A Working Peace System.

MitranyDavid-1966To the best of my knowledge, David Mitrany has been the only person who has really attempted to come up with a suggestion for a global working peace system. Unfortunately, he is not as well known as he should be and it was by accident that I came across his work some years ago when I was involved in a discussion group on intercommunity peace initiative. Mitrany saw the division of the world ínto “competing polítical units” as ‘the root of international conflict. A world federal government, he argued, would eliminate these divisions but would be impossible to establish given the modern “disregard for constitutions and pacts” and continuing nationalísm. And this was way back in the sixties of the last century.   Since then international and other conflicts have only worsened and now we have the spectre of inter religious conflicts also added to humanities woes.

There have been others who have talked about this and even written about it, but not using the precise terminology for the topic of this LBC post. What however matters for the subject matter is that the ground realities today leave little scope for optimism for a working system of peace.  Here is just a small example of some of those realities.  The writer does not cover all the conflicts everywhere, but that is understandable.

I personally do not think that a working system is possible to evolve, but Mitrany’s theory of Functionalism as a possible solution in international relations is worth reading for some intellectual kite flying if one is so inclined.  In fact, I bet that even Mitrany would have had serious reservations about the implementability of his suggestions if he were to be alive today and sees how irrelevant the existing mechanisms viz the UN and its affiliate bodies have become.

So to Shackman and my readers I say, I am glad that I have had a fairly long innings without serious personal loss due to conflict and I hope that before something happens to change that I peacefully go away to the permanent peace that I am told exists after one’s death.

This topic was suggested by Shackman, for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

11 thoughts on “A Working Peace System.”

  1. I’m with you — I think we were very lucky to have been born when we did. It’s hard to believe things won’t get a lot worse before they get better. Not a bad time to be short-timers.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Yay, Andy!

      1. LOLOLOL!
        i love you two.
        best philosophy i’ve heard for surviving the chaos.
        fascinating post just the same.
        i thank you and shackman. i hadn’t heard of mitrany.
        or functionalism.
        I’ve been non political for so long.
        a slow learner i guess.
        tammy j recently posted..i’m exuberant

        1. Tammy, Shackman and I have been finding too many things in common from the time we met in the blog world thanks to Conrad. It really is amazing as to how this has happened.

  2. I’m glad you knew the topic – I thought I might be the only one familiar with Mitrany. I was am in many ways still a functionalist at heart. I suspect it was entering the nuclear age that caused the door to slam on this notion. Nuclear weaponry makes any nation that possess them a force to be reckoned with. Nuclear weapons reinforce every nations “my way or the highway” nonsense and that is the opposite of cooperation.

  3. Hi Rummy,

    I have heard of the One World Government theory and if we look at its micro-cosmos (UN, EU etc) it’s easy to see that it would never work. The world federal Gov. is an attempt at a political Babel tower and we all know how well that ended. So, no; institutionalism won’t bring peace; functionalism may delay war but doesn’t bring peace either because ultimately realists are right: countries, like most people, are motivated by their self-interests and for that reason there will always be wars.

    I recall Niccolò Machiavelli’s position: extended periods of peace make humans dumb and lazy. Was he right?

    Max Coutinho recently posted..US, Israel & Brazil: The Unbearable Political Levity

  4. I share your gratitude for me and mine. I even share your hope for a continuation of safety for me and mine in my time. Sometimes I get the worry bug about the future of my grandchildren. One must abide…
    Mother recently posted..My Church

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