Note: The author of this article, who resides in Europe, believes it is important to promote discussion in the US about smaller steps of conflict reduction such as divided family contacts, increased economic cooperation, and other forms of citizen and private sector exchanges.
Korea: An Olympic Truce: Time for Concerted Non-governmental Efforts
The holding of the Winter Olympics in South Korea from 9 to 25 February followed by the Paralympics 9 to 18 March may be an an opportunity to undertake negotiations in good faith to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to establish, or re-establish, forms of cooperation between the two Korean governments.
Such negotiations in good faith would be in the spirit of what is known as the “Olympics Truce”. Truce in classic Greek meant a “laying down of arms”. A truce was usually announced before and during the Olympic Games to ensure that the host city was not attacked and athletes and spectators could travel safely to the Games and return to their homes.
In 1924, Winter Olympics were added to the Summer Olympics which had been revived earlier in an effort to re-establish the spirit of the Classic Greek games. At the 2000 Sydney games at the opening ceremony, South and North Korean delegations walked for the first time together under the same flag. Today, with greater tensions, there needs to be more than symbolic gestures. There needs to be real government-led negotiations to reduce tensions. In addition to the two Korean States, the USA, China, Russia, and Japan are “actors” in the Korean “drama.” Continue reading
Morton A. Kaplan, Past President of PWPA International and Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, passed away September 27, 2017. He was 96.
Morton A. Kaplan presiding at the Liberal Democratic Societies conference in London, 1989.
Kaplan, a WWII veteran, became famous in the field of international relations with the publication of his 1957 book System and Process in International Politics. Committed to the creation of a peaceful and stable international order, Kaplan sought ways to develop good relations and trust in the international system of states. His views were often critical of political realists who only promoted strategic self-interest and the unbridled wielding of power.He was a wide-ranging scholar integrating concepts from philosophy, linguistics, systems theory, and physics. Kaplan’s most recent book Transcending Postmodernism, co-authored with Inanna Hamati-Ataya, was published in 2014
Kaplan was fervently devoted to Professors World Peace Academy and organized three groundbreaking international conferences related to world social systems. All these conferences were organized into about 12 committees with 90 expert scholars presenting papers. PWPA leaders from about 90 countries around the world participated and learned about different systems of governance and how they might advise their own countries. Several volumes of books were produced from each of these conferences. Continue reading
International Peace Centre opened in Seychelles
The Centre is named after the late Founding President of Seychelles Sir James Mancham
Victoria, Seychelles – International Centre for Peace Studies and Diplomacy named after the late Seychelles Founding President Sir James Mancham has been officially inaugurated on Eden Island, near the capital Victoria.
The Centre was originally Sir James’ idea and for the past couple of months has been developed by the University of Seychelles, the Mancham Family and an international group of diplomats and businessmen.
The official launch was attended by Seychelles Vice President Vincent Meriton, former President of the country James Michel, Minister of Health and former Foreign Minister Jean-Paul Adam, Foreign Secretary Ambassador Claude Morel, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Barry Faure, members of Seychelles Parliament, diplomats, businessmen and many friends and allies of Sir James Mancham. Continue reading
JAMES RICHARD MANCHAM (1939-2017), Founding President of Seychelles and member of the editorial advisory board of International Journal on World Peace, passed away on January 8, 2017. He will be missed by the people of Seychelles, our staff, and many others.
I first met Sir James Mancham in October 2001 in New York. It was less than a month after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the International and Interreligious Federation for World Peace had organized a conference on Global Violence: Crisis and Hope to which we had both been invited to speak. Many of the speakers were urging the United States to refrain from the preemptive invasion of Iraq, which would violate established just war theory. Our friendship led to me publishing his book War on America Seen from the Indian Ocean through Paragon House. Continue reading
by Gordon L. Anderson, Secretary General, PWPA-USA
I was asked by the newly appointed chair of PWPA in Korea, Dr. Thomas Selover for some reflections on possible future PWPA Conferences. First I would like to congratulate Dr. Selover on this appointment. Now for a few remarks on how I see some major concerns:
- Systems approach vs. a strategic approach. In moral terms, this often breaks down into concern for the whole vs. self-interest (strategizing to accomplishing one’s end). Today almost all public policy is based on individual and group self-interests competing over, and strategizing to acquire, public money. Partisanism prevents using public money for the purpose of the whole. Our big PWPA Congresses examined social systems: the USSR system, the Chinese System, and Western Democratic societies. It is important that both the needs of the whole and individuals are addressed. Systems analysis should ensure that both are met.
- Principles of sound governance. The Divine Principle, authored by PWPA’s Founder, Rev. Moon, is based on spiritual principles. He made some observations that provide clues to how principles of governance need to be considered. For example, the relationships of the political, cultural, and economic spheres function as organs of the body (the human biological system), with each social sphere performing a role as an organ of the larger social system. I discussed five main principles necessary for good governance in my book Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0 (2009). These are principles I believe were implicit in the understanding of the U.S. founders, when they drafted the U.S. Constitution, that are nearly always violated by new legislation passed by both the U.S. government and individual states today.
