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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

archives archives archives
Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity

Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"


Articles about Responsibility, and the Future:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds

Related Poems:

Making Friends
March Madness
Take Heart
Kabul Update
Wake of Distaster



March, 2003
Vol. 2, number 3


Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society — Part 1

One of my high school students recently asked me if we live in a dictatorship. I thought, "how in the world could a young person feel that we live in a dictatorship when daily he hears the Pledge of Allegiance and the clear message of liberty and justice for all?” Later after some reflection, I understood that he was responding to the increasing atmosphere of fear, intolerance and confusion that currently permeates American culture and is altering our behavior, our sense of freedom, and our faith in our country's values and institutions.

Weekly we see the terrorist alert level fluctuate with the volatility of the stock market. Our leaders continuously warn of "serious threats of terrorist attacks on American soil." This soil may become the very ground for the weeds of dictatorship, fertilized by those in the government and the media as they create and inflate mass hysteria and impose subsequent "security measures." This domestic fear is a more deep-seated and wider danger to the morale, confidence, and guaranteed rights in our society than any real terrorist threat.

In a free society such as ours there is a danger that the elements of dictatorship can grow degree by degree while the people not only accept them but also embrace them willingly. Fear is the first ingredient of dictatorship. It blocks the clear functioning of the heart and mind. When people are in fear they do irrational things like buying millions of dollars of duct tape believing that not only is there an immanent danger of biological or chemical attack but also that duct tape and plastic sheets can protect them! No wonder the late-night TV comics get lots of laughs ridiculing that absurdity!

When fear and confusion dominate society people react out of a basic desire for survival. These forces stimulate their animal consciousness which is the basest form of human mentality. This level of consciousness exaggerates the perceived need for self-preservation and domination to the exclusion of the noble human qualities of compassion and altruism. Thus, those who wish to control people have a willing audience for aggressive and self-righteous appeals in the name of "security." To those stuck in their animal consciousness the noble qualities of human expression are even considered "weak" or "unrealistic" behavior.

However, the noble human qualities are the foundations of our civil government that not only protect, but also give stability and confidence to people. Imagine if America the Beautiful were our national anthem instead of the aggressively nationalistic Star Spangled Banner. The qualities of beauty, and the sharing of our nation's abundance with each other and with the world, speaks to the heart of Americans and to the real spirit of our generosity, unity and friendship. The reason we now stand alone in the world as a nation feeling threatened and estranged from our allies and from the unfortunate peoples of the world is because of the imperious, self-righteous and self-serving nature of our policies. Domestically and internationally our government squanders the earth's resources on tools of destruction rather than helping people meet their most basic needs.

Altruism and compassion may be scoffed at by fearful and self-centered people, but they are a great fortress of security. They are expansive qualities built on fearlessness and confidence in the good results of making others have a happy, healthy and secure life. Why do public policies create ugly, destructive images and fears when they could more easily and more economically create images of beauty and friendship? Why should people be forced to support ugly, destructive tools and hateful words in the name of "protection?"

The weeds of dictatorship cannot grow in a society where public policies are dedicated to making the world a place of clean air, pure water, harmonious human relations, adequate and beautiful homes, worthwhile work, good nutrition, healthy bodies, beautiful arts, and education which promotes tolerance and reason. Fear enslaves people while beauty liberates them. The sentiments which people feel against the United States at this time is a rebellion against policies which are endangering the world and denying the promise, abundance, friendship and freedom which is the right of every human being.

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Science and Religion


Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

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