Oppression, of diverse forms, is one of the greatest obstacles to human prosperity and well-being. Oppression deprives human beings of knowledge regarding spiritual and material reality, inhibits the release of creative potentialities within vast segments of the human population, dehumanizes its victims and its perpetrators by robbing them of honor and dignity, divides and alienates humanity against itself in ways that block human progress, and makes impossible the coordination of human affairs in an increasingly interdependent age.
At the same time, struggles to overcome oppression have frequently employed violent, divisive, or destructive means that have merely resulted in new forms of oppression. The Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity is therefore examining how oppression can be overcome in unifying and constructive ways. Projects pursued within this area of inquiry include collaboration with individuals and groups who seek to gain insight in response to the following questions:
How can oppressed populations transcend conditions of oppression through strategies that are unifying and constructive?
What spiritual and material resources can people draw upon in overcoming conditions of oppression?
How can oppression be overcome in ways that do not lead to cycles of retribution, the reversal of relations of oppression, or the transferal of oppression onto new populations?
Where can we find examples of constructive responses to oppression and what can we learn from them?
Can constructive responses to oppression be modeled so that other oppressed communities can learn from them and apply them?