Writings and Philosophies of

Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

Peace Studies III

How do war and peace look under this scenario?
Is peace possible?
By Wanda M. Woodward, Ph.D.

While many have correctly noted that wars fought in the name of God have killed more people than any other kind of war, at root, any and all war is an effort to exert total control and power over "other" and to force the opposing side, or "enemy," to change and act on behalf of the victor. There is no act committed by a human being in which the human psyche and human consciousness were not involved. While external forces are influential, it is the human psyche which is the principle cause of all aggression, violence, and wars. Until the human psyche matures on a collective level, wars will be fought. Every external circumstance and event is a direct mirror of the level of human consciousness at which humankind is currently functioning. The heightened awareness and internalization of this psychological truth on a global scale is, in my opinion, the single most important factor to the contribution of harmony, peace, and reconciliation on both a short term and long term basis. Thus, in the near term and the long term, the field of psychology should place this as a top educative priority: psychological maturity is the core force behind positive peace.

It has been stated that peace begins with each and every one of us. It has also been said that the kingdom of heaven is within. This psychological peace and paradise that we seek begins at the individual psychological level. Buddhist psychology and Jungian theory are two of the major proponents of this wisdom teaching. Each individual plays a role in the contribution of mental health, well-being, and wholeness and, thus, in creating external peace. By focusing on our internal state, we can begin the slow and methodical ascent to transforming our intrapsychic world, the individual human psyche, so as to create its mirror image on a collective level in the external world. Individual peace leads to collective peace.

The common denominator of all wars is the obsession to control, dominate, and have power over another. These are the hallmarks of narcissistic personality disorder (Lachkar, 1992). The Holy Crusades were promulgated by the Collective Psyche of Catholic patriarchy obsessed with control and power over the minds and behavior of "non-believers" of Catholic theology and doctrine. This primitive collective psyche of benevolent evil led to the murder of millions of people in the name of "God." The same psychological core that lies within Catholic patriarchy also lies within radical Islamists who wage their oxymoronic "holy wars."

On the other end of the religious spectrum, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Dze Dung, and a host of other male leaders who have been vigorously militant, are examples of males who were religiously intolerant, egomaniacal and obsessed with controlling, dominating, and having power over others, as well as a psychopathic indifference to killing others so as to achieve their ends. This is evil, benevolent on one end of the spectrum and malignant on the other end, but evil nonetheless. There is a difference between recognizing evil and responding to evil. We cannot hope to heal human evil until we recognize it and stare it in the face. It is a sad, but true fact that the most prominent face of evil---the leader of evil---is masculine. While both men and women have passively participated in evil, history is one long horrific, terrifying march of men actively, willfully, and maliciously leading and spearheading evil efforts, creating institutional structures and dynamics which allow for effective evil outcomes, denying his involvement in it, and refusing to be accountable for it. At root, evil is masculine regardless of the biological gender which perpetrates it. It is no coincidence that religions refer to Satan as male. And when identifying a woman who has committed evil, the reference must include a feminine prefix to note that the inherently masculine evil has not derived from man, but from a woman. Thus, we use the term "she-devil."

Before a thorough immersion into the topic of masculine pathology, it is important to establish clear definitions of "sex" and "gender" because they are different constructs. These two terms have sometimes been confused, certainly outside academic and scholarly populations. There is universal agreement that biological sex, or simply "sex," refers to the male anatomy and the female anatomy, so the definition is based upon biological make-up. When referring to "sex," it is intended in this paper to highlight physiological or biological differences in genitalia, overall body shape, body strength, body hair, hormones, and unique sexual reproductive functions. No one would argue that a penis, semen, and testosterone are unique to the male, whereas breasts, vagina, menses, pregnancy, and estrogen are identified as exclusively female. When referring to "male" or "female," it is the biological sex that is being highlighted. As for "gender," these are defined as psychological constructs -- masculine and feminine traits, attitudes and predispositions. Thus, when "masculine" and "feminine" are used, it refers to traits and predispositions. Note that "sex" refers to some limited, visible form or aspect of a male or female, whereas "gender" refers to a psychological construct that has no form, but which expresses itself behaviorally and comes to be socially constructed and identified in morphic expressions. At the core, however, gender is non-morphic, bi-existent, and bi-polar.

