Mapping and imagined futures: beyond colonising cartography, F Hutchinson

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Content: ARTICLE
Mapping and Imagined Futures: Beyond Colonising Cartography
Francis Hutchinson University of Western Sydney Australia
Abstract This paper invites wide dialogue on the ways we map the world and the future .It also asks how dominant ways of mapping might affect our sense of agency, ethical regard for others, and levels of active community participation in shaping the future. Evidence is provided that what has been presented traditionally as the "exac" science of cartography is often deeply embedded in knowledge- power interests. There is critical consideration of what is "left off the map" and of what this might reveal. From a peace education and futures education perspective, many critical issues are raised. These issues include whether our children are given enough opportunities to build better understanding of other people and places, as well as learning relevant image literacy skills.
Rethinking the Ways We Map Our images of self, society, peace and war, and the future all rebound on what we do or feel able to do. Such images are in many ways deeply embedded. They affect our mentalities, mindscapes or worldviews. They influence what we come to accept or condone, what we become resigned to or what we resist in the present. Metaphorically and genealogically speaking, our guiding images may be seen as forms of cultural maps. Such guiding images "naturalize" our orientations to the physical and social world, the steps we take in every day life and our anticipated future journeys are. After the approach of cultural theorist and social critic Raymond Williams, this paper invites a rethinking of key concepts
and ideas associated with "maps" and "mapping". (Williams 1983) A case is put in this article for the significant need in our contemporary world to encourage more critically reflexive and cross-cultural mappings. Integral to this approach are considerations of how to enhance our image literacy on alternative futures. As part of this invitation to rethink some key concepts is a concern with practical ways of enriching educationally and socially our imaginative landscapes. Rather than reproducing the flatlands of apathy and resignation, how might we non-violently resist? Critical issues are raised about our maps not just as cultural and historical artefacts. They are also contemporary sites of cultural politics (see Table 1)
Journal of Futures Studies, May 2005, 9(4): 1 - 14
Journal of Futures Studies
Steps Beyond Predictive Paths The Dutch sociologist Fred Polak in his classic two-volume work, The Image of the Future (1961) highlighted the importance of seeking to understand the importance of the interrelationships among dominant cultural imagery, social structures and deep culture, and socio-cultural dynamics. Whilst leading social theorists and macrohistorians, such as Marx, Hegel and Toynbee, had provided valuable insights about the processes of history and of
historical interpretative frames, Polak argued that their theorizing failed in certain respects. He found that their theorising did not sufficiently transcend a predictive cultural lens on future cultures, societies and times: ...their time-concept is incomplete...Indeed, they all make predictions about the future, but they do not conceive of the future as a part of, and itself a factor in the dynamic time-flow. More particularly, they do not conceive of a dynamic interaction between past, present and future (Polak 1961: 15)
Table 1 Some Conventional and Alternative Approaches to Mapping
Mapping and Imagined Futures
Polak went on to advocate ways of think- might flip over in dichotomous representations
ing about reality and potential reality that of heaven/hell, of good/evil, of utopia/dystopia:
would get beyond the endeavours of the vari-
...The utopia joins its attackers and becomes anti-
ous social science disciplines to emulate the
utopia and negative utopia, proclaiming and trig-
natural and physical sciences in searching for
gering breakdown, reviving essence-pessimism
invariance-confirming laws of existence and
and cultural fatalism. It is then no longer active,
development. He challenged the widely-held
but passive; its previews become post-mortems. Its
positivistic assumptions and largely conserva-
no longer unites the possible and the desirable in
tive, linear- time worldview of western science
its portrayal of the future, but now demonstrates
that privileged prediction about the future over
either that any possible social reconstruction is
active participation in shaping futures. In terms
undesirable, or that any desirable reconstruction
of the trajectories of human societies and cul-
is impossible... (Polak 1961: 456)
tures, he sought alternative mappings rather
than a predictive cartographic gaze on the ter-
rains of times to come. Polak also contributed in his critique of
Mappings of Time and Space
narrowed assumptions about "the future" some
Our sense of place, our sense direction
useful conceptual tools for beginning to unset- both spatially and temporally, our sense of the
tle our images of "the future" from predictive sacred or the secular, our sense of utopia and
