TITLE

ON VIOLENCE, PEACE AND THE RULE OF LAW

AUTHOR(S)
Clark, Ramsey
PUB. DATE
October 1970
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Oct70, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p31
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article argues that the U.S. can manifest its strength to the world not by violent means but through the achievement of world peace. In the quest for peace, the highest priority must be given to neutralizing the means of mass destruction. Nuclear powers must agree to stop production and begin dismantling. World law will have to begin with some manifestation by the world powers of their ability to abide by the rule of law both national and international. Vietnam has placed enormous strains on U.S. adherence to constitutional law. Government must exercise powers over peace and war in accordance with constitutional directions and separation of powers. Ultimate power indeed rests in the people. In a mass society sheer numbers dictate this. And it was from the people that the realization of the tragedy of Vietnam first came. Vietnam is only symptomatic of the inadequacy of violence in mass society and its peril for technologically advanced nations. Military victory would have been far more disastrous than military failure for the U.S. The apparent lesson of victory would have been that force and violence were still possible as solutions of international problems. It is a terribly expensive lesson, but if we learn from Vietnam that we can no longer use military force to coerce the conduct of others, we can survive and flourish. Real strength can change institutions and attitudes and improve the quality of life for all. This is the strength of a helping hand that does not strike out in anger, fear or hatred, a hand that is nonviolent and humane. Clever statements characterized by sporadic violence and continuous threats and outbursts cannot offer safety, freedom or fulfillment. It is for U.S. to liberate its generous spirit, its gentle regard for every individual, its will to live together on this earth with dignity, respect and love. We must end violent responses. We must inspire a passion for justice and reverence for life.
ACCESSION #
5804714

 

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