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In the late 1930s as Germany and Japan were taking control of huge swaths of the world, Americans were strongly opposed to getting into the war. For all his rhetorical skills, President Roosevelt was unable to mobilize the nation. That changed with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Perhaps the climate events of the past week will finally produce the national mobilization that we so badly need if we are going to prevent a climate Armageddon.

Chris Hayes summarized last week’s catastrophic climate events. Thousand year floods in Europe and China, unprecedented wildfires in North America and Siberia.

Pete Buttigieg…

Racism: the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another; Miriam Webster Dictionary

In 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, which ended the suppression of black voting in the South. For the most part, laws in Southern States did not explicitly prohibit black people from voting. Instead they imposed literacy tests and poll taxes, prohibited people from voting if their grandfather had not voted before the end of slavery, held white only primaries, and prohibited felons from voting. During the brief period of Reconstruction after the civil war, black people had…

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0 httpscreativecommons.orglicensesby2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a behavioral scientist I’ve spent over 30 years conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior. So, when the FBI released their first set of photos of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, I was not surprised that over 90% of them were white men.

Over the last forty years many men have become alienated. That has given rise to groups like the Proud Boys and other domestic terrorists. …

The idea of an action circle is that it can produce a single useful product at the same time that it lays the foundation for subsequent action circles to build on that foundation.

Consider the problem of pollution in disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities. In her excellent book, The Sum of Us,1 Heather McGhee documents the fact that poorer people, Black, Indigenous, and people of color are more likely to live in areas that have high levels of pollution. It is one of the reasons for poorer health among people in these communities.

When Matt Walton joined Values to Action, he…

Can We Intentionally Evolve a Prosocial World?

It is not hyperbole to say that the world is at a perilous point in its evolution. Until very recently an evolutionist might have described human evolution as a process in which one species took control of the world.

But now, as runaway global warming looms, we must admit that we have evolved a world that is moving dangerously out of our control.

Can evolutionary theory help us figure out how to avoid this terrible future?

Perhaps no one has done more to describe how evolutionary theory can save us from ourselves than…

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We know from the secret ballot on keeping Liz Cheney in her position that many more Republicans believe what Trump did was wrong than are willing to admit it. Doing so would risk their political careers.

I do not believe that Republicans who voted to acquit Trump should remain in office. To the extent that they do, it will affirm the anti-democratic and authoritarian norms that have so badly undermined our democracy in recent years.

But what does this imply for how we should act?

The dominant norm in our political process has for many years been one of combat…

Photo by David Todd McCarty on Unsplash

Laws establish norms. When laws are not enforced, norms erode. Most people follow the law, not because they fear punishment but because they adhere to the norms that those laws encode.

Representative Clyburn of South Carolina was asked by Judy Woodruff of the News Hour if Democrats should hesitate to impeach Trump because it will further incense his followers. He responded that, “I don’t believe we ought to run the country that way. I think there are certain norms that we have to adhere to. I think there are certain laws that we have to obey. And we just cannot…

The attack on our capital shows unequivocally that the success of the Biden campaign is not the end of our American travail, but must be the beginning of a long-term social movement to build a society that works for everyone.

For years we have been sending our money to the Democrats, hoping that their taking control of the federal government would end the racist, misogynist control of government by a cabal of wealthy conservatives. The money we have poured into this effort has made an unmistakable difference. …

In The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett provide an analysis of the past 125 years of American history that makes a significant contribution to the growing movement to reform American Society. As Putnam has done in his other books, he and Garrett carefully analyze trends in American life in a way that delineates the tangle of problems we are currently experiencing while at the same time offering hope that we can overcome them.

The essence of their analysis is that across a wide variety…

In 1970 Lewis Powell, who would soon be appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon, wrote an insightful and prescient memo about what was needed to save capitalism. There were more than 1700 bombings of businesses in 1970 and Powell and his colleagues had every reason to be concerned about the threat to their interests. Powell’s memo has been widely credited with prompting the efforts of the business community to assert their influence. He described the many ways that business could be promoted such as by creating a class of scholars and pundits who could influence public opinion and…

Anthony Biglan

Anthony Biglan, PhD, is President of Values to Action and author of Rebooting Capitalism

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