Robert M. Weir
American writer and peacemaker
Author, speaker, advocate for “peace through understanding”
Biographical article about Leo Semashko’s life path
in his main achievements
By Robert M. Weir,
American writer and peacemaker
Author, speaker, advocate for “peace through understanding”
The war killed my father, and I killed a war.
I deprived its a vital source in the false faith of its eternity
my spheral science of genetic peace from world harmony.
This science creates nonviolent holistic thinking, fills with fundamental
knowledge the paradigm of "peace through understanding" and
opens a conscious, peace-loving path for
harmonious civilization of the future, excluding all wars.
I erected a monument to myself not made by hands ...
Leo Mikhailovich Semashko (born June 20, 1941) is a Russian visionary, philosopher, sociologist, author and peacemaker. He is founder and president of the international peacemaking organization Global Harmony Association (GHA) and an honorary member of RC51, Sociocybernetics, International Sociological Association. His more than 600 scientific publications, including 18 books, focus on his discovery and development of scientific theories of tetraphilosophy, global sociology and harmonious civilization. He is the discoverer of spherons, Tetrasociology or third order Sociocybernetics, spheral statistics and global peace science.
1.Youth, education and career
2.Global Harmony Association
3.Discoveries and achievements
3.1Spherons and spheral science
3.2Spheral Information Statistical Technology (SIST)
3.4Tetranet Thinking Paradigm (TTP)
3.5Global Peace Science (GPS)
4.Global Harmony Association projects
4.2Social Priority of Children
4.3Restructuring the United Nations
4.4Harmonious Civilization: Spheral futurology
6.Peace from Harmony web site
Youth, education and career
Dr. Leo Semashko was born June 20, 1941, in Grodno, Belarus, a city close to the borders with Poland and Lithuania. Leo’s father was killed in Grodno during the first days of World War II, a fact that shaped the young boy’s destiny and spun his life and work into spiritual and sociological arenas, with the goal of helping nations attain world peace.
Dr. Semashko is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy (1965) and alumnus of post-graduate studies (1970) from Moscow State University, Department of History of Foreign Philosophy, with a thesis on ancient philosophy. His scientific adviser was Professor Igor S. Narsky; his scientific mentor was Professor Valentin F. Asmus. He has lived and worked in St. Petersburg, Russia, since 1971.
With a PhD in philosophy, Dr. Semashko is Professor RANH (Russian Academy of Natural History). He has been a teacher of philosophy, sociology and political science in a number of universities until 2004; a member of the Leningrad/Petersburg City Parliament of 21 convocations from the city’s 48th constituency from 1990 to 1993; and has been an Actual State Counselor of St. Petersburg, class III, since 1998.
He was also founder and leader of the Spheral Democracy Deputy’s Faction in the Petersburg Parliament (1992-1993); founder and president of the Children’s Foundation, named by Feodor Dostoevsky, in St. Petersburg (1990-1997); founder and chair of a group of developers for the first project of the Family Code in Russia, with the first chapter dedicated to advancement of children’s rights (1990-1991), creator of the Global Harmony Association (2005), and other socially oriented endeavors not named here.
Since 1990, he has participated in many international peacemaking and sociological congresses in Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe.
Global Harmony Association
As a philosopher, sociologist and peacemaker, Dr. Semashko has emphasized social and human harmony. In 2005, he founded the Global Harmony Association (GHA), an informal international peacemaking organization that now consists of more than 600 humanitarian scholars and peacemakers from 65 countries as well as many collective members.In 2016, he was elected as GHA’a honorary president.
Since its creation more than 13 years ago, Dr. Semashko and other GHA members have collectively initiated 60 peacemaking projects and created eight books, with more than 400 co-authors from 45 nations, that have been published in several languages.
Spherons and spheral science
In 1976, Dr. Semashko authored the fundamental discovery of “spherons” (spheral classes of the population employed in four spheres of social production), which is supported empirically by a number of statistical studies. The concept of spherons is the foundation for Dr. Semashko’s new scientific, holistic disciplines: tetraphilosophy, tetrasociology, spheral statistics and global peace science, as well as new, emerging, interrelated global digital technologies.
