To 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, Ashok, gaelikaa, Lin, Maxi, Padmum, Shackman 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!