Peaceful Government Gross National Happiness

The Peace in Government Issue
Peaceful Government
By Medard Gabel
Definitions and anti-definitions
Government: how groups of people organize themselves to make collective decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources and other matters; the
governing body of a nation, state, or community;
the political direction and control exercised over
the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants
of communities, societies, and states; the form or
system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is
Or is it: the means by which a small group of people
make decisions that benefit themselves while maintaining the fiction that they are making decisions
for the greater good; the control and subjugation of
the many by the few for the benefit of the hidden.
Another angle: “The job of government is to govern—which means drawing up the rules by which
society functions.”1 Contrary to some right-wing
pundits, the marketplace is not the government.
Government is the rule setter for the marketplace.
“Markets do not have a social conscience, environmental ethic or long-term vision, and therefore
market dynamics and the public interest do not necessarily align. Concentrated wealth and power nar-
“ The care
Vol. 33, No. 2
Themes of Peace
Is there such a thing?
hat is “government”? What function
does it perform? What might a peaceful government look like? What is the
ideal government? Is it, as Thomas Jefferson says,
to care for human life and happiness? If so, how
do we measure it? What is the difference between
government and governance? What is bad government? How do we measure bad government? Does
a legitimate government produce weapons of mass
destruction? What does it say about a government
if it incarcerates large numbers of its citizens? What
does it say about a government if it breaks the law?
April–May 2015
of human
and happiness,
first and only object of good
and not their destruction, is the
Last year, the various editions of PeaceWork
were organized around levels of peace—local, national, global, environmental and inner
peace. This year we are going to use a different organizational scheme for the various editions of PeaceWork. We will be examining
how peace (or its lack) manifests in various
institutional settings. The last issue looked at
schools. This issue will examine government.
What does a government that fosters peace
look like? What does a peaceful government
spend its money on? How do we get a government that fosters peace, justice and prosperity?
How do we get a government of the people, by
the people, for the people—that is the embodiment of peace, justice and prosperity for all?
destruction of human life, everything from war and
the death penalty to poverty and life expectancy,
would be fair measures of how a government is doing. A bad or poor-performing government is one
where there is wide-scale poverty, basic human
needs are not being met, basic human rights are not
—Thomas Jefferson
rows the ranks of those with an effective voice in
decision making and in public discourse.” 2
Bad government: It would seem, using the above
quote by Thomas Jefferson as a guide, that the lack
of care for human life and happiness, and the destruction of human life and happiness, are prime
examples of bad government. By this standard, the
Peaceful Government continued on page 5
Gross National Happiness
By Jeffrey D. Sachs
he fourth king of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan
led the way 40 years ago,
drawing on ancient Buddhist wisdom. Bhutan should pursue Gross
National Happiness (GNH) rather
than Gross National Product (GNP)
like the rest of the world. Since
then, Bhutan has been experimenting with a new holistic approach to
development that emphasizes not
just economic growth but also culture, mental health, compassion and
community. Bhutan is searching for
a balanced society.
It’s a worthy search. Bhutan aims
to avoid the Easterlin Paradox that
grips the US. Professor Richard
Easterlin discovered many years
ago that America was becoming
much richer per person but not happier, at least not according to the direct reports of wellbeing by Americans responding to surveys. This is sobering,
indeed. We are threatening the planet with pollution, climate change and other
environmental degradation, to chase more and more goods that don’t seem to do
so much to really make us any happier.
The World Happiness Report, prepared for a UN meeting on happiness promoted by Bhutan, it was found that:
people are with their lives:
“The happiest countries in the
world are all in Northern Europe
(Denmark, Norway, Finland, Netherlands). Their average life evaluation score is 7.6 on a 0-to-10 scale.
The least happy countries are all
poor countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Togo, Benin, Central African
Republic, Sierra Leone) with average
life evaluation scores of 3.4. But it
is not just wealth that makes people
happy: Political freedom, strong social networks and an absence of corruption are together more important
than income in explaining well-being
differences between the top and bottom countries. At the individual level, good mental and physical health,
someone to count on, job security
and stable families are crucial.”
“The report shows that, where
happiness is measured by how happy
• Happier countries tend to be richer countries. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the
absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.
Gross National Happiness continued on page 7
The following article is about governance in our modern, complicated and diverse world. Although written primarily from the perspective of governance and environmental sustainability and climate change, the analysis applies equally well to the issues of peace and governance. For me, that first sentence of the article reads
just as well, is just as important, if it says, “Long before war was ‘the greatest market failure the world has ever seen,’ it was a massive political and governmental
failure.” —Medard Gabel
Governing for Peace and Sustainability
By David W. Orr
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal
controls on government would be necessary.
ong before the climate crisis
was “the greatest market failure
the world has ever seen,” it was
a massive political and governmental
failure. The knowledge that carbon
emissions would sooner or later threaten the survival of civilization was known decades ago, but
governments have done very little about it relative
to the scale, scope, and longevity of the problem.
