“There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.” – Mahatma Gandhi
This week, we discussed the topic of “Ethics of making and sustaining peace”, which I believe is a very important one since it allowed me to understand more in depth how different theories evolve around this subject.
What I found particularly interesting with regard the just peace and ethics of peace-making, are the set of principles for just peace proposed by Orend, contractualist and deontologist, who believes that “the just goal of a just war, once won, must be a more just state of affairs than existed prior to war”. In other words, the objective here is to aim at having a restoration, not a random one, but one which will be just and better than the one which existed before war.
Furthermore, I believe that whenever there is a conflict, peace should be considered as the one and only possible solution, and thus, it should be viewed as the main objective. It is important to intervene in order to be able to prevent similar wars from happening in the future, just as Orend explained it. In places such as Syria, however, which has been a major topic of discussion throughout the past few years, nobody is willing to intervene because they do not know how to deal with the transition to peace and peacebuilding, which leads to further discouragement. In situations like these, I believe it is more important to take a proactive stance, whatever the risk is, working to change the current situation towards achieving a balance between peace and justice, as well as between freedom and security, rather than simply neglecting the availability of intervening. According to Bellamy, utilitarian, a single set of principles for just peace is not enough, and here I support his view since we cannot build a bridge without having access to all necessary raw materials.
After all, the theory I support the most is the one of feminists who decided to change the starting point by bringing in a care ethics perspective. In my opinion, they developed the most relevant arguments, since they based themselves on an agreement on interdependence, by including other people’s perspective, of both victims and the international community. In other words, by collaborating, they believe that each party will be able to maximise the benefits to its own community, and thus, achieving peace and justice, freedom and security. As a result, everyone will be better off thanks to partnership. Not to forget that in order to attain a just peace agreement, we must include both its process and content.
Finally, from a personal point of view, I think we should all try to achieve both peace and justice, but if I had to choose I would much rather stick to peace over justice, since I believe it out weights the benefits of the other. Be careful, the more peace you want, the less justice you will have, and vice-versa. Similarly, in rational moments, I would rather give up some of my freedom, in order to receive more security in return. In the end, it is all about finding a balance between all, and taking into account rationality.