FW: Healing discourses

Paul Chilton P.A.Chilton at UEA.AC.UK
Thu Sep 20 09:55:38 UTC 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: William Downes [mailto:w.downes at uea.ac.uk]
Sent: 20 September 2001 09:26
To: p.a.chilton at uea
Cc: j.boase-beier at uea
Subject: FW: Healing discourses

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-sysfling at lists.ed.ac.uk
[mailto:owner-sysfling at lists.ed.ac.uk] On Behalf Of Phil Graham
Sent: 19 September 2001 17:15
To: sysfling; sys-func at lists.uts.edu.au
Subject: Healing discourses

Sohail Inayatullah has asked me to circulate this piece, which echoes Jim's
sentiments to some degree. There are some interesting statistics in the


FUTURES AHEAD  After the Terror

Sohail Inayatullah [1]

First, the recent events should be seen in global human terms as a crime
against humanity. This is not only because those in the WTC come from many
nationalities [2] but as well issues of solidarity and efficacy of response
move us in that direction.. In this sense, the framework for dealing with
this has to be from an International Court (and a reformed strengthened
United Nations), just as those responsible for Rwanda and Srebrenica (as
Tony Judge and others have argued, www.uia.org).

Second, an equation that explains terror is: perceived injustice,
nationalism/religious-ism (including scientism and patriarchy), plus an
asymmetrical world order.

The perceived injustice part of the equation can be handled by the USA and
other OECD nations in positions of world power. This means really dealing
with Israel/Palestine as well as the endless sanctions against Iraq. Until
these grievances are met there can be no way forward. It means listening to
the Other and moving away from good/evil terms. This language only
reinforces that which it seeks to dispel.  It continues the language of the
Crusades, with both civilizations not seeing that they mirror each
other.  Indeed, we need to move to a new level of identity. As  Phil Graham
writes: "We are the Other. We have become alienated from our common
humanity, and  the attribute, hope, image, that might save us  is  the
"globalisation" of  humanity." [3]

The USA is a capitalist nation with military might buttressing it. Bin
Ladin and others are capitalists with military strength. Both are
globalized, both see the world in terms of us/them, both use ideas for
their position (extremists drawing on Islam; American intellectuals using
linear development theory). Both are strong male. The USA builds twin
towers, evoking male architecture (as argued by Ivana Milojevic and Philip
Daffara [4]). The terrorists use the same phallic symbol  the airplane  to
bring it down. Boys with toys with terrifying results for us all.

The second part is a shared responsibility, within the Islamic world
especially, but essentially a dialogue of civilizations.  And here, the
crucial language is a dialogue within religions, between the hard and soft
side. Certainly the Taliban arguing that Muslims have a duty to fight with
them in case of an attack on Afghanistan does not help matters.  The
Taliban has spent the last decade fighting against Muslims, why would
anyway desire to support such a state?  While the hard side is clearly
defining the future, but that not need be the case.   Fortunately, the hard
side is becoming de-legitimized   Pat Robertson blaming the terror attacks
on the USA moving away from God because of feminism, etc.) and Muslims
everywhere hopefully beginning to see that more terror will not work and is
morally wrong (however, with civil war in Pakistan looming, the prognosis
for this alternative perspective are not great). Still, the message must
be: the injustices are real but non-violent global civil disobedience
(against companies, nations, leaders)  is a far more potent method for long
term transformation.

The third part really is what the social movements can and must continue,
challenging the asymmetrical nature of the world system, and pushing for a
new globalization (of ideas, cultures, labour and capital, while protecting
local systems that are not racist/sexist/predatory on the weak).  The
social movements can through their practice and image of the future, show,
and create a global civil society, challenging the twin towers of capital
and military.


There are at least three scenarios for the near and long term future.

1. Fortress USA/OECD. Australia has already chosen that route, with
basically a prison lock down ahead, especially to newcomers (who desire to
enter the Fantasy island of the Virtual West). The costs for the elites
will be very high given globalized world capitalism, and with aging as one
the major long term issues for OECD. The Fortress scenario will lead to
general impoverishment and the loss of the immigration innovation
factor.  In the short run, it will give the appearance of security, but in
the longer run, poverty will result, not to mention sham democracies with
real power with the right wing aligned with the military/police
complex.  Increasing airport security is a must but without root issues
being resolved, terror will find other vehicles of expression. After all,
fortresses are remembered, in history, for being overrun, not for
successful defense against "others."

