direct, structural and cultural peace:
Violences, Three Peaces; Why, How, Why so difficult?
Brahmin violence: An example
(4 May 1493) starts by praising the "very dear son-daughter in
Ferdinand and Isabella (Alexander VI was Spanish) for spreading the
Catholic faith and the Christian religion, "and that barbarous
nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself". Then he
becomes more specific:
- as witnessed--with so much
glory to the Divine Name in your recovery of the kingdom of Granada
from the yoke of the Saracens
-you--chose our beloved son,
Christopher Columbus--to make diligent quest for these remote and
unknown mainlands and islands through the sea, where hitherto noone
had sailed; and-discovered certain very remote islands and even
mainlands that hitherto had not been discovered-wherein dwell very
many peoples living in peace--going unclothed and not eating
flesh-disposed to embrace the Catholic faith and be trained in good
And he continues, mentioning how
-built a fortress fairly
equipped, wherein he has stationed as garrison certain Christians,
companions of his, who are to make search for other remote and
unknown islands and mainlands. In the islands and countries already
discovered are found gold, spices, and very many other precious
things-bring under your sway the said mainlands and islands with
their residents and inhabitants and-bring them to the Catholic faith.
He becomes even more specific,
ending with a clear conclusion:
-and assign to you and your heirs
and successors, kings of castile and Leon, forever-all rights,
jurisdictions, and appurtenances, all islands and mainlands, found
and to be found, discovered and to be discovered-
you lords of them with full and free power and
jurisdiction of every kind
-Let no one,
therefore, infringe, or with rash boldness contravene, this our
recommendation, exhortation, requisition, gift. grant, assignment,
constitution, deputation, decree, mandate, prohibition and will.
Should anyone presume to attempt this, be it known to him that he
will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the blessed apostles
Peter and Paul .
the Earth belongs to God, the Pope administers God's will, and
delegates to the kings of Spain all
Result: legitimation of the hideous realities of colonialism and
violence: An example.
Linda Ryan, in "Narcissus
Empire" explores the "theaters of humanitarian
1991: 180 000 killed ny the "international community" in
the Gulf war and 80% of the country's infrastructure destroyed, at
an estimated cost of $ 150 billion.
1993: 4000 killed by UN troops over 12 months; 700 on one night, 5
September. Humanitarian prose is interesting:
not inflicting pain on these fuckers", Clinton said -- "When
people kill us they should be killed in greater numbers. I believe in
killing people who try to hurt you. And I can't believe we are being
pushed around by these two-bit pricks" (from George
1992-9: Some 500 000 dead due to lack of basic foods and medicine
under the regime of economic sanctions. Raids continue-
1999: 2000 civilians and 600 military personnel in NATO bombings that
destroyed 44% of the country's industry.
She then quotes an exchange
between a pilot and AWACS
Pilot: --Under me columns of
cars, some kind of tractors. What is it? Requesting instructions.
AWACS: Do you see tanks?
Repeat, where are the tanks?
Pilot: I see tractors - -
AWACS: What kind of strange
convoy is this? Civilians? Damn, this is all the Serbs' doing.
Destroy the target.
Pilot: What should I destroy?
Tractors? Repeat, I do not see any tanks. Request additional
AWACS: This is a - completely
legitimate military target. Destroy the target. Repeat.. destroy
Pilot: Okay, copy. Launching.
In this last lethal exchange the
AWACS control officer has become a victim of the West's own
propaganda about the Serbs, having dehumanized them so that there are
no human Serbs left. The pilot, at 3000 feet having a closer view,
is overruled and does the killing. He will not get a monument for
that, may some day understand what he did, and in the best tradition
of US veterans return to the scene of the direct violence, repent and
start reconciliation. The brahmins behind "humanitarian killing"
will probably not develop humanly that far.
Postmodern warfare killing combatants and civilians a-like, by these
latter-day kshatriyahs unbound by any code of honor.
violence: An example.
Nations Development Programme does an immense service to humanity
through the UNDP Human
Of course development = human development, what else is there to
develop? Ministries? Corporations? The Yearbooks focuses on the
basic needs and rights of human beings all over, showing all
countries to have deficits that can be remedied by development.
