Peace, peace-building, war, resistance, peaceful behavior


Discussing peace-and how to get to and maintain situations, practices, and socio-political structures that build peace-is of the greatest urgency. But the first step, both psychologically and epistemologically, is overcoming preoccupation with war and resistance to thinking about peace. This article takes on these problems and lays essential groundwork for substantive discussion of peace. Attractions of war and myths of war are deconstructed, and negative views of humans' capacity for peaceful behavior are examined and rejected. Wide-ranging costs of war and war-preparedness are also exposed. The value of peace is then discussed. A concluding section offers a list of "home truths" (beliefs that invite universal assent), from which constructive reflection on peace might begin.

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