Tetraphilosophy is a four-dimensional pluralistic philosophy that originated from the ontological cosmogonic concepts of the Greek philosopher Empedocles. Tetraphilosophy recognizes four equally necessary, sufficient and inseparable, and harmoniously interconnected ontological grounds/elements/beginnings: individual existence, information, organization/order and matter. Tetraphilosophy excludes the primacy/primordiality of any specific cosmogenic origin, but it recognizes the variable priority of any of the four elements at different historical spaces and times. Synonyms of tetraphilosophy, which emphasize its different aspects, are tetrism, four-dimensional pluralism and harmonism.
Tetrasociology is the social part of tetraphilosophy, the subject of which is social harmony, global peace and harmonious civilization throughout humanity’s entire history. Tetrasociology manifests as the continuous evolution of social production, which, in the terminology of Chilean biologist Humberto Maturana, constitutes the social form of the biological “autopoiesis” (self-production) of the four societal spheral resources.
Spheral resources are the four equally necessary macro resources that must work and mesh together in order for humanity to continue social and individual living: People, Information, Organizations and Things, which are material goods and services (PIOT). The absence of any one of these spheral resources makes human life and continuation of society impossible.
Relatedly, an equitable societal value of PIOT resources, regardless of their number, determines the equitable societal value of the other corresponding spheres and spherons of social production. Together, this harmonious balance among the PIOT spherons expresses society’s genetic noospheral pluralism and autopoietic unity as well as its plurastic nature as a whole.
Spherons are the four equally necessary societal spheral classes of the population that are employed in four spheres of social production: sociospheron, which are employed in the sociosphere; infospheron, which are employed in the infosphere; orgspheron, which are employed in the orgsphere; and technospheron, which are employed in the technosphere. Spherons differ neither in property, nor in power, nor in other partial qualities but in the fundamental, vital employment of people in one of the four spheres of social production that produce the four necessary and sufficient spheral resources of PIOT. During a person’s non-working ages, from birth to adulthood as well as in old age, each individual receives the benefits of social production through the relevant institutions of a caring family, education, health services, social welfare and so on; in this capacity, the individual forms the passive part of the sociospheron. In contrast, during working age, the individual actively contributes to society’s spheral structure by being employed in one sphere or another, one of which the individual retains as a work priority. This balance of give-and-take among the spherons constitutes the harmonious spheral structure of every society. Thus, spherons are the fundamental units and actors of this structure, the spontaneous interconnection and mutual limitation of which ensures the structural harmony of spherons as well as the harmony of all social production.
Spheral science is a single integrated socio-humanitarian science based on the knowledge of the spheres and spherons of social production in their structural harmony. This knowledge inherently integrates all diversity of traditional humanitarian branches and disciplines into the holistic scientific vision of spheral social production as universal, perpetual human autopoiesis. Spheral science, then, in the broadest sense, is Tetrasociology or Sociocybernetics of spheres and spherons, which constitutes the third order Sociocybernetics. Unfortunately, traditional social science and humanitarian knowledge today are still in an extremely depressed, fragmented and embryonic state, a primitive condition that rejects and impedes fundamental spheral discoveries.
Spheral statistics is one of the fundamental parts of the spheral science (tetrasociology, third-order sociocybernetics) that provides this science with quantitative harmonious measurements of spheres, spheral resources and processes, spherons and other spheral attributes of holistic social production at all its levels, from the individual and the family to the country and to all global humanity. on the basis of spheral statistics and its indices, an adequate mathematical description and “digitalization” can be created to measure the harmoniousness of integral social production, the balances and proportions of societal spheres and spherons, and the stability and effectiveness of any given society. Spheral statistics, then, provide an empirical basis for spheral science, which begins with the statistical knowledge of spherons and their interactive dynamics over time at different levels.
The discovery of spheral statistics creates a single, logically ordered, universal and global social space of spheral statistical indices for all countries, industries/branches, corporations, governments, and spheres of social production. Spheral statistics compose and integrate indicators of traditional statistics while overcoming the fragmentation and limitations of those traditional statistics. Spheral statistics give the indices of spherons, a social genome (socionome) that defines the measurement of the structural harmony of social production of any country in any historical period. Spheral statistics have become a platform for a number of unique digital technologies, such as Spheral Information-Statistical Technology (SIST) as a first step to help foster world peace through the harmony of a spheral “digital” economy.
Spheral Information-Statistical Technology (SIST)
The greatest development, justification and application of spheral statistics is Spheral Information-Statistical Technology (SIST), which Dr. Semashko perfected and used in the development of many urban projects when employed at the St. Petersburg City Planning Commission’s statistical institute, System Engineering, from 1981 through 1988.