The reasons for their lethargy are many, but one in
particular stands out.2
For half a century, a concerted war has been
waged against government in Western democracies,
particularly in the United Kingdom and the United
States. Its origins can be traced back to the more
virulent strands of classic liberalism once arrayed
against the entrenched
power of royalty. Its
present form was given
voice by Ronald Reagan,
who reoriented the Republican
Party and much of
U.S. politics around the
idea that “government
is the problem,” and by
Margaret Thatcher in
Britain, who ruled in the
conviction that there was
“no such thing as society,” only atomized self
interests. Other forces
and factions joined in
an odd alliance of ideologists, media tycoons,
corporations, and conservative
such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.
Many other factors contributed to the hollowing
out of Western-style governments. Particularly in the
United States, wars and excessive military spending
contributed greatly to deficits, impoverishment of
the public sector, and declining credibility of public
institutions. The rise of multinational corporations
and the global economy created rival sources of authority and power. Electoral corruption, gerrymandering, and right-wing media contributed to public
hostility toward governments, politics, and even the
idea of the public good. The Internet helped as well
to partition the public into ideological tribes at the
expense of a broad and civil public dialogue.
But the war against government is not what it is
purported to be. Indeed, it is not a war against excessive government at all, but a concerted campaign
to reduce only those parts of government dedicated
to public welfare, health, education, environment,
and infrastructure. But conservatives virtually everywhere support higher military expenditures, domestic surveillance, larger police forces, and exorbitant subsidies for fossil fuel industries and nuclear
power along with lower taxes on corporations and
the wealthy.
The upshot is that the public capacity to solve
public problems has diminished sharply, and the
power of the private sector, banks, financial institutions, and corporations has risen. As a countervailing and regulatory force, the power of democratic
governments has eroded, and with it much of the
effectiveness of public institutions to foresee, plan,
and act—which is to say, govern.
A different pattern has emerged in China, which
joins capitalism and authoritarian government. For
a time, at least, it has been rather more effective
at solving problems associated with rapid growth,
building infrastructure, and deploying renewable
energy. As the climate and environmental crisis
grows, however, so too the traffic jams, air pollution, water shortages, and public dissatisfaction. It
remains to be seen whether the marriage of authori-
April–May 2015
stand out. First, avoiding the worst
that could happen will require sharp
reductions of CO2 emissions trending
—James Madison1 toward zero by mid-century. We are
possibly close to a threshold beyond
tarianism and public engagement can work over the
which climate change will be uncontrollable no
long term.3
matter what we do. To avoid that possibility, we will
Elsewhere, the number of failed states with tishave to quickly sequester the remaining reserves of
sue-thin governments is growing under the weight
fossil fuels that cannot be safely burned. To do so,
of population growth, corruption, crime, changing
the choices are roughly to:
climate, and food shortages. Poverty and the lack
a) confiscate fossil fuels from their present ownof basic services, including education, contribute
ers; or
to a sense of hopelessness that feeds the anger that
b) compensate their owners, rather like the Britdrives young men, in particular, into radical groups,
ish ended slavery in the Caribbean in the ninefurther threatening stability. The foreseeable future
teenth century;
offers little respite. We face what John Platt once
c) rapidly deploy alternative technologies and
thereby render fossil fuels uncompetitive;
d) geoengineer the atmosphere in order to lower temperatures and buy us time to think of
something better to do; or
e) some combination of the above.
The particularities and perplexities of various
policies aside, if civilization is to last, we must permanently remove reserves of coal, oil, tar sands,
and natural gas from the asset side of the economic
ledger, but without collapsing the global economy.6
A second and related priority will be to reform
the global economy to internalize its full costs and
fairly distribute benefits, costs, and risks within and
between generations. By one reckoning, a majority of the costs of economic growth has been offloaded on the poor and disadvantaged. Most of the
accumulation of CO2 presently in the atmosphere is
from the industrialized nations.7
There is little prospect of a peaceful transition
to a better future without achieving a much more
distribution of wealth in an
economic framework
calibrated to the laws
of entropy and ecology. But that economy will be a great
deal more like the
“stationary state” predicted by John Stuart
Mill in 1848 than the
“casino capitalism” or
“turbo capitalism” of
the post- World War
II era. A sustainable
and fair economy will
be one that pays its
full costs, creates no
waste, and deals far
more in public goods
and necessities such
as housing, education,
called “a crisis of crises,” each amplified by the othpublic infrastructure, and collective goods than in
ers. A rapidly warming Earth occupied by 10 bilfinancial speculation and consumerism.8
lion people and 193 nation-states, some armed with
A third and related priority will require a signifinuclear weapons, some clinging to ancient religious
cant change in how we relate to future generations.
and ethnic hatreds, and still others holding fast to
Economist Kenneth Boulding once facetiously
their economic and political advantages, threatens
asked, “What has posterity done for me . . . lately?”
