Monday, December 7, 2015

Will there Ever be world Peace?

World Peace
When you watch beauty pageants there is always that one question or answer regarding world peace. Through the world's conflicts over time, from the wars of Alexander the Great to the battles of  Napoleon Bonaparte, to the two devastating World Wars and the endless conflicts in Africa, there has always been the pacifists, the idealists, those who imagined a world devoid of conflict, a world in which tranquility will one day the the dominant order. A world of Peace, Love and Harmony

The great John Lennon of the Beatles imagined a world where there are no countries and no religions, the two things responsible for most of the conflicts of the past two centuries. He imagined a world where there will be peace.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Luciano the reggae maestro told us to imagine a world where there was no war, a world where everybody knows what they are living for, a world where no evil can abide, only righteousness and peace.

Will such a peaceful world ever exist? A world free from war and strife, a world blind to skin colors, nationality and ethnic identity? Would there ever be a world where we would all care for each other? A world where we would truly love our neighbors as we love ourselves?

There are some ideals we strive for. Some futures we hope for. World peace is one of those ideals that people have always longed for since the beginning of time. Men have died in vain, trying to seek that golden formula for world peace. 

Looking around the world today, I have come to the conclusion that world peace will always be an illusion. The sad reality is that real world peace, no matter how we try, will never be achieved. The world is just not designed for peace. But that doesn't mean we should ever give up trying. Probably the only reason we are still here is because throughout time some people have always tried to work for world peace.

Mahatma Gandhi
I remember when President Obama was elected President of the United States of America. He ran on a platform of ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He wanted to close Guantanamo Bay and try and create the conditions that will discourage the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. He gave so much hope he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately the world is as dangerous a place today as when Obama became President. Islamic fundamentalist violence is now swallowing a quarter of the Arab world, with fundamentalist attacks being staged in the West with ever increasing frequency.

So why will there never be world peace?

One obvious answer is that there will never be world peace because there has never been world peace. The history of our world is a history of insane violence, unimaginable cruelty and pure unadulterated barbarism. From the beginning of the human race, peace and conflict have always existed either in succession or parallel to each other, like two hands, one washing the other. 
In Europe they had the Viking invasions, Attila the Hun, the War of the Roses, the Napoleonic wars, the First and Second World Wars, and that is naming but just a few. 
In Africa they had their ethnic wars, the colonial wars and the post independent civil wars. The growing poverty and marginalization of peoples will sow the foundation for the conflicts of the next century.
 In Asia they had Genghis Khan, the great battles if the Chinese dynasties, the great crusades of the Middle East that pitted Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb (Saladijn) against Richard the Lion Hearted.
In the Americas they had the Mayan civilizations and their human sacrifices. The wars between European settlers and Native Americans, the bloody American Civil war. 
The world we have today has been shaped by conquest. The countries we have today are mostly products of war. Even most of the important inventions we have today, the jet planes, the microwave, the telecommunications all either have their origins or were perfected in wartime.
If we haven't had peace in two thousand years, the chance of having it now is truly slim.

Dalai Lama
John Lennon
The second reason why the world will never know peace is unfortunately Religion. Religion teaches us to know right from wrong, to live the good and virtuous life, to learn the practice of peaceful coexistence. Unfortunately, the problem with religion is that there are just too many of them, they all say different things, each believing that only they are right, and that theirs is the only way. 
In reality, if three people say three things that cannot be right at the same time, then  either only one is right or they are all wrong. That is just the fact.
Burning Heretics in England
Even within the same religion will be different subsets, all believing that their own brand of that religion is the right one. If only everybody practiced their own religion and left others alone that would be okay. However, few human phenomena has imposed more hardship on human beings throughout history than religion. From the periods of the crusades in which thousands lost their lives for the fight over the Holy Land, to the Spanish Inquisition, to the burning of heretics in England, to the slaughter of infidels in the Middle East, to the never ending Arab Israeli conflict, men have, acting in the name of religion, imposed hardship and death on hundreds of thousands through the years. Some religions believe that others should be converted to their own ways either through peaceful means or if necessary through the use of force. Religion is paradoxically a force for both good and evil at the same time.

The third reason why the world may never know peace is simply the profitability of war. War is probably one of the most profitable businesses that ever existed. Poor countries like Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen that can hardly find money to feed their suffering masses will always find that extra money to buy weapons, even if doing so means that their people will starve to death. Unfortunately as long as you are willing to buy, there are always those willing to sell. Today the European nations are gearing for war. Shareholders in the weapon and logistics factories will be popping the champagne bottles, as their share values are directly correlated to the loudness of the war drums. As long as there is insane and immediate profits to be made from war and there are people willing to kill each other instead of talking, warmongers and weapons manufacturers are in a sort of symbiotic relationship that will never allow the conditions for world peace. As long as greed continues to be the one of the most acceptable and attractive human vices, there will always be conflict.

A fourth reason why there will never be world peace is simply the unpredictability of human behavior. Just fifteen years ago there was no Boko Haram or ISIS. The IRA was signing a peace deal in UK and Al Qaeda was in its infancy. Between that time to now, the major world players have changed and the major world threats have changed. We now have ISIS which wants to establish a medieval religious caliphate by carrying out beheadings, bombing civilians in markets, and carrying out other acts of random violence. Syria, once one of the most stable countries in Arabia has now become a magnet for radical and disillusioned youths drawn to propaganda videos urging them to fight against the perceived enemies of their religion.
 Russia's Vladimir Putin with his stockpile of nuclear weapons has conquered Chechnya, grabbed parts of Georgia and Ukraine and is now set on a dangerous game of world domination in which the only thing that matters to him are Russia and its allies. In Putin's mind the Russian empire's influence is on the wane and he is the person destined to restore their dignity once again. Like Hitler led the Germans to nearly destroy Europe in the last century, so is Putin leading the Russians to believe that the restoration of their influence is worth thousands of human lives. There will always be a Hitler, A Stalin and a Putin.

Though World Peace will never truly be attained, it is an ideal towards which humanity should always strive. At the end of the day the pursuit of this ideal may one day provide us with the tools needed to prevent future human catastrophe on an unimaginable scale.

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