By Laurent Ladouce and Carolyn Handschin-Moser
After the end of the Cold War, many hoped the 21st century would be one of lasting peace. It actually started well with the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
During this period, Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon launched the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). With its network of Ambassadors for Peace worldwide, it has an impressive record of peace initiatives. Hopefully, the emergence of a graduate school for peace and public leadership in the Unification movement will also bring innovative and creative ideas to the philosophy of peace studies.
Regrettably, peace studies often stop at conflict resolution or conflict transformation. We need more “positive peace studies.” We keep viewing peace as pacification, the return of tranquility after a period of conflict. According to Heraclitus, the founder of dialectics, “Polemos (war) is both the king and father of all.” We still live in a culture where there is only a truce between two wars. The term “irenology” (from the Greek irene, meaning peace) exists, but is rarely used.
The Genesis of Human Security
Peace is more than the absence of war, we say. But what should be present when war is absent? The revolution of Satyagraha, launched by Gandhi, went far beyond the Home Rule movement which had blossomed in India in 1916-18 and was to end the British colonial occupation. Satyagraha literally means that truth has an element of love and an element of energy within itself. Gandhi added:
“Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, i.e., the Force which is born of Truth and Love, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance” in connection with it.”
Gandhi wanted to make Indians the actors of their own destiny, free to build a peaceful and good society. He noted:
“I would like to see India free and strong so that she may offer herself as a willing, pure sacrifice for the betterment of the world. The self, being pure, sacrifices himself for the family, the latter for the village, the village for the district, the district for the province, the province for the nation, the nation for all.”
We often chant “study war no more” (see Isaiah Wall photo below), but study what, then? Indeed, we accumulate valuable knowledge to gradually change from a very violent to a less violent world, and ultimately to a world with zero violence. But what stands above the zero? Unificationism states that Cain and Abel should reconcile and settle their disputes, then live together. In practice, most Unificationists still seek a roadmap for a feasible universal concord. The Unificationist community, not unlike most religious organizations, believes in some form of utopian universal concord. A proper understanding of human security may be an eye-opener to arrive at something more concrete.
Continue reading “Enlarged Freedom for a Safer World: A Unificationist Approach toward Human Security”