the survival of civilization.4
The answer, of course, is “nothing.” But a decent reWarmer and more acidic oceans will be less cagard for posterity is inseparable from our own selfpable of supporting humankind. Massive storms,
interest, as Boulding argued. Yet posterity presently
rising seas, higher temperatures, and disassemhas little or no legal standing, and so its right to
bling ecologies will disrupt food production, public
life, liberty, and property exists—if at all—under a
health, water systems, urban settlements, transpordarkening shadow of the effects of the behavior of
tation, electricity supplies, and the capacity to meet
previous generations, mostly our own.9
a growing number of emergencies. Climate destabiWe have long assumed that benefits flowing from
lization will grow worse for many decades to come.
one generation to the next were overwhelmingly
Presuming that we stabilize carbon dioxide (CO2)
positive. But that is no longer as true as it once was.
levels in the atmosphere by, say, 2050, the effects
The burdens imposed by a worsening climate and aswill last for centuries, perhaps millennia, and no sosociated environmental havoc place the lives and forciety, economy, and political system will escape the
tunes of our descendants in great jeopardy. They will
consequences. That is where we are headed.5
have no defense unless and until foundational enviWhat’s to be done? Of many possibilities, three
Governing for Peace and Sustainability cont’d on page 6
Eight Ingredients for a Peaceful Society
By Michael Shank
hat makes for a
peaceful society?
Hot spots from
Congo to the Middle East
would benefit from such
knowledge. But so would
the United States, which at
home isn’t always so harmonious, and abroad is still at
war in Afghanistan.
The Institute for Economics and Peace, an international research group,
has come up with eight ingredients for more peaceful
societies. They’re laid out
in a report, “Structures of
Peace,” based on the institute’s annual Global Peace
Index and more than 300
data sets from around the
world. The U.S. does pretty
well on five of them, but
falls far short on three key
1. Government
REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana
According to the institute’s
report, “government effectiveness” is measured by
quality of public services, civil service, policy formulation and implementation,
and the credibility of the government’s commitment to policies. The U.S. falls
short on all counts.
For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that more
than $2 trillion is needed to fix U.S. bridges, dams, waterways, and wastewater
plants. Meanwhile, just 9 percent of Americans approve of how Congress is
handling its job—an all-time low. U.S. tax, trade, and labor policy over the last
30 years has largely failed the American people. You see that in the Occupy
The tide is changing however. “Make it in America” is now bipartisan and
bicameral and could do wonders for cities once buzzing with manufacturing
and industry. The concept of a National Infrastructure Bank for public-private
projects is becoming increasingly popular in Washington. 2. Distribution of resources
There is a “growing unequal” in America, to borrow a phrase from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Americans now
have the highest poverty rate since WWII and the highest income inequality
rate since the Great Depression. Data compiled recently by the Economic Policy
Institute show that in the last 30 years, the top 1 percent doubled their incomes.
Everybody else gained hardly anything.
It behooves the US to close its inequality gap because with it comes a host of
social-health problems, whether those are high rates of homicide, incarceration,
obesity, illness, addiction, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and low social mobility
and life expectancy—which cost in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Improving this situation requires making it easier for Americans to get
ahead, get insured, get educated, and get a job. The current tax code benefits
asset owners (e.g. low taxes for capital gains) much more than it benefits wage
earners. A more fair and distributive tax system would help balance the inequitable scales.
3. High levels of education
Considering persistently poor scores on the Program for International Student
Assessment, which is given to 15-year-old students by the OECD, America’s
mediocre ranking in science, math, and reading has US policymakers scrambling for a fix. A recent example is releasing states from No Child Left Behind
(NCLB) standards, allowing them to pursue their own accountability and performance measures. (Half of public schools fail to meet NCLB standards, according to a December report by the Center on Education Policy.)
The US needs to go beyond the short-term fixes of voucher programs and
charter schools, which may work well for some but neglects others and fails
to fix a broken system. The Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence
Commission, is a step in the right direction. It uniquely focuses on how education is financed to address disparities in educational opportunity.
Meanwhile, a college education is still inaccessible and unaffordable for
many. Student debt nearing $1 trillion is testament to this unsustainable trend.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s focus on community colleges and efforts by governors to nationalize core curriculum standards is encouraging.
Greater educational opportunity and graduation rates correlate with lower
levels of violence (see the US Peace Index) thus requiring fewer state funds
to respond to violence. But with presidential candidates queuing to further cut
the federal role in education and with congressional deficit reduction agendas
targeting education funding, vigilance is vital—America’s economic future depends on it.
4. Five other ingredients
America does fairly well on five other factors in the institute’s report: a sound
business environment, acceptance of the rights of others, good relations with
neighbors, free flow of information, and low levels of corruption. But there’s
still much room for improvement.
