The world does not grow better by force or by the policeman’s club. William J. Gaynor New York Supreme Court Justice
Unless we change human nature, there will always be someone or some group—be that in a small village or at the head of a great nation—motivated by the desire to rule over or dominate others and willing to use some form of physical violence or even kill to do so. This means, at least into any foreseeable future, we will always need policemen, peacekeepers, and peacemakers to provide security and order both within nations and between them.
And when a nation or people engage in the rampant disorder of war, internal or external, a great many of the accomplishments and fundamental goods that have been created during a period of peace are set back or destroyed. Equally importantly, opportunities for further advancements toward creating stable, just, nurturing and peaceful communities are stymied.
All of the AFWW cornerstones of an enduring global peace are works in progress: empowering women, enlisting young men, fostering connectedness, promoting nonviolent conflict resolution, shifting our economics, and spreading liberal democracy. None of these many things can be developed to their full potential as necessary conditions to abolish war permanently if the global community is repeatedly convulsed by a myriad of small wars, and certainly not if it stumbles or rushes into a world war.
To avoid cyclical destruction so as to achieve maximum positive forward progress in human social and individual personal development, avoiding setbacks that are the consequences wars is fundamental. “Provide Security and Order” is therefore also another AFWW cornerstone because security and order within and between societies creates the kind of social space wherein maximum forward positive progress can be accomplished.
Historian Kent Shifferd describes an abundance of diverse positive advancements we’ve already initiated (Shifferd 2011, 2012; see below a list of 26). All of them must be maintained and in many cases expanded; more about them will be highlighted later.
Anthropologist Douglas Fry described the existence of “peace systems,” discussed the very idea of a global peace system, and described six shared characteristics of three such peace systems (Fry 2012, see a discussion of all 6 below). His work suggests changes or additions that would move us toward a global peace.
Finally, history makes clear that violence always begets violence. A simplified exploration of Game Theory, presented below, will clarify why this is so, and why the tools we use to provide security and order must be, to the maximum extent possible, nonviolent ones: e.g., adjudication and agreed upon submission to the rule of law, mediation, arbitration, negotiation, compromise.
The Reality of War
Those of us who have never experienced living in a war zone can benefit from the experience of persons who have actually seen the destruction and killing, seen the abject retreat into evil from the good and positive, and who perhaps may even have participated. As part of a goal to provide security and order, witnesses’ stories about the evils of war should become vividly and often told tales that make our children shudder around a campfire. Make them wonder in amazement that we ever engaged in such insanity. Make them determined that their generation will never regress to such barbarity.
A Navy Seal once described his life in the service, smiling as he recalled all the plusses—the bonding, the excitement, the sense of competence and accomplishment, even the fact that it made him a “babe magnet.” But he ended by saying, with a deep frown, “The price is too high.”
War is at best barbarism. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell. William Tecumseh Sherman, General Graduation address at Michigan Military Academy
Why Use Nonviolent Methods to Provide Security and Order
Because of its essential simplicity, with distracting elements of real-world life removed, Game Theory clarifies the power and utility of resolving conflicts nonviolently. It studies the outcomes of different methods of conflict resolution in stripped down essence. In doing so it reveals the conditions for maintaining a stable relationship over time, and what kinds of moves avoid major losses or collapse.
It does this by playing out various strategies and outcomes in games of war or competition, for example, comparing strategies used by “Hawks” vs. “Doves” (e.g., Axelrod 1984). The results achieved while playing the games show how nonviolent (cooperative) approaches produce solutions more inclined to endure and thereby foster stability rather than destruction.
Consider games played repeatedly by the same individuals or entities—that is, played not just one time—and when players remember the results of each interaction, good and bad. In general this is what humans do. We interact with the same persons or entities over and over, and we have very long memories of the outcomes of those interactions. In such “repetitive games with memory,” the winning strategy that creates stability over time, rather than burnout or repeated destruction, turns out to be win-win resolution choices by both players. They make moves that are not intended to wipe out the opponent; moves that seem “fair” as opposed to “unfair.” The players generally choose somewhat cooperative, non-deadly moves (we both win something, win-win) rather than war moves (winner-takes-all, win-lose).
