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Peace and War: Historical, Philosophical, and Anthropological Perspectives [1st ed.]
 9783030486709, 9783030486716

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xv
Introduction (W. John Morgan, Alexandre Guilherme)....Pages 1-9
Bartolomé de las Casas’ Critique of War and Vision of Peace (David Thomas Orique)....Pages 11-32
The Heart of the Daodejing: Nonviolent Personhood (Tom Pynn)....Pages 33-48
The Augustinian Legacy of Divine Peace and Earthly War (Michael Hoelzl, Andrej Zwitter)....Pages 49-69
Pacifism or Bourgeois Pacifism? Huxley, Orwell, and Caudwell (W. John Morgan)....Pages 71-96
Julien Freund on War and Peace: Mitigated Realism (Daniel Rosenberg)....Pages 97-115
Revolutionary War and Peace (Jennifer Mei Sze ANG)....Pages 117-134
Catastrophe and Conversion: Culture, Conflict, and Violence in the Hermeneutics of René Girard (Geneviève Souillac)....Pages 135-154
Learning for Peace: The Montessori Way (Priya Darshini Baligadoo)....Pages 155-173
Peace and Violence in Poor Rural Schools in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Yunus Omar, Azeem Badroodien)....Pages 175-200
Back Matter ....Pages 201-206

Citation preview

Peace and War

Historical, Philosophical, and Anthropological Perspectives Edited by

w. joh n morg a n a l e x a n dr e gu i l h e r m e

Peace and War

W. John Morgan  •  Alexandre Guilherme Editors

Peace and War Historical, Philosophical, and Anthropological Perspectives

Editors W. John Morgan Cardiff University Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

Alexandre Guilherme Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul Porto Alegre Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

ISBN 978-3-030-48670-9    ISBN 978-3-030-48671-6 (eBook) © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG. The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

To my wife Joyce for her patience and loyalty To my grandparents, Jandyra and Nilton Daneluzzi, for their love


The editors thank the editors and publishers of Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice in which earlier versions of some of the chapters first appeared in Vol. 26, No. 3, July–September 2014. They also thank the contributors to the present volume for their patience and understanding during a project that has been subject to delay. They also thank two anonymous publisher’s readers for their helpful comments.


Books by W. John Morgan published by Palgrave

Politics and Consensus in Modern Britain (Ed.). Raymond Williams: Politics, Education, Letters (Ed., with P. Preston). Law and Opinion in 20th Century Britain and Ireland (Ed., with S. Livingstone). Communists on Education and Culture: 1848–1948.


1 Introduction  1 W. John Morgan and Alexandre Guilherme 2 Bartolomé de las Casas’ Critique of War and Vision of Peace 11 David Thomas Orique 3 The Heart of the Daodejing: Nonviolent Personhood 33 Tom Pynn 4 The Augustinian Legacy of Divine Peace and Earthly War 49 Michael Hoelzl and Andrej Zwitter 5 Pacifism or Bourgeois Pacifism? Huxley, Orwell, and Caudwell  71 W. John Morgan 6 Julien Freund on War and Peace: Mitigated Realism 97 Daniel Rosenberg




7 Revolutionary War and Peace117 Jennifer Mei Sze ANG 8 Catastrophe and Conversion: Culture, Conflict, and Violence in the Hermeneutics of René Girard135 Geneviève Souillac 9 Learning for Peace: The Montessori Way155 Priya Darshini Baligadoo 10 Peace and Violence in Poor Rural Schools in Post-Apartheid South Africa175 Yunus Omar and Azeem Badroodien Index201

Notes on Contributors

Jennifer Mei Sze ANG  is Lecturer at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, and the author of Sartre and the Moral Limits of War and Terrorism (2009) and “Fighting the Humanitarian War: Justifications and Limitations”, in the Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century (2013). Azeem  Badroodien is Deputy Director, the School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he specialises in teaching and research on the sociology and history of education. Until December 2007 he was an assistant professor at the UNESCO Centre for Comparative Education Research (UCCER), the School of Education, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Priya Darshini Baligadoo  is a teacher and consultant. She holds a PhD in Education from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She was a beneficiary of the UNESCO/KEIZO Obuchi Research Fellowship Programme, Kingston University, United Kingdom. She has worked for the Ministry of Education and National Children’s Council in Mauritius and for Cambridge Assessment International Education. She is now exploring and developing educational programmes for peace and inter-faith studies.




Alexandre Guilherme  is Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities, Department of Education, and the Coordinator of the Research Group on Education and Violence at Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil. He is a Reader at the UNESCO Chair in Youth, Education and Society. Michael Hoelzl  is Lecturer in Philosophy of Religion at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. He has recently published on and translated Carl Schmitt (Dictatorship, 2013) and is working on a book on the theological foundations of decisionism. W. John Morgan  is Professor Emeritus and formerly UNESCO Chair of the Political Economy of Education at the University of Nottingham. He is also Honorary Professor, School of Social Sciences, and Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data, Cardiff University, Wales, United Kingdom. Yunus Omar  is Lecturer in the School of Education, University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is a specialist in education in post-conflict contexts. David Thomas Orique  is Assistant Professor of History and the Director of Latin American Studies at Providence College, Rhode Island. He has conducted research in Spain, Portugal, England and other European countries as well as in 14 Latin American nations. Tom  Pynn  is Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at Kennesaw State University, USA, where he coordinates the undergraduate peace studies programme. His research interests include non-Western conceptions and practices of peace as well as the relationship between peace and religion. Daniel Rosenberg  completed a PhD in political science at the Department of Political Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, in 2018. He is researching the history of political ideas, with emphasis on liberal and conservative thought in France. Geneviève  Souillac  is Associate Professor at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has lectured at Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and was Senior Associate Professor of Philosophy and Peace Studies at the International Christian University of Japan in Tokyo.

  Notes on Contributors 


Andrej Zwitter  is Chair of International Relations in the Department of Legal Theory at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He has published on states of emergency, ethics, and humanitarian action (Humanitarian Action: Global, Regional and Domestic Legal Responses, 2014).


Introduction W. John Morgan and Alexandre Guilherme

Philosophy has a special relationship with other disciplines and not least with history and with anthropology, because of the many ways they connect over subject matter. By this we do not mean simply that philosophical methodology and theories are used by other disciplines; we mean also that when others consider problems of specific interest to their field fresh philosophical issues begin to emerge. Philosophers have, of course, written on peace and war historically. One of the most important examples is Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795/1917: 134–135), an early manifesto for the idea of federalism with the fundamental aim of establishing peace in Europe. As Kant says:

An earlier version appeared in Peace Review, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 313–316.

W. J. Morgan (*) Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK e-mail: [email protected] A. Guilherme Pontificia Universiade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




The practicability or objective reality of this idea of federation which is to extend gradually over all states and so lead to perpetual peace can be shewn. For, if Fortune ordains that a powerful and enlightened people should form a republic—which by its very nature is inclined to perpetual peace—this would serve as a centre of federal union for other states wishing to join, and thus secure conditions of freedom among the states in accordance with the idea of the law of nations. Gradually, through different unions of this kind, the federation would extend further and further.

The essay was written as France and Prussia signed the Peace of Basel, establishing French sovereignty over the West Bank of the Rhine, but allowing Prussia, Russia and Austria to divide Poland. Kant’s motivation was indignation at what he saw as the absurdity of state foreign policy with its pursuit of peace using inadequate, selfish and (often) deceptive means. Kant set out six principles and three articles for a programme of perpetual peace among sovereign states, which resemble the foundational principles of the pioneers of European unity after the Second World War. The six principles are: 1. No treaty of peace shall be held valid in which there is tacitly reserved matter for a future war. 2. No independent states, large or small, shall come under the dominion of another state by inheritance, exchange, purchase or donation. 3. Standing armies (miles perpetuus) shall in time be totally abolished. 4. National debts shall not be contracted with a view to the external friction of states. 5. No state shall by force interfere with the constitution or government of another state. 6. No state shall, during war, permit such acts of hostility which would make mutual confidence in the subsequent peace impossible such as the employment of assassins (percussores), poisoners (venefici), breach of capitulation and incitement to treason (perduellio) in the opposing state. The three fundamental articles are: . The civil constitution of every state should be republican. 1 2. The law of nations shall be founded on a federation of free states.



3. The law of world citizenship shall be limited to conditions of universal hospitality. The crux is that no “sovereign” state, whether large or small, should come under the dominion of another state and that national armies should be abolished. The fundamental articles are concerned with relations among individuals, founded on republicanism, on a federation of free states and on a humanity derived from the virtue of universal hospitality. Others, such as Thomas Hobbes, developed philosophies of war and confrontation. In Leviathan (1651/2009), written towards the end of the English Civil War, Hobbes takes the dreadful power of the sea-monster as a metaphor for the absolute power of the state (the title being a reference from The Book of Job, verse 41). He argues that: Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man, against every man. For, warre, consisteth not in Battell onely, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the Will to contend by Battell is sufficiently known and therefore the notion of time, is to be considered in the nature of Warre; … So the nature of War, consisteth not in actual fighting; but in the known disposition thereto, during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is Peace. (Hobbes 1651/2009: 70)

Hobbes believed that humankind is naturally in a constant state of conflict which led him to advocate strong government, specifically absolutist monarchy, to keep this “natural state of war” in bounds. Hobbes’ Leviathan is in complete contrast with the republicanism and pacifism of Kant’s Perpetual Peace. Philosophy may be a forum for other disciplines, a place where they find a unifying language for discussion of common problems. Arguably, this applies across all disciplines, from the arts and humanities to the hard sciences and, not least, to what concerns us here: the study of peace and war. It provides also an opportunity to use interdisciplinary approaches and to revisit neglected contributions. This is what is attempted in the present book from historical, philosophical, and anthropological perspectives. There are, of course, outstanding contemporary scholars of peace, war and other conflict studies, such as Gene Sharp (2011) among others, and feminine scholars, such as Christine Sylvester (2013), again among others,



as noted by Catia Cecilia Confortini in a comprehensive review article (Confortini 2020). Confortini argues that, by regarding all forms of violence as a continuum, feminists change the understanding of the concept of peace studies, and this makes women visible in both peace and conflict. This book does not seek to engage with such well-known work in any specific way. Instead, it presents a deliberately eclectic set of relatively neglected historical, philosophical, and anthropological perspectives on peace and war, explaining these profound aspects of the human condition. We hope it will encourage readers to re-discover or to engage for the first time with important examples of the study of peace and war. We believe this is both important and timely, the book’s aim being to contribute to peace and conflict studies in an interdisciplinary way and to show it as a global field of study. It provides fresh historical, philosophical, anthropological and indeed educational approaches to peace and war that contribute to a nuanced understanding of the fundamental issues. It is this that gives the book its coherence and determines the logic by which the chapters are presented. The individual contributions shed light on important but often underserved theorists, and this provides the book with a common purpose and approach which is sensitive to different contexts. Given the terrible impact of war on humanity and the seeming impossibility of establishing a perpetual peace among the nations, the guidance of scholarly reflection is fundamentally important if we are to make progress in achieving it. It was in such hope that Johan Galtung, a Norwegian, established the Peace Research Institute in Oslo in 1959. Galtung’s pioneering theoretical contributions include contrasting definitions of negative (such as the absence of violent conflict) and positive peace (such as that founded on collaborative relationships), as well as his “win-win” approach to peace mediation (in which both sides feel that they have “won”). However, others, such as Julien Freund, the French sociologist who established the Institute of Polemology (Greek polemos = “war”) at Strasbourg in 1970, have focused directly on war studies (see Chap. 6 in this volume). From this perspective comes the idea of a “just war”. Michael Walzer in his seminal Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (2015) affirms this. Considering perspectives such as those of Carl von Clausewitz’s On War (cf. von Clausewitz 1832/1984), Walzer says:



On the conventional military view, the only true aim in war is ‘the destruction of the enemy’s main forces on the battlefield’. Clausewitz speaks of ‘the overthrow of the enemy’. But many wars end without any such dramatic ending, and many war aims can be achieved well short of destruction and overthrow. We need to seek the legitimate ends of war, the goals that can rightly be aimed at. These will also be the limits of a just war. Once they are won, or once they are within political reach, the fighting should stop. Soldiers killed beyond that point die needlessly, and to force them to fight and possibly die is a crime akin to that of aggression itself. It is commonly said of just war theory, however, that it does not in fact draw this line at any point short of destruction and overthrow, that the most extreme military argument and the ‘moralist’ argument coincide in requiring that war be fought to its ultimate end. (Walzer 2015: 110)

The continuing relevance of history, philosophy, and anthropology to the study of peace and war is explained further by Leonardo Boff, a well-­ known Brazilian theologian and a founder of liberation theology. In Fundamentalism, Terrorism and the Future of Humanity (2006: 61) Boff argued that: The prevalent global culture is presently structured around the desire for power. This is a desire that is fulfilled through the domination of nature, of the other, of people and of markets. This is a rationale of dinosaurs; it is a rationale that creates a culture of fear and of war. Of the 3400  years of human history that we can document, 3166 years have been of wars. The remaining 234 years were certainly not years of peace; they were years of preparation for war.

We turn now to the chapters of the present book: Chapter 2, “Bartolomé de Las Casas’ Critique of War and Vision of Peace”, by David Thomas Orique, discusses a Dominican friar’s opposition to wars of conquest, his understanding of peace and his views on the peaceful evangelisation of the Amerindian peoples. For more than 50 years, Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484–1566) opposed vigorously and unrelentingly the wars of conquest and patterns of colonisation in the so-­ called New World. For this task, the early experiences of this native of Andalusia, born in the ancient suburb of Triana in Seville, contributed significantly to his later understanding of the evil and untenable consequences of widespread wars and territorial conquest that devastated the Indigenous peoples and subjected them to gross injustices.



Chapter 3, “The Heart of the Daodejing: Nonviolent Personhood”, by Tom Pynn, introduces the reader to an alternative account of the Daodejing, a Chinese classical text, usually understood to be a handbook for rulers, providing the knowledge for waging wars in an effective manner, on the pattern of Machiavelli’s The Prince. In the eighteenth century, Europeans began discovering canonical texts of philosophy and religion, derived from the cultures of the East, particularly Northern India and China. The text of 81 poems that became known as the Daodejing has a long-standing place in the Occidental imagination, with over 300 translations since the nineteenth century, mostly into its languages. This alternative reading understands the Daodejing as a book that offers spiritual teachings on nonviolence that addresses humanity’s tendency to violence. Chapter 4, “The Augustinian Legacy of Divine Peace and Earthly War”, by Michael Hoelzl and Andrej Zwitter, analyses critically the Augustinian legacy of two types of Realpolitik that emerged in the twentieth century: a German decisionist Realpolitik in the inter-war period and an Anglo-American ethical political realism in the early stages of the Cold War (1945–1989). Such political theories representing the realist strand of international relations interpret Augustine not as a peace theorist but as a just war theorist. This chapter evaluates the Augustinian legacy of war and peace theory according to both types of political realism which emerged as disillusionment with Kant’s promise of a perpetual peace under liberal conditions. It is argued that they re-read Augustine and consequently Hobbes from premises that differ from those of Kant. Consequently, the Augustinian legacy is portrayed in terms of a theory of war rather than a theory of peace. Chapter 5, “Pacifism or Bourgeois Pacifism? Huxley, Orwell, and Caudwell”, by W. John Morgan, comments on a specific aspect of pacifism in Britain: that of bourgeois pacifism and its critique. It considers pacifism in Britain between 1919 and 1946, public attitudes to war, and the relationship between concepts of communism, of imperialist war, and of bourgeois pacifism. In support of this the chapter analyses in detail the writings and opinions of three cultural critics: the libertarian Aldous Huxley, the democratic socialist George Orwell, and the communist Christopher Caudwell. It concludes that peace movements were accepted as legitimate elements of a political democracy, and this provides historical evidence for a view of inter-war British politics and society as mature, liberal, and relatively secure.



Chapter 6, “Julien Freund on War and Peace: Mitigated Realism”, by Daniel Rosenberg, discusses Freund’s controversial views on war and peace, paying close attention to his main influences, Raymond Aron and Carl Schmitt, and affiliation with the “Polemological” School of Gaston Bouthoul. In his theory of war and peace, Freund prioritises the mediation which exists between actors and the conceptual as well as institutional aspects of such mediation. The separation between war-making and statemaking, which is the underlying supposition of modern political theory, is thus relativised by Freund and rendered historical and contingent. Freund’s theory of war and peace is essentially an elaboration of classical realist theory. He, like other realist thinkers, regards violence and conflict as being potential in any political situation. Chapter 7, “Revolutionary War and Peace”, by Jennifer Mei Sze ANG, characterises the different relationships of violence, power, war, and revolution with specific reference to Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre. It is argued that revolution is a reaction against situations where life itself is threatened, and this gives an opportunity for the oppressed to regain their humanity, restore their rights and create the possibilities of a humane future. It is argued also that, with revolution being a prelude to war today, it is necessary that humanitarian interventions recognise and align with the goals of revolutionaries to establish an order guided by human morality that places limits on the destruction. In this way, both revolutions and the war that follows are not mere extensions of violence but the beginning of possible sustained peace. Chapter 8, “Catastrophe and Conversion: Culture, Conflict, and Violence in the Hermeneutics of René Girard”, by Geneviève Souillac, analyses the Girardian hypothesis that humanity is centred on an unique form of intimacy and that conflict drives and shapes culture; the implications of Girard’s views and his critique of Clausewitz’ thesis on war are considered, showing the cultural and religious resonance of apocalypse for modern history and political order. It is argued that Girard’s thought may also support the proposition that human meaning is found ultimately in efforts to overcome violence and make peace. This cultural transformation will depend on the prioritisation of nonviolence and cultures of peace. The critical and interdisciplinary exposure of a culture’s anthropological assumptions breaks through accepted dichotomies between secular and theological resources for emancipation and peace. It also begins a conversation about civic discourse by peacefully inhabiting the field of contested



meaning, reminding us that redemption will necessarily be inscribed within lived, historical experience. Chapter 9, “Learning for Peace: The Montessori Way”, by Priya Darshini Baligadoo, provides a detailed account of the Italian feminist Maria Montessori’s views on the relationship between peace and education. It is argued that reconsidering her legacy is an opportunity to rethink educational systems in ways that might enable them to meet global challenges to peace. Although neglected by today’s educational theorists, the philosophical ideals of Maria Montessori could, it is argued, still contribute to an education and culture of peace. Montessori remains an inspiration for women struggling for the right to education and who are engaged in struggles against injustice and poverty. Montessori experienced personally the traumas of war and was far-sighted enough to realise that to achieve peace, the education of the child should be a priority. Therefore, totalitarian systems, especially in her native Italy, were hostile towards her. Chapter 10, “Peace and Violence in Poor Rural Schools in Post-­ Apartheid South Africa”, by Yunus Omar and Azeem Badroodien, is an ethnographic study of competing views of peace and violence found in the schools and communities of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, and how these notions are connected closely with historical inequalities, and with the different levels of lived social trauma. It considers how teachers and learners operationalise these views in school classrooms and in the surrounding rural contexts, the ways in which peace is understood in such contexts and how violence is defined and explained in educational settings. The goal is to show how such an anthropological ethnography can be connected philosophically with concerns for equity, reconciliation and social justice in post-apartheid South Africa. The chapter’s key contribution is its revelation of competing notions of “peace” found within different forms of conflict in local communities and their schools. These chapters are, as noted earlier, deliberately eclectic but with the common aim of providing an interdisciplinary approach, historical, philosophical, and anthropological, to the various issues and contexts of peace and war. They consider an international range of relatively neglected topics and writers with the aim of renewing scholarly interest in them and thus contributing to an understanding of peace and war studies globally. The volume was prepared before the COVID-19 pandemic afflicted global humanity and there is no direct consideration of its implications, other than to note that it is a reminder of the fragility of our common world and



of the essential contribution of peaceful international cooperation to its strengthening and flourishing.

Bibliography Boff, Leonardo. 2006. Fundamentalism, Terrorism and the Future of Humanity. London: Society for the Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK). Clausewitz, Carl Von. 1832/1984. On War [Vom Kriege]. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Confortini, Catia Cecilia. 2020. Feminist Contributions and Challenges to Peace Studies. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia, 1–32. International Studies Association and Oxford University Press. Accessed April 10, 1920. oxfordre. com/internationalstudies. Hobbes, Thomas. 1651/2009. Leviathan. New York: Cosimo. Kant, Immanuel. 1795/1917. Perpetual Peace, M. Campbell Smith (Introduction and Translation). London: George Allen, and Unwin. Accessed November 24, 2019. Sharp, Gene. 2011. Sharp’s Dictionary of Power and Struggle: Language of Civil Resistance in Conflicts. New York: Oxford University Press. Sylvester, Christine. 2013. War as Experience: Contributions from International Relations and Feminist Analysis. London and New York: Routledge. Walzer, Michael. 2015. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books.


Bartolomé de las Casas’ Critique of War and Vision of Peace David Thomas Orique

Introduction In 1519, at the court of Charles V, gathered near Barcelona, Spain, the secular priest reformer, Bartolomé de las Casas, declared to those present that he had “…left Jesus Christ in the Indies, our Lord, lashed, afflicted, beaten, and crucified, not once, but millions of times” (Casas 1994, 5: p.  2366). Such was Las Casas’ sweeping and consistent critique of the Spaniards’ wars of conquest. As a result of such warfare, Las Casas charged that these savage attacks “assault and destroy those [Indigenous] people” and resulted in tragic consequences in the subsequent development of an oppressive encomienda system of colonization and other types of enslavement. Most importantly for him, both injustices thwarted peace and peaceful evangelization of the inhabitants of the so-called New World because they were killed “before their time, and so they die without faith and without the sacraments” (Casas 1991, p.  174). Considering three distinct phases of Las Casas’ life—first, as a secular cleric; second, as a

D. T. Orique (*) Providence College, Providence, RI, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




Dominican friar; and third, as bishop of Chiapa—this chapter presents Las Casas’ critique of the wars of conquest juxtaposed with his vision of peace and his insistence on peaceful evangelization by elucidating these components in the historical and cultural context of the conquests and colonization in the Indies during the early sixteenth century.

Las Casas as Secular Cleric In 1502, Las Casas first arrived in the Americas to work as an agriculturist and to labour with his father in the provisions business. During his terms of residence in the Indies—first in Hispaniola (1502–1506) and then, after ordination to the priesthood, in Rome in 1507, this secular cleric resided in Cuba (1507–1516) and ministered as a doctrinero (sacristan and catechist). In time, he received an encomienda of Indigenous labourers. After his 1514 conversion, he freed his Indians and, in 1516, along with the Hispaniola Dominican friars, Padre Las Casas approached King Ferdinand and the co-regents with plans for peace and persuasive preaching of the Gospel to the autochthonous inhabitants of the Indies, with the hope of their free-willed conversion and eventual salvation. Initially, during the early years of contact, Las Casas observed and recorded that the peoples of the New World received the Spaniards peaceably—presumably in accord with the ius gentium of Indigenous nations. Indigenous people reportedly esteemed the Spaniards as “immortal” beings who had come “from sky or heaven”, or as “angels from heaven”. Las Casas also wrote that “when [Columbus] discovered the island of Hispaniola, [which was] the first territory to be contacted, conquered, and colonized, chief Guacanagarí met [the Genoese mariner] with such humanity and charity”. Later, in other territories, the Spaniards were welcomed as family members: in Panamá, they were “…received as though they were brothers”; in the territories from the coast of Paria to the gulf of Venezuela, they were welcomed “…like fathers and children”; in Trinidad, the Indigenous lords and their subjects received the Spaniards “as though they were their dearest children” and accordingly greeted them “with great affection and joy, as all the Indians are wont to do”. In Cuzcatlán, New Spain, the Indigenous peoples and their royalty received the Spaniards with great reverence, honour and respect. These benevolent welcomes included generous hospitality. For example, the Indigenous provided lodging in Tierra Firme, in Montezuma’s palace in the Mexica capital of Tenochtitlán and in Lord Hiqueroto’s “Inn and Hostelry of all Men” at



Cape Codera, Trinidad. Indeed, in their liberality, they gave, as Las Casas emphasized, “even to excess that which the Spaniards need and require and anything [the Indigenous] may possess” (Casas 2003, p. 14, p. 25, p. 30, p. 33, p. 45, pp. 57–8, p. 73, p. 86). Accordingly, in the Caribbean, the initial phases of the wars of conquest in the Americas would have involved easy entrada. However, a Spanish warfare strategy was to assert political jurisdiction by capturing Indigenous caciques (chiefs) or forcing them to succumb to Spanish interests in their local rule, however, not so in the Yucatán and Guatemala (Lockhart and Schwartz 1983, p. 80), although in time, island Tainos rebelled against the brutality of conquering Spaniards as, for example, early in the conquest of Hispaniola. On this second largest Caribbean island, Nicolas Ovando (1451–1511), governor of Santo Domingo from 1502 to 1509, ruthlessly suppressed Indigenous rebellions through a series of bloody campaigns, such as in the province of Higuey. Las Casas witnessed and critiqued the brutality of these wars of conquest on Hispaniola as well as on the much larger island of Cuba (Casas 2003, pp. 15–16).1 During this time, Ovando also received royal approval to establish the paternalistic encomienda system. This colonizing effort was “intended” to protect the Indians and to school them in Christian civilization in exchange for their labour. As the encomienda quickly became a means for outright brutal exploitation, Indians on both islands became exceedingly reluctant to work and/or were physically incapable of working for the colonizing Spaniards. In time, the wars of conquest intensified and moved southwards from Tierra Firme to Panamá, northwest from Cuba to Mexico in 1519, and eventually, south to Peru in 1531. In the wake of these conquests, massacres and destruction of the native way of life continued, as did the enslavement and maltreatment in the encomiendas. In an effort to legitimize Spain’s desired dominium (domain), that is, their possession of property and political power in the Indies, crown authorities in 1512 commissioned Palacios Rubios to compose the text of a “formal invitation” known as the requerimiento, which was to be read to the Indigenous inhabitants prior to every entrada and which “invited” them to submit to the king of Spain as their “Universal Sovereign Lord” 1  In 1502, Ovando arrived in Santo Domingo with more than 2000 colonists and the largest fleet to date to have sailed to the New World. On learning of Ovando’s harsh treatment of the Indians, authorities recalled him to Castile in 1509, where he wrote his memoirs and published a map of Santo Domingo.



and to receive the Christian Faith (Seed 1995, p. 72, p. 74, pp. 91ff). As a political ritual that proclaimed divine, papal and royal authority, the requerimiento was meant to assert Spain’s right to possess and to rule in the New World. As such, the document textually concretized the Spaniards’ previous behaviour patterns in exercising jurisdiction, such as when they claimed the Canary Islands or when Columbus planted flags and crosses in the Caribbean (Green and Dickason 1989, pp. 7–8). As a military ritual that outlined their strategy, the requerimiento was laden with orders to the Indigenous inhabitants to obey, along with threats of brutal attack for non-compliance (Seed 1995, p. 70). In effect, both the text and the execution of this “invitation” seemingly gave Spaniards rights to invade Indigenous territories—to attack and subdue its inhabitants—that is, to possess and to rule the Indies. Both Indigenous lords and Las Casas reacted to the requerimiento. According to Martín Fernández de Enciso (c. 1470–1528), the caciques in Cenú (Colombia) stated that the pope must have been drunk when he did this—given that he gave away what he did not possess and that the monarch who asked for and received this merced must have been somewhat crazy since what he asked for belonged to others (Pérez Fernández 1992, p. 42; Vilches 2010, p. 120).2 In his critique of the wars of conquest, Las Casas also described the bizarre and horrific execution of this would-be legitimizing document— something Matthew Restall would call “a paragon of miscommunication” (Restall 2004, Chap. 5). The secular cleric wrote: Spaniards go at night to within a half a league of the village, while the Indians were in their villages and in their houses fearing no harm, and there, that night, they should read out the requerimiento to themselves… And at the fourth watch [at dawn], while the innocent Indians were sleeping with their women and children, they would rush upon the village, putting fire to the houses, which generally were of straw, and burning the children and women and many of the others alive, before they knew what was upon them. (Casas 2003, p. 23; Restall 2004, p. 94) 2  Enciso was an abogado and geographer who was instrumental in colonizing the isthmus of Darien after he had accumulated a fortune in Hispaniola where he had practised law until 1508. His Suma de Geografía que trata de todas las partidas del mundo (Sum of geography of all parts of the world) was the first account in Spanish about the lands discovered by the Spaniards until 1519. The Cenú Indians of the northern lowlands of Colombia became extinct under Spanish rule; their territory was regarded as the “cannibal frontier”.



Confronted with the ridiculously tragic juridical quality of the requerimiento as a strategy of war, Las Casas confessed that he did not know whether to laugh or to cry; he interpreted the document as follows (Casas 1986, Book 3, Chap. 58, p. 216; Seed 1995, p. 71): Caciques and Indians of this Terra Firme such-and-such a village, we do hereby give you notice that there is a God and a pope, and a king of Castile who is lord of these lands. Come then to give him obedience. For if you do not, know ye that we shall wage war upon you, and shall slay you and capture you. (Casas 2003, p. 23)

These violent conquering entradas and the oppressive colonial encomienda system, along with the evangelization efforts of the Dominican and Franciscan friars, constituted three discordant objectives—those of “gold, glory, and God” (Stern 1992, p.  10). Indeed, an inner circle of Spaniards had evolved who had attained both riches and prestige, which precipitated a trajectory of entradas (entrances) to Tierra Firme in 1509 where newly arriving and would-be conquistadores and colonists searched for new lands on which to enrich themselves and hopefully to attain social status. As Las Casas observed, they sought “…to stuff themselves with riches … and to raise themselves to high estates” (Casas 2003, p.  8). However, as Dominican Antón Montesinos contended in his denunciatory sermons on Hispaniola in 1511, the conquests and colonization impeded Gospel-mandated evangelization (Casas 1986, 3: pp. 13–14).3 In Las Casas’ critique of the conquest in 1516, he also asserted that the “primary and ultimate end” of the Spanish presence in the Indies was peaceful evangelization (Casas 1958b, 5: p. 20a). Because the Spaniards were fixated on “gold and glory” rather than on God, their killings, enslavement and maltreatment of the Indigenous people and their unChristian examples impeded peaceful evangelization and the conversion of the native inhabitants. Consequently, in Las Casas’ determination to develop a “total remedy” for the plight of the Indigenous people, the gentleman-cleric and Bachiller (Graduate) presented his reform ideas in three successive juridical Memoriales de remedios (Memorials of remedies)—one in 1516 and two in 1518—which would hopefully generate peace in these parts of the Americas. 3  Antonio de Montesinos, O.P. (c. Spain, 1475—Venezuela, 27, 1540) delivered the firstknown Dominican homily in America in December 1511.



In his 1516 Memorial de remedios para las Indias and its two appended “papers”, Las Casas proposed new ways to evangelize and convert the Indigenous people. In a peasant farmer programme for Hispaniola, Las Casas envisioned social groupings of one Spanish agrarian family and six Indigenous families to bring about the Indigenous peoples’ Christianization. In a community project for Cuba, Las Casas envisioned free crown towns (corregimientos) of Indigenous inhabitants and a more humane version of repartimiento to promote peace and peaceful evangelization (Casas 1958b, 5:p. 20a; Pérez Fernández 1981, pp. 53–57; Wagner and Rand Parish 1967, pp. 14–34). This 1516 reform programme, which called for the suppression of the encomienda system, was compromised in the subsequent Cisneros-Las Casas reform plan and derailed by the Hieronymite Commission, as well as by the Spanish settlers and authorities in the Indies who were not disposed to renounce the exploitation of the few Indigenous that still were living (Giménez Fernández 1984, p.  647). However, one aspect of the 1516 peasant and community schemes did eventually generate a new law: the legislation of crown towns for Indigenous peoples in 1530 (Casas 1992f, p. 30; Pérez Fernández 1984b, pp. 26–31). The 1518 peasant immigration project envisioned farmers earning a living in the New World without the need for Indigenous labour and the Indigenous inhabitants being initiated into the Christian way of life by the peaceful example of the farmers. While the project never materialized because of the stonewalling of corrupt royal officials such as Bishop Fonseca, the opposition of large Spanish landowners and the Council’s refusal of financial support, the statute privileges granted to farmers who immigrated to the New World remained permanent (Giménez Fernández 1984, p.  648; Rand Parish 2001; Wagner and Rand Parish 1967, pp. 35–45). The reform plan for Tierra Firme, proposed in 1518 by the now Licenciado Las Casas and approved in 1520, envisioned a different kind of structural solution. Only friars, with the tacit authority and eventual presence of bishops, along with peasant settlers, would penetrate the territory in a way that would invite the peaceful conversion of the Indigenous inhabitants of Tierra Firme. That is, the independent ecclesiastical arm would peacefully approach, evangelize and protect the Indigenous as well as aggregate the converts into Indigenous Christian communities. Greedy colonists, slave traders and other corrupt Spaniards would not be allowed in the territory. While the resultant Cumaná (Venezuela) project was



compromised, flawed and terminated, this structural solution constituted Las Casas’ first attempt to wield the independent ecclesiastical arm for reforms in defence of the Indigenous (Rand Parish 1980, pp. xivb–xva; Wagner and Rand Parish 1967, pp.  46–59; Giménez Fernández 1984, Chaps. 11–12).4 However, the failure of his Cumaná project precipitated a second conversion, because of which he joined the Dominican Order in 1522.

Las Casas as Dominican Friar During Las Casas’ four years of initial formation as a member of the Order of Preachers, he was further equipped to critique the wars of conquest and to elucidate his vision of the only way to evangelize the Indigenous peoples (Giménez Fernández 1984, pp. 1222–3).5 As such, he moved beyond reform plans to advocate and embrace one way—indeed, the only one way—to Christianize the Amerindians, a way that rejected military conquest, political profiteering, economic exploitation and rampant slavery: the way of peaceful and persuasive evangelization. As a Dominican friar his additional formal intellectual formation consisted of the study of Latin, patristics and martyrology (the lives of the saints) as well as ecclesial and secular history (Martínez 1958, pp. 2–3). Given his proven linguistic ability in Latin, his significant understanding of canon law and his considerable knowledge of the classical authors, Church Fathers and the saints, as well as of the history of Church and society, his programme of studies was also likely accelerated (Giménez Fernández 1984, pp. 1222–3). Furthermore, for all friars, including Friar Bartolomé, systematic scriptural study began in the novitiate and continued throughout the subsequent formation period of the studium and beyond. As a

4  Pierre Barbier was nominated bishop for the area on May 17, 1520; however, the project was destroyed in January 1522 before he arrived in Cumaná. 5  In addition to studying the charism, history and tradition of the Dominicans, Las Casas would have been socialized during the novitiate period (“canonical year”) into the daily routine of religious life, which likely consisted of regular prayer, spiritual meditation, common liturgy, spiritual reading, sacred study, instruction from the Novice Master, acts of mortification, manual labour and cloistered silence. While the specific details of his novitiate are unknown, its substance can be inferred from the Dominican ratio—the standard for friars’ formation that has changed little since the Order’s foundation.



student friar he would also have studied philosophy and theology, especially scholastic Thomism.6 After becoming a Dominican Las Casas’ first-hand experiences and denunciations of the consequences of the wars of conquests and of the encomiendas augmented. For example, as prior at Puerto la Plata (1527–1531), Friar Las Casas witnessed and condemned the horrors of the slave trade when he saw Indigenous “bodies floating by … face down” in the ocean. In 1534, in one month he persuasively facilitated Enriquillo’s conversion, as well as mediated an end to the cacique’s rebellion that had resisted 15 years of violent episodic Spanish expeditions; this event demonstrated the peaceful method of evangelization as well as constituted an alternative to conquest by warfare. During this time, Las Casas also witnessed the widespread dehumanizing effects of the encomienda system to which he responded with denunciatory sermons and authoritative cartas (letters) that accused the Spaniards of unjust and unlawful behaviour as well as of corruption and criminality. As a secular cleric, after his first conversion, he had preached similar sermons in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. As a Dominican friar, he now preached from 1526 to 1530 on Hispaniola, in Puerto de Plata, and Santo Domingo. From 1530 to 1534, he also wrote cartas to authorities such as the Consejo de las Indias (Council of the Indies). Significantly—at that time, the 1530 anti-slavery law (although revoked four years later) initially bolstered the message of Las Casas’ sermons. However, his denunciation of slave trafficking offended the island’s oligarchy and the oidores (judges) of the newly established Audiencia (high court) of Hispaniola. Consequently, at the request of the Audiencia to the Council of the Indies, a royal cédula arrived on June 7, 1533, that forbade Las Casas to preach for two years (Pérez Fernández 1984a, pp. 354–55). Nevertheless, although forbidden to speak publicly, Las Casas used this “quiet” period to advance his vision of peace and of peaceful evangelization and to refine his critique of the wars of conquest in a comprehensive missiological treatise titled The Only Way to Draw All People to the True 6  Indeed, Las Casas’ formation both shaped his lifestyle in the Dominican habits of prayer, study and reflection, as well as formed his knowledge in the intellectual and moral tradition of the School of Salamanca. His contributions to the canonistic, philosophical, theological and moral debates of contemporaneous neo-scholasticism located him at the centre of the peninsular school of juridical, philosophical and theological Iberian thought—as denominated by Professor Pedro José Calafate Villa Simões, Professor Catedrático do Departamento de Filosofia da FLUL, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa.



Religion, which he began writing in Latin in 1522 while in the Dominican studium and seemingly finished in 1534 in Santo Domingo, Hispaniola; later, he continued redacting the manuscript as needed (Rand Parish 2001).7 In the Prologue of The Only Way, Las Casas first argued that all persons and nations (including the Indigenous people and nations) are “touched by the free gift of divine grace” … “because they [the Indigenous people] are all human beings”; he lauded the “very quick, alive, capable, clear” quality of their minds, which was influenced by “the kind conditions of the places God gave them to live in”, viz. the Islands and Tierra Firme (Casas 1992f, p. 63). He then described their commendable political and social organization, stipulating that: the Indians come to be endowed first by the force of nature, next by force of personal achievement, with the three kinds of self-rule required:(1) personal—by which one knows how to rule one’s self, (2) domestic—by which one knows how to rule a household, and (3) political—by knowledge of how to set up and rule a city. (Casas 1992f, p. 65)

Given these considerations and drawing from Cardinal Tomás de Vio Cajetan’s (1469–1536) Commentaries on Aquinas’ writings about infidels, Las Casas contended that “it is clear as clear can be that the nations of our Indies fall into [Cajetan’s] fourth kind of infidels [faraway non-­ hostile pagans] … [that is, those] who live in lands never reached by the name of Christ”, those who had never embraced—or heard about—the faith of Christ and who were not part of the Orbis Christianus (the Christian world) of Europe (Casas 1992f, pp.  66–7; 1988, pp.  131–3; 1974, p. 12, p. 55; Queralto Moreno 1976, pp. 389–403; Rand Parish and Weidman 1992, pp. 322–25; Castañeda Delgado 1974, pp. 124–5).8 Accordingly, jurisdiction-wise, in the judgment of Innocent IV, with which Las Casas agreed, “they have and hold their realms, their lands, by

7  This first version was in Latin and titled De unico trahendi modo universas gentes ad veram religionem and eventually translated into Spanish as Del único modo de atraer a todos los pueblos a la verdadera religión. According to Helen Rand Parish’s interpretation of Chap. 11, Book 3, of Las Casas’ Historia, religionem meant “a living faith” in the sense of “doing” the work of religion by deeds that bring about the divine plan of salvation. 8  This fourth category was articulated in Casas (1992f). Cajetan is best known for his tenvolume Commentaries on the Secunda Secundae of Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, which Cajetan began to write in 1507, partially published in 1517 and completed in 1522.



natural law and the law of nations” (Casas 1992f, p. 66). Las Casas copiously employed this distinction in his defence of Indigenous people. Subsequently, in Part One of The Only Way titled “True Evangelization”, Las Casas laid out his vision of peaceful and persuasive evangelization. For him, “True Evangelization” employed persuasion and dialogue, and “… wins the mind with reasons, wins the will with gentleness, with invitation”, and is the “one way, one way only of teaching a living faith to everyone, everywhere, always [as] set by Divine Providence”. He supported this thesis first of all from reason since “Divine Providence cares for the rational creature in a special way” and because this is the “one way only” established by God for rational and free creatures to receive the true religion (Casas 1992f, p. 68). Las Casas offered copious proof for his method first by recourse to the “Way of Christ … [to the way] Christ fashioned and prescribed in preaching and teaching His Gospel” (Casas 1992f, pp. 69–84). Then Las Casas argued that “True Evangelization” must adhere to “the examples of the Apostles” in word and deed (Casas 1992f, pp. 84–94). He then stated that “True Evangelization” necessitated the formation of a Christian people so that Christ could indeed reign in His “Kingdom of Compassion and Peace” (Casas 1992f, pp. 94–103). Here, Las Casas introduced his vision of peace—the construction of a world with humble and compassionate leaders, a world of spiritual and not tyrannical rule, permeated by an atmosphere of charity and “breathing peace”—not violence and coercion (Casas 1992f, pp. 74–5). Then he described the “Ideal Missionary” as one who does not seek power or wealth, as one who is respectful of and kind to others and as one who is a living example of a virtuous life (Casas 1992f, pp. 103–112). Following this, Part One on “True Evangelization” concluded with a “Papal Endorsement of Peaceful Conversion”, including the entire text of Sublimis Deus (The Sublime God) in an appendix (Casas 1992f, pp. 114–5) and a reference to Luther’s “strange heresy” about “faith alone” as sufficient for salvation (Casas 1992f, p. 116). In Part Two of The Only Way, in an also lengthy segment on “False Evangelization”, Las Casas severely critiqued and rejected the wars of conquest as a transgression of the Gospel message of peace because the method of evangelization must be persuasive, peaceful and rational (Casas 1988, pp. 601–3; 1974, pp. 326–7). He argued that “False Evangelization” constituted the “opposite way”, which violated the mind and the will by “subjugating pagan peoples by war first” (Casas 1992f, pp. 117–21). As



such, for Friar Bartolomé, “wars for conversion contradicted the human way, … are wasteful … and leave the mind shattered” (Casas 1992f, pp.  121–4). Wars also contradicted the Way of Christ—“the one He taught” because they “do not bring peace but suffering and death”, as the demon-possessed killers destroyed Indigenous people with the “roars of lions” and of “howling wolves” (Casas 1992f, pp. 124–8). Wars also contradicted the Way of the Missioner by the Spaniards’ lack of “love of neighbour and of God”, (as well as of oneself), instead of “wanting what is good for another” (Casas 1992f, pp. 128–43). Wars contradicted the way of the Christian and its emphasis on “a blameless, model, holy life”; instead, he asserted that so-called Christian warriors mimicked Muslims and constituted “the vanguard of the anti-Christ” (Casas 1992f, pp. 143–51). Additionally, Las Casas described the “brutal missionary” as one who catechizes by terrorizing hearers and by using bodily torture (Casas 1992f, pp. 151–6). Such were the gospel-based components of Las Casas’ critique of war, as well as those that upheld the Indigenous peoples’ status as rational, free, and social human beings. Las Casas concluded Part Two with a section on the “Papal Condemnation of Armed Oppression” (Casas 1992f, pp. 156–7) in which he again refers to the Papal Bull Sublimis Deus (the sublime God). This reference must have been added to The Only Way of 1534 since that papal decree in 1537 bears great similarity to Las Casas’ missiological treatise. The conclusion also references part of the papal commission accompanying the papal brief entitled Pastorale Officium (Pastoral Duty), which instructs the Archbishop of Toledo (1) “to become a bulwark of defence for the Indigenous people”; (2) “to forbid anyone under pain of excommunication to make a slave in any way of the aforesaid Indians, or rob them of their goods under any pretext”; and (3) “to threaten excommunication of all who disobey” (Casas 1992f, pp. 156–7; Rand Parish and Weidman 1992, pp. 303–5). Las Casas’ missiological treatise then closed with a powerful and detailed epilogue, which demanded that the guilty make restitution and restoration of all they took from the Indigenous people because the wars of conquest for conversion were mindless, unjust and mortal sin (Casas 1992f, pp. 158–82). However, Las Casas maintained that satisfaction can never be given in this life for the evils and harms, so the “culprits … must fear the punishment that awaits them after they die” (Casas 1992f, p. 182). This missiological treatise became foundational in Las Casas’ writings, discourses and actions for the rest of his life; moreover, the scope of its



application was augmented (Gutiérrez 1995, p. 73). For example, for the use of conquerors, governors and other officials in the New World who could not read Latin, Las Casas wrote a summary of The Only Way in Spanish in 1536 entitled Of the Proclamation of the Gospel to All Peoples. From 1535 to 1540, as a member of the Dominican province of Santiago de México, his labour in two of the three major regions of conquest (the Antilles and New Spain), as well as in key areas of modern Central America and Venezuela, constituted opportunities to again in situ condemn the conquests taking place (Casas 1999, p.  250, p.  264). For example, in Nicaragua, he witnessed and denounced the public floggings of the Indigenous people and their massive exportations as slaves; he condemned the governor’s planned armed foray into the Desaguadero region of these free Amerindians. In Guatemala, and in keeping with his vision of persuasive and peaceful evangelization, he arranged for friars to reach out to the Indigenous communities in Tierra de Guerra (Land of War) and in 1537 successfully pioneered peaceful evangelization and willing conversion of the Indigenous caciques and Indigenous people in that territory, which then became known as Tierra de Vera Paz (Land of True Peace) (Pérez Fernández 1984a, pp. 434–39). Las Casas’ influence also extended to decrees at the episcopal and papal levels. Episcopal authorities at the 1536 ecclesiastical junta in Mexico City, which Las Casas attended as the delegate of bishop-elect Marroquín, produced several actae (documents)—all of which bore the clear imprint of Las Casas’ hand and some of which became the basis for papal pronouncements. For example, the episcopal conference produced an acta entitled Parecer de Seis Verdades sobre esclavos indios y conversión pacífica (Opinion concerning Six Truths about Indian slaves and peaceful conversion); although signed by the first bishop of Mexico, the Franciscan Juan de Zumárraga, Las Casas wrote the Seis Verdades and in it addressed indisputable aspects of his critique of war and his vision of peace, viz. the injustice of the wars and of enslavement of any kind, the disregard of the papal mandate obligating evangelization, the responsibility of the monarch to insure proper preaching of the Gospel, that the method of evangelization must be peaceful and, lastly, that the Amerindians possess a natural right to freedom and to their nations’ dominium. An acta about the Amerindian Church resulted in the papal brief Altitudo divini consilii (The height of the divine plan) and utilized Las Casas’ Programa para el modo de vivir de los Indios Cristianos (Programme for the way of life of Christian Indians). An acta about freeing slaves



whether esclavos de guerra (slaves of war) or esclavos de rescate (slaves by trade), as well as about abolishing the encomienda, produced the Papal Brief Pastorale Officium and reflected Friar Bartolomé’s Ocho proposiciones contra las conquistas (Eight statements against the conquests) (Pérez Fernández 1981, Nota 97, pp. 254–256). The acta principal concerning evangelization also inspired the landmark Papal Bull Sublimis Deus and was exactly parallel in substance to Las Casas’ The Only Way. Indeed, this 1537 papal encyclical, which is often called the Magna Carta (Great Charter) of Indigenous rights, proclaimed, as did Las Casas, that the Amerindians were fully human, eminently capable of receiving the Faith, as well as entitled to their liberty and property, even though they may not be members of the Church. In 1542, Las Casas sought a “total remedy” at the highest level of civil authority in the Indies: he informed Emperor Charles V and the monarch’s specially convened junta about the atrocities and killings taking place as a result of the conquests and colonization practices in the New World (Casas 1992f, pp.  40–41; Rand Parish 1980, p. xiii). After Las Casas’ five-day-long narration of the evil and harms done, kingdom by kingdom, he shared his vision of the desired legislation in a voluminous juridical treatise, the Memorial de remedios; he called for the cessation of armed conquests, the suppression of the encomiendas, the abolition of Indigenous slavery, the incorporation of the Indigenous people as vassals of the crown, the colonization of New World territories by farmers, the penetration of Indigenous territories by friars and the inhabitants’ evangelization by rational and peaceful methods (Pérez Fernández 1981, pp. 296–97). Throughout the deliberations, the Dominican friar contributed clarifications and summaries, as well as pinpointed the issues needing legislation. Indeed, as Pérez Fernández contended, Father Las Casas “made” the New Laws (Pérez Fernández 2001, p. 259).9 As a result, the New Laws, entitled Laws and Ordinances Newly Made for the Governance of the Spanish Colonies in the Indies and the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians, were created, elaborated, promulgated and signed in 1542 and published in 1543. Along with The Only Way, the New Laws would frame the contours of his efforts as bishop and his appeals at court.

