Cold War Psychohistory
Cold War Psychohistory in the Scottish Psyche
A paper based on the presentation at the conference, Scotland’s Cold War Experience, Glasgow Caledonian University, 31 January 2003; published in the conference proceedings , Scotland and the Cold War, Cualann Press, Dumfermline, 2003, pp. 70-84.
The Inner Life of Conflict
is customary to think of the Cold War as having been a post-World War II
phenomenon, tersely strung between Stalin and Gorbachev. Whilst that may be so
within a narrowly-defined system boundary, it is psychologically naive. To
appreciate the wider and deeper perspective, we must inform our discourse with
psychohistory - the emerging discipline that examines inter-relationships
between “outer” or “factual” historical events and the “inner” and
“mythic” psychodynamic processes of individuals and whole peoples. Without
such a challenging approach, it is impossible adequately to address either the
aetiology or the prognosis of Scotland’s ongoing Cold War.
the Cold War was about an East-West standoff - communism versus capitalism
conceived very much in 20th century terms. However, I want to suggest
that, psychologically speaking, this was just a presenting symptom of a much
larger syndrome of modernity; one deeply embedded in a need dualistically to
draw a line and distinguish an in-group from an out-group. I have lost count of
how many times I have heard senior military officers privately say, “When we
joined the Services it was clear cut. The Russians were over there, we were over
here, and our job was to keep it that way. But since the Berlin Wall came down,
we’re not so sure where the line is drawn and for what we may be asked to
9/11, that line has, in many minds, been reconsolidated. The enemy that was
“communism” is now “terrorism”. “He” is now Arabic/Islamic rather
than Red. He comes replete with a latter-day highly-personalised demonology of
Bin Laden, Saddam and other Tarot-esque gamblers (or gambled with) on fate’s
deck of cards. This transmogrification of one enemy into another was
psychologically inevitable. The Berlin Wall came down in outer history, yet the
inner structures that had sustained it remained in place. Those controlling
power in the West spoke of the “Peace Dividend” outwardly, but overlooked
the inner need to adjust to events. They failed to see the authoritarian
mind’s need to see the world in simple, black and white terms, and if
necessary to manufacture such seemingly-secure polarities to maintain group
identity and purpose (Pennington, Gillen & Hill, 1999; Gromyko & Hellman,
my experience, notwithstanding their interest in “psyops” (psychological
operations), many of the military (and politicians) are considerably resistant
to examining their own relationship to psychodynamics. Arguably, for some, and,
perhaps, for these subcultures as a generalisation, it brings home too many
unresolved issues from alienated and alienating early childhoods where, as has
been widely biographically demonstrated with many key figures, strong team and
leadership identity has seemingly emerged from a fractured primal integrity (Duffell
2000; Miller 1987; Gillegan 1997; McIntosh 2001). It is true that there has been
recent CIA interest in the disturbed childhood psychodynamics of figures like
Saddam Hussein, particularly through the work of Dr Jerrold Post (Borger 2002),
but I have also heard the significance of this played down within the military,
perhaps with some immediate tactical justification, as “lacking sufficiently
reliable predictive power”. I wish to emphasise that, in drawing attention to
the psychopathology of war, it is crucial not to overplay the hand and
pathologise away real threat. My appeal to integrating psychodynamic insight
with objectively factual history is not to deny the very real issues upon which
conflict can be pegged – for example, the human rights record of the former
Soviet Union, offensive military build-ups, Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, the
West’s greed for oil, a festering Israel/Palestine situation, Crusade
interwoven with Jihad in the minds of militant fundamentalists on both sides,
and so on. These realities are of great importance. Rather, I am highlighting
the need to remember that consciousness is a function of outer perception and
inner cognition. We must therefore try to “read” geopolitics with eyes less
tinted by projections. Equally, we must learn, as one of the arts of peace, how
to de-couple the other’s projections (and, in psychodynamic parlance,
countertransferences) onto us. Achieving such mutually clear recognition between
peoples and in their representatives is prerequisite to avoiding the continual
generation of new enemies. Without such psychological awareness, any remaining
Peace Dividend from the Cold War is doomed to improvidence, and perhaps
Dynamics of the Split Psyche
position is well summed up by the Indian Jesuit thinker, Anthony de Mello. “Do
you know where wars come from?” he asks. “They come from projecting outside
of us the conflict that is inside. Show me an individual in whom there is no
inner self-conflict and I’ll show you an individual in whom there is no
violence” (de Mello, 1992, 182).
