||7. Relevance for Peace Researchers and Activists||Page 17|
The unchanging rate of internal military intervention in the USA and the lack of attention to such intervention in the literature on war and peace are in striking contrast to the rapid changes in other aspects of war and peace. It is argued here that this reflects an oversight which peace researchers and activists should address in the coming years.
These are times of remarkable change, both for the institutions of war and for the public consciousness that a new era of peace can be attained. The end of the Cold War and the increased peace-keeping responsibilities of the UN have been accompanied by a trend for nations to replace military dictatorships and militarized systems by democratic governance. The non-violent movements of Gandhi and King have inspired movements in South Africa, Eastern Europe and elsewhere that have brought down militarized systems without resort to war. The awareness that in the nuclear age there would be no winner of a world war, and the increased attitude of global citizenship facilitated by the spread of literacy and the pervasiveness of mass communication have helped inspire hope and action for peace around the world.
Elsewhere I have given reason to believe that this is now the first generation that can abolish war (Adams, 1987) and that there has been a progressive increase in the effectiveness of anti-war movements, at least in the USA (Adams, 1985). The fact that the Gulf War had to be limited to a few weeks in duration if massive anti-war protests in the USA were to be avoided may be seen as a recent confirmation of this trend.
Now there is consideration not only of the dismantling and conversion of the institutions of militarism, but also of an even more profound social change from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace (Boulding, 1992). Despite frequent claims to the contrary, there is nothing in our human nature that precludes such a transformation (Adams, 1989). In fact, on the basis of the evidence contained in this paper, we may present an alternative to the recent claims that enemy images are biologically determined (Sagan & Druyan, 1992; Smith, 1992). The creation of these enemy images often seems inexplicable, because fear prevents public discussion of their origin. Under conditions such as McCarthyism in the USA, even the questioning of the enemy image could be considered as an act of treason.
In considering the abolition of war, more attention needs to be given to internal military intervention, because it is closely related to external military activity and also because it is frequent, not only in the USA, but throughout the world.
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