Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Declaration Against Violence

The following petition was drafted by a small number of us in several countries, and posted here earlier this year. So far, it has been signed by fewer than 50 people! Please help us to mobilise worldwide support for this very worthy endeavour.

To: Citizens of the World


We the undersigned call upon our fellow world citizens to join us in doing everything in our power to reduce the prevailing level of global violence, and to seek the resolution of all conflicts by peaceful means.

We do not believe that the promoters of hatred and the practitioners of violence [whether in the name of countries or causes] are supported by the great mass of humanity. Their behaviour, under whatever pretext, is immoral and intolerable. We abhor their activities, and deplore the amount of publicity given to them as well as the unhealthy depiction and glorification of fictional violence in so much ‘entertainment’.

We believe that the great majority of human beings, whatever their country or creed, are good-hearted peace-loving people like ourselves, who wish for an end to violence in personal, domestic, public, and international affairs.

We urge all those holding responsible positions in politics, government, and the media to pledge themselves to do their utmost to achieve a more peaceful world through discussion and negotiation, and to renounce violence as an instrument of policy.

We ask all those in agreement with this statement to sign it, and to pass it on to others requesting them to do so.



Note: This Declaration has been launched by private citizens of several countries, with the aim of gathering worldwide support from as many peace-loving non-violent people as are willing to sign it. The Declaration is not sponsored by any organisation, and your signature commits you to nothing except endorsement of the above text. No copyright is claimed. There is no limit to the number of signatures we seek. We ask you to publicise the Declaration in every legitimate way you can and to urge others to sign. Tell all your family, friends, and colleagues. Post the link on your website. Help to create a publicity snowball for humanity’s demand that violence must stop.


14 comments:

Jose said...

I signed when you first published it, Anticant. I cannot see what restrains people from signing when we all claim we are against violence. Perhaps a hunch that this will be not heard?

anticant said...

Neither can I, Jose. Perhaps they are wary of a private initiative without well-known sponsors. Possibly they are frightened of signing something which may be disapproved of by the powerful forces in the world who favour violence. But whatever the reason, let's put our shoulders to the wheel and get that global publicity snowball for peace rolling!

Yankee Doodle said...

"to renounce violence as an instrument of policy."

The Buddhist monks renounced violence as an instrument of policy, and look what happened to them.

It's a good thing Winston Churchill didn't renounce violence as an instrument of policy when facing down Hitler and Mussolini.

I commend you that your hearts are in the right place.

anticant said...

I was rather wondering how you would respond to this, YD!

Asking those in positions of power and influence to renounce violence as an instrument of policy is not the same as rolling over and being trampled on. If you read the Declaration carefully, you will see that it is NOT a utopian or pacifist document. It does not rule out defensive violence, which we all sadly know is sometimes a necessity in this mad world.

Calling upon world leaders to seek agreements through negotiation, diplomacy, and - yes - compromise as a first option in preference to violence is surely a stance that you can endorse? I yield to no-one in my respect for Churchill's world-saving pugnacity, but do remember that he said "Jaw-jaw is better than war-war".

Jose said...

Indeed, being offensive is not the same as being defensive.

anticant said...

Many Americans no longer make this distinction, if they ever did.

Yankee Doodle said...

"compromise as a first option in preference to violence is surely a stance that you can endorse"

Not absolutely. There are some ideologies and some parties with whom there can be no compromise, no retreat at all, not even the slightest hint of surrender or weakness.

And, while I disagree with President Bush and his crew, I do, in principle, agree with the concept of pre-emptive war, a right addressed in our Constitution.

Did Churchill make that statement with reference to the Nazis?

anticant said...

Churchill made his remark with reference to Soviet Russia - and he had been one of the stoutest and most outspoken opponents of the Bolshevik regime until Hitler invaded Russia.

In the changed postwar circumstances brought about by the atom and hydrogen bombs, Churchill grasped the reality that any further deployment of nuclear weapons would spell disaster for the human race. He dedicated himself to dismantling the Cold War, which he mistakenly believed could be achieved by personal contact between himself and the Soviet leaders. This as why he clung onto office longer than he prudently should have done.

There is a huge difference between not showing weakness or surrendering to blackmail and waging pre-emptive war. The latter used to be regarded by civilized people as the unacceptable face of Bismarckian Imperialism and Nazism. If the USA and patriotic Americans such as you, YD, now believe that pre-emptive war is a legitimate tool of foreign policy, and even advocate 'nuking' people as is now being threatened to Iran, do not be surprised if you come to be regarded as an even bigger menace to world peace than those whom you consider to be your enemies. Such insensate arrogance will leave you with no genuine friends, and your 'empire' will collapse with startling rapidity.

I take no satisfaction in the growing prospect of your global defeat due to your own hubris and folly.

Yankee Doodle said...

"There is a huge difference between not showing weakness or surrendering to blackmail and waging pre-emptive war."

Agreed.

"And, while I disagree with President Bush and his crew, I do, in principle, agree with the concept of pre-emptive war, a right addressed in our Constitution."

I stand behind that remark. I disagree with the band of criminals in the White House; I agree with the principles set forth in our Constitution.

There are times when the threat is clear and present, and hesitation and failure to pre-empt are suicide.

The fact that Bush made a mountain out of a molehill to excuse an invasion of Iraq in no way negates the principle, any more than it means that the Presidency is an evil institution; it merely means that Bush should be on trial for war crimes and treason.


And when did Yankee Doodle ever advocate "nuking" people?

anticant said...

Please point to where the "right" to wage pre-emptive war is addressed in the US Constitution.

I have just read through that document, and cannot find it.

Even if such a 'right' is asserted, that does not make it acceptable in international law.

The judgement of the Nuremberg International War Crimes Tribunal [delivered by an American Justice] is more to the point.

Yankee Doodle personally may not advocate nuking people, but many American politicians vociferously do. In my opinion, anyone who thinks that is acceptable should be carted off by the men in white coats.

Yankee Doodle said...

"Yankee Doodle personally may not advocate nuking people, but many American politicians vociferously do. In my opinion, anyone who thinks that is acceptable should be carted off by the men in white coats."

Maybe we should link you to what Blair and other crooked UK politicians say. For all your venom against America, British troops are right there next to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe you should stop finger-pointing.

For the record, while I disagree with the Bush Administration's policies in the "War on Terror", I appreciate the sacrifices of the British troops in battling Islamic terrorism, and enemy that threatens all humanity.

anticant said...

I am not "venomous" against America, YD. This type of comment from you typifies the near-impossibility of debating policy differences with even intelligent well-informed Americans. Your [meaning the majority of Americans'] excessive self-righteousness is the biggest flaw in your perception of the world.

Yankee Doodle said...

And I guess the UK is just an innocent victim of evil American politics?

Self-righteousness is the key to those on the Left -- they are "good" because they "care" and oppose America.


I'm in the middle of some research so I'll bicker with you again a little later, my seasoned friend. ;)

anticant said...

Yes, YD, I agree with you that many on the Left are tiresomely self-righteous and also anti-American. As I am none of those three things, but an extreme Centrist, none of that applies to me!

Strident self-righteousness is the hallmark of the neoCon Republicans, and one of their least appealing characteristics, don't you agree?