quinta-feira, 27 de julho de 2006

Por Km2

This letter, written by Tolstoy in response to a letter from a number of Swedish gentlemen who sought Tolstoy’s views on a Peace Conference that was to be held by the Tsar, is a critique of seeking a political end to war and "supporting the troops." Tolstoy here explains why neither the political process, governments or international tribunals will ever stop wars; that speeches, votes, peace conferences, tribunals, arms treaties and similar enterprises are in fact nothing but a diversion that hide from men the one and only way to stop war, and the one means that lies in their own power: refusing to serve as soldiers.
~ Jeff Snyder.

Letter on the Peace Conference, by Leo Tolstoy

"(...) It is supposed that at this Conference the representatives of governments will agree to cease increasing their forces. If so, the question involuntarily presents itself: How will the governments of those countries act which at the time of this meeting happen to be weaker than their neighbors? Such governments will hardly agree to remain in that condition – weaker than their neighbors. Or, if they have such firm belief in the validity of the stipulations made by the Conference as to agree to remain weaker, why should they not be weaker still? Why spend money on an army at all?

If, again, the business of the Conference will be to equalize the fighting forces of the various states, and to keep them stationary, then, even could such an impossible balance be arrived at, the question involuntarily arises: Why need the governments stop at such armaments as now exist? Why not decrease them? Why need Germany, France, and Russia have, say, for instance, 1,000,000 men each, and not 500,000, or why not 10,000 each, or why not 1000 each? If diminution is possible, why not reduce to a minimum? And, finally, why not, instead of armies, have champions – David and Goliath – and settle international questions according to the results of their combats?

It is said that the conflicts between governments are to be decided by arbitration. But, apart from the fact that the disputes will be settled, not by representatives of the people, but by representatives of the governments, and that there is no guarantee that the decisions will be just ones, who is to carry out the decisions of the court? The army? Whose army? That of all the Powers? But the strength of those armies is unequal.

Who, for instance, on the Continent is to carry out a decision which is disadvantageous, say, for Germany, Russia, and France allied together? Or who, at sea, will carry out a decision contrary to the interests of England, America, and France? The arbitrator's sentence against the military violence of states will be carried out by military violence – that is to say, the thing that has to be checked is to be the instrument by which it is to be checked. To catch a bird, put salt on its tail.(...)

Armies can be reduced and abolished only in opposition to the will, but never by the will, of governments.

Armies will only be diminished and abolished when people cease to trust governments, and themselves seek salvation from the miseries that oppress them, and seek that safety, not by the complicated and delicate combinations of diplomats, but in the simple fulfillment of that law, binding upon every man, inscribed in all religious teachings, and present in every heart, not to do to others what you wish them not to do to you – above all, not to slay your neighbors.


Isto foi bem antes da WW1. O instinto de Tolstoy estava certo. E se tivesse existido desobediência civil generalizada o mundo poderia ter sido poupado tudo o que de verdadeiro "evil" saiu dela, sendo que o "evil" começou própriamente com o inicio da guerra em si (em poucos dias, todo o mundo estava em guerra, o progressista/idealista/moralista Woodrow Wilson chegou a meses do fim, mas a tempo de aumentar o desastre).

A expressão de que os Estados e o seu monopólio sobre a violência territorial servem para nos proteger devia estar desacreditada simplesmente porque uma análise objectiva só pode concluir que as guerras têm lugar precisamente para disputar que "Estado" assume o monopólio da violência em que KM2 do planeta.

O paradoxo é que os Estados justificam a sua existência e as suas guerras em ordem para nos proteger. Por isso matam e destroiem em massa. Mas são esses KM2 que lhes interessa.

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