach leads to alienation. Since it's the West that has the weapons, the
money and the technology, there's a very good chance Western attitudes will
become globalized and spread across the world. Either you unhappily submit
to this trend or your hatred of the West increases, which is what is
happening today. Imaginary identities, many hundreds or even thousands of
years old, will continue to resurface. It's as if the only choice is
between "de-identification" and alienation.
Is there a compromise solution?
Yes. To avoid feeling alienated, people must recognize that an identity is
like a patchwork of different elements. All identities are the product of a
father's and mother's past and of a religion everyone interprets according
to their cultural surroundings. In France, for example, Bretons are very
proud of the painted crockery made in Quimper but not many know that the
style was invented by an Italian who emigrated to Brittany a century ago.
You've talked about the serious problems of today's teenagers, who are
"drifting" more and more. Yet children have never been better understood by
society than today, so why are so many youngsters becoming neurotic,
committing suicide and taking to crime?
That isn't a contradiction. Progress always has a price. The price of
freedom is anxiety. Today children get help to develop their personalities
and become aware of all kinds of things. They're more intelligent and more
lively, but also more worried. We look after them very well when they're
young and then we abandon them as soon as they're teenagers. Society
doesn't take over where parents leave off. So a third of all teenagers fall
apart, usually after leaving high school. To avoid that, we need more
social and cultural structures that will help them give meaning to their
lives by encouraging them to be creative, to speak openly, to reach out to
each other. But we don't do that.
A teenager's problem lies in the question: "What am I going to do about
what I've been made into?" To answer that, they must be surrounded by the
warmth of feeling that comes from a group, from friends, from the
confidence of being able to find a job. But the technological revolution
has been so massive that schools now have a monopoly on social
selection-they determine the possibilities open to an individual. If a boy
or girl blossoms, they do well in school and learn a skill. They'll be
among the two-thirds of teenagers who benefit from the improved facilities
and support available in early childhood. But the other third don't like
school, feel humiliated and don't get a chance to shine elsewhere. They
find themselves at a loose end on the street, without a job and often
without any family. How do kids like this recover their self-esteem? They
indulge in "tough" activities, testing themselves and proving their
existence by adopting primitive social rituals such as violence, fighting
You say, "there is no family." But isn't it just that the family is
There's no family and it's changing, as it always has. When kids get home,
there's no one there. No father, no mother. Why should they shut themselves
up in an empty house when there are pals out in the street? I've worked in
some Latin American countries where kids say they had a row with their
mother or stepfather and just left. Life is physically very hard in the
street but there's always something going on-a celebration, a theft,
something to share. You talk and you live. These children get used to not
having a family by turning to petty crime. A street boy in Colombia who
isn't a delinquent has a life expectancy of about 10 days. He's eliminated
if he doesn't join a gang. Delinquency is a way of adapting to a crazy
But what should be done? Make women stay at home?
No, but there has to be someone there, man or woman. In some cultures that
still have extended families, there's always a grown-up at home. Elsewhere,
we have to innovate. In Brazil, for example, people construct families that
have nothing to do with blood or biology. An old man says to an old lady:
"I'm sick of going down the steep slopes in the slums, I'm going to take
care of the house." And the old lady says: "Well, I'm going to look after
the kids in the neighbourhood." And then another, a bit younger, says:
"I'll chip in with some money because I've got an odd job." These are
verbal families, people who've made understandings to protect each other,
to be friends, to celebrate and fight together, like all families.
Delinquency vanishes immediately in these households as soon as this kind
of family develops.
In the West, the family has changed dramatically, yet laws and attitudes
That is because we often make the mistake of talking about the
"traditional family." Yet this structure only emerged in the West in the
19th century, at the same time as the factories. It was a way of adapting
to industrial society. A man was an appendage of a machine and a woman an
appendage of a man. There was order in every facet of life.
Individuals-just about all women and most men-were psychologically crushed.
Only a minority, about two percent of the population, was able to develop
healthily. And so they married to pass on their property and other goods.
But this version of a traditional family wasn't very common at the time
because most workers didn't get married, since they had no property to pass
That society has disappeared and there are fewer and fewer traditional
families, but the model is still in people's minds. And the laws are only
just starting to change. When there's just one concept around, it takes a
long while for people to change their attitudes. You have to wage "a war of
words," writing and debating, to drive things forward. You can invent a
thousand different variations of the family as long as children still have
a place where they're protected, where there's love and growth and where
some things, like incest are absolutely forbidden, while other rules can be
The idea of resilience you discuss in your recent books1 is becoming very
Epidemiological research by the World Health Organization shows that one
out of two people has been or will be seriously traumatized at some time
during their life (by war, violence, rape, cruelty, incest, etc.). One in
four will experience at least two serious traumas. The rest are also bound
to fall on some hard times. Yet the notion of resilience, which is a
person's ability to grow in the face of terrible problems, had not been
scientifically studied until recently. Today, it's all the rage in many
countries. In Latin America, they have resilience institutes, in Holland
and Germany they have resilience universities. In the United States, you
hear the word all the time. The World Trade Center towers have even been
nicknamed "the twin resilient towers" by those who want to rebuild them.
So why wasn't this idea investigated earlier?
Because for a long time people have despised victims. In most cultures,
they're regarded as guilty of something. A woman who's been raped, for
example, is often condemned as much as her attacker because "she must have
provoked him," it is said. Sometimes a victim is punished even more than an
aggressor is. Not so long ago in Europe, an unmarried woman who had a baby
was thrown out on the street while the father risked virtually nothing.
This disdain or hatred has also been directed against the survivors of
war. The families and villages of these victims are suspicious and say:
"He's coming home. That means he must have hidden somewhere or collaborated with the enemy." After the Second World War, the most deadly in human history, things swung to the other extreme. The victims became heroes. By pushing these individuals into making careers as victims, societies found a
convenient way of downplaying the crimes of the Nazis. The fact that these
victims survived was used to downplay the savagery.
At the time, René Spitz and Anna Freud2 described children whose parents
had been killed in the wartime bombing of London. They were all profoundly
impaired and shut-off people, suicidal and unable to relax their bodies.
When Spitz and Freud saw them again a few years later, they were amazed at
how well they'd recovered and wrote that these abandoned children had gone
through four stages: protest, despair, indifference-all students learned
about those three-and then recovery, which nobody was interested in
How did resilience become accepted among psychologists?
The word, which comes from the Latin "resalire" (to jump up again),
appeared in the English language and passed into psychological parlance in
the 1960s thanks to an American psychologist, Emmy Werner. She had gone to
Hawaii to assess the development of children who had no family, didn't go
to school, lived in great poverty and were exposed to disease and violence.
She followed them for 30 years and found that in the end, a third had
learned how to read and write, acquired a skill and started a family.
Two-thirds of them were still in a bad way. But if people were just
machines, all of them would have failed.
What's a typical resilient child like, socially and culturally?
There is no typical profile. But a traumatized child can still be resilient
if she or he has acquired a gut or primitive confidence in the first year
of life. Such children take the attitude that "I've been loved therefore
I'm worth loving, so I live in hope of meeting someone who'll help me
resume my development." These children feel a lot of grief but still relate
to other people, give them gifts of food and look for an adult they can
turn into one of their parents. Then they give themselves a narrative
identity - "I'm the one who was... sent to the camps, raped, forced to
become a child soldier" and so on.
If you give them a chance to make up for lost time and to express
themselves, nearly all-90 to 95 per cent-become resilient. They have to be
given a chance to be creative, to test and prove themselves as kids,
through things like joining the scouts, studying for an exam, organizing a
trip and learning to be useful. Problem youngsters feel humiliated when
they're given something, especially if there's a lecture along with it. But
they regain their balance when asked to give something themselves.
When they grow up, such children are drawn to selfless professions. They
want others to learn from what they've gone through. They often become
teachers, social workers, psychiatrists or psychologists. Having been
problem children themselves helps them to identify with and respect those
who have been psychologically hurt.
1. Boris Cyrulnik is the author of over a dozen works. The Dawn of Meaning
was published by McGraw-Hill in 1992.
2. Both are psychoanalysts, one American (1887-1974) and the other the
daughter of Sigmund Freud (1895-1982).
Shibley Telhami on Iraq, the Arab World and Best Practices
Please read Shibley Telhami's most recent reflections on http://www.bsos.umd.edu/sadat/
They Don't Like Us: The Bush administration's tendency to engage in wishful thinking led to critical missteps that helped ignite a pivotal week.
By Shibley Telhami, Sadat Chair for Peace and Development
San Jose Mercury
Sunday, April 11, 2004
The pattern was familiar: After bloody confrontations last week that left more than 40 Americans and hundreds of Iraqis dead, the blame in Washington focused on a single "outlaw" Iraqi Shiite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr. As the Bush administration portrayed it, Sadr was one of the only dark spots in an otherwise positive picture of an emerging prosperous and democratic Iraq.
This narrative -- that a few rabble-rousers are obscuring the real progress being made -- has taken many forms since the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government a year ago. Convinced that Iraqis would see Americans as liberators, the Bush administration has consistently underestimated the extent of Iraqi opposition and the prevalent view of Americans as occupiers.
At first, the blame for violence rested with "remnants" of Saddam Hussein's government, then with a few "Saddam loyalists" and "foreign terrorists," later with the "Sunni triangle," and then, Sunnis in general. When the fighting spread last week to Shiite areas, the administration said the problem was primarily one defiant man and his followers.
There is always an element of truth to the administration's rendition of the Iraq story: In the current episode, Sadr is painted as a maverick with a relatively small following. And it is true that the young Shiite leader lacks theological seniority, has many enemies among the Shiites and does not have the backing of most of the clergy, especially most senior leaders. His prominence is mainly a legacy of his father, a highly revered Shiite cleric who stood up to Saddam and was killed in 1999.
But this version of the story misses the point. It is rarely the case in areas of conflict that those who engage in actual fighting are majorities; most are usually passive. Most of the time, life in Baghdad, Mosul or Basra appears perfectly normal, with people going about the business of earning food for their families. Until a bomb explodes, or a missile strikes. All it takes to incite violence is a few who are willing to plant a bomb.
3 central questions
To figure out if last week's violence will spread out of control, the administration needs to ask more central questions than how many followers Sadr has right now: Are there determined groups willing to stand up to those who carry on with violent means? Are the majorities of the passive public wishing the militants well or ill? And are the ranks of those willing to fight shrinking or growing? The answers may be more troubling than the Bush administration has been willing to accept -- or than its representatives have been willing to admit.
Take, for example, the behavior of Iraqi police who are supposed to become the backbone of Iraq's internal security after the transfer of sovereignty. Many of them stepped aside last week as Sadr's militia took to the streets and came to control all or most of three Iraqi cities. Some reportedly expressed sympathy for the militias.
Even more potentially troubling to the United States: There are signs of possible coordination, and certainly sympathy, between Sunni and Shiite factions. Despite significant differences on many issues, they share an opposition to the occupation. Last week, Sadr was being hailed in some of the Sunni press and his picture was being posted in some Sunni towns.
Refusing to acknowledge the scope of the problem not only creates a misconception at home about progress in Iraq, but it also muddles decision making. Would the administration have decided to announce Sadr was a wanted man and close his newspaper if it believed Shiite anger toward the United States was widespread, that Sadr's support could increase and that the potential for a Sunni-Shiite coordinated opposition would emerge?
View of the US
The view of the United States as an occupying power that must relinquish authority to a legitimate Iraqi government is widespread in Iraq, including among the Shiites and other segments of the Iraqi population that were happy to see Saddam Hussein's government fall. It is also clear that the appointed Iraqi Governing Council lacks legitimacy and is seen primarily as an instrument of U.S. occupation.
No one today speaks for most Iraqis. But probably no one makes as much of a difference as the Shiite spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. The most influential and respected Shiite theological figure in Iraq, he demonstrated his power in the past few months as he was able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets to protest the U.S. plan to bypass direct elections.
