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From Humiliation to Dignity:
For a Future of Global Solidarity

by Evelin Lindner
Foreword by Howard Richards
philosopher of social science and scholar of peace and global studies
• Download an executive summary

Long version finalised in 2022

• Download the author's personal digital review edition with shortened endnotes (993 pages)

Coming up:
Printed book with full endnotes divided into three parts (1161 pages)
Lake Oswego, OR: Dignity University Press, an imprint of Dignity Press (not-for-profit publisher)
• available also from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and major book shops
• eBooks forthcoming

978-1-952292-00-2 print book
978-1-952292-01-9 eBook
978-1-952292-03-3 PDF with extended endnotes
1016 pages (half of the book are endnotes)

Printed edition: ? US Dollar
Ebook: US Dollar

Honour, dignity, decorum, humiliation, ecocide, sociocide, dignism, solidarity, dialogue, nondualism, unity in diversity, partnership.
Trans-cultural and trans-disciplinary studies, history, social philosophy, political science, sociology, global studies, anthropology, psychology (clinical, cultural, community, social psychology), neuroscience

Book presentations
Book presentation at Columbia University, Teachers College, Gottesman Libraries, room Russell 306, on December 5, 2018, 12.00 - 2pm. See the invitation flyer and the event announced in the Gottesman Libraries Calendar. (Please be aware that this is an unedited video). Thank you most warmly, dear Jennifer Govan, for making this talk possible!

From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity — From a Virus Pandemic to a Pandemic of Dignity: How Can We Escape Complicity with Institutionalized Humiliation? talk given on December 12, 2020, at the 17th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict. See the background text, a version of 48 minutes recorded on December 6, 2020, and a version of 51 minutes recorded on December 5, 2020.
From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity — A Meta-Narrative for Times of Radical Transformation
, talk recorded on November 17, 2020, for the 17th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict. See the background text.
From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity — Narratives in Times of Radical Transformation, talk on the Panel on Climate Justice on December 13, 2020, as part of the 78th Annual Conference of the International Council of Psychologists "Human Rights, Dignity and Justice — Intersectionality and Diversity," ICP 2020 Virtual, December 11–13, 2020, recorded on November 16, 2020, one version of 25 minutes and a longer version of one hour.
From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity, talk given on December 11, 2021, at the 18th Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict. See the PowerPoint slides, a version of 39 minutes recorded on December 11, 2021, the summary of a big history view (Pdf), and a contribution to Dignilogue 2 of the workshop on sociocide (Pdf).
From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Responsible Global Solidarity (YouTube Playlist), annual open lecture at the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo in Norway, virtual, in eight parts, 13th – 20th December 2021.

Related articles
From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity – The Coronavirus Pandemic as Opportunity in the Midst of Suffering
Paper finalised on 2nd April 2020 in Germany, while taking care of my 94-years old father in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic that began in China in December 2019, to be reprinted in InterViews: An Interdisciplinary Journal in Social Sciences, in July 2020.
German translation by Georg-Wilhelm Geckler:
Von der Demütigung zur Würde: Für eine Zukunft der globalen Solidarität Die Coronavirus-Pandemie als Chance in der Not

See more on www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin02.php

•  Editorial Reviews
•  Contents
•  Foreword by Howard Richards
•  Synopsis — Executive Summary
•  Endorsements
•  Reviews and Comments
•  Pictures


Editorial Reviews

Short Book Description
This book widens the concept of academic work by combining what usually is separate, namely, scholarly work and lived experience. The book came into being as part of the author’s many decades of working with dignity in all parts of the world.
Evelin Lindner was born into a family that was deeply affected by war and displacement, and therefore 'never again' became the motto of her life. She considers the world her 'university' and looks back on almost fifty years of living globally as a lifelong sense-making project, at home on all continents, always embedded in families and family-like contexts. For the past twenty years, she has helped gather a global community of academics and practitioners dedicated to furthering dignity in the world.
Through her global life, the author has developed a big history view on the human condition, a view that embeds the current historical moment in the entire journey of our species Homo sapiens sapiens on planet Earth and extrapolates from there what we need to create a dignified future. This book therefore takes a step back to evaluate humanity’s situation in its larger historical context, and, equipped with the insights from this evaluation, makes suggestions for a roadmap into a future of global dignity in solidarity.
This book offers a complex analysis that summarizes where we stand and what is needed to create a dignified future.