mindsets. Critical cognition of how embedded dystopia have often found expression in our
our knowledges and visual and metaphorical mappings. Often ignored, however, have been
representations of reality and potential and real- how culture-bound and historically conditioned
ity are or may become, whether through, for are our representations of what is real and what
example, the formal and informal curriculum in is potentially real. Other ways of knowing or
schools or in contemporary mainstream elec- representing the world may be edited out cul-
tronic media coverage of war by "embedded" turally and our own interpretive frames over-
journalists, is arguably an important start in generalised and universalised in their truth
unsettling the taken ­ for-granted. Such critical claims. Often lost sight of are the knowledge
image literacies are likely to be especially so in interests, worldviews and power relations that
terms of socio-cultural dynamics and for devel- privilege certain ways of depicting time and
oping any effective resistances to tightly fore- space. (Yamamoto 1979)
closed representations of what is and what
Lewis Mumford some years ago argued
might be. (Boulding 1990; Boulding & Boulding the importance of contextualising historically
1995; Hutchinson 1996)
and culturally the key concepts of "time" and
For Polak, predictive frames are indicative "space" in Western civilisation:
of deeper mindsets. These mentalities risk
...The interests in time and space advanced side by
imaginative impoverishment and denial of the
side. In the fifteenth century the mapmakers
potentially rich engagement with "the Other".
devised new means of measuring and charting the
Utopian dreaming of other places and other
earth's surface, and scarcely a generation before
times, which are so important for beginning to
Columbus' voyages they began to cover their
transcend "the push of the past", may, he cau-
maps with imaginary lines of latitude and longi-
tions, go into decline or even, paradoxically,
tude. As soon as the mariner could calculate his
become rationalizations for eternal vigilance
position in time and space, the whole ocean was
against an alien other. Rather than "the Other"
open to him...So [these newer concepts] of time
as an invitation to meaningful interpersonal or
and space took possession of the European mind.
intercivilizational dialogues, it may become a
Why dream of heaven or eternity, while the world
dystopia, a fearful time, a fatalistic place.
was so wide, and each new tract that was opened
Writing at the time of the Cold War, Polak commented on how easily our sense of the other
up promised, if not riches, novelty...? Secure in his newly acquired knowledge, the European trav-
Journal of Futures Studies
elled outward in space and, losing that sense of the immediate present, which went with his old belief in eternity, he travelled backward and forward in time. An interest in archaeology and in utopias characterized the Renaissance. They provided images of purely earthly realizations in past and future: ancient Syracuse and The City of the Sun were equally credible... (Mumford 1955: 13) There was a lack of critical awareness that such images could be in any way colonizing or that particular projections, such as Mercator's rendering of the curved surface of the Earth as two dimensional space with compass directions between places as straight lines, would be ascribed with universal iconic status. With the scientific revolution in Europe, "voyages of discovery" where infused with a deep sense of civilisational progress on a European model. Western notions of linear time were increasing combined with Western mercantile and industrial capitalist notions of possession and laws relating to the ownership and control of property.
ences that would secure the measuring of the world and efficient time-keeping for tracking longitude. A celebratory poem issued at the time of Charles II's issue of a royal charter for this new scientific body included the lines: The College will the whole world measure, Which most impossible conclude, And navigators make a pleasure By finding out the latitude. Every Tarpalling shall then with ease Sayle any ships to th' Antipodes (Matthews 2000: 38) Western science through a combination of reason, quantitative method, and empirical observation and precision would extend, it was predicted, the frontiers of human knowledge and conquer ignorance. There was crucial importance attached to images of the scientist as dispassionate observer, surveyor and measurer. Reality was to be mapped "objectively" through empirical observation and "value-free" research techniques, such as triangulation and gridlines in the trigonometric surveys in India,
Africa and elsewhere. Additional "exact science",
Mapping and Western-centrism
ethnographic methodological tools included
craniometric, anthropometric, photographic
The intensity of the mapping of the world and taxonometric surveys for classifying, rank-
was not simply a new-found curiosity after the ing and measuring sampled populations, arte-
end of the feudal era in Europe, nor was it just a facts and resources in so-called "primitive", "less
matter of science shining a lamp in the dark- civilised" or "less developed" societies and cul-
ness, as founding fathers of the modern tures.
