Campaign for Universal Peace

by Peter Kasser



Peace is not a Dream. Peace is a Project

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pflügt der Landmann der pflügt


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The highest human aspiration, the worthiest goal to reach in this world, is undoubtedly World Peace.

Now, World Peace isn't just a dream, nor will it come around just like that, on velvet paws - nor will it be presented to humanity on a silver platter. Peace has to be achieved, through hard work, systematically and continuously, with a clear end result in mind.

And we have to remember: What we really want is a Paradise on Earth, the very best world we could possibly imagine. Without Global Peace, there can be no Paradise on Earth.

And we also have to bear in mind: there is no Peace without Justice. Justice is a prerequisite for Peace. If anywhere in this world there is a lack of justice, there can be no Universal Peace.

Justice goes two ways: on the one hand (most people would say it's the obvious way), we're talking about justice for humans - justice between people, between groups of people, between nations, between men and women, and so on. On the other hand (and, unfortunately, too many people would even refuse to acknowledge that there is such a second way), we're talking about justice for nature, for animals and plants, for our water, our atmosphere.

In the case of justice for humans, we've certainly gone quite a distance already, what with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which virtually every nation in the world has signed but continues to disrespect in many ways), and the elaborate set of rules in our legal systems. In the case of justice for nature, however, no such Universal Declaration has ever been suggested - and, on a worldwide scale, only minimal efforts are being made to protect nature and to give nature its rightful rights.

Thus, all these aspects have to be taken into consideration, and a systematic approach has to be defined in order to achieve Justice - to achieve Global Peace - to establish a Paradise on Earth (which, incidentally, is just an extension of the state of Global Peace, in a qualitative sense: to make life on earth ever more agreeable, pleasant, comfortable).

What are the basics to understand and follow up on all this, on the path towards Justice, Peace, and Paradise on Earth?

I think there are three basic preconditions that need to be met and recognized:

First, we need to agree on a new set of moral values we want to use as a guideline. In the past, morality was defined as a set of behaviours which guaranteed the survival of the established order, the power of the "Three P's", as I call them, the Potentates, the Priests and the Philosophers, which represent, respectively, the demands of body, soul and spirit. The new set of moral values has to be directed, not towards the past, but towards the future, towards what we want to achieve as defined by our wildest dreams, guided by what I'd call the "Fourth P", Phantasy, which is not subject to the needs of body, soul and spirit but is free from any restraints, free to soar into the most distant spheres of aspired dream worlds, like our Paradise on Earth.

The second most basic prerequisite for the expected success of our endeavor is the principle of hope. We have to be one hundred percent convinced that it's possible, correct and realistic to achieve Global Peace - not in some distant future but now, in our times, depending on the effort we're willing to put into this effort. This hope must be rock-solid, unwavering, ever-present, mutually reinforced by every individual the world over. If there is no such hope, we might as well forget the whole thing!

Thirdly and lastly, it is of paramount importance that we recognize mutual respect as a fundamental ingredient of our project. Peace is not a one-man show. It's not one group of people against the rest of the world. It's a universal, all-human enterprise. If some people, or some groups of people, are left out, we'll never succeed. Mutual respect is needed in order to take into consideration the needs and wishes of all people in the world. Some might interpret this all-encompassing respect as "love". We must "love" all the people in order to create Paradise on Earth. For me, respect is enough. We don't need to love everybody, but we need to respect everybody. Love is something emotional, but we don't need emotions to establish Peace. Peace is a matter-of-fact kind of project. "Respect" might be translated into something like "care", a feeling of responsibility towards somebody. Or, going one step further, we might translate it into "compassion" (which comes very close to the emotions of love): We feel compassion towards the rest of the world, to all of humanity, the whole nature, the whole of the universe.

Armed with the tools of morality, hope and respect, we're ready to tackle the challenges facing us on the road to Peace and Justice in this world.

What are these challenges on the road to Peace and Justice?

The challenges are two-fold:

On the one hand, there are untold stumbling blocks on the road to peace, big ones, small ones, all sorts of stumbling blocks that are standing in our way. They are the rotten remnants of the old world, and they all have to be identified, named, described, defined, one by one - and strategies have to be developed how to remove them. ALL stumbling blocks have to be overcome in order to reach the end of the road.

Once we reach the end of the road, with all stumbling blocks removed, what's awaiting us? A huge plain of emptiness, of unfulfilled dreams?

It's obviously not enough to get rid of stumbling blocks on the way to peace, but we also have to invent, define and realize peace building blocks. In this sense, Peace is like a palace: it's not enough to just clear the ground of all undergrowth and obstacles, but you actually have to build  walls and roofs in order to finally inhabit a worthy place which you might then call Paradise on Earth.