The Kellogg–Briand Pact (or Pact of Paris, officially General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy) was a 1928 international agreement in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve “disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them”. Parties failing to abide by this promise “should be denied of the benefits furnished by this treaty”. It was signed by Germany, France and the United States on August 27, 1928, and by most other nations soon after. Sponsored by France and the U.S., the Pact renounced the use of war and called for the peaceful settlement of disputes. Similar provisions were incorporated into the UN Charter and other treaties and it became a stepping stone to a more activist American policy. It is named after its authors, United States Secretary of StateFrank B. Kellogg and French foreign ministerAristide Briand.
In honor of poet Langston Hughes’ 113th Birthday, the Google banner has a wonderful, animated video of the poem “I Dream A World”. Peace Couple couldn’t be happier than seeing Google honor a poet and a vision of peace in the world.
In the United States there are holidays to celebrate militarism just about every week, and increasingly one hears about them on the radio, at public events, and in corporate advertising that apparently believes militarism sells. Other nations have seen a similar rise in military celebrations.
What would a calendar of peace holidays look like? At WorldBeyondWar we believe it would look something like this.
We’re making it available for free as a PDF that you can print out and make use of: PDF, Word.
I was sitting in a class on how to build support for making social change, and one of the discussions we had is a comparison of the differences between the civil rights era environment and today’s civic environment. This made my mind leap into making a list of a score of dozen ways to be an empowered citizen and an empowered consumer.
Writing this post, I realized that this list is a micro version of Gandhi’s Constructive Program. In the period between civil Disobedience Campaigns, Gandhi kept his followers engaged and progressing by building a sustainable community-based economy to replace the imperial system which oppressed them.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, who lived from October 27, 1466, to July 12, 1536, faced censorship in his day, and has never been as popular among the rich and powerful as has his contemporary Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. But at a distance of half a millennium, we ought to be able to judge work on its merit — and we ought to have regular celebrations of Erasmus around the world. Some of his ideas are catching on. His name is familiar in Europe as that of the EU’s student exchange program, named in his honor. We ought perhaps to wonder what oddball ideas these days might catch on in the 2500s — if humanity is around then.
In 1517, Erasmus wrote The Complaint of Peace, in which Peace, speaking in the first-person, complains about how humanity treats her. She claims to offer “the source of all human blessings” and to be scorned by people who “go in quest of evils infinite in number.”
democracynow.org – Tony Benn, the former British Cabinet minister, longtime Parliament member and antiwar activist, has died at the age of 88. He was the longest-serving member of Parliament in the history of Britain’s Labour Party, serving more than half a century. He left Parliament in 2001, saying he planned to “spend more time on politics.” In 2009 he appeared on Democracy Now! to talk about the war in Afghanistan and Britain’s fight for a nationalized healthcare system.
“You’ve got to judge a country by whether its needs are met and not just by whether some people make a profit,” Benn said. “I’ve never met Mr. Dow Jones, and I’m sure he works very, very hard with his averages. We get them every hour. But I don’t think the happiness of a nation is decided by the share values in Wall Street.”