Western scientific paradigm, such as Bacon,
There was a claimed disembodied,
Descartes and Newton, implied. These mapping machine-like detachment in science with its
endeavours, whether on land or at sea, were standards and techniques for accurately survey-
depicted as techniques of scientific progress ing the world. Given such an objectivist episte-
and neutral tools of navigation. Philosophically mological framework, there was a strong ten-
speaking, unprobed were whether the episte- dency to deny that imaginative mindscapes or
mological and cosmological assumptions of social imaginary about the past or the future
these visual artefacts might serve the interests could have any real influence on the cool and
of imperial expansion in the broader circulation dispassionate application of the scientific
of ideas and images about capitalist endeavour method. Unacknowledged in this conventional
and the attractions of empire increasingly discourse on "what is science" was any critical
enabled by the new print technologies in the consideration of possible reductionist impacts
from underlying myths, metaphors and meta-
When, for example, in the late seven- physics about scientific progress and develop-
teenth century the Royal Society for Improving ment, of theory-dependence of observation, or
Natural Knowledge was established in England of paradigmatic perspective-taking. (Matson
4 the proclaimed knowledge interests were in 1964; Easlea 1983; Gare 1996; Urry 2000) dispassionate cartographic and horological sci-
Mapping and Imagined Futures
In terms of nineteenth century Comptean positivism, for example, the modern physical and social sciences were leading the advance beyond the earlier "primitive" and "metaphysical" stages. Yet, as the cultural historian on Western science, Thomas Kuhn was to later suggest, scientific theories and methodologies, whether conceptualised primarily in the language of conventional mapping, measurement and development or some other language, are far from metaphysics-free or paradigm-free: [In its role] as a vehicle for scientific theory, [the paradigm] functions by telling the scientist about the entities that nature does and does not contain and about the ways in which those entities behave. That information provides a map whose details are elucidated by mature scientific research. And since nature is too complex and varied to be explored at random, that map is as essential as observation and experiment to science's continuing development...paradigms provide scientists not only with a map but also with some of the directions essential for map-making. In learning a paradigm, the scientist acquires theory, methods, and standards together... (Kuhn 1970: 109)
search for truth. Geography is a science of facts, and they devoted themselves to the discovery of facts in the configuration and features of the main continents... (Conrad 1963: 143-4) There is further enthusiastic discussion on the strengths of the new mapping ventures and their ties with more precise scientific measurement: Map-gazing, to which I became addicted so early, brings the problems of the great spaces of the earth into stimulating and directing contact with sane curiosity and gives honest precision to one's faculty. And the honest maps of the nineteenth century nourished in me a passionate interest in the truth of geographical knowledge, which was extended later to other subjects... (Conrad 1963: 145) Here we have a heroic image of Western science as symbolized by Captain Cook's voyages of discovery and contributions to mapping the world aboard his flagship, Endeavour. Yet, left out of such literary and historical accounts were critical considerations as to whose interests the new scientific advances in navigating the seas, surveying the land and arming the gunboats benefited most. Pushed to the back-
So-called "Blank Spaces"
ground or left invisible were other civilisational traditions about science and the world.
Joseph Conrad is perhaps best known for (Ballantyne 2002; Hobson 2004)
his late nineteenth century novel, Heart of Darkness. Whilst critical of aspects of the histo- Maps and Denied Alternative
ry of colonialism, Conrad uncritically accepted, Tracks like many of his generation, the legitimations
for empire that Western science made.