The United States actually understands Sistani's power, but U.S. policy-makers in Iraq didn't seem to grasp the dilemma they put him in when they moved against Sadr. Although the less militant Sistani probably views Sadr as a threat to his authority, he increasingly finds himself having to take his side. Even Sistani has limited power and needs to maintain his nationalist credentials, and opposition to the United States outweighs opposition to Sadr.
In intensifying the battle against Sadr's Shiite men, and in mounting the type of operation in Sunni Al-Fallujah last week that included an American attack on a mosque sheltering insurgents, the United States made it impossible for any credible Iraqi leader to take America's side.
Surely the United States felt that it was in something of a no-win situation. If it didn't strike back against insurgents -- including the mob that recently mutilated the bodies of Americans -- it could leave soldiers and other Americans vulnerable to more attacks. But the net result is the same: The bloody outcome assures more thirst for revenge, broader public sympathy for the militants, and more opposition to the United States. Sistani may want to remain on the fence, but with every casualty, he is forced to move closer to Sadr.
Last week may end up being a pivotal one because it made clear that there are no good options for America in Iraq. Inevitably, there is a tendency to look back to try to figure out what the administration could have done differently to avoid facing such bleak choices.
The failure to exploit American influence immediately after the fall of Saddam to broaden the international role and stakes in Iraq, the reluctance to move closer to Sistani on the issue of Iraqi elections, the destruction of existing Iraqi institutions, especially the army, and more recently, the hasty closure of Sadr's newspaper all look like critical missteps.
Certainly, hindsight is always clearer. But in this case, there is a pattern of wishful thinking that blurred the picture and resulted in those flawed decisions. Administration officials have indulged in such thinking in part because they continue to rely for information on self-interested Iraqis, especially former expatriates, many of whom we now know provided erroneous information before the war on weapons of mass destruction. The other culprit in American leaders' rosy outlook is the political need to tell "the good news" about Iraq to the American public, which has further distorted the analysis.
But the battle for Iraq has always been as much outside of that country as it was within. Iraq was to be either an inspiring model for the people of the Middle East in the pursuit of democracy or an example of American resolve that would command respect for U.S. power. Those goals may yet be met if one remains optimistic about the prospects for this troubled country in the years to come. But for now, the pictures of unrest and the American crackdown work against the United States in the Middle East and in much of the world.
Consider the recent statement by former U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix that Iraq today is in worse shape than it was under Saddam Hussein. Regardless of the objective facts in Iraq itself (where no doubt some Iraqis feel their country is better off), the perception in much of the world, and certainly in the Middle East, echoes Blix's.
Bleak U.S. options
In the Arab world, where the majority of people had predicted that the war would result in less democracy in the region, most see the continued bloodshed, the personal insecurity, the economic hardship and the collapse of social norms as frightening experiences to be avoided.
Rather than serving as an inspiring model, today's Iraq is a tool in the hands of authoritarian governments reluctant to embark on rapid change and happy to point to the Iraqi example: "Is this what you want for your own country?" And while many governments have been awed by the exercise of American power, most now see the United States as far weaker because it depleted its financial and military resources in Iraq.
As American options in the short-term look increasingly bleak, questions are again being raised about whether the United States should try to meet the projected June 30 date for the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq or delay it.
That very debate may be distorting. Whatever one calls such formal change in the sovereign status of Iraq, both the reality on the ground and the global perceptions of that reality are not likely to change much: American forces will remain, Iraqi security will be highly dependent on them, and the U.S.-appointed government will continue to be highly responsive to American decisions. Few around the world will view Iraq as sovereign.
Instead of focusing on sovereignty in the short term, the administration -- and Iraq -- would be better served if the president considered more dramatic options. One would be challenging the U.N. Security Council to devise its own plan for Iraq, increasing its stakes in the country's future; another would be contemplating the possibility of early elections, even if imperfect, if that's what it takes to gain the support of credible Iraqi leaders such as Sistani.
The stakes are far too great to remain in the mode of wishful thinking or to link policy options to an election-year timetable.
SHIBLEY TELHAMI is Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland and senior fellow at the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution. His bestselling book, "The Stakes: America in the Middle East" is now updated and available in paperback. He wrote this article for Perspective.
Special Event to Honor the Work of Betty Reardon with Keynote Lecture by Dr. David Hamburg
SAVE THE DATE, JUNE 10, 2004
The Teachers College Peace Education Center is planning a very special event to honor the work of Betty Reardon and to highlight possibilities for the Center’s future as it enters a new phase in its role as an international leader in the field of peace education.
The program, to be held at Teachers College Columbia University on June 10th, will comprise a symposium on “Peace and Education: Challenges and Possibilities,” keynoted by Dr. David Hamburg, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The symposium will also feature the participation of an international group of distinguished leaders in the field and a festive reception to celebrate the history and the future of peace education.
**It will be an invitational event in which your participation would be most welcome. If you wish to attend, please send us an e-mail with your postal address, so we might send you the formal invitation.
There is no admission charge for the event. However, we are undertaking a major fundraising effort in support of the activities of the Peace Education Center in continuing TC’s ground breaking work in peace education. Contributions in any amount will help in this effort, honor Dr. Reardon’s work, and demonstrate that peace education is seen as an urgent necessity in these violent times. If you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution, please send us an email and we will mail you a donation form.
We look forward to your being at TC for this celebration. If you are coming from out of town and would like recommendations or assistance in arranging accommodations, please let us know.
To receive an invitation please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 678-8116.
Peace Education Center
Teachers College - Box 171
New York, New York 10027
tel: (212) 678-8116 fax: (212) 678-8237
Post-Saddam Iraq and Humiliation by Victoria Firmo-Fontan at the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute
Dear JBMTI Members and Friends,
Jean Baker Miller has suggested that violence is the ultimate tragic
manifestation of nonmutual, power-over relationships....
I am excited to announce a very special JBMTI Members' Meeting, Friday,
April 23, 11:30 AM-1:00 PM in the Stone Center Solarium (see description
below). Victoria Firmo-Fontan is an international scholar who recently
returned from studying the violence that is destroying the lives of women
in post-Saddam Iraq. She is in America to present at the WCW Violence
Against Women Conference, but she has also agreed to speak at our JBMTI
Members' Meeting! I met Victoria in Paris when she presented at a
meeting discussing the global consequences of humiliation. She is doing
remarkable work. If you have been wanting a firsthand account of what's
really happening in Iraq, I hope you will be able to join us for this
Because Victoria's topic is so important and timely, students, faculty and
staff from the Wellesley Centers for Women and from Wellesley College will
be invited to attend our meeting on a first-come-first-serve basis.
However, we will reserve seats for JBMTI Members, faculty and friends! If
you plan to attend, you must RSVP by Friday, April 19 (RSVP:
I hope you can join us for this special opportunity to learn more about
the situation in Iraq.
Yours in connection,
PS. Seating is very limited, so reserve your place today! Please
remember to park in Grey Lot...THANKS!
POLARIZATION BETWEEN OCCUPIER AND OCCUPIED IN POST-SADDAM IRAQ:
HUMILIATION AND THE FORMATION OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Presenter: Victoria Firmo-Fontan
One year after the beginning of the Iraqi war, the month of March 2003
represents a turning point in the history of 'New Iraq', where in the eyes
of many Iraqis, distinctions between military and civilian personnel are
no longer made. In all parts of Iraq, every member of the International
Community may now represent 'The' occupier that deserves to die. Based on
participant observation in Fallujah and other parts of the so-called Sunni
triangle, this talk aims at analysing the mechanisms that led to such a
drastic polarization between occupier and occupied in New Iraq. The
dynamics of humiliation will emphasize polarization mechanisms facilitated
by a steady escalation of violence, biased media reporting and most
importantly the Iraqi code of honor."
Victoria Firmo-Fontan is a post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Sabanci
University in Turkey. She lectures in the MA Program in Conflict
Resolution and Analysis and also conducts research on conflict resolution
and the politics of communication. She holds a Ph.D. in Peace and
Development Studies. She published various papers on multi-track
diplomacy, human trafficking, the public diplomacy of armed groups and
the formation of political violence in post-conflict societies. Central
to her work has been a conceptualization of post-conflict processes
through the study of social, gendered, cultural, economic and political
humiliation. She Conducted filed research in Lebanon with the Hezbollah,
in Bosnia-Herzegovina on human trafficking and organized crime, and in
Fallujah (post-Saddam Iraq) with emerging armed groups. She is also
involved in gender training for peacekeeping operations, and has lectured
to various armed forces on this subject.
Linda M. Hartling, Ph.D.
Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Web site: jbmti.org
Wellesley Centers for Women
e-mail: email@example.com Phone: 781-283-3800
Wellesley College, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481
I attended an event by Parents Circle about two years ago in New York. The Isreali and Palestinian Parents gathered in a synagogue on Upper West Side and cried together while sharing their stories... Please find below the information on their upcoming event.
All the best,
CELEBRATE RECONCILIATION WITH AN EVENING OF MUSIC & READINGS
Benefiting the Parents´ Circle, Israeli & Palestinian Bereaved Families
Tuesday, April 13, 2004- 8:30 PM
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave, at 112th Street New York
• An Evening of Music & Readings
A Benefit Concert
The Peaceable Event
Monthly News Bulletin of Dignity International: April 2004
DIGNITY INTERNATIONAL: MONTHLY NEWSBULLETIN - April 2004
* NOVIB, Oxfam Netherlands appraisal visit to Dignity
* Brainstorm meet for 2004 Human Rights Day
* Web updates report of the Global Linking and Learning Programme on ESC
Rights now online further resources on Development & Human Rights
* Mobilizing the Sciences to Fight Global Poverty — State of the Planet 2004
* “Long Live Nairobi Alive!” Campaign against demolitions
* Betraying the Olympic spirit Oxfam launches a new campaign
* World Social Forum Updates
* Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (OP to ICESCR)
* UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 32nd session
* UN Human Rights Commission - 60th Session
* 3D´s New Website
* Centre on Housing Rights AND Evictions COHRE) 2004 Housing Rights Awards
* Call for papers - The Essex Human Rights Review (EHRR)
* Close to Home: Case Studies of Human Rights Work in the United States,
* Addressing older people's rights in Africa: Good practice guidelines,
* The UN Human Rights Norms For Business: Towards Legal Accountability
* Realising the Rights of Children growing up in Child-headed households
* World Forum on Human Rights 16-19 May
* The Forum of Local Authorities for Social Inclusion (FAL) 7-8 May
* 110 Assembly of the Inter- parliamentary Union 15-23 April
*** NOVIB, Oxfam Netherlands recently completed an appraisal of Dignity
International. In accordance with new appraisal procedures, Anne Kooistra of
the Global Programmes Bureau at NOVIB and Finance Officer Clemens Wennekes
met with Dignity’s Chairman Ton Waarts at NOVIB headquarters in the
Netherlands. This was followed by the visit of Anne Kooistra to Vivenda
Metta, Alcochete, Portugal for discussions with Dignity’s Executive Director
Aye Aye Win and Luis Gavinhos, member of the team with responsibility for
information technology. Discussions focussed on the three-year programme,
strategies, alliances, and specific outcomes for the duration of the
partnership as well as financial projections. NOVIB is a partner of Dignity’
s Capacity Building Programme in 2003 and it is hoped that this partnership
will be extended for the next three years.
*** Brainstorm Meet for 2004 Human Rights Day - A group of young human
rights activists from Portugal Marcos Andrade, Dignity’s Advisor and
coordinator of the youth programme at the North-South Centre, Luis Pinto of
INDUCAR - Organisation for the Promotion of Non Formal Education and Social
Integration, Teresa Encarnacao of the International Centre on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, and Simone Andrade from Humana Global gathered
at Dignity’s office in Vivenda Metta on 31 March to brainstorm around how
best to celebrate 2004 Human Rights Day.
