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Bucky and Pick:
Two Grand Designers of a World Without War

An Essay-Review of

Robert Pickus,

To End War

R. Buckminster Fuller,

Utopia or Oblivion

Note, 2009-08-15: Having recently posted a detailed critique of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Map, I now offer this paper as an antidote, given that I am generally a devotee of Fuller. I wrote it 39 years ago as an undergraduate at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where Fuller was then loosely affiliated as a University Professor. Fuller himself sent a handwritten letter to Norman Cousins, editor of Saturday Review, urging he publish this; but it was not.

Fuller and Pickus were both highly influential in my thinking. The paper remains quite germane, and now the Internet can give it wider visibility. I have left it mostly in its original [typewritten] form, as converted to HTML, plus hotlinks, and added a few updates in italics.

: war, peace, peace movement, pacifism, world game, Buckminster Fuller, Bucky, Robert Pickus, anti-communism, Quakers, Turn Toward Peace, Bayard Rustin, Speak Truth To Power, American Friends Service Committee, killingry, livingry, Gene Sharp, nonviolence, nonviolent resistance


Buckminster Fuller [1895-1983] ("Bucky") and Bob Pickus [1921 - ] ("Pick") are such audio-visual personalities with so much to say and so many ideas, and who are so often speaking to so many audiences that they hardly have time to write books by themselves. Somebody else has to come along and help get their dynamically oral presentations between covers. Robert W. Marks, and Robert Woito, respectively, have done the busy-work for us. In the winter of 1969-70 they published what I consider two of the most important war/peace books of the decade. (A third is Gene Sharp's long-awaited THE POLITICS OF NONVIOLENT ACTION, still in press.)

In UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, Marks has compiled a dozen of Fuller's recent articles and discourses (1964-67), though with no more apparent editorial effort than randomly stringing beads.* 

* For instance, he fails to mention that selection #11 is a letter to Constantinos Doxiadas, and that #12 had been condensed in the January 1968 Playboy.


Fuller has many books in the pipeline, but this is probably the best introductory one to date — it has more pages for less money tban any of his others so far, and "doing more with less" is what Fuller is all about.

Pickus and Woito's TO END WAR is not only an annotated bibliography of 663 war/peace books, but it almost single-handedly defines the intellectual agenda, the scope, and the components of "the peace effort — those organizations whose stated purpose is work to end war." (p. 137)

The Fuller and Pickus books have this in common: tbey both deal comprehensively with grand strategy for peace. Otherwise they are on different wave-lengths, and they seem never to have encountered one another. But future editions of TO END WAR certainly ought to list UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, which has more to say about achieving peace with freedom than many of the books that Pickus and Woito cite.

What Fuller and Pickus also share is a vision of the scale of what needs to be done to interdict war. It is not that they have same vision; it is that their minds are fast enough to sweep in larger patterns than most of their contemporaries. Fuller and Pickus have both engineered some magnificent organizational failures of the kind that — like a gorgeous rocket explosion on the launching pad — may predate later success.


In 1961 Fuller envisaged a ten-year program,1965-75, to be called "World Design Science Decade", a self-initiated world-wide effort by architectural and design students to triple the use-efficiency of the planet's resources so as to serve 100% of humanity instead of the present 40%.

That same year Pickus launched a far-reaching effort to coordinate the work of all the competing non-communist peace groups under the rubric of "Turn Toward Peace". By 1964 the latter had. all but collapsed in the wake of policy and personality clashes (from which the peace movement is not immune). Pickus picked up the pieces and re-formed them into his present effort, called the World Without War Council, based in Berkeley, New York, and elsewhere, through which he is building an infrastructure of civic leaders, voluntary organizations, and peace organizations, in an attempt "to re-establish the goal of ending war as a viable and guiding force in American life". (p. 263)

Meanwhile, Fuller's World Design Science Decade did not get beyond its early stages, and was superseded by his current proposal for a "World Game" (as opposed to a "war game"). This would consist of an elaborately computerized gigantic world map facility — or at least a mental outlook — that can simulate and display strategies for the earth as a whole to be made economically successful for all its inhabitants.


Fuller hardly needs an introduction; he has become a celebrity within the past decade, and is called "the world's leading expert". On the other hand, Pickus is not well known outside the peace movement, where he has worked energetically for over fifteen years.

He had been in the OSS during World War II, but by the mid-'fifties had combined a Jewish/Quaker outlook to become a pacifist and head the Peace Education Program of the Chicago office of the (Quaker) American Friends Service Committee. In 1955 he was instrumental in the joint writing of a Quaker pamphlet called SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER which became a landmark of sophisticated pacifist thinking. (34) It challenged liberals' assumption that a negotiated disarmament policy can co-exist with an arms race policy; and it sought to confront the reality of totalitarian aggression by suggesting a policy based on nonviolent and Gandhian methods of resistance.*
In 1958 Pickus moved to his present office in Berkeley where he began an experimental venture in community peace education called "Acts for Peace". Acts for Peace fostered a number of unique approaches in its field; rather than being a membership organization with dues, mailings, and occasional speakers, it instead stressed whatever act an individual was ready to carry out within an overall frame of


moving public opinion from support of reliance on war and mass-organized violence, to support of alternative policies. Then and. today, it has been Pickus's talent to persuade his listeners that there is "a coherent body of thought capable of sustaining such a goal" of ending war.*

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
* In my own case it was: a speech by Pickus in December 1959 that influenced me from tnat day to this into a full-time vocational concern for work to end war.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

