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Violence in the international system

Violence takes many forms and is understood differently in different countries and among different cultures. While there is no universally accepted definition of violence, following are some of the definitions. The World Health Organization has proposed the following as a working definition of violence: “Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. ”.

According to Mckechnie. (1976), “Violence is defined as to assault; to injure; also, to bring by violence; to force” This means any type of fighting, blood, gore, or killing would constitute as violence. One of the most sickening cancers of evil in the world today is the high spate of violence, which has been prevalent for a number of centuries; little or no attention being paid to the basic fundamentals of the principles of the Brotherhood of Man and Personal Responsibility. Today’s world is filled with violence and adversity. Many people feel that through violence and suppression our enemies will be broken and eliminated.

Instead of showing love and compassion to our fellow man, we show our muscle (nuclear arms, weapons of war and weapons of the street) and refuse to truly sit and talk to each other. The question of humanity is when we will learn to harmonize with one another and stop the eternal fighting. Fighting leads us nowhere, it ultimately causes harm to both sides as they spend much of their resources trying to finance their Defense and apart from that on a state-to-state level it disintegrates a state from within and causes internal disharmony.

When will we learn to blend with nature and quit our constant destruction and pollution of our planet? Successive administrations in many countries have attempted to stem the rising tide through social reform; some have tried to be more lenient, others more severe. In spite of this Brother still fights Brother, thugs roam the streets at will. There are two approaches to understanding the human perception of wars, namely Realistic and Idealistic approach. A realist is one who believes War is an integral part of a human and it is inherent into his nature, he cannot simply survive without it.

Realism, in international relations, is defined as “a set of theories sharing a common theme that the primary motivation of states is the desire for power or security, rather than ideals or ethics. ” They share a belief that states are primarily motivated by the desire for military and economic power or security, rather than ideals or ethics. This term is often synonymous with power politics. On the other hand, an idealist strongly opposes realism and denounces war at all costs. Idealism holds that a state should make its internal political philosophy the goal of its foreign policy.

Idealism gained ground after the World War 2, when already a lot of destruction had occurred and almost everyone agreed that war should be avoided at all costs and there had to be other means of finding a peaceful solution, mainly by mutual talks and coming to common terms and grounds through peace talks rather than fighting it out in the battlefield. Similarly, a Pacifist also denounces war. It seems best to rely on Jenny Teichman’s definition of pacifism as “anti-war-ism. ” Literally and straightforwardly, a pacifist rejects war in favor of peace.

It is not violence in all its forms that the most challenging kind of pacifist objects to; rather, it is the specific kind and degree of violence that war involves which the pacifist objects to. A pacifist objects to killing (not just violence) in general and, in particular, she objects to the mass killing, for political reasons, which is part and parcel of the wartime experience. So, a pacifist rejects war; she believes that there are no moral grounds which can justify resorting to war. War, for the pacifist, is always wrong. So, today most people would agree that war is a brutal and ugly enterprise.

Yet it remains central to human history and social change. These two facts together might seem paradoxical and inexplicable, or they might reveal deeply disturbing facets of the human character (notably, a drive for dominance over others). What is certainly true, in any event, is that war and its threat continue to be forces in our lives. Recent events graphically demonstrate this proposition, whether we think of the 9-11 attacks, the counter-attack on Afghanistan, the overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Darfur crisis in Sudan, the bombings in Madrid and London, or the on-going “war on terror” more generally.

We all had high hopes going into the new millennium in 2000; alas, this new century has already been savagely scarred with warfare. It would not be irrelevant to mention Sameul P. Huntington’s Theory of “Clash of Civilizations”. The Clash of Civilizations is a controversial theory that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Huntington says: “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic.

The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future. ” (Hunington, 1993) There have been many criticisms of his thesis from wildly different paradigms.

Apart from notable critics that include David Skidmore, Felix Marti, R. F. M. Lubbers, Seizaburo Sato, Mahmood Monshipouri, Vincent Ferraro, Shibley Telhami, Tanju Cataltepe; Huntington has himself been a critic of the original thesis he presented. He has, unnoticed to his readers, modified the clash in his 1996 book. “I don’t think Islam is any more violent than any other religions, and I suspect if you added it all up, more people have been slaughtered by Christians over the centuries than by Muslims. But the key factor is the demographic factor. Generally speaking, the people who go out and kill other people are males between the ages of 16 and 30”.

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