Additionally, the most enduring repetitive games have two elements that accommodate for human nature: retaliation (punishment) and forgiveness. Those games have been dubbed “Tit-for-Tat with Forgiveness.”
So for example, if one player makes a non-cooperative, “win/lose” move in any round of the game (an “unfair” I-intend-to-win-and-make-you-lose type of move, which over time would/is intended to result in a win/lose outcome), the opponent immediately retaliates (its next move is some kind of punishment that costs the other player a lot, but not everything…the equivalent of stopping short of violence/war). Additionally, when the opponent decides to switch back to playing “fair” (playing cooperatively, win-win), the aggrieved player immediately forgives and also returns to “fair” (cooperative) moves. These games have been called “Tit-for-Tat with Forgiveness.”
The numbers and kinds of games studied by game theorists is actually extensive, and not essential to describe here. The bottom line is, however, when both players use win-win choices, and if necessary use immediate retaliation for cheating and forgiveness for good (cooperative) behavior, the game lasts longer; no one player gets everything, but both get enough to continue the game. And most relevantly to playing games of real-world war, major loss/destruction is avoided.
Wars—when one or both players are choosing overwhelmingly win-lose strategies—they terminate, usually very quickly. Perceiving the clear logic of the success of using cooperation and not violence (nonviolence) in a game can help skeptics understand why in the real world nonviolence succeeds in avoiding destruction and termination of the game, or a relationship.
Psychologists and political scientists have made major contributions that allow us to understand what allows opponents in real-world situations to feel emotionally that they have won what they need and can live with rather than resort to fighting. Mutually agreed-upon compromises that both sides consider fair, when enforced, foster social stability (Ury 1999), a condition in which citizens enjoy both security and order.
Full understanding the power and success of nonviolent conflict resolution is crucial so that global citizens uncompromisingly demand that their leaders use nonviolent tools, and that they themselves uncompromisingly refuse to participate in a war when leaders are inclined to start one.
Patriarchy, Repeated Cycles of War, and Liberal Democracy
A simple but critical question immediately arises. If using nonviolent, win-win cooperation options is less destructive and provides for stability and order over time, to say nothing of avoiding all the killing of war, why hasn’t the entire world community long since settled upon the unwavering use of nonviolent conflict resolution? Why is history a story of repeatedly building up only to tear down?
The answer is that nonviolent approaches, while they can clearly be used by men, are not always the ones favored by men. And most relevantly, they are not the ones favored by all men who happen to be leaders. And human history, particularly with respect to war, is fundamentally a product of patriarchy. With the exception of a rare occurrence of a Queen, until as recently as one hundred years ago men have been setting the rules for group-level conflict resolution throughout recorded history.
We have constructed varies kinds of patriarchies, defined as all-male governing: e.g., chieftainship, kingship, dictatorship, all-male oligarchy, tyranny. Women in patriarchies may have power in the domestic sphere, but (by definition) have never wielded significant power in the public sphere. What we now see around us globally in the public sphere is the historical consequence of all-male social priorities and maneuvering.
And human male biology repeatedly gets in the way of peace. Unless specific social constraints are in place—customs, laws, even punishment (retaliation) for breaking the laws—human male biology generally tends to predispose men to approach conflicts in ways motivated by striving for dominance—I win/you lose (“Differences between Men and Women with Respect to Aggression”; Hand 2018).
A primary motivator of human male biology is the urge to be the dominator (controller) in a social relationship rather than the dominated. And to dominate others requires that you have means to control them. A clever ruler or government can use a variety of nonviolent tools to control (dominate) citizens through pacification, at least for a time. The leaders of Rome famously used “bread and circuses” to keep the citizens happy. China, by providing a quickly elevating standard of living, is busily building a middle class that is satisfied/pacified and willing, at least for now, to live as considerably less than free agents.
