Imagining PEACE

The Kilkenny Solution

There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many
So they bit and they tore, they scratched and they swore,
Til instead of two cats there weren't any.

There are alternatives.

'The next war should be fought with lollies
Then nobody would get killed; they'd only get sick
(Patrick, aged six. Lollies – Australian children's word for sweets.)

Let us turn to alternatives, as politicians and arms-makers openly expect 'decades of war on terrorism' that will continue to destroy our remaining resources.

Every political disaster in the world today is exacerbated by population growth. Figures for population in 1950, now, and estimated for 2050 should be included in every Guardian report of failing states and forced migration. Even the current scandal about bribing to import wheat into Iraq should include the reminder that not so long ago Iraq could feed itself - 1950 population 5 million, 22 million by 2000, and heading to 56 million 2050, despite scores of thousands killed by war. Soon there will be admissions that food aid cannot indefinitely continue to the permanent refugee camps with their growing populations, and our optimistic humanitarianism may be abandoned as billions struggle to exist.

It is tragic that for survival the poor need to have fewer children, when children are all they have. It is criminal that Western countries have prenatal policies for themselves, and so cannot lead in a global rights program of 'only two children per couple and a decent life to rear them'. It is disastrous that capitalism has not worked out how to compete for universal growth in quality of life rather than profits through waste and obsolescence.
The enemies are out there – everything that is destroying our planet, the natural world, and us all. There are profits to be made in other ways than killing and wasting. Let us divert to save the world's sources of food and quality of life, the historical ploy of nations and groups that divert internal dissent by turning hatred to externalised enemies – in the short history of my own country of Australia, the Boers, Germans, the Pope, the Yellow Peril, Nazism, Communism, and now Islam. Only Nazism was completely evil.

There are alternatives to fighting terror with more terror, and to flooding our media and culture with reasons for the West to be hated, rather than reasons to be glad. Every person, including writers and artists, can look at how they can 'choose life rather than death' for the living, and make a decent world for the unborn. We could publicise the teachings and texts of Gods of love and forgiveness and of Allah, the Compassionate and Merciful, who are not served by killing and destruction, and the humanist joys of the pursuit of knowledge and the exercise of reason. We could recognise our Original common Stupidity, that none of us are as righteous or clever or as brave as we think. We are avatars in a computer game with the odds set against the human race, and that is where male testosterone can be directed to achievements and the feminine can be creative – yin and yang.

REMINDER LISTS to keep up-to-date

i. A Rubble List. In over 76 countries, innocents have died in explosions and slaughter in the past five years.

ii. An Innocents List, a cumulative global database of innocents killed in terrorist and military explosions. Add 20 million+ refugees. Add the bereaved. The horror is seen to be shared world-wide.

iii. A Waste List. Cumulative counting up how much of the world's depleting resources are being destroyed by war, terrorism and the $20 billion+ spent on revenge. The oil, metal, forests, man-hours of work, lives, pollution and poverty.

iv. A Profits List, of who profits from this waste.

v. Indexes of National Prosperity - compiled from indices of constructive economic activity . The destructive activities presently included in GNP indices are listed in an Index of National Shame.

vi. A List of Prophetic Entertainment classifies entertainment that depicts the future - for better good or worse evil. Artists give us our visions of the future, don't they? And what really are Mature Adults?

vii. Jobs that are needed, to replace jobs in armaments and other waste-making.

viii. Peace Museums as complements to the War Museums, to show youth what peace has been and still might be.

For real peace, it must first be imagined. For years the whole world has seen on its screens the images of destruction, anger, violence, horror, cruelty and conflict - to entertain. 'Peace would be boring.'

Let us now imagine lively never-satiating peace.

Let everyone play their part for peace that is based on 'Freedom from fear' and 'Freedom from want', the two universal freedoms, without which 'democracy' is a mockery of a gift to send abroad or to believe we have at home.

This recommendation to Imagine Peace was written on September 17, 2001, as President Bush prepared to inflict terror in response to terrorism, warning of war lasting for years, and taking away liberties in the name of defending liberty.