Opposites are universal. They surround us every moment we are conscious, yet we barely notice their pervasiveness. We rush through the day and rest during sleep, but rarely consciously register these polar opposites. We relish a movie that is comedic and then, days later, read a book that evokes great sadness, yet our consciousness does not register that these vacillations were between two extremes. Because we are so conditioned to experience these opposites, most of these dualities simply escape conscious awareness and register only at the unconscious level. It takes significant introspection and external analysis to excavate them from our unconscious and note how we commonly and so frequently greet them. We can group these polarities under two very broad categories: masculine and feminine. A scientist would prefer to use "positive and negative," but the two terms signify the same ubiquitous opposites that exist at the molecular, biological, social, and psychological levels.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one masculine characterological disorder along a wider spectrum of masculine pathology which also includes two more severe disorders: sociopathy and psychopathy (Woodward, 2007). War is the external manifestation of latent masculine characterological pathology. Domination, control, and power over others, and the destruction of others, are uniquely masculine, and although both males and females can exhibit this dynamic, this characterological set of traits has historically been exhibited mostly by males. That may change, however, with women adopting more masculine ways of being as a way to achieve power and leadership positions. The core feature of feminine pathology is characterized by the denigration and destruction of the self and, regardless of whether a male or female are symptomatic, this pathology is most closely reflected in borderline personality disorder. Thus, masculine and feminine pathology are two sides of the same destructive psychological coin, only masculine pathology focuses on domination of "other" while feminine pathology involves the destruction of the self.

Miedzian (2002) notes that, in American culture, there is a long parental tradition of rearing boys "to be tough, emotionally detached, deeply competitive, and concerned with dominance" (p. 178). Woodward (2007) cites that this is a prominent cultural feature of most cultures. Kupers (2005), writing on pervasive malignant masculinity in the prison system, refers to "toxic masculinity" as "the constellation of socially regressive male traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia, and wanton violence" (p. 714). As Carol Gilligan (1982), feminist theorist and scholar, points out, men aim for separation, independence, and autonomy while women seek relatedness, connectedness, and interdependence. In Chinese philosophy, the principle of the ubiquitous opposites is reinforced: the features of yang (masculinity) are separation and individuation; the features of yin (femininity) are relatedness and unity. When all wars finally cease, or at the end of all life on the planet (for one is surely coming), humankind will be able to say that pathological masculinity has been the root cause of all wars, along with structural, cultural, and institutional violence. Masculinity has been in crisis for centuries. Only when men finally mature psychologically will wars finally cease. Women constantly repeat, "If women ruled the world, there would be no more wars." A more accurate way to say this is that when men and women are able to integrate their contrasexual aspects, their anima/animus, socially constructed gender identities will mirror this more psychologically mature intrapsychic dimension and will, in turn, result in more mature sociocultural dynamics. Jung's intellectual legacy was profound and his elucidation of the constrasexual within the human psyche, with the male psyche having an unconscious feminine archetype (anima) and the female psyche having an unconscious masculine archetype (animus), is amongst his most important contributions to depth psychology, and to the entire field of psychology. For Jung, without successfully and equally integrating these contrasexual aspects of our psyche, humankind will not reach psychological maturity. According to Woodward (2004), unless this rapprochement occurs, neither will humanity reach spiritual maturation. At increasingly higher levels of maturation, psychology and spirituality become one. Then comes the realization that the behavior of a fool is understood in psychological terms as psychological immaturity whereas the behavior of a wise person is synonymous with psychological maturation.

