How can we raise the profile of peace? This is a central theme of my new book THE GLORIOUS ART OF PEACE (Oxford University Press) which traces the history of peace thought and argument from ancient times to today. There is a marked contrast between the vibrant field of peace research, which is growing by the year, and its visibility in the media and public perception. For example, the BBC news programmes almost never invite a Professor of Peace Studies to comment on issues of war and peace, while they constantly rely on war professors and think tank experts. Check out the paucity of peace literature on the shelves of your leading bookshop – even the latest titles usually have to be ordered. Erasmus, in contrast to his contemporary Machiavelli, is barely known. Kant is dismissed as an idealist for his “Perpetual Peace” if it is mentioned at all. Recent biographers of Victor Hugo and Tolstoy have paid more attention to their views on sex than on peace. The inter-war peace movements which supported collective action by the League of Nations are often lumped together with appeasement.
The role of anti-nuclear public opinion in the 1960s to 1980s in pushing nuclear-state leaders towards negotiation and restraint is played down (fortunately the gap has been filled by Lawrence Wittner). Today, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Crisis, many people in the International Relations business are still reluctant to acknowledge how close the world came to destruction (in which case, who would have “won” the cold war?) The threat of conflict over Iran will take us into more dangerously uncharted territory. Though much has already been done, do we not need to build more bridges between peace, justice, development and environment issues both in scholarship and activism? I would welcome comments here, and I also have a Facebook page.
Thank you sir for your informative post .
I want to just add Comparison of Nehru and Gandhi.
As students of history our regular syllabus contains history of Generals and their magnanimity. Peace process and peace makers never get recognition.
Thank you for adding this useful comparison. I do have several pages in my book on Gandhi -- though not enough! He is one of those figures whose name is known by everyone but not necessarily his thoughts beyond the simple concept of "non-violence". I find Gandhi's view of the relationship between the individual and the state very interesting, much more complex for example than that of Tolstoy.
Magnanimous generals -- that sounds intriguing!
Must be good
The Glorious Art of Peace will be with me, as we journey south from chilly England to share days of the French Midi sun and pure peace!
Thanks! As the Chinese would say, yilu pingan -- Travel in Peace.
I am totally agree with you as Peace activist in Palestine , Its very rare to find focus on the Peace groups and the power of change they have . Most the focus goes on the Millitray groups and war experts.
I hope you will take in consideration the Palestinian Peace groups and their achievements druing first and second Itifada.
Also we have Mobarak Awad who was an important element on the Civil disobedience in the First Intifada and many followers in the second intifada.
Thank you for reminding me of the importance of Palestinian peace groups which I should learn more about: also for pointing me in the direction of Mubarak Awad --I've just come across this lively interview with him.
Arun Gandhi has agreed to join me to go to the UN to make a presentation to Michele Bachelet, the Executive Director of UN WOMEN. When I told Arun that it was to propose a Global Movement of Nonviolence (GMofNV), he said, "It's about time!" The time is perfect and an amazing opportunity has arisen. However, the time is slipping away. Will you help?
Dr. Mark Johnson, the national director of Fellowship of Reconciliation is going to make the appointment with Dr. Bachelet for us. I've invited MLK III but have not had a response. IMAGINE, if Gandhi and King, the two biggest names in nonviolence in our lifetime, were promoting a GMofNV, led by women, for humanity, would it influence Michele Bachelet and all women?
The reason I asked Arun at this time is because Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina
Monologues announced an initiative for February 14, 2013 to stop violence against women called ONE BILLION RISING (BR). This is the moment I’ve been waiting for!
A BR can be the spring board to catapult NONVIOLENCE into the mainstream. A BR is all about nonviolence. It is women promoting nonviolence. THE SIMPLICITY is a GMofNV promotes a BR à then a BR promotes a GMofNV simultaneously. A GMofNV could begin June 21, 2013. There is one year to prepare the details, but promotions could begin NOW. If women take a BR to the next level, nonviolence as the “Doctrine of all Countries,” they will create a new social and political paradigm. If they don’t try, it will be a missed opportunity!
