Notes on the Invention of Peacemaking
by Michael True
As human beings, we have been persistent and sophisticated in developing means of killing one another, most recently with weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons and drones that have victimized hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Strategies for war-making date from about 2,500 years ago, with the publication of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” which has been updated, reprinted, and translated hundreds of times in many languages.
In contrast, we are only beginning to develop strategies for peacemaking and to commit ourselves to learning the skills that it requires.
In “The Invention of Peace” (2001), Sir Michael Howard, a major English military historian, points out that the concept of peace in international and public affairs dates from the publication of Immanuel Kant’s 1795 treatise, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch,” only just over two centuries ago. (more…)