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Madison, WI Exposes Militarism In Our Society

Posted by Erin Bechtol

by Mary Beth Schlagheck  // Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 

The Vigil for Peace celebrated International Day of Peace in Downtown Madison, WI  Monday, September 17, 2018 within the context of Campaign Nonviolence-Pace e Bene framework by focusing on militarism.  In dozens of fliers passed out to passersby we sought to expose militarism as one of the main drivers of U.S. culture of violence.  We said militarism—not to be confused with the military—is the subordination of social interests to military values and institutions.  We explained:


  • A militaristic society:  1) prioritizes the use of force over peaceful methods of conflict resolution and problem solving, 2) consumes the greater portion of its resources for the military, and 3) encourages blind obedience to authority and promotes security-based fears over critical thinking.


  • Militarism diminishes our overall quality of life and turns us away from developing the true economic, social and environmental bases of national security, thus threatening the long-term well-being of citizens and of our democracy.  It also makes us less secure because each war’s death and destruction plants the seeds for the next war.

We created five placard highlighting the following drivers:  HEALTHY PLANET, DIPLOMACY FIRST, LET’S CELEBRATE DIVERSITY, PROMOTE PROSPERITY, CREATE A CULTURE OF PEACE.  (Placards pictured).  We were joined by Madison’s Ragging Grannies who sang songs relative to those five themes. (Grannies pictured).  We gathered signatures (Photo attached) on ten letters to our elected senators and representatives calling upon them to abide by our five tenets.  We celebrated with a Pace e Bene – Peace & All Good festive cake. (Cake pictured.) In closing we gathered in a circle singing Dona Nobis Pace led by the Grannies.

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