World peace is an ideal of freedom,
peace, and happinessamong and within all nations. It is the professed ambition of many past and present world leaders.
World peace is the
utopianideal of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance which prevents warfare.
Some see a trend in national politics by which
city-statesand nation-stateshave unified, and suggest that the international arena will eventually follow suit. Many countries such as China, Italy, the United States, and Germanyhave unified into single nation-states, with others like the European Unionand African Unionfollowing suit, suggesting that further globalizationwill bring about a unified world order.
Many interpretations of the concept are not overtly political, however. To some, world peace may simply mean the resolution of global and regional conflict through
peaceis defined as the absence of hostility, violence and conflict, world peace would imply a worldwide end to violence and thus 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 conflict. 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. Considered in this light, world peace goes beyond the cessation of nation-state warfare and calls for dramatic changes in most of the political institutions familiar to people worldwide.
Although world peace is theoretically possible, many believe that it is impossible to achieve. [ [http://www.welcomehomesoldier.com/permalink-67 Generation Y Continues] by Remy Benoit] [ [http://www.politicaldogs.org/2004/11/ivory-coast-proves-that-world-peace-is.htm Ivory Coast Prove That World Peace is Impossible] ] [ [http://www.progressiveu.org/060853-world-peace-is-impossible World peace is impossible] By Mignonchang - Posted on August 17th, 2007]
The plausibility of world peace tacitly relies on the assumption of rational agents that base their decisions on future consequences, which is not self-evident.
Bertrand Russellonce expressed his skepticism regarding world peace:
After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it has generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, I believe is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.1
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 the President of the United States, George W. Bush: "The march of democracywill lead to world peace." [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/10/20051017-1.html President Meets with Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov ] ] Leon Trotsky, a Marxisttheorist, assumed that the world revolutionwould lead to a communist world peace. [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1914/war/index.htm Leon Trotsky: War and the International (1914) ] ]
The democratic peace theory
Proponents of the controversial
democratic peace theoryclaim that strong empirical evidence exists that democraciesnever or rarely wage war against each other. Several researchers find no wars between well-established liberal democracies. [ [http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ray.htm] , [http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/politics/faculty/smith/dempeace.PDF] , [http://www.sgir.org/conference2004/papers/Mueller%20Wolff%20-%20Dyadic%20Democratic%20Peace%20Strikes%20Back.pdf] , [http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20051101fareviewessay84611/john-m-owen-iv/iraq-and-the-democratic-peace.html] , [http://www.isanet.org/noarchive/wayman.html] , (Rummel 1997), (Ray 1995), (Weart 1998).] 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 [ Ayn Rand, "The Roots of War", Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966), pg. 35-43.] holds that the major wars of history were started by the more controlled economies of the time against the freer ones and that
capitalismgave 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 freedom, however, was dominant; it was as close to a century of capitalism as mankind has come. But the element of statismkept growing throughout the nineteenth century, and by the time it blasted the world in 1914, the governments involved were dominated by statist policies.
Some proponents of
Cobdenismclaim 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 firearmsand 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.
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 doctrineof military strategyin which a full-scale use of nuclear weaponsby two opposing sides would effectively result in the destruction of both the attacker and the defender. [ [http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/history/cold-war/strategy/strategy-mutual-assured-destruction.htm Mutual Assured Destruction] ; Col. Alan J. Parrington, USAF, [http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj97/win97/parrin.html Mutually Assured Destruction Revisited, Strategic Doctrine in Question] , Airpower Journal, Winter 1997.] Proponents of the policy of mutual assured destructionduring 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.
Isolationism and non-interventionism
isolationismand non-interventionismclaim 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-interventionismshould not be confused with isolationism. Isolationism, like non-interventionismadvises avoiding interference into other nation's internal affairs, but also emphasizes protectionismand restriction of international trade and travel. Non-interventionism, on the other hand, advocates combining free trade(like Cobdenism) with political and military non-interference.
Japanare 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.
World peace has been depicted 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.
Frank Laubach, an American missionaryto the Philippinesin 1935 saw poverty, injustice and illiteracy as impediments to world peace. [ [http://www.dreamscape.com/deborah/laubach/mission/FCL.htm Dr.Frank Laubach ] ] He developed the "Each One Teach One" literacy program which taught about 60 million people to read in their own language.
Religious views of world peace
With specific regard to the pursuit of world peace,
Bahá'u'lláhof the Bahá'í Faithprescribed a world-embracing Collective Security arrangement as necessary for the establishment of a lasting peace. The Universal House of Justicewrote about the process in [http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/uhj/PWP/pwp-1.html#pg2 The Promise of World Peace] . [cite book |last = Smith |first = P. |year = 1999 |title = A Concise Encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith |publisher = Oneworld Publications |location = Oxford, UK |id = ISBN 1851681841 |pages = pp. 363-364 ]
Buddhists believe that world peace can only be achieved if we first establish peacewithin our minds. Siddhārtha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, said, “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” [ [http://www.quoteworld.org/quotes/2045| Quote by Siddhārtha Gautama] ] The idea is that angerand other negative states of mindare the cause of wars and fighting. They believe we can live in peaceand harmonyonly if we abandon the anger in our minds and learn to loveeach other and practice altruism.
Christianideal 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"
Traditionally Hinduism has adopted a saying called "Vasuda eva kutumbakam" [ [http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=969&page=3 Dharmic Wisdom Quotes - Page 3 - Hindu Dharma Forums ] ] 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 to be achieved only through internal means -- by liberating oneself from artificial boundaries that separate us.
Islam, faith in only one Godand having common parents Adam and Eveis greatest reason for humans to live together with peace and brotherhood. Islamic view of global peace is mentioned in the Quranwhere the whole 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 eschatologythe whole world will be united under the leadership of prophet Jesusin his second coming. [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] At that time love, justice and peace will be so abundant that the world will be in likeness of paradise.
Judaism holds that when the Messiah comes, all nations will be united in peace.
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