Executive summary by the author further down or downloadable here

Short key words
• transdisciplinary inquiry
• history of humiliation, honour, decorum, and dignity
• ecocide and sociocide
• future dignity and peace
• future global solidarity
• reflections from a global citizen

Expanded key words
• transdisciplinary inquiry of the historical path of the concept of humiliation in relation to the notions of honour, decorum, and dignity
• the history and present reality of honour and humiliation, and of human rights ideals and humiliation
• from ecocide and sociocide towards dignity and peace
• paths to global solidarity through dignism
• a real-world analysis and experiential inquiry and reflections from a global citizen

Short Biography of the Author
Evelin Lindner has a dual education as a Medical Doctor and a Psychologist, with a Ph.D. in Medicine (Dr. med.) from the University in Hamburg in Germany, and a Ph.D. in Psychology (Dr. psychol.) from the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo in Norway. She is the founding president of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS), a global transdisciplinary community of concerned academics and practitioners who wish to stimulate systemic change, globally and locally, to open space for dignity, mutual respect and esteem to take root and grow. Our goal is ending systemic humiliation and humiliating practices, preventing new ones from arising, and opening space for feelings of humiliation to nurture constructive social change, so that we call can join in healing the cycles of humiliation throughout the world. Linda Hartling is the director of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies. Lindner is also co-founder of the World Dignity University initiative, including Dignity Press and World Dignity University Press. All initiatives are not for profit. She lives and teaches globally and is affiliated with the University of Oslo since 1997 (first with the Department of Psychology, and later also with its Centre for Gender Research, and with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights). Furthermore, she is affiliated with Columbia University in New York City since 2001 (with the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity, AC4), and since 2003 with the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. She convenes two conferences per year together with the HumanDHS network, and more than 30 conferences have been conducted since 2003 all around the world. One conference takes place each December at Columbia University in New York City, it is the Workshop on Transforming Humiliation and Violent Conflict, with Morton Deutsch as honorary convener until his passing in 2017. The other conference takes place at a different location each year, since 2003 in Europe (Paris, Berlin, Oslo, Dubrovnik), Costa Rica, China, Hawai’i, Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, Rwanda, and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. See for a list of past and future conferences and the status of the work here. Lindner has received several awards, and as a representative of the dignity work of HumanDHS, she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, 2016, and 2017.



Foreword by Howard Richards

Part I: Humiliation and humility – A timeline from 1315 to 1948
Chapter 1: 1315 — The journey of humility and humiliation begins
Chapter 2: 1757 — A new meaning of the verb to humiliate emerges
Chapter 3: 1948 — Human rights ideals separate humiliation from humility and shame
Chapter 4: 1948 — In awe of inherent dignity

Part II: 1948 and beyond – Equal dignity for all!
Chapter 5: Dignity is yearned for all around the world
Chapter 6: Beware of dignity mission creeps
Chapter 7: Beware of systemic humiliation — Cogitocide, sociocide, and ecocide
Chapter 8: Can we rise from humiliation?

Part III: Where do we go from here? A future of solidarity!
Chapter 9: How we got here
Chapter 10: What makes the present historical juncture so challenging
Chapter 11: What now? Egalisation, dignism, and unity in diversity
Chapter 12: A call to action

Afterthoughts by Francisco Gomes de Matos


Foreword by Howard Richards

The central message of this book emerges gradually as the confluence of many lines of research and reflection employing various methodologies, various conceptual schemes, various models and various vocabularies. It cannot really be understood without reading through the evidence and argument that show not only what the central message is, but also that it is true. Nevertheless, I will begin this Foreword by trying as hard as I can to summarise it briefly. Then I will offer an opinion on how to get from here to there. ‘Here’ refers to the world as it is. ‘There’ refers to the world as it needs to be. Lastly, I will make a remark on method.
Emotions have histories. Our experiences today of shame or humiliation, or of the happier emotions associated with dignity, are present-day outcomes of centuries-long histories. If we include the long evolution of the human species, from the time of our common grandmother Mitochondrial Eve until now, then we can speak of the millennia-long histories of our emotions. We could go even farther back, all the way to the appearance of the first unicellular organisms on planet earth, approximately 2.3 billion years ago.
This book breaks up history in a way that features two major periods in the history of emotions. The first, and by far the longest, began when our ancestors first crossed the somewhat arbitrary imaginary line that marked their passage from being pre-hominids to being hominids. It ended, after about 190,000 years, with what anthropologists call ‘circumscription’. During that time the deepest and most fundamental features in the human emotional repertory were composed. [read more]
Howard Richards
Professor, Philosopher of Social Science and Scholar of Peace and Global Studies
Limache, Chile
January 2018



Synopsis — Executive Summary

The book From humiliation to dignity: For a future of global solidarity is unique in that it widens the concept of academic work by combining what usually is separate, namely, scholarly work and lived experience. The book came into being in the course of the author’s many decades of working with dignity in all parts of the world. In the face of accumulating global crises, the book takes a step back to evaluate humanity’s situation in its larger historical context, and, equipped with the insights from this evaluation, makes suggestions for a roadmap into a future of global dignity in solidarity.
The author was born into a family that was deeply affected by war and displacement, and therefore ‘never again’ became the motto of her life. She considers the world her ‘university’ and looks back on almost fifty years of living globally as a lifelong sense-making project, at home on all continents, always embedded in families and family-like contexts. For the past twenty years, she has helped gather a global community of academics and practitioners dedicated to furthering dignity in the world. Through her global life, the author has developed a big history view on the human condition, a view that embeds the current historical moment in the entire journey of our species Homo sapiens sapiens on planet Earth and extrapolates from there what we need to create a dignified future.
The book offers a complex analysis, and this synopsis attempts to highlight, abbreviate, and simplify certain aspects.
This is her summary of where we stand and what is needed to create a dignified future:

We live in a historical moment that is unparalleled in terms of both crisis and opportunity. We live in times that are better than ever and at the same time worse than ever. History does not go in circles. Our crises inform us that we need to arrange our affairs on this planet in profoundly new ways. Some changes are overdue since decades, others since centuries or even millennia. Presently living generations have access to a knowledge base their forebears did not have, even their immediate grandparents knew much less. For the first time in our history, we, as humanity, have all the knowledge and skills required to bring about all necessary changes.