There may now be more freedom for Western armaments sold abroad, economic exploitation and colonialism, global ravaging of the earth, political assassinations, and more innocents bombed - indeed all that has helped to evoke the present hatreds of the West. Abuse of freedom by the greedy has helped to evoke forces that hate that freedom. The agenda of the terrorist fanatics increases abuses and excesses - to keep the people ignorant, compliant and brainwashed, effective rule by a few, oppressing women, and blind belief in one's own righteousness and other's innate evil. As long as the West produces reasons for hating, more terrorists will breed, until hate gains its own unstoppable momentum, as happened in Northern Ireland.

Instinctive responses to atrocity can be limited, drastic, expensive and ensure that more hate spirals out. It is the Roman method that Tacitus described "They make a desert and they call it peace". But appeasement is not peace either. Nor is isolationism, escaping, or pretending 'Peace, peace, when there is no peace',

Here are lists for Imagining Peace, as much as can be set out in a few words. Over $30 billion of military might is unleashed in response to what around fifty people have managed to do. How much is needed for this list?


Imagination is from both heart and mind, and all conscious action is first in the mind.

The terrorist bombings of New York and Washington were not unimaginable.

The American film industry, computer games, music culture and science fiction have been imagining and enjoying such horrors and blockbusters for years.

Let us have peace-builder entertainment instead, to spreading a culture round the world about justice, mercy, kindness and good humour, and which struggles to solve problems. This requires first class artists, actors and producers, not second-rate.

IMAGINATION IS the ability to
see more than what is in front of our eyes

It can connect the present with past and future.

Everyone needs to know the historical facts about the other wars and disasters of the past century, and about the 'need for enemies' that has progressively demonised Native Americans,

English, blacks, Civil War brothers, Germans, Jews, Russians, Chinese, and now Islam. Everyone needs to be able to imagine idealism as well as hate driving the suicide flyers - from what sights of poverty, oppressions, and betrayals. To imagine the enemy as human beings too.

The 'lessons of history' include how empires have destroyed themselves or bled to death following vainglorious expeditions to crush the weak.

  • IMAGINATION considers the outcomes of a massive war of might bombing the poor, and what dragon-seed grows from more spilt blood. Consider outcomes of going all out for freedom from want and fear.
  • A 'CHRISTIAN NATION' ACTS. The original Old Testament idea of a covenant with a Chosen People was that they had to be righteous and fair dealing, in return for a God who would be merciful to them alone. From this developed ideas of more universal righteousness and mercy and forgiveness that apply to everyone. Scriptures roundly condemn pride and vainglory, and making greed the chief motivater of the economy. All countries are called to repentance, social justice, mercy, and to love its enemies and do good to those that hate them. So they: -

    i 'Win hearts and minds' - unlike in Vietnam with Agent Orange and napalm. The great resources of the United States and its allies turn to repair the ravages of natural and man-made disasters.

    ii. The Clearly Futile Missile Defence Shield project is diverted to make jobs and stimulate the economy by research and action to 'make the world a better place"

    iii. Family planning is made accessible to all, and a UN Right of Reproduction declared (one child per person = two per couple), for the First World as well as the Third, ruling out accusations of genocide. All children born must be given a chance of a fair life. This Right could defuse the hatred fuelled by fears of being outbred by other groups including immigrants, since all must accept this convention or be shamed.

    iv. The Consumer Society that is now becoming the Devouring Society becomes the User Society instead. The economic goal becomes to have a 'reasonable sufficiency' not some every richer, while the rest go hungry.

These small steps would be long steps, away from war and its causes.

Where there is no imagination, or it is channelled into bottom lines and bottom thoughts, the people perish.


the ability to consider what may be possible,

in real life, not only in fantasy.

Peace has her pleasures, no less a joy than War (as Milton would agree.)

See also

A Package Deal for Peace. 19 United Nations Resolutions and Resolves
Peace Entertainment -
Peace Marchers for the future
The Peace Museum - Script for a Peace Blockbuilder Film, and Irene Awards, more honorable than Oscars
Landmines and Crimes of War and Peace
Torture and Weapons of Horrible Destruction

Freedom Verses