For example, on the “rights of others,” the US has yet to ratify the international treaties related to the rights of the child, the International Criminal Court,
and the elimination of discrimination against women.
On “corruption” and the perception of corruption, the Occupy Wall Street
protests illustrate growing distrust of the financial industry, an industry that can
now spend unlimited amounts in federal elections thanks to campaign finance
laws weakened by the Supreme Court.
On “good relations with neighbors,” America’s ongoing drug and gun wars
with Latin America and war and conflict in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya, continue to cost taxpayers trillions of dollars.
Baby steps on any of these fronts will garner big gains as a more peaceful
America (on par with Canada, for example) would yield $361 billion in annual
savings and additional economic activity. The investment is worth it.
Michael Shank is vice-president of The Institute for Economics and Peace and a former
senior policy advisor to Democratic Congressman Michael Honda of California.
people, has got into the hands of the
The government, which was designed for the
bosses and their employers, the special
interests. An invisible empire has been set
up above the forms of democracy.”
—Woodrow Wilson
PeaceWork April–May 2015
Peaceful Government
Continued from page 2
of the government.
• The level of all the above outside the jurisdiction of the government.
Measures of ideal governmental
being fulfilled, the environment is being weakened,
decision-making is being done by special-interest
groups for their benefit, not that of the majority of
the people, and people are unhappy.
“In a country well governed, poverty
is something to be ashamed of. In a
country badly governed, wealth is
something to be ashamed of.”
Measures of governmental
• The level of peace and happiness within the jurisdiction of the government
• The level of prosperity within the jurisdiction
of the government
• The opportunities for economic success available to all the citizens within the jurisdiction of
the government
• The degree of restorative justice implemented
and successfully practiced within the jurisdiction of the government
• The amount of money a government spends
on education, health care and social well being
within its jurisdiction
• The amount of money a government spends
on education, health care and social well being
outside its borders; the number and percent of
the college educated of a country; the number
and percent of citizens who travel outside its
borders, and how often it assists in international cooperation, collaboration, disaster relief and
sustainable economic development outside the
borders and jurisdiction of the government
• The degree to which all the above are the metrics are used by all government officials and
private citizens to measure the governments
• The level of all the above outside the jurisdiction of the government.
If we measure happiness, rather than Gross National Product, then . . .
wealth and yearly income gap between the superrich (the 1%) and the super super-rich (the .01%) and
the average global citizen and the very poor of the
world—and this growing gap is a deliberate policy
of government policy—is cause for justifiable outrage and in prior historical eras, revolution. It is our
responsibility as concerned citizens to make sure
that whatever change happens is non-violent.
Democracy: “A system of government in which all
the people of a state . . . are involved in making decisions about its affairs.”
“A democracy is measured by the number of secrets that the government keeps from its people.”
What does an ideal government
look like?
Going beyond both the dictionary and the cynical to
the ideal—what should a government look like?
One answer:
A good or ideal government’s decisions, as manifested in its laws, regulations and policies, would
be so sensible that they are respected (there is the
‘rule of law’); the government would be accountable, transparent, responsive and exercise foresight.
Decision-making at the neighborhood, local, state,
national, international and global levels would provide all people with the prerogative of participating
in the making of decisions that have an impact on
their life, well being and happiness.
A good or ideal government would be measured
by the degree of societal decision making that all
of its citizens exercised, the happiness and health
of all it citizens, the sustainability and regenerative capacity of its environment, and its impact on
spreading and strengthening peace throughout the
world. A government would also be measured by
on what and how it spends its money. A government that invests its financial resources in war or
the preparation for war (“defense expenditures”)
would fail on a scale that placed more value on the
long-term health of its citizens, peace in the world
and neighborhood, and environmental health.
The $1.74 trillion being spent each year in the
world on war and the preparation for mass-murder/
war is strong testimony that the performance of
many of the governments in the world is fundamentally out of balance with any moral sensibility or
economic rationality. The fact that there are over a
billion people in the world who are regularly hungry and suffer the consequences of malnutrition,
who don’t have access to adequate shelter, health
care, education, sanitation, transportation and other
amenities that the rich take for granted, makes these
expenditures on war and its preparation criminal.
The additional fact that there is a growing total
April–May 2015
• The level of violence within the jurisdiction of
the government
• The level of poverty within the jurisdiction of
the government (“Poverty is the worst form of
violence.” M. Gandhi)
• The disparity of wealth between the super-rich
and extremely-poor within the jurisdiction of
the government
• The number of people in prison within the jurisdiction of the government
• The amount of money a government spends on
“keeping order” within its borders—including
police, armaments, courts, correctional facilities
• The amount of money a government spends
on trying to “keep order” outside its borders;
the size of the armed forces of a country, the
number and size of its foreign bases and entanglements, and how often armed forces are
employed outside the borders and jurisdiction
of the government
• The amount of chaos and lawlessness within
the jurisdiction of the government
• The level of unhappiness, including suicide rate,
and cases of depression within the jurisdiction
1 Renner, Michael and Prugh, Tom, “Failing Governance,
Unsustainable Planet”, in Governing for Sustainability,
State of the World 2014, The Worldwatch Institute, 2014.