History is one long march of psychologically immature and undeveloped males who have an affinity for domination, aggression, violence, and destruction of "other." This immature, socially constructed masculine gender identity was necessary in ancient times when environmental factors required a Hobbesian, kill-or-be-killed mentality to survive the harsh realities of nature. What we commonly refer to as a "normal" masculine gender identity has become maladaptive due to technological and cultural advances. A masculine gender identity that was once adaptive for survival is now antithetical to our entire existence. Sandra Bem (1983), feminist scholar, seems to touch on this when she states, "the problem with men and the institutions they build is that they are altogether too concerned with separation, dominance, and hierarchy and not concerned nearly enough with connectedness, mutual empowerment, and harmony" (p. 128). The features of ancient and contemporary definitions of "normal" masculine gender identity are a result of immature or primitive intrapsychic ego defense mechanisms which manifest as mild psychosocial immaturity or morbid psychosocial pathology. As within, so is without. Character traits of a masculine gender construct are: being in total control, denying vulnerability, rejecting emotions, and denigrating perceived weakness. It requires a dis-identification of feminine qualities of vulnerability, gentleness, kindness, compassion, collaboration, dependence, and mutual empowerment. The core primitive intrapsychic feature of gender pathology is splitting. The self is idealized and "other" is devalued in masculine pathology. In feminine pathology, there is a devaluation of self and idealization of "other," although there can be a defensive vacillation between the two as a means to compensate for the psychological baseline of self-abnegation, as most aptly noted in borderline personality disorder. With masculine pathology, the "other" is perceived as little more than an object of weakness and inferiority prompting denigration and subjugation of women since the latter are perceived as "weak." Splitting manifests as an either/or, "I am good and you are bad" internalized dynamic that is externalized onto the "bad object" who is the "enemy" in times of war. As long as the human psyche is split, society will have acrimonious cleavages. As within, so is without. This internalized primitive state is the genesis of a bifurcated, disharmonious, hierarchical view of the world; the Master/Slave dynamic between men and women, respectively. This millennia old social construction in which all that is masculine is "superior" whereas all that is feminine is "inferior" is its legacy. The tyranny of immature masculinity, of masculine gender identity which has erroneously and tragically come to be defined as "normal," is the source of all offensive wars. Toxic masculine pathology, or what patriarchy has defensively defined as "normal manliness," promulgates masculine ideologies of war, aggression, and violence and fosters a devalued social construct of womanhood, all of which create a social and cultural environment which validates and idealizes masculine pathology. Intrapsychic splitting leads to psychosocial masculine conflict resolution strategies of war, violence, and aggression. It is an immature ego defense against internalized feelings of inferiority, weakness, vulnerability, and fear of loss of control and power.

Reardon (cited in Barash, 2000) states: "transformation o f the global order is as much a matter of emotional maturity as of structural change" (p. 252). When enough men finally mature psychologically, and when enough people mature sufficiently to elect male and female leaders who have matured psychologically, then the world will no longer tolerate war as a means to solve large scale problems. To those who have evolved to comprehend the intimate interconnectedness of all things and beings, as Thich Nat Hahn beautifully illustrated in his example of the interconnectedness of the cloud and the paper, it becomes illogical, untenable, and unconscionable to kill as a way to achieve an end.

Upon the sufficient maturation of a mass number of males, world structures will be designed and developed so as to minimize structural, institutional, and cultural violence. Capitalism is an economic system which leaves vast numbers of people in poverty, hungry, homeless, and without healthcare. Upon psychological maturation---the horizontal integration of anima/animus resulting in the vertical rapprochement of 'self' and 'other'---these forms of structural violence will not be acceptable, certainly at the egregious levels at which they currently exist. Political and economic structures and policies will be developed which create a more egalitarian system between genders and races. Although impossible to eliminate 100% of all violence, those acts committed out of desperation, revenge, and rage due to socio-economic injustices will be greatly mitigated in a more socially and economically just society. As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere (cited in Barash, 2000, p. 145).

While I do not entirely agree with Mead that war is merely "a bad invention" (cited in Barash, 2000, p. 20), nor do I align with Hobbes and Freud that aggression in men is exclusively biological and genetically guaranteed for all time, the theory that Mead puts forth is valid as pertains to conscripted war as a political method to formally solve problems between states when it was promulgated by 17th century French political leadership (Barash & Webel, 2002). Conscription was initiated as a way to guarantee that the political and social elite were able to secure and maintain their socio-economic, political, and legal control and place of privilege. As feminist theory pointed out decades ago, the goal of patriarchy is to maintain hierarchical, "power over" structures in society which institutionalize social and economic schisms and class systems.