To understand how some maps of reality
Dominant scientific discourses claimed a thor- and potential reality take precedence over oth-
oughly "objective" cartographic gaze on colonial ers or in making others invisible, it is important
territories and the so-called "blank spaces on to return to some of the issues raised earlier
the earth":
about the complex interrelations among the
The voyages of the early explorers were prompted formation of guiding images, power relations
by an acquisitive spirit, the idea of lucre in some and regimes of truth, and the cultural politics of
form, the desire of trade or the desire of loot, dis- the reproduction and resistance to violent or
guised in more or less fine words. But Cook's three colonizing imagery:
voyages are free from any taint of this sort .His
...It is hard to step back from a compelling
aims needed no disguise. They were scientific .His
metaphor in order to see alternative realities...But
deeds speak for themselves with the masterly sim-
[ if we do not attempt to do]so, we lose the imagi-
plicity of hard-won success. In this respect, he
nation and creativity that come with complexity of
seems to belong to belong to the single-minded
meanings and multiple realities... (Rosenblatt
explorers of the nineteenth century, the late fathers of militant geography whose only object was the
1994: 26-7)
Journal of Futures Studies
As part of a critical futurist theory and methodology or arrogance of epistemological
practice, there are ongoing efforts to welcome perspective, intersubjective, interdisciplinary,
alternative futures thinking. There are also intercultural and intercivilisational spaces and
efforts to resist foundationalist, essentialist or dialogues are celebrated. Alternative cultural
universalising claims to discovering the underly- maps and tracks are not denied. (Jantjes 1999;
ing reality, permanent ground or sole truth Smith 1999; Ekinsmyth 2002; Winchester, Kong
about "the nature of things", or to possessing & Dunn 2003)
unequivocal blueprints for the future.
In our interdependent yet strife-torn
Moreover, critical futurist metaphoric analyses world, a great need exists for much more work,
offer one of several potentially significant ways whether in formal or informal education con-
of resisting impoverished social imagery within texts, to actively resist such denials. To the
formal and informal education. Monocultural or extent that impoverished imagination, damag-
taken-for- granted metaphors about how we ing stereotypes and unquestioned assumptions
live may be problematised rather than assumed about "the nature of things" and fear-laden
as destiny. (Inayatullah 2002)
images of "the Other" are left unchallenged,
Rather than uncritically accepting objec- there are risks of self-fulfilling prophecies. Such
tivist fallacies and taken-for-granted cultural self-justifying images or cultural maps may rein-
metaphors, we may begin to question strongly force, for example, suspicions or distrust of "the
reductionist forms of mapping reality or "truth" Other" that intensify conflict and escalate into
and associated linear projections about the physical violence and war. (Ryan 1996)
future. The latter forms exclude the possibility
of learning anything much of significance from other knowledge traditions, different
Maps and Militarised Mindscapes
guiding metaphors or cross-cultural maps.
Conventional accounts of the history of
Epistemological difference becomes, within Western mapping largely leave invisible the
such a directionally homogeneous model of intricate entwining of military power, economic
development, largely a problem of disciplinary interests, nationalistic jingoism and imperialistic
border-protection and system-maintenance expansionism. (Samson 1999; Monmonier
against departures from the norm of socially 2002) Rather what is told in these accounts is a
sanctioned routes. Such cultural arrogance and triumphal story of the progress of Western car-
image illiteracy exemplify aspects of what Johan tography in its dispassionate and systematic use
Galtung has conceptualised as cultural violence. of science and technology to more efficiently
With cultural violence, some of our guiding and precisely map the world. Yet, such accounts
metaphors, symbols and myths "naturalise" or omit important dimensions of the Western car-
rationalise assumptions of deep culture about tographic imagination:
direct and structural violence. (Galtung 1990,
...Although surveying was increasingly important
within metropolitan European contexts, it was
With dialogical forms of mapping, howev-
even more important in colonial possessions; it
er, there is a much greater openness in the
allowed not only the mapping of the resources,
ways we imagine the futures of our scientific
political boundaries and urban centres pivotal to
and educational communities. There is also a
commercial relations and colonial authority, but
willingness to critically engage with cross-disci-
also facilitated the ideological project of empire.
plinary research and communicate cross-cultur-
Indispensable for the effective exploitation of
ally. There are efforts to transcend violent,
resources and effective deployment of military
taken- for- granted mindscapes through inviting
force, maps and atlases were increasingly
creativity and dialogue on imagined geogra-
deployed as instruments of rule and, at an intellec-
phies and imagined future journeys for peace,
tual level, to order the different parts of the empire
6 reconciliation and intergenerational equity. Rather than exclusivity of journey, certainty of
into a coherent picture of a global empire... (Ballantyne 2002: 119)
Mapping and Imagined Futures
The condoning or facilitating of military have been retitled ministries of defence, the
force against colonised peoples was disguised euphemistic descriptor for the new satellite sur-
by cartographic silences. There were the associ- veillance systems is "overhead assets".
ated myths and metaphors that rationalised mil-
The current generation of spy satellites
itary force or policing of troubles as rebellions offer extremely high-definition global scannings.
against legitimate rule. A major genre of myth- Some independent analysts put the latest mili-
making related to claims of colonial benevo- tary "key hole", feasibility-focussing levels as
lence such as "civilising missions", "taking up the close as 0.10 ­ 0.20 metres. With such a superi-
whiteman's burden" and "sacrificing for empire". or resolution imaging potential in electronic
Such narratives were taught to the children of mapping, it would be possible for a trained
empire as they studied the schoolroom intelligence analyst to zoom in sufficiently to be
wallmaps of imperial order and colonial posses- able to see "a truck's windshield wipers or an
sions, but critical cartographical questions were airplane's rivet lines." (Monmonier 2002: 32)
rarely raised. The cartographic consciousness of
the colonisers left unchallenged whether the maps of the Western imperial powers were in
"Natural Defences"
any way culturally violent in their interpretative
In the early twenty-first century, the scope
frames and transmission:
of this form of cartographic activity has intensi-
...An ever-growing stream of cartographic knowl- fied in the context of the current "war on ter-
edge flowed along the political and cultural net- ror". One such project draws upon the concept
works of empire. Colonial maps featured regularly of so-called "natural defences" or neo-social
in print and politics. In the early nineteenth centu- Darwinian competitive-jungle, strategic fore-
ry a rich assortment of maps was published in the sight theorising. Andrew Parker, a Royal Society
British Parliamentary Papers including, for exam- research fellow at Oxford University has been
ple, over one hundred maps of Australia°KSuch working with American and British military con-
information was even more important in the sortia in developing a totalising mapping pro-
colonies themselves, where maps played a pivotal gram linking evolutionary science with compre-
role in well as in military cam- hensive societal scanning. Of this project,
paigns against "natives"... (Ballantyne 2002: 120) dubbed the "Cambrian program", Parker recent-
The twentieth century was to witness the ly has spoken enthusiastically:
loss of 200 million lives in war, many of whom
...I and a team of experts at the Ministry of
were civilians. With two world wars and later
Defence's defence science and technology labora-
the Cold war between the super powers, mili-
tory have already begun work on the program in
tary ­ related cartographic work came to be
Britain and a similar consortium is planned at the
pursued with a vengeance. It meant, within a
Pentagon under Tony Tether of the defence
conventional strategic studies frame, enhanced
advanced projects agency (DARPA).
war-fighting capacities. Much of this was
To understand the thinking behind the idea, picture
backed by major research and development
the Cambrian explosion as an arms race. An eye
funding from military budgets, such as the
evolved in one animal, representing a revolution-
Global Positioning System developed by the US
ary weapon...Other life then reacted to deal with
Department of Defense. Both in the USA and
the weapon. What followed was a cycle of evolu-
the former Soviet Union extensive satellite sur-
tionary one-upmanship-predators evolved to out-
veillance or imaging systems were installed. The
wit prey, and prey in turn bolstered their defences.
metaphors used to describe these systems, as
What use is any of this to the defence community?
has been increasingly the case with develop-
In short, knowledge of the way creatures evolved
ments in military science and technology gener-
to encounter emergency threats may give defence
ally over the past century, edits out any direct
officials tips on how to deal with new threats to
association with possible killing and human rights abuse. In a world were ministries of war
themselves... The Cambrian program...instead of processing
Journal of Futures Studies
fossil data,. fed information on the state of our society. Data on the way we travel, the way we use energy and water, our postal services and internet traffic, will be processed alongside information on the availability of weapons, chemicals, radioactive material...It will then attempt to piece together possible threats that could emerge in the future... (Parker 2004: 21) How pervasive "natural" assumptions about threat and war remain within dominant discourses may be illustrated by important metaphors beyond the military-industrial com-
They may be discerned in the knowledgepower interests of the ancient Roman empire, with its notion of peace-through-military-might or pax Romana. They emerged too in the narrowed and increasingly institutionalised reading of the Christian cosmological assumptions about original sin and the fall from the Garden of Eden from the third century AD onwards. In the early modern period of Western civilisation, they found key exponents in the "realist" political mappings of Machiavelli and Hobbes.