The reason I want to enlist Alice Walker is because she can be the spokesperson for the whole movement and present the concept with Gandhi and King to Michele Bachelet. Michele Bachelet is the key for enlisting women leaders!
I can explain how and why this is possible and Michele Bachelet will understand. While she was President of Chile, she profoundly promoted the World March for Peace and Nonviolence (WM) (See below). The WM was an amazing awareness campaign but there was no follow-up. It was a missed opportunity. A BR is an awareness campaign and it needs a follow-up. A GMofNV is the follow-up!
Women leaders will empower women around the world to “Reach into Every Household” to illustrate “For the Children” the desire and dedication to resolve conflict nonviolently. Research has shown that the children are the common denominator for unity. Working for the welfare of the children is the “constructive” segment of a Gandhi plan. The initiative would be called a Call to Women, a World-Wide Unity Campaign. (See drafts of Declaration, Proclamation, and Oath of Nonviolence below)
A major objective of the movement is to attain political clout! The people in every country will influence their own government to resolve conflict nonviolently and prioritize programs for the children.
The mechanisms and the elements to implement a GMofNV are in place. All it needs is a catalyst. The financial, administrative, and marketing elements are prepared as guidelines and I have them juggling in the air. They are ready to fall into place. MICHELE BACHELET can make it happen! The intricacies are complex, but there is simplicity in setting it motion. Once begun, all kinds of good things will happen.
I am so close but so far away. Author Louise Diamond said to me that she is ill and cannot assist but sent me a wonderful message (below). Wendy Silvers, spiritual leader and founder of the Million Mamas Movement is joining. She can help connect the spiritual leaders. I’ve networked with women leaders around the world whom are aware of the plan.
The time is perfect for a GMofNV. After September 11th, the whole world was sympathetic with the US but the Bush Administration chose military might to solve problems. It was a lost opportunity. When Obama was elected, people around the world were ecstatic because they were hoping something good would happen. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because of hope. His presidency is about to be a lost opportunity. It needs a people movement of nonviolence to influence it as does the rest of the world. The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements are all about nonviolence, but will be a lost opportunity if the world does not find a way to unify and denounce war.
A GMofNV is designed to capture and “keep” the attention of the media. The key is getting the movement started. There is an opportunity to “make a difference!” There is much more to tell you. Please call me at 617-413-9064 to discuss the next step. Thank you!
The Children are Watching!
Peace and Love,
Cell # 617-413-9064 Home # 617- 964-5267
Letter from Louise Diamond 11/22/11:
“Thanks for sending the information on your wonderful project. The children are indeed a unifying force, and women are indeed the active agents of a most great peace. Your GSofNV/Call to Women can enliven the spirit of peace that we so desperately need on the planet in these days.”
Howard Zinn, author of “A People’s History of the United States”, wrote, “We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.” Zinn also wrote, in describing national boundaries and war, “Should we not begin to consider all children, everywhere, as our own? In that case, war, which in our time is always an assault on children, would be unacceptable as a solution to the problems of the world.”
Michele Bachelet speech
On Website for World March (WM) 2009
It pleases me enormously to support this fantastic idea of different organizations traveling around the world to ask for an end to war, nuclear weapons and all kinds of violence. Wanting is not enough; we must work united for this cause because we have learned the lesson that history has taught us. Thousands of millions of human beings have suffered the effects of brutal wars and senseless violence which have only succeeded in leaving the indelible marks of pain and sorrow. Nonetheless, I am proud of our region because it has been 40 years since Latin America and the Caribbean became the first region in the world to be free of nuclear weapons through the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which has prevailed up to the present thanks to a regional commitment which remains and which we are renewing before the world. As President of Chile, but also as a doctor, a mother, and a woman, I aspire to build a just world of solidarity where human rights are respected but especially where the most important thing of all is respected: The right to live in peace and with dignity. I’m making, then, a widespread call to the political, social and cultural leaders of our country and region but also other parts of the world, to support this major mobilization of humanity. May they support decisively this unprecedented peace mission. I personally will have the honor of receiving them at La Moneda in December, before they end their long route in the Andes in January 2010. Right now, you may count on my commitment to work for the definitive eradication of violence and the use of force to resolve conflicts and a new order in which peace and dialog are the pathways to building a more just and inclusive society for a better world for everyone.