9  For a complete portrayal of Las Casas’ prominent role in the initiation, development and legislation of the New Laws, see Orique (2010), pp. 1–23.



Las Casas as Bishop Friar Bartolomé de las Casas was nominated to the See of Chiapa on December 20, 1543, and consecrated in Seville, Spain, on March 31, 1544. Bishop Las Casas arrived in Santo Domingo, Hispaniola, on September 9, 1544; in the Yucatán on January 6, 1545; and in Chiapa Real on March 9, 1545 (Cantú 1975–1976, pp. 127–155).10 The bishop’s three goals for his diocese reflected his vision of a peaceful future for the Indigenous people; his aims were: 1. Peaceful evangelization and conversion, as well as “reduction” of unconquered Indigenous inhabitants; 2. Protection of conquered natives from Spanish abuses through the enforcement of the 1542 New Laws; 3. Colonization by Spanish peasant immigrants with a contingent of friars as their leaders. These goals would not be achieved—in part because of entrenched slave-trafficking in Chiapa, riots of abusive encomenderos and conspicuous slaveholders in Ciudad Real against their new bishop—including threats on his life and invasions of Spaniards for slave-taking into Tierra de Vera Paz. To enforce the New Laws, even though some had been revoked, Las Casas instructed certain clerics in his diocese to withhold absolution in Confession from anyone who refused to or had not made restitution for the evils and harms done to Indigenous lives, territories and persons. Given these and other complex factors, Las Casas’ tenure as a resident bishop was very contentious and prematurely short. Nevertheless, Bishop Las Casas did not give up. At an episcopal conference in Mexico City in 1546, he convinced his confreres to unanimously declare that encomenderos must make restitution and compensation to the Indigenous people for the excessive tributes and that, if they were deceased, compensation must be made to the Church for the support of missionaries. He also convened a junta of friars from the three mendicant Orders, which subsequently declared all slave titles illegal.

10  Las Casas was Chiapa’s first resident bishop. Prior to him, two other bishops were assigned to the diocese of Chiapa: Juan de Ortega (who refused the position) and Juan de Arteaga (who died en route to Chiapa).



At this time and same venue, several Dominican friars asked Bishop Las Casas to formulate rules for hearing the confessions of conquistadores, encomenderos and other officials, which, as in Chiapa, obligated confessors to deny absolution to anyone who refuses to make the required restitution for their profiting from Indigenous lives and lands, or who would not free their slaves and encomendados. Accordingly, in 1547, the Chiapan prelate penned the first Confesionario manuscript entitled Doce reglas (Twelve rules). In response to requested clarification of some “legal technicalities” and alleged discrepancies between the manuscript’s text and the law evident in Rules I and V, he augmented the Twelve rules with an Adición (Addition) to explicate the kinds of “suitable juridical pledges” to be used to obligate restitution for the goods acquired in and through conquests, as well as for harms done to the Indigenous peoples, their lands and societies. Five years later, he published this augmented manuscript as the treatise entitled Avisos y reglas para los confesores (Advice and rules for confessors). After returning to Spain in 1547, Bishop Las Casas faced tumult, consternation and not-unexpected charges of treason and heresy, which culminated in the autumn of 1548 when the Councils of Castile and of the Inquisition requested an explanation from the Bishop of Chiapa about an issue in Rule VII of the Doce reglas: that of Spanish sovereignty (Orique 2018, p. 43). This alleged tacit challenge to royal authority in Rule VII read, in part: all the things that have been done throughout the Indies …have been contrary to all natural law and the law of nations, and also, against divine law; and therefore, is entirely unjust, iniquitous, tyrannical, and deserving of all eternal fire and, consequently, null, invalid, and without any value and weight of law (Casas 1958a, p. 239).

Las Casas’ reply in 1549 to the accusations of his enemies before the Council of the Castile consisted of a treatise of thirty propositions, in which he systematically clarified that “all the [entirely unjust, iniquitous, tyrannical] things that have been done throughout the Indies” were done by the Spanish conquistadores, encomenderos and royal officials without the authorization of the Crown and therefore all armed conquests were illegal. This treatise entitled Treinta proposiciones muy jurídicas (Thirty very juridical propositions) also addressed the papal mandate to solely Christianize and the Spanish monarch’s title (Casas 1992i). Additionally, he



supplemented this treatise with a companion text—Tratado comprobatorio del imperio soberano y principado universal que los reyes tienen sobre las Indias (Treatise confirming imperial sovereignty and universal principality that the kings have over the Indies)—which drew on ancient Roman law about consent to sovereignty. Accordingly, the Bishop of Chiapa declared that whether the Spanish monarch became the Universal Sovereign of the Indies was contingent on the will of the people—on the consent of the governed. After vacating his bishopric in 1550, Las Casas’ critique of the wars of conquest and his vision of peace and peaceful evangelization continued to augment in scope as well as in perspective. A prolific writer, he completed eight treatises known as the Sevillian Cycle, in which he focussed on defending the dignity, equality, and rights of the Indigenous nation(s) and their people. For example, in Entre los remedios (Among the remedies) from which he extracted El octavo remedio (The eighth remedy) and Se han hecho esclavos (Concerning the slaves that they have made), he argued for the abolition of slavery and of the encomienda (Casas 1992h). In 1550–1551, he debated “the Indian question” and the justice of conquest by warfare with Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda in Valladolid; in this encounter, the bishop used both his 1536 Apologética historia sumaria (an anthropological history and a factual defence of the Indigenous) and his 1548 Apología (a legal defence of the Indigenous non-believers based on divine and natural law) to argue against Sepúlveda’s contention that the conquest was legitimate because of the Indigenous peoples’ “inferiority” and their “natural state as slaves”. Subsequently, Las Casas summarized and published the debate with this humanist and translator of Aristotle as Una disputa o controversia con Sepúlveda (A debate or controversy with Sepúlveda). Other treatises in the cycle were the above-mentioned Avisos y reglas, Treinta proposiciones and Tratado comprobatorio and the two treatises on slavery; two more were Principia quaedam (Certain principles) on royal power and its limitations, public law, human freedom and the rights of the Indigenous persons and nations and finally his famous and infamous Brevísima relación (Orique 2011). In his continuing critique of war and vision of peace, Las Casas’ last great battle for justice began on behalf of the Indigenous inhabitants of Peru, for whom he successfully thwarted two attempts (1550–1553, 1554–1556) by Peruvian colonists to secure perpetual encomienda. In the aftermath of this protracted controversy, Las Casas sought the restoration of the Incas in Peru and, implicitly, of all Indigenous rulers in the Indies.



Towards this goal of halting war and establishing peace, he composed his most forceful and critical works: De regia potestate (Concerning royal power), a doctrinal treatise in 1563 on human freedom and on the need for the consent of the governed; De thesauris (Concerning the treasures of Peru), a condemnation in 1563 of Inca-grave robbery and a “last testament” about economic restitution, peaceful evangelization and Indigenous sovereignty; and Tratado de doce dudas (Treatise concerning twelve doubts) in 1564 in which he laid out a detailed procedure for carrying out needed peaceful evangelization, as well as a comprehensive programme of restitution and, ultimately, a vision for the liberation of Indigenous nations. Most significantly, his conviction about and his juridical arguments for the legitimacy of Indigenous dominium were laced throughout his writings and explicitly addressed in Doce dudas and De thesauris (Casas 1992c). As well and in like manner, in this final trilogy of treatises dedicated to the King, the octogenarian philosopher, jurist, and theologian systematically reminded his readers that the evangelization and salvation of the Indigenous was the sole criterion for determining what was “just and right” about the Spanish presence in the New World. Las Casas’ theo-political thought addressed innovatively the monarch’s title. Arguably, he contended that the pontiff could only institute de jure sovereign lordship for the king of Spain because the papal donation was derived from human law, not from divine or natural law (Casas 1992b, p. 325). In order for the Spanish monarch to become Universal Lord de facto, the consent of the Indigenous inhabitants must first be requested and obtained juridically in accord with Roman law, which legislated that “what touches all must be approved by all” (quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbari debet) (Casas 1992g, pp.  455–56; 1992b, pp.  315–18). Additionally, Las Casas postulated that restitution and restoration of Indigenous lands, goods, human rights, and legitimate political leaders was key to remedying the situation in Peru as well as constituted a “total remedy” for the whole of the Indies. Finally, Las Casas informed the King of his ultimate responsibility for, and his royal culpability in, the evils and harms done, as well as of his sovereign obligation to effect restitution. Indeed, as the aged bishop fearlessly contended, both the salvation of Spain and the King’s personal salvation depended upon the sovereign’s decisions and actions. However, with the lack of peace due to the “hellish” warfare (that Las Casas categorized as “invasions”) and the consequent enslavement, nothing had changed with respect to the papal concession; the principal



requirement of Christianization was not accomplished, was “still pending” or, as Las Casas also charged, was “permanently suspended” (Casas 1992b, p. 355, pp. 369–377, pp. 507–9). Furthermore, in Las Casas’ view—with or without the appropriate title for the monarch, the Indigenous people never consented to the presence of the Iberians in their world. To remedy the injustices and in keeping with his inclination for concrete projects to stop war and to promote peace and peaceful evangelization, Las Casas articulated a radical reform plan in his final trilogy of writings. First, political freedom must be restored before Christianity can be shared with them; towards this end, the Spanish monarch was obliged to reinstate the living heirs of the last Inca ruler to positions of authority over their lands and people. Second, Indigenous republics must be restored and/or new Indigenous states must be organized directly under the crown and under the immediate direction of religious clergy (Casas 1992e, p. 581; 1992d, p. 326). Third, all property that the Spaniards had unjustly plundered or seized must be restored (Casas 1992b, p. 311; Pennington 1993, pp.  272–73, p.  272 n10). Fourth, those who profited from Indigenous life and labour must make restitution (Casas 1992a, p. 369, p. 374, p. 383). Fifth, Spaniards could settle only in geographic areas that were acceptable to the Indigenous peoples or in places where the Indigenous inhabitants had converted to the Faith and must do so for the purpose of supporting and conserving the Faith by Christian example, living peacefully and paying for the expenses of preaching the Gospel (Casas 1992b, p.  393, Chaps. XXXVI, XLII, XLV). Finally, friars and bishops (with the help of lay auxiliaries) would organize and conduct peaceful evangelization in Indigenous territories, as well as any needed penetration of the region.

Conclusion Las Casas’ focus on criticizing the wars of conquest and explaining his vision of peace and peaceful evangelization constituted a lifetime of immersion in the issues of justice. As a secular cleric, he stridently condemned the unjust entradas and warfare generated by the political and military ritual of the Requerimiento (Requirement); he denounced the consequent enslavement of Indigenous people and the destruction of their way of life and their territories. His three reform plans drew on his rudimentary knowledge of divine, natural and canon law to declare that the Indigenous peoples are free, rational and social human beings, that their nations were



equal to all other nations and that restitution must be made for the evils and harms done. As a Dominican friar, he dramatically augmented his knowledge and experience. His first-hand experiences included securing peace with Enriquillo and the cacique’s subsequent peaceful conversion, as well as of observing the horrors of the violent slave trade. Most significantly and drawing copiously from his formal Dominican studies, he wrote a missiological treatise commonly known as The Only Way, which explained “True Evangelization” as rooted in persuasion and dialogue, in contrast to the “False Evangelization” perpetuated by warfare. The Only Way was foundational in the response of Las Casas to Spanish cruelty in Central America, in his pioneering peaceful evangelization project in Guatemala, as well as in his contributions to and influence in episcopal conferences, papal pronouncements and the Nueva Leyes. As a bishop, Las Casas increasingly wielded the ecclesiastical arm in his attempts to eradicate slavery in his diocese; beyond his bishopric of Chiapa, his Confesionario generated discourses in civil and Church society that ranged from the role and responsibilities of the monarch, the injustice of the wars and the Indigenous people’s level of humanity to theo-political issues about sovereignty and needed consent of the governed. These discourses took place first when Las Casas was charged with treason, then during the Valladolid debates, and subsequently memorialized in the Sevillian Cycle of his eight published treatises. Adding to this discourse, while involved in the Peruvian dispute about hereditary encomiendas (land grants), the ageing bishop-emeritus produced a final trilogy of treatises arguably representing the culmination of the best of his theo-philosophical and poli-economic thought in his final all-­encompassing plan for a total remedy to the bellic and pacific issues in the Indies. In 1566, as this critic of war and advocate of peace neared death, Las Casas sent an impassioned petition along with a copy of his missiological treatise The Only Way to the newly elected Dominican Pope Pius V. In his appeal to the highest ecclesiastical authority, Las Casas first requested an examination of The Only Way and, if merited, the papal imprimatur. Using this foundational treatise as a guide, he petitioned the pontiff to excommunicate all those who thought or acted contrary to the only justifiable way of preaching the Gospel peacefully and of waging just war; he also requested excommunication of all those who regarded the Indigenous people as inferior. He proposed that the pontiff update the canons



governing New World bishops. He recommended obliging them, in accord with divine and natural law, to care for and protect—even with their lives—the Indigenous “poor of the Gospel”, to play no part in the oppressive tyranny and to accept no favours, to learn the Indigenous languages and to live simply by divesting themselves of accumulated riches (Casas 1995, pp.  370–1). In this last petition, Las Casas had recourse solely to the ecclesiastical arm of the Church—its pontiff and bishops—to effect the change needed for all the Indies—to stop the wars, to live peacefully and to evangelize persuasively.

Bibliography Cantú, F. 1975–1976. Documentos lascasianos. Historiografía y Bibliografía Americanista 19 (20): 127–155. Casas, B. de las. 1958a. Memorial de remedios para las Indias (1516). Obras Escogidas 5: 5–27. ———. 1974b. In Defense of the Indians: The Defense of the Most Reverend Lord, Don Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, of the Order of Preachers, Late Bishop of Chiapa, Against the Persecutors and Slanderers of the Peoples of the New World Discovered Across the Seas. Translated by Stafford Poole. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. ———. 1986. Historia de las Indias (3 vols). Edited by André Saint-Lu. Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho. ———. 1988. Apología in Obras Completas. vol. 9. ———. 1992a. Aquí se contienen unos avisos y reglas para los confesores que oyeren confesiones de los españoles que son o han sido en cargo a los indios de las Indias del mar Océano, colegidas por el Obispo de Chiapa don fray Bartolomé de la Casas o Casaus, de la orden de Santo Domingo. Obras Completas 10: 363–388. ———. 1992b. De thesauris. Obras Completas. vol. 11.1. ———. 1992c. Doce dudas. Obras Completas. vol. 11.2. ———. 1992d. Entre los remedios y el octavo. Obras Completas 10: 287–360. ———. 1992e. Principia Quaedam. Obras Completas 10: 547–583. ———. 1992f. The Only Way. Edited by Helen Rand Parish. Translated by Francis Patrick Sullivan. New York: Paulist Press. ———. 1992g. Tratado comprobatorio del imperio soberano. Obras Completas 18: 391–543. ———. 1992h. Tratado sobre los indios que han hechos esclavos. Obras Completas 10: 217–284. ———. 1992i. Treinta proposiciones muy jurídicas. Obras Completas 10: 197–214. ———. 1994. Historia de las Indias. Obras Completas, vols. 3–5.



———. 1995. Petición a su santidad Pio V. Obras Completas 13: 370–371. ———. 2003. An Account, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies. Translated by Andrew Hurley. Introduction and editing by Franklin W. Knight. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing. Casas, Fray B. de las. 1999. Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias. Editado por Isacio Pérez Fernández. Madrid: Punto Print, S. L. Castañeda Delgado, P. 1974. ‘Los métodos misionales en América ¿Evangelización pura coacción?’ Estudios sobre Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Filosofía y Letras 24, 123–189. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla. Giménez Fernández, M. 1984. Bartolomé de las Casas: Capellán de S.M. Carlos I, poblador de Cumaná 1517–1523. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Green, L.C., and O.P. Dickason. 1989. The Law of Nations and the New World. The University of Alberta Press. Gutiérrez, G. 1995. Las Casas: In Search of the Poor of Jesus Christ. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis. Lockhart, J., and S.B. Schwartz. 1983. Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Martínez, M.M. 1958. Fray Bartolomé de las Casas: ‘Padre de América’. Madrid: La Rafa. Orique, D.T. 2010. New Discoveries about an Old Manuscript: The Date, Place of Origin, and Role of the Parecer de fray Bartolomé de las Casas in the Making of the New Laws of the Indies. Colonial Latin American Review 15 (4): 1–23. ———. 2011. The Unheard Voice of Law in Bartolomé de Las Casas’s Brevísima relación de la destruición de las Indias. Ph.D. University of Oregon. ———. 2018. To Heaven or to Hell: Bartolomé de Las Casas’s Confesionario. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press. Pennington, K. 1993. The Prince and the Law, 1200–1600: Sovereignty and Rights in the Western Legal Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pérez Fernández, I. 1981. Inventario documentado de los escritos de Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. Revisado por Helen Rand Parish. Bayamón, P.R.: Centro de Estudios de los Dominicos del Caribe. ———. 1984a. Cronología documentada de los viajes, estancias y actuaciones de Fray Bartolomé de las Casas. Bayamón, P.R.: Centro de Estudios de los Dominicos del Caribe. ———. 1984b. Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas: Brevísima relación de su vida, diseño de su personalidad, síntesis de su doctrina. Caleruega, Burgos: Editorial OPE. ———. 1992. Las conquistas de Indias fueron, en sí mismas, injustas yanti-signos de la evangelización. Studium 32 (1): 3–76. ———. 2001. El derecho Hispano-Indiano: dinámica social de su proceso histórico constituyente. Salamanca: Editorial San Esteban.



Queralto Moreno, R.J. 1976. El pensamiento filosófico-político de Bartolomé de las Casas. Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos. Rand Parish, H. 1980. Las Casas as Bishop: A New Interpretation Based on His Holograph Petition in the Hans P.  Kraus Collection of Hispanic American Manuscripts. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. ———. 2001. Bartolomé de las Casas. Interview by David Orique [Recording] (Personal Interview, 12 February 2001, Berkeley, CA). Rand Parish, H., and H.E. Weidman. 1992. Las Casas en México: Historia y obra desconocidas. México, DF: Fondo de Cultura Económica. Restall, M. 2004. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest. Oxford University Press. Seed, P. 1995. Ceremonies of Possession in Europe’s Conquest of the New World, (pp. 1491–1640). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stern, S.J. 1992. Paradigms of Conquest: History, Historiography, and Politics. Journal of Latin American Studies 24: 1–34. Vilches, E. 2010. New World Gold: Cultural Anxiety and Monetary Disorder in Early Modern Spain. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wagner, H.R., and H. Rand Parish. 1967. The Life and Writings of Bartolomé de Las Casas. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.


The Heart of the Daodejing: Nonviolent Personhood Tom Pynn

Introduction The way of tian is to benefit without harming. The way of the sages is to do without contending. Daodejing #8

Our original, simple, natural, creative, and spontaneous identity is nonviolent; however, for at least the last 3000 years or so, one would scarcely believe that this is so. Even though most people have not realized this and that many do not even believe that it is a possibility, the Daodejing avers that our personhood in harmony with Dao, that which is beyond all conceptualization and communication, is the reality. The Sage reminds us: “Know you are innocent” (Mair 93). Our “innocence” is often illustrated by the image of “unworked wood” as in #19: “Display a genuineness like raw silk and embrace a simplicity like unworked wood” (Ames and Hall 104).

T. Pynn (*) Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




The forgetting of our true nature is no less the case in China than for the rest of the world. In their “Historical Introduction” to their philosophical translation of the Daodejing, Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall state the following regarding ancient China’s period of internecine warfare, the Warring States Period (403–221 BCE): It was as a response to these darkest of days in which the blood of China’s children irrigated the crops and their flesh fertilized the land that the Daodejing emerged as an alternative vision of what the human experience might be like. (2)

This “alternative vision,” however, has most often been interpreted strategically: “as a handbook for the ruler” showing him “how to achieve hegemony over the empire” and/or as a pacific justification for war and the political knowledge necessary to wage war effectively with as little loss of life possible (Mair 128). This remains as true for contemporary readings of the Daodejing as it is for the Chinese commentarial tradition. That said, the matter has not been neglect so much as a matter of emphasis. What has been privileged in reading the Daodejing has been its availability to military and political readings while its deeper layers of teachings about nonviolence have been de-emphasized for the sake of strategy. Neither pacificism nor pacifism, the Daodejing’s teachings on nonviolence are a spiritual perspective that address humankind’s propensity to violence and by showing how one may become nonviolent in thought, word, and deed thereby becoming fully human. Indeed, as Ames and Hall state above: “the human experience” is irreducible to political and military strategy. Another way to put this is that the Daodejing is an “alternative vision of what the human experience might be like” when we are acting in accordance with our personhood which is to say nonviolently. What is at stake here is not simply a difference in reading the text or an academic exercise in ambitious interpretation, but the identity of peace studies as an interdiscipline characteristically different in both theory and practice from the multi-disciplines of conflict management, conflict resolution, and conflict transformation. Furthermore, the Daodejing’s focus on cultivating a nonviolent disposition intra-personally is the necessary condition for the possibility of there being intra-personal, inter-personal, and societal peace at all. Because peace studies have accentuated the vital importance of nonviolence, studying the Daodejing’s perspective on



nonviolence is a step towards further internationalizing both teaching and researching peace. The dominant element in most conceptions and practices of peace studies is the centrality of nonviolence: its history, theories, major figures and movements, and practices whether religious or non-religious. Within peace studies nonviolence is typically spoken of as being either principled, nonviolence as the basis of how one lives one’s life, or strategic, selective uses of nonviolence as a tactic. Principled nonviolence, I want to suggest, is what the Daodejing advocates at its core while allowing for strategic nonviolence in both political and military contexts. Even when the Daodejing is read as offering advice to the King or the General, the appeal is not to either political or strategic expedience but to the King’s and the General’s true natures. The deeper teaching, then, is the nonviolent character of personhood acting nonviolently in the world towards all living things. Conflict management, resolution, and transformation tend to accentuate interventionist techniques and applications primarily in the human world. In the case of conflict management, both technique and application are grounded in presumptions about the efficacy of the modern, centralized nation-state and its concomitant institutions emphasizing the techniques of “negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and arbitration” as well as the intertwining goals of “good governance, rule of law, security, economic sustainability, and social well-being” (Snodderly 15). Conflict transformation “emphasizes addressing structural roots of conflict by changing existing patterns of behaviour and creating a culture of nonviolent approaches” (15). Thus, the difference is categorical: peace studies is an academic interdiscipline focusing on nonviolence while the others are academic multi-disciplines stressing the strategic and technical aspects of intervention often associated with the broader strategic techniques of peacebuilding. So, in answer to the important question of “What does the Daodejing offer peace studies?,” it is my view that the Daodejing offers a non-­Western approach to the teaching and study of peace that identifies the root causes of both human violence and nonviolence as well as a mystically oriented psycho-physical regimen designed to transform consciousness without which, Harold D. Roth has argued, a nonviolent life is impossible. The “mystical praxis … at the heart of the Laozi,” according to Roth, is “bimodal” (60 and 66, respectively). The first mode is an introvertive unitive consciousness in which the adept achieves complete union with the Dao. The second is an extrovertive transformed consciousness in which the adept



returns to the world and retains, amidst the flow of daily life, a profound sense of the unity previously experienced in the introvertive mode (66). According to Roth, it is the direct experience of Dao that allows one to return to the world with a transformed consciousness. One’s transformed consciousness is unselfconsciously, spontaneously nonviolent and allows one to respond creatively, compassionately, and effectively, “to live in the world free from the limited and biased perspective of the individual ego” (66). In short, what Roth calls the “introvertive unitive consciousness” is a state of consciousness while the “extrovertive transformed consciousness” is a stage of consciousness. One can have an introvertive unitive experience without the extrovertive. What brings the two together in a sustainable personhood is the mystico-psycho-physical practices alluded to in the Daodejing. While there have been books focusing on religion and peace, those explaining the interaction between the introvertive and extrovertive are much, much fewer. Thus, the Daodejing, explicated as a text suggesting a spiritually oriented psycho-physical practice, the heart of which is nonviolence, offers a unique contribution to the study and practice of peace in the West. Becoming fully human, integrating the extrovertive and introvertive experiences, necessarily includes the body or psycho-physical self. Kristofer Schipper explains that Daoism succeeds as an embodied practice “not by adhering to any formula or doctrine, but by modelling itself on the Tao and its effect in the reality closest to us, in our own physical bodies. ‘The Tao is not far off; it is here in my body’, say the sages” (4). This position is also proffered by Thomas Michael in his study In the Shadows of The Dao: Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing (2015). He states that his reading depends upon establishing the text’s “earliest circulation within an environment oriented around physical cultivation and not political persuasion” (5). That the Daodejing comes to us from ancient China is not an insignificant fact as far as what often passes for education is mono-cultural (Western, i.e., Anglo-American and Northern European). In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, the inclusion of non-­ Western perspectives, especially in areas such as peace and conflict, will prepare our students to interact and find common ground with most of the world’s population. Specifically, becoming conversant in Daoist perspectives on nonviolence and becoming human may help us to recover both what has been lost and what remains hidden in Western culture.



One of the most important aspects of not only Daoism specifically but also Chinese civilization in general is its correlative cosmology and processual worldview. As Ames and Hall explain, the Daoist/Chinese worldview is processual as “…the process in any moment is being reconstituted by the various stages of growth and creativity that each phenomenon moves through. The process produces the events; the events produce the process” (116). Daoism proposes that the balancing of yin and yang energies will lead to harmony, tranquillity, and peace when we transform our consciousness. The alternating phases of yin and yang energies (what the Yijing calls “change”) are one of a mutual entailing of opposites in which there is no contradiction. The modern West, on the other hand, assumes that the dialectic is the natural movement of human history in which two contradictory forces, thesis and antithesis, lead to a third option, synthesis, which then gives rise to a new binary. This is on-going conflict not a harmony. Thus, Daoism offers peace and conflict studies in the West a live option for a lasting and just peace that the dialectic cannot and is thereby optimistic and hopeful rather than fatalistic.

Dao, the Way of Nature, and the Sage Conventionally, Dao is translated with three connotations: (1) the Infinite, (2) natural processes and events (“things”) spontaneously arising of themselves, and (3) the (embodied) way of the Sage. The infinite Dao, as John Blofeld has written, is nameless, “unknowable, vast, eternal” (2). Dao is the ultimate and absolute source-reality that eludes all attempts at both conceptualization and communication. Dao, as the web of natural processes and events, is natura naturans (nature naturing). Spontaneous and patterned, orderly and unpredictable, creative and destructive, Dao in this sense elicits the processual and correlative basis of the Chinese worldview and is the model of harmony that stands to be followed if human beings desire a return to harmony. Dao as the Way of the Sage suggests that the Sage embodies the One or Unity of all that is generated by the Infinite Dao and is apparent in nature. Because the Sage is an embodiment of the Dao, she is one who, like Dao, bestows the “blessings” of social and natural harmony, “the highest value of early Chinese civilization” (Michael 145). The Way of the Sage is the individual teacher guiding the student along the path to Oneness and a life of nonviolence.



What is important to realize about these three connotations of Dao is that there is a necessary relationship among them. #25 of the Daodejing suggests this relationship between all three senses of Dao: Human beings emulate the earth, The earth emulates the heavens, The heavens emulate way-making, And way-making emulates what is spontaneously so. (Ames and Hall 115)

For one to act nonviolently and experience the unity of all, then one must emulate, practice what is spontaneously so, i.e., follow nature. When the Daodejing suggests that we follow the way of nature, what is spontaneously so, it does not mean imitating the minute particulars in the non-­ human world, e.g., wolves ripping out an elk’s throat, hurricanes devastating New Orleans, earthquakes causing tsunamis off the coast of Japan, or lions taking down a Masai’s cow. To follow or emulate the way of nature is to attune one’s self to and thereby embody natural processes. In doing so, one has taken one’s place among the ten thousand things and is in harmony with all under tian (“heaven”). In Daoist literature, the most ubiquitous metaphor of that which is spontaneously so is water. It tells us that: The best are like water bringing help to all without competing choosing what others avoid they thus approach the Tao[.] (Pine 16)

Without being self-serving or violent “the best are like water” to the extent that the Sage is one who rejects pure sociality, the social context in which there is always a violent struggle to amass wealth, fame, and power and to be preeminent in the world. Wu Ch’eng (1249–1333), a notable Yuan Dynasty prose stylist and commentator on the Daodejing, observes that “[m]ost people hate being lower and compete to be higher, but when people compete, someone is maligned” (Pine 16). Water does not malign the rocks it washes over, does not take pride in eroding the shoreline, and is content to seep into the lowest places; hence, water is a perfect metaphor of principled nonviolence available for our emulation.



Personhood and the Human Condition: Cultivating De Ames and Hall philosophically interpret De as “insistent particularity.” De is “both the potency and the achieved character of any particular disposition within the unsummed totality of experience” (59, 60). This conceptualization posits the processual and internal relationship between Dao and De, field and focus, respectively. #12 of the Daodejing informs us that: The five colours cause man’s eyes to be blinded. The five tones cause man’s ears to be deafened. The five flavours cause man’s palate to be cloyed. Racing about on horseback and hunting cause man’s mind to be maddened. (Cheng 53)

In the above poem, sight, hearing, and taste—the gateways to the external world—are presented as blinding, deafening, and cloying when one overindulges the sensorium, when one’s De loses its focus, its natural relationship to the totality of life. Just as detrimental to both one’s intrinsic uniqueness and relationship with all living beings is getting caught up in everydayness and the struggle with and against one’s self and others. Ellen Y. Zhang explains that “[t]he DDJ talks about three kinds of desire that would lead to aggressive behaviours: (1) the desire to possess more (wealth); (2) the desire to be recognized by others (name); and (3) the desire to control others (power)” (483). Thus, the importance of balancing one’s desires within the parameters of natural processes, the flow of yin and yang energies, is reiterated in the Daodejing. The main source of disharmony within and without is the unfocused and unbalanced desires of greed, avarice, and insatiability which leave in their wake onerousness, devastation, and grief. In #46 the Sage tells us that: There is no crime more onerous than greed, No misfortune more devastating than avarice, And no calamity that brings with it more grief than insatiability. (Ames and Hall 149)

When one becomes insatiable, one becomes harmful to one’s self and others around him/her. When one can balance the flow of yin and yang



energies in the psycho-physical self, one knows “when enough is enough” and is satisfied. In the Daodejing, insatiability is also related to other imbalances in our vitality or Qi. Michael states that “being seduced into pursuing wealth and fame” is dangerous because “this pursuit [pulls] the body’s vital energies outside and away from itself and into the world” (215). What is prized in the Daodejing is “the value of the body and health” (215). The Daodejing also refers to other sources of destructive desire. Among them are our ignorance of natural processes, the desire for things to be other than what they are manifesting as coercion and interference, and confusing true knowledge of the internal with false knowledge of the external. The superiority of the internal is pronounced: Understanding others is knowledge, Understanding oneself is enlightenment. Conquering others is power, Conquering oneself is strength. (Mair 100)

Enlightenment is superior to knowledge and inner strength is superior to power or dominance. Knowledge and dominance behaviour, as the Daodejing reiterates, enervate our Qi and our personhood thereby causing us not to endure, to end before our time, to be forgotten when we die. Victor Mair states that “… [a]s it is used in the Tao Te Ching, te signifies the personal qualities or strengths of the individual, one’s personhood …. In short, te is what you are” (Mair 134–135). So, from the standpoint of the Daodejing, who and what we are is unique and originally whole, vital, and nonviolent. #28 (#72 on Mair’s ordering of the text) reminds us of this original wholeness: Know you are innocent, Remain steadfast when insulted, and be a valley for all under heaven, By being a valley for all under heaven, Eternal integrity will suffice. If eternal integrity suffices, You will return to the simplicity of the unhewn log. (Mair 93)

In knowing our innocence, we realize our personhood and can be a model for others to emulate. Knowing innocence is not to know that one is innocent, but to act innocently. In the above, one sense of acting



innocently is by remaining steadfast, which is to say, remaining steadfast when the desire to act out of vengeance arises. The key to remaining steadfast is becoming nonviolent and fully human.

Nonviolence: The Heart of the Daodejing In the Daodejing, nonviolence is not pacifism, for pacifism is only opposition to war. In the Daodejing, nonviolence is not pacificism, for pacificism is only doing whatever it takes to mute conflict and return things to the pre-conflict. What is usually translated in the Daodejing as non-coercion and non-contentiousness is wu-wei. Ames and Hall define wu-wei as “noncoercive actions in accordance with the de (‘particular focus’) of things” (38). Wu-wei entails both “the absence of any course of action that interferes with the particular focus (de) of those things contained within one’s field of influence” and the presence of a kind of self-effacing willingness “to put oneself in the place of what is to be acted in accordance with” (39 and 38, respectively). It is this latter aspect of wu-wei that is most often unacknowledged when it is typically translated as non-action thereby implying passivity. The Daodejing uses terms indicating the ways by which we may act nonviolently. One important example for our times given the myriad displays of racial, religious, and sexual hate speech is wu-ming, naming that entails not only an absence of violence but also what can be called nonviolent communication, using language in such a way that one enhances one’s relationship with another. Translating wu-wei as nonviolence, then, allows us to grasp its active and life-enhancing character. The active character of nonviolence is presented in #67 as what is most valuable. Identified as three treasures, they are all aspects of a unified, nonviolent disposition at the heart of our personhood: I really have three prized possessions, that I cling to and treasure: The first of these is compassion, The second, frugality, And the third is my reluctance to try to become preeminent in the world. (Ames and Hall 183)

“Compassion” is the source of our courage. Courage, however, is not bravery. Courage is the ability to speak and act from our personhood, from who we are as a human being. “Frugality” or “austerity,” as it is



translated by Red Pine, is also an aspect of our personhood. Te-Ch’ing (1546–1623) interprets “austerity” as “not to exhaust what one already has” while Wang An-Shih (1021–1086) says that it is knowing when to stop thereby linking it to contentedness (Pine 135). One’s “reluctance to try to become preeminent in the world” from Ho-Shang Kung’s (D. Ca. 159  BCE) perspective is a kind of equanimity in which one neither “demean[s] others” nor “glorif[ies]” oneself (134). Taken together these three “prized possessions” both enable one to realize or make real one’s humanity and manifest one’s personhood to the world. In manifesting personhood to the world, one becomes virtuosic in one’s relationships and activities and becomes a model for others to imitate. In Daoism, this person is the Sage. As is pointed out in the third stanza of #67, it is because of these three treasures that one can be “courageous,” “generous,” and “able to become chief among all things.” An essential element in acting nonviolently is deference. Deference is a natural and spontaneous process. Life yields to life as when winter yields to spring. And as nature always shows, resistance is futile. Deference is intentional, nonviolent activity in accordance with the personhood of all living beings. Both a yielding and being yielded-to, deference is placing one’s self in the position of the other. Without deference, enacting compassion, frugality and the “reluctance to try to become preeminent in the world … is courting death” (183). Courting death is violent activity identified by the Sage as the crimes of greed, avarice, and insatiability. The works of Livia Kohn, Kristofer Schipper, Thomas Michael, and Harold D. Roth all remind us that Daoist self-cultivation, what I have chosen to call Daoist nonviolent self-cultivation, is based on psycho-physical practices long established in the tradition. Within the Daodejing’s highly allusive poems, there are both explicit and implicit references to meditative techniques that harmonize body and heart-mind. The body is brought to the aid of the heart-mind in order to be a vehicle for transformation, the goal of which is tranquillity that fuses the alternating fluctuations of yin and yang energies so that change, setting forth and returning, is stilled into oneness. An early poem in the Daodejing offers an implicit reference to meditation: “In the proper governing by the sages/They exert their efforts on behalf of the abdomen rather than the eye” (Ames and Hall 92). In this poem governance may be taken in a general sense of governing one’s Qi by a meditative regimen and prevents one’s heartmind-body-­spirit being overcome by the interplay between desire and



external distractions. Thus, #19 enjoins us to “display the undyed and preserve the uncarved/reduce self-interest and limit desires” (Pine 38). Roth explains that “mystical praxis is at the very heart of the Laozi” (Daodejing) (60). These “techniques of the Way” included “the single most important technique … of guiding and refining the flow of vital energy or vital breath (qi) within the human organism” (61). Roth explains that “the single most important technique” was actually a complementary pair of techniques: “a kind of active or moving meditation whose postures resembled modern positions in taiji and qigong and the second a kind of still, sitting meditation that involved regularized natural breathing” (62). Michael concurs with Roth by suggesting that what he calls “early Daoism” was a movement that predated what is termed philosophical Daoism, although Michael differs from Roth in what characterized the hidden movement of Daoism. Roth characterizes early Daoism as a spiritual practice of the type explained above while Michael emphasizes the physical techniques he refers to as yangshen. Following Roth, then, the realization of our original, pristine personhood only becomes established in nonviolence with the transformation of consciousness. Mystical techniques for the transformation of consciousness, Roth argues, are alluded to in the poems of the Daodejing. One such example is #10 which opens with the lines “Can you keep your crescent soul from wandering/can you make your breath as soft as a baby’s” (Pine 20). Pine tells us that “Taoist commentators say the first line refers to the protection of our vital essence, of which semen and vaginal fluid, sweat and saliva are the most common examples” (20). Chiao Hung (1541–1620) interprets the second line in the context of focusing the breath: “If we concentrate our breath and don’t let the mind interfere with it, it remains soft and pure. Who else but a child can do this”; hence, all the baby references in the Daodejing (20). #56 is another poem that references mystical praxis: Block your openings, Shut your doors. Blunt your sharpness, Untangle your knots. Blend into your brightness, Merge with your dust. This is called the “profound merging.” (Roth 71)



Both “openings” and “doors” refer to the senses and instruct us to focus on the breath and turn our attention inward. Roth reads lines three and four: “I take ‘blunting sharpness’ to refer to setting aside clear cut perceptual and conceptual categories and ‘untangling knots’ to refer to removing attachments to various aspects of the self” (72). Overall, the poem is concerned with the process of transforming consciousness, of “profound merging” which, Roth explains, “seems to suggest that this process leads to a merging or union with the Way itself,” the Infinite or Pristine Dao (72). There are benefits to mystical praxis as described in the Daodejing. Some of these, Roth explains, are “instantaneous accurate cognition, spontaneous responsiveness to things, being able to return to the Unhewn, having perception in which nothing is unperceived, and taking no action and yet leaving nothing undone” (70). All of these are characteristic of nonviolent personhood, our original nature, and describe the transforming power of nonviolence acting in the world. Such effects as these also, in no small part, enhance our relationships with all living things and the cosmos at large. They are also indicative of the ideal human being in Daoism—the Sage.

Dao and the Ideal Human Being Throughout the Daodejing we are offered descriptions of the Sage as one who cultivates life. #15 gives us a picture of “the great masters of ancient times” who, according to the poem’s last lines, are “not trying to be seen/ they can hide and stay hidden” (Pine 30). The hidden masters then were: careful as if crossing a river in winter cautious as if worried about neighbours reserved like a guest ephemeral like melting ice simple like uncarved wood open like a valley and murky like a puddle. (Pine 30)

#2 tells us that the “sages … perform effortless deeds/and teach wordless lessons”; furthermore, the Sage is one who is adept at letting things be:



they don’t look after all the things that arise or depend on them as they develop or claim them when they reach perfection and because they don’t claim them they are never without them. (Pine 4)

The above mark of the Sage demonstrates Dao in its third connotation: the Sage as the embodiment of the Way. Here the Sage serves as a model of nonviolent personhood and stands to be emulated, which is to say that the Sage, in one of her roles, is a teacher, a guide helping the rest of us to practice and realize the Way. Furthermore, as an embodiment of the Way, the Sage is efficacious in all his relationships because “he does not insist upon his integrity;/[f]or this reason he has integrity” (Mair 3). This is to say that she is non-insistent or nonviolent because she rejects the outwardly (the arbitrary and superficial norms of pure sociality) and instead devotes herself inwardly—“He rejects the one and adopts the other” (Mair 4). The human being who desires to return to harmony within and without and takes up the Daoist path of nonviolence is “Way-making”; thus, the Way of the Sage is following the model of nature in order to return to the Infinite. Successful signs of Daoist practice, of Way-making, include acting in such a way that there are no ironic consequences; having a clear and stable mind; balancing yin and yang energies thereby, in a psycho-­ physical sense, having good mental and physical health; and acting creatively, harmoniously, empathetically, and nonviolently.

