For a culture of peace
For more than 2,000 years, the ancient Roman principle has applied: “He who wants peace must prepare for war. The result: 2,000 years of repeated wars, mass misery and millions of deaths. As long as wars are prepared, they are waged.
In Germany, too, and almost everywhere else, massive armaments are currently being built up again. In the Ukraine war, the motto in this country is predominantly: “Weapons, weapons, weapons”. The voices calling for negotiations even in these difficult times are still far too weak. Mostly it is said very apodictically: “You can’t negotiate with Putin.” But how, then, will there ever be negotiations? Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl have already pointed out that the West has criminally neglected Putin’s security interests.
Worldwide, we are currently spending more than 2,000 billion euros on armaments every year, while at the same time letting millions of people starve to death. In a television interview, the peace politician Mikhail Gorbachev once asked me the question: “What could the world look like today if, after 1945, we had spent the many billions of dollars on overcoming poverty and on education instead of on armaments and preparing for war?”
Today, experts have the answer: one tenth of the global armaments money would be enough to overcome hunger in the world, and a second tenth would be enough to finally provide schooling for all the world’s children.
How about the motto: “Whoever wants peace must prepare peace”? And how would that be done concretely and practically? The great peace lover Henning Zierock put it this way: Our endeavor must be to win peace, not war.
Today’s Germany needs a lot of money for railways and schools, for climate protection and daycare centers, and for a lot of social housing. Just like almost all other countries. So money for civil security policy.
A new policy begins with new thinking. Mikhail Gorbachev, a real politician with vision, successfully demonstrated this to us over 30 years ago. Because someone had the courage to go ahead and rely on realizable visions in an environment of hardliners, entire weapons systems could simply be scrapped for the first time in human history. Scrapped in a controlled manner.
And today, after the old madness of the nuclear arms race has just started all over again? No Gorbachev far and wide. But again thinking in the old logic of war.
What would a nuclear war be, I ask the expert Gorbachev in our joint book: “Come to your senses – never again war”. His answer: “A nuclear war would probably be the last war in the history of mankind, because afterwards there would be no more people who could still wage war. Gorbi in our book: “The West also made big mistakes after 1990 with NATO’s eastward expansion.”
We will probably only get the aggressor Putin to the negotiating table if the West and NATO are also willing to talk about our past mistakes. We, too, must learn to dismantle enemy images just as Jesus suggested in his Sermon on the Mount. Former communist Gorbachev “Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the survival program in the nuclear age.” When will we finally begin to understand the power of the Sermon on the Mount?
We can then learn to win peace instead of wars. For those who dismiss “love of enemies” as naive, please think of the consequences of hating enemies.
We have too many tanks in the world, but too little empathy for our lives and survival. Therefore, I propose to the peace movement to demonstrate on February 25 not in front of the Brandenburg Gate, but in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin for an immediate ceasefire and a peace treaty.
My long-term vision of peace
We must eliminate the Achilles’ heel of the UN: the unspeakable and useless Security Council with its five VETO powers that mostly block each other. Today’s world needs a democratically elected world parliament, with deputies according to the size of a country. This parliament elects a world government, which submits to a world justice. And this world government still needs a moderately strong world police. Then all national armies can be abolished. Music for the future? Yes, music for a better future and a fairer world. The EU has led the way, as did the United States of America in the 19th century, and then Australia.
- Mikhail Gorbachev “Listen to reason – War no more!: An Appeal from Mikhail Gorbachev to the world” (English Edition)
Franz Alt 2023 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)