HIROSHIMA AND WAR: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Hiroshima after the bomb from UN website

Thanks to President Obama for visiting Hiroshima and thereby calling attention to the increasing horror of warfare.  The President has an important message which much of the media seems to be missing, that in the future humanity must avoid not only nuclear war but all warfare.

It is past time for the world's leaders to see that the development of any kind of weapons is not the cause of war but rather the effect of leaders expecting wars and wanting to win them rather than lose them.  Wars are a disease of our human society, and the desire to make ever more destructive weapons is a symptom of that disease.

Some people think that we must always have wars because there will always be conflicts, but that is a mistake.  Not all conflicts are wars.  Humans engage in warfare when they do not rely on a better way to deal with conflicts.  

In fact, we humans have developed a peaceful way of resolving conflicts, even intense conflicts between groups with opposing interests.  It is called democratic government, and we are seeing it at work right in our election taking place this November.  Different groups have different views about what policies the government of our community should follow.  A few even want to continue to use violence to deal with these conflicts, but fortunately most are committed to having elections according to agreed-upon rules.  Then the winning majority make laws which are in effect until the next election.   Courts are established to determine how the laws apply to particular cases.  We will have a very contentious election, but there will not be a war.

The United States of America is not the only country that has demonstrated the value of democracy, that is, of resolving conflicts by political and judicial means along with regular elections.  Democracy promotes bit-by-bit progress over a long period of time.

Our national history also provides another important lesson for the world community today.  After winning the Revolutionary War, our thirteen newly independent colonies began fighting wars with each other.  The Articles of Confederation worked rather well during the war, but after that we needed the federation called the United States of America.  Under the leadership of Federalists such as Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington some but not all of the sovereignty of the 13 states was subordinated to the sovereignty of the new nation.  The tension between the sovereignty of the states and the sovereignty of the federation eventually led to the Civil War won by the Union forces.  The tension remains, but the supremacy of the welfare of the country as a whole was established.

In order to eliminate war among the nation-states with their unlimited national sovereignty, a similar move from the confederal United Nations to a democratic world federation is needed.  It may need to be preceded by regional federations such as the European Union and the African Union, but to avoid wars between those regional federations a democratic world federation is also needed. Forming such a federation will not be easy, but it is the only way to abolish warfare.

Comments

Father Ben Peace2019 Urmston Peace2019

Barack Obama said at Hiroshima:  "How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause. . .we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear. . we must change our mind-set about war."  The spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola can help us to achieve enough spiritual freedom to search for alternatives to violence and war.  World Beyond War has produced A Global Security System: An Alternative to War worthy of reflection and discussion.

Chuck Woolery

Ron Glossup makes some valid and important points but missed two critical elements essentail to gaining non-violent agreement by most people to end result he calls for.  First it the supremcy of the protection of human rights over the "supremacy of the welfare of the country as a whole".   Saddam Hussain ensured the welfare of his country until we invaded...but living under his violent repression isn't what all Iraqi's wanted.  The second is that war is not our only, or even our greatest security threat.  Climate change, genocide, pandemics and other preventable disasters are only resolvable with global cooperation underpinned by the uninversal protection of human rights.    But Ron's key point that weapons don't make us safe, and don't end wars...is worthy of examination by anyone serious about maximizing their survival and security without minimizing their freedoms and historic identy. 

Ronald Glossop

Chuck,
  For me the welfare of the country as a whole includes protection of human rights as well as social rights as freedom of the press and freedom of association.
  Yes, there are many global problems including climate change but I believe that none of the others have the urgency of preventing the use of nuclear weapons and warfare generally.  Human rights are not very important when you are dead.
         Ron

Chuck Woolery

Ron,

I know you mean that even though you didn’t write it, but many others who read it don’t. 

If we want others to be open to the ideal of world federation we need to be painfully consistent and clear that the welfare of the country/nation state is defined as the welfare of ALL the people within it.  Observe the problem with the welfare of the State of Israel is put above the welfare of those under it’s protection.

 

You are right. Human rights aren’t important when your dead.  But to many others, security isn’t important if your fundamental rights are repressed.  [See:  Founding Fathers… Libertarian Party… many conservatives…and a few liberals who are dedicated to living free or dying.  Given that their security is increasingly threatened by non-military threats they are going to be far more concerned about these, than ‘nuclear disarmament’ issues.   Fact is, ‘nuclear weapons’ have thus far kept us safe from nuclear Armageddon (MAD). 

I believe there is increasing likelihood of a nuclear accident or terrorist use of a nuclear weapon…but there isn’t going to be any non-violent way of reducing that risk even with a world federation, unless the protection of human rights is ensured above the rights nations to abuse their power internally or externally.

I’m confident most people are very much interested in ‘maximizing their freedom and security’ and there is only one way to do that.  Global justice (world federation) with human rights superior to states’ rights.   We don’t want to make the same mistake our nation’s founding fathers made and risk a global civil war.  The evolution of all weapons would make such a war (an endless war that I believe we are already in) that will result in increasing wide spread availability and use of WMD.

We seem to be looking back expecting the pace of events to gradually increase as they always have.  We don’t seem to understand the exponential growth of technology and the real world impact that that acceleration is having on the evolution of weapons, war and chaotic events.

Time is NOT on our side.

stenup stenup

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