Conclusion Daodejing, Our World, and Lives Today The way of tian is to benefit without harming. The way of the sages is to do without contending.

This chapter began with the above epigraph, the heart, one might say, of the Daodejing. Tian is often translated as “Heaven” but does not carry the metaphysical and theological baggage that it does in the West. For the Daoist, tian “retains its sense of spirituality as the object of a kind of natural piety” but is neither an entity nor independent of this world: “tian is both what our world is and how it is” (Ames and Hall 65). Ames and Hall



sum up their conception of tian as “a living, cumulative regularity, inclusive of nature and nurture that is not only inseparable from the human experience but is in an important degree expressive of it” (66). This is a kind of spiritual humanism that far from seeing human beings as the centre of existence sees the human contribution to life as synergistically related to all life: the human is one of the ten thousand things, one of the myriad creatures. The caveat is that to take one’s place among the ten thousand things, one must return to one’s original, nonviolent nature. The second line of the epigraph restates the first line, but in specifically human terms: the ideal human being, the Sage, is one who is an embodiment of tian benefiting all without harming anyone or anything. Daoism offers a holistic view of peace that reveals the insufficiency of dominant Western theories and practices of peace to bring about the ends each claims: a lasting and just peace. They are all insufficient in fulfilling the promises they make because, unlike a Daoist praxiology of peace that is predicated on a seamless continuity of Qi and the harmony of Dao and De (oneness), Western conceptions and practices of peace (e.g., negative, positive, organic, comprehensive, liberal/democratic) are based on a continuously violent dialectic (violent because thesis and antithesis are antagonistic to one another) in its modes of reasoning and dialog and its preconceptions about who others are and what our relation(s) with them ought to be. An exception to the above characterization of dominant conceptions of peace in the West is a holistic conception of peace. This as Ho-Won Jeong states, assumes that “the individual is directly linked to the wider environment” (29). It links “the ideal of the human spirit to the harmony between different components of the earth system and even universe” (30). Most importantly in this comparison with the Daodejing, holistic peace challenges the dominant paradigm’s “violence against nature,” that paradigm’s destructive belief that security comes through control of others and the non-­human world(s) (29 and 30). The assumed efficacy of control will lead to a violent conception of progress. It must be pointed out, however, that versions of holistic peace, such as those advocated by Joanna Macy and Peter D.  Hershock, are rooted in Buddhist practice. An exception to the dominant Western paradigm and a Western source for a holistic conception of peace may be found in the systems theory of Ludwig von Bertalanffy, upon which others, such as Macy, also draw.



For the Daoist, we live in a more than human world in which our intentions, actions, values, and consequences form a web of inter-relationships that exist in a seamless continuity of energy. Instead of their being both self and others in dialectic, there is harmony: an intimate interfusion and intrinsic exchange of self with other. The Daodejing can be of inordinate help to peace studies by re-familiarizing us with the self-transformative practices within our own marginalized traditions that can instantiate peace and help the practitioner maintain both a peaceful disposition and a flexible creative awareness. Furthermore, the Daodejing speaks across the centuries to us addressing our present moment in terms of the human condition, the human propensity to violence, the practice of nonviolence and becoming fully human. It tells us not only that violence is unnecessary but also that we can regain our focus, realize our personhood, and return to our uniqueness as fully human beings.

Bibliography Ames, Roger T., and David L.  Hall. 2003. Dao De Jing: ‘Making This Life Significant’. New York: Ballantine Books. Blofeld, John. 1985. Taoism: The Road to Immortality. Boston: Shambhala. Chen, Wang. 1999. The Tao of Peace: Lessons from Ancient China on the Dynamics of Conflict. Trans. Ralph D.  Sawyer and Mei-chun Lee Sawyer. Boston: Shambhala Publications, Inc. Cheng, Man-jan. 1981. Lao-Tzu: ‘My Words Are Very Easy to Understand.’ Lectures on the Tao Teh Ching. Trans. Tam C. Gibbs. Richmond, CA: North Atlantic Books. Jeong, Ho-Won. 2000. Peace and Conflict Studies: An Introduction. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching. 1998. Trans. Victor H.  Mair. New  York: Quality Paperback Book Club. Lao-Tzu’s Taoteching. 2009. Trans. Red Pine. Port Townsend, WA: Copper Canyon Press. Michael, Thomas. 2015. In the Shadows of the Dao: Laozi, the Sage, and the Daodejing. Albany: State University of New York Press. Roth, Harold D. 1999. The Laozi in the Context of Early Daoist Mystical Praxis. In Religious and Philosophical Aspects of the Laozi, ed. Mark Csikszentmihalyi and Philip J. Ivanhoe, 59–96. Albany: State University of New York Press. Schipper, Kristofer. 1993. The Taoist Body. Trans. Karen C.  Duval. Berkeley: University of California Press.



Snodderly, David, ed. n.d. Peace Terms: Glossary of Terms for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding. Washington, DC: United States Institute for Peace. Zhang, Ellen Y. 2012. Weapons are Nothing But Ominous Instruments: The Daodejing’s View on War and Peace. Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc. 40 (3): 473–502.


The Augustinian Legacy of Divine Peace and Earthly War Michael Hoelzl and Andrej Zwitter

Introduction Political theories representing the realist strand of international relations interpret Augustine not as a peace theorist but as a just war theorist. Ultimately, two types of Realpolitik emerged in the twentieth century: a German decisionist Realpolitik (Practical Politics) in the inter-war period and an Anglo-American ethical political realism in the early beginnings of the Cold War (1945–1989).1 The aim of this essay is to evaluate the Augustinian legacy of war and peace theory in both types of political realism that emerged as disillusionment with Kant’s promise of a perpetual peace under liberal conditions. We will argue that these two strands of 1  We use the terms Realpolitik and political realism interchangeably. Both Realpolitik and political realism are understood as political theories.

M. Hoelzl University of Manchester, Manchester, UK e-mail: [email protected] A. Zwitter (*) University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




political realism re-read Augustine and consequently also Hobbes from different premises than Kant. Consequently, the inherent Augustinian legacy of just war and divine peace has been portrayed in terms of an Augustinian theory of war rather than a theory of peace. The present investigation into the Augustinian legacy in decisionist and ethical Realpolitik of the twentieth century follows from our previous work on the understanding of Augustine as a peace theorist rather than a theorist of just war as found predominantly in political liberalism. We start our analysis of the Augustinian legacy in political realism with a recapitulation and further elaboration of our argument previously published in Peace Review in 2013. The brief discussion of the Augustinian legacy in liberalism is the background against which the subsequent analysis is conducted and our argument is constructed. In a second step of the analysis, we introduce the German type of a decisionist Realpolitik by concentrating on the controversial but highly influential figure of Carl Schmitt. In a third step of the analysis, Hans Morgenthau’s ethical Realpolitik is discussed. The chosen comparative approach between a German decisionist version of political realism and an Anglo-American type of ethical Realpolitik will finally allow us to formulate our argument. That is, the Augustinian legacy in twentieth-century Realpolitik follows the strand of interpreting Augustine as a just war theorist, whereas in liberalism the Augustinian legacy is based on his concept of universal peace. It will be argued that in both traditions, liberalism as well as political realism, Augustine’s thoughts have been significantly modified. These modifications concern above all a secularisation of Augustine’s theologically grounded theory of just war and universal peace. Augustine’s theological account of just war and universal peace cannot be read separately. Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is superior to war because war requires a state of peace to be broken in the first place. Only subsequent secularisation that sees war and peace as equal dualities made it possible to think of war and peace theories as separate entities, while neglecting important metaphysical assumptions about the nature of man and the Hegelian role of history from Augustine’s work.

Augustinian Universal Peace Augustine is frequently credited as being the first author to theorise the concept of just war and the core principles underlying it. This assessment of Augustine’s work, which usually refers to his seminal work De Civitate



Dei Contra Paganos (The City of God Against Pagans), however, seems to be a somewhat selective, possibly anachronistic reading of the larger text. In fact, the sections that explicitly deal with just war are few. Most prominent stands a short chapter in which Augustine discusses what he sees as a dilemma of iniquity that leads to large kingdoms of conquest provoked by the aggression of neighbours: Let them ask, then, whether it is quite fitting for good men to rejoice in extended empire. For the iniquity of those with whom just wars are carried on favours the growth of a kingdom, which would certainly have been small if the peace and justice of neighbours had not by any wrong provoked the carrying on of war against them; and human affairs being thus more happy, all kingdoms would have been small, rejoicing in neighbourly concord; and thus there would have been very many kingdoms of nations in the world, as there are very many houses of citizens in a city. (Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, Book IV, Chapter 15)

From a more comprehensive reading, a different theory emerges, one that is less concerned about the conditions of just war but rather with the nature of peace, or more specifically universal peace. In his treatise, Augustine juxtaposes the heavenly and the earthly city. The earthly city focuses on earthly goals that by their very nature are bound to end; war in that assessment is an earthly affair—one that is instigated by earthly goals. The heavenly city, in contrast, is guided by eternal goals and is thus able to pursue an eternal peace, which by nature is transcendent and not immanent (Cunningham 1886: 114). Augustine’s contribution to political theory is then not an explanation of causes that make wars just but one of constituent conditions and of goals that make for a peace lasting eternally. In this vein, Augustine explains pax universalis as follows: The peace of body and soul is the well-ordered and harmonious life and health of the living creature. Peace between man and God is the well-­ ordered obedience of faith to eternal law. Peace between man and man is well-ordered concord. Domestic peace is the well-ordered concord between those of the family who rule and those who obey. Civil peace is a similar concord among the citizens. The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God. (Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, Book XIX, Chapter 13)



Universal peace is then a complex of conditions permeating all levels of human experience from the individual, physical well-being to intersubjective experience and ultimately also a political level. Every one of those conditions is a sine qua non, a constituent component of universal peace (Zwitter and Hoelzl 2014). To achieve this state of peace, it takes virtuous characters on all these levels, from the virtuous man and woman to the virtuous statesman. From this assessment it becomes quite clear that universal peace is hardly achievable since, while in a pre-Thomistic line of thought all that is was created as good and complete, vice is corrupting the essence of all things and makes the attainment of peace short-lived and superficial. In Augustine’s assessment, the earthly city is inherently unstable. While the political structure that it maintains can for a certain period sustain benefits for its constituency, the earthly goals ultimately lead to its demise.2 In this way, Augustine has paved the way for two lines of political thought as we shall see, the modern realist and (for the lack of a better word) the modern idealist. As will be illustrated below, both these theoretical lines of thought are grounded in their experiences of wars and the failures of peace. They pick different theoretical routes and select carefully those sections of Civitas Dei that confirm their hypotheses.

Kant’s Friedensschrift and the Optimism of Enlightenment After the discussion of Augustine as a peace theorist rather than war theorist, we previously compared his work with Immanuel Kant’s Friedensschrift (2nd edition of 1797) (Zwitter and Hoelzl 2014). We limited our comparison to Kant’s explicit reference to Augustine in the first addition to the third definitive article entitled “On the guarantee of perpetual peace”. In this part of the treatise, the author raises the question how perpetual peace can be ensured. Given the obvious wickedness of man and accepting Hobbes’ negative anthropology of “war of every man against every man”, 2  NB. “But the earthly city, which shall not be everlasting (for it will no longer be a city when it has been committed to the extreme penalty), has its good in this world, and rejoices in it with such joy as such things can afford. But as this is not a good which can discharge its devotees of all distresses, this city is often divided against itself by litigations, wars, quarrels, and such victories as are either life-destroying or short-lived. For each part of it that arms against another part of it seeks to triumph over the nations through itself in bondage to vice”. Augustine of Hippo, The City of God. XV. 4.



the problem is then to demonstrate the possibility of peace. In an extensive footnote, discussing nature as opposed to free will, Kant alludes to Augustine’s Confessions (12, 18) distinguishing between three types of providence: foundational providence (providential conditrix; semeliussit, semper parent), governing providence (providential gubernatrix) and leading providence (providential directrix).3 What is important for Kant, we argue, is nature that is divinely inspired and which ultimately enables us to reach a state of perpetual peace. In Augustine, on the contrary, peace was always seen as gift from God. Peace, in the end, is grace. In Kant’s conception of perpetual peace, nature provides the grounds for peace because of its “divine providence”. The transformation from universal to perpetual peace can be best illustrated by the reasons Kant gives for the peace-preparing role nature plays outlined in the three definitive articles. On the level of constitutional law, peace is possible because, by nature, human beings should act according to moral law which implies that if they must act according to moral law, they can act according to moral law. To speak of a Kantian optimism does by no means imply that Kant is naive in his conception of human nature. Kant’s notion of radical evil gives testimony to his realistic and rather pessimistic view of human nature which he increasingly endorsed in his later writings. Nevertheless, as Bernstein (2002) has pointed out, Kant is at war with himself when he tries to reconcile his unconditional belief in free will with his later conviction that there is something intrinsically evil in human nature, that it is man’s propensity to do evil rather than good.4 On the level of international law, nature has made the family so diverse in languages, religious beliefs, customs and attitudes so that this plurality prevents hegemony and the despotism of one single political unity (see Augustine’s idea of the concord among small kingdoms). In the end, and on a global level, nature, according to Kant, provides the grounds for peace because it has implanted in 3  NB.  Kant, Immanuel. 1917. Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf (To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Design). Leipzig: Insel Verlag. 32. 4  The idea of radical evil was first introduced in 1792 in Das radikal Böse in der menschlichen Natur (The Radical Evil in Human Nature), an essay published in Berlinische Monatsschrift (Berlin Monthly), a journal dedicated to promoting Enlightenment ideas to a wider public. Kant later included this essay in his Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der bloßen Vernunft (Religion Within the Bounds of Bare Reason) of 1794. See, for a detailed discussion of Kant being at war with himself, Bernstein, Richard. 2002. Radical Evil. A Philosophical Interrogation. Cambridge: Polity. 11–45.



human beings the desire to trade with each other. Therefore, in the optimistic view of Kant, global trade prevents the outbreak of non-­economically stimulated conflicts. What we can see in Kant’s work is a remarkable transformation of Augustine’s understanding of peace as divine gift. With Kant, and one might say with modernity, the agent of peace-making is no longer God but man. However, the tool of peace-making, namely concord, remains the same. The Church, as community simul iustus et peccator (being justified and sinner at the same time) being both temporal and spiritual on its pilgrimage to becoming the city of God and therefore towards universal peace inspired by God, has been transformed to the community of global citizens guided by the universal moral law instilled through practical reason. The state is seen in Kant as a singular entity, opposed to classical virtue ethics which saw a need for the autonomy of individual morality and its incommensurable role in politics. Even without taking into consideration the theological dimension advocated by Augustine, universal peace goes beyond perpetual peace as far as perpetual peace is a negative peace—an absence of war. It cannot be much more as Kant’s vision of humanity and its state of nature is inherently Hobbesian, whereas the Augustinian state of nature is peace by God’s grace and creation (Zwitter 2015). Both, however, see similarly the central role of the use of practical reason (in terms of virtue ethics phronesis or practical wisdom) in the process of reaching peace from war, and both share the idea of a pluralist but universal mankind which in Kantian terms is the pluralist concept of global citizenship.

Augustinian Peace Theory in Twentieth-Century Liberalism No other individual piece by Kant has been more often reproduced than his essay on perpetual peace. Indisputable is the impact of Kant’s treatise on political liberalism and those who advocate the idea of a cosmopolitan democracy, as Demonchonok (having people such as David Held, Martha Nussbaum, Kenneth Baynes, James Bohman, Amartya Sen, Stephen Anthony Appiah and Patrick Hayden, among others, in mind), states: Amid the diversity of voices in the new cosmopolitan movement, one can identify two main tendencies: one emphasizes identification with humanity as a whole and ‘world-citizenship’, and the other emphasizes ethics and the



protection of the cultural diversity of nations and minority groups. Yet for all these cosmopolitan philosophers, Kant [his treatise on perpetual peace] serves as a source of inspiration in the search for solutions to today's problems. And while most of them believe that Kant’s theory needs modification, they all insist it continues to possess normative relevance. (Demonchonok 2007: 35)

It would be of course a questionable assumption to claim that the Augustinian legacy preserved in the Kantian treatise is responsible for its impact on liberalism. But to deny the Augustinian legacy altogether would be equally wrong. Considerable attempts have even been made to read the Augustine legacy more directly into this strand of liberalism inspired by Kant, coining the term “Augustinian liberalism”.5 However questionable or plausible such attempts might be, there are more secular versions in political liberalism which refer to Kant’s treatise without any explicit reference to the Augustinian legacy. Jürgen Habermas, for example, makes an interesting observation in his re-reading of Kant’s treatise. In his contextual analysis of the Friedensschrift, he explains Kant’s difficulties to imagine a universal and cosmopolitan political body that is empowered to pursue a state of global peace. Habermas (2000: 171) writes: Because Kant does not transcend the horizon of his time, it is of course equally difficult for him to believe in any moral motivation to create and maintaining a federation between free states dedicated to power politics [i.e. supremacy of national sovereignty]. Kant sketches as a solution to this problem a philosophy of history with a cosmopolitan purpose which is supposed to lend plausibility, through a ‘hidden purpose of nature’ to the improbable ‘agreement between politics and morality’.

Kant’s problem, as Habermas says, is that he cannot imagine a federation of sovereign nation-states whose sole purpose is to seek perpetual peace. The idea of sovereign nation-states, which are selfish, or, in Augustinian terms governed by amor sui (self-love), have the capacity to overcome their egoism, seems naive from a political perspective. For such a purely secular project, there is no hope without any recourse to the theological belief in universal peace as articulated by Augustine. It appears that 5  NB. Gregory, Eric. 2008. Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 5–10; and as “civic liberalism”: 107–24.



for both Kant and Habermas there will remain a theological impasse. In Kant, it is the hidden purpose of nature rather than Augustine’s concept of amore dei (the love of and by God) that prepares the ground for the overcoming of the cleavage between politics and morality. Habermas suggests the democratic ideal of discursive rationality and communicative action as a remedy for the problem of a free association of individuals and nation-states without coercion. However, in more recent writings, Habermas conceded a normative desideratum in his social philosophy that can only be addressed by taking theological ideas seriously.6

Augustinian Legacy in Twentieth-Century Realpolitik A reading of Augustine as a peace theorist rather than an early authority of just war theory has been preserved in twentieth-century liberalism, but not without serious modifications towards secularisation. In Kant’s Friedensschrift, the Augustinian legacy of universal peace was transformed to a secular project of perpetual peace on the level of international law with a vision of cosmopolitan citizenship.7 The early Völkerbund or League of Nations after the First World War and the United Nations after the Second are testimonies to the political power of Kant’s ideas. Various strands of liberalism make indirect references to Augustine as peace theorist by emphasising the contractual aspect and the idea of an ideal covenant, whereas the other side of Augustine, that is, his theory of just war, is less present. In the following we will concentrate on this other side of Augustine by focussing on political realism instead of the liberal tradition. What can be said about the Augustinian legacy in twentieth-­ century political realism? To answer this question, we suggest looking into two quite distinct representatives of political realism. The first proponent of political realism is Carl Schmitt and his decisionist understanding of Realpolitik, and the second is Hans Morgenthau and his theory of an ethical Realpolitik. 6  See: Habermas, Jürgen. 2002. Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity (Cambridge: Polity). Habermas repeatedly borrowed Theodor W.  Adorno’s phrase “theologischer Glutkern” (fiery nucleus of theology) to describe the enduring normative value of theology. 7  See: Zwitter and Hoelzl, “Augustine on War and Peace”; Zwitter, “Peace and Peace Orders: Augustinian Foundations”, in Hobbesian and Kantian Receptions.



Carl Schmitt’s Decisionism as Realpolitik in the Inter-war Period The most obvious place to start the investigation into the Augustinian legacy in Schmitt’s political theory is the devastating critique of Schmitt’s concept of political theology formulated by his former close friend Erik Peterson in his book Monotheism as a Political Problem (1935) (Peterson 1935). The debate between Schmitt and Peterson is quite delicate, not just for biographical reasons. It is also interesting because Peterson in his attack on Schmitt’s concept of political theology uses quotations from Augustine’s Civitas Dei, to dismiss Schmitt’s allegedly pagan idea of a political theology as monarchic monotheism that is designed to ultimately legitimate the dictatorial rule of the Nazi regime. Bruce Rosenstock (2014: 329) summarises the significance of Peterson’s critique as follows: What Peterson is saying is that Schmitt has a picture of the sovereignty of God that is only a projection of human sovereignty and that the political unit Schmitt’s sovereign seeks to form is only a perverse image of the true unity that God, only at the end of time, will bring to existence. The peace that reigns within the three persons of the Trinity is incommensurable with any peace that humanity can achieve through the exercise of its own power. The Trinitarian peace is, however, an eschatological peace, a future peace incompatible with violence.

Peterson’s argument levelled against Schmitt seeks to foreclose, from a theological Trinitarian perspective, any possibility of political theology which conflates the Augustinian distinction between civitas Dei and civitas terrena. This is precisely what Peterson accuses Schmitt of doing in his second extended edition of Politische Theologie (Political Theology) of 1934, first published in 1922. Peterson’s argument rests on three premises. These are: 1. The transcendent nature of the Christian triune God must not be identified with any concrete political reality and politically established unity of a people of the present. Otherwise it is either pagan or polytheistic (Rosenstock 2014: 324). 2. Schmitt’s false dichotomist and even Manichaean reading of Augustine identifies contemporary political realities (the civitas terrena understood as the Nazi regime, the then concrete political real-



ity in its quasi triune structure of a unity of state-people-movement, experienced through the sovereignty of the will of the Führer) with the eschatological vision of a unity with God and universal peace expressed in civitas Dei. 3. Saint Augustine, to whom Peterson’s treatise is dedicated, has forcefully argued that such an illegitimate identification of the eschatological hope for universal peace in the civitas Dei with any political system that claims to have established a transcendent notion of hope for peace and unity in this world can only gain credibility by violently suppressing any dissent party or opposition to the actual political system. Political theology, as Peterson says, is the name of such a political project. After almost 35 years Carl Schmitt responded to Peterson’s critique in the monograph Politische Theologie II published in 1970.8 Augustine once again plays a key role in his defence of political theology, although this time Augustine is used as a source of references to pose an argument ad hominem against Peterson and his conversion from Lutheranism to Catholicism.9 The return to Peterson’s critique in his last book proves Schmitt’s lifelong concern with political theology and the problematic dichotomist distinction between morality and politics. In this regard, Schmitt can rightly be classified as a political realist as far as he strongly agrees to such a strict wall of separation, though it would be an unjustified simplification to

8  NB. Inexplicably Rosenstock does not discuss Schmitt’s late response at all in his otherwise illuminating treatise cited above. 9  NB. Politische Theologie II is dedicated to Hans Barion, who was a conservative Catholic priest and canon lawyer. Barion’s critique of Schmitt’s political theology of 1922 seems to follow Erik Peterson’s theological argument, according to which Schmitt’s advocated monarchic monotheistic concept of political theology is incompatible with the Christian dogma of Trinity. Schmitt returns Peterson’s critical comment on his concept of political theology by interpreting Peterson’s conversion from Lutheranism to Catholicism as a reaction to the alleged crisis of Protestantism during the inter-war period in Germany. See: Schmitt, Carl. 2008. Political Theology II. The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology. Trans. Michael Hoelzl, Graham Ward. Cambridge: Polity Press.



interpret Schmitt’s famous definition of politics based on the distinction between friend and enemy in terms of Gnostic dualism.10 Schmitt writes11: The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy. This provides a definition in the sense of a criterion and not as an exhaustive definition or one indicative of substantial content. Insofar as it is not derived from other criteria, the antithesis of friend and enemy corresponds to the relatively independent criteria of other antitheses: good and evil in the moral sphere, beautiful and ugly in the aesthetic sphere, and so on. The political always precedes the state as a political entity and the political must not be automatically identified with everything that belongs to the state.12

Like Augustine’s understanding of the Church being on a pilgrimage towards the heavenly city and at the same time being bound to the earthly city, Schmitt’s concept of the political is rooted in a relational understanding of friend and enemy: The distinction of friend and enemy denotes the utmost degree of intensity of a union or separation, of an association or dissociation. It can exist theoretically and practically, without having simultaneously to draw upon all those moral, aesthetic, economic, or other distinctions.13 Schmitt’s relational concept of the political implies an extreme antagonism not unlike Augustine’s antagonism between the civitas Dei and civitas terrena.14

10  See: Wagdi, Sabete. 2012. “Du mythe de “l’augustinismepolitique”. Archiv für Rechtsund Sozial philosophie 98/1: 19–51. For a detailed critique of the heretical nature of a dualistic interpretation Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction, see: 31–5. 11  Schmitt, Carl. 1996. Der Begriff des Politischen. Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot; 26. All quotations are taken from the English translation by George Schwab. Schmitt, Carl. 2007a The Concept of the Political. Expanded Edition. Trans George Schwab. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; 26. 12  Schmitt, Carl. 1996. Der Begriff des Politischen; 24. 13  Schmitt, Carl. 2007. The Concept of the Political; 26–7. 14  NB. Durden, William S. n.d. “Public and Private Responsibility: Christianity and Politics; in Carl Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political” Christianity and Literature 60/4: 561–79. The author argues that “In order to engage Schmitt at the intersection of Christianity and political theory, a reading of St. Augustine becomes important”. This is because “one specific, and well-known, articulation of the theo-political: political realism”. 564.



In 1937, five years after the publication of The Concept of the Political, Schmitt delivered a paper on the turn to the discriminating concept of war.15 Schmitt elaborates on the replacement of the old international legal concept of war as a legitimate instrument of international politics by a discriminating concept of war. For Schmitt, the turn towards a discriminating concept of war has profound consequences concerning the friend-­ enemy distinction. He claims that “to now obsolete international law, war owed its justice, honour, and worth to the fact that the enemy was neither a pirate nor a gangster, but rather a ‘state’ and a ‘subject of international law’”.16 Ultimately this leads to an “intensification of war and enmity”, “a ‘decisively final war of humanity’—at any rate, a deeply hostile ‘total’ war”.17 The main reason for this, according to Schmitt, was the then hybrid nature of the Geneva League of Nations comprising two contradictory tendencies. In the following longer quotation once again, the vision of an Augustinian universal peace versus the concrete, worldly reality of a unified, belligerent number of different peoples is reminiscent. Towards the end of his treatise, Schmitt writes about the “mixing of the League of Nations and the idea of a universal community of nations poses the no less difficult alternative: should there be an institutionalized federation or an ecumenical order for the world and mankind?”18 Schmitt’s sinister prediction is that19: At the end of the day, these two tendencies of federalism and universalism work contrary to one another. One cannot hope that this stage of federalism that leads to an intensification of war be skipped and that it would be possible to proceed directly to ecumenical universalism via institutionalization. Those who strive for this path to a universalistic final goal through the means of a federalization of the Geneva League of Nations will surely assume that the contradiction between federalism and universalism will remain valid only for a short, unavoidable interregnum. But this interregnum is, at least seen from the perspective of human prescience and planning, indeed a new

15  Schmitt, Carl. 2007b. Die Wendung zum diskriminierenden Kriegsbegriff (The Turn to the Discriminatory Concept of War), Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. 16  All quotations are taken from Timothy Nunan’s excellent first English translation. Schmitt, Carl. 2011. Writings on War. Trans. Timothy Nunan. Cambridge: Polity, 2011; 30–74; p. 71. 17  Schmitt, Carl. 2011. Writings on War; 72. 18  Schmitt, Carl. 2011. Writings on War; 72. 19  Schmitt, Carl. 2011. Writings on War; 72–3.



epoch of history, one with new and more intensive wars. This new epoch is, for all mortal men, an incalculable period with unpredictable results.

On the pilgrimage to ecumenical universal, one is tempted to paraphrase Schmitt’s statement, a period, interregnum of intensified wars is looming. From the perspective of political realism, the libido dominandi among nations will always prevail. So far, one might question the evidence for an Augustinian legacy in Schmitt’s highly sophisticated and purely legal treatise on the turn to a discriminating concept of war because of the lack of direct reference to Augustine. To substantiate the argument concerning the Augustinian legacy present in Schmitt’s decisionist Realpolitik, one must take Schmitt’s post-war writings into account and his book Der Nomos der Erde im Völkerrecht des Jus Publicum Europaeum of 1950.20 Schmitt again refers to Augustine explicitly in his discussion of the concept of “a just war” and whether such a concept is not in itself questionable. “Saint Augustine”, Schmitt writes, “has spoken of war in book 19 of Civitas Dei and in the wonderful chapter 7 of that book he has said with poignant words, that in the face of the imperfection, that for a wise man the idea of a just war makes the idea of war as such even more depressing. In chapter 8 the saint complains about the terrible difficulty of distinguishing accurately between friend and enemy”.21 Schmitt returns to Augustine later in his discussion of Kant’s concept of an unjust enemy. The argument advanced by Schmitt must be understood as a later recourse to and justification of his views on the dramatic consequences of the turn to a discriminating concept of war expressed in his 1937 treatise. If according to Augustine, argues Schmitt, “…the idea of war as such is getting even sadder by the idea of a just war, then the notion of an unjust enemy augments this sadness, because one focusses not on the crime but on the criminal”.22 In the end, as Schmitt’s argument goes, the fact that it is “…already difficult for man to distinguish the just enemy from a criminal”, how much more difficult must it then be not to identify the “unjust enemy with the worst criminal”.23 Ultimately, it is ­questionable 20  Schmitt, Carl. 1997. Der Nomos der Erde im Völkerrecht des Jus Publicum Europaeum. Duncker and Humblot. All translations in the following are mine [MH]. 21  Schmitt, Carl. 1997. Der Nomos der Erde; 126. 22  Schmitt, Carl. 1997. Der Nomos der Erde; 142. 23  Schmitt, Carl. 1997. Der Nomos der Erde; 142.



how the unjust enemy could still be considered as a (wartime) enemy in terms of international law. The self-vindicating tone of Schmitt’s argument is obvious and characteristic of his post-war writings.24 However, the direct reference to Saint Augustine proves that Schmitt’s concept of a discriminating war, expressed in 1937, is deeply embedded in a reading of Augustine’s Civitas Dei. Augustine is used here to emphasise the strict separation of morality and politics which is paradigmatic for Schmitt’s decisionist Realpolitik.

Ethical Realpolitik in Hans Morgenthau Traces of Augustinian conceptions of the structural limitations of perpetual peace that are found in the incongruence between the nature of earthly peace and the corruption of the virtues through vice can in modern political thought be found in Realist thought with regard to greed and the ubiquitous power drive. It features in contemporary discourse both as a secular and a sacred concept, i.e. as a moral problem of why moral agents do commit “evil deeds” and as a metaphysical problem of why there is evil (Jeffery 2007). These two questions are not separated. Hans Morgenthau speaks, in his brilliant analysis of the nature of politics and the role of political theory “The Evil of Politics and the Ethics of Evil” (Morgenthau 1945), of the animus dominandi (the will to power) as an innate, inevitable, but evil human drive as Augustine asserts.25 This drive, he posits, has been more potently restrained by political theories of Augustine and Locke, whereas Hobbes and Machiavelli would more readily accept the ubiquity of power drives as facts of social nature (Morgenthau 1948). Another proponent of classical (Christian) realism,26 Reinhold Niebuhr, asserts equally that while individuals have the capacity to act morally, the societal drive for harmony and peace can and will ultimately lead to the 24  NB. For comments on how his post-war work should be read, see the editors’ introduction: Schmitt, Carl. 2008. Political Theology II; 1–8. 25  NB. For Augustine’s treatment of the animus dominandi (will to power) that undoubtfully inspired Morgenthau’s article while going almost uncredited except for one short reference, see Book III Chap. 14 “Of the Wickedness of the War Waged by the Romans Against the Albans, and of the Victories Won by the Lust of Power”, Augustine of Hippo, The City of God. 26  NB. While this is not the purpose of this section, it illustrates that one can quite stringently and easily subsume Hans Morgenthau to the school of Christian realism, given his political and moral theory.



suppression of groups that challenge the status quo as unjust and this leads to evil deeds (Niebuhr 2002). In the modern Realpolitik, such a drive to power is one that goes beyond raison d’état (reasons of state). The latter serves a goal, an ideology or an idea. The former is at work where state interest is invoked to justify means by ideological ends (Morgenthau 1948: 78). In the animus dominandi Morgenthau sees a natural force of evil that Augustine’s and Locke’s political frameworks were readily condemning: “This lust for power manifests itself as the desire to maintain the range of one’s own person with regard to others, to increase it, or to demonstrate it. In whatever disguises it may appear its ultimate essence and aim is in one of these references of one person to others” (Morgenthau 1945: 13). He continues by distinguishing the typical goals of selfishness concerning food, shelter, marriage and other needs that are quite different from this animus dominandi. These, on the one hand, have a direct relation to the vital needs of the individual. “The desire for power, on the other hand, concern’s itself not with the individual’s survival but his position among his fellows once his survival has been secured. Consequently, the selfishness of man has limits, his will to power has none” (Morgenthau 1945: 13).The desire for power is linked to the biblical theme of man of wanting to become like God and to hate everything that is better than oneself (Midgley 2001). This desire necessitates abandoning morality. Niebuhr terms the proponents of such interpretation of realism that justify all means by ideological but self-serving sentiments as the “Children of Darkness”—actors willing to deny the need for morality because it gets in the way of necessity (Niebuhr 2011). From this perspective it is not surprising that Morgenthau sees the practical role of morality in modern Realpolitik reduced to a means for justification, a moral sentiment rather than a moral argument. Because ethical imperatives are used, such moral principles are framed in a moral absolutism. Morgenthau (1951: 114) calls this instrumental use of morality moral sentimentalism: What distinguishes this sentimental approach to foreign policy from the common and well-nigh inevitable ideological justification of political action, domestic and international, is the fact that we are here not in the presence of a mere ideology […]. [The American people] have taken them seriously, devoted themselves to them, and in not a few instances have been ready to shed their blood, to spend their treasure, to jeopardize the very existence of



the country, in order to make these political principles prevail on the international scene. In one word, they have allowed them, nay required them to influence political action itself.

Even if Morgenthau asserts that national self-interest is the moral duty of a state if it is not to be exploited for its altruism by other states, in greed he sees the excess that is driven by the animus dominandi (the lust for power) (Morgenthau 1951). Its ubiquitous nature makes politics the subject of evil and political ethics the ethics of evil, and he states: Political ethics is indeed the ethics of doing evil. While it condemns politics as the domain of evil par excellence, it must reconcile itself to the enduring presence of evil in all political action. Its last resort, then, is the endeavor to choose, since evil there must be, among several possible actions the one that is least evil. (Morgenthau 1945: 17)

Like Augustine’s elaborations on the limitations of any perpetuating peace in the civitas terrena that in Augustine’s view can ultimately only be tamed by moral influence of Christianity, Morgenthau’s idea of political ethics is one of a science of the lesser evil. This science introduces practical reason as an antidote to the lust for power. In Morgenthau’s view the “original sin” of politics is man acting without reason (phronesis) in international politics; however, the social scientists’ rationalist endeavour of reducing peace to a managerial problem has equally failed. In this notion of the limits of a singular domain of societal experience underlying war and peace, he fully agrees with Augustine, who as we have seen above treats peace as a societal as much as a psychological and a metaphysical problem. In this sense, Augustine’s criticism informs Morgenthau’s scepticism of rationalism as a panacea of the evil of war—not right reason but just love (caritas) for one’s neighbours ultimately can be the foundation of lasting peace (Loriaux1992: 405). As such, Kant’s claim in the Friedensschrift can be by inference discounted as a logical exercise that falls short and fails by attempting to attribute the conditions of perpetual peace to extraneous socio-political factors and logical problems only. In very simplified terms, we do not wage war because we are not sufficiently rational but because we do not love our neighbours well enough. As Murray argues, it is not so much a Hobbesian-Machiavellian framework that Morgenthau adopts for his moral theory than an Augustinian



(Murray 1996). This framework might not be as logically consistent as that of Kant, but it contends with human nature as fallible while simultaneously still capable of virtue. Kantian idealism in this respect seems too far-fetched given failures resulting from and disillusionment caused by the failure of the Kantian political innovations first implemented in the League of Nations. Morgenthau does credit Hobbes for brilliantly summarising the nature of law and the role of morality within the state and the limits of these normative orders without the state. Nevertheless, in defence against critics that would place him squarely in a Hobbesian-Machiavellian framework, he states that he has “always maintained that the actions of states are subject to universal moral principles, and I have been careful to differentiate my position in this respect from that of Hobbes” (Morgenthau 1962: 106). To substantiate his position, he reiterates that states are subject to an ultimate moral law, which the statesman might invoke but the scholar shall in humility not define. In his view, there is however a difference between the existence of such moral rules and their capacity to restrain action. Akin to the realism of Augustine who affirms that no customs of war have ever prevented bloodshed (Augustine of Hippo, Book 1, Chaps. II–V)27, also Morgenthau asserts that moral rules have their limits, and he states that their “restraining function is most obvious and most effective in affirming the sacredness of human life in times of peace” (Morgenthau 1948: 107). At all times, morality is to be viewed under the condition of its time and context. During peace time, the moral rules allow for a more differentiated view and a more civil role of the state. But the luxury and freedom of the individual to choose her actions in accordance with moral laws and nothing else is one that the statesman representing the good of its commonwealth cannot afford. “Finally, the political realist distinguishes between his moral sympathies and the political interests which he must defend. He will distinguish with Lincoln between his ‘official duty’ which is to protect the national interest and his ‘personal wish’ which is to see universal moral values realized throughout the world” (Morgenthau 1948: 110). As a result, the purpose of the just war (to preserve the civitas 27  NB. This passage most clearly illustrates Augustine’s realism: “Even Cæsar himself gives us positive testimony regarding this custom; for, in his deliverance in the senate about the conspirators, he says (as Sallust, a historian of distinguished veracity, writes) that virgins and boys are violated, children torn from the embrace of their parents, matrons subjected to whatever should be the pleasure of the conquerors, temples and houses plundered, slaughter and burning rife; in fine, all things filled with arms, corpses, blood, and wailing” (Augustine of Hippo 2012, 1.V).



terrena on its pilgrimage to the civitas Dei from the threats within and without) and the just man cannot be detached from each other. The statesman in the view of both Augustine and Morgenthau can be justly waging war while the individual cannot. In summary, the Augustinian heritage in Morgenthau can plausibly be retraced and is well established in the literature (Neacsu 2009: 25). Regarding Immanuel Kant, Morgenthau’s position remains ambiguous (Scheuerman 2012). Ultimately, the theoretical incompatibilities that seem to have resulted from the failure of the idealist peace project of the inter-war period, as well as his Augustinian theoretical foundations, might explain why Morgenthau hardly referenced Kant in his works on international politics. Ultimately, however, one can place Morgenthau easily in the realm of Christian realism, a school of thought that remains loyal to Augustine’s vision of moral politics and how it views morality’s regulatory capabilities in international politics.

Conclusion Throughout centuries and even today, Augustine must be viewed as a highly influential source of political philosophy. The Augustinian legacy of his distinction between civitas Dei and civitas terrena, his realistic understanding of an animus dominandi inherent in all politics, the undeniable existence of sin and evil, the legitimate option of waging a just war as well as his theological and multi-dimensional vision of a universal peace, his belief in the superiority of God’s grace and the possibility of a moderation of the lust of power have shaped strands of political philosophy as diverse as liberalism and political realism. As we have seen with the examples of Immanuel Kant, Carl Schmitt, and Hans Morgenthau, Augustine’s thoughts have been incorporated in modern political discourse, in different strands and often in a secularised and de-theologised form. In liberalism Augustine has predominantly been interpreted as an advocate of peace rather than just war. Universal peace in Augustine was translated into the cosmopolitan project of perpetual peace based on the belief in the soft force of the stronger argument. Conflicts can be avoided and battles can be ended using reason and the exchange of arguments. In twentieth-century political realism, we can see a different reception of Augustine. Schmitt’s decisionist Realpolitik is shaped by the experience of the First World War and the permanent threat of civil war during the Weimar Republic. Hans Morgenthau’s ethical Realpolitik and specifically



his essay of 1945 on evil must be read as a direct response to the events and horrors of the Second World War. Given the immediate experience of war of both authors, it is not surprising that Augustine was re-read in the light of “just war” and his realistic view of human nature. The latter was evidently informed by a similarly realistic re-reading of Thomas Hobbes. Despite these commonalities of Morgenthau’s and Schmitt’s political realism, there remain fundamental differences. These come specifically to the fore in their quite distinctive views of the role of morality vis-à-vis politics. What they have in common is their neglect and even critique of the liberal thoughts of Kant’s Friedensschrift when returning to the foundations of peace and war theories as laid down by Saint Augustine. They might disagree on important aspects in their ontology of peace and war but the political role of necessity is not one of them. Ultimately, irrespective of these differences and irrespective of the incompatibility of liberalism and political realism, one can safely conclude that the Augustinian legacy in political philosophy has never ended and, given the current global rise of Realpolitik, it is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future. The only question is whether Augustine will be considered as a theologian of universal peace or as an authority who legitimates the righteousness of waging a just war.

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———. 2002. Religion and Rationality: Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity. Cambridge: Polity. Jeffery, Renee. 2007. Evil and International Relations: Human Suffering in an Age of Terror. Palgrave Macmillan. Kant, Immanuel. 1917. Zum ewigen Frieden. Ein philosophischer Entwurf. Leipzig: Insel Verlag. Loriaux, Michael. 1992. The Realists and Saint Augustine: Skepticism, Psychology, and Moral Action in International Relations Thought. International Studies Quarterly 36 (4): 401–420. Midgley, M. 2001. Wickedness: A Philosophical Essay. London and New  York: Routledge. Morgenthau, H.J. 1945. The Evil of Politics and the Ethics of Evil. Ethics 56 (1): 1–18. ———. 1948. Politics Among Nations—The Struggle for Power and Peace. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ———. 1951. Defense of the National Interest: A Critical Examination of American Foreign Policy. University Press of America. ———. 1962. Politics in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Murray, A.J.H. 1996. The Moral Politics of Hans Morgenthau. The Review of Politics 58 (1): 81–107. Neacsu, M. 2009. Hans J.  Morgenthau’s Theory of International Relations: Disenchantment and Re-Enchantment. Springer. Niebuhr, Reinhold. 2002. Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study in Ethics and Politics. Westminster Press. ———. 2011. The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness: A Vindication of Democracy and a Critique of Its Traditional Defense. University of Chicago Press. Peterson, Erik. 1935. Der Monotheismusalspolitisches Problem. Leipzig: Hegner. Rosenstock, Bruce. 2014. Monotheism as a Political Problem: The Critique of Political Theology Out of the Sources of Judaism. In Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology, ed. Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka, 321–344. Minneapolis: Indiana University Press. Scheuerman, William E. 2012. Realism and the Kantian Tradition: A Revisionist Account. International Relations 26 (4): 453–477. https://doi. org/10.1177/0047117812445449. Schmitt, Carl. 1996. Der Begriff des Politischen. Text von 1932 mit einem Vorwort und drei Corollarien. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. ———. 1997. Der Nomos der Erde im Völkerrecht des Jus Publicum Europaeum. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. ———. 2007a. The Concept of the Political. Expanded Edition. Trans. George Schwab. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.



———. 2007b. Die Wendung zum diskriminierenden Kriegsbegriff. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. ———. 2008. Political Theology II. The Myth of the Closure of Any Political Theology. Trans. Michael Hoelzl and Graham Ward. Cambridge: Polity Press, 41–5. ———. 2011. Writings on War. Trans. Timothy Nunan. Cambridge: Polity, 30–74. Wagdi, Sabete. 2012. Du mythe de ‘l’augustinisme politique’. ArchivfürRechtsund Sozialphilosophie 98 (1): 19–51. Zwitter, Andrej. 2015. Peace and Peace Orders: Augustinian Foundations in Hobbesian and Kantian Receptions. In Democracy, Peace, and Security, ed. Heinz Gärtner, Jan Willem Honig, and Hakan Akbulut, 59–80. Lexington Books. Zwitter, Andrej, and Michael Hoelzl. 2014. Augustine on War and Peace. Peace Review 26 (3): 317–324.


