An epidemic of violence is spreading throughout the world. There is crime and gang warfare in the cities, and large scale deadly conflict in a hundred places across the globe – from Bosnia to Liberia to Afghanistan to Cambodia to Sudan. It is hard to know whether the breeding ground of this violence is in human nature or in history, for it is so often entirely pointless, as futile for the killer as for the killed.
An academic turned practical peacemaker and mediator, Adam Curle has encountered this violence in many parts of the world. He believes it derives mainly from alienation, the feeling of separation from a world made meaningless and unmanageable by the social and political consequences of two world wars and extraordinary technological development.
The surge of violence, without parallel for its sheer scale, its universality and its refusal to respond to conventional policing or diplomacy, has created insoluble domestic problems for police and social services, as well as for the UN and other international agencies. But in embattled Croatia, the author has worked with a group of people who have somehow immunized themselves against the prevalent fear, anger, prejudice, and militarism. They live there – they are not ‘outsiders’ or ‘advisers’. They care for the thousands of refugees, those traumatized by war, and the countless children whose only experience is of violence. By their example and practice they spread the values of compassion and non-violence, as they build the foundations of a peaceful society.