Posted on September 3, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“It is sad that man is not intelligent enough to solve problems without killing… The present world crisis can be solved only by a general human revolution against outdated concepts… Man is not a blood-thirsty animal, and war is only due to the greed and lust for power of relatively small groups, the conspiracy of the few against the many.”
– ALBERT SZENT-GYORGI (1893-1986) American biochemist, Nobel Prize 1937
When Mr. Szent-Gyorgi wrote those words in 1978 he was 85 years old, and certainly fully aware of his impending departure from this world. His intent at the time when he knew he was close to dying – the feelings he expressed in relation to making the highest use of his remaining time to end war – in some spiritual traditions has become described as the “wisdom of the elders”.
What he said some 36 years ago still stands true today: war is an outdated concept no longer recognized or accepted by an intelligent, civilized human society as the way to resolve disputes. If people living around the Earth were asked to answer this survey question – “would you be in favor of ending war forever?” – one can easily imagine the response being 99.99999% “yes”. So, where is the disconnect between such an overwhelming, almost total consensus for world peace and its manifestation on Earth?
The disconnect lies with the .000001% who would answer “no” to ending war forever. So, the next question becomes how to transform that very small percentage of humanity’s philosophical basis for continuation of war, where the transformational effort up until today has not yet been decisively successful. In recent years and decades, the number of people who’ve joined together in groups calling for an end to war has risen dramatically thanks to instant, worldwide communication across the internet.
In an earlier post, the letters shared by two of history’s greatest spiritual leaders – Leo Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi – allowed one to see the great contrast between the way humans communicated in the year 1910 and over the internet in 2014. Men and women can only imagine what Mr. Tolstoy and Mr. Gandhi would say about emailing, social media, independent journalism, and comments sections on the millions of websites hosted by free-speech companies and viewer supported agents for change, concerned men and women, and dedicated peace and justice groups around the Earth.
Fundamentally, there are only two options when situations of disagreement and dispute become intensified to the point where potential military action enters the scenario: *war and its harm to human beings (physically and spiritually), homes, buildings, and infrastructure – or – *reasonable, intellectual discussions leading to the highest level of consent between all parties then mutually satisfactory agreements. From the standpoint of comparison between the only two options, it becomes beyond a doubt clear that discussion and dialogue offer the superior, good advantage of completely avoiding the immense, varied costs of choosing the war option.
For discussions to meet their greatest potential success, all factors causing the disagreement and dispute must become fully articulated, painstakingly discussed to the complete satisfaction of every party, then all optional solutions presented without exception. Of the highest importance is acknowledgement by all that the only goal for the dialogue is coming up with the plan which offers the greatest resulting good for the greatest number of people.
This does not mean the greatest number of Ukrainians living in the West region, the greatest number of Ukrainians living in the East region, the greatest number of Israelis, the greatest number of Palestinians, the greatest number of this or that oligarchy, or the greatest number of Americans or Russians. It means the greatest number of men, women, and children living in all nations and regions of the Earth, while at the same time keeping an equal focus on how potential actions will affect Earth’s future generations.
It is possible for humanity to come together with all its spiritual power and end war forever. Not somewhere down the line twenty or fifty years from now – but right here, and now, in 2014. Many authors and journalists use the word “meme” in their writings. A meme is “any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another; that spreads from person to person within or across culture(s)”. Given current world conditions, perhaps a new meme – “End War Forever” – is one whose time has arrived.
Those men and women planning to travel to Cardiff/Newport in Britain to take part in NATO peace protests can make signs which read “End War Forever”; people can start using the phrase when talking to others, make bumper stickers and coffee mugs, and use “End War Forever” as a goodbye instead of those old tired memes like “goodbye”, “peace out”, “very truly yours”, or “thank you for every consideration”. People can paint 10-feet tall, bright fluorescent green signs reading “End War Forever” on their homes, businesses, and anything else that can fit a 10-feet tall sign.
Pretty soon, working with E.W.F. (End War Forever) will be essential for any person even thinking about achieving the slightest level of “coolness”. Those who decide to procrastinate will quickly learn to get with the program after experiencing universal ostracism, rejection, and banishment from associations and society.
Men and women can go to the local tattoo parlor and get “End War Forever” permanently placed on their foreheads, thereby letting everyone know precisely where they stand on the issue of war and peace. Kids can go wild with chalk in every color of the rainbow, writing “End War Forever” on every sidewalk on the planet. The Goodyear blimp can flash “End War Forever” at the big upcoming college football games on that electronic digital display its got, the people who fly planes that drag those long, flag-like messages such as “Marry Me, Penelope Peace” behind them can get in on it, and all the groups like Greenpeace who hang very large banners off bridges and skyscrapers can, too.
For those who look to make big money by registering domain names before everyone else, just remember where you came across the idea for endwarforever.com when you receive the multi-million dollar payment for it. The same goes for those who cash in on the trademark. In every sports bar around the world, at every wedding, victory celebration, graduation, or in homes where people share a friendly beer or glass of wine, that old and boring “cheers” becomes replaced with the new toast phrase “End War Forever”. Every radio talk show announcer, every television news anchor, game-show host – even that guy on “American Idol” and everything else – will sign off their shows with “End War Forever”.
Before long, war will be a thing of the past; just another old, useless, and long-forgotten meme. Future generations of children will read their history books then know that this generation, in 2014, put an end to war for all time.
Jack Matlock was the United States Ambassador to the USSR from 1987-1991. His recent interview on the situation in Ukraine on Democracy Now gives further proof that the world needs “wisdom from the elders” now more than ever.
(Thank you to democracynow at YouTube)