1.1 Violence in the human process

Since the discovery of fire, the domination of some men over others has been marked by the capacity for destruction that a given human collective was able to develop. Those who mastered the technique of aggression subdued those who did not, and those who invented arrows razed to the ground and used only stones and spears. After that came gunpowder and rifles, after machine guns, and so on with ever more destructive weapons until the nuclear bomb. Those who developed it have been the ones who have imposed their dictates in recent decades.

1.2 The breakthrough of societies

In parallel, progress has been made in the human process, countless inventions have been developed, social engineering, more effective, more inclusive, and less discriminatory ways of organising. The most tolerant and democratic societies have been considered the most advanced and the most accepted. There has been enormous progress in science, in research, in production, in technology, in medicine, in education, etc. There have also been notable advances in spirituality, which are leaving aside fanaticism, fetishism and sectarianism and are achieving the convergence of thinking, feeling and acting with spirituality instead of being in opposition to it.

This situation is not uniform across the planet, as there are peoples and societies at different stages of the process, but there is a clear global trend towards convergence.

1.3 The dragging of the past

In some areas we are still sometimes primitive, for example in international relations. If we see children fighting over toys, do we tell them to fight each other? If a grandmother is attacked in the street by a gang of thugs, do we give her a stick or a gun to defend herself against them? No one would think of such irresponsibility. In other words, at a personal, family, local, even national level, we are making progress. More and more protection mechanisms are being introduced for vulnerable people and groups. However, this is not happening at the international level. We have not worked out what to do when a powerful country subjugates a smaller one… There are many examples in the world.

1.4 The survival of wars

After World War II it became necessary to create the United Nations. In its preamble, the spirit of the initiators was recorded: “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person….”. [1] This was the initial driving force at the origin of this great project. Then, little by little, these initial motivations were diluted and the United Nations became increasingly ineffective in these matters. There has been a deliberate attempt, especially by the world’s major powers, to take away the UN’s powers and protagonism at the international level.

1.5 The fall of the USSR

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it seemed that the Cold War era had come to an end. Opinions may differ on this, but the fact remains that the dissolution of the Soviet Union did not result in any direct fatalities. The agreement was that the Soviet bloc would dissolve but that NATO, created to counter the Warsaw Pact, would not advance into the former members of the USSR. Not only has this commitment not been honoured, but Russia has been gradually encircled on its borders. This is not to defend Putin’s position to invade Ukraine, it is to say that either we seek security and cooperation for all, or individual security cannot be guaranteed.

In the last 70 years since the USA dropped the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they have become the world’s judge and jury.

1.6 The continuation of wars

In all this time, wars have not ceased. We now have the war in Ukraine, the one that is most in the media spotlight because of certain interests, but there are also wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, to name but a few, because there are many more. There have been more than 60 armed conflicts every year between 2015 and 2022 around the world.

1.7 The changing situation

One year has passed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began and the situation, far from improving, is worsening rapidly. Stoltenberg has just admitted that the war with Russia began in 2014 and not in 2022. The Minsk agreements were being breached and the Russian-speaking Ukrainian population was being persecuted. Merkel also confirmed that these agreements were a way to buy time, while Ukraine was forging closer ties with the US, with clear drifts away from neutrality and towards NATO alignment. Today Ukraine is openly demanding membership. That is the red line Russia will not allow. The latest leaks of top-secret documents show that the US has been preparing for this confrontation for many years. The consequences are that the conflict is escalating to unknown limits. Finally, Russia withdrew from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) and President Zelensky talks of defeating Russia, a nuclear power, on the battlefield. The irrationality and lies on both sides are blatant.

The most serious problem with all this is that the possibility of war between nuclear powers is increasing.

1.8 The EU’s subservience to the US

Those who are suffering the disastrous consequences of the war, in addition to the Ukrainians and Russians themselves immersed in the daily conflict, are the citizens of Europe who are seeing their goods become more expensive and their rights and democracies recede as the conflict escalates further and further. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, has described the situation as dangerous, but continues to insist on the path of war by sending arms to support the Ukrainians. No effort is being made to open the way to negotiations, but rather fuel is being added to the fire. Borrell himself announced that ‘to safeguard democracy in the EU, access to the Russian media RT and Sputnik is banned’. Is this what they call democracy? More and more voices are asking: does the US want to maintain its hegemony at the expense of the others’ misfortune? Does the format of international relations support this dynamic any more? Are we in a civilisational crisis in which we have to find another form of international order?

