DOC Research Institute Website Launch


Dear WPF Friends,

As the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" transforms into the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, the WPF "Dialogue of Civilizations"' website will cease to be accessible on September 1, 2016.  The WPF "DoC" website content can be found alongside new material on the DOC Research Institute site. We hope you will continue to find it a useful resource.


Are We Heading Toward Global Autocracy, Ecological Collapse, Political Malaise?

By Richard Falk, June 29, 2016

What follows are preliminary reactions to both the BREXIT vote and the world according to Trump, but also a commentary on the related alienation of large segments of the public that are being badly served by both the established elites and their demagogic adversaries. The failures of neoliberalism, the successes of digitization, the scourge of random violence, and more broadly, the dilemmas posed by late modernity are among the root causes of this global crisis of legitimate governance, which is deepened while being mishandled by unprecedented ecological challenges, extremely irresponsible geopolitical leadership, and a variety of ultra-nationalist backlashes against the encroachments of economic globalization.

Brexit — a Stern Rebuke to Arrogant Elites

By Stephen Kinzer, The Boston Globe, June 24, 2016

Astonishment, jubilation, and awe seized the hearts of European leaders after they took decisive steps toward uniting their continent in December 1991. By agreeing to accelerate Europe’s progress toward “ever closer union,” they produced far more than simply another treaty. The accord they signed in the Dutch town of Maastricht committed their countries to the most sweeping voluntary surrender of sovereignty in the history of the nation-state.

As a correspondent covering the Maastricht summit, I was caught up in the excitement. It was hard to avoid concluding that, as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl put it, “The way to European unity is irreversible.” Within hours after I filed my report, though, my editor called from New York. He did not believe what I had written. How, he demanded, could countries with such vastly different histories and political cultures believe that they could function as one?

SCO and One Belt, One Road

By M.A. Saki, Tehran Times, June 22, 2016

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as a Eurasian bloc, is seeking to strengthen confidence and neighborly relations among member countries and promote cooperation in politics, trade, economy, energy, and transportation.

The SCO already has six members (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), two acceding members (India and Pakistan), four observer states (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia), and six dialogue partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey).    

India and Pakistan are likely to get full membership in the SCO summit in Tashkent on June 23-24. The inclusion of India, as a rising economic power with over 1.3 billion people, could grant greater weight to the body.

The SCO has also realized that regional economic integrity is one of the keys to success.

The Slow Crash

An Interview with Michael Hudson, Guns and Butter, April 5, 2016

Most people think of the economy as producing goods and services and paying labor to buy what it produces. But a growing part of the economy in every country has been the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE) sector, which comprises the rent and interest paid to the economy’s balance sheet of assets by debtors and rent payers. More and more money is being extracted from the production and consumption economy to pay the FIRE sector. That’s what causes debt deflation and shrinks markets. If you pay the banks, you have less to spend on goods and services.

Read more

Terrorism: A Matrix of Lies and Deceit

By Christopher Black, New Eastern Outlook, June 17, 2016

So how is your war on “terrorism” going? I’m not doing too well at it since I have no idea who the enemy is. Like the American black comedian, Dick Gregory, who, on hearing that President Johnson had declared a war on poverty, ran out onto the street with a hand grenade to throw it at some poor people, I have no idea who the real enemy is, who to throw a grenade at. That makes me think.

We are told, the world over, by every government, that we are in a “war against terrorism.”  But terrorism is an action, a tactic, a strategy. It’s a method not a person, a group, a country. How can there be a war against a method of war. But they want us to fight a method and never ask the why or the who. That doesn’t seem to matter anymore. They tell us not to be concerned with why something happens, only how it happens.

Muhammad Yunus Urges Grads to Think for Themselves

Nobel laureate wants more social-minded entrepreneurs

The San Diego Union-Tribune, June 11, 2016

Don’t get a job.

“Use your creative power to do more than get a job,” said Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of Grameen Bank. “The job is the end of creativity.”

Yunus, the keynote speaker at the all-university commencement ceremony at UC San Diego on Saturday, has referred to jobs as “the tyranny of employment” that kill creativity and are based on an artificial economic system.