As Pickus writes,
Without a realistic perspective adequate to the whole task, the citizen stands bewildered and immobilized, or limited to dramatic and sometimes counter-productive.protest. (p. 5)
In a remarkably similar mode, Fuller states:
They want peace. But the young people have not worked out an adequate understanding of the comprehensive factors involved. They don't have enough data to put together the kind of comprehensive picture that I am attempting to put together for you here today. . . . They keep challenging the local politicians by marching in front of them saying, "Make the World Work" — "Let's Have Peace" — "Stop the War." (p..250)
Providing such a realistic perspective, then, Pickus takes the ingenious approach of inviting his listeners to undertake whatever level of activity makes sense to them, whether radical or conservative, pacifist or not. As one observer, Arthur Harvey, noted,
The idea is that a person wishing, say, to show a film supporting the UN to a group of businessmen can work through [Acts for Peace] without gagging at the knowledge that some anarchist is at the same time telling high school students of his prison experiences, also through AFP. (39: 4)

At that time the official insignia of Acts for Peace was a Moebius Strip:
moebius strip
(a loop which is a single-surface curved-plane). In Arthur Harvey's account,
it looks as if it has two sides, but this, Bob explains, is similar to the illusion people have about the world. More important than apparent division is the underlying oneness — and we'd better not forget it."
(39: 4)
By September 1961 several crises were coming to a head — Berlin, nuclear testing, the Congo and Hammarskjold's death — and at this point Pickus found an opening to do for the many divergent peace groups nation-wide what he had been doing on a pilot scale in Acts for Peace: have each separate group agree to contribute its own ideas and programs to a conglomerate effort called "Turn Toward Peace", without merging their differences in a "lowest common denominator" organization. TTP would offer all concerned citizens a range of ideas to choose from and programs to work with; contributing organizations would be delegated to prepare various information kits or materials "as a service to Turn Toward Peace"; and a network of "community peace centers" would be established.

To a considerable extent, this was all set in motion, and in December 1963 Pickus organized a conference* for leaders in many voluntary organizations, some of which were only peripherally concerned about war. These organizations were tasked to find out how they could involve their membership more directly in the peace effort.

* I was present as a staff member of the Committee for Nonviolent Action.


Bob's genius helped shape Turn Toward Peace (one wag called it "Turn Toward Pickus"), but another side of his character may have helped undo it: an extremely zealous anti-communism. From the outset, Pickus had strongly influenced Turn Toward Peace to be built on a "non-fellow-traveling" basis — it was not to be the kind of peace movement which is a front for Soviet foreign policy, and thus critical only of U.S. policy. One of his important theses then and now is that Russian and U.S. foreign policies are both part of the problem, that there must be changes in both nations' outlook, and that the U.S. could help prompt constructive change in Soviet policy by our own American initiatives, rather than simply react to moves the other side makes.

Thus Pickus — correctly, in my view — urges pacifists and peace movers not to become apologists for totalitarian foreign policy, and he urges development of nonviolent methods for continuing the real conflict between dictatorial and demo- cratic systems. So far, so good; Pickus is certainly not alone in defending such a viewpoint. But he was such an avid controversialist about this ideology that he almost beat it to death; the American Friends Service Committee pulled out of Turn Toward Peace, which proved a fatal amputation. Pickus in turn moved closer to the liberal mainstream, where he is today.*

*Update 2009: For a more recent account of the demise of TTP, and the role of Pickus in Quaker peace doctrine, see Allen Smith, "The Renewal Movement: The Peace Testimony and Modern Quakerism" (Quaker History, 85/2, 1996 Fall).

Pickus insistently discloses his basic assumptions and political position by way of urging others to do likewise. These are mine — the viewpoint from which I judge TO END WAR: I consider myself a pacifist and primarily interested in advancing the principle of strategic nonviolent action in two realms: (a) as a personal response to immediate evils such as the draft, and (b) as a hypothetical replacement for defense systems based on killing. I explicitly share most of Bob's assumptions and purposes, but my center of gravity is more toward efforts to improve pacifist ideas for defense policy.

Pickus has so heavily imbued his own agenda with the political task of building a liberal, non-pacifist, peace constituency that he has left undeveloped the "Developed Peace Position" which he advocates in TO END WAR. In the fifteen years since he prompted the writing of SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER he has left it to others (notably Gene Sharp) to carry forward the thinking needed to construct: a policy of national defense without armaments., "Few able men are seriously exploring the implications of these ideas in international affairs..." Pickus wrote in 1955; "It is time there was." (35: 8)


I've always envied the way Pickus can approach the compIexities of the peace movement, and with a few verbal or typewritten strokes leave the problem as neatly divided as potatoes coming out of a french-fry slicer. A typical specimen is a 1960 mimeographed handout he prepared for a "Peace Interne Training Program" seminar. Excerpt: [underlining in original: not hotlinks — gk ]
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. Alternate Approaches to Action: What Peace Organizations Do
(a) The problem of audience: who are you trying to reach

(b) The problem of action: what do you do

(c) The problem of style: "Tone" of activity:
-Radical / conventional

-Education / action

-Religious / secular

-Frame / next step

-Level of commitment

-Mass Movement / sect / cell / personal

-Personal / political

-Pacifist / non-pacifist

-Exteme / range / lowest common denominator
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That particular grouping has long been vivid in my mind of how Pickus gives a read-out of peace organizing ideas in abbreviated but wide-screen focus. There are many similar examples in TO END WAR (e.g., p. 235) — almost too many. Pickus sprouts checklists like a tree grows branches. In this book alone we have:
• Twelve categories of thought to define the war/peace field (pp. 5-6 and the table of contents)

• Seven contexts for considering war/peace problems (p. 170)

• Ten basic assumptions: (pp. 179-80)

• Seven objectives for a world without war (p. 183)

• Eleven elements of a peace constituency (p. 139)

• Five ways to evaluate a peace organization (pp. 233-35)

• Ten points for a self-survey on the question "But what can I do?" (pp. 207-09)

• Twenty-three answers to the above question (pp. 210-15)
In addition there are annotated listings af 663 books and pamphlets, 60 periodicals, and 60 peace and public affairs organizations.