Pacifism or Bourgeois Pacifism? Huxley, Orwell, and Caudwell W. John Morgan

Introduction A great deal has been written on pacifism as a philosophical, ethical, political, and anthropological concept, and on the experience of it historically by adherents and by opponents. This is part of wider debates about peace and war: just and unjust wars (Walzer 2006); when force is justified and why (Fletcher and Ohlin 2008); culture, religion, and the norms of war (Popovski et al. 2009); conscription and conscientious objection to military service (Levi 1997); what is a war crime and responses to it (Solis 2010); and the possibilities of achieving and maintaining peace through dialogue and education (Morgan and Guilherme 2014), and through organizations for international cooperation (Mazower 2012). The literature is well-known and is not reviewed here in detail other than as context for the question: pacifism or bourgeois pacifism? A working definition of pacifism, at least in the Anglophone world, is said to be “…an unconditional rejection of all forms of warfare” (Brock and Socknat 1999, ix). Pacifism after 1918 was the result of popular experience during the First World War. It grew in influence during the 1920s

W. J. Morgan (*) Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




with both religious and humanist adherents, together with support for internationalism, and for organizations such as the League of Nations. This has sometimes been described as “pacificism” although the line between this and “pacifism” in the strict sense is often tenuous (Brock and Socknat 1999, ix; Alexandra 2006). However, the threats from Fascism, from national socialism, and from Japanese militarism weakened its political appeal and eventually: “….a crisis occurred among those who had hitherto regarded themselves as pacifist, so that by 1939–1941 pacifism had redefined itself as more a faith or ethos than a practical policy” (Brock and Socknat 1999, ix). The chapter focuses on a specific aspect of pacifism in Britain: that of bourgeois pacifism and its critique. It considers pacifism in Britain between 1919 and 1946; public opinion on war; communism, imperialist war, and bourgeois pacifism; the views of the cultural critic and libertarian Aldous Huxley; the views of the cultural critic and democratic socialist George Orwell; and the views of the cultural critic and communist Christopher Caudwell. There is a short conclusion that compares and contrasts the various perspectives considered.

Pacifism in Britain 1919–1946 As Martin Ceadel has shown, the origins of a British movement for war prevention and for peace may be found in political debates about international relations from as long ago as the early eighteenth century (Ceadel 1996). In the early twentieth century, the slaughter of the First World War resulted in a “Peace Movement” in Britain that called for “the abolition of war” (Robbins 1976). Although this did not have a decisive impact while the war was being fought, it was an important influence on the post-war world through the League of Nations that was part of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919. The focus here is on the period up to 1946. There is again an extensive literature of which only examples are considered as context for later sections. Millions had experienced the horrors of the war either directly as combatants or indirectly as civilian relatives of combatants, and as war resisters. Although they took almost a decade to appear, there were eventually many memoirs, novels, plays, and poetry, such as Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War (1928), Frederic Manning’s The Middle Parts of Fortune in a



private edition (1929) and Her Privates We (1977) in an expurgated edition a year later, Robert Graves’ Goodbye to All That (1929), Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930), and Henry Williamson’s The Patriot’s Progress (1930) serialized in the London Evening Standard in November 1930, the play Journey’s End by R. C. Sherriff (1928) which ran in London between 1929 and 1931, David Jones’ autobiographical epic poem In Parenthesis (1937) which won the Hawthornden Prize in 1937, and the very popular American film All Quiet on the Western Front (1931) based on the best-selling and widely translated German novel by Erich Maria Remarque (1929). These literary and artistic accounts of war time experiences came unsurprisingly from the educated officer caste. Such writing was consistently anti-war, if not completely pacifist. The romanticism of T. E. Lawrence or Lawrence of Arabia’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom, first published in 1926, and its popular version Revolt in the Desert (1927), a year later, was an exception. These and others of a similar genre reflected on the traumas of the First World War creating a popular anti-war mood. The well-known Oxford University Union debate of February 9, 1933, on the motion “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country,” passed by 275 votes to 153, is an indication of this.1 There was also a flourishing of peace societies of many types, such as the Union of Democratic Control, founded originally in 1914 (Robbins 1976); the No-Conscription Fellowship (1914) and its successor the No More War Movement (1922); the League of Nations Union (1918) with its many local branches, including national councils in Wales and Scotland2; the Society of Friends or Quakers; the Women’s Co-operative Guild; the National Peace Council; the Independent Labour Party; and the later Peace Pledge Union (as perhaps the high-water mark of inter-war peace movements). The last had been initiated in 1934 by the prominent Anglican priest Hugh Richard Lawrie “Dick” Sheppard, then a canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral, through a

1  The principal speaker for the motion was Dr. C. E. M. Joad, a controversial public intellectual and later broadcaster. He was to chair the National Peace Council during 1937–1938 and published a popular paperback Why War? (1939). However, he came to support the war effort against Nazism and Fascism. 2  For accounts of peace movements and pacifism in Wales see Morgan, K. O. (1981) and of a well-known individual pacifist see Morgan, W. J. (2015). For Scotland and for Helen Crawfurd and the Women’s Peace Crusade, Glasgow, see https://www.firstworldwarglasgow. (accessed 09/06/2019).



letter to the press inviting from men post-card pledges never to go to war.3 Some 135,000 responses were received which established the Peace Pledge Union with a weekly newspaper Peace News and the support of public intellectuals such as Aldous Huxley, Storm Jameson, Vera Brittain, Bertrand Russell,4 C. E. M. Joad5, Maurice Cranston, Siegfried Sassoon, and Donald Soper, the last noted for his leadership of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in post-Second World War Britain. Sheppard died in 1937 and the socialist politician George Lansbury became the organization’s president following its merger with the No More War Movement of which he had been chairman.

British Public Opinion on War However, as Josephine Eglin observes, the “…desire for peace was not, however, synonymous with pacifism, though in the enthusiasm for avoiding war the term ‘pacifism’ tended to be used indiscriminately” (Eglin 1999, 150). She commented, citing A.  J. P. Taylor’s English History 1914–1945, that the population was generally passive in response to fascist aggression in Abyssinia, in Spain, and to Hitler’s occupation of the Rhineland and that “Right up to 1939 they shared Neville Chamberlain’s desire for appeasement” (Eglin 1999, 150; Taylor 1965, 289).6 Indeed, Harold Nicolson, a National Labour MP, noted in March 1936, when Germany remilitarized the Rhineland in breach of the Versailles Treaty, that “…the people of this country absolutely refuse to have a war. We should be faced by a general strike if we even suggested such a thing” (cited in Davis 2017, 15, note 12). Yet, as the threat from Fascism and Nazism grew, especially with the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), pacifist and anti-war opinion began to waver. This ambivalent attitude had been shown first in the public response to the so-called Peace Ballot of 1934. 3  Sheppard’s letter was addressed to men only initially to dispel what he believed to be the idea that pacifism was essentially a woman’s cause. Women were admitted to the Peace Pledge Union equally in 1936. It is still in existence as the British Section of War Resisters’ International, a lone survivor of the inter-war pacifist movements. See https://www.ppu. (accessed 09/06/2019). 4  See Russell (1936). 5  See Joad (1939). 6  A. J. P. Taylor refers rather perversely to “the English” although the sentiment described applied also to the Scots, Welsh, and Ulster Irish. The book was however in the Oxford History of England series.



This was an unofficial nationwide survey organized by the League of Nations Union to which about half the electorate responded. It had five questions relating to the League of Nations, to armaments, and to collective security. The results showed a repugnance of war, of armaments and the arms trade, and support for collective security through the League of Nations, but also an acceptance that it might be necessary to resist aggression with force. The Peace Pledge Union provides further examples.7 It was credited for its help to refugees as victims of war and oppression, but its support declined once war with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy began. Storm Jameson resigned her membership in 1940. She wrote later: “I knew that war bred as much evil as it destroyed, perhaps more. Yet I could not, with the pacifists cry: Submit, submit. The price was too high; the smell from the concentration camps, from cells where men tortured men, from trains crammed to suffocation with human cattle, choked the words back in my throat” (Quoted in Eglin 1999, 153). There were other examples among British feminists as Eglin notes. Sylvia Pankhurst “…gradually came to believe that fascism was itself such a threat to world peace that it could be defeated only by resort to arms. She opposed appeasement and the Second World War had her full support. … Similarly Ellen Wilkinson … Her visit to Spain in 1937 convinced her, like many other erstwhile pacifists, that the civil war there was part of the international struggle against fascism. … For Ethel Mannin, too, Spain was a turning point” (Eglin 1999, 191). It was “…interpreted as a ‘people’s war’ and therefore justified” (Eglin 1999, 190).8 However, Mannin was, paradoxically, in opposition to the Second World War (Ceadel 1980, 229) and in 1946 contributed to Why I Am Still a Pacifist, a Peace Pledge Union pamphlet (de Ligt 1946). Vera Brittain, another prominent feminist and member of the editorial board of Peace News, remained steadfastly opposed to war throughout her life. Her autobiographical Testament of Youth (1933) described her traumatic experience of war-time nursing. Later she was to be a fire warden during the  The Peace Pledge Union is examined in detail by Andrew Rigby (1999).  Storm Jameson (1891–1986) was a feminist, a journalist, and a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction; Sylvia Pankhurst (1882–1960) was a leading suffragette and later Marxist; Ellen Wilkinson (1891–1947) was a prominent Left-wing Labour MP, who had been a member of the Independent Labour Party and founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain; Ethel Mannin (1900–1984) was an anarchist, a feminist, and a prolific author and travel writer. 7 8



Second World War, an experience that contributed to her public condemnation in the pamphlet Massacre by Bombing (Brittain 1944) of the saturation bombing of German cities.9 The annual Problems of Peace conferences held at the Geneva headquarters of the League of Nations between 1926 and 1938 should also be noted. These presented various ideological positions that illustrated the diversity of the British inter-war Left. It has been argued (Lamb 2014) that E. H. Carr’s neglect of the discussions at these conferences limits the validity of the utopian-realist binary approach to international relations developed in The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919–1939, published in 1939 (Carr 2016). The attitudes of the British Left towards pacifism, re-armament, appeasement, and conscription were fluid and ambivalent, and complicated by the Popular Front policy of the 7th Congress of the Communist International in 1935.10 This is shown in John Lewis’11 account of attitudes towards pacifism in the influential Left Book Club of Victor Gollancz. There was “…a pacifist tendency within the Club, but not a strong one.” The Club, Lewis claims, published only one book on the issue, The Citizen Faces War by Robert and Barbara Donington in May 1937. It set out the pacifist case “fairly and sympathetically” but was in favour of collective security. This “…was the position of Victor Gollancz himself who had never concealed his loathing for war or his instinctive sympathy for pacifism, but now felt compelled to give his support and that of the Club to collective security, security based in the last resort on force” (Lewis 1970, 103). In Left News, the Club’s newsletter for March 1937, Gollancz wrote: “I profoundly believe that in the present phase of world history pacifism is not merely mistaken, but one of the most dangerous forces which antifascism has to face.” However, Lewis claims that Gollancz remained ambivalent, such was his repugnance of war, and he was asked to prepare “…a careful and thorough examination of the pacifist case” (Lewis 1970, 104). Lewis submitted The Case Against Pacifism in 1938, but Gollancz

9  See Rempel (1978) for a discussion of the dilemmas of British pacifists during the Second World War. 10  And later by the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939. 11  Dr. John Lewis (1889–1976) was convenor of the Left Book Club discussion groups (1936–1940), a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), and editor of the Communist Party’s theoretical journal The Modern Quarterly (1938–1953). He was in close contact with the publisher Victor Gollancz and with the other members of the Left Book Club’s editorial board, John Strachey and Harold Laski.



would not publish it in the Left Book Club series (Lewis 1940).12 This is interesting given that the Left Book Club included many titles focusing on the threat from Fascism and Nazism and the deterioration of international relations. Konni Zilliacus’ Why We Are Losing the Peace (1939) is an example.13

Communism and Bourgeois Pacifism The concept of “bourgeois pacifism” may be claimed to have originated in Alexander L. Parvus’14 series of articles in 1904 on “War and Revolution” for Iskra (The Spark), the newspaper of the Russian Marxist Social Democratic Labour Party, which focused on war between capitalist nation-­ states. It is argued that: “Parvus was thus among the first to propose the ‘imperialist war’ thesis which was to become so popular in Marxist circles some ten years later. He argued that the world capitalist order, far from being a unified camp with one common interest, was in fact divided within itself and against itself…Competition for overseas markets, rival national economic interests…were driving the European powers into what would eventually become a world-wide conflict” (Knei-Paz 1978, 17–18). This was a classical Marxist analysis and had a powerful influence on the thinking of Trotsky, Lenin, and other communists. Until 1914 it had been assumed by socialists and by communists alike that should capitalist nation-states wage war this would be met by coordinated action from the international workers’ movement. A general strike and mass refusal to fight would bring hostilities to a halt. Such worker solidarity failed to materialize, and this led to the dissolution of the Second (Socialist) International in 1916. What was the communist attitude towards pacifism in these circumstances? Two examples must suffice. 12  Lewis explains in a footnote that the book, with Victor Gollancz’s consent, was published in 1940 by Allen and Unwin with a special paperback edition made available to Left Book Club members and to members of the Workers’ Educational Association (Lewis 1970, 104, 6n). 13  Konni Zilliacus (1894–1967). He signed the book Vigilantes. Zilliacus was an interpreter at the League of Nations in Geneva, especially of Russian. He resigned from the Secretariat of the League of Nations on Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. A British Labour MP after the Second World War, he was considered a “fellow traveller” of the Communist Party. 14  Alexander Lvovich Parvus (1867–1924) was a prominent Marxist theorist and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.



The first is a polemic from Lenin on “Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism” written during the First World War which developed Parvus’ theory. Lenin argued that: Such is the present position in the struggle for the division of the imperialist loot. It is quite natural that this situation should give rise to pacifist strivings, declarations and pronouncements, mainly on the part of the bourgeoisie and governments of the German coalition and of the neutral countries. It is equally natural that the bourgeoisie and its governments are compelled to exert every effort to hoodwink the people, to cover up the hideous nakedness of an imperialist peace—the division of the loot—by phrases, utterly false phrases about a democratic peace, the liberty of small nations, armaments reduction…. (Lenin 1964, 177)

This said Lenin was bourgeois pacifism. He goes on to attack the pacifism of Karl Kautsky and other West European socialists for not understanding that the struggle for peace: …cannot be waged by repeating general, vapid, benign, sentimental, meaningless and non-committal pacifist phrases, which merely serve to embellish the foulness of imperialism. It can be waged only by telling the people the truth, by telling the people that in order to obtain a democratic and just peace the bourgeois governments of all the belligerent countries must be overthrown, and that for this purpose advantage must be taken of the fact that millions of workers are armed and that the high cost of living and the horrors of the imperialist war have roused the anger of the masses. (Lenin 1964, 185)

The second is from an article by a J. Epstein in The Communist Review published by the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1923. Epstein argues that the aim of both communists and of pacifists is a society in which there will be no more war. However, he asks, where do pacifism and communism diverge? Pacifism, he argues, “…would be satisfied with a state of affairs in which there would be no war, i.e., with a state of affairs in which it would no longer be possible to compel a human being to kill or to be killed. In this formulation of the goal of pacifist policy … we have already all the difference between the aim of pacifism and that of communism” (Epstein 1923). He continues:



We Communists know that in the sight of history we are the true pacifists, because we know that it is not sufficient to prevent an isolated war to-day or to-morrow … But we know that it is not sufficient—even from the standpoint of striving only for the pacifist goal, it is not sufficient to make prevention of individual wars the sole or even the chief line of active policy. War must be made impossible by destroying its deepest and best hidden roots. (Epstein 1923)

By which Epstein, as a committed Marxist-Leninist, meant armed workers’ revolution “…and if I now speak of civil war with all its terrors (killing, complete suppression of the freedom of the Press, revolutionary courts, etc., in a word, of the dictatorship of the proletariat)” that must necessarily be violent, and by which capitalism and bourgeois society would be replaced by socialism and ultimately communism (Epstein 1923). This is essentially the communist conception of bourgeois pacifism in the years that followed the First World War and its alternative, although it was adapted as political circumstances changed. Epstein, with the experience of the cruelties of the civil war in Russia (1918–1921) fresh in mind, is plain enough about what a dictatorship of the proletariat led by its vanguard the Marxist-Leninist communist party would entail.

Aldous Huxley: Cultural Critic and Libertarian Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), novelist, cultural critic, and libertarian, was one of the Peace Pledge Union’s most prominent and articulate advocates. A member of the well-known Huxley family of scientists and writers (he was the grandson of the biologist T. H. Huxley, the grandnephew of the poet and critic Matthew Arnold, and the brother of the biologist and humanist Julian Huxley), educated at Eton College, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he tried to enlist for military service in the First World War, but was disqualified medically because of his extremely poor eyesight. In the years after the war he built a literary reputation through sophisticated satires of contemporary ideas and society: Crome Yellow (1921), Antic Hay (1923), Those Barren Leaves (1925), and Point Counter Point (1928). Huxley’s best-known book of the inter-war period, still read widely today, is Brave New World (1932), a dystopian warning against the dehumanizing effects of scientific and material “progress” (Bradshaw 2004, v–xv). In the 1930s Huxley began to broadcast and to author essays on contemporary politics and society, especially on the threat of another war and



the pacifist response to this. He provided a fresh perspective on pacifism, notably in the novel Eyeless in Gaza first published in 1936. The novel was in marked contrast to the cool cynicism of Huxley’s earlier novels. Huxley’s message was now one of individual redemption and change, indicating his later interest in religious mysticism. He wrote: The war to end war resulted, as usual, in a peace essentially like war; the revolution to achieve communism, in a hierarchical state where a minority rules by police methods … Peace and social justice, only obtainable by means that are just and pacific. And people will behave justly and pacifically only if they have trained themselves as individuals to do so, even in circumstances where it would be easier to behave violently and unjustly. (Huxley 1994, 211)

The novel found a readership among well-educated middle and upper-­ class liberal progressives although not among the general population. A recent study comments that although Huxley used his fiction, notably Eyeless in Gaza, to explore the ethics of pacifism, it was through his essays, cogent in content and impeccable in style, that he made his most effective contribution to the cause (Vasilkov 2015). For example, in 1936 Huxley made a polemical contribution to the work of the Peace Pledge Union. This was What Are You Going to Do About It? The Case for Constructive Peace, a pamphlet arguing that peace was not only a desirable but also a practicable alternative to war. He began with the debatable claim that “Man is probably unique in making war on his own species” (Huxley 1936, 4). He refutes objections to pacifism as a philosophy and as a practice, using historical examples. This is done persuasively, but not one must say conclusively, assertion not being satisfactory as evidence. Huxley does admit that, once war begins: “Pacifists may have the best will in the world; but in these circumstances they will be able to do very little to cure the disease once it has broken out. Therefore, while there is yet time, they must do all in their power to prevent the disease from breaking out” (Huxley 1936, 30). He recognizes that: “Active or Constructive Pacifists are, and must be content to remain, a minority {But} How is this minority to make itself effective?” Above all, “It must be a kind of religious order, membership of which involves the acceptance of a certain way of life, and entails devoted and unremitting personal service for the cause” (Huxley 1936, 31). This is summed up thus:



The philosophy of Constructive Pacifism proceeds from a consideration of what is to a statement of what ought to be—from empirical fact to idea. The facts upon which the doctrine is based are these. First, all men are capable of love for their fellows. Second, the limitations imposed upon this love are of such a nature that it is always possible for the individual, if he so desires, to transcend them. Third, love and goodness are infections. So are hatred and evil. (Huxley 1936, 32)

Huxley made two further important contributions in support of pacifism during 1937. The first was to edit An Encyclopaedia of Pacifism, (Huxley 1937) a valuable exercise in popular education, again for the Peace Pledge Union, and the second was to publish Ends and Means: An Inquiry into the Nature of Ideals and into the Methods Employed for Their Realization, (Huxley 1938) a sophisticated collection of essays that developed the basic ideas of his 1936 pamphlet. As Adam Roberts emphasizes, Ends and Means: …has long been recognised as one of the most lucid expositions of the Western pacifist thought of the 1930s … No other book deals so eloquently from a pacifist viewpoint with so wide a range of subjects … Ends and Means provides a unique insight into a view of the world which, while it is very characteristic of Aldous Huxley, was influenced by and widely shared with a large number of his contemporaries. Many of the strengths and weaknesses of the 1930s are encapsulated in the book. (Roberts 1973, 64)

Yet, as Philip Thody says, “The whole doctrine of ‘non-attachment’ recommended in Ends and Means presupposes that men are not going to regard anything at all as supremely valuable, and is accompanied by a pessimism about immediate events which runs quite counter to the implied belief of the fighting man that he might win” (Thody 1973, 65). Similarly, Huxley’s 1936 pamphlet had provoked a reply from the then communist poet Cecil Day-Lewis (1936) who asked “Will the use of violence in this particular concrete situation benefit most persons concerned?” (cited in Thody 1973, 64). This was an essentially utilitarian objection endorsed by the outcome of the Second World War. Nevertheless, in Science, Liberty and Peace (1946), Huxley renewed his support for nonviolence as “…the only valid response to the problems of post-war international politics” (Thody 1973, 62). This had implications for public opinion during the Cold War with the emergence of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).



George Orwell: Cultural Critic and Democratic Socialist Victor Gollancz’s views discussed above were, paradoxically, not unlike those of the journalist, novelist, and democratic socialist George Orwell15 (1903–1950), with whom he was at odds over attitudes to the Communist Party. In a contribution to the American socialist, but anti-communist, magazine Partisan Review in July 1942, Orwell wrote that: Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. (Orwell 1942/1970, 226)

In his earlier writings, such as the novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1935), Orwell had taken an anti-war, although not a pacifist, perspective. As one of his biographers explains: “The anti-militarist and pacifist rhetoric in the novel, however, shows the specific kind of discussions going on in the left-wing circles in which Orwell moved” (Crick 1980, 271). It was the Civil War in Spain which decided Orwell that armed resistance to Fascism was essential. Through his affiliation with the British Independent Labour Party (ILP), Orwell fought in Spain himself as a volunteer in the Party of Marxist Unity (POUM) militia, which the Communist Party accused of Trotskyism,16 and was wounded. Orwell described this experience in Homage to Catalonia, (2013) a book of both autobiography and political reflection. It convinced him of the dangers to the international workers’ movement inherent in Stalinism. Because of its outspoken criticisms of Soviet policy, the book was rejected for the Left Book Club by Gollancz, who had published Orwell’s social commentary The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) in March 1937. In 1938 Orwell’s new book found a publisher in Fredric Warburg who was

 The now famous pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair.  Trotsky himself said the P. O. U. M. was not part of his movement and that he had often attacked it in articles. Trotsky is cited in Carr (1984), 35n50. 15 16



sympathetic to dissident Left-wing opinion.17 There is no mention of its rejection by Gollancz in Lewis’ historical record of the Left Book Club. Indeed, apart from the listing of The Road to Wigan Pier, there are only two mentions of Orwell. The first is perhaps surprising in that it refers to Orwell’s contributions to The Betrayal of the Left, (Gollancz 1941). an additional volume for February 1941, edited by Victor Gollancz, with John Strachey and Harold Laski as the other contributors (Lewis 1970, 120). Orwell’s chapters were on “Fascism and Democracy” and on “Patriots and Revolutionaries” in which he attacked the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) for endorsing the Nazi-­Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of 1939, for its so-called revolutionary defeatism in the war against Nazi Germany, and for its support of the People’s Convention of 1941.18 The second refers to a series of short articles written by Orwell for Left News, part of the Club’s political marketing, again in 1941. This was on the theme “Either we turn England into a socialist democracy or by one route or another we become part of the Nazi empire: there is no third alternative” (Lewis 1970, 126–127). As Bernard Crick observes: “Perhaps it was the controversy over Homage to Catalonia that made Orwell move from being an ILP fellow-­ traveller into becoming a card-carrying member. His card was issued on 13 June 1938, just in time for ‘Why I Join the ILP’ to appear in its weekly New Leader on 24 June” (Crick 1980, 364). Orwell declared: “I believe that the ILP is the only party which, as a party, is likely to take the right line either against imperialist war or against Fascism when this appears in its British form” (cited in Crick 1980, 364–365). Crick continues: “This view was often called pacifist, but ‘anti-militarist’ is more accurate for, though working alliances were entailed with the Peace Pledge Union and other pacifist organizations, the ILP in theory believed in being prepared to fight a revolutionary war…” He comments that in the previous December Orwell had paid a membership subscription to the Peace Pledge Union “…but there is no record of him renewing it. He may only have wanted their pamphlets” (Crick 1980, 365).19 It was, says Crick, after the “…Hitler-Stalin Pact of August 1939 when he changed overnight into 17  Orwell was later to become famous or, according to critics on the Left, infamous for his anti-Stalinist dystopian fable Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, first published in 1945, and the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, first published in 1949. 18  Communist campaigns that were put into reverse on Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. 19  Orwell was an avid collector of political pamphlets. See his “Pamphlet Literature” (1943).



support of the coming war and began to lecture Left-wingers on the virtues of a revolutionary patriotism” (Crick 1980, 366).20 From then on, as we have seen, Orwell became increasingly critical of pacifists and pacifism. In his contribution to the Partisan Review, cited earlier, he referred scornfully to the anarcho-pacifist Alex Comfort21 saying that “…a few weeks back he was hoping for a Nazi victory because of the stimulating effect it would have upon the arts (from a letter to Horizon).22 I pass over the money-sheltered ignorance capable of believing that literary life is still going on in, for instance, Poland, and remark merely that statements like this justify me in saying that our English pacifists are tending towards active pro-Fascism” (Orwell 1970, 227). Further searing criticism is found in “No, Not One,” Orwell’s review, published in The Adelphi magazine in October 1941, of Alex Comfort’s pacifist novel No Such Liberty (Comfort 1941). He argues bluntly that: The notion that you can somehow defeat violence by submitting to it is simply a flight from fact … Underneath this lies the hard fact, so difficult for many people to face, that individual salvation is not possible, that the choice before human beings is not as a rule between good and evil but between two evils. You can let the Nazis rule the world; that is evil; or you can overthrow them by war; which is also evil. There is no other choice before you, and whichever you choose you will not come out with clean hands. (Orwell 2002, 389)23

Such polemic earned him a rebuke from the editor of The Adelphi printed in the same number directly after Orwell’s review.24 It begins: “George Orwell writes cogently and well against a kind of pacifism that was once prevalent but has almost ceased to exist. It has been sweated out of the PPU by keeping up with the dour reality. The number of former pacifist stalwarts who have dropped out is legion.” However, it continues,  See also Newsinger (2018).  Alexander Comfort (1920–2000) was a medical doctor, writer, and self-proclaimed anarchist, conscientious objector, and critic of Allied saturation bombing of Germany. He was later known as an advocate of sex therapy. 22  Horizon: A Review of Literature and Art founded and edited by Cyril Connolly between 1940 and 1950. 23  Laursen (2019) is a recent account of the Orwell-Comfort controversy. See also Woodcock (2005). Both are written from an anarchist perspective. 24  Richard Rees was editor of the literary magazine The Adelphi from 1930. The rebuke did not carry his personal name but was signed simply “Editor.” 20 21



to label those who still hold to their pacifist principles as simply “helping Hitler” is a dangerous simplification that Orwell should know better than to use. The point is that: “We pacifists claim that we are striving, against tremendous odds, to prepare the only kind of resistance that can ultimately prevail against Hitlerism” (Orwell 2002, 390). Given the stakes for civilization involved in the struggle against Fascism and Nazism, which for Orwell had begun in Spain, he probably considered such an editorial rebuke confirmation that pacifism and anti-war propaganda were essentially bourgeois. This brought Orwell close to the critique of bourgeois pacifism made by Christopher Caudwell when he too volunteered to fight in Spain. Orwell also rejected Aldous Huxley’s insistence on the necessity for individual salvation. In a book review published in The New English Weekly in 1936, he categorized Huxley, together with other obvious suspects, as a bourgeois novelist (Orwell 2002, 65).25 Orwell was motivated by an English patriotism which he distinguished from nationalism and rejected what he regarded as the rootless bourgeois cosmopolitanism of middle-class intellectuals such as Alex Comfort whom he thought remote from ordinary working people.26 As his Eton College friend Cyril Connolly observed: “Orwell slipped into the last war as into an old tweed jacket. He settled down in 1939 to the BBC or the Literary Editorial Chair of Tribune27 or as London correspondent to Partisan Review (NY) to watch his dream come true … A People’s War. He had seen it nearly happen in Spain, now it seemed inevitable. This time the gamble must come off. Revolution or Disaster” (cited in Crick 1980, 392).28

25  Orwell contributed to The New English Weekly until the early 1940s when he stopped because of its continuing anti-war position. The other novelists identified as bourgeois were Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Virginia Woolf, H. G. Wells, and E. M. Forster. D. H. Lawrence is categorized as “proletarian turned bourgeois, which is worse.” 26  See Colls (2013) for this aspect of Orwell’s thought. It is an excellent intellectual biography generally. 27  A Left-wing democratic socialist weekly published in London. 28  In an article on “Labour and Compulsory Military Service” first published in The Political Quarterly in July 1939, the academic and Labour politician Richard “Dick” Crossman argued inter alia for the potential ideological benefits of conscription as a people’s “militia.” This anticipated Orwell and others in the idea of a “People’s War” (Crossman 1971).



Christopher Caudwell: Cultural Critic and Communist Christopher Caudwell (1907–1937) was the pseudonym of Christopher St. John Sprigg (Caudwell was his mother’s surname). Although there is now considerable interest in him as a Marxist cultural critic, Caudwell is still much less well-known to a general educated readership than Aldous Huxley and George Orwell and some brief biographical information may be helpful.29 He was born in Putney, London, to a lower middle-class Roman Catholic family (his sister became a nun) and was educated at the Benedictine Ealing Priory School, a Catholic independent day-school. His father Stanhope Sprigg was literary editor of a conservative newspaper The Daily Express. Caudwell left school at 16 when the family moved to Bradford on the father losing his London job (GT 1946, 3). Caudwell, probably through his father’s journalistic contacts, worked for three years as a junior reporter for a local Bradford newspaper The Yorkshire Observer, which his father had joined, again as literary editor, on leaving The Daily Express. Caudwell then returned to London where, together with his brother, he worked in aeronautical publishing, making rapid progress, completing five short textbooks on aeronautics before he was 25 (see Sprigg 2011).30 He also published seven well-received detective novels (see Sprigg 2015),31 short stories, and poems. Caudwell was an autodidact, as eclectic in his reading as he was prolific in his writing, studying informally literature, philosophy, physics, sociology, and political economy. The intellectual and political turning point for Caudwell came in 1934 when he began to read intensively the classics of Marx and Engels and related literature. In 1935 he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) having completed the manuscript of Illusion and Reality, a work of Marxist aesthetics, and became a militant of the local branch at Poplar, London. He made a brief visit to France which was then in the first stages of the Popular Front following the 7th Congress of the Communist International. In 1936 he volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War, driving an ambulance to Spain and enlisting in the communist-dominated British Battalion of the International Brigades. He trained briefly as a  See also Sullivan (1987), Whetter (2011), and Raychaudhur (2017).  One of which The Airship was re-published in 2011. 31  One of which, Death of an Airman, was re-published in 2015  in the British Library Crime Classics series. 29 30



machine-gunner, but was killed in action on the February 13, 1937, the first day of the Battle of the Jarama River. He was not then 30 years old. As E.P. Thompson observes: “He was unknown to the intellectual world, even of the Left. All his significant works—Illusion and Reality, Studies in a Dying Culture, Further Studies, The Crisis of Physics, and Romance and Realism were published posthumously” (Thompson 1977, 228 see aso Caudwell 1946, 1949, 1939, 1971a, 1971b). He was certainly not a familiar member of the British literary milieu in the way that Huxley and Orwell in their separate ways certainly were. When his major works were first published, they were endorsed initially by prominent academics who were also members of the Communist Party. For example, Professor Hyman Levy, an authority on mathematical applications in aeronautics, of Imperial College, London, wrote an introduction to The Crisis of Physics. Again, the biographical note that introduced the first edition of Illusion and Reality in 1946, signed with the initial G. T., may possibly have been written by Professor George Thomson, a classical scholar and Communist Party member. G. T., said of Caudwell’s book: It marks an entirely new departure in literary criticism. It is the first attempt to work out a Marxist theory of art, and, while some parts of the argument will doubtless be modified by further research, it is as a whole, a permanent contribution to the subject, destined to become a classic … A naturally gifted thinker, he became a man of action. (G. T. 1946, 5)

It is this combination that has given Caudwell his posthumous appeal. This is not the place to consider his contribution to Marxist aesthetics or to the history and philosophy of science, of which there are now studies.32 The focus here is on Caudwell’s analysis of bourgeois pacifism which, like George Orwell, he rejected both intellectually and through his personal commitment to armed resistance against Fascism. Caudwell’s clearest statement is found in Pacifism and Violence: A Study in Bourgeois Ethics (Caudwell 1960).33 It is a lucid polemic reminiscent in style of The Communist Manifesto itself and has memorable passages. It begins:

 See MacDonald (2005) and Sheehan (2017).  Originally a chapter in Studies in a Dying Culture, first published in 1938. It was reprinted as an Oriole Chapbook, in 1960, as were other chapters from Studies and from Further Studies in a Dying Culture, the latter first published in 1949. The Oriole Chapbook edition is used here. 32 33



There is not much left of importance in bourgeois ethics. Chastity, sobriety, salvation and cleanliness have ceased to be topics on which the bourgeois feels very deeply. There is, in fact, only one issue on which the bourgeois conscience is to-day warmed into activity. Pacifism, always latent in the bourgeois creed, has now crystallized out as almost the only emotionally charged belief left in Protestant Christianity or in its analogue, bourgeois ‘idealism’. I call it a distinctively bourgeois doctrine, because I mean by pacifism, not the love of peace as a good to be secured by a definite form of action, but the belief that any form of social constraint of others or any violent action is in itself wrong, and that violence such as war must be passively resisted because to use violence to end violence would be logically self-­ contradictory. I oppose pacifism in this sense to the Communist belief that the only way to secure peace is by a revolutionary change in the social system, and that ruling classes resist revolution violently and must therefore be overthrown by force. (Caudwell 1960, 3)

This illustrates Caudwell’s understanding of pacifism as “…an unconditional rejection of all forms of warfare” (Brock and Socknat 1999, ix). He condemns it according to the same Marxist class analysis of Parvus and of Lenin. He traces the evolution of social relations and describes their condition under modern capitalism. He comments: “To understand how bourgeois pacifism arises, we must understand how bourgeois violence arises. It arises, just as does feudal or despotic violence, from the characteristic economy of the system” (Caudwell 1960, 5). This is initially through the political, legal, and cultural hegemony of a bourgeois state, but with economic imperialism “…a new situation arose—external war instead of internal violence and coercion. … one bourgeois State found itself competing with another, just as inside the State bourgeois competes with bourgeois” (Caudwell 1960, 11). Yet of the bourgeois pacifist idealist he says: “Still he has a dream. If the class of bourgeois in one country can have a State and police force enforcing order and non-violent competition, why not a State of States, a World-State, in which world peace is enforced?34 This bourgeois hope perpetually recurs in the chaos of war, 34  An utopian policy that appealed to a range of political thinkers. Orwell criticized it in an essay on “Wells, Hitler and the World State,” first published in Horizon in August 1941, when he commented on “The usual rigmarole about a World State. … the same gospel as he has been preaching almost without interruption for the past forty years, always with an air of angry surprise at the human beings who can fail to grasp anything so obvious” (Orwell 1941). See H. G. Wells’ The Rights of Man (1940, reissued in 2015).



and the League of Nations is one form of it” (Caudwell 1960, 13). Although: “After a bitter experience of the unpleasantness of war….they can unite in a voluntary cartel, the League of Nations, but like a cartel it lacks the cohesion and coercive power of the bourgeois state and therefore lacks also in efficiency in mediating between bourgeois” (Caudwell 1960, 14). These are cogent arguments given international relations in the 1930s. In such circumstances, argues Caudwell: Passive resistance is not a real programme, but an apology for supporting the old programme. A man either participates in bourgeois economy, or he revolts and tries to establish another economy. Another apparent road is to break up society and return to the jungle, the solution of anarchy. But that is no solution at all. The only real alternative to bourgeois economy is proletarian economy i.e. socialism, and therefore one either participates in bourgeois economy or is a proletarian revolutionary. (Caudwell 1960, 21)

Caudwell ends by attacking specific pacifist arguments. He argues that pacifist belief in non-resistance and pity for victims ending violence is not proven historically, and that: “It is a spiritual laissez-faire … crystallised in the maxim, ‘One may not do ill that good may come of it’.” Caudwell himself endorses a Marxist-Leninist maxim that “the end justifies the means” (Caudwell 1960, 22–23). For Caudwell, the issue for contemporary man is clear and concrete: “Under which banner or violence will he impose himself? The violence of bourgeois relations, or the violence not only to resist them but to end them?” (Caudwell 1960, 31). Christopher Caudwell made his personal choice when he volunteered to fight in Spain.

Conclusion Martin Ceadel argues that peace movements were stronger in Britain than elsewhere, other than perhaps in the United States. He says that their legitimacy, both pacificist and pacifist, was accepted during the inter-war period. They drew upon well-established sources of social thought, Christian, humanist, liberal, and socialist. Among the specific reasons noted by Ceadel are that they had a respectable record and were led by well-known and responsible figures, such as the founder of the Peace Pledge Union H.  R. L. “Dick” Sheppard and the socialist politician George Lansbury. This allowed peace movements to reach out to government, to the political establishment, and to the population at large and



this enhanced their legitimacy. These are valid historical arguments supporting a view of inter-war British politics and society as mature, liberal, and relatively secure which “…allowed peace movements to oppose even those wars that the great majority of progressives believe to have been justified” (Ceadel 1999, 146; see also Ceadel 1980). Aldous Huxley’s work provides an excellent example of the intellectual case for pacifism in the 1930s, notably Ends and Means (1937). However, as Thody observes, “Huxley’s pacifism is obviously related to an idealistic assumption that other people are as open to reason as he is himself” (Thody 1973, 64).35 This was its fundamental flaw, coupled with a pessimism about international relations that saw him go into exile in California after 1937. As Thody says sarcastically: “It was not an action calculated to enhance the prestige of non-violent resistance in the eyes of the Czechs, Poles or Jews, and it undoubtedly enabled Huxley to take a more detached and Olympian view of events than would have been possible had he stayed in his own country” (Thody 1973, 63–64). Huxley was condemned by Orwell and by Caudwell as a bourgeois novelist writing in support of a bourgeois pacifism.36 However, George Woodcock, writing from an anarchist perspective, comments that “Orwell has never really understood why pacifists act as they do … he fails to see the general quality of resistance in the pacifist’s attitude, the resistance to violence as a social principle rather than to any specific enemy” (Woodcock 1948, 122; also Woodcock 2005). Orwell’s credentials as a socialist were challenged later in the controversies raised by the publication in the late 1940s of Animal Farm (2015) and of Nineteen Eighty-­Four (2015), most notably from the Left by Raymond Williams (1971) and again in an interview with Williams by New Left Review37 in which it was said of Orwell that “…there was no objective reason at all for the disgraceful attacks he made on pacifists or revolutionary opponents of the war in American periodicals, denouncing people here who were simply in his own position of three or four years before” (Williams 1979, 392). The interview also categorizes Orwell dismissively as a Cold War ideologist.38 He is criticized for changing his mind about the war, with a hindsight prejudiced by Williams’ disapproval of 35  It is a problem for any policy based on the possibility and effectiveness of dialogue. See Morgan and Guilherme (2014). 36  See Woodcock (2007) for an anarchist perspective. 37  The leading journal of the British New Left founded in January 1960. Stuart Hall was its first editor-in-chief, succeeded by Perry Anderson. 38  See also Walzer (2002).



Orwell’s post-war publications. The “American periodical” was in fact the socialist Partisan Review, while the communists were the only “revolutionary opponents of the war” because of the Nazi-Soviet NonAggression Pact. Philip Bounds rejects allegations that Orwell was “a sick counter-­ revolutionary,” reminding us he had said explicitly that the message of Nineteen Eighty-Four for socialists was: “Don’t let it happen. It depends on you” (cited in Bounds 2016, 28). Bounds also points out that Orwell, the democratic socialist, and Caudwell, the communist, had much in common. They both rejected bourgeois pacifism, accepted the concept of imperialist war, and believed it necessary to join the military struggle against Fascism in Spain. One was wounded and the other killed. The difference was that Orwell’s experience led him to understand and reject Stalinism. Caudwell went to Spain as a recent and committed communist and was killed very soon afterward. In a letter to his brother Theodore, he said: “You know how I feel about the importance of democratic freedom. The Spanish People’s Army needs help badly; their struggle, if they fail, will certainly be ours tomorrow, and believing as I do, it seems clear where my duty lies” (Caudwell 1960, 2). It might have been written by George Orwell. Christopher Caudwell died a communist militant; whether he would have remained one had he lived is an unanswerable question.

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Rigby, Andrew. 1999. The Peace Pledge Union: From Peace to War, 1936–1945. In Challenge to Mars: Essays on Pacifism from 1918 to 1945, ed. Peter Brock and Thomas P.  Socknat, 169–185. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press. Robbins, Keith. 1976. The Abolition of War: The ‘Peace Movement’ in Britain, 1914–1919. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. Roberts, Adam. 1973. The Limits of Pacifism: Aldous Huxley’s Ends and Means. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 2 (3): 64–72. Russell, Bertrand. 1936. Which Way to Peace? London: Michael Joseph. Sassoon, Siegfried. 1930. Memoirs of an Infantry Officer. London: Faber and Faber. Sheehan, Helena. 2017. Marxism and the Philosophy of Science: A Critical History. London and New York: Verso. Sherriff, Robert C. 1928. Journey’s End. London: Brentano’s Publishers. Solis, Gary D. 2010. The Law of Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law in War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sprigg, Christopher St. John. 2011. The Airship: Its Design, History, Operation and Future. Honolulu, Ha: University Press of the Pacific. ———. 2015. Death of an Airman. London: British Library Crime Classics. Sullivan, Robert. 1987. Christopher Caudwell. London: Croom Helm. Taylor, Alan J.P. 1965. English History 1914–1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Thody, Phillip. 1973. Aldous Huxley: A Biographical Introduction. London: Studio Vista. Thompson, Edward P. 1977. Caudwell. The Socialist Register 14: 228–276. Vasilkov, Aleksandr. 2015. Aldous Huxley and the Ethics of Pacifism. Unpublished Master’s Dissertation, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Walzer, Michael. 2002. George Orwell’s England. In The Company of Critics: Social Criticism and Political Commitment in the Twentieth Century, 117–135. New York: Basic Books. ———. 2006. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. New York: Basic Books. Wells, Herbert George. 1940. The Rights of Man. Penguin Special, London. Reissued with an Introduction by Ali Smith, 2015, London: Penguin Books. Whetter, James. 2011. A British Hero: Christopher St John Sprigg aka Christopher Caudwell. Gorran: LyfrowTrelyspen. Williams, Raymond. 1971. Orwell. London: Fontana Modern Masters. ———. 1979. Orwell. In Politics and Letters, New Left Review Editions, 384–392. London. Williamson, Henry. 1930. The Patriot’s Progress: Being the Vicissitudes of Pte. John Bullock Related by Henry Williamson and Drawn by William Kermode. London: Geoffrey Bles. Woodcock, George. 1948, The Writer and Politics, London, The Porcupine Press.