Like atomic energy and some other modern technological discoveries, spheral statistics and SIST have an inherent dualistic predestination: they can be constructive, providing global peace and common societal good for the fraternal unity of countries and people in a harmonious multipolar world order; or, they can be destructive, capable of creating economic instability, disharmony and societal collapse. Choosing the constructive option, spheral statistics and SIST may be applied by world peace organizations, such as a restructured United Nations, to any state-aggressor to nonviolently ensure global peace and stability from harmony.
According to the concepts that Dr. Semashko prepared, starting in 1981, spheral statistics and its technologies have an unlimited range of effective applications in all world spheres. These tools can provide people of all nations with millions of innovative intellectual jobs in the 21st century.
Spherons and spheral science can create an evolutionary, nonviolent transformation of traditional democracy as plutocracy—with its inherent defects of militarism, inequality, corruption and nationalism—to a full, 100 percent spheral democracy that encompasses, encourages and enhances the entire population, including women and children.
Spheral democracy is based on scientific knowledge of each spheron’s objective equality within a harmoniously structured society, an equality that recognizes the equally necessary role that each spheron plays in social production. This knowledge requires and allows a highly functional society to divide all forms of political power at all levels of government, fixing each spheron with an equal (25 percent) representation in the legislative, judicial and executive governmental decision-making bodies.
A similar division of power between fundamental spherons (between spheral classes of the population) is also necessary. In order to be truly harmonious, society must create a decision-making structure in which there is an equal quota representation in all democratic institutions, regardless of the number of people and property value (wealth) of any particular individuals within any of the spherons. This equanimity creates a condition in which society is at the service of all its people and not at the service of the small percentage of the population (the wealthy elite); thus, it ensures a full and balanced nature of spheral democracy that can overcome all the innate defects of traditional democracy that is evident in many countries today.
Global Peace Science
All categories and discoveries of the spheral science are organically integrated by Dr. Semashko in the special Global Peace Science (GPS), which is still not universally developed and, thus, is absent in most countries. GPS is an alternative to “military science,” which has flourished for more than two centuries in all countries, resulting in an endless number of military academies and colleges as well as prioritization of extremely expansive military endeavors, armament build-ups and expensive military budgets.
Global Peace Science reveals the objective laws and fundamental actors of global peace from the societal structural harmony of the spherons. Thus GPS can be used by nations and governance to overcome all disharmonies and imbalances of social production that generate violence, wars and armed conflicts. GPS allows societies to build a long-term global strategy for achieving universal peace and disarmament within the next 50 years, based on the mechanisms of spheral democracy at all levels of government, including the United Nations.
Tetranet Thinking Paradigm (TTP)
Based on spheral categories and spheral indices, Dr. Semashko created a fundamentally new paradigm of spheral, global, harmonious, holistic and networked thinking that he called the Tetranet Thinking Paradigm (TTP). TTP integrates all the achievements of traditional, branch or partial thinking in order to overcome the fragmentation and limitation of that 20th century mindset. Thus, TTP allows people and governments of the world to find nonviolent, harmonious solutions to all historical and current global challenges.
Using the expression of Russian geochemist Vladimir Vernadsky, TTP is scientific thinking that constitutes “the greatest shift of human thought, which takes place only once in the millennia.” Thus, TTP offers a constructive intellectual tool for the embodiment of the 20th century’s brilliant covenants and the solution of global problems.
In this manner, TTP confirms the precepts of geniuses of the 20th century: Henri Poincare, who said, “The inner harmony of the world is the only true objective reality.” Albert Einstein, who said, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive.” Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “We should shift the arms race to a peace race,” that “will put an end to war,” as previously declared to the United Nations by John F. Kennedy. And others.
TTP also builds on the wisdom and power of women. It was Elena Roerich who said, “In the hands of a woman, now is the salvation of humankind and the planet. The Age of Woman has come, and the woman must raise the thinking of humanity to the next step.” TTP brings forth the necessity of true gender equality that is humorously expressed in the American aphorism: “If Mama isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.”
Dr. Semashko and the Global Harmony Association applied spheral analysis with an evaluation of feminist achievements of the last 100 years to create a foundation for continuation of the new feminist movement in the 21st century. This endeavor began with a reconstruction of the feminist heritage of Russian explorer, writer and philosopher Helena Roerich, who, in the early 1900s, rode side by side with her husband, Nicholas Roerich, as they, together, explored the great remote expanses of southern Russia, China and Himalayan India. From that, came a deeper definition of Elena Roerich’s philosophy of “harmonious feminism” or “fourth wave feminism.”
