I have a concrete proposal for world peace: the USA withdraws from Iraq and returns Texas, California and Arizona to Mexico, and Puerto Rico to the Puerto Ricans, suspends the blockade of Cuba and gives the Guantanamo Base back to the Cubans.
France and Spain withdraw from the Basque Country; Turkey, Iran and Iraq admit the right of the Kurds to self-government; China to leave Tibet; North and South Korea to reach an agreement for re-unification; immediate creation of a Palestinian State and recognition by the UN; Israel hands back occupied territories and Jerusalem is declared a Universal Sanctuary or independent international city administered by the UN.
The pope renounces the title of Vatican Head of State, handing over administration to UNESCO, remaining as the Universal Pastor of the Catholics, without pretension to religious and cultural hegemony; the IMF and the World Bank cancels the debt of poor countries; and World Trade Organisation condemns protectionism and agricultural subsidies by rich countries.
The Tobin tax is adopted in international transactions; the formation of cartels and oligopolies is considered criminal, just as the personal assignment of a salary above 20 times the national average. Advertising of tobacco and alcohol and the promotion of violence and pornography in films and TV programmes is banned.
All politicians in elected posts are obliged to maintain on the Internet the transparent declaration of their income and benefits; the religious denominations renounce all types of fundamentalism and competition; the State considers hunger, misery and poverty as horrendous crimes and serious violations of human rights.
At home the citizen is guaranteed a minimum salary, as well as basic rights for food, health and education and a free allowance for consumption of energy, water and telephone. We surpass racial and anti-homosexual prejudices, ethnic and religious discrimination, social inequality and the fear of freedom.
Isaiah aims towards the path of peace
The whole teaching of Isaiah, contained in the Bible is eminently political. A cosmopolitan man, he was a councillor to the King of Judea, as much during the times of the Syro-Ephraimite War as in the period in which Hezekiah was maintained in power but without powers.
*“Why are there so many wars?”* Isaiah wondered. His political perspicacity was not circumscribed to only see the effects. The Prophet denounced the causes of social inequalities, above all the opulence of the elite, *“Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land. The LORD Almighty has declared in my hearing:
‘Surely the great houses will become desolate, the fine mansions left without occupants.’”*
The whole message of Isaiah is concentrated in this affirmation, *“The fruit of righteousness will be peace.”* It’s useless to desire peace without previously eradicating the causes of conflicts, violence and war.
Isaiah is a rare case of someone who coexisted with power but who never abandoned his commitment to the oppressed. His vision of God had nothing to do with either Manichaeism or fundamentalism. To the balance of forces he added justice and to justice he added love. Only love is capable of overcoming the law and to avoid making divergences from differences, so he teaches us to coexist with someone who is not like us nor thinks like us but, nevertheless, possesses the same human dignity.
From the lessons of the Prophet we can conclude that, without a globalised ethic, the present neoliberal model of global-colonization will not stop the placing of private interests about public rights, the source of wealth above human wellbeing, imperial ambitions above the sovereignty of the people.
Perhaps meditation on the texts of Isaiah will help us to travel a path shown in biblical geography 2800 years ago. It only remains for us to record it in the depths of our hearts.