PEACETOPIAN MILESTONES

A holistic movement for a better world
has been evolving throughout history...

 

1933 -
The New Deal

In a utopian world, everyone would have all they need for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and at least the chance to achieve their hearts’ desires. In order to create that reality, the institutions and the infrastructures that control our daily lives must have this mission and purpose at the core of their foundation, and must function to help, or at least not hinder, the inclusion of every member of society to enjoy these basic rights. In October, 1929, the Wall Street Stock Market crashed, plunging the United States into the worst economic Depression in history. The widespread devastation and suffering this caused, illustrated the failure and lack of utopian mission in the dominant institutions of the day; clearly the governmental infrastructure and the economic institutions had not been acting in the best interests of the majority of the people. The nation was in desperate need of change, and it came through the economic policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”

Between 1933 and 1938, presidential executive orders and laws adopted by Congress focused on The New Deal’s ‘3 Rs’ – Relief for the unemployed, Recovery of the economy, and Reform of the financial institutions and policies that caused the problems in the first place. The government provided assistance to help many of the nation’s industries get back on their feet – the banks, railroads, automobile manufacturers and farms, for example. The Works Progress Administration put millions of unemployed Americans to work, building roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, irrigation systems, reservoirs, parks and playgrounds, making the federal government the nation’s largest employer. The Social Security Act was passed to provide a basic economic safety net for the nation’s elderly, and institutions, like the United States Housing Authority to abolish slums in the cities, and Farm Security Administration to combat rural poverty, were established to help the poor. Laws were passed to ensure continuing economic justice for all, like the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which set minimum wages and maximum work hours for workers. Labor Unions were promoted and banking and other financial regulations were enacted to prevent the greedy practices that had caused the Depression.

Not everyone agreed on the policies of The New Deal, however. As the nation recovered, the divide grew and by 1938, ‘conservatives’ – those who were against the policies of The New Deal, began to have more influence in Congress than the ‘liberals’ – those who supported The New Deal. By the early 1940s, many of the relief programs were shut down and most of the new liberal proposals were blocked. President Dwight Eisenhower, the first Republican President after Roosevelt, retained most of the New Deal institutions and infrastructure that remained during his presidency from 1953-1961. President Lyndon Johnson greatly expanded many of The New Deal’s liberal ideas in his Great Society policies in the 1960s, and Republican President Richard Nixon left them largely intact. In the 1970s, however, deregulation gained widespread support, and many of the safeguards and regulations of The New Deal began to be dismantled.

Today, the divide created by the ideas of the New Deal continues, and illustrates a general difference in worldview between conservatives and liberals: conservative views are informed by a sense of individualism and reliance on family and community instead of government; liberals see the ‘social contract’ as a basic foundation for society – if citizens are asked to obey the laws imposed by a society, society is obligated to provide for the basic needs of all of its citizens. The battle over the ideals of The New Deal rages with new intensity today as each side sees conflicting solutions to the social and economic woes of our times.


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MILESTONES

c.380 BC
"Republic"

1215
Magna Carta

1516
"Utopia"

1528
"On Civil Power"

1625
"On The Law
of War and Peace"

1648
Peace of Westphalia

1650-1799
Enlightenment

1689
"Two Treatises of Government"

1762
"Social Contract"

July 4, 1776
US Declaration of Independence

September 17, 1787
US Constitution

August 26, 1789
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

September 25, 1789
US Bill of Rights

1793
Department of Peace

1795
"Perpetual Peace"

May 18, 1899
Hague Peace Conference

1901
Nobel Peace Prize

January 8, 1918
14 Points

June 28, 1919
League of Nations

1933
The New Deal

January 6, 1941
The Four Freedoms

October 24, 1945
The United Nations

August, 1947
World Federalist Movement

December 10, 1948
Universal Declaration of Human Rights

1955
"Let There Be
Peace On Earth"

1956
The Beloved Community

1960-1963
The New Frontier

1963-1969
The Great Society

1970
Earth Day

October 11, 1971
"Imagine"

1981
International Day of Peace

1985
77 Theses on the Care of the Earth

1988
Global Cooperation for a Better World

1991
Earth Constitution

1992
UNESCO
Culture of Peace Programme

1992
"4000 Ideas & Dreams for a Better World"

1995
Earth Magna Charta

1995
"When Corporations Rule The World"

1996
"Peace On Earth Millennium"

1997
Appeal of the Nobel Laureates

1998
"Conscious Evolution"

May 11-15, 1999
Hague Appeal for Peace

January 1, 2000
One Day In Peace

June 29, 2000
The Earth Charter

September, 2000
Millennium Development Goals

January 25-30, 2001
World Social Forum

October, 2001
"Better World Handbook"

2005
Clinton Global Initiative

July 18, 2007
The Elders

September 17, 2011
Occupy Wall Street