Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Peace Movements and Pacifism after September 11

Edited by Shin Chiba and Thomas J. Schoenbaum

Noted international scholars from a range of disciplines present in this book Japanese and East Asian perspectives on the changed prospects for international peace post September 11. Because East Asia has not been preoccupied with the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the authors’ views serve as a balance to the war on terror declared in the United States.

Chapter 10: Foreign Policy Pragmatism and Peace Movement Moralism: Can the Gap be Bridged – or Tertium Non Datur?

Johan Galtung

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law, human rights, public international law, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


10. Foreign policy pragmatism and peace movement moralism: can the gap be bridged—or tertium non datur? Johan Galtung I JUXTAPOSING GOVERNMENT AND NONGOVERNMENT, THE PEACE MOVEMENT To understand better where peace research may be heading, let me juxtapose governments and one special non-government, the peace movement. The governments of the state system of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, in a Eurocentric view of history, were successors to feudal lords, kings, and emperors. These governments entered the cycle of violence–war–peace with ultima ratio regis—the king’s last argument, the gun. To he or she who has a hammer the world looks like a waiting nail. But that also holds for the peace movement, the negation of the government: to he or she who has a mouth the world looks like an attentive ear. Realism as a doctrine is based on the ultima above, that is, it is a doctrine based on force, not on persuasion from basic principles, bargaining with incentives, or decision-making by authoritative bodies. A derivative of this thesis would be that the final word belongs to whoever has superior force, that is, to the big sticks of the big powers. In the present world this is AngloAmerica; a peace proposal unacceptable to the United Kingdom and the United States is not ‘realistic.’ The supreme goal of the realist will be security, meaning a low probability of being hurt/harmed by the violence of any other. The underlying philosophy here is that evil exists, ready to turn...

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