Currently viewing the tag: "peace"

In this posting, we present a voice from the African American community, from a slightly later period, but which we think speaks strongly to today. Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) was an American author of poetry, plays, novels, short stories and essay—one of the brilliant writers to emerge as part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1936, he published “Let America Be America Again,” a poem that articulates a vision of a country that excluded his own community of African-Americans among others–the Native population and the poor–and that transforms an illusion of past greatness into a call to action to forge the country we would yet want to see.

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Those who are interested in the outlawry of war are not interested in it as a panacea, but as a supplement to all other means of obtaining peaceful settlement of disputes, and we all know that there is going to be no one way out, but we must put war outside the sanction of law. We have built up this human institution and we can tear it down much more quickly than we have built it up. By the nation saying that we have come to the conclusion that this human institution is futile and stupid, and therefore we will not sanction it legally, then we can proceed unhampered toward organization to take care of the problems that confront us as a nation in our international relations.

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As we near the end of 2016, we turn to voices from the past who inspire us in our work. As a toast for the new year, we are launching a short series of excerpts from writing authored by those who worked for peace and social justice in the early twentieth century, broadly around the time of the founding of the World Peace Foundation (1910). Their work is not necessarily a blueprint for ours today, not only in how the problems were defined but also in its membership and the articulation of solutions. For instance, the movement was dominated by voices of people of European descent, whether resident in Europe or North America, a limitation in the imagination and scope of the movement. Nonetheless, their eloquence, even as they struggled for a cause that at times seemed hopeless, remind us that we are part of larger community historically and today committed to building more just and less violent world.

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Alex de Waal has a new essay introducing African Affairs‘ virtual issue on South Sudan. As the journal’s editors explain, the virtual issue is the journal’s contribution to making in-depth analysis available to the wider public for free: “often, journalism and advocacy on South Sudan is ill-informed and simplistic. This virtual issue of African […]

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Every assessment of an American President’s role in world peace implicitly requires us to take positions on two questions: First, what does world peace mean? Second, how do we evaluate an American president’s role in achieving it?

Perhaps a minimum definition of peace (‘negative peace’) is the absence of war. Everywhere? In most of the […]

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In his final address to the American public as President, on January 17, 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower famously warned of the rise of a military-industrial complex and the threat it posed to what he saw as the ultimate goal of U.S. foreign policy, peace. Eisenhower valued the goal of peace and realized that its priority as a guiding ideal for U.S. policy was undermined by a set of interests that were being cemented and expanded in the Cold War climate. He described the potentially distorting impact on U.S. policy—not only by intricate design but also “unsought” as ideology, interests and profit converged around militarization. Waste was not Eisenhower’s foremost concern when he drew attention to the military-industrial complex. Rather, he was concerned with the distortion of interests that skewed the focus of U.S. foreign policy. The “Global War on Terror” extends and expands the threat Eisenhower identified. In addition to the skewing factor of commercial and political interests in large-scale weapon systems, tilting the balance of democratic practice away from the interests of peace is the expansion of securitization and intelligence. We must now speak of a security-intelligence-military industrial complex, which ebbs away at transparent democratic practices.

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