As 2016 comes to an end, it is easy to believe that everything is hopeless. Trump is in power, Russia and Assad are crushing Aleppo while the world watches, the arms business is protected by powerful political interests, and the voices against it are too weak and too seldom heard.
Major change never comes easy, and one individual can do little. But acting collectively, bringing together voices against militarism the world over, there is a lot that can be done. Some of the key elements of action against the global arms business and its corrupting effects include:
- Learn to recognize the myths and dispute them;
- Develop and promote ideas about long-term, human security and how to achieve it;
- Demand transparency in military spending and arms acquisition;
- Demand accountability over corruption in the arms trade, and protection for whistleblowers;
- Act in solidarity, fitting strategies to different local contexts and issues, but working together across countries.
Together, we can foster an evidence-driven, accountable and transparent public discussion of the global arms business. Together, we can start pointing out the absurdities that protect a business to the detriment of the security and economic prosperity of the world. By doing so, we can make the world a safer, more prosperous and more harmonious place.