2 Ibid.
Pacem in Terris Board and Staff
Rev. Mary Browne, Carolyn Bryant, Judith Butler,
Joanne Dalecki, Zaida Dore, June Eilsley,
Christine Frick, Rev. Bruce Gillette, Janet Lafferty,
Luz Maldonado, Chandra Pitts, Olga Ramirez,
Mary Starkweather-White, Harvey Zendt
Ulster Project Delaware Liaison
Elieen Carzo
Executive Director
Medard Gabel
Administrative Assistant
Drew Serres
Governing for Peace and Sustainability
Continued from page 3
ronmental rights are codified in law, solidified as a
sistently control themselves because they are deciwill necessarily be, and the more problematic its
core value in politics, and embedded in our culture.
mated by a plague of corruption that devours the
eventual outcome.
Other challenges loom ahead. Soon, millions of
public interest in virtually every political system.
We have entered the rapids of the human journey.
people will have to be relocated from sea coasts and
It infects the media, economy, banking system, and
Whether we can avoid capsizing the frail craft of
from increasingly arid and hazardous regions of
corporations. This is the fountainhead of our politicivilization or not will depend greatly on our ability
Earth. Agriculture everywhere must be made more
cal misfortunes, and of most others.14
and that of our descendants to create and sustain
resilient and freed of its dependence on fossil fuels.
The solution is not so much new government
effective, agile, and adaptive forms of governance
Emergency response capacities everywhere must be
agencies as it is, in political philosopher Alan Rythat persist for very long time spans. One hopes that
expanded. The list of necessary actions and precauan’s words, “the slow implementation of better govthese will be strongly democratic, but there is no
tionary measures is very long. We are like a ship
ernance by weeding out corruption and ignorance.”
guarantee that they will be, especially over times
sailing into a storm and needing to trim sails, batten
And that will require a rigorously enforced sepafar longer than that of the Chinese empire or the
hatches, and jettison excess cargo. But how will we
ration between money and the conduct of the pubCatholic Church. It’s never been done before. But
decide to do comparable things in the conduct of the
lic business. The struggle to separate money from
that could be said prior to every major human
public business?10
policy making and law
achievement as well.
We have four broad pathways, each with many
will, in time, come
variations. The first is to let the market manage by
to be seen rather like
the mysterious workings of the proverbial “invisible
historic battles against
It is horrifying that we
hand.” There are many purported advantages of dofeudalism, monarchy,
“The Federalist No. 51: The
ing so. In theory, markets require no political conand slavery.15
Structure of the Government
sensus, government programs, or public planning.
There is, however,
Must Furnish the Proper Checks
In the right circumstances, they are agile, creative,
a caveat leading to a
and Balances Between the Difhave to
our own
and adaptable.
final pathway. Little
ferent Departments,” IndepenBut markets always perform far better in neoor no improvement of
dent Journal, 6 February 1788.
classical textbooks than they do in reality. The truth
politics or governance
Nicholas Stern, The
is that they have a consistently poor record of foreis possible where igEconomics of Climate Change:
the The Stern Review (Cambridge,
sight, or concern for the disadvantaged, or fairness,
norance, ideological
or whales, or grandchildren, or democratic institusuperstitions, and indoU.K.: Cambridge University
tions . . . unless it turns a profit.
lence reign. Effective
Press, 2006), p. xviii.
Unsupervised markets work against the interests
government, in its vari3
Nicholas Berggruen
of the larger society. As Karl Polanyi once warned,
ous forms, will require
and Nathan Gardels, Intelligent
—Ansel Adams Governance for the 21st Century
“To allow the market mechanism to be sole director
an alert, informed,
of the fate of human beings and their natural environecologically literate,
(Cambridge, U.K.: Polity
ment, indeed, even of the amount and use of purchasthoughtful, and emPress, 2012); David Runciman,
ing power, would result in the demolition of society.”
pathic citizenry. Whether and to what extent this
The Confidence Trap (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
In sum, markets do many things well, but for things
will be democratic remains to be seen. The limitaPress, 2013), pp. 318–20.
that cannot be priced, they are inept and autistic to
tions of democracy as practiced in consumer-orient4 John Platt, “What We Must Do,” Science, 28 November
human needs and ecological imperatives.11
ed, corporate-dominated societies are well known.
1969, pp. 115–21.
