Dedicated to my friend, a philosopher, John Cobb, Jr.
The West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!”
It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being.
Every year, there are “peace conferences” taking place everywhere where peace is worshipped, and even demanded. I recently attended one, as a keynote speaker, on the west coast of Denmark.
If a heavy-duty war correspondent like myself attends them, he or she gets shocked. What is usually discussed are superficial, feel-good topics.
At best, ‘how bad capitalism is’, and how ‘everything is about oil’. Nothing about the genocidal culture of the West. Nothing about continuous, centuries-long plunders and benefits that virtually all Westerners have been getting from it.
At worst, it is all about how bad the world is – “all people are the same” cliché. And, also, there are increasingly, bizarre, uninformed outbursts against China and Russia which are often labeled by Western neo-cons as “threat” and “rival powers”.
Participants of these gatherings agree “Peace is Good”, and “War is Bad”. This is…