Emphasis was put on participation and creativity. The group suggested to
bring in street performers and local music groups to help raise awareness
about human rights in a creative way and involve the schools and residents
of Alcochete the community where Dignity is currently based and the 25
participants who will attend the third linking and learning programme on ESC
Rights. Many ideas were put forward and the challenge will be to realise
“If we are advocating that grassroots human rights education work is
possible around the world, then we must first try it out on the home front
in our own town of Alcochete and 10 December this year will be a perfect
opportunity”, said Dignity’s Director Aye Aye Win.
*** Web-updates The report of the 2003 Global Linking and Learning
Programme on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is available on line at
http://www.dignityinternational.org/LLPESCR.html You can now download the
executive summary and the entire learning programme.
Development & Human Rights Do you want to know more about Human Rights
Based Approaches to development? Documents, experiences, contacts from
other agencies - then check out the Dignity’s website at
*** Mobilizing the Sciences to Fight Global Poverty — State of the Planet
2004 - The Earth Institute at Columbia University brought together leading
scientists and policymakers for the 2004 State of the Planet conference to
prioritise the best scientific practices and most urgent needs for
investment in the areas of energy, food, water, and health. The Event will
lead to recommendations for G8 leaders toward sustainable development. The
Earth Institute is a partner of the Ethical Globalisation Initiative headed
by Mrs. Mary Robinson. See
*** “Long Live Nairobi Alive!” International Campaign against demolitions
and evictions in Nairobi has been launched About 42.000 shelters (shacks,
churches, shops, community centres, dispensaries, etc.) will be demolished
in few days time, leaving 354.000 people homeless and with no hope, the
poorest among the poor of the world.
The solidarity campaign, promoted by the International Alliance of
Inhabitants (IAI), the Giovani Impegno Missionario and Unimondo, responds to
demands made by the Kutoka Network of Parishes in the Informal Settlements
in Nairobi slums and by several others local NGOs. See
*** Betraying the Olympic spirit Oxfam launches a new campaign - In August
2004 the world ’s athletes will gather in Athens for the Summer Olympic
Games. Global sportswear firms will spend vast sums of money to associate
their products with the Olympian ideal. Images of Olympic events, complete
with corporate branding, will be televised to a global audience.
The expansion of international trade in sportswear goods under the auspices
of corporate giants such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Fila, ASICS, Mizuno,
Lotto, Kappa and Umbro has drawn millions of people, mainly women, into
From China and Indonesia to Turkey and Bulgaria, they work long hours for
low wages in arduous conditions, often without the most basic employment
protection. The rights to join and form trade unions and to engage in
collective bargaining are systematically violated.
During this Olympic year when such a high value is put on fair play, we ask
you to join workers and consumers worldwide who are calling for change
across the whole of the sportswear industry. You can ask the International
Olympics Committee and all sportswear companies to take action now
E-MAIL TO THE SPORTSWEAR INDUSTRY - Sportswear companies should take their
responsibilities seriously and stop pushing their manufacturers into
exploitative business practices for the sake of greater and greater profit.
In addition, the International Olympics Committee should use its clout to
ensure workers in the sportswear industry work under fair, dignified and
safe conditions. Email the sportswear industry and demand it takes action to
respect workers' rights. http://www.fairolympics.org/en/actnow/index.htm
Find out in detail about the exploitative business practices in the
international sportswear industry.
For further information on Clean Clothes Campaign, Global Unions and
Oxfam campaign Play Fair at the Olympics, see
*** World Social Forum - Updates
For a series of evaluations of the recent World Social Forum in Mumbai see
International Council Meeting - The next WSF International Council meeting
will be held in Peruggia, Italy, between April 4 and 7, 2004.
The agenda includes the following subjects, among others: debate on the
conjuncture; new IC admissions; methodology and event format in 2005;
rotation, expansion policy; interface among social regional, thematic and
world forums; communication work plan and meetings of the IC commissions.
*** Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (OP to ICESCR) The open ended working group to consider
options regarding the elaboration of an optional protocol to the ICESCR met
in Geneva from 23 February to 5 March. The official report of the Working
Group drafted by Chairperson/Rapporteur Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque is now
available on the web at http://www.unhchr.ch/pdf/chr60/44AV.pdf
It’s a good summary capturing the main discussion points on the subject. The
UN Commission on Human Rights is currently considering this.
The NGO Coalition on OP to the ICESCR is planning activities in order to
renew mandate of the open-ended working group for the elaboration of the
Optional Protocol. For good information on: important dates; issues arsing
on the mandate of the working group; recommended action for NGOs supporting
the OP-ICESCR and key documents and resources see
*** UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - Thirty Second
session of this Committee will meet from 26 April to 14 May in Geneva. The
committee will examine initial reports from Lithuania, Greece and Kuwait as
receive second/third periodic reports from Ecuador and Spain respectively.
A draft agenda of the Committee can be found at
The committee is expected to receive NGO submissions on the afternoon of 26
April. At the 32nd session, the committee will also consider and adopt draft
general comments on article 3 (equality between men and women in the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights) and on article 6 of the
Covenant (right to work).
*** UN Human Rights Commission 60th session - (15 March 23 April) This
is currently in session and the Commission will work its way through an
agenda covering such topics as human rights violations around the world,
racism, the rights of minorities, migrant workers, and indigenous peoples;
the rights of women and the prevention of violence against women; the rights
of children; the prevention of torture, disappearances and summary
executions; efforts to end religious intolerance; the promotion of economic,
social and cultural rights and the advancement of the right to development.
Dignity´s coordinator for Asia, and Director of the Peace and Human Rights
Resource Centre, Boonthan Verawongse is currently in Geneva to attend the
Human Rights Commission. For further information on the Commission see
*** 3D -> Trade - Human Rights - Equitable Economy, an NGO that promotes
collaboration amongst trade, development and human rights professionals, to
ensure that trade rules are developed and applied in ways that promote an
equitable economy has a new website. See www.3dthree.org
The website contains: - a guide to understanding the jargon of trade policy;
results of research on how UN human rights treaty bodies have considered
trade-related issues; materials about how Intellectual Property rules in
specific countries (including El Salvador and Uganda) affect access to
medicines and human rights; analysis of why rich country subsidies to
commodity production are a human rights issue; information about human
rights for trade and development practitioners; and much more!
*** Centre on Housing Rights AND Evictions COHRE) 2004 Housing Rights
Awards Call for Nominations - COHRE invites nomination of candidates for
the 2004 COHRE Housing Rights Awards. Any person or organisation can submit
Housing rights violator awards (3) - The COHRE Housing Rights Violator
Awards are presented to governments and/or other institutions that have
committed appalling housing rights violations in the recent past, in clear
contravention of international human rights law and related housing rights
standards. The Violator Awards are designed to draw attention to some of the
world's worst housing rights abuses.
Housing rights protector award (1) - The COHRE Housing Rights Protector
Award is presented to a government and/or other institution that has
demonstrated an exceptional commitment to respecting or protecting housing
rights. The Protector Award demonstrates that housing rights can be
enforced, when the political will to do so exists.
Housing rights defender award 1)- The COHRE Housing Rights Defender Award is
presented to an individual who has shown outstanding commitment to the
defence of housing rights and promotion of the realisation of housing rights
for all. Candidates for this Award should be committed to non-violence and
be independent of any political or governmental affiliation.
How to submit a nomination - Please provide COHRE with details of the
nominee and a brief explanation as to why they should receive the award.
Nomination forms may be downloaded from the COHRE website -
www.cohre.org/nominations. Email your completed nominations to
firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to +41.22.733.8336. The nomination period closes
15 May 2004.
*** Call for papers - The Essex Human Rights Review (EHRR) is a new online
publication edited by graduate students at the University of Essex. EHRR
welcomes articles, book reviews and other contributions on contemporary
human rights issues, primarily (but not exclusively) in the areas of law,
political science, sociology, and philosophy, covering both the academic and
the practical aspects of human rights. For our June 2004 issue, we would
particularly welcome submissions that focus on the following topics:
defending human rights in Africa; rights of minorities: The case of the
Roma; human rights in religion - religion in human rights? For further
information please contact email@example.com
*** Ford Foundation Report Examines Human Rights Work in the United
tates - For many Americans, human rights work is something that happens
beyond the borders of the United States. A new Ford Foundation publication
presents thirteen case studies that tell a different story.
Close to Home: Case Studies of Human Rights Work in the United States,
examines the work of U.S. organizations that are using traditional human
rights tools—such as fact-finding, litigation, organizing and advocacy—to
reduce poverty, promote workers’ rights and environmental justice, abolish
the death penalty and end discrimination. Together the case studies shed
light on the emerging human rights movement in the United States.
Close to Home provides activists, funders and policy makers with new points
of view and valuable tools for seeking positive social change in their
communities. The report illustrates the value that the use of human rights
brings to the struggle for social justice in the United States: a powerful
affirmation of human dignity, a broad and unifying framework of rights, a
set of international laws and mechanisms to demand justice, and a range of
additional strategies to translate human rights into concrete improvements
in people’s everyday lives.
“We hope this report will contribute to the on-going discussion of the role
international law and multilateral institutions should play in U.S. policies
and will expand support for the growing movement to bring human rights
closer to home,” said Larry Cox, Ford Foundation’s senior program officer
for human rights.
*** Latest publication from Help Age International - Addressing older
people's rights in Africa: Good practice guidelines, produced under our
Regional Rights programme. - The guidelines are based on Help Age
International's vast experience of working with and for older people in
Africa, a lot of whom face abuse from family and the community as a whole.
They are intended to provide guidance on older people's rights for those
working with older people and those involved in human rights issues.
The brochure is available on our website www.helpage.org under the
publications section or hard copies can also be mailed.
*** The UN Human Rights Norms For Business: Towards Legal Accountability"
http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGIOR420012004 - Human rights
organizations have addressed concerns to businesses for a number of years.
Recognizing that economic globalization has expanded the reach of corporate
power, advocates have struggled to ensure that companies, no less than other
significant actors, are brought within the framework of international human
rights rules. The UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human
Rights took a significant step in this direction in August 2003 when it
approved the UN Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations
and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights.
This booklet provides an introduction to the UN Human Rights Norms
for Business. It answers a number of questions about the UN Norms and
their legal status, and includes an overview of their development,
background on the drafting process, and a description of the content
and legal status of the UN Norms.
To receive updates on the campaign, share information on the Norms and to
explore other ways of getting involved in strengthening corporate
accountability, please join the ESCR-Net Corporate Accountability Discussion
Group by sending a blank email to
*** Realising the Rights of Children growing up in Child-headed households -
A major publication of the Project in 2004 has been produced. Written by
Professor Julia Sloth-Nielsen and edited by Sibonile Khoza and Sandra
Liebenberg, this publication is aimed at presenting in an accessible form
some of the main legal and policy issues that concern child-headed
households. It is aimed at a broad readership, not necessarily only those
who are knowledgeable about the law and legal debates.
*** World Forum on Human Rights, Nantes, France, 16-19 May 2004 - The City
of Nantes, at the initiative and with the support of UNESCO, in
cooperation with the French National Commission for UNESCO and supported by
the Office of the High Commissioners for Human Rights and the International
Labor Office, is organizing the World Forum on Human Rights.
The Forum will bring together on an equal footing all the actors involved in
the promotion and protection of human rights. It will contribute to
strengthen interaction between research and decision-making, with the aim to
consolidate a global movement for human rights. The Forum will offer a
platform for joint action for the world of science and research and the
world of policy and action. The Forum will contribute to generate ideas,
exchange and advance knowledge and to use this knowledge to address
challenges and threats to human rights in the 21st century.
The main topics of the Forum are:
* Terrorism and human rights
* Globalization and the struggle against all forms of discrimination and
* Poverty as a violation of human rights
You are all invited to participate in the Forum and to join the debate!
Preliminary programme and more information on the Forum can be found on:
*** 7-8 May 2004 - The Forum of Local Authorities for Social Inclusion (FAL)
of Porto Alegre is a Mayors’ Forum that will take place in advance of the
World Social Forum and whose objectives include converting local governments
into agents that are capable of constructing and implementing publicly
managed alternatives to the process of globalisation by working together
with the civil society.