this to Cold War psychohistory means exploring beyond the geopolitical, military
and economic presenting symptoms and examining possible applications of
analytical (which is to say, Jungian) depth psychology. As a contemporary
Jungian political thinker puts it, “What connects depth psychology and
politics is a preoccupation with therapy. The analyst of complexes is
preoccupied with the therapy of the individual; the analyst of politics is
preoccupied with the therapy of the nation or society or the world” (Samuels,
then, might be a framework for such analysis?
aspects of Freudian theory have been discredited in recent years, few would
challenge Freud’s basic observation that conflict between inner needs and the
outer socially-imposed “reality principle” may be reduced by a process of
splitting off from ego-consciousness, and repression into the personal
unconscious. “Go, go, go, said the bird,” in Eliot’s Four
Quartets, “human kind/ Cannot bear very much reality.” In Freud’s
understanding, civilisation emerges out of sublimated dissonance between the
urge for pleasure, and the “reality principle” of social norms that
constrain it (Freud 1991; Brown 1991).
further developed this into what he called “complex psychology” – the
psychology of the quasi-autonomous “complexes” that result from such
splitting parts off from conscious awareness in such ways. He introduced the
term, “complex”, (first used by Bleuler), or “feeling-toned complex”, to
designate “groups of feeling-toned ideas in the unconscious” (Jacobi 1968,
36-39). A suitable analogy is an electromagnetic field, “toned”, or given
distinctively tuned characteristics, by specific magnetic disturbances. Here,
the “magnetic disturbances” are traumatic or uncomfortable emotional
circumstances, and the “electromagnetic field” is the “libido” – the
energy of the psyche. “Psyche”, in turn, can be defined as the totality of
what it means to be a human being, “body, mind and soul”. In Jung’s view,
psyche is ultimately interconnected with the rest of reality; with the totality
of human and all other nature. He therefore surmised: “People who know nothing
about nature are of course neurotic, for they are not adapted to reality”
(Jung 1967, 190).
Jung, then, ordinary psychic “dis-ease” or neurosis resulted from a
defective adjustment to reality. It is as if the energy-charged complexes keep
knocking on life’s door, reminding that not all is well within. More radical
psychic disease - psychosis - arises when complexes don’t merely tap on the
ego’s carefully controlled constructs of conscious life, but start to take it
over. Jung saw war in these terms. He saw the Second World War as an outbreak of
collective psychosis rooted in overly-rational modern humankind’s alienation
from mythic and erotic expression.
unacceptable and denied parts which have been split off from the conscious life
of the psyche contribute to what Jung called the “shadow” – Dr Jeckyll’s
alter-ego in Mr Hyde. The problem is not that we all have psychological shadows.
It is that when we deny the constellation of repressed complexes that make up
our shadow, the psyche seems to have a peculiar talent for projecting it out
into the world in ways that we don’t always realise. It is as if the hidden
inner world shapes our outer perceptual and cognitive frameworks. Our capacity
to see is constrained by what we are, and inasmuch as we don’t understand what
we are, so much the worse for us and those around us. The “other”, who we
demonise, may say more about ourselves than about them. It is as if we have an
inclination to most hate in others that which has been hermetically
compartmentalised and repressed with an inner violence within ourselves. Thus,
for example, the gay-basher may be the upright and uptight pillar of the
establishment who most fears his own latent homosexuality. The pacifist may be
adept at passive-aggression, and so on. The individual least grounded in her own
cultural identity may be the one who most yearns the acceptance of in-group
solidarity by stirring hatred against out-groups – as with the woman who was
convicted a few years ago for putting up anti-English “Settler Watch”
notices in the Scottish Highlands, and was a German incomer!
militarily, mechanisms of splitting, repression and projection force us to ask
how far our fears of the other really are justified. How much does our
perception of the misdeeds of the “enemy” differ from their perception of
ours? Studies of the social psychology of prejudice and stereotyping demonstrate
how very easy it is to cultivate a group dynamic of misrepresentation and
hatred. Sometimes, this may be justified - there being good reason to fear the
other. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get
you.” Other times, we may be adding fuel to the fire because we have perhaps
justifiably erected outward defences, but failed to attend to our own inner
constellation of forces that influences the assessment of threat. To invert the
popular expression, “Just because they’re out to get you doesn’t mean
you’re not paranoid.”
