Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner


Originally posted on October 6, 2015

Peacemaking wasn’t known in the olden days. Peace was just surrender, a temporary unwillingness to fight, which meant to be dominated. Small-time kings bought off predatory emperors by taxing their people. Peace-making didn’t happen between equals except as temporary truces. The business of kings and emperors was conquest. There were whole castes given over to war-making, even with festivals of mock combat as entertainment when real war wasn’t to be had. Warriors were heroes. Remember the Greek Myths? They were fighting all the time. Let’s not fight and make peace as a policy with its own weight rather than just for the convenience of the leaders, this is really fairly new. Half the people on the Earth—maybe a quarter—don’t get it.

But real peacemaking isn’t just a truce while we re-gather our resources and build up our strength to fight again. Real peacemaking recognizes the terrible cost of war and works hard to circumvent this, to build on peaceful negotiations and many other components. To make peace from a position of strength may become a recognized profession, a valued process in the 21st century. Or maybe not yet, sigh.

Mohandas Gandhi was asked by a smart-aleck reporter what he thought of Western civilization. Gandhi replied, “I think it would be a very good idea.” Meaning that Imperial rule even by self-styled civilized British was somewhat cruel when looked at carefully. So was the keeping the slaves in line in the Americas. Alas, I think we’re less than half-way to being really civilized, though at present my home in Sun City in Georgetown, Texas, USA is relatively more civilized than many part of the world

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