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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
Norsemaiden
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Can Humans Live in Peace?

Must every period of peace in a society precede many more years of war?

History would suggest so.

Are humans unable to cope with long-term peace? Do the men get restless and does society start to turn in on itself when there is no direct armed conflict for a long time? Could that be happening in the West?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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no, they can't. the closest thing to peace we'll get is some technocracy one world government where oppression is sufficiently maintained and without foreign threat to disrupt that "peace".
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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im guessing in heaven, but not on earth. The world is too complex and variable to allow for total cooperation among the billions of people.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you state what you mean by 'peace'?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ironically, two of the periods where Western civilization was most convinced that it had "learned its lesson" and would abandon war as a form of conflict resolution were immediately followed by two of largest wars in history (WWI and WWII).
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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All you hippies better start to face reality,
All your far fetched dreams of anarchy,
Better start to see things the way they are,
Cause the way things
Are going they won't be goin' far.

World peace can't be done.
It just can't exist.
World peace can't be done.
Anarchy's a mess.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Can you state what you mean by 'peace'?
The absence of armed conflict by one group against another.

I would say that territorial instincts are the main cause of such conflict. If everyone feels their territorial needs are secure then there should be peace. So a tribe that feels itself to be isolated should have peace, as long as there is also a feeling within the tribe that they are not being oppressed by anyone powerful.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Could it not be said that Iceland has had a thousand years of "peace"?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 08:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Norsemaiden View Post
The absence of armed conflict by one group against another.
If Stalin, or Alexander the Great had laser weapons and nuclear devices, maybe force fields too, perhaps they could have destroyed, or through that superiority discouraged, all those who would potentially provide an armed conflict with their group.

if peace is just unstoppable tyranny, I don't care for it.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Norsemaiden View Post
Could it not be said that Iceland has had a thousand years of "peace"?
every remote swamp or deadly volcano has probably had thousands of years of peace too... but if science discovered it was the fountain of youth, in other words, if suddenly it was valuable to all who are potential threats to that peace, I doubt that 'peace' would last much longer. I doubt that 'peace' means much, as indeed many households and coworkers live in peace also, but I think it is quite besides the point whether Einstein's fantasy island of "those who are wise and of good will" could live in peace---even Muslim fundamentalist terrorists live in peace amongst each other in their villain hideouts---the issue of peace isn't about the like-minded coexisting, but of the diverse.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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every remote swamp or deadly volcano has probably had thousands of years of peace too... but if science discovered it was the fountain of youth, in other words, if suddenly it was valuable to all who are potential threats to that peace, I doubt that 'peace' would last much longer. I doubt that 'peace' means much, as indeed many households and coworkers live in peace also, but I think it is quite besides the point whether Einstein's fantasy island of "those who are wise and of good will" could live in peace---even Muslim fundamentalist terrorists live in peace amongst each other in their villain hideouts---the issue of peace isn't about the like-minded coexisting, but of the diverse.
Why? Is that because peace only counts when it is peace in the face of extreme provocation? Like how the New Testament suggests that generosity only counts when you are generous to those who wish you harm?
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Old July 6th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Why? Is that because peace only counts when it is peace in the face of extreme provocation? Like how the New Testament suggests that generosity only counts when you are generous to those who wish you harm?
all I'm saying is that you achieve nothing to talk of such examples. I mean, are we to try to emulate the swamp---become so worthless that no one will want to war with our territory? A slave and slave master can live in peace if only the slave is willing to just play along and be nice to his master, but what the fuck idea of peace is this? If an idea of peace isn't applicable to the way of life we would like to see able to exist in peace, if instead it is only through the non-existence of what we want to enjoy in peace that we can have peace itself, aren't we really losing that which is what we actually want? Hell, we could end this whole fundamentalist Islamic terrorism thing right now, just submit yourself and your governments to adherence with Islamic law. Sheep can easily live in peace, it's only in a world where some animals will oppose others that we wont have peace, and unless desiring to be the other instead of oneself, or to force others to conform, we shouldn't even want peace.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 10:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Norsemaiden View Post
The absence of armed conflict by one group against another.
So whether or not 'peace' is in effect at any given point in time is dependent purely on the way you group humans together. Group everyone on Earth as 'one' and you can say that we have always been at peace, no armed conflict with other planets has occurred. Group us as family units or individuals and worldwide peace would be a fairly ridiculous notion.