can probably say that any situation where there is a clear-cut “us-and-them”
dynamic, together with caricature to a mythological degree, is conducive of
shadow projection. Both the Cold War, and the current War on Terrorism,
unmistakably show these features. Saddam was a “monster”, no doubt, but as
former Labour Party minister Dennis Healey said at the onset of the First Gulf
War, “he’s a monster [in part] of our own making”. Add to this the power
of stereotyping in group roles, and the hypnotic power of obedience to
authority, and it becomes indisputable that very little stands between an
otherwise nice person and the capacity severely to abuse others (Haney, Banks
& Zimbardo 1973; Milgram 1974). Cold War “Reds under the beds”
psychology is a disturbingly everyday psychopathology … and by the way …
notice the revealing psychodynamic allusion in that expression – precisely
why, we might ask, should it be our “beds” that the “Reds” ostensibly
Splitting of the Psyche and Atoms
psychological terms, then, the Cold War can be seen as a splitting of the entire
world into a charged polarity. In its late-modern form, this took place in a
context of Stalinist pogroms on the one hand, and McCarthyite fascism on the
other. Each of these rendered the occupation of intellectual and ontological
middle ground unsafe, thereby focussing energy at the extremes. Each sought
total obedience to its own way of relating to reality and was, as such, both
neurotic and totalitarian; in sum, like the iconic Dr Strangelove, they were
psychotic. Each necessitated a psychic splitting and repression in the
collective unconscious. It then took either enormous courage to refuse to
conform, or self-breaking of the spirit to toe the party line and, in so doing,
offend against inner integrity. When such a collective wounded self was
projected back out onto the other, the consequences in military firepower were
main presenting symptom of the Cold War was a conflict between the command
economic paradigm, and the market economy. In both, economy is a proxy for
power. The impact of this on human life ought not be underestimated. As Lady
Thatcher put it in May 1988, “Economics are the method. The object is to
change the soul” (in Roberts 2002, 300). The command-market polarity may
therefore be seen as being about much more than how the groceries are delivered.
Arguably, it parallels the axiomatic Freudian dichotomy between the pleasure and
reality principles. To the Soviets (and, for that matter, the Chinese), the West
was “decadent”. Equally, to the West, the Soviets were “Godless”, which
amounts to much the same stereotypical projection. Each, at the extremes, saw
the other as inhuman – mad and bad. Each system of political economy, inasmuch
as they operated as systems of domination rather than of empowerment, were, in
their own ways, unreal, inhumane and unsustainable. As such, the Cold War
represented a contest over “civilisation” itself. Both sides equally feared
the savage wildness that might break out if the walls of their particular
worldview were breached: “… they were over there, we were over here, and our
job was to keep it that way.”
Europe’s decreasingly audible lipservice to a mixed economy, neither side
could see an authentic third or middle way. It was not just the old-style
Soviets who felt their peace troubled when the Berlin Wall came down. The entire
East-West dysfunctional co-dependency became destabilised. Public attention had
consternated itself with the energy that might be released from malevolently
splitting the atom. Most did not realise that the whole show, actually, was
constellated by the libidinal energy fission of a split in the collective
psyche. Apartheid was not just a concept applicable to South Africa, and
radiotoxicity penetrated the mind with omega emissions – intimations of end
times, so to speak - beyond merely the physicist’s alpha, beta and gamma.
Scotland’s Cold War – Culloden to 9/11
Scotland we have a peculiar saying about matters that we know to be of
dysfunctional intergenerational cultural consequence. We’ll often say, “It
all goes back to Culloden.”
Battle of Culloden near Inverness in 1746 was, as can be testified by the many
who recall it like yesterday, our “Road to Basra” experience of total
military humiliation. It was the last battle ever staged on mainland British
soil. It represented the final consolidation of the nascent British state in the
wake of the Union of the Crowns (1603), and the massively unpopular Acts of
Union (1707). These had the effect of forging England and Scotland into one
“United Kingdom of Great Britain”. When, in 1745, Scots Jacobites under
Prince Charles Edward Stuart rose up and marched on London, they were
subsequently neutralised at Culloden (by forces drawn from both England and
Scotland). Thereafter, with the British state internally secure against Scots
alliances with the French, the British Empire was free to expand.