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Julien Freund on War and Peace: Mitigated Realism Daniel Rosenberg

Introduction Julien Freund was a sui generis French intellectual. A Résistant who later in life became a guru of the far right, a university scholar who was entrenched in the French rural periphery and an extremely prolific writer whose bibliography includes an essay on Alsatian cuisine together with translations of Max Weber. Born in 1921 at Henridorff in the most eastern region of France, 50 kilometres from the German border, Freund is a rare example of a French universitaire who remained outside the Parisian orbit. Freund’s thought, accordingly, has largely eluded the dominant intellectual trends of post-war Paris, and exhibits little or no traces of the existentialism of Sartre or the structuralist Marxism of Althusser. From the beginning of his intellectual career in the 1960s until his death in 1993, Freund was known as a singular and anti-conformist thinker. Freund’s prominence as a thinker and as an intellectual is a relatively recent phenomenon. Never having achieved the canonical status of his

D. Rosenberg (*) Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




mentor Raymond Aron, Freund’s works have found readership in intellectual niches, including political tendencies such as the French Nouvelle Droite and in German conservative circles. In French academia, Freund’s name was largely synonymous for years with the importation of German thought into the French intellectual milieu. Although his commentary on German works, as well as his 1959 translation of Weber’s Politik als Beruf (Politics as Vocation), which remained the only French version of the work until 2003, is in circulation, the more analytic and original side of his work gained only sporadic recognition before his death. Since the past decade, Freund’s writings have been gaining greater traction in an established academic context. The publication of work about Freund aims to re-establish his status as an original thinker rather than a mediator of ideas.1 This literature reads Freund as a “Machiavellian” thinker, who laid out a harsh yet constructive critique of notions, such as human rights, international law, and other ideas which have become a staple of the liberal creed in the later part of the twentieth century. He is cited as a source of inspiration by public thinkers, such as Chantal Delsol and Pierre-André Taguieff, who are associated with the more conservative wing of the French intelligentsia.2 Freund’s work touches on a variety of subjects: from political science and theory to education, history, and philosophy. An unusually prolific writer, Freund’s cornerstone work remains his 1965 monograph L’Essence du politique, the doctoral thesis he completed at the Sorbonne under the supervision of Raymond Aron.3 The large volume (almost 800 pages in its first edition) is an attempt to encompass the entirety of the domain of politics at the conceptual and practical level. Freund sets out to accomplish this ambitious goal using a compact yet highly effective set of theoretical assumptions concerning human nature and human society. Every form of  human activity, Freund argues, is characterized by an unique set of 1  Some of the notable exceptions are Sébastian de la Touanne’s monograph (2011). See also the volume edited by Gil Delannoi and Pascal Hintermeyer (2011). Freund’s work has also attracted attention, in large part due to the effort of Spanish politologist Jerónimo Molina Cano, who published a large number of essays and commentary works on Freund and on related figures (2000). Another indicator of Freund’s newfound recognition is the commemoration of his birthplace at Henridorff which took place in 2017. 2  See for example the philosopher Chantal Delsol’s article (2004). Taguieff has published a biography (2008). 3  It has been republished twice since 1965; in Freund (1986) in an expanded form and again in 2004.



categories which define and distinguish from the other domains categories which are defined in functionalist and teleologic terms, as they frame their respective functional goals. Just like morality, religion, art, or any human endeavour, so politics are characterized by their own intricate set of distinctions (“presuppositions” in Freund’s vocabulary). The structural distinctions that define politics are as follows: the distinction between authority and obedience, the distinction between friend and enemy, and the distinction between the public and the private spheres. In the years following 1965, Freund would accept innumerable scientific engagements. Focusing on the short essay as his favourite form of publication, Freund’s bibliography includes hundreds of items, from monographs to opinion pieces.4 Questions of war and peace were of special interest to Freund: as one of the three “suppositions” of the political category, enmity runs through the entire field of politics and forms a major part of its vitality and significance. Many of Freund’s post-1965 articles tackle more specific questions in regard to international politics and war making, from the French involvement with NATO and UN Peacekeeping in the early 1970s to the resurgence of guerrilla war and terrorism. Freund, who was never committed to the role of “public intellectual” in the way of his teacher Raymond Aron, adopts a more historical or “civilizational” perspective on the development of war and politics rather than commenting on current events. Freund’s writings on war and peace, which are extremely sprawling and wide-ranging, are analysed here on two main axes. The first part of the essay analyses Freund’s ideas on the subject at a theoretical level: it begins by examining his main sources of influences, namely Raymond Aron and Carl Schmitt, as well as his affiliation with the “Polemological” school of Gaston Bouthoul. The section lays out Freund’s theory of war, which concentrates on the inseparability of violent conflict from politics and perceives it to be a characteristic of any political relation. Freund, however, mitigates this characteristically “realist” position by highlighting the circumstantial nature of hostility itself, as it ties with a variety of social and political circumstances. Freund thus rejects the absolutism of Schmitt as well as the determinism of Bouthoul in favour of a more open-ended approach to conflict and war-making. 4  The Belgian sociologist Piet Tommissen has published a partial bibliography of Freund’s scientific works (1981). It omits Freund’s opinion pieces and interviews, as well as work after 1981.



The second section of the essay examines Freund’s ideas on the historical evolution of warfare. Freund identifies two specific trends in the development of war in Europe: the first trend, which began at the early modern period, saw the institutionalization of warfare under the auspices of the emerging state and its organs. This trend brought about an era of relative political stability, in which warfare was codified and contained within a specific social order. The second trend, beginning at the time of the French Revolution and flourishing in the twentieth century, saw the unravelling of this order and the emergence of uncontained warfare. Freund considers this epochal shift under specific analytic categories, including politics, technology, and strategy. Although Freund has not written a systematic account of the phenomenon of war, his historical reflections on the subject complement his theoretical ideas by fleshing out distinctions between mitigated and unmitigated warfare, and the political and ideological presuppositions which underlie them.

War in Theory As a theoretician who regarded politics as an essentially conflictual phenomenon, Freund dedicates his writing to issues of war and peace. Freund’s impressions of the more brutal aspects of political action are informed, by his own account, by his own personal experience during the Second World War. In a later interview, Freund recounts an episode which left a decisive mark upon him: in the summer of 1944, shortly after the Liberation, he witnessed a young woman being indicted for collaboration with the Gestapo. Freund, who attempted to serve as the woman’s defence in the makeshift tribunal, watched as the defendant was sentenced to death despite the absence of a fair procedure (Blanchet 1991: pp. 28–29). The notion of politics as a violent, “agonistic” affair, which exists beyond established legal and moral norms, would remain a constant throughout Freund’s work. Although original in its form and content, Freund’s development as a thinker was largely syncretic. As such, Freund’s writings are formulated as commentary on other schools of thought, and his own analytic works are strewn with references to earlier thinkers, to classical and contemporary sources, from Aristotle to Maurice Duverger. Among the many references, Freund’s ideas on war and peace are indebted to three contemporary thinkers, with whom he collaborated at various levels: Carl Schmitt,



Raymond Aron, and the “Polemology” school directed by Gaston Bouthoul. Carl Schmitt, the German intellectual who notoriously joined the National Socialist Party in 1934 and remained unrepentant until his death, was a major point of reference for Freund’s ideas on war and peace. In his works from the interwar period, Schmitt offered an idea of politics as innately conflictual and authoritarian; all political life, Schmitt argued in his influential essay Der Begriff des Politischen (The Concept of the Political) is constituted by the violent confrontation over life and death. As the security and safety of the community is the prerogative of political authority, it is the ability to distinguish between friend and enemy which constitutes sovereignty. Long before Schmitt’s incorporation by late twentieth century critical theory, Freund sought to make use of the originality and analytic power of Schmitt’s theses without vindicating the German thinker’s political affiliations (although also without denying or trivializing them, as was done by Raymond Aron and others). Freund’s involvement with the German legal philosopher, with whom he held a correspondence and to whom he has paid homage, remains a controversial aspect of his intellectual biography, which has also attracted allegations of fascist sympathies.5 Regardless of the specific nature of Freund’s affiliation with Schmitt, parts of Freund’s thought may be traced to Schmitt’s influence, especially the emphasis placed by Schmitt on the centrality of “enmity” to political life. If his adoption of harsh Schmittian terminology drew Freund to view political life as conflictual and agonistic, this tendency was moderated under the influence of Raymond Aron. The latter is remembered as one of the most consistent proponents of a liberal politics in post-war France, who laid out an influential account of international relations in his 1962 work Paix et guerre entre les nations (Peace and War Between Nations). Published during one of the most tense and eventful periods of the Cold War, the work analyses the prospects for stability and equilibrium of the global system. Aron, whose methodology was marked by a strong sense of historical consciousness, tended to regard the logic of international configurations as variable and historically contingent; societies’ behaviour towards their neighbours is modified to a large degree by their internal

5  Cf. Steinmetz-Jenkins (2014, pp.  248–264). A more forgiving interpretation of the Freund–Schmitt relationship is proposed by Taguieff (2008, pp. 35–47).



structures, by their values and domestic considerations (Aron 2003, pp. 71–93). Another aspect that regulates the relations between political actors at the international level is institutional mediation. War and peace are mediated by the political apparatus, which itself is composed of a myriad of circumstances and factors, including calculations of deterrence, alliances, and of course the reality of nuclear arms. Quite differently from Schmitt’s absolutism, which regards sovereign decision as radically independent, Aron regards it as tied with an existing structure of laws, treaties, and informal relations, all of which are encompassed under the title “international society”. Aron tends to prioritize what he regards as the “homogeneity” of an international system, namely the ideological or ethical consensus, as contributing to the formation of such institutions (ibid., pp. 99–104). Freund has paid homage to Aron who was his doctoral supervisor at the Sorbonne, and the two have collaborated in projects (including the Weber translation). Freund adopts part of Aron’s probabilistic approach to war and peace, which is demonstrated in his writing from the 1970s onwards. The very existence of mediating bodies in international politics—an unthinkable idea for a consistent Schmittian—preoccupies Freund’s later writing on the dynamic of conflicts. As will be seen later, Freund also adopts Aron’s position on the historically specific nature of the “Hobbesian” international system, as well as his emphasis on institutional mediation. The third and perhaps most elusive source of influence on Freund’s theory of war and peace is the “Polemology” of Gaston Bouthoul. Largely obscure today, the Polemological School was a significant and influential development in the theoretical discourse about war and peace in twentieth-­ century France. Gaston Bouthoul, a professor of sociology at the Sorbonne, established in 1945 the Institut Français de Polémologie (IFP) with the aim of establishing a “science of war” (“polemos” in Greek), and to understand war as a sui generis historical and social phenomenon. Showing discontent with the science of the early twentieth century, which tended to analyse war reductively under common historiographical or politological paradigms, Bouthoul sought to develop a theory of war as a trans-historical and trans-cultural phenomenon. Bouthoul’s definition of war as an “armed and deadly struggle between organized groups” (Bouthoul 1991, p. 35) aimed at covering every possible belligerent formation since time immemorial, from Pericles’ Greece to De Gaulle’s France, from Ancient Rome to NATO.



Bouthoul was rather unorthodox in his method, incorporating elements from functionalist sociology as well as from the historiography of the Annales School and from the emerging domain of socio-biology. Focused almost exclusively on heuristics and causal explanations, Bouthoul sought to decipher the observable social factors which are found in war-­ making, as opposed to its intentional, juridical, or moral factors. In his extensive historical studies, Bouthoul largely avoids analysing historical personalities, such as statesmen, politicians, and commanders. Instead, Bouthoul focuses on longue-durée (long-term) social factors, such as economics, technology, and most importantly, demography.6 Bouthoul’s most provocative theses concern the usefulness of war in allowing societies to dispense with population excess, by means of what he called “deferred infanticide”.7 Despite remaining a relatively obscure figure in the French intelligentsia (especially compared with Raymond Aron), Bouthoul’s status was far from marginal. His review Études polémologiques, which appeared regularly from 1971 until Bouthoul’s death in 1980, was a sustained effort at expanding the Polemological circle.8 The review saw the collaboration of writers and academics from various traditions and disciplines, as well as high-profile statesmen and politicians; among the most familiar names in the editorial team were Fernand Braudel, Louise Weiss, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Freund’s affiliation with Bouthoul’s institution was longstanding. In 1970, Freund established the Alsatian filial of the IFP, under the name L’Institut de polémologie de Strasbourg. Freund had also published articles in Études polémologiques, including a manifesto of sorts under the title “Polémologie: science de conflits” in the inaugural edition of the journal (1971). Freund adopts the main precepts of the school, as framed by Bouthoul: he endorses the scientific ethos of polemological science and shares its interdisciplinary perspective (1983, p. 61). The determinism of Bouthoul is thus flatly rejected by Freund, which he regards as stemming 6  See, for example, Bouthoul’s work with René Carrère (1976); the work reads effectively as a statistical catalogue of 366 major armed conflicts undertaken in the European world during those two centuries. 7  The title of Bouthoul’s 1970 work L’infanticide Différé (Deferred Infanticide). 8  In 1980 the journal was picked up by the Fondation pour les Études de Défense Nationale (Foundation for the Study of National Defence) which published it until 1991. The journal was re-launched in 2011 under the auspices of the established Commission nationale d’histoire militaire (National Commission of Military History).



from Bouthoul’s ideological disposition rather than from scientific rigour (1978, pp. 56–60). Freund’s diagnosis of politics, which is often said to be “Machiavellian” or “realist” is tied with the phenomenon of war, and draws on theories to a significant degree. In his analysis, Freund essentially seeks a way to square the determinist aspect of Schmitt’s “decisionism” with the institutionalist historicism of Aron, all the while exploring the circumstantial elements which embed war in given society and culture (following Bouthoul’s polemology). As such, Freund constantly shifts between the conceptual, concrete, and historical aspects of war, offering rudimentary generalizations and syntheses. Since war and politics are tied as two aspects of the same phenomenon, politics is also the main instance used to regulate war and limit it. The distinction between friend and enemy, defended by Freund as one of the central “presuppositions” of politics, entails the most important aspect of every military undertaking, namely the recognition of an enemy. The fact that war is carried out against another being (another “political unit”) means that violent action is carried out within certain limits and according to certain principles; violence becomes a means to an end, as per Clausewitz’s famous formula that the recognition of the enemy entails the understanding that “military means are not absolute and that in order to vanquish there must often be another thing than mere military means” (ibid., p. 278). Not only that, but political recognition also influences the conduct of war, as it designates it as a clash between two or more political units, all of which enjoy a legitimate right to existence (1970, p. 483). It does not only entail recognition of the enemy at the strategic level, as an entity which needs to be annihilated, but as both a rival and a potential partner. Freund’s definition does not imply existential danger (like in Schmitt’s formula), but rather a sense of mutuality, and as such introduces a form of regularity into the logic of combat. Freund’s idea of war relies on an important distinction between “struggle” [lutte] and “combat”. “Combat” designates the way in which a war unfolds under given historical, technical, strategic, and geopolitical circumstances, while “struggle” designates its constitutive principle. Struggle, in Freund’s terminology, represents the underlying intentionality of every violent confrontation, that is, “hostility” or “enmity” [enmité]. Hostility is the direct and unavoidable result of the plurality of human values: every human value and judgement, Freund argues, exists by mutual comparison and confrontation; any attempt to reconcile all values would abolish the



very notion of value (ibid., p. 483). By consequences, struggle emerges from the particularity of every political arrangement and from the contingency of every political decision, notions which entail the exclusion of other arrangements or decisions. In fact, Freund argues, hostility does not necessarily entail combat, just as the absence of actual combat does not, in and of itself, preclude the presence of an agonistic desire between the sides. Ceasefires, peace accords, and even alliances do not abolish hostility, but merely suspend it (ibid., pp. 622–626). The analytic distinction between the changing and circumstantial aspect of war and its intentional principle runs through the entirety of Freund’s corpus. This distinction allows Freund to retain a fixed and stable notion of war and its essentially political nature, while incorporating widely different forms of violent struggles, from wars of national liberation, to revolutionary wars, to certain organized acts of terrorism or sabotage. It is these two aspects, the intentional and the contingent one, which compose every individual act of war; the consideration of both is required to acquire a more complete idea of war as a human activity. The intentionality of war cannot be reduced to its contingent ends (pace Bouthoul and the polemologists), while its specific ends cannot be reduced to its intentionality (pace Schmitt).

War in History Freund’s most comprehensive work on the nature of war is found in his late essay Warfare in the Modern World.9 The essay is an ambitious attempt to tackle the transformation of warfare from the early modern period until the latter part of the twentieth century. Despite its relative brevity, the essay is one of Freund’s most synthetic efforts: it draws from historic and contemporary sources, and employs Freund’s key concepts, including the conceptual distinction between war-making and politics. The essay opens with a methodological introduction, in which Freund lays out a seven-­ point operational definition of war, which arises directly from his previous meditations on the topic (1996, pp. 3–9):

9  Translated into English as Warfare in the Modern World: A Short but Critical Introduction (Freund 1996).



1. Societies are either in a state of war or peace, without any room for a third state, save in the form of transition, an intermediate state between a war not yet acknowledged as such and an uncertain peace. 2. All modern societies have their origins in warfare. 3. War implies the presence of an enemy that may be defined as the other whom one wishes to right for whatever reason. 4. All war is offensive, because it consists in attacking another political entity to impose one’s will upon it. 5. War is both destructive and constructive at the same time. 6. War is an instrument of man’s domination by man, alongside other instruments as power, ideology, or economy. 7. War is a particular kind of conflict: it resorts to weapons, that is to say, means of attack and defence devised to kill. What emerges from this sevenfold operational definition is a synthetic view which attempts to accommodate the “decisionistic” aspect of war as involving sustained political will with its broader historical and institutional elements. This definition, unlike Freund’s earlier speculative remarks, leaves room for contingency and indeterminacy in the very definition of war, its conduct, and its stakes. In accordance with this, Freund’s historical analysis of war involves a reassessment of the role of progressive rationalization in the development of war. The rationalization of war, that is, the increasing systematization and streamlining of combat operations, along with the introduction of effective forms of regulation, is not a deterministic or even a linear process. As Freund maintains, rationalization occurs in highly diverse forms, and is subject to widely different circumstances and environments: the integration of religious ritual may result in higher “rationalization” of war, while introduction of new technologies may very well lead in the opposite direction (ibid., pp.  17–18). As made clear in Freund’s sevenfold definition, developments in one domain (technological, juristic, political, etc.) do not necessarily lead to similar, expected results in the domain of warfare, and are similarly affected by developments in the latter; as Freund remarks elsewhere, conflict itself is a creative activity, as it encourages innovation and breaks with sedimented habits (1983, p. 118). As Freund reiterates, the conduct of war is as much an “art” as a science. The so-called scientification of war, as Freund reminds his readers, is itself a phenomenon which is grounded in certain historical and social reality. This being so, war cannot be subsumed under a comprehensive



theory or definitional structure; the study of war, like its practice, involves an exchange between the objective vocabulary of science and the historical circumstances under which it proceeds. As Freund states, attempts to codify war in absolute terms are not only misleading, but in fact themselves take part in given “ideological” structures which are used to sanction or validate certain types of war; Freund cites numerous examples, from Frederick II’s writings, to General Ludendorff’s thesis on national mobilization, all of which are meant to promote a certain doctrine in the guise of objective science (1996, pp. 10–13). As an alternative to the rationalization thesis, Freund paints the development of warfare as the result of an ongoing and unstable tension between two “ideal types” of war: war of annihilation and war of attrition (a rendering of Hans Delbrück’s distinction between Ermattungsstrategie and Niederwerfungsstrategie, which translate literally to “strategy of exhaustion” and “strategy of defeat”). This distinction defined in terms of the underlying intentionality of each of those types: while wars of annihilation have their end in themselves, that is, in the destruction they wreak, wars of attrition have their ends in some external goal, a political, ritualistic, or moral one (ibid., pp. 15–16). This external end is what gives wars of attrition their form: a war of attrition assumes the identity of a different action, whether duel, hunting, game, or some other form of activity; Freund cites the critic Roger Caillois, who mentions that “historically, war has oscillated between hunting and tournament, between slaughter and sport” (ibid., p. 17). Freund’s explicit denunciation of the attempts to frame war as mere science signals his disaffection with the determinism of researchers such as Bouthoul, but also with any attempt to understand war in structural terms (including, very likely, his own earlier theories). In such a way, Freund’s essay limits itself to the modern era, invoking insights from ancient history only tangentially and comparatively. Freund defines modern warfare as a singular phenomenon, qualitatively different from any other form of organized violence in human history. Freund’s analysis thus operates on axes that show the singularity of modern warfare, namely the political, the technological, and the strategic axes. All these axes have contributed to the singular form of regulation which characterized the conduct of war since the seventeenth century. The earliest manifestation of modern war is designated by Freund under the term “state wars”. The state war, which was anticipated by Machiavelli and promoted by Richelieu, entails exceptional political,



technological, and strategic variables. At the political level, the state war entails of course the emergence of states on the European continent, in a process which includes at once the consolidation of smaller political principalities and the parcellation of grand European empires. The emergence of states facilitated the centralization of military power in the hands of a single sovereign, and created a “monopoly of legitimate violence”, in Max Weber’s famous term. Political and military powers became entangled with each other: the personal sovereign, namely the monarch, became the de jure leader of the armed forces in addition to the political leader; monarchs began to lead their armies, either personally or through lieutenants. At the technical level, the emergence of state war was facilitated by the introduction of firearms, including rifles and artillery. The introduction and expansion in the usage of rifles rendered the horseman, the backbone of feudal society, obsolete, while giving priority to the infantryman. Freund recognizes the incursion of the musket-armed infantry as one the most important developments of the early modern period, pointing to the increasing importance of mercenary armies. The infantry, being a mobile, disciplined, and collective unit, brought on the need for extensive and sophisticated organization, including the introduction of a military code of conduct and of regular training; drilling, with its technical minutiae, was a particularly important development in the creation of the disciplined infantry unit (McNeill 1982, pp. 136–139). The increasing importance of the infantry as the cornerstone of European strategy has also given rise to the formation of larger and better organized battalions and to the increasing importance of logistics and finances. This development was complemented by the innovations in the fields of military architecture, especially the famous angular “star” fortresses which emerged in France and Italy during the late sixteenth century. The construction of fortifications along national borders, a project which in the France of the seventeenth century was identified with Vauban and Richelieu, sealed the marriage of political, military, and technical power (Wolfe 2009, pp. 123–125). At the structural level, this arrangement was marked by the advent of “grand tactics” (in the term introduced by Comte de Guibert). Tactics were separated from strategy, with the latter remaining in the hands of the political power, and the former delegated to field commanders. As a result, tactics became an ever more specialized and autonomous domain, which is not immediately subservient to the hostility of combat, and underwent a gradual shift towards ever more technical, sophisticated, and symbolic forms of engagement. War, as Freund writes, came to be a “series



of manoeuvres”, which is concerned less with the immediate destruction of the enemy forces than with its subjugation according to a pre-given set of rules (1996, p. 28). The formalization or “institutionalization” of war, as it came to be known by recent historians, included the subjugation of organized violence, regulated and moderated by minute details and protocols. Military operations tended to follow careful minutiae, which dictated different aspects in the behaviour of the parties, from the appearance of the fighting forces and their uniforms to the rules of good form which also determined the point of surrender (a two-metre wide breach in a walled fort, for example, was one such point [Holsti 1996, pp. 30–32]). Freund invokes the notion of the “guerre en dentelles” (lace war) to designate the eighteenth-century style of warfare, that was regulated by ceremonial and technical rules, and consequently was assumed to have a relatively bloodless character (1996, p. 26). The political-technical-strategic triad led to the designation of specific space and time under which military affairs were to take place. The military barracks was one such space, a “heterotopia” separated from normal social affairs, while military operations were to occur only following a formal declaration of war, a juridical and diplomatic procedure (ibid., pp. 28–29). The separation of the political from the strictly military decisions also constituted a more stable separation between wartime and peacetime; it was the delimitation of war under the auspices of sovereignty, as an autonomous form of behaviour and conduct, which ushered in an era of peace and stability. It is easy to see how this historical account of the emergence of modern warfare complements Freund’s theoretical conceptions. The early modern state constellation, in its fusion of political and military power, is the formation best able to accommodate political recognition and stability. The emergence of neutrality as a political and diplomatic category required the forms of social and intellectual “justification” which developed in the early modern period. Freund draws parallel between the particular legal and institutional regulation which characterized warfare since the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the attitude of Enlightenment philosophy towards matters of war and peace, an attitude which tended to recognize bloodshed as part of the violent and irrational aspects of human civilization (e.g. in the writings of philosophers such as Voltaire and Vattel) (ibid., pp. 26–28). The role of the state in the emergence of modern war is seen by Freund as a complicated and dialectical affair. While the state contributed to



political stability on the continent, by “rationalizing” war, it was also the main institution which led to the unravelling of this order. This role is reserved by Freund to the main factor in legitimization of power in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe, namely the nation. The national model brought about a shift in the theory of war as well as in its conduct: instead of a technically, temporally, and spatially delimited affair, warfare came to be seen as an existential and total activity, encompassing the entirety of the national body for the sake of its very survival. The model of the national war, which was inaugurated in the Revolutionary Wars in 1790s France, represented a significant change with respect to the early modern tradition: instead of a “well-regulated undertaking borne by a population that felt unconcerned”, warfare became a “mass movement” marked by “exaltation and ebullience” (ibid., p. 33). This new conception also entailed a different tactical understanding: instead of a carefully orchestrated series of operations, national war consisted of hammering the enemy into submission by means of overwhelming force. The foundational moment of this model of war was the Battle of Valmy of 20 September 1792, the first major battlefield victory of Republican France. The French side, which fielded a large force consisting of young volunteers and new conscripts backed by cannons, marched to the tune of Republican songs against a better trained professional Prussian army. The battle, which ended in French victory despite the significantly greater casualties on the French side, was won largely due to a prudent use of artillery and the high resilience of the French infantry, which took significant losses from the Prussian artillery. The victory was credited to the high morale of the simple soldier on one hand and to the mathematical ingenuity of the military engineer on the other hand; the enthusiasm of the young recruit was complemented by the shrewd calculation of the cannoneer (ibid., p. 34).10 The battle of Valmy, in Freund’s view, inaugurated a new era in the history of warfare, one characterized by the blurring of the distinction between soldier and civilian, as well as the spatial and temporal separations which moderated and reined in warfare. War was conceived henceforth in terms of complete mobilization, which draws on the entirety of the human and technological resources of the nation. The levée en masse (mass recruitment) of the French Revolution became normalized and regular, while at the same time underwent technical improvement and professionalization.  See also Bell (2007, pp. 131–136).




War was reframed as a perpetual and ubiquitous affair: enemies were always and everywhere and discovered within and without the national body. The logic of the national and democratic war, as Freund says, was one of constant escalatory trends (ibid., p. 36). One of the central phenomena that Freund associates with the unravelling of the autonomy of the political unit is the gradual emergence of guerrilla warfare. As diagnosed by both of Freund’s mentors, Aron and Schmitt, guerrilla tactics came to pose an ongoing problem to European strategists from the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, and have led to a paradigmatic shift in the basic categories of warfare.11 The presence of the partisan and the guerrilla entailed not only the effacement of the distinction between citizen and soldier, but also problematized the essential physical coordinates of war, namely space and time. Guerrilla warfare is characterized by Freund as a distinctly “localized” type of warfare, as it occurs in each compact territory and within a local population, which in principle does not overlap with a formal territory delineated by borders. At the temporal level, guerrilla warfare involves a rhythm of its own, which combines the “attrition” and the “annihilation” modes, as it adopts constant harassment of the enemy instead of quick outcomes, while at the same time emerges unexpectedly and without much of a formal declaration (ibid., pp. 42–45). Guerrilla war, with its revolutionary impetus and alternative set of spatio-­temporal categories, presented the ultimate reversal of the state-­ centric model of warfare. Freund is careful not to romanticize the guerrilla or to regard it as an entirely new form of combat: his analysis is closer to Aron, who defines the surge in guerrilla tactics in terms of specific historical circumstances, than to Schmitt, who regards it as the incursion of a long repressed “telluric” element in global politics. As such, Freund essentially sees guerrilla as the continuation of the logic of democratic nationalism, with its total mobilization, its highly ideological character and its reliance on propaganda and psychological warfare. The other aspect that contributed to the unravelling of the classical form of warfare was the technological developments of the twentieth century, especially the introduction of aerial warfare and mechanized vehicles. These two innovations, which dethroned the infantry as the main arm of 11  Cf. Schmitt’s seminal work Theory of the Partisan (2007); See also Freund’s preface to the French edition of the work: Schmitt, 2009, pp. 7–38. Aron treats the subject primarily in his essay “The Anarchical Order of Power” (1995).



combat, have led each in its own way, to an entirely new form of engagement on the battlefield: mobility and reach were primed at the expense of holding positions in a territory and defending them (ibid., p.  53). This development has also sealed the fate of attrition as the central manner of engagement, and has inaugurated a return to a type of war of annihilation: instead of the ceaseless manoeuvre (which was largely discredited in the trenches of the Great War), military engagement assumed the form of quick and decisive resolution, usually via the destruction of the bulk of the enemy forces. In addition to being highly demanding in terms of resources (leading to the further militarization of the national economy) this new style of combat was characterized by the deep intermingling of the strategic and the tactical levels, leading to the penetration of military thinking and military vocabulary into the sphere of politics (as well as of economics and other domains), while at the same time reducing the effort of war-­ making to simple hostility and to the destruction of the enemy (ibid., pp. 57–58). These new forms of warfare also brought about the unravelling and transformation of the international order. As national conflicts became mere points of conflagration in a worldwide clash between great powers, the traditional place of the state in the spatio-temporal order was undermined and replaced. Freund draws continuity in this respect between the second global conflict and the Cold War which followed it, as both were characterized by the relativization of the role of the state in the conduct of conflicts. The treatment of occupied Germany in the aftermath of the Second World War was the exemplary event of this tendency, as the signing of the peace accord occurred under the dictate of the Allies: the German state which was subject to disarmament and division had no authentically representative government and was a political non-entity (1970, pp. 163–172). It was as part of this development that international law as well as international institutions was beginning to assume an increasingly “polemical” character. Freund points especially to the post-1945 institutions such as the United Nations, as a means of enforcing a political order under the guise of law. The UN was meant to function as the quintessential “third party”, by attenuating conflicts and introducing a neutral instance into the post-war international setting. In practice, however, its effect was the opposite: by penalizing every type of aggression, the post-war arrangement failed to account for the emerging bipolar constellation and the fundamental hostility which underlined the international order. The



transformation of “neutrality” to “neutralization”, which was a characteristic of the post-war discourse, sought to attenuate conflicts by means of direct pacification: instead of mutual recognition, it sought to intervene and subjugate one of the sides (or both), thus devaluing the political aspect of every act of combat (ibid., pp. 185–193). This process has also contributed to the emergence of what Freund calls an “angelical notion of peace”. The new pacifist doctrines which took hold in the course of the twentieth century sought a type of peace which regards it as a state “independent of war and politics”, as well as of the prevailing social conditions of the time (1996, pp. 62–63). This type of non-political and even anti-political pacifism regarded peace as hingeing upon nothing but the “good intentions” of human beings (1983, p. 58). It was thus the emergence of total war, as a completely unmitigated activity, which has dialectically led to the position which requires the abolition of the potential of war, and even the intention of war, as a prerequisite for stability. This depoliticization of the post-war legal order, by consequence, has left it unprotected in the face of revisionist actors. Writing on the current state of the United Nations and its affiliated institutions in the 1960s, Freund describes and warns against revisionist powers which seek to undermine it (Freund points to the People’s Republic of China as the main challenger of the international order, rather than the Soviet Union) (1970, pp.  172–177). This threat was fortified and exacerbated by the forms of warfare which took centre stage at the time: the threat of nuclear weapons on the one hand and the propagation of guerrilla warfare in the post-war period. Freund’s historical explanation may be seen as a genealogical account of modern pacifism. Freund does not consider pacifism (or any modern ideology) to have independent existence from its social and political context. In such a way, the post-war ideology, which Freund analyses in his political essays and commentary, cannot be separated from the specific constellation which arose in the middle of the twentieth century (and which itself came about as an attempt to salvage the failing state model). Rather than a coherent ideology which draws on older Enlightenment ideas, modern pacifism is depicted by Freund as a response to the breakdown of the traditional state order.



Conclusion The thesis laid out by Freund thus integrates various elements from his political theory, including the emphasis on the autonomy of the political, on the institutional nature of warfare, and on the relative and political character of neutrality. Those elements are historicized by Freund, to suggest they are not inherent in every social setting, but arise from specific and circumstantial factors, and can indeed be eroded by changes in those circumstances. The early modern system that combined specific innovations in the fields of politics, technology, and strategy was a rare development in European history, and is in ways a singular and accidental one. In his theory of war and peace, Freund prioritizes the mediation that exists between actors and the conceptual as well as institutional aspects of this mediation. As Freund demonstrated in his historical thesis, it is the transformation of this mediation (including in the formal aspects of warfare itself) which instigates that of the system, and which triggers the emergence of structural tendencies and the ideologies that sustain it. The conceptual and institutional separation between war-making and state-­ making, which is the underlying presupposition of modern political theory, is thus relativized by Freund and rendered historical and contingent. Freund’s theory of war and peace is in many ways an elaboration of classical realist theory. Freund, like other realist thinkers, regard violence and conflict as inseparable from any political situation and as an imminent consequence of the reality of human plurality. The nuances introduced by Freund into the realist thesis concern the structural and historical characteristics of the state system: instead of the perpetual confrontation described by many realists, Freund paints a complex picture in which different social, technical and political elements influence each other. International conflicts, like other tensions that characterize the political sphere, are articulated, sustained, and even formed, by the underlying logic of historical development.

Bibliography Aron, R. 1995. The Anarchical Order of Power. Reprinted in Daedalus, Vol. 124, No. 3, The Quest for World Order (Summer 1995), 27–52. ———. 2003. Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations. Translated from the French by Richard Howard and Annette Baker Fox, Introduction by



Daniel J.  Mahoney and Brian C.  Anderson. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. Bell, D. 2007. The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Blanchet, C. 1991. L’Aventure du politique: Entretiens avec Charles Blanchet. Paris: Critérion. Bouthoul, G. 1970. L’infanticide Différé. Paris: Hachette. ———. 1971. Polémologie: science de conflits. Études polémologiques 1: 22–29. ———. 1991. Traité de Polémologie: Sociologie de guerre. Paris: Payot. Bouthoul, G., and R. Carrère. 1976. Le défi de la guerre (1740–1974): deux siècles de guerres et de révolutions. Paris: Presses universitaires de France. Cano, J. 2000. Julien Freund: Lo Político y la Política. Madrid: Sequitur. Delannoi, G., and P. Hintermeyer, eds. 2011. Julien Freund et la dynamique des conflits. Paris: Berg. Delsol, C. 2004. Un philosophe contre l’angélisme. Le Figaro, 19 février 2004. Freund, J. 1970. Le Nouvel âge: éléments pour une théorie de la démocratie et de la paix. Paris: M. Rivière. ———. 1978. Utopie et violence. Paris: Marcel Rivière. ———. 1983. Sociologie du conflit. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. ———. 1986. L’Essence du Politique, troisième édition. Paris: Editions Sirey. ———. 1996. Warfare in the Modern World: A Short But Critical Introduction. Edited and translated by Simona Draghici. Washington, DC: Plutarch Press. ———. 2004. L’Essence du politique, postface de Pierre André Taguieff. Paris: Éditions Dalloz. Holsti, K. 1996. The State, War, and the State of War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McNeill, W. 1982. The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society Since A.D. 1000. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Schmitt, C. 2007. Theory of the Partisan. Translated by G. L. Ulmen. New York: Telos Press. ———. 2009. La notion de politique—Théorie du partisan. Translated by Marie-­ Louise Steinhauser. Paris: Champs classiques. Steinmetz-Jenkins, D. 2014. Between two rights: Julien Freund and the origins of political realism in France. Patterns of Prejudice 48 (3): 248–264. Taguieff, P.A. 2008. Julien Freund: Au Cœur du politique. Paris: Table Ronde. Tommissen, P. 1981. La bibliographie de Julien Freund. Revue européenne des sciences sociales, T. 19, No. 54/55, Critique des théories du social et Epistémologie des sciences humaines, 49–70. Touanne, S. 2011. Julien Freund: Penseur machiavélien de la politique. Paris: L’Harmattan. Wolfe, M. 2009. Walled Towns and the Shaping of France From the Medieval to the Early Modern Era. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


Revolutionary War and Peace Jennifer Mei Sze ANG

Introduction Major historical changes over the past decades have led to a view that conventional wars have become obsolete. The understanding that war is an event that disrupts regular time—as a temporary condition with a beginning and end—is no longer relevant in today’s era of perpetual wars and the idea that there is a theatre of war has also come under challenge with the introduction of drone warfare. These changes in warfare have led military scholars to argue that since the traditional conceptual paradigm about war lags behind current developments, a rethinking of the premise that war is a continuation of politics by other means is needed. Such contemporary military scholars however were not the first to question the applicability of Carl von Clausewitz’s treatise to understand changed times. With the invention of new thermonuclear and biochemical weapons, Hannah Arendt argued that the preparation for war is the continuation of politics by other means. Given that these new weapons will bring about mass destruction, any war intended to serve as a means towards political and economic ends is now irrelevant. Instead, our

J. M. S. ANG (*) Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,



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preparation for war is the best guarantee of peace in this nuclear age. Moreover, amidst the widespread student protest movements in the universities and violent anti-colonial protests around the world, Arendt concluded that it is not war, but violence that continues to be the means of politics. For the revolutionaries, the fact that the government has increased destructive capabilities made little difference in their decision to use violent means since their new ways of engagement have the capability for causing disruptive impact and yield success in some cases. As such, Arendt believed we need to be more wary of glorifying this new wave of violence by the revolutionaries, specifically the ideas of philosopher-activists such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Frantz Fanon. Yet, in our time, revolutions are not considered mere acts of violence but struggles that are able to bring about emancipation. Since 2011, the world has witnessed and empathised with the waves of anti-government protests and uprisings that swept through the Middle East. These movements were struggles for liberation from tyrannical governments and the first step towards the creation of possibilities of a more humane future for the oppressed. To Sartre, the oppressed are humanised when they assert their humanity through struggles rather than remain complicit in their oppression, and for Fanon, the psychological need to overcome their inferiority complex is essential in helping them restore their humanity. Increasingly, such internal conflicts have dominated international concerns and they have given rise to a new political end—humanitarian protection—as a new rationale for war. This is encapsulated in the new international norm for humanitarian intervention as the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) which occupies our contemporary thinking about war that follows from revolution. With these developments in the background, this chapter aims to draw insights from these thinkers surrounding the relationship between violence and power to enrich our understanding of war and revolutions in our time. It will first outline the different relationships between violence, power, war, and revolution discussed by Arendt and Sartre. Next, it will show how revolution is a reaction against situations where life itself is threatened and when it places limits on the violent means it employs, it is able to create opportunities for the oppressed to regain their humanity, restore their rights, and create a humane future for themselves. Finally, it reflects on the development of humanitarian protection as a new raison d’être for war by distinguishing between uprising and war that are mere extensions of violence from those with genuine humanitarian aims.



Violence, Power, War, and Revolutions Clausewitz defines war as “an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfil our will” within a certain scope that is guided by both the objectives it seeks to achieve and means with which it is waged (1997, p. 5). For him, as the only source of war is politics, war is not only a mere political act, but also a mere “continuation of policy by other means”—an instrument that is guided by the rational objective of protecting the state and its interest (Clausewitz 1997, p. 22). To achieve this, the enemy must be disarmed, but Clausewitz warns that we must not make the error of thinking that the enemy can be overcome with minimum bloodshed because war is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds and we can expect the enemy to retaliate with similar extremity (1997, pp.  6–7). Further, he argues that if wars between civilised nations appear less cruel (e.g., where prisoners were not put to death) or less destructive (because towns and countries were not completely destroyed), it only points to the fact that civilised nations have found more effectual means of applying force than to resort to rude acts of mere instinct (Clausewitz 1997, pp. 6–7). This goes to show that the conduct of war is subjected to the social conditions which do not belong to war itself because the tendency to destroy the adversary remains central to the conception of war and is in no way changed with civilisation. Arendt, however, was to point out the need to think beyond Clausewitz’s framing of war as a means of politics, given that war has already started to disappear from the scene of politics because of the possibility of an absolute war. After World War I, it became apparent that we had entered an era of “total war” where there is little distinction between soldiers and civilians. This emergence of total war highlighted the incapacity of the army to fulfil its basic function of protecting and defending the civilian population and has hence changed its role to be part of a larger strategy of deterrence (Arendt 2006, pp.  4–5). Furthermore, governments do not survive the aftermath of wars. Wars destroy government—whether its destruction is brought about by uprisings, or enforced by victorious powers, or by war trials—and the likelihood of this means that all governments will avoid war. As such, after World War II, the avoidance of war became a matter of policy, and the continual development of weapons and preparation for war served the purpose of deterrence. Lastly, given that the interrelationship between war and revolution has “shifted more and more from war to revolution”, evident in the civil wars that raged across the world after World


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War II, the avoidance of war is to also avoid the violence unleashed by revolution (Arendt 2006, p. 7). Through these observations, Arendt concludes that war is no longer a continuation of policy, realpolitik, or selfinterested power, and states no longer prepare for war but instead, develop weapons to deter wars. The preparation for war now serves the purpose of extending peace. The interrelationship between war and revolution that Arendt highlighted brings to the fore the relationship between violence and power. First, the interrelationship between war and revolution is built on the fact that violence is the common denominator which sets them apart from other political phenomena. Here, we find that her conceptualisation of politics is intertwined with her understanding of power and less so with policy, realpolitik, or self-interest. Building on the tradition of political philosophy, Arendt’s understanding of politics assumes a distinction between the pre-political state of nature of pure coercive force and the use of force according to law to which it is understood as a manifestation of power. Power for her then refers to the ability to act in concert with others and belongs to the group and not the individual (Arendt 1972, p. 143). In that sense, “[a]ll political institutions are manifestations and materialisations of power” and the government is an example of an organised and institutionalised source of power (Arendt 1972, p. 140). Given that “power springs up whenever people get together and act in concert”, the origins and legitimacy of power lies with the initial formation of the group according to Arendt (1972, p. 151). By extension, the moment the group disappears, the legitimacy of power also disappears. This happens when the group ceases support, and as a result, the power structure breaks down. Take for instance the occasions when a government ceases to enjoy popular support, its power structure will also begin to disintegrate, and the armed forces no longer function as they no longer obey the command of the government. This creates a power vacuum, presenting revolution with a chance of success. Yet, Arendt maintains that a revolution is a possibility but unnecessary (1972, p. 148). She gives the example of the May 1968 French students’ rebellion which was a revolutionary situation that brought down the government but fell short of developing into a revolution as nobody was prepared to seize power. To her, for a mass rebellion to turn into a revolution needed a new body politic that can replace the status quo. However, often, before revolutions have a chance, governments that lose legitimate power will substitute for it



with violence, making it unlikely for revolutionaries to win against superior weapons. It seems then that “violence appears where power is in jeopardy” (Arendt 1972, p. 155) and this may explain why “wars have turned so easily into revolutions and why revolutions have shown this ominous inclination to unleash wars” (Arendt 2006, p. 8). On closer examination, Arendt maintains that violence stands in opposition to power, and because it is instrumental in character, violence appeals to the ends it seeks as justification and stands in need of guidance by the ends it pursues (2006, p. 150). Power on the other hand is an end-in-itself which does not require justification because it is legitimate, and violence, by contrast, is instrumental and requires justification as it is not legitimate. Arendt makes a further distinction between whether the justification of violence is political or not. She argues that violence is justified only if the justification constitutes its political limitation, but when violence is glorified or unjustified, it ceases to be political and becomes anti-political (Arendt 2006, p. 9). And violence becomes anti-political when it is no longer backed and restrained by power, resulting in a situation where violence not only destroyed power but also determined the end. She gives the example of the French Revolution which attempted to solve a social question of the poor through the use of violence without restraint and ended in totalitarianism—where violence having destroyed all power remained in full control and turned on the revolutionaries themselves (Arendt 1972, pp. 153–4). On the other hand, Arendt considers the American Revolution to be an example of a justified revolution because it did not end with violence destroying the revolutionaries. To begin defining what revolutions are, Arendt maintains that in the modern age, we must look at how the idea of freedom and the experience of a new beginning coincides (2006, p. 19). And to understand the idea of freedom, we must first distinguish it from the notion of liberty. Civil rights that are associated with constitutional governments must deal with negative freedoms that are the results of liberation from governments overstepping their power and infringing on these rights. But the actual and more fundamental content of freedom lies with the participation in public affairs or admission to the public realm, which is according to Arendt the consequence of modern-day revolutions. Arendt acknowledges the difficulty in drawing the line between freedom and liberation or indicating when the desire for the liberation from oppression ends and when the desire for freedom as the political way of life


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begins (2006, p. 23). In fact, the men who led the American and French Revolutions in the initial stages were convinced that their goals were to restore an older order of things that had been disrupted and violated by the colonial government and by despotic monarchy. This, Arendt argues, is the reason we need to focus on the idea of freedom if we are to be able to distinguish these events clearly and grasp how revolutions are more than successful insurrections. For example, coups d’état usually result in power changing hands from one individual or group to another, but they do not naturally or necessarily bring about an altogether new form of government. Only where “the liberation from oppression aims at least at the constitution of freedom”, Arendt maintains, can we consider the phenomenon a revolution (2006, p. 25). As such, we may find that all that insurrection, rebellion, revolt, and coups d’état have in common with revolution is that they are brought about by violence, but it is the complete transformation of the body politic focussed on freedom that is the unique feature of revolutions. At this point, we can establish the key features of the Arendtian revolution. It is one that is aimed at establishing a new body politic focussed on the conditions of freedom instead of solving social questions, such as we saw in the positive example of the American Revolution rather than those the French, Russian or Chinese Revolutions. The French Revolution missed the opportunity to find freedom in the new republic when the idea of freedom gave way to necessity and poverty. Second, the power of the revolutionaries is founded on the consent of those who “get together and bind themselves through promises, covenants, and mutual pledges” and not spurious and usurped (Arendt 2006, p. 173). The American revolutionaries held legitimate power because the group was formed on the basis of mutuality and reciprocity, making a distinction between power and violence. The French revolutionaries on the other hand believed that power resided in the people and threw the entire nation into a state of nature. With that said, Arendt’s analysis may still strike us as running counter to our intuitions and observations about violence and revolutions. Not only do the powerless resort to violent means, authoritarian governments also hold command over instruments of violence and deploy them frequently to yield obedience from its people and maintain their rule for prolonged periods of time. And on occasions, democratic governments use brutal force on peaceful protestors and demonstrators without losing their power. On Arendt’s terms, these examples constitute political violence that is legitimate. Furthermore, these examples show that the



relationship between power and violence is thus not necessarily opposite: one does not arise when the other disintegrate. In fact, violence and power coexist in varying degrees in most forms of government. Second, insurrections, rebellions, uprisings, revolts, coups d’état, and revolutions can and do draw their justification from their formation and not only the ends they seek. It is obvious that violence will never be justified in and of itself and even totalitarian systems such as Nazi Germany, find the need for an ideology of the Volk to give reasons for its final solution. This is because the justification of such mass upheavals and violent uprising lie in the situations they arose from—inhumane living conditions, oppressive laws, and structures—and their goals of freedom and equality give legitimacy to their formation. Third, power as understood by Arendt as arising when people get together and act in concert can also be explained and enhanced by acts of violence. Coming together for the common goal of domination and united by common acts of terror can account for how terrorist groups rose to power, but also explain  how successful nations won independence from their colonial rulers. Finally, there is nothing to suggest that the content of freedom must be understood narrowly as the participation in public affairs or admission to the public realm. A successful revolution that is truly focused on freedom must be able to bring about concrete freedoms to be meaningful, not only political but also social and economic freedoms. It also does not necessarily mean that it must take the form of a counsel system as prescribed by Arendt, in an almost similarly prescriptive way to Marx’s inevitable revolution or Francis Fukuyama’s destiny of liberal democracy. In fact, a  new body politic that is free will determine the form it takes rather than assume a prescribed form. What Arendt has achieved is to trace the extensions of violence in revolution to shift our attention towards another form of violence occurring outside of war. But her use of binary framings of power/violence and political/anti-political to distinguish revolution from other forms of mass upheavals are limited in helping us understand these phenomena better. Sartre, on the other hand, paints a different picture of violence and revolution through his phenomenological approach that is better able to respond to these observations.