Its fourth edition, in accordance with the resolution adopted in Porto
Alegre during the 3rd FAL, will take place in the city of Barcelona on 7 and
8 May 2004, within the framework of the Universal Cultures Forum-Barcelona
The objectives of the 4th FAL are to strengthen the presence of cities in
the international ambit in order to promote peace, democracy, international
cooperation, sustainable development and cultural diversity.
The 4th FAL plans to reflect upon Culture as a means of favouring Social
Inclusion, and to create and propose to the world, from a local ambit, the
Agenda 21 of Culture, which will be presented to the United Nations
Organisation in September 2004.
*** 15-23 April 110 Assembly of the Inter- parliamentary Union - The
Inter-Parliamentary Union will hold its 110th Assembly and related meetings
in Mexico City (Mexico) from 15 to 23 April 2004. Parliamentarians from
around the world will debate the role of the IPU and parliaments in
following up the parliamentary declaration adopted in Cancún on the occasion
of the Fifth WTO Ministerial Meeting (Committee on Sustainable Development,
Finance and Trade and discuss the role of parliamentary democracy in
defending human rights and promoting reconciliation. It will also look at
issues relating to justice, truth commissions, amnesties, pardons,
reparations and other means to bring reconciliation to parties driven by
conflict (committee on Democracy and Human Rights) See
CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES
For the updated Calendar of Activities for 2004, please see
April - June http://www.dignityinternational.org/2004monthly_planner2.html
This newsbulletin is also available online at
This is a monthly electronic news bulletin of “Dignity International: All
Human Rights for All”. Dignity International does not accredit, validate or
substantiate any information posted by members to this news bulletin. The
validity and accuracy of any information is the responsibility of the
More on humiliation by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan
I would suggest context-specific scales -- like humiliation in the classroom, humiliation in the hospital, humiliation in the government office ... and that leads to the topic of vicarious humiliation -- somebody being the substitute target for suffering humiliation in the place of, on behalf of, somebody else etc., and how this vicarious humiliation differs phenomenologically from 'first hand'suffering of humiliation...
Colloquium hosted by the Peace Education Center at Columbia University
The Peace Education Center of Teachers College Columbia University invites you to attend the following events in our colloquia series for 2004
“Race to the Bottom: A Simulation Activity on Global Capitalism,” conducted by special guest Barbara Barnes
Thursday, April 15th, 3:30 -5:00pm
“Exploring Relationships among Content, Form and Structure in Peace Education,” a special conversation with distinguished visiting international scholar Magnus Haavelsrud
Wednesday, April 28, 3:30-5:00pm
Details on both events follow. Please feel free to share this information with your friends and colleagues. We hope to see you at these or future events.
We invite you to participate in:
“Race to the Bottom: A Simulation Activity on Global Capitalism,”
Facilitated by Special Guest: Barbara Barnes, Educator and Activist
Thursday, April 15, 2004
3:30 – 5:00pm
Teachers College Columbia University
Room 179 Grace Dodge
(525 West 120th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam)
NO RSVP required
This experiential presentation will examine the social and ecological consequences of capital investment decisions.
How is the gap between rich and poor increasing?
What is the role of elites in Third World countries?
What decision-making processes are influential?
Race to the Bottom is a simulation activity based on The Transnational Capital Auction developed by Bill Bigelow of Rethinking Schools. The workshop enables participants to experience the dynamic nature of capital with its own needs and inclinations and concludes with a discussion of potential ways to divide money and resources more equitably within countries and throughout the world.
Barbara Barnes is an educator and long time activist in economic and social justice issues. Currently, she works with Educators for Social Responsibility, where she has developed curriculum and led workshops for high school students. She also teaches for the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at TC. Barbara has facilitated workshops for United for a Fair Economy, Boston, and her international experience includes Mozambique and Kenya. Barbara received her doctorate from TC in Curriculum and Teaching.
We invite you also to attend a
A special conversation with distinguished visiting international scholar Magnus Haavelsrud,
“Exploring Relationships among Content, Form and Structure in Peace Education”
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Teachers College Columbia University
Room 229 Thompson
(525 West 120th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam)
NO RSVP REQUIRED
In this presentation professor Haavelsrud will explore the relations between Peace Education content, form and structure in which the following inquiries will be addressed:
- How do we find answers to the question of what is the content of peace?
- How do we determine which forms of communication to be recommended in Peace Education?
- How do we view the relationship between contents and forms?
- Given structural conditions, what are the possibilities for desirable forms and contents?
Magnus Haavelsrud is a professor at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, Trondheim, Norway. His work centers around the critique of the reproductive role of education and the possibilities for transcendence of this reproduction in light of the traditions of educational sociology and peace research. He took part in the creation of the Peace Education Commission of the International Peace Research Association at the beginning of the 70’s and served as the Commissions 2nd Executive Secretary 1975-79. He was the chairperson for the World Conference on Education in 1974 and edited the proceeding from his conference entitled Education for Peace: Reflection and Action. He served as the Carl-von-Ossietzky guest professor of the German Council for Peace and Conflict Research.
For further information on this and other events, please direct inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or (212) 678-8116
Peace Education Center
Teachers College - Box 171
New York, New York 10027
tel: (212) 678-8116 fax: (212) 678-8237
Honor and America’s Wars: From Spain to Iraq by Bertram Wyatt-Brown
The 2004 JAMES PINCKNEY HARRISON LECTURES
Honor and America’s Wars: From Spain to Iraq
Monday, April 5
4:30 PM Small Hall 113
Americans have long prided themselves as being a peace-loving, tolerant, and prudent nation. These lectures suggest otherwise. The kind of self-delusion, under which we as a nation suffer, has a root cause. It lies in a basic fact of human existence, the apparent or real need for group protectiveness. The anthropologist David Gilmore explains that in the persistent struggle of men seeking to fulfill “their obligations,” they could easily forfeit “their reputations or their lives.” Yet the discharge of male duties might be essential to their group’s survival and prosperity. As a result, the call to arms to uphold a nation’s honor, Gilmore suggests, has been a sometimes necessary and sometimes disastrous imperative, generation after generation.
Under these conditions, one might well imagine that the secession crisis of 1861 and four long years of bloody struggle in America would have muffled the beating of war drums for over fifty years or longer thereafter. Let’s glance at another nation that underwent comparable losses in lives and treasure as the Civil War generation underwent. The horrors of World War I left the French with little thirst for more bloodletting. As best they could, that nation’s psychological experts of the 1920s insisted that the prime male ideal resided in exhibitions of courage, but it had become sorely imperiled. Cowardice, they argued, obliged the soldier “to forfeit his ‘honor’ and ‘reputation,’ the very qualities on which his identity as a man depended.” So writes Robert A. Nye in Masculinity and Male Codes of Honor in Modern France But the dreadfulness of death in the trenches and the overwhelming numbers of veterans tormented by shell-shock hysteria called into question the very nature of French courage and fear. The cultural historian Charles Rearick explains that a deep malaise descended during the “Phony War” period in 1940 before the German offensive. “The sadness of loved ones parting and facing the terrible dangers of war,” he explains, “gave way to “the longer term sadness of a nation haunted by memories of the last war, still grieving and weary of crisis and disappointment.” France, it could be said, lost its collective nerve, a paralysis that made perhaps nearly inevitable the Nazis’ easy conquest.
That withdrawal from any prospect of serious battle did not happen in this country until the tragic failure of Viet Nam a half century later. Instead, Northerners turned from military aggression to business expansion and the exploitation of the West’s natural resources, Post-Civil War white Southerners, as we acknowledged last week, constructed soul-restoring myths of Rebel valor, successful guerilla warfare against the freed people, and other means of regaining collective and personal self-esteem. As a result, Southern truculence was only chastened momentarily after 1865, and the antebellum martial traditions persisted. Even in the North, as the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic grew thinner, the next generation began to revive the ideals of manly national response, as if to outdo the daring and valor of their veteran fathers. Manliness stood in stark contrast to effeminacy.
In the 1890s, the economy plummeted, but, perhaps in part as an escape into extraneous warfare, the United States nearly challenged Great Britain. The cause arose from a dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana, whose boundaries were under contention in 1895. The “NATION’S HONOR,” screamed headlines, was in dire peril. If we failed to protect the Monroe Doctrine, journalists warned, Britain might probe our weakness and initiate other imperialist demands. Senator William M. Stewart, a notable silver Republican from Nevada, pronounced, “I want American manhood asserted.” The absurdity was evident to members of polite society, chiefly those in the Northeast and Midwest. Margaret Bradshaw, a Massachusetts constituent of Senator George Frisbie Hoar, informed him that war was “as uncivilized as prizefights.” It was a sentiment often to be voiced in opposition to wars of honor. The crisis ended with sensible arbitration.
That happy result was not, however, the outcome a mere three years later. As the cultural historian Kristin Hoganson discloses, President McKinley’s spinal column became a subject of journalistic and political ridicule. It was supposedly too breakable to meet to the effrontery of Spain’s alleged sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana harbor. His backbone, chorused Senators William E. Chandler of New Hampshire and John C. Spooner of Wisconsin, was inadequate for the crisis. Teddy Roosevelt compared it famously to “a chocolate éclair,” and cartoonists had a field day. Making matters worse, a letter of the Spanish ambassador fell into the hands of Cuban rebels. Gleefully, they published Enrique De Lôme’s comment characterizing the president as “weak and catering to the rabble.” If only the nation had another Andrew Jackson to fill the office, jingoists complained.
While his defenders employed the same language about the value of manliness and honor, they attributed to the president high measures of firmness, inner control, and manly prudence. He did not, they insisted, flip flop or ponder indecisively on the issue of war against Spain the way his critics claimed. After all, he had fought bravely at Antietam and in the Shenandoah Valley under Philip Sheridan. How could anyone doubt “where his patriotism, where his courage is?” asked Congressman Charles H. Grosvenor of Ohio. (I forbear to mention any current and parallel situation.) Indeed, McKinley was the last president to have fought in the Civil War.
Whatever the state of McKinley’s skeletal anatomy, he did lead the nation into war. But why in 1898 and not sooner? Cuban liberation had been an American dream for many years. Spanish authorities captured and hanged some American filibusterers to free Cuba in 1873. It was known as “the Virginius Affair.” Secretary of State Hamilton Fish and President Grant weathered unpleasant saber-rattling by conducting negotiations with the Spanish government. Nor was it the offense of blowing up a ship that prompted the outcry for war. The Lusitania’s torpedoing in 1915 did not arouse war fevers. Yet the sinking of the Maine did. In other words, perceptions of honor varied widely in the nineteenth century and still do so today. At the turn of the century, America had certainly developed a confidence and a desire to play the “Great Game,” as Rudyard Kipling called it. Teddy Roosevelt put it this way: “Is America a weakling to shrink from the world work of the great world-powers? No. . .Our nation glorious in youth and strength, looks in the future with eager eyes and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.” In other words, honor and acclaim accrue to the winner in either the game of war or the war of sports.
This notion resonated with the Southern politicians and their constituents. After the Civil War, the race-conscious and isolationist South felt out of tune with imperialistic designs that could mean the incorporation of allegedly inferior brown people. In1890 Congressman John Sharp Williams of Mississippi had helped to exclude black voters from the ballot box by a new state constitutional enactment. Yet with no sense of hypocrisy, he denounced the imperial mandate in Hawaii, Cuba, and the Philippines. Williams declared, “when. . .a mistaken patriotism, or a criminal covetousness leads. . .our flag out in the endless race for conquest and domination, it has lost its honor and should be unfurled in disgrace.” When material interests for gain alone dominate over good sense, Williams later said, “Chivalry is dead; manhood itself is sapped.” As Williams’s words suggested, honor can be invoked for war or for peace, depending on the speaker’s political judgment.