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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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peace will never be obtained unless we swallow our pride and say tht america has made some dumbass choices
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Old July 7th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So whether or not 'peace' is in effect at any given point in time is dependent purely on the way you group humans together. Group everyone on Earth as 'one' and you can say that we have always been at peace, no armed conflict with other planets has occurred. Group us as family units or individuals and worldwide peace would be a fairly ridiculous notion.
No. The "group" in this case is not any set group, it could be a nation fighting a nation, or it could be a family fighting a family or it could be a few people within a family fighting others of their family with weapons in a war-like manner They become groups that are participating in armed conflict at the point that they take up arms and conflict with eachother and not before. So it has nothing to do with any initial "grouping" of people that you or I might do.

I don't know if there have been any armed race riots yet in Iceland for example, but if there were then that could count as an end to the long period of "peace" in their country by the definiton given.

Iceland hasn't even had an army since 1869, remarkably.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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all I'm saying is that you achieve nothing to talk of such examples. I mean, are we to try to emulate the swamp---become so worthless that no one will want to war with our territory? A slave and slave master can live in peace if only the slave is willing to just play along and be nice to his master, but what the fuck idea of peace is this? If an idea of peace isn't applicable to the way of life we would like to see able to exist in peace, if instead it is only through the non-existence of what we want to enjoy in peace that we can have peace itself, aren't we really losing that which is what we actually want? Hell, we could end this whole fundamentalist Islamic terrorism thing right now, just submit yourself and your governments to adherence with Islamic law. Sheep can easily live in peace, it's only in a world where some animals will oppose others that we wont have peace, and unless desiring to be the other instead of oneself, or to force others to conform, we shouldn't even want peace.
Julius Caesar would have wanted "peace". He would (were he in a position to do so in the present day) use nuclear weapons to obliterate the Islamic countries and generally wipe them from the Earth.

This is not something I advocate, but it is an interesting thought. The Israeli lobby would like it.

Anyway the greatest hope of peace is where there is a homogenous people that are not being threatened by a competing group of people. It is hard for us now to imagine that people really could be so nice to each other, not for monetary reasons, not for any sneaky reasons, not because the law forces them to, but just because they actually feel no particular animosity towards each other. It is getting to the point, in this mixed up world, where people can't believe this could ever have been possible, or ever will be.
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Old July 8th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I don't know if there have been any armed race riots yet in Iceland for example, but if there were then that could count as an end to the long period of "peace" in their country by the definiton given.
But an armed murder can still fit within your definition of peace?

I'm pushing the point basically because I don't understand the worth of notions of peace, unless they are applied at an individual level. I don't see that it matters if two countries are at war or not, if their citizens are fighting amongst themselves anyway.

To actually answer the question, yes, I think humans can live 'in peace' but I believe the likelyhood of all humans living in peace for extended periods of time to be very slim, and I don't see that that is a problem.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No. I believe that human beings are incapable of living in peace without opression. Peace does not refer to a lack of armed/physical conflict alone, I feel that there is more involved besides physical safety.



Our "civilization" is based on the exploitation of other human beings.

The "state of nature" that exists between individual countries, countries which are not realistically (or really even formally) bound by the conventions and rules of a "society", this state of interaction operates in the same manner.

Just look at Iraq. The United States invaded a foreign country arbitrarily, captured that country's leader, and executed him. They now occupy this country. This is some pretty heavy medieval-style shit going down right here if you stop and think about it in these terms.

Between countries, and between individuals in a "society", the strong exploit the weak, for their own benefit.


Even within our society (I am Canadian), there is, in a sense, no peace. Corporations, empowered by the population's desire to consume, can do whatever they want to us, and get away with it. The government can do the same.

Some would say we live in a society of peace, because we can consume, exploit, and live (or die), in an environment of safety, where we do not need to fear for our safety or wellbeing. While physically this may be the case, economically it is not.