(Bucky Fuller, incidentally; is much more discursive than Pickus, but in his letter to Doxiadas, he lists 40 Strategic Questions, and 14 Dominant Concepts [pp. 308-09].)

With all his schemata, what are some of the essentials that recur in Bob Pickus's co-ordinates of the war/peace situation? Here is my Pickus checklist, abridged from his checklists:
1) "Something is wrong in a world in which war is accepted as a right and reasonable instrument of national policy."

2) Conflict. is natural, but not organized mass violence. ("Isn't it possible," Bob once asked in an interview, "that we could get rid of war, while people went on being nasty to their wives, occasionally kicking stray dogs?" [49: 80].)
3) One-answer solutions to the problem of war will not suffice, whether these be world law, weapons parity, Marxism, emotional anti-militarism, or whatever.

4) A "Developed. Peace Position" sees both America and other national powers as part of the war problem. (As previously discussed.)

5) The Developed Peace Position stresses defense of democratic values but rejects mass organized. violence and insists on nonviolent methods of defense and conflict management.

6) Informed citizens can, by democratic process clear the way for America to adopt: a policy of "peace initiatives", even though present political leadership will not because it is locked in the arms race.

7) War can be ended. It; probably won't be, yet "whatever the odds, we are required to try."
Those are seven noble truths, but Bob has dozens more, and some questionable ones besides. The stressing of government and majority rule are recent add-ons to his program, perhaps in reaction to the nihilism he must see so rampant in Berkeley and elsewhere. While I hardly consider myself an anarchist, I will not accept democratic decisions which make me an instrument or witness of killing other people, by napalm, Selective Service, or any other means.

Earlier, in Turn Toward Peace, Pickus had built a Policy Framework of VII "points on which we all agree", including a "Goal", a "Judgement", a "Direction", and so forth. The Goal was: "a disarmed world under law in which free societies can grow and flourish", which required in turn a "Focus" on still another "seven objectives" for attaining the Goal.


Four of tbe seven Turn Toward Peace objectives have been retained in TO END WAR, including disarmament, world law, world community, and nonviolent methods. But one objective was watered down, and thereby suggests a certain cbange in Pickus's attitude. Objective number four of Turn Toward Peace was:
support of just demands for social, political, and economic change from those disadvantaged peoples to whom law and stability can be only a mockery of justice until they have an equal opportunity to obtain freedom, dignity, and material well-being. (53: 242; emphasis in the original)
In TO END WAR the fourth objective is merely:
World economic and political development (p. 183)
I would say the former is to the latter as Cesar Chavez is to Walter W. Rostow.
Update 2009: Note to younger readers: Cesar Chavez was a prominent union organizer and nonviolent social justice activist. Walter W. Rostow was an economic-growth theorist and pro-war advisor to President Lyndon Johnson.
Perhaps it is symptomatic of Pickus's bitterness at some of his former allies, and at the revolutionary style of much of the "peace movement" today.*

* That may explain one amazing oversight in this bibliography of peace theory: its apparent snub of the late A.J. Muste (1885-l967), co-author with Pickus of SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, and widely respected as one of the foremost pacifist thinkers and leaders in the 20th century. A pamphlet of Muste's on draft resistance is listed, but that is all. Omitted are his biography (PEACE AGITATOR, by Nat Hentoff, N.Y., Macmillan, 1963), his collected writings (THE ESSAYS OF A.J. MUSTE, Nat Hentoff, ed., N.Y., Bobbs-Merrill, 1967), and the magazine he founded, Liberation (now edited by Dave Dellinger). To write of tbe peace movement without reference to the ideas of A.J. Muste is to write of the American Revolution without mentioning Tbomas Paine, or of liberty without J.S. Mill, or of the Russian Revolution without Trotsky. In one case we know it can be done, but why put Muste down the Memory Tube? Pickus has no trouble listing many pro-violence authors and periodicals (e.g., Marcuse, Cleaver, Sorel, Fanon, Ramparts, the Guardian), but Muste and Liberation seem to be excommunicated.

Be that as it may, on the whole subject of world development I find that Bucky Fuller has a far greater sense of technology and prophecy. Fuller's theory of how to sidetrack war by means of rapid world industrialization is more imaginative than the section in TO END WAR on "World Community and World Development" (pp.. 32-45); it is here that UTOPIA OR OBLIVION sbould be singled out "TEW", Pickus and Woito's abbreviation for books "especially recommended as contributing ideas that can help move us toward ending war".

Despite my critical remarks about TO END WAR, I highly commend this book to anyone's attention, especially newcomers to the field of war versus peace. It is a basic guide to the pluralism of the peace movement, and a departure point for one's own efforts — it is for mine.

However, speaking as one who was inspired by Pickus directly and by the Quaker principles expressed in the pamphlet SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, I must also say that TO END WAR is not the better book I believe Pickus could have done if he had continued to develop more fully the proposition of nonviolent resistance for world conflict as he had begun in that pamphlet. To be sure, pacifism and nonviolent action are given their due by Pickus, but only with faint praise.

The good is the enemy of the best, and TO END WAR is a very good book.

* * *


One of the most careful and recurrent stipulations Buckminster Fuller makes when he sets forth his technological vistas is to specify that they are intended to make everyone on earth economically successful, and in a very short period of time — as little as ten years. His often-stated cardinal proposition is this one:
"The world can be made to work successfully for all, and we know how to do it." (p. 206)
An audacious prophecy — but in his hands it becomes highly plausible. It may be possible to vulgarize or misunderstand Fuller, but not for lack of his care in defining the conditions of human freedom he is pointing his design efforts toward. He expands on his key proposition with these specifications:
Essence of "success in making the world work" will be to make every man able to become a world citizen and able to enjoy the whole Earth, going wherever he wants at any time, able to take care of all his forward days without any interference with any other man and never at the cost of another man's equal freedom and advantage. (p. 132)

As Pickus would say, I think that is a "standard of responsibility" with which to judge ideas for the shape of a world without war. Furthermore, in the title essay of UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, Fuller adds the corollary that "Utopia must be inherently for all or none." He remarks:
All the attempts to establish Utopias were not only premature and misconceived, but they were also exclusive. Small groups of humanity withdrew from and forsook the welfare of the balance of humanity. Utopia must be inherently for all or none. A minority's knowledge that the majority of humanity suffers and deteriorates while only the minority prospers would never permit a Utopian degree of contentment of the all-powerful subconcious reflexing of the human brain. (p. 290; emphasis added;)
Bucky's concern for "all humanity" is matched by a concern for individual lives:
One man was killed for every floor of the Empire State Building's 102 stories No men should be killed in the production of the horizontal skyscraper in the airplane factory. (p. 352)
— in this case, a proposal of his to airlift skyscrapers into place after they have been built indoors on their side.

In my judgement, the single most important contribution that Fuller makes to the grand strategy of peace is this perspective of the "whole earth" and everyone — everyone — on it. Not that we have heretofore lacked shelves-full of books such as Willkie's ONE WORLD or Ward's SPACESHIP EARTH (using Bucky's phrase), or plans for world government, or even 3/4 of the world represented in the United Nations Organization.*

* Written before Communist China was seated at the UN in place of Taiwan. — gk


However, I believe Fuller has produed a more inclusive and incisive definition of "the world problem" than any other I have seen:
the world's prime, vital problem bears repeating a million times. It is: How to triple swiftly, safely, and, satisfyingly, the overall perforrnance realizations per pound, kilowatts, and manhours of the world's comprehensive resources. To do so will render these resources — which at present design level can support only 44 per cent of humanity — capable of supporting 100 per cent of Iiumanity's increasing population at higher standards of living than any human minority or single individual has ever known or dreamed of. . . . (p.178; emphasis in the original)
To enlarge slightly upon tbis perspective: Fuller assumes that the combined machinery of the world is working at only 4% of efficiency for the energy it uses. (Car engines are 15% efficient; jets 65%; fuel cells can be 80%.) By tripling the efficiency to 12% — or only to l0% — Fuller believes that a decent standard of living could accrue to all the people of the world. (p. 287)

Fuller's theory of wealth equates, it with energy and know-how — the better you know how to use energy patterns,  and the more efficiently, then the better your standard of living will be.

Bucky's measure of the standard of living in turn is based upon calculations he did in the February 1940 Fortune magazine on per capita energy consumption in. an entire economy. Energy can be measured in foot-pounds, the amount of work required to lift one pound one foot. Fuller invented a larger unit called an "energy slave", which. is the amount of work one man could do for eight hours a day during one year: thirty-seven and a half million foot-pounds per year.


Fuller computed the total energy (in foot-pounds) consumed per year by all machinery of a given economy, then deducted 96% for inefficiency, and then divided by 37 1/2  million to get the total number of "energy slaves" available to that economy for one year. If you divide the human population into the number of energy slaves, then of course you have the per-capita energy slaves for one country for one year. With that yardstick, Fuller found in 1940 that each person in the U.S.A. had 153 energy slaves, a number then far exceeding any other country in the world except Canada.

Here Fuller makes an assumption: in a weaponless economy, a family of five could be maintained at a high standard of living with only 100 energy slaves working for them (mostly in the economy at large, not just their home). (p. 152) Thus, even in 1940, an American family of five had a theoretic 765 energy slaves to their credit, but most of them were being diverted into weapons production, and energy was unevenly concentrated in a few regions.

When Fuller says that 40% of humanity now has a high standard of living, the source of his figure is not clear to me — he may be referring to energy slaves per capita. In one instance he speaks of North America, Europe, and, a few other urban centers as an industrialized 40% of mankind. (2: 54)


As Fuller reads the trends, the current speed of world industrialization and of "doing more with less" is enough to make everyone on earth economically successful willy-nilly within 30 years, merely as the accidental result of tooling and technology coming out second-hand from the arms race. But that is a dangerous way to do it, like the original method of roasting pig by burning the house down. If instead we applied our efforts directly to the proposition of "making the world work", the same job could be accomplished in as little as ten years. (p. 237)

Fuller qualifies his reputation as an optimist by saying, like Pickus, that it can be done, but he is not sure that it will. His point is that if we change course from the arms race and do the job within 10 to 20 years, we make it to utopia, but longer than that is pushing our luck too far; in 1965 he said that even 22 years leaves a high probability of catastrophe. (p. 155). Elsewhere that same year he warned that before 2000 A.D.
the probability is close to 'certainty' that one 'Oswald' amongst four billion living and perplexed peoples will succeed in pushing one of the humanity-extinguishing buttons of the increasing number of sovereign possessed, omniautomated, interretaliation hookups to the comprehensive annihilation system. Assuming that humanity continues. . .the protracted weapons race 'detour'. . .within 10-20 more years we will descend below the 50-50 chance that man will survive on earth. (p. 283)
Update 2009: Bradford Lyttle has spelled out the mathematics of this deadly probability in what he calls "The Apocalypse Equation".

