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Culture of Peace

Culture of Peace
(Coordinator Comment)

In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly, led by the non-aligned countries, requested a document on the culture of peace. In response, the concept was described in document A/53/370, in terms of its dialectical opposite, the culture of war.

The capitalists who are in power do not want to admit they use the culture of war, nor do they like dialectics, and so it is not surprising that the European Union formally demanded that all reference to the culture of war had to be taken out of the UN document before they would allow it to be adopted as Resolution A/53/243. This is described in the history of the culture of peace.

Eight aspects of the culture of peace were described in A/53/370 in dialectical opposition to eight aspects of the culture of war:

1. Human rights: In the culture of peace all human rights are extended to "benefit the entire human family," in all its dimensions, as opposed to the culture of war in which rights "benefit exclusively the clan, the tribe or the nation" [or the ruling class] at the expense of others.

2. "Education is the principle means of promoting a culture of peace ... The very concept of power needs to be transformed - from the logic of force and fear to the force of reason and love." Education, in the culture of peace, needs to be based on the "peace-making skills of dialogue, mediation, conflict transformation, consensus-building, cooperation and non-violent social change."

3. The culture of peace requires that economic development be based on "sustainable human development for all." "Social development, social justice and the eradication of poverty are indispensable" as well as preservation of our environment. In contrast the culture of war has always benefited "from military supremacy and structural violence and [is] achieved at the expense of the vanquished and the weak."

4. "Democratic participation and governance" is necessary for the culture of peace, as opposed to the "authoritarian structures of power" that characterize the culture of war. Like human rights, we need to recognize and struggle for all three generations of democratic participation.

5. Equality between men and women is essential to a culture of peace, replacing the inequality that has always characterized the culture of war and violence. "As recognized by the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing 1995) ... it is necessary to promote women's political and economic empowerment and equal representation at every level of decision-making so that women's experience, talents, visions and potential can make their full contribution to a culture of peace."

6. "Freedom of opinion, expression and information, recognized as an integral aspect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, is a vital factor in the strengthening of peace and international understanding. Transparency is needed to replace the secrecy and manipulation of information which characterize the culture of war."

7. In the culture of peace "enemy images" are transcended and superseded by "understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all peoples and cultures" because "there has never been a war without an enemy." As stated by the UNESCO Constitution, "peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind."

8. And, of course, the culture of peace needs international peace and security based on disarmament and conversion of military industry to civilian production instead of the armaments, weapons and military facilities of the culture of war.

Although the eight aspects of the culture of peace are each distinct one from another, they are also inter-related and together they make up an integral alternative to the culture of war. This is best understood from the standpoint of dialectics, as Lenin stated, that there is "the interdependence and the closest and indissoluble connection between all aspects of any phenomenon." As stated by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in presenting his report on the culture of peace to the UN General Assembly: "Each of these areas of action have been priorities of the United Nations since its foundation; what is new is their linkage through the culture of peace and nonviolence into a single coherent concept. Linkages have often been made (for example, democracy, development and peace; equality between women and men with development and peace, and so forth). This is the first time, however, that all these areas are interlinked so that the sum of their complementarities and synergies can be developed."

Actions that weaken individual aspects of the culture of war are able to weaken the entire culture of war. No enemy, no war. No authoritarian structure, no war. No control of information, no war. As the American delegate stated at the United Nations, if the culture of peace were fully adopted, "it will be very difficult to start a war."

The dialectical relationship between the culture of war and the culture of peace ensures that by attacking any aspect of the culture of war, we help create a culture of peace. And by helping in any way to create a culture of peace, we help abolish the culture of war. And, true to the principles of dialectics, the struggle of these two opposites does not proceed in a regular, straight line. Instead, it moves by leaps, catastrophes, and revolutions. Transformation of quantity eventually become a transformation in quality. In sum, it is a revolutionary process.

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game administrator Jun. 13 2019,18:22
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