Vaisya violence is today known
as market liberalism, with economism as legitimation; spreading from
the center in the West and Japan to all corners of the world through
globalization, killing non-market economies, reducing the role of the
state as economic actor through privatization, causing unemployment
through higher labor productivity. With land, water, seeds marketed,
agriculture for direct consumption is hard; with privatization state
capacity to run basic education and health services are seriously
reduced. For those who can buy food and health no problem; others
will die from hunger and preventable diseases: structural violence.
The present rate of such deaths may be around 125,000 per day.
A world economy that distributes
wealth so that 3 persons have as much as almost half the world
countries is perverse; the same applies to the daily income below $2
for half of humanity and below $1 for 1.7 billion (1997). The ratio
in purchasing power between the top and the bottom 20% has had an
average increase of 3.1% while the world economy is growing at 2.8%.
As a result the bottom sinks, and the bottom of the bottom dies.
economist, and the media, obsession with GNP/capita--the merchant's
balance writ large--and particularly with finance capital growth (Dow
Jones, Nikkei) and not with distribution, is at the root of this. The
world economy is a scandal.
peace: An example.
Alternative (â€œSoft Christianâ€) Papal Bull of 3 May 1493
Alexander VI, servant of the
servants of the Christian God, to the Catholic Kings of Castile,
Leon, Aragon and Granada:
Us has been given a remarkable
gift: to travel by ship, guided by the Almighty's stars, across vast
oceans, to distant islands and mainlands different from ours in
Europe, and above all inhabited by people and peoples different from
us in Europe.
We thank you, our Mother and
Father God, the Son, the Holy Spirit for this wonderful opportunity
given us to be enriched by encountering Others, taking them on,
celebrating the diversity of humans, of beloved animals and plants,
of the seas and lands under the magnificent sky, illuminated by the
We shall learn from their
Truths, from how they see the world and all the miracles dwelling
therein. We shall offer them our Truths for them to taste and judge
by their fruits.
together we shall all move forward, spiritually, materially, learning
from each other through the word, dia
through exchange of material things, via
What a wonderful, challenging opportunity for us all to explore
deeper truths than any single segment of humanity can ever develop
We, Alexander VI, servant of the
servants of the Christian God, direct you, Kings of Castile, Leon,
Aragon and Granada, to
these peoples, discovered and to be discovered, in deep humility and
respect--never imposing upon them, by any kind of power, by force or
threat of force, by gifts or promise of gifts--but engage in friendly
exchanges guided by reciprocity if
they so want.
If they do not want, leave them in peace, tell them where you can be
found should they become of an other mind. And you may ask them what
could change their mind, to understand their reasons not to take us
on as we want to take them on.
- learn from these peoples. Us
has been given the understanding that they live in peace, walk naked
and do not eat meat. Try to learn from them the knowledge and wisdom
that has guided them toward a life in peace, so sorely missing in our
part of the world. Is it in any way related to the other two points?
Ask them humbly to be your teachers in the difficult art of harmony.
- never build any fortified tower
or garrison, but ask them for the permission to dwell among them, at
your risk, not theirs.
You expelled the Muslim Saracens
because they had unlawfully occupied your land, and the Jewish
Moriscos. I direct you to invite back as many Muslims and Jews as
want to return, to settle in your lands, to enrich you by having
different ideas of the message in the Holy Book, and to continue the
wonderful dialogues among the abrahamitic religions in Alhambra,
Granada, with the hope of reaching ever higher, and ever deeper in
the understanding of the Creation that unites us all.
that bull might have been useful. But it was never written.
Kshatriya peace: An example
And yet there were serious
problems in the Gulf region, in Somalia, and in Yugoslavia. How
could they be solved without, or with very low levels of, violence?
Of course, one solution would be
to involve the USA, a very belligerent state aiming at military
solutions, less, and the UN more, provided the UN has alternatives.