GHA developed Helena Roerich’s theoretical conclusions, integrated them with spheral intellectual tools, to form the conceptual basis of the GHA project called New Women. This project connects the idea of women being truly equal to men, primarily in the economic and political spheres, with women’s societal role to achieve global peace. This project, GHA says, shows that women can bring about world peace because of their inherent motherly capability to master spheral holism through the paradigm of tetranet thinking and by establishing a spheral democracy that provides women with an equal quota of seats in all government bodies at all levels.
Social Priority of Children
The traditional capitalist way of prioritizing and maximizing profit, as history has shown, is destructive for humanity in all senses and spheres: military-political, economic, humanitarian and spiritual. Through his research, Dr. Semashko proved that humanity’s survival requires that society shift from its destructive prioritization of capitalistic profit to the constructive priority of children’s growth and creative development.
Children constitute the primordial human value for all people throughout all time. The quality of life for children determines the quality of all spherons and society as a whole, in all its parts and functions.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Semashko proposed a legal mechanism for ensuring the priority of children in a legislative bill, submitted to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), called the Children Suffrage Executed by Parents and referenced as an “institution for harmony.” While this idea did not originate with Dr. Semashko, he enhanced the concept with a fundamental spheral substantiation of a philosophical, sociological, political and legal nature.
The social prioritization of children ensures the recovery of social goal-setting, society’s liberation from militarism and direction toward global peace for children. Making children a priority is also an indispensable tool for the establishment of spheral democracy because: it ensures genuine gender equality; it harmoniously regulates the demographic process of population growth; it prevents terrorism through the formation of children’s antiterrorist immunity; it develops decisive human capital; and it qualitatively increases the sociosphere role of its institutions of family, education, health care, sports and similar functions, especially those that are beneficial to children.
The Global Harmony Association has devoted many books, articles and projects to making children a social priority, which is connected to the third, harmonious path of human development as an alternative to capitalism and communism.
Restructuring the United Nations
The United Nations was formed on 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, with the aim of preventing a third world war. In the decades since, nations and societies have experienced numerous acts of aggression, genocide, violence and crimes against humanity on both a large and small scale, all of which show that the current global and nationalistic paradigms contribute to humanity’s disharmony and inability to establish global peace. The inextricable militaristic disharmony within the United Nations is the result of inherent militarism exhibited by its member-states who bring forth an endless number of national contradictions, all of which exclude the necessary common denominator of harmony and peace.
The discovery of spherons, along with the corresponding constant structural harmony at all levels, determines an objective social common denominator that is universal for all nation-states—whether the political leaders of those nation-states recognize it or not. Therefore, the Global Harmony Association has suggested that the United Nations be restructured to correspond with humanity’s inherent spheral structure. That is, the UN would no longer be comprised of ambassadors with their individual nationalistic agenda but a body of eight people from each member-state: one man and one woman from each of the four spheral classes (sociospheron, infospheron, orgspheron and technospheron).
This structure, functioning according to the principles of spheral democracy and gender equality, can end militarism of traditional nation-states and ensure global harmonious governance and resolution of all global problems, including the geopolitical and environmental risks and challenges that confront and afflict humanity today.
This proposed global peace from structural harmony is the most complete and reliable source of security for every nation; it is much more steadfast than is an endless arms race, purported by the illusory and false claims of militaristic “national security,” fueled by extravagant internal armed forces budgets that are the true “enemy within,” and the insecure opinion that economic or military growth of another nation is a “security threat” to another nation.
The Global Harmony Association and Dr. Semashko believe that the only way out of this vicious militaristic circle is through restructuring the United Nations and thus creating a high-level model of harmonious world order that would extend to all its member-states and, then, to all nations, societies and peoples of the world.