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Revolutionary Violence Sartre understood violence not simply as destruction, but specifically, the destruction of laws established by humans that was meant to organise and unify diversified human relations. This human lawfulness is made up of “organisms, tools, human establishments and [humans]” that present themselves as resistance-to-be-destroyed (1992, p. 172). The destruction of human lawfulness can be brought about by violent and non-violent means—the former refers to destruction brought about through violent acts, while the latter refers to destruction in violence without the use of violent means. For instance, capitalism takes place in violence when it destroys the traditional relationship between the workers and their output (i.e., their sense of ownership and craftsmanship) and between industrialists and workers (in labour-wage exchanges) but without the use of violent acts. The end of capitalism is thus achieved in violence, and not by violent acts (Sartre 1991, p. 153). Sartre also gives an example in his preface to Fanon’s (2004) Wretched of the Earth where he points out that the colonial master not only enslaves the locals by violence through their guns and whips, but also dehumanises the locals in violence by demolishing their traditions, replacing their native tongues, destroying their culture. A close examination of the phenomenological structure of violence also shows that violence gives rise to its own contradiction in the form of counter-­violence (Sartre 1991, p. 113). Returning to the aforementioned example, the colonial masters created a Manichean world to justify their dehumanisation and destruction of the colonised, and this created a subhuman condition for the colonised. The colonised are now presented with a dirty-hands dilemma—they would be dead if they resist the power of the colonists, but if they were to give in and degrade themselves, they will lose their humanity. In these subhuman conditions which Sartre described as an impossibility (that is, oppressive situations where it is impossible to be human because life itself is threatened), the only way for the oppressed to regain their humanity and restore their rights is to liberate themselves from the violence of the colonial system and its ideology through violent means (Stone and Bowman 1986, p. 210). Revolution, in this way, is not a mere extension of violence, but arises as a retaliatory, reactionary, and defensive human project of desperate violence, justified by the impossibility of the situation to which it responds. It is not merely a project of counter-violence, but one with the aim of putting an end to the current violent condition to replace it with an end that



is its opposite—to reaffirm humanity. For Sartre then, the situation from which the group comes together for self-defence and liberation is the birth of the revolution’s legitimacy, and because the use of violent means is necessary for ending oppression, its necessity makes revolutionary violence morally excusable. Sartre’s analysis thus raises questions for Arendt. First, Arendt argues that power operates when people get together and act in concert, but she only associates power to be within the ambit of political institutions. By failing to consider revolutionary groups as legitimate sources of power, she is hence unable to account for institutionalised powers that rule in violence and uses violent means, such as colonialists and authoritarian governments. Secondly, because Arendt maintains that violence is only justified according to the end it seeks, she is unable to, unlike Sartre, discuss projects of counter-violence meaningfully. To her, projects of violence are either political or anti-political, which ignores the other dimensions counter-violence is concerned with, such as whether it is morally legitimate as defence, whether it is morally permissible as retaliation, or whether it is morally excusable as a necessary evil. There is thus a sense of right to counter-violence in revolutions that Arendt may not be able to fully appreciate or empathise. Further, these situations of impossibility as described by Sartre and Fanon are a reality although Arendt wants us to believe that the third world is an ideology. She argues that Sartre and Fanon presented us with a glorified picture of violence by not distinguishing between violence and power, by substituting violence for power, and by solving social questions instead of establishing freedom. To Arendt, Marx has articulated the social question in political terms by framing poverty “as the result of exploitation through a ruling class which is in the possession of the means of violence” (2006, p. 152). But she believes Sartre went even further than Marx by thinking that man can recreate himself through irrepressible violence such that “the wretched of the earth” can “become men” (Arendt 1972, p. 114). She concludes that Sartre was also mistaken to believe that violence is “the cure-all for most of our ills” by healing the wounds that it inflicted because violence does not achieve any humanising effects for the oppressed and is hence unjustified (Arendt 1972, p. 122). But revolution is more than a violent shift of power centre. For Arendt, it is the complete transformation of body politic based on freedom that differentiates revolution from other violent upheavals. But she failed to see that transformation starts with the individual assuming the responsibility


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for the situation. On Sartre’s terms, it is this assumption of responsibility for their situation that humanises the revolutionaries, and counter-­violence is the actual demonstration of this responsibility by rejecting their subhuman conditions. This is a first step before revolutionaries can achieve liberation from their subhuman conditions and before they can put in place a future that restores human rights and worth and reaffirms humanity. Arendt is thus mistaken to think that Sartre believes violence to be in and of itself able to humanise the oppressed. What Sartre means is that revolutionary violence is the only means of liberation from subhuman conditions so that a humanitarian end—to achieve autonomy to invent law and self-­ ­ determination—can be achieved. This explains the optimism and empathy we hold for revolutions against colonial power and tyrannical dictators. Fanon described in detail what it means to regain humanity for the oppressed as a victim of racism in Algeria. In painting the psychological profile of the victim in Black Skin, White Mask, Fanon clarified that racism is a type of prejudice that is based on “the unreasoning hatred of one race for another” based solely on skin-colour in which the “light-­skinned races have come to despise all those of a darker colour” (Fanon 2008, p. 89). He observed that “blackness” is an internalised situated object-ness that reflects the Blacks’ inferior status within the colonial paradigm, or what Fanon described, a “neuroses of inferiority complex” and this is correlated to the “European’s feeling of superiority” (Fanon 2008, p. 69). Although it is the social structure of colonialism that proclaimed and perpetuated the superiority of the colonist, the colonised developed an inferiority complex and from that developed an unconscious desire of whitening (Fanon 2008, pp. 74–5). Hence, to Fanon, the liberation of the colonised must first start with the recognition of the cause of this unconscious desire as stemming from an inferiority complex. And since the ideological, structural, and systemic inequality and injustice experienced is due to skincolour, the Blacks find that their authentic liberation must find its basis in racialised struggle to undo racism. Although agreeing with Fanon that violence can help destroy the characteristics of the colonised person so that they no longer remain subhuman but people who try to come together, Sartre did not believe that violence will draw humanity together (2007, p. 92). He shared the concern that violence is something negative if it is not guided by an end that reaffirms humanity. In Notebooks for an Ethics, he maintains that counter-­ violence like Hegelian terrorist violence, leads to the death of free



subjectivity rather than a passage towards liberation (Sartre 1992, p. 406). Further, in the Critique of Dialectical Reason, he says that counter-­ violence  destroys not only the anti-human in our adversaries but also destroys the humanity in us (Sartre 1991, p. 133). Sartre’s concern about how we can ensure that revolutions achieve their humanitarian ends becomes clearer in the “1964 Rome Lecture Notes”. In describing true ethics, Sartre demanded that the oppressed observe the humanity in their oppressors and exercise limitations in their use of violence and not repeat anti-human norms. As revolutionaries undertake the responsibility to reject subhuman conditions, their means must be limited and guided by the ends of humanity they seek to achieve. Further, in his last interview with Benny Levy in Hope Now, Sartre emphasises that violence “merely breaks up a certain state of enslavement that was making it impossible for people to become human beings” (Sartre 2007, p. 92). What is humanising for Sartre’s revolutionaries is the refusal to be complicit in one’s subhuman conditions through actions to overcome the situation and restore humanity, and the use of revolutionary violence is understood as a necessary evil although its necessity does not make violence right but excusable if it observes moral limits. The limits of revolutionary violence that Sartre is concerned with are further discussed in terms of the means-ends structure. According to Sartre, the basic nature of violence is destruction, and this means that violent means can destroy its ends by either undermining the ends or derailing its ends by positing new ends. Revolutionary violence that is meant to achieve freedom for all may be undermined by revolutionaries when they replace the power vacuum with their own and is able to alter or derail the original end by positing new ends. Without any limitations of violent means by humanitarian ends, revolutions will turn on humanity. In his “1964 Rome Lectures”, Sartre outlined the conditions that make violence a permissible means for revolutionaries. First, the use of violence is permitted only if it can prevent itself from becoming an alienating system resembling the very system it destroys (Santoni 2003, p. 149). As a revolt against the existing oppressive order, revolutions must break away from the present with a blueprint that reaffirms humanity and not produce another exploitative system or keep human beings in a state of sub-humanity. Second, violence is permitted if it can avoid introducing any ideologies of terror (Santoni 2003, 149). Third, violence is permitted only if it is a necessity and not chosen for the sake of ease or to conceal a mistake (Santoni 2003, p. 150). This is achieved


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by limiting the use of terror given that excessive destruction will undermine the end of reaffirming humanity. Excessive violence can also derail the purpose of the revolution and turn on humanity itself. Lastly, revolutions must originate from the oppressed and taken up by leaders in their turn as the oppressed hold the cause of creating a new human morality (Santoni 2003, p. 150). We thus find that Sartrean revolutions are existentially authentic responses  that seek to overturn subhuman situations, recover violated rights, and restore humanity. In situations where it is impossible to live a human life, the mere refusal to comply with the aggressor’s rule is ineffective for achieving liberation and it  does not go any further in restoring freedom. But revolutions have an immediate aim of overthrowing the existing oppressive subhuman condition and a long-term goal of creating a new order founded on freedom. They are achieved using violent means that observe a set of conditions that limit destruction because it is guided by the humanitarian end it seeks to achieve. As Sartre maintains, revolutions consist of more than a “negation of order” as it comprehends another order for them to destroy the old order (1992, p. 399). Without that, a revolt against a subhuman situation will only end up as an act of destruction, like Hegelian terrorist violence that leads to “a dead end, the unique and individual discovery by a subject of his free subjectivity in tragedy and in death” rather than a passage towards liberation (Sartre 1992, p. 406). Revolutions will therefore need the oppressed to “start over” by establishing a new order that goes “beyond the given order and established values”, although in its immediate future, the situation will be one of “disorder, anarchy, terrorism” because the old order has now given way to freedom (Sartre 1992, p.  404). In this way, revolution is not the mere extension of politics by violent means, but the beginning of possible sustained peace because of the promise of a humanist end. This new order that revolutions must aim at is not prescribed. Sartre’s notion of freedom refers to an ontological condition that is more fundamental than negative and positive freedom. The libertarian notion of “freedom from” is guaranteed in the list of civil liberties that protects individuals from interference with their choices, and “freedom to” refers to the conditions that enable individuals to pursue these choices. Sartre’s idea of freedom on the other hand first considers human beings to be situated in a value-contingent world where they are not only free to make choices but free to create their choices by conferring meanings and values. It is in this way, far more fundamental than protecting certain types of



freedom or ensuring the exercise of liberties and rights because ontological freedom concerns the freedom to define what values and meanings are in the first place. Representative democracy is, from this perspective, the passing of one’s freedom of choice through majority votes over to a political party to decide what choices the voters must choose from. And because the voting system keeps individuals separate and serialised, the individual is basically kept impotent. In this way, indirect democracy is to Sartre, a hoax because the individual is not free nor empowered in this system (Sartre 1997, pp. 198–210). It is now clear that violence is considered as instrumental and justified only by the end of freedom for Arendt but is considered as instrumental and permitted by the situation it arises against and the end of humanity that it seeks for Sartre and Fanon. Arendt and Sartre are equally concerned about how violence may turn on humanity by justifying itself as an end, but Sartre believed violence in situations of necessity can create an opportunity to restore humanity while Arendt considered revolutions to be unnecessary even when the power structures have broken down. Sartre’s phenomenology and Fanon’s psychology helps us understand the problematic relationship between violence and freedom in revolution further. Revolutionary violence in and of itself is not humanising but justified by its necessity to reject subhuman conditions and their accompanying neurosis to restore human worth and bring about the possibilities of creating a humane future. Instead of seeing revolution as a mere form of violence that serves the extension of politics, Sartrean and Fanonist revolution bring about the possible beginning of sustained peace. And it is this nature of revolution that points to an opposite development from that which Arendt described: revolution and war have shifted increasingly from revolution to war in the form of humanitarian interventions in our era. Thus, from Arendt’s warnings from history about how revolutions are extensions of violence and Sartre’s concern with keeping a limit on revolutionary violence, it is apparent that the first battleground for a successful revolution lies in restraining violent means by the end of reaffirming humanity. By focussing on how the end of reaffirming humanity restrains revolutionary violence, we can distinguish wars that are extensions of politics from wars that follow-through the aim of humanitarian ends that had its beginning in uprisings in our recent time.


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Revolutions and the Responsibility to Protect In recent decades, civil strife and rebellions have not remained localised conflicts but have escalated into humanitarian crises that affect not only neighbouring countries but also threaten international peace and security. Failed peacekeeping missions in the 1990s revealed the limitations of traditional peacekeeping principles. The first of these principles is the need to obtain consent from a legitimate government before intervention. Given that civil conflicts are usually the consequence of failed state control such as the cases of Liberia, Haiti and East Timor, this principle has limited relevance. Second, the severity of these conflicts presents us with a sense of urgency. They threaten the peace and security of a region, and more importantly, commit severe violation of human rights such as the case of genocide in Rwanda. Finally, the magnitude of these conflicts such as the case of Bosnia and Srebrenica revealed the inadequacy of the principle of a non-use of force with key peacekeeping tasks such as the monitoring of ceasefires, setting up safe zones, protecting convoys, and establishing nofly zones. The RtoP was thus endorsed by the international community during the 2005 World Summit. It is a recognition of this struggle against oppressive governments and a demonstration of their commitment to “never again” allow humanitarian catastrophes to occur after the failed peacekeeping missions of the 1990s. This establishes a new international norm—states now have the responsibility to prevent any violation of the rights of its citizens. Further, it ensures the commitment of the international community in helping states fulfil this responsibility, and an obligation to respond collectively in a timely and decisive manner should any states fail to protect its people. In this way, the RtoP signals a new purpose for war—to put an end to humanitarian catastrophe to protect and restore human rights. The first test case of RtoP is Libya. Under the coordination by the National Transitional Council, Libyans started pro-democracy demonstrations in the streets. In retaliation, Muammar Qaddafi threatened to use violence to “purify” Libya from rebel troops, and at the first sign of a possible genocide, the UN Security Council responded swiftly by first adopting Resolution 1973 which spelt out a range of non-military options such as a series of sanctions and no-fly zones to protect civilians. Without arming any rebels or deploying any ground troops, NATO conducted airstrikes to selectively bomb targets that were a clear threat to civilians to



keep civilian casualties to a minimum. Within seven months, the operation ended, with rebel fighters capturing and killing Qaddafi in his hometown of Sirte. It excluded an occupation force even though Resolution 2009 established a UN Support Mission and Libya was left to rebuild its future on its own terms. The aim of putting an end to humanitarian catastrophe guided the NATO operation by restraining the scope of destruction in the following ways: by limiting the choice of targets in its air strikes, by not arming rebels or sending ground troops, and by limiting the duration of the engagement to avoid giving cause for retaliation. However, as the coalition forces did not establish an occupation force to stabilise the post-war situation, rebuilding effort was unable to take root to establish a new body politic. This left a power vacuum that was filled by the power struggle between two governments—one led by the Dignity Coalition in Tobruk, which is internationally recognised, and the other, headed by the Libya Dawn Coalition in Tripoli. And apart from these two governments, there is also the Islamic State based at the seaport of Sirte that was vying for power in Syria. Only in 2016 did one of the two rival governments declare it would step down a week after the UN-based Presidency Council arrived in Tripoli to prevent further bloodshed. If foreign intervention seems too little for Libya, it was too late for Syria. The civil war started when President Bashar Hafez al-Assad’s armed response to pro-democracy demonstrators fuelled hundreds of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets demanding his resignation in March 2011. By July, opposition parties reacted by arming themselves and this plunged the country into a civil war. The civil war quickly turned into a humanitarian catastrophe, as it escalated into a proxy war involving Iran, Russia and Lebanon propping up the Alawite-led government of President Assad against the opposition rebel forces that have the support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. With a multi-­state level of involvement, even when UN inspectors have proven the use of chemical weapons by President Assad on civilians, the international community hesitated to appeal to RtoP for a humanitarian intervention in Syria. Compared to Libya, there are fewer reasons to believe that an armed intervention in Syria will indeed reaffirm humanitarian ends given the vested interest and involvement of the number of states in the conflict, and there is even less reason to think that a restrained use of force is possible. More importantly, it highlighted the growing scepticism and fear of abuse


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of the implementation of RtoP by Western powers for non-humanitarian purpose after what the global South considered were excesses of NATO’s intervention in Libya. This led Brazil to launch the concept note on the Responsibility while Protecting (RwP) at the UN on November 2011. As a complementary note to RtoP, the RwP endorses R2P principles but focuses on a set of criteria to guide deliberations at the Security Council. It essentially wants to limit the use of force to situations where it is the last resort, and to impose a strict chronological sequencing of R2P’s three pillars. This development raises the following question: Is RtoP an extension of politics by other means or is it an extension of the violence that first started in civil strife? First, we must note that these civil wars started out as demonstrations for political reforms and do not have clear revolutionary aims. In as much as the Arab uprising was about people power putting an end to corrupt autocratic regimes to restore dignity, freedom, and social justice, it is also, if not more, about social, and economic rights. Many of these uprisings were organised by trade unions (e.g., the General Union of Tunisian Workers and the Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions) with participants consisting of union members, students and teachers, women’s groups, peasants and unemployed, professionals, and workers. Their key concerns were laid out in concrete terms—the unemployed and youths demanded the creation of jobs; workers demanded the setting of minimum wage, a more equal wealth and resource redistribution; and women were determined to take control of their own destinies demanded equal political, social, and economic participation rights. Thus, through Arendtian lenses, these uprisings aimed mostly at solving social questions rather than a democratic awakening and do not constitute a revolution. We will arrive at a similar conclusion through a Sartrean understanding. The living conditions were not considered situations of impossibility, although the violent response by these governments gave legitimacy to rebel forces by placing them in position of self-defence against police brutality and military attacks. But these violent uprisings stop short of becoming a revolution with a blueprint of what a future looks like. In the case of revolution, the aim of reaffirming humanity is the end that revolutionary violence aims at. This is not the case for  the armed rebel forces. The immediate aim of counter-violence is to achieve liberation from and replacement of the incumbent power. Furthermore, if the rebellion did not arise from the oppressed, it would not have the interest of the oppressed as its end to limit the use of violence as well as guide the



creation of a new human morality. Rebel forces will instead replace the current system with an equally alienating system. Thus, what RtoP has contributed to is an extension of a vicious circle of violence that first started from the government’s violent response to these demonstrations. These armed uprisings also  do not have a blueprint of what a new body politic with humanitarian aims should be put in place of the incumbent authority. As a result, peace was short lived after the immediate ceasefire as rival groups continue their contest for power instead of addressing concerns surrounding dignity and freedom. RtoP is also an extension of politics by other means. Despite its claims of humanitarian protection, armed interventions are strategic in nature, and our experience provides reasonable grounds to doubt altruistic motivations. In our recent memory of the Iraq war, the aims of destroying weapons of mass destruction, ceasing Saddam Hussein’s support for Al Qaeda, and putting an end to human rights abuses were quickly replaced with the goal of regime change. Hence, even if Assad’s use of chemical weapons has “crossed a red line” regime change must not be the end that any interventions hope to achieve because this end will justify all means necessary. This is because when violent means lack restraint, it will consume the rebels, turn on those in the uprising, as well as those involved in the intervention force.

Conclusion Contrary to Arendt’s belief that war is disappearing from the scene of politics, war in the form of humanitarian intervention continues to be a continuation of politics by other means today. Humanitarian protection is now the new raison d’être for war, and it has its basis in the uprisings that were met with violent responses from the government authorities. Despite its humanitarian claims, these interventions are also extensions of violence given that the end of reaffirming humanity does not play a role in guiding these uprisings to begin with. What we learn from Sartre is that when revolution that arises with the aim of putting an end to subhuman conditions of impossibility is guided by a humanitarian end of reaffirming humanity, revolution will not be a mere extension of violence. It recognises the humanity in the other and limits its scope of destruction. With revolution being a prelude to war today, it is necessary that humanitarian interventions recognise and align with the goals of revolutionaries in establishing an order with human morality by placing limits on the destruction. In this way, both revolutions


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and the war that follows are not mere extensions of violence but the beginning of possible sustained peace.

Bibliography Arendt, Hannah. 1972. On Violence. In Crises of the Republic, 103–198. New York: Harcourt Brace & Company. ———. 2006. On Revolution. New York: Penguin Books. Clausewitz, von Carl. 1997. On War. London: Wordsworth Editions. Fanon, Frantz. 2004. The Wretched of the Earth. New York, NY: Grove Press. ———. 2008. White Skin, Black Masks. Accessed Black_Skin__White_Masks__Pluto_Classics_.pdf. Santoni, E.  Ronald. 2003. Sartre on Violence. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press. Sartre, Jean-Paul. 1991. Critique of Dialectical Reason. Edited by Jonathan Rée. Trans. Alan Sheridan-Smith. London and New York: Verso. ———. 1992. Notebooks for an Ethics. Trans. David Pellauer. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. ———. 1997. Life/Situations: Essays Written and Spoken, 198–210. Trans. Auster, Patti & Davis, Lydia. New York: Pantheon Books. Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Benny Lévy. 2007. Hope Now: The 1980s Interviews. Trans. Adrian Van Deb Hoven. Chicago, IL and London, UK: The University of Chicago Press. Stone, V.  Robert, and Elizabeth A.  Bowman. 1986. Dialectical Ethics: A First Look at Sartre’s Unpublished 1964 Rome Lecture Notes. Social Text 13 (14): 195–215.


Catastrophe and Conversion: Culture, Conflict, and Violence in the Hermeneutics of René Girard Geneviève Souillac

Introduction Inquiry into war and peace is interdisciplinary and  draws  from a wide range of fields such as international relations, political science, history and international law, sociology, psychology, anthropology and religious studies. As a result, a mosaic of conceptual terms and controversies populate the social science of peace and conflict to address the causes and resolution of violence, injustice, and war (Woods 2015). The fields of philosophy and ethics traditionally explore the topics of Just War and humanitarian intervention. The growth of international institutions in the twentieth century, and the intensification of peace-making  efforts through the United Nations in the latter part of the same century have significantly fleshed out the meaning of peace and security (Kaldor 2018; Souillac 2020). Studies stressing the importance of international norms and capacity-building for generating justice outcomes (Keck and Sikkink 1998; Sikkink 2019;

G. Souillac, PhD (*) University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




Roth-Arriaza 2006) have also  highlighted the widening range  of peace actors. The broad picture of conflict and of its resolution is now a complex one, weaving multiple layers of influence from local participants in conflict transformation, to the international community of states, and emphasizing the complementarity of mediation, diplomacy, and global institutions (Ramsbotham et  al. 2016), with  civil society and people power (Francis 2002). Beyond questions of security and defence, the empirical attention to conflict resolution and peacebuilding processes has raised the stakes for the crafting of peace (Boulding 2000). Clarifying the ways in which models of both peace and war reach deeply into historical practices and assumptions about human nature and society has become imperative. While psychosocial models of conflict resolution facilitate deeper inquiry into the cultural, social, and historical contexts of conflict actors, assumptions undergirding humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts within a constrained global state-system have been scrutinized by commentators and practitioners (Richmond 2016, 2019; Brauman 2019). Concomitantly, the importance of mobilizing  local understandings,  customs  and values to foster cultures of peace has generally been foregrounded (Avruch 2013; Bar-Tal 2013), while debates around  cultural relativism, the legacy of colonialism and human nature (Fry 2009, 2015; Fry and Souillac 2020) continue to enrich the conceptual of the study of conflict and peace. Insights from the humanities are critical in  the scrutiny of cultural assumptions about human nature, violence, conflict, and peace. The climate crisis highlights the  unsustainability of  modern civilization, and questions our economic, political, and cultural beliefs. Environmental devastation, expanding economic inequalities, the routine preparation for war, and the persistent assumption of the cultural superiority of the Western model of advanced industrialization, are all issues that urgently direct our attention to the critical exploration of our shared history. René Girard (1923–2015), French theorist of violence, professor at Stanford University, and member of the prestigious Académie Française, offers a vast and widely recognized body of work on the cultural underpinnings of our contemporary understanding of conflict, violence, and war that draws from both the humanities and the social sciences. Girard’s subject matter extends from foundational works of literature to the study of key writings in philosophy and psychoanalysis, of myths, ethnographies, and  religious texts from the Judeo-Christian tradition. These interests  reflect the extremely broad  range of Girard’s approach to the



relationship of human behaviour to violence and to the implications of the human-violence nexus for culture. Utilizing the study of texts as cultural artefacts on the premise that they contain essential anthropological clues, the essential Girardian hypothesis is that conflict is the force driving and shaping human culture. Girard meticulously dissects the patterns of human behaviour that repeatedly feature in their portrayals of social actors engaged in dynamics of rivalry and victimization, disclosing how these patterns of representation document the cultural iteration of conflict and violence. While this chapter will hint at avenues of critique of Girard’s vast body of work, its focus will be to identify the relevance of his ideas for a cultural hermeneutic of conflict, violence, and peace. The chapter first describes how desire and mimetic rivalry are woven for Girard into the production of social meaning, and how the dynamics of contagion and sacrificial crisis become culturally significant. The second section examines Girard’s exploration of Carl von Clausewitz’s famous 1832 thesis On War, as it exposes the cultural and religious resonance of apocalypse for modern history and political order. The third section examines the ways in which Girard’s analysis of violence, despite the deep pessimism of his critique of the modern mimetic order, opens towards a radically different approach to counteracting the forces of contagion and escalation: conversion and restoration.

Mimetic Desire, Contagion, and Crisis: Culture, Order, and Disorder Girard’s understanding of violence and culture is shaped by a long trajectory of research in the humanities  and the social sciences, from literary criticism to the anthropology of religion and the study of Biblical texts. Girard marshals evidence through meticulous analyses of the foundational texts of European culture. The novelists and poets who aroused Girard’s interest include Miguel de Cervantes, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Marcel Proust, Paul  Valery, Stendhal, Friedrich  Hölderlein, and  Saint-John Perse, but other significant figures in the history of European culture and philosophy, psychoanalysis, and anthropology  such as Friedrich  Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, and Claude Levi-Strauss, also feature as important sources. The sequence of works including Deceit, Desire and the Novel (1965), Violence and the Sacred (1977), Things Hidden Since the Beginning of the World (1987), and The Scapegoat (1986)  illustrates the chronology of



Girard’s interests across his career, which may be summarily described as moving from the modern novel, to archaic religions, to the Bible, and culminating in his assessment of the significance of the Christian revelation. While some works, such as those just listed, have clearly delineated subject matter, others, such as To Double Business Bound (1978), Mimesis and Theory (2008), Evolution and Conversion (2008), and Battling to the End (2010), combine Girard’s thematic interests across literature, anthropology, intellectual history, and cultural critique,  and often include interviews. Girard’s sources and thematic foci, though broad in range, are nevertheless structured around precise intellectual goals: the elucidation of  the nexus between human violence, culture and religion, and the demystification of the psychosocial underpinnings of modern civilization, notably the enduring force of the sacred. A first entry point into Girardian territory  is the concept of mimetic rivalry. Transformative events in Girard’s life may have partly led to his fascination with the mimetic aspect of human relationships during his early experiences as a French post-war scholar in the United States (Doran 2008; Cowdell 2013). Girard pursued his interest in imitation, cultural distinction, and ressentiment (powerless resentment) through a series of related themes prevalent in romantic literature. These include the vaniteux’s (vain individual’s) quest for original expression  in Stendhal, snobbism in Proust, the ideal of distinction in Cervantes, and the anti-hero in the figure of the underground man in Dostoevsky. The self’s relationship with other subjects who mediate the direction to be taken by desire is at the core of Girardian mimesis, which relies on a simple postulate: humans consciously desire  through the imitation of others. Human sociality is structured around models because we desire what others desire, and therefore we imitate  others. We may not know why we have certain desires or from where they originate, but we are nevertheless painfully conscious of the act of desiring itself, and of the direction our desires take. This is quintessentially evoked for Girard (1965) in Don Quixote when the protagonist, a noble who becomes a knight-errant under the name of Don Quixote de la Mancha, relates to the farmer Sancho the virtues of Amadís de Gaula, the model of perfect chivalry. For  Don Quixote, “[c]hivalric existence is the imitation of Amadís in the same sense that the Christian’s existence is the imitation of Christ” (Girard 1965: 2). This will become important later when we return to the critical notion of positive mimesis in Girard’s thought.



The triangular configuration of desire, namely between the subject, the ideal model, and the mediator of this model, is complicated by the increasing sophistication of social relations described in the modern novel. Individual protagonists  fixate on models, binding the desiring subject both to what he or she perceives as a generalizable, potentially transferrable array of characteristics, and to the person  who models these desirable  characteristics, thus turning the  mediator into  a potential obstacle. This is the “double business” to which the  desiring subject is bound (Girard 1978). As rivals become more clearly delineated and polarized, they also  become  threatening,  even monstrous,  yet  at the same time, boundaries blur as subject and rivals fight for the same valued object: the struggle becomes contagious and reaches a level of paroxysm. On  each side of the conflict, what Girard calls the mimetic doubles vociferously claim that they are fighting for the same, honourable values. As the energy of offence escalates, so does the perception that the rival is engaging in scandalous, norm-shattering behaviour (Girard 2001b). Girard (1997: 157) locates the “idea of an obstacle toward which we are constantly drawn, however much it hurts” in the Gospels, in Jesus’ word skandalon. As the “stumbling bloc, [it] designates the very same mechanism as the model/obstacle of mimetic rivalry (Girard 1997: 157). In the end, the subject is  constituted in the conflictual  experience and  in the latter’s social significance rather than through the actual acquisition of the object. For Girard, the reiteration of representations of social behaviours such as violence and conflict in material culture and religious narrative points to these behaviours’ cultural significance. As Robert Doran (2008: xv) explains, “Girard thus replaces an object-oriented conception of desire … with an intersubjective or ‘inter-individual’ conception predicated on the power of the social”. The social fabric nourishes individual and collective experiences through the attibution of meaning, value, and sometimes prestige. Girard distinguished himself from his contemporaries, and especially from structuralism, as if to safeguard his claim to the elusive capture of his protagonists’ becoming more fully human in the novel. As he writes at the beginning of Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: The triangle is no Gestalt. The real structures are intersubjective. They cannot be localized anywhere; the triangle has no reality whatever; it is a systematic metaphor, systematically pursued. … The purpose and limitations of this structural geometry may become clearer through a reference to



­ structural models.” … But these models are not “mechanical” like those of “ Claude Levi-Strauss. They always allude to the mystery, transparent yet opaque, of human relations. (1965: 2–3)

The “metaphysical rivalry” (Girard 1965: 158) featured in modern literature  shapes identities and paradoxically  secures cohesion. Its  elusive  nature also  endows the machinery and drama of conflict with an awe-inspiring aura. At the basis of modern desire is an existential emptiness triggered by the conformity of class, culture, and identity. As Girard points out, the heroes populating the modern  novel share a common, fateful pain, that of experiencing the limitations of their own selves and a “subjectivity so charged with self-hatred” (Girard 1965: 56). The hypothesis that mimetic rivalry contains the potential to escalate out of control presumes a social context to the triangulation between rivals and mediators. This opens useful avenues for framing thicker descriptions of the unpredictable dynamics of mimetic violence. Girard’s assessment of the centrality of the mimetic cycle (Palaver 2013) motivated the second stage of his lifelong inquiry into the cultural and anthropological bases of human violence. In Violence and the Sacred (1977), Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World (1987), and The Scapegoat (1986), Girard turns  his attention to the place of this cycle in archaic myth and  in the foundational texts of  Judaism and  Christianity. The representation of  mechanisms for the containment of violence in these texts  testify, according to Girard, to the perceived threat of the violent dissolution of human relations. Ritualized prohibitions and the dramatic re-enactment of disorder express societies’ need for mechanisms to both contain their own violence and to either generate or restore a unity perceived as lost. The prevalence of the themes of mimetic contagion and of the scapegoat in mythical and religious narratives  demonstrates their significance for the consolidation of social cohesion and forge potent identities out of stories about the origins of societies. The Girardian theoretical framework to analyse the foundation of culture culminates in the sacrificial crisis. Girard sees in the intensification of mimetic rivalry the contagious violence of the crowd towards an arbitrary victim, the expulsion or murder of whom coalesces the chaotic group back together. The ritualization and mythologizing of the expulsion narrative, which is also the narrative of the return to peace, affirms both group origin and group cohesion. The victim is sacralized in the mythological narrative of the scapegoating mechanism or its ritualized substitution as the source



of sustenance for the group. For Girard, the cultural significance and psychological potency of the persecution of the innocent victim are reiterated in the Judeo-Christian texts, though with a twist that signals a new course in human cultural evolution. When the memorialization of the expulsion of the foreign element through myth and ritual is no longer sufficient, the victimization mechanism is exposed, revealing both the truth of human violence and the innocence of the victim in the actual or staged sacrificial crisis. Girard’s concern with demystification and truth (Livingston 1988) runs through his understanding of mimetic contagion in the formation of culture and in our history. The Girardian mimetic sequence in its full range is both generative and destructive, producing and dismantling culture. Both mimetic entanglement and the threat of disorder shape culture in ever more sophisticated forms while signalling the need to contain the ultimate crisis of annihilation. Nowhere can this be seen more emphatically, for Girard, than in the modern crisis of violence. The ideological and material arsenal for the conduct of war, combined with the residual and archaic forms of violence which are, to use Girard’s phrase, “hidden since the foundation of the world” belies the Enlightenment’s dreams of progress and suggests instead the profoundly dystopic nature of apocalyptic modernity. As this chapter continues to demonstrate, the enduring tension between the hopeful goals of demystification and Girard’s dystopic outlook forge his cultural hermeneutics of the present. This dramatic tension at the heart of Girard’s work undoubtedly contributes to his influence on the humanities and the social sciences. The tropes of dissolution and of rejuvenation, of cultural continuity and disruption, all serve as tools of critique and as vehicles for a deeper message about hope.

Crisis or Critique? War, Culture, and Modernity How does Girard move from literary theory, to religious anthropology, to the critique of modernity’s potential for total war? The conceptual poetics of culmination, crisis, and disintegration play a critical role in Girard’s overall work and lead to his interest in modern war. While the critique of modernity is an established tradition, framing the crisis of modern culture with war as the centerpiece merits attention. The apparent disappearance of the sacrificial element in secular modernity masks other forms of violence that are potentially catastrophic, even apocalyptic. In a world emptied of transcendent forms of legitimation, the



containment of violence paradoxically culminates in the juridico-political institutions that legitimize state violence. Girard finds evidence of this paradox  in the epoch-defining work of the nineteenth-century Prussian  general and  military theorist Carl von Clausewitz. In Achever Clausewitz (2007), translated into English as Battling to the End (2010), Girard discusses, in an interview with Benoît Chantre, the implications of Clausewitz’s (1989)  famous work of 1832 entitled On War, usually remembered for the claim that war is the continuation of politics by other means. Clausewitz emphasises the escalation caused by the interaction of forces that build on one another. His thought reflects, according to Girard, a clear intuition of the reciprocal dynamics that can be unleashed in modern conflict on a potentially massive scale. Clausewitz’s focus on the duel thus signals from the past the potentially lethal importance that the imperative of reciprocation acquired in modern industrial war. The concept of the duel fascinates Girard, the latter confesses, because it expresses another facet of his own intuition regarding the sacrificial crisis spawned by the unleashing of hostility towards a scapegoat. Even while Clausewitz attempts to downplay the potential “battling to extremes” (Girard 2010) and emphasizes the rule-based constraints of preindustrial warfare, a frightening possibility lurks behind the continuation of politics by other means. For Girard (2010), setting aside the Clausewitzian concept of “absolute war” as irrelevant to modern warfare, because the latter is circumscribed by the law of war, misconstrues the underlying realities of industrial warfare and is symptomatic of a misguided commitment to the powers of reason. Instead, Clausewitz’s seminal work sheds light on the specifically modern continuity between politics and the “other means” of legitimate  state violence. The increasing levels of militarization that accompany state-building in the modern era furnish the tipping point towards chaos, since “la guerre appelle la guerre” (war calls on war) (Girard 2011: 39), even when the elusive “peace” is always at stake in the discourse of states: Clausewitz’s prophetic insights into the potentially irrational escalation of modern warfare reveal the equally irrational consolidation of state and empire building at the heart of modern European political and industrial power in the nineteenth century. The cataclysm of World War I in the early twentieth century, followed by the genocidal crimes of Nazi Germany  and the American  use of the nuclear weapon against Japan  in World War II tragically exemplify these trends, as do the many devastating armed conflicts of the twentieth and the present centuries.



Girard’s interpretation of  modern  mimetic violence  as apocalyptic exposes the increase of brute military force and its integration into the very fabric of the nation state for  its existential survival. The militarization of the state for the sake of life demonstrates to what extent the sacralization of violence is alive and well in modernity even as  the state’s impersonal, uniform, and mechanized mobilization for warfare  normalizes  violence. Global industrial war was unimaginable at the time of Clausewitz, and his observations bear witness to the escalation of historical time. The attempt by the state to consolidate for itself the legitimate means of violence while glorifying armies, weaponry, and national defence as the only  strategy  for security and progress masks its potential for unprecedented destruction and facilitates polarized conflicts of ideology. As Jean-­ Pierre Dupuy (2009: 59) comments, for Girard the current crisis is one of which the meaning can be represented as a “direction leading us to a point that we sense is suspended between two extremes, namely, a new Eden or a destructive apocalypse.” In a  situation in which violence is both contained and deferred, “[t]his growing and ever-postponed violence is leading us to a point of bifurcation where our responsibility will be total” (Dupuy 2009: 74). The focal lense of mimetic rivalry has been widely utilized to decipher contemporary forms of cultural and religious  crisis (Dumouchel 1988; Williams 1991; McKenna 1992; Fleming 2004; Alberg 2013, 2017; Palaver 2013; Cowdell 2013). At the same time, following the tragic events in New York City on 9/11/2020 and their  aftermath, the ambiguities of a cultural hermeneutics of mimetic violence and sacrificial crisis focused on the West and arising exclusively from European intellectual and religious history were made apparent. Girard (2001b, 2010) has interpreted rising rivalries against the cultural and normative triumph of the West as symptomatic of the contemporary escalation of violence and as an indicator of the mimetic crisis to come, echoing the cultural essentialism of Samuel Huntington’s (2011) theory of the clash of civilizations and suggesting a reversed “end of history” (Fukuyama 2006) where Western normative victory ends in mimetic violence. Girard’s universal claims regarding human nature and culture tie in awkwardly with the European cultural and historical contexts from which the lense of mimetic theory was elaborated. Further,  Girard’s (2001b)  ambiguous stance on cultural relativism as a mimetic form of critique does not fit well in the contemporary landscape of the  social sciences and of cultural criticism, and  the  combination of descriptive and prescriptive styles lends an eerie fatalism to his tone. In a



series of interviews with Maria Stella Barberi in Celui par qui le scandale arrive (The one through whom scandal arrives), in which he critiques the relativism and nihilism permeating contemporary thought,  Girard (2001b) insists that he does not aim to be prescriptive in his assessment of politics and events, but rather takes reasoning based on certain anthropological categories to its end-point. Such controversy leads to the ambivalent reception of Girardian theory. Girard’s account of human nature tends to imply a mechanistic view of mimesis as “redundant patterns of interaction resulting from a mimetic or imitative propensity”(Livingston 1988: 123), even while he remains ambiguous, poised between the promise of the mimetic plasticity of human behaviour and the closure traditionally implied by the deterministic use of the term “human nature” in the social sciences and in theology. Either way, despite his later call for a conversion to the imitation of Christ and the renunciation of violence, Girard distanced himself from any ethical position and from the possibility of politics (Doran 2008: xvii), generating what Domingo Gonzalez (2010) calls an “impolitical theology” and yet keeping the door open for others to develop a “Girardian ethics” in the “opening toward the Other” guaranteed by mimetic desire (Doran 2008: xvii).  Girard spoke to the alleged reductionism of mimetic theory  as a hermeneutic device, noting “mimetic desire is often regarded as an artificial construct, a ‘reductionist’ device that impoverishes the literary works to which it is ‘applied’ … the ‘reductionist’ objection has dogged my books with the regularity of a Pavlovian reflex”, and summarily concluded that given the inescapability of abstraction in scientific inquiry, his only choice was between “good and bad reductionism” (1997: 143–144). Girard’s ardent defence  of Christianity, explicit for example  in I See Satan Fall Like Lightning (2001a), may be  perplexing to critics, and the confessional side to his writings may confuse and even irritate those more accustomed to clear boundaries between investigative research and the intrusion of personal faith in scholarly observation. Girard seems undeterred by the difficulty of straddling the divide between the objective methodology of the human sciences and faith-based, theological language claiming universal reach and he  is always explicit about his quest for truth. For Girard, as a map of human behaviour, the Bible is revelatory of the deepest truths about human tendencies. The narrative of Christ’s sacrifice in the Gospels, as he explains in Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World (1987), depicts a specific form of human violence focused on exclusion and centered on Jesus, uncovering thereby  an “epiphany of



sacred violence” (Hamerton-Kelly 1992: 63).  History, for Girard, similarly contains and reveals truths in its very unfolding (Livingston 1988: 123). While the intricate architecture of Girard’s work crafts a dense and compelling theoretical lense for textual exegesis and cultural criticism, as Robert Hamerton-Kelly (2009: 172) notes, Girard described himself as an anthropologist of religion. Yet questions remain requiring the careful testing of Girardian hypotheses about human behaviour across various forms of social organisation and in the light of more recent advances in forager studies; archaeology; and cultural anthropology about human nature, violence, and war (Fry 2009, 2015; Fry and Souillac 2020). Is it accurate to conclude that violence is generative of meaning, to the point that long-­ time war correspondent Chris Hedges (2002) entitled his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning? Is the hypothesis that society is perpetually threatened by its violent disintegration plausible to explain the origins of culture? Paradoxically, Girard’s bleak vision of the foundational role of violence in human culture both confirms and challenges contemporary idealist perspectives on global politics. Even when they assume an allegedly “realist” view of human nature originating in violence and conflict, accounts of modern civilization from Norbert Elias (2000) to Steven Pinker (2012) and Andrew Linklater (2017) typically applaud the international norms designed to restrain state violence, reinforcing a perfectible view of human nature without questioning the mechanisms that perpetuate violence. Instead, Girard’s radical pessimism about human nature, culture, and modernity constitutes a scathing, effective, and “total” critique of our times. A global legacy of violence underpins the liberal international order that took shape at the end of the Cold War despite the apparent triumph of multilateralism at that time. Though the  argument for the seamless progress of human history since a violent archaic past first appears to overlap with Girard’s account of a process of cultural evolution from archaic to modern mimetic forms of violence, Girard’s position is also unique in taking the cultural trope of the apocalypse to its hermeneutic endpoint. Girard’s more intimist approach points to the fear of chaos inscribed in the human condition as a driving force of society, politics, and religion. The residual sacralization of violence and the fascination it exerts as a conduit of energy, dynamism, and restoration is a logical outcome of violence’s own apocalyptic potential.



