The Peace Movement is considered a subcategory of Social Activism. The purpose of both is to "relieve conflicts." For over 50 years, the obsession to frame peace as "absence of wars" has proven to be a myth, that produces the exact opposite. It's time to shift the discourse.
"The Peace Movement" is considered as a subcategory of "Activism,". "Peace Movement," is a label, an identification, defined by those who write and speak about peace with a very specific perspective on conflicts, namely "armed" conflicts. According to their views, "wars" are the reason (cause) why there's no peace (effect) in the world. This logic is not only flawed, but paralysing for Activism, because it prevents engaged people from seing their shared purpose and finding global solidarity.
War&Peace is a dogma
This may sound harsh, but the kind of change you seek can only be bold. Radical change is impossible without confronting what doesn't work. Applying the tools and methods of traditional activism is getting us nowhere near progress, equality, justice, freedom. War&Peace is a deeply rooted dogma in our language. Despite the overwhelming fact that we use the word peace in so many different contexts, or that authors and journalists name many unarmed conflicts “wars” (see list below), we are mindlessly perpetuating the myth that peace = absence, opposite of wars. Born out of the Civil Rights Movement,The Peace Movement, has been a vague, ever changing coalition of antiwar-, antinuclear weapons- and Non-violence-advocates. It is believed that better organizing, specific organizing by gender (women for peace), or more "raising awareness about the true motives behind wars," will somehow bring us enlightenment and lead humanity to peace.
A dogma is an entire set of beliefs and preconceptions surrounding a myth. War&Peace are such a dogma. We have been so conditioned to think in terms of War&Peace, that even the term "Peace Process" is defined as "the steps taken by countries or groups that are trying to end a war." This "equation," is taken directly from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Decades of failure of the Middle East "peace process," NATO's decision to get involved in the conflicts in the Ukraine, and the endless rise in U.S. military involvement, clearly show that whatever is defined as "Peace Processes" has little or no meaning in real life.
The misconceptions about the Peace Movement have not yet been the subject of proper inquiry and debate, because few dare to question the prevailing approach to Pacifism, or broadly, the methods of NonViolent Resistance (Activism). Repeace confronts both by challenging the widespread fallacies around peace. What we witness is anything but a reduction in armed conflicts, nor progress in nonviolent, civic engagement ; ; . In the past, notable leading figures and heroes of social change have already found it neccessary to point out the inaccuracies about the widespread myth about peace. Nobody seems to wonder why and how those observations were more than just personal opinions.
Keep blaming the 1%, or adapt!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 Activism in the U.S. alone has grown steadily to 2.5+ million organizations, groups, movements, charities. Such boom is seen as a triumph of good will, but what is it actually achieving?
The 1% has always managed to oppress, exploit, divide and conquer the middle class, dissolve organized protests and movements, from blacks to workers, women, environmentalists, etc.
And what does the 99% do? We build more NGOs. What we're good at is fragmenting the resistance in more entities. We grow activism in more groups, movements, Facebook pages, blogs, communities, parties, sign more petitions on an ever growing number of petitions' sites. By doing that, we miserably miss the main task of adapting and building an efficient institution of activism, beyond national borders, language or cause.
Only appreciating the abysmal depth of our divisions, our competitiveness, or the intellectual corruption of groups and organizations who claim to sell empowerment and hope, can lead us to a coalition of thought and the security of a unified will.
The first step should be to adapt our notion of peace, and expand the idea of Peace Movement to all fights inside Activism.
In fact, a long list of recent social battles have already been framed as "wars." What more do you need to shift thinking? 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)
- The Democratic Establishment’s War on Progressives (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, 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: (here,(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)