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World peace is an ideal of freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all nations and/or peoples. World peace is a Utopian idea of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance which prevents warfare. Although the term is sometimes used to refer to a cessation of all hostility among all individuals, world peace more commonly refers to a permanent end to global and regional wars with future conflicts resolved through nonviolent means.

Contents

Possibility

While world peace is theoretically possible, some believe that Human nature inherently prevents it.[1] This belief stems from the idea that humans are naturally violent, or that rational agents will choose to commit violent acts in certain circumstances.[2]

Others however believe that war is not an innate part of human nature, and that this myth in fact prevents people from reaching for world peace. [3]

If world peace is defined as the absence of hostility, violence and conflict, not just between countries and regions, but between individuals, world peace would imply a worldwide end to violence and to institutions which rely on threats of violence to sustain their existence. It follows that there could be no law enforcement, because force is a form of violence. Without law enforcement, there could be no laws, except those which everyone voluntarily agrees to follow. Finally, there could be no governments of the type that rely on threats of violence to collect taxes, maintain their borders, or govern their citizens. [4][5][6]

World peace theories

Many theories as to how world peace could be achieved have been proposed. Several of these are listed below.

Various political ideologies

World peace is sometimes claimed to be the inevitable result of a certain political ideology. According to former U.S. President George W. Bush: "The march of democracy will lead to world peace."[7]

Leon Trotsky, a Marxist theorist, assumed that the world revolution would lead to a communist world peace.[8]

The Democratic peace theory

Proponents of the controversial democratic peace theory claim that strong empirical evidence exists that democracies never or rarely wage war against each other. [9] Jack Levy (1988) made an oft-quoted assertion that the theory is "as close as anything we have to an empirical law in international relations".

An increasing number of nations have become democratic since the industrial revolution. A world peace may thus become possible if this trend continues and if the democratic peace theory is correct.

There are, however, several possible exceptions to this theory.

Capitalism peace theory

In her "capitalism peace theory," Ayn Rand holds that the major wars of history were started by the more controlled economies of the time against the freer ones and that capitalism gave mankind the longest period of peace in history—a period during which there were no wars, involving the entire civilized world—from the end of the Napoleonic wars in 1815 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.

It must be remembered that the political systems of the nineteenth century were not pure capitalism, but mixed economies. The element of capitalism, however, was dominant; it was as close to a century of capitalism as mankind has come. But the element of statism kept growing throughout the nineteenth century, and by the time it blasted the world in 1914, the governments involved were dominated by statist policies.[10]

However, this theory ignores the brutal colonial wars waged by the western nations against countries outside Europe; as well as the German and Italian Wars of Unification, the Franco-Prussian war, and other conflicts in Europe.

Cobdenism

Some proponents of Cobdenism claim that by removing tariffs and creating international free trade, wars would become impossible, because free trade prevents a nation from becoming self-sufficient, which is a requirement for long wars. For example, if one country produces firearms and another produces ammunition, the two could not fight each other, because the former would be unable to procure ammunition and the latter would be unable to obtain weapons.

Critics argue that free trade does not prevent a nation from establishing some sort of emergency plan to become temporarily self-sufficient in case of war or that a nation could simply acquire what it needs from a different nation. A good example of this, is World War I. Both Britain and Germany managed to become partially self-sufficient during the war. This is particularly important, due to the fact Germany had no plan for creating a War Economy.

More generally, other proponents argue that free trade - while not making wars impossible - will make wars, and restrictions on trade caused by wars, very costly for international companies with production, research, and sales in many different nations. Thus there will be a powerful lobby arguing against wars that is not present if there are only national companies.

Mutual assured destruction

Mutual assured destruction (sometimes known as MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender.[11] Proponents of the policy of mutual assured destruction during the Cold War attributed this to the increase in the lethality of war to the point where it no longer offers the possibility of a net gain for either side, thereby making wars pointless.

Globalization

Some see a trend in national politics by which city-states and nation-states have unified, and suggest that the international arena will eventually follow suit. Many countries such as China, Italy, the United States, Germany and Britain have unified into single nation-states, with others like the European Union following suit, suggesting that further globalization will bring about a unified world order.

Isolationism and non-interventionism

Proponents of isolationism and non-interventionism claim that a world made up of many nations can peacefully coexist as long as they each establish a stronger focus on domestic affairs and do not try to impose their will on other nations.

Non-interventionism should not be confused with isolationism. Isolationism, like non-interventionism advises avoiding interference into other nation's internal affairs, but also emphasizes protectionism and restriction of international trade and travel. Non-interventionism, on the other hand, advocates combining free trade (like Cobdenism) with political and military non-interference.[citation needed]

Nations like Japan are perhaps the best known for establishing isolationist policies in the past. The Japanese Edo, Tokugawa, initiated the Edo Period, an isolationist period where Japan cut itself off from the world as a whole. This is a well-known isolation period and well documented in many areas.[citation needed]

Self-organized peace

World peace has been depicted [12] as a consequence of local, self-determined behaviors which inhibit the institutionalization of power and ensuing violence. The solution is not so much based on an agreed agenda, or an investment in higher authority whether divine or political, but rather a self-organized network of mutually supportive mechanisms, resulting in a viable politico-economic social fabric. The principle technique for inducing convergence is thought experiment, namely Backcasting, enabling anyone to participate no matter what cultural background, religious doctrine, political affiliation or age demographic. Similar collaborative mechanisms are emerging from the Internet around open-source projects, including Wikipedia, and the evolution of social media.

Religious views of world peace

Many religions and religious leaders have expressed a desire for an end to violence and/or world peace.

