Cultures of war, cultures of peace

By Johan Galtung

We have war and peace, theory and practice. And deeper down cultures of war and peace, notions of what the world is or could be. The latter is not necessarily peace, could also mean removing obstacles to war.

Timothy Snyder, “Hitler’s World” (NY Review of Books, 24 Sep 2015) and Greg Grandin, “The Kissinger Effect: The relentless militarism of the national-security state and its perverse justification begin with Henry Kissinger” (The Nation, 28 Sep 2015) are both on that line.

Hitler’s World derives from Darwinist struggle for niches, with survival of the fittest. His niche is not the whole world but what is needed to feed the German people, and here Ukraine plays a major role. The food chain is key to the image, with humans on top, eating animals and plants, but not eaten by them. So also for the human species, divided in races with the Aryan race on top, “fittest” as evidenced by domination all over; never slaves. On top of them are the Germans; their state not an end but the military arm obliged to be strongest.

To Hitler that world is natural, and inherently stable. Values, equality, human rights, equal right to life, Christianity, capitalism, communism, are anti-natural. For Hitler such ideas…

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