Culture, Globalization, Great Ideas, Sustainability, Technology, Women

Progress Towards Ending All Forms of Violence

October 10, 2015 – Campaign to generate awareness about forms of violence towards girls.

Today, we are fortunate. All forms of violence are on the decline, whether they may be physical or non-physical forms of violence. Now, we are becoming aware that there can be cyber-terrorism and that a cyber culture war exists, thanks to phenomena like the Gamergate controversy, Edward Snowden’s leak, and Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. Because of Malala Yousafzai becoming popularly portrayed in the media as a budding spokeswoman for human rights and education through the event of the Taliban attack on her life, people began to feel more of a softened compassion towards a controversial issue. Global democratization of information, technology, and culture has caused a lot of disruptions but also has had the effect of having profound changes for society where the faults break the ground apart.

Daniel Pink, author popularly known for his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, also published a brilliant book titled, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. This book was aptly named after Abraham Lincoln’s statement from his Inaugural Address on March 4, 1861:

“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it.’

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

This was Abraham Lincoln’s response to the public sentiment that it was ‘world vs. us.’ Lincoln stated that the power is in our hands as a collective, not in his hands as the President of the United States or the Government as an authoritative entity. Many people are watching news and media, complaining about mounting views of dissent, but also beginning to realize that those arguments are becoming constructive by stirring people to finally voice their true beliefs.

Almost as quiet, stifled people around a dinner table sitting awkwardly refusing to voice anything lest they cause a stir, we have had an ongoing passive aggressive worldwide civil war which reached a point of hardly being able to be contained anymore. Out of this pressure, people have taken a stand to have their voices heard and to have the necessary constructive arguments to reach resolution.

“Why should the spread of ideas and people result in reforms that lower violence? There are several pathways. The most obvious is a debunking of ignorance and superstition. A connected and educated populace, at least in aggregate and over the long run, is bound to be disabused of poisonous beliefs, such as that members of other races and ethnicities are innately avaricious or perfidious; that economic and military misfortunes are caused by the treachery of ethnic minorities; that women don’t mind to be raped; that children must be beaten to be socialized; that people choose to be homosexual as part of a morally degenerate lifestyle; that animals are incapable of feeling pain. The recent debunking of beliefs that invite or tolerate violence call to mind Voltaire’s quip that those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”
― Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

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