Do You REALLY Want World Peace?
- Rob Daugherty
Just to start conversations I sometimes ask people, “If I
could grant you any two wishes, what would they be?” (I say
two because when they’re offered anything at all, THREE wishes
is just a bit too much, wouldn't you say?) As you can expect,
I get all kinds of requests. And if I ask this in a group
setting, there's always someone who says:
Ah yes, world peace. Doesn’t it fill you with warmth and
joy just thinking about it? Or have you already moved on
to think about what this article is going to be about? The
latter is what mostly happens because the phrase "world
peace" has become overused. As this is being written
between December 25th (notice I didn’t say Christmas)
and New Year’s, many people get all religious and feel-goody
and new-years-resolution-y and hold hands and meditate and
pray on this wonderful concept called World Peace.
most people don’t truly envision what world peace would really
be like. This is what I'm going to do. But NOT from the
point of view of an economic professor or an author of six
no-one-has-ever-read sociology books. I also am not a religious
figurehead nor have I ever majored in political science, history,
or law. I'm just a normal guy who occasionally thinks about
And when I think of world peace, I think of no more war.
When I think of war, I think of fighting between two countries.
Thus, should world peace exist only in terms of relations
between established countries?
No, this wouldn’t do. There is far too much killing by all
those whackball religious fanatics.
Uh oh. That definitely wasn’t a peaceful comment. I can’t
really peacefully call them whackball religious fanatics,
now can I? What I say is wrong is merely a different interpretation
of religious teachings. But let’s not try to resolve such
things at this time.
Instead, let’s assume, for this article’s sake, that it's
not just fighting between two countries that makes the world
un-peaceful, but let's extend this to killing, in general.
World peace would have to mean no killing for any reason.
(Well, except for capital punishment, which probably won't
go away because a lot of countries like it.) So this would
mean, as a start, no more religious wars, no more boundary
disputes, no more "racial cleansing," and so on.
Peace = No Killing People
So we have the beginning concept of what world peace would
be like: no killing people. Who would govern this world peace?
Yes, it would be all wonderful and good if people somehow
acquired the inner constitution and mental fortitude to live
and exude and BE world peace, but something tells me that
this just isn't going to happen. We need something to enforce
this newfangled idea called World Peace.
I read somewhere – fiction or channeled-new-age-"fact",
I forget which one – that in order to achieve world peace,
God instituted Instant Karma in all of mankind. You pinch
someone, you get pinched. You make fun of someone's hair,
you have ugly hair. You kill and you die. Eventually people
got the hint and they stopped being mean to each other and
started making lots of chocolate and peanut butter fudge,
which, of course, meant that THEY got chocolate and peanut
butter fudge, which, in turn, caused God to institute a low-carb
diet for all of mankind. But if you think about it, this
would work provided that God is the one who controls it and
So there will probably be a few people who break the rules.
The challenge, though, would be in establishing and enforcing
these rules. For example, in some countries, it’s acceptable
for the husband to kill the wife if she commits adultery.
But if we had world peace, that wife-killing husband would
be breaking the rules, thus requiring that whole country to
adopt a whole new set of rules they’ve never had to live by.
We Need Rules and a Mack-Daddy Enforcer
So, someone must decide who gets to determine the rules?
Ask most Americans and they’ll insist on the United States
as they believe the world revolves around them, the “World’s
But we’re talking about World Peace. Somehow it just seems
wrong to give governing world peace power to a country mostly
because they have the biggest military and the most nuclear
warheads and the most McDonalds restaurants.
Ok, then, majority rules. In mid-2003, China quadrupled
the U.S. population, India more than tripled it, while Germany,
France, the U.K., and Italy combined did not quite equal U.S.
Still, no way will the Americans and Europeans allow China
or India to govern the world, thus preventing the biggest
country or the country who has the most toys from having their
social and societal norms become the rule.
The governing body will have to be an organization where
all the nations come together, work out their differences,
compromise, share ideas, eat ice cream cones (because people
can't really fight and hate each other if they're all eating
ice cream cones – try it sometime... "You son of a...!
Oh wait, is this butter pecan?"), and ultimately come
up with a set of rules mankind can live by. Let’s assume
that this organization works. Let’s call it, “Team World
Peace” just because I like to say “Team” followed by fun words.
Team World Peace
Team World Peace comes in and makes it happen. The long-held
dream of many a man actually comes to fruition. We now have
world peace. Yippee!
But how could it happen?
you watch children play, they are beautifully ignorant of
race or religion or social status. They don’t care what color
Michael is nor could they give a crap that Isaac doesn’t celebrate
Christmas. “Does Marie throw the ball back to me?” That’s
what little Jimmy cares about. (Of course, we'll have to
ignore those times when Matthew steals Misty's crayons and
refuses to give them back.)
In many regards, children (except for Matthew) are much wiser
than adults. In order to achieve world peace, humanity must
place as top priorities only those things that are truly important.
Children, the younger the better, care only about the bottom
line. If a baby is hungry, it will cry and scream bloody
hell until you stick a bottle in its mouth. One moment –
fuming, screaming anger; the next moment – blissful peace.