Fuller's basic theory of war is that no matter what the immediate crisis, the underlying cause has been that heretofore there was never enough to go around. When improved design efficiency, by doing more with less, is able to dramatize and finish the job of making fewer resources per capita serve 100% of the people at high standards of living — then war can end. Therefore, the initiative to end war rests with designers and inventers — largely students — who will show by prototypes that this objective is already possible today.

Therefore the most vivid contrast between Fuller and Pickus comes in the following basic judgements:

Ending war is the primary political task of our time. (p. 4) Steps toward ending war involve political action, a fact which even those committed to moral witness must recognize. (p. 137)


There is nothing anywhere in politics per se, political mandates, political activity that can in any way up the performance per pound of the world's resources and thereby make the resources take care of 100% instead of only 44% [of humanity]. (p. 251)

Bucky denies that he is a "Technocrat", noting that the name belongs to a Depression-era movement aiming at a dictatorship of engineers. (p. 267) (The Technocracy "movement" still has a mailing address today, incidentally.) However, like "kleenex" or "liberal", the little-t technocrat has crept into the language regardless of what the proper name refers to.


I don't think that politics can be so easily brushed aside. Pickus and Fuller have both traveled in India; in TO END WAR, Pickus writes that "One hundred thousand starve to death each year in Calcutta alone." (p. 32) In a 1961 interview with Studs Terkel, Bucky described a harrowing visit he had made to Calcutta. Terkel had asked him if his airlifted geodesic dcmes could help solve the housing problem of the one-third of the world ill housed, according to UN figures then, about 800 million people. Fuller said the real number was well over a billion; in Calcutta,
I saw hundreds or thousands of people dying on the streets and nobody able to do anything about it. . . . This was the first time in all my life that I had really felt as though I were sinking. I went to bed that night for the first time in all my life thinking: You're going to drown, you can't stop this, there is a chain reaction of man who is really going to pieces here. I woke up in the morning ashamed for having had such a feeling. You can't let that go on. . . . If you give people food, the maggots will get it before the people do. I am talking about getting things under control. So you start with keeping the flies out and the rain out.
Terkel:Is there a chance of the shelter domes being used?

Fuller: We are now at a point where we are going to be able to print geodesic domes out of waterproof paperboard, where one big papermaking machine can. turn out 3,000 a day. These are the size of a conventional house. (1: 22-23)
With that interview in mind, I asked Bucky recently why it was that an idea such as that is stillborn, that we see the Marines and the DEW Line using geodesic domes, but not Calcutta. Bucky mistakenly took my question for a hostile one, because he has lately been ragged by Maoist


demonstrators in connection with the Marine domes. He exclaimed that Mao himself wants him to come to China to teach them to build domes; and perhaps still thinking tbat I was a misguided Maoist, said I shouldn't have such an unfriendly attitude. "Love is the most important thing!" he almost shouted; "Love! Love! Love!" But then he apologized for getting ruffled at me, and explained that it was well for the domes to have been proven under arctic conditions and in Marine flight-lifting; otherwise they might have been regarded as good for nothing better than hot dog stands.

As for political inertia, he sees that as an all-pervasive — but highly transient — phenomenon. In the Fuller/Einstein view of the universe, everything is in motion, and change is the norm, at ever accelerating rates. In Bucky's 25 year patterns, today's political roadblocks are almost irrelevant.

But still, why can't veteran world traveler Bucky get into China? The U.S. state Department. It will take a political initiative to get Fuller into China, or at least to excite a "'dome war'" — which he talked about in 1959. Thinking then that the Russians might be planning a housing revolution along geodesic principles, he told Newsweek that "Then we'll be forced to spend millions to keep up with the Russians putting up domes in China and everywhere." (23: 87)

Update 2009-08: this was written in 1970, a year before Nixon's sudden reversal of two decades of his and America's dogmatic hatred of Red China. (A political decision, cynical but momentous.) Yet even today, there has been no letup in America's 50-year anathema against Castro's Cuba. (Political lockjaw.)


When you have, by your model, taught the world to see its problem and the clearly designed model of its solution — the world, weary of its artificially induced dilemmas, will suddenly vote for your LIVINGRY, forsaking the obsolete KILLINGRY, as tbe prime commonwealth regenerating preoccupation. (5: 18; emphasis in the original.)

The hired. military serviceman bas done his best. within his limits as prime design initiator. His design authority is limited, however, to the augmentation of his tools. His tools — weaponry; their physical objective — killingry, tbe negative of livingry. (4: 245)
In UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, Fuller more often contrasts "weaponry" with 'livingry". I think the "killingry / livingry" pair is slightly more apt; by coining that phrase, Fuller has used language with precision to sharpen the alternatives. Similarly, when Pickus talks about war, he bears down hard on the phrase "organized, mass violence"; he doesn't trail off into mild cliches about; "the use of force". In a debate with Reinbold Niebuhr on SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER, Pickus attacked Niebuhr's wide-ranging definition of "power" and focused instead on that concept of power which
stands at the center of organization for modern war: Power as the ability to injure, to destroy.
(Emphasis in the original)

Pickus and his co-author went on to suggest that
We would do well to follow Camus' prescription for clarity and refuse to let tbe vague abstraction mask the harsh reality; refuse to say of the man condemned to death: 'He's going to pay his debt to society,' but rather 'They're going to cut his head off.' (36: 19-20)

(A similar problem happened to ceme up in the Nov. 16, 1970 Newsweek in an article on the SALT talks by Bruce van Voorst, p. 54:)
. . . living as they do in the abstract world of megatons, some Pentagon planners are like physicians dealing daily with cancer, gradually losing their sensitivity to the pain around them. With their projections and calculations increasingly made in terms of megatons and numbers of launchers, they lose sight of the fact that in any rational scheme their calculations would be totally unacceptable. 'After a while in this business,' said one U.S. delegate, 'the professionals tend to forget that Hiroshima went up in only 20 kilotons.'
Pickus and Fuller give us a problem well stated: what we are faced with is "killingry" and "organized mass violence"; what we need to design is "livingry" for a "world without war".

