Activists in the U.S./English realm of social change have considered "the Peace Movement" as a sub-category of "Activism", a vague cooperative of antiwar, antinuclear weapons and Non-violence advocates. This has been humanity's biggest fallacy.
British philosopher, logician, social critic Bertrand Russell is known to have said: “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd." When we think of the consequences of the widely held opinion that peace is the absence of wars, we can't find any bigger absurdity. And it's not like plenty of the most renowned activists in history haven't pointed this out.
The dogma of War & Peace is humanity's biggest fallacy because it has clearly prevented the institution of Social Activism to be a cohesive community. Humanity failed to understand that people, who participate in social action, share same fears and aspire to the same hopes and dreams. Peace, as an invisible ideal with universal gravitational pull, was ill defined, a fallacy has been promoted and social activism has been emasculated of power for over 50 years. Ever since the Civil Rights Movement, social change has been a triumph of individuality over the collective. In 50 years of activism we have only glorified the "Self" and undermined the collective. We love to blame the 1% for dividing and conquering us. However, organizations, movements, groups, thousands of culture critics, historians, writers, social scientists, have been incapable to solve the biggest of all conflicts, "conflict of interests," a problem well emphasized by Malcom X.
The crowd of Social Change in the U.S. alone has grown steadily to 2.3 million organizations, groups, movements, charities. Such boom is seen as a triumph of good will. However, social and economic inequalities, lack of urgent action on climate change, hunger, poverty and racism, thrive. In the U.S. there is a larger gap in the distribution of wealth today than there was during the Great Depression, regardless of the alleged advancements in social empowerment and activism. This is unsustainable, unacceptable. To the question "What on Earth will it take to reform our failed institutions?", the answer is: "A commitment to responsibility, the duty we have to always strive to be a real community, not just a vague coalition."
ALL activism is both, "a Peace Movement" and "The peace process" at the same time. "Peace is the absence of fear" is a rationale that connects activists. Peace is the absence of wars, is a rationale that connects only antiwar, anti nuclear weapons advocates, and war veterans. This is where the shift has to happen. We say "has to happen," because this is an absolute, a conviction, an urgency. We challenge you to the debate. Is it a solution of Design or a reflection on Logic? Is it a smarter alternative to "Non Violence" in the age of the Internet or the simple recurrence of an ideal in need of evolving?
There is no peace. "Imagine peace" is not delivering, either because we just can't exercise reason and produce social pressure on the war-greedy, by imagining alone, or because humanity is incapable to imagine (it can't imagine anything meaningful, these days). We urgently need to re-evaluate our approach to peace and adapt, if we are to survive. Activism has grown to an industry, second only to retail. Industries, by nature thrive on competition, not cooperation. As it is now, activism is chaotic, erratic, conflicted.
Maybe it's a good time to wonder if humanity is stuck in a conflict between the self and the collective, and we're here to witness who will prevail. Our minds are literally stuck in a bad referential frame. Social activists fight to relieve their fears and remove conflicts. The long list (below) of recent articles clearly proves that social, environmental, or any kind of conflicts, are defined as "wars", for good reasons.
The trigger of revolt is hidden in plain sight in the sentence: "peace is the absence of fear". This sentence allows all activists to feel connected by the human emotion of fear. Whether fear is a negative emotion or not, it doesn't matter. It's still able to do something positive, reconnecting us. Since fear has been so manipulated by the state and dishonest, bankrupted psychopaths, why can't creative intellectuals use it too, to unite people proactively or build new form of consensus?
What good has it served for humanity to be stuck in the dogma of "War & Peace?" How many conflicts, genocides, how many nuclear weapons were actually dismantled since the U.S. Peace Movement of the 1970s and Pacifism inspired millions of people worldwide? The USA are currently involved in 135 military operations worldwide? Is it a good time to draw the line on our shortcomings? Will the pressure of failure be strong enough to wise us up and evolve our approach to "peace?"
List of the term "war" in thought provoking, unconventional referential framing:
- ‘Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America’ (here)
- The Third World War has long begun - Jean Zigler (here)
- The Washington Post Has Declared War On Peacemakers - Dennis Kucinich (here)
- The Feds Have Turned America Into a War Zone (here)
- The Great American Class War. Plutocracy vs. Democracy - Bill Moyers (here)
- There Is A Real War On Americans (here)
- ‘When Did Americans Become the Enemy?’ (here)
- The Washington Post Has Declared War On Peacemakers(here)
- House and Senate Republicans Have Declared Economic War On Average Americans (here)
- ‘Call it what it is: A class war’(here)
- ‘Banks, corporations wage war on working class Americans’ (here)
- The Bitter Consequences of Corporate America's War on Unions (here)
- The War on Democracy (John Pilger Documentary) (here)
- The War on Democracy (here)
- Robert Reich: Most economic policies are just an ideological war on the poor and the disenfranchised (here)
- ‘Is America Ready for a New War on Poverty?’ (here)
- ‘The Origins of the Neoliberal War on the Poor’ (here)
- ‘Report on the War on Dissent.’ (here, here, here)
- 'The Unwinnable War on Dissent.' (here)
- When the Government Views Its Own Population as the Enemy (here)
- The Saga of Barrett Brown: Inside Anonymous and the War on Secrecy (here)
- US "Waging War" on Whistleblowers’ (here and here)
- ‘How America's Great University System Is Being Destroyed’ (here)
- ‘War On Health - The FDA's Cult of Tyranny’ (here)
- ‘There is a War on Journalism: Jeremy Scahill on NSA Leaks & New Investigative Reporting Venture’ (here)
- Juvenile Justice And The War On Teens (here)
- ‘Anatomy of the War on Women.’ (here)
- War on Women Continues With 'Atrocious' New Anti-Choice Law in Kansas (here)
- ‘Fine Print of the Food Wars’ (here)
- The War on Savings: the Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless (here)
- War on NGO’s: Facing Government Crackdown, Greenpeace India 'Refuses to be Intimidated' (here)
- Civil War Rages On for Black America (here)
- ‘Ferguson Looks like a War Zone. Here’s why’ (here)
- The War on Black America (here)
- Ahead of Grand Jury Announcement, Are Ferguson Police 'Getting Ready for War'? (here)
- (Australia) John Pilger: The secret country again wages war on its own people (here)
- No Progress on Nuclear Weapons Control – As Planned. Disarmament isn’t Happening…(here)
- Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals(here)
- The new cold war. It is here that Shell plans to drill for oil, pulling the detonator on a carbon bomb which eventually could spray 150bn tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.(here)
- A Sinister War on Our Right to Hold Cash(here)