Friday, June 01, 2007

how can peace overcome war?

or perhaps more appropriately, how can the peace movement overcome the war establishment? the peace movement is a relatively dispersed diaspora whereas the war establishment is just that, firmly established in the world, in terms of infrastructure: buildings, plants, equipment, weapons, and of course the personnel and money. how many people's livelihoods does it really support?

but more in general, how does a non-violent society prevail over a violent one? its no surprise what the result will be when a conflict becomes escalated. the violent become violent and people die. the fact that the peace movement even exists is a victory worth celebrating considering the history of our great nation!

of course our strength lies in our numbers. i'd like to see a poll of americans who actually love war. who relish and delight in death, pain and misery.

war doesn't just happen. in this day and age, one person's decision can set into motion a mighty army of cabinet appointees, generals, lawyers, corporate executives and their legions, and an army of volunteer patriot soldiers who seem to be getting tricked into thinking that their sacrifice will guarantee membership in the club, or at the very least the best healthcare that the richest nation in the world is capable of.

thinking in terms of the eons that have passed in which humans have slaughtered each other, do we really have any hope of creating a lasting peace? sure, why not? having hope is as simple a choice you can make, either you decide to have it or you don't. but i really feel that considering all that people have thought up, in terms of technology and democracy, in particular, there is every reason to expect that humanity can begin an age in which war ceases to exist. we have proven ourselves to be a very capable species. lets focus now.

4 comments:

blamin said...

tkn,

I love your vision! Sounds really good! I wish it could be true!

But there's this little thing called human nature that may just get in the way. Have you spent any time studying the history of mankind? Do you really think that this is the first (or fifth, or 20th, or 117th, or 1,089th) time that decent man has struggled with this problem?

History can teach us a lot about ourselves. Hell, just look at the actual history of the American Indian. (That's the actual history as opposed to the Politically Correct version of history) It's a perfect example. You'll not find a more violent, sickening, account of what man can do to each other, than what these so-called "peace with nature" peoples did to each other.

Man, we can strive for Nirvana with all our energy, heart, and soul, but when human nature kicks in, greed, envy, and lust, then we have to be prepared to defend.

By no means do I think I've got everything figured out, that's why I'm here, maybe you could make a point I haven't considered. But I'd like you to think about something.

It's impossible to establish a lasting Nirvana in the USA without first taking over the world. Since nobody I know wants to even try that, we can't live in Strawberry Fields Forever, because that nasty little thing called human nature will kick in, another country will envy our happiness, and we'll be right back where we started.

So, while I agree, there's a problem with an established "military machine" because there's always some dumbass yahoo that just has to use it; at the same time, in order to protect our way of life, and our families, we need an established military machine.

nina said...

i strongly believe peace is created when we know what it is we need, which is then followed by steps taken to meet those needs, both for ourselves and one another. we're not born wanting to harm others, although of course it's hard-wired into us to do just that--when our needs aren't being met, especially on a long-term basis.

i read something, somewhere online, recently. in a nutshell, the guy said most human ills can be attributed to unmet needs, and while some may roll their eyes at this, most of this comes during our childhoods (which sets up a thought process that says "my needs don't matter"--which then conflicts with that part of us that knows different). now before i am accused (as I have been before) of saying children (or adults for that matter) need to be free to do whatever they want, i want to state that is not what i am saying. knowing what we need and having those needs met also includes the golden rule--respect. one needs to dig deep to truly get a grasp on what it is he/she needs. if that involves violence, such as, for example, "i NEED to see that person killed", that in and of itself is false, for there is a deeper need there, such as "i NEED that person to stop hurting me/others". search even further and you will find "i need to feel safe".

yes, human nature has many built-in behaviors designed to compete and destroy. this has been and was necessary for survival. but can't we evolve past that, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? we're more than just thinking/feeling/reacting physical beings. we have a higher awareness along with the ability to reason.

we need to be talking about this "touchy feely" stuff as a species if we are truly wanting to see war become obsolete. we need a universal system that teaches conflict resolution and non-violent communication. i studied non-violent communication last year--it FEEEELS weird at first, but it touches some truth inside, a truth i feel is universal for us all once we remove all that stuff we've been spoon fed (religious beliefs, societal/community beliefs, political beliefs, thoughts on who we should be, family rules, etc. etc.).

so yes, of course peace is possible. tim is right in that it starts with an intention to make it so. blamin' is right in his analysis of human nature as we are today. but certainly we can take steps today to make a better tomorrow.

(if i failed to make sense somewhere, let me know. i haven't had breakfast yet and i've been up for over an hour, so my blood sugar is a bit low giving me fuzzy brain.)

blamin said...

nina,

I have to agree with most of what you've said.

But we have to be careful! Mankind has a terrible history of confusing wants with needs.

Your vision is appropriate in a civilized society, but because of dictators, socialism and communism much of the world lives under constent fear for their life, worrying about their next meal, or trying to survive the latest episode of a bad flu, and have no time to consider the finer points of an "ideal world".

Since we can't "force our views" on the rest of the world, we are impotent in the solving of the worlds ills.

And since the dictators of said countries can use human nature (i.e. "its not fair that "they have" and "we don't") against us, we will always be hated, no matter how hard, or how succesful we are in promoting your beautiful vision

nina said...

aw blamin, since the future is yet to be determined, can you really say with absolute truth we will always be hated? of course i need to add that i believe one of the reasons we are "hated" is due to our military policies and our government's choices to force our will and our way of life onto nations who have their own way of living. i never once believed bush when he said we were attacked on 9/11 because they "hated our freedoms". of course i don't believe a damn thing that comes out of his mouth anyway--or most politicians for that matter. understand the motivation and you get a clearer picture into the psyche of the politician.

my vision is for all people of all nations. anything is possible. addressing things such as religious fanaticism and greed and rugged individualism at a global level, we can seek to understand who we are as a species. human evolution. we're all connected--there is one source. and it is always calling to us to remind us of who we are. eventually, we will get it. likely not in our lifetime, but in some future existance, the human race will get there. and i believe that is the direction we are headed in. eventually people wake up and say "what the f are we doing?" we ALL get that wake up call.

one thing i want to see removed from conversation is these political labels--democracy, socialism, communism. they are limiting. given my perspective, there are really no true nations that are purely democratic, socialist, etc.

i know that life for so many is focused purely on survival needs, both in other nations and here in the states. my spouse and i have lived that. even though we didn't worry about bombs dropping around us or having to dodge bullets or land mines on top of it, not knowing where you are going to live or how you are going to eat is horrific. but i WAS able to find those moments where i would invision the world as i describe. the ability is always there. always.

and as you said, humans confuse needs with wants. SO TRUE. and apathy is an easy state of mind to fall into. i know--i've been there, done that--still struggle with it. but... i return to the idea that anything is possible. and holding onto that ideal, i believe, is more beneficial to us than holding that belief that what is will always be.