Even physically it is not completely true.

Heck, I got into a fairly serious fight on public transit not three weeks ago, and because neither I nor the person I fought chose to press legal charges, nothing happened to either of us (besides fairly severe physical injuries...).

My girlfriend is harassed on the street daily, by men alone and in groups. She certainly doesn't feel safe from physical harm, not when she is alone in broad daylight.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 02:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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My girlfriend is harassed on the street daily, by men alone and in groups. She certainly doesn't feel safe from physical harm, not when she is alone in broad daylight.
Interesting. It seems I am always hearing how "peaceful" and safe Canada is compared to the US. What manner of men harass your girlfriend thus? Is this an urban area?
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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
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No. I believe that human beings are incapable of living in peace without opression. Peace does not refer to a lack of armed/physical conflict alone, I feel that there is more involved besides physical safety.



Our "civilization" is based on the exploitation of other human beings.

The "state of nature" that exists between individual countries, countries which are not realistically (or really even formally) bound by the conventions and rules of a "society", this state of interaction operates in the same manner.

Just look at Iraq. The United States invaded a foreign country arbitrarily, captured that country's leader, and executed him. They now occupy this country. This is some pretty heavy medieval-style shit going down right here if you stop and think about it in these terms.

Between countries, and between individuals in a "society", the strong exploit the weak, for their own benefit.


Even within our society (I am Canadian), there is, in a sense, no peace. Corporations, empowered by the population's desire to consume, can do whatever they want to us, and get away with it. The government can do the same.

Some would say we live in a society of peace, because we can consume, exploit, and live (or die), in an environment of safety, where we do not need to fear for our safety or wellbeing. While physically this may be the case, economically it is not.

Even physically it is not completely true.

Heck, I got into a fairly serious fight on public transit not three weeks ago, and because neither I nor the person I fought chose to press legal charges, nothing happened to either of us (besides fairly severe physical injuries...).

My girlfriend is harassed on the street daily, by men alone and in groups. She certainly doesn't feel safe from physical harm, not when she is alone in broad daylight.
What you speak of is a situation where only the threat from the law stops a war from breaking out. That is the tension that almost all Western urban areas are now in. Oppression is one way to have "peace" but once the oppression can't hold the anger back, this will immediately break down.
I had no idea it was so bad in parts of Canada.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #22 (permalink)
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But an armed murder can still fit within your definition of peace?

I'm pushing the point basically because I don't understand the worth of notions of peace, unless they are applied at an individual level. I don't see that it matters if two countries are at war or not, if their citizens are fighting amongst themselves anyway.

To actually answer the question, yes, I think humans can live 'in peace' but I believe the likelyhood of all humans living in peace for extended periods of time to be very slim, and I don't see that that is a problem.
If it's inevitable then there would be no use in seeing it as a problem, so that's reasonable.
No I wasn't calling an armed murder a breakdown in peace. Not if it's just an isolated incident. But the more it happens then the more it shows an undercurrent of change that eventually leads to war.
Sometimes it is a matter of opinion whether there is peace or not.
According to Colin Powell there is no peace in the US because the civil war is not over until there is what he would consider full racial equality. So he obviously considers that America is fighting an internal racial war of sorts.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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"Bad" is relevant I suppose.

If I didn't wear my hair long, and if I wasn't so foolish as to respond to an unprevoked personal insult from another person by standing up, I would be pretty much completely safe during the day in most parts of the city.

There are parts of the city that are not safe for certain demographics, certain racial profiles.

There are many parts of the city that do not "feel" safe at night.



My girlfriend has men whistle at her, approach her, make lewd suggestions to her - but she has never been attacked. This happens pretty much everywhere in the world to young women who are alone?



I have never seen a weapon where I live. People do not carry or use guns where I live, unless they are criminals or police officers. I have never seen a gun here, except on a police officer, in the 21 years I have lived in this city. I ride public transit every day and feel safe enough to sleep on the train. We have free healthcare, lots of jobs, lots of taxes, and a mayor who legitimately tries to not just improve, but fix social problems.


