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Can War Be Abolished? – OpEd

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From early ages there is discussion that whether humanity goes for war or not and can war be abolished or not? There are different schools of thoughts having different perspectives on the abolishment of war. In this paper there are arguments that yes war can be abolished and it is act of foolishness, is not in human instinct and it’s a total violence and destruction. Societies engaged in war can get out from the situation by using different techniques of social transformation methods, peace education and engaging women in the policy making processes of states.

War is an inhumane act.  It is reason of immense level of casualties, left people with disabilities and traumas which last long for years and years. It made lands barren due to use of harmful substances during war. Imagine if lands get totally barren then what about the humans? States are always in race of making armies and improving their war technologies but never realized the cost of human life while investing millions on preparation of a military man. Invention of the war is biggest foolishness of man, centuries have passed and man still can’t realize his worth.

Scholars argue that war is in human instinct, but this is the environment that makes men warriors. War has many reasons behind it e.g.; sense of deprivation of rights, insecurity and non-provision of basic needs raises the level of anger in human which leads to revenge and this leads to war. Early history shows that human brain is for invention and innovation of tools to facilitate humanity not for making of armaments and weapons to destroy their world. When military became profession it become more attractive and beneficial to people and people went for war in armies but their number is very small which shows that there is a very few people who are willing to go for war and majority wants peace, but we can’t ignore the people who have greater instinct to go for war without estimating the consequences to be faced later on.

“In the Seville statement on violence he stated that in the way of human development there has been a choice for forceful actions more than for other kinds of manners. In all well-studied groups, category within the group is achieved by the aptitude to co-operate and to fulfill social functions pertinent to the organization of that group. Domination involves social bindings and affiliation. It is not simply an issue of the ownership and use of greater physical power, although it does involve hostile behaviors.  Hereditary selection for aggressive behavior has been artificially instituted in animals; it has rapidly succeeded in producing hyper-aggressive individuals.  This indicates that aggression was not maximally selected under natural conditions. When such experimentally-created hyper-aggressive animals are present in a social group, they either disrupt its social structure or are driven out. Violence is neither in our evolutionary bequest nor in our genes. While we do have the neural machinery to act cruelly, it is not automatically activated by internal or external stimuli. Like higher primates and unlike other animals, our higher neural processes filter such stimuli before they can be acted upon. How we act is shaped by how we have been conditioned and socialized. In our neurophysiology there is nothing present that compels us to react violently.”

Man is social animal and it depends on another for its survivability so it always go for peace but in certain circumstances it go for war. With the passage of time we humans are realizing that war is not a solution to any problem and it leads to destruction. In 1948 after the end of World War II human rights were declared universally and it was stated that every individual has equal rights and there would no discrimination on any of political economic and community basis. Everyone is dignified individual of this universal system. Humanity has an urge of making friends not of making enemies. War is an abuse of human rights but human still needs time to be getting fully aware to avoid war as an option.

Disengaging societies from war like situations needs very hardwork innovations, resources and consistency. Attitudes need to be changed and need to be work on mindset from very age of an individual. Russell says in “The Ethics of War” (1915) that no matter what were the goals of war they fought for either they were justified or not, it had no beneficial outcomes accept losses of lives. The efforts of arms control and disarmament give us back flash that the ultimate objective of all such work ought to be the abolition of war. President Eisenhower in 1956 said that one day when adversaries would recognize that, that modern war can’t be winning over and the last option to settle disputes would be the negotiations. Professor Joseph Rotblat once more pointed to abolition as the ultimate goal that due the available means of mass destruction we have to make choice, Russell-Einstein that we have to choose between that whether we want to survive or we choose deaths for ourselves and also said that we need to start work from grass root level to create a new mind to prevent war at least. 

