Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

The Spinning Wheel #1: Why Vets Commit Suicide

Nicholas Kristoff is someone I admire as a writer and a person.  His recent article on the disgrace of the Veterans Administration – how it abandons traumatized vets if their scars happen to be, as they increasingly are, mental or spiritual in nature – is poignant and important.  But it overlooks, as most modern media… read more

Do we live in a meaningless universe?

 Ours is not an empty, disorderly world, but an exquisitely structured web whose design embraces and affects all living things. –Sally Goerner WESTERN CIVILIZATION could be considered a grand experiment, culminating in the three-plus centuries of the industrial revolution, to see if the universe could be accounted for without resorting to the concept of a… read more

A Nonviolent Future for Korea

On the bus from Incheon Airport to Seoul where we were going to participate in a six-nation seminar on nonviolence and the possibilities for reunification we found ourselves across the aisle from a young fellow who was eager to show us pictures of his recent trip to the North where, we would soon learn, groups… read more

Is President Obama to Blame?

  Michael N. Nagler     Rabbi Michael Lerner’s recent call to the progressive community to run a candidate who would put pressure on President Obama to move back to the agenda he laid out, or rather implied, in his inspiring campaign of November, 2008 puts attention back on the natural, but misleading question of… read more

Overview: Toward a Nonviolent Future

Toward a Nonviolent Future Metta will dedicate 2011 to putting before spiritual activists and all interested parties the following four-fold plan for a concerted major campaign that we see as the best approach to a nonviolent future.  Each of these items will of course need elaboration, and we have been considering convening a strategic council… read more

How to Replace the War System

About the murderous rampage of US soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, who killed and dismembered Afghan civilians evidently “for sport,” the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported on September 20, “Army officials have not disclosed a motive” for the outrage. Let me try. Violence is puzzling when we can’t see the forest for the… read more

Remembering Our Humanity

“Remember our humanity, and forget all the rest.” Albert Einstein The decade has not begun with a paean to human wisdom.  Two recent acts of folly in particular share a deep and pernicious connection that bears some pondering, and I am not even referring to the capture of Ted Kennedy’s seat in a Massachusetts.  I… read more

The Ironies of Peace

In 1982 Mother Teresa of Calcutta stunned the world by announcing that she was going into a raging conflict in Beirut to rescue disabled children from an abandoned orphanage. It was during the bombardment that Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel called “Operation Peace [that word again] for Galilee.” It was a stunning gesture, perfectly… read more