But human nature being what it is, some (particularly men) will resist being controlled, if not at once, eventually. Or a charismatic and determined man or a group of men will emerge who decide that they should be the ones doing the controlling, not the submitting. Absent an ethos of nonviolence in the society, at some point there comes rebellion within and resort to win-lose mentality and win-lose forms of conflict resolution. Or in order to be the ones to dominate, one man or group of men may decide that to acquire sufficient power to be the top dog/s, its necessary to take resources from others outside their community. They start a war.
Individually and at state level, the path to domination in the patriarchal societies that have been the center of history has often, not always but often, included physical violence and armed combat that can rob the society of order and its citizens of security. Only when one or both sides are exhausted because neither can win outright do they sit down to mediation or negotiation. The destruction that results from fighting to the bitter end foments anger and resentment in many if not all of the losers, not satisfaction. Anger and resentment become the nutrient soup that feeds future conflict. Violence breeds violence.
What if any cure can there be for one of the worst evils of patriarchal governing, namely wars? A thesis of my book War and Sex and Human Destiny (2018) and several essays in this book is that the potential cure for many patriarchal ills is fully mature liberal democracy. Rather than repeat its points here, the essay “Spread Liberal Democracy” presents the explanation for why spreading liberal democracy is one of the AFWW cornerstones for ending war.
Outlawing Preemptive War
In 2003, without having been attacked, the world’s only superpower, the United States, joined by a few willing allies, launched a preemptive war against the country of Iraq. Attacking before having been attacked—a definition of preemptive war—was contrary to America’s values and America’s history. It’s obviously contrary to the principle of using nonviolent conflict resolution to sort out differences. It was a grave historical mistake.
That nation’s founding fathers and every subsequent American administration until that time took the non-confrontational (cooperative) position that the United States would not go to war unless attacked. It would use nonviolent means to resolve differences and would only “retaliate” with violent means if attacked. It didn’t always live up to that enlightened standard, but was consistently guided by it.
Subsequent to this invasion of Iraq it was proved that the American administration had justified their use of preemptive violence to the US Congress, the US public, and the global community based on deception: it concocted lies of an imminent existential threat against the US by Iraq using weapons of mass destruction. Fabrication of a dire threat is a common ploy of a leader or leadership that for any reason wants to use a war to further some goal that benefits members of the leadership. [In the case of Iraq, hoped-for control over its oil resources]
Here is one of histories greatest quotations to that effect:
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war….[But]…. voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." Hermann Goering, during the Nurenberg trial
Adopting the principle of preemptive attack (in Game Theory terms, switching from cooperation to noncooperation/win-lose) creates resentments that last for generations. The world is filled with and cursed by numerous ancient rivalries. Launching preemptively an expedient war, whenever a group or administration simply claims that an enemy is contemplating aggression against it, is a recipe, if all nations embraced it, for a nightmare future of endless invasions and retaliations.
This is one reason why Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine in 2014 evoked a strong global retaliation. It was sanctioned (punished) by many members of the United Nations because it was and is a clear, direct threat to global stability and the international social order established post-WW II. The practice of preemptive war is antithetical to creating a global community where citizens enjoy both security and order and is rightly outlawed by the United Nations.
Providing Security and Order Between Nations
Sanctions and the founding mandate of the United Nations - How, then, do we provide security and order for the benefit of the world’s nations and people? Most obviously, we can simply urge people to uncompromisingly practice what we already know about the methods and successes of nonviolent conflict resolution—choosing win-win outcomes.
Present brutal reality is, however, that there are many countries led by men perfectly willing to use force to overturn the social order to achieve or maintain their dominance, internally or between nations.
Providing a forum for using the numerous nonviolent conflict resolution techniques was the founding rationale for the United Nations, the mandate of which was to bring about and maintain a world at peace. It was, and is, a herculean effort. Unfortunately, the founding guideline agreement did not provide adequate means of enforcement (immediate retaliation) against determined renegades. Perhaps all actors were pretty much expected to find the idea of peaceful stability a sufficient motivation for good behavior, i.e., cooperatively using only win-win resolutions. If so, not surprisingly given human nature, that turned out to be an unrealistic expectation, a naive hope.
