Working towards peace and sustainability

Parking Meters and the Peaceful Economy

Lily Tinker Fortel, a member of the Peaceworks Steering Committee and Co-Vice President of our organization, gave an insightful and inspiring talk at our August 6 Peace Gathering. We are posting a portion of the talk here, with a link to the full text below. Please feel free and encouraged to share this widely.

Hi.  I’m glad to be with you all this evening.  This annual gathering is one I approach with a heavy heart. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are among the most tragic, scary events in human history.  This commemoration brings real and deep emotions – not only in remembering the past but also in evaluating the present.  And it’s not only the challenges of nuclear disarmament or the tragedies of the past that weigh heavy tonight.  The present – particularly national and international news of the past few weeks – is discouraging beyond words.  From news of the famine in Somalia to the realities of continuing wars and military aggression to the recent debt ceiling sellout.  These are heavy times.  So I am glad to be with you as we struggle with these realities and as we hold on to the light of a better, different future.

Which brings me to the topic at hand – Parking Meters and the Peaceful Economy.  Tonight I will talk about how important it is to incorporate this seemingly out-of-reach idea of a Peace Economy in all aspects of daily life.  Let’s start with the big picture.

The concept of a Peace Economy – also referred to as the “New Economy” or as I will call it this evening, a peaceful economy comes out of an acknowledgement that we are currently operating in a war economy.  The Peace Economy is a rejection of the prevailing narrative that wars, and other forms of military spending are worthy, exclusive economic stimulants.  The truth is a Peace Economy is a viable, practical and superior model to a war economy.

Let me pause here to make a somewhat obvious acknowledgement. Many people have done extensive thinking about this idea of a peace economy and of how to put such a vision into practice.  In preparation for tonight’s talk, I have studied David Korten of YES! Magazine and co-chair of the New Economy Working Group; Frida Berrigan, who writes for Foreign Policy in Focus and In These Times; Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!; Senator Bernie Sanders and more.  This is a big topic and no 10 minute talk will do justice to the years of thinking that have gone into it. 

That said, here is what I hope to accomplish in the next few minutes:
(1)   Establish the need for rethinking the current economy.  This won’t take long – I suspect we’re all near agreement on the fact that something has got to change.
(2)   Propose a vision for components of this New, Peaceful Economy.
(3)   Finally, I’d like to move us to a place of thinking about integrating this vision into our daily lives. – i.e. how do parking meters and any number of other issues fit into our work toward a peaceful economy

Read the remainder of Lily's talk by CLICKING HERE.