In the near future, the fast approaching confluence of global warming, overpopulation, peak oil, diminishing mineral resources, extinction of vast amounts of plants and animals, air/water/land pollution, overharvesting of fisheries, deforestation, and invasive species will either result in annihilation of life on the planet due to psychological immaturity or the psychological maturation (voluntary or societally forced) of males to what has long been instinctual in women: collaboration, relatedness, and interdependence.

The world is now faced with a very real possibility of complete annihilation of life on this planet by either a quick method of nuclear annihilation or some slow, methodical process such as global warming or the unethical use of human or animal patenting, nanotechnology, or robotics. In April 1987, the U.S. Patent Office approved the patenting of anything except a full birth human being. This allows living organisms in the laboratory to be patented. As a result, corporations can now own living species. Japanese professor, Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University, has devoted his career to creating human androids (Whitehouse, 2005; Miller, 2006). To date, he has created three: a female woman, a female child, and a male who looks identical to himself. Their resemblance to humans is eerily striking with a simple observation, but the robots still lack the full capabilities of human cognition, affect, and behavior. His research is aimed at creating a robot that is indistinguishable from a human. The ethical and moral implications of this are astronomical, particularly in light of a discussion of psychological pathology, more especially masculine pathology of control, power, domination, and destruction of "other." Bill Joy (2000), co-founder of Sun Microsystems, states: "The danger, if we give everyone unlimited power, is extremely grave.... By giving this power to everyone, we will also be giving it to the crazy people and the extremists." Corporate and government vultures have now become so unconscionably greedy, that they are turning air into a marketable commodity; re-engineering animals, plants, and seeds; patenting living organisms; and taking private control of water in order to have complete economic and social control over all resources and people on the planet. Psychological pathology is our greatest enemy. As Walt Kelly writes: "We have met the enemy and he is us" (cited in Keen, 1986, p. 90).

With these threats, we have one of two ways to proceed. We can use violence and war to fight for resources or we can collaborate globally to arrive at a solution to benefit the common good. Which method of leadership and problem solving will be used in the 21st century: force or collaboration? If the feminine consciousness is allowed to surface on the world stage, collaboration, compassion, and an ethic of care will finally overrule centuries of wars, violence, rampant inequalities and gross social injustice. Feminine consciousness is about ensuring that the interests of the whole of society are guaranteed (Woodward, 2004).

Writing about the masculine archetypes of the mature masculine, Jungian analysts, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette (1990), correctly portray patriarchy as "the expression of the immature masculine... the patriarchal male does not welcome the full masculine development of his sons or his male subordinates any more than he welcomes the full development of his daughters" (p. xvii). This supports the theory of masculine psychosocial pathology that it is the immature masculine that is most accountable for the stunted and stalled maturation of both genders (Woodward, 2007). Thus, it is malignant masculinity, the pathological masculine consciousness, which is inhibiting the psychological maturation of both males and females. This restraint on maturation has reached critical levels in virtually all systems of society, particularly in male leadership.

Bourdieu (2001) writes of the "gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims" (p. 1) and on the back cover of his book, it confirms that "masculine domination is so deeply ingrained in our unconscious that we hardly perceive all of its dimensions" referring to the hidden sociostructual violence caused by pathological masculine domination and gone unnoticed by the victims. Noting how males have arbitrarily constructed much of our sociocultural reality and all of our sociocultural norms from a male centre of power making them inherently masculine biased, but then defined them as inherently right for both genders, Bourdieu refers to this masculine domination as "the transformation of... cultural arbitrariness into the natural" (p. 2). Emphasizing the masculine nature of socially constructed reality, Bourdieu also cogently highlights the masculine epistemic pattern of defining this social construction with a basis in physiology (what has been defined as biological essentialism) which leads to the conclusion of self-evident cognitive schemas of the rightness of masculine domination. Bourdieu (2001) writes:

The social world constructs the body as a sexually defined reality and as the deposit of sexually defining principles of vision and division. This embodied social programme of perception is applied to all the things of the world and firstly to the body itself, in its biological reality. It is this programme which constructs the difference between the biological sexes in conformity with the principles of a mythic vision of the world rooted in the arbitrary relationship of domination of men over women, itself inscribed, with the division of labour, in the reality of the social order. The biological difference between the sexes, i.e., between the male and female bodies, and, in particular, the anatomical difference between the sex organs, can thus appear as the natural justification of the socially constructed difference between the genders, and in particular the social division of labour... Because the social principle of vision constructs the anatomical difference and because this socially constructed difference becomes the basis and apparently natural justification of the social vision which founds it, there is thus a relationship of circular causality which confines thought within the self-evidence of relations of domination inscribed both in objectivity, in the form of objective divisions, and in subjectivity, in the form of cognitive schemes which, being organized in accordance with these divisions, organize the perception of these objective divisions (italics are author's, pp. 11-12).

The normative masculine gender construct of many civilizations mirrors much of the symptomatology of narcissistic personality disorder. William Pollack, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, author of Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood (Pollack, 1998), writes about the normative developmental trauma experienced by little boys as they are expected to develop masculine gender identity by disidentifying, in many cases abruptly, from the mother; in other words, disconnecting from the feminine energies she embodies and manifests. This separation trauma results in a masculine gender construct which can only be affirmed by devaluing emotions, and feminine expressions and ways of being. To be perceived in society as "a real man" means, de facto, to be everything a woman is not. This socialized split in the male psyche in which his identity as a male is understood only by a disidentification from all things feminine is the molding of men into warriors, or, in psychological terms, it is the creation of pathological masculinity. It creates an external version of that internalized schism. The external mirror to that is a sociocultural system of masculine psychosocial pathology in which there is an antagonistic relationship between the master and the slave, the superior and the inferior, men and women. Every inequality that exists within the human psyche and externally manifested in every world system begins with this intrapsychic split that is forced by a socialized process of gender polarization beginning with the parenting process. Thus, it is this schism which creates both masculine pathology and feminine pathology with male domination and female subjugation as its legacy. Pollack's fifteen plus years of research with adolescent boys has led him to the stark and troubling conclusion that many adolescent boys have developed the psychological profile of the narcissistic personality disorder (Pollack, 1995). Pollack writes about these adolescent boys who have dis-identified from their mothers and disconnected with feminine ontology:

In all likelihood, he would be obsessionally concerned about maintaining a rigidly independent self and have a matrix of intrapsychic defenses something like the following: unconscious anger or rage toward women, defensive condescension of anyone in a caretaking role, overvaluation of independence (defensive autonomy), devaluation of the need for connectedness or interdependence, stoic denial of sadness or pain with an inability to grieve loss or to mourn, a walling off of a vulnerable but hidden core self and the need to externalize inner conflict and take refuge in impulsive action in order to avoid anxiety. Interestingly enough, this is remarkably similar to the description of the prototypic 'narcissistic' character structure (cited in Woodward, 2004, p.150-151).

There is a wholesale lack of ownership, responsibility and accountability with this disorder because, as has been stated, there is an excessive fear of being perceived as imperfect and not in control. This characterological pathology of narcissistic personality disorder has been presented to the entire world as "normal masculine gender identity," or what people colloquially refer to as "a real man" or "a tough guy." It is, in truth, only half of a whole, healthy psyche because it devalues all things feminine. Fortunately, we do have men who are unafraid to exhibit traditionally feminine traits such as kindness, gentleness and compassion for others. Also, with each passing decade, many advanced cultures are slowly redefining masculinity and increasing numbers of parents are giving little boys permission to grow into, and become, whole human beings.

War is notably and uniquely masculine. Philosopher and author of Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination, Sam Keen (1986) tells us that "a psychological... understanding of war will emerge only if we look long and hard at some obvious but ignored elements of the war system" (p. 129). Keen outlines those four elements as:

  1. War is a man's game. With very few exceptions, women have never organized or taken part in systematic violence. They have so seldom been warriors that without fear of rebuke we can use the masculine pronoun in discussing the history of war (p. 129).
  2. For roughly the last 10,000 to 13,000 years, the male has been socialized and informed primarily by the imperative to become a warrior... the male has been conditioned to be willing to kill or to die to defend the tribe or nation against its enemies. The single greatest difference between men and women, other than the obvious biological differences, is that the male must win the title of "man" by becoming a potential killer (p.129).
  3. The warrior psyche is created by a systematic destruction in the male of all "feminine characteristics" (p. 130).
  4. The sexuality of the warrior is a blend of repressed homosexuality and phallic assertion. A boy is made into a warrior by removing him... from the influence of women and placing his care and training in the hands of men... One of the ways in which the warrior covers up his unconscious hostility toward the feminine and his latent homosexuality is by phallic aggression. (p. 131).

