The “New World Order”

Johan Galtung

By Johan Galtung Kuala Lumpur

…is the title of our conference. There will never be any such thing. “New”, yes; “World”, yes –“Order”, No. Wherever there is life there is contradiction, dialectic, forces and counter-forces. At the very obvious level the question arises – Order, in whose interest, against whom? Sow any new order and the seeds of its undoing are already taking root, sprouts are coming. As the Chinese say, “There are human beings without contradictions; they are called corpses.”

Follow that hint; go to the moon. New moons once a month, and order, the order of death, of non-life. The Old Moon Order.

As part of this Perdana Global Peace Foundation Conference, so well composed by Dr Hitam, President Tun Dr. Mahathir unveiled a giant copy of my book just published, Abolishing War: Criminalizing War, Removing War Causes, Removing War as an Institution (TPU and IIUM Press, 2015) together with a smaller book Clash of Civilizations[i]

And in the morning (another TFF Associate, red.) and founder of GlobalResearch, Michel Chossudovsky’s Globalizing War was unveiled; quite a combination, the criminal US globalization into all corners of the world to preserve hegemony under the pretext of war on terrorism, IS. Quite a combination, the stark reality of what happens, globalizing, and the less known reality of Abolishing – slowly people being woven together, coming to reasonable understandings.

There are 26 countries without armies listed in my book Abolishing War, with the important findings that not a single one of them has been attacked­—many others with heavy costly weapons for prestige purposes to satisfy the military/industrial complex. Time for disarmament and transarmament to purely defensive defense–with nonmilitary civilian defense–and peacekeeping operations, also with police and nonviolence training, 50% women, numerous, massive blue carpets rather than blue helmets, parachuted down, interspersed between warring parties, like IS and their targets, has come.

Among states, ever war-prone USA and Israel are exceptions.

Tun Mahathir debunked the “New World Order” as one more Western approach to dominate the world, panels have explored what happens in the world, many points about globalizing and abolishing have been made. You kindly gave me a chance not only to present some of the 30 abolishing approaches in the book but also to comment on comments.

[1] Critical analysis of what happens is indispensable, but not enough. Very few people and social groups; states become good by being told they are bad. Maybe they do not see any alternative, have goals firmly anchored in their minds, see violence as the only way out? Have deep dialogues with all the parties, identify the legitimate goals in all of them, be constructive visioning a new reality and bridging the goals. They know the present realities in and out: something new is needed for example for Israel-Palestine and USA-Afghanistan; also to be promoted by others.

[2] UNESCO’s famous statement about wars and the minds of men: only as partial truth [“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”]. Men yes; few women with the divine gift of building life. Most of it is system-generated, as I argue in the book, the state system being catastrophic. I have met a fair number of top statesmen in my mediator capacity, some are crooks. Most of them are wrestling with problems that would have killed most people in this room and do not see in and out. Yes, make it crystal clear that offensive war, state terrorism, terrorism are crimes–our present laws are clear only against terrorism–and come up with a Plan B better than their Plan A including ideas about system change. Thus, a veto-free United Regions might be useful when the UN gets stuck.

[3] Noam Chomsky – brilliantly critical but short on proposals – argues in favor of inter-faith dialogue. However, when you really know the deep basis – like of US evangelicals – you may get even more scared. Having chaired the dialogue at the 9th century of the Crusades, I always ask: “What is good on the other side?” Christians find nothing in Islam because of ignorance and Islam is not good at communication.

[4] US hegemony coincided with spreading absence of war; it could also be in spite of it. USA has intervened militarily more than 240 times since Jefferson, 1805; tried to get rid of leaders of other countries more than 50 times, also by killing. An extremist country dedicated to massive NSA spying. Yes, criminalize the architects and publish the names of the killers and the victims.

[5] The “peace” is not peaceful: 125,000 human beings die daily from lack of money for food and health care; the US intervenes in countries that do something about it, not in those that do nothing.

[6] This conference takes place in Malaysia, a country of four ethnic groups: Muslim Malays, Chinese, Tamil Indians and the natural indigenous, the Orang Asli, with the best tradition of peace with others and with nature. As in the USA are the Hawaiians with their ho’o pono pono, far ahead of Western adjudication. Processing trauma is a major part – Washington might learn, paying attention in Teheran not only to U-2-3-5 and beyond but to 1-9-5-3, the year CIA-MI6 toppled democratically elected Prime Minister Mossadegh. A joint CNN-BBC message from the heads of the two agencies, and Obama-Cameron with public excuses and apologies might well solve any nuclear issue.

[7] There is little to learn from the West but much to learn from the Rest – the Western focus is on criminalization except for the biggest, the non-West more on building peace. This book tries to cover both, the legal approach in Parts One and Two, the peace-building approach in Parts Three and Four. As mentioned, 30 approaches all together.

[8] This meeting takes place in Malaysia, handling the major conflicts over flights MH370 and MH17 very badly. Add worse to bad, sign the TPP agreement which is for the economy what NATO is for the military: submission to US interests – and we might ask for a “New Malaysian Order.” This meeting may turn out to be a good step in that direction, particularly given the presence of so many young people.


[i]. A third book, The Art of Peace: Global Peace Studies 101 Theory and Practice, in first draft, not yet printed, was also handed over, with thanks for this sabbatical year of research.

This article was first published here.

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