16 November 2009

Was 1989 good for humanity?

Over on the Guardian Comment is Free/Belief site, Ulrich Duchrow has posted an answer to the question, "Was 1989 good for humanity?" He notes how the prayers for peace in East German churches were also linked to the Conciliar Process for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation launched by the World Council of Churches. It was good, Duchrow writes, for people to experience that self-liberation is possible when a system has lost its legitimacy. However, the people lost control in the process of transformation. In East Germany, capital and the West German political institutions took over. His conclusion:
So 1989 can only be seen as good for humanity in the future if the people of the world learn from the "peaceful revolution" that they have the power of self-liberation from an oppressive and destructive system. If they interpret this year as the victory of the west they allow capitalism to continue to destroy humanity, the earth and eventually itself. There are signs of that learning. One of them is the World Social Forum and its sub-events at regional, national and local levels. Here people train to develop a co-operative solidarity economy (geared at satisfying real needs of people instead of the greed of property owners), models for money as public good and co-operative banks, serving the real economy instead of speculative accumulation, as well as direct and participatory in addition to representative democracy. The World Council of Churches, its member churches (unfortunately, less so in Europe) and the grassroots ecumenical movement form part of this process by working for AGAPE (Alternative Globalisation Addressing People and Earth) and just peace.

He ends by quoting Heino Falcke: "The art of Christian hope is to work persistently for making possible the necessary."


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