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Table of Contents
Foreword by Linda Hartling, Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies
The author's background and approach
The significance of dignity and humiliation in our time
Inviting the reader into this book project
Section One: The Security Dilemma – Too Far Apart and Too Close Together
Introduction to Section One
Chapter 1: The Dominator Mindset – Where Does It Come From?
Chapter 2: How Spirituality Fell Prey to the Security Dilemma
Chapter 3: Also Human Nature and Cultural Diversity Fell Prey to the Security Dilemma
Chapter 4: The Rise of the “Art of Domination”Chapter 5: How Pressure-Cooker Vents Explode
Inspiring and Thought-Provoking Questions
Appendix: Selected Interviews
Section Two: Honor Humiliation – The Duty to Retaliate
Introduction to Section Two
Chapter 6: Honor Is Like Armor, and Heroes Are Proud of Their Battle Wounds
Chapter 7: The Rise of the “Art of Humiliation”
Chapter 8: Humility Remains Indispensable
Chapter 9: Méconnaissance, or How One Can Damage One’s Own Best Interest
Chapter 10: How Voluntary Self-Humiliation Is Possible
Chapter 11: How Dominator Economics Terrorize
Inspiring and Thought-Provoking Questions
Section Three: Peace the Traditional Way – A Balance of Terror
Introduction to Section Three
Chapter 12: The Security Dilemma Was Once Inescapable
Chapter 13: Patriots Deserve Respect
Chapter 14: "War for Peace" Was All We Once Knew
Chapter 15: Maintaining a Balance of Terror Is Costly
Chapter 16: Sow the Wind and Reap the Storm
Chapter 17: How the Terror of “War for Peace” Is Still with Us
Chapter 18: What Then Must We Do? Outlook into the Future...
Inspiring and Thought-Provoking Questions
What does love have to do with terrorism? Perhaps everything. Evelin Lindner's latest book is an encyclopedic source connecting love, honor, humiliation and terrorism, and a call to action. Love of one's group, dressed in honor codes, deeply wounded by political, cultural or economic humiliation, may well motivate terror acts. And our narrow-minded focus on the individual acts, rather than the conditions that engender them, ensures their perpetuation. Readers are recruited to accept responsibility to co-create viable ideas to rectify this – in local and global arenas, from the top down and the bottom up. It's in everyone's self-interest, dominators and underlings alike, to transition to social structures that extend equal dignity and sustainable use of natural resources to all. Ideals of human rights have spread seductively, yet remain unrealizable for too many, intensifying humiliation, instigating further cycles of revenge terror. While Dr. Lindner's appeal is eminently rational, drawing from across the intellectual spectrum, including psychology, neuroscience, economics, history, and ecology; she also embraces personal experience, and indigenous knowledge, for authentic appeals to emotional and relational human needs. With concern about radical and state terrorism, nuclear, economic, cyber, or environmental terrorism, honor and humiliation must not occupy humanity's driver's seat. In today's intricately interconnected world, we face the necessity and the opportunity for consciousness transition, and attendant economic, political and ecological transformations. To insist on equal dignity, unity as a human family – in diversity, not uniformity, releasing the fullest creative potential for human flourishing and collective survival – is it naive? Lindner responds: Is it not naive to think our current destructive path can continue?
– Bonnie Selterman, New York University, in Journal of Peace Research, 19th March 2018
At last, a book that dares to delve into all forms of terror that hold humanity hostage, including toxic corporate conduct, escalating violence, and ecocide practices and policies. Evelin Lindner offers us a globally informed, panoramic analysis of the risks humankind is facing. Her call for universal dignity will affirm, strengthen, and energize efforts that could save the world.
– Linda Hartling, Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies and World Dignity University initiative
Evelin Lindner is one of the most important, present-day actors for peace, international solidarity and conflict resolution, human rights and democracy building, and in this book she adresses the most burning issues of our time – terrorism and the quest for a dignified world. In this book she further develops her theories on humiliation and thus deepens the understanding of the many unrestrained conflicts that threaten the world today.
– Inga Bostad, Professor of Philosophy, Director, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, Norway
The feeling of humiliation is among the strongest of all human emotions. Evelin Lindner brilliantly explains how it contributes to terror and wars.
– Erik Solheim, Head, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya
Evelin Lindner’s new book is a different, and most welcome, exploration of the origins of terror. It convincingly argues that most current efforts to prevent terror are futile, and that what is at stake is a fundamental overhaul of global governance and resource distribution. Lindner’s personal inquiry into the role of dignity and humiliation takes another giant step with this book, which is a must read that will force many of us to reexamine our own basic schemes of understanding.
– Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway
In a time of increasing nationalism and populism, Evelin Lindner's global call for dignity and her fight against humiliation in all its forms are not only refreshing but deeply needed. The reader will find herself challenged and awakened by Lindner's personal journey and story. Indeed, Lindner forces us to ask what each and every one of us can do to create a more dignified, peaceful, and unified world – and one that is better governed, not just locally, but globally. Combining personal engagement with insight, experience, and a willingness to ask uncomfortable questions, Evelin Lindner confronts many of the challenges of our times head-on.
– Henrik Syse, Philosopher and Author, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and Bjørknes University College, Norway, and Member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
Lindner’s book represents a clarion call to the global community to recognize the reality and power of our connectedness. Grounded in the wisdom of her lived experiences and informed by science, she illustrates how our greatest hope in the face of global terror and violence lies in our ability to recognize the ways we are all inextricably in relationship with one another. Lindner’s book could not be more timely. In the face of the growing specter of terrorism worldwide, she calls upon the global community to recognize the power of context, and the way these threats are rooted in fundamental human needs we hold the power to honor and transform.
– Peter T. Coleman, Director, Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR), Professor of Psychology and Education, Social-Organizational Psychology Program, Department of Organization and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City
Complex societal-systems are particularly vulnerable to disaffection, disruption, and disintegration; dignity and respect are the glue that binds and sustains our ever more complex and expanding relationships. By examining the connections between the emotional impact of humiliation and the behavioral expression of terror, Evelin Lindner explores the essence of the tension between community and exclusivity and how we learn to live together in order to avoid dying alone. Terror always has two faces and each is equally terrifying to the other; this is the source of its power. Terror is born in ignorance and thrives in prejudice and will only be defeated when we take our stance on common ground in mutual admiration and respect.
– Monty G. Marshall, Director, Center for Systemic Peace, Virginia, U.S.A.
Terrorism is a problem that needs to be reframed before it can be resolved. Evelin Lindner proposes a way to reframe it: as a clash of tradition with modernity. She proposes general principles for resolving it, and she spells them out drawing on her vast wealth of on-the-ground experience: Keep modernity´s promises by making human rights real, especially social rights like the right to livelihood. Extend traditional norms of caring for those who belong to your family or your community, to all your sisters and brothers who live with you on this blue planet that Martin Luther King Jr. called our "world house." Doing what is necessary to cure today’s epidemics of terrorism is not easy or simple or fast, but it is possible. Reading this book is a good way to begin.
– Howard Richards, Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College, U.S.A., and Chile
Breathtaking in its vision, meticulously researched and powerfully written, this book brings our world’s struggles over dominance into sharp focus as the force driving terror in a century when global interconnectedness marked by the dignity of all parties is within reach. If you are looking for a realistic path forward, you’ll find it here. This book's take on terror is so surprising, so unexpected, so profoundly compassionate and understanding of our common humanness and our needs for dignity and pulling together, it is extraordinarily insightful, promising and helpful.
– Michael Britton, Peace Psychologist, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Our sick and sorry world has too long been trapped in world views and modes of thinking that see hierarchy and domination, and separation of group from group as the necessary conditions of social order. Human beings accordingly live within a framework of values which denigrates those without the power to dominate and ridicules those who seek to transcend dominance in a quest for universal human dignity. Evelin Lindner has not only instructed us in the dangers to the future of humanity inherent in this world view and these modes of thinking, she has given us the means to spring the trap in her explorations of the cycles of humiliation that comprise the trap and the lever to the spring that is the realization of human dignity. Now she offers us the possibility of liberation from the recent, most bitter fruit of systemic humiliation as inflicted by those who hold the power of dominance and those who aspire to seize that power, terrorism. Clearly, all that has been done by violence and war in the name of eradication of terror, has brought about new cycles of humiliation and escalation of violent retribution. In an exercise of informed and courageous imagination, Lindner provides insights into paths of reconciliation and the healing of the wounds of separation, leading toward human unity in a global order in which human dignity is the norm. She provides a source of hope that can enable us to continue the quest for peace, and inspire us to learn the ways to achieve it.
