“Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness.”
– Thomas Jefferson
My most natural reaction to the simply-put question “Why peace?” is puzzlement. My natural response to the question would be “Why peace? Why not?” How could peace possibly be a bad thing? Then I realize how aloof and self-righteous simple questions and answers can sometimes seem. It is best, as is my normal fashion, to treat even seemingly simple questions as serious inquiries into fundamental freedom throughout the United States and the world. I understand we must be able to demonstrate why peace is beneficial to individuals, nations, and civilizations. So, let’s start over: Why peace?
I think the clearest and simplest answer is “Why not; we have tried war, over and over again, we never win, and the problems we war against only get worse. As the old ’60s song goes: all we are saying is, give peace a chance.” Not only that, but history proves that when there is no war, people prosper. There have been economic booms, scientific advancements, and cultural progress after every conflict American has fought, beginning with our War of Independence.
War breeds war. That is all it can do. War does nothing but devour valuable resources and destroy precious lives for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. As Randolph Bourne wrote, “War is the health of the state.” War is a mechanism used by the ruling elites of the state to coerce and control the people, so it becomes essential that whenever one war is complete, another is instigated elsewhere so that the mechanism keeps running.
On the other hand, peace breeds prosperity. If war is indeed the “health of the state,” then peace can be nothing less than the “health of the people.” Being at peace means valuable natural resources can be preserved and used at home where we need them most. Being at peace means young fathers and mothers can live and enjoy free trade, not only among themselves but with the world, instead of dying capriciously and unnecessarily, for political gain or to line the pockets of those who profit from their sacrifice.
History teaches us that the key elements to prosperity are freedom and peace. You don’t go to war with people you like, or with people you know, or with people with whom you are trading and doing business. Even after our fledgling republic was nearly torn asunder in a civil war that literally pitted brother against brother and nearly destroyed the South, our reunited nation and all its people advanced and prospered after peace was restored.
After both the world wars of the 20th century, there were advances in science, technology, and culture that only ended when the nation again blundered or was bamboozled into war. The post–War War I economic boom saw the increased use of machines and factories for mass production, which made goods faster and cheaper to produce, thus lowering prices so the average American could buy and enjoy them. The Roaring Twenties roared with more than the music and dancing in the burgeoning commercial radio and movie industry. American homes roared with the sound of newfangled, labor-saving devices like electric vacuum cleaners, toasters, washing machines, and refrigerators. Americans not only had more freedom to enjoy the fruits of their labor, but they were also literally set free to travel when the automobile became affordable and part of every American household.
Read the rest via Why Peace? Why Not! by Lee Wrights — Antiwar.com.