The most important novelty of our time is that we can appreciate our place in the cosmos. Unlike our ancestors, we can see pictures of our Blue Marble from the perspective of an astronaut. Unlike our forebears, we have the privilege of experiencing the overview effect with respect to our planet — we can see it from outside. This makes our horizon large enough to understand that we humans are only one species among many species who all share the same small planet and that only global cooperation can save us. We ‘earthlings’ can now feel ‘the ecology of the living’ taking place within one circumscribed biopoetic space that is shared between all beings, we can embrace biophilia. For the first time, we are equipped to build the trust needed for solidarity at a global scale, we have all the resources required to reap the benefits that the global ingathering of humanity provides. We can draw on all experiences, past and present, from the oldest Indigenous wisdom to the newest scientific knowledge. Short, the co-creation of a decent global village is within our reach.

In this situation, where do we stand as humanity? Are we capable and willing to use the historical opportunity that stands open before us and cooperate globally? Or does our human nature condemn us to hate, fight, compete for dominance, and exploit each other and the planet? Reason tells us that no single country, no single region, can tackle global challenges alone, do we have the emotional resources to act on this insight? ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is an African saying. Can our global village become a village that raises its children in dignity and keeps them safe? Or not? Is it a valid promise or empty rhetoric when we say, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’? Can equal dignity and equal rights serve as a moral compass for a decent future in solidarity for humankind? Or not? Is there hope for a ‘global democracy and human self-transcendence’? Or will parochial pride always stand in the way? Will we be part of the mass extinction of species that we have unleashed in the past decades? Are we, as humanity, in ‘hospital’ or already in ‘hospice’? Is our only option a ramshackle global village?
If we wish for decent life on Earth, it is not enough to hope for hope, we have to take action to create this hope, and this book aims at inspiring this action. The book calls on the reader to let pessimism be the force that inspires the optimism that is needed to take this action. The best of optimism and the best of pessimism, when they combine, can bring about the best of action — the courage of pessimism to imagine the worst can inspire the optimism to aim for the best. Embracing the anxiety and despair that goes with being a vulnerable human being is the necessary precondition for the kind of dignifying constructive action that is needed to avoid the destructive kinds of optimism or pessimism. Optimism is destructive when it is just another word for self-congratulatory and delusionary hubris, and pessimism is destructive when it translates into faint-hearted and gloomy inertia. As we live in a world where hubris and gloom are increasingly being amplified for ulterior goals — ‘drama and fear sell’ — this book asks its readers to ‘cool down’ and come together as responsible visionary pragmatists in global solidarity, as equals in dignity, so that we all can lovingly co-create global unity in diversity.
The book aims at holding the space needed for a very large vision of a dignified future for humanity to flourish, space that can serve as an incubator for creative future-oriented ideas and action. The book refrains from spelling out in too many details how this future may be reached because the main aim is to inspire ideas and action to emerge that may be so innovative and novel that no one has thought of them so far, not even the author of this book.
The author’s particular family background has inspired this book. As the author’s family lived through the most painful experiences in connection with German history, this has brought the vulnerability of our human-made world to the author in the starkest of ways. As a result, she is sensitised to looming crises more than many others are, and also more aware of the need to prevent crises systemically rather than responding to them haphazardly and post-hoc. The point is to prevent the ‘Hitlers’ of this world from rising, rather than having to defeat them when they have become too powerful. In 1945, Germany was defeated — the author wonders, is humanity defeating itself now?
Since childhood, the author’s life mission has been to learn whether there is hope for ‘never again’, never again mass destruction of war and genocide, never again systemic humiliation. Since childhood, she works to understand the range of what we humans are capable of, in terms of hatred and love, of violence and peace, of competition and cooperation, of shortsighted foolishness and farsighted wisdom.
At the age of twenty-one, she began her ‘global living’ project, immersing herself into different cultural realms all around the world, much more deeply than through mere ‘travel’, rather considering herself a sedentary citizen of the global village.
When she was forty years old, after twenty years of global living, she felt she had learned enough to embark on an ambitious plan. She wanted to outline in one single paragraph the path that would carry her until the end of her life. For three years, she reflected deeply and dialogued with many people. This is the paragraph:

We, the species Homo sapiens, face global challenges — from the destruction of our ecospheres to the degradation of our sociospheres — and we must cooperate globally if we want to address these challenges. Question: What is the most significant obstacle to successful global cooperation? Answer: Cycles of humiliation are the greatest obstacle, and this problem will increase the more the world interconnects, the more its finiteness will make itself palpable, and the more human rights ideals of equal dignity will become salient and create expectations that were absent before. For global cooperation in responsible solidarity to succeed, the highest goal must therefore be to dismantle existing systemic humiliation, to end and heal present cycles of humiliation, and to prevent new ones from emerging in the future.