Ultimately however, Girard’s work helps to show that while modernity presents new challenges, it is also a time of opportunity for the demystification of sacrificial violence (Livingston 1988). It is the exposure, for Girard, of the fact that we live under the threat of total annihilation that both defines our era and indicates the limits of our civilization. Girard’s account of the modern threat of total war is thus shadowed in a very contemporary sense by the irreversible  environmental  degradation that accompanies the menace of nuclear annihilation (Dupuy 2013).

Catastrophe or Conversion? The Moral Force of Nonviolence If Girard rejects both faith in progress and the emancipatory promises of secular modernity, as equally lacking in lucidity, is there room  for hope in  the Girardian edifice?, Girard’s “modest Christian prescription” (Cowdell 2013) for the  renunciation of mimetic rivalry  and the embrace of nonviolence stands out as a radical proposal against the background of his anthropological claims about violence. The theological dimension  of  Girard’s later work is expressed through  a  surprisingly soteriological  depth (Kirwan and Hidden 2017; Schwager 2018), evoking a personal process of spiritual realization regarding the Judeo-Christian narrative  of salvation  (Manning 2017). For Girard (2001a), the life of Jesus and the Crucifixion as narrated in the Gospels expose the truth of the dynamics of sacrificial violence in human social behaviour. The life and the body of Jesus constitute a model of nonviolence, making Christ the concrete “exemplar and mediator of agape” (Hamerton-Kelly 1992: 173) and pointing to  the  path to redemption. Through the practice of agape based on the imitation of Christ, Christian life reorders the world around faith, hope and love, and indicates the possibility “of an alternative social system” (Hamerton-Kelly 1992: 171). The innocence of  the victim is revealed in the starkness of the crucifixion yet enables the awakening of the hope and courage necessary to face the reality of violence. In the encounter with the narrative of the life of Jesus we journey  through the uncomfortable realization of our  permeation by  negative  mimesis in the shape of envy, rivalry, and the  fascination with violence. This fundamentally Girardian insight may motivate a process of conscious extrication from patterns of violence  within a broader project of



transformation in which cultural hermeneutics and the hermeneutics of self play an important role. Michel Foucault (2005, 2011, 2012), in his final series of lectures at the Collège de France in Paris, referred to the shaping of subjectivity in ascetic practices of inquiry beginning in antiquity and consolidated within Christianity. Girard’s proposal for a  disengagement from violence expresses a form of conversion, an awakening to grace (Kirwan 2017). Girard foresees in the imitation of Christ and the deliberate practice of nonviolence  a positive form of mimesis that constructively addresses the anthropological given of mimetic entanglement. The existential and phenomenological nature of conversion grounded in the moral imaginative life has been explored by theologians interested in the radical meaning of the Christ event as revisited by Girard (Williams 1991;  Bailie 1996; Alison 1996;  Kirwan 2005; Daly 2009;  Goodhart et  al. 2009; Kirwan 2005;  Kirwan and Hidden 2017; Schwager 2018). True restoration comes instead from the conversion of the self to the world when the self is motivated by a realization that engages the whole being intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. The opening to a “self-­ transcendence” (Daly 2009: 105) thus  addresses  loss of transcendence through the momentum of what may be called an “enlightened conversion” to the truth of human entanglement. It is enabled by the Girardian engagement with both the  anthropological scrutiny of human behaviour and the Christian message, disabling in turn the dismissal of Girard’s work as another attempt to provide a unifying theory in which Christianity finds an honourable place (Daly 2009). Theologians, such as James Alison (1996) and Robert J. Daly (2009), explore Girard’s critique of human culture from the  eschatological perspective, further refining it from the point of view of the Christian hermeneutic of human salvation. Both Daly’s and Alison’s approaches to Girard are founded on the recognition, as Daly (2009: 105) writes, of Girard’s “profoundly prophetic, profoundly eschatological, and perhaps even somewhat apocalyptic nature”.  Robert Daly (2009: 103) convincingly argues that Girard’s work finds its compelling power in its crossing of disciplinary  boundaries and in  the evocation of a journey of intellectual, moral, and finally spiritual conversions. By posing the question “[p]hrased in contemporary social-scientific  rather than traditional theological terms, how does redemption actually work?” Daly argues, Girard is drawing the outlines of a phenomenology of redemption that is mapped out through his own journey of inquiry. As Girard’s work shows, conversion may be fostered by the hermeneutic engagement with material culture and



the drama of injustice and violence that culture communicates historically. Similarly, James Alison (1996) argues that the narrative of the death and resurrection of Christ signal a rupture in the religious imagination of violence, allowing a redemptive space for the moral and spiritual imagination of hope to emerge hope). Cultural wisdom undoubtedly fosters cognitive learning and emotional processing  around conflict for the purpose of  its transformation (John-­ Paul Lederach 2010). The public sphere of secular conversation is enriched by dialogue that does not hold as its primary concern narrative closure but seeks instead to enable the  ethical responsibility  of historical actors (Souillac 2012). Recovering the eschatological imagination relocates both violence and  nonviolence in the  historical experience  of  subjects whose lives are inevitably entwined but for whom redemption is possible. Girard exposes the vulnerability of human existence regarding its own internally generated violence and points to our necessarily collective implications in the culturally pervasive systems of meaning that tragically perpetuate domination and exploitation. This vocabulary complements emerging discussions on the healing of trauma in the study of peace, where the community-based mediation of truth-telling appears increasingly vital for the recovery of broken social bonds after violence and conflict. These processes require the nonviolent occupation of public spaces and expand  the moral territory of nonviolent protest represented  by  the iconic  leadership of Dr.  Martin Luther King Jr. during  the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in the United States. Historical evidence across cultures has demonstrated the strategic efficacy of nonviolent movements (Chenoweth and Stephan 2013), but the spiritual force of the moral persuasion of nonviolence facilitates  the strengthening legitimacy of public protest for justice in the public imagination. Girard’s vision of the apocalyptic nature of modern violence presents the reader with a stark choice between the ultimately destructive rise to extremes, and the redemptive power of love, and provides a compelling backdrop for the secularization of nonviolent ethics. The path of a neo-­ Foucauldian “ethics of the self” resonates in the democratic  context of normative governance, civic culture and active citizenship in a post-truth era. As non-violent grassroots movements echo each other transnationally, they not only speak truth to power, but amplify empathy by highlighting the increasing evidence of the shared nature of human oppression. In these morally resonant ways, democratic legitimacy is not only forged nationally, but reaffirmed globally as people reclaim their rights across



existential borders (Souillac 2012). These liminal spaces are meta-­political (Souillac 2012) in that they produce meta-competencies (Coleman 2018; Souillac 2011) from which the struggle for social justice and peace may be consciously shaped. Further, peace as secular praxis may paradoxically emerge in the contemporary context of the “new visibility” of religion and of theology (Ward and Hoelzl 2008). Girard reminds us that engaging with witnesses of profound wisdom, including great works of music, literature, holy texts, and the scientific evidence painstakingly gathered by ethnographers and scientists, may provide us with moral courage to take innovative action. Guilherme and Morgan (2016) thus argue with respect to Martin Buber’s philosophy, which is inspired by the original tenets of Hasidism, that making a place for the mystery of the  human dialogic  experience in education may support the acquisition of conflict resolution skills to break the cycle of violence from within a specific  spiritual and religious  heritage (Morgan and Guilherme  2014). Girardian thought may equally  be harnessed as  a powerful  social critique  of the fascination with violence and of the residues of its divinization (Vattimo and Girard 2010). As Pierpaolo Antonello explains, “the nexus between religion and violence, which appears so striking to us today, comes about not because religions are intrinsically violent but rather because religion is above all a mode of knowledge about mankind’s violence” (Vattimo and Girard 2010: 7).  Cornel West (2011: 93) also argues that the prophetic and poetic genres may become secular sites inhabited by “all of us who have the courage to muster empathy and imagination in the face of the chaos that we find ourselves in, to create and use bits of the world in order to change the world in light of a new vision of the world.” Renunciation as critique and peaceful imitation as praxis reorient the public realm of civic action towards the repair of a troubled world. Girardian hermeneutics capture the apocalyptic flavour of our time as an  opportunity  for change in the context of unprecedented crises for humanity. The embrace of  nonviolence  implies the  rejection of  the business-­as-usual of rivalry and competition and of the predatory forces of civilization. Reading Girard disrupts our cultural habituation to the threat of destruction and highlights the nihilism of the assumption of the eternal necessity of war. Both hope and solutions arise from our capacity to question the apocalyptic experience towards which an apocalyptically driven culture has led us.



Conclusion The Girardian world shapes a conceptually rich framework from which to decipher the cultural significance of conflict, violence, and war, and conversely, from which to begin evoking the historical necessity of nonviolent conflict transformation. Girard’s style of inquiry, as well as the range of his interests, convey a compelling simplicity to his theses and lend urgency and a  prophetic quality to his message. This major twentieth-century thinker’s often breath-taking clarity, audacious connections and original constructs illuminate a broad panorama of the human condition. While seemingly pessimistic, and even fatalistic about human nature, history, and modernity, Girard offers a scathing critique of our times which counters triumphalist accounts of human progress and civilization. His analyses offer a  semantic depth from which to identify  the mechanisms shaping global culture, enhancing thereby our understanding of human violence, exposing its uselessness, and handing us new tools to dissect and dismantle it. The proposition that living under and preparing against the threat of human violence is the only way to sustain social life must be examined more critically. This chapter has shown that Girard’s thought may support an alternative  hypothesis, namely  that human meaning is ultimately found in the effort to overcome violence and make the peace. This cultural transformation will ultimately depend on the prioritization of nonviolence and the collective crafting of cultures of peace.

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Learning for Peace: The Montessori Way Priya Darshini Baligadoo

Introduction Well into the 1930s, the Italian Maria Montessori stated at the European Congress for Peace in Brussels that ‘preventing conflicts is the work of politics; establishing peace is the work of education’ (Montessori 1992: 24). She explicitly linked peace to education and promoted a kind of learning that deviates from mainstream traditional education. Learning for peace was a way of showing that education is not simply about the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills but that it serves a larger purpose, a ‘public common good’ (UNESCO  2015). As we move through the twenty-first century, there is a need to rethink the ways in which our educational system can respond to the global challenges. This chapter shows that there are possibilities to build on age old legacies and theories to improve the quality of education and contribute to a more sustainable future. The focus is on Maria Montessori who now appears to be a rare name both in the philosophy of education and in peace literature.

P. D. Baligadoo (*) University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK e-mail: [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




Maria Montessori Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori was born in the town of Chiaravelle in the province of Acona on 31st August 1870. It was at a time when ‘New Italy’ and the spirit of Risorgimento (Italian unification) were paving the way for major political and social changes. Her father Alessandro Montessori, a soldier in his youth and later a respectable civil servant, welcomed the Italian unification though he grappled with the changes that came with it. He was an old-fashioned man who wanted Maria to become a model young lady possessing the social graces much emphasised and admired by the community. Her mother, Renilde Stoppani, was the niece of Antonio Stoppani, a well-known priest scholar who sought to reconcile the spirit of the natural sciences with that of religion in the liberal journal Il dogma e le Scienze positive (Dogma and Positive Sciences). Following the unification, Renilde Stoppani saw the possibilities for her daughter; those she had not been able to achieve herself. She was a woman devoted to liberal ideals and urged Maria to break the barriers and stereotypes existing at that time. In the 1890s women’s mobility was restricted. Young girls were not allowed to go out on their own without being accompanied. Whatever money women had was considered the property of their husbands or fathers. Giving evidence in a court of law without the presence of their husband was also not admissible. However, Maria broke the traditional barriers between male and female and established herself as a woman of character with an indomitable will to effect change and reform society. She became the first woman in Italy to graduate with a Doctor of Medicine degree. She was an inspiration to young girls who wanted to continue their studies and overcome traditional obstacles. In August 1896, she was chosen to represent Italy at an international women’s congress in Berlin. This was only a month after her graduation. She spoke of various problems related to women’s education and widespread illiteracy among the poor, and stressed the need for women to come together and fight for their rights, irrespective of their class differences. For two years, Montessori worked as an assistant at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome taking care of children who were mentally handicapped or disabled. Today, some such children may be considered autistic and with special education needs. In 1898, Montessori was appointed as director, together with Dr Montesano, at the Orthophrenic School also known as the Medical-Pedagogical Institute. She was engaged



in the training of teachers in the care and education of the so-called feebleminded. The interest she took in physically and mentally abnormal children brought her to the educational field, pursuing further studies in philosophy, anthropology, and psychology. In 1901, she left the Orthophrenic School and the study of medicine, aiming to learn more about the education of children and in search of answers to questions such as why schools were failing students when their role was to help them. She visited elementary schools and sat in classrooms observing and noting how teachers taught and children learned. It was clear to her that the traditional classroom setting was based on a system that tends to repress the child. She drew attention to how the physical immobility imposed on children, their enforced silence and the use of rewards and punishments could be degrading and hamper their natural abilities. Montessori also spoke about the restrictions on women and the traditional barriers between males and females in education, and redefined teacher and student relationships. She was more concerned with change and innovative classroom practices than following traditional teaching methods. Her remarkable achievements with the young children at Casa dei Bambini (House of the Children) are popularly known. It was possible due to a social experiment in housing conditions which provided personal care to children in the tenement during the day while their parents were busy with their daily occupations. The first Casa was opened in Rome on 6th January 1907. The children were between two and seven years of age. They came from poor families and were brought together to prevent them from damaging the walls of the tenement. For Maria, this was an opportunity to apply the techniques she used with the abnormal children with normal ones. The discoveries she made later became the underlying principles of the Montessori Method of Education. Her success and achievements at the Children’s House also led to the founding of other schools and teacher-training programmes throughout Europe and the United States. However, the Montessori system of education was only able to develop freely until the establishment of the fascist dictatorship. At that time, the state forced all children to join the fascist youth organisations from the age of four. They had to wear black shirts and drilled with toy machine guns. Montessori was considered an irreconcilable enemy with her emphasis on a type of education that encouraged critical thinking, freedom of expression, and autonomy. In fact, by 1933, Montessori’s schools in both Fascist Italy and in Nazi Germany. Both in Berlin and Vienna, the effigy of



Montessori was burned over a pyre of her books. Montessori went to Spain and made Barcelona her headquarters. She was conscious that in such a totalitarian atmosphere, it would be difficult to implement her views on education. Indeed, when the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, her life was in danger this time as a Roman Catholic who had written on the teaching of religion and she fled Spain with the assistance of the British government. She then went to the Netherlands where she established an influential school. Later, while on a three-month lecture tour in India in 1939, she was obliged to stay there for seven years following the outbreak of World War II.  Her son Mario who accompanied her was interned and Maria was put under house arrest, both detained as Italian citizens by the British government in India. However, her books, such as Education and Peace, were written and published in India. During her time in India, Montessori visited the school known as Shantiniketan (Abode of Peace) of the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Dutta and Robinson (2001) show that Tagore and Montessori were in personal contact. Kundu (2010) has described Tagore as a pacifist poet and one of the few people who believed that world peace could be achieved if the East and the West met together within a common fellowship. Tagore had a vision of a united nation in India that would be possible by transcending barriers of nationality through the realisation of the oneness and sanctity of humanity. It is also relevant to note that on 28th October 1931, Mahatma Gandhi was invited to give a speech at the Montessori Training College in London when Maria Montessori was present.1 During Montessori’s time in India, they exchanged letters. Gandhi (1953: 36) said to Montessori: You have very truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have the struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.

1  For the speech of Mahatma Gandhi at the Montessori College London, see http://www.



Both believed that to have real peace, it was important to begin with the children. It is, hence, not surprising, that the current Montessori School in Lucknow, India, which won the UNESCO prize for peace education in 2002, promotes the motto of ‘Catch Them Young’ (Baligadoo 2012) and Bone (2017) comments that Montessori’s legacy is still strong in India. Montessori, Gandhi, and Tagore showed a readiness to learn from each other and to exchange ideas between East and West. Their approach to education was unconventional, having themselves fought throughout their life against the shackles of orthodoxy and stereotypes. Both Tagore and Gandhi raised their voices against superstitious beliefs and malpractices, such as untouchability found in Hindu society. For example, at Shantiniketan, both girls and boys had a right to education. This was when the status of women was inferior to that of men and they were subject to atrocious treatment such as sati (burning of a wife on the same pyre of her dead husband), dowry (money and material possessions that a wife takes to her in-laws after marriage), child-marriage, and banning of widow remarriage. Montessori, Tagore, and Gandhi were critical of both traditional and colonial forms of education. They were concerned primarily with a type of education that would bring out human potential or educere (Bass and Good 2004). Education should not be restricted to the learning of the three R’s (reading, arithmetic, and writing). This emphasised only training of the mind to the detriment of the moral, spiritual, aesthetic, and physical development of the child. Gandhi argued that literacy should not be the sole aim of education. He also believed that the British system of education for the social elite was unbalanced and did not help the development of the ‘whole’ person. He emphasised an education of the three H’s (heads, hands, and hearts). Tagore also promoted an ‘education of fullness’. His educational practices are a clear rejection of the narrow utilitarian outlook of education where academic learning is prioritised over the humane and spiritual. Wang (2014: 71) draws attention to the fact that ‘Tagore emphasised the role of meditation and aesthetic sensitivity with a school life filled with creative artwork such as poetry, painting, music, dance, drama and literature’. This is similar to the Montessori method of education. Mario Montessori Jr. (1992) points out that his mother promoted a ‘Cosmic education’ linking the ‘inner world’ with the outer. There is an emphasis in her philosophy of education on the interdependence of



humanity with the cosmos. Such a ‘Cosmic education’ is based on ‘natural equilibrium’. It encompasses the development of the ‘whole’ person where children are exposed to ‘holistic learning’. They learn about the ‘practical experiences of life’ and mastery of the senses. They develop their manual skills. The focus is not merely on the academic. Montessori, the doctor-­educator in fact adopted a scientific medical approach in education to ‘cure’ the physical body, but also balanced it with sensorial, emotional, and spiritual healing. She believed that a universal adoption of her teaching method would contribute to world peace.

Learning for Peace After World War I, the focus of research and peace movements worldwide was on international politics and the economic causes of war and the arms race in national societies. The inter-war period saw the setting up of organisations such as the League of Nations and the Union of International Associations (UIA) (Hermon 1987). The International Bureau of Education was also set up in Geneva, Switzerland.2 Disarmament education, international understanding and cooperation were emphasised. The American educator John Dewey (1916, 1938) devoted time between the two world wars to the study of peace education. His interest was inspired, in part, by criticisms especially from his student Rudolph Bourne, for supporting President Woodrow Wilson’s war aims in 1917 (Howlett and Cohan 2017). After World War I, Dewey was the first prominent educator to draw attention to the importance of teaching the benefits of world peace in the classroom. In the 1920s, he called for a school programme that would foster an appreciation of internationalism and challenge the glorification of militarism. He espoused a form of schooling and education based on experience (learning by doing), growth, and critical judgement (Howlett and Cohan 2017). Drawing on his pragmatic philosophy and peace education ideas, he urged teachers to incorporate values of peace and global cooperation among nations into their curricula and focus on problems directly connected to social conflicts (Howlett 2008). Subjects like History and Geography are important in that endeavour.

2  The International Bureau of Education was established in 1925 as a private non-governmental organisation by leading Swiss educators to provide intellectual leadership and to promote intellectual cooperation in education. In 1969, it became an integral part of UNESCO.



Maria Montessori contributed to this endeavour for peace education. On 3rd September 1936, at the European Congress for Peace in Brussels, she argued that our principal concern should be to educate and unite humanity as brothers and sisters, tearing down all barriers and making each person a citizen of the world. On 28th July 1939, at the World Fellowship of Faiths in London, Montessori’s message was again about interfaith harmony, the unity of all beings, and the construction of a world that emits cosmic goodness and love. However, World War II was to be marked by massive deaths and human suffering, including the Holocaust, and the arrival of nuclear weapons. The focus was then on prevention of violence and World War III.  War studies, conflict and strategic studies and peace research also emerged. The League of Nations was also replaced by the United Nations system. The post-war period further led in 1946 to the establishment of UNESCO, the United Nations’ specialised agency for education, science, and culture. The preamble to UNESCO’s constitution (1945) states: ‘since war begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed’. Its 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Concerns also shows an understanding of education as instrumental to peace, a constant theme in Maria Montessori’s life and work. Within the recommendation there is an explicit link between education for peace and human rights. The UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) which was founded in 1953 focusses on these thematic areas and other UN priorities. It started with 33 schools in 15 countries. There are now more than 10,000 ASPnet schools in 181 countries. This global network of schools aims to improve the quality of education and helps UNESCO in its aims for peace and sustainable development (UNESCO 2016). Teachers and students in these schools strive to promote a culture of peace through activities that fight poverty, reduce inequalities and discrimination, and eliminate war and violence. UNESCO sees education as a viable means to promote universal values of peace and non-violence, human rights, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, and social justice. Education is linked to a range of activities that address the root causes of violence, from human security to global citizenship and sustainable development. It adopts a multi-dimensional approach while promoting peace education:



The learning objectives of peace education include an understanding of manifestations of violence, the development of capacities to respond constructively to that violence and specific knowledge of alternatives to violence. (UNESCO 2008: 3)

There have been some more explicit commitments to peace education within UNESCO.  Among them are The Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (UNESCO 1995), The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001–2010), and UNESCO Education Strategy 2014–2021. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) also promotes peace education as an essential component of quality basic education. Basic learning needs are not restricted to knowledge about numeracy and literacy, but encompass knowledge, skills, and attitudes to live and work in a dignified way and participate in development. Peace Education in UNICEF is referred to: as the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level. (Fountain 1999: i)

UNICEF aligns peace education with its concept of a child’s friendly learning environment and a rights-based approach which is gender sensitive. It considers peace as necessary for children’s survival, development, protection, and participation in society. It recommends learning outcomes such as successful problem-solving. Peace education is seen as a possibility of bringing a behavioural change that shows more awareness and knowledge about peace and enables the acquisition of conflict resolution skills. However, peace education is not without controversies. It is a contested area of practice. While it is emphasised by UNESCO and UNICEF, various researchers (Bajaj and Brantmeier 2011; Brown and Morgan 2008; Cremin 2016; Cremin and Bevington 2017; Danesh 2006; Gur-­Ze’ev 2001; Page 2008; Vriens 1997; Zembylas 2018) have discussed problems with it. Danesh (2006) describes peace education as an ‘elusive concept’. Brown and Morgan (2008) state that the various approaches towards



peace education remain disjointed and inconsistent. ‘Peace education is a diverse, complicated, and controversial area of educational practice’ (ibid.: 283). Gur-Ze’ev (2001) argues that the field reflects little theoretical coherence and philosophical elaboration. Page (2008) comments that there seems to be an almost fideistic approach to peace education, taking for granted that it is important to believe in peace and peace education. He mentions, for example, the legitimacy of peace education within international organisations such as UNESCO and UNICEF. These show the difficulties in promoting a culture of peace through education. Cremin and Bevington (2017) comment how in the United Kingdom peace education has been vilified over the past decades as either ‘hippy nonsense’ or ‘political propaganda’. Cremin (2016: 15) also argues that whether it is peace, education, peace education, research, or peace education research, ‘all face inter-connected issues of legitimation, representation and praxis’. Within the academic literature, there is moreover increasing awareness that a Western paradigm dominates peace education. Zembylas and  Bekerman (2013) and Zembylas (2018) emphasise the need to decolonise the practice from its Eurocentric perspective. In the post-colonial context of Trinidad and Tobago, Williams (2016) describes the obstacles to peace education in schools as emanating from ‘lingering colonialities’, an ethos of hierarchy, control, docilisation, and exclusion. He also brings to the forefront problems such as school violence and discusses exclusionary practices and top-down processes in schools. Harber and Sakade (2009) have in fact shown how the authoritarian model of education in colonised states was a means of social control to create order, stability and promote compliance. While it was spread to colonised states, it was subsequently retained by governments even in post-colonial societies to maintain political control. It was gradually imitated by other countries as a modern model of mass education. Behr et al. (2018) further show how neoliberalism and militarism have narrowed the possibilities of peace education. Neoliberalism has reinforced individual tendencies and has stifled the ‘human’. Connell (2013) also discusses how in Australia the neoliberal tendency within education has led to competitive testing, privatisation, a commodification of knowledge, and destitution of care. Baltodano (2012) highlights how, with the ascendance of neoliberalism in the US, schools were blamed for the inequalities created by the unregulated market. The impact on teacher education was felt with managerialism being greatly emphasised. The latter highlights the demise of education as a public good. Ball (2003) has



discussed the drawbacks of performativity and its consequences for the lives of teachers. Their work has become more demanding and stressful. Today, central to their practice is ‘care of performances’. Even so, while we may not be expected to care about each other, we are expected to “care” about performances and the performances of the team and the organization and to make our contribution to the construction of convincing institutional spectacles and “outputs”. We are expected to be passionate about excellence. Our performances and those of the organization cannot be constructed without “care” (Ball 2003: 224). Ball (2003) argues that one of the outcomes of the performativity agenda is inauthentic practice and relationships. Within the ‘instrumental commodity-­oriented model of education, there is increased competition, standardised curriculum, privatisation, high-stakes tests, cost-efficiency accountability, performance-based pay, race to the top mentality, and tightened external inspection to control teachers’ and schools’ achievements. (Aloni and Weintrob 2017: 7)

Today in international policymaking, there is a greater impetus on humanistic ideals in education. As a relatively recent UNESCO document stated: The economic functions of education are undoubtedly important, but we must go beyond the strictly utilitarian vision and the human capital approach that characterizes much of international development discourse. (UNESCO 2015: 37)

It states also that in the twenty-first century, there is a need to promote education as a public common good. It highlights how the liberalisation of the market and privatisation has contributed to inequalities in education. It argues also that the ‘shadow education’ such as private tutoring has infiltrated education systems around the world. Ruthless competition, high stakes test-based accountability regimes and vertical structures within education can make it difficult for an education for peace to flourish. As argued by Cremin and Bevington (2017), these can mask an ideology that can contribute to cultural and structural violence. What is interesting is that decades ago, Montessori had drawn attention to many of these issues that could dampen the promotion of a culture of peace. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949 and again in 1950 having emphasised continually the importance of education as the



‘armament of peace’. Learning for peace was an essential part of Montessori’s curriculum. She developed a pedagogy for peace founded on child-­centred learning, creative practices, and critical thinking (Duckworth 2006, 2008). She believed that it was important to re-educate humankind for peace because of the extent to which man’s thoughts and actions had been contaminated by the plague of war and violence. A long time ago she also warned that there was a need to take the initiative in promoting a culture of peace and preparing the young to be its harbingers. She stated: Those who want war prepare young people for war; but those who want peace have neglected young children and adolescents, for they have been unable to organize them for peace. (Montessori 1992: 32)

This still holds true today when we consider the current world situation with evidence of violent youth extremism. It affects both boys and girls. For example, in February 2015, three London schoolgirls aged fifteen to sixteen years old crossed the Syrian border and joined the Islamist State terrorist group (BBC 2015). According to The Guardian newspaper, more than forty-three Muslim girls and women from the United Kingdom are believed to have gone to Syria in the recent past (Grierson 2015). The two persons who killed Father Jacques Hamel in France were also both nineteen years old (Mulholland 2016). Similarly, the ‘Bataclan’ attackers were young people between the age of twenty to thirty-one (BBC 2016). Again, a severe problem in the United States is gun violence in schools, colleges, and universities. When in October 2015, a twenty-six-year-old man killed ten people and injured seven more at Umpqua College in Roseburg, Oregon, former President Obama commented that ‘there’s been another mass shooting in America …. Somehow this has become routine (see McGreal et al. 2015). These are matters for fundamental concern. Montessori argued that in our search for peace, we come across weapons and destitution. Human history has taught us that to achieve peace, we must conquer the other and bring submission. Unfortunately, we consider the prospects of peace negatively. Montessori stressed the need for a positive interpretation of the word ‘peace’. This is important to show the triumph of justice and love among men and a world where harmony reigns. Montessori stated that peace is usually defined politically as the cessation of war, but the resolution of conflict between nations through nonviolence could not adequately describe a genuine peace. Embedded in her



positive aspect of peace is a notion of constructive social reform. Peace can be achieved through a restructuring of human society. According to her, there are two things important for peace in the world. First, we need people with a stronger sense of commonality and second, an environment in which humanity can realise its aspirations. She argued that it was essential to make the child a point of departure. Montessori believed that the child must be made conscious of its future adult mission and its responsibility to build peace from childhood itself. These arguments have been echoed by Johan Galtung (1996), the Norwegian peace researcher who made a distinction between positive and negative peace.

The Montessori Way of Teaching and Learning Active Learning In her book The Secret of Childhood (1966), Montessori showed how during her experiments, children would read and write and express their creativity given the appropriate environment. She argued that it was wrong to consider the child as a passive tabula rasa. She used different activities to build the children’s natural interest, helping them to develop good habits, the power of concentration and self-mastery over their bodies and environment. For instance, one of the activities promoted by Montessori in her classrooms is the ‘exercise of silence’. She believed this activity could help children develop their power of concentration and perform different tasks with perfection. In her view, children and adolescents should be routinely engaged in such kind of activities for their self-development, perfection of their personalities, and they must be encouraged to do so without feelings of constraint. Her use of teaching toys and manipulative materials in classrooms is also not a secret. She believed these could help in the training of the senses. She provided the children with a range of sensorial materials specially designed to help them make critical judgments. She argued that it is important for education to promote the development of individuality and allow the child to be independent not only in the early years of childhood but at later developmental stages. Montessori believed that we should construct an environment in which the student could be active.



Dialogical Interaction Montessori also encouraged teachers to become observers and experimentalists in their classrooms, to learn together with the child and to engage in constant dialogue with it for the construction of new knowledge. For her, education was not simply about the teaching of facts. It was about students’ active engagement in their education. The teacher was no longer considered as the sole transmitter of knowledge and the student as a passive recipient. In this way, Montessori was similar to the Brazilian educator Paolo Freire who was also against the ‘banking’ concept of education where the teacher is considered as the depositor and the students as depositories. He argued that within this form of education, students’ scope of action is limited to receiving, filing, and storing the deposits (Freire 1996). He stated that ‘human beings are not built in silence, but in word, in work, in action-reflection’ (Freire 1996: 69). Both Freire and Montessori believed in providing more autonomy to the students and creating a space for dialogue to take place. Montessori was against the traditional classroom that allows cramming of the minds of young people. Engagement in Practical Experiences of Life Montessori stressed the importance of engaging the child and adolescents in the practical experiences of life, and in constructive and creative activities. She argued that by participating in truly social life, the young person gets an opportunity to develop and find worthwhile goals. He or she engages in productive activities, develops his or her personality, forges his or her character, and prepares himself or herself to face the challenges of life. In her classrooms, students learned by experience and from an early age they were encouraged to develop an interest in solving social problems. The aim was to prepare students so that they would become citizens of the world and individuals who would care for each other and act responsibly to create a peaceful living environment. Considering the Needs and Rights of the Child Montessori’s principal endeavour throughout her life was to set free the child whom, as she argued in Education and Peace, had been subjected to various injustices and repressions. She said that the adult constantly tries to defeat the child by repressing such an unique self. She argued for the



recognition of the dignity of young people and their need for a secured place in society where their rights are respected. Well into the 1930s, she drew attention to the rights of the child that were recognised later in the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child in 1989. Montessori urged teachers and school administrators not to remain insensitive to the needs of the child. Kohn (1996: 111), another progressive educator, has also argued: Children are more likely to be respectful when important adults in their lives respect them. They are more likely to care about others if they know they are cared about. If their emotional needs are met, they have the luxury to meet other people’s needs—rather than spending their lives preoccupied with themselves.

Montessori was against any harsh means of punishing a child or trying to discipline it. She believed it could be demoralising and humiliating for the child. It could kill its spirit of adventure and liberty. She stated that the child who has been repressed in childhood, and constantly discouraged, later develops traits of timidity, shows lack of self-confidence, and turns out as a submissive, frustrated adult unable to resist what is morally wrong. She believed in giving freedom to the child, developing in its self-reliance and the ability to show self-restraint and control its impulses and urges (Colgan 2016). She used to argue that the child who has not learned to be autonomous and the master of one’s acts is recognisable in the adult who is dependent on others and unable to make individual decisions. Competition as Antithetical to Peace Montessori believed that within the conventional classroom, little opportunity is given to young people to discover their personality, to be creative, and to become autonomous persons. From an early age, they learn to compete and think of their interests. In her view, this cannot help in an education for peace. She stated: Education as it is commonly regarded encourages individuals to go their own way and pursue their own personal interests. School children are taught not to help one another, not to prompt the classmates who don’t know the answers, but to concern themselves with only getting promoted at the end of the year and to win prizes in competition with fellow pupils. (Montessori 1992: 30)



Thus, students grow up in an atmosphere of competition, one that teaches them the survival of the fittest and which according to the peace educator Danesh (2006) is not conducive to the creation of lasting peace. In the ‘survival-based worldview’, it is authoritarian and dictatorial practices that are common and justified. In the view of Montessori, what the child learns in this environment is the destruction of the ‘Other’ and painful adjustment. These are characteristics of an aftermath of wars that are carried into adulthood. Hence, for Montessori, ruthless competition in schools is antithetical to peace. Unfortunately, Montessori did not have the necessary support to promote her philosophy of peace and education. Colgan (2016) and Frierson (2014) comment how Montessori is a rare name in the philosophy of education literature. Bone (2017) argues further that the marginalisation of Montessori is also a gender issue. Activities proposed by her have become tainted by their presumed connection with gendered roles, service, and domesticity. There is further criticism that the woman who was the defendant of women’s rights had hidden her pregnancy and did not acknowledge her child, Mario Montessori, born out of wedlock, for years. For her critics, Montessori also propounded an utopian vision of education. There is the belief that she expected too much from the child. It is also argued that Montessori’s materials and toys are expensive, and classrooms are not necessarily peaceful when children are given the liberty and independence to exercise their freedom of choice. Lillard (2005)) suggests that another reason for her marginalisation may be due to the influential criticism of William Kilpatrick (1914) at the time when her ‘Method’ was being popularised. She adds that it may also be due to Montessori’s own lack of interest in theory. ‘She was a practitioner, she wanted to help children, not theorize about them’ (ibid.: 395).

Conclusion Despite the criticisms, what may be learned from the life and teachings of Maria Montessori is the value of her endeavour to promote a vision of education alternative to both market-oriented education and colonial education. A revival of her approach to teaching and learning is important and can act as counter-opposition to these. Montessori’s school are still found throughout the world and there continues to be an interest in her ‘Method’ in Asia and beyond. Montessori was also a woman ahead of her time who perhaps anticipated the ills of today’s society. The basic philosophical



ideals of Maria Montessori could still pave the way for a culture of peace. Her views on education and her philosophy of peace should not be discarded so easily. She remains an inspiration for women struggling for the right to education and engaged in the fight against injustice and poverty. She had experienced personally the traumas of war and was far-sighted enough to realise that if we want peace, we need to focus our attention on the child.

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Peace and Violence in Poor Rural Schools in Post-Apartheid South Africa Yunus Omar and Azeem Badroodien

Introduction Violence manifests itself in unexpected forms in poor rural schools in post-­ apartheid South Africa. These manifestations of violence are impacted by spatial difference, class, race, generation, and gender, which shape the ways in which school actors address conflict in various arenas of violence. The chapter considers how teachers and learners in South Africa operationalize their views on peace and violence in school classrooms and surrounding rural contexts. It considers the ways in which peace is understood in such contexts and analyses how violence is defined and explained in educational settings. This illustration and analysis of how teachers, learners, and communities define ‘violence’ and ‘peace’ in South Africa is specifically achieved via research completed in the Eastern Cape Province in 2015. This work allows insight into how current experiences of schooling are both influenced by apartheid-era conceptions of peace and violence and by newer present-day instantiations of peace and violence, in a context framed by rurality and displacement. The main goal is to show the

Y. Omar • A. Badroodien (*) University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa e-mail: [email protected]; [email protected] © The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




influence of competing conceptualizations of ‘peace’ and ‘violence’ on what happens in Eastern Cape rural classrooms, as well as on what teachers teach, what the conditions are that they teach in, and how this can be philosophically tied to concerns for equity, reconciliation, and social justice in post-apartheid South Africa. The chapter’s key contribution is in its revelation of competing notions of ‘peace’ instantiated within different forms of conflict within local communities and their schools. These notions are intimately connected to the ways in which resource inequities and legacies are framed in relation to racialized identities and distinct levels of lived social trauma. The chapter shows how new and emerging dimensions of violence in post-apartheid rural schooling contexts pose significant challenges for state-initiated peace-building initiatives in South Africa. In doing so, the chapter hopefully strengthens the knowledge base on a key education policy issue, namely education policies and practices within conflict-affected contexts that seek to problematize and outline formulations of ‘peace’ in South Africa. Furthermore, the chapter emphasizes the need for context-and-conflict-­ sensitive understandings of ‘violence’ and ‘just peace’ in the post-­apartheid era, where the focus needs to be on how to advance opportunities for the redress of educational inequalities that promote peace-building in South Africa, and that contributes to the building of resilient communities in pursuing the transformation of a deeply unequal society. In what are deemed ‘modern societies/communities’, it is notable that education has been positioned in the recent past as the key medium through which social solidarity can be championed and transferred to state subjects, and public schools the places where foundational values and social norms are meant to be produced and developed (Durkheim 1964; Tawil and Harley 2004). Through education and education systems, communities are apparently meant to engage with past injustices, historical memories, and traumas, and to explore healthier communal interaction in social arenas that are foregrounded in educational spaces. Very often, it is argued, sustained educational engagements can bring together disparate communities to promote processes of focused listening, understanding, potential forgiveness, and the beginnings of healing. And in promoting the adoption of these processes, education has been shown to be most marked and most needed in societies where there are histories of direct and furious conflict (Hamber 2007).



Violent conflict, especially when it is related to the explicit political mobilization of contending forces, is also the inevitable outcome when race, class, gender, ethnic, religious, educational status, disability and spatial location inequalities, and forms of negative discrimination underpin lived social realities (Stewart 2008). This is especially visible under conditions where structural inequalities limit education-opportunity distribution for citizens, and instead foster ongoing conflict and greater social fragility (Smith et al. 2011). In the chapter, it is asserted with regard to the latter that an understanding of the quality of the educational experience, in concert with the efforts of other social structures and actors, is key to how ‘violence’ and ‘peace’ is best factored into initiatives that focus on the reduction or eradication of social inequalities. The chapter is premised on the view that a high quality of education provision restores trust in state-centred services (Smith et al. 2011), and that access to a good quality of education stimulates and promotes positive student-identities and dispositions in relation to their becoming productive and admired members of society. Good-­ quality education, in this framing, reduces the possibility of enduring conflict and therefore increases the promotion of greater cohesion and justice. As the chapter demonstrates through the narratives of teachers and learners, there needs to be within initiatives to build peace a radical re-­ appraisal of the value and purpose of force, violence, and fighting within conflicting societies. Any re-appraisal of different forms of responses to potential violence needs to consider manifestations of conflict in macro-­ environments, in individualized disputes between individuals and local communities, as well as disputes based on markers of social difference such as class, race, age, and gender. As has been shown in situations where youth participate in armed conflict, access to high-quality opportunities to education have in other situations assisted youths to better take up their roles as productive members of their fractured societies (Degu 2005; Schwartz 2010; Davies 2011). More crucially, access to a high-quality education has often reduced the eventuality of co-opted youths from bearing arms when conditions for renewed conflict arises (Davies 2011).



Conceptual Framework and Key Terms The conceptual framework for this chapter is derived from a broader research project conducted under the rubric of a Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding Project (ReCEP). It was developed by Novelli et al. (2015) in a working paper, 4Rs in Conflict-affected Contexts, where they provide a scheme that combines transitional justice and social justice in ways that show complementarity between education and peacebuilding. The framework acknowledges and foregrounds the multi-­ dimensionality of inequalities and injustices that underpin conflict and enables ways of addressing contemporary conflicts and their historical precedents through education. The framework draws on the work of leading peacebuilding theorists (Galtung 1976; Lederach 1995, 1997), specifically the two concepts of ‘negative peace’ (the end/stopping of violence) and ‘positive peace’ (addressing the underpinning structural causes of the violence, or the actual drivers of the conflict). In doing so, the framework offers a pathway by which to confront continuing legacies of conflict, whilst also engaging with the drivers of contemporary conflict. The conceptual framework of Novelli et al. (2015) considers the economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions of inequalities as these are found in educational settings, while also foregrounding how inequalities are related in complex ways to ongoing forms of conflict. Novelli et  al. (2015) remind that dimensions of inequality have specific meanings in different contexts. For that reason, the ways in which terms like violence, peacebuilding, social cohesion, race, and gender are approached in the chapter are first clarified below.

Violence Violence is often conceptualized very narrowly, and generally used as a taken-for-granted category of analysis. Most conceptualizations foreground overt violence and its associated manifestations in the visible realm, leaving obscure other forms of violence that encompass structural, symbolic, and cultural modes. Violence is however more fruitfully engaged when its relational dynamics and complex and multi-layered nature is recognized. This allows strategies of peacebuilding, it is argued, to give more meaningful effect to positive social transformation. Where violence is understood as diffused



across all dimensions of daily lived experiences, interventions aimed at lasting and just peace and social justice in post-conflict contexts is more comprehensible. In that respect, definitions of violence that recognize the savagery and trauma of physical attacks are regarded as but one (albeit crucial) iteration or category of violence. As Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois (2004: 4) note: Violence can never be understood solely in terms of its physicality—force, assault, or the infliction of pain—alone. Violence also includes assaults on the personhood, dignity, sense of worth or value of the victim. The social and cultural dimensions of violence are what gives violence its power and meaning. Focusing exclusively on the physical aspects of torture/terror/ violence … subverts the larger project of witnessing, critiquing, and writing against violence, injustice, and suffering.