The UN has peacekeeping forces. If opponents have agreed to a truce or peace treaty, UN Peacekeepers can be put in place to ensure that agreements are being kept. But the UN does not have a standing military charged with immediate armed retaliation against any entity that violates the peace. There is no effective agreed upon police force. And game theory teaches that immediate retaliation with sufficient force, ideally short of violence, is the most compelling (successful) move to maintain a system’s stability.
A slower reaction—for example, sanctioning an offender long after the offense—is not as likely to be particularly effective. A variety of sanctions (nonviolent “retaliations” of Game Theory), like the current ones in place against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, are now the main tool deployed to contain bad actors. A major difficulty is that often it takes considerable time to put them in place.
Additionally, the sanctions may not be sufficiently punishing to cause the offender to retreat or stand down if the advantage to be gained by persisting outweighs the punishment inflicted by the sanctions. Moreover, it can be hard or impossible to prevent other bad actors from finding ways to get around the sanctions. That said, sanctions, even if delayed, are better than allowing an unfair player to entirely get away with a destabilizing move.
If/when sanctions fail and the aggressor still refuses to return to cooperation rather than aggression, a show of physical military force that is poised and willing to act will continue to be required to contain them. Further blatant infractions by Russia, for example invading Latvia or Estonia, could readily trigger a war that would engulf many members of the global community.
R2P and enforcing global peace - For the reasons above, a strong case can be made that in order to secure a global peace the United Nations should be given broad peace-enforcement, as opposed to simply peacekeeping, ability that can be mobilized quickly. Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart described a United Nations with armed and well-trained offensive troops that are able to put down fighting anywhere (Hart 2004).
In 2009 the United Nations took a step toward swiftly enforcing global security by adopting Resolution R2P, the “Resolution to Protect.” The founding UN Charter essentially said that whatever governments did within their borders was no one else’s business. As a consequence, intra-state wars and violence by the powerful against their own country’s less-powerful elements were allowed free rein.
The problem this leads to from the perspective of the global community is that evils carried out within one country often now, in this very connected world, spill over to create problems elsewhere. The “Resolution to Protect” now charges the global community with the responsibility to intervene, militarily if necessary, in a country’s internal affairs in cases where there is ongoing genocide, war crimes, or ethnic cleansing.
We are one world, one community on one small planet. To avoid being drawn into wars that have the potential to spread beyond one country’s borders we need to make peace-enforcement a united and swift action. A global peace system will need to have a shared police force, recognized as legitimate by all members of the peace alliance. Creating one would be an important challenge for the designers of a global peace treaty.
Security and Order and Constructing a Global Peace
A window of opportunity – Global peace, if we are ever to have such a thing, will obviously not descend upon us by happy accident. It will have to be constructed by determined people. And those revolutionary visionaries will need to be backed up by strength. The source of that strength will come, almost by necessity, from communities that are not being drastically riven by civil disorder.
The forging of the European Union came after WW II, not during the fighting. The construction of the government and constitution of the United States came after the war with Britain was over.
Must a great disaster befall the global community before we are sufficiently motivated to take advantage of this time of relative global stability to create a global peace? Will it take a WW III, so that in the aftermath of massive destruction and death the global community, while licking its wounds, decides as the Europeans did after WW II that perhaps there could be a better way? We have sufficient order now to give us the time to act. Will we squander this “window of opportunity?”
Arguably the onrushing multiple disasters from global climate change already devastating lives and communities could serve as a point of unity around which all nations could rally. We could decide it would be best to make a global peace so that as many resources as we can muster can be diverted instead 1) to the enormous mitigation efforts that will increasingly be required, and 2) to all of the AFWW cornerstone efforts, which are essential underpinning of a global peace.
