Changing Points of View
The work of Glenn Paige, who established the Center for Global Nonkilling, can be felt in places that are halfway around the world from his home in Honolulu, where he is Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Hawai‘i. His foundational book, “Nonkilling Global Political Science,” which has been translated into 35 languages since it was issued in 2002, inspired a worldwide movement based on his vision.
Center for Global Nonkilling Futures Brainstorming Meeting, June 11-14, 2015 at MuRyangSa Buddhist Temple in Honolulu. Participants were from Canada, Columbia, India, Nepal, Spain, Thailand, Hawaii, California, Nebraska, and New Jersey.
In it, he describes a “nonkilling world” as one not only without killing, but also without threats to kill, or conditions conducive to killing—and one in which there is neither a dependence on killing nor a threat of killing to produce change. “Glenn’s work helps us think about the violence we see all around us as being changeable, and not inevitable,” says Maya Soetoro-Ng, Director of Community Outreach and Global Learning for the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
When leading universities declined to publish the book, Paige posted it on the Internet, giving it away for free in a version that can be downloaded (www.nonkilling.org). The reason for its wide distribution, he contends, is not its price, but its message.
The book has made nonkilling a legitimate subject of academic research and has influenced scholarly thinking across numerous disciplines, where respected academics and activists are now questioning the assumption that killing is part of human nature. “The paradigm Glenn presents challenges us to be more rigorous in our commitment, to look at peace not as an abstraction but as a series of actions or inactions that can and must be undertaken,” offers Soetoro-Ng.
Grant support by Humanity United launched the Center for Global Nonkilling, whose mission calls for working partnerships with institutions and individuals who share the belief that reducing killing in the world is not only desirable, but also necessary for the advancement of humankind.
Paige, a Korean War veteran whose doctoral dissertation justified war, underwent a profound inner shift in the early 1970s, which he heard as “No more killing!” Those three words launched his ongoing quest—and inspired many others—to look at their violence-accepting assumptions and move toward the measurable goal of a killing-free world. “It’s hard work,” notes Maya Soetoro-Ng, “but deeply meaningful and ultimately hopeful.”