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  • andrewsingerchina

Peace and Compromise

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Peace (kier-in-sight-WjMNw7dOBB0-unsplash)

Humans talk a good game about peace, while exhibiting millennia-long, historical traditions of warlike proclivities. We say we crave stability, harmony, and equity among different groups, nations, and states, but we sure do not act that way. Battles and intrigues over territory, resources, power, and prestige have always, and continue, to rage around the world. Exercising self-restraint; not being blinded by fear, insecurity, and political expediency; engaging in dialogue: with these, compromise might be possible.

* Fissures never go away and need to be addressed.

* From Beijing to Moscow to Washington, D.C., people are being primed for confrontation, conflict, and war.

* In China and America, official and popular distrust of the other is rampant and domestic loss of faith in their respective selves is growing.

* Communications and cross-cultural connections are eroding at a frightening pace and “keeping it human” (in the words of China business expert Robert Fisch) is becoming ever more fragile.

* President Woodrow Wilson argued in 1919 for unity among nations so that “[t]hey enter into solemn promise to one another that they will never use their power against one another for aggression; that they will never impair the territorial integrity of a neighbor; that they will never interfere with the political independence of a neighbor; that they will abide by the principle that great populations are entitled to determine their own destiny; and that they will not interfere with that destiny; and that no matter what differences arise amongst them, they will never resort to war without first [seeking arbitration or public consultation of other nations].”

* President John Kennedy called for world peace in 1963, specifically “I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children--not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women--not merely peace in our time but peace for all time….There is no single, simple key to this peace--no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process--a way of solving problems….With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor--it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.”

* World peace is not realistic. Discussing rather than dictating, listening and learning--with these, we might have a shot at compromise and something less than war.

International World Peace Rose Garden (marisa-morton-TVDXczWp4QY-unsplash)


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