- Evolution of social consciousness. This involves the question of how societies rise and decline so that they can be guided within principled bounds to rise and avoid collapse. We are publishing an article on this topic titled “Seven Phases of Social Development: Politometrics Instead of Political Alchemy” by PWPA Professor Akmal A. Gafurov in the March 2017 issue of International Journal on World Peace. One could argue that the Ten Commandments emerged as a level of social consciousness of the principles of behavior towards one another required for more freedom to emerge. However, today we have social institutions and spheres based on urbanization and large populations. There have been no set of principles instilled in social consciousness related to social institutions and bureaucracy, which is one reason I wrote my book, hoping to promote some discussion of this.
- Issue-oriented policy. I think most the issues people talk about, environment, education, constitutions, overpopulation, nuclear power and weapons, space travel, economic equality, war, and peace, etc., fall under the umbrella of the above points. They are all things that fit in a context and can’t be fully studied as things in themselves. Conferences by PWPA on such topics, need to be discussed as parts of a complex system, the way weather predictions cannot be accurate without seeing the interconnection of a wide array of variables. For example, linear political arguments that tie ocean rise to carbon combustion by humans, without an interconnection to earth’s albedo in the arctic ocean, sunspot activity, the absorption of heat by solar panels, and thousands of other factors will inevitably lead to faulty policy decisions. Linear arguments in complex systems are a modern form of religious dogma and not real science.
Innaguration of PWPA-Nepal Chapter, March 25, 2015
On March 25, 2015 the chapter of PWPA was boosted in Nepal at the Hotel Yak and Yeti, with more than 500 guests in attendance. The chapter was launched with the support and efforts of the Universal Peace Federation. The assembly was addressed by Nepal’s minister of education, Hon. Chitralekha Yadav, Professor Dr. Suresh Raj Sharma, founding vice chancellor of Kathmandu University and patron of PWPA-Nepal, Professor Dr. Madhav Prasad Sharma, former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University and president of PWPA-Nepal, and Professor Dr. Tulsi Prasad Pathak, outgoing PWPA president. Distinguished representatives of the Universal Peace Federation, and the newly formed Teachers Association for Research of principles (TARP) also spoke on this occasion.
PWPA is highly appreciative of the work or Dr. Robert Kittel, longtime UPF and PWPA representative in South Asia, for his efforts in organizing and reporting on this activity.
On December 12, 2014,Professor Nicholas N. Kittrie, Chairman of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute for Justice and Peace in Washington, D.C., and President of PWPA-USA presented a portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt that he had commissioned to the University of Bridgeport. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is known for her work spearheading the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on International Human Rights. She spoke at the University of Bridgeport in 1953, and the University has supported the United Nations since its founding. Prof. Kittrie has worked on a number of United Nations commissions related to international justice and peace. The portrait was received on behalf of the University by Frank Zullo, Chaiman of the UB Board of Trustees.
Dr. Kittrie making his presentation to Frank Zullo, Chairman of the UB Board of Trustees
UN Day, October 24, 2013
Education in a global society is a real challenge because education is culture specific. It involves teaching the knowledge, values, and skills known to a particular society. Many of beliefs and values of a society are not taught formally, but absorbed through the language and habits of those who surround one’s upbringing. We can call this the conventional knowledge of the particular society. In the twentieth century, the conventional knowledge acquired by people in their various societies collided in a world of global transportation and communication, stimulating globalization.
This globalization was developed on the foundation of Western Civilization, which oversaw the rise of modern science and the modern secular state. The negative impact of these developments included, Western colonialism, World Wars, and the decline of the traditional values. The human suffering caused by the world wars led to the creation of the United Nations, whose values are enshrined in the UN International Declaration of Human Rights, drafted under the supervision of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Mort Kaplan’s synoptic work, Science, Language and the Human Condition is now available as an e-book. His preface to the revised edition still points to the tragic nature of fragmented knowledge in the modern university. A excerpt follows:
At one time a graduate of a good university would have absorbed a synoptic view of the world and of the place of moral values in that world. Philosophy played a major role in that enterprise. Two developments helped to erode that state of affairs: the development of professionalism within disciplines and the rise of positivism in philosophy. In addition, the sharp split between the analytic and the continental philosophers has ruptured dialogue within philosophy.
Civility and Citizenship in Liberal Democratic Societies
PWPA’s classic book on Civility and Citizenship, edited by the late Edward C. Banfield is now available as an e-book in Kindle, Nook, and I-book formats. Originally written in 1992, this book is more important that ever, showing how the disregard for civility and citizenship both in public life and education is adding to the political dysfunction in Washington, D.C.
If a liberal democratic society is to continue as such there must be widely respected institutions, practices, and modes of thought that encourage or demand the making of concessions where necessary to preserve the degree of harmony without which the society could not continue as a going concern. The obligation of the citizen to obey the law is one such safeguard of order. The idea of civic virtue is another. Civility, the culturally ingrained willingness to tolerate behavior that is offensive, is yet another. Continue reading