Here are some:
- underlying violence are always
conflicts; meaning parties having incompatible goals. Thus, a simple
principle like "equal right to self-determination" for the
nations co-inhabiting, uneasily, a disintegrating Yugoslavia might
have changed Croatia into a federation with a Serbian part; in
Bosnia-Herzegovina the Croats might have joined Croatia, the Serbs
could have had their own Republika Srpska and the Bosniaks a
city-state centered on Sarajevo; and Kosovo a republic inside
Yugoslavia (much more than autonomy), possibly even independent with
a Serbian canton.
- peacekeeping could be based as
now on light weapons for self-defense, adding conventional police for
crowd control and training in nonviolence and conflict mediation so
that all members of peacekeeping forces would have a vast repertory
short of violence. To this should be added
--high numbers of peacekeepers, a
"blue carpet" rather than "blue helmets" so dense
that there is little space for violence,
--at least 50% of the
peacekeepers women, more concerned with humans and less with
hardware, and less likely as targets.
- there are always evil residues
when violence has been used, whether long time ago or more recently.
Reconciliation processes should be initiated, based on truth
commissions, apologies, restitution, together with joint
reconstruction and joint resolution of conflicts.
But what will then happen to the
soldier? Maybe this is the new soldier, knowledgeable of the
techniques of violence, among other reasons to understand those who
are violent but trained in nonviolence, high levels of empathy with
all parties and creativity in finding solutions. Or, soldiers
cooperate with non-soldiers for peace-keeping, and not only with
police but also with civilians, including conscientious objectors to
military service, thereby bridging an old gap? All the time keeping
gender parity. There is so much that can be done!
Vaisya peace: An example
How could merchants contribute
to a more human economy? They produce and distribute goods and
services, ultimately for human (end) consumption. The goods and
services are supplied via the market for selling, and are bought if
there is demand backed by purchasing power. The general answer is,
of course, to produce goods and services that satisfy basic needs at
a price the most needy can afford. That leaves little margin for
profit. And yet, the first pharmaceutical company to make generic
medicine technology available, keeping some small niche, will be a
blessing, also for themselves. The same holds for food companies that
develop affordable, tasty, nutritious, non-toxic products, very
different from Coca-Cola.
And why not revive local
producers and local merchants by downloading technology from the
Internet, including improving old technologies, producing much more
locally, buying directly from the producers who also return to the
pattern of producing for own consumption, and for direct exchange
with other local producers? At the same time introducing local
currencies that entitle the holder to a 10% discount? Of course, all
products should be labeled so that consumers know how far the
product, or key parts of it, have traveled. To prefer "within
100 kms" will reduce the strain on the environment produced by
transportation, the strain on the body produced by chemicals to
guarantee long "shelf-life" (as opposed to human life), and
challenge the local producers and merchants, not to mention to the
local community, by transforming it from a consumer-oriented
dormitory to an organic, vibrant community. In short: new life for
merchants: global, national and local, preferably all at the same
structure of peace, a culture of peace
Violence and peace dwell in the
And the Indo-European social
formation described above has given ample opportunity for the three
elites to develop their division of labor in waging war on common
people, inside and outside their own borders, specializing in
cultural, direct and structural violence respectively. The
traditional warrior castes at least took risks governed by ideals of
courage, honor and dignity, sacrificed on the altar of modernity
legitimized by a military brahmin, Clausewitz.
But there are counterpoints and
dialectics in human affairs; voices of direct, structural and
cultural peace are also heard. What has been suggested above as
alternatives is not utopian, it could all happen and change the three
elites. An other social order and social structure, more based on
positive interaction, would be the result.
Underlying such changes would be
another view of common people, not as something to be sacrificed as
soldiers-civilians and exploited as workers-consumers, both
structures justified by such high priests as politologists and
economists. Common people would be respected, they would be
citizens, not merely subjects, they would have inalienable basic
human rights, and their basic needs would be seen as non-negotiable.
These are four commonly heard languages today. We are on the way.
The problem is that the three elites so often are lagging behind and
try all kinds of tricks to find new ways to sacrifice people and
exploit them in the name of abstractions like nation-class, state,
common people more than anybody else; peaces protect people without
sacrificing the elites. Violent revolutions sacrificing elites will
only reproduce the war structure. They will hit back, and forcefully
so. Peace is the way.