Harmonious civilization: Spheral futurology
Spheral philosophy and science are summarized in the theory of a harmonious civilization. This theory constitutes a special, third part of tetraphilosophy, which the author called "spheral futurology." To it was devoted the GHA sixth book "Harmonious Civilization" of 120 co-authors from 34 countries. The publication of this book in 2009 was recognized by the GHA as the beginning of a conscious, scientific and peaceful building a harmonious civilization in the GHA "Harmonious Era Calendar" (2006). Harmonious civilization is an alternative to the outgoing industrial civilization with its militaristic regimes of capitalism and socialism. This is the "third way" of humankind in the humanistic nonviolent Christian interpretation of Pope John Paul II. A key feature of a harmonious civilization is freedom from wars and militarism, excluding the institution of war from the life of humanity.
The questions "how and who will end a war," which, according to John F. Kennedy, threatens "to put an end to mankind", receive a systematic answer in the spheral science. It allowed Semashko lapidary to express its essence and the most significant achievement of his life with a capacious phrase: "The war killed my father, and I killed a war," meaning his scientific understanding the fundamental social sources of excluding all wars and militarism. This is a summary of his life and its main result.He will go down in history as the man who "killed a war" intellectually.
Dr. Semashko’s discovery and development of these new sciences began in 1976. He has since published more than 600 scientific documents, including 18 books, which have been translated into multiple languages.
His books on tetraphilosophy and global sociology (the science of social harmony, global peace and harmonious civilization) include Spheral Approach (1992), Sociology for Pragmatists (1999), Tetrasociology (2002), Harmonious Civilization (2009), The ABC of Harmony (2012) and others through which he has extensively developed ideas of the third-order sociocybernetics, tetrism, harmonism, spheral statistics, spheral democracy and other important and necessary concepts.
He is the initiator, principal author, manager, and editor-in-chief of the unique book Global Peace Science (2016), a “scientific formula for peace” that contains the collective wisdom of 173 co-authors, including several Nobel Peace Laureates, from 34 countries: http://peacefromharmony.org/docs/global-peace-science-2016.pdf
His published works are housed in the world’s largest libraries, including the United States Library of Congress. His publications are also included among the GHA’s 60 projects with the theme of global peace from social harmony, created under his leadership. A complete list of his books and GHA projects is published at the GHA web page “GHA Projects: Oasis of Harmonious Civilization”http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=472
Peace from Harmony web site
The web address for the Global Harmony Association web site is “peace from harmony”: (http://peacefromharmony.org), which Dr. Semashko created in 2005. This web site includes more than one million documents in 16 languages and has recorded more than 12 million visits in 13 years.
Address: St-Petersburg, Russia; Phone: +7(812)-597-6571;
E-mail: leo.semashko [at] gmail.com
Personal page, biography: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253
A People’s Campaign for Peace in the United States
Peace is often in the news today, almost as much as its diabolical antithesis – war. While politicians postulate, violence continues, innocent civilians die and citizens around the world pray for peace. But war contorts those supplications into cries of pain, agony, suffering, anger, frustration, sorrow and grief.
So, where are peace, harmony and happiness for which people clamor? Where is “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” that the founders of my country, the United States of America, espoused? Where, in my government, do we have a paradigm of peace?
Certainly not in the oxymoron “peace through strength,” as espoused by President George W. Bush, for that phrase is symptomatic of bullying. Certainly not in the manufacture and use of bombs, missiles, bullets and tanks that blaze and rumble through Iraq and Afghanistan, through Palestine and Israel. Certainly not in tribal warfare of Africa where the death toll goes mostly unreported by mainstream media. Certainly not in ceasefire rhetoric that produces minimal results.
Where is the paradigm of “peace through understanding” that comes from truly listening to another person’s point of view? Where is the joy that comes from “loving thy neighbor as thyself,” whether that neighbor is the person next door, a homeless person across town, or a fellow human being in Israel, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, China, North Korea, India or Africa? Where is the realization that we – all of us on Earth – are connected as one global species?
Fortunately, that paradigm of “peace through understanding” exists in the hearts and minds of many people. It is the foundation of the United Nations. It is the basis of non-government organizations (NGOs) that provide money and aid to overcome hunger, poverty, disease and inhumane living conditions. The paradigm may not exist in the majority of my country’s cadre of politicos, but it is growing from the grassroots up among the populace, and it is becoming a political force.
In Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA – where I live – weekly peace vigils have been held at the U.S. Federal Building since before the Attack on Iraq in March 2002. Other vigils in another part of my community protest the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that began in July 2006. And a vigil was held in a city park on August 9 to commemorate the lives lost due to the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 61 years ago.
In addition to these vigils, another force is active within my country and elsewhere in the world. That force is a campaign to create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace within the U.S. federal government.