The author had two sources of information for this conclusion, first, her own experience, and, second, lessons from history. First, through working for many years as a clinical psychologist, both in Western and non-Western contexts, she had learned that humiliation has the potency to create the deepest of rifts between people, so deep that cooperation becomes impossible. She had learned that this effect amplifies when resources get scarcer and conflicts arise, and even more so when human rights ideals of equal dignity raise expectations as to how these conflicts ought to be addressed.
Second, the historical argument has found its way into common knowledge that the Versailles Treaties at the end of the First World War were intended to humiliate Germany to teach it humility, yet, that this ‘lesson’ backfired in the most horrible ways. After the Second World War, Germany was included as a respected member in the European family, and this led to peace. In short, history appears to hold the lesson that humiliation risks leading to war while respect can lead to peace.
With these pieces of information and intuition in mind, she went to the library expecting to find abundant literature on humiliation. This was in 1996. She found that the phenomenon of humiliation itself indeed was ubiquitous in all literature on war and aggression, yet, to her great surprise, there was almost nothing on humiliation as a separate theme. She found only one single academic book with the phrase ‘humiliation’ in its title, a book from 1993 by a professor of law, William Ian Miller, who explores ancient codes of honour and shows how virulent these codes still are.
While the psychological literature on emotions did mention humiliation, it subsumed it under the heading of shame, with humiliation as part of the shame continuum. To the author, this felt wrong. Not least her many years of experience as a psychotherapist in diverse cultural realms had taught her that it is absolutely possible to feel humiliated without feeling shame. She had learned that humiliation and shame can only be placed in the same continuum as long as a mindset of honour reigns, and that this is no longer valid in a context where the ideal of equal dignity is salient.
Starting from these reflections and findings, she planned her doctoral research in social psychology with the title The psychology of humiliation: Somalia, Rwanda / Burundi, and Hitler’s Germany. She defended this doctorate in 2001.
By now, in 2022, her global ‘never again’ mission has provided her with more and deeper insights. After almost fifty years of global experience, she feels she can contribute with relevant reflections on humanity’s most existential questions. Therefore, she dares writing this book, with love and passion, as her gift to humanity.
Even though it is not very advisable to provide overly simplified abbreviations, particularly not in times of polarisation, the following is a tentative summary of the author's view on big history. I will start by looking at where we stand, then ask how we got here, and end with what can and should be done.

This is where we stand

We, the species Homo sapiens, live at a historical turning point that is so important that only a long view on our history can help. We, as humankind, have dug ourselves into a multitude of perilous crises, both despite and because of what we call progress. We engage in systemic humiliation — ecocide and sociocide — we degrade our ecospheres and sociospheres at a global scale, we shred our relations with our habitat and with each other. The suffix –cide comes from caedere in Latin and means ‘cutting down, killing’.

We catalyse the degradation of our ecospheres and sociospheres by damaging our cogitosphere, the realm of thinking and reflection, and we damage it to the point of cogitocide. As a result, we risk sliding in shared sightlessness towards collective suicide as a species, more, even towards omnicide, the annihilation of all life on Earth. We as humanity need to face the fact that we stand at the edge of what is being called a Seneca cliff, the kind of rapid collapse that characterises the disintegration of complex systems.

If we, as humanity, wish to heal ecocide and sociocide and survive in dignity, the first step must be to overcome cogitocide, the destruction of our thinking. We need to face our calamity with an equanimous mind, not with panic nor with denial. Our scientists inform us that we have a window of opportunity of around ten years to step back from the edge, and that all the knowledge to do so is available.

Unfortunately, so far, instead of recognising the depth of our existential crises, and grasping the historic opportunity to exit, it seems that too many of us choose to stay myopic. This is why a look at big history is helpful.  It provides a wide lens that makes primary problems visible that spawn secondary, tertiary, and quaternary problems.

This is how we got here

What is known as the Neolithic Revolution merits renewed attention. It was a turning point in human history that was as important as the present historical moment. Furthermore, it saw humankind’s primary problem emerge, namely, competition for domination and control as a strategy of survival. Due to its success, at least partially, this competition remained Homo sapiens’ master plan of action during the past millennia. It is a uni-dimensional and uni-lateral strategy that answers what political scientists call the security dilemma in that it seeks ‘negative’ peace by following the motto of ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’. In this context, the dominator model of society arose, with its double intervention, namely, keeping one’s ‘enemies’ out with weapons, while holding one’s own down with routine humiliation. Until now, all systems — feudalism, communism, capitalism, democracy, modernity, post-modernity, to name just a few catchwords — played out competition for domination in their practice, if only in different forms and to different degrees, and this even when promising the opposite in rhetoric. Equal dignity on the ground has been widely and systemically sold out, often even under the guise of dignity rhetoric.

Our Neolithic forebears could not know better, establishing a mindset of competition for domination was the best they could do. They did not yet have the information about the world that we have today. Over time, even a growth dilemma superimposed itself and merged with the classical security dilemma, and this is where we are today. The current motto is, ‘If you want prosperity, invest in exploitation’.