Keen admonishes us that it is a psychological imperative for us to be aware of intrapsychic dynamics as root causes of war. Recognizing the reciprocating dynamics between the intrapsychic world and these influences on socio-economic, cultural, and political dynamics is critical to understanding the genesis of violence, aggression, and war. In Malignant Masculine Power: The Narcissistic Consciousness of Deceit, Exploitation, Domination, and Deceit that is Leading the World Toward Annihilation (Woodward, 2007), a theoretical model of masculine psychosocial pathology is posited. It is a theory of a continuum of masculine pathology from mild to morbid (narcissism, sociopathy, and psychopathy) and is noted by three core features:

  1. psychological obsession with, and pattern of, controlling "other,"
  2. psychological patterns of domination and power over "other," and
  3. obsession to destroy "other" (a feature of morbid pathology)

Woodward also posits that external events stem from immature and primitive intrapsychic dynamics which, in turn, influence and validate a masculine epistemological and socio-cultural, economic, political, legal, and religious milieu that has varying degrees of psychosocial pathology along a pathological spectrum from mild to morbid. She believes that understanding masculine psychosocial pathology is the key to understanding feminine psychosocial pathology, as well as understanding socio-economic, cultural, political, and religious pathology. Masculine pathology is both cause and effect because it is primarily about domination, control, and power over ideologies, structures, institutions, in addition to individual and relational domination and control. Masculine ideologies of domination, exploitation, control, and power over "other" stem from masculine pathology. Aggression, violence, and war are masculine ideologies deriving from immature masculine gender identity which is, in turn, the cause of socio-economic, cultural, political, and religious ideologies and structures which, in turn, validate and maintain masculine ideologies that stem from masculine pathology and, further, which continue to promote feminine pathology. It is a circuitous psychosocial malignancy of which most lay people are unconscious and of which many in the mental health field (with the possible exception of Jungians) have only a dim awareness. Alfred North Whitehead has said that, in each period of history, there are thought forms which are so translucent, yet pervasive and seemingly necessary, that only by extreme effort can we become aware of it. Masculine pathology operates this way. It is both cause and effect of masculine and feminine pathology. Masculine pathology is also self-validating; in other words, masculine pathology---the pathology of superiority, domination, control, exploitation, and power over----creates its own validation. If humankind is unable to awaken and transform this paradoxical and circuitous psychosocial pathology, it will continue to elude us and disallow a full and frank transformation of human consciousness, and a mature development of both genders, on a global scale. It is this mature psychological rapprochement that is the harbinger of social, economic, cultural, religious, political, legal, and educational global transformation. Said another way, irrespective of biological sex, masculine pathology is the greatest threat to life on our planet. If we are to survive, we must evolve beyond it to a transcendent consciousness beyond the ego consciousness.

So now that we see how the root cause of intrapsychic dynamics within the immature human psyche converge with, validate, and reciprocate unhealthy and pathological socio-economic, political, and cultural factors, what else needs to be done in the near future and outside the mental health field as pertains to war and peace? There is a growing mass of males and females who have an adequate, though not always optimal, level of anima/animus integration who are socially engaged today. Wilber predicts that between 6-10% of humankind needs to reach this psychological developmental stage in order to move the world to the next level of integral consciousness in which humankind is able to move into a more whole, relational, and healthy consciousness. In the near future, there are six critical steps that humankind must make to avert complete annihilation of life on the planet:

