In sixteenth-century Paris, a popular form of entertainment was cat-burning, in which a cat was hoisted in a sling on a stage and slowly lowered into a fire. According to historian Norman Davies, "[T]he spectators, including kings and queens, shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized." Today, such sadism would be unthinkable in most of the world. This change in sensibilities is just one example of perhaps the most important and most underappreciated trend in the human saga: Violence has been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we are probably living in the most peaceful moment of our species' time on earth.
[pdf] via NPR
posted by bigmusic
on Apr 14, 2007 -
In anti-war protests in Australia yesterday
as young as 12 were shown on TV coverage participating not only in protests, but in the violence that followed when the protesters attacked police. There has, in the past, been condemnation of those who bring their children along to protests, but this is the first time I have seen large numbers of children protesting on their own behalf - most of whom would have been truant from school and, judging by the way many hid from cameras, without the permission of their parents. Should we take them seriously, or are they too young to really understand what it is they are protesting against? [more inside]
posted by dg
on Mar 26, 2003 -
A Plea For Realism
This is the first time I have seen an on-line or paper eminating from the Arab states and serving the Arab/Muslim community suggest a new approach that is peaceful for bringing about a resolution the the chaos that has marked this past year in that area of the world.
posted by Postroad
on Dec 31, 2001 -
Another thoughtful article
Open the Washington Post to it's editorial pages, and war talk dominates:
Henry Kissinger: Destroy the Network.
Robert Kagan: We Must Fight This War.
Charles Krauthammer: To War, Not to Court.
William S. Cohen: American Holy War.
There is no column by Colman McCarthy talking peace.
posted by mapalm
on Sep 14, 2001 -