On Peace and Ukraine, Trump, Putin, Gandhi, and …

… an Interview with Johan Galtung – Published on Dissident Voice, by Gary Corseri, Nov 29, 2016.

… Gary Corseri: I’m here in the Washington, D.C. area, with Johan Galtung — master teacher, and originator, since 1959, of “Peace Studies” programs at universities around the world.
Johan, sensei. When my wife and I met your wife and you, informally, for lunch a week ago, we discussed doing an interview. And you sent me some ideas about your current interests including the crisis in Ukraine, which seemed of paramount concern to you just now. So, we’ll start with Ukraine today, but, knowing you a little, being a little familiar with the treasure trove of your work, I’m certain that our talk will ramify and develop its own course…. But, first: Why do you want to talk about Ukraine?

  • Johan Galtung: I’m working on it! I’ve been in Skype contact with the parties—the enemies! And there are many! It’s a complex crisis. Moreover, both Russia and the United States are involved. They’re both former super-powers, and there is in Ukraine the possibility of another major war which might soon become a nuclear war. Also, I focus on Ukraine now because it is closer to the area where I used to live — in Spain — and, because the dangers seem to be more imminent … //

… GC: You’ve taught me a lot in this short interview. I hope this little introduction to your work will encourage othrs to dig deeper, to understand more. So, one last question: How do we apply your thinking of the past half century and more—I think our readers will not mind my wishing you a happy 86th birthday!—how can we work towards a more peaceful world? Can we have hope?

  • JG: To be so “alienated” within one’s society or nation or world, as to feel “hopeless”—that is to suffer a terrible kind of cultural violence!

GC: Realism and hope. Can that be a “unity,” too?

  • JG: I’ll let you answer that. But, imagine this. [He points to a mercator-projection map on his office wall] Let’s say, our modern world can be divided into 8 great regions: There’s the Anglo-American world, including, Canada; there’s Latin America; Africa; the Muslim world; the E.U., or the European region; Russia—which is really a “nation of nations,” a federation; East Asia; South Asia. Since the end of the Second World War, we have tried to unite the world in the United Nations! What do we have there? Something like 200 bickering nation-states. They compete to be heard in that forum. Then there is a Security Council, awarding the privilege of the veto to a fraction of the numerous states….
  • People are working towards new kinds of unions, new unities. The SCO, for example [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization], with Russia, China and India working towards greater cooperation; and Iran is an associate member. We hear much about the New Silk Road, a high-speed rail system that China is developing, crossing from the port cities of China to ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. There is also the “New Silk Lane,” which we hear less about—China and other nations in Africa and across south Asia, uniting in trade along the old sea lanes, with a fleet of better, faster ships.
  • So, yes, there are terrible dangers to confront, cataclysmic challenges to overcome. But, imagine now, that the regions could unite, and that the people of the regions had representative democracy, and they chose a regional leader. Then, the 8 regional leaders sit around a kind of Arthurian Round Table. All are equal there. And they try to understand each other. They describe their visions of their ideal world together, develop their historical perspectives together. They report to their citizens about what they have done and what they have learned.

GC: We have to change the machinery, the mechanisms—political, economic, social—that have governed our world since the end of WWII.

  • JG: And longer than that! Do you think we might make progress then? Might we have greater understanding then? A world at peace?

GC: How do we develop such a vision? If we could teach the children to think in new ways! Shouldn’t a “democratic” society enjoy the “autonomy” of peace?

  • JG: Certainly, there would be differences; but we would dialogue about our differences. We would recognize our “contracts” with each other to work towards peace, to develop “closeness,” recognize and work against what I have described as “direct violence, structural violence and cultural violence.” That has been my life’s work: to develop modalities to understand how the three kinds of violence destroy us, how they interact, and how we can re-create ourselves. Can we strive for anything less?

GC: “‘T’is a consummation devoutly to be wished….”

  • JG: Hamlet, isn’t it? … //

… (full interview text).

(Gary Corseri has published articles, fiction, poetry and dramas at hundreds of venues worldwide, including, Dissident Voice and The New York Times. He has published novels and collections of poetry, edited the Manifestations anthology, and his dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere. He has taught at US public schools and prisons and at US and Japanese universities. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. Gary can be reached at: gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary).

some Related Links:

Interview With Gary Corseri On US Foreign Policy, on Countercurrent.org, Aug 18, 2016;

find Gary Corseri:


President Putin To Grant PCR Russian Passport, on PCR’s Website, Nov 30, 2016: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, The Neoconservative Threat to World Order, (resp all his books on amazon.co.uk);
related book on amazon.co.uk: From Marx to Mises: Post Capitalist Society and the Challenge of Ecomic Calculation (Manual of Practice), by David Ramsay Steele, 1992: in 1920, Ludwig von Mises proclaimed that all attempts to establish socialism would come to grief, for reasons of informational efficiency. At first, socialists and economists took Mises’s argument seriously, but by the end of the Second World War, a consensus prevailed that Mises had been discredited. More recently, that consensus has been rapidly reversed: it is now widely agreed that ‘Mises was right’. Yet the momentous implications of the Mises argument — for economics, politics, culture, and philosophy — remain largely unexplored. From Marx to Mises is a clear, penetrating exposition of the economic calculation debate, and a scrutiny of some of the broader issues it raises;

Obama urged to end Snowden’s untenable exile, on RT, Nov 30, 2016;

Slovakia adopts law to effectively block Islam from becoming official state religion, on RT, Nov 30, 2016;

EU may fall apart due to failed neo-liberal policies – Noam Chomsky to RT, 3.42 min, on RT, Nov 30, 2016: the surge in right-wing and anti-establishment sentiments as a result of failed neo-liberal policies in Europe is likely to lead to collapse of the EU in “a tragic development,” prominent American linguist, scholar and activist Noam Chomsky told RT;

The Swamp of War, on Tom Dispatch, by Andrew Bacevich, Nov 29, 2016: sometimes it’s tough to pull lessons of any sort from our confusing world, but let me mention one obvious (if little noted) case where that couldn’t be less true: the American military and its wars …;

Trump Called to Forcefully Denounce Post-Election Outbreak of Hate, on Common Dreams.org, by Lauren McCauley, Nov 29, 2016: Southern Poverty Law Center documents over 860 incidents of hate in ten days following presidential election;

We’re Under Attack, on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, Nov 29, 2016;

Enough to Make Me Gag, Warren and Sanders Decry Latest Big Pharma Giveaway, on Common Dreams.org, by Deirdre Fulton, Nov 29, 2016: Sen. Elizabeth Warren vows to fight 21st Century Cures Act ‘because I know the difference between compromise and extortion’;

How the Global Left Destroyed Itself (or, All Sex Is Not Rape), on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, Nov 29, 2016;

Trump’s Victory & the Need to Rebuild the Democratic Party, on Democracy Now, by Bernie Sanders and Amy Goodman, Nov 29, 2016; (my comment: the party is the mirror of people plus elites, means of us all, changes for real are only possible through us – Heidi);

BRICS bank plans $2.5bn in loans for emerging economies in 2017, on RT, Nov 23, 2016;

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