The second alternative is to bolster public instiUnreformed, they will be more debilitating under
5 Lisa-ann Gershwin, Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the
tutions and governments at all levels. Indeed, in the
the conditions we will experience in the twenty-first
Future of the Ocean (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
face of climate change, sub-national governments
2013); Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),
are becoming more agile with alliances between
But our past successes, notably those of World
Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Contristates, provinces, and regions. Cities are coming toWar II and the Cold War, have bred overconfidence
bution of IPCC Working Group I (Cambridge, U.K.: 2013).
gether in creative ways to implement climate actions
that democracies will succeed in dealing with an en6 Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains (Boston: Houghton
that presently cannot be taken at national levels.
tirely different kind of threat, one with time-lags beMifflin, 2005).
The results are oftween causes and
7 U. Thara Srinivasan et al., “The Debt of Nations and Disten more effective,
effects and with
tribution of Ecological Impacts from Human Activities,”
cheaper, and better
deadlines beyond
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 105,
fitted to particular
which loom irreno. 5 (2008), pp. 1,768–73.
If the
of government vocable, irrevers- 8 John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (London:
situations than national policies. Netible, and wholly
Longmans, Green, and Co., 1848/1940), pp. 746–51.
works of agencies
adverse changes.
9 Kenneth E. Boulding, “The Economics of the Coming
is of such a nature that it
and nongovernmenRelative to climate
Spaceship Earth,” presented at the Sixth Resources for
tal organizations
the Future Forum on Environmental Quality in a Growing
Runciman writes
Economy, Washington, DC, 8 March 1966.
by electronic media
that the “long10White House Council on Environmental Quality, “Preparyou to be the agent
are capable of rapid
term strengths [of
ing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change,”
interdisciplinary redemocracies], if
Executive Order (Washington, DC: November 2013).
sponses to the chalanything, make it
11Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon,
lenges. But ineviharder.
1967/1944), p. 73.
to another, then,
tably, these efforts
That is why
12Michael Wines, “Climate Pact Is Signed by 3 States and
are limited because
climate change is
a Partner,” New York Times, 30 October 2013; Sadhu A.
they are contingent
so dangerous for
Johnston, Steven S. Nicholas, and Julia Parzen, The Guide
on the powers and
to Greening Cities (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2013);
I say,
associrepresents the poBruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, The Metropolitan Revo—Henry David Thoreau tentially fatal verated with sovereign
lution (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 2013);
governsion of the [over]
Parag Khanna, “The End of the Nation-State?” New York
confidence trap.”16
Times, 12 October 2013.
A third pathway, then, is to create and maintain
Even so, is a new birth of democracy possible? Is
13James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency: Surviving
effective, agile, accountable, and democratic central
it possible to create new and more effective forms
the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century
governments. Centralized governments alone have
of citizenship in the twenty-first century? Is it pos(New York: Grove Press, 2006).
the capacity to respond at the scale necessary to efsible to use television and the Internet to organize
14Madison, op. cit. note 1.
fect changes appropriate to the “long emergency.”
an active and strongly democratic society, from
15Alan Ryan, On Politics, vol. 2 (New York: Liveright PubThey alone can wage war, grant or withhold rights,
neighborhoods to planetary politics? Is it possible
lishing, 2012), p. 1,010.
control currencies, manage fiscal policies, respond
for nongovernmental organizations and diverse,
16Runciman, op. cit. note 3, p. 316. Chapter 1. Failing Goverto large-scale crises, regulate commerce, and encross-cultural citizen networks to accomplish what
nance, Unsustainable Planet
ter into binding international agreements. With represent forms of politics and governance cannot do?
David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Enspect to climate change, only central governments
Time will tell.
vironmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College.
can effectively price or control carbon for an entire
What we do know is that citizens, networks,
The above article is from State of the World 2014, by The Worldcountry. Only effective central governments can
corporations, regional affiliations, nongovernmenwatch Institute. Copyright © 2014 Worldwatch Institute. Recommand the resources required to mobilize entire
tal organizations, and central governments will all
produced by permission of Island Press, Washington, D.C.
have to play their parts. The twenty-first century
But a yawning chasm exists between current perand beyond is all-hands-on-deck time for humanformance and the quality of governance necessary
kind. We have no time for further procrastination,
“We have the best
to meet the exigencies of the long emergency ahead.
evasion, and policy mistakes. We must now mobigovernment that money
As James Madison put it, “The great difficulty is
lize society for a rapid transition to a low-carbon
this: You must first enable the government to confuture. The longer we wait to deal with the climate
can buy.”
trol the governed; and in the next place, oblige it
crisis and all that it portends, the larger the eventual
—Mark Twain
to control itself.” Governments today cannot congovernment intrusion in the economy and society
to save
PeaceWork April–May 2015
Gross National Happiness
• Over time as living standards
have risen, happiness has increased in some countries, but
not in others (like for example,
the United States). On average,
the world has become a little
happier in the last 30 years (by
0.14 times the standard deviation of happiness around the
• Unemployment causes as much
unhappiness as bereavement
or separation. At work, job security and good relationships
do more for job satisfaction
than high pay and convenient
• Behaving well makes people
• Mental health is the biggest
single factor affecting happiness in any country. Yet only a quarter of mentally ill people get treatment for their condition in advanced countries and fewer in poorer
• Stable family life and enduring marriages are
important for the happiness of parents and children.