Once the fighting began, however, Southerners cheered as lustily as Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, the war offered Southern whites the chance to prove their Union loyalties and “show, as one Alabama ex-Rebel boasted, “that the South had not degenerated” into passive effeminacy. Roosevelt, Southern war enthusiasts, and other jingoists constantly stressed the vision of a rejuvenated spirit of young male adulthood. The negative result, though, was that such polemics engendered a naivety about war really was. The Civil War had taught the older Northern generation a lesson that the succeeding one casually dismissed. Civil War veteran Senator Hoar recoiled from the prospect of a war with Spain: “I know and dread the horrors of war.” Aside from the loss of life and health for thousands, the cost inevitably includes, Hoar continued, a decline of moral standards, corruption, and enormous debt.
Hoar’s prophecy was soon fulfilled in the conquest of the Philippines. The war with Spain had been quick, relatively bloodless, and inexpensive. The occupation of the Spanish Philippine colony, however, soon led to atrocity, death of soldiers, and a temporary weakening of American hunger for empire. Far from bringing the renewed sense of honor to America’s youth, that the jingoists had promised, the Philippine war against insurgent guerillas was nearly disastrous. Senator George L. Wellington, Republican of Maryland, pointed out that the army had gradually left “the broad highway of honorable warfare--honorable modern warfare as recognized by civilized nations--and has adopted methods of barbarism and savagery such as the wild natives of the unconquered Philippine Islands themselves could not approach.” Frustration with seeking out well hidden enemies has always led occupiers into the moral abyss. Time, however, precludes further remark, but I recommend Hoganson’s work on the subject, a book to which I am most indebted. Instead, we come to Woodrow Wilson’s experiment in nation-building, the effort to swing Mexico into the American moral and economic orbit--as that president saw it. Using the excuse of a minor stain upon American “honor,” Southern-born President Woodrow Wilson in 1914 dispatched troops under General Pershing to unshackle our Mexican neighbors from the chains of Victoriano Huerta. He was a dictator whom Wilson passionately loathed.
The president’s Southern supporters rallied to the cause. Congressman Pat Harrison of Mississippi expressed outrage that American sailors had been “humiliated and insulted” by their arrest on the streets of Tampico. By Wilson’s command, a thousand U. S. Marines descended on Vera Cruz, seventeen of whom were killed, along with over a hundred Mexican defenders. Several Latin American countries arranged for negotiations. As a result, Huerta departed into exile, and the American occupiers went home shortly thereafter. Like the waging of the Barbary wars, the conflict was short, effective, and symbolically helpful for partisan purposes. But, how effective was Wilson’s effort to impose American democracy on Mexico by removing a tyrant? The answer was far from clear.
A year later, Wilson joined the Allied effort against the Austro-Hungarian-German monarchies for similar reasons of democratically inspired liberation. The diplomatic historian Joseph Fry observes that Wilson, “a man of ‘southern blood, of southern bone and of southern grit,’” permanently reversed the section’s narrow-minded parochialism with his crusade to internationalize democracy and his fatally flawed effort to win American participation in the League of Nations. Regional pride in Wilson as a Southerner, not some wider vision, Fry contends, drew Southern politicians wholeheartedly to the president’s side.
However much Wilson was immersed in Southern myths of honor, another Southern President, Lyndon Johnson, was more attuned to the issue of personal and martial honor, but without at least some of the racial blinders that Wilson had worn. To throttle that ideological menace in far distant rice paddies would prevent the collapse, it was thought, of the rest of Asia into the arms of the Soviets and Mao Tse-tung. But Lyndon Johnson=s vindication of his own and his nation’s honor had much to do with his own self-conception. The journalist David Halberstam concludes that Johnson was “haunted by the idea that he would be judged as insufficiently manly for the job, that he would lack courage at a crucial moment.” He “was a believer, not a cynic about the big things. Honor. Force. Commitments.” On learning that someone in his administration had turned dovish about the war, Johnson exploded in his usual scatological way, “Hell, he has to squat to piss.” He feared being seen as “an unmanly man” or “a man without a spine.” His predecessor William McKinley had had to live down the same imputation.
To be sure, in the tragedy of Vietnam, honor was not the sole cause of war any more than it was in the earlier examples. Yet, far from meeting the “rational” motives to which Donald Kagan called attention in our first lecture, North Vietnam posed no threat, immediate or distant, to the security of the United States. Nor had Lincoln’s election threatened immediate emancipation. Unaware of centuries of mistrust between China and the Vietnamese, the Johnson administration assumed that the little Southeast Asian country was merely a puppet of international Communism, governed not in Hanoi but Bejing and Moscow. Such ignorance in Washington’s high places seems almost criminal to us now.
Even though behind the scenes, President Johnson expressed his mortal fear that hasty escalation of the war would usher in World War III, his public pronouncements were thoroughly drenched in the rhetoric of honor. A more secular understanding would refer to our “credibility” for living up to international commitments to our friends and allies. But this Texas President instead used the terminology of his native state. As representative of that frontier spirit, Johnson put the matter succinctly almost exactly a century after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. “If America’s commitment is dishonored in South Vietnam, it is dishonored in forty other alliances or more. . .we do what we must” regardless of consequences. By his perspective, honor had its own logic. Practical considerations and prudence drew out no imperative to cast the ethic aside. “We love peace. We hate war. But our course,” Johnson announced in 1965, “is charted always by the compass of honor.” It was the pathway to death. Yet any other option apparently would have betrayed America’s “word of honor” and the end of capitalistic civilization. Refusing the call to honor and warfare, however, also poses problems, as we learned from John Adams’s and Hamilton Fish’s refusal to war with France in 1798 and Spain in 1873 respectively.
A more contemporary illustration comes from the Iranian Revolutionary seizure of the American Embassy. Some of us can recall the origins of that unhappy incident. Jimmy Carter had refused at first to welcome the dying Shah, exiled to Mexico, to visit New York for cancer treatments. Unanimously State Department officials had urged him to take no such hostile action. Carter had understood their point, accurately reasoning that the Shah’s admission would endanger Americans in Tehran and elsewhere in that nation. But David Rockefeller, John McCloy, and Henry Kissinger persisted in claiming that the Shah, our dear friend, “should not be treated like a Flying Dutchman who cannot find a port of call,” Kissinger put it. He had thought it “dishonorable” and “appalling” not to welcome the Shah on American soil. Receiving notification that the Shah=s life depended upon the treatment that American physicians could supply. That medical advice was actually false, but Carter unwittingly gave in. James Bill, the U.S. Iranian expert at the College of William and Mary, declares that he did so to uphold the “honor and credibility of the United States,” just as Kissinger had pressed. Yet, in such honor cultures as Iran’s, any befriending or welcoming of an enemy, whom his enemies had labeled accursed, would be seen as an insupportable affront. A member of the Iranian Revolutionary Foreign Ministry had earlier warned the American chargé d’affaires Bruce Laingren, “You are opening a Pandora=s box with this.”
After the Shah underwent futile surgery in New York, the students raided the embassy and seized the hostages there until the Americans returned Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi to stand trial in Tehran. James Bill denounces the Islamists’ reaction to the President’s decision as simply “paranoid.” It was, however, not merely their sense of mistrust and insecurity but their fury at so outrageous an assault on their national and religious honor. One violation of a nation’s pride deserves another, it seems. With the skeleton staff held hostage, it was now American honor once again violated, as it had been in the Islamic Barbary Wars at the beginning of the nineteenth-century. And at this point, it seems to me, the Americans had cause to issue an ultimatum--free the hostages or expect the bombing of Iran’s military installations and out and out war.
Perhaps a military defeat of Islamic fundamentalism in 1979 would have been preferable to what we face now. As it was, we gave the impression, then and sometimes later in Somalia and elsewhere, that we had no stomach for retribution. Two months before September 11, Al-Qassem, an extremist personality on Al-Jazeera television, chastised a doubting viewer, “Don't you watch television? The U.S. Navy cancelled a joint maneuver with Jordan, fled Bahrain, all those things--Can you deny that this Jihad warrior who is now in Afghanistan [Osama bin Laden] is striking fear into America, which shudders at the sound of his name?
Carter proved exceptional in choosing peace and patience over war and honor. Most other southern-born or southern influenced presidents have chosen the latter course for military encounters, large or small, from Jefferson’s Barbary conflict to the one recently undertaken by George W. Bush of Texas and his conservative, unilaterally-minded advisors. In 1965 a fictional attack on a U.S. Naval vessel in the Gulf of Tonkin led to full-scale warfare against Communist North Viet Nam. In 2002 Iraq was supposed to have an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. But in these instances were they the reasons for war or was it something else, something in the natures of the Presidents who have earlier plunged the nation into military action? Before the United Nations Assembly on 12 September of last year, Bush mentioned the car-bomb plot against his father, then on an official visit to Kuwait. Saddam Hussein’s intelligence team had instigated the conspiracy that the Kuwaiti police had thwarted. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, at a Houston, Texas, ballroom, Bush was addressing an “audience that suddenly grew very quiet.” He had said, “After all, this is a guy who tried to kill my dad.”
A book just published this week by a Hoover Institute specialist and his wife, a media consultant, explores the dynamics of the Bush family. They claim to uncover oedipal factors underlying the current president’s determination for war. General Brent Scowcroft had opposed the toppling of Saddam because of the volatile tribal divisions in the country, among other sensible reasons. Even though it meant outrageous betrayal of the Shiites in rebellion, which Hussein savagely repressed, the senior Bush followed Scowcroft’s pacific advice. As war approached in 2002, Bush senior apparently worried privately about his son’s seeming attempt to complete the Gulf States expedition that he had perhaps prudently rejected. George W. Bush’s single-minded, unsubtle, and incurious outlook on international affairs and their complications comes out strongly in his public statements, usually to puzzlingly strenuous applause.
Now, to imply that Bush began a war simply in honor=s name to avenge a conspiracy against his father in the fashion of Michael Corleone or the Sopranos, would be too simple-minded. But an ex-White House aide argues that this explanation would at least be preferable to the idea that seizing Iraqi oil was the administration’s prime objective: “That’s not why Americans fight wars,” he said, “Usually it’s about honor or pride.” President Bush has New England roots, but his perspective on life, like Lyndon Johnson’s, really does lie deep in the heart of Texas.
At last, honorable vengeance in the name of the Bush family brings us to the third point--honor, hatred, and defeat or moral disesteem as these issues apply in the Middle East. In a sense, we can pose once more as analogy our own civil conflict, 1861-65. In a thought-provoking article, “The Fruits of Preventive War,” James M. McPherson, the prize-winning specialist on the U. S. Civil War, reflects on the “preemptive” strategy of Jefferson Davis to save the allegedly threatened institution of slavery and white domination. The seceded states began the war, trusting that the other slave states would answer the trumpet of honor to defend their Deep South kinspeople from a common foe. As McPherson notes, they entered the affray convinced that with a few cannon balls, well aimed, “those blue-bellied Yankees” would soon scatter in cowardly retreat. But “the preventive war,” as he concludes, led not only to devastation and ruin but to humiliation, sullen anger, and futile postwar claims to a moral superiority that elicited only scorn and indifference in the victorious Northern states.
Like the American South in 1860 and in the years thereafter, the Islamic countries are immersed in the rubrics of both honor and hatred. Agrarian-minded, slaveholding Southern whites customarily railed against Yankee imperialism and economic greed, godless feminism, hypocrisy of mind and spirit, and evil habits of every sort. In their defeat, they developed the legend of the “Lost Cause,” a memorialization of the glorious dead that fed Southern resentments of black freedom and Yankee domination for years to come. Lynching in the name of preserving white women’s honor not only terrorized black communities but also fed the continuing sense of humiliation that Lee’s surrender at Appomattox signified.
For the last forty years, Arab nationalists have reacted against the evils of a “Westoxification” as extremist Islamists call it, with our sexualized images that they see on cinema and television screens and hear on the radio. Throughout the Middle East, mosque and classroom have disseminated lessons of hatred directed against the secular West in the context of a beleaguered culture overwhelmed by western technology, western ways. Like the Ku Klux Klan in America, the terrorist organizations in the Middle East place honor and the satisfactions of revenge above all other considerations. Those resentments permeate whole societies in that part of the world.
