|Description||Today, despite abundant and daily evidence of the absence of peace, most of us would agree that we would prefer to have peace in our personal and global life--yet, many would say, despite a desire for peace, that peace could never become a normal condition of human life. Yet, consider how our views about peace have changed in this century. |
1959 Nobel Peace Laureate, British statesman, Philip Noel-Baker wrote in 1965: "...before World War I the response to a question about peace would have been very different. Many people, including government leaders, would have agreed with German Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke's words, 'Perpetual peace is a dream, and it is not even a beautiful dream.' Or they might have repeated the words of British essayist John Ruskin, 'War is the foundation of all high virtues and faculties of men.'. Such people pointed out that throughout recorded history, war--organized conflict between groups, tribes, cities, and nations--had been a constant feature of human society. They believed that military success was the highest of human achievements and that armed might was the measure of national geatness and prestige. In support of their beliefs they argued--and a handful of miltarists still argue--along the following line of reasoning: (1) that man is by nature a fighting animal; (2) that his progress has been achieved by the survival of the fittest in the unending struggle for wealth and power; (3) that stable peace is, therefore, contrary to the decisive forces in human evolution; and (4) that, if stable peace could be achieved, man's worth and man's achievement would decline. As things have been in the past, the militarists say, so they must be in the future. They conclude that because there always have been wars, there always will be wars.