Question: Who is going to act on Fuller's prophecies? Who is he talking to? As Pickus would ask, what is his "audience"? Fuller, alone perhaps, transcends Pickus's neat categories; he is listened to by Senator Edmund Muskie and Representative Gerald Ford and Governor Terry Sanford and Citizen John Gardner, and The Reader's Digest and Saturday Review and the Los Angeles Free Press, and hundreds of world-around audiences of students and professionals and opinion elites and Woodstock Nation. Listened to — but not heeded. He is a prophet with honor, but not yet enough to call the signal for changing from killingry to Iivingry.


He has urged designers and architects, especially, to pick up the baton for a "design science revolution". In addition, he tries to ennoble any other audience he speaks to, but holds out the most hope for the world's students in general, to take "poetic license" and usher in the design revolution, "without guns or weapons of any kind". (p. 184) I listen with great enthusiasm myself, though I also tend to think that performance-per-pound will not answer such moral summonses as draft cards, body counts, racism, or dictatorship.

I have observed the World Game as a student-participant, and wish it well. I have also observed Bob Pickus's work, as a student-participant in Turn Toward Peace, and wish him well. There are still other alternatives, but whichever road leads us faster into a world without war, what I gain most from Pickus and Fuller is their sense of the Big Picture. No one else can match their indefatigable and comprehensive efforts to see the problem whole, and to steer the world's energy into a grand design of peace.



I. Selections from R. Buckminster Fuller

Note: Fuller's publications so far are a poorly-edited hodgepodge and a challenge to bibliographers. This grouping is in chronological order of the original (usually oral) discourse, so the publication dates do not always matcb. Many of the items listed separately below are from the following two anthologies, hereafter referred to only by the volume's title:

(A) UTOPIA OR OBLIVION: THE PROSPECTS FOR HUMANITY, Robert W. Marks, ed. (N.Y: Bantam, 1969) 366 pp. ^

(B) WORLD DESIGN SCIENCE DECADE 1965-1975 (in 6 volumes; Carbondale, Ill.: World Resources Inventory, Southern Illinois University)

(ii) THE DESIGN INITIATIVE (1963) 166 pp.

(iii) COMPREHENSIVE THINKING (1965) 118 pp

(iv) THE TEN YEAR PROGRAM (by John McHale; 1965) 115 pp.



1961 Oct
1) AN INTERVIEW WITH BUCKMINSTER FULLER" (part I of III), by Studs Terkel and Jobn Walley (WFMT Perspective, Oct. 1961) pp. 20-25 ^

1962 Dec 14


4) "PRIME DESIGN", chapter 13 in Fuller, IDEAS AND INTEGRITIES, Robert W. Marks, ed. (N.Y.: Collier, 1969) pp. 244-49 (Orig. Prentice-Hall, 1963) ^

1963 Oct 10


1964 Aug 29
6) "THE PROSPECT FOR HUMANITY" (Saturday Review 40th Anniversary Issue Aug. 29, Sep. 19, and Oct. 3, 1964) offprint, 6 pp. (Also in COMREHENSIVE THINKING, pp. 65-77)

1965 Mar 18

1965 Apr (ca.)
8) "GEOSOCIAL REVOLUTION" in UTOPIA OR OBLIVION (pp. 162-206). (Also in COMPREHENSIVE THINKING, pp. 79-110; highly condensed as "REPORT ON THE 'GEOSOCIAL REVOLUTION'", Saturday Review, Sep. 16, 1967, pp. 31 ff.)

1965 JuJ.(ca.)

1965 Oct 18
10) "BUCKMINSTER FULLER TO THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PLANNERS" (unpublished paper available from Fuller's office, Oct. 18, 1965) 4 pp.

1965 Oct 21& 23
11) "VISION 65 KEYNOTE ADDRESS" and "VISION 65 SUMMARY ADDRESS" in UTOPIA OR OBLIVION (pp. 114-56). (Also in COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN STRATEGY, pp. 61-86. Latter address also published in American Scholar, 35/2, Spring 1966, pp. 206-18)

1966 Jun 20
12) "DESIGN STRATEGY" [LETTER TO CONSTANTINE DOXIADIS] (in UTOPIA OR OBLIVION, pp. 300-342). (Also in COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN STRATEGY, pp. 15-49; condensed version in Main Currents of Modern Thought, Mar. 1969)

13) "EPILOGUE" in UTOPIA OR OBLIVION (PP. 343-63). (Condensed version, "CITY OF THE FUTURE" in Playboy, XV/l, Jan. 1968, pp. 166 ff., offprint 6 pp.)

1967 Apr 1
14) "MAN WITH A CHRONOFILE" in UTOPIA OR OBLIVION (pp. l-11). (Also in COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN STRATEGY" pp. 1-9; orig. in Saturday Review, Apr. 1, 1967, pp. 14-18)

1967 Dec
15) "'BUCKY'" (University of Toronto Graduate, "Explorations" section edited by Marshall McLuhan, Dec. 1967) pp. 66-89 (offprint, 13 pp.)