Referring to her own childhood, Sahr Muhammad Hatem of Saudi Arabia, declares, “The mentality of each one of us was programmed upon entering school as a child to believe that anyone who is not a Muslim is our enemy; and that the West means enfeeblement, licentiousness, lack of values, and Jahilya (or pre-Islamic paganism) itself.” Ahmad Othman of London agrees, noting that “as usual we always blame others, and refuse to acknowledge our mistakes. . . We taught the youth of our lands to hate America; we taught them the sanctity of Martyrdom [in dying] as we kill our enemies.”
Like the Southerners appealing to their Christian God, traditions of honor, and disdain for unchivalric commercialism, Muslim fundamentalists take similar pride in their piety, purity of principle, and militancy. Despite their technological, economic, and military inferiority, they dream that Allah and suicidal valor can restore a military parity or lead to victory. Joyful are the Iraqi mothers who send their sons “off to the realms of honor, the realms of martyrdom,” advised a leader of Hamas just days before the war began.
In this encounter with the West, what could be more morally degrading than the quickness of American seizure of Baghdad and crumbling of Ba’athist resistance? Relishing the opportunity to humiliate the Muslim extremists, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz announced not long ago, “I think that already. . .the magnitude of the crimes of that regime and those images of people pulling down a statue and celebrating the arrival of American troops is having a shaming effect throughout the region.” Last fall, Thomas Friedman, the New York Times journalist, declared, “If I’ve learned one thing covering world affairs, it is this: The single most underappreciated force in international relations is humiliation.” As if to verify his comment, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the new leader of Hamas, declared in an interview, “we are ready to give our blood [,] but we are not ready to lose our dignity.”
In a recent article in Al-Jazeera, the author explains, “There is no doubt that one of the greatest threats to the hegemony of Islam and the dominance of Shari'a [Islamic law] is the American secularism that will be imposed forcefully on the region. . .The Islamic world will change from dictatorship to democracy, which means subhuman degradation in all walks of life.” This sentiment is hardly rare in the Islamic world.
In contrast to the usual Arab reaction, a sober and quite brave Egyptian editor recently forgot the repressiveness of the honor ethic and acknowledged what Wolfowitz was gleefully pointing out. “It has been proven absolutely and irrevocably that Saddam Hussein cheated his people and the entire Arab nation. The surprising collapse of his country's capital means that nothing interested him but his own survival and personal interests, and the interests of his two sons and family. Beyond that, the homeland and citizens can go to hell!” His realistic outburst is exceptional. Doubtless, with the Arab nations more firmly anti-American than ever before, he most likely sings more belligerent note or two today.
Yet, will a facing up to the truth lead to any substantial rethinking and reform? It is unlikely. The shame of Islamic losses in Afghanistan and Iraq evokes not pragmatic response but religious fervor and the dogmas of honorable resistance. In his determination to purify Islam and the Arabs from the corruptions of the degenerate Saudi family and the West, Osama bin Laden has successfully combined two emotional forces: resentment of imposed disgrace and religious zealotry. Two months before 11 September, Arab viewers faxed Al-Qassem, the television host in Qatar, these sentiments about Osama: “In light of the terrible Arab surrender and self-abasement to America and Israel, many of the Arabs unite around this man, who pacifies their rage and restores some of their trampled honor, their lost political, economic, and cultural honor.”
Out of such powerlessness, however, there might emerge renewed strength and still greater resolve to avenge lost honor. Bernard Lewis has pointed out that Islamic faith provides the humblest believer “a dignity and a courtesy toward others. . rarely exceeded in other civilizations. And yet, in moments of upheaval and disruption, when the deeper passions are stirred, this dignity and courtesy”--what I call honor here–“can give way to an explosive mixture of rage and hatred.” The American authorities are quite right. If weapons of mass destruction did fall into the hands of such fearsome haters as the Arab militants, it would mean the end of civilization as we know it.
Finally, victory over a weak and vulnerable enemy, no matter how evil, provides the winners with the opportunity to refashion the world as we Americans would have it–or to experiment and then leave the scene. Make no mistake: Pax Americana carries with it a very fervent missionary zealotry, perhaps less powerful than Osama’s but strong enough. Woodrow Wilson with his ideas of making the world safe for democracy had pointed the way to Lyndon Johnson in Viet Nam--but not with much success in either the 1920s or 1960s. On February 25 of last year, the American President announced the revived Wilsonian doctrine as one of the curiously shifting reasons for going to war. “A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq. (Applause.)”
Will democratic practice lead to stable, pro-American governments on the order of Turkey next door? Given the hatred and sense of humiliation that their honor code inscribes on so many non-westernized Arabian hearts, is it not unlikely that a Muslim fundamentalism will take hold of Iraq with Iran the model, not Turkey? As Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. official, recently observed, if given half a chance, the Saudi Arabians would overwhelmingly elect Osama bin Laden their leader in reaction to the stench of the Saudi family’s tribal rule. They would do so not because they approved his Wahabbistic terrorist credo but because he defies the powers, local and foreign, that they believe oppress them. We will have to casting aside our own sense of national honor that had been shattered and shamed by 9/11. Instead, we should practice in the Middle East need, a policy of “dehumiliation and redignification,” as Thomas Friedman advises.
Cultures of honor create tremendous volatility with all that ethic’s complex transactions and sensitivities. Arrogance, naivety, and aloofness in dealing with those who perceive only the cold steel of armies might well prove America’s undoing. One observer in Baghdad speculates that the Fallujah attack had its roots two weeks earlier. Witnesses report that U. S. forces entered a mosque with their boots on, a profanation of sacred ground and then proceeded to rough up some of the worshipers. Such high-handedness is to be expected from armies, whatever flag they follow. But that does not win the hearts and minds of those facing their guns.
To convert the defeated to the victor’s cause takes more money, policing skills, and intelligent assistance than we are perhaps willing or even able to supply. Who now thinks we had enough troops on hand to pacify and rebuild the Sunni Triangle? Paul Bremer had meantime disbanded the defeated army and purged thousands of workers in a disintegrated government, including many without ties to the Saddam regime. The Sunnis were made resentfully abject by midnight house raids, massive roundups of suspects, and, most of all, by all sorts of cultural missteps that we might think minor but ones that Iraqis will not soon forget.
Yet, one must admit, what value was there in using Saddam’s army which had simply disappeared? That policy would have reinvigorated the very forces we had crushed. One might ask, would Generals Grant and Sherman have decided that for reasons of order and stability, the Rebels should re-arm themselves under the Union banner in May of 1865, having recently fought so implacably against the federal enemy? The problem in Iraq is simply immense: how to maintain order without the usual instruments that Saddam had used.
Nevertheless, we face a severe dilemma. The hatred of Americans grows fiercer by the day. Commenting on the horrible Fallujah killings, retired General Barry M. McCaffrey observes, “They hate us for [the occupation]. . .I think it’s a widespread rebellion” that may result in our losing control. A friendly Iraqi official warns, “If they enter Fallujah and use force it will only be met with force, and this will happen over and over. . .Everyone is angry with the occupation, and there are many tribes, which means there will be revenge.”
One thing is clear, however. The armored visage of honor is not easily unmasked. To do so requires more courage than even an eager volunteering to serve in the armed forces. The reasons for war, however, are so complex that discerning which course to take in future is by no means certain. In retrospect, the relatively passive responses of presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton to the threat of terror was fatally shortsighted. However justified inaction appeared to be at the time, a failure to act decisively in the crises of Tehran, Lebanon, and Somalia invited the enemy’s impression of cowardice, complacency, and coldness to consequences. Our present go-it-alone policy without wide international support for the sake of regaining face and respect in the Middle East has its risks. In fact, according to Al-Jazeera 57% of some 6000 polled expect that, if the Shia tribes join the Iraqi resistance, the coalition will come to grief. Only 29% anticipate no fall in American control, with just 14% undecided.
At this stage, Americans must come to an understanding of the mode of honor and dread of shame that have long governed Middle Eastern societies, even more than they do our more urban, institutionalized, and orderly form of our own. Not to do so opens us to enormous risks. Paul Berman reminds us that the world is by no means “a rational place.” Rather than follow Wilsonian dreams as President Bush wishes to reincarnate them, we might better recall the words of Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in. . .and do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
In conclusion, I would guess that honor will always be useful as a device for collective and military protection. To be sure, it is no longer as indispensable in Western societies as it once was during the Revolution or the Civil War. But in the world we encounter it remains a powerful, even commanding force. However that may be, I can safely say that devotion to honor has provoked more deaths and ruin than all the plagues that have visited mankind from the beginning of recorded history until now.
Humiliation and Indian Philosophy by Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan
Please read further down Dr. Dakshinamoorthi Raja Ganesan's stimulating reflections on humiliation from the point of view of Indian philosophy.
I am especially grateful for these thoughts since I believe that it is important to fertilize discussions on the phenomenon of humiliation that cross-cut cultural spheres.
Dear Evelin. Greetings.
I went through 'Our Advisors' and I was particularly attracted to your biographical background. I can see how a traumatic experience has set the direction and a moving goal for your lifecourse.
Yes, I agree with your perception that it is psychological humiliation rather than heavy penalties that cause the fermentation for the next war. It is by harping on this theme of humiliation that Hitler mobilised, as you have noted, Germany for the II World War. You have made it that war that begins in the minds of men,as a rule, begins as an experience of humiliation.
As for building an identity as a global citizen I can only recommend to you that you savour the Indian -- either Buddhist, Jain or Hindu -- particularly the Advaita Vedanta -- definition of identity. All of them define the goal in one way or another as 'perfect transparency of consciousness' in which biographical and cultural -- specific and memory oriented -- identities are sublated.
No, these are not negated but transcended. Daniel Bell, the renowned American sociologist, perceptively observed India does not have conflict due to identities because identity is defined here -- paradoxically -- in terms of a pure, transcendental, transparent awareness.
The savouring of this identity has been rendered in contemporary English by J. Krishnamurti, a famous philosopher of India who lived upto the late nineties, as an experience of 'choiceless, effortless awareness' and 'nameless experience'.
This Indian identity has its locus and roots within the psyche of the human being and not in external culture or language or its replica in the reportoire of individual memory. Did not Jesus say something to the effect, 'What is the use of gaining the whole world if you lose your soul (in the process)? Perfect silence, not words, is the sign of the dawn of the wisdom of true identity.
An ancient Tamil poetess has defined it as, 'Silence is the beginning and bound of wisdom' diametrically opposing the German philosopher Wittgeinstein who said, 'The limits of my language are the limits of my knowledge'. No, Indian tradition asserts that knowledge begins where language ends.
The Upanishads have distilled the answer to the perennial question before every human being generation after generation into what are called mahavakhyas --the great sentences. They are: 'aham brahmasmi' (I am the ultimate, fundamental substance undergirding and encompassing everything), 'Tat tvam asi' (Thou art that -- that is the one and only ultimate substance of the universe).
How did they teach a statement the import of which flatly contradicts our stark experience of the world? Yes, it was an instruction that addressed the non-verbal, ontological level. William Cenkner's book, 'The Guru in the Indian Tradition' about the spiritual lineage of Adi Sankara, the founder of Advaita Vedanta, details it. Cenkner had been Professor of Religious Studies in Catholic University, New York.
Such a transpersonal identity will help one to orient and anchor oneself in a point where the contradictions of the mundane world are perceived to be subontological paradoxes of maya, the universal illusion of human exprience. One who has gained this identity is ipso facto immunised against humiliation. Of course, he may find himself in humiliating predicaments but he will not succumb to it. This is not atropying of the sense of human dignity.
I for one believe Indian psychology (embedded in its religions) has many insights to offer about eufunctional coping strategies against humiliation.
Well, I will conclude for the present with best wishes for you.
