Peace on the brain

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

The history of man is perceived as a history of wars.

Classical Realists hold that human beings are inherently egoistic and self-interested to the extent that self-interest overcomes moral principles, together with the drive for power, making wars a constant under anarchy.

So does it mean that peace is virtually impossible?

Theory is always for someone, and for some purpose

Before Classical Realism’s view on peace being unlikely brings us to despair, we have to say that theories are sometimes only tools that serve politics.

From my perspective, classical Realism is sometimes used as politicians’ excuses for their political failures.

There must be some ways that can make peace a constant instead of wars. The history of man should be defined by peace, instead of wars.

But How?

how should we make wars less likely through our efforts to make peace instead of the state of wars dominate the history of man?

Well, if we find the keys to peace, this should be very easy.

Here is a fact:  interstate wars decline dramatically after 1945.

But here is also another fact: since the ending of the cold war, intra-state wars have taken dominance to an extent that intra-state wars actually did increase.

Why is that?


From my perspective, the reason that inter-state wars decline consciously is that peace comes easily. But before my dear readers demonstrate their argumentative rigor towards my point, I have to note only one point : What is peace?

There are two kinds of peace: Positive peace and Negative peace

Negative peace is merely the absence of wars. And the mere absence of wars could be easily realized through deterrence of nuclear weapons. As a result of arms races, states are simply more reluctant to attack each other due to the possibility that they will suffer from the doom day device.

However, positive peace never comes as easily as negative peace.

Positive peace refers to more than the absence of wars. Not only does positive peace stand for the presence of justice, but the word it itself is also filled with positive content such as restoration of relationships, the creation of social systems that serve the needs of the whole population and the constructive resolution of conflict.

So how do we create positive peace?

The key is Education.

According to Waltz, the lack of integration of the peoples in the international arena with one common goal is often seen as the main cause for the persistence of war.

In the brain of a man that is the only place where we can plant the seeds of sustainable peace and where everyday peace can prosper.

And a broader version of peace can be achievable through education for sure.

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.