16) "WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO" (Saturday Review, Mar. 2, 1968, p.13; Esquire, Dec. 1969, p.130; and in WHO'S WHO) 200 words

1969 JuJ.
17) "THE AGE OF THE DOME" (Build International, 11/6, Jul-Aug. 1969) n.p., offprint, 10 pp.

II. Selections by Fuller about the World Game

(see also item #11 above)


1968 Apr
19) "WORLD GAME: HOW IT CAME ABOUT" (mimeographed, n.d., rec'd 1969-04-15 ) 19 pp. (Reprinted in Fuller, 50 YEARS OF THE DESIGN SCIENCE REVOLlJTION AND THE WORLD GAME, Dale D. Klaus, ed. Carbondale, Ill.: World Resources Inventory, Southern Illinois University, June 1969) l18 pp. See pp. 111-18. Mis-identified in above as "Paper delivered June 18, 1969 to Joint National Meeting of Operations Research Society of America and American Astronautical Society, Denver, Colorado," but is not the same as item #20 below, also identified as paper delivered to same conference on same day.  Above also reprinted in "BUCKMINSTER FULLER PRESENTATIONS TO CONGRESS, THE WORLD GAME", 24 pp. offprint by Fuller's office of his statement to Muskie subcommittee hearings on S. Res. 78 to Establish a Select Senate Committee on Technology and the Human Environment, [Mar. 4, 1969], the paper itself being dated Apr 1968.

1969 Jun 18
20) "THE WORLD GAME" (Denver, Col.: paper presented to Joint National Meeting of Operations Research Society of America and the American Astronautical Society, Denver, Colorado, June 18, 1969) 30 pp. (Abridged version in Ekistics, Oct. 1969)


1969 Dec
21) "WORLD GAME REPORT" (N. Y .: New York Studio School of Painting and Sculpture in association with Good News, Dec. 1969) n.p., 28 pp. illus.

III. Selected material about R. Buckminster Fuller

1953 Jan 19
22) "PERSONALITY" (Time, Jan. 19, 1953) p. 39

1959 Ju1 13
23) "ARCHITECTURE: UMBRELLA MAN" (Newsweek, Jul. 13, 1959) pp. 84-87  ^

24) Marks, Robert W., THE DYMAXION WORLD OF BUCKMINSTER FULLER (N.Y.: Reinhold, 1960) 232 pp
1960 Aug 20
25) Cort, David, "THE GIGANTIC .AND LOVING FIGHT", review of ibid. (The Nation, Aug. 20, 1960) pp. 93-94

1964 Jan 10
26)  "THE DYMAXION AMERICAN' (Time, Jan. 10, 1964) pp. 46-51 and cover

1965 Apr
27) Meyer, June, "INSTANT SLUM CLE.ARANCE" Esquire, Apr. 1965) pp. 108-111  

1966 Jan 8
28) Tomkins, Calvin, "IN THE OUTLAW AREA" [profile] (The New Yorker, Jan. 8, 1966) n.p., 15 pp. offprint  

1969 Nov
29) Warshofsky, Fred, "MEET BUCKY FULLER, AMBASSADOR FROM TOMORROW" (The Reader's Digest, Nov. 1969) pp. 199-206

1969 Nov 5
30) Brown, Peter "SIU's FAMED DESIGNER"(St. Lois Post-Dispatch, Nov. 5, 1969) 2 pp. offprint

1970 May 2
31) Taylor, Harold, "INSIDE BUCKMINSTER FULLER'S UNIVERSE" (Saturday Review, May 2, 1970) pp. 56 ff. (offprint, 3 pp.)

1970 Jun 15


IV. Selections from Robert Pickus

Note: Pickus's writings are also a hair-tearing job to index. Except for item #39 below, all of the following are by Pickus; in several cases I infer his authorship. As for the collaborative items, his influence is clearly visible and often predominant. This is not a complete listing, but it probably exceeds anything compiled heretofore, perhaps even in Bob's own files.

His capstone (and only published book length work) so far is the following, to which I am comparing UTOPIA OR OBLIVION; other titles are in chronological order:

( C)  TO END WAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE IDEAS, BOOKS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND WORK THAT CAN HELP (with Robert Woito; Berkeley, Calif.: World Without War Council, Feb. 1970) 261 pp. (Also forthcoming from Harper) ^

33) "AN ATTEMPT TO EDUCATE FOR PEACE" (Chicago: American Friends Service Committee Community Peace Education Program, n.d., ca. 1955) 8 panel brochure, 2 pp.

1955 Mar
34) (with Stephen G. Cary, A.J. Muste, et al) American Friends Service Committee, SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER; A QUAKER SEARCH FOR AN ALTERNATIVE TO VIOLENCE (Philadelphia: AFSC, Mar. 1955) 71 pp. ^

1955 Oct:
35) "SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER: A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH IN THE SEARCH FOR PEACE" in "IS THERE ANOTHER WAY?", a debate on ibid, with articles by Robert Pickus., Dwight Macdonald, Norman Thomas, Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Menninger, and George Kennan; and rejoinders by Robert Pickus and Stephen Cary. (The Progressive, Oct. 1955) pp., 5-24 (Also. offprinted; see #36 below) ^

1955 Oct
36) "REPLY TO THE CRITICS", with Stephen G. Cary (The Progressive, Oct. 1955) pp. 19-24.. NB: An expanded and improved version of the "REPLY" is in this offprinted edition of the entire debate ("IS THERE ANOTHER WAY?". The Progressive, offprint, Oct. 1955) pp. 17-23 ^

37) "THE NEVADA PROJECT: AN APPRAISAL" (Liberation, Sep. 1957) 3 pp.