plex. Whether in the fields of competitive sport, Hollywood drama or computer gaming, there is Questioning Dominant Cultural
a recurring genre of violence-sanctioning Maps
imagery. Even within Western medical science,
threat-laden imagery has been and continues to
Dissenting cultural maps or alternative
be a frequent feature.
images of the nature of human nature and the
In influential medical atlases, such as the world have often been dismissed or margin-
Mitchell Beazley Atlas of Body and Mind, older alised as "naпve", "irrational", "overly emotional"
machine images of clockwork mechanisms and or "unduly optimistic". Dominant readings of
factory production lines are often combined Gandhian theory, for example, have been of this
with newer computer or cybernetic images. The kind. This has been in spite of the accumulating
essential task of medicine is widely imaged as evidence of the valuable insights it offers about
working to restore or repair broken parts or direct and structural forms of violence and of
damaged systems. Through relevant repairs or the major potential of non-violent action and
therapies, the body's natural mechanisms or sys- civil society movements.(Sharp 1973; Ackerman
tems of defence will be again strengthened:
& Du Vall 2000)
...The human body is constantly faced with assault
Within Western civilisation, among those
by disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites dissenting voices and visions that have been
and with the threat of injury and damage to tis- marginalised include those offered by Erasmus
sues. It is, however, remarkably resilient and has on the folly of war in the Sixteenth Century.
coped with its vulnerability by developing a range (Chapiro 1950) Over the past two centuries,
of integral defense and repair systems.
there have been numerous others. Among
The first line of defense is provided by the body these are the alternative visions of humanity
surfaces through which the hostile organisms seek and development put forward by Kropotkin in
entry...and here protective filter mechanisms and the late nineteenth century. Kropotkin in his cri-
chemical action attempt to defy the invaders. If tique of social Darwinist precepts, elaborated
they do manage to penetrate the surface defenses on the value of cooperation or mutual aid.
and enter the bloodstream, they are attacked by (Kropototkin 1939) This alternative tradition
specialized blood cells, which destroy and dispose questioned the axiomatic assumptions about
of them. This process is backed by a complex sys- "nature red in tooth and claw". It offered a dis-
tem, which deactivates the offending micro-organ- senting perspective to the "realist" readings of
isms...Understanding of all these natural defenses the perceived commonsense knowledge about
has led to advances in medicine which reinforce the functions of aggressively competitive mech-
the body's own efforts... (Rayner 1976: 137)
anisms, whether in economic systems or institu-
Genealogically speaking, the "natural tional contexts such as schools and universities,
defences" assumptions underlying such discourses may be traced over many centuries.
for surviving and thriving. (Kohn 1986; Argyle 1991; Hinde & Groebel 1991)
Mapping and Imagined Futures
There is also the neglected work of Sorokin in the twentieth century in his classical peace theorising on civilisational mentalities, ethics and the potential value of amitology. (Johnston 1998; Weinstein 2004) Similarly, too, may be mentioned the dissenting work of poets, artists and novelists such as Virginia Woolf. In her feminist critique between the two world wars, Woolf spoke eloquently and prophetically of the need to get beyond hegemonic maps of masculinity and engage in genuine peacemaking: ...we are not passive spectators doomed to unre- sisting obedience but by our thoughts and actions can [begin to challenge violence-condoning images]... For such will be our ruin if [militarised forms of masculinity continue to deny] the capaci- ty of the human spirit to overflow boundaries[of fear and hatred] and make unity out of multiplici- ty... ( Woolf 1938: 258-9)
sight is that of what C.Wright Mills described in his classic critique of the military-industrial complex and of trends in militarisation as "rationality without reason", of instrumental or strategic reasoning without any real ethical consideration. (Mills 1959) Matters of ethics are defined by the binary oppositions of "you are either with us or against us." Aspects of deep culture such as hegemonic masculinity and "toys for the boys" mentalities, whether it is a Bin Laden or a George Bush, do not enter into any critical reflection. There are the "natural" assumptions about the inevitability of the continuance of war as institution forever more. Hope for meaningful alternatives is denied or rationalised within such an imagination. It is delimited and commodified. Sites of imagined hope tend to be increasingly narrowed through rationalised market-segmentation maps and the surface paradises of individualised "consumer choice".
