International Peace Day

THE WAR CULTURE WINS ALL THE AWARDS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS (AND THE ABOLITION OF WARS’ FOR WHEN?)

On such an important day as today: September 21, the International Day for Peace, at FCV we want to draw attention to a fact that worries us: we are experiencing one of the most successful moments of the culture of war.

We say this not only because of the number of wars taking place today in all regions of the world (around 60!), but because the culture of war has more followers, friends, and likes every day.

There are many people who consider violence, the ‘pecking order’, and ‘law of the strongest’ as valid methods to overcome conflicts; and they see war as necessary. This is explained by the simple fact that wars occupy the very top of our political, institutional, ideological, and belief system.

The absolute triumph of the culture of war (or ‘Why want peace if I can make war?) is a matter of the utmost relevance and seriousness because it permeates and vitiates everything: the relationships between people, communities, and groups, whose interests are different.

We are very amazed that it happens in all countries, in democratic systems, and in authoritarian regimes, with and without imperialist aspirations, with and without weapons of mass destruction; despite the enormous diversity of beliefs and ideologies that exist in the world, and the positive values of goodness, reciprocity, solidarity that they share, at least in theory.

The culture of war triumphs because it has no opponent, neither among the leaders and spokespersons of the major ideologies and religions, nor among the people whose job it is to promote and create the conditions for the culture of peace to flourish: educators, activists, entities who work for peace, global justice, and human rights, who carry out useful activities and projects, but lack the necessary strength and capacity to fight against the main resource that this culture has: war, seen as the best solution to all problems. Or will that change one day?

An example of the absolute success of this culture is that all wars are legal. We live in a world where war is not subject to any moral, ethical or legal reproach, by any legal system, transmitting a message as clear as it is forceful.

A culture that glorifies barbarism is more dangerous than war itself because it configures a way of seeing, understanding, and explaining what is happening around us, to the point of justifying death, torture, and extermination; because its main function is the maintenance of power relations by the principle of brute force and extreme violence.

Among its most obvious effects are to justify all wars and criminal acts; to put a stop to all the achievements and struggles for freedoms and human rights, affecting, above all, the most vulnerable people and communities (in reality, all those without sufficient capacities to use war to defend their interests, in the absence of other capabilities).

The culture of war creates and consolidates points of view, behavior patterns, narratives, and power relations that, in a very subtle way, hinder the success of those social, economic, educational, and cultural initiatives (large or small) that promote or form in the values ​​and learnings of peace education, based on lies repeated a thousand times, such as ‘the person is violent by nature’ or ‘to improve you have to defeat your neighbor’. Why is it that everyone agrees on the phrase ‘violence only generates more violence’ and, on the other hand, no one says that ‘war only generates more war’? Is there a worse expression of indiscriminate force than wars? Should we wait for a nuclear catastrophe or a third world war so that the highest authorities that govern us, and the multilateral organizations that convene them, representatives of all humanity, wake up one day with the idea of ​​abolishing wars?

From the FCV we propose to start this work today, with a very simple argument (we are not scholars on the matter):

-There is no objective data that has ever justified any war.

-No war has achieved the objectives it pursued.

-Armed conflicts have a devastating impact in all areas and sectors, causing victims, injuries, displaced persons, and the automatic annihilation of a major part of the social, cultural, human, economic, and environmental progresses. In wars, there are only losers, never winners.

For this reason (and many more that can be added) our conclusions are clear:

-There is no goal that justifies war as a means to achieve it. No war can be considered a valid means for the resolution of any conflict because it is the cruelest, unfair and disproportionate expression of violence. War only breeds more wars.

-All wars must be prohibited and illegal because they go against the values and principles that govern relations between people, countries, and communities. Starting and participating in a war is a crime against humanity. Wars can only be understood as a crime and their initiators and participants as criminals.

To move from the culture of war to the culture of peace, and for the cultural and institutional paradigm shift, we consider it critical and urgent to declare that violence is not the appropriate way to resolve conflicts, but rather a strategy that only serves private interests, contrary to the public interest and, therefore, we must abolish wars, so that no country, government or authority has the right to start or participate in a war, under any circumstances.

Classifying wars as a crime means their prohibition and the criminalization of those who initiate and participate in them (*), with a dissuasive effect that would mark a before and after, in terms of the number and impact of wars around the globe.

In 2022 humanity should have progressed enough to know how to resolve complex conflicts, maintain democratic freedoms, security, etc. or resolve any type of situation, however difficult it may be, without the need to use armed violence.

We demand that this be the first next global objective for sustainable development and, to this end, we ask for the creation of an alliance to achieve a goal as concrete as the United Nations Security Council approving a resolution expressly abolishing all wars.

With the desire to be able to celebrate one of these days the abolition of wars, we wish you a very Happy International Day for Peace!

(*) War cannot be confused or equated with legitimate defense against an attack, or with the prosecution of any crime, however serious it may be. All countries and human communities have, of course, an inalienable right to legitimate defense and to guarantee their security, and integrity, while it protects their citizens, institutions, and legitimate interests against any aggression, external or internal, in accordance with their own laws and international conventions.