– Betty A. Reardon, Founding Director Emeritus, International Institute on Peace Education
Evelin Lindner insists in her new book Honor, Humiliation, and Terror on an holistic approach to terrorism. By encouraging us all to keep the image of the Blue Planet as seen from the astronaut’s perspective upfront in our heads, she convincingly talks about the needs of this beautiful, unique and fragile planet of ours. The overreaction or counterproductive reaction to terrorism takes away focus from the real challenges to the survival of humanity and to the planet. It also entails a misuse for military purposes of the natural and human resources that are needed in order to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. To obtain a life in dignity for all would entail a new way of thinking and acting, new production and consumption patterns based both on sustainability and solidarity. The UNESCO and UN vision of culture of peace, may, if enacted, help guide our path.
– Ingeborg Breines, former Co-President of the International Peace Bureau (IPB), former Director of Women and a Culture of Peace at UNESCO, and Special Adviser to the Director-General on Women, Gender and Development
This book calls for new forms of globalization informed by a new conception of global dignity that would transform both private and public sector action, individual and community responses and many global disciplines, be they humanitarian, development, environmental or conflict-related. The world needs this ingathering to unite the global human family toward one-world consciousness more than ever before.
– Gay Rosenblum-Kumar, former Head of the United Nations Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action, and peacebuilding consultant
Lindner illustrates what strengthens families and ends war: Everyone has a story that needs, even cries out, to be listened to. Unheard and disregarded, very good, loving women, men, and youth can become hopeless, desperate, even violent, even terrorists. This is preventable and curable if we choose to become great listeners, especially to adversaries and those who have been invisible to us. Surprisingly to some and paradoxically, the first step to life beyond war is not to harm or humiliate, but to dignify your enemy.
– Libby and Len Traubman, Co-founders, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, California, U.S.A.
Another seminal book from the pioneer of humiliation studies. In Honor, Humiliation, and Terror, Evelin Lindner focuses on her thesis that competition for domination and a culture of honor, heroism, glory, and love (for 'my' people) lead to terror in all its forms, and humiliation. An essential read for all those who want to understand the origins of our troubled world.
– Deepak Tripathi, PhD, FRHistS, FRAS, and author of Imperial Designs
Evelin's book cogently shows
that honor and humiliation
honor and Terror
should not be confused.
It inspires us terrorism to defuse
And it helps us global dignity and peace to diffuse
May human dignity always be profuse
– Francisco Gomes de Matos - A peace linguist from Recife, Brazil
Lindner’s book terrifies me, shakes me out of my sleepwalking through daily reports of intractable global crises. She makes a brilliant, many-discipline case that the threat to the planet and all who dwell therein truly is terrifying and immediate. She also shows how entrenched the citizens of the world are in destructive ways of being that drive this threat. Her exploration of the causes of our crisis will help us conceive a solution. In the final chapter, she gives us hints to her next book, her proscription for saving us from ourselves. A hint with which I especially identify is her apology to America in a letter to an American friend. I look forward to more of the same in her next book. She understands that genuine vulnerability that begins with genuine apologies, if expertly done, can evoke the same from one’s historic ideological opponents. I see in this dynamic the seeds of a promising relationship between compassion-oriented and, as she often puts it, domination-oriented people. Evelin, hurry up and write that book!
– John McFadden, Presbyterian Minister, Licensed Psychotherapist, and author of the soon to be published book, Empathetic Explanation: A Help to You and the World's Most Troubling
Honor, Humiliation, and Terror: A must-read book
Honor, Humiliation, and Terror: A must-read bookThe Common Good Initiative (GCGI) seeks to offer – through its scholarly and research programme, as well as its outreach and dialogue projects – a vision that positions the quest for economic and social justice, peace and ecological sustainability within the framework of a spiritual consciousness and a practice of open-heartedness, generosity and caring for others, by encouraging us all to know and to serve the common good.
– Kamran Mofid, Ph.D. (ECON), Founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI), Co-founder/Editor of the Journal of Globalisation for the Common Good
Global citizenship would be a solution to the outdated nationalism that destroys like cancer the global community that the contemporary world is evolving into. But unlike nationalism that is fueled by past experiences of humiliation and aggression, global citizenship is a vague concept to many. This book will change that. Lindner's rich experiences of having lived as a global citizen for decades gives us the faith and hope for a more sustainable future for humankind.
– Louise Sundararajan, Founder and Chair, Indigenous Psychology Task Force, author of Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture: Thinking through Psychology
Dr. Lindner discusses violence, terrorism, hatred, and how, as humanity continually grapples for power and domination, we can distinguish them from honor, glory, and heroism. Through cooperation and relationship restoration, we can reverse this global, historical trend and address crises of our day. Dr. Lindner argues that our window of opportunity to take action is limited. In an era of increased nationalism, these issues not only deserve our attention, they require it.
