On board a new world: reflections for a post-COVID19 world - Who wants peace prepares peace

The current situation on a global scale invites us to reflect on the world we want to build after the pandemic is over.

The world is no longer the same. Since the pandemic was declared, we have lived in another world, whether we like it or not. With the exception of a very limited number of people, the vast majority of us have never experienced a pandemic. And the last pandemic experienced occurred in a very different world: post-world war, without the current technological evolution, without even the current geopolitical framework (nearly 200 independent States having to organize themselves to manage a problem which crosses borders) .


The world is therefore different and it is obvious that we will never return to the old "normal".


A new "normal" will be established, little by little, we will fall back into a new routine, a new comfort. This is how our societies work.

A new "normal" will be established, little by little, we will fall back into a new routine, a new comfort. This is how our societies work.


The question to ask now, and even before the crisis is over, is this: what normal do we want?

We can indeed let things happen by themselves. But be aware that when we say "by themselves" we are actually talking about those who are already in a position of power and decision. Nature abhors vacuity and even less in our human societies where the element of nature are culture, ways of life and organization.

Therefore, if you are one of those who, like me, think that, despite the human tragedy we are witnessing, this crisis is an opportunity to launch new dynamics, then now is the time to act.

It is not a question of saying that it is a sign sent by the planet, the Universe or whatever name one would give to this situation and to the dynamics which follow from it. More pragmatically, it is just a matter of saying: this is our opportunity to reflect, to give a very human meaning to all of this, and to make sure that we learn from our experiences.

And this is the principle of this series of articles that we are starting today, of which here is the first content...


You have certainly noted that in many states around the world, the military have been called in for reinforcements: whether to participate in controlling the containment in part but also, and much more often, to participate in the health effort in building field hospitals, helping to transfer patients.

By the very nature of its work, the army is very effective in improvising, adapting and organizing itself in difficult situations: it is indeed necessary, in theaters of operation, to be able to provide the supplies and care necessary to guarantee the good physical and mental condition of the soldiers and enable them to have the necessary equipment.


it is indeed necessary, in theaters of operation, to be able to provide the supplies and care necessary to guarantee the good physical and mental condition of the soldiers and enable them to have the necessary equipment.

Those who are fond of history will remember that it was this ability to supply the front line effectively that enabled the French army to gain the upper hand over the Germans during the First World War.


More recently and quite often soldiers have intervened for humanitarian actions: assistance to populations victims of famines, natural disasters… And specific units, with military status, have been created: civil protection in France, national guard in the United States… yet mostly dedicated to the assistance to population.


Faced with this current state of affairs, another observation must be made: the threats of today are no longer those of yesterday. The current pandemic clearly opens our eyes to today's reality: threats are now natural. From pandemics to climatic events, we fight more against these situations than against other states, other armies.


Certainly, armed conflicts still exist, and always arise. But increasingly, the threats are natural. And it is up to humanity to fight together against these new threats.


Besides, it is not trivial if most heads of state used martial vocabularies to prepare populations for containment measures. The threat has changed… But the way to manage it remains confined to the old methods.

The threat has changed… But the way to manage it remains confined to the old methods.

And the military, although effective in a humanitarian disaster, remain focused on their initial mission: to fight against interstate conflicts or guerrilla threats.


So the question to be asked today, in the light of this pandemic, is this: what if we changed our vision of these military/governmental forces?


A well-known adage says: "Si vis pacem, para bellum". Or: who wants peace prepares for war. This axiom of defense strategies of all states is based on the premise that the more a state has a large army, the more its enemies will think twice before attacking it, therefore resulting in a situation of de facto peace, but no real peace.


Because in the end, it remains, above these societies this sword of Damocles of an irresponsible ruler who will take this bet. Therefore, this adage does not generate peace, it generates a situation of non-conflict. Which is very different from what peace truly is.

Peace is not the absence of war, it is an active situation in which the various human groups collaborate effectively and positively to help each other to develop in a reasoned way and by respecting the rights of everyone. It is neither an arms race nor a fierce competition won by the strongest or the most virulent (orally, economically, politically or militarily).


In the face of these new threats, would it not be relevant to say: "si vas pacem, para pace", "who wants peace prepares peace".


And the solutions already exist to initiate this movement of real peace and not of absence of conflict. Japan implemented it (somewhat forced) straight after 1945!


At the end of the world conflict, the United States became the administering power of Japan and "imposed" on the Japanese government the implementation of a specific article in the new Japanese Constitution, article 9: "Sincerely aspiring for international peace founded on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as the sovereign right of the nation, or the threat, or the use of force as a means of settlement of international conflicts.

To achieve the goal set out in the preceding paragraph, no land, naval, air, or other war potential will be maintained. The state's belligerent right will not be recognized."


This article obliges the Japanese government to limit its "army" to defense activities only. Preventing the ancient Empire of the rising sun from having any conquering desires.


This article, and in particular its first article, clearly calls for a situation of peace. Unfortunately, Japan is experiencing a political movement which would like to tend to the suppression of this article. The current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, being a firm advocate of this.

In the light of a period of human evolution where we will have to face natural events more than state wars, would it not be reasonable to seek to develop this constitutional article globally instead of seeking to delete it?

Why not initiate a global movement aiming at the insertion in all the constitutions of such an article 9, which could be accompanied by an in-depth reform of the military forces towards their transformation into humanitarian forces only, deployable effectively and quickly to assist populations in distress in the face of existential threats that concern us all?


Why not encourage military research that would develop effective tools for assisting populations rather than sophisticated armaments? The technological appeal of humanitarian tools would be no less interesting. Think of these small robots capable of operating in NBC (Nuclear, Bacteriological, Chemical) environments, or drones allowing the identification of survivors in isolated environments? Or submarines dedicated to the analysis and monitoring of abyssal pits to follow tectonic movements?

This frenzy of innovation often linked to this infamous "military-industrial complex" which brews trillions of dollars in the world, could be done to benefit everyone and not only the strongest or whoever has the biggest muscles (not talking about who p…s the furthest!)?

This frenzy of innovation (...), could be done to benefit everyone and not only the strongest or whoever has the biggest muscles (not talking about who p…s the furthest!)?

And, after all, part of these budgets could also be reallocated to the industries and services which are now essential: research, health, education ... Industries and services which participate in truly creating peace and not in preventing war!


Let us understand today that COVID-19 is a sign, if it were necessary, that the threats we face are no longer those of before and that we must quickly stop living in the myth of the great battles of yesteryear, humanity no longer having the time to play war but having the duty to cooperate to participate in the fight against the events to come.

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