• In advanced countries, women are happier than
men, while the position in poorer countries is
• Happiness is lowest in middle age.
Worldwide survey data was used to look at
the factors that truly make people happy. Income
of course matters, but mainly to the poor. When
people are hungry, deprived of basic needs such as
clean water, health care and education, and without
meaningful employment, they indeed suffer. Economic development that alleviates poverty is a vital
step in boosting happiness.
Continued from page 2
consumerism, shopping sprees, TV
spectaculars, gambling, food, sex,
drugs, you name it—are not the path
to a sustained high level of happiness. Indeed, he says, incessant sensory stimuli are the path to exhaustion, not happiness!
Sustained high-level happiness,
he says, in line with the Buddha’s
teachings, arises from compassion,
altruism and giving rather than receiving. This is not just rhetoric, either in Ricard’s own remarkable case
or more generally. The power of altruism to promote happiness in the
giver has been demonstrated over
and over again. Even the neuroscientists have shown it in their clinical
But income of course is only one among many
factors that explain the keys to happiness, something
that is well known to everybody, except perhaps
some Wall Street types and some economists. Other
key sources of happiness include social support networks (friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, classmates), a low level of corruption in government and
business (obviously a point of U.S. failure relative
to many other high-income countries), and personal
freedom and security from violence and lawlessness. Having a good job is also extremely important
to individual and societal happiness. Mental health
is also a crucial source of happiness. We should be
doing much more to ensure that people have access
to mental health services when they need them.
That would indeed boost wellbeing for many people
otherwise in great distress.
There is another key to happiness. The great
Buddhist monk, teacher and writer, Matthieu Ricard reminds us that sensory stimuli —such as
“Let us reinforce our
commitment to inclusive and
sustainable human development and
renew our pledge to help others.
When we contribute to the common
good, we ourselves are enriched.
Compassion promotes happiness and
will help build the future we want.”
—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute,
Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and
Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University.
Book Review
Digital Humanitarians
How Big Data Is Changing the
Face of Humanitarian Responses
By Patrick Meier
Publisher: CRC Press, 2015
Digital Humanitarians, published in 2015, looks
at how ordinary citizens, plus new technology and
new uses of that technology, along with large quantities of digital data, are transforming the way societies deal with humanitarian disasters. And seeing
how disasters are a reoccurring, but unpredictable,
part of our global society, this work has a growing
relevance to the overall state of the world, to those
victimized by the latest natural or man made disaster, and those of us who want to help.
Using his own experiences with the Haitian
earthquake, Meier shows how a small group of digitally savvy students (and others), far removed from
the actual site of disaster, were
able to
April–May 2015
quickly put together a map
of disaster sites that guided
disaster relief teams from
the UN, U.S. and a host
of government and nongovernmental agencies,
to get to trapped, injured
and homeless victims before it was too late. Using
existing online maps as a
stating point, coupling this with satellite and aerial
photos, and then combining live twitter feeds from
people on the ground in Haiti, Meier and a growing
army of around-the-world-volunteers (“crowdsourcing”) were able to develop maps so accurate that
their work became the standard reference for all rescue and development assistance. That the group was
able to do this without ever setting foot in Haiti is
testimony to the power of the global communications network that interlinks us all.
Digital Humanitarians shows how nonstate networks of civil society can play an
important role in global problem solving by
enabling ordinary citizens to collaborate and
save lives, using new technology in creative ways.
As Meier states, “Technology need not be dehumanizing. As digital humanitarians in Haiti ably
demonstrated, these new connection technologies
can extend and amplify our humanity, can translate
our initial private emotions of sadness and powerlessness into public—indeed global—action to help
others thousands of miles away.”
Check out for the latest volunteer opportunities.
April 2015
Wilmington in Transition (WIT)
Friday, 3:00–6:00 pm,
Good Friday Walk, sponsored by the
Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew. People of all faiths (or of none) are
welcome to participate in an Urban Way of
the Cross—a journey through the streets of
Wilmington: a time to remember, to mourn,
and to pray. It begins outside the William
“Hicks” Anderson Community Center at 3:00
pm (501 N. Madison Street) and finishes at
The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and
Matthew (719 N. Shipley Street) at 4:30
pm, where there will be praise, prayer, and
11 Saturday, 8:00 am–3:00 pm
Girls Can Do Anything! event sponsored
by One Village Alliance, for girls ages 9–18,
at Cab Calloway School of the Arts, 100 N
Dupont Rd, Wilmington, DE 19805.
