Thursday, June 17, 2010

Aliens from planet Earth

"We live in a relatively anarchic international environment."
--Robert Johansen, senior fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, 17 June 2010

Military power is of such low utility and negative utility compared to other kinds of power.

Exchange power, or commerce, can produce political will to manage conflict in constructive ways.

Integrative power, or the creation of international agreements and institutions, can help make cooperation far more rational and likely.
Finally, civil society (people, velvet, strategic nonviolent, masses) power is dispositive. Indeed, it is what overcomes military power not by forcing military forces to surrender, but by both withholding cooperation from those militaries and by causing defections from the military.

Like our justice movements that try to help us all accept all peoples as worthy of basic rights and stop treating people as aliens, the peace movement has again and again humanized the military, making them less the aliens, even as we note that the military doesn't have ultimate power.

As we learn about injustice, we learn that the militaries are not primarily acting to serve justice. When the ratio of income and wealth between the richest 20 percent of humankind and the poorest 20 percent of humankind has worsened every decade for 200 years, we know that enforcing the status quo--the primary raison d'etre of the militaries of the world--is a bad mission undertaken by destructive means.

We live in a globalized world. Time to stop treating others as aliens. Time to stop acting like aliens strange to the requirements of Mother Earth and Her children.

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