quarta-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2005


James Ostrowski1(pdf):

"(...)My contention is that my imagined opponents are confusing a dispute over
definition with a dispute over values. That is, when some would carve out of the
definition of peace an exception for democratic, majoritarian, law-making, what they are
really saying is, they value democratic decision-making more highly than the avoidance
of violence or the threat of violence against persons on the wrong end of that decisionmaking.
After all, as a purely empirical matter, the physical actions and mental states
involved with criminal extortion—“
Give me a thousand dollars or I will kidnap you
.”--are identical to democratic fund-raising—“
Give me a thousand dollars or I
will put you in jail tomorrow
.” Both, in a strictly factual sense, are breaches of the peace.
It is just that the democrat values democracy more than he values peace!

Similarly, when someone argues, “Yes, violence, etc. is a breach of the peace, but
so is poverty
.”, a word game is being played. The disputant is being intellectually
dishonest. He is trying to use a definitional dispute to disguise a value judgment. He is
trying to smuggle welfare rights into the prestigious concept of peace. Let’s just be
honest about it. What you are really saying is, “
Sure, I like peace, but I am willing be
unpeaceable to achieve welfare rights because I value them more than I value peace

(...) Needless to say, the world has yet to stumble upon peace. My suspicion is, even if the
world pondered the question and was inexorably drawn to
the rather common sensical
definition of peace proffered herein--the absence of violence or the palpable threat of violence against persons and their property—most people and most politicians and most intellectuals would recoil in horror at the prospect of such a world

It’s not that these people don’t like peace in general terms; it’s just that there are
many things they value more highly
. Many of these things can only be achieved by the
use of democratic violence or the palpable threat of democratic violence against persons
and their property. That is why we live in such a violent world. We are lying in the bed
we have made. Most people don’t want peace, not really. If they did, it could be
achieved without enormous difficulty since “There is no way to peace; peace is the way.”

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