The situation we live in now, while it is a result of our forebears’ strategy of survival, becomes a strategy of collective suicide as the world interconnects and the Earth’s carrying capacity becomes overstretched. Competition for domination as a mindset and social and societal order has always been limited in its usefulness, but by now, it fully outlives this usefulness. Even colonising other planets would not help, given this mindset, its resources would soon be depleted as well. This mindset drives systemic cogitocide and sociocide, it divides the global community just when it needs to come together, and by doing so, it hastens global ecocide. It manifests systemic humiliation.

As it stands now, the dominator mindset drives cycles of humiliation and systemic humiliation to hitherto unseen levels. This happens in a situation where human rights ideals promise equal dignity to all, which means that feelings of humiliation no longer translate into obedient humbleness but acquire hitherto unseen force. The author calls feelings of dignity humiliation the nuclear bomb of the emotions.

Clashes of civilisations are harmless compared with clashes of humiliation, because humiliation closes doors for cooperation that otherwise would stand open. In the absence of leaders of the calibre of a Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, cycles of dignity humiliation have the potency to turn the global village into a global war zone. Nothing is therefore more important than halting and preventing these cycles of humiliation.

What is the way out?

The situation is so new that ideas become realistic that hitherto were deemed unrealistic. Citizen-to-citizen trust building at a global scale is the only lifesaving strategy. Human rights ideals of global partnership in mutual solidarity that link back to conceptually pre-Neolithic Indigenous Knowledge Systems and models of gift economy offer the path to achieving lasting global dignity.

The traditional role description for maleness, namely, bravery in competing for domination, is now obsolete. Our planet is burning and drowning, and at the same time it is filled with deadly arms, and this means that all, men and women united, are called to embrace a new kind of bravery, namely, the bravery of building mutual trust, care, and solidarity in global partnership.

The call must be as follows: On this small and finite planet that is our common home, let us bring our forebears’ adaptations to a better completion. Nothing hinders us to honour our forebears' legacy even while we unlearn their adaptations. There is no shame in accepting new learning when realities on the ground change.  We have ten years to outgrow twelve thousand years of behaviour. We possess all the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed.

Let us nurture respect for equal dignity for all of us, as responsible individuals, free to engage in loving solidarity with each other and with our planet. Let us celebrate diversity without humiliating each other, let us protect unity in equality in dignity. Let us turn socio-cide and eco-cide into what the author calls socio-sanity and eco-sanity. Let us embrace socio-salvation and eco-salvation.

Let us humanise globalisation through egalisation, a word the author coined to signify ‘equal dignity for all in freedom’, let us aim for globegalisation. More, let us do so in cooperation and solidarity, let us work for co-globegalisation. In this way we can co-create a decent global village.

We need the heroism of care, the heroism of dignity. We need what the author calls dignism as a vision for the future, dignism as a term formed from dignity and ‑ism.

Dignism describes a world where every newborn finds space and is nurtured to unfold their highest and best, embedded in a social context of loving appreciation and connection, where the carrying capacity of the planet guides the ways in which basic needs are met.

As this simplified summary shows, this book calls on its readers to dare embrace eutopian imagination at an unparalleled scale, because the list of obstacles standing in the way is as unparalleled.
As for obstacles, the profit motive stands in the way when it fails to serve the common good and instead entraps the world in systemic humiliation. Academia becomes irrelevant and loses its ability to inspire new thinking when it allows itself to be blind, be it through siloisation or through letting market forces capture it, or both. Even the mindfulness movement — as valuable as its emphasis on the ‘present moment’ is — becomes counterproductive when it devolves into ‘McMindfulness’ and cultivates ‘social amnesia’ through ‘collective forgetting of historical memory’. Anger stands in the way when drama surrounding minor problems absorbs all energy and leaves urgent long-term systemic planning unattended. This is just the beginning of a long list of obstacles that stand in the way of a decent future. This book aims at showing a way out of gridlock into a dignified and dignifying future.
The first part of the book has the title ‘Humiliation and humility — A timeline from 1315 to 1948’. The second part looks at dignity under the heading ‘Equal dignity for all’. The third part wonders, ‘Where do we go from here?’, and discusses ways into the future and calls for action. The book weaves together a large number of diverse voices and offers an analytic overview over all of human history — where we come from, where we stand now, and where we go. It explores the notion of dignity, the opportunities it offers, and it delineates a decent path into the future. It approaches dignity from all directions, including from its violation, namely, humiliation.
These are the three parts:

Part I: Humiliation and humility — A timeline from 1315 to 1948
Part II: 1948 and beyond — Equal dignity for all!
Part III: Where do we go from here? A future of solidarity!