The truly historic coming together in 2015 to create the Paris Climate Agreement is a powerful sign of hope. It is alarming at this writing that the world’s most wealthy nation and greatest consumer of energy, the United States, has withdrawn from the agreement. Nevertheless, all other signing nations so far have agreed to hold fast. There is a clear understanding by informed citizens of all nations that given quick action with unity we still have a chance to blunt the worst effects of the warming, and that failing to unite and act invites existential disaster. It is not a little alarming that many knowledgeable experts worry that it is already too little and too late.
Allied entities seeking to achieve a global peace will likewise have to act in unity and from a position of relative strength and security. Countries torn by internal and external fighting are unlikely to be in a position to negotiate a complex global peace treaty. Thus it is that “Provide Security and Order,” both between and within nations, is a cornerstone of a campaign to abolish war. We can hope that this window of opportunity to end war has not closed.
A Global Peace System (GPS)
A global peace system would provide a secure and orderly space within which to fashion an enduring future without war. Here are three relevant facts about peace systems:
They function to prevent war between the members of the alliance.
They don’t just happen by accident; they must be constructed.
They have existed and do exist. They are not beyond our capabilities.
In a 2012 paper “Life Without War,” Douglas Fry proposed the establishment of a global peace system, as did Robert Irwin in his 1989 book, Building a Peace System.
Fry defines peace systems as “groups of neighboring societies that do not make war on each other (and sometimes not with outsiders either).” He notes that they exist in various part of the planet and he provides the names and geographic locations of thirty-three. One table lists 7 characteristics of 3 active and 2 passive peace systems, indicating in each system which characteristics are present, absent, or weakly present.
He then presents findings comparing in some detail the shared characteristics of three peace systems on different continents:
ten tribes of the Upper Xingu River basin of Brazil,
the Iroquois Confederacy of upper New York State, and
the European Union.
He could have included the United States of America as it is essentially a peace system comprised of many separate states and it shares all of the same characteristics Fry found in the three he examined in most detail.
People within some peace systems renounce all war, but Fry points out that the people of these three societies did engage in armed conflicts with people outside of their union. The people in none of these alliances are saints or born pacifists. Within their union, however, they developed attitudes and institutions that allowed them to live in peace. His comparison leads him to suggest six essentials of a successful peace system:
An overarching social identity.
Interconnections among subgroups.
Symbolism and ceremonies that reinforce peace.
Superordinate institutions for conflict management.
Notably, several of these traits overlap with or are embraced by AFWW cornerstones. In his discussion of “Overarching Social Identity” he takes on the question of “us-versus-them” mentality that can foster conflicts and willingness to use violence against the “other.” He describes the methods used by his three peace systems to “expand the us” to encompass a sense of common identity. The methods are unique to each setting. This corresponds to the work done by individuals and institutions embraced by the AFWW cornerstone “Foster Connectedness.”
Addressing Interconnections Among Subgroups or “intergroup ties,” he points out that intergroup bonds of friendship, kinship, and economic ties discourage violence. He describes how, in order to create such ties, peace systems use or foster ceremonial unions, fictive and genuine intermarriage that establishes a sense of kinship, economic partnerships, and personal friendships. These goals are being advanced by individuals and organizations embraced by AFWW cornerstones “Foster Connectedness” and “Shift Our Economies.”
“Interdependence” in Fry’s paper refers primarily to economic interdependence and its power to promote cooperation. It includes, however, engaging in cooperation for any kinds of beneficial reasons. For example, in the dry desert of Australia’s west, local groups reciprocally allow other groups access to water and food in lean times, because a time will come when they may be the needy ones. Peace systems also tend to specialize in production of particularly desirable trade goods that they exchange, again creating interdependence. Individuals and organizations embraced by the AFWW cornerstone “Shift Our Economies” would also be stressing the importance and potential power of creating these kinds of practical interdependence.
