[lit-ideas] On the prospect of World Peace

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2006 20:09:25 -0700

Very Well, Jack Sprat, I'll introduce a subject:


"Carnegie was so confident of the success to be achieved by his endowment of
$10 million to promote the idea of war as 'disgraceful to civilized men'
that he gave careful instructions to the trustees of his endowment that once
war was safely abolished, they were to turn their attention to 'the next
most degrading remaining evil or evils.'  So would they go on being able to
'aid man in his upward march to higher and higher stages of development
unceasingly, for now we know that man was created, not with an instinct for
his own degradation, but imbued with the desire and the power for
improvement to which, perchance, there may be no limit short of perfection
even here in this life upon earth.'"  [James Bowman, Honor, A History, 2006,
page 102]


It seems to me that the only way war can be abolished is if a single force
rules the entire planet in an effective and agreeable way.  The U.S. has
learned that being benign is no guarantee that there will be no forces to
oppose it.  France, one of the nations the U.S. protected throughout the
Cold War attempted to elicit opposition to the U.S. once the Soviet Union
collapsed and the U.S. was left with no credible opposition.   Though France
was not able to elicit enthusiasm from the EU for opposition to the US,
Militant Islam listening to the false statements and reports about the US
has declared it a thoroughly satanic force.  So it is obvious that good
intentions backed by benignity are no guarantee that a Superpower will be
honored.  If anything the evidence supports a contrary view.


I know of two theories that lay claim to the eventuality of world peace,
that of Fukuyama and another somewhat like it by Thomas. P. M. Barnett.
Fukuyama's well known thesis is that Liberal Democracy is inevitable and
will eventually supplant all other social and economic systems on the
planet.  Barnett too believes in the advance of Liberal Democracy but he
uses different terms and especially disagrees with Fukuyama in the use of
means.  Fukuyama in his book America at the Crossroads parted company with
Neo-Conservatism because the latter utilized means and took actions he
disapproved of.  Fukuyama didn't believe his "end of history" could be
facilitated by extraordinary means, especially military means.  


Barnett doesn't emphasis Liberal-Democracy in so many words.  He calls the
Liberal-Democratic regions "the Functioning Core.  He refers to the other
nations as the "Non-Integrating Gap."  He believes the task before us is to
bring the Non-Integrating Gap into the Functioning Core.  He does not
possess Fukuyama's patience.  He believes we should take steps to bring
nations of the Gap into the Core bit by bit.  We should deal with serious
threats by military means and not be afraid or apologetic about doing so.


So here are two theories about achieving World Peace, something American
Leftists and Pacifists claim to wish for.  These approaches aren't wishful
thinking.  They provide steps, a, b, c, etc leading up to World Peace.  Why
don't Leftists and Pacifists embrace one or both of these systems?  I submit
that they are too naively committed to wishful thinking, dreaming really.
Reality isn't their forte and never will be.


Lawrence Helm

San Jacinto

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