Half of the book is taken up by endnotes. As we live in times of ‘fake news’, it becomes ever more important to provide thick layers of references and links. In digital publications, length is not a problem, yet, this is different for printed volumes, and therefore the endnotes are shortened in the printed version of this book. The endnotes have two functions and address two readerships. Their first function is to embed the arguments presented in this book in their wider intellectual context and show their connections with the insights of other scholars. The second function is to interweave the book’s arguments so that it becomes clear that these arguments represent an interconnected web rather than a one-dimensional line. The first readership addressed in the endnotes are researchers who wish to understand the author’s particular path of investigation and who want to delve deeper into relevant academic research. The second readership addressed is a more general audience who might appreciate more accessible popularisations of the themes discussed. The book’s Appendix offers a condensed schematic overview over the flow of the argument in this book.
Since 2001, the author has had the privilege of nurturing a global network of academics and practitioners who wish to bring more dignity into the world, and the name that emerged for this initiative is Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS). It is important to clarify that the author, while she is the founding president of this global fellowship, is also a researcher in her own right. What is presented in this book does not define any official position of the HumanDHS network. On the contrary, the author wishes to inspire her readers to forge their own pathways to exploring the themes of dignity and humiliation. Together with Linda Hartling, who is the director of the HumanDHS community, the author nurtures unity in diversity by holding space for diversity in this global dignity community. Linda Hartling and the author are also part of this diversity.

Please be invited to get an impression of this book by perusing the three sections of the synopsis:
On dignity
On humiliation
Where do we go from here?

Please click here to read the entire synopsis

This is the book’s last paragraph: As we watch cascading crises unfold around the world now, our shared hope is for an exponential change of heart so that global unity rooted in respect for local diversity becomes possible. We have a time window of roughly ten years before us where we still can mitigate catastrophe. The central question we face, as humanity, which we must ask and answer together, in all languages, remains: How must we, humankind, arrange our affairs on this planet so that dignified life will be possible in the long term?



Dear Friend, if you wish to be so kind and contribute with a little endorsement, please send it to Evelin in an email, she will then include it on this website! THANK YOU!!!

Back of the book cover:

Linda Hartling, director of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies:

This book contains the world! It explores lessons from an old world that has brought humanity to the precipice of countless crises unfolding today, and it sows the seeds of regenerative thinking that can unite us in a new world of ‘dignity through solidarity’. As a global researcher of unparalleled experience and insight, Evelin Lindner leads us through a symphony of far-reaching voices and stories, reminding us that we are all equal in our struggle for dignity. If you want a better future — if you want to save yourself, your loved ones, and the planet — this book offers an ocean of courage, wisdom, and inspiration you need for the journey.

Francisco Gomes de Matos, a peace linguist, professor emeritus of linguistics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and Board President, ABA Global Education, Recife, Brasil. Author of DIGNITY. A multidimensional view, Dignity Press, 2013:

This is the first book to futurise DIGNITY and to DIGNIFY the future.
Evelin G. Lindner is more than a HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE emissary. She is more than a keenly anticipatory VISIONARY. She is more than a transdisciplinary LUMINARY: She is a COSMODIGNIFIER, an globally anchored planetary citizen who has seen/experienced/denounced humiliation in diverse cultural contexts, a scholar who has provided a deeper perspective to HUMAN-HUMILITY building.
Prior to having the unforgettable benefit of meeting Evelin here in Recife, I had been immensely inspired by her econosocially transformative ideas and approaches through her prolific writings. I have been privileged to follow developments in her global journey as a forward-thinker, a DIGNInfluencer who calls all concerned planetary citizens to ACTION for the GOOD of all sharing the EARTH, of all co-responsible for human and environmental sustainability.
This book is not only HISTORY-making. It is an extraordinarily powerful voice which is now being given in HUMILITY so as to effectively overcome HUMILIATION and to help develop an emerging DIGNIrevolution.
May myriad fruits of this book thrive in many languages and cultures. May she keep writing and sharing her DIGNIwisdom. May her DIGNIvoice be heard by government decision-makers everywhere.


Standing on the edge of countless catastrophes, humanity needs to chart a course forward more powerful than the problems erupting today. That is purpose of this book! Informed by 45 years of scholarship on all continents, Evelin Lindner calls us to seize our remaining window of opportunity. She offers us our best hope for a better future, a journey toward global unity built on a courageous foundation of loving dignity.
Linda Hartling, Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies and World Dignity University initiative.

This is much more than a history-making book: It is a uniquely DIGNImaking contribution to Human Character Elevation and to in-depth Humility
Francisco Gomes de Matos – A peace linguist from Recife, Brazil.

Evelin Lindner is rightly pointing out the tragic destiny uf humanity, facing so many humiliations and surviving through a permanent, and often heroic, fight for dignity. As a renowned activist for a human emancipation from all kinds of humiliation, social, economic or political, she brilliantly shows in this book that any social order is not even conceivable without establishing dignity as the main human institution.
Bertrand Badie, Professeur émérite des Universités à Sciences Po Paris. See his book Le Temps des Humiliés, Paris: Odile Jacob, 2014, translated by Jeff Lewis in 2017, Humiliation in International Relations: A Pathology of Contemporary International Systems, Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart.