War is destruction and annihilation that we can observe from total breakout of violence. War is an anti-democratic and hypocritical act. Peace process engagement means to defend rights against war. To abolish war we need to abolish war institutions and this will be possible if global justice and culture of peace would develop strong roots. Cultural hegemony is important tool for peace. Without launching peace movements, social movement, economic and political integration. Europe has fought two Great Wars of history but they learned lessons from those massacres and use very innovative techniques to abolish war they created common grounds for states and the economic interdependence by foreign direct investment between states, introduced common currency of Euro and they had common foreign policy. By Rosa Luxemburg it is claimed that great effort between people lies in the nature of the human. We are of different views. People can and should live together in peace, without difference of race or color. There is the way when the bonds of harmony are embraced by all people and they converse of culture. As long as the mistreatment of man by man is not abolished, this harmony is not possible.

Wars are being fought from centuries but by the era of 1814 from the demise of Napoleon and till World War I there were only two or three wars  were fought and that was a golden period of human history. Tough there were not good hopes about the abolition  of war because war was a source of income to the states and their leaders and even America couldn’t stop the war of Vietnam because they have a free of defeat. President Theodore Rousevelt said that nations who went for peace are culturally declined states. A historian Barbara Tuchman says that war is a word rashly used and it is a hasty act now states now instead of going for war with great enthusiasm, they starts flinching back from wars. In wars common people are badly affected psychologically as well as economically because war consumes a big amount of taxes.

Mohandas Gandhi gives constructive and obstructive programs. He stated that whenever you will go good deeds you will never be appreciated, people will make jokes of you, but in case of war abolition institutions and organization are working hard. He categorize the efforts social transformation on domestic and global basis, he mention about the achievement of goal, about women empowerment that women is vital part of society and she must be given equal rights of life liberty development education and employment to contribute her part so that she could develop his son from the early age with a peaceful and cooperative mindset. He mentioned to insure essential resources and provision non-violent conflict resolution methods to transform and manage the conflicts creatively. By applying these tools war can be ended to some extent. But these constructive programs are alone not sufficient to eliminate warrior culture but it transform communities and address basic human needs and rights. Obstructive programs are the inner power and strength needs to perform non-violent actions. Gandhi invented the word “Stayagraha” means clinging to truth. He started his journey from Africa and India. Gandhi launches a civil disobedience in India as part of obstructive programs against British non-violently and boycotted the imported British products as he claims that constructive programs alone are insufficient. 

Women are considered as the backbone of society. Bertha von Suttner is the first women awarded with noble peace prize in 1905 was a determined activist against the war. In 1915 Women International League for Peace and Freedom was found in Hague and its work against wars and violence in any form of existence. Women are not only the victims of war but they also play the verily different role and also support of their husbands and sons. So if a woman can support males their war like situation then she is also able to manage their aggressive physical structure because women use greater time and energy in the upbringing of her offspring and is more concerned about their life. Males has dominancy factor to rule as well women always go peace and cooperation tough the biological structures are different but attributes of males are not justified biologically, in fact these are socio-cultural norm and societies who transformed men like this.

The main area of focus to avoid more wars and to eliminate past conflicts we have to consider peace education and conflict transformation methodologies. The philosophy of peace education teaches non-violence, love compassion and reverence for life. Peace is just tranquility or absence of war, peace is a concept and has a meaning much more than that. Peace education have its different concepts which includes to emphasize on non-violent teachings and making people to have dialogues and learn to cooperate  and to practice morality and ethics. Miss Maria Montessori introduced the Montessori system of education which is bench mark in the history of world to achieve peace. In this system of education she introduced the training of children from early childhood to be non-violent on which future of nations depends.  Peace educations talks about the dignity and respect of human being because man always demands respect and honor. Peacemaking institutions are working since 1914 and ideas were being propagated since then. Non-governmental organizations and social institutions are the main tools to transform and aware the people that wars are nothing but to push to humanity in dirty bloodsheds. Need to build capacity in human to keep along with patience.

In the above mentioned arguments it is to some extent clear that war can be abolished. Scholars and practitioners have proposed creative ideas of building up social intuitions and non-governmental organizations to engage people at grass root level and recognition of women as the important individual of state. Napoleon Bonaparte said like that you give me educated mothers I will give you educated nations so states must have to engage women in decision making process. This is how we can disengage societies from war but the need of hour is to get the things implemented otherwise it will be a utopia. We need to spread a message that we have a common ground of interest and that is to save humanity.

An MS Scholar of Strategic Studies at Air University Islamabad

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