Honor, Secession, and Civil War by Bertram Wyatt-Brown
Honor, Secession, and Civil War
The 2004 JAMES PINCKNEY HARRISON LECTURES IN HISTORY
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History
Monday, March 29, 4:30 PM Andrews Hall 101
The great Virginia historian and biographer Douglas Southall Freeman may have venerated Robert E. Lee beyond all basis. Yet in 1937, he asked a still unresolved question. The Richmond Pulitzer-Prize winner wondered why a rational calculation of risks, as war clouds gathered, received so little notice in the under-populated, industrially ill-equipped South. The secessionists’ saber-rattling of 1859-61 might disclose,” Freeman is quoted to exclaim, “a clinically perfect case in the psychosis of war.”1 He was reflecting the pacifistic mood of the interwar period. The popular scholarship of the day attributed the crisis to a “blundering” antebellum “generation.” Americans fell into the mess of war, so the refrain went, because its leaders were incompetent, demagogic, and uncourageous. Freeman’s comment itself reflects that orientation by defining calls to arms as “psychotic.”
Well, that idea died, and other explanations quickly filled the void. Nowadays the reasons for war come down to two antithetical theories. Neo-Confederates claim that a stout defense of southern “liberty” and constitutional state-rights drew thousands to initiate a war against Northern Aggression, as it is often phrased in such circles. Most academic historians, however, propose the fundamental issue of slavery, without which, they contend, the nation would never have resorted to a military coercions.2
A third possibility springs to mind. In a sense, it embraces both of these but alters their character, too. As I see it, the country was no longer united on one of the basic ethical modes that had helped to win the Revolutionary triumph, as sketched last week. In the fast-developing nation some seventy years later, the ideals and traditions of honor had developed separate meanings, North and South. Only one conflict, lengthy and bloody though it was, occupies us this afternoon. That opportunity permits a treatment not just of the ethical rationale for entry into war, to which notion we had to confine discussion on Monday last. Instead, at this time we can extend the discussion to honor in actual combat, and then, in a final third section, to the consequences of peace and uneasy, complicated reunion.
To begin with the morally-driven motives, slaveholding--its God-given rights or its hellish offenses--lay at the heart of the matter, to be sure. For nearly thirty years before the outbreak in 1861, the American abolitionists had denounced the South’s planter class as cruel, debauched, self-serving, and unchristian and doomed to eternal damnation. By the 1850s their verbal knives had stabbed deep into the Southern psyche. In 1856 at a convention of Radical Abolitionists in Syracuse, New York, the great black leader Frederick Douglass summed up the participants’ fiery mood. “Liberty,” he announced, “must either cut the throat of slavery or slavery would cut the throat of liberty.” Others there proposed that slaveholders must be met at the point of the bayonet.”3 Such verbal insults could not go unanswered, Southerners, or at least their fire-eating compatriots, so maintained.
Adding to Southern outrage was the translation of words into deeds. John Brown’s Harpers Ferry expedition signified a new antislavery strategy–a direct affront not only to white security but also the very soul and heart of Southern self-esteem. He presented a truly dangerous application of terror. A Norfolk paper called it “a most insane demonstration by a band of northern fanatics.”4 Not only were Yankees assaulting slaveholders in print and pulpit but in plots for Southern destruction. All this was done in the name, as the white Southerners saw it, of a perverted moral righteousness. International anarchists later called Brown’s style of action an attentat. Terrorism was designed then as nowadays not just to kill indiscriminately but to challenge the power of the state by arousing the victimized masses to height of indignation and violence against alleged oppression. Sanctified in intensely religious terms as the perpetrators have often claimed, the strike against slavery would also degrade the honor of the institutions against which the enterprise was directed. America had not yet experienced a subversive mission of this kind before John Brown's conspiracy against slavery. It would do so in recent times but the situations were comparable in some respects. The dueling spirit easily transformed itself into an obsession with the glories of battle. According to German historian Ute Frevert, warmongering in the years before 1914 appealed to the German bourgeoisie because of longstanding discontent with “ever tighter social, political, and economic chains.” A member of that social class recalled in 1920, “The war was bound to be a grand, powerful, solemn experience. It seemed to us to be a manly act.”5 Students and faculty members, reserve officers, most of them bourgeois, and the landed gentry applied Germanic thoroughness to the custom. In 1874, Wilhelm I had proclaimed to his military forces: “I expect the entire officer corps of my army that they will regard honor, henceforth as hitherto, as their greatest treasure; to keep it pure and unstained must be the holiest duty of the whole corps, as of the individual.” Such a position found expression in the way foreign affairs were supposed to be conducted. Heinrich von Treitsche, the Prussian historian, put the matter clearly: “If the flag of the state is insulted, it is the duty of the State to demand satisfaction, and if satisfaction is not forthcoming, to declare war, however trivial the occasion may appear, for the State must strain every nerve to preserve for itself the respect which it enjoys in the state system.”6
Honor was thus involved in the state-rights political argument–the Union as a marriage of equal partners. The problem was that with a weakening base in the House of Representatives and the danger of losing both the Senate and Presidency, southern political influence was visibly slipping away. Free soil and the Republican demand for greater Northern control of affairs was gaining enormous strength. Senator William H. Seward of New York told the Senate during the Kansas debates that the North “would take the Government” soon and obliterate the South’s undeserved control of national affairs–thanks to the 3/5th compromise and the subservience of Northern Democratic Doughfaces. State rights upheld of secession begun–these were the stark choices, both backed by the ethic of status recognition– the equality of northern and southern notions of honor. Senator James Henry Hammond had long boasted that Southern rule of the country would never end so long as cotton was king. He cautioned South Carolinians before the 1860 election not to promote secession. He saw that war would mean disaster. Yet, he followed Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs’ decisions to surrender their Senate seats. Hammond wrote his son Marcus, however, that resignation from office had become “an epidemic and very foolish. It reminds me of the Japanese who when insulted rip open their own bowels. . .God knows the end.”7James Henry Hammond and the Old South: A Design for Mastery ((Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982), 358. Death before dishonor, he implied, but he felt no elation but only premoinitios of loss and ruin.8
Even though Hammond had begun to float with the popular tide, he alone had offered a pragmatic appraisal of how things really were–the kind of calculation that Douglas Southall Freeman had found so rare. The man of honor feels that defense of reputation and virility must come before all else. Otherwise, he is open to charges of effeminacy and fear. As Ulysses complains of his warrior colleagues:
They tax our policy and call it cowardice,
Count wisdom as no member of the war,
Forestall prescience, and esteem no act
But that of hand.9
Under these circumstances, the reasons why the slaveholder felt so threatened by northern criticism should be clear. The dread of public humiliation, especially in the highly charged political setting, was a burden not to be casually dismissed. In general terms, whenever the public response to claims for respect is indifferent, disbelieving, hostile, or derisive, the claimant for honor feels as blasted, as degraded as if struck in the face or unceremoniously thrown to the ground. He is driven to a sense of shame--the very opposite of honor. The response is twofold: first, a denial that he, a persecuted but peace-loving citizen, seeks more than his due; and second, his outraged “honor” requires immediate vindication, by force of arms if need be. This was especially true for the antebellum Southerner because he could hardly escape doubts that his section was perceived by the world as inferior, morally and materially. “Reputation is everything,” said Senator Hammond. “Everything with me depends upon the estimation in which I am held,” confessed secessionist thinker and novelist Beverley Tucker of William and Mary. Personal reputation for character, valor, and integrity did not end there. Individual self-regard encompassed wider spheres. As a result, the southerner took as personal insult the criticisms leveled at slave society as a whole.10 Writing in his diary, a Johnny Reb in Virginia was convinced that his side would win the war. “We are fighting for our property and our homes,” he explained, whereas “they, for the flimsy and abstract idea that a Negro is equal to an Anglo American.”11 Honor and racial domination were inseparable concepts.12
In a remarkable way, this concept of honor was easily combined with the religious traditions of the Evangelical South. For instance, the Rt. Rev. Francis H. Rutledge of Florida, but originally from South Carolina, came out boldly for secession So rabid was he that he pledged five-hundred-dollars payable to the state as soon as the legislature passed an ordinance of secession.”13 Nor was he the only ecclesiastical figure to sport his disunionist colors so openly. The Rev. Thomas Goulding at the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Columbus, South Carolina, once announced that “Disunion would be, in national politics, to prefer weakness to strength--degradation to honorable rank. The Central Presbyterian proudly boasted in May 1861, “Virginia's gallant sons. . .have sprung forward to the defense of their insulted Mother; assured that they are contending for the most sacred rights, and for the dearest interests for which patriot soldiers ever drew the sword.”14 In a fine essay, Edward Crowther concludes that a set of values had developed which he identifies as “a holy honor.” Under this banner Southern whites “cloaked their society,” and in the name of that cause “they were prepared to fight and die.”15
Liberty for the white male required all but absolute power over the dark-skinned races. Otherwise, it was not to be considered fully achieved. Abraham Lincoln had observed, “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word, we do not all mean the same thing.” For some it signifies a man’s right to do as he sees fit with himself or his labor, the President continued, but others “mean for some men to do as they please with other men and the product of other men’s labor.”16 Just as honor was posed against shame, so liberty’s opposite was slavery, analogies with their own system of labor that Southerners of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries constantly invoked. Racial bondage did not signify hypocrisy according to the values of white Southerners. Instead, it was the very underpinning of their concept of liberty.
In contrast, the Yankee version of honor had taken a different turn. It was less connected to family and community. Instead it was tied to institution and abstract symbol–nationhood, the flag, the perpetual Union. Melinda Lawson in her new book, Patriot Fires, explains that a sense of patriotism quickly developed in the war period. The Yankees’ ideas of nationhood were somewhat unformed and “lacking in significant content.” New and patriotic activities and institutions–Union Leagues, Sanitary Commission fairs, parades, flag ceremonies provided the setting for a sense of a more glorious future. That vision “served as a tocsin,” she argues, “for a nation inclined too much toward the pursuit of individual happiness, too little toward sacrifice for the good of the whole.”17 Long before in 1830, however, Daniel Webster in his famous address against the state-rights position of South Carolinian Robert Hayne had put the matter succinctly. Union was synonymous with liberty. If the United States broke into “dishonored fragments” as the orator put it, the land would be subject to “civil feuds,” resulting in “fraternal blood.” National honor required a unified government. Abraham Lincoln’s idea of honor was inseparable from Webster’s premises, and he had revered the old statesman.18 The Northern version represented, to use peter Berger's term, an “embourgeoisement” of the concept--diminishing its feudal, patriarchal and familial overtones and adding an impersonal, middle-class element.19
Moreover, there was a complete disconnection among some Republican politicians with the whole concept of honor. Before the final collapse of the Union, Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio was known for his radical disdain for things Southern. Casting aside the perfunctory senatorial courtesies he bluntly warned fire-eating Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia, “We cannot get a divorce. If you get out, your states will be left occupying the same relations to us as now.” Expect the same controversies over fugitive slaves, tariff issues, free labor and free soil as then in play. The Northern states could not let the slave states to do as they liked. “You may not like us, but you cannot get rid of us. We are to live together eternally,” like it or not. And so, in effect, shut up.20
Honor, reverence for flag, and appeal to divine, however, formed the usual combination suited to the rhetorical war. The Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Dispatch rhapsodized in May 1861 that “love of country has burst so suddenly and sublimely upon us, that the most sanguine have been surprised and amazed.” The editorial further explained that the rush of young men to arms and the display of flags and bunting from church spires demonstrate that we are in the hand of God, and that He has become our Protector and our President.”21
With regard to part 2, we must consider in brief fashion the role of honor in warfare itself.
