Friday, December 7, 2007

Vine and Fig Tree Planters: A Description

The vine and fig tree are ancient symbols of a fertile, stable, peaceful domestic sufficiency. The Israelite prophet Micah brings this image together with the the image of swords beaten into ploughshares to describe a non-expansionist, non-imperialist society where they shall 'study war no more'. Other prophets speak of people sitting with their neighbour beneath their vine and fig tree and so this symbol reresents an hospitable order.

The Vine and Fig Tree Planters are a group of people inspired by the Christian pacifist tradition, historic peace churches like the Quakers and the Anabaptists and those who call for swords to be beaten into ploughshares. There have been others, in Sweden and the Netherlands, who have been inspired by the potency of the vine and fig tree image and, like them, we seek not to protest but to bear witness to a potent emergent reality.

We seek to bear witness to the possibility of a stable, peaceful order where 'each person shall sit beneath their own vine and fig tree and study war no more'; to an order where each person has access to the resources requisite for the sustenance and ourishing of life from a domestic su-ciency with stability, peace and justice;

We seek to bear witness to a society in which each takes responsibility for their needs and for the assistance of their neighbours, their 'mates', without exploitation of other people and places; to society able to participate in building an international peace and a just distribution of resources.

We seek to bear witness to a society which is gratefully dependent upon sun and soil, with peace, not upon oil and supermarket with war.

We hope for the transformation of the military; for the use of its incredible skillbase and resources for the cultivation of a stable domestic su-cency which has the capacity to be hospitable and generous.

We call for an end to the logic of 'national security' which demands that the nation is forever grasping for scarce resources or is threatened by those eeing for their lives.

We call for a military which becomes a force for creative change:

• A task force for the cultivation of a domestic stability; for the possibility of hospitality and peaceful resettlement of people;
• A task force which will build the domestic infrastructure required for a graceful descent into a lower energy future;
• A task force for the implementation of creative and courageous policies on climate change, the spread of disease, water and other resources;
• A task force for the rebuilding of a stable society with a domestic sufficiency and international cooperation;
• A task force for the assistance of weakened governments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia is an island nation and its national limits must be recognised: Australia cannot feed the world. This nation can, however, prepare, not for war but to feed ourselves without exploitation and generously assist others in crisis to settle and built their own peaceful order wherever it is possible. Australia will be a leader in a peaceful Asia, a pacific Pacific

A stable order must be build NOW, as crisis looms. The eve of trouble will and us ill prepared and unable to act with the creativity which is required of us.

Australia's military is perhaps the organisation most equipt to turn its hand for this task. We call for its personel to take up shovels and other tools of constructive change, laying down their weapons.

The security of Australia will not be derived from armed preparedness for the perceived threats of climate change and peak oil but rather through the cultivation of a stable and peaceful domestic order and a resource aware posture of hospitality and mutual aid to our neighbo urs with awillingness to participate in international cooperation.

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