But what was the psychological cost of such imperialism?
Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, wrote his iconic two-verse Strathallan’s Lament in 1767, just twenty-one years after Culloden. In this poem he stands in the shoes of the 5th Viscount Strathallan, whose father had been slain by the battle’s vanquishing troops.
Burns portrays an old world order replaced by an emotionally vacant brave new world; one in which neither the wild beauty of nature nor the soft conviviality of human community (the “busy haunts of base mankind”) can any longer give solace. The young Strathallan’s very capacity for perception is altered. No longer can he see his world as before.
Thickest night, surround my dwelling!
Howling tempests, o’er me rave!
Turbid torrents wintry-swelling,
Roaring by my lonely cave!
Crystal streamlets gently flowing,
Busy haunts of base mankind,
Western breezes softly blowing,
Suit not my distracted mind.
In the cause of Right engaged,
Wrongs injurious to redress,
Honour’s war we strongly waged,
But the heavens deny’d success.
Ruin’s wheel has driven o’er us;
Not a hope that dare attend,
The wide world is all before us,
But a world without a friend.
(in Mackay 1993, 287)
a Scottish point of view, those last two lines arguably sum up the whole primal
aetiology of the Cold War. As I have shown elsewhere (McIntosh 2001), Burns was
not alone amongst his contemporaries in making this diagnosis. Neither is this
the only Burnsian output to pinpoint such decisive cause. Indeed, probably the
reason why Burns is our national bard is his capacity to minister so astutely to
the soul of nationhood.
Culloden onwards, Scotland was forced to adopt the role of adjutant in Empire. The landed and mercantile classes spawned a breed of
“Enlightenment” or “imperial Scots” such as Adam Smith, and the
perceived barbarism, once projected onto Gaelic Scots and Irish people as the
alien “other” during the reign of James VI & I, became re-projected onto
dark-skinned peoples in the colonies. The Scots psyche was left fissured by
colonial violence. On the one hand, it championed imperialism; on the other,
internationalism. For example, in ‘Exterminate all the Brutes’, the
Swedish writer, Sven Lindqvist, notes that the founding figure behind
“scientific racism” was an Edinburgh University professor of anatomy, Robert
Hooke – also of Burke and Hare bodysnatching fame. In polar contrast,
Lindqvist points out that it was another Scot, R. B. Cunninghame Graham, who
became one of the few effective 19th century voices to urge the
emancipation of colonised peoples (Lindqvist 2002; see also Fraser 2002).
On the one hand, then, Knox was teaching the inferiority of blacks and
maintaining, “the only real right is physical force … laws are made to bind
the week, to be broken by the strong.” On the other, Cunninghame Graham became
Joseph Conrad’s closest friend and helped to inspire his Heart of Darkness analysis
of colonialism; an analysis which, consistent with the psychology posited in
this paper, suggested that “darkest Africa” is, in reality, a projection of
the West’s own dark heart (Lindqvist 2002).
in the psychohistorical context, the Cold War is nothing new to Scotland. It is
merely the ongoing desiccating blast of a “world without a friend”; a world
that Scotland was pushed into, part-willingly, part-kicking, as the “divide
and rule” tactic of British internal consolidation first split, and then yoked
the opposites of so-called “Caledonian Antisyzgy”, into Scotland’s chariot
as the Queen’s-owned first lieutenant of Empire. In the driving seat has been
a “might is right” presumption of God-given “manifest destiny” to
plunder a post-Edenic “fallen” world, first through overt global
colonisation and now, with her one-time American scion, through
globalisation’s market domination.
supporting cast includes both modern weapons, and modern marketing techniques.
Each explodes in consciousness with surgical precision, distorting perception as
to what constitutes “right” or proportional relationship with one another
and with the planet. Indeed, it is apposite to observe that marketing, as a
discipline, only fully emerged after World War II. Mainly-American corporations
feared losing the market share they had built up under a war economy. The
“Depth Boys” school of motivational manipulation were employed by leading
corporations to turn the therapeutic insights of Freud, Jung and Adler, linked
to the behavioural psychology of Pavlov and Skinner, towards baiting emotional
triggers that would “hook” into addictive, newly invented “needs”
(Packard 1960; Sheth, Mittal & Newman 1999).
