Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Living Doctrine

When one is consumed with War one can see no hope for Peace, but only that immediate victory with which one secures a stronger position for the next conflict. War is a virus, a sickness, an ideology which upholds the Natural death of the Body beyond the mystical transfiguration of the Soul, while espousing the sanctity of Violence. War is costly, in that it extracts from Life all those things for which a Man or Woman struggles until Death makes its frightful presence known.

Peace also comes at a price, albeit a small one compared to the Myriad costs of War. Peace does not mean giving up one's pride: there ought to be pride in saying, "I made this Peace." Peace does not mean giving up one's Life: Peace is antithetical to this. Peace is not compromise, cowardice, or perfection. Peace is, most simply, the renunciation of Violence.

Peace means struggle: against the influence of Fascism, terror, brutality, corruption. There are many things worthy of great struggles, and it is true that sometimes struggle means combat. But combat is not Violence. The martial arts are quite beautiful and football is entertaining. War is Violence, killing is Violence, torture is Violence, and bigotry is Violence.

There is no Violence in a State of Nature: Freedom is perpetual combat. But Liberty demands Peace because it represents a commitment to Life.

If the value of Liberty is determined by Absolute means, it is important to recognize that a superlative Liberty is paradoxical, with flaws and incompletenesses that entail their own - often, contradictory - ethical imperatives.

The alternative is to view Liberty as a Living Doctrine engaged in a Struggle to perpetuate Life, Beauty, and Goodness. If we accept that Liberty is alive, and so imbued with Intelligence and Grace that we, as Citizens, deem it fit to be led by such a principle, then we are bound to provide what this Life requires for its sustenance: we must struggle for all that Peace represents.

How can We find Peace while in fear of the State? Where is Peace when we have weapons of mass destruction at our disposal, starvation in our streets and elsewhere, oppression, desolation, and apathy, when we daily throw away the daily Labor of untold numbers of Men and Women simply because it is convenient? What does it mean when we have whole industries devoted to managing our waste - not to extract useful materials from it, but to take it by truck, rail, and boat to the nearest place out of sight?

It is our responsibility as Citizens in a participatory Democracy to not just observe our National Rights, but to own and assert them.

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