Fry begins his discussion of “Nonwarring Values” by pointing out the obvious fact that some value orientations are more conducive to peace than others, and that peace systems live by “nonwarring values.” In the Upper Xingu tribes, for example, the warrior role is shunned. They have a saying, “Peace is moral; war is not.” Fry describes the means by which the Iroquois Confederation enshrined peace-promoting values. An explicitly stated goal of the founding of the European Union was to bring peace to the region. All of the educational efforts of AFWW organizations and projects embraced by “Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution” are playing a part in creating and spreading nonwarring values.
In the case of the EU, he describes how actualization of the values of social equality, human rights, and respect for the law serve as the EU’s moral compass. The AFWW cornerstone “Spread Liberal Democracy” also places emphasis on the pacifying effect of these facets of liberal democracies when you have large, modern societies rather than small tribal entities. The cornerstone “Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution” embraces the need to teach non-warring philosophy and the skills of peace. So here we have commonality between Fry’s assessment of what it will take to move us beyond war and two AFWW cornerstones.
Fry illustrates a need for “Symbolism and Ceremonies that Reinforce Peace” citing participation of all the Upper Xingu tribes in ceremonies to mourn the deaths of deceased chiefs and inaugurate new ones. Joint ceremonies help unify the tribes, again helping to “Foster Connectedness” by creating a sense of common identity and unity. The Iroquois League utilized a powerful symbol of unity and peace, the Tree of Peace. The tree’s white roots represented the desire for peace to spread beyond the confederacy. An eagle perched on top of the tree was a reminder that the tribes must remain vigilant to any threats to peace; the Iroquois clearly understood that a peace system requires work to maintain it.
Considering history and human nature, a smart campaign to end war would be wise to stress that a shared goal of the peace they make is to create safe, secure, and healthy places for all children. This is because caring for children is a fundamental, deeply ingrained, evolved value all humans share; it would thus be a powerful shared goal around which to build unity. It would likewise be wise to create an appropriate, unifying symbol to represent the desire to forge and maintain the peace, and to invent ceremonies to regularly celebrate creation of the peace and to honor the “heroes” who worked to make it a reality.
If a life without war is to be won and maintained, there must also be “Superordinate Institutions for Conflict Management.” Fry points out that one way to manage the many different conflicts between groups is to create higher levels of governance to facilitate the varied processes they use to do so. He describes the Council of Chiefs of the Iroquois Confederacy, which served as a kind of Supreme Court, the final arbiter of conflicts. He describes higher levels of governance created by the EU, such as the European Court of Justice. The formation of the United States from thirteen separate colonies created higher levels of governance whereby people with differences do not take up weapons and battle it out; they take their case to the courts and ultimately the Supreme Court. Rule of law.
The individuals and organizations embraced by AFWW cornerstones “Provide Security and Order” and “Promote Nonviolent Conflict Resolution” are concerned with these issues of how to nonviolently manage conflicts. For the global community the United Nations is perhaps best positioned for creating a superordinate institution or institutions required to undergird a global peace system. As Kent Shifferd has pointed out, the International Court of Justice is a step we have already taken in that direction (2011, 2012). The ICJ is struggling to be relevant, but in the context of a global peace treaty and peace system, it or some body like it would be essential.
Fry concludes that creating a peace system for the entire planet would involve many synergistic elements “including the transformative vision that a new peace-based global system is in fact possible….” Getting the very concept that it is possible to create such a peace system and end war widely understood is shared with the AFWW cornerstone “Embrace the Goal.”
Two critical AFWW cornerstones that Fry’s analysis does not touch directly, or even very indirectly, are “Empower Women” and “Enlist Young Men.” First, the challenge of making young, restless males part of the solution—making them supporters of building and maintaining the peace system—is arguably the least appreciated element of fashioning a future without war. It is seldom mentioned by anyone writing on this subject, I believe since the general assumption is that we will never actually end war, so thinking about the specific problem of what to do with young men as part of the process of ending war or what to do with them when war is absent has no seeming relevance.
Fry also doesn’t acknowledge the importance of empowering women. The issue of how women relate to peace and social stability is only now finding a way into the global consciousness. Women have had the vote for barely one hundred years. They still do not hold positions of significant power in the overwhelming number of the world’s governing bodies.