We must all be grateful that the extremely distinguished Medical Doctor and Psychologist Evelin Lindner has given us a book which can guide humanity to a sane and sustainable future. Her book, From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity, outlines the steps that are urgently needed to build a new global ethic, in which local loyalties to family and nation will be supplemented by a higher loyalty to humanity as a whole. Only an ethic of solidarity within the world's entire human family can save us from the multiple interlinked threats that we face today: militarism, the climate crisis and excessive inequality.
John Scales Avery, theoretical chemist, part of a group associated with the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.

Evelin Lindner’s work is vast, visionary, and pluri-disciplinary; it incorporates historical, philosophical, psychological, sociological, and linguistic analysis — as well as insights from her pluricultural experience. Her book From Humiliation to Dignity analyzes the concept of humiliation and its impact upon personal, social and political behavior. In a polemological perspective, her conceptualization can be applied to what she calls “crossback” behavior with respect to Moscow’s feelings of “humiliation” in response to American triumphalism after Soviet collapse and “defeat” in the Cold War, as well as Beijing’s “100 Years of Humiliation” since China’s defeat in the Opium Wars. In seeking to transcend the so-called “security dilemma” that could soon lead to major power war, she points to the need to establish “the big peace — long-term global human security through dissolving all shells — rather than small peace — short-term local military security between hard shells.” It is a book that provides realistic hope that we can transcend the multiple crises that confront humanity by way of establishing a global society in which all human beings can live in dignity in careful interaction with the natural environment.
Hall Gardner, Author of Theory, Historical Analogy and Major Power War (2019); World War Trump: The Risks of America’s New Nationalism (2018); The Ashgate Research Companion to War: Origins and Prevention (2012), primary editor with Oleg Kobtzeff. Contributed chapters: “General Introduction”; “Alienation and the Causes and Prevention of War”; “The Failure to Prevent World War I”; “Reflections on Polemology: Breaking the Long Cycles of Wars of Initial Challenge and Wars of Revanche,” among other works. See www.hallgardner.com.

Evelin Lindner is one of our most important voices for conflict resolution, human dignity, peace and global solidarity, and has, with her research-based commitment laid down a lifelong work, not least in the form of international publications. In this book, too, the study of conflicts is understood and portrayed through the decisive role that humiliation and the restoration of dignity plays. Can we raise our children to dignified lives and a world of respect for each other? Do we still think this is possible? On what should we build the hope for a peaceful world today and how shall we prevent oppression, the human urge to oppress and exploit others in a persistent competition? These questions are more relevant than ever, and in this book, Lindner tries to answer them all. By presenting the great story – big history – Lindner places us in ‘the dark era of the twenty-first century’, but at the same time offers concrete advice on how we can get out of the self-defeating ‘cycles of humiliation’. ‘Equal dignity in solidarity’ – in short, dignism – can become reality.
Norwegian original:
Evelin Lindner er en av vårt tids viktigste stemmer for konfliktløsning, menneskeverd, fred og global solidaritet, og har med sitt forskningsbasert engasjement, lagt ned et livslangt arbeid, ikke minst i form av internasjonale publikasjoner. Også i denne boken er studiet av konflikter forstått og fremstilt gjennom den avgjørende rolle ydmykelse og gjenopprettelse av verdighet spiller. Kan vi oppdra våre barn til verdige liv og til en verden preget av respekt for hverandre? Tror vi fortsatt dette er mulig? Hva skal vi bygge håpet om en fredelig verden på i dag og hvordan skal vi forebygge undertrykkelse, menneskets trang til å undertrykke og utnytte andre i en vedvarende konkurransesituasjon? Disse spørsmålene er mer aktuelle enn noen gang, og i denne boken forsøker Lindner å svare på dem alle. Gjennom å presentere den store historien – big history – plasserer Lindner oss  i ‘the dark era of the twenty-first century’, men tilbyr samtidig en rekke konkrete råd om hvordan vi kan komme ut av de selvødeleggende ‘cycles of humiliation’. ‘Equal dignity in solidarity’ – in short, dignism – can become reality.
Inga Bostad, Professor of Philosophy, Director, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway.

Evelin Lindner continues her unfailing engagement for world peace in her new book From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity. As a Western scholar, with experience from the South, and insisting on being a world citizen, she is able to pinpoint our Western shortcomings when it comes to building peaceful, just, and sustainable societies. The world is using abnormal and growing sums to build military might, including modernizing nuclear weapons, the world’s most devastating invention, but fails to meet the needs and concerns of its people. The inequality gap is growing, creating justified anger by those who are left behind. Evelin Lindner contributes substantially to the new reflection that is needed to get us out of the dominant capitalistic, confrontational, and competitive patterns, and instead help us concentrate our energy, creativity, and empathic potential on how to cooperate, in and with dignity, to save humanity and our planet from the global environmental and climate threat. 
Ingeborg Breines, former Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), former Director of Women and a Culture of Peace at UNESCO, and Special Adviser to the Director-General on Women, Gender and Development.