– Dr. Chris E. Stout, Founding Director of the Center For Global Initiatives, American Psychological Association International Humanitarian Award Winner. He can be reached at DrChrisStout.com
Evelin Lindner’s latest book, Honor, Humiliation and Terror is a timely and welcome addition to the scholarly texts that we recommend to our students at the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters (CRSCAD) where we actively promote human dignity, human rights, social justice and sustainable post-disaster reconstruction. The book’s emphasis on the interlocking relationships of “violence, hatred and terror” and “honor, heroism, glory, and love” intersects with CRSCAD’s concerns with local and global poverty, local and global governance, national and global security, environmental degradation, and inequality (including uneven resource distribution), all of which are both drivers and consequences of various forms of disasters (natural, and human-made such as terrorism and conflicts). It also deepens our understanding of our interconnectedness in an increasingly complex and globalized world. Clearly, the book is a “must-read” for all post-disaster stakeholders including government officials, policy and decision makers, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, the nonprofit and non-governmental sectors, researchers, first emergency responders, and students of global post-disaster studies.
– Professor Adenrele Awotona, Ph.D., Founder and Director, Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters, University of Massachusetts Boston
Evelin Lindner is a distinguished and passionate scholar who provides language, insights, knowledge and wisdom about the most important themes in our time. Her inclusive scholarship makes us better understand the multiplicity of the human condition. She helps us see how the capacity for evil and destruction can be countered by acts of kindness and good intentions. At the core is the strife for dignity and avoidance of humiliation. This book deserves a wide and engaged readership. Evelin Lindner is a distinguished and passionate scholar who provides language, insights, knowledge and wisdom about the most important themes in our time. Her inclusive scholarship makes us better understand the multiplicity of the human condition. She helps us see how the capacity for evil and destruction can be countered by acts of kindness and good intentions. At the core is the strife for dignity and avoidance of humiliation. This book deserves a wide and engaged readership.
– Inger Skjelsbæk, Research Professor, International Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway
Honor, Humiliation, and Terror: An Explosive Mix – And How We Can Defuse It with Dignity delivers a clear, accessibly written and above all comprehensive presentation of the tragic effect of war and humiliation on us as individuals, and societies. The book introduces real-life examples from around the world and draws on current theories and research, presenting the human struggle in a time of war and terrorism as a shared experience and global responsibility. It argues against silent observation and calls for a conscious agency in making a change both within ourselves and in our communities.
– Doaa Rashed, Faculty and Graduate Program Director, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, University of Maryland Baltimore County, United States
As misery, greed and power circumvent the global arena of international politics, the worse of humanity craves for hope, liberation and inner peace. The impact and consequence of violence, hatred and terror is intricate, delicate, yet fragile. Evelin Lindner's critical dissection of humiliation not only invokes calmness but also impels commitment to restorative dignity, if human kind should persist.
– Veronica Fynn Bruey, Academic Advocate and Executive Director of Tuki-Tumarankeh
Honor, Humiliation, and Terror is a great addition to the growing literature on dignity and humiliation studies. Evelin Lindner advances, broadens, and deepens our understanding of the field by bringing to light a novel approach of imagining global relationships with less terror and humiliation as she delves into the oft-neglected role of dignity among peoples. This beautifully written, organized, and timely book makes an immense contribution to the new field of dignity and humiliation studies. By opening a window into the human experiences of different forms of terror which trap humanity in our world, this book brings forth new perspectives in reconciling a world full of terror and humiliation in many forms. It is indispensable read for students, scholars, practitioners, and policy makers as well as those who are engaged in the arduous task of trying to reconcile a world of denigration of and dominance over some by others. Evelin’s newest book is intellectually engaging and an incisive contribution to the genuine search for peace and less conflict in terms of both seeds and a harvest.
– Fonkem Achankeng I, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Executive Board Member, Wisconsin Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies, Wisconsin, USA
Evelin Lindner displays her true genius in Honor, Humiliation, and Terror that contributes to international affairs, rising above and beyond the haunting divisions in a world in need of awakening to frightful terror and advancing human solidarity. Evelin Lindner advances the pathway for rising above the global crisis in humanity threatening our very survival. She is mindful of a trans-cultural evolution which illumines, enriches, and edifies our spiritual character, and our creative vocation in the stewardship of planetary life and the world's resources. Lindner is mindful of the global crisis in humanity and seeks to awaken us to a trans-cultural evolution which differs fundamentally from the materialist interpretation of the cosmos and universe.
– Vince Lombardi, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University
Evelin Lindner’s arduous efforts in Honor, Humiliation and Terror An Explosive Mix – And How We Can Defuse It With Dignity is a game changing work towards world peace.