26 Sunday
March and Peace Festival. New York
City. Coordinated by the Coalition for Peace
Action. For more information e-mail cfpa@ or call 215.480.7744
29–May 3
Ending Mass Incarceration and the
New Jim Crow conference. Keynote
speaker: Michelle Alexander. Pendle Hill,
338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford, PA. More
Global Solutions Lab. Learn more at
Other groups
(check with them)
3 Monday of every month, 7 pm, Pacem In
Terris office, 401 N. West St. Wilmington, DE
19801. Call 302.656.2721.
ACLU of Delaware
For info, visit
Americans for Democratic Action, Delaware
For info, visit
·· April 20
·· May 18
·· June 15
Wilmington in Transition Food Group
4th Monday of the month at 7 pm, Woodlawn
Library, 2020 W 9th St, Wilmington, DE
·· April 27
·· May 25
·· June 22
Wilmington in Transition/ DE Hour
1st Thursday of the month at 6 pm, Brew Ha
Ha! in the Main St. Galleria, Newark.
·· April 2
·· May 7
·· June 4
3 Thursday of the month at 7pm, Lucky’s
Coffee Shop on Concord Pike, Wilmington.
·· April 16
·· May 21
·· June 18
(These might be changing, so please check for
updates on the calendar.)
DE Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty
4th Monday of each month at 5:30 pm,
Pacem in Terris office, Wilmington Friends
Meetinghouse, 401 N. West St. Wilmington,
DE 19801. Call 302.656.2721.
·· April 27
·· May 25
·· June 22
30-July 28
Ulster Project Delaware. Learn more at
Amnesty International, Delaware Chapter
For info, call Eric Merlino at 302.764.5480
Wilmington PeaceKeepers
For info, call 302.559.9730 or visit
Center for Conflict Resolution
For info, call 410.219.2873 or visit
Brandywine Peace Community
For info, call 610.544.1818 or visit
Philadelphia Amnesty International
Meets the fourth Thursday of each month, 7
pm at Philadelphia Ethical Society, 1906 S.
Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA. For
info, visit
Chester County Amnesty International
For info, visit
Pacem in Terris office
Wilmington Friends Meetinghouse
401 N. West St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall
grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional
right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”
—Abraham Lincoln
A Pacem in Terris Directory
Pacem in Terris appreciates bequests and donations from supporters.
These gifts help ensure our financial stability and demonstrate your belief
that our work is valuable and should continue.
To designate a tax-deductible bequest to Pacem in Terris, we suggest
using the following language:
In order to help you find your niche in Pacem we are listing the contact information for our various projects. Please
call or email if you would like to participate:
Pacem in Terris programs, call 302.656.2721:
Pacem Education: Making it Better—nonviolent conflict resolution, World Peace Game, Pacem Leadership
Development, Climate Change Game.; Contact: [email protected]
Global Solutions Lab:
DE Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty:
New Beginnings/Next Steps:
Young Peacemakers: Contact Drew Serres, [email protected]
Campaign Against Gun Violence: [email protected]
PeaceSeekers: Contact: [email protected]
PeaceWorks weekly email newsletter
Ulster Project Delaware:; Contact: [email protected]
Wilmington in Transition and DE Hour Exchange:; Contact Laura Philon,
[email protected]
I hereby bequeath to Delaware Pacem in Terris, Inc., a 501(c)(3), nonprofit
organization, with its principal offices at 401 N. West Street, Wilmington,
DE 19801-2137, and its successors, the sum of $_____ [or ___ percentage of the estate], for its general purposes.
However, we strongly recommend consulting an attorney when
writing or preparing your estate plans. For more information about making a planned gift to Pacem in Terris, please contact Pacem in Terris, at
PeaceWork April–May 2015
401 N. West Street
Wilmington, DE 19801-2137
June 21–29, 2015
Join the 2015 Global Solutions Lab
Distribution: April–May 2015
Vol. 33, No. 2
PeaceWork is published five times a year. Volunteers for
writing, publishing and distribution are welcome. The
editor invites your comments. Call Pacem in Terris at
302.656.2721, email [email protected].
Medard Gabel
Drew Serres
Mary Helgesen Gabel
Pat Bartoshesky, Judy Butler, Alice
Davis, Dorothy Medeiros, Jerry
Northington, Mary StarkweatherWhite, Kathleen Worth,
Kevin Marshall
The Peace in Government Issue
In this issue . . .
Peaceful Government. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Gross National Happiness . . . . . . . . . . . .
Governing for Peace and Sustainability . . .
Eight Ingredients for a Peaceful Society . . .
Book Review: Digital Humanitarians . . . . .
UPCOMING EVENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
MEETINGS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Other groups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Join Pacem
$20 investment gets Annual Membership which
includes a one-year subscription to PeaceWork. (If you
cannot afford the $20, contribute what you can).
Address_ ________________________________
Phone: (h)____________ (c)_ _______________
email ___________________________________
Pacem in Terris, 401 N. West Street, Wilmington,
DE 19801-2137 · [email protected]
G T O N,