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Question: Do you know of other initiatives for culture of peace in Russia? CPNN article: Development of Peace Thinking and Peace Education by NGOs in Russia
David Adams
Posted: Dec. 15 2011,13:30

An article in Russian on the culture of peace, dated 2008, was just pointed out to me, and I find it relevant, not just to Russia, but to the entire world where it seems that the culture of war is on the rise.  The question is raised as to whether a culture of peace can be effective, or is it just a form of surrender?

I provide the last few paragraphs here in my own rough English translation.  I have underlined a phrase which I think is especially useful, that the culture of peace is concerned more with post-conflict reconstruction than it is with conflict prevention.

The full original may be found at www.conffstud.ru/content/28/2/.

In the extreme form we can observe the tendencies in our own country.   The reforms in Russia are leading us to take part in the process of globalization in an American way, as a significant component of this mega-project, directed toward the repartition of world resources. Specifically, in the context of a similar repartition it is worthwhile to today examine the destruction of the Soviet Union, and the degradation of Russia, and the existing plans of the subsequent breakdown of the Russian Federation, and dramatic events in Chechnya. Under similar conditions of the increasing structural violence and escalation of the culture of war, it is urgent for the adoption of the culture of peace by peoples, which became the victims of external expansion.  But does it not resemble a one-sided moral disarmament before the strong pressure of aggression?

It seems to us, that the maxims of the culture of peace, which indicate the preferability of unforced and nonviolent solutions, remain valid with all other conditions, minimizing the possible expenses of conflicts.  Furthermore, they indicate the essential superiority of the ideals of a defensive nature. At the same time, these maxims do not deny the possibility of self-defence, assuming that the power of the response is appropriate to the means of suppression. The culture of peace under the conditions of military reality acquires a necessarily limited nature, concerning more the ideals of post-conflict reconstruction than direct power interaction.

The culture of peace can prove to be globally efficient only when it will obtain the support of the world leaders and countries, which have available the greatest military power. It will be affirmed as something real, if, and only if, they will voluntarily self-restrict the use of armed power. Otherwise everything can be considered as an abundant dose of barren public hypocrisy.

Of course we cannot wait until these countries or leaders deign to accept the idea of nonviolence, but we must exert all possible pressure on them by the existing means and assert in the personal and group practice the non-confrontational methods of conflict resolution. Sooner or later the great ideals of Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King will triumph.
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