by H. Gibrain
“To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;” – Article 1.1 UN Charter
Signatories to the UN Charter are bound by international law to settle disputes peacefully and only resort to force when all other avenues for dialogue, diplomacy, negotiations and other means to settle disputes have been exhausted. The language of the UN charter is, in and of itself, profound in its implications yet fails miserably to live up to its own standard; needless to say this is a function of the member states and not the organization itself – yet the organization lacks the means to hold its members accountable for breeches of this fundamental.
One of the major flaws of the structure of the United Nations is that it is in fact not a united nations at all – it is a group of states – and does not have any body that represents nations of peoples. If the settling of disputes were left to nations, be they ethnic groups or imagined groups, I think the world would be in a much better state than it is now – where our collective fate is determined by a global corporate mafia that call themselves governments.
For starters, most normal members of civil society know how to party in the tradition sense as opposed to the sense implicit in the phrase “political party.” People would settle their disputes through drinking – which could lead to sex, sleep, vomiting, brawling and brotherly love; a far cry from settling disputes with bunker busters, tear gas, white phosphorous, hellfire missiles and the be-all-that-ends-all: nuclear war.
Sports are a very physical way to incorporate competition with cooperation with some minor injuries and the occasional fatality though nothing like that of war. The Olympics are a perfect example of settling disputes by peaceful means; may the best person/team win based on their dedication, discipline and an intelligent strategy.
The arts are also a wonderful means by which people can explore their differences. The display and performance arts are a great playground for our commonalities as well as our differences: theater, dance music, painting, sculpture, and so on are a great way of exploring differences in culture which offer an opportunity for appreciation rather than disdain.
The culinary arts, too, should not be underestimated as a means by which nations can settle disputes. Exploring flavors – what could be better.
If music is the universal language of humans then numbers are the universal language of nature. Why are there so many languages and only one set of numbers (except for the Romans)? We all speak the same numbers and live on the same planet with the same paragon of flora and fauna. Why do we not learn to play peacefully with numbers to explore the vast realms of organic organization. This would keep us busy for a long while – as it has.
We don’t see too many natural scientists and mathematicians calling for war, going into battle, or bludgeoning each other in the streets. Similarly, short of a battle of the bands, musicians tend to be a peaceful lot not smashing in each others skulls and taking fingers as trophies. Chefs, dangerous as they may seem, are clearly out for the betterment of society providing blood and soul sustenance. Similarly, athletes are all about the competition and victory but most sporting events tend to end with fewer deaths than wars.
The world needs to be run by an organized civil society transcending the idea and reality that nation states have been able to muster in terms of creating a peaceful planet devoid of blood lusting greedy murderous corporate fascist war mongers: megalomaniacal psychopaths. When the United Nations becomes a forum for the united nations of peoples from the respective civil societies of what are now nation states perhaps the prospects for human peace will be realized. I’m sure our plant and animal sisters and brothers are longing for the day when they are no longer subject to our collective insanity.