The word Peace in itself holds nomeaning. It is not the opposite of violence. A hungry man’s idea of peace is afull stomach. A nation at war may claim the non-existence of violence as peace,even though it may come at the price of hunger.
Similarly, a man may seek peace from the stress and tension of theeveryday life. A priest may seek peace in communion with God, perhaps evendeath, the ultimate representation of God’s embrace. Many would suggest that peace is theantithesis of violence and war (“What Is Peace?”, 2017). But is it logicalto view the different instances of peace, in different societies, with the sameglasses? Can we dare suggest that the peace that exists in a ‘Just’ andtolerant society is comparable to that of an unjust and fundamentalist societythat keep its citizens in line through fear? If that is the case, then weshould accept the conflict free regimes of dictators and tyrants as peaceful (Rummel,1975,35). One may derive from the aboveargument that peace is not a static phase that either exists or not.
It is adynamic feature of society that has less to do with violence and more to dowith human interactions and mindset (Rummel,1975, 36). There exists arelationship between peace and conflict, such that the conditions necessary forpeace and any changes in such conditions make conflict more likely or lesslikely (Rummel,1975, 36). We need to consider the idea that peace does notexist in a vacuum.We might be better off treating peace as a social contract,such that we as the members of society achieve peace through negotiations,adjustments, resolutions and decisions. Such a scenario makes peace an active,dynamic part of society and not a passive tenet (Rummel,1975, 102). It isthrough our cooperative existence and interaction that we bring about thesocial contract that is necessary for peace.
Peace also holds a pivotalrelation with power. It is only through a balance of power that we can bringabout the genuine and worthwhile instance of peace (Rummel,1975, 102). Peace can both be external andinternal from the point of view of an individual (Rummel,1975, 40). As a social construct,peace is limited to the external sphere where the interactions and actions ofother members of society plays a role in bringing about peaceful environment.But if we were to consider human nature we would find the flaw in such anarrangement (“What Is Peace?”, 2017).
If a person is not at peace withhimself and his role in society, it will only lead to dissatisfaction andresentment and it won’t be long before the same chaos leaks to the externalworld. Perhaps we may call the internal peace a ‘spiritual peace’. If theexpectations and desire of an individual are not congruent with the socialreality there can be no peace. The social reality that is evidencedin the world in the forms of social contracts, political entities, national andinternational interactions, are just the manifestation of the expectations,values and meaning inherent in the minds of the people that are party to thesocial contract i.e. Peace (En.wikiquote.org, 2017).