“Peace”: The Odyssey of the Relentless Pursuit of Humanoids of an Elusive Philosophy (Part 1)
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 18 Apr 2022
Prof Hoosen Vawda – TRANSCEND Media Service
“I have learned that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.” — Andy Rooney
16 Apr 2022 – The world, over this weekend is observing and celebrating the Easter weekend, as one of Peace. Religiously, it is a somber weekend hallmarking the brutal torture and crucifixion of Jesus the Christ as depicted and narrated extensively in the scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths, globally. To the Christians, Jesus is the savior of the continually sinning and transgressing humankind, as His ”blood was spilt”, to the Hebrews he was an impostor and were contributors to his crucifixion, to the Muslims he is a prophet or messenger of God, like the prophets before him, hence the religious importance of the Easter weekend.
To the Russian Tsar and aristocracy, Easter was a time to present the fabled and exquisite Fabergé Eggs, skillfully designed by the famous jeweler, Peter Carl Fabergé, each containing a surprise, exquisitely, expensive gift within, to the beautiful Czarina of Russia, between 1885 and 1917 In 1885, Russian Czar Alexander III decided to gift his wife an Easter egg, but this was not an ordinary chicken egg, because it was not an ordinary year. 1885 marked the twentieth anniversary of the Czar and his wife Empress Czarina Maria Fedorovna’s marriage. The Czar needed an exceptional gift to impress his wife. Alexander commissioned Peter Carl Fabergé, the royal jeweler, to create for him the most precious Easter egg.
However, to the rest of the world Easter is a Bank Holiday, associated with peace, by presenting chocolate Easter eggs for children, as well to adults, who consume them, adding to an inordinate increase in their blood sugars and causing dyslipidaemia, contributing, to the incidence of Cardiovascular disease, itself a greater disturber of personal and family peace in the present era. The whole weekend is synonymous with business entrepreneurship and has become highly commercialised, in some cases totally losing its religious significance. The traditional Easter weekend hallmark of peace has given way to commercialisation and focuses on generating funds for chocolatiers and corporates.
In a previous publication, “Applicability of “Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum” to the Present Context of International Belligerence” the author was not quoting Vincent in the 2014 John Wick franchise but the The Roman General Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus’s seminal work, “Epitoma Rei Militaris”  which he published circa 435 AD, when the discipline of th formidable Roman army and the Empire itself was declining. This publication traces the long odyssey of humanoids pursuit of Peace as an entity, since evolution of the species from the primaeval broth to present day status.
The concept of peace was first introduced into academic literature by the Norwegian pioneer of peace research Johan Galtung, who distinguished between two types of peace: positive peace and negative peace. Defining Peace itself is an arduous process and Professor Johan Galtung, the Founding Father of TRANSCEND Media Service, the Transcend Peace Journal, as well as the patriarch of formal Peace Research, has formulated the “Mini Theory of Peace”. The basic point is that peace is a relation, between two or more parties. The parties may be inside a person, a state or nation, a region or civilization, pulling in different directions. Peace is not a property of one party alone, but a property of the relation between parties.
Johan Galtung and his personal crusade to define peace as a concept and a set of objective values, is as old as prehistory. In an effort to provide a systemic definition of peace within a rational and humane paradigm, informed by best-practice methodologies for research and analysis is a more modern enterprise. Following the new challenges facing humanoids in the 21st century, it has become common to cultures and religions worldwide to define peace. Furthermore, recent developments have highlighted the urgency of this quest to scientifically define and quantify peace. More importantly, the present-day humanoids need to know the strategies at our disposal, the secrets thereof, how to achieve peace, with the constant spectre of a nuclear doomsday, annihilating half the world, while trying to establish whose “Button is Bigger”, between Kim and Donald, as was the scenario and question facing humanity in January 2018.
Noting these threats, the global powers in charge, also need to be proactive in sustaining and ensuring ongoing peace, once achieved, bringing us back to the dictum of Renatus. In order to achieve this utopian status, under extremely volatile and short-lived tranquility, in global affairs, often laced with geopolitical intrigue, the Peace Scientists like Galtung, needs to know what exactly, peace is? Johan Galtung gave the first introduction to the concept of peace to academic literature way back in 1981, by describing both positive and negative peace. Scholars define Peace as an absence of war, as a principal factor defined peace in the Western world. It is not the absence or the lack of wars that makes people feel comfortable and cared for;. It is actually not having ANY wars or sufferings, al all, in life. It is not the view of many peace scholars that there can be little or no focus on peace, if war does not take place.
