b h a g . n e t visual and conceptual exchange b h a g . n e t
DISCOURSE AND MANIFESTO ON PEACE
You write that you want PEACE.
A cat curled on the sunny window sill
A multinational corporation with factories in Latin America
No, you say. PEACE is not sleep.
Good. Then what is PEACE?
PEACE, you say, is stopping injustice,
and stopping many many other practices
So PEACE stops many things.
It stops the wrong and unjust, you say,
Ok. Then PEACE is a change of policy:
But how do we agree which policies are good
Deep in their hearts, you say,
Ah, so good people all know the same good and never disagree.
No, you say, sometimes people oppose good ideas
So anyone who disagrees is either bad or ignorant?
and a world of smart people who know
Don't be an ass, you say.
That's reassuring. So if some of the population disagrees
then what should we, as PEACEmakers, do?
Should we silence their opposition to us?
We should use any means necessary, you say, to protect our gains
Very interesting. And once the good policies are in place,
Should we silence them too?
Difficult choices might be necessary, you say,
I see. But if PEACE is acceptance of a specified set of policies,
And all the PEACEmakers will be at war.
I propose that PEACE is found in the the right to participation,
that PEACE is not the name of a policy we must be forced
but is the name of a process for creating policies together
that PEACE starts a respect for dissent
born of the creative push and pull of negotiation,
that PEACE starts coordination, community,
and that the right of all to participate
is the start of PEACE.
© 2003 John Clay