Scholar and visionary Evelin Lindner analyzes our looming, self-enacting, path to extinction. By reviewing human history through the lens of honor, humiliation, and dignity, she develops a counterstrategy. She challenges the very frameworks of domination of people and nature led by exploitative, corporate, and dictatorial forces. She illuminates a pathway for dignified, egalitarian solidarity, one that is grounded in the capacities of 'we, as humankind' to generate new frameworks, cultivate sensitivity, and incorporate the language of dignity. Lindner advocates engaging these social capacities and current empirical knowledge with the perspective of one planet-one humanity. She demonstrates how we can redirect a massive historic turn toward a global citizens movement for new global life-supporting mechanisms and dignity-sustaining constituent rules.
Janet C. Gerson, Ed.D. Education Director, International Institute on Peace Education.

Dr. Evelin Lindner is a scholar way ahead of her time, a true “original” with a very special sense of mission. A fearless, courageous and dedicated woman, she is a “citizen of the world” who has offered her life to the cause of peace and justice and dignity for humanity.
I know that this book comes straight from Evelin’s heart and soul as well as from her intellect and insight. Her compassion, wisdom and love are a role model for us all. I will always feel grateful to have crossed paths with Evelin and to have been brought into the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HDHS) community.
Grace Feuerverger, Professor at the University of Toronto and author of Oasis of Dreams: Teaching and Learning Peace in a Jewish-Palestinian Village in Israel (Routledge, Taylor and Francis), and Teaching, Learning and Other Miracles (Sense Publishers).

Evelin Lindner’s new book From humiliation to dignity: For a future of global solidarity presents us with profound insights into our utterly unique human situation: out place with one another as creatures of dignity, our place with nature, and our place within this mysterious and wonderful cosmos. This book is a must read for all who care about our endangered human future.
Dr. Glen T. Martin, President, World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA). Executive Director, Earth Constitution Institute (ECI). Author of The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet.

From Humiliation to Dignity can help us finally recognize how our dominant worldview has allowed for humiliation to replace the humility of our original, Nature-based worldview.
Four Arrows, aka Don Trent Jacobs, Ph.D., Ed.D., author of The Red Road (2020), Point of Departure (2016), and Teaching Truly (2013).

In Humiliation to Dignity, Evelin Lindner calls us to create a peaceful global village by nurturing love and dignity. The time for courageous change is now!
Darcia Narvaez, co-author with Four Arrows of Restoring the Kinship Worldview (2022)

Another excellent book by Dr Evelin Lindner. Trained as a medical professional as well as a clinical psychologist, inspired by her own painful experiences in early life, and learning from diverse cultures, the author aims to create space for humanity to flourish. She strives to prevent crises in planned and systematic ways rather than fighting them when they have already developed. She succeeds admirably.
Deepak Tripathi, Ph.D., FRHistS, FRAS, author of Imperial Designs: War, Humiliation and the Making of History (Washington, DC: Potomac, 2013).

Evelin Lindner has fashioned a remarkable overview — a grand view — of human history through her powerful understanding of the primary causes of human suffering, our violence, our predation, and the ongoing destruction of our planet, leading potentially to omnicide. That same analysis undertaken through the lens of humiliation and dignism offers humanity not only a road map to sidestep further and even exponential disasters, but also offers us a way out toward a finer future, one based on what fellow dignitarian author, Robert Fuller, calls 'operationalising the Golden Rule'.
– John Steiner, Transpartisan activist/meshweaver, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.

Every single contribution to the genuine aspiration of living in a world of equality, dignity, peace and harmony, is highly valuable. Evelin Lindner's book is clearly part of an arduous commitment to the values of dignity that should characterise every single human conduct.
– Baher Kamal, Publisher, Director at Human Wrongs Watch, Madrid, Spain.

Evelin Lindner's From Humiliation to Dignity not only enriches the mind, it nurtures the heart because of the deep compassion that speaks through her words. Thank you Evelin for your unconditional dedication to transforming wounds into dignity for all, and for sharing your acquired wisdom and knowledge so generously with your readers.
Femke Wijdekop, legal counsel Stop Ecocide Netherlands, UN Harmony with Nature Network.

Drawing on a staggering breadth of personal, professional and academic learnings, Dr Evelin Lindner continues her exploration of the psychological and emotional underpinnings of social problems. Her message is vital in a world which seems increasingly polarised, riven by inequalities and conflict. The future looks bleak – particularly in the face of a climate crisis that has the potential to eradicate life on this planet – but Dr Lindner gestures towards the potential of building solidarity between people. She argues that solidarity blooms in egalitarian relationships between people, on a basis of mutual respect and dignity. If there is hope for the future of our race, and for the planet we inhabit, it lies in reconfiguring human relationships so that we can use our collective wisdom, knowledge and talents to turn back from disaster. Dr Evelin Lindner’s wisdom continues to be a profound source of inspiration for my own work.
Deeyah Khan, Norwegian documentary film director and human rights activist of Punjabi/Pashtun descent, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity.


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December 5, 2018 Evelin's book talk: From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity
Columbia University, Teachers College, Gottesman Libraries, room Russell 306.
See the invitation flyer and the event announced in the Gottesman Libraries Calendar. Thank you most warmly, dear Jennifer Govan, for making this talk possible!

• From Humiliation to Dignity: For a Future of Global Solidarity
(Please be aware that this is an unedited video)

• Please click on the pictures above or here to see more photos.