The time of equality

Tarek Ali Hassan
Political and Social

Another pertinent question left over from the sixties and from the Nuremberg trials:

Can modern war ever be moral? Can it be legitimate and unresolved issues?


Is it time yet to equate civilization with non-violence and with the abrogation of arms as instruments of conflict resolution or of policy? Is the cumulative vision of our race ready for this natural definition of civilization?


One of the most serious challenges in to the avowed conceptual behavioral frame of many of the human  purportedly civilized social, political philosophical and religious institutions and value systems,  is the continuation in human history of war as an instrument of policy, a decider of right and wrong in conflict and as a keeper of "peace".


This decision-by-war pattern continued even after the industrial revolution gave birth to mechanized machinery and instruments for systematic impersonal killing and then instruments and mechanisms for systematized impersonal, mass killing and destruction.



Mass impersonal killing is an issue that needed to be addressed at Nuremberg after the Second World War. All civilized peoples needed, according to their avowed value systems to address seriously the challenge posed by the capability of mass impersonal killing of soldiers and civilians in War. There were -and still there are- many pertinent unanswered questions.


Indeed it is an issue that needed to be seriously addressed and resolved since the first mechanized progressively impersonal wars after the industrial revolution. 


A mystery that never ceases to shock, challenge and amaze!


It is an interesting mystery how this moment of self searching was delayed. The issues are relating to systematized and mechanized -and later computerized and automated- mass impersonal killing needed to be reconciled with the purported value systems.



The West brandishes with great pride that it helped give birth to the individual and individuality.


Together with the parallel difficult issues emanating from the question of individual responsibility to ones' own conscious and perception in relation to orders from above.  These issues were brought up at Nuremberg and they were also periodically brought up in relation to the Berlin Wall and the orders to shoot escapees and the execution of these orders by conscripts who received them.


Civilization is a quality that is entirely incompatible with impersonal killing; it is incompatible with mass impersonal killing. We can not escape this irksome fact! We should rather strive to make it a reality without undermining peace or security. In other words new means for peace and security have to be discovered practiced and put into operation.  


These are some of the major issues that should have been tackled and resolved after the tragedies of the first and second world wars.  Progress has been made but much more progress is needed.


In general after the advent of modern warfare. The issue of the unacceptability of war as instrument of conflict resolution after the industrial revolution and the advent of instruments of impersonal killing is one of the issues that needed resolution at the Nuremberg trials and were not.  The issue of personal and group responsibility towards life and earth and in relation to the unacceptability of impersonal killing is still largely avoided, but it is creeping progressively into human social awareness.


Is man/woman the individual responsible or is he/she not?  What are the determinants and the limits of that responsibility? 



What religion allows mass impersonal killing? Judaiism, Christianity, Islam? Buddhism, Hinduism.


We have taught ourselves manifest moral abrogation thin nonsense like, war is war and all is fair and we did not start it,  we have amazingly avoided the natural counter statement that killing of innocents is killing whatever the excuse.


It is not surprising that these fundamental issues have never been seriously addressed let alone transcended by mechanisms for acceptable alternatives, thus leaving this inexplicable contradiction in the quasi-civilized status of modern man.   The peak century of human civilization, the twentieth, is at the same time quantitatively the bloodiest and most violent century in human history in terms of the extent of impersonal killing deliberately perpetrated by men and women against other men, women and children.


That pathology of our century is leading -unresolved- straight into the twenty first century dangerously maintaining that incredible split which remains unaddressed in any effective depth.   The infrastructure of plurality attempts to tackle that pathology in the national and international conceptual frame. The emergence of mechanisms for non-violent conflict resolution and power-neutral, Earth-life-morality-sensitive national and international arbitration bodies is essential.


If we are to seriously decide that it is an absolute necessity to lay the foundations for alternatives, for the win/win, "me" and "you" principal in the twenty first century, then we have to radically revise the mechanisms of international arbitration.  These should be revised in such a way that every voice must be heard and entered into the dynamics of International decision making.  Bodies set up to keep the peace and to achieve non-violent conflict resolution have to be developed with an entirely different philosophy.  The challenge is our communal will to lend our creative potential to work either for a club for the powerful or for an institution for international survival of the race and of the earth's threatened environment, guided by a new earth and life morality?


Structure and function of International bodies in the political, social, cultural, educational Health, and agricultural spheres need to be revised to comply with the new goals of a truly pluralistic, harmonious - therefore just - international community.  If the problem of truer representative bodies on the international scale must be addressed, it is needless to stress that the same problem i.e. that of more truly representative institutions on a national basis must be addressed too. The macro and microcosms of family, society, nation, intra and inter-national spheres, have to develop into a pluralistic interactional dynamic win/win rhythm, birthing an enormous new infra-structure of concepts, of wider representation and of safeguards.