According to Galtung, in a world without hostility or violence, peace constitutes the union of good friends and harmony. is commonly used to mean a state of peaceful behaviour, without the fear of violence between people or groups. In his tome, “An Informal, Miniature Theory of Peace” by J.V. Galtung. There exists an implied relationship between two or more people who are seeking peace. Participants may come from people, state or nation, region or civilization, with an affinity toward one another. When one party and another share in peace, these two are considered a single entity. In his elaboration to expand on The Two Dimensions of Peace, as identified by Johan Galtung’s philosophy is informed by a strong sense of the correlation between direct violence, social injustice, or structural violence, both negative and positive, as well as its capacity to offer analytical support for its analysis. The question raised is what is the “Theory Of Peace?” In democracies, peace is hesitant to be attained when there are armed conflicts with any other entity. In his 1969 paper, “Violence, Peace and Peace Research”, Johan Galtung presents a view on the conflict triangle, as the basic structure needed for the analysis of war, in which all three elements of violence are presented. In its simplest form, peace equals happiness. The idea of sustainable peace was conceptualised by Galtung, first as follows. In order to address root causes of conflict, and ensure that conflict resolution and management are available at local levels, a peacebuilding system needs to be established. In order to build this system, we need to establish what are the types of peace, ab initio?
The world is generally divided into four types of peace, which are, Internal, External, Non-resident and Resident Peace. According to philosophers, negative peace may mean that violence is absent and war has been avoided, while positive peace would mean that justice and harmonious relations are present. integrative peace, in addition to its connotations of social and personal dimensions, refers to understanding peace within those dimensions as well. There are four types of Peace, which is a type of harmony; order; justice; or conflict management according to Banks. Peace, order, unity, harmony and justice are similar values in three of these four categories. A value-dimension describes what each concept of peace is characterised by.
A concept of conflict resolution is peace without hostility or violence, but achieves social harmony and mutual admiration. War is often seen as being the result of a lack of conflict; and we commonly use it in social terms to refer to such a situation. A free zone is therefore where everyone can feel safe interacting with one another. In the concept of peace and conflict, the goal of this field is to identify and analyse violent and nonviolent behaviors in partnership with structural mechanisms which result from conflicts, including social conflicts and analyse those processes to understand those that lead to better society. There is an excellent video online to explain these points. The two main points are : Peace is an absence of violence or confrontation of all kinds from social conflicts in families, schools, or board meetings, to a global theatre of war as presently experienced in Ukraine. Secondly Peace is non-violent and a creative conflict transformation, so that harmony prevails.
This analysis of Galtung is as applicable today, as it was in 1928, when it was initially presented. particularly in South Africa, Palestine, India, Myanmar and United States where killing of unarmed African Americans is officially as rampant, as it was in the pre-civil war era, by White law enforcement officers, in state employment.
The author is of an opinion that peace as an entity is essentially boring and an unexciting item on the menu of the humanoids with a reptilian brain in overdrive, all the times. There is therefore, no inhibitory impulses, originating from the advanced neocortex of the highly evolved frontal lobe of the modern humanoids. He further defines the relationships between the parties as “One party’s Peace is another party’s War”. There cannot be any good without evil, nor Archangel Gabriel without the fallen from Grace, former Archangel Lucifer, as narrated in the scriptures of the Abrahamic faiths, from Judaism through to Islam, as a comparator and depending on the circumstances. Basically, Peace can be defined as an absence of War, belligerence, expropriation and aggression, in an imperial, colonialist context, as it has transpired over the centuries, globally. Presently, the often-repeated scenario is unfolding itself in the Occupied Territories of Palestine by Israel, with a great loss of peace resulting a high death toll amongst civilians, during the centuries old established, holy weekend, in the region, religiously significant to Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Similarly, the Ukraine War and accompanying genocide is another detractor of Global Peace. In fact, His Holiness, Pope Francis has stated that, as a peace gesture, there should be a reconciliation, over the Holy Friday, of the Easter weekend, between Russia and Ukraine, to restore peace and quell the war. Mass graves of civilians reportedly executed by Russian forces are being discovered daily in Bucha as well as in other Ukrainian cities. This genocide will results in peace being dispelled forever and is similar act of genocide, as it happened in Bosnia, where Islamophobia, as a destroyer of peace is rearing its ugly head, once again, following the Genocide committed by the Serbians between 1992 to 1995
Peace is the path we take for bringing growth and prosperity to society. If we do not have peace and harmony, achieving political strength, economic stability and cultural growth will be impossible. Moreover, before we transmit the notion of peace to others, it is vital for us to possess peace within. It is not a certain individual’s responsibility to maintain peace but everyone’s duty. Thus, an essay on peace will throw some light on the same topic.