The Department of Peace movement exists as proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and in the U.S. Senate, introduced by Senator Mark Dayton. The House Bill has 75 co-sponsors. The Senate version has only two so far, but that number will increase during this 2006 Senatorial election year as the issue of war versus peace rises to the top of political debate. Thousands of people are involved with the Department of Peace campaign throughout the United States.
The movement exists in other countries as well. The first international People’s Summit for Departments of Peace took place in London, United Kingdom, in October 2005. Forty people from 12 countries participated in the two-day summit. Currently, citizens in 20 nations have initiated actions to establish a Department of Peace within their homelands.
NGOs that support creation of a U.S. Department of Peace are numerous, distinguished and influential. They include AfterDowningStreet.org, Amnesty International, American Muslim Voices, American Voices Abroad, The Dr. Semi J. and Ruth W. Begun Center for Violence Prevention and Education, Brahma Kumaris, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Center for Nonviolent Communications, Code Pink, Communities of Peace Foundation, Democrats.com, Fellowship for Reconciliation (FOR), Global AIDS Alliance, Global Exchange, Global Youth Action Network, Humanity in Unity, Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, The International Healing Trauma-Healing Institute, Musicians and Fine Artists for World Peace, National Women’s Studies Association, National Organization for Women (NOW), Pace e Bene, Pathways to Peace, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Peace Is Every Step, Physicians for Social Responsibility, September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, School Mediation Center, Tikkun, Traprock Peace Center, United Religions Initiative (URI), Veterans for Peace, Wholistic Peace Institute, and Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!).
Notables who actively support the Department of Peace campaign include retired U.S. news anchor Walter Cronkite, retired U.S. Ambassador John McDonald, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, actor Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash in Walk the Line), singer Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, and author-speaker Marianne Williamson who initiated The Peace Alliance, which is the campaign’s principle grassroots support organization.
The campaign is alive and strong in my part of Michigan, too. A major Peace Alliance Conference was held here in July. About 300 persons attended. Keynote speakers included Ms. Williamson and U.S. Congressman John Conyers, a significant peace advocate, of Detroit, Michigan.
These political visionaries stated that we need to foster a spiritual attitude of peace within ourselves if we are to change the prevailing paradigm within society and government. “The only two forces more powerful than any bomb are love and hate,” Ms. Williamson said, “and love triumphs hate.”
Ms. Williamson complimented the founders of our nation who stepped far beyond the governance norms of their era by referencing God within the U.S. Declaration of Independence and proclaiming, “… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights….” She praised Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for “turning love into a political force” through nonviolent resistance to oppression. And she said that now it is our responsibility, as citizens of the world, to continue to use love to make a difference in the world.
Ms. Williamson quoted Albert Einstein who said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” The problems of war that we experience today were created by an old mindset of fear, doubt, uncertainty and greed. Yes, those factors still exist. Fear, especially, continues to be mongered by the Bush administration that promoted and launched a unilateral, preemptive Attack on Iraq and now wants to build a wall to isolate our nation from Mexico. That level of thinking dates to the creation of the Great Wall behind which ancient Chinese emperors hid their resources and stifled their civilizations. Mistrust and fear symbolize invalid, head-in-the-sand thinking that is no longer applicable in today’s world of global communications, global trade and potential global nuclear destruction.
Ms. Williamson reminded her audience, more than ever, we must recognize that we live in a new century of enlightened thinking where fear and oppression can and must be replaced with understanding, love and forgiveness. That is the destiny of our species if we are to survive.
Visualizing a peaceful future, Ms. Williamson asked each person at the Department of Peace Conference to imagine a time when children would come home from school in disbelief and ask their parents, “Is it true there used to be something called ‘war’ in which soldiers invaded other lands, and the army that killed the most people won?” She asked people to envision those parents saying, “Yes, that’s the way it used to be, but it isn’t that way any more.”
Ms. Williamson reminded attendees that our most important endeavor, at least in the United States, is to seek legislative support for the Department of Peace from our U.S. Congressional Representative who has the power to vote the bill into law. We were taught how to engage other citizens, the media and municipal governing bodies that could pass resolutions in favor of the Department of Peace. For personal peace and greater understanding among individuals, we learned nonviolent communications skills.
We also learned that Congressman Kucinich originally wrote the Department of Peace legislation prior to the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, not simply as a deterrent to international warfare, but in response to the need for nonviolent resolution of domestic and community violence within the United States.