Mapping and Fallacies of Inst-
rumental Reasoning
Maps and Educated Hope
Reductionist assumptions persist strongly
In terms of foresight and possible peace
today about "war is in our genes", of "preparing education and futures education action, this
for peace by preparing for war" and of "strength- argues strongly the importance of rethinking lit-
ened surveillance and better weapons systems eracy/literacies for our generation and coming
as the way to security." Such assumptions may generations. This implies in turn actively wel-
be seen as the naturally rational way to go. coming dialogical and multicultural mappings,
Alternative mappings and alternative journey- rather than passively accepting a monological
ings associated with "preparing for peace by and monocultural interpretive frame.
preparing for peace" are left invisible or denied
It also implies more critical awareness of
in such regimes of truth.
the importance of a sense of active hope. Such
The possibility that the former may be ulti- hope, whether in schools or in other institution-
mately self-defeating in terms of creating a sus- al contexts, is linked with resilience in negotiat-
tainable peace and long-term security tends to ing alternatives from the local to the
be pushed beyond the horizon with such mind- global.(Hutchinson 1996; Hicks 2002; Bauman
scapes of the future. Even though macro histori- 2004; Eisler 2004; Giroux 2004) From a futures
cal studies show little relationship between mili- education perspective, fostering "resilient com-
tary preparedness and security and of arms munities is a process and not a program.
build-ups actually inciting destructive conflict Essential to it is a sense of...hope." (Deveson
rather than containing it, this evidence is 2003: 95)
pushed aside. (Boulding 2000: 27) Reason is
Rather than assuming trends are destiny, it
seen as dictating "eternal vigilance as the price is important in terms of cultural- change politics
of peace".
to recognise varying sites of non-violent resist-
Yet, the reasoning involved takes a ratio- ance, such as within schools, the media and a
9 nalising monocular eye to the world. Its fore- range of civil society organisations. To become more critically aware that the future is far from
Journal of Futures Studies
surprise free is also important. Fatalism about feared futures may become self-fulfilling prophecies. Yet, to question fatalism is not the same as uncritically embracing top-down forms of hope, which might be distinguished from more democratic, politically literate and participatory ones. Uncritical or fundamentalist faith in deliverance from a time-of-troubles via the salvation of new medical, military and environmental technologies needs to be challenged as potentially colonising. So too do those unthinking forms of both traditional and secular salvation that reinforce fatalism, egocentrism and denialism. The latter secular forms include the promise of pathways to shoppers' paradises and individual consumer bliss and sovereignty. In these imagined, globalised shopping-malls of the future, there is denial of lived realities. Denied are sharp gradients of power and wealth as to who gets to shop and for what, who lacks sufficient money to purchase other than basic necessities, and who is excluded altogether. Related secular narratives include the
myths of the magic of free-marketplace mechanisms correcting any temporary difficulties in the situation and so ensuring economic growth or progress. Such dominant or hegemonic cultural maps hide many problems in centreperiphery relations, including hardships from trade injustice, the global arms trade, oil politics and environmental destruction, whilst making exaggerated claims as to the benefits flowing to the world's poor from "trickle-down development". To question such assumptions is not just a matter of seeking to deconstruct top-down hope, with its often-illusionary maps, whether in formal or informal education. From a critical futurist and peace education perspective, it is important to attempt to negotiate pathways of practical hope rather than make a labyrinth of cynicism, fatalism or despair convincing. Through deeper cross-cultural dialogue and learning journeys of active hope, more creative peace mappings of ways forward for our children and future generations might begin to emerge. (see Table 2)
Table 2 Maps and Educated Hope: Some Contemporary Conventional and Alternative Discourses
Mapping and Imagined Futures
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