Individuals and global entities that advocate and hanker after world peace may be at wits end trying to understand where it is all going wrong.
Despite the years of rhetoric, pleadings, admonition and appeals for peace, understanding and tolerance, points of conflict have not diminished and the world is no more a peaceful place than was during the era when the so called cold war defined global politics.
The question that continues to puzzle the world is what is preventing the reality of human understanding and tolerance, appreciation of each other’s differences and eventual world peace.
For almost a century, since the end of the First World War in 1918, mankind has been in search of international order and global peace through the political method of international organization. However, instead of peace among men, the last one hundred years has seen almost unending wars, great and small. According to Richard Ebeling of The Daily Bell, maybe it is because men have looked for peace from government rather than from a rebirth of the philosophy of individualism and classical liberalism.
Ebeling put it correctly when he wrote; in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, the League of Nations was seen as the great hope for world peace and security. Its failure in the years between the two world wars (1919-1939) was taken as proof that a better and stronger organization was needed if yet a third world war was to be prevented.
Out of the ashes of World War II emerged the United Nations. Once again we heard the heralds proclaiming that world peace and security were in man’s reach. And, once more, mankind’s hopes were dashed during the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union.
In the post-Cold War era since 1991, the world has been in search of global peace once again. It has taken the form of United Nations or NATO political and military interventions in various parts of the world. And, sometimes, it has been in the form of unilateral military actions by the United States and others countries when they have declared it to be in their “national interests.”
But the quest for world peace through either political internationalism or unilateralism is a false path to the goal of ending global conflicts.
During the twentieth century, when peace was pursued through international organizations such as the League of Nations and the UN, the world suffered from wars, civil wars, and mass murders on a scale that practically exceeds the capacity of the human mind to comprehend.
Wars and domestic political murder by governments around the world may have resulted in the deaths of more than 300 million people during the last one hundred years.
So where is this world peace going to come from? In our part of the world we sit and watch television and listen to the radio and observe these conflicts with some form of interest but an abstract sort of interest, hardly thinking that we are right in the maelstrom of what is happening.
Technology and resulting improved communication has put us in the mainstream while global politicking and machinations have more or less required us to take a side in the various conflicts; and some of us find ourselves supporting this side or the other which is in fact supporting the violence.
Ironically the main causes of country against country and people against people violence are the two things that most claim that they are the way to bring people together; politics and religion. Everyone is bombing and shooting the living daylights out of everyone else because of ideological differences.
These differences show no signs of being ironed out soon so it simply means that the world cannot expect global conflict to abate anytime soon. Are we returning to the days when one country would hack, batter and bludgeon the other into submission?
Diplomacy certainly doesn’t seem to be working and the more sceptical can be excused for wondering whether the powerful global leaders calling for peace, really want peace and whether peace will work in their interest.
Our part of the world is certainly not immune to aggressive posturing which in a matter of time could lead to all out conflict. We read of Venezuela concentrating troops and military means and rattling sabres across the border from Guyana, apparently willing to violently settle some property dispute with that country.
While most of the regional leaders remain silent on the issue, accused of being unwilling to reprimand their benefactor, Venezuela, they take strong positions on conflicts happening thousands of miles away from us. Careful, the writing may be on the wall.