While the War in Iraq, for example, has cost U.S. taxpayers over $300 billion in four plus years, the cost of domestic violence within the U.S. is $300 billion annually, according to the World Health Organization. Health-related costs of rape, physical assault, stalking and homicide committed by intimate partners exceed $5.8 billion each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Domestic violence is the single greatest cause of injury to women, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. There are 31,000 gangs in the U.S. and the rate of youth homicide in my country (11.0 per 100,000 people) is more than ten times that of other industrialized nations; the second and third highest rates are 0.9 and 0.8 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively.
Clearly, U.S. citizens live in a violent society. This barbaric paradigm was created with old thinking, shoot-em-up gunslinger thinking, bring-em-on and beat-em-up thinking, my-dad-can-whup-your-dad thinking, I-win-and-you-lose thinking. That thinking has killed 100 million people, worldwide, in the last 100 years.
The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over while expecting different results. War has only hindered and hampered society. It’s time – past time – that we give peace a chance. Serving as a complement to the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Peace would be the primary political instrument to bring the peace paradigm into greater human consciousness, and it would bring the voice of peace to the U.S. President’s highest advisory Cabinet.
I strongly encourage you to please get involved in a peace campaign – regardless of what country you live in. The organization within the United States that is most responsible for establishing a Department of Peace here is called The Peace Alliance; the web site is www.thepeacealliance.org. Other countries have similar organizations and campaigns. If your country doesn’t have a Department of Peace campaign, start one.
While being involved, please also be at peace within your heart. Peace begins within the mind of each and every one of us. Work for peace and be at peace. That is the credo that will lead us – all of us – into the next generation and beyond.
Robert Weir is the District Leader for the Department of Peace campaign in Southwest Michigan, USA. He is also a freelance writer and speaker. He can be reached at email@example.com or through his web site, www.robertmweir.com.
Robert M. Weir
709 Regency Square, Apt 302
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
September 28, 2006
Robert M. Weir
Dr. Leo Semashko: a Global Leader of Peacemaking
through Harmony and Children
True peace can be inevitable, says Dr. Leo Semashko, but only through social harmony and harmonious education of all children of the world.
Dr. Semashko, who lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, and holds a doctorate of philosophy from Moscow State University, has been working to confirm that idea for 30 years. In 2002, he published his vision, Tetrasociology: Responses to Challenges, which demonstrates that the population’s four social spheres must partner in order to transition the human family from enmity and war to cooperation and care. While Tetrasociology, Dr. Semashko’s major discovery, would ensure social harmony and prevent war, he also declares the need to make harmonious education of children a social priority.
“Children’s education in families, schools and universities must evolve to an understanding of global harmonious sphere classes and, thus, initiate a new civilization beyond war,” says Dr. Semashko.
Leo’s endeavor was destined from childhood. BorninGrodno, Byelorussia, on 20 June 1941, Leo experienced war at the age of two days. He and his mother, Augusta, were still in the maternity ward when, amidst German rocket fire, Leo’s father, Alexei Lihanov, a Russian army officer, told his wife to evacuate. That was the couple’s final conversation, as Alexei was killed only a few days later. Riding on a freight train, Augusta and her infant miraculously arrived in Bejestk, where they lived with her parents and where Leo experienced his youth and teen years. Still today, Leo expresses disgust at the horrors of war.
Inspired by his two sons and four grandchildren, Leo sought not only to establish theoretical concepts but to develop practical measures that would bring about social harmony. Between 1975 and 1993, he founded and headed six organizations devoted to children and family rights. Through this work, he came to understand that “social harmony and appropriate peacemaking can only be achieved on a scale that includes all humankind, not merely a framework of one country or a small group of countries.”
From that revelation, Dr. Semashko created a web site, “A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Children’s Priority,” (www.peacefromharmony.org) that, since 15 February 2005, has united 190 authors from 33 countries whose essays of peace and wisdom have been translated into 15 languages.
These authors, whom Leo hails as “a nucleus of a new global community of harmonious people,” have created two projects: “Harmonious Era Calendar” and “Great Charter of Harmony.”
Dr. Semashko’s ability to bring together great thinkers and creators from diverse cultural, social and political backgrounds marks him as a global leader of social harmony.
Robert M. Weir
709 Regency Square, Apt 302
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
February 27, 2007