As Burns saw with a more
compassionate eye, it set in process a Molochean “world without a friend”.
is what makes it all so “cold”, and why it is a matter of “war”. This is
why the Cold War neither started with Stalin, nor ended with Gorbachev; and why
its aetiology and prognosis should be of the utmost concern to Scots and other
Towards a Cultural Psychotherapy
post Berlin Wall, fresh geopolitical tension related to globalisation culminated
in the World Trade Towers being the focus of the attacks of 9/11. As was to be
expected, the Cold War has hotted up again, the dividing line re-projected as an
“Axis of Evil”. We might note, in passing, the dualistic rhetoric from
America that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.” We might note,
too, Donald Rumsfeld’s effort to polarise Europe into “Old” and
“New”, and we might question whether America really thinks there is room in
the world for the newly-minted Euro to rival the dollar as a potentially
alternative petro currency.
might further note that the Islamic world, following years of civic distortion
by oil-bloated semi-puppet dictatorships left by former colonial powers, has
become tinder-dry to reciprocate its own shadow projection onto the West.
Furthermore, it has found a constellating righteous cause in the complex that
has, since Biblical times, become the Israel-Palestine altercation. Meanwhile,
Islamic economics, with its carefully thought-through critique of usury, happens
to be one of the few significant intellectual challenges potentially capable of
troubling advanced capitalism (Choudhury & Malik 1992; Visser & McIntosh
1998). Indeed, I have argued, elsewhere, that the Islamic critique of
capitalism, because of its implications for Discounted Cash Flow investment
appraisal methodology, may be one of the deepest fault lines in the psyche of
our times (McIntosh 2004, at press).
it has been clear even from before the First Gulf War that we live in
Tolkeinesque archetypal times. The world’s “dark lords” are dragging us
all into a slow Armageddon as they play out “final showdowns” (and not just
in the movies) between “good and evil”, emanating, arguably, in considerable
measure, from schizoid splits in their own unexamined inner lives and class
real battle – the battle to become self-aware – the battle to expose and
understand the “myth of redemptive violence” (Wink 1992) - is not as easy as
sitting in an armchair setting off fire-and-forget weapons. If we want to live
in a different world, we must start by getting real about the state we are in.
We must get to grips with the repressed historical complexes that have been
driving us to collective schizophrenia led by rather too many iceman
psychopaths. We must consider the need for cultural psychotherapies.
personal psychotherapy, an individual is helped to recover their repressed
history, so that they understand how their being has been constructed, and
perhaps distorted and stunted. A similar process maybe needs to happen with the
soul of nations. We need to recover those parts of our shared national histories
that have been kept off the curriculum, and see how they have shaped us as
means understanding not only factual history, but also the story of the cultural
soul. We can do this helped by such post-colonial writers as Paulo Freire, Alice
Walker, Frantz Fanon, bel hooks, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Adrienne Rich, Ben Okri,
Starhawk and Hugh MacDiarmid - yes, there are plenty of them, and that’s just
need to create contexts to explore how we feel about our history and not
just what we think of it. The arts are crucial in this. We need to
recognise that there are parts of us, collectively, that have developed in
distorted ways, parts that are stunted, and maybe some parts that have never
developed at all. It’s about getting behind the emotionally frozen stiff upper
lip, and beyond.
Scotland, we have already been experimenting with this in reclaiming Highland
Clearance history; exploring the emotionally cauterising knock-on effects of
intergenerational trauma (Hunter 1995; Newton 2000; McIntosh 2001). The
political consciousness raised by such popular education contributed hugely
towards the passing in 2003 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act. We now need to
extend such profound reflection to other areas of life and, especially, to our
relationship with violence. We need to understand the processes of conflict
recognition, reconciliation and forgiveness – as, for example, are pointed
towards by South Africa’s Truth and
Reconciliation Commission, and by a
growing number of other instances where principles of non-violence have been
applied to considerable positive political effect (Johnston & Sampson 1994;
can do this work all the more powerfully if we do it jointly with those we have
misunderstood and hurt in the past – for example, with the Irish, with East
Europeans, with people of colour, and with our Muslim sisters and brothers.
can make such healing of nationhood part of creating an ethnically inclusive
Scottish national identity – moving towards Scots internationalism in a
co-operative “One World” ethos that gradually replaces the competitive
paradigm of globalisation. And of course, what is said for Scotland here, and
Scotland’s Cold War, could apply to many other nations – England and the US
can embody this in our trade relations, such as buying organic and “Fair
Trade” products where we can, and in generally seeking to live in accordance
with social justice and environmental sustainability. After all, corporations
are responsible for structural injustices only in part, because their greed is
also the projection of our aggregated individual mindless consumerism and
investment policies. We cannot apportion blame without looking into mirrors.