Lindner, a recent Nobel Prize nominee, deserves the Pulitzer Prize for this groundbreaking effort. Honor, Humiliation and Terror is a pioneering blueprint for humanity’s future. The book delves into our species’ violent past, giving an overview that leads towards understanding as to where we must go from here. Lindner documents how “ecological panic” caused Hitler to seek life space for his people. She lays out how insecurity creates fear and fear creates stress. This causes people to follow dominators that promise to annihilate the “enemy.”
Many works of this nature outline the disease but offer no cure. In Honor, Humiliation and Terror, Lindner explains how dialoguing with nature and each other was once replaced by domination over nature and each other. She then goes a step further to offer a way out. Evelin Lindner proposes that this security dilemma must be transformed from amassing weapons to global cooperation.
Though its title is foreboding, Honor, Humiliation and Terror is a book of solid hope. Lindner and others are trying to transform the world. For all of their self-sacrifice, we owe it to them to listen and act. As Evelin Lindner puts it, we must unshackle our imaginations and creativity to radically change our current system.
In the 1960s I was told I could not change archaic birth control laws. Though I was imprisoned for teaching birth control, I ultimately, in a U.S. Supreme Court case called Baird v. Eisenstadt, helped make it legal. If I as one person was able to do that, then you as one person can read and promote the game-changing ideas in Honor, Humiliation and Terror. Obtain a copy for an individual or group so that we can, as Evelin Lindner puts it, begin to break the cycle of humiliation and projection. Then we must replace it with “planetary consciousness and organic oneness of humanity.” Unity in diversity is the core of Honor, Humiliation and Terror.
– Bill Baird co-directs a non-profit organization for women’s rights. Bill Baird’s U.S. Supreme Court case, Baird v. Eisenstadt, legalized birth control in the U.S. in 1972
The book reflects Dr. Lindner’s deeper understanding of human life and practice and how a moral approach that prioritizes dignity can address the asymmetry that is inherent in the very construction of society. The core message – a dignified approach to life dignifies all and provides a transformative mirror to appreciate life – is what our turbulent world desperately needs, and which needs to be factored in the policymaking. That terrorism is a product of humiliation, at multiple levels, is well elaborated in this book, and the book critically examines all forms of terror – physical, social and psychological – and provides dignified ways to address them. Perhaps a Yogi could write such a book, emerging from a deeper reflection on self, life and society!
– Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra, Director, Mahatma Gandhi Center at the Hindu University of America
The African American thinker, freedom fighter, and writer James Baldwin wrote in his book The Fire Next Time (Vintage, 1962) a long essay that he called “Down At The Cross, Letter from a Region in My Mind.” He is prophetic, searing and wise all throughout, as he writes: “The glorification of one race and the consequent debasement of another – or others – always has been and always will be a recipe for murder. There is no way around this. If one is permitted to treat any group of people with special disfavor because of their race or the color of their skin, there is no limit to what one will force them to endure, and, since the entire race has been mysteriously indicted, no reason not to attempt to destroy it root and branch.” The boldness and passion of James Baldwin makes me all the more ready to embrace the incredibly important Honor, Humiliation, and Terror An Explosive Mix – And How We Can Defuse It with Dignity (Dignity Press, 2017) by Evelin Lindner who stands for our awareness of the misery and destruction of all humiliation, and the crucial need for dignity for all people. Evelin Lindner, medical doctor, psychologist, humanist, wise person, and impassioned human being, brings us the exuberance we need as she jolts us in her exploration of honor and terror, debasement of powerful people towards the less powerful, replete with stark realism about how we would have to change our assumptions (and our actions) to make the world a livable and loving place. This is a book, for me, meant to be picked up, experienced, and then put down to be picked up again. Because the facts in the book will shake the reader, as they remind us of the mistaken presumptions of the societies in which we live. Dr. Lindner has a startling sense of hope, startling because her hope is not based on denial. It is based on her capacity to love and to learn about possibilities for overhauling a slavery of both body and mind to power politics and economics. She knows and helps the reader know that dignity is more than a word but rather a necessity that can and must inform, not only emotions or communications of poetry or good will, but every part of our lives. It is not only practical but it will never be practical to live without it – both for ourselves with all our imperfections, and for others without whom we are nothing at all.
– Carol Smaldino, social work psychotherapist, Huffington Post Contributor and author of The Human Climate: Facing the Divisions Inside us and Between Us, Dignity Press, forthcoming in 2018