American Friends Service Committee
Sara Burke, Managing Editor
Sam Diener, Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Peace Action has compiled the dominant parties' candidates' answers to their foreign policy questions, a guide to bird-dogging (questioning) candidates, and a one-page summary grid: www.peace-action.org/2004/index.html
Council for a Liveable World's questionnaire combines quotations from the high-profile candidates and detailed analysis of candidates' voting records on peace issues. http://22.214.171.124/pages/8_391.html
A summary of the scorecards of the candidates by the NAACP, the League of Conservation Voters, the AFL-CIO, and the Humane Society is online at www.globalstewards.org/democrats.htm.
No major women's organization has produced a Presidential candidate scorecard, but Planned Parenthood hosted a forum on Women's Issues for Democratic presidential candidates in New Hampshire on November 5, 2003. A transcript is posted at www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/primdeb/forum110503tr.html.
An analysis of the Presidential candidates' health care plans from the American Academy of Physicians is posted at www.aafp.org/x22202.xml. Please also see the Global Stop AIDS Platform, which all candidates are being asked to endorse, at www.healthgap.org/press_releases/03/04stopaids_platform.html.
A detailed report on the positions of Presidential candidates on LesTransBi-Gay issues is available at www.ngltf.org/downloads/CandidatesReport.pdf
The US Presidential Election 2004 Wikipedia (web-based collaborative encyclopedia), contains data on candidates' past voting patterns, and links to their campaigns, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_United_States_Presidential_Election.
Follow the money. The summary data for the dominant party candidates appears at www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/presfin04. html. More detailed information is available at the Buying of the President site at www.bop2004.org/bop2004/dw.aspx, and the Political Moneyline site at www.tray.com.
The Republican Party's analysis of the Democratic Presidential
Candidates, including voting histories, is available at www.rnc.org/newsroom/demsindepth.
I found the article "Walking North on a Southbound Train" (October, 2003) by David Orr intriguing indeed. I hope he didn't mean to imply one cardinal direction is better than the other, however.
At any rate, he makes some very good points in the article, some of which are:
1.Environmentalists are being "out-foxed" by big business.
2. Politicians are operating contrary to the obvious good of the country and the planet.
3. There is no democratic control over decisions affecting our economy.
I agree with him when he says the problem is at a "system level." When he talks of "democratic control" of capital, he is close to the essence of the problem.
The definition of capital that I use is: money invested with the short term purpose of increasing itself through production of goods or services. The purpose of our economy, under capitalism, is to increase capital. If you can increase capital by providing food, fine. If you can increase capital more by drilling and burning oil, that's fine too - and if this comes at the expense of the world's survival, that is not a matter which concerns the capitalist.
A system with democratic control over the economy, and therefore power, cannot strictly be called capitalist. When we all are tired of being "out-foxed" by people who are not even serving their own long term good, we can listen to Marx: bring the economy under democratic control by taking over the source of capital - that is the means of production - by taking control over our own labor.
Any other solution is short-term and will be circumvented by those who want to increase capital at any cost. I realize this has been attempted and has not succeeded. Evolution is full of false starts and dead ends, but the preservation of life on earth has come about as a result.
We should attempt no less.
I am deeply disturbed by the article "Only Reconciliation Brings Atonement: Saving Low-Income Housing," which appeared in your journal in November. This article rests on the stereotype of the Jew as greedy, avaricious landlord, caring more for his fellow Jews than for gentiles. In printing this article, Peacework perpetuates the Shylock characterization and reinforces it. Had the author criticized both Jewish and gentile landlords, her article would have been acceptable, but she chose not to do this. That the author is Jewish is of no consequence to my argument.
In my judgment this article is anti-Semitic and should not have been printed in Peacework. The article is yet another example of how some Quakers spread anti-Semitism, however heatedly they would deny this.
The editors respond:
Emma Morgan's article did not rest on stereotype. In it she made no claims about Harold Grinspoon's motivations or character - or indeed about his religion or ethnic identity. Rather, she described the actions Harold Grinspoon had taken and might choose to take as the owner of her federally subsidized apartment complex. She scrupulously avoided attacking him, choosing instead to invoke the Jewish prophetic tradition calling on all of us to atone.
That Emma Morgan told this story and raised these questions in the context of exploring the meaning of God's call to reconciliation, to accountability, and to right action in relationship, made her speech especially appropriate for Peacework, the publication of a faith-based organization.
It is for each of us, whatever the source of our beliefs (religious
or otherwise) to search inwardly for the ways we allow our spiritual
and ethical integrity to be compromised by our desire for material