James McPherson convincingly argues that young men went to war knowing why they did so–not for adventure, not for the pay or chance for booty, but chiefly out of one ideological conviction or another–Johnny Reb for defense of hearth and way of life, Yanks for flag and Union, and some even at the start for slave emancipation. Of course, motives are slippery commodities. But the prospect of glory and immortal recognition for valor was a major component, one that the officers encouraged. At the first battle of Manassas, the chief commander General P. T. G. Beauregard, exhorted the troops, “Fight on, brave Virginia boys; the day is ours everywhere else, and it must be here also.” In response the soldiers, recalled Billy Woodward of Augusta, Virginia, gave “a loud cheer, we rushed forward, determined to do as commanded or die.”22
Not surprisingly, as Gerald Linderman notes, “Those who most imperatively urged enlistment were the women. They no less than soldiers expected courageous behavior and anathematized cowardice.”23 Far from being the passive belles of legend, they were at first at least eager to see their brothers, lovers, and fathers act the part of heroes. In her famous diary Mary Chesnut, wife of Senator James Chesnut of South Carolina, who had resigned his seat in Washington, December 1860, reported that the Charleston ladies of her set satisfied themselves that "God is on our side." Why? asked Mrs. Chesnut. The deity, of course, "hates the Yankees," as one tea-sipper stiffly replied. Another rejoined piously, "You'll think that well of Him."24 Presenting a “talismanic flag,” the virginal Sallie O. Smith of Marshall, Texas, addressed the W. P. Lane Rangers in April 1861. “Know that beneath these slender forms which ordinarily your gallantry ‘suffers not the winds of Heaven to visit too roughly,’” she declaimed, “there slumbers no indifference to your fame your fortune or your achievements” as you prepare to challenge “menaces of madness and discomfited FANATICISM.”25 In the Upper South, the Rebel sentiments of the women lasted well into the war itself. According to a Private Erisman serving in Union-occupied Nashville the “ladies ‘are all secesh and wear a secesh flag for Aprons and have a belt around their waists with an Ivory handled Colt Revolving Pistol of the best quality sticking in it.”26
With regard to the soldiers themselves, honor proved to be the only “legal authority,” as it were available. Honor’s mandate has always required fidelity to fellow soldiers. To let them down was tantamount to ostracism and contempt. For instance, a wounded color-bearer asked private William A. Fletcher to take the 5th Texas regimental flag. Fletcher promptly refused, saying, “I am too cowardly for a flag-bearer to risk myself; and I find the oftener I can load and shoot the better able am I to maintain my honor.”27 A foot soldier in the 20th Georgia Regiment spoke for many when he declared, “I had rather dye on the battle field than to disgrace my self & the hole [sic] family.”28 That sense of familial pride was an integral part of the ethic.
In warfare, the absolutes of bravery are its essence because they manifest to all--from general to bugler--the marks of individual reliability under life-threatening stress. So it was on the Northern side as well as the Southern. The idea almost seems part of men's nature--the pursuit of honor, the dread of dishonor. Certainly Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, hero at Little Round Top, thought so. An officer, he mused, is so conscious of his “responsibility for his men, for his cause, or for the fight that the instinct to seek safety is overcome by the instinct of honor.”29
These points about valor are obvious, but there are corollaries. Honor could be invoked as a talisman of future triumph. Southerners were likely to say at the close of the war, all had been lost save honor. They meant that, because honor survived, success would yet be theirs even after the laying down of arms. At a memorial service for the Confederate dead, the Rev. William Nelson Pendleton of Lexington, Virginia, in 1869 advised that his listeners should turn from the “gloom of political bondage” and await the moment when honor, “born of truth and baptized in the blood of our brothers shall outlive the persecutions of a merciless enemy.”30
Cowardice, on the other hand, could never be erased, even on grounds that forgiveness and peaceful intention were legitimate, Christian responses. To hide the other cheek is not to turn it, proponents of honor insisted. Less well grasped in our modern age, at least, was the notion that since honor traditionally was attached to blood--the blood of heroes that is inheritable--its shedding assumed a consecrated character. Prior to recent times, to die in war therefore did more than elicit the gratitude of nation, community, and kindred; it also became the warrior’s mark of inextinguishable glory. It was assumed that God would honor that sacrifice. In 1879, the Philadelphia Press described a ceremony for a dead Civil-War veteran as “a sacred, operatic drama . . . a solemn ritual of the grand Army, which is scarcely inferior to the services of the Church.”31
The remarks so far scarcely do justice to the theme of honor in wartime on either side. But the last question--the effects of victory and defeat–are yet to be treated. To introduce the theme of restored Union and fallen Confederacy, consider what occurred on 12 April 1865\ at Appomattox Courthouse. By nine in the morning General Joshua Chamberlain, hero of Gettysburg, had arranged his troops to accept the surrender of Major General John B. Gordon’s Corps. It was General Grant’s policy to treat the Rebels as respectfully as circumstance allowed. Chamberlain was prepared to comply.
Without stirring drums, blaring trumpets or any music whatsoever, Gordon’s emotionally drained soldiers fell into line and marched down the hill toward the Courthouse. Meantime, Chamberlain, he recalled the event, gave orders for the men to reach “the position of ‘salute’ in the manual of arms as each body of the Confederates passed us.” He did not command the officers to bark: “present arms.” Inappropriately, that order would have signified “the highest possible honor to be paid even to a president.”32 Instead, it was the “carry arms” command, with the weapon “held by the right hand and perpendicular to the shoulder.” Chamberlain signaled the bugler as Gordon arrived opposite himself. While the notes filled the air, the Union ranks came to “‘attention,’” Chamberlain recollected. There rang out the crisp, chunky noise of the soldiers’ hands as they grasped musket stocks in unison.
According to Chamberlain, General Gordon was in no mood for the ritual. “His chin drooped to his breast, downhearted and dejected in appearance almost beyond description.” But hearing the bugle and “snap of arms,” Gordon touched “his horse gently with his spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow and General Gordon dropped his sword point to his toe in salutation.” Then, the war-weary Rebels draped their old and tattered battle flags on the piles of weapons or spread them reverently on the ground. Some Confederates “rushed, regardless of all discipline from the ranks, bent about their old flags, and pressed them to their lips with burning tears.”33 In an interview with a Boston journalist in 1878, Chamberlain explained the meaning of the ceremony: “Whatever was surrendered and laid down, it was not manhood, and not honor. Manhood arose, and honor was plighted and received.” The allusion to a marital love pledged and ratified by formal tie was appropriate to the re-uniting of the temporarily separated sections. General Lee’s officers, Chamberlain asserted, knew that the rules of honor required them never again to take up arms against the United States. “They are men of honor, and they meant it, and their word of honor is good,” the Union general had then affirmed. He concluded, “God, in . . .His mercy, in His great covenant with our fathers, set slavery in the forefront, and it was swept aside as with a whirlwind, when the mighty pageant of the people passed on to its triumph.”34
Alas, if only the Union victory had been as complete as Chamberlain implied. The first disaster to undo that military triumph was Lincoln’s assassination–another instance in which honor played a major part. Too often historians, some of them offering only a few lines to the tragedy, have not acknowledged just how calamitous it was in changing the divided, agonized nation’s destiny.35 The consequences of Lincoln’s death disappeared in the maelstrom of post-war confusions and political strife.
In any case, John Wilkes Booth won a partial triumph against the allegedly tyrannical leader of the North. He could be said to represent the Southern counterpoint to John Brown’s actions at Harpers Ferry. Both men could be characterized as half-mad zealots. John Brown was guided, he thought, by a ruthless God’s demands for racial justice. In contrast, Booth, the matinee idol of that day, took his measure from the sacred play-book of honor, to coin a phrase. He consciously sought to imitate the glorious work of Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Reared in slaveholding Harford County, Maryland, the actor delighted in the hierarchy of races, sexes, nationalities (he hated the Irish), and degrees of wealth. He cherished the warrior's recipe for action, the bid for immortal glory. Booth's sister Asia explained that her brother killed Lincoln “so that his name might live in history. . .forever.”36
The obsession to achieve immortality in national memory often motivates the all but suicidal assassin. After his capture for assassinating Prince Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, the Serb nationalist wrote these lines in prison:
“He who wants to live, has to die
He who is ready to die, will live forever"
Booth will not be the last religious murderer to be mentioned in these lectures.
The long-term effect of Lincoln's slaying was profound. Gone was the leader who had patiently guided Union victory, deftly steered his government, party, and people through perilous crises, and established the basis for black freedom. At the White House there presided in 1865 a war Democrat possessed of limited skills, unshakeable race prejudices, and intense loyalty to states’ sovereignty. The freed people had full reason to mourn. With Reconstruction in uncertain hands, the Union public gradually relinquished commitments to the former slaves and grew ever more weary of crippled Republican efforts to create a bi-racial Southern coalition. Lincoln could never have solved all the problems of the postwar years. His departure, however, irremediably constricted the movement to fulfil the ideals of Union and to open the path toward racial equity. Thanks to Booth and romantic notions of honorable murder, the President's death in office assured white Southerners of what became a century-long era of unchecked ascendancy, white over black.
In the South, the humiliation of defeat–the antithesis of honor--was hard to bear. On a collective scale, demoralization had set in as early as 1864. Confederate politician Howell Cobb found Georgian civilians to be “depressed, disaffected, and too many of them disloyal.” “Shall we indeed fight on against the decrees of God, to utter extermination!” a former secessionist editor wondered. Was it “the will of God . . . or the suggestion of the Demon of Pride” that kept the Confederate insanity afloat? “I say Peace!”37 Such feelings were made worse by the actual surrender of the Rebel armies.
Among the varieties of reaction to the catastrophic loss was a retreat to a psychological redoubt that might be called Fort Denial. A Dr. Samuel Preston Moore denounced rumors that Lee had given up the fight as a “moral impossibility.” “No one is willing to believe it,” declared one Mississippian as late as 20 April.38 At first the Rev. J. Henry Smith, minister of the Presbyterian Church at Greensboro, North Carolina, had half-disbelieved rumors of Lee’s capitulation. When he discovered the truth, he declared it the “Saddest of days!” The clergyman found himself unable to leave his bed. He made no entries in his daily journal. He moaned, “The doings & feelings, the disheartening, the gloom & burden & sorrow--no pen can describe. Oh is all gone? My bleeding, suffering country! Are all the prayers, the vows, the blood & lives & property of thousands & tears of many thousands in vain?”39
At least for a time, even the most pious found that their faith was shaken to the core. Ellen House, for instance, undertook to curb her bitterness over the defeat and desolation. “We have depended too much on Gen. Lee too little on God.”40 As the end drew near, even the godfearing General Josiah Gorgas mourned, “What have we done that the Almighty should scourge us with such a war--so relentless and so repugnant?”41
Others bore the yoke of despair all the rest of their days. Some wealthy slaveholders found it impossible to adjust to defeat, penury, loss of command over slaves, and the monotony of living in a demoralized social environment. It might be called the Ashley Wilkes syndrome. Tendencies to depression could well spring from genetic and other factors besides war experiences. Yet, the latter does explain the over drinking of former Rebel surgeon Algernon Sidney Porter, M.D., father of the writer who went by the nom de plume O. Henry. During the war he had hacked off limbs of screaming soldiers day afer day, sights, sounds, and smells to make anyone half-distracted for the rest of life. Dr. Porter kept a shed out back of the house as a hideout. He would lock the door and pretend to be at work on some marvelous invention, a flying machine, a steam-run carriage, a mechanical cotton-picker, or a perpetual-motion contraption. Much of the time, though, he was holding communion with a bottle or a potion of laudanum.42
Likewise, the poet Henry Timrod of Charleston had fallen into complete “numbness of heart” as his friend Paul Hayne had mused. Outwardly cheerful throughout the conflict, he nonetheless privately sounded a different tone.43 After the war, he had been forced to sell almost all the family's household furnishings, to support a wife and family. Consumption carried him off in 1867. His last poem had a touching simplicity.
In a dim and murky chamber,
I am breathing my life away;
Some one draws a curtain softly
And I watch the broadening day.
As it purples in the zenith,
As it brightens on the lawn,
There's a hush of death about me,
And a whisper, “He is gone!”
And so it was. The slave South, land of prosperity, power in national circles, and white ownership in chattels, was gone as Timrod’s poem suggested on a more personal scale. It had died not only from a fear of slave insurrections but also of Northern power. Yet, in my estimation, a primary and perhaps primitive dedication to the code of honor was the South’s undoing.
Yet, as the next lecture will illustrate, the influence of motives for defending honor did not vanish from national consideration. This would be particularly so under the leadership of Southern Presidents. As the prior wars discussed demonstrate, white Southerners have long proved the most truculent of Americans against the nation’s real or imagined enemies.