  1. develop a global plan for the immediate and long-term mitigation of CO2 emissions
  2. educative measures which foster a global consciousness of voluntary decreases in population growth
  3. the immediate plan and global agreement of major developed countries to pursue alternative, ecologically sustainable forms of energy
  4. educative measures to decrease consumerism which, in turn, directly mitigates overharvesting of fisheries, pollution of land/oceans/air, deforestation, invasive species, and global warming
  5. educative measures which foster a movement back to local and organic farming practices for produce
  6. an ecological and socio-economic evaluation of the destructive nature of capitalism and the evaluation of alternative economic systems which have less unfavorable outcomes for a global society and the environment
  7. the elimination of nuclear weapons

These are necessary to avoid extinction of planetary life in the future, but also to mitigate forms of structural, institutional, and cultural violence such as hunger, extreme poverty, and inadequate healthcare, all of which are necessary for positive peace. It is insufficient that negative peace (the absence of war) exist. The global structure of the world, and the interconnectedness of all people, combined with the lethal aspects of technology, make it a moral, ethical, and existential imperative that humankind strategize toward the goal of positive peace.

For the future, there must be a global consensus that an international governing body is essential to maintain order, as well as establish global legal, ecological, and socio-economic justice. The United Nations (UN) began this endeavor so it is the preferred political and legal global organ to carry this out. Next, countries should give permission for the UN to have enforcement capacities, not just legislative, administrative, and peacekeeping functions. Even though the UN recognizes that state sovereignty supersedes in many matters, the future of peace depends upon the success of one governing body to be responsible for the five areas which are most intimately involved with maintaining global security, peace, justice:

  1. resolution of conflicts so as to prevent war
  2. prosecution of those who violate the law of "no war," i.e., those who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity
  3. nuclear disarmament
  4. socio-economic equality
  5. protection of vulnerable populations (women, children, disabled, the poor)

The Security Council, General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and the International Court of Justice are already established to provide the aforementioned governance. It is unnecessary to reinvent the wheel by creating another global body.

A second future movement would relate to peace activism. Although Barash and Webel (2002) categorize three types of peace movements---eliminating war, stopping particular wars, and stopping aspects of war---the future of humankind hangs on pacifism. The power of combining all, or most, of these "pluralistic and tactically diverse" (Barash & Webel, 2002, p. 41) peace movements behind the one common theme of the cessation of all wars would generate much more socio-political effect. Technology, particularly the internet, provides the integrating link so that people all over the world can unite.

A third future important step is the global agreement that certain rights are inalienable for all humankind. The UN would be the world governing body to ensure those rights. They are:

  1. right to life and safety
  2. right to free speech
  3. right to practice the religion of choice
  4. right to free healthcare
  5. right to 16 years of free state-paid education
  6. right to free state-paid food and potable water
  7. right to basic state-paid housing

Structural and institutional violence cannot be mitigated to any substantial degree as long as any human being does not have access to food, clean water, basic healthcare, basic housing, and sixteen years of education. This is a matter of social justice as Martin Luther King, Jr. stated when he said that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" (cited in Barash, 2000, p. 145). Any products and services sold outside of these five areas could be subject to free market pricing, but the basic survival elements must one day be provided at no cost to every man, woman, and child if we are to eliminate extreme poverty, hunger, and curable diseases which, of course, foster crime and violence.

As a last step for the security of the future of our planet, a declaration of animal and ecological rights is in order; the recognition that all life on the planet (human, animal, plant, and mineral kingdoms) is interdependent. Each of these kingdoms is dependent upon the kingdom below it, but not on the one above it. Plants depend upon the mineral kingdom for its sustenance, but plants and minerals can live without animals. Animals rely upon plants and minerals for life, but could live without humans. Humankind, however, relies upon each of these lower levels kingdoms for existence. The entire ecosystem keeps homo sapiens alive, yet the ecosystem could function quite well without humans. This simple, but profound, knowledge is the genesis for a "Bill of Rights for the Ecosystem" whereby the most senior kingdom---humanity---ensures the rights of all species which exist below it. Failure to declare these precious ecological rights is to write the death sentence for all life. The continued unmitigated and reckless disregard for the three kingdoms which sustain life for humankind, the plundering and exploitation of minerals, plants, and animals, is the path of the fool. The wise person is one who has matured to understand and make conscious choices which create mutual empowerment and interdependent goodness for all of humankind. What choice will humanity make? Whether peace is possible rests upon whether a wise person or a fool answers this question.


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