Iroquois lore says that their original peace confederacy was established by two men and a woman, Jigonhsasee. It is noteworthy that women were powerful and influential in the Iroquois Confederacy and the Iroquois peace lasted at least 300+ years.
Men were the founders of the European Union but women vote and have meaningful influence within the current European Union.
“Empowering Women” is an AFWW cornerstone because we now understand the importance of differences in biological traits of men and women as these relate to war and social stability (“Differences between Men and Women with Respect to Aggression and Social Stability”). Men clearly can set up a peace system; some have done so. Based on a biological perspective, however, it is the position of AFWW that because of biological male/female proclivities that make men particularly susceptible to calls for war, adding women’s influence into governing decision-making is a necessary condition for maintaining a peace system over time.
In summary, we have actual examples and models of peace systems to learn from, and their existence encourages us to know that establishing a peace system is not beyond our capabilities. Notably, it does not require that any or all members of a society become pacifists. Only that they embrace the worth of maintaining peace and commit to support the system.
How Close Is the Global Community to Creating a Peace System?
The answer is, close!
The many accomplishments, efforts, and actions already occurring globally and described by historian Kent Shifferd are too numerous to review here. Table X lists them by name. His book and YouTube video provide details (Shifferd 2011, 2012).
What all of these accomplishments indicate is that we live at a historical moment of opportunity when all nations could commit to launch a final push to fashion an enduring global peace system (GPS).
Recent Historial Changes in the Direction of a Global Peace The Evolution of a Global Peace System K. Shifferd, From War to Peace Suprenational Parlimentary Systems Spread of Democratic Systems International Laws and Treaties End of Colonialism and NeoEmpire Rise in International Justice Long-term Peace Regions Emergence of Peace-Keeping & Building End to DeFacto Sovereignty Spread of International Development Human Rights Principles Recognized Rise of Global Conferences Granting Rights to Women Rise of Global Outlook of NGOs Decline of Institutional Racism Emergence of Peace Activism Trend to End Capital Punishment Surge in Nonviolent Direct Action Rise in Environmental Activism Nonviolent Conflict Resolution Training Trend to Peace Oriented Religion Spread of Peace Research & Education Trend to Conscientious Objection Trend Toward Peace Journalism Rise of Internet and Cellphones Decline in Prestige of War Rise in Planetary Loyalty
Wars between nations are arguably already at an all-time low. As of this writing, none of the nations of South or North America are at war with each other. Wars between the nations of the European Union, which were numerous, have been halted by the establishment of the EU peace system. It has been noted that almost all of these countries at peace with each other are democracies at some level.
While Russia seems eager to expand its influence using military force and has already done so in some of its neighboring nations and created great apprehension in others, the NATO alliance has, thus far, kept Russian inclinations at least in partial check.
To conclude, providing security and order is critical to providing both space and resources that will allow us to actually fashion and maintain a more peaceful, just, and yes, environmentally sustainable future without war. We have the knowledge of what is required for success. We are living in a period of sufficient social stability to provide the opportunity to succeed. We can hope that it will not take some massive global catastrophe like a WW III to give us the necessary motivation to, at last, act.
Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth—that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. Max Weber
Axelrod, Robert. 1984. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books. Fry, Douglas P. 2012. “Life Without War.” Science 336: 879-884. Hand, Judith L. 2018. War and Sex and Human Destiny. San Diego, California: Questpath Publishing. Hart, Gary. 2004. The Fourth Power. A Grand Strategy for the United States in the Twenty-First Century. New York: Oxford University Press. Shifferd, K. (2011). From War to Peace: A Guide to the Next Hundred Years. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. Shifferd, K. (2012). Evolution of a global peace system. Available on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=f1HMRAZNQd8. (accessed 29 May 2017). Ury, William. 1999. Getting to Peace: Transforming Conflict at Home, at Work, and in the World. NY: Viking.