History has been proof of the thousands of wars which have taken place in all periods at different levels between nations. Thus, we learned that peace played an important role in ending these wars or even preventing some of them. In fact, if one examines all religious scriptures and ceremonies, you will realize that all of them teach peace. They mostly advocate eliminating war and maintaining harmony. In other words, all of them hold out a sacred commitment to peace.
It is after the thousands of destructive wars that humans realised the importance of peace. Earth needs peace in order to survive. This applies to every angle including wars, pollution, natural disasters and more. When peace and harmony are maintained, things will continue to run smoothly without any delay. Moreover, it can be a saviour for many who do not wish to engage in any disrupting activities, or more. It is to be noted, that while war destroys and disrupts, peace builds and strengthens, as well as restores. Moreover, peace is personal which helps us achieve security, tranquility and avoids anxiety and chaos to make our lives better.
There are many ways in which we can maintain peace at different levels. To begin with humankind, it is essential to maintain equality, security and justice to maintain the political order of any nation. Further, we must promote the advancement of technology and science which will ultimately benefit all of humankind and maintain the welfare of people. In addition, introducing a global economic system will help eliminate divergence, mistrust and regional imbalance. It is also essential to encourage ethics that promote ecological prosperity and incorporate solutions to resolve the environmental crisis. This will in turn share success and fulfil the responsibility of individuals to end historical prejudices.
Similarly, we must also adopt a mental and spiritual ideology that embodies a helpful attitude to spread harmony. We must also recognize diversity and integration for expressing emotion to enhance our friendship with everyone from different cultures. Finally, it must be everyone’s noble mission to promote peace by expressing its contribution to the long-lasting well-being factor of everyone’s lives. Thus, we must all try our level best to maintain peace and harmony.
In summary, peace is essential to control the evils which damage our society. It is obvious that we will keep facing crises on many levels but we can manage them better with the help of peace. Moreover, peace is vital for humankind to survive and strive for a better future. Peace is the way that helps us prevent inequity and violence. It is no less than a golden ticket to enter a new and bright future for mankind. Moreover, everyone plays an essential role in this so that everybody can get a more equal and peaceful world. Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in which there is no hostility and violence. In social terms, we use it commonly to refer to a lack of conflict, such as war. Thus, it is freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups.
The Bottom line is according to world-renowned Greek economist, author, and politician Yanis Varoufakis argues that global capitalism as we know it is dying and something much worse is taking its place as we are living in a post-capitalist, techno-feudalist dystopia. In this situation, real and sustained peace is most elusive and unattainable, at a personal level, at the level of the family unit, at state level, global as well as religious levels. Peace is the path we take for bringing growth and prosperity to society. If we do not have peace and harmony, achieving political strength, economic stability and cultural growth will be impossible. Moreover, before we transmit the notion of peace to others, it is vital for us to possess peace within, ourselves. The definition of peace means being free from disturbance. From a biblical perspective, the absence of conflict is only the beginning of peace. True peace includes personal wholeness, righteousness, political justice, and prosperity for all creation.
 The author urges the youth, our future leaders and socio-economic drivers of all different colours of the “Rainbow World” to become an Ambassador of Peace to usher in a new era of peace and unity. Until this happens. Peace will remain an elusive commodity, as is seen by the futile efforts in ending the war in the Ukraine by United Nations Security Council, NATO, United States as well as the European Union. Similarly, the eternally ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the Middle East is another area of great disruption of peace, especially considering the event during the past few days, all occurring during the Islamic month of Ramadan, fasts.
In Part 2 of this paper the author will described the neuro-anthropology of peace and the innate proclivity of humanoids to generate conflict, since evolution and genesis of the species.
Read Part 2 – Read Part 3 – Part 4
Professor G. Hoosen M. Vawda (Bsc; MBChB; PhD.Wits) is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
Director: Glastonbury Medical Research Centre; Community Health and Indigent Programme Services; Body Donor Foundation SA.
Principal Investigator: Multinational Clinical Trials
Consultant: Medical and General Research Ethics; Internal Medicine and Clinical Psychiatry:UKZN, Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine
Executive Member: Inter Religious Council KZN SA
Public Liaison: Medical Misadventures
Activism: Justice for All
Tags: Conflict Analysis, Conflict Mediation, History, Johan Galtung, Peace Building, Peace Education, Peace Studies, Social structures
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Apr 2022.
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