Bahá'í Faith

With specific regard to the pursuit of world peace, Bahá'u'lláh of the Bahá'í Faith prescribed a world-embracing collective security arrangement as necessary for the establishment of a lasting peace. The Universal House of Justice wrote about the process in The Promise of World Peace.[13]

Buddhism

Many Buddhists believe that world peace can only be achieved if we first establish peace within our minds. Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”[14] The idea is that anger and other negative states of mind are the cause of wars and fighting. Buddhists believe people can live in peace and harmony only if we abandon negative emotions such as anger in our minds and cultivate positive emotions such as love and compassion.

Christianity

The basic Christian ideal promotes peace through goodwill and by sharing the faith with others, as well as forgiving those who do try to break the peace. Below are selections from two gospels:

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:44 - 45

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35

Followers of Pre-millennial Dispensationalism believe that world peace will be unachievable until Christ's Second Coming and the 1000 year reign of Christ after the Tribulation and Judgement. So, although Christians should work towards spreading the message of salvation through Christ Jesus alone, their eschatology teaches an ultimate increase in war and natural disasters through the 7 year Tribulation where the Anti-Christ rules until the initiation of the thousand year reign of Christ.

Christians do believe in world peace, not just an inner spiritual peace. From a prophecy in Micah "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree and none shall make them afraid... For all people will walk every one in the name of his god and we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." Micah 4:3-6

From this peace is possible if 1) people and nations need to move from manufacturing tools of destruction to tools of production, 2) people and nations need to produce and eat their own food, and 3) tolerance of another must be practiced; tolerance of other world views, other faiths, even the worship of other gods. While in context Micah starts with the second coming of Jesus Christ where he will "judge among many nations and rebuke strong nations afar off" we don't need to wait for his coming to practice virtue, especially if by that practice we can promote peace.

Hinduism

Traditionally Hinduism has adopted a saying called Vasuda eva kutumbakam[15] which translates to "The world is one family." The essence of this saying is the observation that only base minds see dichotomies and divisions. The more we seek wisdom, the more we become inclusive and free our internal spirit from worldly illusions or Maya. World peace is hence thought by Hindus to be achieved only through internal means—by liberating oneself from artificial boundaries that separate us but it is good in acquiring peace.

Sikhism

“All beings and creatures are His; He belongs to all” (Guru Granth Sahib, 425). Gurus furthermore preached to “Sing the Praise of the One, the Immaculate Lord; He is contained within all” (Guru Granth Sahib, 706). “The special feature of the Sikh of the Guru is that he goes beyond the framework of caste-classification and moves in humility. Then his labor becomes acceptable at the door of God” (Bhai Gurdas Ji, 1).[16]

Islam

According to Islam, faith in only one God and having common parents Adam and Eve is the greatest reason for humans to live together with peace and brotherhood. Islamic view of global peace is mentioned in the Quran where the whole of humanity is recognized as one family. All the people are children of Adam. The purpose of the Islamic faith is to make people recognize their own natural inclination towards their fraternity. According to Islamic eschatology the whole world will be united under the leadership of prophet Jesus in his second coming.[17] At that time love, justice and peace will be so abundant that the world will be in likeness of paradise.

Added Oct 5, 2009 by IECRC - Islamic Educational & Cultural Research Center's research on religious involvement in world peace and the concept of the World Peace Order is expanded in great detail in its latest publication "World Peace Order - Towards an International State"[18]

Judaism

Judaism holds that when the Messiah comes, all nations will be united in peace.[citation needed] Christianity, as mentioned above, believes that the Jewish Messiah, Y'shua ben Yosef or Jesus Christ came to give inner peace not world peace.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn42/worldpeace.htm
  2. ^ http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122574427/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
  3. ^ http://www.culture-of-peace.info/myth/chapter4-4.html
  4. ^ Generation Y Continues by Remy Benoit
  5. ^ Ivory Coast Prove That World Peace is Impossible
  6. ^ World peace is impossible By Mignonchang - Posted on August 17th, 2007
  7. ^ President Meets with Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov
  8. ^ Leon Trotsky: War and the International (1914)
  9. ^ [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], (Rummel 1997), (Ray 1995), (Weart 1998).
  10. ^ Rand, Ayn (1966), chapter 2, The Roots of War, Ayn Rand - Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, pg. 35-43.
  11. ^ Mutual Assured Destruction; Col. Alan J. Parrington, USAF, Mutually Assured Destruction Revisited, Strategic Doctrine in Question, Airpower Journal, Winter 1997.
  12. ^ 2020worldpeace
  13. ^ Smith, P. (1999). A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: Oneworld Publications. pp. 363–364. ISBN 1851681841. 
  14. ^ Quote by Siddhārtha Gautama
  15. ^ Dharmic Wisdom Quotes - Page 3 - Hindu Dharma Forums
  16. ^ Sikhism: Frequently Asked Questions About Sikhism
  17. ^ Bukhari, Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya; Bab: Nuzul 'Isa Ibn Maryam; Muslim, Bab: Bayan Nuzul 'Isa; Tirmidhi, Abwab-al-Fitan; Bab Fi Nuzul 'Isa; Musnad Ahmad, Marwiyat Abu Huraira.http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/M_fop/fop11.htm
  18. ^ World Peace Order Towards an International Statehttp://www.iecrcna.org/publications/books/World_Peace_Order.pdf

External links

Buckminster Fullers "World Peace Game" http://www.bfi.org/our_programs/who_is_buckminster_fuller/design_science/world_game/introduction_to_buckminster_fullers_world_game

  • worldchangeforum.org - striving for world peace through an open, uncensored, global discussion
  • [6] Global Open Peace Initiative (G.O.P.I.) by AADITYA (Mission - Attain Inner Peace to Retain Outer (Global) Peace~







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