2. Cowboy War - vengeance forever. Bush has already evoked the Wild West,
and the Wanted  Dead or Alive image, indeed, even calling for a "crusade"
against the terroists. Asks, Laurence Brown of the University of
Queensland, "where have we heard that language before." [5] We have seen
what that leads to all over the world, and the consequences are too clear
for most of us. Endless escalation in war that will look like the USA has
won  once the bad  Muslims are nuked off the face of the earth, but what if
a few survive? They will remember the latest round, and the response will
be far more terrifying, with new sorts of weapons. In any case, with the
USA army, especially the marines  rapidly becoming Muslim (through
conversion and demographic growth rates) [5], cowboy war will start to eat
at the inner center. And once state terror begins, (or shall we say
continues) there is no end in sight. Bush as already stated the
assassination clause does not apply to Bin Ladin and others since the USA
is acting in self-defense. Cowboy war, again, will work in the short run.
Crowds will chant USA, USA, until the next hit. The CIA can get back to
business, and continue to make enemies everywhere.

In this future, there is no real change to the world system. Once the
terrorists are caught, no changes in international politics or
international capital occur, simply OECD states become stronger, while
individuals become more fearful, anxiety prone.  A depression of multiple
varieties is likely to occur (economic and psychological).

   3. Gaia of civilizations/international justice/ remedying injustices
(especially in Israel/Palestine as well as the endless sanctions in Iraq,
and injustices by third world governments toward their own people) to begin
with, and new equity based multicultural globalization. This means
transforming the world system, focusing on a post-globalization vision of
the future, and moving to a world governance system (human and animal
rights; indexing of wealth of poor and rich on a global level; gender
partnership).. In terms of epistemology, this means moving from the
strategic discourse, which has defined us for hundreds of years, to the
emergent healing discourse (within, toward others, toward the planet, and
for future generations).   Healing means seeing the earth as an evolving
body. What is the best way to heal then, through enhancing the immune
system, listening to the body, or through massive injection of drugs?

Ultimately, this means far more of a Mandela approach, what Johan Galtung
is doing via the transcend (www.transcend.org) network than the Bush short
term approach.

This 3rd scenario is the global civil/spiritual society vision, and one
that stands in strong opposition to the declared USA position and the
extremist groups all over the world.

The first scenario is very much a return to the imagined past, the second
the likely future, and the third, for me, the aspirational .  This means
moving beyond capitalist West and the feudalized, ossified non-West (and
modernized fragmented versions of it) and toward an Integrated planetary
civilization. I can see this civilization desperately trying to emerge at
rational and post-rational levels, indeed, crystal clear at the mythic
spiritual level, and I can clearly see the huge stumbling blocks  perceived
injustices, the isms, and the asymmetrical world order, and national
leaders unwilling to give up their "god-given" right to define identity and

Do we have the courage to create this emergent future. I am convinced it
will emerge, I hope it will emerge through ahimsa and not versions of
endless terror. We need to choose life.


[1] Professor, Tamkang University, Taiwan; Sunshine Coast University,
Maroochydore; Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.  Co-editor,
Journal of Futures Studies, Associate Editor, New Renaissance (www.ru.org).
s.inayatullah at qut.edu.au, www.metafuture.org.

[2] Around 500-700 Pakistanis are presumed to be missing, as based on data
from SBS Television Australia and Pakistan's The News. It is not only
Americans that are being attacked by certainly Muslims (possibly around 900
or so in the WTC and  some in the Pentagon, perhaps, not to mention attacks
of terror toward Muslims in the last 15 years from all sources) as well.

[3] Personal comments. September 18, 2001.

[4] Personal comments. September 16, 2001.

[5] See his forthcoming piece on "The futures of terrorism," Journal of
Futures Studies (November, 2001).

[6] Ayeda Husain Naqvi writes in "The Rise of the Muslim Marine" (NewsLine,
July 1996, 75-77) that while hate crimes against Muslims rise all over the
world, surprising the US military is one of the safest places to be a
muslim. Indeed, Qasem Ali Uda forecasts that in 20 years, 25% of all US
marines will be Muslims and in a 100 years, most will be Muslim. Given the
incredible influence that that former military personnel have on US
policies (ie a look at Who's Who in America shows that military background
and law school education are the two common denominators on the resumes of
America's most influential people.)

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