Global Peace And Human Security Are Not Hopeless

June 24, 2009

[First published February 17, 2005.] Yes, There is Hope. Great Hope

With all the mass murder by thug dictators in such countries as North Korea, Burma, Sudan, Congo, Iran, and the like, with terrorists murdering people wholesale, and with the apparent inability to stop or prevent most of it, the post-World War II exclamation, “Never Again,” seems hopeless. Such is the feeling I get from reading news items on the latest democide (murder by government) and murder bombing, and some of the email I receive. And, I must admit, I have contributed to this pessimism with my country-by-county, year-by-year estimates of the world’s democide. Clearly, as I’ve pointed out, a slow motion nuclear war has taken place, with my conservative estimate of 262,000,000 murdered by governments in the 20th Century.

And it continues into this century.

But, it is not hopeless. We are not faced, nor are our children faced with such democide in perpetuity. We do have the ability to turn “Never Again” into reality for all.

We should recognize some facts. One is that democracies by far have had the least domestic democide, and now with their extensive liberalization, have virtually none. Therefore, democratization (not just electoral democracies, but liberal democratization in terms of civil liberties and political rights) provides the long run hope for the elimination of democide. Second, that the world is progressively becoming more democratic, with from 22 democracies in 1950 to something like 121 democracies today (about 89 of them liberal democracies), gives substance to this hope. A third is that democracies don’t make war on each other, and the more democratic government, the less its foreign and domestic violence, AND DEMOCIDE. And fourth, the democratic peace and the fostering of democracies worldwide is now the core organizing principle of American foreign policy.

Already, the growth in the number of democracies has decreased the amount of international war and violence (see my, “Democracies Increase and Ipso Facto, World Violence Declines,” “Democracies Up, Violence Down Again, Media Still Blind”). And this will continue. Eventually, at some point in the future, virtually the whole world will be democratic. Then, perhaps, in the presence of the world’s major presidents, and prime ministers, the President of the Global Alliance of Democracies can uncover a statue of Irene, the Greek Goddess of peace, in Geneva, with these words on its base:

“Now, Never Again”

Link of Note

”Ending Slavery” (2/12/05) By Thomas Sowell

To me the most staggering thing about the long history of slavery — which has encompassed the entire world and every race in it — is that nowhere before the 18th century was there any serious question raised about whether slavery was right or wrong. In the late 18th century, that question arose in Western civilization, but nowhere else.

It seems so obvious today that, as Lincoln said, if slavery is not wrong, then nothing is wrong. But no country anywhere believed that three centuries ago.

Many pessimists feel about ending democide as humanists in the 16th and 17th centuries felt about ending slavery. It always has been and always will be. Moreover, while we now see democide as horrible, a black mark on humanity, and what must be stopped, like slavery, this is only a modern view. Historically, democide has been accepted as an inevitable aspect of war, and a necessity of governance.

Sowell’s article is a good reminder of how we once viewed slavery, and how what we once thought was as natural to society as a division of labor, was virtually eliminated in a century.

Global Violence In Sharp Decine

May 19, 2009

click me^–>

[First published September 14, 2005] Once all countries are liberal democracies, government sponsored terrorism will end. This does not necessarily mean the end of terrorism per se, for there well may be disaffected clans, cults, tribes, other minorities, and individuals (remember the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh) who may employ terrorism.

But, even then, the overall severity (number killed) of internal violence in the world will be much less than when were there dictatorships scattered about. The latest evidence for this is the chart below showing the sharp decline in conflict/violence with the growth of global democratization ( shown here , here, AND here). I’ve shown other plots of the decline in violence (see here, but this time the source of the data for the chart is different. In this case, it is the data of Strand, Wilhelmsen, and Gleditsch for 1946-2004, and is on the internet (here). The chart is from the UN’s Human Development Report for 2005 (here).

click to enlarge

Note the decline in every kind of conflict, most involving violence. As global democratization progressed and dictatorships declined, a critical mass of liberal democracies was achieved between 1985 and 1990, and thereafter the impact of the accumulated democracies caused the decline of all kinds of international and internal conflict/violence. This is as it should be by theory, by the democratic peace propositions, and by the cross-national empirical results.

And thus I feel comfortable in saying that a fully liberal democratic world will not know government sponsored terrorism and much less individual and group terrorism than we see today.

Link of Day

“National Security Watch: Terrorism by the (new) numbers “ By Kevin Whitelaw (7/6/05)

Whitelaw says:

In a rare public release, the U.S. intelligence community’s National Counterterrorism Center has assembled a new set of terrorist attack statistics that provides a more complete–and disturbing–picture of the global terrorist threat. In all, the NCTC found some 3,192 separate terrorist incidents in 2004, involving 28,433 victims (including 6,060 people who were killed). Iraq was the site of more than a quarter of all attacks last year, followed by India, Nepal, and the Gaza Strip. Iraqis were also 27 percent of the victims of the attacks. Twenty-two percent were Nepalese, and 9 percent were Russian (most from the bloody school hostage crisis in Beslan by Chechen rebels). Iraq accounted for six of the 10 deadliest terrorist incidents.

Links I Must Share

“Terrorism Knowledge Base”:

A comprehensive Databank of Global Terrorist Incidents and Organizations>

A reference for your active file.

“Al-Zarqawi Said to Declare ‘Fierce War'”:

Audiotape Purportedly of Al-Zarqawi Declares ‘Fierce War’ on ‘Evil Principle of Democracy’

And yet most Democrats and the major media do not believe we are at war, or at least don’t act as though we are.

“UN warns poverty fuels terror”:

The US Government’s neglect of commitments to alleviate global poverty is fuelling the creation of impoverished states that are breeding grounds for terrorism, a United Nations (UN) adviser said.”

Some experts can’t think past poverty. IT’S THUG REGIMES THAT FUEL TERRORISM.

“Judicial Cliches On Terrorism “:

Last week U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour sentenced a defendant to prison for plotting to bomb the Los Angeles airport. In the course of the sentencing, the judge criticized the Bush administration’s post-Sept. 11 policies, such as the use of military tribunals and the detention of enemy combatants. He said that “the message to the world from today’s sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.”

Altogether, now: WE ARE AT WAR. Americans are dying in combat; our enemies, such as Al-Zarqawi above, have announced that they are out to kill us, destroy our country, and take away our freedom. Already, about 3,000 civilians have been murdered in a sneak terrorists attack on the United States, more than the soldiers, airmen, and sailors killed in the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

“God Save Us” By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.:

The West is in a death struggle with Islamofascism.

Final novel in the Never Again Series

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