Monday, January 23, 2006

I am a Pacifist

Of course, I am. I am for the most amount of peace to the most number of people - peace in aggragated term. And that means sometime peace has to be taken from some people (Saddam and his Baathists) to give to others (the Iraqi people). It is the only moral way to calculate peace.
The other "peace" that people speak so much about is not really peace. It may feel like peace to some, especially those who do not have to risk his life and karma for others. It is certainly easy. It is easy to say "I am for peace" and do nothing. It is easy to say that you are for peace when you already have peace. It is easy to take the theorical position that you are against violence in all circumstances, when you yourself never have to face any of those circumstances.
It is however far more difficult to see to give up one own peace for others. As we speak, there are 150,000+ American pacifists who are giving up their own peace for others. They are true pacifists.


Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

Nice post.

After studying some history -- superficially, I admit, only at the depth of a college graduate -- even I can see that "peace" is a far more encompassing term than what some ascribe to it. To me, peace has always been more than the simple abscence of fighting: It's been the elimination of fear and the promotion of justice. After the Shia were put down in Iraq, was there peace? There was certainly no fighting after that. In North Korea, is the populace truly at "peace"?

Peace must be defined as more than the abscence of war, because at heart, it's a state of mind bolstered by the social environment. America, Canada, Western Europe -- the West in general -- as well as the free nations in the East can justifiably be thought of as peaceful given that their populace has a distinct lack of fear for their survival and liberty and that their societies buttress that. On top of that, there's a real expectation of true social justice, even if the actual experience of such occasionally (and distressingly) falls short. Contrast that to, say, North Korea: No fighting, but can you really tell me the populace has no fear for their future? Does their society bolster feelings of security? Of safety? Of peace? Can they expect justice, not defined as what's best for the state only, but what's best for the balance between the individual and the society at large? Given their military parades and celebrations during the Dear Leader's birthday (60 Minutes story, no link), given the stories of the gulags (link 1, link 2), the long imprisonments for minor offenses, and the utter dehuminization of the population (link), I find it hard to believe that the society fosters anything other than paranoia and distrust. The country is characterized by it's lack of justice and surplus of fear. That's far from being a nation at peace, even though there's no overt fighting.

The abscence of fear and establishment of justice -- real fear, not demagoguery, not illusionary hyperbolic constructs, or idiotically opportunistic political straw-filled bogeymen, but the real, personal fear that kills initiative, dispells individual desire for freedom or anything worth living for, and drains humanity, and real justice, not kangaroo courts, not legislation only benefitting the powerful, not a police force that exists to protect the leadership at the expense of the populace -- is a far better defining characteristic of a state of peace than any lack of violence ever has been.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

Okay, I need to use spellcheck next time: "Absence", not "abscence".

Embarrassed now...

1:09 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Peace is only bought by blood and it has to be bought even over the objections of those that want only peace.

Papa Ray
West Texas

7:47 AM  
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11:32 PM  

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