Former President of Chile
Ms. Michelle Bachelet
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Ms. Michelle Bachelet is the first Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, which was established on 2 July 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly. Under Ms. Bachelet’s leadership, UN Women will lead, support and coordinate the work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and country levels.
Ms. Bachelet most recently served as President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. A long-time champion of women’s rights, she has advocated for gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout her career. One of her major successes as President was her decision to save billions of dollars in revenues to spend on issues such as pension reform, social protection programmes for women and children, and research and development, despite the financial crisis. Other initiatives included tripling the number of free early child-care centres for low-income families and the completion of some 3,500 child-care centres around the country.
Ms. Bachelet also held ministerial portfolios in the Chilean Government as Minister of Defence and Minister of Health. As Defence Minister, Ms. Bachelet introduced gender policies intended to improve the conditions of women in the military and police forces. As Minister of Health, she implemented health care reform, improving attention to primary care facilities with the aim of ensuring better and faster health care response for families.
We come in peace, we offer the olive branch, we are not a threat, we are all part of the family of the human race, we are not enemies, we have common bonds, we apologize for our misdeeds, we forgive your misdeeds, we need to heal the wounds, we can work together, and we need to start a GLOBAL ACTION to “break down borders.”
With respect, we, the PEOPLE of the world are declaring that
we will not allow war in the world and we will intervene with
every NON-VIOLENT means possible to prevent it or stop it!
We do this “For the Children.”
I pledge my life to nonviolence,
With CALM PERSISTENCE, SILENT but BOISTROUS,
I resist violence, to set an example of non-violence,
I will not kill. If I die, do not avenge my death, for I do this willingly,
For the Children.
I accept the sacrifice that is required to accomplish my goal.
I understand there will be risks.
Create a common bond between people and a mandate for peace, to include social, political, and economic changes to transform the world
Respond to the urgency of the world situation, specifically in preventing war, by globally enlisting the actions of millions of women and men committed to
Prepare for, Practice, &Teach
Nonviolent techniques on a local and global level.
Dear Mr. Gittings:
In response to your article, I would humbly like to submit a plan to build bridges and transcend borders. The plan is designed to catapult NONVIOLENCE into the mainstream of global politics for the people in every country to influence their own government to make Nonviolence the “Doctrine of every country and society.” It is a Gandhi / King-like, “people movement,” called a Global Movement of Nonviolence, For the Children (GMofNV). A GMofNV is designed to capture and “keep” the attention of the media.
Research has shown that the key is to unify the people and work for a common cause. The common denominator found between all people in every country is the safety and welfare of the children. Therefore, the people must ILLUSTRATE for the children the desire and the dedication to nonviolence. A philanthropic segment designed to
A GMofNV is designed to “Reach into Every Household” and be promoted by the people most closely associated to the children, usually not listened to in politics, and whom are usually socialized to be the least physically violent – WOMEN.
A GMovNV is to be implemented by an initiative called a Call to Women, a World-Wide Unity Campaign. The objective is to empower women to come to the forefront to stop violence. A Call to Women is to be led by women, but not exclusive to women. It is not about women. It is about women working for humanity. Men will follow because they will concur, we must stop violence. The new creed will be compassion, kindness, generosity, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
A GMofNV is ready to be implemented now. If, as you say, the Iranian conflict is leading to “uncharted territory,” then something different is needed and something global. The administration and implementation plans are ready. A GMofNV combines activism and spiritualism. Idealism will be combined with pragmatic steps for mobilizing, nonviolent conflict resolution, reducing military spending, and prioritizing programs for the children.
The elements and mechanisms are in place!
Arun Gandhi has agreed...