True, we will be confused by tricks with mirrors, but that not excuse evasion
from the imperative of facing up to reflections of our own dark shadows.
wonderful and liberating irony of so doing, is that it is only possible in the
light, and with eyes that have opened to seeing the light of interconnected
human relationship. A wide world is, indeed, all before us. It need not remain
devoid of friends.
Borger, Julian (2002), ‘Saddam, tell me about your mum’, The
Guardian, 14 November, www.guardian.co.uk, consulted 2-8-03 (Nb. There is
also a Journal of Psychohistory dedicated to this field –
www.psychohistory.com - the articles in which seem to be of variable scholarly
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Choudhury, M.A. and Malik, U.A. (1992) The
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de Mello, Anthony (1992), Awareness: the perils and opportunities of
Reality: New York, Image Doubleday.
Nick (2000), The Making of Them: The British Attitude to Children and the
Boarding School System: London, Lone Arrow Press.
Fraser, Ian M. (2002). R B
Cunninghame Graham – Fighter for Justice:
Gargunnock, privately printed.
Sigmund (1991), On Metapsychology (C.W. Vol. 11): London, Penguin.
James (1997), Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic : New
Anatoly & Hellman, Martin (eds.) (1988), Breakthrough: Soviet and Western
Scholars Issue a Challenge to Build a World Beyond War: New York, Walker and
C., Banks, C., & Zimbardo, P. (1973), ‘Interpersonal Dynamics in a
Simulated Prison’, International Journal of Criminology and Penology,
James (1995), On the Other Side of Sorrow: Nature and People in the Scottish
Highlands: Edinburgh, Mainstream.
Jolande (1968), The Psychology of C.G. Jung: London, Routledge &
Douglas & Sampson, Cynthia (eds.) (1994), Religion, the Missing Dimension
of Statecraft: Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Carl Gustav (1967), Memories, Dreams, Reflections: London, Fontana.
Sven (2002), ‘Exterminate all the Brutes’: London, Granta.
James A. (ed.) (2002), Robert Burns: the Complete Poetical Works: Darvel,
Alastair (2001), Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power: London,
Alastair (2004, at press), ‘Foreword’ to Europe, Globalisation and the
Challenge of Sustainability, (ed, Brian Baxter et al.): London, Routledge,
due February, ISBN: 0-415-30276-5.
Stanley (1974), Obedience to Authority: London, Tavistock.
Alice (1987), For Your Own Good: The Roots of Violence in Child-rearing:
Michael (2000), A Handbook of the Scottish Gaelic World: Dublin, Four
Vance (1960), The Hidden Persuaders: Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Donald, Gillen, Kate & Hill, Pam (1999), Social Psychology: London,
Richard (2002), Religion, Theology and the Human Sciences, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Andrew (1993), The Political Psyche: London, Routledge.
Sheth, Jagdish N., Mittal, Banwari & Newman, Bruce I. (1999), Customer Behavior: Consumer Behaviour and Beyond: Fort Worth, Dryden Press.
Visser, Wayne & McIntosh, Alastair (1998), ‘An evaluation of the historical condemnation of usury’, Accounting, Business & Financial History, Vol. 8:2, 175-189.
Wink, Walter (1992), Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination: Philadelphia, Fortress Press.
is a Quaker and Fellow of Edinburgh’s Centre for Human Ecology. He is the
author of “Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power” – described by
George Monbiot as “one of the most important books I have ever read”. Over
the past 5 years he has guest-lectured to some 2,000 senior military officers in
advanced training at the Joint Services Command & Staff College and has
discussed the ethics of war with several of Britain’s most senior serving
officers, including some of the key figures responsible for operations in Iraq.
He also serves as an advisor to the head of the Economics Department of the
Russian Academy of Sciences, as an advisor on combating Islamophobia to the
imams of Glasgow Central Mosque, and as a consultant on mutuality and governance
to the French co-operative bank, Groupe Crédit Mutuel.
He speaks and teaches at universities and with community groups around
the world. Many of his publications are available online at
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