Home | About | Donate

Learning From the Hibakushas

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/13/learning-hibakushas

1 Like

We as a culture have become unable to deal with problems that require deep thought and time. We have been inculcated, via the television age, to solve all problems in sixty minutes, and to talk in sound bites, to write in Tweet and texting. And all solutions must be done fast, extra fast, super fast. Look at how we’re dealing with a vaccine for Covid; warp speed with the main goal not to save lives but to get maximum profits and prestige.
There are a very few cultures that still think, speak, and act slowly. If spoken to, they take a few minutes to reply, mulling over your statement. People think they’re mentally slow or just rude to take so much time. But once they reply, it’s done deliberately and slowly, making sure each word means what it meant to mean. They still have a group of elders to dialog over problems or new methods. It’s not accomplished in minutes, not even days. Some may take months, then decide on a trial period.
We unchained the gates of hell by delving into atomic energy. There were no councils of elders to ask about the permanent pollution of water, air, soil, foods. As well as the effects on all other beings. No, science is god. It’s all good. Now we have forever chemicals polluting all the water on our planet, where water is life. Polluting the soil, the air, our very bodies.
As for war…we lived for tens of thousands of years with mostly matristic societies that lived in community with group of both men and women elders to discuss issues. Women were valued as the guardians of life and wisdom. Men were the guardians of the village or camp, skilled hunters.
Patristic societies were violent and used war to totally conquer other groups, no holds barred. The US of Abuse is one of the crowning patristic culture in history(Greece, Rome, Persia, China, Mesoamerica, and some of the Pacific Island cultures were also patristic). One thing that stands out is that all of them expired because they exhausted their resources, degraded the environment, and used the most deadly weapons possible to kill off the greatest number of enemies or captive cultures.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that, unless and until patristic cultures are isolated and new cultures based on equality and peace in all areas, our extinction will be either by climate change or atomic war. Look at how many strong-man Patriarchal dictatorships rule globally, including the US. Then read Riane Eisler’s chapter in The Chalice and the Blade titled The Breakdown of Evolution: A Dominator Future…This sentence says it all-A dominator future…sooner or later, almost certainly is also a future of global nuclear war, and the end of all of humanity’s problems and aspirations.
Then think of India and China facing off over a remote Himalayan region to decide a border. If that isn’t insanity, an example resembling two males fighting over who has the biggest penis and therefore the most power, then I don’t know what is.


Sekhmetsdaughter: Thank you for your essay. I found an online version of The Chalice and the Blade and have begun reading it.


Sekhmetsdaughter, your excellent post brought to mind the seven generations ethic established by the Iroquois. The sociopaths that run the corporations and therefore the government (cough, of the people) don’t mind throwing their own grandchildren under a bus for a buck.


Hi sekhmetsdaughter,
An excellent essay, as usual. Many thanks! I’m going to get a copy of The Chalice and the Blade.
Mrs Minitrue says “Hallelujah to you!” and sends you Love and Hugs, as do I. Keep up the struggle, it may be working!


It’s been 53 years since Dr. King stood up and spoke his “Beyond Vietnam” address, April 4, 1967.

Five words in that speech stand out for eternity, “War is not the answer.”

Dr. King also addressed US intentions. “It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony, and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations.”

Was anyone in the 20th century more prescient than Dr. King?

Thank you, Robert, for this essay.

1 Like

Dear Ghost of Harry Truman:

YOU famousIy said, " The Buck stops here." SadIy—what you did was a horror, and the reaI horror of what you did— was because you did not have to use those bombs TWICE. Did you forget? Russia was going in to finish the fight. Oh wait—yes, you couldn’t have that I suppose. Aways the wimp, you had to pay the big tough man-------you were just a common murderer--------you and Trump have so much in common-----but statesmanship in not one of those things.


And nuclear waste lasts 240,000 years. Guardians needed for generations.


Including the waste from nuclear power plants, some of it.

Ultimately, we have brought it up from the earth and set it loose in our environments. It does make a difference how fast it escapes from holding, but it will pretty nearly all get out.

They’re screaming mad with hubris.

The Chalice and the Blade is well worth the read. I am male and that book had one of the single largest impacts on how I viewed things. I read it very many years ago and am going through it again (possibly my 4th time)

I would point out that while the book was written in 1987 , research since that time into various archeological sites have confirmed the authors conclusions.

The very first chapter on Neolithic painting and how “Man” chose to interpret it demonstrates how what we call “History” is very much the Historians bias as to what he wants it to be.

About 95% of spent fuel is uranium, which, strictly speaking, could last for billions of years. (But the Sun will cook the Earth in only about a billion years, so, no worries.)

“Ultimately, we have brought it up from the earth and set it loose in our environments.”

Rain does that too. That’s where the 4.5 billion tons of uranium in the oceans came from.

“It does make a difference how fast it escapes from holding, but it will pretty nearly all get out.”

At which point there will be no noticeable difference in the amount of environmental uranium. Or, we could consume it as carbon-free fuel.

“They’re screaming mad with hubris.”

Or, you have overestimated your ability to recognize hubris.