1.9 The new situation

Lately, China has come out as a mediator, proposing a peace plan at the same time as the US is creating tension in Taiwan. In reality, it is a question of the tension that is occurring at the end of a cycle in which a world hegemonised by one power is moving towards a regionalised world.

Let us remember the facts: China is the country that maintains the largest economic exchange with all the countries on the planet. India has become the world’s most populous country, ahead of China. The EU is suffering an economic collapse that highlights its weaknesses in energy and autonomy. The GDP of the BRICS [2], which already exceeds the global GDP of the G7[3], and continues to grow with 10 new countries asking to join. Latin America and Africa are beginning, with their many difficulties, to wake up and increase their role as international references. With all this, the regionalisation of the world is evident. But in the face of this fact, Western centralism is going to put up serious resistance, reclaiming its lost hegemony, a hegemony led by the US, which refuses to give up its role as the world’s policeman and intends to reactivate a NATO that a year ago was ready to die after its disastrous departure from Afghanistan…

1.10 The regionalised world

The new regionalisation will produce serious frictions with the previous imperialist model, in which the West sought to control everything. In the future, it will be the ability to negotiate and reach agreements that will shape the world. The old way, the previous way of resolving differences through war, will be left to primitive and backward regimes. The problem is that some of them have nuclear weapons. That is why it is urgent to expand the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which has already entered into force in the United Nations, which has been signed by more than 70 countries and which is being ignored by the international media in order to conceal the only possible way forward, which is: “to learn to resolve conflicts in a negotiated and peaceful manner”. When this is achieved on a planetary level, we will enter another era for humanity.

This will require a refoundation of the United Nations with more democratic mechanisms and the removal of veto privileges held by some countries.

1.11 The means to achieve change: mobilisation of citizens.

But this fundamental change will not happen because institutions, governments, trade unions, parties or organisations take the initiative and do something, it will happen because we citizens demand it. And this will not happen by standing behind a flag, or by taking part in a demonstration or attending a rally or conference. Although all these actions will be useful, the real strength will come from each citizen, from their own reflection and inner conviction. When, in their peace and quiet, alone or in company, they look at those closest to them and understand the serious situation we are in, when they reflect, look at themselves, their family, their friends, their loved ones… and understand and decide that there is no other way out and that they have to do something.

1.12 Exemplary action

Each individual can go further, can look at the history of mankind and look at the number of wars, setbacks and advances that humanity has made over thousands of years, but they must bear in mind that we are now in a new, different situation. Now the survival of the species is at stake… And in the face of this, we must ask ourselves, what can we do?… what can we contribute?… what can we do to make our actions exemplary?… how can we make our lives an experience that gives us meaning?… what can we contribute to the history of humanity?

If we each go deeper into ourselves, answers will surely appear. It will be something very simple and connected with oneself, but it will have to have several elements for it to be effective: what each one of us does has to be public, for others to see it, it has to be permanent, repeated over time (it can be very brief, 15 or 30 minutes a week, but every week), and hopefully scalable, in other words, it has to contemplate that there are others who can join in this action. All this can be projected throughout life. There are many examples of existences that made sense after a major crisis…

If only 1% of the world’s citizens mobilise decisively against wars and in favour of the peaceful resolution of differences, generating exemplary and scalable actions, if only 1% manifest themselves, the foundations will be laid to bring about change. Will we be able to do it?

We call on that 1% of the population to make a test.

War is a legacy of human prehistory and can wipe out the species.

Either we learn to resolve conflicts in a nonviolent way or we disappear. Let’s work to stop that from happening.

To be continued…

[1] Charter of the United Nations: Preamble. We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has inflicted untold suffering on mankind, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, to create conditions under which they may maintain their peace and security, to create conditions under which they can live in peace and security, to create conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising out of treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, and to that end to practise tolerance and live together in peace as good neighbours, to unite our forces for that which was at the origin of this great project. Afterwards, little by little, these initial motivations were diluted and the United Nations became increasingly ineffective in these matters. There was an intentionality, especially on the part of the world’s major powers, to gradually take away the UN’s power and prominence at the international level.

[2] BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

[3] G7: USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and UK