This is turning into quite a rant, but my point with this specific post, is that although there is certainly not economic peace here, there is an environment of relative safety. If my girlfriend got attacked, police would be there very fast. If I didn't choose to bark back at the other puppies, I wouldn't ever get into fights. Every time I have been in a fight, the police have appeared literally within minutes (I won't get into how the police here treat everyone else.... let's leave it at the fact that they enforce the law effectively, which I am glad for).


What bothers me, and truly appalls me about my country, is the economic war which is occurring. The poor people are kept poor, the rich and the corporations are kept rich. The system is "fair", but weighted heavily to those who already posess economic clout, especially when you factor in the media-created urge to consume. A wise man once stated that poor people will quite legally sign their lives away on a contract, in exchange for food, if they desperately need it.

There are people slaving away working overtime at manual labor jobs, who spend a large chunk of their entire paycheque (many use paycheque-advance services which come with interest charges and service fees, and essentially source-deduct their income further, beyond the initial government taxation) on mortgage, food, neccessities. These people all own private-label (because banks won't deal with them due to their poor credit) store credit cards (with 25+% annual interest rates that are compounded daily), and use these cards to purchase their big screen T.V., their matresses, their patio furniture, and their clothing. They are given the ability to own posessions which they cannot afford. This destroys them, and destroys the future of their children - at least without imposing further debt for post-secondary education (which is not free).


Let's talk about post secondary education a little bit more. In my country, you essentially need it if you want to have an intellectual career, or really any sort of career that breaks free of general soul-sucking, television-watching-inducing, brain draining monotony. A college degree will launch one into a highly competitive job-market, where it is difficult to become established without extreme luck, or extreme talent. The "self-made" who dropped out of high school to become rich/successful are either lucky, abnormally skilled in some manner, or are insanely driven.

And further, because everyone who can afford to do so sends their children to University, many degree programs have become under-valued and generally trivialized. A BA will get you in the door, but it won't launch your career; not without the afore mentioned luck or unnatural skill. The "higher end" job market for those with Bachelor's degrees is also crowded and competitive. This has created a need for further education, if one truly wants to persue their dreams and hope to make a difference in this world. Graduate school and graduate degrees have replaced "entry level" University.



Why did I just blither on about all that, I hear you ask.

Well, university education, law school, graduate school, medical school, all of this costs an absolute truckload of money - payable to privately operated educational institutions - institutions which are making a lot of money for themselves. Without it you're stuck in a rut of call-center, retail, and manual labor jobs that don't pay very well, or provide any opportunity to make a fucking difference to it all. The trades are a viable route of course (as is the military ) - and I suppose in the looming post-apocalyptic society, a tradesman will do very very well, having a high chance of survival (I intend to go to Law School myself though, and am working my ass off saving money to do so ).


This educational issue is one aspect of my society that represents a state of econimic war to me. Economic inequality has fueled an income gap that is only growing, while consumption and material desires hold steady. Surely this is not peace. These people are not "safe".

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Old July 9th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My girlfriend has men whistle at her, approach her, make lewd suggestions to her - but she has never been attacked. This happens pretty much everywhere in the world to young women who are alone?
No - there are big differences. Obviously women don't go out at night to clubs alone unless they are meeting someone there or they are a hooker - but if you just mean being alone in the day or the evening then there are places where women will be seriously harrassed and they are areas where Muslims congregate and Islamic countries (also Turkey) in particular. It is not something European women can expect from European(racially) men at all. There is always the odd drunken letch, but they are odd.
In the near future no one will believe women had such freedom and all "respectable" women will have to be accompanied and cover themselves up like Muslims the way it's going.
This is off topic!
Ok - to make it on topic - there will be war while the Muslims attempt to impose their culture onto the rest of us. That's coming up at some point.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 09:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hahahaha . The muslims!? Try to impose their culture on the rest of us!?

Don't take this the wrong way, but I think you have it backwards .


Not to say I don't agree with my country's involvement in Afghanistan, given that I feel women deserve equal rights, respect, dignity, fair access to education and high profile jobs.

(Although you have to ask, why the fuck we're in Afghanistan of all places, when there are numerous other countries, in Africa, that need our help much much more. Alterior political-economic motives perhaps?)
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