Klaus Zapotoczky


Wars may often end relatively successfully for the “attacker”, but as a rule, long-lasting peace does not come out of them. War is described as the continuation of politics with different means, normally with means of violence. Peace is a long-lasting process which demands both philanthropic and environmentally sound attitudes of as many people as possible, especially of the people responsible in the different domains of all levels and structures, fostering peaceful coexistence, and not leading to armed conflicts. In the following, at first the importance of peace-supporting structures in all fields will be pointed out, then the escalation ladder of conflicts according to Glasl will be dealt with, and finally , the possibilities of peace-supporting will be presented, which can take different shapes on the different levels of action, but in the end have certain elements in common. On the basis of – very varying – cultural traditions of the different peoples and regions, „petty virtues” such as politeness, modesty, courtesy, fairness, etc. are to be developed, which help to achieve the great goals freedom, equality, brotherliness, and justice. At the same time a discourse crossing all cultural borders will be necessary, which, according to Ram Mall, has to avoid the following obstacles to an intercultural perspective:

1. Any rigid incompatibility, e.g. between Eastern and Western thinking.

2. A graded-theoretical development of (philosophical) thinking with its culmination in a certain philosophy, culture, religion.

3. Any claim to absoluteness of a text or an interpretation.

4. Any radical translatability or untranslatability of texts or cultures.

At the same time Mall points out that the production and achievement of knowledge are to be connected, as it is perfectly natural in India’s philosophizing and in ancient European thinking. Today one cannot help feeling that, although all people (quite a lot) know and approve of the contents, they nevertheless do nothing, according to the terrible maxim “All agree, but no one acts.” In spite of all contacts, good intentions and all the manifold trouble, lack of understanding, misunderstandings, disputes and conflicts can always happen. On all levels of social living together people will have to learn how to quarrel decently and to settle disputes in a way which all persons involved consider just. This requires a – as wide as possible – common attitude of values, which must be began small, as has been suggested by Hans Küng in his world ethos project, and which is to be improved jointly. The peace spiral will never stop.