38) "ACTS FOR PEACE: A BRIEF DESCRIPTION" (Berkeley: AFP, n.d., ca. 1959) 4 pp. fo1der

1959 Jun 27
39) Harvey, Arthur, "INSIDE 'ACTS FOR PEACE'" (The Peacemaker, Jun, 27, 1959) pp. 4-5   ^

40) "KPFA COMMENTARIES" (radio transcripts):
Jan. 30, 1960, [no, title] ("certain inadequacies...of peace thought) 5 pp.

Oct. 8, 1960, "THE NON-COMMUNIST FELLOW TRAVELER PROBLEM", 4 pp. (Also in Liberal Democrat, Jan. 1961)

Jan. 28, 1961, "JUDAISM AND WAR" (qv below, #47)  
1960 Jun
41) "ACTS FOR PEACE REPORT, JUNE 1960" (Berkeley, AFP, Jun. 1960) 2 pp.

1960 Nov

43) "AMERICA COULD BE LEADING THE WORLD TO A JUST PEACE...IF..." (in Jerome D. Frank, M.D., SANITY AND SURVIVAL, II: THE NONVIOLENT ALTERNATIVE; Berkeley, AFP, n.d., [1960] inside back cover of 16 pp. pamphlet. (Was also mimeographed separately.)

44) "PEACE INTERNE PROGRAM" (Berkeley: AFP, n.d., (1960) 2 pp.



1961 Jan 28
47) "JUDAISM AND WAR" (transcript of KPFA radio commentary, Jan. 28, 1961) 4 pp.

1961 Feb
48) "THE NON-COMMUNIST FELLOW TRAVELER, ETC." (The Liberal Democrat, Feb. 1961) mimeo reprint, 8 pp.

1961 Dec
49) "DISTURBER OF THE PEACE: ROBERT PICKUS", interview by Eve Auchincloss, Margaret B. Parkinson, and Virginia Voss (Mademoiselle, Dec. 1961) pp. 80, 108-14. (Also offprinted. Badly abridged version in INSTEAD OF VIOLENCE, Arthur and Lila Weinberg, ed.: Boston: Beacon Press, 1963) pp. 62-64  ^


1961, 62
50) "AMERICAN INITIATIVES IN A TURN TOWARD PEACE" (N.Y.: Fellowship of Reconciliation for Turn Toward Peace, n.d., ca. May 1962; 12 panel folder, 2 pp. Earlier draft by Pickus, mimeographed, n.d., ca. Oct. 1961, 6 pp.)

1961 Nov 2
51) "TURN TOWARD PEACE DESCRIPTIVE MEMORANDUM" (in HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY PEACE CENTERS, qv #53 below, pp. 405-09; also separate earlier versions Nov. 2,. 1961; Dec. 21, 1961; Apr. 25, 1962.)

1961 Nov
52) "TURN TOWARD PEACE" (brochure, n.d., ca. Nov. 1962) 2 pp.

1962 Aug
53) "HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY PEACE CENTERS WORKING IN COOPERATION WITH TURN TOWARD PEACE", Joyce Mertz, ed., Robert Gilmore and Robert Pickus, contr. eds. (N.Y.: TTP, Aug. 1962) ca. 200 pp., numbered to 488 with gaps. Mimeographed. ^

54) "POLICY FRMIEWORK OF TURN TOWARD PEACE" (ibid, pp. 241-43; also in #55 below)

1963 May

56) "A SURVEY OF THE PEACE MOVEMENT: AN ATTEMPT TO UNDERSTAND THE ORGANIZATIONS WHOSE STATED PURPOSE IS TO HELP PREVENT OR ABOLISH WARn, Nancy Starr, ed. (N.Y.: American Friends Service Committee Peace Education Program, n.d., 1963) 2 pp.

1963 Nov 4
57) "PEACE MOVEMENT AMERICA NEEDS" (typescript, n. d., [Nov. 4, 1963]) 4 pp.

1965 Jun
58) "POLITICAL INTEGRITY AND ITS CRITICS" (Liberation, lune-July 1965) pp. 36-40 (Related articles by Staughton Lynd and A.J. Muste)

1967 Apr


1968 Mar /May
60) "WITHDRAWAL NOW?", debate with David McReynolds (Fellowship, March and May, 1968) pp. 5-9 and 28-30, resp.

61) "WORKING FOR A WORLD WITHOUT WAR IN YOUR COMMUNITY: A STUDY KIT" (Berkeley: World Without War Council, 1968) 300 pp. [not received at this writing]

1969 May
62) THE ABM AND A WORLD WITHOUT WAR, with the editorial assistance of David Luse (Berkeley: World Without War Council, May 1969) 90 pp.

1970 Feb
63) TO END WAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE IDEAS, BOOKS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND WORK THAT CAN HELP (Berkeley: World Without War Council, Feb. 1970; also forthcoming from Harper) 261 pp.

V. Incidental references

64) Coser, Lewis, THE FUNCTIONS OF SOCIAL CONFLICT (N.Y.: The Free Press, 1956) paperback ed., 188 pp.

65) McReynolds, David, WE HAVE BEEN INVADED BY THE 21st CENTURY (N.Y.: Praeger, 1970) 270 pp

66) Olson, Theodore, "PEACE AND THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY: A MANUAL FOR INSTRUCTORS IN A WORK AND STUDY: PROGRAM FOR PEACE INTERNES" (N.Y.: Turn Toward Peace, Aug. 1963) mimeographed, n.p., ca. 300 pp.

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