By highlighting ‘less visible’ forms of violence as an important way of confronting violence more holistically, Galtung (1990) offers a conceptual triangle that depicts more visible, direct forms of violence at the top, supplemented by less direct and less visible forms of structural and cultural violence below. For Galtung (1990) structural violence takes shape within institutional and social structures that prohibit groups from satisfying their basic needs through exclusionary forms of violence, such as racism, institutionalized elitism, and sexism. These forms of violence, asserts Galtung (1990), cause harm, loss of social bonds, isolation, deprivation, and eventual death for those marginalized in such communities. When placed alongside a further category like symbolic violence that connotes an inferred mode of cultural and social domination (Bourdieu 1989) and draws on symbols and subliminal messages that normalize less visible forms of violence into everyday thinking, ‘less visible’ violence can be as insidious as overt violence. That is because it inscribes subtle discourses within various public spheres (through structures such as laws, policies, the media, economic systems, programmes, and politics and political institutions) that shape how people think, act, and imagine.

Peacebuilding Galtung (1976) conceptualizes the concept of ‘peace’ and ‘violence’ as a continuum where post-conflict societies move from the cessation of violence (or ‘negative peace’) to moments of peace that are lasting and



sustainable (or ‘positive peace’). Galtung (1976) suggests that ‘peacebuilding’ efforts can provide a form of foundational transformation by encompassing complex sets of engagements that identify the root causes of conflicts. Contemporary theories of conflict and war suggest that both horizontal and vertical inequalities are key drivers of conflict (Stewart et  al. 2005; Stewart 2010; Cramer 2005), and that when these inequalities (including political, cultural and economic dimensions) are directly addressed, a collective sense of belonging and common purpose is made possible. As such, peace and social cohesion is promoted when drivers and legacies of conflict are made visible. This not only adds to trust and solidarity but also brings together suffering individuals and communities around efforts aimed at social justice.

Social Cohesion ‘Social cohesion’ is a term that currently seems to be widely used but is rarely defined in the same way. In that respect, it is a sociological construct that remains deeply contested and open to varied interpretations (Green et al. 2008; Jenson 2010). On the one hand, social cohesion is defined as when society ensures the ‘well-being of all its members, fights exclusion and marginalisation, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and offers its members opportunities of upward mobility’ (OECD 2011: 17). On the other hand, it is seen to encompass (e.g. by the World Bank) the nature and quality of relationships between people, groups in society, and the structures of the state (Marc et al. 2012: 15). A more expansive and useful definition of social cohesion suggests: A state of affairs concerning both vertical and horizontal interactions among members of society as characterised by a set of attitudes and norms that includes trust, a sense of belonging, and the willingness to participate and help, as well as their behavioural manifestations. (Chan et al. 2006: 274)

Notably, social cohesion as a concept is most useful when treated as a societal as opposed to an individual responsibility, and when it is premised on the promotion of trust, inclusion, positive relationships, and solidarity at the societal level. In this endeavour, it is argued, the state and public



education become key machineries by which positive and lasting peace can be fostered (Sayed and Ahmed 2015). Indeed, it is arguably mainly through education that the types of social justice required to radically transform the root causes of conflict can be engendered. Sayed and Ahmed (2015) caution, however, that such a viewpoint needs to always foreground education quality concerns, rather than human capital preoccupations with economic growth, or human rights approaches that emphasize the role of the state in guaranteeing basic rights. Adopting a ‘quality education’ approach, in one way, allows the concept of social cohesion to be used as a key mechanism by which to mitigate inequalities in the present and those inherited from the past. For example, the National Development Plan 2030 (National Planning Commission (NPC) 2012) in South Africa often positions social cohesion as existing within a wide domain of ‘supporting mechanisms’ related to economic growth (Sayed et  al. 2016: 55). The Medium-Term Strategic Framework of 2014–2019 (DPME 2014) describes attempts to reshape the architectures of inequality in post-apartheid South Africa in the following way: The NDP’s vision for 2030 is that South Africans should have access to training and education of the highest quality, characterised by significantly improved learning outcomes. Education then becomes an important instrument in equalising individuals’ life chances, ensuring economic mobility and success and advancing our key goals of economic growth, employment creation, poverty eradication and the reduction in inequality. (DPME 2014: 16)

In another way, social cohesion initiatives can also directly confront forms of injustice via education by recognizing and identifying the needs of specific education communities across diverse settings, especially those in conflict-affected regions. In regions where economic, cultural, political, and a range of other inequalities are at the root of tensions that manifest in various forms of violence and fractures, social cohesion and programmatic initiatives (with pointed focus) may be able to generate important bonds of social solidarity (Sayed and Ahmed 2015; Tikly and Barrett 2013: 3–4).



Race Race as a concept needs to be conceptualized coherently for any sustained social cohesion, or programme focused on ‘building peace’, to make a meaningful impact. Often used in a taken-for-granted way, the concept of race is a ‘powerful social construct’ (Omi and Winant 1993: 3) that continues to feature prominently both in everyday discourse and official policy debates. Soudien (2012: xi) notes in this regard: False as race is as an idea, it is viscerally inscribed in our heads and in our bodies. I learnt how disorientating the idea of ‘racelessness’ is, and that this disorientation disempowers people.

Indeed, although disparaged as a concept, race continues to have a worrying purchase within schools and communities in South Africa. This suggests that school and teachers need to pay closer attention to how knowledge about, and resistance to, the ‘continuing significance and changing meaning of race’ can be achieved (Omi and Winant 1993: 3). In this chapter, while terms like Black, White, and African are mainly used to point to racial categories identified by participants, this does not implicitly suggest the existence of associated identities.

Gender Different genders have quite diverse needs, defined by their social positions, their differential powers of decision-making, and their varied experiences of everyday life, including violence. As such, in attempting to reach ‘parity of participation’ for self-identifying gender categories, it is not enough to focus on the economic dimensions of redistribution. Rather, to ensure ‘participation on par with others as full partners in social interaction’ (Fraser 2005: 73), it is necessary to pursue socio-cultural approaches that target more effective recognition and political representation. While patriarchal traditions continue to dominate educational institutions and their curriculum offerings through the perpetuation of traditional gender roles and patriarchal relations of power, what tends to be most worrying is the extent to which associated patriarchal values continue to be embedded within successive generations of school-going children (Leach 2000; Kabeer 2005; Unterhalter 2005). This suggests that it is not enough to target and challenge traditions or school offerings, but to



understand how different forms of patriarchy are tied to different contexts, and how these are contested within various communities and societies in post-conflict arenas. Notably, debates about gender have become infinitely more complex with the systematic rupturing of previous binaries of male and female and framed by new ways of conceptualizing gender. In this chapter, gender is defined as socially constructed, relational, intersecting with other social categorizations, and often linked to understandings of sexuality (Sayed et al. 2017: 17–18).

Peace and Violence in the Eastern Cape Having outlined a conceptual framework that engages with how inequalities are related to ongoing forms of conflict, and defined in some detail terms like ‘violence’, ‘peacebuilding’, ‘social cohesion’, ‘race’, and ‘gender’ mediated in the local South African context, the text below briefly describes the nature and form of the data that the chapter uses for its analysis. In a larger study conducted in 2015 (Sayed et al. 2018), ten schools were selected from two South African provinces, with three specific site-­ types earmarked. These included schools in (1) city urban spaces, (2) schools in urban township spaces, and (3) schools in rural locations. The study utilized a further criterion to earmark distinct kinds of schools in the three site-type areas, namely a categorization of schools that defines schools on a continuum of Quintile 1 schools to Quintile 5 schools. This categorization uses the socioeconomic status of a school and is determined by measures of average income, unemployment rates, and general literacy level in the school’s geographical area. The schools in the most economically disadvantaged (poorest) geographical areas are categorised as Quintile 1 schools and those in the most economically advantaged geographical areas (wealthiest) as Quintile 5. (Hall and Giese 2008)

The data used in this chapter was collected from the rural school category in two Quintile 1 schools (schools marked by conditions of extreme poverty) in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, described as the second poorest province of South Africa’s nine provinces (Ruiters 2011). The two Eastern Cape schools are in deep remote rural areas, one having been historically administered under the former Ciskei Bantustan during



apartheid, while the other was built after 1994, that is, in the post-­ apartheid period. The purpose of choosing these schools was also to problematize the erroneous logic that poverty-challenged ‘rural schools’, even in the same province, are homogenous entities or have common histories. The data collected in the study was drawn from quantitative and qualitative fieldwork with students in grades 8 and 9, all of whom took the three compulsory subjects of English, History, and Life Orientation as part of their curriculum. These three key subjects are also those in which social cohesion, peacebuilding, and issues of violence are addressed explicitly through South African curricula. Quantitative and qualitative fieldwork was also conducted with all 12 teachers at the two schools (10 female and 2 male—with one school not having a single male teacher on its staff). There were 61 male students and 30 female students at the two schools. All teachers self-identified as Black. Of the 91 students, 85 self-identified as Black, one as Coloured, and the rest did not self-identify according to a ‘race’ category. The data collected from the two schools comprised 91 student questionnaires from grades 8 and 9 cohorts, 4 student focus-group interviews with 31 students participating, 12 teacher/principal questionnaires, 7 semi-structured interviews with grades 8 and 9 teachers, that is, all of whom taught English, History, and Life Orientation, and semi-structured interviews with the two principals. Notably, one school had recently lost its student cohorts for grades 10, 11, and 12, and only offered classes from grades 1–9. The school had been established in the post-apartheid 1994 period. Moreover, falling student numbers suggested that the school would lose its grades 8 and 9 classes in 2017 and be re-classified as a primary school. It was a scenario that has become a growing trend in the Eastern Cape rural hinterland where schools are shut because they are deemed to be economically unviable, and where students and teachers are routinely relocated to schools that are supposedly close by but that involve a complete dislocation from established and recognized communities.



Teacher and Learner Narratives of Peace and Conflict in the Rural Eastern Cape Having provided the background to the chapter above, various narratives of violence, social cohesion, and peacebuilding are considered below, as revealed through the voices of teachers and students at two deeply impoverished rural schools in the Eastern Cape. Methodologically, the chapter also acknowledges that the narratives of peace and violence in the Eastern Cape include the voices and inclinations of both researchers and the researched. This duality of multiple voices and actors was visibly apparent in the first interaction between the researchers and the school principal of School 1. As the researchers introduced themselves to the school principal, the Principal started out with the following challenge: So, you’re here to do research about social cohesion? Okay. Why don’t you go to the toilet first, and then when you come back, we can talk about social cohesion.

Confused, but wanting to be polite, the researchers dutifully asked, ‘Could you show us where the toilet is?’ The curt reply was ‘choose any bush down there’, pointing down a steep hill to large clumps of head-­ height bushes and small trees at the very edge of the school grounds. ‘Once you’re done in the toilet, we can talk about social cohesion’. Operationalizing a resource-deficit discourse that pivots on the deaths of young rural South Africans who had drowned by falling into pit-latrines at their impoverished schools (Mail and Guardian Online 2018; Pijoos 2019), the school principal immediately contextualized the nature of one immediate form of violence that her teachers and students had to daily experience at the school. In that respect, school toilet facilities, or rather the lack thereof for the country’s poorest rural school-goers, were not only positioned as disgraceful but also deliberately harmful. The Mail and Guardian Online (2018) noted the following: According to the department (of Basic Education), 5 225 maintenance projects are under way around the country. The Eastern Cape has already exhausted its maintenance budget. The department said that despite progress made with the accelerated school infrastructure delivery initiative, more than R3.5-billion would be cut in the next three years from the initiative’s



budget. The cuts were part of a government-wide reprioritisation of funds, the department explained.

As such, the conjoining of a toilet narrative with massive under-funding and large budget cuts to already impoverished schools pointed to a seamless social cohesion/resource discourse that sits at the heart of classic political economy approaches to education, ‘peace’, and ‘violence’ in South Africa. Writing about rural (and Black township) schools in the Eastern Cape, Hendricks (2011: 260–261) asserts that the ‘right to education … does not ensure the quality of that education. Shortcomings in the material resourcing of schools play a significant part in preventing poor children from getting life chances comparable to those of other children. Despite the significant amount spent on school improvement in the EC (Eastern Cape) since 1994, the combination of profound inequality coupled with persistent EC Department of Education bureaucratic incompetence means that the vastly different levels of school resourcing that still prevail could actually worsen the social divide for the majority of learners’. Hendricks (2011: 261) notes also that: The size of the EC (Eastern Cape), the historic infrastructural backlogs and the degree of inequality within the province further complicate the aim of reaching equitable education. To bring together all these factors in the unforgiving context of the Eastern Cape remains the biggest challenge facing all those involved in education in the province.

This lack or deprivation of resources was seen to operate at various levels in the Eastern Cape. While it started off with basic resources like toilets that stakeholders needed to utilize when attending schooling daily, it also operated around other kinds of resources at both the micro and macro levels. For example, it included how teachers in rural schools were seen to be treated and perceived, and how the futures of students were understood and addressed. A female teacher interviewed at School 1, asked whether she believed that teaching matters when it came to building a new South Africa, noted that she had been teaching at the school for nine years and, being born in the local community, was committed to teaching: (Teaching) It does (matter). But unfortunately, it’s the last thing that is cared for, you know. The department, the government, doesn’t care for



teachers, but they are the key to success. In the olden days, the teacher was respected. We are the ones who give education, even to the ones who are up there now. (Teacher, School 1)

When questioned about the impact of resource-deprivations on students, one teacher noted: They feel inferior. That’s what happens. Because, you will find that the ones who are coming from Cape Town, they are computer literate: they know all these different types of sport. But, ours, they only know netball and soccer. They know nothing about hockey, swimming, you know. So, those are the challenges. They feel small. (Teacher, School 2)

Some of those interviewed perceived spatial inequalities were at the root of the violence perpetuated against them. Eastern Cape teachers perceived the state as abandoning them and treating them as mere school functionaries, while students compared their lives to many of their contemporaries who were urban school-goers in Cape Town and who returned to their homes during school vacation period. Regarding the latter, rural school-goers perceived themselves as deprived of access to the kinds of educational opportunities experienced even in poor urban settings, where basic infrastructures such as running water and electricity were in the main provided, albeit in interrupted forms. Soudien (2006: 104) refers to rural-student deprivation in relation to urban-student opportunities in the following way: Unmistakeable is the reality that it is in the towns and the cities that young people see their destinies unfolding. This is borne out by the dramatic upsurge in urbanization rates since the early fifties and sixties. Current estimations suggest that South Africa’s urban–rural split is something of the order of 56–44, but that this ratio will have changed to 65–35 in a matter of ten years.

Importantly, the perception of rural-urban deprivation within two rural Eastern Cape community cohorts and its associated violence is locked into a longer history of urban–rural migration. It is reminiscent of the forced migrations of large populations of indigenous Africans who fled the British as the empire moved eastwards after the Cape had been occupied. As Crais (2011: 162) asserts in writing about the Eastern Cape theatre of colonial aggression in the early nineteenth century:



Violence produced South Africa’s first modern poor. Europe’s bloody scramble into Africa created radically new conditions within which people made their lives, from the ways they gained access to land to the maize they planted and sold to traders. A history of violence recognizes the thousands who perished, but also the world that violence bequeathed. It may also offer alternative ways of thinking about the past, and about land politics, and history in a post-apartheid South Africa.

It is also a violence that is not confined to the perceptions of rural Eastern Cape teachers and students, nor are they only historical. In 2012, then Western Cape premier, Helen Zille, tweeted that the education crisis in the Eastern Cape was creating ‘education refugees’ that were streaming into the Western Cape and putting enormous strain on the Western Cape’s education services (Molefe 2012). In so doing she contributed to a discursive construction of rural Eastern Cape students as ‘aliens’ (as was done under apartheid) in the land of their birth and carriers of violence. More worryingly, with South Africans cast as ‘refugees’ in their own country, it further contributed to the construction of both these and ‘non’-South African immigrants as violently placing strain on available budgets and services amidst the need for economic austerity. As such, for both Eastern Cape teachers and students, their experiences of different forms of tacit ‘violence’ raised significant questions around their trust of government and their feelings of belonging (OECD 2011: 17). The atomized, isolated teacher, in this narrative, could not successfully navigate a discourse of peace when the professional identity of the teacher was disrespected. The isolated rural teacher also could not aspire to the affective dimensions of teaching in communities that could not transcend and continued to be damaged by both longstanding and newer forms of violence (Fraser 2005; Hamber 2007). Moreover, students grappled with the nature of respect accorded them in relation to the pressure put on them to be promoting positive dispositions and constantly adopting ‘anti-violent’ living demeanours (Badroodien and Sayed 2016). Students struggled with how to think of and effect social mobility in a society in which education was the only vehicle for such social mobility in the absence of inherited wealth (Durkheim 1964). On the other hand, there also existed a strong counter-narrative to peace and violence within the two schools in deep rural Eastern Cape. In addressing issues of violence and how to build peace in their schools and communities, teachers and students were asked to define what they



understood social cohesion to be, with one Eastern Cape teacher presenting social cohesion as: According to my understanding, it encompasses both the people from … because we have people from outside, from Africa, they are here … and our own people around. So social cohesion, it means that we must embrace one another. That’s how I understand it. So, you need to respect one another; there’s that mutual respect. And respect their views, their expertise. And, our cultures, because we have different cultures. So, you need to understand one another and embrace all those things. For instance, you see, when you go up in Africa, they are practising things differently as compared to us. So, we need to understand one another when we are together now. Even here in the country, we practise different cultures. There are people from KwaZulu-Natal. Those people: they respect their culture. And, also, from the Eastern Cape … Xhosa-speakers. And, also, we have the Afrikaans-­ speaking people. They also have their culture. So, we need to understand one another’s culture. (Teacher, School 2)

In constructing this counter-narrative to the violence of ‘not-­belonging’, the teacher above employed three key ideas that connoted ‘peace’— ‘embrace’, ‘respect’, and ‘mutual living’. For the teacher, ‘embracing the immigrant’ and holding them close was a tangible and extremely powerful way of positioning ‘peace’, especially given the xenophobic violence that plagued the rural areas of South Africa (from which the Eastern Cape was certainly not excluded). The teacher also often spoke of the need to respect teachers, students, and the communities from whence they came, and to create the conditions of mutual living in deep rural schools. While these views could represent those of a small minority of teachers and not be illustrative of a more sustained, programmatic set of systemic inputs at the school, district, or provincial level, it speaks to the power of individual agency amongst teachers in deep rural Eastern Cape. Referring to the need to respect all members of surrounding communities, one teacher observed: Since we’ve got the foreigners here with different situations, they came here to our country because of their problems. I think if they are here legally, we must accommodate all of them, and the learners. So, we must accommodate them at least, because we know that things are happening in their countries and we are all Africans at the end of the day. (Teacher, School 2)



A female student offered a similar insight: It’s not about judging people based on their race or religion, but about being united, even though those people come from a past that is not the same as ours.

For both teachers and students, the idea of mutually living together in a context of abject poverty was necessary and a condition of overall ‘peace’: I think it needs to be basically based on community cooperation, how to work with the community. As we are, we are these three legs of the pot. That is, teachers, students, and parents. I think working together is extremely helpful, especially for those of us that live in rural areas. We are all affected by the lack of resources. (Teacher, School 1)

However, these individual agencies need to be understood against the backdrop of other daily discourses that interrupt how ‘peace’ is often imagined. The same teacher that narrated a vision of a country that ‘embraced’ immigrants and welcomed different lived cultural realities also pointed to internal inconsistencies amongst teachers as a group. He observed with an explicit sadness: But that has not yet happened—because there are still people who are still reluctant to come together with other people. More especially, the white people. I don’t know. They are still not comfortable to be around the Blacks. Maybe it’s because the Blacks are the majority. But they did that, because in most cases they were separated from one another. So now we still need that belief that we are now one people. That rainbow, you know. Because, yes, we say we are a rainbow nation, but it has not yet come to our minds that we are one people. That’s the problem we are having now. (Teacher, School 2, original emphasis)

The teacher bolstered this viewpoint with his experience of attending teacher professional development sessions ‘in town’ organized by the Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDOE). He lamented that white teachers did not attend these sessions and believed that the reason for their absence from such programmes, and more broadly, was because ‘They are still not comfortable to be around the Blacks’. In trying to bring together ideas of belonging and attachment, the teacher reminded about the powerful sway of race in how peace and social



cohesion was understood in the province. For this teacher, he had returned to the Eastern Cape after teaching in Cape Town for eight years because he wanted to ‘give back’ to the community—something that he did not think his white counterpart teachers were as committed to doing: There was a call in the late 1990s, that all the skilled people should come back to the Eastern Cape, and plough back to their communities. I also answered that call because I wanted to make a difference. But when we are here now you become frustrated, and now almost regretting the decision you took to leave the Western Cape. (Teacher, School 2)

In conceding that it was often difficult to hold onto such ‘affective commitments’, the teacher highlighted the extent of feelings of complete abandonment in the province, or as another teacher at School 1 observed quite simply: ‘We are forgotten. We are forgotten’ (Teacher, School 1). For both teachers above the savage lack of opportunities for work that characterized the Eastern Cape’s rural communities was a form of what Žižek (2008: 2) defines as ‘systemic’ violence where tropes of abandonment and resource deprivation coincide to leave communities feeling ‘helpless’ and ‘hopeless’: Just imagine. They give only one tractor for the whole of this community. One tractor! The tractors to cultivate the fields. One tractor. And there’s no diesel. They want to work. People are not lazy. People want to work. There’s no irrigation system. There’s no improvement yet. (Teacher, School 1, original emphasis)

As such, ‘peace’ for Eastern Cape teachers (and students) was deemed unlikely, especially when state abandonment was violently accompanied by the ‘abandonment of fellow white and other citizens’ (Teacher, School 1).

Teacher and Learner Narratives of Social Cohesion in the Rural Eastern Cape The challenge for narratives on peace and violence in the Eastern Cape is how to shift or re-orient teachers and students with different views of life and life-chances.



One History teacher ventured the view that violence was perpetrated on students when different orientations, approaches, and stances could co-exist: The topics we choose (in History), from the same textbooks, are different to what those are in town (in the still predominantly white-staffed schools). The teachers there are still not comfortable with some of the topics that are more ‘black’. They choose. We are given several topics to choose from. Look at the question paper. Most of the learners that they are teaching there are also learners from these black schools, so now they are depriving them of their own history. That’s what I can see. But us, we don’t have a problem. We teach all the chapters. Even if I can get employed in a white school, I will be able to teach them. I will not run away from the topic because it’s more sensitive to me as a black person. (Teacher, School 2)

For the teacher, curriculum topic choices in subjects like History could not be allowed to be mediated by teacher discomfort and disguised as (subjective) topic ‘choices’. This, the teacher suggested, was another form of systemic violence where black students were deprived of the very curriculum offerings that allowed them to be included in the historical narrative and were made available to them by all teachers. Often, the history teacher noted, ‘white teachers choose not to include topics that speak overtly to the black experience’: This is where our government is failing us now. We are supposed to take those teachers and come to these areas, and then take some of us there so that they can feel this new South Africa. But now they are still in their comfort zone. They are still comfortable where they are. (Teacher, School 2)

When asked if this required government to make history and approaches ‘compulsory policies’, the teacher unequivocally responded in the affirmative: Yes. If we were the government, and I wanted change, I would do that. Because that’s why it’s taking longer, this thing of accepting one another. Because we are still separating. There is a barrier, an invisible barrier, that is still there. So, we are saying, only saying, we are one, we are a rainbow nation. (Teacher, School 2)



However, this commitment to macro-level initiatives and changes to counteract systemic violence and foster peace were not necessarily evidenced in the everyday classroom lives of students. When asked about the experiences of violence, students spoke firstly and immediately about the ongoing prevalence of corporal punishment: They beat us always. When you’re late. ‘Why are you late?’ Because in my home, we don’t have electricity, we are working with a primus stove. So, it takes long in the morning. It takes long in the morning. (Student, School 2)

Students spoke often about the contrasting ways in which they were treated by teachers. While corporal punishment was not universally applied, narrated instances thereof were not infrequent. Often, students indicated that they were sent home if they defaulted according to school rules. In such cases, this often-meant arduous journeys for (primarily) female caregivers, very often in the form of grandmothers who cared for the young learners in the absence of parents who had departed the area in search of work in the towns. Female students were also subjected at such times to traverse difficult terrains back home at times when they were more vulnerable and their safety more tenuous. If ‘peace’ was to be fostered in such communities, students felt, everyday concerns with supposedly muted classroom violence and gender safety had to be prioritized. Two teachers, for example, spoke about how constructions of masculinity needed to be challenged, especially amongst boys returning from their initiation rituals in the bush. They noted: We try to address this by telling boys that ‘to be a man you don’t have to just look the part, you have to play the part’ and that to be respected as a man they must accept that they were all equal as students- girls and boys. When you touch that topic, they stare at you and look like they are going to attack you. But they must learn to change how they think about gender roles. (Teacher, School 2)

Students also spoke about the role of language in mediating violent confrontations. In relation to a student that had arrived in the virtually homogenous isiXhosa speaking community to attend the locally rural school, one focus group student lamented:



I would like learners to learn his language, so we can communicate. If they have language, they are able to communicate, so if that particular boy speaks Zulu and this one speaks Xhosa, they won’t be able to communicate, but if they speak the same language, there will be a connection and they are going to be friends (Student, School 1)

For many students, the issue of language as a way of building peace and fostering social cohesion rested on how the concepts of ‘connection’ and ‘friendship’ were conjoined. For them this was pivotal to the diverse ways in which social cohesion was defined and articulated globally and locally (OECD 2011; Marc et  al. 2012; Sayed and Ahmed 2015). The eight focus group students noted, however, that teachers rarely provided opportunities in class for the learning of new languages or learning about diverse ways of articulating life through language. They suggested that there was little chance of teachers inserting their life narratives into school discussions and processes when teachers themselves felt abandoned and under constant pressure in rural settings. They noted that this had a knock-on effect on how they, as students, approached and addressed students regarded as ‘other’. Students from both rural schools narrated that while foreign nationals were quite commonplace in their communities, how they engaged with them was often shaped by notions of race and ethnicity and the roles they fulfilled within their communities. One resident in the small rural village hailed from Punjab State in India and had lived in the community for more than 11 years and ‘spoke real isiXhosa, but funny sometimes’. When asked whether students interacted with him and other foreign nationals, one student replied: ‘We don’t talk with them. We go to them and buy’ (Student, School 2). Thus, while students do meet and interact, and while they don’t necessarily inflict overt harm on each other, their human engagement is often transactional at best. It could be said that these transactional interchanges place these communities and peoples under even further stress by creating the possibilities for persons to be regarded as ‘other’. Approaching language as instrumental in building peace is thus not only crucial to all social cohesion initiatives but important in mitigating less visible forms of violence. This became overtly apparent in the racist stereotypes and discourses of ‘other’ that were invoked when students spoke about a foreign immigrant student that attended their school. When researchers asked a focus group



about how religion and ‘othering’ came together, the student (School 2) drew peals of laughter from fellow students when he said the following: Student:

I would like to know what they are doing in their own religion. Interviewer: You would want to learn more about their religion? Would you eat their food? Student: It depends. Interviewer: What do you mean? If it is not nice you won’t eat it? If it is nice you will eat it? Student: Indians like eating hot food. Re-orienting teachers and students to a narrative of social cohesion and community solidarity needs to operate at various levels. On the one hand, teachers and students needed to share dialogic learning experiences that recognized and challenged asymmetric power relations and forms of privilege within society through what was taught in the classroom (Horner et  al. 2015: 52). On the other hand, teachers and students needed to conjure up safe spaces in their classrooms that modelled acceptable behavioural and affective responses to incidences of violence and disruptions of peace that included physical encounters (as in corporal punishment) and psychological interference (e.g. when different forms of othering occurred within communities). At both schools, narratives about violence tended to focus on the physical dimensions of violence and the need to ‘maintain discipline to create calm learning environments’ (Teacher, School 2). They veered towards outlooks of the world that suggested that while students ‘were condemned to learn about the world, the world always remained out there’ (Teacher, School 1). The Principal of School 1 observed in this regard that the psychological damage of systemic violence meant that the majority of students would be lucky to ‘ever see a town’ due to their levels of poverty, and that this meant that they would inevitably adopt the primary patriarchal identities that they were expected to inhabit, namely as villagers, clans, tribes, denoted race groups, and rural inhabitants. Tropes of ‘isolation’ thus suggested a deep disconnect between students and the school curricula that they were expected to conquer and absorb. Due to geographical location and destitution, as one teacher asserted, ‘students couldn’t reasonably be expected to answer tasks about banking when the



nearest bank they would ever see was more than 100km away’ (Teacher, School 1).

Conclusion In his seminal book Violence: Six Sideways Reflections, Slavoj Žižek contemplates the emergence of liberalism in Europe and suggests that a fundamental question was posed ‘after the catastrophe of the Thirty Years war between Catholics and Protestants’ (2008: 146). Liberalism, argues Žižek (2008: 146), ‘was an answer to the pressing question of how people who differ in their fundamental religious allegiances could coexist’. His conclusion is crucial for how ‘lasting and just peace’ can best be engendered by teachers and students in the Eastern Cape. But more importantly, it asks challenging questions about what is required for people with fundamental differences and allegiances to coexist. It demanded from citizens more than a condescending tolerance of diverging religions, more than tolerance as a temporary compromise. It demanded that we respect other religions not despite our innermost religious convictions but on account of them—respect for others is a proof of true belief (Žižek 2008: 146, original emphasis). The chapter has shown, via evidence from the two rural schools in the Eastern Cape province, that peace, violence, and the meaning of social solidarity sits very uneasily within the different structures and relationships that bind teachers and students in the province. Tropes of abandonment and disillusionment in relation to severe infrastructural inequalities and the lack of support from outside communities were abundant and overwhelming, and coloured the ways in which students and teachers corresponded in pursuit of societal peace. With competing notions of ‘peace’ instantiated within different forms of conflict within the local communities surrounding the two schools, resource inequities and legacies intersected with racialized and rural identities in ways that generated different levels of social trauma and problematized the quest for any realistic formulation of ‘peace’. As such, for two communities that were leading tenuous and unpredictable existences contingent on different kinds of available resources and state commitments for their everyday survival, averting the public gaze from their realities would, by itself, be a pernicious and deliberate form of systemic violence. Notably, however, within both schools the persistence of a counter-­ narrative of sincerity, affect, nurture, and social mitigation amongst



teachers and students suggested a fairly robust, rigorous, and grounded understanding of the kinds of challenges that confronted them, and what they needed to do to address them. Often for them to resolve the challenges within their rural communities, they had to bring to bear ‘traditional’ with more ‘modern’ knowledge systems in ways that confronted complex iterations of violence, from the objective to the more subliminal forms. For rural participants in the study, the key recipe for peace lay in the ways different forms of violence were identified and mitigated within their everyday lives, and how these were meaningfully counteracted within the learnings that teachers and students took away with them into their different communities. It could well be argued for the two deep rural communities of the Eastern Cape that recognizing the various forms of violence that permeated the broader network of relationships and structures that held their existences in place required them to embrace (counter) violence in order to foster durable peace in their context-bound environments.

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A Ahmed, R., 181, 194 Alexandra, Andrew, 72 Alison, James, 147, 148 Aloni, N., 164 Althusser, Louis, 97 Ames, Roger T., 33, 34, 37–39, 41, 42, 45 Anderson, Perry, 90n37 Antonello, Pierpaolo, 149 Appiah, Stephen Anthony, 54 Arendt, Hannah, 7, 117–123, 125, 126, 129, 133 Arnold, Matthew, 79 Aron, Raymond, 7, 98, 99, 101–104, 111 Arteaga, Juan de, 24n10 Assad, Bashar Hafez al-, 131 Augustine of Hippo, 49–67 Avruch, Kevin, 136

B Badroodien, A., 8, 188 Bailie, Gil, 147 Bajaj, M., 162 Baligadoo, P. D., 8, 159 Ball, S. J., 163, 164 Baltodano, M., 163 Barberi, Maria Stella, 144 Barbier, Pierre, 17n4 Barion, Hans, 58n9 Barrett, A.M., 181 Bar-Tal, Daniel, 136 Bass, R. V., 159 Baynes, Kenneth, 54 Behr, H., 163 Bekerman, Z., 163 Bell, D., 110 Bernstein, Richard, 53, 53n4 Bertalanffy, Ludwig von,' 46 Bevington, T., 162–164

 Note: Page numbers followed by ‘n’ refer to notes.


© The Author(s) 2020 W. J. Morgan, A. Guilherme (eds.), Peace and War,




Blanchet, C., 100 Blofeld, John, 37 Blunden, Edmund, 72 Boff, Leonardo, 5 Bohman, James, 54 Bone, J., 159, 169 Boulding, Elise, 136 Bounds, Philip, 91 Bourdieu, P., 179 Bourgois, P., 179 Bourne, Rudolph, 160 Bouthoul, G., 7, 99, 101–105, 107 Boutros-Ghali, Boutros, 103 Bowman, Elizabeth A., 124 Bradshaw, David, 79 Brantmeier, E.J., 162 Braudel, Fernand, 103 Brauman, Rony, 136 Brittain, Vera, 74, 75 Brock, Peter, 71, 72, 88 Brown, E. J., 162, 163 Brown, Eleanor, 162 Buber, Martin, 148 C Caillois, Roger, 107 Cano, Jerónimo Molina, 303n1 Cantú, F., 24 Carr, Edward Hallett, 76, 82n16 Carrère, R., 103 Castañeda Delgado, P., 19 Caudwell, Christopher, 6, 71–91 Ceadel, Martin, 72, 75, 89, 90 Chamberlain, Neville, 74 Chan, E., 180 Chan, J., 180 Charles V, Emperor, 11, 23 Cheng, Man-Jan, 39 Chenoweth, Erica, 148 Christ, Jesus, 146 Clausewitz, Carl von, 4, 5, 7, 104, 117, 119, 137, 142, 143

Cohan, A., 160 Coleman, Peter T., 149 Colgan, A.D., 168, 169 Colls, Robert, 85n26 Columbus, Christopher, 12, 14 Comfort, Alexander, 84, 84n21, 85 Confortini, Catia Cecilia, 4 Connell, R., 163 Connolly, Cyril, 84n22, 85 Cowdell, Scott, 138, 143, 146 Crais, C., 187 Cramer, C., 180 Cranston, Maurice, 74 Crawfurd, Helen, 73n2 Cremin, H., 162–164 Crick, Bernard, 82–85 Crossman, Richard H. S., 85n28 Cunningham, William, 51 D Daly, Robert J., 147 Danesh, H.B., 162, 163, 169 Davies, L., 177 Davis, Richard, 74 Day-Lewis, Cecil, 81 de Cajetan, Cardinal Tomas Vio, 19, 19n8 de Cervantes, Miguel, 137 De Gaulle, Charles, 102 Degu, W. A., 177 Delannoi, G., 98 Delbrück, Hans, 107 Delsol, Chantal., 98, 98n1 Demonchonok, Edward, 55 Dewey, John., 160 Dickason, O. P., 14 Donington, Barbara, 76 Donington, Robert, 76 Dostoevsky, Fyodor, 137 Duckworth, C. L., 165 Dumouchel, Paul, 143 Durden, William S., 59


Durkheim, E., 176, 188 Dutta, K., 158 E Eglin, Josephine, 74, 75 Elias, Norbert, 145 Encisco, de Martin Fernández, 14, 14n2 Epstein, J., 78, 79 F Fanon, Frantz, 118, 124–126, 129 Fernández, Pérez, 23 Fletcher, George P., 71 Forster, E. M., 85n25 Foucault, Michel, 147 Fountain, S., 162 Francis, Diana, 136 Fraser, N., 182, 188 Freire, Paulo., 167 Freud, Sigmund, 137 Freund, Julien, 4, 7, 97–114 Frierson, P. R., 169 Fry, Douglas P., 136, 145 Fukuyama, Francis, 123, 143 G Galtung, Johan, 4, 166, 178–180 Gandhi, M. K., 158, 159 Giese, S., 183 Giménez Fernández, M., 16, 17 Girard, René, 7, 135–150 Gollancz, Victor, 76, 76n11, 77n12, 82, 83 Gonzalez, Domingo, 144 Good, J. W., 159 Goodhart, Sandor, 147 Graves, Robert, 73 Green, A., 180 Green, L. C., 14 Gregory, Eric, 55, 55n5


Grierson, J., 165 Guilherme, Alexandre, 90n35, 149 Gur-Zev’ev, I., 163 Gutiérrez, G., 22 H Habermas, Jürgen, 55, 56 Hall, David L., 33, 34, 37–39, 41, 42, 45 Hall, K., 183 Hall, Stuart, 90n37 Hamber, B., 176, 188 Hamel, Jacques Father, 165 Hamerton-Kelly, Robert G., 146 Harber, C., 163 Harley, A., 176 Hasidism, 149 Hayden, Patrick, 54 Hedges, Chris, 145 Held, David, 54 Hermon, E., 160 Herschock, Peter, 46 Hintermeyer, Pascal, 98n1 Hitler, Adolf, 88n34 Hobbes, Thomas, 3, 6, 49, 52, 62, 65, 67 Hoelzl, Michael, 6, 56n7, 58n9 Hölderlein, Friedrich, 137 Holsti, K., 109 Horner, L., 195 Ho-Shang Kung, 42 Hussein, Saddam, 133 Howlett, C.F., 160 Huntington, Samuel, 143 Huxley, Aldous, 6, 71–91 Huxley, Julian, 79 Huxley, Thomas Henry, 79 J Jameson, Storm, 74, 75, 75n8 Jeffery, Renee, 62



Jenson, J., 180 Jeong, Ho-Won, 46 Joad, Cyril E. M., 73n1, 74 Jones, David, 73 Joyce, James, 85n25 K Kabeer, N., 182 Kaldor, Mary, 135 Kant, Immanuel, 1–3, 6, 49, 50, 52–56, 61, 64–67 Kautsky, Karl, 78 Keck, Margareth E., 135 Kilpatrick, William, 169 King, Martin Luther, 148 Kirwan, Michael, 147 Knei-Paz, Baruch, 77 Kohn, A., 168 Kundu, K., 158 L Lamb, Peter, 76 Lansbury, George, 74, 89 Las Casas, Bartolomé de, 5, 11–30 Laski, Harold, 83 Laursen, Eric, 84n23 Lawrence, D. H., 85n25 Lawrence, Thomas Edward (Lawrence of Arabia), 73 Leach, F., 182 Lederach, J. P., 148, 178 Lenin, Vladimir I., 77, 78, 88 Levi, Margaret, 71 Levi-Strauss, Claude, 137 Levy, Benny, 127 Levy, Hyman, 87 Lewis, John, 76, 76n11, 77n12, 83 Lewis, Wyndham, 85n25 Lillard, A. S., 169 Linklater, Andrew, 145 Livingston, Painsley, 141, 146

Locke, John, 62, 63 Lockhart, J., 13 Loriaux, Michael, 64 M MacDonald, Keith, 87n32 Machiavelli, Niccolò, 6, 62, 107 Macy, Joanna, 46 Mair, Victor, 40 Mannin, Ethel, 75, 75n8 Manning, Frederick, 72 Manning, Robert J. S., 146 Marc, A., 180, 194 Martínez, M. M., 17 Marx, Karl, 125 McGreal, C., 165 McNeill, W., 108 Michael, Thomas, 36, 37, 40, 42, 43 Midgley, Mary, 63 Molefe, O., 188 Montesano, Dr., 156 Montesinos, Antonio de, 15 Montessori, Maria, 8, 155–170 Montezuma, 12 Morgan, Kenneth, O., 73n2 Morgan, W. John, 6, 71, 73n2, 90n35, 149, 162 Morgenthau, Hans Joachim, 50, 56, 62–67 Mulholland, R., 165 N Neacsu, M., 66 Newsinger, John, 84n20 Nicolson, Harold, 74 Niebuhr, Reinhold, 62, 63 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 137 Novelli, M., 178 Nunan, Timothy, 60n16 Nussbaum, Martha, 54


O Obama, Barrack, 165 Omar, Y., 8 Omi, M., 182 Orique, David Thomas, 5, 25, 26 Ortega, Juan de, 24n10 Orwell, George, 6, 71–91 Ovando, Nicolas, 13 P Page, J. S., 163 Palaver, Wolfgang, 140, 143 Pankhurst, Sylvia, 75, 75n8 Parvus, Alexander, 77, 77n14 Pennington, K., 28 Pérez Fernández, I., 14, 16, 18, 22, 23 Pericles, 102 Perse, Saint-John, 137 Peterson, Erik, 57, 58 Pijoos, I., 185 Pine, Red, 42 Pinker, Steven, 145 Proust, Marcel, 85n25, 137 Pynn, Tom, 6 Q Qaddafi, Muammar al, 131 Queralto Moreno, R. J., 19 R Ramsbotham, Oliver, 136 Rand Parish, H., 16, 17, 19, 21, 23 Raychaudhur, Anindya, 86n29 Rees, Richard, 84n24 Remarques, Erich Maria, 73 Rempel, Richard A., 76n9 Restall, Matthew, 14 Richlieu, Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, 108


Richmond, Oliver P., 136 Rigby, Andrew, 75n7 Robbins, Keith, 72, 73 Roberts, Adam, 81 Robinson, A., 158 Rosenberg, Daniel, 7 Rosenstock, Bruce, 57, 58 Roth, Harold D., 35, 36, 42–44 Roth-Arriaza, Naomi, 136 Rubios, Palacios, 13 Ruiters, G., 183 Russell, Bertrand, 74 S Sakade, N., 163 Santoni, E. Ronald, 127, 128 Sartre, Jean-Paul, 7, 97, 118, 123–129, 133 Sassoon, Siegfried, 73, 74 Sayed, Y., 181, 183, 188, 194 Scheper-Hughes, N., 179 Scheuerman, William E., 66 Schipper, Kristofer, 36, 42 Schmitt, Carl, 7, 50, 56–62, 66, 67, 99–102, 104, 105, 111 Schwab, George, 59n11 Schwartz, S. B., 13, 177 Seed, P., 14, 15 Sen, Amartya, 54 Sepúlveda, Juan Ginés de, 26 Sharp, Gene, 3 Sheehan, Helena, 87n32 Sheppard, Hugh Richard Lawrie, 73, 74n3, 89 Sherriff, Robert C., 73 Sikkink, Kathryn, 135, 136 Simoes, Pedro Jose Calafate Villas, 18n6 Smith, A., 177 Snodderly, David, 35 Socknat, Thomas P., 71, 72, 88 Solis, Gary D., 71



Soper, Donald, 74 Soudien, C., 182, 187 Souillac, Geneviève, 7, 148, 149 Sprigg, St. John, 86 Sprigg, Stanhope, 86 Steinmetz-Jenkins, D., 101 Stendhal, 137 Stephan, Maria, 148 Stern, J. S., 15 Stewart, E.B., 177 Stewart, R. M., 180 Stone, V. Robert, 124 Stoppani, Antonio, 156 Stoppani, Renilde, 156 Strachey, John, 83 Sullivan, Robert, 86n29 Sylvester, Christine, 3 T Tagore, Rabindranth, 158, 159 Taguieff, P.A., 98, 101 Taylor, Alan J. P., 74, 74n6 Te-Ch’ing, 42 Thody, Phillip, 81, 90 Thompson, Edward P., 87 Thomson, George, 87 Tikly, L., 181 Tommissen, P., 99 Touanne, S., 98 Trotsky, Leon, 77, 82n16 U Unterhalter, E., 182 V Valery, Paul, 137 Vasilkov, Aleksandr, 80 Vattel, 109 Vattimo, Gianni, 149

Vauban, Sébastien Le Prestre de, 108 Vilches, E., 14 Viz., 22 Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet), 109 Vriens, L., 163 W Wagdi, Sabete, 59 Wagner, R. H., 16, 17 Walzer, Michael, 4, 5, 71 Wang, H., 159 Wang An-Shih, 42 Warburg, Frederic, 82 Ward, Graham, 58n9, 149 Weber, Max, 97 Weintrob, L., 164 Weiss, Louise, 103 Wells, Herbert George, 85n25 West, Cornel, 149 Whetter, James, 86n29 Wilkinson, Ellen, 75, 75n8 Williams, H.M.A., 163 Williams, Raymond, 90 Williamson, Henry, 73 Wilson, Woodrow, 160 Winant, H., 182 Wolfe, M., 108 Woodcock, George, 84n23, 90, 90n36 Woods, Houston, 135 Woolf, Virginia, 85n25 Wu Ch’eng, 38 Z Zembylas, M., 163 Zhang, Ellen Y., 39 Zille, Helen, 188 Zilliacus, Konni, 77, 77n13 Žižek, Slavoj, 191, 196 Zumárraga, Juan de, 22 Zwitter, Andrej, 6, 56n7