No grudges. No bitter resentment. It is NOT important what
exactly is the boundary line of a country. It is NOT important
as to the name or idea of someone’s supreme being. It is
not important that people dress differently, look differently,
and have different customs.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: Are people happy? Are people good
to one another and to themselves?
Is there really anything else?
I’m going to WAY-generalize, but in order for someone to
be happy, usually they must:
Have a sense of freedom
Have a say in what happens to them, their family,
and their friends
And they must have a toy or two.
I think that’s it. Most everything a person might say they
need in order to be happy can be broken down into one of those
things. (Ok, sex should somehow be in that formula, but then
that would just complicate my simple little example.)
So, in order to achieve world peace, all we have to do is
make sure people are happy and somehow instill in their minds
that they must be good to one another and to themselves.
They must be childlike such that all things that are not absolutely
essential are not given undue importance.
Does this mean that you must give up your flat screen TV
and your picture-taking cell phone? Nope. I said it’s OK
to have a toy or two as long as it’s not given undue importance
and as long as you didn’t hurt anyone in the process of obtaining
these devices. So relax, you can still have antique furniture
But Is It REALLY Possible?
There are many who believe world peace is a real possibility.
It’s been suggested that the scientific, technological, and
communication advances occurring in just the last 50 years
“portend a great surge forward in the social evolution of
the planet, and indicate the means by which the practical
problems of humanity may be solved. They provide, indeed,
the very means for the administration of the complex life
of a united world.”
In other words, we have the technical capability to administer
and aid a world of peace. And we have the education and intelligence
to know right from wrong. “Yet barriers persist. Doubts,
misconceptions, prejudices, suspicions and narrow self-interest
beset nations and peoples in their relations one to another.”
(Source: “The Promise of World Peace”, http://bahai-library.com/published.uhj/world.peace.html)
Let's Say it IS Possible
So Team World Peace did it. They helped people become happy
and have instilled in their minds that they must be good to
one another and to themselves. Yippee again! We have world
peace. Everyone can now hug each other and rejoice and be
merry and frolic on the beaches and in the grassy fields.
What if there truly did not exist war in this world?
God, or nature, or whatever you want to call it, likes to
always incorporate this little idea of Balance. Surely God,
in His/Her/Its infinite wisdom, wouldn’t allow all this war
and killing and non-peace to take place just because man has
free will. Surely non-peace also has a purpose. Otherwise,
we meager humans must admit that God is infinitely wise only
part of the time.
Without war and hatred, the world population would soar,
which could lead to:
And thus, instead of man killing man, nature’s continual
need for balance would step in, the laws of nature will run
their course and kill us off through famines, diseases, and
Violence? There’s not supposed to be violence during world
If we had world peace, what would happen to the hundreds
of millions of people worldwide whose livelihood, theirs and
their families, are completely dependent upon the military?
Either they will not have a job or they will displace someone
else who DOES have a job. Either way, the world unemployment
levels will increase to disastrous proportions.
Crime rate and violence in poverty areas is statistically
higher. So, world peace would lead to more crime and more
violence. The difference being that this time around, it
isn’t government sanctioned.
But maybe there would be less crime and less violence if
all that money spent on weapons and military personnel can
be shifted and spent on peace-time production items. In other
words, all taxes and government revenue normally spent on
the military would have to be shifted, basically, to welfare,
feeding people, and housing all those without work. So people
would still have food and shelter. They just wouldn’t have
to pay for it.
But then, with all that extra idle time because far fewer
people would have to work, both sexually-transmitted diseases
and drug usage would increase. With more drug usage comes
more drug crime. So, either we would have to accept more
drug-related violence, which is so NOT in tune with this whole
world peace idea, or we would have to legalize drugs.
So, world peace means we must legalize drugs.
But legalizing drugs just isn't all that likely, even if
it does somehow mean world peace.
So, world peace means more drug-related violence. And more
sexually-transmitted diseases. Dang.
There’s another problem with world peace…
Many, if not most, technological and scientific developments
came to be ONLY as a result of a desire to create better weapons
and a stronger army. Had the military not seen the advantages
flight had to offer on the battlefield, far less money would
have been spent improving man’s ability to fly and the technology
would've taken many years longer to develop.
The same can be said for the improvements of metal and steel,
space exploration, nuclear power, food and farming, the textile
industry, glass, plastics, and on and on and on. Yes, these
developments would definitely have happened, but how would
the U.S. government justify spending millions on development
of the luxury of rocket technology had the Germans not been
shooting missiles in World War II? As a result, we now have
the ability to be with relatives who live a thousand miles
away in just a matter of hours. And we’re able to ship emergency
replacement parts to the power station so that people will
not lose electricity for the evening.
So, world peace means the speed at which technological developments
occur would slow down, especially if so many consumers are
without jobs thus reducing business' profits thus causing
the research and development budgets to be cut. This slow
down would be exponential, as well: little change at first,
but over time technological growth would come to a standstill.
OK, Kids. Let's Review
Allow me to recap what world peace would bring to mankind: